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The Forgotten by David Baldacci (SWE/ENG)

SWEDISH REVIEW


Krigshjälten John Puller är den skickligaste utredaren i den amerikanska arméns kriminalpolis, och alla förlitar sig på att han ska lösa de svåraste fallen som nationen ställs inför. Nu får Puller ett nytt fall - och den här gången är det personligt. 

Pullers faster hittas död i turiststaden Paradise i Florida. Den lokala polisen förklarar hennes död som en tragisk olycka, men precis innan hon dog skickade hon ett brev till Pullers far. I brevet berättar hon att skenet bedrar, och att ett mörker döljer sig under Paradise vackra yta. Puller blir alltmer övertygad om att hennes död inte var en olycka. Han misstänker att stadens palmer och kritvita sandstränder döljer en konspiration så chockerande att vissa är beredda att gå hur långt som helst för att hålla sanningen undangömd.

De bortglömda är den andra fristående delen i David Baldaccis serie om John Puller.

 
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Jag läste bok fyra just precis innan jag fick chansen att läsa denna bok. Men det bekymrade mig inte så mycket då jag fann den senaste boken i John Puller series fantastiskt bra och jag hade hoppas på chansen att få läsa de tidigare böckerna. John Puller är en man som har en vana att hamna i strul verkar det som, lite som Lee Childs Jack Reacher. Kan vara det militära kopplingen som får mig att att tänka på Jack Reacher. I den här boken börjar allting med ett brev som Pullers far får från sin syster. Detta brev blir startskottet på ett helvete i paradiset kan man säga. För något är verkligen fel i Paradise i Florida....

De bortglömda är en spännande thriller som är svårt att lägga ifrån sig. Man blir uppslukad av handlingen och frågan är vem kan Puller egentligen lita på? Speciellt när t.o.m polisen i Paradise beter sig mystiskt. Blir ju inte bättre av att fler och fler personer plötsligt börjar dö. Vad är kopplingen mellan dödsfallen och vem är den stora mannen som räddar Pullers liv när han mitt i natten är i fara? Är han en vän eller fiende? För det verkar som han har är iblandad i fallet på något sätt...

Jag tyckte att de bortglömda var en mycket bra bok, det är absolut inga problem att läsa denna bok fristående från de andra serien. Själv är jag väldigt sugen på att läsa de två böcker jag ännu inte har läst i denna serie. Och självklart hoppas jag på att David Baldacci kommer att skriva många fler John Puller böcker.
 

Tack till Bokfabriken för recensionsexemplaret!



ENGLISH REVIEW
 
In Paradise, nothing is what it seems...Army Special Agent John Puller is the best there is. A combat veteran, Puller is the man the U.S. Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. Now he has a new case-but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida.

A picture-perfect town on Florida's Gulf Coast, Paradise thrives on the wealthy tourists and retirees drawn to its gorgeous weather and beaches. The local police have ruled his aunt's death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller's father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be.

What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt's death was no accident . . . and that the palm trees and sandy beaches of Paradise may hide a conspiracy so shocking that some will go to unthinkable lengths to make sure the truth is never revealed.
 
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I read book four in this series right just before I got the chance to read this book. But it didn't worry me much since I found the last book in the series fantastic and I was hoping to get the chance to read the previous books. John Puller is a man who has a habit of getting into trouble. It reminded me a bit of Lee Child's Jack Reacher. It may be the military connection that made me think of Jack Reacher. In this book, everything begins with a letter that Puller's father gets from his sister. This letter will mark the start of a Hell in Paradise one could say. For something is really wrong in Paradise in Florida ...
 
The Forgotten is an exciting thriller that is hard to put down. You become immersed in the action, and the question is who can Puller really trust? Especially when even the police in Paradise behave mysteriously. Then, more and more people suddenly begin to die. What is the connection, and how is the big man that one night save Puller's life? Is he a friend or foe? For it seems that he is involved in the case in some way ...

I thought The Forgotten was a very good book, there is absolutely no problem reading this book without having read the other books in the series. Personally, I'm very eager to read the two books I have not yet read in this series. And of course, I hope that David Baldacci will write more John Puller books.

Thanks to Bokfabriken for the review copy!

Books! ♥

I did have a book bad. But I couldn't keep it up. here is two "new" books that I got today from Amazon. 

 

The perfect kind of Sunday!
The perfect kind of Sunday!

Dark Shadows: Heiress of Collinwood by Lara Parker

Dark Shadows: Heiress of Collinwood is the continuing the story of the classic TV show, Dark Shadows by series star, Lara Parker.

“My name is Victoria Winters, and my journey continues . . . .”

An orphan with no knowledge of her origins, Victoria Winters first came to the great house of Collinwood as a Governess. It didn’t take long for the Collins family’s many buried secrets, haunted history, and rivalries with evil forces to catch up to Victoria and cast the newcomer adrift in time, trapped between life and death.


At last returned to the present, Victoria is called back to Collinwood by a mysterious letter. Hoping to fill in the gaps of her memories by meeting with the people who knew her best, Victoria returns to the aging mansion. However, she soon discovers that the entire Collins family is missing—except for Barnabas Collins, a vampire whose own dark curse is well known. Victoria discovers that she has been named sole heir to the estate, if only she can prove her own identity.


Beset by danger and dire warnings, Victoria must discover what dread fate has befallen Collinwood, even as she finally uncovers a shocking truth long hidden in the shadows . . .

 
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It's actually a bit strange how I looked forward to reading this book when it showed up in a package the other day. I mean I have only seen the movie version which was OK (I would love to see a non-Tim-Burton DARK SHADOW movie) and I have never seen the TV series. But, I do know some about the history of the TV series (thanks to the internet) and that wonderful cover intrigued me not to mention the description of the book. I have a thing for time-slips and here we have a woman that has traveled not once, but twice back in time...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett (Q&A and a review)

A serial killer murdering for kicks.

A detective seeking revenge.

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.

With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun…

Scared to Death is a gripping fast paced crime thriller from author Rachel Amphlett, in a new series introducing Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…

 
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Review
 
I have a lovely Q&A with Rachel Amphlett to share today, but first I want to say something about the book. Scared to Death is the first in a new series by Rachel Amphlett. I had not read anything by Rachel Amphlett before I read this book, but as a big time crime fan was I intrigued by the premise and the cover of the book. So, what makes this so special that you should pick it over other crime books?
 
Personally, I just love when I instantly like the main character and Kay Hunter was just the kind of tough female cop that I like to read about. And, it was quite nice that she seems to be quite stable, despite recent problems both at home and at work. Not, that I don't like my heroines flawed, I do. But, having a woman cop, in a stable relationship felt like a nice change. I just loved that she and Adam have a loving and understanding relationship, despite that they have just been through hell together.
 
As for the case, it's tragic, the whole case feels like just an awful nightmare. Without giving too much away is this case a typical example of what could happen when someone that has been abused for years suddenly snaps. It's such a chilling story. Also, the story has some brilliant twists. Just the way I like it.
 
So now, I think you should read the Q&A to find out more about the book and Rachel Amphlett!
 
Author Q&A

1. Let's start with the basic question, can you please tell me what your book is about for the readers that haven't yet read it?

Scared to Death is the first novel in a new series featuring DS Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past, and an uncertain future.

Here’s the blurb:

A serial killer murdering for kicks.

A detective seeking revenge.

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.

With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun…


2. One thing that struck me when I started to read the book was that Kay Hunter has gone through a really tough time before the story in the book. I found her a strong, but vulnerable character, just the kind of character I like. Can you tell the readers more about her and her wonderful husband Adam?

I think Kay is resilient, rather than strong. As you say, she’s had a tough time as we meet her for the first time, but she’s determined to claw her way back professionally and expose those behind the vendetta against her.

I read too many books where there’s a fractured home life for a detective – poor Kay has been through enough, both professionally and personally, so I wanted to show that Adam supports her, even if their jobs do mean they don’t spend a lot of time together. It’s the same reason I wanted Kay to be a bit OCD with her CD collection – it gives her a little sense of order amongst the chaos of her life!

3. I love Sid, seriously that snake was a wonderful addition to the story. Will there be more animals taken care of at home with Kay and Adam in the future? Or Sid perhaps needs a new stable home?

Absolutely. I love animals, so I’m going to have a lot of fun with Kay’s home life over the course of the series! I think perhaps Kay will be glad when Sid’s owner gets back from holiday though…

4. I found the book to be very interesting and engrossing and I hope you have more books planned, perhaps even one in mind (Yes?)?

I’ve finished the first draft of the second in the Kay Hunter series in time to launch Scared to Death, and I plan to publish that early in 2017. I hope to be in a position to unveil the cover in January. However, while that’s fermenting in a virtual drawer over the course of December, I’m plotting out books 3 and 4 in the series, which I also hope to write and publish during 2017.

5. Now to something completely different, if you could meet any author for a chat, dead or alive. Who would you pick, and why?

I’d pick Charles Dickens. I think he was a brilliant businessman as well as a great writer – you only have to look at how he serialised his books before they became complete novels. He eked them out as much as possible to support his family while he was writing the next one. Very clever.

6. Any authors that have inspired you?

Oh, lots! The authors I keep returning to though include Michael Connelly, Peter James, Val McDermid, Lee Child and Robert Crais – all fast-paced crime thrillers.

While I was writing Scared to Death, I read every single interview I could find with those authors and took copious notes about their advice on writing crime – it was like going back to school.

7. And the last question! What was the last book you read and what are you reading now?

The last book I read was Blood Lines by Angela Marsons, and I’m eyeing up The Crossing by Michael Connelly next. I need a spare nanosecond to sit down for a moment to start it though…!

Cover Crush: The Dastardly Miss Lizzie by Viola Carr


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


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You know what at first glance before I checked out the bigger pic of this cover on Goodreads did I not really fancy the cover as much as I love the previous two books cover. I think the purple color just didn't rock my boat. However, when I took a closer lock at the cover and then found this large picture on Edelweiss did I find myself quite taken with the cover.


 Description:

Dr. Eliza Jekyll must turn to her dark side, Miss Lizzie Hyde, to stop a madman targeting London’s most important scientists and sorcerers terrorizing the city with dark magic in this third Electric Empire novel—a dazzlingly original steampunk fantasy set in the gritty world of alternate Victorian London, with echoes of H G. Wells classic, The Time Machine

Being two people in one body isn’t easy. Metropolitan Police crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll is trying to maintain a semblance of control, even as her rebellious second self, Lizzie, grows increasingly wild—threatening the respectable Eliza’s reputation and her marriage to Remy Lafayette, the Royal Society investigator and occasional lycanthrope. With England on the brink of war, Remy’s away in sorcery-riddled Paris on a secretive mission that grows ever more sinister. Has he been an enemy agent all along? Or is coping with Eliza’s secret divided self finally driving her mad?

Eliza needs her mind clear and sharp if she’s to catch an evil genius who is killing eminent scientists. The chase uncovers a murky world of forbidden books, secret laboratories, and a cabal of fanatical inventors whose work could change the world—or destroy it—and who may hold answers to Eliza's past.

As sorcery-wielding terrorists attack London, Eliza discovers her own enemies are closing in, driving her to desperate measures—enlisting the aid of the wily, resourceful, mercurial Lizzie—to thwart the killer. But Lizzie’s got her own life now, and true to her nature, will resort to the devious and diabolical to keep it. Even if it means throwing Eliza to the wolves, and letting the world burn. . . .

Except for wily, resourceful, mercurial Lizzie. But Lizzie’s got her own life now. And she’ll do anything to keep it. Even if it means attempting the unspeakable and finding her own body. Even if it means throwing Eliza to the wolves, and letting the world burn. . .
.
 
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Check out this week's cover crush over at 
 
 
 
Layered Pages 
 
The Maidens Court

Someone Is Watching by Joy Fielding

Someone Is Watching: A Novel - Joy Fielding

Bailey Carpenter is a smart and savvy private investigator, until a horrific attack leaves her trapped at home in her Miami high-rise apartment, crippled by paranoia.

Everywhere she looks, she sees the face of her attacker.

Including in the apartment directly opposite her.

Where someone is watching.

A tour de force from a master of psychological suspense, Joy Fielding's devilish and gripping novel will have you holding your breath until the very end.

 
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Joy Fielding is a name that I recognize from books at my mother's place( I have browsed her bookshelves many times during the years). However, I haven't read a Joy Fielding before I read this book. And funny enough, neither has my mom. I guess we both like to hoard books.   

Someone Is Watching is a thrilling and chilling book about a woman who is attacked and raped, never seeing the man's face, just remembering small details about him. She is struggling after the assault to return to a normal life, and just leaving the apartment becomes an obstacle. And, every man she sees could be the rapist. She starts to observe a neighbor across her street with her binoculars. And, she becomes more and more obsessed with that. And, she starts to think that the man in questions is watching her too...

What I liked about this book, besides the whole is Bailey crazy or is the neighbor really watching her storyline, is that Joy Fielding has created an interesting backstory for Bailey that adds intrigue to the story. She together with her brother is the youngest children of a man that has been married three times, and with children from each marriage. He died four months prior and left all assets to Bailey and her brother. However, their five is now contesting the will. This adds drama to the story. I did, I have to admit suspect some of the twists in the book, but I was so caught up in the story that I didn't mind that so much. I found the book to be hard to put down and for me was it a real page-turner. So, I guess I have to check out the Joy Fielding books that my mom has. I really want to read more from her!

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

The Night Bell by Inger Ash Wolfe

The Night Bell: A Novel (A Detective Hazel Micallef Mystery) - Inger Ash Wolfe

The new novel in this acclaimed series is brilliantly paced, addictively suspenseful—the author's best yet. 


Hazel Micallef (played by Susan Sarandon in the recent film of the series' debut, The Calling) has become one of crime writing's most memorable detectives. The Night Bell moves between the past and the present in Port Dundas, Ontario, as two mysteries converge. A discovery of the bones of murdered children is made on land that was once a county foster home. Now it's being developed as a brand new subdivision whose first residents are already railing against broken promises and corruption. But when three of these residents are murdered after the discovery of the children's bones, frustration turns to terror.
While trying to stem the panic and solve two crimes at once, Hazel Micallef finds her memory stirred back to the fall of 1959, when the disappearance of a girl from town was blamed on her adopted brother. Although he is long dead, she begins to see the present case as a chance to clear her brother's name, something that drives Hazel beyond her own considerable limits and right into the sights of an angry killer.
 
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THE NIGHT BELL is book four in the Hazel Micallef Mystery series, but I didn't have any problems reading the book, despite not having read the previous three books. However, since I have seen the movie do I have some previous knowledge of the characters in the book. But, I don't think you have to read the previous books to enjoy this one.

 
READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian (SWE/ENG)

 SWEDISH REVIEW


Året är 1882 och den unga, föräldralösa March Middleton har precis rest till London för att bosätta sig hos sin förmyndare Sidney Grice efter sin fars död. Sidney är landets mest berömde privatdetektiv och March har knappt hunnit anlända förrän han får ett nytt fall på halsen.

En ung kvinna har blivit brutalt mördad och allt pekar på att hennes make är den skyldige. Offrets mor är dock övertygad om motsatsen och March erbjuder sig att göra ett försök att rentvå honom.
Spåren tar dem på en resa från East Ends mörkaste gränder till de ståtliga viktorianska villorna i Bloomsbury. Varje ny ledtråd gör Sidney övertygad om klientens skuld, men snart blir det även uppenbart att fallet riskerar att krossa hans goda rykte som privatdetektiv …

Morden på Mangle Street utspelar sig i det viktorianska England. Boken vänder sig till läsare som gillar originella deckare med levande miljöbeskrivningar och en stor portion humor. Det här är den första boken i en serie om det omaka deckarparet Sidney Grice och March Middleton.

 
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Morden på Mangle Street är en småtrevlig historisk deckare som utan tvekan kommer att uppskattas av läsare av t.ex. Flavia de Luce series av Alan Bradley. Sidney Grice känns som en parodi eller en mycket mer humorist version av Sherlock Holmes, och att en viss person dök upp i slutet av boken var småroande och passande. Personligen hade jag lite svårt för Sidney Grice, men March Middleton, hans skyddsling och "assistent" samt kommissarie Pound gjorde boken helt klart gjorde boken läsvärd.

Själva berättelsen är OK, jag måste erkänna att jag inte föll lika mycket för boken som jag hade hoppas på. Troligtvis för att jag egentligen föredrar mer allvar än komedi när det gäller deckare samt att skämten, all tedrickandet osv var kul i början, men efter ett tag en aning påfrestande. Men ändå måste jag säga att boken var läsvärd trots mina problem med humorn och Sidney Grice. Den känns som en perfekt bok när man vill ha något mindre allvarligt och tungt. Helt enkelt en trevlig "Cozy Mystery" bok. Fallet med den mördade kvinnan var intressant, även om jag inte blev överraskad av hur det hela låg till när sanningen kom fram på slutet. 
 
Morden på Mangle Street uppfyllde inte alla mina förväntningar men den var trevlig att läsa och jag ser fram emot att läsa fortsättningen.

Jag vill tacka Lind & Co. för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW


After her father dies, March Middleton has to move to London to live with her guardian, Sidney Grice, the country's most famous private detective.


It is 1882 and London is at its murkiest yet most vibrant, wealthiest yet most poverty-stricken. No sooner does March arrive than a case presents itself: a young woman has been brutally murdered, and her husband is the only suspect. The victim's mother is convinced of her son-in-law's innocence, and March is so touched by her pleas she offers to cover Sidney's fee herself.

The investigations lead the pair to the darkest alleys of the East End: every twist leads Sidney Grice to think his client is guilty; but March is convinced that he is innocent. Around them London reeks with the stench of poverty and gossip, the case threatens to boil over into civil unrest and Sidney Grice finds his reputation is not the only thing in mortal danger.
 
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The Mangle Street Murders is a nice cozy historical mystery that I think will appeal to readers of Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. Sidney Grice feels like a parody or a lot more humorous version of Sherlock Holmes, and that a certain person appeared at the end of the book was both fun and appropriate. I did have a hard time warming up for Sidney Grice, but March Middleton, his protege and "assistant" and Inspector Pound made the book worth reading.
 
The story is OK, I must admit that I did not enjoy the book as much as I had been hoping I would. Probably because I prefer more serious crime novels than cozy murder mysteries and the jokes, all the tea drinking, etc. was fun at first, but after a while a little too much. But still, I must say that the book was worth reading, despite my problems with the humor and Sidney Grice. It feels like a perfect book when you want something less serious and heavy. The case of the murdered woman was interesting, although I was not surprised by the ending when everything was released.
 
The Mangle Street Murders did not satisfy all of my expectations, but it was nice to read, and I look forward to reading more books in the series!
 
I want to thank Lind & Co. för the review copy!

Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan (SWE/ENG)

SWEDISH REVIEW

 

Under en söndagsutflykt i Leigh Woods strax utanför Bristol låter Rachel Jenner sin åttaårige son springa i förväg. Ben är utom synhåll bara en kort stund. Sen är han borta och Rachel befinner sig mitt i varje förälders värsta mardröm.


I media slår försvinnandet ner som en bomb. Några ödesdigra handlingar får både pressen och allmänheten att vända sig mot Rachel. Och samtidigt visar det sig att Rachels syster bär på fruktansvärda hemligheter.

Kriminalkommissarie James Clemo och hans kollega Emma Zhang arbetar intensivt med det prestigefyllda fallet. Men när ledtrådar slutar i återvändsgränder och lögner kommer fram i ljuset blir läget allt mer desperat för alla inblandade.


Rachel är pressad till bristningsgränsen av sorgen och den förkrossande oron över sin son, av trycket från polisutredningen och den hårt dömande allmänheten. Vem kan hon egentligen lita på? Och vem kan lita på henne?

 
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Bränd himmel är en nagelbitande thriller som tar upp ett ämne som nog de flesta av oss finner hjärtskärande hemskt, försvinnandet av ett barn. Rachael låter sin lilla son Ben springa i förväg i skogen till gungorna men när hon kommer fram är han inte där. Under resten av boken så får vi följa hur polisen gör allt för att finna pojken, hur rachel och hennes ex-man försöker hålla hoppet uppe att Ben fortfarande lever. Pressen och allmänheten som först är sympatiska vänder sig mot Rachel och hon får utstå trakasserier av människor som anser att hon ligger bakom allting eller som tycker att hon är en dålig mamma som inte höll koll på Ben. Inte nog med det, mörka familjehemligheter kommer fram...

Boken är fängslande och hemsk att läsa. Försvunna barn är ett jobbigt ämne och ju fler dagar som går desto mindre är chansen att ben hittas vid liv. Boken tar också oväntade vändningarna längs handlingens gång. Det enda med boken jag fann lite störande var Clemos terapimöten som dyker upp under bokens gång där han pratar om utredningen (som då är avslutad) pga. av att han mår dåligt och har panikångest och han har påtvingats terapi för att kunna fortsätta i tjänst. Annars var boken mycket bra!
 
Tack till Pocketförlaget för recensionsexemplaret!
 

ENGLISH REVIEW

Rachel Jenner turned her back for a moment. Now her eight-year-old son Ben is missing.

But what really happened that fateful afternoon?

Caught between her personal tragedy and a public who have turned against her, there is nobody left who Rachel can trust. But can the nation trust Rachel?

The clock is ticking to find Ben alive.

WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?
 
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Burnt Paper Sky is a nail-biting thriller that takes up a subject that probably most of us find heartbreakingly awful, the disappearance of a child. Rachael lets her little son Ben run ahead in the forest to the swings, but when she arrives, is he not there. We get follow during the rest of the book the police who are doing everything to find the boy, and how Rachel and her ex-husband are trying to keep the hope alive that Ben is still alive and well. The press and the public, which is first sympathetic turns on Rachel and she must endure the harassment of people who believe that she is behind everything, or thinks she is a bad mother who did not keep track of Ben. Not only that, dark family secrets will be revealed...

The book is fascinating and horrible to read. Missing children is a tough subject, and the more days that go by, the less the chance that the boy is found alive. The book also takes unexpected turns as the plot progresses. The only thing with the book I found a bit annoying was Clemo's therapy sessions that appear in the book where he talks about the investigation (which is then completed) due to that he feels bad and have panic attacks and he has been forced to attend the therapy to be able to continue to work. Other than that, the book was very good!

Thanks to Pocketförlaget for the review copy!

Death Notes by Sarah Rayne

Introducing professional researcher Phineas Fox in the first of a brand-new series of chilling mysteries.

Phineas Fox has mixed feelings when he s asked to research the infamous 19th-century violinist Roman Volf for a TV documentary. Hanged for his part in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, Volf was a notorious criminal and womaniser, whose glittering talent was undermined by his scandalous private life. However, on uncovering evidence which suggests that Volf could not have been involved in the Tsar s murder, Phin s investigations lead him to the west coast of Ireland and a series of intriguing, interlocking mysteries reaching from 1881 to the present day.

Was Roman Volf executed for something he didn t do? And what is his connection with the reclusive Maxim Volf now living in County Galway? Phin s enquiries will unearth a number of dark secrets which lurk below the surface of the quiet Irish village of Kilcarne."

 
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Did I take for granted that this would be a paranormal mystery because it's a book by Sarah Rayne? Yes, I did! However, it turned out to be quite a good book, despite the absence of paranormal activity. 
 
Death Notes is the first book in a new series that stars Phineas Fox a professional researcher who in this book is researching the 19th-century violinist Roman Volf who was hanged for participating in the murder of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. However, it seems that he may have been innocent and Phin's investigations take him to Galway where a reclusive Maxim Volf lives Could this Maxim Volf have any connection to Roman Volf? And what really happened two years ago when a car crashed and killed Beatrice Drury's husband and daughter? 
 
I did spend a lot of time reading this book waiting for something paranormal to happen, some ghostly appearance. But, I was mistaken in believing that. Despite that did I come to like the book very much thanks to the interesting and tragic story. There were some predictable moments in the book, but they never really bothered me since I was enjoying the story. 
 
There are several POV's in this book. This series may be about Phineas Fox, but other characters, young Jessica Cullen, Beatrice Drury who lost her family, the mysterious Maxim Volf and of course Mortimer Quince who is the reason for Phin to travel to Galway. They all share the limelight in this book. At first was it a bit puzzling to figure out what all the different storylines had in common, but as the story progressed did it all start to make sense, and there came a point when the different POV's started to blend together. It's quite a sad story, several of the characters in the book has been through hell, but I found myself loving the ending. It was such a hopeful ending, a perfect ending!
 
I look forward to reading the next book in the Phineas Fox series when it's released! 
 

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

Stella's Christmas Wish by Kate Blackadder

One phone call can change everything...

Six days before Christmas, Stella could never have anticipated the impact on her life when the phone rings in her London office.


The phone call is from a friend of the family informing Stella that her grandmother has been hurt in a fall at her home in the Scottish borders and is in hospital. Torn between her responsibilities at work and the need to be with her grandmother she decides she must return to Scotland immediately.

However, on her return to where she grew up, it becomes apparent that her grandmother’s health is not her only concern. Relationships which have lain dormant for years are re-kindled and fresh opportunities present themselves – if she will only dare to take them...

 
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You know what, I may not be a big reader of romance novels, but I do love a feel-good book (and feel-good movies are the best). This book feels like you should be snowed in somewhere, preferably in the country, with a nice armchair, warm blanket, hot chocolate and a sleeping cat. And, just the book. I did have the blanket and the cat.

Anyway, it's not a thick book, but the book managed to tell is tale during its pages nice and well. Besides the story in the present do we also get flashbacks to when Stella's grandmother was a child, during the war and these flashbacks, are very important for the story and personally I found them to be a good addition. There is a little mystery included in the story, which surprised and delighted me. I do love dual storylines so it was quite nice to discover that. Also, another thing I was worried that there would be a triangle drama, but that part of the story was handled great!

Stella's Christmas Wish is about family and friends. It's a sweet story. I did think that Stella should have told Ross the truth about why she was leaving for London. But, looking back to her childhood is it perhaps not a surprise that she rather kept it to herself.

I enjoyed reading this book and if you are looking for a Christmas story then I recommend this one!

Cover Crush: If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss

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

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I think this cover is very striking with the young girl sitting in what looks like a wrecked car. I love to read southern fiction and the cover together with the description of the book makes me keen to rad the book. I want to know more about the girl on the cover, why does she look so sad? And who is she?
Description:
 
A strikingly sincere portrait of a town and its buried secrets from an outstanding new voice in southern fiction

In a North Carolina mountain town filled with moonshine and rotten husbands, Sadie Blue is only the latest girl to face a dead-end future at the mercy of a dangerous drunk. She's been married to Roy Tupkin for fifteen days, and she knows now that she should have listened to the folks who said he was trouble. But when a stranger sweeps in and knocks the world off-kilter for everyone in town, Sadie begins to think there might be more to life than being Roy's wife.

As stark and magnificent as Appalachia itself, If the Creek Don't Rise is a bold and beautifully layered debut about a dusty, desperate town finding the inner strength it needs to outrun its demons. The folks of Baines Creek will take you deep into the mountains with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

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

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin (SWE/ENG)

SWEDISH REVIEW


Sharon Guskin har skrivit en fängslande, tankeväckande roman som undersöker det vi ångrar i slutet av våra liv, det vi hoppas på i början och allt däremellan. Den berättar om det starka oupplösliga bandet mellan barn och förälder, mellan mor och son. 

Noah vill hem. Förståeligt för en fyraåring. Men som Noahs ensamstående mamma Janie vet, är ingenting med Noah lätt att förstå. Han har mardrömmar, han är livrädd för vatten, han kan saker om dinosaurier som ingen berättat och känner igen filmer han aldrig har sett. Ibland skjuter han bort henne och skriker att han vill till sin riktiga mamma. Det blir värre och värre och ingen verkar kunna hjälpa henne. Till slut vänder hon sig till Jerome Anderson, professor i psykologi som kastat bort en lysande karriär i sitt sökande efter vad som finns bortom det vi kan se. Med Noah tror han att han har hittat det. Men han kämpar mot en begynnande afasi som hotar att radera hans minne.

Tillsammans ger sig Noah, Janie och Jerome ut på en resa som för var och en av dem betyder allt. Det leder dem till en mamma vars son varit försvunnen i åtta år. Svaren de får kanske är svar de inte är redo för. Framförallt kan det betyda att Janie förlorar den hon älskar mest av allt – Noah. Hur långt kan hon gå av kärlek till sitt barn?

 
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Reinkarnation eller själavandring som det också kallas är en intressant tankegång som jag fängslas av. Jag visste direkt efter att ha läst handlingsbeskrivningen av denna bok att jag bara måste läsa den. Hur hanterar man ett barn som kräver att hans riktiga mamma ska komma, ett barn som vet saker som ingen har berättat för honom. Är han sjuk, eller har han levt ett tidigare liv? För Janie är detta en verkligen situation och först när hon kontaktar Jerome Anderson verkar hon äntligen för svar på vad som felas Noah. För Jerome är detta han sista chans att bevisa att reinkarnation är något som existerar. Han lider av afasi och vet att tiden rinner ut för honom.
 
En dag kommer jag tillbaka är verkligen tankeväckande. Jag fann berättelsen fängslande, speciellt tanken på att livet kanske fortsätter för oss genom återfödelse. Boken hade även fristående kapitel där fall av reinkarnation togs upp. Mycket intressant läsning. Ibland kan sådan här avbrott kännas störande i böcker, men i denna bok berikade det bara berättelsen.

Läkarna vet inte vad som är fel med Noah. Janie råkar då se en dokumentar om reinkarnation och tar kontakt med Jerome som är expert på området. Handlingen tog även en helt annan vändning än jag hade väntat mig när Janie och Jerome började undersöka Noahs drömmar närmare och försökte hitta personen han var innan han var Noah. Det enda som mellan varven kändes lite segt var Jeromes tankegångar, i och med hans afasi så har han många tankar om sitt liv, sitt förflutna och döden, och då och då skummade jag snabbt igenom hans tankespår för att komma vidare i handlingen.
 
Men i sin helhet så är boken ändå riktigt fängslande och minnesvärd och jag rekommenderar den varmt!

Tack till Forum bokförlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

 

Noah wants to go home. A seemingly easy request from most four year olds. But as Noah's single-mother, Janie, knows, nothing with Noah is ever easy. One day the pre-school office calls and says Janie needs to come in to talk about Noah, and no, not later, now - and life as she knows it stops.

For Jerome Anderson, life as he knows it has stopped. A deadly diagnosis has made him realize he is approaching the end of his life. His first thought - I'm not finished yet. Once a shining young star in academia, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, a professor of psychology, he threw it all away because of an obsession. Anderson became the laughing stock of his peers, but he didn't care - something had to be going on beyond what anyone could see or comprehend. He spent his life searching for that something else. And with Noah, he thinks he's found it.

Soon Noah, Janie and Anderson will find themselves knocking on the door of a mother whose son has been missing for seven years - and when that door opens, all of their questions will be answered.

Sharon Guskin has written a captivating, thought-provoking novel that explores what we regret in the end of our lives and hope for in the beginning, and everything in between. In equal parts a mystery and a testament to the profound connection between a child and parent, The Forgetting Time marks the debut of a major new talent.
 
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Reincarnation or transmigration of the soul as it is also called is an interesting thought that I'm quite captivated by. I knew immediately after reading the description of the book that I just had to read it. How do you handle a child who demands that his real mother must come, a child who knows things that no one has told him. Is he ill, or he has lived a previous life? For Janie, is this a real situation and only when she contacts Jerome Anderson does it seem that she finally will get the answer to what ails Noah. For Jerome, this is his last chance to prove that reincarnation is something that exists. He suffers from aphasia and knows that time is running out for him.

The Forgetting Time is a thought provoking book. I found the story fascinating, especially the idea that life might continue through rebirth. The book also had independent chapters where different cases of reincarnation were brought up. Very interesting reading. Sometimes can interruption like this feel annoying in books, but in this case did I find it enriched the book's story.

The doctors can't find what it's wrong with Noah, then Janie sees a documentary about reincarnation and contacts Jerome who is an expert. and they began to investigate Noah's dreams closer and tries to find the person he was before he was Noah. But, here the story did take a completely different turn than I had expected The only thing that now and then felt a bit felt less interesting to read was Jerome's reflections. Jerome's illness makes him very reflective and he has many thoughts about life, the past, and death, and now and then I found I was quickly skimming through his thoughts in order to get forward in the book.

Despite my now and then problems with Jerome's inner thoughts is this book quite compelling and memorable and I heartily recommend it!

Thanks to Forum bokförlag for the review copy!

The Dollmaker by Mary Burton

Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it’s her job to aid the agent leading the case—even if that agent is her estranged husband.

Twelve years ago an unspeakable tragedy destroyed Dakota Sharp’s world. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, he’s devoted himself to capturing killers. His only regret is that it cost him Tessa. Now, as the Dollmaker case brings them together—and raises his suspicions that he’s crossed paths with this deranged psychopath before—they may just have their second chance. But it seems Dakota’s not the only one who wants to make Tessa his own…

She may be the Dollmaker’s next target, but Tessa has no intention of winding up as another toy on his shelf. Can she and Dakota stop this ghastly killer before his next deadly playdate?

 
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THE DOLLMAKER is the second book in The Forgotten Files series, but you can read this one without having read the previous book. I know because I haven't read THE SHARK. However, I do want to read it now after finishing THE DOLLMAKER. I do have some issues with this book, mainly it's very predictable, the whole case, the identity of the first woman, how the Dollmaker chooses them and the identity of the Dollmaker.
 
READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION