AUTHOR: Dan Wells
In I Am Not a Serial Killer, John Wayne Cleaver saved his town from a murderer even more appalling than the serial killers he obsessively studies.
But it turns out even demons have friends, and the disappearance of one has brought another to Clayton County. Soon there are new victims for John to work on at the mortuary and a new mystery to solve. But John has tasted death, and the dark nature he used as a weapon—the terrifying persona he calls “Mr. Monster”—might now be using him.
No one in Clayton is safe unless John can vanquish two nightmarish adversaries: the unknown demon he must hunt and the inner demon he can never escape.
Mr. Monster is a one-sitting read so gripping and unsettling that you might want to start over again at page one when you’re finished. Wells’s voice is so crisp and engaging that it feels like John is whispering in your ear—which is a bit shiver-inducing at times. I give it a solid A+ for working out the minor narrative kinks from the first book and, instead of keeping it lighter fair, delving down into the most sinister and dark places of the human psyche. Wells goes there. He’s not afraid to take his readers down the logical path that he’s set up, even though it’s not a conventional sort of story.
In this sequel to his brilliant debut, Dan Wells ups the ante with a thriller that is just as gripping and even more intense. He apologizes in advance for the nightmares
This weekend I attended the biggest book fair of my life in MINES Mall,Malaysia. Discounts were at an all time high i mean books were going for as low as $1.00. It was my ultimate dream, with over 3 million books to choose from, I felt like a child in a candy store. There were fiction books, cook books, kids books, photography, you name it it was probably there.
I went in there ready for battle, battle for some books that is. With so many people there, it was hard moving around and finding books which i wanted to get, not to mention the strain of having to carry around a big box that I can put all my selections into.
My feet hurt from moving around so much in that huge area, searching and grabbing whatever book called my attention. I was hot, sweating and more than very hungry. And then when I finally had all the books i wanted( more like all the books I could afford tot take) I finally went to pay and the ques were insanely long. I was exhausted, but kept going, the end was near and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. All that said, it was well worth it and the most unpleasantly fulfilling experience of my life. 😀
Enough of my complaining, these are all the books I bought! I have already finished reading one in one night. 😀
AUTHOR: Gerald Seymour
This very tightly written novel opens with a very respectful description of a typical sad funeral procession through Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire. Reference is also made to the hundreds of service personnel returning from armed combat in Afghanistan and also Iraq, who have unfortunately lost limbs as the result of road-side bombs. MI6 have identified an engineer employed in Iran who spends all of his time designing and manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which have caused up to 66% of all coalition forces casualties since 2001 to the present day. MI6 detail one of their most senior personnel to take charge of organising a plot to kill the person concerned. Len Gibbons, the MI6 nominee, arranges to contact self-employed contractors as their status can be denied by the SIS should the contractor be captured.
This highly detailed plot is softened by the humanity of the author’s understanding, that regardless of the occupation of the subject there is always a banal background to every person. No matter how humble or exalted they may be. A lot of the focus of the book is spent on the two ‘Watchers’, Badger and Foxy, deep undercover in Iran living for many days in a dugout in very unpleasant weather conditions of extreme heat. Their target is under microphone and binocular night sight surveillance 24 hours a day. As they have come such a long distance overland to their vantage point all their food and water rations are contained in two ruck sacks. They cannot leave any indication that they were ever there, so everything that they eat or drink and all their toilet deposits have to be removed. So we get to hear of one character’s marital difficulties and the other’s interest in wildlife and general loneliness.
On the advance reading copy I used, there is a statement, “You watch, You wait, The hours slide slowly past. You’ve been there a whole day, then two, you lie under a merciless sun, in a mosquito-infested marsh. You can’t move, leave or relax. You’re stuck next to a man you despise. If they find you, you will be left to face torture and death“. The picture this paints so vividly, is of a job that must be done by our armed forces that is very hard and you just have to admire their fortitude and bravery in such adverse conditions.
This multi-faceted story keeps switching from the back-story of the watchers, to their support network in Afghanistan, to MI6 in London and also the American and kindred security connections. We also hear about the back story of the MI6 organiser locally and why his own life has not been so successful. The target, ie the Iranian Engineer who builds the IEDs we learn has a very sick wife who is suffering from a brain tumour that will need an operation soon to remove it or she may die. The date and location of the hospital that the wife of the engineer is going to go to is so crucial and is what the watchers hope to identify. The novel is very powerful and kept me gripped until the final page.
This novel is completely different to all the others that I have read by this very experienced author as they all are written with different themes and characters, which is one of the factors that makes him such an exciting writer. He is also from a journalistic background (fifteen years as an international reporter with ITN) and meticulously researches the background to all his books and it is very reassuring, reading facts and background details in his stories and knowing that they must be authentic because he has such a good reputation. Gerald Seymour has been a full-time writer since 1978. A DENIABLE DEATH is his twenty-eighth novel. This was great storytelling and I hope he writes many more and I hope I get the chance to read them. You just have to read this novel as it is absolutely gripping.
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AUTHOR: Mary Higgins Clark
“Nancy Harmon was a housewife who took her two children, a boy and a girl, to the store to get some things and deciding she would only be in the store a minute, just left them in the car. When she came out of the store, her car was gone and so were the children. They were found days later in the water with plastic around their heads. Nancy was accused of murdering her two children and was eventually acquitted because the main witness came up missing. Nancy moved across the country trying to escape the reporters and prying eyes of the public, and she wanted to start a new life. A new life without her children. She plead her innocence but no one believed her so she just started over.
Nancy had started to get on with her life. She remarried, had two more children and the pain of losing her children was starting to go away when the horror was starting over again. Her children were outside playing one morning and when she went to check on them they were gone. Again. This time she was determined to find who was behind this but that was harder than she thought because everyone believed that she was guilty again. Nancy tries to unravel the secrets and has to face the horrors of her past to find the answers to whose behind this once and for all.”
When i got this book off the shelf i was a little bit skeptical because i have never read a Mary Higgins book. It did not seem like it would interest me so much, but from the first page i was already captivated by the story. The author does not waste any time and we get straight to it from the very beginning, the characters are complex and have so many things going on with them, especially the main character, Nancy. She seems docile at first, the perfect house wive if you may, albeit with a lot of secrets she has not told her husband or the people around her. The story comes from the point of view of many of the characters, not just the main character and that is something i enjoyed greatly, but i have to say when i was 3 quarters into the book i new who the culprit was already. How ever that still did not make the book boring as it still brought on surprising twists and turns i was not expecting.
Needless to say i finished this book in one day and it was worth it. So get yourself a copy and get to reading it because with will be entranced from the start.
Author: Amanda Kyle Williams
Book: The Stranger You Seek
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.
AUTHOR: Karin Slaughter
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.
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.