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No Man's Land by David Baldacci

No Man's Land (John Puller Series) - David Baldacci

Following THE ESCAPE and THE FORGOTTEN, #1 NYT bestselling author David Baldacci returns with his next thriller featuring military investigator John Puller.

#1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci returns with his next thriller featuring military investigator John Puller.

John Puller's mother disappeared nearly 30 years ago. Despite an intensive search and investigation, she was never seen again. But new allegations have come to light suggesting that Puller's father--now suffering from dementia and living in a VA hospital--may have murdered his wife. Puller is officially barred from working on the case--and faces a potential court martial if he disobeys the order--but he knows he can't sit this investigation out. When intelligence operative Veronica Knox turns up, Puller realizes that there is far more to this case than he had originally thought. Puller will stop at nothing to discover the truth about what happened to his mother...even if it means proving that his father is a killer.

 
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Once again have I read the latest book in a series without having read the previous books. That's my special power. Well, it's probably just that I keep on discovering series when a couple of books have been released. I always see that as a good thing, when the book is really good because now I know that I have several books to read. And, No Man's Land was good, pretty awesome actually. I found myself really enjoying the story and its characters.


I always love when a story deals with old cases, and this with John Puller's missing mother was both intriguing and sad. She just walked out one day never to be seen again. What happened to her? Did she leave or was she murdered? Now, a woman is claiming that Puller's father could be the killer. But, Puller's father is suffering from dementia and living in a VA hospital. So Puller decided that he will find out the truth no matter what. 

I found No Man's Land to be very engrossing, I loved the characters, from Paul and Bobby Pullers to poor Paul Rogers. I was a bit worried when Veronica Knox showed up that the story would turn out to be a "will they or won't they" kind of book, but of course this is not a suspect romance novel and Knox and Pullar may have a thing, but business first.

No Man's Land is the fourth book in the John Pullar series, you can easily read this one without having read the previous book, although with the risk of getting hooked and needing to get the previous three books!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Very Important Corpses by Simon R. Green

Ishmael Jones travels to the Scottish Highlands on a mysterious dual mission in this intriguing, genre-blending mystery.

The Organisation has despatched Ishmael and his partner Penny to Coronach House on the shores of Loch Ness where the secretive but highly influential Baphamet Group are holding their annual meeting. The Organisation believes an imposter has infiltrated the Group and they have instructed Ishmael to root him – or her – out. It’s not Ishmael’s only mission. The first agent sent by the Organisation has been found dead in her room, murdered in a horribly gruesome manner. Ishmael must also discover who killed his fellow agent, Jennifer Rifkin – and why.

Dismissive of rumours that the legendary ‘Coronach Creature’ is behind Jennifer’s death, Ishmael sets out to expose the human killer in their midst. But he must act fast – before any more Very Important People are killed.

 
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I read Dead Man Walking, the previous book in this series, last summer and loved it. So image my happiness of getting the chance to read this book. Just like in the previous book must Ishmael and his partner Penny once again travel to an isolated house to investigate a mystery. But, this time it's to Coronach House on the shores of Loch Ness. A fellow agent has been murdered, and now Ishmael must find out who killed her before anyone else is murdered. But, that's easier said than done.

Very Important Corpses is a bit similar with the Dead Man Walking, not so much the case, but the old house far from civilization, with a dark history. And, as with Dead Man Walking mayhem will soon arise, and more people will end up dead. I found this book to be entertaining and engrossing, although, not as good as Dead Man Walking. But, still pretty awesome. I love both Ishmael and Penny, they are a very dynamic duo and it's quite fun reading about their antics as they try to investigate (and threaten and fight people) for answers, well mostly Ishmael.

The revealing of the big bad villain was perhaps not a big surprise, but I quite enjoy returning to Ishmael and Penny's world of mysteries, mayhem, and murders and I look forward to reading the next book (and the first one that I have yet gotten my hands on)!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review.

Döden den bitterbleka (The Bitter Pallor of Death) by Anne-Marie Schjetlein (SWE/ENG)

SWEDISH REVIEW


Du och jag Andreas, vi kommer få det så bra.  Hon tryckte kroppen mot honom, andades förföriskt i hans öra och viskade: Du kommer älska mig, bara mig.


Trots att Andreas inte sett skymten av Petra på ett år kan han inte slappna av. Sorgen efter hustruns självmord har blivit hanterbar. Livet har ljusnat lite, men Petras sista ord gnager. Hon mördade för att komma honom nära, ändå har han inte kontaktat polisen. Om du gör det kommer jag tillbaka. Men inte till dig. Utan till dina kära söner. Så Andreas tassar på tå, tvekar inför de relationer som lockar, osäker på vad som kan väcka Petras vrede.

Halmstad plågas av ett pedofilrykte. Som kirurg tvingas Andreas ta emot skadade pojkar på sjukhuset. Utnyttjade kroppar. Oron växer sig större, ockuperar hans kropp. En pedofil. Kan Petra verkligen ha någonting med det här att göra?

Döden den bitterbleka är en psykologisk spänningsroman i sjukhusmiljö. Med fingertoppskänsla för dramatik, relationer och vardagsrealism trollband Anne-Marie Schjetlein både läsare och kritiker med sin debut, Döden kvittar det lika. Döden den bitterbleka är den andra, fristående boken i serien om den kantstötta villaidyllen i Tylösand.
 
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Döden den bitterbleka är en superb bok! Jag har inte läst den första boken i serien, men den ligger högt på min vill läsa lista nu. Boken var svår att sluta läsa och jag sträckläste i stor sett boken. Jag fann bokens handlingen fascinerande, hur vardagliga problem kantades av oron för en besatt kvinna skulle göra något hemskt samt en pedofil som härjade i staden. Och speciellt gillade jag hur Schjetlein fick karaktärerna att komma till liv. Jag gillade att läsa om karaktärernas vardags liv, deras dagliga problem som toppades av att en pedofil jagade barn. Att skriva om en pedofil som härjar kan inte ha varit lätt och jag måste erkänna att det var svårt att läsa de kapitel som var ut hans perspektiv. Nu är det tack och lov inte så detaljerat, men det räckte med att få en liten inblick i hans tankar för att jag skulle känna mig smutsig. Det enda som jag fann lite övertydligt var försöken att misstänkgöra en karaktär i boken för att vara pedofilen, det gjorde att jag kände att det kan knappas vara han, det måste vara en annan. Hade jag rätt? Tja läs boken!

Boken hänvisar till händelser i den första boken, saker som hände Andreas och varför Petra är på flykt. Men det var inga problem som helst att läsa denna bok utan att ha läst första boken, dock vill jag verkligen läsa första boken för att få hela bilden. Jag vill veta mer om vad som hände mellan Andreas och Petra. Men jag är också allt bra sugen på en uppföljare till denna bok. Den slutade mycket bra och nu är jag nyfiken på vad som kommer hända härnäst i Andreas liv.

Jag rekommenderar varmt denna bok till läsare som gillar vardags realism, men samtidigt vill ha lite spänning.
 
Tack till Bokfabriken för recensionsexemplaret!
 
ENGLISH REVIEW
 
You and I Andreas, we will have it so good together.  She pressed her body against him, breathed seductively in his ear and whispered: You will love me, just me.
 
Although it has been a year since Andreas last saw Petra can he not relax. The grief after his wife's suicide has become manageable. Life has brightened a bit, but Petra's last words gnaw. She murdered to get close to him, yet he has not contacted the police. If you do, I will return. But, not to you. I will come for your dear sons. So Andreas hesitates when it comes relationships that attract attention, unsure of what can bring Petra's wrath.
 
Halmstad is plagued by a pedophile rumor. As a surgeon, Andreas receives injured boys in the hospital. Used bodies. Concern grows larger and he is worried. A pedophile. Can Petra really have anything to do with it?
 
The Bitter Pallor of Death is a psychological thriller in the hospital environment. With a flair for drama, relationships, and everyday realism has Anne-Marie Schjetlein enthralled both readers and critics with her debut, The Death Settles it Equally. The Bitter Pallor of Death is the second, independent book in the series about the chipped villa idyll in Tylösand.
 
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The Bitter Pallor of Death is a superb book! I have not yet read the first book in the series, but it is high on my to-read list now. I finished the book fast because I could hardly put it down. I found the plot fascinating, how Andreas everyday problems were marred by fears of that a crazed woman could do something horrible any time and the worry about the rumors that a pedophile is terrorizing the city. And I especially liked how Schjetlein got the characters to come to life. I enjoyed reading about the characters everyday lives, their daily problems, which was topped by a pedophile hunting children. Writing about a pedophile cannot have been easy and I have to admit that it was difficult to read the chapters that were out of his perspective. Now it is thankfully not that detailed, but it was enough details to get a little insight into his thought that made me feel dirty. The only thing I found a little blatant was trying to make a suspicious character in the book to be the pedophile, it made me feel that it can hardly be him, there must be a twist to it, someone else. Was I right? Well, read the book!
 
The book refers to events in the first book, things that happened to Andreas and why Petra is on the run. But, I had no problems whatsoever to read this book without having read the first book, but I really want to read the first book to get the whole picture. I want to know more about what happened between Andreas and Petra. But, I am also craving a sequel to this book. It ended very well and now I'm curious to know what will happen next in Andrea's life.
 
I heartily recommend this book to readers who like everyday realism but also want to be thrilled.
 
Thanks to Bokfabriken for the review copy!

Cover Crush: A Think Dark Line by Tami Hoag

  


Erin over at Flashlight Commentary is the one that came up with the cover crush idea and I loved it so much that I decided that every Thursday would I post a cover that I really love. 


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Tami Hoag is an author that I've so far not read a book by, but I'm keen to do so. And, that's not because I love the covers of her books, they seem to be very interesting thrillers. However, I do love some of the covers very much. Like this one with a strong red color that makes you notice the book and the lonely boat, and the vague forms of the trees.
 
 
Description:
 
Terror stalks the streets of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana. A suspected murderer is free on a technicality, and the cop accused of planting evidence against him is ordered off the case. But Detective Nick Fourcade refuses to walk away. And he’s not the only one. Deputy Annie Broussard found the woman’s mutilated body. She wants justice. But pursuing the investigation will mean forming an alliance with a man she doesn’t trust and making enemies of the men she works with. It will also mean being drawn into the confidence of a killer.
 
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Check out this week's cover crush over at 
 

Kaninjägaren (The Rabbit Hunter) by Lars Kepler (SWE/ENG)

SWEDISH REVIEW


Joona Linna har suttit två år på den slutna anstalten Kumla när han förs till ett hemligt möte. Polisen behöver hans hjälp för att stoppa den gåtfulle mördaren som går under namnet Kaninjägaren.

Den enda länken mellan offren är att de alla hör ett barn läsa upp en ramsa om kaniner innan mördaren kommer. Ödets tärningskast placerar överraskande tevekocken Rex Müller mitt i händelsernas centrum. För första gången ska han ta hand om sin son Sammy. Men istället för tre lugna veckor blir det en fruktansvärd kamp på liv och död. Joona Linna och Saga Bauer är tvungna att börja samarbeta i hemlighet för att stoppa Kaninjägaren innan det är försent.

Du vet aldrig vad ödet har i beredskap för dig, vad som kommer att hinna ifatt dig om du inte börjar springa nu.



Thrillermästaren Lars Kepler är tillbaka med en ny bladvändare om kriminalkommissarie Joona Linna.
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Kaninjägaren är otroligt nog den första boken jag läser av Lars Kepler. Som vanligt är tidspress min ursäkt för att ha missat denna fantastiska serie. Men det ger mig fördelen att jag har 5 olästa böcker att ta mig an samt att jag kan skriva en recension utifrån en ny fans synvinkel.

Så hur var Kaninjägaren? För att vara den senaste boken i en en serie så var kändes det väldigt lätt att komma in i boken. I och med att själva handlingen var fristående med återkommande karaktärer så kunde även en ny läsare som jag enkelt kunna sätta mig in handlingen samt få grepp om huvudkaraktärerna Joona Linna och Saga Bauer. Handlingen var intressant rakt igenom och med korta cliffhanger liknade kapitel var boken svår att lägga ifrån sig. Motivet för morden sträckte sig tillbaka i tiden och det är en något jag alltid gillar, att få följa karaktärerna medan de luskar fram sanningen. Och i det här fallet så var detr en hemskt tragisk händelese som startade allting.

Allt som allt så var boken en riktigt fullträff, jag gillade både handlingen och karaktärerna och jag ser fram emot att läsa de föregående böckerna.
Tack till Albert Bonniers Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW
 
Joona Linna has spent two years in the closed Kumla prison when he is taken to a secret meeting. The police need his help to stop the enigmatic killer known as The Rabbit Hunter.
 
The only link between the victims is that they all hear the children recite a chant about rabbits before the killer comes. Television chef Rex Müller get for some reason pulled into the plot. For the first time ever is he taking care of his son Sammy. But instead of three quiet weeks will there be a terrible battle to the death. Joona Linna and Saga Bauer is forced to start working in secret to stop The Rabbit Hunter before it's too late.
 
You never know what fate has in store for you, what will catch up with you if you do not start running now.
 
Thriller Master Lars Kepler is back with a new page-turner about Inspector Joona Linna.
 
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The Rabbit Hunter is, amazingly enough, the first book I have read by Lars Kepler. As usual, lack of time is my excuse for having missed this amazing series. But, it gives me the advantage that I have five unread books to take on, and I can write a review based on a new fans point of view.

So how was The Rabbit Hunter? It felt very easy to get into this book, despite it being the latest book in a series. Since the story itself was standalone with recurring characters made it easier for a new reader like me to get a grip on both the story and the main characters Joona Linna and Saga Bauer. The story was interesting throughout and with short cliffhanger chapters was the book hard to put down. The motive for the murders stretching back in time and it's something I always like, to follow the characters as they try to find out the truth. And in this case, it was all that terrible tragedy that started it all

All in all, the book was a real hit, I liked both the plot and the characters, and I look forward to reading the previous books.
 

Thanks to Albert Bonniers Förlag for the review copy!

The Jekyll Revelation by Robert Masello

The Jekyll Revelation - Robert Masello

While on routine patrol in the tinder-dry Topanga Canyon, environmental scientist Rafael Salazar expects to find animal poachers, not a dilapidated antique steamer trunk. Inside the peculiar case, he discovers a journal, written by the renowned Robert Louis Stevenson, which divulges ominous particulars about his creation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It also promises to reveal a terrible secret—the identity of Jack the Ripper.

Unfortunately, the journal—whose macabre tale unfolds in an alternating narrative with Rafe’s—isn’t the only relic in the trunk, and Rafe isn’t the only one to purloin a souvenir. A mysterious flask containing the last drops of the grisly potion that inspired Jekyll and Hyde and spawned London’s most infamous killer has gone missing. And it has definitely fallen into the wrong hands.


With parallel story lines set in present-day California and 1880's London, THE JEKYLL REVELATION alternates between Rafe and Stevenson in a fast-paced tour through history and contemporary California as both they both race to stop the terror that’s coming for them. 

Bestselling and award-winning author Robert Masello (whose known for the #1 Kindle bestseller The Einstein Prophecy, The Romanov Cross, and The Medusa Amulet among other works) has crafted a thriller that is equal parts adventure story and literary history and throughout the suspense, he reveals fascinating, little known details about Robert Louis Stevenson’s life and times.

 
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The tantalizing cover and the intriguing blurb made me interested in the book. The identity of Jack the Ripper is a subject I find fascinating and I was curious how Robert Louis Stevenson would fit into this story. This book has two storylines and in the present storyline are we introduced to Rafael Salazar who is an environmental scientist. He discovers in an old truck a journal that turns out to be written by no other than Robert Louis Stevenson and the present storylines alternate with the journal entries.

I found the intro of this book promising with Robert Louis Stevenson trying to find if not a cure something that would make him better since he had been suffering from bad health since he was a child. And, it's now he meets a doctor that will change his entire life. In the present time, Rafael Salazar is studying coyotes in Topanga Canyon when he and his trainee Heidi stumbles on the trunk with the diary. But, the trunk also has a flask containing a portion that would be best to leave alone.

As much as I enjoyed the beginning of the book did it come a time after I read little over half the book when I found myself questioning whether I should continue reading or not. The story started to become a bit dull, and I found myself not enjoying either storyline. However, I did not give up and the story picked up. Well, at least the journal entries got better, I still did not find the present storylines that interesting with Rafe having trouble with his sister Lucy, the meth heads and his puppy love for Miranda. And, as I came to think of now when I'm writing the review, Heidi who was with him when he found the trunk and later on when they almost died in a car crash just disappeared from the story. And, that was just too bad because I liked her. I can't say that Rafe and Miranda interested me that much, but for the story to take the obvious direction was it necessary. And, here we have the big problem for me with this book. It was too often pretty obvious what would happen, no twist to the story that astonished me. Although the ending, the last entry in the journal both solved a question that I had back in my mind and was an interesting turn of event.

 
Still, I'm glad to have read the book. It may have had some weak moments in the middle of the book, but the story picked up and towards the end of the book even Rafe started to interest me a bit more than when he was having trouble with the meth heads and Miranda's boyfriend Laszlo. 
 
I want to thank 47North & Little Bird for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley! 

Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys

Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys - Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Tieri Harley Quinn decides to test her Gang of Harley by pretending to be kidnapped, unfortunately, they find out that it's a test (after spending a lot of time "looking" for her), but of course, then Harley gets kidnapped for real by a real psycho. Now the Harley's have to save Harley for real...

I must admit that it has taken me some time to warm up to the Harley's, but now with this volume have I finally started to like them and I quite enjoyed reading this volume. Now, the villain, the psycho who kidnapped Harley is a bit pathetic, a rich wannabe Harley Quinn who is pissed off because she failed the audition to join the Harley's. Still, the volume was good, despite not having a cool villain to fight off, thanks to Harley and her gang.



I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

Read this review and others on A Bookaholic Swede

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice - Curtis Sittenfeld

SWEDISH REVIEW

Sanning och skvaller är en förtjusande och underhållande modern tolkning av Stolthet och fördom. Curtis Sittenfeld har lyckats modernisera handlingen på ett sådant sätt att man känner igen handlingen från originalet i denna berättelse men allting har förflyttas fram i tiden och speglar dagens livssituationer och moderna problem.

Mrs. Bennet är lika jobbig som i originalberättelsen, Mr. Bennet lika frånvarande och Kitty och Lydia är lika odrägliga och Mary lika nördig (om inte värre). Liz och Jane är de som har lyckats komma undan och flyttat hemifrån men till deras mors förskräckelse börjar de närma sig 40 utan ring på fingret. Skandal! Tursamt nog verkar det som om två läckra ungkarlar, Chip Bingley och Fitzwilliam Darcy dyker upp lägligt när de är hemma för att se över sin far som har haft en hjärtattack.

Jag njöt storartat av boken. Den är humoristisk och dagens moderna problem har ersatt originalets problem på ett lysande sätt. T.ex. så har Jane beslutat sig för att hon vill ha barn och eftersom nuförtiden kan man fixa det på egen hand med insemination så försöker hon med det, hon har gett upp om kärlek men så träffar hon Chip Bingley. Kanske är han den rätte? Jane däremot har mindre tur och finner Darcy oerhört dryg och jobbig och han verkar inte gilla henne heller. Men vem vet, kanske har de missförstått varandra...

Sanning och skvaller är en charming och rolig bok som kommer tilltala båda fans av Stolthet och Fördom och de som inte har läst boken.

Tack till Wahlströms och Widstrand förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Eligible is a delightful and entertaining modern interpretation of Pride and Prejudice. Curtis Sittenfeld has managed in a good way to modernize the story in such a way that you recognize the original story, but everything has moved forward in time and reflects today's modern life situations and problems.

Mrs. Bennet is as bad as in the original story, Mr. Bennet as absent and Kitty and Lydia are just as pesky and Mary equally geeky (if not worse in this version). Liz and Jane are the ones who have managed to get away and moved away from home, but to their mother's horror are they starting to approach 40 without a ring on her finger. Scandal! Fortunately, two delicious bachelors, Chip Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy show up timely when Liz and Jane are at home to look over their father who has had a heart attack.

I truly enjoyed reading this book. It is humorous and the modern problems have replaced the original problem in a brilliant way. For example. has Jane decided that she wants to have children and because nowadays you can fix it on your own with insemination so she tries that. She has given up on love, but then she meets Chip Bingley. Perhaps he is the right man? Jane, on the other hand, has less lucky and find Darcy extremely annoying and difficult and he doesn't seem to like her either. Although who knows, maybe they misunderstood each other...

Eligible is a charming and funny book that will appeal to both fans of Pride and Prejudice and those who have not read the book.

Thanks to Wahlströms och Widstrand förlag for the review copy!

A Room Full of Killers (DCI Matilda Darke, Book 3)

A Room Full of Killers (DCI Matilda Darke, Book 3) - Michael    Wood I thought before I read this book that I was quite hardened when it came to crime novel that I could deal with quite a lot (except harming of animals and children), but there were really tough parts in this book that was hard for me to get through and that were the chapters that were the POV of the children, the murderers.

A Room Full of Killers is a dark and tragic book that I devoured. It's engrossing, but at the same time is it not an easy book to get through. DCI Matilda Darke has a lot on her plate, with the release of a book concerning a kidnap case that she was in charge of that went wrong. Also, she is still not completely over her husband's death 18 months earlier. And, now this case at the Starling House. A teenager is dead, and who could have done it? The question of why someone murdered him is perhaps not hard to understand since Ryan Asher is a convicted murderer, but someone got him out of a locked room. Matilda then meets one of the inmates, Thomas, and Matilda is convinced that the young boy is innocent of the crime he is said to have done. Now she wants to find Ryan's murdered and at the same time is she trying to get Thomas free.

I found the book thrilling and intense and the last part of the book had some really great twist to the story. I was a bit surprised on how Matilda could believe someone to be innocent by just looking at him. I mean quite literary just instantly believe his innocent without knowing much about the case. I'm not a police, but appearance can be deceiving, but I guess I much more cynical. Still, it added drama to the story. The side story with the kidnap case was also interesting and I'm really curious to see the impact it will have in the next book. If the kidnapping will be solved. I'm also quite eager to get the two previous books to read!

A Room Full of Killers is an excellent thriller. The characters are well-developed and interesting to follow and the case is interesting and I love the ending!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

The Secret by Katerina Diamond

The Secret - Katerina Diamond

The Queen of Grip-lit is back…

‘A terrific story, originally told. All hail the new Queen of Crime!’ HEAT

‘A web of a plot that twists and turns and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. This formidable debut is a page-turner, but don’t read it before bed if you’re easily spooked!’ SUN

EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW IS A LIE…

Can you keep a secret? Your life depends on it…

Bridget Reid has a secret, one that could get her killed… If she can escape the man who is keeping her locked in a basement bedroom.

DS Imogen Grey is good at keeping secrets – truths she’d never reveal to her colleagues at Exeter Police. She worked hard to get where she is – she nearly died for it. Now her past is catching up with her…

As DS Grey and her partner DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a terrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder. And they realise that some secrets are better left buried

 

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I haven't read The Teacher by Katerina Diamond (yet), but this book was so tempting that I just couldn't resist agreeing to do a blog tour for the book. And, the beginning of the book was really captivating, and it was frustrating having to work when I wanted to read. However, I started to have some problem with the story as it progressed. The dialog felt terse and a bit contrived now and then. And, it bothered me because I found the story to be interesting.

 

We have three storylines in the book; the present time, what happened two years prior and we also have a single individual's life story as he "tells" the reader things about his childhood. It was with this life retelling that I really started to feel that the dialog was not working for me. It was very terse and jagged to read, and lacking finesse.

 

However, I was curious to what was going on with DS Imogen Gray (however I did see her big secret a mile away) and what linked the past story with the present. Then, something happened that really made me extremely frustrated. This may be a bit of a spoiler, but I need to put it here to show why I just couldn't give the book a higher rating. The parents to a missing girl went to prison for her murder. And, it just stunned me because how on earth can anyone go to prison for murder when there isn't a body or no proof for it to be murder? Sure, one can be declared dead after a couple of years. But, as far as I know you can't send someone to prison just because "they seem guilty". This bothered me quite a lot, I spent the next day at work fretting about it. And, that together with the dialog issues made it hard for me to truly enjoy the book.

 

However, I will say this, I found the story most of the time to be engaging. It did feel a bit over the top sometimes. Nevertheless, it was not boring to read. Sure, Imogen's  problem with the men around her feel a bit like cheesy, like straight from a soap opera, but it was entertaining. And, if I hadn't been so annoyed with the whole prison thing (and some other things, but can't spoiler the book too much) and if the dialog had felt a bit more smooth, then I would have enjoyed the book a whole lot more. I do plan to read The Teacher and hopefully, it will work better for me.

 

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore

The Greatcoat - Helen Dunmore

A terrifyingly atmospheric ghost story by the Orange-prize-winning Helen Dunmore.

In the summer of 1954, newly wed Isabel Carey arrives in a Yorkshire town with her husband Philip. As a GP he spends much of his time working, while Isabel tries hard to adjust to the realities of married life. Life is not easy: she feels out-of-place and constantly judged by the people around her, so she spends much of her time alone.

One cold winter night, Isabel finds an old RAF greatcoat in the back of a cupboard that she uses to help keep warm. Once wrapped in the coat she is beset by dreams. And not long afterwards, while her husband is out, she is startled to hear a knock at her window, and to meet for the first time the intense gaze of a young Air Force pilot, handsome, blond and blue-eyed, staring in at her from outside.

His name is Alec, and his powerfully haunting presence both disturbs and excites Isabel. Her initial alarm soon fades, and they begin a delicious affair. But nothing could have prepared her for the truth about Alec's life, nor the impact it will have on her own marriage.

 
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To be honest, the cover probably is the thing that got me to buy the book. Sure, the blurb about a time slip, an RAF ghost, and a mystery did help, but I can't help it, I absolutely love that cover. So, it is with a bit of a heavy heart that I write this review. It's not like the book is bad, it's just not so fantastic that I hoped it to be.

I did like the story, I just did not love it. I found the premise of the story intriguing and it started off good. But, looking back to reading the book do I have to admit that I did not really fall for the story. I wonder if it had been better if it had been more to the story. It's not a thick book, it just takes a couple of hours to read the book. So, everything moved forward rather quickly, getting to know Isabel and the rest of the characters, meeting the ghost, learning the truth and then the end. And, sure, it's a tragic truth, but I never really got to know Alec, and I thought that was a miss. It would have been wonderful to have learned more about him through flashbacks. Rather than just the first chapter and then through ghostly recollections. I wanted to be moved by the book, but that never happened.

It's a so-so book. I liked it, but if feels like it had potential that never was achieved.

Property of a Lady by Sarah Rayne

Property of a Lady - Sarah Rayne

A house with a sinister past – and a grisly power - When Michael Flint is asked by American friends to look over an old Shropshire house they have unexpectedly inherited, he is reluctant to leave the quiet of his Oxford study. But when he sees Charect House, its uncanny echoes from the past fascinate him – even though it has such a sinister reputation that no one has lived there for almost a century. But it’s not until Michael meets the young widow, Nell West, that the menace within the house wakes....


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A reviewer on Goodreads wondered if there is a cozy horror genre because that's what he/she thought that this book was. And, the funny thing is that was my actual thought about it too before I saw the review. And, no I don't think there is a cozy horror genre, however, cozy paranormal feel more appropriate. This is not horror, if you are frighted about this book, then well, you should not read real horror books. It's an interesting paranormal book that turns into a romantic paranormal novel, which didn't surprise me a bit when that happened. Luckily, the main characters, Michael Flint and Nell West did not spend too much time lusting after each other, and their "courtship" was not annoying.

However, the story feels a bit lackluster. It's alright to read, but it never gets terribly exciting or engrossing. Part of me is sometimes amazed how "suddenly" diaries and secret papers just happen to be found by the right people so fast when no one else has discovered them. Yes, I'm a born cynical. Sometimes it's believable, and sometimes, not so. In Property of a Lady, well I can take it because the place has been uninhabited so long, and the clock, well it's been away from the house as well for a long time. So that at least did not annoy me. Thankfully. 
 
The story about the "ghost" is actually quite tragic, more tragical than horrifying. I was a bit surprised by the turn towards the end of the book, it was a nice twist. It's an OK book, not especially memorable, but if you like a cozy paranormal book is it not so bad. 

Would I read more books in the series? Yes I would, it was not a bad book, I was not bored. However, I hope the stories get better, and perhaps even a bit more horrifying?

Mannen som lekte med dockor (The Man Who Played with Dolls) by Magnus Jonsson (SWE/ENG)

SWEDISH REVIEW


Krypteringsexperten Linn Ståhl arbetar med sin doktorsavhandling på KTH när kriminalpolisen hör av sig till henne och ber om hjälp med en utredning av en serie brutala mord. Unga kvinnor har hittats mördade och omsorgsfullt förvandlade till dockor på Södermalm i Stockholm.

Linn har varit medlem i AFA, Antifascistisk aktion - en organisation som är svartlistad av Säpo - och är tidigare dömd för brott mot rikets säkerhet. Så det är under ömsesidig misstänksamhet hon börjar arbeta tillsammans med kriminalpoliserna Rickard Stenlander och Erik Svensson.

Samtidigt som kvinnomördaren skördar sina offer vinner högerextrema krafter ny terräng i Sverige.

Frågan är om Linn och polisen alls drivs av samma motiv...

MAGNUS JONSSON är uppvuxen på Södermalm i Stockholm, där han bor även i dag, med sambo och tre barn. Han arbetar som gymnasielärare och på fritiden åker han skateboard och snowboard. Han växte upp med punken och låter sig gärna inspireras av hip hop, punk och reggae. Mannen som lekte med dockor är Magnus Jonssons debut och den första boken i Hatet-trilogin

 
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Inledningen av Mannen som lekte med dockor var mycket spännande och lovande. Action direkt, precis den typen av start som jag gillar och man får genast en ledtråd till bokens titel. Något jag hade lite svårare för var bokens högerextrema fokusering. Jag kan tänka mig att om man har ett intresse av att läsa böcker som tar upp högerextremismen frammarsch som kommer denna bok att falla läsaren i smaken. Personligen, är den inte något som intresserar mig så mycket, vilken gjorde att mitt intresse då och då under läsandets gång falnade. Jag hade desto lättare att engagera mig i de brutala morden som sker och polisens försök att finna mördaren.
 
När det gäller karaktärerna så tog det ett tag för mig att fatta tycke för dem. Jag hade förövrigt svårt i början att separera Erik och Rickard från varandra. Det kan vara de vanliga svenska namnen som gjorde det svårt att då och då veta vem som var vem. Linn, krypteringsexperten, gjorde inte heller ett stort intryck på mig. Men framåt slutet så kände jag ändå att de hade blivit intressanta nog att följa att jag utan tvekan skulle läsa nästa boken i trilogin för att se vad som kommer hända härnäst. 
 
Något som Magnus Jonsson är riktigt bra på är dock miljöbeskrivningarna. de är så målade att det kändes som att man var i Stockholm en vacker vårdag. Han kan verkligen skriva!

Tack till Modernista och Louise Bäckelin Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

 
ENGLISH REVIEW
 
Encryption expert Linn Stahl is working on her doctoral thesis at KTH when the police contact her for help with an investigation of a series of brutal murders. Young women are found murdered and carefully transformed into dolls in Stockholm.
 
Linn has been a member of AFA Antifascist Action - an organization that is blacklisted by the Security Service - and is already convicted of crimes against national security. So it is with mutual suspicion she starts working with detectives Rickard Stenlander and Erik Svensson.
 
While the women's killer pick new victims does the right-wing forces win new terrain in Sweden.
The question is whether Linn and police are all driven by the same motives...
 
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The beginning of The Man who Played with Dolls was very exciting and promising. Action directly, just the kind of start that I like and you immediately get a clue to the book's title. Something I had a bit more difficult for the books extreme right focus. I can imagine that if you have an interest in reading books that take up how right-wing extremism is gaining momentum will this book appeal to you. Personally, it's not something that interests me very much. And, that meant that I now and then during the book did I feel that my interest faded a bit. I had the easier to connect with the storyline that deals with the brutal killings that take place and the police attempt to find the killer.

As for the characters, it took a while for me to take a liking to them. I had some hard time at first to separate Erik and Richard from each other. It may be the common Swedish names that made it difficult to occasionally know who was who. Neither did Linn, the encryption expert, impress me that much. But, towards the end, did I feel that they become interesting enough to read about that I would undoubtedly read the next book in the trilogy to see what will happen next.
Something Magnus Jonsson's really good at, however, is environmental descriptions. They are so well described that it felt like you were in Stockholm, a beautiful spring day. He sure knows how to write!

Thanks to Modernista and Louise Bäckelin Förlag for the review copy!
 

Blakemort - A Psychic Surveys Christmas Novella by Shani Struthers

Blakemort - A Psychic Surveys Christmas Novella - Shani Struthers, Jeff Gardiner

“That house, that damned house. Will it ever stop haunting me?”

After her parents’ divorce, five-year old Corinna Greer moves into Blakemort with her mother and brother. Set on the edge of the village of Whitesmith, the only thing attractive about it is the rent. A ‘sensitive’, Corinna is aware from the start that something is wrong with the house. Very wrong.

Christmas is coming but at Blakemort that’s not something to get excited about. A house that sits and broods, that calculates and considers, it’s then that it lashes out – the attacks endured over five years becoming worse. There are also the spirits, some willing residents, others not. Amongst them a boy, a beautiful, spiteful boy…

Who are they? What do they want? And is Corinna right when she suspects it’s not just the dead the house traps but the living too?

 
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I can't tell you what a pleasure it was to finally read a real haunting haunted house story. I've found lately that either the story isn't creepy enough (seriously cozy horror is not a thing) or it's a romance masquerading as a horror. So, reading Blakemort was a real thrill.

I've never read anything by Shani Struthers before. However, I own the first book in this series (and I bought two books in the series after finishing this one hehe). I'm really thrilled to have discovered an author that can write a thrilling and creepy horror story. Right from the start is the story intriguing and I love how creepy the house is. You can really feel that something is badly wrong here. Poor little Corinna who knows that the house is wrong that it's evil, but neither her brother and mother listen to her and that makes this story so sad. She can see them, there are some rooms that are a bit more "safe", but most of the house is bad. Especially around Christmas.

I like how the story focuses on Christmas during the years they lived in the house. As Corinna state in the book, bad things happened all through the years. But, Christmas was especially bad, every year. I quite liked the mystery of the house, and how they in the last year in Blakemort finally discovered the truth.

Blakemort is a terrific novella. I found it engrossing and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series!

 

I chose to read this ARC and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased!

The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

The Blood Card: Stephens and Mephisto Mystery 3 (Stephens & Mephisto Mystery 3) by Elly Griffiths (2016-11-03) - Elly Griffiths

Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are enough for him to put Stephens and Mephisto on the case.

Edgar's investigation into the death of Brighton fortune-teller Madame Zabini is put on hold. Max is busy rehearsing for a spectacular Coronation Day variety show - and his television debut - so it's Edgar who is sent to New York, a land of plenty worlds away from still-rationed England. He's on the trail of a small-town mesmerist who may provide the key, but someone else silences him first. It's Sergeant Emma Holmes who finds the clue, buried in the files of the Zabini case, that leads them to an anarchist group intent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day.

Now it's up to Edgar, Max, and Emma to foil the plot, and find out who it is who's been dealing the cards . . .

 
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I was quite thrilled to get the chance to read the latest DI Stephens & Max Mephisto book. I have become quite fond of this series and I love the combination of a DI and a magician "working" together.

In The Blood Card are Edgar and Max drew into the world of anarchists after they find out that their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright has been murdered. It seems that there is a plot to blow something up on Coronation Day. But, and who could be behind it all? Could a clue be found in America?

Once again has Elly Griffiths written an interesting book, and beside the case is it always fun to follow Edgar and Max in their personal lives trials and tribulations. Edgar is still set to marry max daughter Ruby, but is she so sure about that? And, Sergeant Emma has her own problems with her deep feelings for Edgar that she is trying to hide. Max meanwhile has been talked into doing a magic show in TV on Coronation Day. Could his future be on TV?

I liked the book however, it lost some speed in the middle of the book. I just felt that the case just wasn't intriguing enough, and the investigation just felt like it was idling along. Until the explosive ending. That I loved. I just wish that book had been as interesting in the middle as it was in the beginning and the end would this. For me, what was keeping the story going was the everyday problems that the main characters faced. I like them all, and I like reading about what's happening in their lives. It's just in this book, the case of the anarchists was just not always that thrilling.

 
As for the Edgar, Ruby and Emma situation? I like both gals, and I like Edgar. But, will Ruby be happy married, that's the question? The addition in this book with the character Tol was interesting. He is charming, and Emma seems to be drawn to him. I look forward to reading the next book in the series to see what will happen next!

I want to thank Quercus for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Cover Crush: The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn


Erin over at Flashlight Commentary is the one that came up with the cover crush idea and I loved it so much that I decided that every Thursday would I post a cover that I really love. 


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The cover for The Jane Austen Project  caught my eye yesteray, and I was facinated with it and the prospect of a time travel historical ficiton. Personally, this is a cover that I just love. I mean I probably would have wanted to read the book just because of the story, but the wonderful cover is an extra bonus. Now I just wait to be approved!


 Description:

What would you give up so that she could live?

Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this engrossing debut novel offers an unusual twist on the legacy of one of the world’s most celebrated and beloved authors: two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel

London, 1815: Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field in rural England, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. Turned away at a nearby inn, they are forced to travel by coach all night to London. They are not what they seem, but rather colleagues who have come back in time from a technologically advanced future, posing as wealthy West Indies planters—a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team from the future to “go back,” their mission is by far the most audacious: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen herself.

Carefully selected and rigorously trained by The Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common besides the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in. Circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen’s circle via her favorite brother, Henry.

But diagnosing Jane’s fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the continuous convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile the woman she is with the proper lady nineteenth-century society expects her to be. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history intact and exactly as they found it…however heartbreaking that may prove.
 
 
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Check out this week's cover crush over at 

Flashlight Commentary
2 Kids and Tired Books
Layered Pages 
The Maidens Court