Book Review · Books

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs [BOOK REVIEW]

I wanted to read Hollow City as soon as I finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. And now, after finishing Hollow City, there’s only one thing I want to do. Immediately start Library of Souls – the third book in the series.

About The Book:


Pages: 428

Format I read it in: Paperback

Publisher: Quirk Books

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★★

Synopsis:

We start where we left off, as soon as the children escape the island, they realise foes are everywhere. Everyone is out there to get them and now they need to save Miss Peregrine as well. Get prepared to join these peculiar children and go through many different loops, discovering other peculiars. And most importantly, saving the woman that has been taking care of them all throughout these whole years.

My Thoughts:

The first thing I loved about this book was the beginning. I loved the eerie theme that the books starts with. Travelling at sea and getting from one island to another is a great start to project the turbulent experience all of these children are about to experience.

“I, too, said a silent goodbye, to a place that had changed me forever – and the place that, more than any graveyard, would forever contain the memory, and the mystery, of my grandfather.”

Their adventure, albeit very dangerous, was also very thrilling to me as a reader. Witnessing the children surviving and discovering new places, new destinations and new loops was a blast. Firstly, we get to visit a loop that was only supposed to be a story they read about in a book. A myth that actually turns to be true. And not only that, but we also meet some of the most peculiar creatures with the most incredible personalities. New quest to add to my personal journal – find yourself a chicken that lays explosive eggs. Because why not.

“But you can’t feel bad every second, I wanted to tell her. Laughing doesn’t make bad things worse any more than crying makes them better. It doesn’t mean you don’t care, or that you’ve forgotten. It just means you’re human.

The children then continue their journey, encountering a few caravans with Gypsies. This part of the book was the most exciting one for me. The fear the children have melts from the hospitaling of these lovely people. And although they’re on a mission and surrounded by danger, for once they felt safe. Meeting Radi, the son of Bekhir and reading about his story was incredible. I could almost feel how he felt and could only imagine how hard making choices must be in his situation.

“In that moment I was deeply grateful to the Gypsies, and for the simple mindedness of the animal part of my brain; that a hot meal and a song and a smile from someone I cared about could be enough to distract me from all that darkness, if only for a little while.”

Hollow City was so good, I even started liking Jacob a bit, especially towards the end of the book. I am not so sure how I felt about Emma in the end, though. She was trying to make decisions that weren’t hers to make, and that really put her in my bad books. I think Library of Souls will probably cover more of this section and answer some questions for me. Also, a little tip – don’t read this series alongside the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. There’s a big chance Emma and Melisandre to clash as the same character. Fire and age, well, what do I know. 🙂

“She thought they were weak and cowardly – that they’d taken the easy way out. I couldn’t help wondering, though, if these peculiars simply knew more than we did about what the wights did with their captives. Maybe we would choose death, too, if we knew.”

Ransom Riggs impressed me again, and I am so happy I read Hollow City. Once again, the photographs were amazing. But even more important than that, is how Ransom took these photographs, and made them into a story. All whilst making them in an order that compliments the reading perfectly. He is truly a master of his craft.

Please pick it up! To escape reality and enter a peculiar world! To meet children who are so incredibly unique. And to witness a new world, full of time-manipulation, adventure and grave danger. Pick Hollow City – to experience childhood again, for it is the most confusing, interesting and amusing part of all our lives. And also, the most peculiar.

“There was romance in the unknown, but once a place had been discovered and cataloged and mapped, it was diminished, just another dusty fact in a book, sapped of mystery. So maybe it was better to leave a few sports on the map blank. To let the world keep a little of its magic, rather than forcing it to divulge every last secret.”

About The Author:

Hi, I’m Ransom, and I like to tell stories. Sometimes I tell them with words, sometimes with pictures, often with both. I grew up on a farm on the Eastern shore of Maryland and also in a little house by the beach in Englewood, Florida where I got very tan and swam every day until I became half fish. I started writing stories when I was young, on an old typewriter that jammed and longhand on legal pads.

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Book Review · Books

Death Threats And Other Stories by Georges Simenon [BOOK REVIEW]

Death Threats And Other Stories by Georges Simenon [BOOK REVIEW]

The team at Penguin were kind enough to send me a copy of Death Threats and Other Stories by Georges Simenon. I remember my grandma calling me “Inspector Maigret” when I was small and nosy, and I know he was a famous book character, but this memory somehow fogged up, until I encountered the name again. And I knew I was going to be in for a ride.

About The Book:

Death Threats And Other Stories by Georges Simenon [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 180

Format I read it in: Paperback

Publisher: Penguin Books

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK

★★★★

Synopsis:

This new selection of short stories featuring Inspector Maigret – three of which are published in English for the first time – takes the detective from a mysterious death in a Cannes hotel to a love triangle in the Loire countryside and a bitter rivalry within a Parisian family.

My Thoughts:

As a whole, I really enjoyed the short stories. I met Inspector Maigret and I really loved his approach to the murders and investigations. He has certain ways of doing things that intrigue me. He takes the “thinking outside of the box” and brings it to a whole new level. Below I have listed all the short stories in this collection, alongside with a brief description of the synopsis and my thoughts for each story. There are NO spoilers, however, as these are short stories, sometimes even the synopsis can be too much, so read at your own risk. 🙂

The Improbable Monsieur Owen

When a murder happens in a hotel where Inspector Maigret is staying at, he tries not to be involved. However, his curiosity gets the better of him. I love how he planned to find out the killer and his execution. However, I wasn’t too happy with the fact that the guilty person didn’t get the punishment they deserves. I found this to be a very interesting frustration, because in other books we don’t always get the information of what happens after. We just assume someone gets a proper punishment – and I found this only bothered me just now.

The Men at the Grand Cafe

Inspector Maigret goes to the Grand Cafe regularly to play cards with the locals. One day, the butcher is murdered as he was returning from the Cafe. As soon as the news spread, the inspector decides that he wants nothing to do with the investigation. Various people visit him at home; to share secrets, alibis, ask him for help, but he refuses to say anything. It’s very interesting to see that despite him being uninterested, he very much enjoys the attention he gets with people coming to him. I enjoyed how the story unravelled, although I can’t understand the reason why someone would decide to act in such a way, when everything could have been less impactful.

The Man on the Streets

A murder happens and Maigret is doing a re-construction and fake arrest the next day. One guy is interested and the follow him around for days. After a few days of these shenanigans, inspector Maigret thinks of something very clever that makes this guy to start talking. I liked the inspector’s unorthodox approach to this case and the mind games he was also playing. I wonder if practices like these are today forbidden due to the distress it may cause to some individuals, but it was cleverly written and I certainly enjoyed it.

Candle Auction

The night before an auction happens in the small town, a guy full of cash is murdered. Inspector Maigret is asking all people that were in that inn to keep doing whatever they were doing that night. This way, he can reconstruct the night before the murder. After a series of events, the inspector is able to find the guilty person and close the case. It was a very short story, but one of the most captivating ones in the book.

Death Threats

The chief speaks with inspector Maigret and tells him about the unusual case: Monsieur Grosbois received a death threat. Maigret spends some time in the house. He gets to find out about all the family members and their dirty family secrets and arguments. What I found interesting was that none of the family members were trying to hide what went on in the family and they argued as if the inspector was never here. Usually, even if you don’t get along with someone in your family, when a guest comes over, you do your best to be friendly and keep the peace, but this wasn’t the case with this family and I was intrigued by that. Emile, scared of the death threat, makes the whole family sit on the terrace the whole day. In the evening, a murder attempt does happen – and inspector Maigret gives an interesting explanation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this collection of short stories, and I am definitely a fan of Maigret’s way of investigation and the way his thinking process works. He comes up with clever ideas to trick the murderers into falling into his trap. It’s very easy to read the stories as they are very gripping. I would warmly recommend this collection as the perfect introduction to Inspector Maigret’s adventures!

About The Author:

Georges Simenon Inspector Maigret author writer

Georges Joseph Christian Simenon (1903 – 1989) was a Belgian writer. A prolific author who published nearly 500 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known as the creator of the fictional detective Jules Maigret.
Although he never resided in Belgium after 1922, he remained a Belgian citizen throughout his life.

Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, capable of writing 60 to 80 pages per day. His oeuvre includes nearly 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several autobiographical works, numerous articles, and scores of pulp novels written under more than two dozen pseudonyms. Altogether, about 550 million copies of his works have been printed.

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Book Review · Books

The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell [BOOK REVIEW]

The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell [BOOK REVIEW]

The Midnight Man is the first ever book I’ve read by Caroline Mitchell, and I am now a huge fan! The Midnight Man is the first book in the Slayton Thrillers Series, and I will keep my eyes peeled for the second one, whilst exploring the other books Caroline has written in the meantime!

About The Book:

The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 311

Format I read it in: Audiobook

Publisher: Embla Books , imprint of Bonnier Books

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★

Synopsis:

From number one bestselling author Caroline Mitchell, comes the first chilling Slayton thriller for fans of C. J. Tudor and Stephen King.

If you open your door to the Midnight Man, hide with a candle wherever you can. Try not to scream as he draws near, because one of you won’t be leaving here…

On Halloween night in Slayton, five girls go to Blackhall Manor to play the Midnight Game. They write their names on a piece of paper and prick their fingers to soak it in blood. At exactly midnight they knock on the door twenty-two times – they have invited the Midnight Man in.

It was supposed to be a game, but only four girls come home.

Detective Sarah Noble has just returned to the force, and no one knows more about Blackhall Manor than her. It’s a case that will take Sarah back to everything she’s been running from, and shake her to the core.

Will she be ready to meet the Midnight Man?

My Thoughts:

Listening to The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell was such an adventure!

The Midnight Man is an action packed book that keeps you hooked and keeps you guessing until the very end. Even though I’ve read many mysteries in an audiobook format, this one managed to grip me from the first minute. The music at the beginning gave me goosebumps and set the mood for the book. And the narrators did their job perfectly well. Very interestingly, there was always a certain suspense in their voices, in the way they said things, in the anticipation of a very unsettling moment. Especially those suspenseful parts…

I liked the mystery side of it, and I was intrigued the whole way through. I especially liked the hidden mystery aspect and the connection of different people – it made me suspect everyone and everything. We are led on a path to believe a few different theories. We have the Haunted House, the game this person is playing. But we also have a few people that are newly involved, as well as some people who have been haunted by it for a long time. This mixture added greatly to the intensity of the story, and I did enjoy its culmination, although it was a little bit predictable for me, especially in the few chapters leading to the end.

The Midnight Man is a very solid mystery novel, especially for the spooky season. And if you choose the audiobook, I promise you there won’t be any regret. It adds a little bit of that pumpkin spice mystery taste to it.

About The Author:

The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell [BOOK REVIEW]

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.
Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston trilogy is described as terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers.
Caroline also writes psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim, has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’. Her new DI Amy Winter series is published by Thomas & Mercer.

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Book Review · Books

Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan [BOOK REVIEW]

Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan [BOOK REVIEW]

Karen Swan’s books have become a comforting and safe space for me over the past year. I always look forward to picking her newest book up and I’ve not once been left disappointed. Midnight in the Snow is definitely at the top of the list!

About The Book:

Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 457

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★★

Synopsis:

The story follows the award-winning movie director Clover, who rose to fame when she filmed the documentary about Cory Allbright, a surfer whose life went downhill after an accident, because of a controversy with his rival, Kit Foley.

Now that Kit has been labeled as the bad guy, he has decided to retire from surfing and make his debut into snowboarding. And Clover is the one tasked to document his journey now, all whilst she is struggling to hide her personal bias.

My Thoughts:

I loved everything about Midnight in the Snow. The beginning is very captivating and I was instantly pulled into Clover’s world, where she has just become the star of a documentary. We get to meet her in the spotlight and outside of it, and find out two different Clovers for a little while.

“An ending doesn’t have to be happy for a new beginning to spring up; it will follow anyway, just as surely as the sun chasing the moon.”

Then, very soon after, the plot thickens, and she’s on another adventure, filming another documentary. Only this time around, she is filming the “bad guy”. Trying to keep her personal bias aside, Clover and her crew members are determined to film his story and be as neutral as possible. However, once they meet Kit and his team, they realise nothing will be that easy.

Because Kit is terrible and rude, but also very dedicated to his sport. You never know where you stand with him, and he seems like he doesn’t care about anything else but winning. And as a former competitors, I have met many Kit’s in my life, and I can completely understand the determination to be the number one, and the arrogance that sometimes comes with it.

“When you already are more, where is there to go? What becomes of your humanity? The need to win comes at what cost? And are the sacrifices worth it? Because it seems to me, that when we reach for the sun, we always get burned.”

Karen Swan’s writing is as captivating as always.

And it’s not only Clover and Kit that get the spotlight. We meet so many different characters that we end up loving equally as much. Their stories and their paths are very beautifully written, and they cross in a very calculated manner. I ended up loving a lot of characters that I didn’t like at the beginning. The more I get to know them throughout the book, and understand why they made the choices that they did, and why they are the way they are – it left me with a heartwarming feeling in my heart. There is, as always, a little bit of mystery behind the story as well, and I greatly enjoyed discovering the clues and solving the questions.

With Midnight in the Snow, you are in for an adventure, trust me! You’ll be heading up and down your own emotional snowy slope and enjoy every single moment of it!

About The Author:

Karen Swan

Karen Swan is the Sunday Times top three bestselling author of twenty books and her novels sell all over the world. She writes two books each year – one for the summer period and one for the Christmas season. Previous summer titles include The Spanish PromiseThe Hidden Beach and The Secret Path and for winter, Christmas at Tiffany’sThe Christmas Secret and Together by Christmas.

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Book Review · Books

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman [BOOK REVIEW]

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman (The Thursday Murder Club #2)

The Man Who Died Twice was one of the most anticipated reads for me this year. I loved Richard Osman’s first book in the series, The Thursday Murder Club, and I couldn’t wait to dive into the second book immediately.

About The Book:

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman (The Thursday Murder Club #2)


Pages: 423

Format I read it in: Uncorrected Proof (Paperback)

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★★

Synopsis:

It’s the following Thursday. Our lovely group of pensioners is going on about their day-to-day routine, when Elizabeth receives a letter from an old colleague. He’s in danger and he needs her help, and he’s somehow managed to get himself involved with some stolen diamonds and some angry people capable of a lot of violence.

When things get heated and people start to die, Elizabeth needs the Thursday Murder Club crew to assist her. And Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim can’t wait to embark on another adventure.

My Thoughts:

This book is everything I expected it to be, but it still amazed me. First of all, Richard Osman is such an amazing storyteller. It was so easy to get into the story and read the book. The pace was steady and the chapters ended with a bit of suspense and mystery that made me keep going. The story was very well thought of, kept me hooked until the very end.

The group of four people that we already know and love work so well! Each one of them is a unique character and I loved reading their individual scenes just as much as I enjoyed them hanging around together and solving mysteries. They have a certain bond that I crave to have when I make it to that age. When I think of the Thursday Murder Club crew, I have the Friends crew in mind, when they are in their 80’s. I usually get bored and distracted when reading dialogues that don’t contribute to moving the story forward – but with this book, I craved more interactions and never ceased to be amazed.

The mystery side of the book was very interesting.

We get a few clues along the way and at some point, I was sure I cracked the case. But boy, oh, boy, was I wrong! And not only that, but there is a smaller mystery as well that happens side-by-side, making the reading journey very unpredictable. I loved how everything comes together in the end, and it all makes perfect sense.

I very much enjoyed the adventure that was The Man Who Died Twice and I’ll be looking forward to reading the next book Richard Osman decides to throw my way. Funny and mysterious, smart and adventurous – this book is a wonderful sequel to a brilliant series. If you’re still in doubt – go for it! The Thursday Murder Club crew will immediately grow on you, as they did on me.

About The Author:

Best known as the creator and co-presenter of the beloved BBC quiz show Pointless, Richard Osman’s career in television and comedy spans more than two decades. Osman studied Politics and Sociology at Trinity College, Cambridge, and began his career in television by producing numerous shows, including Deal or No Deal.

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