logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: killing
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-13 16:20
Killing It
Killing It - Asia Mackay

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

A fairly entertaining novel, although it didn’t keep me enthralled.

I couldn’t decide if ultimately, the whole spy organisation was believable or not; some aspects felt far-fetched, where I had expected something more on the… ‘realistic’ side? Not that I know much about actual MI6 operations are conducted, that is: it was more a feeling than anything truly objective. Some parts I found amusing and inventive, in a sort of parodic way that I could only envision in a novel or a game (such as conducting interrogations in disused Tube parts, so that nobody would hear the cries over the din of trains or wonder about ‘that drunk, stumbling friend I’m dragging with me at 1 am is absolutely not a suspect I’ve just finished torturing’). I’d say this works if you’re looking for the kind of caricatural spy network, and works probably less well otherwise. As far as I’m concerned, I’m on the fence with it.

As a result, the plot was a little unconvincing, and I couldn’t really connect with Lex as a character: I liked her snarky comments in general, but found it difficult to reconcile her callous take on offing and torturing people with the double standard of ‘I do it on a regular basis to other people, but no one dare touch my daughter’. While wanting to protect one’s family is totally normal, there’s an underlying hypocrisy here that doesn’t sit too well with me, probably because I usually have a strong reaction to ‘do what I say, not as I do’ people.

On the other hand, the novel raises interesting, if not unexpected points about age-old attitudes in the workplace regarding women, and especially mothers. In that, ‘Killing It’ is close to a lot of things we can still see nowadays, where in spit of feminist progress and workplaces generally opening up, a woman’s position is still subjected to ‘having to prove herself twice as much as the men’. (There’s been a lot of progress IRL, and I sure won’t deny this, but I’ve been in enough interviews with barely concealed sexist questions to know that the way to full equality is still long.) Basically, Lex’s struggle with coming back to work after her maternity leave felt real and relevant: some of her colleagues, and especially her boss, kept on questioning her ability to do her job and not ‘giving in to hormones’ and all manners of crap arguments. Here, too, some things were caricatural and laid out too heavily (like Bennie’s attempts at putting Lex down)—and, of course, Lex’s job is not just any office job, and is much more dangerous—but it doesn’t change the fact that many people (other women included) still assume too often that as soon as one becomes a mother, one becomes ‘weaker/less smart/less able/whatever’ and have to prove herself all over again… while nobody bats an eyelid at a man becoming a father.

Conclusion: The humour didn’t always work for me, and some things were definitely hammered in too much. Still, as a light novel that doesn’t demand too much focus, it worked.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-23 07:07
The Killing Time - M J Lee

Shanghai, January 1932. China is faced with the threat of a Japanese invasion/annexation of Manchuria. The atmosphere in the International compound (mainly British)is very tense as it is is surrounded by a Japanese concession, a French one,a Russian one....and of course a lot of Chinese inhabitants. There is a boycott of Japanese shops and products and there are several riots. Amidst all these tensions,the body of young ,Chinese boy is found,horrible mutilated. Inspector Danilov(of Russian origin)and his inspector Strachan(with a wonderful Chinese/Scottish background) start their investigation in a rainy,damp and foggy Shangai. Very soon two other Chinese children disappear which bring the tension in the Settlement to a boiling point. When the bodies of the two children are found(mutilated,as the first child) the Chinese population (of Shanghai)take their revenge and attack some Japanese monks. Needless to say this,and the fact that more Japanese warships found their way into Shangai harbour,does not exactly improve the precarious situation. But then a Japanese boy disappears and Danilov has to reconsider his theories about these brutal murders.
Of course, the storyline is good,the horrible murder mystery keeps your attention but what is so remarkable about this book,is the atmosphere it creates. One is practically present at this amazing setting that is Shangai in 1932. You can feel the chill of the fog,hear the street hawkers selling their goods,smell the street food,inhale the coal smoke....And although it is perhaps not always particularly pleasant it definitely is full of life!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-17 02:35
An American Killing ★☆☆☆☆
An American Killing - Mary-Ann Tirone Smith

Ugh. It started off so well. The characters seemed interesting and the writing was okay and I was curious to know more about the powerful politician found dead in an apparently accidental case of autoerotic asphyxiation, but maybe was murdered instead. Then it all went to heck on page 18, when the first person narrator suddenly began swinging between present tense and past tense, the story became clogged with celebrity name-dropping, and it became painfully obvious that the author was drawing so heavily on the Ann Rule/Ted Bundy story that it completely kicked me out of the story. I did power through to page 50, but there’s no way I could bring myself to finish the book.

 

DNF on page 50. Hardcover, purchased years ago on a whim from a clearance table at a big box bookstore that has long since gone out of business.

 

Previous Updates:

7/15/18 – 15/368 pg

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-07-15 15:09
An American Killing - 15/368 pg
An American Killing - Mary-Ann Tirone Smith

A serious writer like me gains notoriety when her books are made into successful movies with A-list stars, the same way nonserious writers gain notoriety. 

 

This book is off to a good start, in spite of the setting. I don't usually care for national politics/intrigue kinds of stories, but I think that's just going to be the stage for a murder mystery thriller. The main character is sort of fun, an unlikeable cynic for whom every human interaction is a self-centered negotiation. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-29 12:34
The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
The Killing Woods - Lucy Christopher
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

My feelings are pretty mixed on this book. I have had a copy of this book in my review pile for a very long time so I am thrilled to be able to scratch it from my to be read list but I do wish it had worked a little better for me. I felt like this book was really slow at times and I found it rather easy to set aside. There were parts of the book that I did enjoy but I had quite a few issues with it as well.

I did think that the book started out really strong. Emily's dad brings home a girl that Emily knows from school, Ashlee. Ashlee is dead and Emily's father can't remember what happened so he is charged with the crime. Emily knows her dad and does not think that he is capable of the crime that he has been accused of committing since he has always been a very gentle man.

Damon was Ashlee's boyfriend. He was with her in the woods on the night that she died but he doesn't remember what happened either. Damon, Ashlee, and their friends had been doing drugs that night and Damon's memories from the night don't explain everything that happened. He has a lot of questions about the night and wants to remember how things happened.

I found this book to be pretty predictable. I thought it was pretty obvious from the beginning that someone else was responsible for what had happened to Ashlee. There were long sections of the book where I felt like nothing was really happening and they were no closer to finding out what had happened to Ashlee than they were at the start of the book.

I also found this book to be somewhat confusing. There is a lot of talk regarding the game that Ashlee, Damon, and their friends were playing on the night in question. I tried to understand this game but I was just as confused about the game at the end of the book as I was at the beginning. This game was talked about so many times during the book but I can't figure out what the goal was or how it could be any fun to play. Another confusing thing that happened in the book is that Damon is in a position to give a punishment to Emily at school despite the fact that they are roughly the same age which didn't make any sense to me.

I did like both of the narrators. Fiona Hardingham and Shaun Grindell both did a great job with this book. I thought that they both brought a lot of emotion to the story and made things a lot more exciting at times. I thought that their voices fit the characters of Emily and Damon really well and were very pleasant to listen to. I think that I probably liked this book a bit more because I decided to listen to the audiobook and I would not hesitate to listen to either narrator again in the future.

This wasn't really a book for me but I do think that others might enjoy the story a lot more than I did. I would suggest giving it a try if you think that it sounds like something you might enjoy.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Scholastic - Chicken House via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from the library via Hoopla.

Initial Thoughts
This one falls somewhere between 2 and 3 stars for me. I may round up after I have a little more time to process. It started out fine but there seemed to be long periods of time where nothing really happened. Somewhat predictable ending. I thought that the narration of the audiobook was well done.

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?