Review: Dead Wrong

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Title: Dead Wrong (Calladine & Bayliss, #1)

Author: Helen H. Durrant

Rating: 4 stars

I love how the books from this series are quick reads.

Okay, so I started this series by book 4 ( Dead Lost) but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this at all. If anything, it made me feel like reading an origin story.

This is a great detective thriller with all the elements that makes the genre fun: it’s fast paced, intriguing, well plotted and well developed.

Calladine and Bayliss are great characters, smart and human, relatable in their doubts, wins and failures.

The hints for who was the perpetrator were well placed and it all came together making complete sense.

I already have the second book of the series waiting for me and I can’t wait to read it.

***

Review originally posted on GoodReads. Link here.

Review: The God’s Eye View

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Title: The God’s Eye View

Author: Barry Eisler

Rating: 4 and half stars

This was a hard book to read, not because it’s not well written – it really is very well done – but because of the subject matter and some characters. The plot, to me, is scarier than many horror books and movies out there.

Too much power concentrated at the hands of one single person who turns out to be a megalomaniac sociopath it’s terrifying.

I had to read it in small doses, cringing at the insanity of one of the main characters, scared for others. They were all well written, real and scarily believable.
Not all characters are crazy sociopaths and psychopaths, but all of them are broken one way or another.

This book has some graphic violence and graphic sex scenes. If you’re comfortable with those, you’re good to go. If you’re not, you get enough warning that let you skip these parts and not miss the great plot.

The main plot is solved in a way that makes sense, but the ending…. I won’t spoil you.

This is a book worth reading but not for the faint of heart. There are enough twist, turns and surprises to make a fan of great thrillers very happy.

Maybe you’ll finish this book a little bit paranoid, but that’s not really a bad thing, right?

I’d like to thank Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer and author Barry Eisler for sending me an ARC of The God’s Eye View in exchange for an honest review.

***

This review was originally posted on GoodReads. Link here.

 

Review: Void

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Title: Void

Author: David M. Staniforth

Rating: 4 stars

My reviews are usually very gut oriented meaning I talk mainly about the impressions a book leaves on me and what I feel reading it. I can’t help it. A book, a song, a movie, a painting, any form of art has to make me feel something – good or bad.

The amazing ratings this book was receiving plus the theme – amnesia – caught my attention. Like many others, I read this book quickly, I was eager to find out along with narrator who he was and what had happened.

This is a well written, well paced novel. The reveal is well done and well paced, and David M. Staniforth was very careful covering all bases, not explaining everything but still making every plot point a satisfying end point.

The angst Tom (the amnesiac) and Penny (his girlfriend) feel is real and touching. Many times you wonder along with them if it’s really worthy trying to recover the memories lost. After all, some things are better left forgotten. Still, they persevere, despite their fears.

This was a self published book, and I urge you to check it out. I’ll definitely be reading David’s other books.

***

Review originally posted on GoodReads. Link here.

Review: Blacklands

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Title: Blacklands (Exmoor Triloby #1)

Author: Belinda Bauer

Rating: 5 stars

I thought about giving it 4, maybe 4 and half stars but this book deserves a 5 star rating.

The writing in this book is beautiful. It’s impossible not to understand and feel Steven’s pain. It’s heartbreaking to realize he’s doing such extraordinary thing – find the body of his murdered uncle – to fix his little broken family. All he wants is to be normal and happy. It’s so simple and so poignant.

On the other side of the equation is Arnold Avery, the serial killer who murdered Steven’s uncle Billy Peters when he was a kid. Arnold is very honest about who he is, he doesn’t try to justify himself or believes he has a right to do what he does.

This book is a mix of character study and mystery, it is engaging, breathtaking and heartbreaking. It was hard to put it down – I only did because I was falling asleep but picked it up right after getting up.

This is a fast, fantastic reading. It deals tragedy and how it affects the lives of the survivors in the long term. I can’t recommend it enough.

***

Review originally posted on GoodReads. Link here.

 

Review: The Magic of Cape Disappointment

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Title: The Magic of Cape Disappointment

Author: Julie Manthey

Rating: 4 stars

I’m not usually into romance, but I needed to read something different, something more light hearted and this book was the perfect choice.

This is a story of being found by your destiny, no matter how much you run from it. It is full of powerful magic, beauty and love. It reads like a fairy tale of sorts, a story of destiny, of breaking rules and boundaries, and finding and accepting yourself in the place and role you tried to escape.

This is also a story about friendship and learning to lean on others.

It’s about true love and soul mates, and how love knows no prejudice.

If you want to read something lovely, entertaining and rich, this is the book for you.

Did I mention the main character, Kay Baker, is a Native American, and descendant from a powerful lineage of medicine women? And she talks with coyotes? Oh, and she can’t cook, but that’s okay because she meets Sam, and although he knows nothing about herbs and healing and would run the other way if he came across a coyote, he is a chef, and a lot more.

I’d like to thank NetGalley and author Julie Manthey for providing me with a copy of The Magic of Cape Disappointment in exchange for an honest review.

This is a self published book, and a great one. I highly recommend it.

 

***

 

Review originally posted on GoodReads. Link here.

Review: The Silent Wife

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Title: The Silent Wife

Author: A.S.A. Harrison

Rating: 3 and half stars

I’ve read some comparisons to Gone Girl but I think Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch is a better fit.

This is a story told in two point of views: Jodi’s, the wife who believes she’s leading the perfect life and that she is a completely normal, balanced person; and Todd’s, the husband that is happy with the arrangement he has, but believes he will lead the same peaceful life with his mistress turned wife.

Both Jodi and Todd are in denial. This reality they created, their reality, works because they’re both playing roles, but once they’re apart, these roles stop working.

Jodi and Todd are not too complex, but they are fascinating. I can’t say much without spoiling it.

I wish there were a few chapters from Natasha’s (Todd’s new wife) point of view.

Highlight to read spoiler.
I’d love to know if she really changed over time or it was just Todd’s perception of her that changed, and I’d also love to know if she was as manipulative as it appeared to be, or if that was just Todd trying to avoid taking responsibility and unconsciously putting all the blame on her.

Like I said, a worth reading 3 and half star book. The only thing stopping me from giving it 4 stars was that I found the writing simplistic at times and the climax took too long to happen, that’s all.

This was sadly A.S.A. Harrison only novel, she passed away while working on her second book.

Oh, and apparently this book is being made into a movie and Nicole Kidman is set to play Jodi. I’m okay with this casting.

***

Review originally posted on GoodReads. Link here.

Review: Good Omens

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Source: Neil Gaiman

Title: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Author: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Rating: 4 and half stars

What can I say about Good Omens that hasn’t been said yet?
It’s not for everyone, nothing wrong there, but if you like crazy fun colorful imagery, well, there’s a big chance this book is for you.

I heard about Neil Gaiman and this book from a good friend of mine years ago (probably over a decade ago, when we first met). It took me this long to read it but I wasn’t in a hurry – I knew I would love it.

I’m the (weird) kind of person who doesn’t like audio books because my imagination provides me with different voices for each character and doesn’t like watching movies based on books I’ve already read, again, because I have everything clear in my mind, and it could be ruined by someone else’s vision, or someone else’s vision would pale in comparison to what I created.

This book is for people like me, people who can dream and see, feel and hear the words as if they’re happening right in front of you.

Good Omens is less about character development and more about character and life happening.

It’s sweet, it’s fun, it’s outrageous, it’s touching. It’s life.

***

Review originally posted on GoodReads. Link here.

Review: Dead Lost

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Image source: GoodReads

Title: Dead Lost

Author: Helen H. Durrant

Expected publication: February 29, 2016.

Rating: 4 stars

It’s Summer here right now and I needed a light, fast read, DEAD LOST a gripping detective thriller full of suspense provided me just that.

That’s the first book of this series I’ve read and now I want to read the other ones (although I know I’ve spoiled myself with plot points from some of the previous books).

One thing I really love is when characters feel real, relatable, and both D.I. Calladine and D.S. Ruth Bayliss are just that. They’re not sherlockian, higher than thou genius people, they are hard working police officers trying to do their best and who care for the people they are trying to protect.

Dead Lost was fast fun read, one that can easily be read in one weekend.

I’d like to thank NetGalley, Joffe Books and author Helen H. Durrant for providing me with an ARC of DEAD LOST a gripping detective thriller full of suspense in exchange for an honest review.

***

Review originally posted on GoodReads. Link here.

Review: Sao Bernardo

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Title: Sao BernardoSao Bernardo

Author: Graciliano Ramos

Rating: 5 stars

 

I have an interesting story/relationship with this book. The first time I was supposed to read it, I was in 9th grade and I had to read it for the finals. It took me too long to get the book which left me with little time to read it. As a result, I read until the middle, then skipped to the last few pages. I got a grade good enough to pass the class, but that was it.

I found the book interesting, though, so much that I decided to read it on my own. To this day, it’s still one of the most fascinating and interesting novels I’ve ever read. The book is not long, but the characters are intense and rich. The atmosphere, scenarios and the culture are vivid and involves you so much it’s easy to picture in your mind, even if it describes a world completely different from the one you live in.

Paulo Honorio is as arid as the land he lives in and where he built his life. Madalena is like the world he tries and fails to understand. This is a story of love, misunderstandings, pain and regret, a story where characters and land are sometimes so much alike it’s hard to separate one from the other.

I cannot recommend it enough.

It was originally published in Portuguese, but I believe it was translated to many other languages.

If you want to experience the richness of Brazilian literature, this is a good place to start.

Review: Brief Encounters

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Title: Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments and Assorted Hijinks

Author: Dick Cavett

Rating: 4 stars

That was one of the most pleasant reading experiences I’ve ever had.

Dick Cavett is a magnificent storyteller. No wonder he’s been a successful writer, comedian and TV host for so many decades.

This book is a collection of articles Dick wrote for a newspaper and they have everything: tales of joy, sadness, confessions of teen stupidity and innocence, highs and lows. Dick talks about people he loves, some he does not (and who doesn’t fancy him either), people he lost and people the world lost.

He also talks about the beginning of his career, and when it finally found its footing.

This is a great book and I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of TV, comedy or life.