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Starting with some Frankenstein. I am also listening to the Frakenstein soundtrack. It really sets the mood! Books in the Freezer is a podcast celebrating their 1 year anniversary.
Owners of podcast (from their website)
Stephanie lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, son, Beagle and cat. When she’s not working on the podcast, she makes YouTube videos, and watches horror movies (as research for the podcast of course!)
Rachel lives in Canada with her husband and hedgehog, Vegeta. She makes YouTube videos on her channel TheShadesofOrange where she reviews horror, thrillers, and sci-fi books.
Books In The Freezer Readathon - Oct 1-15th
[Frankenstein by Mary Shelley]
[Ordinary Souls by J.S. Bailey]
[Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde]
[The Women in Black by Susan Hill]
[The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson]
by Jeremy Bates
This had me unsettled right away. Katrina is driving with her Boxer dog to a new city to start a new job. Rain is pouring down and when she passes a man hitchhiking, her humanitarianism outweighs her caution about being a woman alone and she offers him a lift. However, within minutes he makes her feel unsettled and having already lied about her destination, she pulls over and demands that he get out of the car.
The little white lie that she was turning off at the next stop seems harmless, but it will set in motion a series of lies that escalate until Katrina finds herself wrapped up in a horrific situation, one lie at a time.
The plot is extremely well done. The spreading of the web of lies and the complications that result was at a pace and done with an artistry that you could easily imagine actually happening, apart from a few events towards the end that felt a little rushed.
The one thing that wasn't realistic was Kat's responses that got her into so much trouble. Mr. Bates should have asked a few women how they would handle the situations because part of being female 101 is how to lie to creepy guys that make you uncomfortable.
Rule number 1: you NEVER cop to living someplace, real or not. Creepy guys are too inclined to follow you home. Whatever the truth is, you're going to someone else's house for an unpleasant reason and no, it wouldn't be okay for someone to go along with you. They might get shot/contaminated or whatever.
You sure as Hell don't mention what street you live on and no, you can't invite people because it's not your cabin and you're just moving out from a violent ex.
How hard is it? Sorry guys, blame the creeps in your midst. For us, it's survival.
If you've pressured a woman or even curb crawled to insist she give you her phone number, don't complain when it turns out to be the number for the local police. I had that one memorized by the time I was 11.
Again, towards the end a few of her actions were outright stupid. I don't want to give spoilers but if you've established someone is dangerous, you get as far away from them as you can and let the police handle it.
The suspense and characterisation were very well done and I will continue to count Jeremy Bates as a Modern Master of Horror, but he really does need to talk to some women about 'what would you do' situations.
I'm reading this for the Modern Noir square but even though I'm almost halfway through, I'm calling a halt and finding a substitute book.
There's nothing wrong with "The Ice Beneath Her". It's well written, has strong characters and a plot that is in no hurry to give up its secrets but it's BLEAK.
Unlike normal whodunnits, this one isn't really focusing much on solving a murder. Instead, it's using the discovery of a decapitated woman to take me on a journey about betrayal and abuse. The three characters from whose point of view the story is told are all broken. The men are almost all bullying predatory narcissists - including the good guys. And they all have either been betrayed or have betrayed others in unforgivable ways.
I will finish this book - but not now.
I've reached the point where I hesitate to listen to the audiobook as I make my way through my day because I know it will bring me down.
So I'm setting it aside.
Fortunately, the world is full of books I haven't read yet. I searched my TBR pile and came up with something hardboiled and American. It will still be noir, I'm sure, but the kind that entertains partly because it doesn't feel real. I want noir that I know will never happen to me.
"The Ice Beneath Her" is like a hook in my flesh.
I'm hoping that "Huntress Moon", its replacement for the Modern Noir square, will be more like a double shot expresso on a sleepy morning.
I can't get too worked up about this book. It's not great, and it's not the worst thing I have read, it's just there. There's not a lot of backstory to anything, and we focus too much on Sera and her kiss and hiding out from Lucas in this book.
You maybe have a crazed maniac after you trying to murder you all, but hey keep obsessing over how you may be like your mother cause you like a guy like Lucas. I kept hoping she was going to get offed. There is very little character development. I am also peeved this book was completed after the 80 percent mark and the rest of the book was chapters from another book. Good thing I didn't buy this, or I would have been seriously ticked.
"One Was Lost" is about a group of teens who go hiking in some remote woods with two of their teachers. Eventually the group is separated from a flooded river and some of them camp on one side (Sera, Lucas, Jude, Emily, and their teacher Mr. Walker) with the other group (Madison, Hayley, and Ms. Brighton). When Sera and her group wakes the next morning, they feel out of it, and find that someone drew on their arms in permanent marker. Sera has the worlds "darling" on her, Lucas has "dangerous", Jude has "deceptive" and Emily has "damaged" on her. The teens can't get Mr. Walker to wake and it seems as if he's been drugged. When Sera and Emily refuse to leave Mr. Walker behind while Lucas and Jude get help, things go from bad to worse.
Sera's annoying. Sorry, not sorry. There is nothing to her. We find out that she is obsessed with not being like her mother. Sera's mother ran off when she was 14 with another man, leaving her and her father behind. When Sera realizes she has caught some feelings for Lucas, she is paranoid about turning into her mom and purposely avoids him after they kiss. When she finds out he is going on the class trip, she is all set to avoid him until the whole slasher in the woods thing happens and she is forced to confront why she acted like a total asshat to him. Seriously though. The whole premise was stupid and Richards goes on about it way too long. You have some maniac who [spoiler alert] maybe skinned your other teacher alive, but hey, keep talking about kissing Lucas on the deck of some friend's house throughout the entire story.
Due to Richards focusing on the wrong things in this story, there's not much there there. Lucas is a jock, or was a jock, but is the bad boy archetype. Jude has a chip on his shoulders due to being black and adopted by two gay men. There seems to be some other stuff there, but I just let that go cause I thought Jude was an asshole too. Emily's entire backstory made no damn sense. Still baffled why that was included. She apparently has good instincts though (apparently not since she didn't figure out who the bad guy was) so that's all that matters.
The writing was okay, but plot holes galore. I had so many questions. How did the bad guy get across the flooded river? How did the bad guy decide who they were going to mark? What if Sera didn't come on the trip since initially she was refusing to go? FYI the whole why behind this was beyond stupid and made zero sense. Maybe if Richards had started with the whole initial missing camper thing and then moved into the present it would have made more sense. Instead I found myself confused for most of this and not really getting where she was going with things.
The flow was awful. Probably because every five seconds you had Sera talking about Lucas, how much she hated him, how much she didn't, their kiss, the times they talked, blech.
Though the foursome don't get along much at times, Richards in the end tries to force a connection that I really didn't buy. I am now wishing I had just found some Richie Tankersley Cusick that could have fit for a book written after 2000.