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review 2020-05-12 18:12
Psychological Thriller with Interesting Subplot
The Apartment - K.L. Slater

“If it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” or “Caveat Emptor” might be some appropriate ways to describe the main theme of The Apartment, a new suspense thriller by K.L. Slater. The author of nine previous stand-alone psychological crime novels, this latest work demonstrates how a susceptible a vulnerable person can be to predation by the unscrupulous. It explores the power of denial and how suspension of disbelief can cloud judgement during desperate times. Freya is introduced as a woman who is recovering from the recent death of her estranged husband—facing financial hardship while also attempting to maintain stability for her 5-year-old daughter, Skye. Freya is looking at ads for a new place to live when she is approached by a stranger who is seemingly extending extraordinary kindness with no discernible agenda. Freya jumps at what she thinks is a stroke of good luck and an incredible opportunity, despite her initial reservations. Dr. Marsden’s offer of an upscale apartment (at Adder House) at minimal cost and help with enrolling Skye into a prestigious school seems like a godsend at a most critical time. The fact that their “coincidental” meeting may have been orchestrated does not even occur to Freya, and the reader is left helplessly observing her ensnarement in an elaborate trap. After the move she manages to explain away increasing evidence that someone is trying to manipulate and terrorize her. When she does try to account for the strange noises, privacy intrusions and bizarre behavior of her fellow tenants, it is easily dismissed as being caused by her own reactions to stress. Most of the novel is told from Freya’s point-of-view, with other sections narrated by a stalker whose motivations and connection are initially unclear. The stalker describes historical events that appear to be tangential but are eventually revealed to be integral to the current situation at Adder House. The Apartment is a fast-paced and well-constructed thriller complete with plenty of red herrings and misdirection. The book’s subplot is an interesting addition, with a taste of moralistic speculation that adds rather than distracts from the main storyline.  Slater’s existing fans will likely be pleased with this offering, and those new to her writing might be encouraged to seek out earlier works based on its merits.


Thanks to the author, Thomas & Mercer (Amazon Publishing) and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

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review 2020-04-12 12:17
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings - Charles Dickens,Michael Slater

by Charles Dickens


What can anyone say about a Dickens Classic?


This story has stood the test of time for good reason. Some of Dickens' stories can be overly wordy and full of too many characters and get confusing, but this one is straight forward and tells the story in a clear, linear fashion like the best of his work; stories like David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. Only it's a short story so it sticks closely to the main character: Ebenezer Scrooge.


Most people in the western world will have either read this or seen a movie version at some time in their lives. If you haven't read the original, I highly recommend it. Only one film version has ever really done it justice in my opinion and that was an old black and white version with Alastair Sim playing the title role.


It is an interesting look at the supernatural and a highly moral story, highlighting the pitfalls of greed and avarice. Most of all it gives the reader a feeling of the joys of the Christmas holiday and the traditions which became attached to it in Victorian England. Dickens effectively gave us Christmas as we have come to know it in this story, beautifully told.

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review 2020-03-19 02:57
K.L. Slater: The Mistake
The Mistake: An unputdownable psychological thriller with a brilliant twist - K. L. Slater

K.L. Slater takes readers on a journey where You think you know the truth about the people you love, But one discovery can change everything:

Eight-year-old Billy goes missing one day, out flying his kite with his sister Rose. Two days later, he is found dead. 
Sixteen years on, Rose still blames herself for Billy’s death. How could she have failed to protect her little brother? Rose has never fully recovered from the trauma, and one of the few people she trusts is her neighbour Ronnie, who she has known all her life. But one day Ronnie falls ill, and Rose goes next door to help him… and what she finds in his attic room turns her world upside down. Rose thought she knew the truth about what happened to Billy. She thought she knew her neighbour. Now the only thing she knows is that she is in danger…

This is the second book that I have read by Slater and I am disappointed with it, and maybe I should have given more time but when I'm 35% into the book, according to my kindle, and I was not interested in the story/plot/main character I had to put this book down. I'm sorry to say that this is my fist DNF book of 2020.

I liked that there was back and forth between the past and presence as we know that Rose's brother is going to be kidnapped and murder and I liked that Slater was going to take the time to lays things out on how they got there, but it was just taking too long to get to anything substantial.  And the in the present time it was more about the library closing and how Rose is going to survive that if it happens, Rose is not questioning the murder of her younger brother, though she is still feeling the affects of it. So I question why are we visiting the present and not just telling the story in the past?

I know i'm in the minority with this review, but I'm Sorry Slater that this book was not for me. It was missing the intrigue and thrills that was in the previous book of yours that I read. Although this one was not for me, I will read another book by Slater.


Instead Of This,
Check Out These Books:
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review 2019-12-28 16:30
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings - Charles Dickens,Michael Slater

TITLE:  A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings


AUTHOR:  Charles Dickens


ISBN-13:  9780141195858


EDITION:  Penguin Classics Clothbound Series



"After reading Christmas Carol, the notoriously reclusive Thomas Carlyle was "seized with a perfect convulsion of hospitality" and threw not one but two Christmas dinner parties. The impact of the story may not always have been so dramatic but, along with Dickens other Christmas writings, it has had a lasting and significant influence upon our ideas about the Christmas spirit, and about the season as a time for celebration, charity, and memory.

Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol has had significant influence on our ideas about the Christmas spirit, and the season as a time for celebration, charity, and memory. This handsome edition features appendices on A Christmas Carol and The Haunted Man, an essay on Dickens and The Arabian Nights, and Dickens's prefaces to the collected editions of the Christmas books.

This edition is part of the Penguin Classics Clothbound series designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith.




This is a collection of Christmas stories written by Charles Dickens, including the famous "A Christmas Carol", as well as other stories (The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton and The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain) and writings that come across as more reflective musings than actual stories (A Christmas Tree and Christmas Festivities).  All very sentimental and "feel-good" Christmas stories that attempt to remind the reader to be especially kind to those less fortunate at this time of year.  As is usual with a collection like this, some stories are better than others.  I especially enjoyed "A Christmas Carol" and "The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton".  The rest were either too vague in terms of plot or too long.  Original black and white illustrations are included in this book, along with notes, introduction and appendices.



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text 2019-08-05 18:45
Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Favorite Ghostly Tales
The Shining - Stephen King
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings - Charles Dickens,Michael Slater
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill
Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Hmm. Favorite ghostly tales. Now this is a tough one. I honestly had to go back to my Goodreads account to look this up since I didn't want to give a wrong answer here and also wanted to make sure that I was only counting favorites.


So my top 5 ghostly tales books are the following with excerpts from my original reviews:


The Shining by Stephen King. 

"This book is peak King for me honestly. Everything including the ending (which he has trouble sticking at times) works. The ending makes sense based on everything that came before it, and I applaud King for not just throwing out a happy ending when I think that would have made readers (or constant readers) just as happy."


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.


"This book in a word was perfect. Everything worked and Shirley Jackson keeps up your unending sense of dread while you are reading this book. When the band of four start investigating the house and you read how it was built you start to imagine a slightly off house in your head as they go exploring. I seriously wish someone had made a map of the house since it was so confusing trying to understand where rooms were located. Having the little foursome start to turn on each other and then become afraid together and alone was actually more frightening than whatever was going on in Hill House."


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 

"I love reading this Christmas classic every year. I bought this one because it came with illustrations. Not too much to say besides this classic tale of a man visited by three ghosts ends up changing his life and those around him."


Heart-Shaped Box by Joe HIll. 

"The plot seems very simplistic at first. Jude buys a ghost. However, finding out about the ghost and how it ties into Jude's past I thought was quite brilliant. There were some side plots with Jude's dying father, and Marybeth's past that I really at first didn't see how that could work with the larger "got ghost, must be rid of it" plot, but everything worked very well. 

The writing I thought was phenomenal. Just a few sentences describing something were enough to put my teeth on edge and to make my skin crawl. Which leads me into discussing the flow of the book. 

The flow of the entire story I thought was good, and Mr. Hill seemed to know enough when to slow the pace down (in order to allow the atmosphere to sink in) and when to speed it up. All of the chapters were like amuse bouche's to me. Tiny chapters that gave big flavor. I think that's why I just kept reading without stopping once I got going since before you knew it you were at the end of one chapter and I would just think, okay, just one more chapter."


Pet Sematary by Stephen King. 


"Wow. So this is marked as a favorite, I have only read this one twice. It's a lot to sit through. At times you hope there is going to be a break or some sort of happy ending. Instead we get a book about consequences and things perhaps set in motion by something dark that wanted to ruin a happy family. I have to say that I do love most of King's earlier works. They tend to be more raw and real to me. Pet Sematary made me cry when I read it as a teen and it made me cry again this weekend. "




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