Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Every Last Lie



Title: Every Last Lie
Author: Mary Kubica
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Suspense
Recommended If You Like: psychological suspense, family-driven drama, use of flashbacks

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

The Book:

Clara's seemingly perfect life is turned upside down when her husband dies in a car crash. Their young daughter, miraculously physically unharmed, seems to remember something from the crash that suggests it wasn't an accident, but a murder.

What I Liked:

Kubica always does an excellent job of exploring the complexities of human relationships. Her characters are never one-dimensional, and neither are their connections to each other.

There are lots of twists and turns in this read, which definitely keeps up the suspense. The use of flashbacks ups the ante even more.

Anything I Didn't Like?

This book did seem to move at a slower pace than I would have liked. Kubica's The Good Girl predominately took place in one isolated location, and it still had a much quicker and more engaging pace.


So...?

While this is not the best book I've read in this genre, it is still a quick and interesting read. Kubica is a really good author, so even her books that aren't her best work are still good.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: Why We Love Serial Killers



Title: Why We Love Serial Killers: The Curious Appeal of the World's Most Savage Killers
Author: Scott Bonn
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Genre: True Crime/Non-Fiction/Psychological
Recommended If You Like: reading about true crime, psychology, textbook-like non-fiction

The Book:

Bonn examines the public's fascination with serial killers through a psychological and sociological lens.

What I Liked:

This is a really different and fascinating take on true crime. Bonn has done his research, and the lens which he looks through takes into account psychology, sociology, and history itself. He also has been in personal contact with the Son of Sam and the BTK killer, as part of his research, and brings what he has learned from studying them in as well.

Anything I Didn't Like:

This isn't something I didn't like, but more of a heads up for prospective readers. This does not read like a narrative as some true crime books do. This reads like a textbook, which I personally really liked-it made me feel like I was back in college with my highlighters and post it notes.

So...?

This was a fascinating, comprehensive read that I would definitely recommend for anyone who has read true crime.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review: The Cuckoo's Calling



Title: The Cuckoo's Calling
Author: Robert Galbraith
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Genre: Mystery
Recommended If You Like: private detectives, unique characters, mysteries about famous people

The Book:

Cormoron Strike is a down on his luck private investigator, attempting to hide all this from his new and enthusiastic temp. When the brother of a famous model walks in, insisting that his sister was murdered, Strike throws himself into the case.

What I Liked:

This is such a good book! It reads like a classic private detective book, with seedy characters, a brilliant detective with a troubled past, and twists and turns galore

The ending completely shocked me, which is always a bonus.

The book didn't lag at all either, which is impressive considering its length.

Anything I Didn't Like?

There really isn't anything not to like about this book-it's a great, fun, read.

So...?

I would definitely recommend this book. It flies by for being over 400 pages, and will keep you engaged and guessing the whole time. I already have the next book in the series and can't wait to get started on it!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

True Crime Thursday: True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa



This is Michael Finkel, a journalist. He was let go from the New York Times for falsifying information in a story about the chocolate trade and the working conditions of those employed to pick the cacao beans.


This is Christian Longo.  He was arrested for the murders of his wife and their three children.


What brought these two men together was the name Michael Finkel. While on the run from the law in Mexico, Longo impersonated Finkel, a journalist whose stories he had read and admired.

Finkel is hiding away at his home, disgraced after the truth about his chocolate trade story came out. When he receives a phone call from another reporter about Longo using Finkel's name, Finkel himself sees it as an opportunity to write another great story, this time one that is completely truthful. But as he gets sucked in by Longo's charms, Finkel begins to realize just how blurred the line between truth and lies can be.

This is an absolutely fascinating read. It is a murder mystery, as readers learn about the case along with Finkel. It is a psychological study of two men brought together by lies and the desire for redemption. It is a look at the relationship between journalist and subject, and where that relationship can shift and change into something resembling friendship-and the struggle to understand feeling kinship for a man who may have committed a horrible deed. And in the end, it is an examination of what it truly means to tell the truth and to tell a lie, to others and to yourself.








Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: The Hole



Title: The Hole
Author: Guy Burt
Publication Date: May 28, 2002
Genre: Horror/Psychological/Suspense/Thriller
Recommended If You Like: creepy reads, psychological horror

The Book:

Five students descend into a secret room on campus, locked in by a fellow student as part of what they believe will be the greatest prank yet. But when no one comes to let them out, they begin to realize they might be part of a far more terrifying psychological experiment instead.

What I Liked:

This is a creepy, suspenseful, gripping read. Burt uses flashbacks of "the Hole" expertly to both lead the reader on and keep them guessing.

The last chapter adds a whole other dimension to the story, and was definitely a major twist. I thought it was really clever-I love an ending that has me thinking back through the book to see what I missed and how everything fits.

Anything I Didn't Like?

Some of the sections moved really slowly, especially some of the flashbacks in "the Hole" early on in the story.

So...?

This is a really quick read-it just took me a few hours-and a gripping, scary, interesting one. It's worth picking up. The movie version is really good, and is actually one of those very rare occasions when I prefer the movie slightly to the book.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: The Sleep Room



Title: The Sleep Room
Author: F. R. Tallis
Publication Date: May 15, 2015
Genre: Gothic/Psychological/Suspense/Paranormal/Horror
Recommended If You Like: haunted asylums, stories with psychiatry, gothic-style horror, ghost stories

The Book:

A young psychiatrist gets the chance to work with his idol at an isolated asylum out in the countryside. He is especially interested in The Sleep Room, where young women are kept in an almost-perpetual state of sleep in an attempt to cure their seeming neuroses. But when mysterious things keep happening all around him, he is forced to consider that there may be more than meets the eye in this world.

What I Liked:

This is one creepy, suspenseful book! I'm automatically interested in ghost stories, and when they are set in an isolated asylum, especially one with a mysterious room, I'm doubly interested.

And the last chapter is mind blowing! It's one of those that made me gasp out loud when I read it.

Anything I Didn't Like?

The ending was amazing, but the rest of the book was just okay. It moves a little slowly, and then the last few chapters (besides the last one) feel rushed on their way to a conclusion.

So...?

This is by no means a bad read, it's a good one, just not a great one until the very last chapter.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Dead Famous




Title: Dead Famous
Author: Ben Elton
Publication Date: Sep. 1, 2005
Genre: Mystery
Recommended If You Like: reality shows, mysteries that are very unique, locked room mysteries, the killer is one of us mysteries

The Book:

Contestants are locked in a house for a Big-Brother style British reality show called House Arrest. But then one of them is murdered, and even though the murder itself was caught on camera, the police find themselves in the middle of a complicated, twisted case they may not be able to solve.

What I Liked:

I watch a lot of reality TV (though not Big Brother), so I loved a mystery that was centered around a reality show. Elton does a brilliant job of playing around with the reality show contestant stereotypes and the tropes surrounding putting on and editing reality television.

I especially loved this mystery because not only is it set in a reality show, but because of the type of reality show, it becomes a locked room/the killer is one of us mystery, my favorite.

Elton uses flashbacks, the footage the country saw, and the unaired footage the production company kept back brilliantly to build suspense.

Anything I Didn't Like?

This was a re read for me, and it didn't quite hold up as strongly the second time through. I can't really put my finger on why, because I definitely enjoyed the re read a lot,

So...?

I would definitely recommend this book. It is a fun, clever, gripping read-I flew through the re read of it in a little over a day.