The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard #BookReview

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At the age of twelve, Eve Black was the only member of her family to survive an encounter with serial attacker the Nothing Man. Now an adult, she is obsessed with identifying the man who destroyed her life.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle has just started reading The Nothing Man–the true-crime memoir Eve has written about her efforts to track down her family’s killer. As he turns each page, his rage grows. Because Jim’s not just interested in reading about the Nothing Man. He is the Nothing Man.

Jim soon beings to realize how dangerously close Eve is getting to the truth. He knows she won’t give up until she finds him. He has no choice but to stop her first …

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Wow, what a killer thriller! I loved it! It usually takes me a week to read a novel but not this time no, I picked this one up every free moment I could find so I finished it in only two days. I’m even a bit sad it was over so quickly.

I love true crime. Well The Nothing Man is a book within a book bearing the same title and the fictitious book that is included within happens to be a true crime novel. The novel has a brilliant concept and execution. Eve Black is a final girl, the sole surviver of The Nothing Man and now a good 18 years later she has written this book about it. She is still hoping to find witnesses, a breakthrough in finding out who killed her parents and her little sister when she was 12. She describes The Nothing Man’s multiple attacks before his final act on her family among other things and the harrowing stories made me strongly think about another book I read which was a real true crime novel about The Golden State killer, and after I finished the novel I found out that Catherine Ryan Howard really found the inspiration for this story after she read I’ll Be Gone In The Dark as well.

I really enjoyed the back and forth between Eve’s book and Jim’s reactions upon reading the chapters. The only reason I’m giving this novel 4.5 instead of the 5 full stars (although I’m rounding it up for Goodreads) is that I knew what the author’s intentions were so I saw the ending coming from far ahead. I don’t know what I was hoping for in the end but I felt a little underwhelmed for some reason at the big finale. It was all over rather too quickly for me, without much of a fuss, whereas I wanted fireworks and to be genuinely shocked when reading the final chapters. That didn’t happen but that being said, I found The Nothing Man excelling in originality and highly entertaining. I definitely want to read more novels by this author!

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

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

 

Educated by Tara Westover #BookReview

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Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals.

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it.

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I don’t read a lot of non-fiction and I think it’s even my first memoir but I wanted to read this novel that features on many lists.

I have a basic knowledge of Mormonism but Tara’s family are quite extreme in their belief. They (the parents in any case) would rather die than consult a doctor or a hospital, as is proven after a few horrible accidents where more than one member of the family has severe injuries. But they believe medicine will poison your body and her father is on the front line in the war with the Illuminati who run the hospitals and all the government instances. The 7 children of the family are home schooled but don’t receive any actual schooling as they are put to work either in the kitchen with their mother preparing ointments or in the junkyard with their father. I could quite well imagine how the farm at Buck’s Peak looked and how she ran around like a feral child.

Her life seems set out in stone but then, along with two of her brothers, she decides to study on her own, take a test and enroll in college. You can imagine her father is not happy about this and it is the first tear in the family because as Tara’s world widens, she realises that she was never allowed an opinion, her fathers visions of the world could not be questioned, and now she starts to have her own thoughts and opinions.

Educated was a distressing novel to read. Not only are her parents so far removed from reality with their distorted vision (religious nuts comes to mind if I’m honest) Tara also suffers physical and emotional abuse from one of her brothers (not sexually thankfully but if he had it would be a sad conclusion that even that wouldn’t have changed anything in this story). Tara is already an outsider when she speaks up about her brother and it might be that that made their parents choice who to believe easier to make. Sadly, they don’t take her side and her other siblings are pressured into making the same choice. I felt the betrayal by her parents cutting very deep with me, and it frustrated me how she tries to reach out and mend things time and time again by returning home.

I loved seeing how she takes control of her life and not be dictated any longer by a voice without reason. I felt very disappointed in her parents, especially in her mother who lies to her and it is clear she knows very well what the real situation is. I saw the struggle and the pull of her family until the very last pages and it made me sad for her.

Educated is a powerful and thought provoking novel that I won’t easily forget.

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

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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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.

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis #BookReview

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On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone.

All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.

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I absolutely loved reading Dear Emmie Blue last year so I’m relieved to find the author’s new novel Eight Perfect Hours such a wholesome and delightful read.

When Noelle meets Sam you can feel that it is the perfect set up for a wonderful romance. They spend 8 hours together on a highway where they talk and laugh and share stories, and I could almost hear the lovey-dovey singing birds approaching but.. NOTHING HAPPENS. A few days later Noelle runs into her ex-boyfriend Ed in town. They were together for 12 years and every time she sees Ed it is so easy, so familiar, yet a little voice in her head does remind her that he left her for a job offer in Portland.

I really enjoyed reading about Noelle and how she tries to navigate her way trough life. She’s there for her mother who has anxiety and her best friend who suffers from postnatal depression, she even tries her best to help this grumpy old man who has to move out of his apartment, but maybe she needs someone to be there for her too? Ed slips back into her life and Noelle can’t just forget the 12 years they spent together but mountaineer Sam pops up on unexpected moments too and every time she sees him she feels that he really hears what she is saying, she feels something special and she gets the feeling it is fate that brings them together. Could she be right?

I expected this novel to be high on romance from the beginning but the author start-stopped my heart more times than were good for me, so I’m almost inclined to say that romance is involved but underneath what appears to be romance the story gives a life lesson about embracing life. From the very first pages the tragedy of losing her best friend are manifest but there’s a lot of growth for Noelle while she’s trying to find the right path for her and maybe fate will give an unmistakable signal that it is ok to start living and that she doesn’t have to feel guilty that she’s still alive and her best friend Daisy isn’t.

If you enjoyed The Switch by Beth O’Leary, this is definitely the novel for you. I had a few perfect hours of reading this heartwarming novel.

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

The Creak on the Stairs / Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir #BookReviews @OrendaBooks

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When a body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her collegues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice before it’s too late.

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I read a sampler of The Creak on the Stairs with the first chapters of this novel almost two years ago and I immediately knew this novel was very promising. This sampler stayed on my mind for a very long time so I was super excited when I finally had the full novel in my hands. I haven’t read a lot of nordic crime yet but after reading The Creak on the Stairs I have to conclude that I really don’t know why that is. I have to admit that the Icelandic names needed some getting used to… there’s a pronunciation guide before the first chapter which I thought was very cool and at first I did give it a try to read every name very carefully the way it was pronounced. I gave up on my mission fairly quickly though and even glossed over some long names (Elma’s mother for example) when I started to recognize them by sight; knowing which character was meant was ultimately enough for me.

The Creak on the Stairs is quite unsettling and much more than a simple whodunnit. It is wonderfully complex and there’s a whole history behind the murder which is divulged throughout the story but was only becoming stunningly  clear to me at the very end. And then apart from the present day investigation by Elma, there’s also a narrative starting in 1989 which describes the childhood of the woman who died. It wasn’t cheerful or an easy upbringing, and I felt a pain and sadness while reading these pages. There are a lot more characters that make an appearance which include several members of the same family and their spouses (Ása and Hendrik, their son Bjarni and his wife Magnea, the husband’s brother Tómas and his wife Ásdis) as well as several witnesses who crossed Elísabet’s path in the past and present. All have a story to tell, so it was impossible to know if any of them were connected or relevant to the story (of course they are) but their individual stories kept me enraptured.

Did I tell you that this story was wonderfully complex? It was complex and utterly tragic and Elma was a great character, someone who has it in her to sink her teeth into it and unravel the truth. I’d like to get to know Elma even better but I liked her and I loved the sort of chemistry in the air between her and her colleague Saevar even though neither one of them is really open to it, and Elma still misses David, the man who she was with for 9 years.

The further into the story the more unsettling it reads and the final revelations were quite unexpected. Finally a novel that was able to surprise me… and that’s not all, in the final pages Elma reveals something that caught me completely off guard!

This is the first novel in the ‘Forbidden Island’ series and what a debut it is! A great novel that makes me want to dive into the next one of the series right away! I’m a standalone type of reader but for this series I’m very happy to make the exception!

I received a copy of this novel in the Capital Crime Book Club box. This is my honest opinion.

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When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, everyone assumes that she’s taken her own life … until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?

Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to a shocking tragedy.

Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the number of suspects grows and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…

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The e-book is out on 22 May, you can pre-order the paperback as it’s publication date is set at 22 July 2021.

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I didn’t think it was possible but the second novel in the series about Elma, the female police inspector in Iceland pleased me even more than the author’s debut. Without a doubt this will probably stay my favorite novel even in the future, when there are many more books in this excellent series. The plot, the characters, the brilliant twists… everything was amazing. 

It takes a little bit of time before the real developments in the investigation of Maríanna’s murder take off but in the meantime I still had a lot to sink my teeth in. The author explored Hekla’s – Maríanne’s daughter – life and throughout the whole novel there are also extracts that start with the shared feelings of how tough life is for a young mother with a newborn who doesn’t have anyone to rely on. Those snippets continued at regular intervals in the novel detailing the strenuous relationship over 15 years, the struggles of a mother with a girl who doesn’t seem to behave like other girls. So many emotions arose inside me, all wanting to come out. At first I was furious with the way she treated her infant but at times I felt just as much compassion, sensing she might have post-natal depression. Was it all it was though, was she actually an evil person, or was it the child who was really different, making her harder to love?

Who murdered Maríanna? You’d almost think her own daughter Hekla had the most to gain because she loved her weekends at her foster parents much more than staying with her own mum, but wasn’t that a little presumptuous? In the course of the novel several characters appear to be a perfect candidate. There’s so much to uncover and it’s wonderful how deeper into the story, I had the feeling Elma and myself were in way over our heads… where was this going to lead?

I thought I knew what was going on, but the author had some very VERY clever red herrings up her sleeve. The story is much more complex than I initially expected and the characters have a fascinating complexity as well. Eva Björg AEgisdottir twists and turns the story quite literally until you hardly know which way to go… I loved how everything changed by the end and I was SO surprised yet again!

This book and this entire series is absolutely brilliant so far. I highly recommend the series to all readers who set the bar high and who are often let down by the simplicity of other novels because this is anything but! I have become a big fan over the course of these two books and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Elma!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher, Orenda Books, for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

While I Was Sleeping by Dani Atkins #BookReview

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What if someone else was living your happy ever after?

When Maddie wakes up in a hospital bed, she can’t remember anything about what happened to her or what has changed.

She just remembers she was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.

But it seems life has become a lot more complicated while she has been asleep …

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While I Was Sleeping is an incredibly moving and emotionally loaded novel. It’s the second novel I read by Dani Atkins (do read my review of her YA/NA novel This Love if you want) and well she did it again.. for the longest time I was quite ok keeping my emotions under control but then in the end I unraveled completely. How could she do that to me?

The novel is about Maddie who fell into a coma, Ryan the man she was about to get married to and Chloé, a librarian and volunteer at the hospital where she reads to geriatric patients mainly. It’s plain to see that their paths will cross and I thought I knew how this story was going to go… woman wakes up, sees her fiancée with a new woman, will do anything she can to get him back.. a classic version really of good and bad but I could not be more wrong, this story had quite a few surprises in store that changed this whole idea. Maddies life did change completely while she was sleeping, nothing is as it was and yes at first sight Chloé did slip into her role but this triangle is actually more than a little fascinating.

I thought I’d be either team Maddie or team Chloé (and team Maddie seemed the obvious choice) but the thing is, as I got to know Chloé and read her story too, I didn’t feel forced to choose between them at all, I loved them both so much. Neither has a bad bone in their body and I’m not sure this rosy picture is something that would happen in real life but even without the women’s rivalry for a man being the major topic (which made the story even better if you want my honest opinion), there are plenty of other events that give this story a few dramatic spins. While I Was Sleeping is for me most of all about – as it is mentioned somewhere in the novel itself – the fragility of life, but also motherhood, the bond between a child and their parents, and there’s plenty of love to go round in this novel in many different forms

Alas, just when I thought everything was going to be ok in the end, I was forewarned by the author that something bad was going to happen. For the longest time I didn’t know for which woman though, who was going to lose? I held on to my dear heart… I wouldn’t have been happy if it had been the other woman either but I seriously had to swallow a few times when reading the ending, it’s truly heartbreaking

And now I’m immediately going to order some more of this author’s books because I definitely want to read all of them!

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

A Chill #Catshelf #Review

Cat Shelf Review

Hey everyone!

I know this IS a surprise but I exceptionally wanted to show you how I spoil my cat ;-). So I bought the CHILL catshelf from Cosy & Dozy when I moved to my new home last year (it was actually one of the first things I bought, before my own bed even I think) and after a year the shelf is finally mounted. My cat has been making it very clear lately she wanted to go on top of the cabinets (usually from my kitchen counter she was looking up but it was too high).

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If you go on their site you can see that you can customize it to your wishes: you can choose the shade of wood (maple – my choice -, walnut or wenge), the colour of the brackets and more than 10 types of cushions. I don’t see mine (PINK of course) between the choices now but let’s hope they bring that back because it’s really a lovely shade of pink, it’s subtle. The cushion is fastened to the shelf with buttons so it can’t slide and the cover is washable, there’s a zipper to easily take it off. They even send the necessary tools to hang this thing. All you need is a man who’s handy (turns out not so easy to find.. available).

Nope I don’t get paid for this, nor do I have any sort of cooperation, I’m just extremely happy with the quality (ok it’s not cheap I admit but worth it), and what’s more Poes (say Puss) is a fan too because it not allows her to lazy on it but also to jump up the bookcase and the kitchen cabinets. My father made a shelf to hang outside of my library and now she can jump – jump – jump onto the top and she loves it.

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At least once a day she feels herself on top of the world :-). Only thing is that going down I still need to learn her to go the same way.. she usually jumps from the top to the white shelf down on the foot stool.. which is not how it should go!

I’m thinking of putting a row of books on top maybe too, if anything to keep her from trying to sneak into my library this way, I’ve seen her looking!

        Cosy&Dosy 06   Cosy&Dosy 07

So now my cat corner is all finished. I know it might look a little crowded but I don’t care as long as it keeps her happy. I’m afraid she hasn’t rewarded me yet with more sleep though ;-). In case you’re wondering, it is the only place in the house that I made especially for her. She doesn’t really play with anything but loves jumping on things and in my old place she could jump on the bedroom and living room cabinets… I know she missed it here.

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So there’s that.. only thing left in the house to do is putting up my metal birds.. but I guess that’s another project for another time…

Birds next project

So dear cat lover, what do you think? Do you have a cat shelf installed in your house and does your cat love to jump on cabinets so much too, or do I have a strange cat? 

Win by Harlan Coben #BookReview @PenguinUKBooks

Win def

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Over twenty years ago, heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family’s estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped, but so did her captors, and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.

Until now.

On New York’s Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead not only on Patricia’s kidnapping but also on another FBI cold case – with the suitcase and painting both pointing them towards one man.

Windsor Horne Lockwood III – or Win as his few friends call him – doesn’t know how his suitcase and his family’s stolen painting ended up in this dead man’s apartment. But he’s interested – especially when the FBI tell him that the man who kidnapped his cousin was also behind an act of domestic terrorism, and that he may still be at large.

The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades. But Win has three things the FBI does not: a personal connection to the case, a large fortune, and his own unique brand of justice …

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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

I’m not one of Harlan Coben’s long-time fans but I really want to become one! This novel is an absolute WINner (yes that couldn’t be helped)!

I haven’t read the 11 books in Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series where Win makes his appearance but that clearly isn’t imperative for enjoying this novel. I do have to say that I am a little curious about Myron himself because he’s talked about on several occasions but he doesn’t make an appearance in this novel. I’m mentioning this to keep the die hard fans from being disappointed ;-). I was happy though that the story really focuses on Win in the first novel of this brand new series.

Win (full name Windsor Horne Lockwood III) is as his name suggests as rich as croesus. He also has class and style and he might come across as a snob because who in the world answers the phone with ‘Articulate’, but aside from that I knew that deep down he is essentially a good guy, someone who will take action for the weak, even if his methods tend to be a bit violent sometimes. He’s charismatic, witty and he has a good dose of self confidence but he gets away with everything for me. Win is an awesome character to come across, he’s very well described and I enjoyed getting to know him throughout the novel.

I would not dare to say much about the complex plot except that it is kept intriguing at all times and I had no idea how the different subplots could end up fitting together. While there is progress on one front continually, other aspects of the story remain delightfully incomprehensible until Win’s tenacity pays off in the end. Over the course of the novel he dives into a story of terrorism in the seventies where a group of youngsters who became known as The Jane Street 6 threw a Molotov cocktail causing the deaths of several, as well as into his own family history and what happened with his cousin when she was 18 and the death of her father on the same night.

I marvel at the way the author used an abduction, an art heist and the murder of a recluse, all over the span of several decades, and made them very logically come together in the end. It’s a very clever and ingenious plot indeed!

I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this but I enjoyed this mystery novel decidedly more than I did the Netflix series The Stranger (I actually found it ok to watch at the time but it is nothing compared to this)! A very promising start to a brand new series! I for one can’t wait to read the next one!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Century. This is as always my honest opinion.