Review: The Missing Ones (Detective Lottie Parker, #1) by Patricia Gibney

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★★★½

Opening Hook: Church will kill you.

Main Character: Drunky McHypocrite

Plot Twisty-ness: You never know what Priests are up to.


My endless struggle to catch up on NetGalley arcs continues with this book I received in January of 2017.

Seriously I’m just the fucking worst. Please don’t leave me!

The Missing Ones wasn’t the worst. But it wasn’t great either…

First of all, it’s way too long considering the substance of the story which is pretty typical and occasionally flat, albeit mixed with moments that were kind of disturbing. Consider this your warning for baby murder.

Detective Lottie Parker is heading up a team looking for a killer who has killed a woman in a church and tried to make another man’s death look like a suicide. The deaths are all connected in some way to a former Catholic children’s home, St. Angela’s, that is disturbing as fuck as one would expect a religious children’s home to be. There’s a land developer involved, some business partners and a few shady priests.

I mean, in a nutshell, you could say the theme of this book is: Catholics really know how to fuck people up.

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A “Here’s The Fucking Twist” Giveaway!

Attention booknerds! If you’re not following me over on my #bookstagram account – @thefuckingtwist – then, first of all, how dare you?

Second of all, I don’t mean that. You do you do, booboo. I get that you don’t need me in your life on every social media platform. I mean, not even my husband does.

But, if you’re not following me on Insta, I don’t want you to miss out on the new giveaway I’ve set up to celebrate spring and my complete indifference to follower-count milestones!

If it makes you feel any better about following me, I don’t post all the fucking time like some of these other more organized and better managed accounts. So follow me for unpredictable posting, cursing and my signature mix of feminine meets goddamn murder and mayhem.

Okay, onto the giveaway!


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Save Me From Dangerous Men (Nikki Griffin, #1) by S.A. Lelchuk

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★★★½

Flatiron Books | 2019

Opening Hook: Pool cues and brass knuckles

Main Character: Guilt-plaguing with tight jeans and a purpose

Plot Twisty-ness: A little off the Silicon Valley rails, and I don’t mean cocaine.


I was committed and ready, and completely open, to falling head over heels in love with Nikki Griffin, bookseller and badass P.I. with some serious anger issues.

But, unfortunately, this didn’t totally live up to everything I wanted it to be. Call it a victim of my high expectations if you want, but I found this to be a just okay, middle-of-the-road thriller.

The star highlight for me is the main character of Nikki Griffin. I think she was complicated but real. She came with a dark backstory and a closed-off, tough-as-nails personality that didn’t slip away the moment she met a guy. For being a novel written by a man, I was pleased to find she didn’t talk about how her nipples felt or looked at any moment, since that seems to be a thing male writers are typically preoccupied with when writing female leads. Any comments that she makes about her body seemed to me to be in relation to men looking at her and their sexual thoughts, and were less about sexually describing herself.

The way Nikki is introduced is pretty canon the whole way through the novel. She likes privacy, but she’s not dead inside. She keeps things close to the chest, but isn’t afraid to be vulnerable with the people she trusts. She’s strong, smart and professionally violent. All things I probably am, but just way less cool about it. Like, I daydream about breaking a man’s arm for hitting a woman, but really I just eat cookies about it.

Continue reading “Save Me From Dangerous Men (Nikki Griffin, #1) by S.A. Lelchuk”

#Throwback Thursday

Happy Long Weekend, everybody who is getting a long weekend like meeeeeee!!!

You’ll have to excuse me if this post barely makes as much sense as I want it to. We had a potluck at work for two women who are retiring and I think I’m going to pass out. I ate so much.

So much.

My blood is, as we speak, congealing into a cheese-like substance and my nipples are meatballs.

Jesus. No, they’re not.

I’m sorry. That barely reached the bar of what I think is good enough to post on this blog, but I’m nearing food-coma levels so meatball nipples are what you get. Welcome to how I blog!!!

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Top Ten: Mystery and Thriller Releases for Q2 of 2019!

I can hardly believe it’s already April! I feel like I say that a lot around here, but it’s true. Maybe it’s aging. Time just seems to fly by at a rate I am incredibly uncomfortable with.

It’s like one day your fine and the next day you can’t fit into any of your clothes and you have no idea what happened, but there wasn’t any time in between, even though there was totally like four years.

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So, while I deal making my expanding ass smaller (still), I’m also realizing I definitely don’t read as many books as I should be able to in all this time that’s passing by. I am much better at finding new books that I want to read, instead of actually reading them. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

This post is going to be another example of me endlessly adding books to my TBR when I still have so many unfinished ones. And despite making a new years resolution to increase my Netgalley score this year, I’ve made very little progress on that.

It might actually be worse, if I’m honest. Oops.

Speaking of honest, what I’ve been able to get out for this little blog seems to have dropped recently and I’m sorry and I’ll tell you why and I think you’ll understand.

My manager moved into a desk that allows her a view of my computer.

That’s it. For real.

I write most of my posts at work because it’s when I have the most free time. That’s sounds hilarious, but it’s the truth. And since my manager moved desks, there is just not enough security for me to successfully fuck around on things that are definitely not work related.

I’ll have to figure out a better schedule for my reviews and posts. I promise I will. Take right now for instance – I’m catching up on Scientology and the Aftermath (cults woot woot!) and eating dinner and slowly working away at building my list of what I’m most excited about coming out in the next 3 months.

Get your book budgets ready!

Continue reading “Top Ten: Mystery and Thriller Releases for Q2 of 2019!”

Review: Helter Skelter – The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry

“You can convince anybody of anything if you just push it at them all of the time. They may not believe it 100 percent, but they will still draw opinions from it, especially if they have no other information to draw their opinions from.”

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★★★★

W.W. Norton & Company | 1974

Opening Brainwashing: The lowest of low hanging fruit.

Main Cult Leader: The folk singer with the swastika seems on the up-and-up

True Crimey-ness: Pop culture murder


Everyone and their mother knows the story of Charles Manson. Or at least the bullet points, because the bullet points are fucking insane. Crazy “hippie” cult leader who brainwashed otherwise normal young people into brutally murdering pregnant actress Sharon Tate and her house guests in the Hollywood Hills in 1969.

Everyone knows the blurb. Everyone knows the images of Manson and his craziest moments. Everyone has seen, at some point, that image of three happy girls singing on their way to their murder trial with swastikas on their foreheads. Everyone knows that Sharon Tate was pregnant because it’s those kinds of headline specifics that make your stomach turn or your jaw drop.

The famous imagines and soundbites are so robust and insane and sensational, and seared into pop culture by our own doing, that it led me to believe that I knew basically everything there was to know about this case. Or that I had enough of an understanding that reading this book was going to be just to say that I’d read it. It’s kind of a must for true crime fans, in my sometimes abrasive opinion.

But I was wrong.

There is so much information to be gleaned from this book by the prosecutor who convicted Manson, Vincent Bugliosi. Helter Skelter is a broad picture of Manson’s crimes, his early life and his followers that I found it utterly fascinating, even if the narrator of the audiobook sounded like he stepped right out of Fast Talking, High Trousers.

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True Crime Tuesday: Bradford Bishop, Fugitive.

This weekend my husband and I were watching Dateline – or I should say, I was watching Dateline and my husband was barely paying attention, looking at his phone instead.

His interest was piqued when he realized the case was about a woman scorned who had tried to poison her lover. She was one of the top breast cancer doctors in the US. She’d saved many lives and was making important strides in cancer treatment. Now she’s serving ten years for attempted murder and will likely lose her medical license.

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My husband said to me, “why would someone so successful risk everything over a relationship?” Good fucking question. “The dick was really good?” was my quippy retort, but I know that’s not the real answer.

But, why do people risk their own livelihoods, successes and futures for a relationship? It makes no sense from the outside looking in. And yet, it happens all the time. There is an endless supply of Dateline stories about otherwise normal people killing their spouses and mistresses and boyfriends. And getting caught. And losing everything.

Part of me understands the “heat of the moment” thing. Or being so hurt or angry that you see red and don’t really know what you’re doing until it’s over. And part of me understands a cold, calculating anger that waits and plans and poisons. Would I ever do it? I doubt it, but there is something to be said for not being “in your right mind.” I’ve been there a time or two for other reasons. It’s an interesting feeling, to say the least.

Perhaps a great many people understand those emotions. And that’s where our fascination with these kinds of cases comes from. We just don’t get it! …but then, we kind of do.

This, for me, extends to the family annihilator killer as well. As my husband and my conversation progressed, we ended up talking about John List.

Would I ever murder my entire family and then run away? I can’t see myself doing that for a number of reasons that include I don’t like running, I don’t like exerting myself and I don’t deal with open-ended stress well which would certainly follow me as a fugitive. But do I understand how someone could do this? A little bit.

I found myself searching out some of these family annihilator cases and came across Bradford Bishop. Everyone knows the John List story, but I’d never heard of Bishop before that I can remember. He’s super interesting to me because today, he’d be 81 years old. And if he’s still alive, he’s still successfully hiding from justice.

This is the story of William Bradford Bishop Jr.

Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: Bradford Bishop, Fugitive.”

Review: Stiff – The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

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★★★★

Penguin | 2004

Overall Grossness: You put that monkey head back where it came from, or so help me!

Best Cadaver: They were all beautiful, in their own dissected ways.

Plot Educational-ness: Thinking about your own expiration date has never been more fun!


I think if you’re into the macabre and that side of life, or death as it were, then this book is probably required reading.

And truth be told, I am not a science-brained kind of girl. Or history. Or geography. Or math. Really anything that requires a level of intelligence that is based on facts and an excessive amount of information and concentration.

These are just not my strong suits. And as much as high school teachers would want to make me feel bad about that with those shitty grades I kept getting, I’ve accepted myself now as an adult. I fully embrace that I will never be able to help my stepkid with science or math homework. He could ask me about English and art though. And I do appreciate logic and thoughtfulness.

I do have some intelligence, y’all!

Continue reading “Review: Stiff – The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach”

Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

“…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.”

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★★★★

Celadon Books | 2019

Opening Hook: You know how you want to kill your spouse sometimes?

Main Character: Creases his jeans, eats oatmeal, probably.

Plot Twisty-ness: A clever bitch


There was a lot of hype surrounding this book’s release, and for the most part, it was deserved. I mean, it didn’t totally blow my socks off and it wasn’t necessarily reinventing the wheel when it comes to thrillers with unreliable narrators. But, for a debut novel, it’s pretty impressive and I had a fun time reading it, so one eggplant up for Mr. Michaelides.

Alicia, an artist, killed her photographer husband. Shot him in the head repeatedly while he was tied to a chair, as a matter of fact. And she’s been silent every day since. Locked up in a psych hospital, she hasn’t uttered a word in nearly 7 years.

Theo Faber is a psychotherapist who believes he can crack Alicia’s silent nut. He takes a job in the hospital where she is locked up and starts his mostly one-sided conversations in the hopes of getting Alicia to finally explain why she did what she did to her husband, who by all accounts, she was madly in love with.

And I don’t know about all of you, but while I jokingly say I’d like to murder the shit out of my husband sometimes, I don’t really mean it. Well, mostly I don’t mean it. But I swear to jeebus, when he clips his toenails in bed I could really, truly smother him with a pillow.

Anyway!

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Review: Blood for Blood (Ziba MacKenzie, #1) by Victoria Selman

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★★★

Thomas & Mercer | 2019

Opening Hook: It’s a blasty-blast

Main Character: If Sherlock Holmes lacked a personality

Plot Twisty-ness: Technically good, missing the feeling.


*shakes fist at sky* I just want to read a legitimately strong female character! Just one!

Okay, so I liked this and it’s also a disappointment in some big ways so… *fart noises*

Here goes my ranty review. I’ll try to highlight the positive stuff, but we all know that’s not my strong suit.

I could give some line about my expectations being too high when it comes to female-led crime fiction, or it’s not the book, it’s me. But I won’t because I refuse to apologize for wanting to find a female character who isn’t desperately crippled by a man in some way which then doesn’t allow for robust characterization to occur within the pages outside of what revolves around that man. It’s fucking annoying me at this point.

Ziba MacKenzie is former special forces and an expert criminal profiler. SPECIAL FUCKING FORCES. She has a huge brain stuffed with lots of knowledge that is both practical and theoretical. Like, she can recite facts about serial killers but can also save lives in dire situations.

Continue reading “Review: Blood for Blood (Ziba MacKenzie, #1) by Victoria Selman”