Tuesday, 16 January 2018

#BookReview City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child @GrandCentralPub #Giveaway

City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What begins as a manhunt for the missing daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire becomes something altogether different when the young woman's body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Kew Gardens, Queens, the head nowhere to be found. It appears there may be two killers on the loose--one responsible for the young woman's death, another responsible for the mutilation. A pair of such dastardly killers requires a team of equally talented investigators. Luckily, both Vincent D'Agosta and Special Agent Pendergast are back in town.

D'Agosta hopes that working a case back on his home turf for the first time in years will reinvigorate the FBI Special Agent and give him an opportunity to flex his investigative might. But neither is prepared to face a killer--or killers--as diabolical as this. It will take all of Pendergast and D'Agosta's intelligence and strength simply to match wits--let alone stay alive.

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City of Endless Night is the seventeen book in the Pendergast series, and I have read every single one of them. My personal favorite is the ones that have a slight supernatural element to the story like the first book Relic with the monster in the New York Museum of Natural History, which is why I felt a bit disappointed while reading this one. Don't take me wrong, it's a great thriller, and it's nice to have D'Agosta and Pendergast working together to catch a murderer.

However, it feels just like an ordinary thriller. The killings and beheadings are an interesting mystery especially since there seems to be no link to the people killed. I just wished that the book had been a bit more extraordinary. Instead, we get a straight-forward thriller, with not a very memorable killers. Well, besides the fact that this is one of the first times that Pendergast goes up against an enemy that seriously could outsmart him. The best part of the book is the end part when the killer and Pendergast face-off and Pendergast truly has to fight for his life against an enemy that is better than him. And, yes that is a very unusual scene since Pendergast is someone that often seems more than human.

City of Endless Night is a good thriller, as always is the writing great and, despite my reservations about the story, did I enjoy reading the book. It's only that I really enjoy when the stories take a more suspenseful feeling when Pendergast is up against something beastly and since the killer in this book is an ordinary killer (well he was psycho, but still very much human) did I get a bit disappointed. 

I want to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!


City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

#BookReview I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke @CJ_Cooke_Author @GrandCentralPub

I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

…But what if that’s the only thing you can remember?

Komméno Island, Greece: I don't know where I am, who I am. Help me.

A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.

Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London: Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.

Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie…

Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget?

The truth is found in these pages…


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I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke is one of those books that instantly, from the very first page makes me curious and engrossed. I'm really impressed with the fact that this is C.J. Cooke's first book. The writing pulls you in and to be honest, I had some serious problems with closing the book, despite the fact that I needed to get up early and the time just disappeared while I was reading the book.

The story shifts focus between Lochlan who discovers that his wife has gone missing without a trace, and a woman that is washed up on the shore of a remote Greek island with amnesia. This seems like a straightforward story, but is it really so? Without giving away too much, did I as the story progressed suspect how it would turn out, and yeah, I was on the right track. However, that only made the story more interesting to read, to see if I was right. I was also thrilled to read a book where the husband wasn't treated as a suspect from the very first minute. I could clearly picture how he would have to get on the run to find his wife to prove that he was innocent, but that never happened and that made me very glad.

I also found the ending to be very satisfying, and once again I face the trouble of trying to explain why without giving the story away. It's just that it could have ended more abrupt when Lochlan learns the truth, etc. However, the epilogue gives a more satisfying ending.

All and all is this a great book and I can't wait to read more books by C.J. Cooke.

I want to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

#BookReview A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (@deannaraybourn) @BerkleyPub

A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Members of an Egyptian expedition fall victim to an ancient mummy's curse in a thrilling Veronica Speedwell novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries.
London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything. . . .


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Storywise do I think this is the strongest and most interesting one so far in this series. Not that the previous two books have been bad, more that I found this book mystery to be much more fascinating to read about, with a less obvious ending than the previous book. This is not a series that you have to read in order to enjoy, but it's a marvelous series so reading in order may be more fun would I think.

Veronica Speedway is such a wonderful character, not always bound to the traditional female role of the time and a bit outspoken. She also has an interesting family situation, with a quite absent father. Stoker, as well, has a bit of a family problem, quite similar to Speedways, but Veronica lacks the ex-wife who makes her first introduction in this book. I quite enjoyed learning more about Stoker's past and what really happened in the Amazons.

But, it's the humor that really makes me love this book, the banter between Speedway and Stoker are always marvelous and makes me often smile while I read this book. This is the kind of book I pick when I want something easy-going, but not too light.  

A Treacherous Curse is a delightful book, with lots of funny moments, an interesting plot and wonderful characters. It was with a bit of sadness that I read the last page, now I have to wait until next year for a new book ... at least I hope a new one will come out next year...

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

Monday, 15 January 2018

#BookReview Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate @LisaWingate @QuercusBooks @Marablaise

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.


Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize that the truth is much darker. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together—in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions—and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

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I Love the Carolina Heirlooms series by Lisa Wingate. So, when I saw this book did I just know that I had to read it. However, I waited a while to read it after getting it because I needed to be ready to tackle this book with such a serious subject.

Before We Were Yours is based on a real scandal. During the 30s and later were children kidnapped and sold to wealthy families all over the country. For their own good. However, it was a very lucrative enterprise. This book tells a story about a family of siblings that are taken to Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage after their parents have left them on the riverboat they are living on. Their mother is having a baby and it's all going wrong so the hospital is the only solution. The whole family would never be together again. Years later will Avery Stafford through a chance encounter start to unravel the truth about her families history. And she learns that not everything is as it seems...

To say that this book is an emotional reading is an understatement. The worst part is that it's based on a true scandalous story. I knew since before that Lisa Wingate is a wonderful author and, as usual, is the writing on top. What really moved me in this book is actually the very end. Without giving away what happens will I just say that it's a wonderful although bittersweet ending. I will leave it at that and just say read the book!

I want to thank Quercus Books for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#BookReview The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin @MelanieBen @randomhouse

The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An intimate portrait of the close friendship and powerful creative partnership between two of Hollywood’s earliest female superstars: Frances Marion and Mary Pickford. An enchanting new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife.

Hollywood, 1914. Frances Marion, a young writer desperate for a break, meets “America’s Sweetheart,” Mary Pickford, already making a name for herself both on and off the screen with her golden curls and lively spirit. Together, these two women will take the movie business by storm.

Mary Pickford becomes known as the “Queen of the Movies”—the first actor to have her name on a movie marquee, and the first to become a truly international celebrity. Mary and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, were America’s first Royal Couple, living in a home more famous that Buckingham Palace. Mary won the first Academy Award for Best Actress in a Talkie and was the first to put her hand and footprints in Grauman’s theater sidewalk. Her annual salary in 1919 was $625,000—at a time when women’s salaries peaked at $10 a week. Frances Marion is widely considered one of the most important female screenwriters of the 20th century, and was the first writer to win multiple Academy Awards. The close personal friendship between the two stars was closely linked to their professional collaboration and success.

This is a novel about power: the power of women during the exhilarating early years of Hollywood, and the power of forgiveness. It’s also about the imbalance of power, then and now, and the sacrifices and compromises women must make in order to succeed. And at its heart, it’s a novel about the power of female friendship.


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The Girls in the Picture is a book that I knew that I wanted to read as soon as I saw it. I love reading historical fiction about movie stars, or stories that in one way or another takes place in Hollywood. Especially around the Silent movie era and when the talkies came. I had only previously read Reckless Hearts: A Story of Slim Hawks and Ernest Hemingway by Melanie Benjamin, but she has written several books that I want to read.

What really struck me about this book was, despite, my deep love for silent movies, and old Hollywood classics is that Frances Marion was totally unknown to me. And she's behind several of my favorite movies, like A Scarlet Letter with Lars Hanson and Lillian Gish. Also, I had no idea that she was a close friend of Mary Pickford.

In this book, we get a fictional story about the friendship between Frances Marion and Mary Pickford. I enjoyed getting to know the women more and I especially enjoyed learning more about their lives. Both had great love stories, but neither had truly happy lives, despite, their success. Not all of their lives are written in this book, as Melanie Benjamin stated in her notes, just Mary Pickford relationship with her adopted children would fill a whole book. I personally had to take a break from the book several times to check up a name or a title, etc.

The Girls in the Picture is definitely a book to read if you, like me, love old Hollywood movies and are intrigued by the actors and actors from the golden era. I was charmed by the cameos, especially Charlie Chaplin's presence in the book. Made me eager to read a book about him or see his movies.

I want to thank Random House for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Saturday, 13 January 2018

#BookReview Racing the Devil by Charles Todd @Marablaise

Racing the Devil by Charles Todd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge finds himself caught in a twisted web of vengeance, old grievances, and secrets that lead back to World War I in the nineteenth installment of the acclaimed bestselling series.

On the eve of the bloody Battle of the Somme, a group of English officers having a last drink before returning to the Front make a promise to each other: if they survive the battle ahead—and make it through the war—they will meet in Paris a year after the fighting ends. They will celebrate their good fortune by racing motorcars they beg, borrow, or own from Paris to Nice.

In November 1919, the officers all meet as planned, and though their motorcars are not designed for racing, they set out for Nice. But a serious mishap mars the reunion. In the mountains just north of their destination, two vehicles are nearly run off the road, and one man is badly injured. No one knows—or will admit to knowing—which driver was at the wheel of the rogue motorcar.

Back in England one year later, during a heavy rainstorm, a driver loses control on a twisting road and is killed in the crash. Was it an accident due to the hazardous conditions? Or premeditated murder? Is the crash connected in some way to the unfortunate events in the mountains above Nice the year before? The dead driver wasn’t in France—although the motorcar he drove was. If it was foul play, was it a case of mistaken identity? Or was the dead man the intended victim after all?

Investigating this perplexing case, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge discovers that the truth is elusive—and that the villages on the South Downs, where the accident happened, are adept at keeping secrets, frustrating his search. Determined to remain in the shadows this faceless killer is willing to strike again to stop Rutledge from finding him. This time, the victim he chooses is a child, and it will take all of Rutledge’s skill to stop him before an innocent young life is sacrificed.

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This is, unfortunately, by far the weakest book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. I started off listening to the audiobook, but I was so bored by the start that I decided to pick something else to listen to after a couple of chapters. A couple of weeks later did I try it again and it felt like I managed to get through this by my love for Charles Todd's books and willpower.

I will keep this review short since I hardly can come up with anything good to write. I mean, it's always nice to once again read about Inspector Ian Rutledge and Hamish (his ghostly companion), but the story is pretty weak. I was not impressed with the start in France with the soldier's that promise each other that if they survive will they meet each other one year later and race motorcars from Paris to Nice. And, the almost crash that occurs didn't make my pulse race. Neither did the change of scenery when the story moved one year ahead with the death of a man in an accident that could be linked to the near death in France.

The whole investigation, with Rutledge chasing clues, is a bit dreary. The only bright spot is when Rutledge contacts Melinda Crawford to help him with the investigation. And she, in turn, contacts Bess Crawford (from Charles Todd's Bess Crawford series) to help out. If Bess has made a cameo in this book would I perhaps have liked the book better. The ending is not that surprising either. It truly felt like the most likely suspect did it all.

I hope next book is better!

Friday, 12 January 2018

#BookReview The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young @HesterAuthor @penguinrandom @Marablaise

The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From a unique new talent comes a fast-paced debut, introducing a heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her . . .

When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte “Charlie” Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them.

After a little boy in a boat appears in Charlie’s dreams asking for her help, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana’s prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family’s sprawling estate, Charlie heads south, where new friendships and an unlikely romance bring healing. But as she uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, the facts begin to implicate those she most wants to trust—and her visions reveal an evil closer than she could’ve imagined.A Southern Gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, The Gates of Evangeline is a story that readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold won't be able to put down.

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The Gates of Evangeline is an absolutely wonderful book. I love reading books with a setting in the American South, especially with a mystery in the heart of the story, like this one. Charlotte “Charlie” Cates has, after losing her son, started to have vivid dreams about children in danger. And, they seem to come true. So, when a little boy shows up in her dream begging for help as she at the same time is approached about writing a book about a little boy that disappeared around thirty years ago can't she help but feel that the dreams are connected with the mystery. But, when she arrives at the Evangeline estate is she faced with not only people that seem to have things to hide but also real danger...

The Gates of Evangeline is a book that was truly engaging and intriguing. I loved that the story of the book took place in Louisiana. It was one thing that really appealed to me since Southern Gotic stories are "my thing". I was intrigued right from the start, and I especially enjoyed the fact that Charlie has psychic visions. Southern Gotic + paranormal vibes. Yeah, I love this book. Unfortunately, there is just one problem with the story, it's a bit predictable. Sure, the ending is good, but the BIG mystery, about the missing boy. It was easy to figure that one out. And, that was a bummer. Otherwise, I quite liked the book. I mean even liked the romantic side story. Now I need to get my hands on the next book in this series.

#BookReview Sanningen (Fool Me Once) by Harlan Coben (SWE/ENG) @HarlanCoben ‏@Marablaise

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Thrillerns mästare Harlan Coben levererar ytterligare en spännings­roman som av många kritiker anses vara hans bästa hittills.

Du tror att du vet sanningen. Men sanningen är att du inte vet någonting.

Före detta stridspiloten Maya ser en otänkbar bild fångas av babykameran medan hon är på jobbet: hennes tvååriga dotter leker med Mayas man Joe, som blivit brutalt mördad två veckor tidigare. Kan du tro på allt du ser med egna ögon? För att hitta svaret måste Maya ta itu med djupa hemligheter från sitt eget förflutna innan hon kan möta den otroliga sanningen om sin man och sig själv.



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Harlan Coben är en författare som är fantastisk på att skriva en spännande thriller. Jag älskar särskilt hans Myron Bolitar-serie. I Sanningen har Coben återigen skrivit en intressant berättelse där ingenting är som det verkar. Jag gillade omedelbart Maya och det var intressant att läsa om hur hon försöker hantera situationen att vara en ensamstående mamma, ex-soldat och på det tillkommer ett mysterium, ett omöjligt mysterium då hon seer något som inte kan vara sant i babykameran. Hennes man dog eller gjorde han? Hon måste ta reda på sanningen och det betyder att konfrontera sitt eget förflutna; hennes uppsägning från armén, hennes systers mord som skedde inte så långt innan innan hennes man mördades och hennes mans brors död för några år sedan. Kan det vara så att de har kopplingar till varandra, eller är allt bara en slump? Och, vem kan hon lita på, det verkar som om många människor runt henne har hemligheter...

Jag kunde inte sluta läsa Sanningen när jag väl hade börjat . På kvällen var jag var fullt inställd på just ett kapitel till men istället läste jag klart den. Boken kanske inte hade lika många överraskningar som i några av Cobens tidigare böcker, men det är fortfarande en alldeles fantastisk bok. Något som Coben är bra på är att skapa huvudkaraktärer man bryr sig om och besynnerliga mysterier. Sanningen är en mycket bra bok, och jag älskade särskilt den sista delen av boken när man börjar inse sanningen. Jag misstänkte slutet men ändå kunde jag inte räknad ut allting som skulle ske.

Jag rekommenderar varmt Harlan Cobens böcker om du gillar bladvändande thrillers med flertalet överraskande vändningar i historien.

Tack till Bookmarks förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

In the course of eight consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers, millions of readers have discovered Harlan Coben’s page-turning thrillers, filled with his trademark edge-of-your-seat suspense and gut-wrenching emotion. In Fool Me Once, Coben once again outdoes himself.

Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.


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Harlan Coben is an author that really is the king when it comes to writing a suspenseful thriller. I especially love his Myron Bolitar series. In Fool Me Once has Coben once again written an interesting story where nothing is at it seems. I instantly liked Maya and it was interesting to read about her trying to deal with being a single mother, an ex-soldier and to add to that a mystery, an impossible mystery. Her husband died, or did he? She must find out the truth and that means confronting her own past; her dismissal from the army, her sister's murder not long before her husband was murdered, and her husband's brothers death a couple of years ago. Could they be connected, or is everything just a coincidence? And, who can she trust, it seems that a lot of people around her have secrets...

I read the book in a day. I thought I would just read one more chapter and then go back to sleep, and I ended up finishing the book. The twists in this book were not that astonishing as they have been in some of Coben's previous books, but it's still a page-turner. What I like about Coben's books are that I always like the main character and the mysteries are always intriguing. Fool Me Once is a very good book, and I particularly loved the last part of the book when everything started to come together. True, I was not astonished, but I did find the twists in the book well-done and satisfying.

I recommend reading Harlan Coben's books if you like page-turning thrillers with lots of twist and turns.

Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy!