Posts Tagged With: crime

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.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, murder, serial killers, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , | Leave a 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: , , , , | Leave a comment

detective | “Jackrabbit Smile” by Joe R. Lansdale | Hap and Leonard 12

2Author: Joe R. Lansdale
Title: Jackrabbit Smile
Series: Hap and Leonard 12
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Pages: 256
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

So I took a book, I’ve read it, went to goodreads to mark it, and got deja vu. For once again, like in the good old times, I’ve read a hell knows which book in a series. But since I have no plans to read any more of these, it is as it is, and it’ll be fine.

About: Hap and Leonard weren’t all too pleased to accept a job from a white supremacists couple. They came to them as last resort, bringing in a handful of family along, expressed their displeasure of Leonard being black (little did they know, he’s gay too), and their grief over their missing daughter. She disappeared soon after giving birth to a black baby, and they no longer expect to see her alive. They merely want to know what happened.

The town these two go to investigate in is run by white supremacists and crazy folk. Most businesses are owned by a man called Professor, who has his own philosophy of why people of color and whites shouldn’t mix. Church was ran by folk who believed the world will end due to lizard people who live among us. And the mass there was held by a man who wanted to die of a gruesome torture, and seemingly got his final wish fulfilled. So, wherever you turn, there’s a something…

Mine: While the story itself was very mediocre, it’s written very well, and is full of good wit, funny jokes, and strong characters. And I’ve said this time, and time again: a good character can fix any plot. So if you ever need something light, funny, with maybe a little touch of scary shit, due to murder and all that, keep these series in mind. I will too.

I don’t really intend to read any more now, but hey, never say never. This book gets a solid 4 out of 5. I don’t know how those other ones are, but this one was nice and firm, and you can absolutely follow the story, no matter the past books.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Crime Books, Detective Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

crime | “Crew” by Tijan | Crew 1

4Author: Tijan
Title: Crew
Series: Crew 1
Genre: Crime, Young Adult
Pages: 500
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah. Here’s a book I would’ve loved ten years ago. Even now I thought it was pretty good. Author seems to specialize in these romances of young criminals. The only thing not up my alley was their age. Dunno, I’m almost thirty, high-school seniors just don’t cut it.

About: Bren lost everyone she loved. Her mother died of cancer. Her father drank himself until he landed in prison. Her brother lived his life until he got her guardianship trust upon him. To fill in the void Bren joined the meanest and baddest Wolf Crew. This town is all about the crews, and the gangs. There’s a very clear line between “normals” and “crew“. Everyone did their own thing, operated their own ship, and lived their own lives. Up until someone got fed up with all these dangerous and armed kids. Reforms began. Improved security, special programs, new pressure. Many lost their minds in this new bright spotlight they were put to. Masks fell, some fell with them, others rose out of their ashes. Things are about to change, and change hard.

Mine: Even though romance was better than in most books due to characters being equal counterparts in the Crew and society, I still skimmed over it. I understand we’ve all been high-school teenagers and have loved and done things, but bloody hell, I’m having easier time to process them beating each other up to a pulp than confess eternal love to one another. Another thing, due to the distinct line between normal people and crew people, it felt like reading a fan-fic about werewolf packs. You need to remind yourself these are just humans now and again. Other than that, it was pretty great. Well written, and Bren was interesting too. I knew people like her. Heck, I am still friends with a person like her. It felt familiar, and I liked that little connection.

I really didn’t want to read this book. The annotation is horrible, cheesy. But I decided to read it anyway, and so I can give it a 4 out of 5. For it was really not bad at all. Might be worth looking into Tijan’s bibliography after all.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, crews, gangs, etc | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“Mafia Prince” by Phil Leonetti

1.jpgAuthor: Phil Leonetti, Scott Burnstein, Christopher Graziano
Title: Mafia Prince
Series: –
Genre: Biography, True Crime
Pages: 328
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I read this book twice, for I really wanted to make sure I understood what has happened, and how it all went down. It’s a beautiful story of a personal evolution. Ability to grow above the life you seemingly were born into.

About: This is a beautiful dark story of an often romanticized topic: Mafia. Little Nicky Scarfo ruled Philly’s Mafia Family, La Cosa Nostra, this thing of ours. Under his rule everyone got out of their way, for these people, this mob, was ruthless and cruel. On some incidence a man took his own life in fear they came to brutally murder him, even though it was a mere chance. Scarfo’s nephew, Crazy Phil Leonetti ruled as his second in command, earning his name as the crazy one, following the rules obediently, putting Family above all else, including his own son. But as time went by, and good men, loyal men died for mere fact his uncle thought they were too proud of the job they did under his orders, Phil started questioning him as the boss, and the whole structure too. And he wasn’t the only one tired of a ruthless, paranoid boss.

Mine: I greatly respect people who are able to rise above their given life. Phil Leonetti is a great example of it. Born into Mob to be as good as the Prince of Crime, he obeyed, he lived it, he breathed it, and he killed for it. But he evolved when the chance presented itself, and made sure his own son didn’t have to belong the way he did. He got out when he could, and took anyone willing and able with him, in a sense. Once he saw the stupidity behind aggression, he did his best to straighten himself, and build a better life, outside of the crime for himself and his family. I wish them all luck in it.

It’s a good book, good new perspective. Mafia is not Sopranos. It’s brutal, horrible, and death is easy. Being trigger happy will not keep you safe, loyalty will not keep you safe, for nobody is ever safe in a life like that. 5 out of 5, and then a few extra points for the final word of Leonetti.

Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books: Everything, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

heist | “Vegas Heist” by Van Allen Plexico

1Author: Van Allen Plexico
Title: Vegas Heist
Series: –
Genre: Thriller, Heist, Crime
Pages: 240
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m not a big fan of the Ocean 11 times heists. I prefer modern stuff, where you need a lot more brain to not get caught, and get anything out of the job. But this book honestly surprised me, and amused me plenty with, well, Karma.

About: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was to open the doors for clients on New Years eve. Meaning fellas didn’t have much time to neither plan, nor prepare for the heist they’re about to pull. But they know just about enough to pull this off, and walk away with a large chunk of money. Yet, another problem, from the very beginning the team consisted out of guys who were no longer very keen on sharing. Especially when ever more people came in for a share, be it merely a half-share, or a full one. And, honestly, all it would take… Pull the trigger, press the detonator, stab your friend in the back. When the smoke settles, and rubble stops falling we’ll see who’ll walk away, and what share will remain in their hands. If anyone, if anything. For the net of angry criminals is wider than most of them think, and strings are being pulled from places far further than the vault room.

Mine: This book reminded me of the best bits from Ocean’s 11 movies, the very best parts. It was amusing, funny at times, but dealt serious business none the less. My favorite was the Karma, reminded me of a saying “easy does it“, but I won’t tell you why, just in case you might care to read it. Be sure, the ending is damn right perfect. And the book itself is written well too. If you follow the plot closely, it’s great, you get it, you know. Because of the names. That being the big minus for me; I’m not okay with is having to re-read parts, because it’s easy to mix up very, very similar characters pulling different ends of the web.

It’s a good, refreshing, and amusing book. I can give it a solid 4 out of 5, with only that one minus about too similar characters being my problem. I’d read more. And I might just read more by the author, just to see.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Crime Books, heists, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vanishing Games by Roger Hobbs | Jack White 2

1Author: Roger Hobbs
Title: Vanishing Games
Series: Jack White 2
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Am I wrong or have I read the first Jack White book last year in December too? All I remember is that I loved it a lot. So when I saw second book among my audiobook recommended, I had to snag it. It’s almost as good as the first one, read it whole while making Holiday presents for people.

About: If you need Jack White, you’ll get to jump a lot of safety hoops and obstacles. For he can afford you not finding him. Because, if you couldn’t find him, you likely weren’t worth his time anyway. For Jack White is a Ghostman. He doesn’t exist, in a sense, for he can be anyone, anywhere, and then someone else the next minute. In this game his due to boredom, so the least you could do is have him an interesting job to offer…

What Jack definitely didn’t expect was to get a message from his mentor. The woman who once taught him this art of vanishing. She claims she’s in danger, and if she says so, it’s likely plenty serious. This time it all happens somewhere deep in Asia, where one of her crew members tripped over every local gang, it seems, and then disappeared together with the rest of the crew. The gangs smell blood and money, though, and they feel no scruples over tossing an outsider or two down the pier in trash bags. They’re able too, for the whole damn country belongs to them.

Mine: This is one of those rare books where very details is amazing and wanted. There’s plenty of books in my shelf where I could barely get through the details, mentally asking the author for how long can they be telling me all this unnecessary stuff. But not here, here everything was amazing. I learned a lot about counterfeit money, and payment of a crew member, a robber. And how that payment can shift depending on your experience, skill, and sometimes – role. Jack didn’t disappoint me either, he’s still just as interesting, even if at times I had my doubts.

I might be biased, for I always liked crime books told from point of view of criminals who lived to tell the tale. If you got books like that, recommend me some, I always hunt for new ones, for there aren’t many. This one gets 5 out of 5, for I loved it.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

John Burdett “The Bangkok Asset” | Sonchai Jitpleecheep 6

2Author: John Burdett
Title: The Bangkok Asset
Series: Sonchai Jitpleecheep 6
Genre: Mystery, Crime
Pages: 307
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah, and so here we are, with the last book of Sonchai Jitpleecheep that left me utterly confused and strangely happy. Confusion comes from the characters. And happiness comes from the end. Both literal – series ended, and less so – the ending of the book was pretty meta.

About: A person is brutally murdered, their head torn off their shoulders with demonic strength. And a message is left for Sonchai at the crime scene, written in blood: “I know who <smudge> father is“. To help him with this case, yet another one that directly revolves around him, a Chinese inspector Krom is assigned to Sonchai. And she soon confirms Sonchai’s suspicion that there’s something inhuman at work here.

The deeper Sonchai gets, the closer he gets to his father, with whom killer baited him closer, deeper into the case, the more he realizes that the world as he knew it has long as ended. This is the new era, era where the only power, respect, and religion is money. The second coming or the apocalypse itself is at the gate. And Sonchai is to choose a role: will you be John the Baptist, or Judas?

Mine: Some of the characters simply disappeared. Everyone forgot about them completely, and it’s really annoying. Especially since the new ones were very basic one-sided, and lacked any depth. The author is really struggling to write any women, and the ones that he does write, end up becoming either lamps or one-tune sounds. Then there’s the whole “every case revolves around Sonchai” deal. People need to stop killing to get his attention. Ending was pretty great though, not the very far end, but the culmination of it, before Sonchai jumped the bathroom. It put the other books together: you had a man whose word was always valued, a man who was loved even when he was hated, a man who was a saint, finally, become a saint. This new Cult, these New Age Apostles, they reach their hands to him with a promise: come, we’ll love you, just sit on the throne, and be our God.

In Lithuania we only have three books translated for us, and I think that was a good call on the publishers. The first three books really tie up the good story with the “happily ever after” attached to it. The rest are darker, and by far, not always good. Yet I don’t feel like I wasted time reading these, they were worth it, even when I hated it. So all in all, final book gets a 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ioan Grillo “Gangster Warlords”

1Title: Gangster Warlords
Author: Ioan Grillo
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction, Crime
Pages: 384
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gangster Warlords” is a very well researched, and very well written, informative book on the title topic. It’s pretty amazing to read given facts, given opinion, and not feel bias leaking, nor an attempt to steer the reader one way or the other. That’s some good quality journalism right here.

About: The book is about the rise of the CEO kingpins, gangster warlords. In the age of politicians being worse than organized crime warlords, it only makes sense majority of the world gets both touched and screwed over by both. It makes even more sense that often we find ourselves hating the politician more. Someone who was meant to serve us and help us is doing the opposite. At least the gangster didn’t lie. Hell, in some cases gangsters are notorious for their good deeds, and end up being well protected, to a point of being untouchable, by the common folk who love them. For paving the roads, for building schools, for funding education, for, even, fighting crime. But that’s only a small fraction of the whole story. And likely the most rosy one too.

My Thoughts: The book is well written. I said that already, but it really is. Not once did I feel author’s word to have weight in my opinion that I was allowed to form through facts given. And, sure, things might have been opted out, but what was there was enough. I learned a lot. Best of all, I learned how different is a person who was pushed into crime for the sake of survival, and the one who entered life of crime for the sake of power. And how very differently common folk treat these people.

This was a good read. It is mostly set in Mexico, and gives good insight for making your own comparisons by the news and documentaries that are flooding all the media places. Poverty breeds all sorts of survivors. Not all of them are goodhearted, and it’s not always their fault either. 5 out of 5, for being such an eye-opener.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Burdett “Vulture Peak” | Sonchai Jitpleecheep 5

10121431Author: John Burdett
Title: Vulture Peak
Series: Sonchai Jitpleecheep 5
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Pages: 285p.
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

Ah well. I’ve decided, that since I got this far, I might as well finish the series. “Vulture Peak” is second to last John Burdett series Sonchai Jitpleecheep book, out of which only the first three are translated into Lithuanian. Which isn’t a big loss, since first three books form a pretty good trilogy and could really end there.

About: Sonchai’s boss, driven by very selfish motives, is up to finally rid Bangkok of the Organ Trafficking, market and all. For that, of course, he uses Sonchai, since he’s the only non-corrupt cop around, and seems to care about this whole justice thing or whatever. So, Sonchai, with a secret identity, and a cool box full of eyeballs that give him nightmares soon after he discovers what’s inside, travels off from home. And very soon meets two nasty big players in the game. Chinese twins, as crazy as they come, their insanity a danger to them, and those around them. People for them are no more than walking allowance, and they’re very able to attract the right kind of people. Thus, it comes to no surprise that the monster rapist that is rampaging Bangkok is also related to their work and them. Sonchai and now his wife too, are in grave danger as the game starts slipping out of his hands.

My Opinion: The Twins reminded me of Voerman sisters from Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. The legends, secrets, and their origin story was very similar. That was a pleasant take, to be honest. For the rest of the story wasn’t so good, and made a bit worse by Sonchai’s karmic better than thou attitude. I get it, he’s beautiful and everyone loves him from the moment they lay eyes on him. I just don’t understand why. The best story here was that of the monster I mentioned before, but it was used as a filler, to add volume, or at least it felt that way.

So then. I’ll soon start the final book. I wanted to read them for forever now, in the times when I rarely ever used to buy e-books to begin with. So I’ll be able to strike out a lot of things from the TBR, even if it won’t be quality reads. For the time being, 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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