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Posts made in October, 2017

Book Review: Mystery

Posted by on Oct 22, 2017 |

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll



This is a well-done, well-paced mystery. The main mystery is what happens to teenager Anna Ballard. She and her friend Sarah are on a train to London when they meet two men carrying garbage bags who admit to just getting out of prison. Mother and wife Ella overhears this and wonders if she should call the parents. When Anna goes missing overnight, Ella is wracked with guilt for not acting sooner and is also vilified in the media—including social media—for not doing something before it was too late.

Everyone has secrets, which we know because the story is told from multiple points of view. Sarah doesn’t tell the police the whole truth. Anna’s father isn’t telling the whole truth. Ella’s son has secrets. What’s initially ominous to Ella, however, is the series of threatening notes she receives—and also doesn’t tell the police about. She does let a private investigator know. Matthew quit the police force to become a PI for reasons that are kept secret to the reader for most of the book.

I had a little trouble buying that everyone would blame a mother who didn’t call the parents on the fact the girl went missing. Other than that, though, I really liked the characters of Matthew in particular. Ella’s guilt seemed misplaced, but I’m not a mother and, happily, I’ve never been in the position of watching a teenage girl make terrible choices and then go missing.

I thought this was fun and an easy, fast read.

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Book Review: Fiction

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 |

Mind Game by Iris Johansen


If you need everything explained to you because you have no critical thinking skills and don’t mind crappy writing, this is the book for you! Johansen writes a lot of stuff in dialogue that should be exposition. What I mean by this is, when two people are having a discussion in which they know the background but the reader doesn’t yet, they don’t have to explain things to each other, but the author has to let the reader know, ideally in a far more adept fashion. This is some of the worst dialogue I’ve read in a long time. She also does that thing where she has only two people in the conversation, and yet they feel the need to address each other by their first names all the time, which never happens in real life. “Good night, Jane.” “Good night, Eve.”

If you like simplistic writing, you may be able to get through this.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book and discover an author I never need to squander my time on.

The Spinster Wife by Christinia McKenna



The ending of this book was excellent, but I almost gave up on it early on. It was a slog of a read for almost half of it. What kept me reading were a few tantalizing mysteries and the fact that I have an interest in the subject of domestic violence.

The chapters alternate between Rita-Mae, on the run from an abusive husband, and Dorrie, who wakes up in a hotel with no idea how she got there. Rita-Mae discovers some troubling information about the tenant who rented the house before her, and for Dorrie, she has to remember how she got where she is and what the bloodstained clothing means.

The novel is set in 1980s Ireland, but for the most part, it felt like I was reading something from 1920s England. I read a lot of Irish authors and always feel like I’m right there in Ireland with them. The language used here didn’t do that for me. There was a lot of “My goodness gracious!” type stuff.

The mystery unfolds nicely, but you really need fortitude to get the reward.


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