29/06/2016

Killer Review: Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton



My Synopsis 
Imagine This: You're the author of true-crime novels, and a lawyer. Every case you take on, a convicted murder is released from jail. This makes the public, as the police force, very antsy about you stepping up to lawyer a convicted serial killer who specializes in women-of-size.

The thing about this serial killer is he's suave, as most of them are. He's also handsome. Very handsome. So handsome he can get away with anything. 

You have firm belief if there's anyone he could use his handsomeness on, it wouldn't be you. You are so immune to his charms. But of course, you have no idea what Hamish Wolfe is capable of.

Maggie Rose's brush with a serial killer 
with his own fan club summarized for your delight. 

My Review.

OK! I love, love this novel! Great storyline! On the cover of the book there's a note: 'In her ninth mesmerizing Thriller, Sharon Bolton shines a light on the world of convicted killers—and the women who adore them.' How fascinating! A star to the storyline.—★

You'd love Maggie Rose, the female lawyer talked about in my synopsis. She's amazing! I almost wanted not to like her from the beginning, because Sharon Bolton wrote the book in third-person and it is really rare for me to enjoy a book in third-person, but from her blue hair, her unusual fashion sense, her perpetual coldness, what was not to like?—★★

Other characters who also acted as main characters and got their point-of-views are Hamish (which auto-correct adventurously spells 'HAMPSHIRE')  Wolfe, the serial killer who's very unnervingly good-looking and charming. And Pete Weston, the detective who hates Hamish with passion and may have a thing for Maggie. I really took a liking to Pete because he was not a recurrence of the cliche running around in thrillers as detectives with their equally cliche 'past demons' to contend with.—★★★ 

This book is suspenseful! So! Leaps from the start! Find yourself vested in the world of fast-talking lawyers, tricky serial killers, their crazy fan clubs and suspicious detectives!—★★★★

Giving this book five stars because of the twist in the end. But it's nowhere as good as Sharon Bolton's previous Little Black Lies.

Daisy in Chains is available on Amazon

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a Psychological Thriller based on fascinating subjects (cold serial killers and their fan clubs). If you also need something to keep you awake, you should get this too.

27/06/2016

Book Review: The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish



My Synopsis 
Imagine This: There's an opening of a new lido in your suburban neighborhood. And it's the place to be this summer. You have always loved to swim. But there's your 13year old daughter who wouldn't want to be anywhere near the pool. 

You'll do anything to make her deal with her phobia. But as a teacher, you've made plans this year—with an unshakable resolve—to live this summer like a normal citizen! So you go to the pool, partly with a hidden agenda in mind:

To see Lara Channing, the woman who single-handedly recommissioned the lido for the neighborhood. 

A little brush with Lara Channing, neighborhood celebrity, and you're spending more time with her gatsby-like crowd, drinking, toasting and partying your summer away. By and by you're getting estranged from your husband who doesn't want you to hang out with Lara. But who cares? There's something about Lara that you can't just opt out of. And not surprisingly, Lara, the schemer that she is, has something under her belt of tricks for you.

Before the summer is over, you'll regret ever knowing Lara Channing. 

My Review
As always, I love Louise Candlish's storylines! She puts the 'Domestic' into the Domestic Thriller by writing about suburban neighbourhoods in which disasters have happened and one character has suddenly fallen from all-high grace, to all-low scandals. In this story played around the opening of a new lidobin a neighborhood, you wouldn't be able to have enough! A star to the storyline!—★ 

Her writing! I would always keep saying this! And sadly, only my Desperate Housewives junkies would get this reference! Imagine Mary Alice Young narrating a tragedy that had happened in Wisteria Lane with her intonation and her use of 'You see...', 'I remember...', 'I should have known...' depicting how irreversible the situation was...? That's how Candlish writes! You'll find your inner Mary Alice Young reading along with you! Extreme pleasur(e)! A star! Plus you know this sort of writing can only create suspense and too much of it! So two stars for Candlish here—★★★

The characters in this novel! I spent my nights dreaming about them. What will happen next? I should have probably woken up and quenched my curiousity. But I'm sure if I did, I wouldn't be able to get enough of intriguing Lara Channing! And her sultry tones! In Candlish's novels there's always that character that sticks and is mostly the neighbourhood queen bee, but how she manages to make new characters out of this stereotype, who are actually different and all the more intoxicating... it must take such excellence to pull this off!—★★★★

Now my praises end here. Because while I feel this book is a must-read... it hurts me to think I can't give it five stars because I feel Candlish's previous title (The Sudden Departure of the Frasers) which I urge you all to read too, is better than this! Of course, had I not read her previous title, I would have given this a five star!

So my rating: 4.5 stars.

Find The Swimming Pool on Amazon. 

I recommend it to anyone who still craves a Desperate Housewives binge. Anyone who wants a Thriller about suburbia life they can and must relate to should also go get this! A perfect summer read!

22/06/2016

Killer Review: Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund

*Claudia's reviews are tailored for you US fans (with distinct tastes in fiction) for books sold in your territories* 


 

Purchase|Goodreads 


Claudia (@rocksclaudia)'s Review 

Crazy.....crazy....crazy....that's what this book made me.I had such an unusual emotional connection to this book. So that when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it,when I wasn't thinking about it, I was dreaming about it.

This book gave me nightmares to the point that I was convinced  I had psychological problems. To all the books out there so believable it puts your sanity on the line—★

Crow girl tells a story of  a detective  (Jeanette Kihlberg)who joins forces with a psychologist (Sofia Zetterlund) to solve the unexplained rampant murders of illegal immigrant children. Brilliant Storyline—★★

This book spirals mainly between the perspectives of Jeanette, Sofia, an unknown psychopath and a character who identifies herself as crowgirl. I guess it was for books like this that the term plot twist was coined because there is going to be a huge one that will make you question everything you've read.—★★★        

Crow girl also touches on the subject of child abuse and its gory details probably making it the most disturbing book you'll read this year. Don't you just love a Thriller with a cause!—★★★★ 

This is probably the easiest 5 star I have given and I would have given it more if 
I could because this book was everything-it had a little bit of murder, mystery, romance and tons and tons of thrilling darkness.—★★★★★

Crow Girl available for purchase at Amazon. Just go get it you fans of unsettling books!

20/06/2016

Killer Review: Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard




My Synopsis 
Imagine This: Your girlfriend took a business trip. Then She never returned. 

You're distraught. You're wondering why she's not even answering your calls!

But then news pop up, pop up, pop up. And you explode. Your girlfriend. The one you've spent your days planning your future together. The one who's been waiting for you to get that big break. The one your friends no more of than you did. Did she leave? Or was she taken? 

Your search for her leads you to a cruise ship, trudging through parties, fun and lots of unanswered questions that keep you up late at night when everyone is asleep. And murder.

Adam's distressful life summarized for your delight. 

My Review.
You'd love this storyline! Great premise! A Thriller set on a cruise ship! You'll never look at cruise ships the same way again!—★

The writing is very easy to read. Flows. Adam's point-of-view, first-person, is a great way for you to relate to him, understand his plight, root for him. Cat Ryan Howard has made reading about male leads, enjoyable! A star to Adam—★★

The extra characters: Sarah, the mysterious girlfriend who you'd keep flipping the front-cover to take a look of and worry if Adam is just on a goose-chase for someone who isn't worth it. Rose, the annoying best friend to Sarah, who can be such a bitch you wonder why Adam keeps talking to her. There's Moorsey, Adam's patient friend who's been by his side, since, well, they were young. A star to these characters—★★★

Suspense! Every chapter drops a bomb. Bomb so huge you would keep gasping at the opening pages. This Thriller is never a slow burner! Fast from start!—★★★★

My only problem with this thriller will be the villain (—I didn't say the killer, mind you). I wish he was fleshed out more. His point-of-view and his motivation, and all the people in his life, his mum, his dad. I wished they were done more work on. I love my villains.

Otherwise, this book was a great something to keep you up at night if you want to be late for work the next day. And that last, final OMG moment! Almost gave this book four stars.

My rating: 4.5 stars.

Distress Signals is available on Amazon.

I recommend it to you if you love your thrillers taking off from the first page and leaving you with shocks, after shocks, after shocks, till you exclaim, God, this book is fucking not good for my heart!

14/06/2016

Book Review: The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett



Imagine This: On your Final year in college, you meet the love of your life. But you don't know this yet. You ride in his path with your bicycle as you try to swerve hitting a dog. 

You take up his invite to fix the puncture on your bike and go to a pub for drinks. Then the romance buds...
But lately you've been thinking. What if you hadn't met him? What if you'd even met him and decided not to take him up on his offer? Will you two still be together? 

This is the story of Eva and Jim and the many roads of life they could have taken but didn't or did to face the future.


My review

Amazing storyline! On an interview conducted by, well, I do not know. Laura Barnett was asked this question. 'Did you intend the novel as an argument for the inevitable power of fate?' She answered negative. But I do believe this novel speaks strongly on fate. And sometimes no matter the roads we take, how we take it, we're still bound to meet that person who'd be the light in our lives. This is what this novel communicated to me, and I took it! Took it hard! A star to the storyline.—★

Also, well, I loved this book for it's organization. It's actually the aspect that makes this book literary and shine! So a star to the organization! You'd find yourself trying to choose between the versions of Eva and Jim (Version 3!) that you love. Although you'd be urged not to do this because that version may end up going awry.  All the versions beautifully weaved together and not written separately. Story flowed!—★★

The main characters, Eva and Jim are well-developed! It's one of my fears picking up books written in third-person. That I may not love the characters well enough as I feel it's not a point-of-view that gives room enough to make a character jump off the page. Oh, but Eva and Jim (—to my disappointment... and then relief!) were so very done well! Solely told in their points of views, none of the characters get this privilege (—fantastic as I hate narrators that just can slip into any character's mind)!—★★★

You'd also love the other characters though. From David Katz, the handsome actor who loves himself more than he'd ever love any woman. There's Penelope, Eva's best friend. There's Juliet, Eva's rival. And the many other characters peculiar in all the versions of Eva and Jim's life together or life apart. I found no character stunted and cliched (—again, to my disappointment. What can I say? Some authors have mastered the art of character-plurality in third-person narrative).—★★★

Settings, New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles. All pulled off beautifully.—★★★★

My rating: Four stars! (Only giving it four instead of five because like the organization I wanted the writing to go very Literary and peculiar to the author only)

My review is glowing. And you need to get this book! Possibly before it goes on TV! Yes, TV rights have been bought!

I recommend this book to all lovers of historical fiction with a contemporary touch. If you love ingenuity in storytelling, this book is also for you.

13/06/2016

Killer Review: All Things Cease To Appear by Elizabeth Brundage

*Claudia's reviews are tailored for you US fans (with distinct tastes in fiction) for books sold in your territories* 





Blurb: Late one winter afternoon in upstate New York, George Clare comes home to find his wife murdered and their three-year-old daughter alone--for how many hours?--in her room down the hall. He had recently, begrudgingly, taken a position at the private college nearby teaching art history, and moved his family into this tight-knit, impoverished town. And he is the immediate suspect--the question of his guilt echoing in a story shot through with secrets both personal and professional. While his parents rescue him from suspicion, a persistent cop is stymied at every turn in proving Clare a heartless murderer. The pall of death is ongoing, and relentless; behind one crime are others, and more than twenty years will pass before a hard kind of justice is finally served. At once a classic "who-dun-it" that morphs into a "why-and-how-dun-it," this is also a rich and complex portrait of a psychopath and a marriage, and an astute study of the various taints that can scar very different families, and even an entire community.

CLAUDIA'S (@RocksClaudia) REVIEW 

"Are you happy?"
"I don't know." She said, "What's happy?"
"You're asking the wrong person" He said. "I'm no expert on happy"

The book starts with a bang..a gruelling murder of a housewife(Catherine), her suspicious husband(George) and their bubbly three year old daughter(Franny). All this in the prologue. Thus I prepared myself for a nerve wracking thriller.

However the focal point changed in the next chapter and we were introduced to a sweet little boy and his family who lived in the house before George and his wife. This book talks about two very different  families (the Hales and the Clares) who lived in a farmhouse at different points in time and the shocking similar tragedies that befell them. It touches on the ties that bind women in marriages so that they won't leave no matter how abusive it becomes. All Things Cease to Appear takes you on a journey of over two decades into the lives of the psychopathic George and his unhappy wife. And throughout my reading of this book I wondered who killed Catherine. A curiosity propelling me towards the end of this novel.

My Rating: Four-out-of-five stars (4/5)

The only reason I give this book four stars instead of five is the lengthy backstories each character had which in a way disrupted the flow of the story. However for the first time ever it was difficult for me to have a favorite character—I loved them all... well, apart from George who was the textbook description of a psychopath.
So here goes my review with as little 
spoilers as possible.

All Things Cease To Appear is available on Amazon

12/06/2016

Book Review: The Bucket-List To Mend A Broken Heart by Anna Bell





My Synopsis 
Imagine This: Your boyfriend doesn't think you're the one for him. So he makes you one of his many exes he was on the verge of marrying but didn't.

You want to win him back! You want to do anything to prove to him HE'S the one for YOU. And you're for him.  But going up to his apartment and bawling your eyes out so he takes you back isn't going to solve the problem. 

You need to stop moping. You need to take charge. You also need to complete the ten items on his bucket list to show him you guys are perfect for each other! 

But there's a little big issue: You are afraid of heights, you don't have the thighs for cycling and you don't possibly consider windsurfing something safe for any girl in their sane minds trying to win their ex back!

My Review.

A good storyline. Ever imagined a Bucket-List with items to tick that would help you win your ex back? A star for ingenuity!—★ 

You'd love Abi. Funny. A go-getter in some other departments of her life. Who thinks listening to Shakira would help her acquire Conversational Spanish. It was lovely, and refreshing reading in her point of view. A star to her.—★★

The supporting cast are also a fun bunch. From Abi's best-friend who's such a feminist she can't wrap her head around why Abi is doing this list, really. You'd also love Ben, the guy helping Abi with this list. There's also Gilles a co-worker who's on Abi's camp as a new rival employee, Linz, struts into the picture possibly to take away Abi's job. Other characters you'd love and adore—★★★

This books is Funny. Not LOL all the time. But, there are a few LOL moments and lots of chuckling in between.—★★★★

Don't get me wrong. This book is a fun summer read! But there's something I've noticed about Anna Bell's books, they are not memorable enough for me. I want more 'memorable' from her. Full of twists, surprises, very unusual OMG moments (that you'd have to close the book and get over), lots and lots of LOL-moments. I want to read her chicklit and sit on tenterhooks waiting for her next release. 

My rating: 4/5 stars. 

The Bucket List To Mend A Broken Heart is available on Amazon.  

I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something light, cheery, fun this summer!


09/06/2016

Man Booker Nominees Review: Mend The Living by Maylis De Kerangal



PURCHASE~GOODREADS


Imagine This: Your heart. Beating out of your chest. Slowly being carried into someone else’s body.

All your life, you’ve loved to surf, loved to welcome adrenalin-junkie fun. Except one day you go out to surf with friends to catch a wave. And you never return alive.

Your body. Your parents have to decide if you would have wanted them to loan out your organs to people who’ll be needing them badly when you never talked of this event, because well, you’re a nineteen year old, and who in their right adult minds have even contemplated that possibility?

Meanwhile, somewhere on the other side of the country, someone needs a heart. 

Someone who’s led a risk-free life, who’s not caught a wave before or might not even have seen one needs your heart to live a few more years.

Simon Limbeau’s heart under discussion here.

MY REVIEW

Well, I think if you’ve not read this book go get it because when I start talking lengthily about it I might be showering spittle onto your face as well.

Great book! Amazing storyline! A heart transplant surgery captured so dramatically with excellence you shouldn’t find on an author who’s up to their sophomore novel, but Maylis De Kerangal gets this. A star to the storyline.—★

Literary Fiction at its finest. It’s one of the reasons I love this genre. Every author attacks it with their own style, deviating against norms, creating new trends, setting paces for new writers to follow. Again, Maylis De Kerangal gets this! Her writing is nothing short of beautiful, and shines with literary excellence.—★★

You’ll love the cast of characters in this. Surprisingly, the main character you’ll find, is not a person, but a heart! How genius! So, yes, you’d be awed by the innings and outings of Simon Limbeau’s heart. But of course, you’d find Simon Limbeau a bit of a tragic hero. You’ll love his mother, Marianne and his father Sean, watching them break down is like watching a beautiful flower being disintegrated petal by petal. There’s also Juliette, Simon Limbeau’s girlfriend. There’s Thomas Remige, the doctor who can sing his lungs out and has a thing for goldfinches. You’ll love Cordelia Owl, the nurse who is waiting patiently for her on-and-off ex to contact after a ‘last night’s incident’. There’s also Renol, something off the ICU doctor who takes care of bodies in a coma. Claire, the woman in need of Simon Limbeau’s heart would be much loved too. And the intriguing Harfangs who make up that dynasty with an awesome pedigree in medicine. A star to all these characters. How Maylis captured all their lives beautifully in relation to Simon Limbeau’s heart! So many other characters I can’t mention.—★★★

Suspense. I never thought heart-transplant surgeries could be portrayed to read like some kind of thriller.—★★★★

I feel for Kenragal, I really do. It’s easy to write a well-researched book and have your audience feel you’re rather throwing your knowledge in medicine at them rather than weaving it beautifully into your story. So Kerangal deserves a star for a well-researched novel that bleeds with information that isn’t forced down the throat of the reader.—★★★★★

My rating is definitely a five out of five stars for this long-listed Man Booker International Prize title. Surprised it didn’t win. But grateful it went on that list so I find out how wonderful Maylis De Kerangal writes, and how I can naturally be head of her fan club! Get this title on Amazon

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a title that reads like a thriller but it isn’t a thriller. If you’ve become a literature snob like I have become and can’t stand anything that’s not Literary Fiction and excellent, you’d find this book hard to hate! It’s Heart-Transplant Surgery made enjoyable, what more are you waiting for to get it?


My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads and Amazon.

06/06/2016

Book Review: Outstanding by Kathryn Flett



Blurb: Eve Sturridge, a high-flying divorcee and mother of two girls, is head teacher of Ivy House, an Ofsted 'Outstanding' prep school in Sussex. Eve is passionate about her school and its pupils. When Danish power couple, Stefan and Anette Sorenson, jet in and choose Ivy House over other schools, Eve is justifiably proud. The Sorensons are A-listers who bring an aura of style and power to Ivy House. Zoe is Eve's pretty seventeen-year-old daughter. 

Unlike her mother, Zoe's not so keen on school. She prefers sending nude selfies to her boyfriend. When glamorous Stefan Sorenson proposes that Zoe interns at his company and invites her to accompany him to New York, Zoe is over the moon with excitement, while Eve is too focused on her job to smell danger . . . 

 My Review 

 A good storyline! It's a nice read into how sometimes, no matter how tried, mother's have no full control over their children in this digital/millenial age. This book takes you into worlds of UK's educational system through the eyes of a school Head.—★ 

 You'd love Eve! Her point of view is very refreshing and motherly with a tint of sophistication. She's that forty year old who's got it all (beauty and success) without even considering anti-ageing procedures.—★★ 

 But Eve's perfect life may be deceptive when her Flirty, clever teen daughter, Zoe comes into the picture. She's offered her own point of view so you'd like her very much till you have to deal with her attitude and her silly mistakes. Other characters you would take a shine too are Simon, Eve's ex husband recently in a serious relationship with a gay. Stefan and his wife Anette would also be much loved. Gail Prince, Eve's P.A and single mom who has the hots for the head of her son's school! Other brilliant cast of characters present you'd adore.—★★★

 If you're also looking for a title with a heart-warming ending, you'd find this not lacking in said regard.—★★★★ 

My rating: Four out of five stars. 

 This title is available on Amazon.