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The Somme Legacy

The Somme Legacy - M.J. Lee

When a young teacher asks genealogical investigator, Jayne Sinclair, to look into the history of his family, the only clues are a medallion with purple, white and green ribbons, and an old photograph. Her quest leads her to a secret buried in the trenches of World War One for over 100 years.

Who was the real heir to the Lappiter millions?

The Somme Legacy is the second book in the Jayne Sinclair genealogical mystery series, but it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.

 
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I found the blurb really intriguing, about a genealogical investigator searching for answers to why there is no evidence to support claims that a couple married in Gretna Green during WW1. Jayne Sinclair is contacted by Mark Russell to find out if it true that his great-grandmother Rose Clarke married Captain David Russell, the eldest son of Lord Lappiter in 1916. They have only a couple of days to find out the truth before the property and the money will pass to the crown since the line became extinct in 1986.

As a long-time fan of mysteries in the past did I not hesitate when I got the chance to read the book. I also really liked the idea of a genealogical investigator as the main character and I loved reading about how Jayne Sinclair conducted her search. The plot in this book is interesting, with a young woman marrying a man above her status and the Captains family's resentment to her. I was fascinated to read about the suffragette movement and how involved Rose Clarke was with it. It's a sad story, Rose Clarke's story is not a happy tale, she claimed she married the man she loved, but when questioned couldn't she prove it and no until present time is someone trying to find out the truth.

However, there was one thing that just didn't work for me for me in this story was the laughable villain Herbert Small, I'm sorry I just couldn't take him serious one bit. His constant drinking of warm milk to soothe his stomach was just ridiculous. Sorry, but as a villain in a story was he really bad. I would have liked a more interesting and threatening person to try to stop Jayne Sinclair to find out the truth.

But, all and all is it an interesting story. The storyline from 1916 was moving, especially reading about how belittled women were at that time. What they had to go through to get the chance to vote is horrifying. Sitting here writing this review makes me think of all the women who fought and went to prison for their beliefs. It's something that we should be thankful for, and proud!

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

Nattmannen (The Night Man) by Jørn Lier Horst (SWE/ENG)

SWEDISH REVIEW

 

Dimman ligger kusligt tät över Larvik tidigt en kall höstmorgon. Mitt på stadens torg har ett avhugget huvud placerats, spetsat på en påle.

Kommissarie William Wisting ställs inför det mest groteska fall han stött på under sin poliskarriär. Det brutalt mördade offret är en mycket ung flicka och hela Norge är skakat av det blodiga dådet.
Medierna kräver en snabb lösning. Men de viktiga timmarna efter fyndet passerar utan några ledtrådar om vem flickan är, och pressen blir inte mindre när ännu ett lik hittas, uppdraget ur den djupa älven …

Snart står det klart att trådarna i det här nätet sträcker sig långt bortom landets gränser och att fallet har kopplingar till betydligt tyngre kriminalitet än någon kunnat föreställa sig.

 
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Nattmannen är bok 5 i William Wisting serien och för mig innebar denna bok ett hopp tillbaka i tiden då boken före denna som översattes till svenska var Blindgång som är bok 10. Men det gjorde absolut inget då det var väldigt kul att få en inblick i William och hans dotter Lines liv några år tillbaka. Nu fick jag lite mer bakgrund till dem men jag måste erkänna att jag blev lite besviken då jag såg fram emot att läsa fortsättningen efter Blindgång. Men fallet i denna bok var oerhört intressant så i slutändan så gjorde det inte så mycket då handlingen var så fängslande i Nattmannen.

Nattmannen är en mörk berättelse där utnyttjandet av barn står i fokus. Det hela inleds med att huvudet av en ung flicka hittas spetsat på en påle. Förr i tiden spetsades brottslingarnas huvuden på pålar av nattmannen, men det var länge sedan den typen av straff utdelades i Norge och vad kan en ung flicka ha gjort för att förtjänade detta öde? Medan William Wisting undersöker fallet så skriver hans dotter Line som är journalist om fallet för en tidning. I sin efterforskning kommer hon fler fall på spåret i andra länder, kan detta fall vara den senaste i raden?

 
Boken var fängslande att läsa, men samtidigt är det inte lätt att läsa om barn som far illa. Det är något jag alltid har svårt för, oavsett hur bra skrivna böckerna kan vara, så är det svårt att läsa om barn som far illa. Dock så gillar jag verkligen hur Jørn Lier Horst både porträtterar polisen sätt att hantera fallet och journalisternas sätt att rapportera fall tack vare Lines synvinkel. Sedan så gillar jag verkligen att läsa om far och dotters relation, vad som pågår i dera liv. 
 

Tack till Lind & Co för recensionexemplaret!

 
ENGLISH REVIEW

It's an early a cold autumn morning over Larvik and the mist lies eerily over the town. In the middle of the town square, a severed head has been placed, impaled on a stake.

Inspector William Wisting is facing the most grotesque cases during his police career. The brutally murdered victim is a very young girl, and the whole of Norway are shocked by the bloody deed. The media demands a quick solution. But, the important hours after discovery passes without any clues about who the girl is, and the press is even greater to solve the case when a corpse is found in the deep river...

Soon it becomes clear that the threads of this network extend far beyond the country's borders and that the case is linked to significantly heavier crime than anyone could imagine.
 
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The Night Man is book 5 in the William Wisting series and that means that this book is a jump back in time for me because the book before this which was translated into Swedish was book 10. However, it didn't really matter because it was really great to get a glimpse of William and his daughter Line's life a few years back. Now I got a little more back history to them, but I must admit I was a bit disappointed as I looked forward to discovering what would happen next to them after the book Ordeal. But, the case in this book was very interesting so in the end, it just didn't matter so much because the story hooked me.

The Night Man is a dark tale in which the focus is on the exploitation of children. It all starts when the head of a young girl is found impaled on a stake. It was the Night Man that in the past put criminals' heads on poles, but it was a long time ago that criminals were punished that way in Norway and what can a young girl have done to deserve this fate? While William Wisting is investigating the case is his daughter Line, who is a journalist, writing about the case for a newspaper. In her search she finds traces of similar cases in other countries, can this case be the latest in a line?
 
The book was engrossing to read, but at the same time, it does deal with what I think is a tough subject. Any book that deals with children in any way getting hurt is something I find hard to read, despite how well-written the book is. I do like how Jørn Lier Horst both portray the police way of dealing with the case and the journalist way of reporting the case thanks to Line's POV. Also, I really like to read about the father and daughter relationship, what's going on in their life.
 

Thanks to Lind & Co for the review copy!

The Shivering Turn by Sally Spencer

The Shivering Turn: A Pi Series Set in Oxford - Sally Spencer

Introducing Oxford-based private investigator Jennie Redhead in the first of a brand-new mystery series.

'My daughter's not just run away - she's dead!' When Mary Corbet walks into private investigator Jennie Redhead's rundown Oxford office one pleasant spring day in 1974, she is a desperate woman. Although she's convinced her daughter has been murdered, she can get neither the police nor her husband to agree with her.

Jennie is not convinced either, but more out of compassion than conviction agrees to take the case. The only clue she has to go on is a fragment of an obscure 17th century poem she finds in Linda's bedroom: Or will you, like a cold and errant coward/Abandon all and make a shivering turn. But from that one clue Jennie's investigations will lead her beyond the city's dreaming spires to Oxford's darker underbelly, in which lurks a hidden world of privilege, violence and excess.

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I was a bit doubtful when I started this book. I had some problem getting into the book (sometimes going from one book to another quickly can be a bit hard), however, slowly as the story progressed I really started to enjoy the book. As a big fan of British crime TV series did the sound of a book series set in Oxford really appeal to me and I really loved that the book is set in the 70s.

Jennie Redhead is a PI, she is also red-haired which makes her name quite fitting. She recently left the police force after some problem that will be revealed in the story and now she is trying to find her footing as a PI. When the women of a missing girl approach her is she a bit hesitant to accept the case, but there are things with the case that doesn't sound like the girl just up and left. And could the17th century poem she finds in the bedroom have something to do with her disappearance.

The Shivering Turn is the first in the Jennie Redhead series and as a detective novel did this book feel refreshing. As I mentioned before is the book set in Oxford in the 70s and that was a nice change from all the present time crime novels I tend to read. The music, the events of the time and the lack of technological progress that we have today made this book feel quite nice to read. I also came to like Jennie Redhead quite a lot. She is a gutsy woman. The case took turns that I did not expect, and there is a moment when I together with Jennie realized the truth about something. A sad, sad truth.

The Shivering Turn was very refreshing to read and I will definitely read more books in this series!

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

The Last Flag by Wren Cavanagh

What would you do to pay the bills; to survive, or to just get rich, would you compete against other teams in a quarantined town filthy with zombies wanting to bite out your throat?
Emma and Lewis sign up for the race, they need the money to save his life. But they won't just be racing the dead, the surprise blizzard or the other contestants.

Because anger and vengeance know no bounds and like everyone in the blighted town they become pawns in a game of retribution.

The contestants become nothing more than live entertainment to viewers who watch and judge their every move in the town of Prideful as they race each other to arrive alive to a final flag. The team that makes will get airlifted out alive and go back home richer for it, the others walk back to a pittance and if they are not careful. They won't get out at all.

 
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This is actually how I imagine the zombie apocalypse to be, a way for people to earn money. Both, those that can profit from it by even thinking of a TV show where people must go through a town full of zombies to find flags and people that can earn "easy" money fast.

The Last Flag, is just as the title describes a book about different groups fighting for flags and their lives. I found the book to be very refreshing to read because it felt very different from what I'm used to when it comes to zombies. Instead of people getting surprised by zombies and are trying to hide from them are the people on the teams' hellbent on winning cash. And, don't get attached to the people in this book. It may start off slowly, not much interaction with the zombies, but there comes a moment when everything starts to go to hell, not for the people on the teams, but for the ones behind the show. That's another thing I really liked about this book. There are a lot of things going on behind the camera that, well screw things up for some people.

This is the third book I have read by Wren Cavanagh and just like Arachnohazard and Bits and Pieces were this book a great read. I liked the humor in this book, and the action and I especially liked that Cavanagh manages to make a trite subject like zombies interesting again.

 

Liv by Mikaela Bley (SWE/ENG)

SWEDISH REVIEW


Det är en varm dag i slutet av augusti när kriminalreportern Ellen Tamm lämnar Stockholm för att åka till sitt föräldrahem i Sörmland. Hon kan inte längre fly från det förflutna och de mörka minnen som väcktes till liv när hon rapporterade om fallet Lycke i början av sommaren. Nu ska hon tillbaka till platsen där allt började, när hon var åtta år och hennes tvillingsyster dog. När Ellen stannar för att tanka i Stentuna, utmed riksväg 52, får hon höra att en kvinna har hittats brutalt ihjälslagen vid en åker en bit därifrån. Ingen tycks veta vem hon var eller vad hon gjorde i trakten, och mordet skakar många i byn.


Ellen börjar nysta i den döda kvinnans öde och ju mer hon börjar gräva i vad som hänt, desto mer inser hon att småstadsidyllen rymmer mörka hemligheter och att det är mycket som inte är som det verkar. Inte minst när det gäller henne själv och systerns död.

Spänningsromanen Liv är den andra boken i serien om den egensinniga TV4-journalisten Ellen Tamm, och en fristående fortsättning på Lycke som kom ut 2015
 
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Jag läste Lycke nyligen och den var en snabbläst bok, dock så fann jag storyn inte speciellt komplicerad eller anmärkningsvärd. Men den var underhållande att läsa, en perfekt bok när man vill ha något inte alltför djupt men inte för lätt att läsa. Sådär alldeles lagom. Liv, däremot, nu börjar det lika något, den boken handlingen kändes mycket mer spännande och intressant. Men så är den lantliga idyllen ute i Sverige och vad som kan döljas där ibland klart mer intressant att läsa om än vad som händer i storstäderna. För vem vem vad som döljer sig bakom de fina husfasaderna med den välklippta gräsmattorna.


För Ellen Tamm är tanken på att återvända hem inte så lockande, men efter Lycke fallet så hennes liv havererat och nu har hennes mamma bestämt att hon ska hem då hon inte verkar klara sig själv längre. Men hon hinner inte ens hem innan hon får reda på att en kvinna har bragts om livet och att mordet var synnerligen våldsamt. Ellen kan inte låt bli att undersöka mordet och upptäcker att den lilla staden Stentuna har sina mörka hemligheter...

Denna bok var stråket vassare än debutboken Lycke. Jag fann storyn engagerande och jag gillade att Ellen började gräva i vad som hände den dagen hennes tvillingsyster dog. Jag tycker om böcker vars handling utspelas i småstäder där alla känner alla och jag var överraskad när jag insåg just vad för slags hemligheter som doldes under ytan. Slutet lämnade mig med en önskan att få läsa mera och jag hoppas på en fortsättning snart.


Tack till Lind & Co för recensionexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

It's a warm day in late August when crime reporter Ellen Tamm leaves Stockholm to go to her family home in Sörmland. She can no longer escape from the past and the dark memories that were brought to life when she reported the case about the missing girl Lycke in the early summer. Now she is back to where it all started when she was eight and her twin sister died. When Ellen stops to refuel in Stentuna, along Highway 52, is she was told that a woman has been found brutally murdered in a field some distance away. Nobody seems to know who she was or what she was doing in the neighborhood, and the murder shakes many in the village.

Ellen begins to investigate the dead woman's death and the more she delve into what happened, the more she realizes that idyllic little town holds dark secrets and that there is much that is not as it seems. Not least when it comes to her and her sister's death.

Liv is the second book in the series about the wayward TV4 journalist Ellen Tamm, and a sequel to Lycke which came out in 2015

 

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I read Lycke recently and it was a quick read book, however, I found the story not particularly complicated or outstanding. But it was entertaining to read, a perfect book when you want something not too deep, but at the same time not too easy to read. However, this book plot felt much more exciting and interesting. But then the rural idyll in Sweden and what might be hidden there sometimes more interesting to read about than what happens in the big cities. Who knows who what lies behind the beautiful house facades with manicured lawns...

For Ellen Tamm is the thought of returning home is not so attractive, but after the Lycke case has her life collapsed and now her mother decided that Ellen is going home since she does not seem to be able to take care of herself anymore. But Ellen is not even home before she finds out that a woman has been killed and that the murder was extremely violently. Ellen can't leave it alone, she starts to investigate the murder and discovers the small town of Stentuna has its dark secrets...

This book was story was much more interesting than Mikaela Bley's debut book Lycke. I found the story engaging and I liked that Ellen began to delve into what happened the day her twin sister died. I like books where the events take place in small towns where everyone knows everyone and I was surprised when I realized just what kind of secrets hidden under the surface. The end left me with a desire to learn more and I hope there will be a new book soon!

Thanks to Lind & Co for the review copy!

The Seventh Plague by James Rollins

The Seventh Plague - James Rollins

If the biblical plagues of Egypt truly happened--could they happen again--on a global scale?

Two years after vanishing into the Sudanese desert, the leader of a British archeological expedition, Professor Harold McCabe, comes stumbling out of the sands, frantic and delirious, but he dies before he can tell his story. The mystery deepens when an autopsy uncovers a bizarre corruption: someone had begun to mummify the professor's body--while he was still alive.

His strange remains are returned to London for further study, when alarming news arrives from Egypt. The medical team who had performed the man's autopsy has fallen ill with an unknown disease, one that is quickly spreading throughout Cairo. Fearing the worst, a colleague of the professor reaches out to a longtime friend: Painter Crowe, the director of Sigma Force. The call is urgent, for Professor McCabe had vanished into the desert while searching for proof of the ten plagues of Moses. As the pandemic grows, a disturbing question arises.

Are those plagues starting again?

 
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The Seventh Plague is the 12th book in the Sigma Force series and Painter Crowe, Grey Pierce, Seichan, and Kowalski, etc. are back trying to save the world from a deadly threat. This time it seems that they deadly plagues from the Bible could happen again.

This book did not have intense and wonderful thrilling feeling that the last book had. However, it was interesting to read, the idea that the plagues could have happened for real and the theory for it and I loved the historical part of the book that Rollins' included Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla in the story, although they did not have a large part in the whole story (unfortunately).


But, as much as I liked the idea, and enjoyed reading the book, is this not the strongest or the most interesting book I have read in this series and there are no weeping moments (like the ending of the last book in the series). The story was best towards the end when they were searching for a cure. But, Painter Crowe's mission on the Ellesmere Island that intertwined Pierce teams search for the cure was just not so interesting to read and the madman behind the whole thing was not a memorable villain.

The Seventh Plague, worked thanks to my love for biblical and historical mysteries. The story did not move me or enthralled me in the way I had hoped it would do. I did like the ending very much when Pierce team found something extraordinary in the jungle in Africa. That's the part I liked the most. I liked the book, but I did not love it. It's still well written and I'm really intrigued by the scientific part of the story, the theory about what could have set off the plagues all those years ago. 

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

The City of the Lost - Kelley Armstrong

Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want: She's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding—in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

 
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I was interested in reading the book from the first time I saw it. A town for people that needs to get away. A secret town in the middle of nowhere. It sounded bloody fantastic. But, sometimes my expectations are too high, and when it came to this book did I expect a more mysterious and darker story.
 
Now, I don't say that the City of the Lost is a bad book, it started off interestingly with Casey and her friend Diana needing to get away, especially Diana after she once again had problems with her ex-boyfriend who beat her badly. Casey's problem is a bit more complicated, she killed a man when she was in college and have since then been waiting for the day the past would catch up with her. And, now it seems that it has happened. For them is Rockton a perfect solution, although Casey because of her past has a hard time getting approved for going to the town, in the end, is she allowed, but there are some conditions for her and one of the reasons they agree to accept her is because they need a homicide detective to solve a murder.
 
It's in Rockton that I felt the story started to drag now and then, it just went on and on, sometimes it felt that the investigation didn't go anywhere. I was also a bit disappointed with the town, it felt that it was just really bad people there and if you were a woman then you had to watch out (I think I had a town like the one in Pines (Wayward Pines by Blake Crouch in mind, normal but mysterious). There were some promising things with the story, the rumors about cannibals were interesting, it just never becomes much more than a rumor. Then, the obvious and expected romance occurred (I have read reviews of the books so I was prepared), and it took more time away from the investigations, but at the same time was it an important part of the story that I can't discuss since it would spoiler the book.
 
The ending, well it was good, perhaps not fantastically good, but Casey did solve the murder and all. She also discovered some secrets that someone close to her had kept and I loved the confrontation between Casey and this person.
 
So, City of the Lost did not turn out to be this fantastic book I had hoped for. It was more of a bumpy ride with both ups and downs. Would I read the next book? Yes, I would! I did enjoy more of the book than I disliked. I just hope the next book will have a less bumpy ride.

The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood

The Green Mill Murder: A Phryne Fisher Mystery - Kerry Greenwood

Phryne Fisher is doing one of her favorite things --dancing at the Green Mill (Melbourne's premier dance hall) to the music of Tintagel Stone's Jazzmakers, the band who taught St Vitus how to dance. And she's wearing a sparkling lobelia-coloured georgette dress. Nothing can flap the unflappable Phryne--especially on a dance floor with so many delectable partners. Nothing except death, that is.

The dance competition is trailing into its last hours when suddenly, in the middle of "Bye Bye Blackbird" a figure slumps to the ground. No shot was heard. Phryne, conscious of how narrowly the missile missed her own bare shoulder, back, and dress, investigates.

This leads her into the dark smoky jazz clubs of Fitzroy, into the arms of eloquent strangers, and finally into the the sky, as she follows a complicated family tragedy of the great War and the damaged men who came back from ANZAC cove.

Phryne flies her Gypsy Moth Rigel into the Australian Alps, where she meets a hermit with a dog called Lucky and a wombat living under his bunk....and risks her life on the love between brothers.


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The Green Mill Murder is book five in the Phryne Fisher series and you can read them as stand-alone's, although you probably will get a better insight into the characters by reading from the beginning. I have so far read all but one prior to this book, but I have also seen the TV-series. And, have you seen the TV-series will you definitely both have a familiar feeling reading these books, but also feel that so much is different. And, the one thing I miss most of all is the flirtatious relationship between Phryne and Detective Jack Robinson. In this book, at least he was present for a little while, although I would have loved for him to have had a larger part.

As for the murder case at the Green Mill was it pretty easy to figure out how the man was murdered and I had an inkling to whom the murderer was. But, I was still a bit surprised when it all came together at the end. I may have guessed the murder weapon and the murderer, but I did have the whole picture. But, the part that I found myself liking the best was the later part of the book when Phryne flies into the Australian Alps looking for a man who wandered off years ago, left his family and civilization and become a hermit. The milieu that was described made me yearn to travel to Australia.

 

As for the hermit, I did wonder how long it would take for Phryne to seduce him since well, she has a knack for that. Did she seduce him? Well, I guess you have to read the book since I'm not giving the answer away!

The Green Mill Murder was an easygoing cozy mystery book, and I felt it was perfect for the moment. Sometimes I need something light between heavier books. And this worked like a charm!

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

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

SWEDISH REVIEW


Spänningens mästare levererar en chockerande thriller om lögnens makt och förbannelse.

Främlingen dyker upp från ingenstans. Hans identitet och motiv är okända. Men informationen han bär på är obestridlig. Han viskar några ord i ditt öra och försvinner medan din värld rasar samman. Adam Price är gift med en vacker kvinna, har två underbara söner, ett välbetalt jobb och ett stort hus. Han har ett perfekt liv tills han möter främlingen. Snart inser Adam att hans äktenskap är baserat på en mörk lögn, och han dras in i en konspiration där människoliv står på spel.

Främlingen skildrar på ett skrämmande sätt vilka krafter som kan släppas lösa när den lögn som våra liv bygger på plötsligt avslöjas. Det är en mörk thriller om människans behov att uppnå sina mål till vilket pris som helst.

 
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Harlan Coben har lyckats igen. Det skulle jag kunna inleda varje recension med har jag en känsla av. Men så är Harlan Coben en av mina favoritförfattare och det finns ett väldigt bra skäl till till varför det är så och det är för att han om och om skriver fantastisk bra böcker. Främlingen är inget undantag, den börjar kolossalt bra med att en främling kommer fram till Adam Price och berättar en hemlighet som Adams fru har och Adam vill inte tro på främlingens ord men långsamt förgiftar det hans sinne och till slut måste han konfrontera henne och det blir starten på en spännande och förbryllande thriller.

Nu vill jag inte på något sätt avslöja handlingen i denna bok, Främlingen är en bok som bör läsas utan tidigare vetskap om vad som kommer att hända. Men jag vill poängtera att boken är oerhört intressant och att Harlan Cobens förmåga att skapa intressanta karaktärer är som vanligt på topp. Jag läste nästan klart boken samma dag jag fick boken, men tyvärr var jag tvungen att arbeta dagen efter så jag fick vänta med slutet till dagen efter. Det enda med boken jag saknade var ett mer wow slut. Inte för att slutet på något sätt var dåligt, men jag kände att det saknade det lilla extra.

Främlingen kan sälla sig till resten av Harlan Cobens grupp av fantastiska thrillers. Personligen så anser jag att om man ska välja en thrillerförfattare att läsa så är Coben val nummer 1!

 
Tack till Bookmarks förlag för recensionsexemplaret!
 
ENGLISH REVIEW

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream - a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corrine, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corrine's deception, and realises that if he doesn't make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he's stumbled into will not only ruin lives - it will end them.



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Harlan Coben has once again done it! I have a feeling I could start any review with that when it comes to Coben's books. But, then again Harlan Coben is one of my favorite writers and there is a very good reason for it and that is his ability to over and over write great books. The Stranger is no exception, it starts tremendously good with a stranger telling Adam Price a secret that Adam's wife has and Adam does not want to believe the stranger's words, but slowly it is poisoning it his mind and finally he must confront her and that becomes the start of an exciting and intriguing thriller.
 
Now I will not in any way reveal the plot of this book, the Stranger is a book that should be read with no prior knowledge of what was going to happen. But I want to point out that the book is extremely interesting and Harlan Coben's ability to create interesting characters are as usual on top. I almost finished the book the same day I got it, but unfortunately, I had to work the day after so I had to wait to finish it to the day after. The only thing with the book that I felt was missing was a more wow ending. Not that the end was somehow bad, but I felt it lacked that little extra.
 
The Stranger can join the rest of Harlan Coben's group of amazing thrillers. Personally, I think that if you have to choose a thriller writer to read is so Coben choice number 1!
 

Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy!

Olmec Obituary by L.J.M. Owen

Olmec Obituary (Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth Book 1) - David L. Owen

Archaeologist Dr Elizabeth Pimms thoroughly enjoys digging up old skeletons.

But when she is called home from Egypt after a family loss, she has to sacrifice her passions for the sake of those around her.

Attempting to settle into her new role as a librarian, while also missing her boyfriend, Elizabeth is distracted from her woes by a new mystery: a royal Olmec cemetery, discovered deep in the Mexican jungle, with a 3000-year-old ballplayer who just might be a woman.

She soon discovers there are more skeletons to deal with than those covered in dirt and dust.

Suitable for readers young and old, Olmec Obituary is the first novel in a delightful cosy crime series: Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth. Really cold cases.

 
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For some reason did I not expect Olmec Obituary to take place in present time. I thought it would take place at the beginning of the 20th century. It's odd how a cover and the blurb can make you expect something else than what you get.
 
I'm actually a bit surprised that this book is labeled cozy crime because that's not the feeling I got when I read the book. Sure there are no sex scenes and not much violence, but it felt too serious to be a cozy crime book. Sure it had its funny moments, but most of the time it had a serious tone, especially since the main character and her family is recovering from a death in the family and Elizabeth herself has had to give up on her career as an archaeologist to support her family. So, she's not always a happy camper. But I guess since it's not many bloody murder scenes sprinkled in the book can one see this book as a cozy crime novel.
 
Olmec Obituary is a page-turner. I started to read the book in the evening and finished in the middle of the night. I came to enjoy Elizabeth Pimms and her family quite much and the flashbacks 3000 years ago to the life of the skeletons Emily is examining adds drama to the story. What was is that killed all those people and will Elizabeth get to the bottom of the mystery?
 
This is definitely a new favorite series of mine. I was intrigued by the mystery with the skeletons and Elizabeth's problem with both her family and work kept my interest up from the beginning until the end of the book. It was such a splendid book.
 
Olmec Obituary is one of those books that I hoped would be entertaining to read, but in the end, surpassed my expectations. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!

The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

The Fire by Night - Teresa Messineo

A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight—a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.

 
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The Fire by Night is a book that really shows the dark side of WW2. The book as two POV, first we have Jo McMahon who is stuck tending six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. She had to do this all alone after bombs destroyed the hospital convoy she would have traveled with and to make it all worse is the unit close to the Germans. Her friend Kay is trapped in a Japanese POW camp in Manila. Both of them have gone through so much and in flashbacks we get to see what happened to them, both during the nurse training as well events before the predicaments they are in now. It's a story about heartache and of losses, but it's also a story about friendship.

I found The Fire by Night to be an engaging and strong book. The characters are well-developed and it's hard not to feel for them and all they have gone through in life and all they have to go through before the war is over. There is a moment in the beginning of the book when Jo realizes that the American soldiers are not as they appear in the movies, they are not always a charming Gary Grant type, they can be quite unpleasant and rude and that felt so good to read. Well, not that they can be assholes, but that not everything is black and white. It doesn't feel like a glamorized WW2 novel with no depth and flat characters. This book feels real and everything the go through feels real.

I'm deeply impressed with this book and I hope that Teresa Messineo writes more books like this.

 

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

Cast Iron by Peter May

Cast Iron: Enzo Macleod 6 (The Enzo Files) - Peter  May

West of France, 1989.

A weeping killer deposits the unconscious body of nineteen year old Lucie Martin, her head wrapped in a blue plastic bag, into the water of a picturesque lake.

Lot-et-Garonne, 2003.

Fourteen years later a summer heatwave parches the earth, killing trees and bushes and drying out streams. In the scorched mud and desiccated slime of the lake a fisherman finds a skeleton wearing a bag over its skull.

Paris, October 2011.

In an elegant apartment in Paris, forensic expert Enzo Macleod pores over the scant evidence of this, the sixth cold case he has been challenged to solve. In taking on this old and seemingly impossible task he will put everything and everyone he holds dear in a peril he could never have imagined.


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Once again I read the latest book in a series, and part of my wonder why on earth that I have not read any of the previous books? Especially since I love Peter May's Lewis trilogy.

Cast Iron is book six in the Enzo file series. Forensic expert Enzo Macleod made a bet to solve cold cases that journalist Roger Raffin has written about in a book, which includes the murder of Roger's wife Marie. In this, the sixth book is the murder of nineteen-year-old Lucie Martin that Enzo is trying to solve. However, it's a difficult case, and it gets personal when someone goes after someone Enzo loves.

I think that Peter May really have a talent for creating interesting characters and the Scottish-Italian Enzo Macload is a really fascinating character. He is a very good forensic expert with a very messy family situation. A baby with a woman that seems to loathe him (for some unknown reason), two daughters, Kristy who has a child with Raffin and Sophie who is not really his daughter after they found out that Enzo's ex-wife had an affair with his best friend. So, Enzo must also deal with a lot of personal stuff during the books progress.

I like the progress of the story, how Enzo starts off with Lucie Martin's murder, but soon realize that the case is bigger than just the one killing and the man suspected of killing Lucie, a serial killer who killed three prostitutes may or may not be Lucie's killer. The ending was really thrilling and intense. And I loved that there was a twist in the end that I did not foresee. I did think that the ending felt a bit too easy that there must be a game change and I was right, I just didn't see the one coming.

I really like the book and I hope to get the chance to read the previous five books some day!

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

 

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

A Promise of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

Catalia "Cat" Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

 
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I freely admit that I was quite captivated with the cover when I first saw it and the interesting description sealed the deal. How could I not say yes to this blog tour? I also freely admit that I was a bit worried that the romance part would take over the story, but thankfully it was not the dominant part of the book. Although I had some issues with it. But, more about that later.

A Promise of Fire is the first book in the series about Catalia "Cat" Fisa (Btw Fisa in Swedish means farting and I was a bit amused by that) who the last eight years have been running away from her past and her terrible mother. Now a warlord has found her and decided that she is what his family's newly conquered realm needs since she is the Kingmaker. She doesn't go with him willingly instead he kidnaps her with treats of hurting her friends. What he doesn't know that she is protected by the Gods themselves...

I must admit that I came to like Cat quite a lot while reading this boo. She had a terrible childhood and have many scares (physically and psychically) from that. And, all she want is to stay away from her mother. Enter Griffin, a man so infuriating that she can't help starting to like him and his team of men that would fight and die for him. I do love the banter throughout the book, the book was much more amusing than I thought it would be. Also, it was way darker than I had expected. But, what really made me enjoy this book was the Greek mythology that was incorporated into the story, for instance, is Cat's friend Selene the mistress of Hades och Cat herself is protected by Poseidon. As the story progress, you realize that Cat has a purpose and that the Gods seem to have a plan for her.

Now, as I mentioned in the beginning of the review was I worried about the romance part and yes there is a lot of sexual tension between Cat and Griffin all through the book, but I can't say that it bothered me that much. It was a bit refreshing to have Cat not giving in early on in the book to Griffin. However, I found Griffin to be a bit stereotypical when it came to being a male hero. With his attitude and his jealousy. And, that's fine if that's what you are looking for, but for me is this just the kind of male that bores me a bit when I read books. While Cat felt multilayered with all her problems did Griffin tend to play the typical strong male lead. And, that was just too bad. Also, there is a very explicit sex scene in the end of the book, and frankly it went on just a bit too long because, in the end, I grew bored with it and just wanted it to be over so that the story could continue to progress.

All and all did I like this book and I would definitely recommend this book to people that like to read fantasy romance and I definitely want to read the next book!
 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Cover Crush: The Weight of Night by Christine Carbo

 
For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!



In the magnificent and brutal terrain of Glacier National Park, a devastating forest fire reveals a long ago crime that may be connected to the recent disappearance of a young boy, from the award-winning author of The Wild Inside and Mortal Fall—perfect for fans of Nevada Barr and C.J. Box.

In a land sculpted by glaciers, the forest is on fire. Thick smoke chokes the mountain air and casts a twilight glow over the imposing mountains and vistas of Montana’s Glacier National Park. When firefighters are called in to dig fuel line breaks near the small town bordering the park, a crewmember is shocked to unearth a shallow grave containing human remains.

Park Police Officer Monty Harris is summoned to the site to conduct an excavation. But with a 2,500-degree incendiary monster threatening to barrel through the town and no forensic detective on hand, Monty must work outside protocol. So he seeks help from Gretchen Larson, the county’s lead crime scene investigator, and someone on whom Monty feels he can rely.

The two are working against the clock to determine the true identity of the victim when a teenager suddenly disappears from one of the campgrounds in Glacier. Could the cases somehow be connected? As chances for recovery of the missing boy grow slimmer and the FBI finds only dead ends, Gretchen and Monty desperately race to fit all the pieces together in time.

The Weight of Night is Christine Carbo’s latest book in a series which “paints a moving picture of complex, flawed people fighting to make their way in a wilderness where little is black or white” (Publishers Weekly). This gripping thriller is a tribute to the power of family, set against one of America’s most majestic and unforgiving landscapes.
 
 
The Weight of Night: A Novel of Suspense
Christine Carbo
Atria Books (Simon & Schuster)
FRONTLIST | June 6, 2017
ISBN 9781501156236, 1501156233
Trade Paperback | 304 pages 
Fiction / Crime
 
Some thoughts about the cover:
 
What I love about this cover is the glorious combination of black, red and yellow. The forest fire looks devastating and it really suits the book's description. Also, the font feels appropriate, clean cut, not and strong. It has stability and perfectly suits the background image.   
 
Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:
 

The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry - Jane Harper

A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

 
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Right now I'm sitting and waiting for the coffee to be ready so that I can write a really good review. Or rather so that I can write a review with proper sentences because I'm struggling to start this review in a perfect way. Not that there is anything wrong with the book, on the contrary, it's more how can I describe this book in a good way so that everyone will know how great the book is.

Let's see, now I have coffee, hope it will work its magic on me. The Dry is the kind of books that instantly looks intriguing, from the great cover to the intriguing description of the book. And, I have as far as I know, never read a thriller set in Australia before, which was a wonderful change. And add the drought which makes everyone a little bit on the edge in this story.
 
A whole family is murdered and all the evidence points to the father killing them and then himself. But, is the case really so cut and dried? Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his hometown for the first time since he and his father was practically driven out of the town. He is there to see his old childhood friend Luke be laid to rest together with his wife and son. He can't understand what could drive Luke to kill hos own family. And, when he is asked by Lukes father and mother to look into the case does he so and while investigates the case does he also realize that the people living in the town have not forgotten or forgiven him for what they think he did all those years ago...

The Dry is a well-written thriller. The drought brings an extra tension to the story and Finn faces a lot of difficulties when he is trying to find out the truth about the murders. I was surprised towards the end of the book when Finn starts to realize what's going on because I really did not anticipate the turn it the story. This book was really great and I recommend it warmly!  

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

Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae

Plaid and Plagiarism - Molly MacRae

A murder in a garden turns the four new owners of Yon Bonnie Books into amateur detectives, in a captivating new cozy mystery novel from Molly MacRae.

Set in the weeks before the annual Inversgail Literature Festival in Scotland, Plaid and Plagiarism begins on a morning shortly after the four women take possession of their bookshop in the Highlands. Unfortunately, the move to Inversgail hasn’t gone as smoothly as they’d planned.

First, Janet Marsh is told she’ll have to wait before moving into her new home. Then she finds out the house has been vandalized. Again. The chief suspect? Una Graham, an advice columnist for the local paper—who’s trying to make a name for herself as an investigative reporter. When Janet and her business partners go looking for clues at the house, they find a body—it’s Una, in the garden shed, with a sickle in her neck. Janet never did like that garden shed.

Who wanted Una dead? After discovering a cache of nasty letters, Janet and her friends are beginning to wonder who didn’t, including Janet’s ex-husband. Surrounded by a cast of characters with whom readers will fall in love, the new owners of Yon Bonnie Books set out to solve Una’s murder so they can get back to business.

A delightful and deadly new novel about recognizing one’s strengths and weakness—while also trying to open a new book shop—Plaid and Plagiarism is the start of an entertaining new Scottish mystery series

 
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As this is a cozy mystery book there are lots of eccentric people and lots of humor, at least it tries to be humorous. However, I did find it hard to really enjoy PLAID AND PLAGIARISM. Despite the bookstore and all. Sure, there were moments that I enjoyed, a man and his dog that kept on disappearing throughout the book. One minute there, the next gone. The old lady that just showed up one day in the bookstore, not saying a word, just sitting there knitting. But, the mystery just never really got to me. I felt that, despite this being a fairly short book, it was hard for me to concentrate on the story.
 
READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!