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review 2019-01-21 02:58
Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin #1)
Widdershins - Jordan L. Hawk

Reread review 1/20/19:

 

No wonder I couldn't remember some of this. I read it three and-a-half years ago! ;) Time flies.

 

Whyborne and Griffin are the best. <3 I really enjoyed revisiting them at the start of their relationship, and seeing how much they've both changed and grown in confidence and strength since this first outing. Whyborne's so used to abuse and bullying that just Griffin being nice to him is enough to endear Griffin to him. And Griffin is so used to being abandoned that Whyborne sticking by him in times of trouble is enough to make its own impression. They're exactly what the other needed. <3

 

Christine's as great as ever. I still think making Ms. Parkhurst

fall for Persephone is a retcon. She's clearly crushing on Whyborne this whole time, but suddenly she's into a squid monster. Ooookay. Sure.

(spoiler show)

I'm going to try to be more open-minded about Niles, since as of book 10 I still have reservations about him. He was somewhat less awful here than I remembered him being - though he's still plenty awful, no question.

 

Original review 6/7/15:

 

I held out on delving into this series for the longest time, because historicals, especially in M/M are almost never done to my liking. They're too contemporary, or they're costume dramas, or they've got the sickly waif, or what have you. I've really only enjoyed Tamara Allen's works because she gets into the mindset of the time and doesn't try to modernize them. Ms. Hawk doesn't quite come up to that standard, but she comes incredibly close. The characters sound like they're from the turn of the century, more or less. They don't go gaga over the dress of the times; there is no more attention paid to anyone's garb than there would be in a contemporary fiction. So I liked this book just for that right from the start.

 

Then the plot starting picking up. Historical AND paranormal? Two genres I'm usually picky about. I'm trying to get into shifters, but so far I've only read THIRDS and that fell flat. Vampires? Even if I hadn't had my fill with Anne Rice in high school and with Buffy/Angel right after that, I do believe Edward Cullen has ruined the genre for the rest of humanity and all of time. Harry Dresden works for me because it's from the POV of someone working to oppose those forces and it doesn't get overly angsty, and that's more or less what Ms. Hawk does here as well. There is some angst, thanks to that Big Misunderstanding, but I wasn't bothered by it because of the way it was resolved. The paranormal element takes front and center, and I liked seeing Whyborne struggle to understand it and resist its lure. I thought the family conflict was resolved a bit too neatly, but I'm willing to see if it's resolved for good or just put on hold due to traumatic circumstances. 

 

I really enjoyed Whyborne and Griffin. They're not as cut and dry as they appear to be. They both have past struggles to contend with and past regrets that haunt them, but they're a good match for each other. You could see Whyborne slowly growing more confident in himself as the book progressed. Griffin too gets some development, but as the story is told through Whyborne's POV, we only get to see it secondhand, but we do get to see it and experience it. Then there's Christine, who in my mind looks and acts much like Marvel's Agent Carter. She's the perfect woman and I hope she becomes a regular character and a part of their team. 

 

There were a few typos, words repeating where they should have been edited out (no, not the stutters), and a couple of other minor instances but nothing overly glaring. There was just the right amount of sex, at least for me. And while this isn't quite instalove, they do fall for each other fairly quickly if you pay attention to the timeline. Still, with the focus being primarily on the investigation, that didn't bother me all that much. I'm much more forgiving of that trope when the characters are able to get over themselves and focus on the actual plot instead of getting sidetracked constantly by feels and horniness. Not that there isn't some sidetracking, but it's not on every single page and they're able to act like mature adults.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I can see myself becoming a fan of this series if they continue to hold up to the standard set by this one. Plus, Widdershins sounds like a place that can get Hellmouthy, so I'm looking forward to what their future adventures might entail. 

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review 2019-01-21 00:22
Widowmaker by Paul Doiron
Widowmaker: A Novel (Mike Bowditch Mysteries) - Paul Doiron

I think Paul Doiron has it down now.  This is his 7th book of his Mike Bowditch Series and now each book is getting better and better.  It appears Mike is growing up at the age of 28.

 

The book starts with a Mike Bowditch pulling over a suspicious woman that keeps asking Mike to take him back to his residence so they can talk.  Naturally, this being a book and also the curiosity of what she might want wins MIke over to the idea of taking her home, but Mike is very cautious. The woman explains that her son is a young man that just got out of prison on a couple of crimes of a sexual nature after being caught being 18 and sleeping with his underage girlfriend from an affluent family. She also tells Mike that her son and mike are step-brothers. Queue the soap opera organ music. She asks Warden Mike Bowditch too help find his long lost brother, which Mike reluctantly does.

 

The book follows Mike going to the area that the woman, Amber Langston lives and the resort she works at, named Widowmaker.  Between a near death arrest, he has to make at the beginning to this book and a near-death experience his girlfriend Stacey has, the book follows Mike through his investigation of his missing brother.

 

I still suggest that Paul Doiron's Mike Bowditch series is worth the read.  The past couple of books are books hard to put down.

 

Widowmaker by Paul Doiron

Mike Bowditch series book #7.

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review 2019-01-20 23:03
Great Continuation of Davenport
Naked Prey (Lucas Davenport, #14) - John Sandford

Well we have Lucas fairly happy and settled in this one with a new wife and baby. However, Lucas is feeling restless since he doesn't have anything big to work on. Apparently thinking it up causes something ugly this way to come and Lucas is quickly sent off to figure out if a black man and white woman being hung together is a lynching or something else. I think Sandford did well in this one with giving you a clue to who is linked to the two people who were murdered, without giving away until Lucas realizes it, what they were all up to. And then you get to see who all was involved. I think the wrap up to things could have been done better and I have to say that I don't buy the one antagonist being cowed by his mother since we saw what happened with him and his mother when he was 11. It just felt off to me and I think Sandford wanted to try to explain away this character's guilt in order for the explosive ending.

 

This book is just Lucas and Del being sent by Rose Marie and the governor to figure out if a interracial couple was lynched. Even though readers know that something is going on, you don't get the whole picture until around the 50 percent mark of the book and even then you don't get everything until after that. I really have to say that is much better than when Sandford would tell you the bad guy who Lucas is just tying to track down the whole book. It gets old after a while. 

 

Lucas is more mellow in this one. I like Lucas when he's not acting like he's not seen a woman before. He and Del working together are great and have great moments of hilarity. We are introduced to a new character in this one, pre-teen Letty who is going to become important to the series. We also get an African American reporter that Lucas decides to befriend in order to get bigger favors down the road. I hope he shows up again. 

 

I do have to say that the first part of the book drags a bit here and there, but everything smooths out after a while. You are then just holding your breath hoping Lucas and Del make it out alive. 

 

The ending was really good, but as I said above, I think Sandford just messed with the pathology of the one bad guy because it made zero sense about what went on when it was revealed by Sandford. I think he just did it to make the ending more bad ass (I get it) but then he needed to rewrite the beginning with the bad guy.

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text 2019-01-20 17:30
Reading progress update: I've read 126 out of 291 pages.
A Dog's Ransom - Patricia Highsmith

If she was half asleep and still angry, she might push him right out her door, and Clarence admitted to himself that he wasn´t the kind to force his way in, fling a girl on the bed and - well, at least hold her there, which under some circumstances might be the right thing to do.

 

Okay, Clarence just gave me some creepy vibes!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-01-20 13:01
Am Abend des Mordes von Hakan Nesser, Barbarotti #5
Am Abend des Mordes: Roman - Håkan Nesser

Dies ist der letzte Band der Barbarotti-Reihe.

 

Gebeutelt vom plötzlichen, aber nicht gänzlich unerwarteten Tod seiner Frau (sie erlitt bereits in "Die Einsamen" ein geplatztes Aneurysma im Gehirn), tritt Barbarotti einen Monat später seinen Dienst wieder an. Allerdings verdonnert ihn sein Boss Asunander zur Ermittlung in einem alten Fall: das Verschwinden von Morinder vor 5 Jahren aufzuklären, dem Freund von Ellen Bjarnebo, die vor 20 Jahren wegen des Mordes (und der Zerstückelung der Leiche) an ihrem Ehemann verurteilt wurde. Barbarotti findet äußerst mangelhafte Ermittlungsakten von beiden Fällen vor, doch die Begegnung mit Ellen Bjarnebo gestaltet sich schwierig, denn sie ist scheinbar verschwunden.

 

Was folgt ist eine packende Auseinandersetzung mit Trauer, Opfer, Schuld & Sühne, Vorurteilen und dem In die Hand Nehmen des eigenen Schicksals. In immer wechselnden Blickpunkten werden die Ereignisse von vor 20 Jahren aufgearbeitet, genauso wie Barbarottis Weg aus dem Tunnel der Trauer zurück ins Leben. Die beiden Fälle (und der, den Backman untersucht, nämlich das Ableben eines Rechtspopulisten) treten in den Hintergrund in dieser zutiefst persönlichen Geschichte, die ihren Höhepunkt in der Einöde Lapplands findet, wenn Barbarotti schließlich doch auf Bjarnebo trifft.

 

Wie immer bei Nesser gibt's kleine Negativpunkte, die diesmal allerdings den Abgang der Geschichte nicht trüben:

 

* das offene, aber suggestive Ende zwischen Barbarotti und Backman... noch dazu durch einen posthumen Brief von Barbarottis Frau Marianne quasi gutgeheißen... das hätte nicht sein müssen.

 

* Was hat es mit den "Schwestern" auf sich, auf die Barbarotti in Lappland trifft und die scheinbar die erste Ermittlung im Fall Morinder schon beeinflusst haben?

 

Fazit: ein zutiefst menschlicher, psychologischer und... ja, spirtueller Roman, der ohne Action auskommt und einen trotzdem in den Bann zieht. Und einen auch nach der letzten Seite nicht los lässt. So soll's sein.

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