Book Review · Books

Close To Home by Cara Hunter [BOOK REVIEW]

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Close To Home is, I believe, the first mystery/thriller book I have given one star to. I had very high hopes for this one. And it crashed my hopes quite hard. 

Close To Home is the first book in a series called DI Adam Fawley.

The books are not related to themselves and can be read as standalones. They all feature the detective Fawley, therefore the series solution. Something similar to Dan Brown’s series. I listened to the audio book, and I think that the format might have a little blame on my rating.

In this book, the 8-year-old girl Daisy Mason disappears from her parents’s summer party. No one in the neighbourhood saw anything, not even the parents, and the detective is trying to keep an open mind in this whole situation, as someone is clearly lying.

The story begins with an interesting premise, and I loved the initial interviews that are happening, right after the disappearance. And after this initial moment, everything goes downhill.

There are many twists in this book, and they all are happening based on dumn luck or weird circumstances.

I would understand if this happened once or twice, but they have solved the whole mystery with coincidences happening one after another as well as random plot lines being added in the middle of nowhere, just to keep the story going.

Oh – we’re running out of clues. Let’s add a secret random second family the dad has. Oh – we’re running out of clues again. Let’s add a suspicious background for the mother. And now, let’s make both these events come up at them at the same time, right when we’re trying to solve an investigation. And now, let’s add a mental issue with the brother. (Despite receiving all doctor’s reports at the beginning)…

Too many events that came up afterwards and that I still have trouble to believe could make sense.

And on top of all this, I need to mention that the book doesn’t have chapters as such. The parts are split with excerpts from social media. Something which I truly believe I would have enjoyed if I read the book. But instead, I was listening to it. And it is so annoying.

The below excerpt is not a quote, as I don’t have the paperback copy. However, it does represent the true format of how this sounded in the audiobook: 

Twenty-ninth of October, nine twenty five.

Angela G Bettaton at angela dot g bettaton. I hope they find the person that took Daisy. Hashtag Daisy Mason. Hashtag Find Daisy.

Mike eighty seven at mike dot eight seven The person that did this should take responsibility. Hashtag Find Daisy. Hashtag Missing Girl. 

The ending – it just wasn’t worth the wait, and it was the most unsatisfying ending I have ever encountered in mystery novels.

I regret picking this book up and I regret reading it. I really wish I love it, as I was looking forward to Cara Hunter’s new novel, but now, I am not so sure anymore.

If you think you might enjoy it, please pick it up! Perhaps you might love it, who knows! 

Thank you to the team at Penguin Random House, for proving an audiobook for me listen to, in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell [BOOK REVIEW]

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The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell was a very pleasant read for me for many reasons! I am so glad I got the chance to read it!

The Plot

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates–the country’s most depraved murderers–while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylum.

Psychiatrist Victor is starting a new job in the Asylum where the Devil’s Six are – Czech Republic’s most dangerous murderers. Victor has a theory by the name of the Devil Aspect, where he believes that is manifested in these six murderers. He believes it comes out in certain circumstances, making these people commit crimes, but not being aware they have done it. Something similar to a split personality, but in this case, the murderers think that the Devil is next to them, and he is making them do all these things.

My thoughts

This book was such a pleasurable roller coaster. I wasn’t able to put it down and I read it in only a few days. The writing is unbelievable and I am going to be picking up other books from this author, for the sole reason of his writing. The Devil’s Aspect was so intriguing and it kept me on my toes at all times. I found it extremely enjoyable.

The blend of mythology, culture and psychology is perfectly put together, and having lived in the Balkan countries, I can easily relate to many of the culture aspects. It was perfectly described and I felt as if I am in 1935 together with the characters. The time and place are wonderfully written, with incredible accuracy.

The ending was the most pleasurable, and without spoiling anything, I will only say a few things… Be ready for everything to happen. This book has many twists and many scenes where dangerous things are happening. A lot of intensity which I devoured with great pleasure. If you are coming for an adventure, you will get even more that you bargained for.

Proceed at your own risk! And good luck!

Thank you to the team at LoveReading UK and the author, Craig Russell, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

The Stranger Game by Peter Gadol

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When Rebecca’s boyfriend Ezra goes missing, she knows something is not quite right. But when she reports it to the police, they don’t seem to really care. They suspect he’s been playing ”The Stranger Game”, a game that went viral, where people take social media behaviour on the streets and start following each other in real life.

The rules of the game are simple:

  • You must choose a random person.
  • You cannot make contact with other people (or tell them you’re playing the game)
  • You mustn’t follow the same person twice.

But as the game spreads, the rules start to change, and people start disappearing without a trace.

In hope that she she can find her man, Rebecca starts playing the game herself. But the more she gets involved, the bigger the risk is.

When I read the synopsis about ”The Stranger Game” by Peter Gadol, I knew I had to read the book. It is a plot that intrigues me and I am always up for reading more psychological thrillers.

But this book’s delivery was weak. I found the story very slow and unintriguing, with no exceptional plot twists and with a disappointing and rather predictable ending. 

Rebecca was a difficult character to begin with. The writing in the chapters felt different, even though it was the same character’s point of view. I was left very confused. I just wanted to get a better glance at ”The Stranger Game”. And I did, but the game scenario was so much different compared to the synopsis – which was only slightly annoying. But to top up the annoyance, there was a huge lack of mystery and suspense throughout the book. I just stopped caring whether Rebecca was going to find Ezra or not. I did not care whether her life was in danger. I was that unbothered. 

On a positive note,

I did enjoy the psychological theme and people’s behaviour. I always want to know more about how and why people behave in a certain way and this book definitely opened some interesting discussion points.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

If you like human psychology and behaviour, this is a good book to have on your stack. But will this be the next mystery and suspense hit? Probably not…

Thank you to team at HQ (Harper Collins Publishers), for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

”The Stranger Game” comes out on 5th September 2019. 

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Book Review · Books

Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie

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★★★★★

One ordinary day. One extraordinary event. Their lives changed forever. 

Nightingale Point is a book that shows the aftermath of a terrible disaster. A story about many people’s lives, how this event changed them and their recovery and grief.

BEFORE

The book starts with giving us a brief description of people living in two neighboring buildings. We get to know their daily routines, their worries and hopes. We get a glimpse of their everyday lives and start to care for them.

We meet Mary, who has moved from the Philippines into the UK to persue her career as a nurse. Her husband is always away and her children are distant.

We meet the brothers Tristan and Malachi – they have a tragedy of their own, and Mary is like their mum. Tristan is the naughty 16-year-old and Malachi is the older, more responsible brother.

Then we meet Pamela, a 16-year-old who loves running and falls in love with Malachi. However, her racist dad forbids her to see Malachi and locks her inside the building,

We see Elvis as well, who has learning disabilities and lives with his carer. He gets bullied by Tristan one day when Tristan spits in his face.

AFTER

On 4th May 1996, a plane crashes into these two buildings at Nightingale Point and everything changes.

Every resident that lives on Nightingale Point has a before and after story. The ones that survived, but also the ones that didn’t.

This is a story about how much one event can turn your life upside down, how it can change you and also how much little things mean in life, but we forget them so often.

I found it amusing that we had different chapters from different people’s perspectives, and each character had its own different writing style and life to it. This was amazingly done by the author. I found the chapters with Elvis especially refreshing, as they were so heartwarming.

Based on real tragic events – the crash in Bijlmer, Amsterdam and also the fire in Grenfell Tower, the author did a wonderful job in showing the readers the true pain, trauma and the battle of moving forward when a tragedy happens.

Guys, if you haven’t read this book, please pick it up. It will be a hit and it will change your life. Every time I look at this book, I will remember how much little things matter in life and will always call my dad and ask him how he’s doing. Because it matters.

Thank you to the team at HQ for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Summer’s End by Kristy Brown

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★★★

Summer’s End is a Young-Adult romance, with a fantasy twist – an interesting and unique book I didn’t expect to read.

First of all – let’s all take a minute to cherish the cover. It is so pink and shiny, and I admit it, it was the first thing that made me read this book. Gorgeous cover!!!

Summer wakes up in a hospital, but she doesn’t remember anything from her past. They tell her she was in a fire accident and barely survived. Before she is ready, she starts going to uni with her two best friends who are helping her remember the past. But when she gets near this one boy, she feels something she has felt before…

Dooney has been training his whole life to kill her when the time is right. She is dangerous and he knows this. He has been trying to locate her for a long time now. And when he finally knows where she is, she makes him feel other things than hatred.

A very quick-paced book with lots of dialogues and quick chapters. Summer’s End make me turn pages constantly, until I finally got to the end. It was very captivating.

The beginning was great, it lured me in instantly, getting me hooked to both character’s lives. However, I didn’t quite enjoy the romance between the two. It felt too fast, too pushed and over the top. This is because of all the repetitive scenes where Summer would faint when he is near and they would always feel each other’s presence. It just didn’t feel real to me.

Saying this though, the ending was amazing and the romance got a bit better at the very end.

Apart from a few plot holes and the romance, I did enjoy this book a lot. If you love YA, I do recommend that you check this book out!

Thank you to the author, Kristy Brown, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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