Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

“It was growing dark, and somehow the shadows made it feel as if all the trees had taken a collective step towards the house, edging in to shut out the sky.”

30345407★★★

This is an atmospherical oddball psychological mystery suspense novel that I liked….and at the same time I fucking hated? Like I’m so torn. Save me.

Here’s the problem. The main protagonist, Nora, is a fucking loser. I’m just going to put it out there. She’s a loser.

She’s 26 years old and still pining away for the boyfriend she had when she was 16. Come on! Ok, sure, it was a messy breakup, he broke your heart into a million tiny teenager girl shaped pieces and you never got closure. But how does someone never move on, like at all? Has she ever had sex with someone else? Gone on a date? Apparently not. So just…come on!

How many grown ass women are out there decidedly becoming Bridget Jones re-virginanized spinsters because their high school sweetheart peaced-out during a difficult time in your life? SHOW OF HANDS PLEASE…I won’t judge, despite what this review might suggest. I just need a headcount and to tell you to get over it! Find a man (not a boy) that knows how to work a G-spot and you’ll be over that high school flake in no time. Gotdamnit, NORA!

“I have not spoken to him for ten years, but I thought of him every single day.”

BARF.

Continue reading “Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware”

Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

29437949★★★

I am feeling pretty meh about this whole thing.

I don’t know if it was the hype, or my standards are at some level not even I understand, but you guys seemed to effing love this and for me, it fell short of “special.”

It got off to a slow start. There’s an obvious underlying thread of unease to Grace and Jack’s marriage – her the beautiful housewife and him the successful lawyer – that you are quick to pick up on, but it takes quite a while to get around to just how nefarious Jack actually is. And by the time his true self is revealed, the story has taken on a stagnant quality.

Oh, more threats about Millie? Great. Did you want to use the word “perfect” a few hundred more times? Excellent. Grace’s friends are going to continue to think nothing is fucking weird as all hell? Okie-dokie.

So much focus is put on the small interactions, the paranoia Grace experiences in trying to figure out just how to act, and just what to say, in order to “win” against Jack, that it becomes quite tedious to read. And the plausibility is laughable (unless you’re really into it, which you might be!) – a high powered attorney who wins big and has his face splashed on the news, who probably works 60 hour weeks, also has time to monitor every single thing Grace does, to intercept all interactions, to feed her and care for her like a pet? How would any regular person have the energy for this – let alone a successful, busy attorney? …Even if he is a fucking looney-toon.

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Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

33199875★★★★★

Yep, right in the feels.

I was hoping to write a really thoughtful review about this book, which I loved, and want all of you to love too, but right now my brain is a mushy mess.

For one, I’m getting over a head cold which has rendered me capable of not much more than groaning and whining – noises that signal my husband to fetch me meds, water, food or a combination of the three (he just has to guess.)

Secondly, I think the sheer magnitude of this tome has burnt me out. It’s a smidgen over 500 pages. And 99% of the time, when I read a book that big I am screaming for editing to parse it down. But when it comes to the Quinn family saga, I wouldn’t know where to start. There is literally not a word wasted by Karin Slaughter – an epic feat when you consider just how much book there is to devour.

But by the end, I was emotionally drained by Sam, Charlie and Rusty Quinn, and I don’t have the vocabulary left to fully express myself (she says as she goes on to write a dissertation sized review)…

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Review: The Drowned Girls (Angie Pallorino, #1) by Loreth Anne White

31340014★★★★½

I’m telling you right now, this book is the motherfucking shit.

Not even an exaggeration, honey.

And it’s the shit for one reason. Yes, it’s got murder. Yes, it’s got sex. Yes, it’s got a psycho serial killer. Yes, it’s hitting that fine line in the level of detail. Yes, it reads like real life honesty. Yes, it’s got gore. Yes, it takes place in C to the A to the N to the A to the D to the A…

Hold on, did I spell that right? *goes back to check* Yep.

CANADA!

But listen to me readers and lovers, without Detective Angie Pallorino as a lead character we would be sitting at a three star rating That’s just the truth.

Was there anything astonishing about the story line? Not really. It’s interesting, but at the end of the day it’s a police procedural. Extra points for taking place in Canada and getting my patriotic self a little hyped about that, because I’m always reading books that take place in the UK or the US – and quite honestly I’ve had just about enough of the United States at this CRAZY Trump Juncture – but, I’m pretty sure serial killers obsessed with religious bullshit has been done to death.

But do you know what’s not done to death?

Serial killers obsessed with religious bullshit who are being hunted by Angie Pallorino.

Alison Brie Kiss GIF by GLOW Netflix

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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: 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 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: Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1) by T.R. Ragan

34671960★★★

I hate writing reviews for novels that didn’t get me fired up one way or the other.

Gushing reviews are easy. Angry reviews are fun.

But a blah review?

I mean, it’s well, blah, and it doesn’t give me the creative spark to live up to my potential as a sassy reviewer ’round these parts.

Sooooo yeaahhhhh….I’m having a hard time deciding how I feel about this offering by T.R. Ragan.

You’ve got all the makings of success in my eyes, typically: A female P.I., a personal mystery, an interesting sub-plot and a serial killer on the loose.

Those are some big plot lines that have half the magic built right into them, all the author needs to do is throw in a little glitter and fire. Somehow this novel manages to be just okay – it’s missing the glitter and fire.

I see a lot of reviews calling it a fast-paced thriller and um…

giphy

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Review: Never Never (Detective Harriet Blue, #1) by James Patterson & Candice Fox

27993244★★½

Literally two of my three book-related New Years Resolutions for 2018 were to stop reading James Patterson and I’ve already failed. It’s only March! What is wrong with me?!

Don’t answer that.

My only consolation is that this wasn’t totally fucking awful.

Candice Fox is an excellent writer on her own. She’s obviously the reason this book is at least relatively well written, if not still an emotional flatliner that is full of logic-holes.

It maintains the typical Patterson style of short chapters and colourful characters who lack depth, plus the typical “detective chasing a serial killer” plot that doesn’t attempt to bring anything new to the genre.

But what this book does have, that other Patterson novels don’t, is more realistic dialogue and a female lead that doesn’t irritate me because she calls everyone “butterfly” and has hugs her friends because she hasn’t seen them for a whole five minutes.

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Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

32796253★★★★★

It’s my birthday and I’m King of the World!

Okay, it’s not my birthday, nor am I a king, but that’s how this book makes me feel.

I’m not going to shame other people for their opinions on this one, but I will say if you didn’t like it, I truly believe you missed the beauty of what Riley Sager did here.

But, still, no judgement. I respect you all, I’m just a little bit in love with this novel.

At Pine Cottage, ten years earlier, Quincy Carpenter emerges from the woods, bloody and screaming, the only survivor of a murderous massacre. We’re talking slasher-flick-sized proportions. The only problem is, Quincy has repressed all memories of that night. She has no idea what happened.

By surviving this horrific event, Quincy becomes a member of a very exclusive club, dubbed in the media as The Final Girls. 

“Final girls is film-geek speak for the last woman standing at the end of a horror movie.”

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