The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows #ThrowbackThursday

Renee @It’sBookTalk began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of our old favorites as well as sharing books that we’re finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. 

8125982.jpg

Release: 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Historical Fiction

Ever since I saw the trailer, I decided I wanted to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society before watching the actual movie. The title was funny and weird, and I’ve always loved stories about book clubs and people gathering together, so I thought this could be a nice change from all the murders and psychopaths. And it was! I loved this cute little story and I can’t wait to watch Lily James as Juliet, Matthew Goode as Sidney and, of course, Michiel Huisman as Dawsey.

When I started the book, I totally thought Dawsey was a woman (I’m sorry, I’m not used to this kind of weird names!) Then I went back and read the first two letters again, just in case I had missed any flirting! I’m talking about letters because this is an epistolary novel, so everything is told in letters. It was fun and refreshing, I don’t think I had read a book like this since Where Rainbows End.

Ultimately, this was the definition of a feel-good story. I loved Juliet’s voice, she was strong-willed and fun, she’s the kind of character I love to read about. My favorites, however, were Sidney and Isola, who were amazing supporting characters. The story dragged a bit in the middle, but overall, I found it to be really cute and charming.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

buy6

Advertisements

Review: Birthday Girl by Matthew Iden @CrimeRighter @AmazonPub

34936739.jpg

Release: 2018
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Okay, first take a good look at that creepy cover and try to understand why I couldn’t pass this up. Birthday Girl by Matthew Iden is a book that I haven’t seen on many blogs, which is a pity since this is actually a really gripping thriller.

This is the story of Elliott Nash, a homeless man who used to be a brilliant psychiatrist but the death of his daughter left him completely desperate. Eight years after her daughter’s death, a woman called Amy looks for his help to find her missing daughter Lacey, whom she believes to be alive even after almost a year. Elliott and Amy start investigating Lacey’s disappearance, which they believe to be connected to other missing kids that were found killed around their birthdays. But what exactly is going on?

This was a quick and fast-paced read, I read it in about two days and it was one of those stories that I was quite excited to go back to. I really liked Amy and Elliott’s characters because, despite their flaws, you could see that they were actually really good people. I also loved how the author, Matthew Iden, explored the topic of living in the streets. It really made me think, especially when Elliott’s character mentioned how sometimes homeless people scream at you, not because they’re crazy, but because they want to feel visible. It was heartbreaking.

There were several points of view in Birthday Girl, yet the most gripping were those who featured Sister and the children. My favorite kids were Charlie and Charlotte, of course! Oh, and if you read that prologue and don’t become immediately hooked, I don’t know what else will do, really. It was so so creepy and scary that I had to keep reading!

A minor issue I had with Birthday Girl was that the last part felt a bit rushed and you actually knew everything before the characters found out, something which I found rather anticlimactic. However, later, there was also a small twist that was smart and satisfactory and in the end, I did love how things turned out to be.

Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47buy6

Review: In The Cage Where Your Saviours Hide by Malcolm Mackay

37798654.jpg

Release: 2018
Publisher: Apollo, Head of Zeus
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

In The Cage Where Your Saviours Hide by Malcolm Mackay has probably one of my favorite titles this year. As soon as I read the title and saw the cover I was interested. The blurb was quite intriguing, given that this is a mystery novel set in a different world from the one we’re living right now. This novel is set in the independent kingdom of Scotland, which happens to have a deep relationship with Central America.

This is a promising start to what could be an interesting new series. The main character is called Darian Ross and he’s a twenty-something private investigator… only he can’t tell anyone that. If anyone asks, he’s a “researcher! One day, he starts working on a case investigating Maeve Campbell’s ex-boyfriend murder, a criminal who’s been found in a dark alley. The police don’t seem interested, so Darian does everything in his power to bring the killer to justice… but of course, it won’t be that simple.

Besides the distinct setting, In The Cage Where You Saviours Hide was a pretty classic detective novel where the main focus of the story were Darian’s efforts and conversations with the suspects. I loved that this unique society was as corrupt as ours is now, maybe even more. And I loved Darian’s character, how honest he was, how he naïvely believed he could do good in a world where apparently there’s no such thing.

In the end, this was an interesting book and maybe the beginning of a series that has a lot of potential to become great. The case wasn’t the most fascinating ever, but the book is fairly short and it kept me interested to find out what had really happened to Moses.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review

Mackay_In the Cage.png

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47buy6

Review: Tangerine by Christine Mangan

33123864.jpg

Release: 2018
Publisher: Ecco, Harper Collins
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I had been highly anticipating this book after seeing it featured on so many blogs. Tangerine by Christine Magan is certainly one of the most talked about novels this year, one of those books that appear out of nowhere and suddenly everyone is talking about. I was kind of dubious too, for reviews were mixed to say the least.

In the end, I believe I can say that Tangerine was a pretty entertaining book overall: I liked Christine Mangan’s writing, loved the setting and I was never bored when reading about Alice and Lucy’s story. Lucy was fascinating in her own way. As for the plot, this is the classic stalker-psychological-thriller-book featuring a woman who is obsessed with another one and does everything in her hands to have her all for herself. The change? The book is set in Tangier, in 1956.

Even though this was more than a decent read, I don’t really understand all the fuss, as I’ve read countless of similar books in the past. Does Tangerine feature a unique story? Not at all. Does it include a shocking ending? Nope. Is it a fun read? Well, yes, it is, at least in my humble opinion. And of course, the setting, Morocco, will turn this story into a beautiful-looking and captivating film, there’s no doubt about that.

If you love the psychological thriller genre and exotic book settings, I’d recommend this book for a fun, well-written beach read. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t grab Christine Mangan’s Tangerine looking for something surprising or original, because I don’t think you’ll find that here. Unless you’re new to the thriller genre, that is.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47buy6

Review: All The Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

36259105.jpg

Release: 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I’ve been a fan of Peter Swanson’s writing ever since I read The Kind Worth Killing back in 2015. His novels are like modern noir stories, quite psychological and with a Hitchcock/Highsmith touch. Last year, I really enjoyed Her Every Fear, although it was kind of different from I was expecting. However, this time, the characters in All The Beautiful Lies did remind me of The Kind Worth Killing.

This is a slow-burning type of novel, so don’t expect many exciting things to happen during the first half. I really like Swanson’s writing and so it doesn’t bother me that he takes his time to develop the story, but this was probably my least favorite of his books. I still enjoyed it, but I don’t think I will remember this one like I remember the first one I read.

What is this book about? All The Beautiful Lies tells the story of Harry, a young man who has just found out that his father died. He returns to his home in Maine to do the funeral arrangements, but the police seem to think there’s something suspicious about the death. Was it an accident or something more sinister? And is it possible that her father’s new wife had something to do about it? And why does he feel so attracted to her?

During the first half of the book, there were two different perspectives: Harry’s, in the present, and Alice’s in the past. I must say I found Alice’s perspective deeply fascinating (in a totally disturbing way), so she was my favorite character to read about. Harry was a good guy, but he was too boring to be a thriller’s MC, and the mystery, as I said before, took its time to find its rhythm. The second part of the book featured a small surprise but it wasn’t a big twist or something that I found particularly shocking.

If you’ve loved this book but you haven’t read his previous novels, I’d recommend that you give The Kind Worth Killing a chance. If you love the author, please read All The Beautiful Lies anyway, because you might love it even if I didn’t. This is a profoundly psychological novel dealing with several polemic topics. It’s well-written and atmospheric, but, unfortunately, it’s not as memorable as I expected it to be.

Many thanks to the publishers and Edelweiss for providing me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47buy6