Monday, May 09, 2016

Book Review: The Basement by Stephen Leather

Genre:Psychological Thriller
Published by:Thomas & Mercer
Publication date:11/29/2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Source:Kindle Unlimited


New York City. With a population of almost nineteen million people, it's easy to remain anonymous ? even if you're a serial killer, torturing and murdering beautiful young women. The killer has another victim right now, locked in a basement somewhere in the city. For NYPD detectives Turner and Marcinko, it's their job to sift through those nineteen million and narrow their list to the one before it's too late. And they?re sure they have the right man in their sights. Fusing alternating viewpoints with devastating precision, Leather's top-notch thriller dives deep into the mind of a demented killer as tension mounts immeasurably. Turner and Marcinko's prime suspect is screenwriter wannabe Marvin Waller. He is becoming increasingly frustrated by his lack of success and the cops think he might be channeling his anger into murder ? yet he doesn?t seem to be at all concerned that they are hot on his trail. As Turner and Marcinko close in on Waller they have to wonder: is he the killer? And if he isn?t ? who is? Only time will tell ? and time is one thing they do not have. An unrelenting vice-grip of suspense and fear, The Basement is the ultimate shocker with a shattering climax that will leave you battered, bruised, and broken.

My Thoughts

I can totally see why author, Stephen Leather, is one of the most successful thriller writers in the U.K.; this book sunk it's hooks into me and I did not come up for air until I had finished the whole thing from start to finish.

Fast-paced, the plot is engaging and full of surprises. I was surprised at the depth of the characters since this is only a novella and 127 pages doesn't leave a lot of room for character development but Leather somehow had me looking at these people like they could be a person living down the street. How he did it with so little details about the characters I don't know? I think it must have come through the dialogue and that that is how you really get to know them. Sometimes no one is as they seem and this twisty, edge of your seat book proves that. I just loved it and will be adding more of Stephen Leather's work to my to be read lists.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good psychological thriller. If you loved Gone Girl then you will love this quick read! You can find it here on Amazon for purchase or if you are a Kindle Unlimited Subscriber you can read this book now for free.

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Book Review: No Longer Safe by A.J. Waines

Genre:Psychological Thriller
Published by:Kindle Direct Publishing
Publication date:2/4/2016
Format:Kindle Edition
Source:Kindle Unlimited


She was your best friend. Now she’s your deadliest enemy – and there’s nowhere to run…

When Alice receives an invitation from Karen, her charismatic University friend, to stay in a remote cottage in Scotland, she can’t wait to rekindle their lost friendship. But two more former students arrive – never friends of Alice’s – and as the atmosphere chills, Karen isn’t the warm-hearted soulmate Alice remembers. Barely is the reunion underway before someone is dead and the fragile gathering is pushed to breaking point.

As the snow cuts them off from civilization and accusations fly, Alice finds herself a pawn, sinking deeper into a deadly game she can’t escape.

No Longer Safe is a chilling psychological thriller that delivers a delicious sting in the tail.

My Thoughts

I really was glued to this book and stayed up way to late to finish it, thank goodness Ipads have light dimmers on them!

The plot in this book is Wowzers! There are so many different twists and turns and the ending is definitely an eye-popper. I was definitely weirded out by all the goings on and that is what makes a great psychological thriller in my book, the tone, the suspense it was just fabulous, even the parts that would normally be considered dull added a surrealism to the story that just set the tone of the story really well.

Characters are also wonderful and really well developed, you could have went to Uni with anyone of these characters, their realness seeps through the flashbacks to Uni and then how they all treat each other now, it is just a fabulous look into how we as humans interact with each other. You'll love some of them and you'll totally despise others.

Setting is pretty much out in the middle of nowhere and that sets the scene for this story really because without the remoteness of the cottage none of the plot would have been possible at all. Plus who doesn't love to read about beautiful, snowy out of the way places.

So if everything was wonderful you are probably wondering why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 and that is because even though the ending is shocking it just seemed to be stretching it a bit. I can't say to much or I'll give it away, but the realness of the setting and characters makes that last little piece of the plot just seem over the top a bit. Again hard to explain without giving anything away.

If you love a good eerie story that will have you going "what the beep" at the end then you should give No Longer Safe by A. J. Waines a chance.You can find it here on Amazon for purchase or if you are a Kindle Unlimited Subscriber this book is available now for free.

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Monday, May 02, 2016

Book Review: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes (Queen of Hearts Saga #1)

Series:Queen of Hearts Saga #1
Genre:YA Fantasy
Published by:HarperTeen
Publication date:5/3/2016
Format:Advanced Reader Copy
Source:Shelf Awareness


As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath. 

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

My Thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! I tend to be extra critical of retellings/remixes of classics so the fact that I rated it so highly should give you some indication to the level of storytelling/remixing that the author did in this book.

Let's start with characters: All the different characters are semi-thoughtout in my opinion.I feel that the author put as much effort into developing her major characters as she did with her secondary characters, which is okay, but I think Dinah and Wardley in particular were a little to flat for me. You could definitely see which characters match with their Alice in Wonderland counterparts, like Harris is definitely based on the White Rabbit. The lacking of well developed major characters is one of the reasons why this book didn't rate any higher with me, this book could have been a five star in my opinion, but I had to mark it down a little because of the lack of major character development.The only reason I can see for this other than author error is that it was developed to be a series so character exploration may be something that is drawn out throughout the other books in the series, which would make them harder to read just as a standalone read you would have to read the whole series to actually get the well developed characters that are possible with this storyline. This is what I'm hoping for because the possibilities that these characters represent could make for a great book series.

Setting: The world building in this book is just beyond words! The whole of Wonderland is built up really well and the descriptions of the settings are wonderful. This is one of the strongest parts of the book besides the plot. George R.R. Martin would be proud of Oakes' world building techniques! The only issue I took with the setting is the passage of time, which seems a little off, Oakes skips from action to action without much buildup inbetween so it feels like time is passing weirdly.

Plot: That jumping from action to action, might have made the story feel a little off, but it really made this a fast paced, highly engaging plot; I did read it in one sitting so that should let you see how engaged I was. All conflicts are well developed though the conflict between Dinah and her father is a bit under explained in my opinion this was the only part of the plot that I was scratching my head over.

I am really interested in seeing where the storyline goes with this series and cannot wait to read the next book. That said I would definitely recommend this book to readers who love retellings/remixes or anyone that enjoys a book with a fast paced plot and great world building in it!

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Sunday, May 01, 2016

Book Review: Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian

Series:Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #5
Published by:G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication date:5/17/2016
Format:Advanced Review Copy
Source:Goodreads Giveaway


Many changes have happened to the Murder Squad. Rash actions have cost Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith his job, and in response he has set up his own private detective agency. Inspector Walter Day has been missing for a year, and no one knows where he is—though there is a strong suspicion that Saucy Jack has him. Hammersmith has made finding Day his primary case, and he has company—a pair of bounty hunters, a man and a woman. It is only gradually that he has come to realize that they are not what they seem . . .

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed Grecian's fifth book in the Scotland Yard Murder Squad Series, but there was a few issues that I felt really affected how I felt about the book.

Okay so the plot was engaging and fast paced, but I felt that there was so much going on all at once that chaos really reigned and though it kept the pace super fast it was a bit overwhelming and I did have to read some paragraphs more than once.There are just so many different little conflicts going on in the plot that it was just difficult to focus on the main conflict between Jack and Walter Day. And Walter's whole other life, well I can see it being realistic in the beginning of his freedom from Jack, but as it progresses it just seems to surreal.

Grecian created some of the best literary characters in this series. I love Nevil; he is bumbling, loyal and just an average guy that makes him so relatable. And then there is his complete blindness to Fiona and the love that could be, sigh! And don't even get me started on Mr. Goodpenny and his hearing issues, hilarious. All the characters are just superb and I can't really gush anymore about how they are some of my favorite literary characters. Grecian did add a few new characters and they are just as well rounded as the regular characters are.

There is a part of the book that I didn't really see the point to, which was the stories by Claire Day under her pseudonym that were interspersed among the chapters in the book, they just felt really out of place to me and the further into the book I got I just skipped over the last two.

Setting was spot on, who can resist the London of yesteryears. The setting descriptions were elaborate, but with all the destruction in the plot it was hard to keep up with what got destroyed and what didn't.

The ending was spot on and was actually my favorite part of the book. Overall it was a solid reading experience, but I wasn't as consumed by this one as I was with the previous books in this series.

Here are the links to my reviews of the other books in this series:

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