Reviews Published

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is one of the few books ever that managed to fill my mind even when I wasn't reading. It started innocently enough, and - while intrigued from the very beginning - I could very much take it or leave it after chapter one. I mean, the writing was beautiful in its stark austerity, the concepts original, the protagonist likeable... but it was just a book. Somehow, though, somewhere towards the middle, the book's setting became a reality I very much wanted to visit. Its magical pull on me was not unlike the one that the House in the novel could exert. And when I finished the book - that's when my obsession started. I wanted to discuss the relevance of the title, the symbolism of the statues and the albatrosses, the relevance of the text to other texts, and the relevance of the text to real life. Literature teachers worldwide would be proud. 

Most reviews will tell you that it's impossible to review what the book is about without spoiling it, so I'll stop right here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham

This is not your usual Mark Billingham. Yes, there are a few murders. Yes, there is a mystery to solve. And yet the setting (a mental health institution) gives this book a totally different flavour and feel. Very realistic, very well done. 

Oh, and PS: I really like Tom Thorne makes an appearance in person, even if his name isn't mentioned. 

PS2: Alice down the rabbit hole, Mad Hatter's tea party yep, got it.

    Alice Armitage is a police officer. 
    Or she was.
    Following a debilitating bout of PTSD, self-medication with drink and drugs, and a psychotic breakdown, Alice is now a long-term patient in an acute psychiatric ward. Though convinced that she doesn’t really belong there, she finds companionship with the other patients in the ward despite their challenging and often intimidating issues.
    So when one of her fellow patients is murdered, Alice feels personally compelled to launch an investigation from within the ward. Soon, she becomes convinced that she has identified the killer and that she can catch them. Ignored by the police, she must gather proof on her own, relying on the few contacts she has on the outside that still take her calls. But Alice’s life begins to unravel as she realizes that she cannot trust anyone in the ward, least of all herself. Having lost her conviction and with her investigative confidence shattered, she comes dangerously close to a psychological point of no return.

Monday, July 05, 2021

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

Clare Mackintosh just keeps getting better and better. I read "Hostage" in one go, simultaneously eager to find out what happens at the end and reluctant for the book to finish. "Hostage" has everything, from characters you care about to deep issues. 5/5 stars for sure.


Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems of her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination. Someone who needs Mina's assistance and who knows exactly how to make her comply.

It's twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.