Thriller Books

book review | Fear the Light by William Massa | Fear 1 | Dracula lit.

fear the light william massa book cover.jpgAuthor: William Massa
Title: Fear the Light
Series: Fear 1
Genre: Dracula, Vampires
Pages: 210
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Other than those few historical classics I got recommended way back when, my attempt to read one Dracula book a month became this game of hit or miss. For instance, I truly did miss greatly with Fear the Light by William Massa.

About the Book: Someone is slaying clan vampires, starting with their master, their Creator, the oldest and most powerful vampire alive, formerly, Dracula. Now his clan cowers trapped in their master’s manor in the middle of the day. It was supposed to be a peaceful paying of respects to their late Father in Darkness and someone’s ascension to power, the clan leader position. Instead an invisible force is picking them off one by one. And everyone got a motive.

My Opinion: A poor imitation of Agatha Christi mysteries, where a group of people gets trapped somewhere, and someone’s killing them all. Shallow characters whose tragic stories did help, but otherwise didn’t make them any more interesting or missed. And that godawful trope one often sees in Dracula books, but usually he’s the one getting that stick of: the best of the best can’t beat you, but here comes a rando with a butter knife and you’re done. The End.

Mmno. 2 out of 5.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, Thriller Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Mark by Lee Mountford | horror lit.

the mark lee mountford book coverAuthor: Lee Mountford
Title: The Mark
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature; Thriller
Pages: 290
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

It’s hard to find good horror genre books. The Mark by Lee Mountford isn’t one of them either.

About the Book: One night a stranger breaks into Kirsty’s home, drugs her, and brands her back with strange occult symbols. Ever since she had no peace. At first she thought of the visions of nightmarish creatures as delusions or PTSD symptoms. But when her friend is attacked by the same demons, she knows she only has one option now: find the man who did this, and make him take it away.

My Opinion: This is some poor writing. Weird, unnatural feeling dialogues. Very precise, predictable sequence of actions and events. Everyone around Kirsty seem to be delusional and incompetent by some degree. For instance, the detective on the case waves the main lead off as irrelevant. While Kirsty somehow finds the man by his eyes that she saw once, many years ago. Her moral compass was firm, but lacked any logic behind it. It was there to make you feel for this woman who otherwise was bland, and lacked personality. The best thing in this whole book was the demon, because it turned out to be something akin to djinn Bartimaeus: seemingly the big bad, but is it, really?

Pass, 2 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, demons, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson | Millennium 3

the girl who kicked teh hornets nest stieg larssonAuthor: Stieg Larsson
Title: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest
Series: Millennium 3
Genre: Thriller; Crime
Pages: 563
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

And so with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson I’ve finished the Millennium trilogy. It was dark, gritty, and very interesting.

About the Book: Lisbeth Salander has survived her own death and funeral. And now will have to spend a lot of time in hospital confinement, with doors locked and all access to the outside world – cut. Healing and hoping that the bullet to the head didn’t damage her brain permanently.

In the meantime Mikael Blomkvist is gathering together an army, ready to take down the criminal organization that thought themselves to be important men of the government, power. With the help of his sister, his friends, he’s building a case that’ll set Lisbeth free, and put everyone who ever hurt her behind bars, at last. But the criminals in question have no intention of going down, at least not that easily. They’re doing everything they can to discredit everyone speaking against them, falsify evidence, and make evidence disappear, sometimes together with the witnesses. It’s now a matter of who will outwit whom.

My Opinion: At some points the book was so awfully dark that I was left to wonder why are characters experiencing it lack reaction. But then, as I’ve read on, and every string connected tying together to make one big picture, I realized it was the whole point. This is a tale of people broken, but not dead. People hurt, but not giving up. This is a tale of very brutal fight where you make a very conscious choice to live, survive, and tell the damned tale. And it is very well written, truly.

I think I will go ahead and rewatch all the movies. Maybe I’ll even have it in me to review them, we’ll see. But for now I give this book a 5 out of 5, and the whole trilogy gets the same too.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, crews, gangs, etc, Crime Books, Detective Books, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Shanghai Factor by Charles McCarry

changhai factor charles mccarry book cover reviewAuthor: Charles McCarry
Title: The Shanghai Factor
Series: –
Genre: Spy Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 336
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I’ve realized a little too late when I picked up The Shanghai Factor by Charles McCarry, that I’ve not inspected the genres well enough. This might be the first spy thriller I’ve read. And I don’t think it’s a genre for me.

About the Book: A nameless American spy placed in Shanghai with bare orders: learn the language, absorb the culture. Avoid other Caucasians, especially other Americans. Which turns out hard to do, for any other white person in Shanghai jumped at the opportunity to speak to a possible same origins kin. But he could trust no one, and knew patterns too well to fall for real, possible or imagined ploys. Up until a pure accident has sent him tumbling head-first into a very tight and sticky cobweb. For he ran into a bike of a very attractive young woman.

My Opinion: It was dull. This nameless fellow is yet again one of those guys whom men with power just want to pay to do nothing, and women are happy to have sex with him, and absolutely understand that he can’t stay, and must go, and can’t explain them shit. Secondary characters were cold and two-dimensional. Plot itself felt like a tumble of things that barely fit together to make some kind of unclear image. It didn’t feel like a thriller at all.

I understand there’s quite a bit of my own fault for choosing a book so poorly, so no matter how tempted I am to give this book less, I will give it a 3 out of 5, just in case it wasn’t as bad as it seemed to me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson | Millennium 2

the girl who played with fire millennium stieg larsson book coverAuthor: Stieg Larsson
Title: The Girl Who Played with Fire
Series: Millennium 2
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Pages: 503
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Why do I want my darkest reads in the brightest of Summers? Well, no matter. I’ve read The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson, second book in Millennium trilogy. And it was as good as the first one.

About the Book: A couple of journalists contact Millennium requesting a book on sex trafficking in Sweden to be published via them. After a long and extensive work on it, on the eve of publication, both of them were found shot to death. And they’re not the last victims either. But to Mikael the worse is the fact that all the links, including the evidence, lead to Lisbeth Salinger. He categorically refuses to believe she’s to blame, and thus has only one path left before him. Find the young woman, and unbury her past. For someone wants her gone, but who and why?…

My Opinion: It’s a very dark thriller, but very good. Full of story lines that intertwine and make one whole good story. Not all of them are good, of course, but most I loved, and so, as a reader, I am pleased. More than that, I enjoyed reading of Lisbeth’s past, and finally getting to know the young woman better. I always admired girls like her, so this is no little crush I’m having. She’s smart, her morals are flexible (in a good way, as poor as that sounds), and she’s a techwiz. Something I always wanted to be, but never had the smarts to do. That, or I’m just too lazy, which is often a possibility among all of us, isn’t it? Mikael I still don’t like all that much, but I feel like I can’t exactly explain why without… Throwing accusations around.

Yep, so if you want a good thriller and, as I, have not read these yet for some reason, I can recommend. This one gets a 5 out of 5 from me. There’s really nothing I could’ve taken points off for. Maybe the too lightly thrown “dyke” around… I feel like male equivalent of that wouldn’t have been used as-a-matter-of-fact like that.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Detective Books, LGBTQ+ Books, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | In The Dark by Mark Billingham

mark billingham in the dark book coverAuthor: Mark Billingham
Title: In The Dark
Series: –
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Pages: 384
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I keep seeking those good, good crime books. In the Dark by Mark Billingham is not one of those. But it did remind me why I believe that life’s too short to quit a book because it didn’t pick up for a while. The very end of it, and it’s not the first book to do so, has fixed so very much that it made it worth it.

About the Book: A cop driving at night. A gang with a crew member in need to prove himself. Secrets, lies, cover-ups, and victims.

Paul’s widow Helen, an officer herself, now lonely and expecting, can’t help herself but dig deeper into her husband’s life. It turns out he had way more secrets than she suspected. And much darker ones too. Bit by bit they’re making her see what seemed to be a random gang attack to be something entirely else.

My Opinion: The ending is emotionally brutal to the reader. It was dark, unexpected, hard, but so, so good. Story is very slow to pick up, the pace is horrible. Some dialogues were jagged, characters often turned out to be two dimensional, shallow, not to mention completely random unnecessary scenes. I was about to give this book a poor rating, but then it ended like that, and blew me away. See, as a reader you see a little more than Helen. You see the people around her, who she meets, who she talks to. And whom she starts to sympathize with. And it’s bloody beautiful.

Yeah, it’s one of those books. Makes you sad and happy at the same time. As a reader – you’re satisfied with how it happened. But as a human being you’re probably sad. I give it a shaky little 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, crews, gangs, etc, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson | Millennium 1

the girl with the dragon tatttoo stieg larsson book coverAuthor: Stieg Larsson
Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Series: Millennium 1
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 465
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I have this trilogy for years and years now, so many that I’m ashamed to admit. But at last I’ve read the first Millennium trilogy book by Stieg Larsson, the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“, and it was amazing.

About the Book: In the chaos of family tragedy a girl disappears, leaving her loving uncle burdened by this painful mystery. For there was no trace, and no body, but he is certain, the girl must be dead, how else? Upon his birthdays he receives a pressed dried flower, every year, and it has become a wall of mockery, for the killer surely knows, and likes to pain him. Thus, he has made a decision to try one more time to shine some light on this mystery. He hires a journalist, who, in turn, hires Lizbeth, this fantastic alternative woman with almost supernatural mind that sees patterns where others only see chaos, white noise. Together they dig up old clues, old tales. But what if the truth is worse than the secrets?

My Opinion: This is a marvelously written, captivating book that’ll require your undivided attention. It’s easy to loose track, that’s all I’m saying. Other than that, the characters and the plot are amazing. My favorite being Lizbeth, with her intelligence and strength, she’s an amazing example of what characters I lean towards. Her ability to put up a show reminded me of Ghostman, so some small part of me was sated (I truly wish the author of those books was alive and well, and would write more of those unbelievably amazing books). Less so impressed by the journalist, but that’s also only my personal preference and lack of belief, so to speak. For he is written well.

So, yeah. This was an amazing book, and if you’re seeking a good detective, there’s surely a reason why these were such a phenomena at some point. 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Detective Books, murder, Mystery Books, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

book review | The Fall by Guillermo del Toro | The Strain Trilogy 2

the fall guillermo del toro chuck hogan the strain book coverAuthor: Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan
Title: The Fall
Series: The Strain Trilogy 2
Genre: Thriller, Vampires
Pages: 308
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I’ve many people in my circle who enjoy the series based on this trilogy and/or the trilogy itself. I, personally, am not yet made a fan, and I don’t see how that’ll happen with only one Strain Trilogy book left. Currently I finished Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan book The Fall, which is the second one. And am not impressed.

About the Book: Master has taken over New York. From here the rest of the world will fall under his feet too. But he has to be careful and not think of these things too much. For when he’s too deep in thought, they, others like him, the first kind of vampires, can hear it, and know it. So instead he plays his pawns, the most influential, powerful, rich people. It’s just that he miscalculated just how very much some of them fear death…

My Opinion: Other than internal monologues, there’s so little happening in this book, that I can’t even tell you what’s it about clearly. Basically they all spend the whole book either thinking of bad old days, from the creation of supernatural creatures, to genocide, to childbirth, or they chase a book that speaks of vampire creation. That book could give them the true name of the Master and that would somehow help them destroy him and the rest of his kind. I give it great props over making vampires what they are, but bloody hell how dull it gets.

Right, so, I can’t give this book more than 3 out of 5, and the biggest plus is the vampire origins. One more book to go.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Supernatural, Nosferatu Books, Thriller Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

book review | My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

my sister the serial killer oyinkan braithwaite novel book coverAuthor: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Title: My Sister, The Serial Killer
Series: –
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Pages: 226
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I wanted something more different from the regular stuff I normally read. So I dug into my Crime treasures, and found this marvelous gem, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, formerly known by the title Thicker Than Water.

About: Ayoola is everything her sister, Korede is not. She’s beautiful, charming, people love her, men gravitate toward her. She’s also manipulative, possibly a sociopath, and definitely a serial killer. Korede knows all of this, because she herself helps her hide the bodies. And they’re piling up heavy, both figuratively, and literally, on her consciousness. And while Korede thought many times of coming clean or letting Ayoola deal with her own mess for once, it takes very drastic events in her life for her to actually take action. Two, in fact. One, Ayoola started dating Korede’s colleague, a doctor, who is so madly love-struck, he no longer resembles the man Korede herself had a crush on. And two, the coma patient, the only person with a pulse Korede ever confided to, confessing all her secrets, all her sins, wakes up. It’s time to choose whom to throw her lot, her very life with.

Mine: This would make such amazing series! It’d be between Dexter and Breaking bad, with a dash of some sort of a medical series where not all is as clean as is the surface. Maybe Nurse Jackie. Anyway, the book, ah, the logic, the reasoning characters had, oh it was brilliant. The story itself is set in Nigeria, and is told from Korede’s perspective. It begins with a murder, and two sisters trying to hide away a body. Then, with this easy, but perfect pace, it starts unfurling. What you see is just one story in many, as Korede perceives it. But with her own feelings, her memories, it becomes clear why is this happening, and why are they the way they are.

I loved this book, definitely among my favorites now. It’s very well written, and while very serious, with no space for jokes, it’s not scary or gross. I suggest you put this for a TBR on a hot summer day, for the setting now and again is mentioned to be unforgivably scorching. And for now, I give it a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, murder, serial killers, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

mafia | “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo | Mario Puzo’s Mafia 1

2Author: Mario Puzo
Title: The Godfather
Series: Mario Puzo’s Mafia 1
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Pages: 448
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

It’s long overdue that I read these books. Recently I got real determined to not only physically clean out my book shelves, but read it up too. So I planned a month, and so I’ve read it. I’ve learned I don’t really read books I otherwise wanted, if I don’t have it pre-planned. There’s always something else, seemingly more suitable…

About: This is a tale of a family. For family is the most important. Especially one that lives under an omerta, a law of silence. But this said family doesn’t have to be blood. All you need to do is ask for help, and then accept Vito Corleone as your Godfather. From then on, you’re part of the family, and expected to behave as such, as a friend, a brother, a child. Everyone’s accepted equally, with a smile, a kind word. And at times, people are laid to their graves with the same kind smiles. For family indeed is the most important. And this is also a tale of cold vengeance so well weaved that Count of Monte Cristo would be proud. No one’s above Corleones family. No one.

Mine: Holy smokes. The quality of this book, of the writing, it’s unbelievable. You read of family, families within it, branches, gangs, generations of people, and even tales of origins. And yet it’s no effort at all to follow it all, to understand. And the story is great too, the plot, the thriller. You see what happened. You’re even told why it was done, how, by whom, how it was handled after. But only at the very end you’re told the truth behind it, and it all then makes so much more sense. It becomes clear that the damn don Vito Corleone was a genius.

This is a great book. I should not have left it to gather dust for so long. But hey, better later than never. 5 out of 5, and hopefully I’ll pick up the next one soon enough.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, crews, gangs, etc, Crime Books, mafia, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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