720 Followers
178 Following
maddan3

It's a Mad Mad World

Currently reading

Manderley Forever
Tatiana de Rosnay
Follow Free counters!
France Book Tours
 photo badge_proreader.png  photo badge_top_reviewer.png Challenge Participant 80%

Quick Off the Mark by Susan Moody

Quick Off the Mark - Susan Moody

Alex Quick investigates the murder of a close family friend in this intriguing, intricately-plotted mystery"


In her former career as a police detective, Alex Quick was exposed to some brutally violent crimes but none as horrific as this. A badly mutilated corpse is discovered in a field, the victim castrated, the word cheat carved across his chest. The dead man was a close family friend of Alex, and his sister has asked her to find out who killed him and why. 

Although they d been friends as long as she can remember, how well did Alex really know the late Tristan Huber? Why would someone murder him in such a violent and cruel way? Whoever she questions, Alex finds that people are reluctant to talk, keeping things back from her including Tristan's sister, Dimsie. The more Alex uncovers, the clearer it becomes that Tristan Huber was not who, or what, he appeared to be. But is she prepared for the shocking truth?
 
********
 

This is the first book I have read about Alex Quick. I was intrigued by the cover and description and decided to give it a go. The book starts off with a close friend of Alex is found in a field tortured to death. And, the man's sister begs Alex to look into it since Alex used to be a cop. But, it's not that easy, Tristan, the dead man, seems to have many secrets, and then more people are getting murdered and Alex is at a loss to what they all have in common.

I got a strong Midsomer Murders vibe when I read this book. I could see how the old man is walking his dog when he spots the body, cut to the intro music, and then the murder investigation started. Well, of course, if Barnaby had been a woman, and not a policeman anymore. But, still. Alex had been a cop and just like in a Midsomer Murders episode the bodies started to pile up.


I quite liked reading the book. The story was engaging and interesting, and Alex was an easy character to like. And, one of her best friends; Sam is a hot single bookstore owner that seems to like her quite a lot. I wasn't sure about what who was behind all the murders until around the end when I started to see a pattern, or rather, suspect that I knew what linked all the murdered people together. Although I had some problem with the book, like for instance, I forgot one of the murdered men, I had to go back and reread a part in the beginning to fresh up my memory. It was a bit odd when the person was mentioned in the book and I was totally blank to whom the hell he was. But, then again, there were terribly many deaths. Also, like A Midsomer Murders episode was this book quite nice, but still I can't say that I found it to be that thrilling to read. It was an OK book, the characters didn't bother me, the case was interesting, but I was not entranced with the book.
 
I want to thank Severn House Publishers for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!

Cover Crush: In the Month of the Midnight Sun by Cecilia Ekbäck

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. 

***********
The cover for In the Month of the Midnight Sun by Cecilia Ekbäck caught my eye the other day. This is the English cover of the book, but I saw the Swedish version, which is pretty much the same, but as you can see there are some differences...

 
 
Description:
 
An orphaned boy brought up to serve the state as a man. A rich young woman incapable of living by the conventions of society. Neither is prepared for the journey into the heat, mystery, violence and disorienting perpetual daylight of the far North.
 
Stockholm 1856. 
 
Magnus is a geologist. When the Minister sends him to survey the distant but strategically vital Lapland region around Blackasen Mountain, it is a perfect cover for another mission: Magnus must investigate why one of the nomadic Sami people, native to the region, has apparently slaughtered in cold blood a priest, a law officer and a settler in their rectory. 
 
Is there some bigger threat afoot? Blackasen seems to be a place of many secrets. 
 
But the Minister has more than a professional tie to Magnus, and at the last moment, he adds another responsibility. Disgusted by the wayward behaviour of his daughter Lovisa - Magnus's sister-in law - the Minister demands that Magnus take her with him on his arduous journey. 
 
Thus the two unlikely companions must venture out of the sophisticated city, up the coast and across country, to the rough-hewn religion and politics of the settler communities, the mystical, pre-Christian ways of the people who have always lived on this land, and the strange, compelling light of the midnight sun. 
 
For Lovisa and Magnus, nothing can ever be the same again.
 

***********
 
Check out this week's cover crush over at 
 
Flashlight Commentary
 
 
Layered Pages
 
The Maidens Court

Arton grader minus (Eighteen Degrees Minus) by Stefan Ahnhem (SWE/ENG)

SWEDISH REVIEW

 

En bil kör ut över kajkanten i Helsingborgs hamn efter en våldsam biljakt. Allt pekar på att det var en olycka, men när föraren, en it-entreprenör som gjort sig en förmögenhet på mobilspel, obduceras visar det sig att han redan varit död i två månader då han hållits nedfryst.

Det är vår och nästan två år har passerat sedan händelserna i Offer utan ansikte. På Helsingborgs kriminalavdelning har det varit ovanligt lugnt. Fabian Risk har kunnat ägna det mesta av sin energi åt att lappa ihop sin familj. Men även om varken han eller någon av hans kolleger skulle säga det högt börjar de bli uttråkade, och när det märkliga fallet med den nedfrusna miljonären landar på deras bord känner de alla samma sak: Äntligen händer det något.

Rakt över sundet har Dunja Hougaard tvingats ta på sig uniformen igen i sitt nya jobb som ordningspolis i Helsingör. Men när en hemlös utsätts för en så pass brutal misshandel att han avlider kan hon inte hålla sig från att dra igång en egen utredning där spåren snart leder till Helsingborg.

Fabian och hans team kämpar mot klockan i en utredning där ingenting visar sig vara som det ser ut. Snart vågar han inte längre lita på sitt eget omdöme, och finner de inte lösningen kommer snart nästa offer att hamna i frysen.

Arton grader minus är en gastkramande och suggestiv kriminalroman om jakten på en iskall mördare. Det är den tredje fristående delen i serien om Fabian Risk efter de internationella succéerna Offer utan ansikte och Den nionde graven.

 
**********
 

Arton grader minus är den första boken jag har läst i Fabian Risk serien, men jag har hört mycket gott om serien. Nu är det alltid lite vanskligt att börja läsa mitt i en serie, men har man tur så är boken lätt att komma in i och man blir intresserad av att läsa föregående böcker. Arton grader minus handling var intressant i och med att det första offret de hittar har varit död i 2 månader men att någon har använt sig av hans identitet under den tiden. Frågan är har detta hänt tidigare och kommer det hända igen? I Danmark kämpar Dunja Hougaard med att anpassa sig till sitt nya jobb. Efter att ha förfalskad sin chefs namnteckning miste hon sitt jobb och blev degraderad. Men, kanske kan hennes nya fall få henne på fötter igen?

 
Arton grader minus är en intressant bok, men jag hade vissa svårigheter med boken, och det allra största var att jag fann karaktärerna en aning flata och ointressanta. Hela delen med Dunja Hougaard kändes i stort sett som en helt annan bok och det var första på slutet som en viss koppling anknöts till fallet i Sverige, eller snarare till Fabian Risk. Och sorry, men Dunja och hennes ex-chefs vendetta mot henne känns som gammal skåpsmat och ett till synes ointressant sådant. Då var fallet med den nedfrysta kroppen mer intressant, men den delen av boken förstördes också en aning av det tråkiga sidospåret med Fabians son Theodore som till sår dela ömkade sig.
 
Allt i allt, inte en helt perfekt bok, men jag gillar sista delen av boken när allting började dra ihop sig och intressant vändningar i handlingen uppstod. 
 

Tack Bokförlaget Forum for recensionsexemplaret!

 
ENGLISH REVIEW
 
A car drives out of the quayside in the port of Helsingborg after a violent car chase. Everything indicates that it was an accident, but when the driver, an IT entrepreneur who made a fortune in mobile games, is autopsied is it revealed that he had already been dead for two months and that he has been kept frozen.

It is spring and almost two years have passed since the events in Victim Without a Face. In Helsingborg, the criminological department has been unusually quiet. Fabian Risk has been able to devote most of his energy to patch up things with his family. But even if neither he nor any of his colleagues would say it out loud, are they starting to get bored, and when the strange case of the frozen millionaire lands on their table they all feel the same thing: At last something is happening.

Straight across the strait in Denmark have Dunja Hougaard put on her uniform again in her new job as a community police in Elsinore. But when a homeless person is subjected to such a brutal beating that he dies, can she not stop herself from launching her own investigation where the tracks soon lead to Helsingborg.

Fabian and his team must race against the time in an investigation where nothing turns out to be as it looks. Soon, he dares no longer trust their own judgment, and if they don't find a solution soon will the next victim soon end up in a freezer.
 
**********
 
Eighteen Degrees Minus is the first book I have read in the Fabian Risk series, but I have heard very good things about the series. Now, it is always a bit risky to start reading in the middle of a series, but if you're lucky, is the book easy to get into and you become interested to read the previous books. The story was interesting in that the first victim they find have been dead for two months, but that someone has used his identity during that time. The question is has this happened before and will it happen again? In Denmark, is Dunja Hougaard struggling to adapt to her new job. She lost her job and was demoted after forging her boss's signature. But, perhaps her new case will get her on her feet again?
 
Eighteen degrees minus is an interesting book, but I had some difficulties with the book, and the biggest was that I found the characters a little too flat and uninteresting. The storyline with Dunja Hougaard felt almost like a completely different book and it was the first at the end as the storyline was linked to the case in Sweden, or rather to Fabian Risk. And sorry, but Dunya and her ex-boss vendetta against her feel like it's been done so many times before and it was pretty uninteresting to read about. The case with the frozen body was much more interesting, but not even that storyline was perfect as it contained a tedious side track with Fabian's son Theodore who spent his time moaning about his awful life.
 
All in all, not a perfect book, but I like the last part of the book when everything began to come together and interesting twists in the plot occurred.
 

Thanks Bokförlaget Forum for the review copy!

 

Love Volume 4: The Dinosaur by Frédéric Brrémaud

Love Volume 4: The Dinosaur - Frederic Brremaud

Life in the primordial swamps of prehistoric Earth was a daily trial of survival, especially for the smaller dinosaurs just trying to get by without being trampled, attacked, or eaten. Not even the biggest beasts were safe, as there always seemed to be an even bigger threat looming on the horizon. This exciting tale, written by Frederic Brremaud, is told without narration or dialogue, conveyed entirely through the beautiful illustrations of Federico Bertolucci. A beautiful, powerful tale of survival in the animal kingdom that explores the all-too-identifiable, universal concepts of Life, Courage, Aging, and ultimately Love.

The fourth volume in the lavishly illustrated series of wildlife graphic novels, each following a single central animal through an adventurous day in their natural environment. Each tale depicts genuine natural behavior through the dramatic lens of Disney-esque storytelling, like a nature documentary in illustration.

 
**********
 

I love this series of graphic novels. This is the fourth and I tell you it's a pure joy "reading" each of them. The graphic is fantastic and it's hard not to be caught up with the story or feel sorry for the animals that don't survive. And, the ending of this book ... well, it's heartbreaking.

 
 
 
 
 

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

 
 

The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose

The Secret Language of Stones - M J Rose

Nestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family.

 
**********
 

The Secret Language of Stones is the sequel to The Witch of Painted Sorrows. In this book, we get to meet Opaline, the daughter of Sandrine who was the main character in the previous book. And just like Sandrine is Opaline a Daughter of La Lune, a descendant from La Lune, the famous courtesans from the sixteenth century Paris.

I read the first book last year and I found it intriguing and looked forward getting the chance to read this one. However, it has taken me forever to get to this book, despite having had this book for a long while. But, the third book will be released next year so I thought I should take the time to read this one. And, I liked this one just as much as I liked the first one. I like the whole La Lune storyline, with women being descended from her with different abilities, like Opaline who can read stones and by doing that receiving messages from the dead. And, now in the time of war is that a gift that is a comfort too many,

The story in this book is about Opaline embracing her gift, she has long struggled with her gifts, wanting to be normal, and she has never really accepted her abilities fully. But, now she faces many difficulties, she finds herself in love with a fallen soldier, and a daughter of La Lune can only love once. Is she doomed to love a man that she can never have? And, the world is in turmoil and perhaps she can help the Romanov dowager empress find out what happened to her grandchildren...

The Secret Language of Stones is a sensual, well-written story about a woman that has to face many obstacles in her quest to find herself. I did suspect the ending, it felt very predictable, but I still liked it because I wanted just that ending for Opaline.

It was a good book, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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

The Top 15 books of 2016

 
My Top 10 books of 2016 quickly turned into top 15 instead of 10 when I started to go through the books I've read. It could just as easily have been top 20, but I had to draw a line somewhere. The books are in no particular order because that would just mean hours of agony and indecision. So, on to the books: 
 
 

From New York Times bestselling author and famed former Manhattan prosecutor Linda Fairstein comes a chilling new Alexandra Cooper novel, Entombed, in which Alex matches wits with the master of detective fiction himself-Edgar Allan Poe...

 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 

Sometimes I wish that she’d just leave me in peace . . .

Psychologist Evi is worried about one of her patients – a woman who is convinced her little girl is still alive. Two years after the fire that burnt their house down.

Meanwhile, the new vicar in town is feeling strangely unwelcome. Disturbing events seem designed to scare him away.

And a young boy keeps seeing a strange, solitary girl playing in the churchyard. Who is she and what is she trying to tell him?

READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
Media calls him "The Birthday boy" because he kidnappers girls just before they turn thirteen and then he sends pictures of them home to their families showing how he slowly tortures them to death. Every year they get a new card. 5 years ago Detective Constable Ash Henderson's daughter Rebecca was kidnapped. One year later get a card, but he keeps that a secret for his colleagues and because if they would know would he not be able to stay on the investigation...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
From the bestselling author of Girl in Translation, a novel about a young woman torn between her family duties in Chinatown and her escape into the world of ballroom dancing...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 



West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter...

 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
Mary Russell is used to dark secrets—her own, and those of her famous partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes. Trust is a thing slowly given, but over the course of a decade together, the two have forged an indissoluble bond...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.

But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade...

 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 

Lorena "Hick" Hickok is assigned to cover Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1932 political campaign. This is the start of a love story that would last for years, despite long periods of separations and the fact that Eleanor Roosevelt was to become The First Lady of United States. But, this love story could not last. Madame, that Hick so lovingly called Eleanor could never become someone anonymous again, even after FDR death.
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
In her storied career as a Texas Ranger, Caitlin has confronted all manner of villains, but nothing that’s prepared her for the terrorist group ISIS’s pursuit of a devastating weapon on Lone Star State soil. The land in question lies on an Indian reservation where a drilling operation steeped in mystery and controversy is about to commence under the auspices of shadowy billionaire Cray Rawls...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked...

READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 


Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family, she's rumored to have inherited a vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë's literary estate; diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that's never been shown outside of the family.,,

 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 

The dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 


A five-year-old boy from a remote farm on the plains of Skåne disappear late one summer evening in 1983. The only trail after him is a shoe in the tall corn fields. 

Although the whole neighborhood gets involved in the search do they not find him, and rumors and suspicions spread quickly. And, the clumsy criminal investigation is, in the end, closed down when they can't find the boy, and the grief and uncertainty get the boy's family to slowly fall apart.


READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
Thoughts and honorable mentions:
 

The hardest part was I found other really great books while making this list. But, I decided when I made this list that I would not change since it would only make everything messy. And, soon I would be up in Top 25 instead of top 15...;)

But, I would like to mention some really great books that I read during 2016 that I found to be brilliant: Dead Man Walking by Simon R. Green, Arrowood by Laura McHugh, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, Melody Bittersweet and The Girls' Ghostbusting Agency by Kitty French and Redemption Road by John Hart...Honestly I could go on and list all my 5-star books, but instead just check out my Goodreads page!

Harley Quinn, Vol. 5: The Joker's Last Laugh by Amanda Conner

Harley Quinn Vol. 5: The Joker's Last Laugh - Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti

Mason Macabre is more than just Harley Quinn s neighbor in her new Coney Island digs he just might be the man of her dreams. But to save his life, she ll have to face the clown of her nightmares!
With Harley and her gang of merry maidens battling to keep innocents out of the crossfire of her enemies latest vendetta, Mason s been whisked away to the one place our hellacious heroine never wanted to set foot in again: Arkham Asylum. Inside its horrific halls, Mason is at the tender mercies of none other than the Joker and Harley and the Clown Prince of Crime have had the mother of all bad break-ups. 


Will she and the madman who helped make her what she is kiss and make up long enough for her new beau to escape with his life? Or this time, will the joke be on Harley Quinn for good?
It s the reunion you ve been waiting for! Courtesy of acclaimed creative team Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, HARLEY QUINN VOL. 5: THE JOKER S LAST LAUGH proves that when it comes to true love, Harley s not joking around! Collects issue #22-25 of the ongoing series and the special issue, HARLEY QUINN: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR."
 
*********
 

The problem with waiting let's say around two months to write a review is that the memory is a bit hazy. However, there are some things that I do remember from this volume and that's that I was disappointed that the Joker was hardly in it especially when you see the cover and read the description and the description pretty much tells you what will happen. They fight and break up. Ta da! I liked the last part of the volume best, with Harley finding a genie...hilarious.

That doesn't mean that the volume is bad, I did like it, I found it amazing and it was a hell of a lot better than the previous volume. The art is, as usual, good as well. I had when I start to read a comic and the change the artist along the way and ruin everything. But with Harley Quinn, is the art pretty much always good!

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

Cover Crush: The Library of Light and Shadow by M. J. Rose

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. 

***********

Sometimes I'm really lucky when it comes to picking a Cover Crush, while other times I have to search a while for the right one. This week's cover crush pretty much "fell into my lap" and I knew that it would be the one I pick! I always find the covers for M. J. Rose books entrancing and this one is not an exception!

Description:
 
In this riveting and richly drawn novel from “one of the master storytellers of historical fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams), a talented young artist flees New York for Paris after one of her scandalous drawings reveals a dark secret—and triggers a terrible tragedy.

In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L’École des Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning “shadow portraits” that frequently expose her subjects’ most scandalous secrets. Most nights Delphine doesn’t mind that her gift has become mere entertainment—a party trick—for the fashionable crowd.

Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine’s mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine renounces her gift and returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian who attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calvé, who is obsessed with the writings of the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before.

Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions everything and everyone she loves the most—her art, her magick, her family, and Mathieu—in an effort to accept them as the gifts they are. Only there can she shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open.


***********
 
Check out this week's cover crush over at 
 
Flashlight Commentary
 
2 Kids and Tired Books
 
 
The Maidens Court

The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine

The House Between Tides - Sarah Maine

An atmospheric debut novel about a woman who discovers the century-old remains of a murder victim on her family’s Scottish estate, plunging her into an investigation of its mysterious former occupants.

Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux leaves London and her strained relationship behind for Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. She intends to renovate the ruinous house into a hotel, but the shocking discovery of human remains brings her ambitious restoration plans to an abrupt halt before they even begin. Few physical clues are left to identify the body, but one thing is certain: this person did not die a natural death.

Hungry for answers, Hetty discovers that Muirlan was once the refuge of her distant relative Theo Blake, the acclaimed painter and naturalist who brought his new bride, Beatrice, there in 1910. Yet ancient gossip and a handful of leads reveal that their marriage was far from perfect; Beatrice eventually vanished from the island, never to return, and Theo withdrew from society, his paintings becoming increasingly dark and disturbing.

What happened between them has remained a mystery, but as Hetty listens to the locals and studies the masterful paintings produced by Theo during his short-lived marriage, she uncovers secrets that still reverberate through the small island community—and will lead her to the identity of the long-hidden body.

 
*********
 

The House Between Tides is one of those books that I have wanted to read for a long time, I just never got the time for it. But, I've decided to go through my ARC's and read the ones that I've been meaning to read. And, I started with this one.

The House Between Tides title, description, and cover captured my imagination. The discovery of a hidden body that's been buried for decades is not the start Hetty had counted on when she arrives at the old house she has inherited. And, her restoration plan seems to fall to pieces too. However, she can't help being fascinated by whom the body could be and bit by bit will she discover deep dark buried secrets...

The book's story takes place both during 1910 and 2010 and I found both time frames fascinating to read about. Sarah Maine has written a captivating tale about forbidden love, regrets and how memories can consume one's life. Some secrets are perhaps not that surprising, but all and all was this book quite intriguing. The only drawback was that now and then did I feel a bit impatient with the story, not bored, I just wanted the characters to get some things to grip, like Hetty telling Giles off or Beatrice realizing why Theo was so obsessed with Cameron (which was pretty obvious why). I loved the books scenery. I could really picture the island and its wildlife.

But, the ending was perfect, tragic, but at the same time uplifting and I'm looking forward to reading more from Sarah Maine in the future.

 

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

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood

Death at Victoria Dock: A Phryne Fisher Mystery (Phryne Fisher Mysteries (Paperback)) (Paperback) - Common - By (author) Kerry Greenwood

Driving home late one night, Phryne Fisher is surprised when someone shoots out her windscreen. When she alights she finds a pretty young man with an anarchist tattoo dying on the tarmac just outside the dock gates. He bleeds to death in her arms, and all over her silk shirt.

Enraged by the loss of the clothing, the damage to her car, and this senseless waste of human life, Phryne promises to find out who is responsible. But she doesn't yet know how deeply into the mire she'll have to go: bank robbery, tattoo parlours, pubs, spiritualist halls, and anarchists.

Along this path, Phryne meets Peter, a scarred but delectable wharfie who begins to unfold the mystery of who would need a machine gun in Melbourne. But when someone kidnaps her cherished companion, Dot, Phryne will stop at nothing to retrieve her.


**********
 
I was introduced to the lovely Phryne Fisher book series by the TV series. However, I just must point out that, despite liking the books my heart has been captivated by the TV series and I deeply, very deeply miss Detective Inspector Jack Robinson in this book. Now, he doesn't have a prominent role in the book series that have in the TV series and that is regrettable. At least that's how I feel.
 
Now, how about this book? I did enjoy reading this cozy mystery series. I quite like Phryne Fisher and those around her; her adopted daughters Jane and Ruth, and Bert and Cec that are working for her. And of course Dot, her assistant, and friend. In this book, we are also introduced to Hugh Collins who is playing a large part in Dot's life in the TV series. It will be interesting to see the book's version of their relationship. I did feel that the book's story was familiar, it has probably been made into an episode, but I didn't mind it because it was quite entertaining to read the book. Although I found the missing young girl a bit more interesting to read about than the dead anarchist. Not, that the storyline was uninteresting. I was just more intrigued by the lost girl and the secret she knew. 
 
All and all, a nice interesting story and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books I have yet to read in this series!
 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

The River at Night - Erica Ferencik

'A thought came to me that I couldn't force away: What we are wearing is how we'll be identified out in the wilderness.'

Win Allen doesn't want an adventure.

After a miserable divorce and the death of her beloved brother, she just wants to spend some time with her three best friends, far away from her soul-crushing job. But athletic, energetic Pia has other plans.

Plans for an adrenaline-raising, breath-taking, white-water rafting trip in the Maine wilderness. Five thousand square miles of remote countryside. Just mountains, rivers and fresh air.

No phone coverage. No people.

No help…

 
**********


This will not be a long review. I just want to explain why I did not find this book enjoyable. And, it's because I really, really disliked the 4 main female characters in the book. I can take, the whole being stranded in a forest away from people and having to get back to civilization while facing dangerous situations. I love stuff like that. What I can't deal with are stupid characters. I honestly should have stopped reading the book, when O read that they spent 45 min in the car trying to find a toilet whiles driving through a forest.

Thre are many, many moments through the book when I wanted to either give up or throw something heavy on a character, but I managed to finish the book. Yes, I did start to skim a bit (or very much) towards the end just to put me out of the misery. I should have listened to reason and stopped after 30%, but I'm just a tenacious idiot sometimes...

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

Garden of Stars by Rose Alexander

Garden of Stars: A gripping novel of hope, family and love across the ages - Rose Alexander

The Alentejo, Portugal 1934
I am Inês Bretão and I am 18 years old. Now that I am finally an adult and soon to be married, I feel like my real life is about to begin. I have decided to document everything that happens to me, for my children and my grandchildren…

As Sarah Lacey reads the scrawled handwriting in her great-aunt's journal on a trip to Portugal, she discovers a life filled with great passion, missed chances and lost loves – memories that echo Sarah's own life. Because Sarah's marriage is crumbling, her love for her husband ebbing away, and she fears the one man she truly loves was lost to her many years ago…

But hidden within the faded pages of the journal is a secret Inês has kept locked away her entire life, and one final message for her beloved niece – a chance for Sarah to change her life, if she is brave enough to take it.

 
**********
 
I have to admit that the cover for Garden of Stars by Rose Alexander was probably a large reason for me to accept and read this book. That and my weakness for dual storylines. I just love books with two different timelines.

Garden of Stars is about two women, not related through blood, but they share a deep bond through love. Sarah Lacey is at a crossroad in life, she has for the last twenty years never gotten over the man she met in Portugal when she was young. Now, she is for the first time going back to Portugal and there he will be. But what about her marriage? She doesn't even know if she loves her husband anymore, but they have built a life together and have two daughters. Sarah's great-aunt Inês gives Sarah her diary and through it, she learns more about Inês, but she also learns that Inês has kept a secret for decades...
 
Sarah and Inês life stories may be quite different, but they both faced difficult decisions in life and I loved how some things felt parallel, how they both have to make sacrifices and that sometimes you have to stop looking backward and look forward instead. Garden of Stars is a book that stayed with me after I turned the last page. I felt enriched after finishing the book. Like Inês last advice in the book not only was for Sarah, but for me as a reader as well.
 

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

The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough

The Language of Dying - Sarah   Pinborough

Tonight is a special, terrible night. A woman sits at her father's bedside watching the clock tick away the last hours of his life. Her brothers and sisters - all traumatised in their own ways, their bonds fragile - have been there for the past week, but now she is alone. And that's always when it comes. As the clock ticks in the darkness, she can only wait for it to find her...

 
**********
 

The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough was a book that seemed to be fantastic and that a lot of my friends on Goodreads ( and other readers there) love. However, now and then am I the odd one out because this book didn't do a thing for me. I kept on expecting for the moment to show up when I would get enthralled and get sucked into the story, but it never happened.

Instead, it just dragged on, and this is not a thick book, only 144 pages long, but it felt like it took forever to get to the end. I just couldn't connect with the character nor the story. The fantasy aspect of the story was also a big failure. Instead of being mysterious and intriguing it was just odd and felt out of place. I wonder if the book and worked better if one had gotten to know the characters better if the story had been more developed. Now instead it feels like you get a quick introduction to each of the siblings, but you never really get to know them or care for them or their father.

Now, this is just my humble opinion, it's a well-loved book and perhaps it will work better for you.

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

Cover Crush: Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb

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. 

***********
This week's Cover Crush if for the last book in The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy. And, when it comes to this book is this probably, without a doubt, the book I most long for to read next year. Until then I just have to sigh of this cover and wonder what's significant about each detail of the cover especially since the blurb is a bit vague.
Description:

Fitz and the Fool’s new tale of epic adventure and intrigue brings their latest trilogy to a stunning conclusion.

In their continuing quest to save Fitz’s daughter Bee, and destroy the sinister order that threatens her, Fitz and the Fool must not only face their most difficult challenges yet, but also come to terms with the unanswered questions of their pasts.


***********

Check out this week's cover crush over at 
 
Flashlight Commentary
 
2 Kids and Tired Books
 
 
The Maidens Court

Chasing Shadows by Karen Harper

Chasing Shadows (South Shores) - Karen Harper

The dead still talk if you know how to listen…

Every case that Claire Britten cracks is a win, not only professionally but personally. The forensic psychologist has spent a lifetime fighting a neurological disorder, and her ability to conquer it is a testament to her razor-sharp intuition.

Nick Markwood is used to winning in the courtroom, so when his latest case is overthrown by Claire's expert testimony, he can't help being impressed by her skill. He needs her on the team of his passion project—investigating unusual cases involving mysterious deaths. Her condition doesn't deter him, and neither does the attraction that sparks between them…even if it should.

As they join forces to investigate a murder in St. Augustine, Florida, Claire is thrust into a situation far more dangerous than she'd anticipated, pushing her disorder to a breaking point. Just when she fears she can't trust her own mind, she discovers Nick's personal connection to the case—and wonders whether she can trust anyone at all.

 
********
 

I read THE ROYAL NANNY by Karen Harper just a little while ago and I found it a fantastic book. So, naturally I was curious to see how her other books would be. Now, romantic suspense is normally not a genre I chose to read that very often, but, I hoped that Harper's writing skills would make CHASING SHADOWS a book worth reading. Unfortunately, I have to say that I was disappointed with the book.

 
READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Gruvdamen (The Mining Lady) by Daniel Svanberg (SWE/ENG)

 

SWEDISH REVIEW 


När den hyllade författaren Bergdahl hittas död i sitt townhouse på Upper East Side i New York City rasar Jakob Jonssons värld samman. TV-producenten Jakob är Bergdahls enda arvinge och när han hittar ett gammalt ljudband på sin döda mentors vind får han inblick i ett mörkt förflutet vars rötter sträcker sig långt bak i tiden till Bergslagens djupa skogar. På det knastriga bandet hörs hur två barn mördas.

När Jakob beger sig till Sverige för att nysta i Bergdahls förflutna rullas den gamle författarens smärtsamma barndom upp. Den ensamma uppväxten på barnhem, sadismen och de täta granskogarna precis runt knuten. Och Gruvdamen. Maja. Hon som vill ha kött.

Kort därpå blir Jakobs liv ännu mer förvirrat. Under sitt besök i Sverige kopplar det där mörka och onämnbara som vilar i skogen grepp om honom. Det vägrar att släppa taget. Samtidigt börjar de döda att komma tillbaka ...

Daniel Svanberg är bosatt på Upper East Side i New York City, där han arbetar som författare. Han har tidigare skrivit de bästsäljande reseböckerna Ett annat New York och Ett annat Manhattan. Gruvdamen är hans sjunde bok.

*********


Har du någonsin vandrat själv i skogen så långt bort att trafiken inte hörs, det enda som hörs är skogen ljud, kanske en gren som knakar eller svaga susningar bland trädtopparna. Det är nästan en tryckande tystnad, inget fågelkvitter, det är mörkt och kompakt och du känner dig både ensam men också inte helt själv som om någon eller någonting där. Nu undrar du kanske varför jag börjar recensionen med en utlägg om djupa skogar? Men jag vill ge dig en bild av känslan man kan få när man läser denna bok. Nu är det inte bara djupa svenska skogar, handlingen tar även vid i New York. Men även Bergdahls hus i New York har något stort och dystert över sig, som om det mörka han upplevde i barndomen har följt honom genom livet. Något hände i Bergdahls barndom, något som påverkade honom hela hans liv och Jakob, ja han hade nog mått bättre av att inte nysta i det. För hemma i Sverige leder spåren honom till det förflutna, till barn som försvunnit och till Maja, Gruvdamen. Hon som vill ha kött.

Gruvdamen är en rysligt bra bok. Vidskepelse, försvunna barn och en författare som tar livet av sig utan att lämna en förklaring varför. Sedan har vi Gruvdamen, hon man inte får göra arg, hon som vill ha kött för att hålla sig lugn. Alltihop tillsammans med en obehaglig förväntan av att något kommer att hända Jakob, att han borde låta bli att forska i det förflutna gör Gruvdamen till en spännande läsning. Utan tvekan en av de bästa skräckböcker jag har läst på länge!

Tack Hoi Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW
 
Jakob Jonsson world collapses when celebrated author Bergdahl is found dead in his townhouse on the Upper East Side in New York City. TV producer Jacob is Bergdahl's sole heir and when he finds an old audio tape in his dead mentor's attic will he get an insight into a dark past whose roots go far back to the deep forests of Bergslagen in Sweden. On the crunchy band can he hear how two children are being murdered.

Jakob goes to Sweden to dig in Bergendahl's past and he discovers the old author's painful youth. The lonely childhood in orphanages, sadism, and the dense pine forests just around the corner. And Mining lady. Maja. She who wants meat.

Jacob's life becomes more and more chaotic. During his visit to Sweden, the dark and unmentionable thing that rest in the forest grip on him. It refuses to let go. At the same time, the dead to come back...

Daniel Svanberg resides on the Upper East Side in New York City, where he works as a writer. He has previously written the best-selling travel books Another New York and Another Manhattan. Mining lady is his seventh book.

**********
 
Have you ever walked alone in the forest so far away that the traffic cannot be heard, the only sound is the forest sounds, perhaps a branch cracking or faint sound of the wind at the treetops? It is almost an oppressive silence, no birds singing, it is dark and compact and you feel both alone but also not really alone, like there is someone or something there? You may wonder why I start the review with an outlay of deep forests? But I want to give you an idea of the feeling you get when you read this book. Now it is not only deep Swedish forests, the plot also takes place in New York. But even Bergdahl's house in New York has something big and gloomy about it, as if the darkness he experienced in childhood, have followed him through life. Something happened in Bergdahl's childhood, which influenced him throughout his life, and Jacob, yes, he had probably been better off to not unravel it. For at home in Sweden, the trail leads him to the past, to the children who disappeared and Maja, The Mining Lady. She who wants meat.
 
The Mining Lady is a really good book. Superstition, missing children and a writer who kills himself without giving an explanation to why. Then, we have The Mining Lady, she who you do not want to anger, she who wants meat to stay calm. All of it together with an unpleasant anticipation that something will happen to Jacob, that he should not dig into the past, all this makes The Mining Lady an exciting reading. Undoubtedly one of the best horror books I've read in a long time!


Thanks to Hoi Förlag for the review copy!