Monday, December 8, 2014

Book review: Whispers of the Dead (David Hunter #3) by Simon Beckett

As a huge fan of mystery and thrillers, I bought this book recently on a book fair . I've never heard of this author before, but after this one, I'm gonna get some more of his books. The story itself kept me awake almost entire night, it was gripping and creepy and unpredictable till the very last page. 

Have you seen the tv show "The Body Farm"? I did couple of years ago and previously had no idea that those places really exist. A body farm is a research facility where human decomposition is studied in a variety of settings in order to use the results for solving crimes, like timing and circumstances of death. I'm mentioning this because the story at the beginning reminded me of this tv show. But as the story continued, it was very different from it, it became a hell-of-a-thriller itself. 

D-r David Hunter is British anthropologist visiting his friend and mentor working on the famous Body Farm in US. But in the meantime, a murder happens under very unusual circumstances. Male body is found naked in a chalet, tortured. D-r Hunter's mentor works on the case and asks him to assist. Another body appears and it becomes obvious that it is serial killer we're talking about, and the chase of cat and mouse begins. But who's the cat, and who plays the role of the mouse? 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Book Review: In the Blood by Lisa Unger

This is my very first book from Lisa Unger, but after finishing it, it definitely won't be the last. It kept me up almost all night until I finished it. So, here are my impressions for it.

The plot centers around Lana, college student, who tries to run away from her past. She is so frighten by her father who is waiting his death penalty for murdering her mother. In order to earn some money, she accepts the offer to take care for a very special child. At first it seems that the boy is autistic, that he has some special needs, but the first impression is far away from the truth. In the same time her roommate is missing, just like another girl couple of years ago.

Parallel with Lana's story goes another story, a page from a diary of a woman who recently becomes a mother. She gives birth to a boy who as he grows up, becomes obsessed with his mother. A small boy who becomes the evil itself as he is grows up.

Book Review: Dispatches from the Dating Zone by K.T. Valentine

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Fleur Summers is a single mom who needs a new chapter in her life. Being single for a while makes her feel  very lonely. So she puts her future life in the hands of her loved ones, her family. She tells her best friend, her mother and siblings and coworkers, that she is looking for a man, a partner for the rest of her life.

And the dating begins. Some of the dates are real disaster, but you have to kiss many frogs before you find your prince. Tom seems like the perfect guy, the one, but some things aren't quite right here. Can Fleur pass over some imperfections? Or maybe it is time to move on and continue the search?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Book Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

After reading several good and bad reviews for this book, I've decided to check it out by myself. I've been a huge fan of Marian Keyes and always loved her books. So, as a part of this week's #sundaychallenge I gave this book a chance.

Stella has a normal life, two almost grown-up kids, a husband, job as a beautician. But one day she suddenly can't move. And everything changes. Diagnosed with a very rare disease, she spends couple of months in hospital, capable to communicate only with blinking. With her being sick, everything changes at home. Nothing is what it used to be. Her condition is getting better, but marriage falls apart and the kids are angry at her being sick. Stella tries so hard to start all over again, find her true vocation and maybe someone to be happy with.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review: First to Fall (Avalon, #1) by Carys Jones

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Aiden Connelly turns his back to the city life. Looking for a new start for his family, together with his wife and daughter, they move to the small town of Avalon. In a small place where everyone knows everyone, life seems so simple. But nothing is what it looks like. Connelly's first case seems pretty plain: the wife killed her husband and confessed the murder. Simple and plain case that has to end very soon. But it takes just one visit to the local prison for his gut to tell him different things, that this woman is not a murderer. Looking for new evidence, Connelly digs up some old skeletons that have to stay buried. The victim was local favorite boy and everyone loved him. He came from a respectful family and was some kind of local celebrity. But his wife, the most beautiful woman who won a beauty contest as a teenager, had no proper home and a had a drug addict for a mother. Everyone was so surprised with their marriage, but no one was surprised when she was arrested for his murder. "That sl*t deserves a death penalty!" Did Brandy really kill her husband? What is hiding behind her angel face? Can she twist men around her little finger or is she a victim of long-term domestic violence? Aiden Connelly has his hands full of work. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Review: Mistletoe Mansion by Samantha Tonge

*ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Kimmy dreams for having her own baking business. She loves gossip magazines and celebrity DVDs. But her long-term boyfriend doesn't share same things. He wants steady job, security and roots. After a fight with him, Kimmy finds herself jobless and homeless. Her best friend also finds herself jobless and homeless, so it's time for plan B. The owner of Mistletoe Mansion needs a housekeeper until the mansion is sold. It's a perfect opportunity for Kimmy and her friend. The dream finally comes true! Living like a celebrity! And the kitchen, perfect for a cooking show!

But what Kimmy doesn't know is that living in the Mistletoe Mansion comes with a catch. The mansion is possessed. Strange things are going on. Strange sounds, lights, smoke, music that no one is playing. Is there a logical explanation or the house is really haunted by ghosts?

Book Review: Married by Midnight by Talli Roland

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Christmas is around the corner, so is Kate's wedding day. She trusts the stars so much, she and her mother read the horoscope every single day. On the day made for big decisions, Kate goes to vintage shop to choose her wedding dress. What she finds is the most perfect dress from 1930-ties, but with a note. A note from the previous owner. OMG! It must be very romantic story behind that dress. And Kate is going to find out. Posting the images of the dress on Facebook and Twitter, she is in the search for the bride who wore that dress on her wedding day. In the very same time, Kate is preparing for her own wedding day. But is her destiny really written in the stars?

Talli Roland is one of my favorite rom com authors whose books always lift my mood. Her humorous and warm writing style always makes me giggle and feel positive. I've read several of her books and this one is not exception. My only complaint: too short, finished for half an hour. I want more of it. I often find short stories with poorly developed plots and very few characters, what makes them hardly page-turners. But Talli Roland can make an interesting story out of nothing, fill it with twists and turn-overs and develop that story into a real page-turner. Married by Midnight is easy-breezy romantic comedy with a little bit mystery in it. Perfect for cozy afternoon with a blanket and cup of tea.

My opinion: 4.5 /5.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Book review: The Boy in the Cemetery by Sebastian Gregory

*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This a book that I do not usually read, but as a participant in #sundaychallenge hosted by me and my blog buddy Ananda on This Chick Reads, I decided to give it a try. The week's challenge was to read a book from an unknown author for me. I tried and I didn't regret.

With Halloween around the corner, the spooky stories are the most popular in this part of the year. The story starts about two hundred years ago, with a boy who loses his mother and is forced by his father to steel from corpses. But at the cemetery lives a creature that takes his soul and possesses his body. 

More than two hundred years later, Carrie Anne lives a life that no child should ever live. She is abused by her own father. Her mother knows that and she does nothing to stop him. "Family is important" both parents say to Carrie Anne, "if you tell, the family would be separated". What family?!? A child should be child and live the life of a child! But running away "to keep the family together", Carrie Anne's father moves the family in a small neglected house, with a cemetery in the backyard. A cemetery that Carrie Anne sees as a sanctuary, where she notices a pair of strange eyes that are watching her. But nothing is more scary than her father in her room, on her bed. Carrie Anne meets the boy.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Review: Crossing the Line by Frédérique Molay

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I don't know many French authors of crime books, simply because not many of them are translated in English. So I was very excited when I found a gem like this one. Crossing the Line is actually second in the series and I figured that out by requesting the third one on Netgalley. After the third one, I came back for the previous books. I didn't find the first one, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the next book in the series.

The story begins with anatomy class at medical school when a strange message is found in a tooth of a corp. "I was murdered"-it says. Is it a sick student's joke or is there something more going on? The body belongs to a well-known pharmacist who has committed a suicide. But why would someone who is suicidal leave a message "I was murdered"? 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book review: The French for Christmas by Fiona Valpy

*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Christmas is the most joyful time of the year. While everyone is celebrating, Evie cries all the time. She has lost her baby. Her marriage is falling apart. It is not Christmas for her this year. Lucky for her, her friends are always there by her side. They send her in their house in rural France so she can escape from everything and find herself again. But when you don't expect to find something, you will find it. In the middle of nowhere, while the snow storm lurks around, Evie finds friendship and love, a completely new beginning. Can she finally find herself and start her life again?

Evie's story is very touching. She loses her baby even before the baby is born. Her husband is running away all the time, it is his way of coping with pain. But Evie is a fighter, even if she runs in rural France just to escape Christmas. With little help from her grandmother's cooking book and lots of help from the neighbors, she starts all over again. And nothing can stop her.