A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty #bookreview

About the book…

It’s a thin line between love and murder…

A murder that shocks a city… 
Shots ring out on one of Savannah’s most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead.

A case full of secrets and lies…
Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder.

An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He’s already killed one woman. Will he kill another?

My thoughts on the book…

Another day, another book where someone gets murdered – will I ever be able to resist? Probably not.  This time, it’s a young law student who leaves her part-time job in a bar in downtown Savannah in a hurry, only to end up dead a few hours later.  One of the first people on the scene (outside of the police) is Harper McClain, the local paper’s crime reporter.  She’s used to seeing dead bodies, just not those of people she knows…it turns out the bar the young law student worked at was Harper’s local.

Almost immediately, police have a prime suspect, one that doesn’t quite fit with Harper’s view of the crime or the reasons the victim might have ended up dead.  Like an itch she has to scratch, she ignores the police when they tell her there’s nothing to see and keeps looking into the murder, putting herself in danger in the process.  At the same time, she’s dealing with a potential stalker, someone who may or may not want her dead.

Between the plot and sub-plot (which I think must link back to an earlier novel I haven’t read) the pace with A Beautiful Corpse doesn’t let up from the moment you pick up the book till the last few pages, making it a great read.  Unfortunately, for me, the sub-plot was a bit of a distraction because I felt I was missing something.  That aside, however, I really enjoyed the story and liked Harper as a character and definitely want to get to know her more in the future.

Enjoy!

Emma

Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings, and opinions are my own.

Someone You Know by Olivia Isaac-Henry #bookreview

About the book…

You can trust your family, can’t you…?

Tess Piper was fourteen when her adored twin sister Edie disappeared.

She has spent the last twenty years building a life away from her fractured family, desperate to escape the shadow of the past.

Only now she needs to confront the huge hole her sister’s disappearance left in her life, because a body has been found. The police are shining a spotlight on the Piper family. And secrets are about to surface.

After all, it’s common knowledge that more often than not, these crimes are committed by someone close to the victim. Someone they trust. Someone they know…

What really happened to Edie Piper?

My thoughts on Someone You Know…

I love a good psychological thriller and Someone You Know is definitely one of those, even though – in many ways – it fits into the formula of so many books I’ve read over recent years.  Tess is a young(ish) woman who can’t move on with her life because of what happened in her past.  She drinks too much, parties too much and won’t commit to a relationship with a man she thinks she loves.  Then, the very thing she can’t get over in her past comes crashing into her future, this time in the form of her sister’s remains, found after she went missing twenty years earlier.

The news brings Tess back home, to a father who never got over her sister’s disappearance either and an aunt and uncle whose marriage seems strained to breaking.  They all seem to be hiding some, as do old school friends and boyfriends.  Unable to live without knowing the truth, Tess digs deeper and deeper.  Unfortunately, what she finds out is worse than anything she could possibly have imagined.

So, a story that so many of us have read so many times.  Here, though, the writing is so good and the story is so well written I forgot that. Instead, I got carried along and carried away with the story.  I loved every minute of it, reading it in just two sittings, and can’t wait to read another book by Issac-Henry.

Enjoy!

Emma x

Note: I received this book in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.  

The Forbidden Place by Susanne Jansson (Book Review)

In the remote Swedish wetlands lies Mossmarken: the village on the edge of the mire where, once upon a time, people came to leave offerings to the gods.

Biologist Nathalie came in order to study the peat bogs. But she has a secret: Mossmarken was once her home, a place where terrible things happened. She has returned at last, determined to confront her childhood trauma and find out the truth.

Soon after her arrival, she finds an unconscious man out on the marsh, his pockets filled with gold – just like the ancient human sacrifices. A grave is dug in the mire, which vanishes a day after. And as the police investigate, the bodies start to surface…

Is the mire calling out for sacrifices, as the superstitious locals claim? Or is it an all-too-human evil?

My Thoughts…

I love a little bit of Scandi Noir, stories that are dark, foreboding, and just a little bit bleak, all of which can be used to describe The Forbidden Place.  It starts with Nathalie returning to her childhood home, or at least close to it, determined to face her demons and – finally – move on with her life. What those demons are isn’t exactly clear, though her story slowly gets told as the book progresses.  That it has to do with the marsh she is staying next to, however, isn’t in any doubt.

To Nathalie, it seems to take on a life of her own, filling her full of dread, never more so than when she finds the body of Johannes, a young man she recently went on a date with, unconscious and close to death in the peat bog. Perhaps she wouldn’t feel so scared if this was the first time a body had been found in the marsh. But it isn’t.  Instead, over the years, more than one person has gone missing…while others who live in the area have ended up dead.

It all makes for a great premise for a book, and just up my street, which it was – at first.  Unfortunately, about halfway through, it ran out of steam because, while I liked Nathalie, she was the only real character in the book and – interesting as she was and intriguing as her secrets were – I needed a bit more variety to keep me going.  Instead, I found myself dragging, losing interest during the final third especially.  IT’s a shame really, given how strong it started, but – in the end – this wasn’t for me.

Sorry!

Emma

Source: Netgalley
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Rating: 3 out of 5
Find on: Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US

Rakuten Kobo UK

 

The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran

Infinite Blacktop Sara GranWhen she comes too, in pain and with someone’s screams ringing in her ear, Claire DeWitt can’t remember where she is or how she got there.  Opening her eyes, she sees an ambulance and knows she’s on a stretcher about to be taken to hospital.  She also knows that, if she goes, she might not make it through the day alive.  So she attacks a police officer, steals a car and heads out to figure out just who was trying to kill her and why.

It’s a journey that takes her from her base in San Francisco to Las Vegas as she tracks down a man with white hair she isn’t sure exists.  Along the way she reflects on how she ended up as a private investigator, flashing back to her teenage years where she was obsessed with the Cynthia Silverton Detective series, as were her friends, who formed an unlikely trio of investigators through to how she got her private investigators license by figuring out who was dead and who wasn’t as part of a cold case.  

In The Heat of the Moment by Viveca Sten (Sandhamn Murders, Book 5)

On the longest day of the year, the tiny island of Sandhamn is overrun by people who want to party.  They turn up on the ferry and dock their boats in the harbour and drink until they can’t drink anymore.  As the police patrol the area, their job is to contain the crowds and make sure the fun people are having doesn’t turn sinister.

Unfortunately, this time, they aren’t that successful and, in the early hours of the morning, the body of a teenager is discovered hidden on an isolated beach.  He’s been badly beaten.  More unfortunate still for the police, the island is full of potential suspects, not just the teenagers girlfriend and his best friend, both of whom were missing during the hours the murder took place and too drunk to remember what happened.

There were so many people on the island and, as they start to drift away, the police are in a race against time to get statements and try and figure out just who ended the young boys life.  Leading the case is one of the central characters, Thomas, a dogged and instinctive detective who is normally helped by his best friend Nora, though never in an official capacity.  Nora, though has problems of her own as her boyfriend’s daughter didn’t come home that night and no one knows where she is.  

Truth and Lies (DI Amy Winter #1) by Caroline Mitchell

Truth and Lies Caroline MitchellGrieving for her father, a respected Detective whose footsteps she’s followed, DI Amy Winter returns to work to a letter she could never have expected to receive.  It’s from a notorious serial killer, Lillian Grimes, who – along with her husband – was responsible for the death of numerous young girls offering to help her find the bodies of three victims whose graves are still unknown.

Normally, this is something Amy would jump at.  However, the letter contains more details than Amy can cope with, at least initially, because in it, Lillian claims to be Amy’s mother.  And that Amy isn’t Amy but Poppy.

Untouchable by Sibel Hodge

Untouchable Sibel HodgeWhen Maya gets home from work on the night of her and her boyfriend Jamie’s second anniversary, she is almost bouncing off the walls, convinced that this is the night he’ll pop the question.  Why else would he tell her he had a surprise for her before he left for work that morning? So, why hasn’t he come home?

As the hours tick by, dinner sitting ruined in the oven, Maya becomes increasingly anxious until her worst fears come true with the knock on a door by a police officer.  Jamie is dead, taking his own life.

No matter how hard she tries and how often her friends and family tell her she has to accept Jamie’s suicide, Maya just can’t bring herself to believe he would kill himself.  He had too much to live for. They were happy.  

Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne

Little Liar Lisa BallantyneNick Dean loves his family.  He has gorgeous wife and two beautiful young children.  Life couldn’t be better – until it couldn’t get any worse.  An acting coach who specialises in working with teenagers, one of his students has accused him of abuse.  And everyone believes her, even – eventually – his wife.  Nick swears he’s innocent but it seems that, despite there being no evidence, he is considered guilty until proved innocent.

Angela, Nick’s accuser, loves her family too, they just don’t make her happy.  Her parents are divorced and she is struggling to cope with the break up.  She’s eating too much and unhappy with how she looks.  Kids at school pick on her and she reacts by striking out.  The police look at her and see a vulnerable child very much at risk of being abused.  She is believed immediately, as she should be, but then – after her first statement – refused to say more.

The Guilty Dead by P J Tracy (Monkeewrench #9)

The Guilty Dead P J TracyA year after the death of his son, wealthy businessman Gregory Norwood is found dead in his study from what looks like a self-inflicted gunshot.

Despite all signs pointing to suicide, however, when Detectives Gino and Magozzi arrive at the scene, they aren’t so sure.  Everything is a little too perfect.  Plus, there’s the small fact of the blood they’ve found on the patio, blood which definitely doesn’t belong to Norwood.

So starts the latest wonderfully twist-y and turn-y outing for some of my favourite policemen and the Monkeewrench team, a group of hackers always skirting just on the right side of legal.

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

when the lights go outWhen Jessie wakes up to find her mom has died she isn’t surprised (they have spent the last few days in a hospital room and her mom has cancer), she is – however – devastated that she didn’t get to spend her mom’s last few moments with her.

She isn’t sure she can sleep again, and she doesn’t.  Instead, she spends the next ten days becoming increasingly frantic as she tries to unpick her mom’s last words to her and understand why, when she tries to go through her mom’s paperwork, she can’t find any evidence she has ever existing.

The more tired she becomes, the more difficult it is for her to work out what is real and what isn’t, meaning it’s the same for you as a reader.  It’s all very confusing, and not – I’m afraid – always in a good way, as least not for me.

I am sad to say that this is the first Mary Kubica book I haven’t absolutely loved. First up, there is story which is told through Jessie’s eyes and those of her mom. I really enjoyed her mom’s chapters, which I found intriguing and held great promise. Jessie’s frantic nature grated on me a fair bit and I struggled to make sense of it. Then, about halfway through, I figured it out and hoped that I wasn’t right because it made the ending seem like such a cop out.

I really wanted more, a tale with the type of twist I have come to expect from Kubica and characters I found compelling. And I did get that, I guess, just only half the time. It’s a shame and I have a feeling I might be in the majority here but this book just wasn’t for me. Sorry!

About the book…

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 23rd August, 2018

Genre: psychological thriller

Rating: 3 out of 5

Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.