The Disappeared by Kristina Ohlsson-Review!

Anyone who follows me over on http://www.facebook.com/bibliophilebookclub knows that I’ve been reading The Disappeared this week!

I was doing a tidy on my shelves and scanning books onto my Goodreads ( https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/9841866-kate ) and came upon this in my TBR section so I said I’d give it a go!

The blurb from Amazon is as follows;

‘When the film begins she has no idea what she is about to see. Nor does she realise what devastating consequences this f ilm and the decisions she then makes will have on the rest of her life.’
The body of a young woman is found carved up and buried in a forest glade in an innocuous Swedish suburb. Alex Recht and his team in the Stockholm Police soon identify the body as belonging to missing student, Rebecca Trolle, but as his team continues to excavate the site, they soon find that someone has been returning to the same spot to bury their victims year after year, decade after decade.
Investigative Analyst Fredrika Bergman is assigned the task of delving into Rebecca’s private life. But little does she know that her enquiries are about to uncover evidence that will put her actions under scrutiny from Internal Affairs, and will throw her private life into turmoil.
And what does the case have to do with the elderly children’s author living in a care home . . . who has never spoken a word to anyone since she arrived years ago?’

I hadn’t heard of Ohlsson but got this in a 3 for £10 offer on Amazon, and I love a good book deal! 🙂

As with most Scandinavian fiction (for me anyway!), it took a while to get going! I found there was a lot of back and forth. The main female, Fredericka, works for the police, has a baby and a partner at home. She finds herself investigating the case of missing student Rebecca Trolle, who’s body is found in a forest after being missing for two years. The investigation takes many directions, and to be honest I don’t want to post any spoilers in the review. Sufficed to say, there are a few twists and turns that were a bit unexpected.

While I enjoyed the book, it really annoyed me as well! The characters who were investigating the case had little communication with each other which led to connections not being made! This really frustrated me, to the point of complaining out loud and hitting my head with the book (not too hard!!!) because I just wanted to shout at them to cop on and talk to each other!!!!

I finished this last night, and I found myself racing through the last 100 pages to find out what was going on! Which is a sign of enjoyment in my eyes really! I gave the book 3* on Goodreads, it would have been 4 only for the irritation I felt at how slowly the plot came together! I would happily recommend it as a good book though, not knock me down fantastic, but a decent read all the same!

Happy reading!

The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson Mini Review

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I’ve had this book on my shelf at home for ages and finally decided to read it last month! I tend not to read reviews on books I want to read as I’m wary of spoilers so I went into this only knowing what was written on the back cover!

Amazon.com describes the book as follows:

“Already optioned for film, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is Peter Swanson’s electrifying tale of romantic noir, with shades of Hitchcock and reminiscent of the classic movie Body Heat. It is the story of a man swept into a vortex of irresistible passion and murder when an old love mysteriously reappears.

On an ordinary Friday evening at his favorite Boston tavern, George Foss’s comfortable, predictable life is shattered when a beautiful woman sits down at the bar, a woman who vanished without a trace twenty years ago.

Liana Dector isn’t just an ex-girlfriend, the first love George couldn’t quite forget. She’s also a dangerous enigma and quite possibly a cold-blooded killer wanted by the police. Suddenly, she’s back—and she needs George’s help. Ruthless men believe she stole some money . . . and they will do whatever it takes to get it back.

George knows Liana is trouble. But he can’t say no—he never could—so he makes a choice that will plunge him into a terrifying whirlpool of lies, secrets, betrayal, and murder from which there is no sure escape.

Bold and masterful, full of malicious foreboding and subtle surprises, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is an addictive, nonstop thriller—an ever-tightening coil of suspense that grips you right up to its electrifying end.”

The above is a fairly accurate synopsis but I still felt a bit let down by the book while I was reading it! While there are a few twists and turns that may be deemed unexpected by some, I found that it just didn’t grab me in any way! There were a few predictable moments in it and very few genuine shockers.

Also, I found George to be a bit irritating as a character! Worse still was his behaviour in relation to this woman who has come back into his life! No questions asked, she says ‘jump’ and he says ‘how high?’ basically! I caught myself thinking more than once that he needed to man up!!!

Without giving anything away as regards how the book finishes, I was left expecting more! It’s quite an easy read but I doubt I’d be recommending to many people!

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – A Review

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This book was one of two choices for September in The Rick O’Shea Book Club over on Facebook , the other was Zone Of Interest by Martin Amis. I’m not a fan of war themed books so I chose the former.

This is the synopsis from Random House-

“An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.”

If I’m honest, I don’t like the idea of dystopian, pandemic related themes in books, I would never normally choose them but this was the best of a bad lot as regards book club picks for September!

I found the whole book a bit disjointed. While some elements tied together towards the end of the book, I just couldn’t get into the story. Or stories. As there were a few interlaced and I just couldn’t get into any of them.

I liked the idea of the Travelling Symphony and what it stood for, but I thought some of the events that occurred around them were a bit odd!

I can’t say I would ever recommend this book if I’m honest! It’s just not my kind of thing, and reading it pretty much confirmed what I already knew; not my style!

The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler

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Finished reading Joona Linna book 3 today and it was pretty great!I read The Hypnotist 2 years ago and thought it was average so wasnt to pushed about the next ones! The Nightmare, The Fire Witness and The Sandman! I’ll be honest, I wish I didnt wait so long! I read 2 and 3 over the past week or so and they were brilliant!
The Fire Witness started slow but once it gained momentum I thought it was brilliant! I couldn’t figure out who was the killer (a trait I love in thriller books!) So I found myself racing to the end to find out!
The book also contains a preview of The Sandman, I’ve already been to Amazon and added it to my list!
I highly recommend this book! Bloody brilliant read! 🙂

Quick Review : The Nightmare by Lars Kepler *Spoilers*

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I was flipping through a newspaper at the weekend when there was a mention of the new Lars Kepler book (The Sandman) , needless to say I went googling immediately!

If you have read my previous posts, if I find a series/author I like, I tend to want to get ALL the books, yesterday!!! Back in 2012, I joined Cold Water Book Club on Twitter, and The Hypnotist was one of the books we read! I wasn’t gripped by the book, but I didn’t dislike it, so when I saw the snippet in the paper I decided now was as good as any to go back to the Lars Kepler books!

The blurb from Amazon for The Nightmare is as follows:

From the bestselling author of The Hypnotist comes the second high-octane thriller featuring Detective Inspector Joona Linna

Stockholm, Sweden: the lifeless body of a young woman is discovered on an abandoned boat. Later, a man is found hanging alone in his apartment.

Should the deaths be treated as suicide or murder? Only four people know the answer. And one man wants them dead.

Can Detective Inspector Joona Linna keep them alive long enough to find out the truth?

I didn’t know what to expect when I started, as it’s been a while since I’d read Kepler! I have to be honest though, I found the book a bit slow to start! I like to be gripped within the first few chapters, and although I wasn’t totally enthralled by the beginning, I still wanted to keep reading to see how the events would unfold!

Joona Linna is still cool and charismatic, with little to faze him, and he’s still quite a likeable character. The supporting characters are fairly well written and support his character easily!
The plot of the book takes a while to come through, but essentially is is about smuggling weapons and the race to silence the people who know about the deal! There are some adrenalin filled scenes and chases throughout the book, which do well to ramp up the tension as you find yourself willing the detectives (or whoever is in the scene) on in their efforts. I can’t say much more without discussing the actual events in the book, and I am not prone to big spoilers so I won’t mention them!

What it will say about The Nightmare is that it is a tense, edgy thriller with a good plot and fleshed out characters. I really enjoyed it, and look forward to reading the next two books; The Fire witness and The Sandman!

Happy reading 🙂

Songs Of The Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult- A Review

So I’ve had this book on my kindle for months, I kept saying I’d read it but I always had something else on the go. I decided last week I may as well read it, and what a mistake that was.

I hadn’t read many reviews on it, I try to avoid spoilers, but I had seen a few on goodreads saying it was ok, but not great so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try!

I’ve read a couple of her books before, and they were fine. Fine, not great, not terrible. Easy reads I suppose, and I thought Songs would be the same.

As with many of Picoult’s books, it’s written from different characters perspectives in alternating characters. Usually I don’t have a problem with these types of books, but this one had no real timeline, no fluidity and switched locations regularly.

I found the characters very hard to engage with. Jane (the wife) was really annoying, to put it mildly! Her daughter, Rebecca, was typical of teenage characters, and the husband, Oliver, came across as an arrogant, self absorbed male figure.

I really disliked the plot, I won’t go into detail as it would bore me AGAIN to even think about it! Basic breakdown; childhood abuse, cycle continues, cross country fleeing and the inevitable (predictable) ending!

Begrudgingly, I gave this 1 star on Goodreads, purely because I hate to read a book and not star it after.

I have 53 books in my to-read pile, as I mentioned in my previous post, and I wish I hadn’t wasted reading time on this book!

That being said, I don’t even know where to start with choosing the next book, but no doubt I’ll find something… I always do!

Until next time 🙂

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The Hanging by Lotte Hammer: A short review of sorts…

As you know, I had been reading The Hanging, and I could not wait for it to be finished!

I had written a blog about it already, called Unreadable (surprise surprise) and I stick with that description!

I have never been so happy so see the end of a book before! I don’t even know where to start with this, it was one of the worst books I have ever read.

The plot was completely disjointed, and it literally didn’t make any sense until the last few chapters and even then, it was still a terrible conclusion!

The characters were badly developed and I found it difficult to form any sort of relationship with them which in turn makes it impossible for me to care what is happening to them!

The ending was an extreme anticlimax and just followed in the same disappointing vein as the rest of the story! I rated it one star on Goodreads and to be honest, even that is one star too many!

My advice- avoid this book completely!!!