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.”

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★★½

Orbit | 2016

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.

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.”

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★★★★½

Redhook | 2016

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.

There are just so many elements of this novel that I loved.

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.”

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★★★½

Text Publishing | 2015

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”

Booknerd Wednesday: Top 10 Books with Buzz!

What are books with buzz you might ask? Or maybe you won’t. Maybe you just inherently understand the concept of buzz and things having said buzz.

If not, here’s the idea: these are the books I keep hearing about. There are also probably the books you keep hearing about.

It’s the incessant little noise that floats around you, that you are picking up on without really even intentionally acknowledging it.

bzzzzzzz….read me….bzzzzzz

Son-of-a-bee-sting, these are the most buzz-worthy books around right now… (PS. my “buzz index” is a completely arbitrary scale that means basically nothing, wutwut!)

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: Top 10 Books with Buzz!”

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

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★★★★

Thomas & Mercer | 2016

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. 

Her trauma and recovery has got to be believable, yet on pace with the rest of the book so you don’t feel bogged down with “personal issues”. I think Frasier really pulled that off. (This needs to be a series.)

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

Review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

This is how it ends for you. “You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark,” you threatened a victim once. Open the door. Show us your face. Walk into the light.

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★★★★½

Harper | 2018

Crimes: 12+ murders, 50+ rapes, 120+ burglaries

Crime Fighter: A true crime junkie who should be alive to witness the conclusion of her life’s work

Plot Truthiness: Everything you could want to know without being a cop on the case


This is a beautiful work of non-fiction/true crime.

The East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, the Visalia Ransacker, the Easy Bay Rapist, the Dollner Street Prowler, the Diamond Knot Killer…

This killer has gone by many names, but the one you’ll be hearing the most is the Golden State Killer. A term coined by the late Michelle McNamara, a true crime writer/junkie/amateur detective, whose life mission was to see this most prolific villain unmasked after a reign of terror that lasted more than a decade, and that he has been (was) getting away with for over 40 years.

Michelle McNamara died on April 21, 2016. She was nearly done her tome about GSK. Her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt, as well as Michelle’s research partner and a journalist friend, finished the book for her. They knew Michelle needed to see this published. It was her life’s work, her greatest obsession.

There are parts of the book with editor’s notes and annotations to let the reader know Michelle hadn’t finished a thing, or that Michelle had written a note to follow up on a thing, but it was never completed by her. These were constant little reminders of this woman’s tragic passing that made this a much more emotional reading experience for me than I usually have when going through a true crime novel.

Continue reading “Review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara”

Review: Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

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★★★★★ (x infinity)

Harper Perennial | 2018

Opening Hook: Lorena Bobbitt-esque

Main Character: Exceptionally unique voices

Plot Twisty-ness: Stunning in its simplicity, ravenous in its message.


This book is unlike anything I have ever read, and I am utterly emotionally ruined by it.

Seriously. This book has fucked me up.

I started reading this in the morning and I didn’t put it down until I read the last page that evening. I was completely obsessed, completely enthralled and emotionally enamoured.

I’ve taken a couple of days to think about this review because I want it to be coherent and not preachy, but I’m definitely about to go on a rant of epic proportions filled with long quotes, so buckle up buttercups.

This is the story of five men, all of whom have been the victim of a serial rapist known as Maude. It is the story of how the media handles rape, how society handles rape. How we speak about it, how we shame, how we lay blame. It’s about the questions we ask, how we ask them and the assumptions we make. How we try to make ourselves feel more comfortable in the presence of someone else’s trauma. How the survivors grapple with their new reality, and their upended perception of themselves, their relationships and the world around them.

Continue reading “Review: Any Man by Amber Tamblyn”

Booknerd Wenesday: The NetGalley Monthly For August 2018!

Throw me a mother effin’ party because I’ve been SO GOOD about not requesting ARCs for the last couple of months.

…Annndddddd hold the applause.

The party will have to end a little early because I started jonesing for a NetGalley fix a couple of nights ago after I had learned I’d been given auto-approval by a publisher that puts out things like Mark Edwards and Caroline Mitchell, and now everything is off the fucking rails again and I am seeing spots.

It’s starts with one hit – aka one push of the “request” button – and next thing you know, you’ve done a dozen more hits and emails start pouring in with approvals (and rejections) and you’re running down the street half-naked, screaming that you’re the new Lizard Queen and all your free books are your babies.

…No? That’s just me? Okay…

Continue reading “Booknerd Wenesday: The NetGalley Monthly For August 2018!”

The Friday 56: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

I stumbled upon this post over at A Literary Life and I love the idea of it so I thought I’d play along because I do love me some quotes.

The Basics:  The Friday 56 is a hosted by Freda’s Voice. Each week, you choose a book quote from page 56 to discuss.
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🔪The RULES:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56 (or 56% in an eReader).
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil anything) that pulls your attention.
  4. Post it!
Continue reading “The Friday 56: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager”

Booknerd Wednesday: My TBR’d YA Mystery-Thrillers! #YAWeek

I’ll be honest, I enjoy YA fiction, even though, I am no longer included in the targeted demographic and haven’t been for almost two decades a while. You know what…let’s not get into specifics about ages and dates. Those are all technicalities.

Sometimes I can feel a little bit weird when I have some interest in a YA books. A feeling of “I know I’m 32, but please don’t judge me for reading this” can wash over me from time to time.

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I try to let myself like what I like, but there is a sense that YA is my “guilty pleasure” because it’s really not intended for me. And sometimes it’s painfully obvious that I am not intended for it.

I can also feel a little bit weird in reviewing YA books, because usually if the book didn’t work for me it’s because the 16-year-old main character says/thinks something along the lines of, “I’m not child!” And I immediately think, “oh, yes you are young lady!

Or the 18-year-old who works at a grocery store part time is decorating her warehouse style loft apartment and it’s total bullshit because I didn’t buy my first piece of new furniture until I was 30 years old. That sense of utter and complete bullshit about how teenager on their own would truly live annoys me because no one ever plays within the boundaries of real life, at least not of what I’ve read so far.

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Nevertheless, I remain dedicated to my search for an amazing YA mystery-thriller that I actually like, that feels honest and genuine and manages to pull some punches on someone who is hard to please. (Me. That’s me who’s hard to please.)

In honour of #YAWeek, I’m going to be taking a look at what’s floating around my YA TBR pile; what books I’ve come across and thought, “yes, you could be THE ONE.”

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: My TBR’d YA Mystery-Thrillers! #YAWeek”