Review: Missing, Presumed (DS Manon, #1) by Susan Steiner

28385950★★

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “what would Bridget Jones be like as a homicide detective?” …then I think you’ll want to read this book.

I myself have never wandered about Bridget Jones taking on different career paths, (really she does enough of that in her own stories,) but now that I have some idea of what a DS Jones would look like, I’ll tell you, it doesn’t work.

Missing, Presumed in the first book in the DS Manon Bradshow series – a UK police procedural revolving around the disappearance of the twenty-something daughter of a prominent doctor.

Overall I found this to be severely lacking on the police procedural part and overwrought on the personal “character-study” side, like to such annoying degree that I’m physically disappointed by this book. It’s certainly not what it was presented to be on the jacket or in the blurbs.

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Review: The Fifth To Die (A 4MK Thriller, #2) by J.D. Barker

35721148★★★★½

This is what you have to know going into the 4MK series:

This story is a marathon, not a sprint.

And I’m not just talking about this particular book, number two in the series.

J.D. Barker has crafted a rich, intricate world full of robust, personality-driven characters, and advanced story telling technique. And he is presenting it to us, the reader, one giant novel at a time.

You don’t get conclusions around here. There is no end until it ends.

It’s a train that never stops. It is always moving towards the next destination in this 4MK world where you’ll be given new threads and new clues and new revelations that puts one more puzzle piece into the jumbled picture that is Anson Bishop and Detective Porter.

This series is detailed, not so much in visual description, but in depth of narrative and connections. They are flying all over the place, from past to present, from case to case. It could be too much maybe for some readers, but for me, it filled me with joy at how vast this puzzle really is.

And I don’t want to oversell this, but HOLY SHIT, YOU GUYS, IT’S THE GREATEST THING OUT THERE RIGHT NOW ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

…yeah, that feels like the right amount of cap locks.

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Review: Dark Game (DI Kelly Porter, #1) by Rachel Lynch

37067922★★★

Welcome to another edition of Krystin Struggles To Write A Review For A Book That Was Just Okay!

These are my least favourite reviews to write. I think I’m a person who creatively operates best under strong swings on the emotional spectrum. Writing a review for a book that didn’t get me fired up either way is kind of like being asked “how was your weekend?” by an expectant colleague and struggling to come up with an answer because all you did was lay around in your PJs mindlessly watching repeats of Live PD.

That Dan Abrams sure does like him some tightly fit sweaters. And I am not complaining.

I don’t know, guys… Do you want to talk about this book or do you want to talk about Dan Abrams’ wardrobe? I’m leaning more towards wardrobe. Blue is really his colour.

Alright, alright! I’ll stop.

yas checking out GIF by Vanessa Marie Carter

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Review: When The Serpent Bites (The Starks Trilogy, #1) by Nesly Clerge

This must be “Krystin reads nothing but misogynistic stories” month, because this is my second in a row, and let me tell you, I’m fucking over it.

I’ll give this review some context real fast. Frederick Starks – a very rich, successful businessman – is married with three kids. His wife, Kayla, is unfaithful to him. They separate. One night, while driving aimlessly, ruminating on the state of his failed marriage, he pulls up to the house of the man Kayla cheated with and beats the shit out of him in front of the man’s wife and children, putting the man into a coma. Police arrive, Starks is caught red-handed, quite literally, and is arrested. He goes to trial and is found guilty.

Because, duh.

But for some reason Starks just can’t believe the jury convicted him. Basically his whole position on his guilt is: “my wife cheated, and the guy was mean to me, so I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”

In fact, at his trial, the defence mounted by his attorney is nothing more than a character assassination of Kayla because “she’s a whore“, as if that’s a legit reason to nearly kill a man.

give me a break judging you GIF by Originals

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Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

34066623

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” 

This quote from the 1967 film, COOL HAND LUKE, basically sums up how I’m feeling after reading this book. And I’ve never even seen the movie. The quote just came to me, as a thing I know somehow, deep from within the pop culture recesses of my mind. There’s a lot of useless information in there.

I might also go with: “…in the galaxy of This Sucks Camel Dicks!” Stepbrothers, 2008.

What I mean to say is: I wish the publishers hadn’t stuffed this novel into the psychological-thriller genre just because that’s where all the cool kids are, and had instead been honest about what this book is: a dark romance meets women’s fiction meets soap opera intrigue with a terrible, TERRIBLE message.

It’s not a thriller. I’m sorry, but no. I am not thrilled.

Had I known this from the start, I would have passed on reading it, because this level of dramatic soap-opera nutty-ness is just not my thing. It lacks humour and humanity, and is overpopulated with terrible one-liners, cliches and silly dialogue and tropes that feel like a reenactment. And the writing is derivative and basic.

Not to mention, the internal misogyny that permeates the entire theme gets my feminist hackles up.

Anyway….I didn’t know I shouldn’t read this, so I did, and now I have library late fees and a shitty review to write, so buckle in, bitches.

(This could get mildly spoiler-y because I’m going to rant, so if you’re super excited to read this, here’s my takeaway: Don’t waste your time with this, unless you’re cool with domestic abuse. Otherwise, read on!)

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Review: Brave by Rose McGowan

35068683★★★★

It doesn’t feel right “rating” an autobiography, especially one as intense and personal as this one, so consider my stars more of a decoration than a judgement.

Rose McGowan is an actress that had a significant presence in my formative years. (Favourite movie of all time: Scream. One of my favourite TV shows of all time: Charmed.) So, going into reading this, after the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, I felt a little bit of a connection to her. In some ways I grew up with her. Perhaps that affects my opinion of this book, as opposed to someone that saw Death Proof once or remembers her from that time she walked the red carpet at the MTV VMAs essentially naked.

I know this is not the typical book review you might expect to find on a blog dedicated to mysteries and thrillers, but I believe this is an important one to read. For me personally, as a feminist and as a woman, but also just in general. All people should be reading this book. End of.

Whether you agree with her opinions or not, there is so much in this novel that will make you think, make you reconsider an opinion or give you a new perspective you might not have considered.

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Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

34848682★★★★★

I went into this reading experience with full blown anxiety triggered by a library return date breathing down my neck.

I assumed there was not enough time for me to get through this because my weekend included my in-laws staying over and a front hall closet renovation. I decided to try anyway, because I ain’t no quitter. I opened this Saturday night, so completely aware that I had a Monday morning deadline that I got a little high first to set my nerves.

And guess what bitches!? I blew through this baby so hard I gave myself TMJ.

(My TMJ is a true story, but it’s not the book I blew through that gave it to me.)

Look, the truth is that this is not a groundbreaking novel, or even particularly original in it’s overall concept. I see a lot of middle-of-the-road reviews from my friends who just didn’t get into it, who thought it was overhyped and underwhelming and I understand. I think those reviews had a “Lowered Expectations” effect on me, because I FUCKING LOVED THIS BOOK.

Image result for lowered expectations gif

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Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

30654172★★★

This novel reads like the author really likes to watch the Hallmark Channel or Lifetime movies. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you’re into that.

Lort knows, I’ve binged all of the Aurora Teagarden movies like a fucking champ.

The Vanishing Season ticks off a lot of boxes on the “Cozy Lifetime Mystery Checklist.”

That’s a thing. Let’s go through it…

In a small town (✔️), Abigail Hathaway, who now goes by Ellery and escaped a serial killer as a teenager, (✔️) is now a cop herself (✔️). But no one knows about her dark past (✔️) and she intends to keep it that way. Ellery, with knowledge no one else has (✔️) connects three seemingly unrelated missing persons’ cases that she’s never worked on (✔️) and decides there must be a copycat killer in her tiny town (✔️), but no one believes her (✔️) and won’t, unless she outs her true identity (✔️). What this killer really wants is her (✔️)! The killer starts to leave her notes and packages to let her know he knows who she is, and is watching her (✔️).

Ellery calls for backup in the form of a disgraced FBI agent (✔️), who also happens to be the same agent that saved her from certain death all those years ago (✔️).

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Review: Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8) by Darynda Jones

22922356★★

It physically hurts to say this, like I have bad gas, but I must tell the truth: I did not like this book.

I really do love this series and the characters have a special place in my heart, but WHAT IN THE HOLY-HELL IS GOING ON?

This can be my problem with long running series: at some point the author wants to take things to a new, unexpected level, but because the story has been going on for so long the only place left to take readers is right off the fucking rails.

And this is the book in Charley Davidson’s adventures that dropped off the tracks and decided to go careening off a bridge.

First of all, this book read more like a romance erotica novel than a true Charley Davidson instalment.

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Review: Into The Black Nowhere (UNSUB, #2) by Meg Gardiner

35157879★★★★★

OKAY, FIRST OF-FUCKING-ALL: YASSS Queen YAS!

And second: I’m so depressed this is over.

I’m not religious, but over this Easter weekend I’ve decided I worship at the printing press of Meg Gardiner. And her books are my bible.

If you’re interested in my new religion, let me know. Maybe I’ll make some pamphlets.

I’m completely blown away by this instalment in the UNSUB series. I think I literally peed my pants over the first one, and it seemed a completely impossible task that an author would deliver an equally pee-pants worthy followup.

But, I’m peeing my pants right now. (Not really. I’m at work. No one would appreciate that.)

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