Review: A Wolf Like Me (Thomas Spell, #1) by Andy Fitz

35466013★★★

Opening Hook: You know how you perform dark rituals sometimes?

Main Character: If a less zany Ace Ventura was a werewolf

Plot Supernatural-ness: A new world, but we’re keeping Merlin


Okay, first things first: I do not typically read werewolf fiction because I’m not a big fan of the werewolf mythos unless I’m playing Skyrim and become one to join the Companions, then it can come in handy.

Given the choice that we typically get, vampires or werewolves, pick one! I am much more into vampires.

Not the sparkly kind who fall in love and just want to do good even if their hearts are cold…awwwww. But like Gary Oldman’s Dracula, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or some 30 Days of Night absolute horror. That to me is so much more interesting and creepy. Vampires are the first horror monster to scare me as a child, making me pull the blanket up to my neck at night as if that would protect me.

People who turn into big, scary dogs is just kind of weird. But I get the appeal to horror fans.

That being said, this book is pretty decent even for a werewolf hater like myself.

Continue reading “Review: A Wolf Like Me (Thomas Spell, #1) by Andy Fitz”

Review: Fellside by M.R. Carey

“Rough edges were what you needed because they were what you sharpened yourself against. Nobody ever got sharp from lying in a feather bed.”

26030697★★½

Opening Hook: Who knew arson could be boring?

Main Character: Could not be anymore self-torturing

Plot Twisty-ness: Good for insomnia


I was really interested in reading this book, but once I cracked this baby open my interest quickly petered out, giving way to an overall feeling of not really giving a shit mixed with annoyance and yawning.

Jess has been given heavy prison time for deliberately starting a house fire that not only destroyed her face and injured her asshole heroin addict boyfriend, but also killed a 10-year-old boy named Alex. Jess essentially martyrs herself, accepting her punishment with a heaping side of self-flagellation, deciding her time in prison will be short once she goes on a hunger strike/suicide mission. The only problem is, Jess can’t remember any of the sins she’s been told she committed, so she just takes everyone’s word for it (like you would.) As she withers away in the prison infirmary, dead Alex comes to her with an afterlife request – find out who really killed him, because he’s sure it wasn’t Jess and he can’t find peace without knowing.

The blurb is essentially Orange is the New Black but with ghosts and mystery.

Once you get past the blurb though it’s none of those things.

Continue reading “Review: Fellside by M.R. Carey”

Review: It Takes One (Audrey Harte, #1) by Kate Kessler

“Doing a bad thing doesn’t make you a bad person. People do bad things for the right reasons all the time.”

28098777★★★★½

Opening Hook: Better classified as a “meltdown”

Main Character: Small town child murderer

Plot Twisty-ness: The definition of twisty


Audrey Hart left Edgeport years ago after being released from the local juvie, Stillwater, for killing her best friend, Maggie’s, father when they were teenagers. She doesn’t regret it for a second – Maggie’s father was a daughter-raping piece of shit, and killing him – and the consequences that followed – have made Audrey who she is today: a successful child psychologist and contributor to a true crime tv show, Kids Who Kill.

When Audrey gets a call to return home to Edgeport, she’s dreading it. The whispers, the glances – all eyes are always on her whenever she’s in town. That is certainly true when Audrey walks into the local watering hole to pick up her drunk-ass father and Maggie spots her. They speak for the first time in years and it’s not friendly. Audrey gets mean, Maggie gets nasty, gets pushed onto her ass and Audrey storms off. The next morning Maggie is dead on the beach and Audrey is a suspect. 

So begins all the twisted, romantic, dramatic events that will lead to the disturbing and twisted discovery of just what exactly happened to Maggie. And when I say twisted, I mean twisted. There is so much history to unravel, so many secrets and lies to uncover, that while there aren’t necessarily many “thrilling” or “dangerous” moments, you are totally engaged the whole time.

Continue reading “Review: It Takes One (Audrey Harte, #1) by Kate Kessler”

Review: Medea’s Curse (Natalie King, Forensic Psychiatrist, #1) by Anne Buist

“‘Let it never be said that I have left my children for my foes to trample on.’…Medea killed her children to punish her husband.”

24723337★★★½

Opening Hook: Probably a dick, they were everywhere

Main Character: Pet Parrot and Leather

Plot Twisty-ness: The Winona Ryder meme with math equations


This book wasn’t really what I expected it to be – it’s a mystery, but definitely not a thriller, and has a lot more erotic elements than I would reasonably expect from a story like this.

But Dr. Natalie King isn’t really what you expect a forensic psychiatrist to be either. She’s outspoken, emotionally dysfunctional and has no problem pushing a prosecutor down courthouse steps. She’s bi-polar and irresponsible with her meds. She rides a motorcycle, fronts an amateur band and has a pet parrot. She lives in a warehouse and has affairs with married men. But she’s a mothereffin’ queen in her field – dedicated to her patients and to finding the truth. And I basically fell in love with her as a lead character.

It’s a good thing that this is the first in a series, because there is so much more that can be done with a character this badass and damaged.

Continue reading “Review: Medea’s Curse (Natalie King, Forensic Psychiatrist, #1) by Anne Buist”

Review: The Body Reader (Detective Jude Fontaine, #1) by Anne Frasier

28090850★★★★

Opening Hook:  The human equivalent of an animal caught in a trap

Main Character: Needs to get laid, but also doesn’t

Plot Twisty-ness: If a roller coaster was an onion


I have to say I really liked this. It’s dark. It’s interesting. There are so many layers to the story, to the mystery. It’s never what you think it is.

I’ve never read anything by Anne Frasier before, though I do have a few of her books on my TBR shelf. I will definitely be moving those books closer to the top of the list.

Det. Jude Fontaine makes a daring escape after 3 years in captivity. She’s not herself anymore. She’s been subjected to unknown tortures and horrors. She sees everything in the world with new eyes, including herself.

Clawing her way back to some semblance of mental health, Jude goes back to work as a Homicide detective, while trying to find new ways to just be alive. (Sleeping on the roof, for instance.) Everything about Jude is switched off after her return. She has no sense of humour, she is flat and unemotional. She doesn’t know how to exist anymore. And this starting point requires that the other plot elements, and secondary characters, have some A+ development. 

Continue reading “Review: The Body Reader (Detective Jude Fontaine, #1) by Anne Frasier”

Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

34845523★★½

Opening Hook: Let my attention wonder to playing mindlessly on my phone

Main Character: Three times the boring

Plot Twisty-ness: Existing, but tamed


After all of the glowing reviews I’ve seen for Mary Kubica, this was actually a bit of a disappointment.

Whomp, whomp

Someone has paid to have Mia kidnapped. Colin, her kidnapper, is hired to do the dirty work. But instead of taking her to his boss, he whisks Mia away to a remote cabin and keeps her for himself.

As one would if they were kidnapping another human being.

My god, doesn’t it just seem like SO MUCH WORK? Who would want to kidnap someone?

Like, I get home from work and all I want to do is take off my bra and lay facedown on my mattress while I make ughhhhh ohhhsd nooooo noises and eventually my husband asks me what’s wrong and I can trick him into rubbing my back.

The LAST thing I want to do, is come home from work and have to take care of a person chained in my basement, stinking up the place. Getting their dirty, unwashed butt on stuff. Then you have to empty their piss pots and make them food.

No, thank you. You have to be a special kind of psychopath to want to abduct someone for the “joy” of getting to take care of an adult sized baby.

I am far too lazy for that.

Continue reading “Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica”

Review: The Dry (Aaron Falk, #1) by Jane Harper

28220971★★★

Opening Hook: I didn’t want to be involved as much as the lead didn’t

Main Character: Reluctant hero, personality missing

Plot Twisty-ness: You know who did it


Ok, I’ll do it! I’ll go against the majority on this one! HERE I COME MARTYRDOM.

But really, I have to say I found The Dry, to be, well, rather dry.

Yeah, the writing is technically good. The characters are fleshed out enough. The setting was different from the usual for me. There was a crime with a mystery to it. Past and present storylines were interwoven, and that can be tricky to do.

So, on the surface, it checked all the boxes.

But, I just found it kind of boring. Again, I gotta say dry.

I think perhaps I’m not a huge fan of cold case style mystery – where the predominant crime is old or closed. There’s no real crime scene to immerse yourself in. There’s no immediacy to the investigation.

And both crimes in this book fit this category, but the attention each was given felt lopsided. The murders of Luke Hadler and his family was the most recent, it is what pulled Falk back to his shitty hometown. This is what he’s supposed to be investigating, it’s where the red herrings and misdirection come into play, but the characters seemed too emotionally focused on the death of Falk’s friend Ellie from 20 years ago, while no one cared too much about Luke except for his parents.

Continue reading “Review: The Dry (Aaron Falk, #1) by Jane Harper”

Review: Caged (Agent Sayer Altair, #1) by Ellison Cooper

36743024★★★★

Opening Hook: Jigsaw meets the Unabomber

Main Character: Baggage fees at the airport are getting expensive.

Plot Twisty-ness: Forgot to slip the reader some DMT.


Okay, here’s my issue, I really over-hyped myself for this one.

I heard “police procedural” and “FBI agent” and “serial killer” and just lost my ever-loving crime fiction booknerd mind, expecting to fall rapidly in love with this; for it to be everything I need a book with those descriptors to be. I consciously recognized that I was doing it, in the moment, and I made a decision to allow myself to be hyped for this. Which in any other circumstance, would have been against my better judgement.

…and almost immediately once I started reading, I needed to readjust my expectations because I knew I would be massively disappointed otherwise.

So no, this was not the mind-blowing read I wanted it to be. BUT it was still good and I’m definitely on board for this as a series.

It has a very dark atmosphere with a Criminal Minds vibe. Profilers and some bureaucracy, but mostly disturbing puzzles that need solving. And this completely connected with me, bringing together a lot of my favourite things, especially the psychology behind the murders.

It’s heavy on the procedural, medium on the twists (focused on the science side of the evidence, and less on physical events) and low thrills. But that’s pretty typical for procedurals.

There are some explosions, traps and tricks and disturbing content – namely puppies and kittens in danger that will definitely stir your feels if you are anything like me.

Continue reading “Review: Caged (Agent Sayer Altair, #1) by Ellison Cooper”

Review: Orange is the New Black – My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman

8141503★★

I, like most people with a Netflix account and a pulse, love the Orange in the New Black tv series. And it just so happens that the new season premieres this week!

I picked this book up for that reason alone – I was curious about the real story after binging the current season in 13 hours.

Consider me a fan of the TV show, only.

Where the show excels is in the treatment of each and every woman – their individual lives are honoured, never discounted, or treated as the token bit player to Piper’s privileged white girl. They are real and honest and palpable. All walks of life given equal value, time and courtesy.

But this book was…not that.

It came across as such: I’m just a white girl who made one mistake. What an oopsie-doopsie to get involved with drug dealers trafficking for an international drug ring. I didn’t mean to traffic drugs to other countries. Can’t you ever forgive me? Can’t you see how hard I tried to get my life back on track and stop being a lesbian? I met a nice boy, I got a good job and now I’m a productive citizen. Doesn’t that count for anything when the snitches open their big mouths and I end up in prison? No? Ok. I’m ever so scared of being in prison, but I won’t show it. I am a stoic warrior princess. I’ll bite my tongue and do my time surrounded by all these women of colour – some of them even like me even though I’m white. Blonde and white. Just call me ‘Blondie’ *wink*. The Latino girls say I have street smarts. All these ethnic ladies are actually really nice. And they’ve taught me so much about what it means to not be white. Which is totally fine with me, I promise. And I consider so many of them friends, that when I left prison I was kind of sad to leave them all behind to continue doing their years and years of time after my measly 15 months. I felt bad.

Continue reading “Review: Orange is the New Black – My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman”

Review: Kept In The Dark by Penny Hancock

16489735

Ugh, what the fuck did I just read?

This missed the mark on being a psychological thriller in a big way – it’s basically borderline pedophilia fiction.

*shivers*

I just can’t even with this shit.

I was so uncomfortable the entire time reading this. I’m still uncomfortable thinking about it to write this review.

A quick synopsis: Middle-aged Sonia – unhappily married with a grown daughter – plies 15-year-old Jez with drugged alcohol in order to make him compliant so she can hold him captive in her home, because he reminds her of her first real love, Seb, who died when they were teens and *spoiler* also happened to be her older brother.

So, you know…gross.

Sonia gave me the worst case of heeby-jeebies I’ve ever had. She. is. so. fucked. up.

Continue reading “Review: Kept In The Dark by Penny Hancock”