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review 2020-04-11 19:29
The Unsuitable by Molly Pohlig
The Unsuitable - Molly Pohlig

 

Paint it Black Square: The cover is black except for the embroidery shears.

 

Trigger Warning: Cutting, or self-harm, drives the whole plot.

 

Iseult lives with her father in London and has been in mourning her entire life. Her father keeps her dressed in black to remember her mother. The mother Iseult shouldn't know because Iseult's mother died as Iseult was being born.

 

But Iseult does know her mother. Her mother is inside of her, a constant, suffocating presence. Iseult can't help talking to her, or trying to make others understand, so she has never had close friends or anybody to talk to except her father's housekeeper.

 

Iseult knows of only one way to silence her mother, however temporarily, and that is to wound herself, either in her scarred shoulder (from a broken collarbone at birth) or any other convenient place.

 

The book is fairly disgusting on that point. The reader understands that Iseult has no other recourse, but the amount of blood and the description of her injuries turns this book into body horror as opposed to the gothic ghost story with a twist that's advertised. This is supposed to be some kind of commentary on Our Current Cultural Moment, but I didn't see it. Maybe you will.

 

I got to the end because I felt obligated to, under normal circumstances I would have stopped when Iseult starts plunging scissors into her shoulder and snipping.

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review 2020-02-01 20:24
Things in Jars by Jess Kidd
Things in Jars - Jess Kidd

 

Serial/Spree Killer Square: Bridie Devine, in looking for an abducted child uncovers a world of medical curiosities, myths come to life, and a lot of dead bodies.

 

This was a fun book to read but, for me, a slow starter. The rich writing kept me going. Bridie Devine is an independent woman in the Victorian era, denied a license to practice medicine, she freelances odd investigations for a friend in Scotland Yard and does her own investigations on the side as well. Her last case ended badly, a child she was meant to recover died, and in that mood she approaches a new case where a mysterious child has been stolen from a remote country estate.

 

It doesn't help that in the course of investigating a lead she finds herself stuck with the ghost of a recently deceased boxer, domestic assistance from a seven-foot housemaid, and is possibly seeing things due to the odd tobacco blends she's consuming.

 

'Things in Jars' is set in the 19th century in Bridie Devie's present and in her childhood. The writing is beautiful, which combined with the unusual elements of this world, reminded me of 'The Essex Serpent'. If you loved that book you will enjoy this one. If you thought it was a bit indulgent...well, steer clear maybe.

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review 2019-11-30 02:49
Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
Kill Creek - Scott Thomas,Bernard Setaro Clark

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned

 


"No house is born bad."

- first sentence

 

 

I listened to this book for Halloween Bingo at the end of September. I've been swamped with school, work, and trying to get settled in my new house so I haven't had time to write any reviews.

 

I enjoyed this book. It was a slow build and I kept thinking something was going to happen, but the story kept taking unexpected turns. After all this time, that's all I have. *shrugs*

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review 2019-11-25 00:20
White Nights - Ann Cleeves
White Nights - Ann Cleeves

May 2019
This may well deserve a higher rating, but 7 months after I finished it without making even the slightest effort at a review, I have no idea. I recognize the start of the story from the blurb. And that's pretty much it. The identity of the first victim eludes me, as does the reason for any of it. All I seem to recall is that there was extensive back story. Well, also it got me interested in the the Hebrides and other islands, enough to look at houses for sale and jobs listings, not that I could consider moving without a lottery win because there is no way in hell that I am packing up and lugging all these books anywhere. I would love to see the white nights though.

Sad, innit, how little I remember? Still, I'd like to read more by Cleeves.

Library copy

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review 2019-11-23 19:23
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury

The prologue begins with an opening line reminiscent of A Christmas Carol: "First of all, it was October, a rare time for boys."

Forty or so years ago I read this and identified with the boys, of course I did. This time I couldn't. So it was just a bunch of wordplay and monologuing and there was no horror to it anywhere, just an ad for an imaginary place I wouldn't be welcome. He did say some nice things about libraries, though, so I'm giving it a couple of stars.

Library copy

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