Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Gender Experiment by L.J. Sellers

The Gender Experiment by L.J. Sellers is a gripping suspense novel, taking the reader into the dark underbelly of science experiments performed on pregnant women. The book also asks important questions about our attitude towards persons who are gender-fluid (the currently accepted term for people who used to be called hermaphrodites).


Blurb: Taylor Lopez works in a morgue and discovers a statistically highly improbable number of bodies with certain physical characteristics. Teamed up with an ex-journalist, she investigates the deaths. With the clock ticking on Phase 2 of the experiment, can they get to the truth in time to save innocent lives?  



Send in the Clowns by Julie Mulhern

Send in the Clowns by Julie Mulhern is the 4th book in The Country Club Murders series. As usual, it delivers on the promise of 1970s cosy murder mystery set among those richer than many of us: bridge at the country club, designer labels, art, a murder with not too much gory detail, great character development and no swear words.  


This is a perfect holiday read, be it Halloween, Christmas, or any other time of the year when you want to put your feet up and not put the book down until the very last page.


Pure escapism. With who-dun-it elements and a women's lib movement thrown in for fun.




  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Night School by Lee Child


Reasons to read the book:

  • It’s by Lee Child
  • It’s about Reacher
  • Reacher is young and still in the army
  • He gets to act all clever and heroic, with a few fights thrown in for the fans
  • Featuring  Neagly
  • It’s a cool slice of pre-911 history
  • You get to see a lot of Hamburg, Germany, and suddenly you understand Brexit a little better

 

Reasons not to read the book:

  • If you think all the Reacher thrillers are the same, this one follows suit. (Now that’s a plus in my opinion, because you get what you expect and paid for, but I know some people might see it differently.)
  • If you need to solve the mystery before Reacher does, you’re out of luck. The cryptic clue will be of no help to the readers.
  • Once you read it, you have to wait a whole year for a new one.





Wednesday, October 19, 2016

“Home” by Harlan Coben


Overall impression: “Home” by Harlan Coben is the 11th Myron Bolitar thriller (published in September 2016). The good news is, no, the very best top of the world news is, Win is back. This time more than just in a cameo role, he is all over the book and a few chapters are even written in his point of view.  With guest appearances from Mickey, Ema and Spoon, it is guaranteed delight dedicated fans of all ages (but especially those who love Win as much as I do).

 

What I loved about the book: In case you didn’t get the memo, it was Win. Was, is, and always will be. Also, the pacing is first-class with believable dialogue.

 

What I didn’t love: The plot is similar to  one of Mr Coben’s previous novels.

 

What I both loved and didn’t love: The jokes are the same as every other MB book (MB Sports reps, El and Al, Mee). A lot can be said for the nostalgic value of the familiar, however, I probably would have enjoyed the book more if the humour got a bit updated.

 

Is it a stand-alone? You can read it as a stand-alone and not miss anything plot-wise, though the book is richer if you know Myron’s back story.

 

So what is it about? A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?


Friday, September 30, 2016

Flash Point by Colby Marshall

Flash Point by Colby Marshall is the long-awaited third installment in the Dr Jenna Ramey series. Book sellers classify it as a psychological thriller, and it is that, but it's also a lot more. In addition to being a thriller, Flash Point is a frightfully clever book, with numerous puzzles and a "who-dun-it" mystery. The writing style is both beautiful and easy to digest. And although the current danger is averted at the end of the book, the over-arching danger of the bigger story leaves the reader hungry for more.

The Verdict: Read it!

The Plot: Twelve assassins kill everybody inside a bank in Washington, D.C. Instead of stealing, though, they leave something behind: an encrypted message hiding the location of the next attack. Jenna needs to profile a dozen killers while keeping her daughter safe.

What I liked best: The literary puzzles.

Characters: If you haven't met her yet, you will fall in love with the doctor who sees emotions as colours.

Can this book be read as a stand-alone: Yes, if this is the only book in the series you have access to, you can start here.

Final thought: If you had to be a character from a classical novel, whom would you choose?




Monday, September 26, 2016

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

I'm fussy about my historical fiction. It's not that I don't like it, I do. The problem is, many authors take their poetic license too far, making 19th century heroines act like today's girls or mentioning matches in Ancient Rome books... or falling into the contrasting trap of speaking in Chaucer's English .

So it took me a while to pick up Tess Gerritsen's Bone Garden. I needn't have worried, In Tess's skilled hands, 1830 Boston comes to life with ease and authenticity. Ok, I wasn't around at the time, but the world feel real. You can feel the cold. Your nostrils fill with the stench. You scratch your head when you read about the lice.

Oh, did I mention it's also a first-rate thriller? And, unusually for my, I didn't guess the killer's identity.


Friday, September 02, 2016

How to get away with murder

So, after months of looking for the next TV series to watch (The Mentalist's overarching story was too slow moving, Orphan Black too scary, Scorpions not enough like Sherlock), we've stumbled onto a winner.


You know it's a winner when it's midnight, you have to get up at 6, you still have to make school lunches and do the laundry, you haven't had a good night's sleep since 2002, and you say "just one more episode".


"How to get away with murder" pulls you in from the second scene (I didn't care for the first scene with the bonfire). It's fast-paced, outrageous, gripping. After six episodes I haven't found a character I could call a protagonist, nor indeed one I'm rooting for, but - strangely - it doesn't matter. The mystery and the plot make up for the lack of endearing story people in this case.


Other reviewers compared HTGAWM to LOST, and in its flashback structure and dark bits it's definitely a match, so here's hoping that Sawyer rocks up soon.