My Rating: 5 Stars
Complex, thrilling, brilliant novel! I’ve had a few issues with putting thoughts and opinions on paper in a way that makes sense, so much to say!
Welcome to Glendaig, a little town in the Scottish Highlands. A peaceful place until the remains of a person wearing a German watch are discovered in a beach nearby. Young Neil Strachan, a career cop with a background in History is given the task to solve the mystery. When the young policeman gets in touch with a German novel historian specialist called Matthias Fuchs, they soon discover that, not only they have a murder case that dates back seventy years on their hands, but also the revelation of something that could have changed history.
It was a long and intense read, one that I will remember for a long time. Allan’s style of writing is absolutely incredible and along with his great descriptions, the deep knowledge in historical events, police procedures and the way everything comes together is breathtaking. The clues are analysed in a great way and the psychological details make this novel unique and for me one of the best mysteries I’ve read so far. I actually had my heart on my throat from trepidation in wanting to know what came next. A real page-turner, filled with twists and turns, just how I like them.
The author organised the story in a hasty manner, connecting the present and the past in flashbacks of the life and activities inside a submarine in 1941, so it gives the perfect balance between the historical events with the present modern investigation and interpretation of what happened back then. The different sets of characters are very well thought and very well represented in my opinion and their depth made them more than just simple characters. I managed not to lose track of who is who in the novel, the idea of a genealogical tree in the beginning was a great idea, I definitely consulted it a few times. Neil is a great protagonist and the details of his personal life make him more than a mere policeman.
I really enjoyed the setting of the story. Like I mentioned before, the descriptions in general are great, but those of Scotland are memorable and I definitely got the urge to visit.
A great read that I highly recommend to the fans of the mystery, thriller, suspense, historical genres.
I want to thank the author Clive Allan for reaching out and sending me the digital version of The Drumbeater.
My Rating: 3 Stars
A fun cosy-mystery, good for a quick read. This was the first volume I’ve read from “An Auction Block Mystery” and I want to take a look at the previous novels of the collection to see what I’ve missed. I must say that having a character named Death is peculiar and actually compliments the story very nicely.
The mystery starts with the beginning of an investigation. Apparently, a drunken old man stole a horse and dressed in a cavalry uniform got into a fatal accident in the forest when he hit his head against a branch. When the results of the lab come in, it’s revealed that the uniform in saturated with decomposing body fluid, meaning the uniform belonged to someone that has been dead for quite a while. Meanwhile, Death is asked to look into a homicide. The son of Tyler Jones, head of a radical church group, is found dead in the back of the car of Anthony Dozier, an army vet recovering from the horrors of the war in Afghanistan. The motive? Earlier that day, Jones and his group invaded the funeral of Dozier’s Muslim wife. Death’s job is to prove that Dozier committed the murder while suffering from PTSD. At the same time, Wren is helping out on preparing a house for auction when strange noises and events start happening all around her.
The style of writing is great, very engaging and witty. The descriptions are brief but they hold enough detail to be able to picture the settings and the environment.
It’s the type of story I couldn’t guess what would happen next. Information and details are revealed in a steady pace and at the beginning I couldn’t see the relation between them. It all worked out perfectly in the end though. Since I didn’t read the previous books, I felt like I was missing something, more in the relationships between the characters than anything else. The characters are good, but I was a bit disappointed not to have some more depth to them, to know more about them, especially Randy. Death is a great character and I loved to see the interactions with his brother Randy. I think they’re really different from each other but even so I could see they had each other’s backs.
A cosy-mystery perfect for an after-work evening!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Midnight Ink. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
One word for this novel: Intense! I absolutely love the type of story where the main character gets involved with something, falling into it blindly. It just adds spice to the story!
A novel starts out with private investigator Moses Winter is working on a cheating-husband case. Things start to get complicated when the cheated wife discovers that her husband has been with a Bosnian immigrant. When a fight breaks out, the husband ends up being stabbed, and when the police finally arrive on the scene, Rakic, the agent from the homicide department, recognises the mistress as his cousin. While trying to protect his cousin, Rakic realises that finding the truth will more come complicated than he was expecting. When Moses feels there’s something amiss with the story, he investigates and ends up finding out the shocking truth, something that runs a lot deeper than a mere cheating investigation.
It gives me great satisfaction to see all the storylines come together perfectly in the end with no strings left hanging. The storyline is great and the style of writing made it very easy to follow the different perspectives and the development of the case. The description of the global problem of human trafficking served as a reminder of the level of desperation people have to reach to undergo such conditions, just to have a chance at life. I think Sparks addresses the problem in a very good way and it definitely puts this novel in a whole other level.
The characters are well developed, especially Moses, a likeable character with a great level of determination and curiosity.
Unfortunately, the romantic part didn’t do much for me. His connection with Majka, a suspect, and the fact that he uses her didn’t sit well with me. I so admire the determination of Rakic and his family loyalty. The references to smoking came too often, in my opinion. I’m not a smoker but I think it was too much detail for an addiction.
Overall, it’s a fast-paced detective story that I enjoyed immensely.
I want to thank the author Francis Sparks for reaching out and sending me his book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 3 Stars
I’ve always been a big fan of Agatha Christie, but I must say I didn’t feel this novel as much as I would with Poirot or Miss Marple. The plot is very nice and the murder is complex and has some turns that left me without certainties of anything.
The book starts with the introduction of the main character, Luke Fitzgerald, a retired policeman travelling by train to London. Sitting in his cabinet is an elderly woman, Lavinia Pinkerton that confides in him about several murders that have been happening and how the murderer would kill again. Dismissing the worries of lady, imagine the surprise of Mr Fitzgerald when he reads about the ladies's death in the newspaper the following day. What follows is the introduction of the suspects, including Miss Bridget Conway, the lady that captures Luke’s heart. But who is the murder? Why does he kill? And more importantly, who will be the next victim?
Like I wrote before, the murder plot is complex and with some twists, something that I enjoy greatly. The murderer is truly the last person one would expect and it took me by surprise. The evidences are all there, but I was unable to connect the dots until the very end. The vintage setting, a small village where nothing ever happens and suddenly a murder occurs, is something that I’m still able to enjoy no matter how many books I read with the same setting.
My only problem was connecting with the characters. I’m not a fan of romance and I think that Luke and Bridget’s story was cute but rushed with all the “love at first sight” thing. Still, I liked reading their interactions and conversations since Miss Conway is the smartest woman in the story.
Overall, a nice read, but not one of my favourites from Agatha Christie!
My Rating: 4 Stars
I find it a bit difficult to put to words what I think about this book. I got mixed feelings but not in a bad way, not by far. I was amazed by the detail related to security, the military and the operations, definitely saw the background of the author in the novel and definitely got the feeling that he saw some of the things he wrote about.
The novel tells the story of a group of men known as the Black Bastards with unique backgrounds that act together in a war against crime waves in the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. In vivid crime scenes and war settings, Casey Christie takes us on a journey with Sergeant Michael Night, an army veteran, his best-friend Constable Daniel Shaka, a giant also known as Zulu and Constable Nickolai Stanislov, former Russian Spetznaz operator and expert shooter against a crime lord known for his Satanic rituals, murderers and rapes.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that provided so much detail on the police/military procedures! It made me feel like I was there, sitting next to this trio planning, observing and executing high-risk operations. The novel is fast-paced and the vivid descriptions of the streets of South Africa and the cruel events that take place there are both amazing and terrifying.
The plot is amazing and very well designed; no details are left to chance. The writing style is great, it makes the story easy to follow and the unique terminology of field gives depth to the story. The characters are also great, I enjoyed discovering more about them as the story moves along and their depth really gave the feeling they are real people. Sergeant Night is definitely my favourite character, he is a very complex character that shuts down his emotions to deal with painful moments in his life. His special bond with his two mates and Lisa, his on/off girlfriend reveal the more human side of a man that spent years in military settings. Another character that surprised me was the bad guy, also known has uSathane or “The Devil”. He is simply terrifying, probably because there are still a lot of people like him in the world. The character may be fictional but what he does, the crimes he commits and the methods he uses are still very much real. Furthermore, Christie joins the spiritual part of the African culture when he introduces the witch-doctor. The “Devil” is the ultimate villain: a human-being (if you can call him that) believed to be immortal that uses fear to control the people and possesses the means to keep that control.
A great read that kept me on my toes. I definitely want to read more of Casey Christie’s works in the future!
I want to thank Casey Christie for sending me a digital copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
This novel is definitely in my top favourites of Agatha Christie! Put archaeology, murder, history and adventure, the perfect mix!
Poirot is taking a holiday in the Middle East but has always things don't end peacefully. A very mean old lady called Mrs Boynton has all her children living a psychological prison that she manages by exercising control over them. Her arrogance and meanness are a constant show for all those who wish to see it. Detested by the people that know her, it's no surprise that they would be quite happy if she was murdered. When the family goes on tour to the archaeological of Mr Boynton, their desperate wish is realised. In the Red City of Petra, Mrs Boynton is found dead while sitting in the hot desert sun. Enter Monsieur Poirot and his little grey cells to solve a murder where everyone is a suspect and all have a motive.
On the contrary of other novels where I read Poirot in action from the beginning, in this book, Poirot only steps in when the murder occurs, occupying himself with his second favourite activity: observing people. Still, I still got to see this method and his intelligence in action while solving a difficult murder with a surprising finale and murderer.
The depth of the murder plot and the characters are amazing. It's impossible not to feel for the daughter and adoptive children of the sadistic Mrs Boynton especially after knowing the nightmarish treatment and punishments they received early in life. In the story, it's still possible to see the consequences of such treatment especially when it comes to human interaction. Of course, Mrs Boynton is the type of character that will definitely make you think "She deserved that was coming for her", or has Poirot nicely said "Your appointment with death, madame."
A brilliant masterpiece by Ms Agatha Christie, Queen of Crime that makes it impossible to discover who the killer is and its motive.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Right on the first page of the preface, it felt like my heart was being squeezed inside my chest. To know that this novel is based on a true story and that the treatment of this person was hell both during his captivity and when he manages to escape is both scary and revolting. It really shows the flaws in the justice system and proves that justice doesn’t always prevail, unfortunately.
Blood Moon tells the story of Recidio Suarez, a man that is kidnapped from his working place for no apparent reason, blindfolded and tortured for a month, living and suffering under conditions that no human being ever should. Under the threat of his life and his loved ones, Suarez is forced to submit to the conditions of his kidnappers. When he alone manages to escape his captivity, he faces another level of torture: no one believes him. Both police and The Special Investigations Division of the Miami-Dade Police discredit his evidence and his story; refusing to take the case further. I will tell you this: It’s not a book for the faint of heart.
Bethel describes the events with accuracy and the characters are very well developed, and I think he portrays the kidnappers with frightening accuracy as well.
As I read through the novel, I’m sure I gained white hairs. Not knowing what would happen and what horrible thing would come up next left me in a state of anxiety and suspense that I sure I’ve never felt before with a book. Reading through the insane torture scenes was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the hardest things I’ve read. At some point, I just wanted to throw the book on the floor and scream at the things these people were willing to do to and how far they were willing to go for money. The arrogance of thinking they would never get caught and that they could do whatever they pleased. These people are the living proof that monsters do exist in the world. And when you think you can rely on those with the responsibility and duty of protecting the people, they completely discredit his story and completely ignore the pain, the suffering and the physical and mental scars that will haunt him until the end of his days. The indifference is revolting. Suarez proves to be a true hero, surviving through something I would never be able to and having the courage and the strength to escape.
The fact that it’s based on a true story just enhances everything that’s for sure.
A thrilling, suspenseful and horror novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat and that will put your problems into perspective.
I want to thank the author of Blood Moon John David Bethel for sending me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 3 Stars
Very enjoyable read even if a bit short in my opinion, maybe because I'm used to reading relatively big books. The story though is really good bringing together adventure, time-travelling, mystery and mythology.
The story starts with a museum visit where a 14-year-old boy named Jon hears the sphinx whisper to him. When he returns at night, curiosity getting the best of him, Jon is introduced to Neb, a spirit trapped inside the sphinx after being murdered by an evil sorcerer in Ancient Egypt. In order for Neb to be released, Jon has travelled back in time and find his killer. How to go unnoticed? By assuming the identity of the pharaoh's son of course.
The story is fast-paced and very easy to follow and enjoy. Jon is a very likeable young boy with a thirst for adventure and reveals a level of courage beyond his years.
I would have liked to see a more detailed description of the old Egyptian world. I'm a big fan of mythology and it would have been nice some more depth in this field.
I recommend this book for YA/children that love mythology and like quick-readings!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Tambora Books, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Jamie Quinn is back! As she picks up the family business again, she handles a divorce case that takes a turn to the worse, a turn to murder.
Being the second novel of the series of Jaimie Quinn mysteries, The Case of the Killer Divorce is just as good as the first one. Jaimie is amazing and Duke is still the same handsome devil. It's an quick read, just as gripping as the first with a few unexpected turns and twists. The descriptions and details are not too much and it really gives a lot of depth to the fields of law and the emotional charge of not knowing who one of your parents is.
A cosy mystery that I recommend!
My Rating: 5 Stars
I highly enjoyed this cosy mystery novel, from the characters to the settings. The title is definitely very original and sparked my interest as soon as I saw it.
Jamie is an amazing main character, she's funny, authentic and I enjoyed the numerous expressions and comebacks she comes up with. As for Duke, I must say, it's one of my favorite type of male lead, he is loyal and a sweetheart but at the same time he brings spark to Jamie's life and to the story itself.
The crime in itself is well thought as well. The level of suspense and the build-up works out perfectly to a great ending, leaving no loose ends.
Definitely, recommend it and I will definitely start the second novel right away.
I want to thank Barbara Venkataraman for giving me sending me a digital copy of her novel.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.