Deity by Matt Wesolowski #BookReview #SixStoriesSeries #Orentober

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A shamed pop star
A devastating fire
Six witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?

When pop megastar Zach Crystal dies in a fire at his remote mansion, his mysterious demise rips open the bitter divide between those who adored his music and his endless charity work, and those who viewed him as a despicable predator, who manipulated and abused young and vulnerable girls.

Online journalist, Scott King, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the accusations of sexual abuse and murder that were levelled at Crystal before he died. But as Scott begins to ask questions and rake over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge: Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Are reports of a haunting really true? Why was he never officially charged?

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First of all I have a confession to make: I read this novel months ago, right after I received it and I loved it one hundred percent. The only problem was finding the words to tell you this. Now I recently heard the news that the next novel ‘Demon’ is going to be published by the end of the year, so I didn’t want to let Deity just pass unnoticed. I really want Deity to receive the attention it deserves. I therefore reread Deity (this is exceptional let me tell you because I plan to reread dozens of novels but due to lack of time this is probably the first one in a decade) and honestly, it really was as enjoyable as the first time. It was not a waste of time, on the contrary, I’d read Deity a third time too if it would help me to convince you to read this novel and the entire series. I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to give it a shot now though!

To situate, Deity is the fifth title of the Six Stories series. The series is called this way because the stories are told by Scott King, an online journalist who interviews six people in six podcast episodes. His goal is always to reveal the truth and in Deity he tries to find out who Zach Crystal really was. A good man or a devil in disguise? He investigates the accusations against mega pop star Zach Crystal of sexual abuse and murder before his death. There are many rumors but Scott King can’t question Zach Crystal himself because he’s dead and the five women who accused the star of sexual assault in 2010 and 2011 are not willing to be interviewed either but Scott wouldn’t be King if he didn’t find other interesting figures who can shed a light onto this case.

Scott’s first interviewee is an opponent of Zach Crystal, someone who sides with the accusations and has his own story to tell about Zach which puts him in a very bad light. A harrowing story if it were to be true and the connection to existing stars with unsavory stories was easily made. These statements and his credibility were then contradicted by the second interviewee, a Crystal Truther as she is called, someone who is a bit of an expert and who was actually at Crystal Forest herself because yes, Crystal lives in a ‘tree house’ in the forest where he invites disadvantaged teenage girls to stay, to watch horror movies and take strolls in the forest. Apparently if you’re a pop star then it’s quite ok to do such things. Crystal believes in a presence in the Whispering Forest too, in a creature called the Frithghast, some ‘thing’ he always sees when something bad is about to happen. It creates a bond between him and his followers who’ve seen it too. Is it manipulation or is it real?

With each new interview there’s strange new information that comes forward, both speaking for and against the star, depending on who is talking. There’s a former employee, a mother of one of his fans, a fellow musician who was an unexpected but very pleasant surprise and the last one… well you just need to read it to find out but it will bring the closure you will crave after reading the other podcasts. 

I didn’t know what to think of Zach anymore, my opinions swung this and that way. Are the people making accusations about popstars money-grabbing vultures with a hidden agenda? Do we actually know the stars we adore so much? Do they deserve to be put on such a pedestal though simply because they’re great singers? Do they possess a power over people who are willing to believe anything they say? Deity is a thought-provoking and reflective novel, and it managed to change my own thinking. Next to the amazing inclusion of yet another creepy legend this is what I loved most about this novel. Deity is a well thought-out story, it covers all angles (you even hear from Zach himself in an exclusive interview before his death) and you never know how it’s going to end, it ALWAYS takes me by surprise. I can’t say which novel is my absolute favorite but I can say that Deity is definitely in my top 3 of the series!

I received a free paperback copy of this novel from the publisher Orenda Books to read and review. This is still my honest opinion.

Here are my reviews of the Six Stories series so far:

Six Stories
Hydra
Changeling
Beast

 

His and Hers by Alice Feeney #BookReview

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There are two sides to every story: yours and mine, ours and theirs, His & Hers. Which means someone is always lying.

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation. Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

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I’m waiting for the latest novel by Alice Feeney to arrive in my Capital Crime book subscription box so I wanted to read His & Hers before it arrives. I’ve had it for the longest time but had it saved up to read for when I would find myself in a reading slump. I know her books always deliver so it’s the perfect back-up, but I don’t want to create a big backpile, especially not when it comes to a favorite author.

There are chapters titled ‘Him’ in this novel, meaning Jack Harper, a DCI, called to a murder scene but it soon becomes clear he also has ties to the victim(s).

Then there’s ‘Her’, Anna Andrews, a BBC1 news presenter, recently demoted again to general news correspondent after two years of presenting the news as a news anchor. She is covering the news story about the murder in Blackdown. She knows this town really well and the victim seemed to have been a personal friend. Jack and Anna also know each other because Anna is Jack’s ex-wife.

Finally, there’s also the unnamed killer’s voice. Is it His or Hers? I simply didn’t know who to trust in this novel! Jack’s voice seemed more truthful while Anna’s (the one with the cliché drinking problem too) seemed to be more unreliable but I knew better than to simply go for the most obvious. The misdirections were very clever and just when I thought I finally knew whose voice I was reading the author pulled the rug from under my feet again. I was wrong again! Feeney keeps the story twisting until the very last pages.

However much I loved the story and the ingenious plotting which points in all directions, there is one small remark too. I did not enjoy the (however brief) mention of animal mutilation (nothing graphic either but the idea formed in my head didn’t make it any easier) so I was actually quite ok with the death of one victim who I found quite sympathetic at first but turned out to be so nasty. This will forever be a big no no for me.

If you want a novel to really surprise you, I highly recommend picking up any of Feeney’s novels. I can’t wait to read Rock, Paper, Scissors next!

I bought a paperback copy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

No Exit by Taylor Adams #BookReview

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A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust?

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_1457015727_81_246_96_2

My nails are bitten to the quick, I couldn’t stop myself! I usually don’t go for action-packed books but I’m so happy I gave this one a chance. I was more than a little addicted to No Exit and I even sacrificed a little bit of sleep for it and god knows I already don’t have have any to spare.

No Exit is incredibly twisty, gripping and full of suspense. I had it on my e-reader for a while so I didn’t really remember what it was about, all I knew was that it was a locked-in type of novel and that was good enough for me because I love those, so even the fact that Darby finds someone – a child no less – in the back of a van was the first surprise for me. I could have withheld this info here but I see that it’s even mentioned in the blurb and honestly you don’t need to worry that I just told you one of the best parts, it’s only the start of a jam packed novel with twists you won’t see coming at all. I loved how unpredictable and volatile the situation became. The novel is full of nervous tension and danger.

Darby needs to survive the night but with no cell signal she can’t alert the police so it’s all up to her to take action and my god she’s literally a heroine, I rooted so much for her. She’s not naive at all because if she was she would have been dead very early on. First she has to find out who abducted the girl, whose car it is without raising suspicion, and then she has to outwit this person and at least try to free the little girl or find a way to get the police there as soon as possible. With no reception at all that’s easier said than done. It’s a race against the clock before the roads open again and of course things don’t go as smoothly as they should! Safe to say that she”ll have to risk her own life more than once in the process.

Be aware that there’s some torture involved so it’s certainly not a novel for softies and even I felt the impact of some of the graphic scenes. Two particular scenes come to mind and one at least made me squirm when I pictured it in my mind (and it’s easier than you think because I’m sure you and me have felt that particular pain that was inflicted for a fraction in the past) but if you ask me if I’d change anything about it then I have to say I wouldn’t change anything at all!

I really didn’t expect to be so blown away but the thrills just kept on coming and I don’t know how many times I held my breath. I can’t wait to read the other novels this author has written so far!

I bought an ecopy of the novel and this is my honest opinion.

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas #BookReview

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Jess and Heather were once best friends – until the night Heather’s sister Flora vanished. The night that lies tore their friendship apart.

But years later, when a brutal double murder shakes their childhood town, Jess returns home.

Because the suspect is Heather.

What happened to the girl you used to know?

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star three and a half / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

I became a fan of this author several years ago. I have not read all of her books yet but out of the four I did read so far, there are two titles I awarded with five stars (Local Girl Missing and Last Seen Alive) so with such a high score of course I put Then She Vanishes on my readlist after that.

The first pages of Then She Vanishes threw me right into the middle of a harrowing scene with someone murdering two people in their own home in cold blood. Who would do such a thing, and especially, why? The motive is not explained and puzzled me to no end. It kept me looking for clues throughout the whole novel. The alleged killer, Heather, fell into a coma after a botched suicide attempt so the only one who could get any closer to the truth turns out to be Jess, a reporter.

Jess used to be best friends with Heather but they had a falling out when they were teenagers. I really enjoyed the flashbacks when they still were best friends, before Heather’s sister Flora went missing. But what was it that tore their friendship apart? What is Jess feeling guilty about, what secret has she kept all these years? It kept playing on my mind, did it have anything to do with Flora’s disappearance? The author is in no hurry to tell but I loved speculating about what was covered up for so many years.

I came to know Heather as someone with good intentions, someone kind and caring and a good daughter to her mother, a stickler at following the rules as opposed to her big sister Flora who she adored, so her act of murdering two people seemed way out of character. Yet nothing is ever straightforward in Claire Douglas’s books and I have come to expect those twists and as always, I enjoyed many of them in this novel. One of them in particular came as a real shock, it was tragic and showed a dark side of life that I hadn’t counted on.

The different plotlines of the past and the present are in some way connected and the author brings everything brilliantly together. There was only one twist that I expected from early on and it’s a big one so I was hoping someone – if not Jess, the police perhaps – would see the clue for what it was but no, the police was quite absent in the story and no help at all. I had to wait a little too long for it to come out so that was one big omg-moment I missed but that’s the only thing I can complain about and if I hadn’t know I’d have given it a star more. If you want clever twists and turns this is an author you need to read for sure.

Then She Vanishes is quite a brilliant whydunnit against an intriguing backdrop of family and friendship.

I bought a copy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena #AudioBookReview

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In this family, everyone is keeping secrets. Even the dead.

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets–especially the dead. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there. And they don’t come much richer than Fred and Sheila Merton. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered the night after an Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their capricious father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did one of them snap after that dreadful evening? Or was it someone else that night who crept in with the worst of intentions? It must be. After all, if one of your siblings was a psychopath, you’d know.

Wouldn’t you?

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Not A Happy Family was a great choice for an audiobook and I really enjoyed the narration by Ellen Archer. I only read one of the author’s novels before (An Unwanted Guest) but when I came across this one I couldn’t resist this new murder mystery.

Fred and Sheila Merton invited their three children Dan, Catherine and Jenna and their partners, as well as their cleaning lady-more family friend- Irena over for a Sunday Easter dinner where they drop quite a few unexpected bombs at the dinner table. The guests are all more than happy to leave but the next day Fred and Sheila are found murdered in the house and their children are rich. Dan – who didn’t take over the family business – now had money problems, Catherine – the perfect daughter – always dreamed of living in her parent’s house and Jenna – the struggling artist – saw the support of her parents also coming to an end. They all left but who returned later that night?

It took me some time to really get into the story, mostly because with the three siblings there were ‘only’ three suspects so I thought I’d find it quite easy to point out the killer. I was very wrong about that, even at 90% I had absolutely no clue who did it.

I’m usually great at guessing the identity and I sometimes even know quite soon who is hiding something but they ALL have things to hide this time so that didn’t give me any clue. In the beginning I still thought I was clever by thinking of who was present but not given too much attention, but then the author drew in more side characters into the plot, like Fred’s sister and a woman named Rose and you could almost say that they become the prime suspects.

Almost every single character introduced into the story is a likely suspect in the end and there are more people with a motive than expected. I kept guessing and guessing which was so much fun to do. There are so many secrets and lies going around in an effort to simply not seem like they’re the killer, they lie to their spouses, they ask their spouses to lie for them, the siblings even start to point fingers at each other.

It was impossible to guess the identity of the killer so this is one of the rare books able to surprise me. I do wonder if the author knew herself who did it from the beginning or if she left all options open until the end and then made the decision. I’m suspecting the latter as it could have been anyone else and it would have the same effect! The whodunnit wasn’t the only thing that surprised me in the end though, the final chapters in the form of an epilogue gave the story an extra twist and concluded the story on a real high.

I received a free ecopy from the publisher Penguin Random House via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion. 

When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins #BookReview

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Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were murdered in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.

Ten-year-old Sara Carter – nicknamed the Angel of Death – spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.

Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister Shannon Carter, compelling her to break two decades of silence.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.

For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened on that blood-soaked night – with devastating consequences for them all.

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Catherine Allen will be dead in exactly 10 minutes. Whaaat? Hands up for that amazing first liner! How can you not take note and sit up after reading that?! As it happens, Catherine Allen turns out to be a normal, happily married woman with a teenage daughter. I soon found out that each member of the family is keeping secrets from one another though so it might just be one of them has potentially deadly consequences. Only, with the book blurb in mind, I didn’t see a direct link to the story of Sara and Shannon Carter so I wondered in what sort of a situation I had stepped into. Trust me, I’d know soon enough 🙂

I’d catalogue When I Was Ten as a crime drama, and it reminded me of The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts which I read in 2019 but I was much more satisfied this time because the novel was remarkably better written and the past flashbacks that lead up to the murder itself were very compelling, giving that much needed background to put everything into perspective.

When I started this novel I wondered why a girl of such a young age – only ten! – could kill her parents in such a vicious way. Did the parents deserve this? Was I going to receive a satisfying answer? The answer is yes! The conundrum of nature versus nurture came to mind but didn’t really come in play. The every day life of 10 year old Sara and her older sister Shannon was a far cry from a dream life. Punishment and derogatory comments from their parents being a commodity, the girls were totally isolated and even taunted by the other girls at the ballet school. The only ray of light in their lives was their unbreakable bond, the mutual friendship with their neighbour Brinley and Shannon’s secret crush for a boy at school. There were many gripping scenes and the girls’ past was definitely heart wrenching.

In the present the story is told by Brinley Booth, who is a journalist now. Nobody knows the Carter sisters were her best friends as she joins the hunt for an interview with The Angel of Death. As a side story there’s also MP/Justice Secretary Geoffrey Heathcote who finds himself caught in the eye of a media storm. He’ll have to face some consequences himself for some of his questionable ideas and actions.

If you think that’s all, think again. Fiona Cummins is such a terrific author that interspersed between chapters there’re also mysterious communications between two anonymous parties. It wasn’t very difficult to figure out who the receiver was and I succeeded in filling in the other party towards the end too but I really enjoyed the mysterious nature of them and especially to find out to what end they were sent.

If you enjoy novels about child killers and the impact of the media and public opinion on their release and their right to a second chance, then this is a novel for you. So many years after the facts Sara is hounded down again with a ruthless disregard of her privacy. I could not help but feel very sorry for Sara, and even more so at the end of the novel when I could look back upon the full story. The novel is not full of twists but she does throw in a few belters in the end. A satisfying conclusion!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. 

The Heights by Louise Candlish #BookReview #BlogTour @louise_candlish @TeamBATC

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He thinks he’s safe up there. But he’ll never be safe from you.

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him.

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him. It’s time to confess what we did up there.

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I read a Quick Reads novel (The Skylight) by Louise Candlish a few months back, which I really enjoyed. It was my first read by this author and enough to know I wanted to read more of her books so I was really delighted with the chance to read The Heights.

Under the tutelage of Felix Penney, an esteemed author and one of the most high-profile creative writing tutors in the UK, Ellen Saint is trying to write her memoir, and as I discovered later on, she sure does have something to write about. In between the chapters of her memoir detailing the story of Lucas and Kieran there are also snippets from the Sunday Time Magazine where the reporter seems to follow and comment on Ellen’s progress during the course.

The Heights is a story of family drama and revenge. Ellen Saint is such a sympathetic character and even with her thoughts spiraling out of control over time she never really lost my sympathy. Her son Lucas was appointed as Kieran’s buddy on his first day at his new school and they became best friends. Kieran was a bad influence though and Lucas soon went out at all hours, doing and taking god knows what. Ellen worries non-stop but all she can do is complain to her ex, the boy’s father Vic Gordon, who promises to keep an eye on them. Unfortunately it goes from bad to worse and an accident happens involving the two of them. After that she is hell bent on making Kieran pay. Imagine her surprise when she sees this good-for-nothing boy two years later in a penthouse enjoying a magnificent view over the Tower Bridge. She is truly shocked and we find out all the reasons why that is so.

Ellen’s rage and fears are tangible and leap from the pages and while her actions are eh wild and crazy, I couldn’t stop from being hooked and wondering how she was going to cope now that it didn’t go as planned. In a later part of the novel the story shifts incrementally with Vic’s point of view. His vision adds a different perspective to the story and I saw Ellen with a fresh pair of eyes. Did she overreact? Is Kieran really a devil or not? Did her grief cloud her emotions and her experience of the past, it’s interesting and a challenge to make up your mind about all this while reading. I was on pins and needles at the end when I had a feeling of what was to come but the author kept more than one surprise for the final chapters. It’s well worth the wait!

The Heights is a gripping story that won’t let you go once you start reading. Twisted and compelling!

I chose to read an ARC for the blog tour and this is my honest opinion.

*** Do check the other stops on the tour here ***

The Heights - blog tour

House of Correction by Nicci French #BookReview

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She’s a murderer.

Everyone knows she killed Stuart Rees – why else would his dead body be found in her shed?
So now Tabitha is in prison, awaiting trial.

Coming back to the remote coastal village where she grew up was a mistake. She didn’t fit in then, and she doesn’t fit in now.

That day is such a blur, she can’t remember clearly what happened. There is something she is missing, something important… She only knows one thing. She is not capable of murder.

And the only one she can trust to help her out of this situation is herself.
So she must fight. Against the odds.

For her life.

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I read one of this author couple’s novels years ago but I didn’t find the main character of the series Frieda very likeable so the urge to pick up another novel (I have 3 more on my tbr list) was not so high until I came across House of Correction. The novel piqued my interest and with a little nudge from blog friend Sabina I bumped this one up to the top of my list.

House of Correction is a courtroom thriller that is quite different from the norm. We all know that I don’t do different very well, I can’t help it. I’m still thinking about what I just read – and I still haven’t processed everything – mainly because there’s a serious lack of investigation and even more than that it’s how the proceedings in the courtroom went. It’s actually hilarious if you can see the humour in it.

House of Correction describes everything you basically shouldn’t do if you’re on trial. The main character Tabitha doesn’t know how anything works at court and for that I can’t blame her but there were other instances where she is so daft that I cringed several times at the things she did. Seriously, when you have to ‘question’ witnesses in the stand, HOW MANY TIMES does she need to be told that you have to ask a question? I haven’t counted it but if you ask me it was several times too many.

Tabitha is not the brightest star in the sky, to say the least. She flies off the handle at several occasions, she forgets to call the Judge My Lady and calls her Madam, she calls the lawyer for the prosecution ‘the other guy’ in front of the judge, she intervenes rudely when witnesses are being questioned by the prosecution and it’s not her time to comment at all. Basically, she got on my nerves so hard and I think even I would have a better shot at it than she did. It also didn’t help that she can’t recall the events on the day of the murder at all, we were off on a bad start already because I have a low tolerance for memory loss like this.

As for the investigation, I had to wait 200 pages to know a little more about the murder itself but it was kept very vague. I still don’t know how many times the victim was stabbed, it isn’t even mentioned. A lot of questions were not even asked.

Throughout the novel – via Tabitha’s conversations in prison with her visitors – it does become clear that the victim was not an angel himself so there are several people who could have a motive but they weren’t anywhere near the murder scene, as CCTV shows. It’s a mystery and with Tabitha’s particular manner of conduct I was holding my heart that she would be convicted. She repeats it so many times that she’s innocent that it’s actually this half pity, half you got it coming, that was making me turn the pages and I was dying to know how she could possibly escape prison. I’m not going to say how it ends, but similar to the rest of the novel, I wasn’t expecting it to go like this. The ending was ok but didn’t make up for the rest and I simply couldn’t overcome the grievings I had.

Readers might find it refreshing that a main character arrested for murder is not some tough person who has her act together and has a positive attitude. This novel dons all those clichés. Unfortunately, I don’t think I was ready for this as I take what happens in courtrooms seriously and I didn’t feel she was very serious. I see that there are 60% of 5-star ratings though so I happily admit that this opinion’s entirely on me.

I received a copy of this novel in my Capital Crime thriller book club box. This is my honest opinion.

The Art of Death by David Fennell #BookReview

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Death is an art, and he is the master . . .

Three glass cabinets appear in London’s Trafalgar Square containing a gruesome art installation: the floating corpses of three homeless men. Shock turns to horror when it becomes clear that the bodies are real.

The cabinets are traced to @nonymous – an underground artist shrouded in mystery who makes a chilling promise: MORE WILL FOLLOW.

Eighteen years ago, Detective Inspector Grace Archer escaped a notorious serial killer. Now, she and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, must hunt down another.

As more bodies appear at London landmarks and murders are livestreamed on social media, their search for @nonymous becomes a desperate race against time. But what Archer doesn’t know is that the killer is watching their every move – and he has his sights firmly set on her . . .

He is creating a masterpiece. And she will be the star of his show.

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star three and a half

I was immediately drawn to the cover of this book, it has a perfect vibe for a dark thriller (who doesn’t love that nice extra touch of some fake blood spatters on a cover eh) and I was really looking forward to reading this novel.

I enjoyed plenty of things about The Art of Death. First off, I found that the macabre vibe of the cover was reflected in the book as well and I LOVED that. It wasn’t there all the time and it didn’t domineer the story but at times there was this extra little dark touch that made my heart pump a little faster. I didn’t realise it at the time but the story really does grow more harrowing with every new chapter. At the start of The Art of Death three bodies (yes why not three at once) are found dead in a glass case for all to see. The killer has a weird sense of seeing dead bodies as art. How he can have a huge following and fans is beyond my comprehension but what do I know. Then, however, the author has a few other tricks up his sleeve that are effectively shocking. Like getting to know the victims quite well first and then witnessing their deaths. Seriously, I don’t want to read about formadehyde for at least three books now, what a way to die! There’s also one particular scene that I read while trying to divert my eyes a little (it didn’t help) and which really stood out for me, as well as one victim that I couldn’t help root so hard for to survive!

The only issue that I had with this book was that even though it had so much going for it and however much I enjoyed the team of Quinn and Archer, it didn’t surprise me enough. I knew what was what and not even the red herrings in the story could fool me. It was just too plain to see…

Another plot and another killer and I might love his next story so definitely one to watch out for. The author and the vibe of the novel reminds me a little bit of J.D. Barker so if the plot gets a bit more clever then he could mean some serious competition in the future.

I received a copy of this book via my Capital Crime Book Subscription box. This is my honest opinion.

The House Guest by Mark Edwards #BookReview

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A perfect summer. A perfect stranger. A perfect nightmare.

When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.

So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.

They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers―let alone invite them into your home―but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her.

As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…

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review-2

star three and a half

After I read the brilliant novel Here to Stay (here’s my review) I bought a copy of his next book The House Guest, and then I also received it in my Capital Crime subscription box so with two copies on my shelves I felt the universe was telling me I really needed to read it soon. So 6 months later here we are ;-).

I absolutely loved the first part of the novel where we get to know the unexpected stranger Eden (it did make me smile that she turned up at Adam’s and Eve’s Ruth’s doorstep) and the tension starts to seep in because I could feel something was about to go wrong, and I wondered what Eden could be hiding. The bearded guy watching the place highly contributed to that feeling. Was he after her, was she in danger? The cut came rather too quick with Part Two of the story starting already after 58 pages and unfortunately what followed was an over the top plotline and one I personally don’t really enjoy reading about. I can’t really spell it out (although I wish it was mentioned in the book blurb) but if you know my taste you can probably guess the direction it took. There followed an action-packed part for Adam which held my attention because I love a good chase but the idea of this plotline was just a bit too far fetched even though it all fits together perfectly. It was quite spectacular in the end and not how I had envisioned a house-sitting to develop into at all.

Overall this story was okay. The House Guest was only not entirely my genre so not my favourite one if I have to choose. Oh well, I guess now that we have this subject covered, it won’t appear in the next novel so I can’t wait to read the next one!

I bought a copy (ok copies) of this novel. This is my honest opinion.