Not for the faint-hearted

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How do you pick you books? I skim through the synopsis on the back cover (though I can never concentrate on reading those for some reason, my mind just wonders off whenever I try…) I also check the first couple of sentences and maybe a few randomly picked lines from further along the book, just to get a feel for it – but never the ending, wouldn’t want to spoil the read. After the not so elaborate decision process, with the price of under four euro sped up a lot, I knew I was getting a crime novel with an FBI agent. To my surprise I later found out later that the book has been written by an Irish author who did some necessary research in the United States.

The Killing Ways’’ by Alex Barclay wasn’t the type of thriller that I am used to reading. It was like watching ”Criminal Minds’’, shocking, intense, dark with a sadistic serial killer and a rapist running loose. A joung agent Ren Bryce is in charge of the investigation into the brutal murders he is commiting. Ren, a good hearted but not without personal issues, is more of a lone wolf when it comes to her work rather than a team player. She is on good terms with her work colleagues socially but so determined in her search for the psycho that she takes risks, jumps into dengerous situations often without any backup. As the list of victims grows Ren becomes more anxious. Her boss is pressing her to continue the therapy sessions she attends and insists that she takes the medicines the doctor is prescribing, the drugs that she is avoiding, afraid they would cloud her mind. Has the killer got her on his radar or is she getting paranoid? Are the people she cares about in danger? Is the monster on a mission to get them in order to hurt her?

If you feel like turning the TV off when the news is on, not wanting to hear about the dark side of the human nature, the book won’t bring you an escape as it shows humanity at its worst. It shows how lack of love and mercy can damage an innocent and turn them into a monster. Almost graphically describes an underworld of abusers and sadists. A dangerous word that agent Bryce steps into in order to do her job and doesn’t come out undamaged. She drinks too much and parties till the wee hours almost every night – to forget? Every new victim shakes her up even more. Will she catch the killer or will she become one of his many victims?

How do I grade the book? 3 fountain pens pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px, dots or badges.

 

Fountain pens, dots or badges rating

pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px – one of the best books I read

pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px– charmed

pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px – good read

pluma-300px pluma-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

pluma-300px – don’t waste your time

A long winter

                                                                 imag1464

I am getting a little fed up with the winter now, but that’s how I usually feel come February, Christmas long gone, no snow and still a month or so of the rainy, damp and windy weather ahead. Are you looking for something to read to pass the time? It was a paper back I opted for this time around. Hard to resist for under 4 euro, ‘’The Shadow Year’’ by Hannah Richell.

Lila is looking for an escape. She is grieving her miscarried baby. Her marriage doesn’t seem to be handling the strain it has been put under. She is not coping with the loss and she doesn’t welcome her husband’s constant efforts to make her feel better. She just wants to be on her own. She is far from being pleased that her mother has been called for help. The unexpected and mysteriously anonymous gift of the land and a cottage in the middle of nowhere seems to be what she is looking for, but is the remote and isolated location a good place for her to be right now?

Lila cannot remember the events that led to her miscarriage. Her mother found her at the bottom of the stairs, but everything shortly before, and the fall itself has been errased from her memory. She is tossing and turning at night, the lost memories trying to surface. She is starting to believe that she wasn’t alone just before her accident, but who was with her and why have they left her unconcious?

The project of restoring the old cottage, that she takes on herself, gives her a new purpose. Her mother and husband don’t approve. It is a cold winter in full swing and the thought of her being there by herself doesn’t put them at ease. While Lila is trying to make the abbandoned place habitable, she wonders what is the meaning of the strange drawings on the walls in one of the rooms? Is the noise that wakes her up at night just a creation of her feverish mind? Who were the previous owners and what has happened to them?

We, as readers get to see who the previous occupants were. Charismatic and controlling Simon, shy and secretly fancying him Kat, easygoing couple Carla and Mac, practical Ben and Kat’s carefree sister Fraya. Handful of friends who one day decided to move into the cottage, attracted by the idea of selfsustainability, of living in a desolated place, separated from the rest of the word and its modern commodities. A decision that will change all their lives forever.

Will Lila figure out who used to live in the house and what has happened to them? Why have they abbandoned the place so abruptly leaving unwashed cutlery and other belongings behind? Is there more to know? What is their connection to Lila? Why was she given a key to the house and by whom?

The story plot is gripping and well thought through, suspenseful, full of surprises and twists, dark and even shocking in places – well written. A good read indeed, deserving 3 beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px feathers, scarfs or hats.

Feathers, scarfs or hats rating

beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px– one of the best books I read

beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px– charmed

beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px– good read

beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

beakman-black-feather-300px – don’t waste your time

On another shelf

goneagain

I am in the middle of reading another book by Roisin Meaney, and I will post a review soon, in the meantime here is a different one, while you wait. You are not going to believe me, but I bought this e-book for under €2. (I did promise I would discuss cheap books, didn’t I? So you can see what you can get for the price.) “Gone Again” by Doug Johnstone. Was it a masterpiece? No. Did I enjoy it? Yes.

It is a rather fast paced thriller. There is something about a male narrator that I enjoy – the lightness, if I was to describe it in one word. The “eh” kind of an attitude; I won’t have a healthy meal today, I will buy a take away two days in a row and won’t think about it twice – kind of an attitude. I cannot say that I got to like Mike, the main character very much, not with his anger management issues – no to hitting women. Not even when she is a bitchy mother of a school bully who picks on your son. It’s just not right. I didn’t dislike him though, he is a loving father, I have to give him that. He doesn’t make his life too complicated but life tends to get tangled whether you like it or not – especially when you are a fictional character of a thriller book, then it can really get out of hands.

Mark’s wife disappears one day. He is happily married, but he questions his marriage when she is gone for a second time. He finds it hard to believe however, that she would have abandoned their son Nathan out of her own free will, even if she got fed up with her partner. He recalls her post natal depression that drew her away from home the first time and wonders if this it happening again, now that she is pregnant with their second child. The author digs dipper into the troubled young mother’s past to give us a more complex picture of her personality.

The more information the detectives gather the more inclined they are to consider a foul play in her disappearance and her husband as a suspect. While the police is concentrating their scarce resources on him, Mark decides to take the investigation into his own hands… Cliche? Yes. Readable? Yeah. Take on a sunny holiday to the beach or read on a bus half asleep in the mornings. Action spirals out of control pretty quickly, so it’s a fast read.

How is the poor little Nathan going to forget about all he has seen, pictures that no little boy should have witnessed? I don’t know, poor Mark asks himself that very question. What happened to his wife? No spoilers, you will just going to have to find out for yourself.

Rating? Ah, alright let it be 3 grey-cloud-1-300px grey-cloud-1-300px grey-cloud-1-300pxclouds, stars or monkeys.

clouds, stars or monkeys rating

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px – one of the best books I read

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px– charmed

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px– good read

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

grey-cloud-1-300px – don’t waste your time