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text 2018-02-17 15:35
Complicated and very confusing
The Dead Ex - Jane Corry,Penguin Books

Last year I read and really enjoyed Blood Sisters by Jane Corry, and I particularly loved the rather claustrophobic, somewhat enclosed first person telling of the story. In particular the character of Kitty living in care, unable to communicate but the reader is privileged in that he has total access to the mind and thoughts of the hapless Kitty. Unfortunately The Dead Ex comes nowhere near to the thrill read that Blood Sisters was. It is the same type of first person storytelling from the point of view of a number of characters and again that presents as an effective and good method of relaying events. However if the story has little merit, then everything falls apart, in a confusing and dreary manner.

Vicki Goudman suffers with epilepsy and husband Daniel, rather than support her, decides to abandon her for his mistress the alluring, and seductive Tanya. When the police inform Vicki that husband Daniel is missing, possibly dead, she finds her world turned upside down when she realizes that she is the number one suspect. Vicki needs to prove her innocence but how is this possible as the drugs she is prescribed for her epilepsy appear to cause frequent and constant memory loss. The telling of this story is utterly confusing as we travel back and forward from the present to 2006/07 meeting Scarlet and Helen Evans. Vicki Goudman was a prison governor, then in inmate, ex husband Daniel has more than an interest in Tanya, Scarlet had an unhealthy relationship with a Mr Walters, Scarlet's mum Zelda is in prison, who is Jackie? Is Scarlett really Scarlet or Helen? does Zelda have an agenda from her prison cell?, is Daniel really David? what is the importance of Patrick? I could go on but I was just as confused as you are (dear reader of my review) trying to analyse and decipher just what the hell is happening!!. If a story becomes confused, complicated, and possibly losing the plot, then it is certainly difficult to retain the attention and support of the reader. I always endeavour to complete a book before offering an opinion but The Dead Ex really tested my stay ability! Many thanks to netgalley in sending me a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.....An extremely disappointing read, a confusing and complicated plot and a somewhat preposterous conclusion.

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video 2018-02-13 22:59

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review 2018-02-13 13:23
Searcher of the Dead
Searcher of the Dead: A Bess Ellyott Mystery - Nancy Herriman

Searcher of the Dead

Series: Bess Elliot Mysteries#1

Rating : 3 stars

 

This historical mystery set in Elizabethan England was a slow read. It’s about a young widower named Bess who is an herbalist. She is living with her brother after fleeing London because her husband was murdered. Long story short, a murder takes place in Bess’ family that she sets out to solve… well kinda. She and the local constable do equal parts sleuthing as you bounce back and forth between their points of view.

 

The mystery was good in and of itself. I did not suspect who it turned out to be. And this book contained a lot of historical notes of the time such as the hiding of Jesuit priests and the subsequent punishment.  Also, I did not know, or maybe I just didn’t remember that if you failed to attend church back then you were fined or worse. Talk about the church having power.

 

Anyways, the read was slow. It wasn’t bad… just slow. My interest kept waning at times. Though I never considered DNF’ing it.

 

So I gave it three stars. I might continue with the series if the synopsis for the next book entices me.

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.



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review 2018-02-12 23:00
Bikers, escorts, and a detective with a conscience in hipster Vancouver
Invisible Dead - Rudy Wiebe

I do read mysteries, but I don't tend to read the gritty crime/noir genre. Too dark, in most cases. I loved this, though. 

 

Wiebe captures the culture, ephemera, and atmosphere of Vancouver with endless telling details, making his narrative about crime and the seedy, dark underbelly of the city all the more alarming. Reads smoothly and convincingly, with all-too-recognizable characters. The endless men (and some women) dismissing the harm they do to others, particularly to the most vulnerable (and often First Nations and visible minority) women, are the company owners I've worked with and for, the powerful and dismissive, the entitled and self-satisfied, and most of all, the casually careless.

 

The specificity of eating out in Vancouver and enjoying the views are so common in the city as to be living stereotypes, and the friendly familiarity of the lifestyle and location details drives the knife in even further as one character after another drives the women who've suffered in this book, and on our streets in real life, further into the mud.

 

I prefer reading mysteries set in exotic foreign places and times. New York. Chicago. London. Paris. 1920s. 1940s. A crime novel calling out not only the shady hidden figures of my Vancouver, but all of us in the city, privileged and struggling alike, for glossing past, stepping over, and treating with casual disdain and irresponsibility the ones having the hardest time surviving, hits far too close to home. But there's a balance of hope and tenacity in this book that keeps the darkness from feeling entirely crushing. So I'll read more of Wiebe's work, if only to remind myself of the faces, the voices, and the stories I need to not forget.

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review 2018-02-11 14:11
Drawing Dead (Dana McIntyre Must Die #1) by S.M. Reine
Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller ... Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (Dana McIntyre Must Die) (Volume 1) - S M Reine

Dana McIntyre has always had an issue with vampires, even more than your average vampire hunter. They have history and she holds a grudge

 

So she does not take being bitten and turning into a vampire well. She fully intends to die before she turns. But not before taking all of Las Vegas’s hundreds of vampires down with her.

 

There is a possible cure- but is Dana willing to risk that? Can Vegas survive without Dana? And can it survive her vengeance?

 

I am now becoming ever more intimidated and by S.M. Reine’s world - because she has written about 300 series each of which have eleventy million books in it, all of which are connected and linked to a vast meta plot and world changing activity - and I AM SO BEHIND. So finding this new series my reactions were both lots of glee and a kind of gibbering terror. I will catch up with all her books! I will!

 

I was going to skip this until I caught up. But the cover. You know I’m not resisting that cover, right?

 

That said, despite the utter terrifying vastness that is S.M. Reine’s excellent world building and the truly massive amount of events that have passed, this book still works on its own even if you’re unfamiliar with the vastness. It does refer to major events in the larger world - events I’m only vaguely aware of - but this isn’t a vast world changing story. This is the story of Dana, Las Vegas and activities there. This history matters in terms of how the supernatural took over, how people were transformed by the Event and how much changed - but the details of it are not remotely necessary to tell Dana’s story. Ok, the gods thing? The gods thing lost me. I definitely need some severe elaboration on the whole deity thing.

 

That doesn’t mean the world isn’t amazing and broad and rich and weird. With the very conventional supernatural vampires and wereanimals, but throwing in some truly terrifying and alien fae with a very different take on anything I’ve seen before. And the cutest orc you ever did see

 

In fact let’s hit Dana and her wife Penny. First of all wife - yes, Dana is a lesbian, yes we have a lesbian protagonist, no she’s not “lesbian for Penny only” she is attracted to women and definitely loves Penny. Their relationship is not in any way fairy tale - there’s a lot of conflict and difficult there: but it’s down to Penny’s previous trauma as a victim of a serial killer, it’s Dana’s obsessive hatred of vampires, it’s her drinking too much - there’s a lot of complexities which make Dana not an easy woman to live with or love but they definitely do love.

 



 

Penny is also an orc - which means she’s huge and sweaty and has horns - and is still much gentler, more timid and generally more delicate than the touch talking, hard drinking rough and tumble - though much smaller - Dana. I like that because all too often depictions of same-sex relationships feel the need to throw gender roles in there - and here we have a relationship that turns these stereotypes on their head and has two big, not-conventionally attractive, yet still very powerful women leading it

 

We also have a trans woman who is an integral part of the city and the story and what i love is that her being trans is not oblique or subtle - we’re very very very clear including the party Penny and Dana had with her to celebrate milestones in transitioning - while also making it clear she’s a fully developed integral character beyond that. She does use being trans as a rhetorical tool a little too extremely to try and poke Dana into action in a way that doesn’t feel appropriate in both the coarse terms and draws unnecessary comparisons with the supernatural.

 

To me the most compelling character was Nissa, because she was so far away from anything I expected. And I’m frustrated that I can’t reveal anything about the empathic vampire without spoiling so much what makes her so surprising, unique and her story so utterly chilling. This is an excellent, completely unique take on this kind of character that I have never ever seen before and left me confused, slightly in awe and very very disturbed.

 

We also have Anthony Morales, a major figure in Dana’s organisation who is latino, the second in command of the vampires, and definitely the mover-and-shaker behind the scenes is Indian: both are important in this book and likely to be much more so in future books.

 

 

Read More

 

 

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/02/drawing-dead-dana-mcintyre-must-die-1.html
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