My First Read Of 2013..

Author: Amanda Kyle Williams

Book: The Stranger You Seek

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Meet Keye Street, the new kid on the crime block. A Chinese-American private investigator with two university degrees, she used to work as a criminal profiler for the FBI before she got fired for her alcoholism. Now she’s in recovery, trying to get her private investigation firm off the ground and working as a part-time bounty hunter to make ends meet. And, just to compound matters, she’s in love with her best friend – a lieutenant in the Atlanta Police Department.

If it sounds like there’s quite a lot going on in Keye’s life then that would be putting it mildly [I might have managed to fit in a very small percentage of her voluminous backstory!]. Weirdly, this was actually one of my only – and biggest – gripes with the novel.  There’s almost too much going on in Keye’s life!

But, as a character-driven piece of crime fiction, it really is an amazingly assured debut. Reading the cover copy and press release I was struck by the setting [Atlanta, Georgia] and the theme [serial killer thriller], and immediately assumed that it was going to be in the vein of Karin Slaughter [not a bad thing. There’s even a quotation from Slaughter on the jacket].

But I wasn’t quite right. For, despite the similarities to Slaughter’s oeuvre, I actually found that reading The Stranger You Seek reminded me of Brett Easton Ellis and Jeff Lindsey’s Dexter series [indeed, there’s even a blood-spatter analyst working for the Atlanta PD in Kyle Williams’s novel!]. There’s something incredibly forceful and individual about Keye’s first-person narrative – something that, for me, was very reminiscent of Dexter’s unique voice.

At certain points, the pure amount of things going on in Keye’s life was a bit overwhelming, but there is also something fresh and different about the book and Kyle Williams’s prose that made me fly through the book at a furious rate [which was very possibly aided by the number of deaths in the book – I’m a sucker for a good serial killer novel!]. And the novel evokes the swelteringly oppressive heat of summertime Atlanta brilliantly, and there is a real feeling of suspense and danger throughout the book.

I do have to admit that I did work out the book’s major twist quite quickly, but I would like to believe that this was due to my incredibly good deductive skills [and having read far too much crime fiction!]. But, even then, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the novella and in the end I didn’t get the killer quite right [I missed by a fraction, but it was still a miss!].

What will be interesting going forward is to see how Kyle Williams’s next book will shape up. At the moment, Keye Street blazes off the page. But she is surrounded by a constellation of equally intriguing characters, and I am looking forward to seeing how they are developed and fleshed out in future books in the series.
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Fallen..

AUTHOR: Karin Slaughter

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SYNOPSIS:

There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother. . . .

“You know what we’re here for. Hand it over, and we’ll let her go.”

When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, not enough answers. To find her mother, she’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they’ll both need the help of trauma doctor Sara Linton. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore—she’s a witness. She’s also a suspect.

The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light—or bury it forever.

Karin Slaughter’s most exhilarating novel yet is a thrilling journey through the heart and soul, where the personal and the criminal collide, and conflicted loyalties threaten to destroy reputations and ruin lives. It is the work of a master of the thriller at the top of her game, and a whirlwind of unrelenting suspense.

REVIEW: This book is just action packed from the very beginning. Full of secrets waiting to be discovered, suppressed passion, murder, gangs, gun fights, love and terror. It is captivating and i could not keep away from it from the moment i read the first page until the very last.. Karin Slaughter is an amazing writer, makes you enjoy and experience the experiences along with the characters, and on that note the characters are not wildly perfect, they are damaged yet you can see a light with in them. I just loved reading this book and would suggest that you read it. 🙂

Broken..

AUTHOR: Karin Slaughter

SYNOPSIS

When the body of a young woman is discovered deep beneath the icy waters of Lake Grant, a note left under a rock by the shore points to suicide. But within minutes, it becomes clear that this is no suicide. It’s a brutal, cold-blooded murder. All too soon former Grant County medical examiner Sara Linton — home for Thanksgiving after a long absence — finds herself unwittingly drawn into the case. The chief suspect is desperate to see her, but when she arrives at the local police station she is met with a horrifying sight — he lies dead in his cell, the words ‘Not me’ scrawled across the walls. Something about his confession doesn’t add up and deeply suspicious of the detective in charge, Lena Adams, Sara immediately calls the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Shortly afterwards, Special Agent Will Trent is brought in from his vacation to investigate. But he is immediately confronted with a wall of silence. Grant County is a close-knit community with loyalties and ties that run deep. And the only person who can tell the truth about what really happened is dead.

REVIEW

In Karin Slaughter’s tenth novel, she combines the characters from her two ongoing detective series, who come together to help solve a series of murders in the small town of Heartsdale, in Grant County, Georgia.( You do not need to have read the previous 2 novels to enjoy and understand this one though)

The mystery of the killings is solved at the end, but that never really seems to be the point of a Slaughter book. Rather, the process of criminal investigation provides a framework for Slaughter to explore the flawed, complex characters who work on the cases.

Slaughter never portrays the human condition in black or white – her ability to create realistic, three-dimensional characters is what makes her work stand out from so many other authors in this genre.

At the end of the book, the characters remain broken, but they’ve moved on to a new day and a new resolve to cope in a world full of bashed dreams.

If you are a reader of suspense novels, pick up Karin Slaughter.

 

 

The Passage

AUTHOR: Justin Cronin

SYNOPSIS

First came a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility that unleashed the product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gave way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

REVIEW

This is not the kind of book i usually read, but i like to try out new genres so i started with this one. The book is set in a make believe place but the characters are very well developed and it keeps you interested and you do not see the twists and turns that sneak up on you through out the book.

The story line is alright, but i believe it could have been better, i particularly did not enjoy the ending, i felt it left many questions unanswered needless to say though, i did enjoy the book. I would say try it out and expect great surprises. 🙂

Fifty Shades Darker..(Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy)

AUTHOR: E.L James

SYNOPSIS

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven, and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront her anger and envy of the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life.

REVIEW

This is the sequel to ” Fifty Shades Of Grey”, if you have read it then you would know that it ended with them being broken up, so this is the continuation straight from there. This book once again is very well written, the naive girl has experienced things and pleasures she never thought possible, but with that she realized came the consequences of being with a powerful enigma that is Christian Grey. The characters continue to grow and explore each other and with so many twists in the plot it is just magnificent. Not only is this book super erotic( in a very classy and untacky way) it is also very romantic with a touch of thrill and drama in it.

I suggest you read this book because it is awesome, but if you are going to read it i would suggest you read the first one first ” Fifty Shades Of Grey

Night World ( Volume 1)

AUTHOR: L.J. Smith

 

SYNOPSIS

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters — they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

In Secret Vampire , Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy’s only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.

Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness . Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.

Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It’s a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder .

This book is the first in a exciting trilogy.

REVIEW

I read a lot of teen supernatural books, more than I should probably. I realize a lot of them are fun, and give you a day off from having to think too hard. Relaxation at it’s best. It is however rare to find quality of writing, and quality of story, in these paranormal teen books (ahem Twilight for example), I would like to see the teens who are reading this genre to pick these books up and see what good quality storytelling can mean for how you feel when you lay the book back down. If you liked the Immortal Instrument Series, Twilight Saga, or even the Vampire Diaries, you will love Nightworld.

This book was definitely something different, but in a good way. It’s pretty much three stories about humans, and paranormal creatures breaking the rules, and falling in love, and getting into all sorts of exciting trouble. One thing that i really enjoyed about this book is that it opened me to a new style of supernatural romance. Usually i read books that are filled with couples that show affection throughout the entire book. And that made me kinda iffy about reading this one after i read the first story since there wasn’t a whole bunch of sparks going. But the story plots are awesome and it keeps you interested! And the small bits of romance just compliment it. It’s hard to explain… read the book! its awesome.

The Wicked Girls..

Author: Alex Marwood

 

SYNOPSIS

One fateful summer morning in 1986, two eleven-year-old girls meet for the first time and by the end of the day are charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside town when her investigation leads her to interview funfair cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since that dark day when they were just children. But with new lives – and families – to protect, will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?

REVIEW

The characters in this book are painfully real; the downtrodden fairground cleaner Amber gives the reader a crushing sense of being trapped in a situation she can’t get out of while at the same time being only too aware of others’ low expectations of her, and hers of herself. The controlling and bullying Vic will remind the reader of that feeling of being in a relationship where you are always on the back foot while Kirsty hides a multitude of insecurities and secrets behind a confident exterior. The supporting characters are no less finely-drawn; fellow cleaners Blessed and Jackie and frustrated house-husband Jim don’t lack for detail and imagination.

he exploitation of the public by the media is explored in such a way that you find yourself subsequently examining your reaction to every story in the newspaper – in the hysteria around both the Whitmouth killings and the reporting of the 1986 murder there are echoes of Chris Jefferies (the wrongly-accused landlord of murder victim Joanna Yeates who was subjected to trial-by-media) and the prurient glee which surfaces every time the Jamie Bulger case pops up in the news. Marwood’s depiction of press intrusion, fact-free journalism being outrageously misleading in its use of innuendo and the baying mob mentality from the public is perfectly executed.

Even though this book was very exciting to me, i doubt i will read another book by this author, plus the ending was not really one of my favorites.. But i do suggest everyone to check out this book,