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

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]

I devoured The Day Of The Accident. I loved The House On The Lake. So, naturally, I was prepared I would enjoy The Perfect Life as well. Little did I know, it would end up being my favourite Nuala Ellwood book yet!

About The Book:

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 313

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | 

★★★★

Synopsis:

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BE SOMEONE ELSE?

Vanessa has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape.

That’s how it started: looking round houses she couldn’t possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn’t.

Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead.

And everyone thinks Vanessa killed him…

My Thoughts:

The manipulation in this book is brilliant. The small red flags that get often ignored turn into a bigger picture, creating a unique pressure, and as a reader, I loved it!

Vanessa is such a morally grey character, and even though I felt for her, I could never truly trust her narrative. It was like stepping on shaky stones, but having a wonderful view at the same time. I don’t experience that often, and I want to find it more and more in books now!

I could predict in which direction the book was going, and even though I could sort of predict the ending as well, it still left me satisfied. If you are looking for a quick read that will take you on a creepy adventure, you better grab a copy of this book.

Nuala’s writing is amazing! She is able to get me into the story very fast, and keep me intrigued until the very end.

TW: rape, abuse, gaslighting

About The Author:

Nuala Ellwood author The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]

Nuala Ellwood is the author of three bestselling novels: My Sister’s Bones for which she was selected as one of the Observer’s ‘New Faces of Fiction 2017’, Day of the Accident and The House on the Lake. Nuala lives in York with her young son.

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Book Review · Books

All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride [BOOK REVIEW]

★★

All That’s Dead is book number 12 in the Logan McRae series, however, each of these books can be read as a standalone, as it features Inspector Logan McRae in different situations. This was my first novel from the series, as well from Stuart MacBride, and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve only just met the hero that is Logan McRae and I’m planning on hanging out with him more in the future.

Synopsis:

Scream all you want, no one can hear…

Inspector Logan McRae is looking forward to a nice simple case – something to ease him back into work after a year off on the sick. But the powers-that-be have other ideas…

The high-profile anti-independence campaigner, Professor Wilson, has gone missing, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind. There’s a war brewing between the factions for and against Scottish Nationalism. Infighting in the police ranks. And it’s all playing out in the merciless glare of the media. Logan’s superiors want results, and they want them now.

Someone out there is trying to make a point, and they’re making it in blood. If Logan can’t stop them, it won’t just be his career that dies.

My Thoughts:

I had the pleasure to listen to the audiobook by a narrator with a Scottish accent and I loved it! It managed to bring Stuart MacBride’s humour and beautiful writing to life like I wouldn’t be able to do it myself by simply reading.

It took me a while to fully get into the story, and to be quite honest, I never truly did. Mostly it’s because the political aspect of the book was not interesting to me, and I was merely into it from the investigation side of things. This is also the only reason I gave this book a 3-star rating.

Aside from the political aspect, I enjoyed the thriller elements in the book. I was hooked on the investigation scenes, and there were many plot twists that kept me intrigued. Same goes for the storytelling. Stuart MacBride did an amazing job there. I could vividly imagine the scenes only from his descriptions and I really enjoyed his hilarious metaphors. Each character was amazingly done, with their own little storylines and personal development, all culminating into a great ending to sum everything up.

Even though my first, this book will definitely not be my last from the author. If you are looking for a gripping political mystery thriller with a witty inspector, read All That’s Dead!

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Book Review · Books

The Nursery by Asia Mackay [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★★

If you ever wondered how James Bond would have looked like if he were a woman, this is the series you don’t want to miss. The Nursery is the second book of the Alexis Tyler series; a story about an assassin, a wife and a mother. It can be easily read as a standalone as well.

Synopsis

Lex Tyler is a secret agent. Her husband doesn’t quite know the details of her job. And her two-year old daughter has just developed a worrying love of biting.

When her colleague agents start dying and secrets are being leaked, Lex and her team have to work undercover to identify and eliminate the traitor in their midst. And this has to happen before China’s minister of Commerce gets assassinated on her visit in the UK. This is the one mission Lex can’t afford to fail.

My Thoughts:

I went into this book completely neutral, if not a bit worried that I haven’t read the first book of the series. And it blew me away! I loved the idea of a woman assassin that also has to juggle being a wife and a mum. I loved Lex’s character and her personal development, and could relate to so many things of her daily life. Even secret agents have to deal with their annoying two-year olds, and that was a relief. Lex was about to make some very unpopular life choices at one point in the book, and I was actually excited about. It was the obvious wrong choice, but her status-quo also wasn’t promising either, so I found myself rooting for the team that might raise eyebrows. The writing of this part and the build up to it was amazing.

The thriller moments in this book were phenomenal! I loved the suspense at the end of the chapters. And blimey, I did not expect that plot twist in the end. It surprised me so much, but then I realised how there have been hidden clues scattered in the book all along. And I’ve missed them all. I wanted to immediately re-read the book, just to find all the clues, and that is a proof to Asia Mackay’s amazing suspenseful writing.

I truly devoured this book, and Asia Mackay is now an author that I will keep following and whose books I’ll keep reading. Starting with “Killing It”, which is the first book of this series. The Nursery is a wonderful thriller you will not be able to put down. With a plot twist you’ll certainly remember!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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