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Noll's Reading Log 2017

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Exquisite - Sarah Stovell

exquisite.jpg
Genre: Fiction
Synopsis: Bo Luxton has it all—a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it? Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

*** 

Review: This book is marketed as a thriller, but it really isn't. It certainly has elements of suspense which are somewhat thrilling, as the story progresses, but I feel it is far too random and meandering to be a thriller. It's character driven, and driven entirely by two characters. The narrative perspective shifts between Alice and Bo, documenting their encounters and email/messenger exchanges. First we get one woman's perspective, then the other, and gradually they come together to reveal the truth of the story.

I loved both characters, and I loved the writing. I got immediately invested in Alice's life and really liked her. Bo was a little more mysterious at first, but she was interesting enough that I wanted to know more. Being honest, though. I never really felt the chemistry between the two women. I didn't understand the captivation each held for the other. Unfortunately, this meant that as the story progressed the events seemed rather unfounded and difficult to relate to. It also got quite confusing, and the resolution wasn't overly satisfying. A bit too much unlikely behavior from an unlikely friendship. Sadly, despite getting off to a brilliant start, I can't fairly give this book more than a 3. I did enjoy it, but it ultimately just wasn't very good. Definitely not pacey or terrifying.

That said, the writing alone would inspire me to give Stovell another chance, so we'll see.

Rating: 3/5

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7 new reviews posted (mostly at the end of page 4).

 

Summary of them in case anyone doesn't feel like browsing the full reviews:

 

[Fiction] The People At Number 9 - Felicity Everett 2/5

[Crime Thriller] Gone Astray - Michelle Davies 4/5

[Crime Thriller] For Reasons Unknown - Michael Wood 4/5

[Horror] Last Days - Adam Nevill 3/5

[Thriller] The Other Side Of The Wall - Andrea Mara 4/5

[Crime Thriller] Outside Looking In - Michael Woods 4/5

[Psychological "thriller"] Exquisite - Sarah Stovell 3/5

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1 hour ago, Nollaig said:

Last Days - Adam Nevill

 
 


Nevill is a talented writer, his actual sentences are usually a pleasure to read, but sometimes his ability to pace and wind up a story are somewhat lacking. Had this book been 100 pages shorter and the history/truth of the cult more gradually revealed, this could have been a super scary book. Unfortunately, I was a bit too bored to be scared. Points for effort, and nice writing.

 

Ah yes, I agree - as much as I like his books, he often draws things out, and then goes a bit crazy at the end!

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It's so nice to read some of your reviews again, Noll :D!

 

What would you say is the difference between a "thriller" and a "crime thriller" (and a "psychological thriller")? Is a crime thriller a book in which you have detectives and a dead body and a thriller ie. a book in which the main character is kidnapped?

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On 26/07/2017 at 10:58 AM, Michelle said:

Ah yes, I agree - as much as I like his books, he often draws things out, and then goes a bit crazy at the end!

 

I'm still always going to read his books, because for the most part they're such a pleasure to read. The Ritual, for the first two thirds or so, was so scary I actually couldn't read it in the dark at night (on my tablet). Books never have that effect on me!

 

21 hours ago, Athena said:

It's so nice to read some of your reviews again, Noll :D!

 

What would you say is the difference between a "thriller" and a "crime thriller" (and a "psychological thriller")? Is a crime thriller a book in which you have detectives and a dead body and a thriller ie. a book in which the main character is kidnapped?

 

Thanks Gaia :)

 

So, I suppose a general thriller is any thriller really where the police don't take a central role - it's told from the perspective of the victim/s and/or perpetrator. The police might only turn up towards the end to finish the story. Regular thrillers will pretty much always have a killer and victims, although the killer might just be a threat even quite late into the book. There's a sense of threat and danger. They're also usually stand-alone, not in series.

 

If it has unreliable narrators, or really gets inside the heads of the characters, then I'd consider it a psych thriller. The ones with killers and victims are straightforward, but there might be no police or victims at all. For example, in Exquisite, there's nothing too mysterious, it's just a pair of unreliable narrators talking about their relationship. It's psychological because it's driven by two unreliable, arguably odd people. It's a thriller, allegedly, because it's tense and exciting and you don't know what's going to happen but there's an undercurrent of threat or danger. Another example would be Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. That's a subdued thriller - same undercurrent of threat, danger, and mystery about some terrible events, but it's largely a character-driven courtroom drama. Still thrilling.

 

And a crime thriller is just that, it's actually told from the perspective of the police/detectives on the case. A lot of crime thrillers are in series, featuring one main police character and their team, and often have mysteries in them (solving one mysterious murder over the course of the book, or a mysterious series of murders by one killer who is profiled as the book goes on.)

 

That's just my own way of categorizing them. I couldn't possibly just say the Matilda Darke novels and Exquisite were all just 'thrillers' because they're just so different - I like to be a bit clearer.

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I've read another 6 books since my last update, not sure if I'll review them all but I'll definitely write something for a few of them.

 

Also, I've read another Irish Counties Challenge book, which is the first this year, I think. Must read more, but happy I've done one. I'm not sure if the author is from Down or Louth, as different sources say he's from Newry but was born in Dundalk. So I'm guessing he grew up in Newry, and am counting him as Dundalk (Louth) because he was born there (and my options for Louth are slim!). It was a really good book too, one I'll definitely be writing a review for.

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6 books! Well done :). It's nice you read another Irish Counties Challenge book :).

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Nothing on Eath - Conor O'Callaghan

 
 
Genre: Gothic/Mystery
Synopsis: It was a time when nobody called. Early evening, the hottest August in living memory. A frightened girl bangs on a door. A man answers. From the moment he invites her in, his world will never be the same again. She tells him about her family, and their strange life in the show home of an abandoned housing estate. The long, blistering days spent sunbathing; the airless nights filled with inexplicable noises; the words that appear on the windows, written in dust. Where is her family now? Is she telling the truth? Can the man be trusted? Beautiful and disturbing, her story – retold in his words – reaches towards those frayed edges of reality where each of us, if only once, glimpses something nobody will ever explain.

*** 

Review: Having heard great reviews of this book, I wanted to read it for ages. After purchasing it, I put it aside due to being on a roll with thrillers, and an awareness that (in my experience of my Irish Counties Challenge), some Irish authors are a bit too lyrical in their writing for their books to be easy reads. However, for whatever reason, I decided to pick this one up a couple of weeks ago, and it was an unexpected delight. It's a short novel, so I tore through 80% of it in one day, having read a few pages the night before.

It's a difficult one to describe. It begins how you would imagine a thriller would begin, as described in the synopsis. However, as the girl's story is recounted it gradually becomes characterized not just by the oddness of the girl's family and their strange living arrangements, but by a sense of detachment from the world outside the ghost estate. The family seem unmoored from the real world, meandering through an undefined life. Beautifully and eerily written, anything seems possible in their isolation. The gothic element takes the form of the aforementioned inexplicable noises, words appearing on the window, and the family slowly vanishing.

There is no real point to this novel, it is all about the atmosphere and getting lost in something a bit different. The ending was very interesting - it definitely raised a lot of questions (none of which are answered) and brought up a very broad range of possibilities in my mind. There was one unnecessary bit at the end, I felt, which made me bring my rating down to 4 stars from 5, but overall this is a really unique, immersive, and enjoyable story.

Rating: 4/5 

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Irregular Creatures - Chuck Wendig

 

 

 
Genre: Short Stories, Fantasy, Horror
Synopsis:  Contained within are nine stories featuring bizarre beasties, mythological mutants, and overall “irregular creatures” – including flying cats, mermaids, Bigfoot, giant chickens, and mystic hobo hermaphrodites. Horror, fantasy, science-fiction and humor abound in these nine stories.

*** 

Review: I ususally struggle somewhat with reviewing a collection of short stories, as there may be one I absolutely loved surrounded by several I really disliked. Do I then give the collection 3 stars, underselling the great story while perhaps giving the lesser ones more credit than I feel they deserve? Fortunately, this whole book was solidly three stars in the best way. Sure, if the whole thing had been five or four stars, that would have been great. But this collection of tales is (mostly) fairly light reading with a good sense of humor woven throughout. While it's nothing outstanding, it was a book I was happy to pick up and read the next story.

My favourites were probably Lethe And Mnemosyne, Dog-Man and Cat-Bird, Product Placement, and This Guy. Two of these (Lethe, and This Guy) were exceptionally short with zero explanation, but they were just so random that I actually got a good laugh out of them. I can't summarise them because so little happens that I would be spoiling the stories. Dog-Man and Cat-Bird is also random (okay, the whole book is pretty random), but it is quite a bit longer and as the first story in the book, it is responsible for setting reader expectations. With a winged-cat defending a family from other, evil winged cats, it left me expecting and unquestioning amusingly-written weirdness, which is pretty much what I got. Product Placement is one of the few that has an explanation, but it isn't any less odd - a man wakes up one day to find all of the familiar brands of the world have ceased to exist, and have been replaced by ones everyone around him seems to be familiar with. He is the only one that has noticed something odd is happening to reality.

The remainder of the stories I wasn't really pushed on - there were bits I liked and bits I didn't, but they were all easy to read. All in all, a good fun collection.

Rating: 3/5 

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Pretty Girls - Karin Slaughter

 
 
Genre: Thriller
Synopsis:  Sisters. Strangers. Survivors. More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed. The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

*** 

Review: I picked this up for 2 reasons - 1. I have been well aware of Karin Slaughter for years, though I had never read anything by her - until recently, I was wary of getting into series, but the fact that this is a standalone book negated that, and 2. I heard it was dark/graphic and I'll be honest, I like my thrillers dark and graphic. I was really excited about reading it, as I know Slaughter has a great reputation, and this book seemed to both have great reviews and have utterly grossed people out.

There were a few things I liked about this book - the writing is great and the book is very readable (I read nearly 300 pages in one sitting), which means it's also very compelling. I liked the characters; they were fleshed out, credible, and the story of the Carroll family - the disappearing eldest daughter and the devastated lives of the remaining family members over the years - reeled me in. I'll admit, when Paul is killed at the beginning of the book (not a spoiler, it's literally in the synopsis), I was genuinely moved by the scene. All in all, a great start, living up to the expectations I held for it.

However, a revelation occurs about a fifth of the way into the book, and without trying to spoil anything, literally nothing that happens after that point (except one thing) is unexpected. Most thrillers pivot around finding 'whodunnit' or who the bad guy is. Well, it's kind of hard not to anticipate where this book is going from very early on. Sure, the finer details I didn't guess, but there are no surprises in the broad plot of this book, which I found very disappointing. The result was, most of the book dragged out while the characters stumbled around arguing and struggling to accept what was blatently obvious. Despite this, the bad person or persons seemed paper thin with a very flimsy explanation (or none at all) for their involvement. I really felt the book fell apart towards the end.

Overall, I felt the graphic nature of the violence in the book was meant to distract from the fairly dull and suspenseless plot. I guess that worked for some people. For me, it lacked in a lot of core areas.

Rating: 3/5

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Three new full reviews above, and two short ones here:

 

I'm not writing full reviews for these two as I haven't much to say on them, even though I enjoyed them.

 

The Escape - C. L. Taylor

 

Agoraphobic and generally anxious mother believes someone is after her daughter and out to get her. A good easy read, all the usual elements of paranoia, distrust, everyone thinking the protagonist is mad etc. I liked the characters, the paranoia of the main character was not annoying and the ending was fairly believable. I preferred her other book, The Missing, but I enjoyed this one too and will read more by the author.

 

Rating: 3/5

 

How I Lost You - Jenny Blackhurst

 

Woman convicted of killing her baby has just been released from jail and, with a new identity, is trying to start a new life. But when a photo arrives through her door, she begins to question whether she really killed him - or if he's even dead. This was a great read. As with The Escape, it has all the usual tropes like a ransacked house (this happens in both books) and a female protagonist fighting for a child while everyone around her isn't sure she's all there. This one was better than The Escape simply in that the writing was a bit better, the plot a bit more layered and complex, and while I thought I had it all figured out, I was totally, totally wrong, which I always like in a book. I preferred this book to her other novel Before I Let You In. The ending was a bit OTT, but I can forgive it.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

I've also updated my book blog and to date I have reviewed 213 different authors. Yay! I've reviewed more books and read way more than that, because I stopped reviewing for ages and don't review every book fully. So I'm happy to have broken 200.

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20 hours ago, Nollaig said:

I've also updated my book blog and to date I have reviewed 213 different authors. Yay! I've reviewed more books and read way more than that, because I stopped reviewing for ages and don't review every book fully. So I'm happy to have broken 200.

 

Congratulations :)!

 

I'm glad your reading has been going well, nice reviews :)!

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On 15/08/2017 at 11:00 AM, Nollaig said:

Pretty Girls - Karin Slaughter

 
 


Overall, I felt the graphic nature of the violence in the book was meant to distract from the fairly dull and suspenseless plot. I guess that worked for some people. For me, it lacked in a lot of core areas.

Rating: 3/5

 

Some people? Lol. Yeah - me. :rolleyes: 

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On 8/20/2017 at 0:21 PM, Chrissy said:

 

Some people? Lol. Yeah - me. :rolleyes: 

 

Okay? I don't know who has read it or not. It wasn't meant as a slight - it worked for a lot of people, it's a popular book. I was just underwhelmed by how straightforward the plot was after the reveal of a central bad guy a fifth of the way into the book.

 

Edit: I've since noticed it was your blog that I got the recommendation from. And it was 3 weeks later that I wrote this review - I never remember where I heard about books on this forum, certainly not three weeks after the fact. I hadn't the slightest clue when I read the book whose thread I read about it in - I read too many threads and don't note sources of recommendations. So it most definitely was not a slight aimed at you, and I apologise if you thought it was. When I wrote 'some people', I had 5 star reviewers on Goodreads in mind (I always read Goodreads reviews after I finish a book).

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A Room Full of Killers - Michael Woods

 
 
Genre: Thriller
Synopsis: Eight killers. One house. And the almost perfect murder… Feared by the people of Sheffield, Starling House is home to some of Britain’s deadliest teenagers, still too young for prison. Now the building’s latest arrival, Ryan Asher, has been found brutally murdered – stabbed twelve times, left in a pool of blood. When DCI Matilda Darke and her team investigate, they uncover the secrets of a house tainted by evil. Kate Moloney, the prison’s manager, is falling apart, the security system has been sabotaged, and neither the staff nor the inmates can be trusted. There’s only one person Matilda believes is innocent, and he’s facing prison for the rest of his life. With time running out, she must solve the unsolvable to save a young man from his fate. And find a murderer in a house full of killers…

*** 

Review: Having loved the two previous installments in this series, I couldn't wait to start what was the most excitingly-premised one yet. I've read a good few other thrillers between the second Matilda Darke book and this one, and it was nice to come back to familiar characters I know and love.

Everything I loved about the previous two books holds up in this one, except, unfortunately, the plot development. It might be because I had just finished reading a long, fairly graphic book, but I felt like A Room Full of Killers was undeveloped and very glossed over. Each of the boys in Starling House is a murderer, and the back story of each book is revealed in a single short chapter per boy. This told me what crime they committed, but I still felt I had no real insight into the boys. As I progressed through the novel I honestly couldn't even tell them apart, apart from Lee, whose effeminate look and disposition was noted on several occasions. I felt the same about the house and its employees - they all, house included, had the potential to be interesting characters, but most of them were hardly mentioned. When the big reveal happened towards the end of the book, naming a character previously mentioned, I literally went, 'who?' That's how little of an impression was left by them.

That said, the premise was fantastic. I loved the idea of the house, the boys, the additional subplot of a potentially innocent boy in Starling House, and the whodunnit twist. It was original, quite gritty in parts, and kept me guessing the whole way through. So it was a genuinely enjoyable book, and I probably sound far more harsh about it than I intend to be - if I do, it's only because I hold Michael Woods to a high standard. Good book, which could have been great with a little more depth.

Rating: 3/5

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The Burning - Jane Casey

 
 
Genre: Crime Thriller
Synopsis: The Burning Man. It's the name the media has given a brutal murderer who has beaten four young women to death before setting their bodies ablaze in secluded areas of London's parks. And now there's a fifth.  Maeve Kerrigan is an ambitious detective constable, keen to make her mark on the murder task force. Her male colleagues believe Maeve's empathy makes her weak, but the more she learns about the latest victim, Rebecca Haworth, from her grieving friends and family, the more determined Maeve becomes to bring her murderer to justice. But how do you catch a killer no one has seen when so much of the evidence has gone up in smoke?

*** 

Review: As part of my foray into the world of thriller series, I picked up this book as it was only £1.99 for Kindle, and my attention had previously been drawn by a review of a later installment in the series. There are seven books in this series - the longest published series I've begun - and as such I'm very pleased to say I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I'm becoming a bit more familiar with the ranks of British police and detectives, and find a lot of police-perspective thrillers are told from the perspective of a high up, like the DCI Matilda Darke series. The Burning, however, featuring DC Maeve Kerrigan, stars a low-level dectective, ambitiously working her hardest and professionally sparring with her colleagues for the recognition of the higher-ups. The case she is working on, that of the Burning Man serial killer, is really interesting. The novel starts off with a bang, which immediately captured my interest. While it levels out to a more subdued tone overall by not focusing so much on the serial killer, it remains compelling by focusing on finding out all about Rebecca Haworth, her past, and the people who knew her best.

I really liked all the characters, the good guys, the bad guys, and enjoyed trying to figure out whodunnit through a set of unreliable narrators. A good combination of police procedural and psychological thriller with solid characters and a really interesting story, this is a solid first entry in the Maeve Kerrigan series. I've heard that it takes two or three books for this series to really get going, and if that's the case, I'm sure I'm going to love this series.

Rating: 4/5

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Harbour - John Ajvide Lindqvist

 

 
 
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy
Synopsis: On a winter trip home to the island of Domarö, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse at Gåvasten. And Maja disappears. Leaving not even a footprint in the snow. Two years later, alone and more or less permanently drunk, Anders returns to Domarö to confront his despair. He slowly realises that Maja's disappearance is not the first inexplicable tragedy to strike the islanders. Nor is everyone telling him all they know; even his own mother, it seems, is keeping secrets. And what is it about the sea? There's something very bad happening on Domarö. Something that involves the sea itself.

*** 

Review:  I picked this up when I wanted to take a short break from reading detective and psychological thrillers. I didn't really know what to expect from the book, having only skimmed the synopsis and opted to go in mostly blind. The author's reputation precedes this book, so I decided to hope for the best.

And it's a difficult one. In a lot of reviews, I say a lot of critical things about the book, and go on to give it four stars because despite the flaws, I loved it. It's kind of the reverse with Harbour. Every individual element of it is pretty great, truth be told, but something about it just didn't quite come together for me. It genre-hops a little bit in its creation of an eerie atmosphere, wherein a small Swedish island begins to face up to something not quite natural invading their tightly-knit, ancient community. In the telling, the story also time-hops back and forth across several generations of one family, telling the individual puzzle piece stories of its members, which builds up (eventually) to a bigger picture. My biggest problem with the book, was how long it took that picture to build. When you strip back the details of each person's life to the elements relevant to the story of Domaro itself, there's actually very little there. It takes a long time for this book to tell, essentially, quite a simple story.

So, while I adored the people, and thoroughly enjoyed learning about them, while I was frequently stunned by the author's mastery of words, while the underlying concept was great, while, overall, it was an enjoyable book, it was not really a rewarding one. I will admit, it's growing on me in hindsight, though. It's possible I'd enjoy it more on a second read, knowing what to expect - if I could ever be bothered to put the time into it.

Rating: 3/5 

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Shame Harbour was a bit of a disappointment. It can be a bit difficult sometimes if you read a book and aren't sure what to expect from it. I hope your next read will be nicer for you :).

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

 
 

Genre: Fiction/Humor/Drama
Synopsis: Meet Eleanor Oliphant. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully time-tabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
Then everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living--and it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.


*** 

Review: This is yet another one of those heartwarming stories about an odd, quirky, possibly grumpy, likely anti-social individual learning how to reintegrate into the community, making friends and finding happiness along the way. From the description, she sounds just like me (minus the vodka). I tend to say exactly what I think, because I can't stand people who don't (doesn't make me rude, I have tact; I'm just honest). I avoid socialising, and don't even socialise at work (like Eleanor). I stay home all weekend, and read, game, etc. To me, this is a good life, and it's not one that needs to change in any way.

Now, granted, Eleanor's life does need to change. She has issues which become readily apparent, which go beyond what is mentioned in the synopsis - and that's fair. She needs some help, she should get it. But what I don't like is how anyone who doesn't fit the average is seen as kooky and a source of amusement for readers. Not knowing about fashion, makeup, waxing, pubs, there's nothing wrong with this. There's nothing funny about someone who doesn't understand the assumptions that socially-ept people make. And yet, all of the humor in this book (and I laughed, too, before realising I was frequently laughing at myself), derives from Eleanor's inability to function as 'normal' people do. That does not sit well with me.

Raymond, however, is the reason this book got 3 stars. I love Raymond, he's a fantastic character. A simple guy who takes pleasure from simple things. While sometimes baffled by Eleanor's behavior, he does not laugh at her (as the reader does), he simply accepts her, or gently assists her in situations where she risks causing offense or complete confusion. But he never judges her, only supports her and never tries to change her. This is an attitude all people should aspire to, and if for no other reason, Raymond's handling of Eleanor makes this book worth reading - the kind of people who laugh at Eleanor (myself included) are the kind of people who need to read about Raymond.

 

Rating: 3/5

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Silent Scream - Angela Marsons

 
 
Genre: Crime thriller
Synopsis: Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever… Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country. But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades. As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?

*** 

Review: This book represents the first time I have tried a new crime thriller series, and actively disliked the main character (Kim Stone). Right from the beginning, she proved irritating. Her three main qualities are rudeness, being an emotional brick wall, and acting outside the line of duty. It's no secret from the synopsis that there are skeletons to be recovered from the ground early in the story - instead of waiting literally a few additional hours to adhere to protocols, before retrieving years old bodies from a fully secured site, she went ahead and ordered the excavations. Why? The bodies had already been there years, a few more hours made no difference. The site was secure, nobody was getting in and covering it up. This was just the first of many instances where she stepped out of line. Granted, sometimes it works and sometimes it's necessary, but this was just silly.

However, aside from my dislike of the main character, I loved pretty much everything about this book. I thought the writing was great, the case interesting, the characters compelling (for the most part - Stace tended to talk with an approximation of a 'Black Country accent', and since I have no idea what that sounds like, her phonetic speech seemed very odd), and the twist was, while a bit far-fetched, at least unpredictable. I genuinely loved the characters of William Payne and Lucy. I thought the inclusion and representation of a disabled person's life was sensitively handled, something I rarely see in the numerous crime thrillers I've read.

Overall, I enjoyed much more about this book than I didn't, even warming to Kim a *tiny* bit towards the end after learning more about her. I've already bought book 2 and am looking forward to getting into it. I originally gave it a three, but on reflection I'm going to give it a four.

Rating: 4/5 

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Nice reviews :)!

 

There's nothing necessarily wrong with not doing much socialising, I don't do that either. It's nice Raymond lifted the rating up of the book and made you enjoy it more. I'm not sure if I would find the book funny myself, but I'm glad you liked it somewhat.

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On 9/9/2017 at 5:48 AM, Athena said:

Nice reviews :)!

 

There's nothing necessarily wrong with not doing much socialising, I don't do that either. It's nice Raymond lifted the rating up of the book and made you enjoy it more. I'm not sure if I would find the book funny myself, but I'm glad you liked it somewhat.

 

It's written to be humorous, and at times I just got into that and found it funny. Some of the things Eleanor does are genuinely funny, but it's rude to laugh at someone who behaves a bit differently to others, and I found myself disliking that the book was written to be funny in that way.

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine has gone onto my wishlist. I'm not a great socialiser either, so maybe I can relate to it as well. 

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