Posts Tagged With: mystery

book review | The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist | The Glass Books 1

x the glass books of the dream eaters gordon dahlquistAuthor: Gordon Dahlquist
Title: The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters
Series: The Glass Books 1
Genre: Mystery, Steampunk
Pages: 760
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Good grief. “The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters” by Gordon Dahlquist, first in the Glass Books series, is very excessive. And while not a bad example of Steampunk Mystery, it ain’t a very good one either.

About the Book: A dark and secret cabal is performing unearthly rituals. They’re stealing minds, knowledge, experiences, condensing them into their blue glass books to be used by others. This process enslaves people, transforms them. Or outright kills them. And it’s a tad hard to tell which is worse.

Miss Temple truly did not expect to find all this when she decided to follow her former fiance in attempts to find out if there were any other reasons for why he broke off the engagement. Nor did she expect to find allies such as foreign doctor Svenson, with his masterful ability to not only heal and cure, but make allies out of enemies; or the infamous assassin nick named Cardinal Cheng. For reasons of their own, united they fight against the evil forces, giving it all to survive.

My Opinion: Fantasy doesn’t need iron logic. It only needs it to hold water and have everything work. Here, while we get to spend most the chapters in one or another head of the character, we barely get these vague outlines of why are they doing what they’re doing. For instance, Miss Temple has these ridiculous outbursts of violence that there and here sort of were hinted to as coming from what her father used to be like. Other times she does or thinks the strangest things which then leaves me, as a reader, wonder why the hell was I subject to this. Then there’s the assassin in bright red coat. I imagine he enjoys chasing victims, for I can’t imagine people recognizing the coat to not dash.

It’s not bad, it’s just not good either. 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books, steampunk, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer by Jennifer Lynch

the secret diary of laura palmer jennifer lynch twin peaksAuthor: Jennifer Lynch
Title: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer
Series: –
Genre: Horror literature; Mystery
Pages: 184
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Have you ever watched the cult series Twin Peaks? I can still hear the intro tune in my head. And recently I discovered there’s a diary of Laura Palmer, the main blonde beauty in the series, whose murder brought the detectives to the town. Book “The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer” is written by Jennifer Lynch, daughter of the Twin Peaks series creator. But, to be honest, as well as it was written, it was disgusting.

About the Book: Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks has two diaries. One is the light and bright one, by a teenage girl with future ahead. It’s meant for prying eyes, to those who can’t help themselves but snoop. The other one holds her darkness. Darkness that is spreading, choking, drowning her. Ever since she was twelve, and maybe even before that, she kept dreaming of darkness, of woods, owls, strange old men abusing her, using her. These dreams seeped through into her daydreams and fantasies as the girl entered teenage years. But it seems these fantasies were feeding a demon. A demon she learns to be called Bob. He hunts and tortures her in her dreams, and, apparently, intends to take her to hell.

My Opinion: So here’s what’s what. This child has very clear dreams of older men abusing her. Her father’s co-worker gifts her a pony for her birthday. A demon chases her in her dreams, calls her dirty, nasty. Before age sixteen she was selling her body to fund coke addiction. This is a broken girl, whose mind suffered such great trauma by those she loved and trusted, that it created a demon that ruled over them all to justify the human monsters. And that is why this book was so very disgusting to read.

I won’t recommend this to anyone, and wish it had a trigger warning, for I’m not into reading about such abuse. The girl didn’t live to be an adult, for gods sake. Because why help her, when you can use her, right? 3 out of 5 is the best I can give it. It’s well written ravings of a broken person.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Detective Books, Mystery Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

book review | Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco | Stalking Jack the Ripper 4

capturing the devil kerri maniscalco book coverAuthor: Kerri Maniscalco
Title: Capturing the Devil
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper 4
Genre: YA; Historical Mystery
Pages: 453
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

I sometimes get really used to series, and am then unable to quit them. Lucky for me, Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco are absolutely bearable. I’ve just read the fourth one, Capturing the Devil, and I won’t ditch it just yet, no matter the rate.

About the Book: Quite unbelievably it seems that Jack the Ripper has returned. The infamous serial killer whose presence and deeds shook Audrey Rose’s home, London, now rampages through Chicago, America. Bodies are gruesome to look upon, and sometimes there’s not even those, just missing people, missing women. Police is reluctant to help them solve this too, especially due to them being foreigners with a reputation, and with a woman among them. But Audrey Rose absolutely must find out who hides behind Jack’s masks. For she and those close to her know well that Jack, her brother, is dead.

My Opinion: There a grave and unpleasant gap between this book and the previous one, and I have a bad suspicion it is due to the in-between half-book. In which case it’s a damn poor move, since half-books are mainly meant to those who want more out of the stories they already love. I will look into it though, for at least that character, that part of the story, got Dracula’s lineage in it. This one here, after my previous excitement with the end of the last book, began with a very annoying courting and marriage plans that bored me greatly, BUT! But. That’s a pure matter of taste, and I won’t take any points for it. Besides Audrey took her hunting real serious, so there’s props for that too.

All in all, these are neither good nor bad. I think, if you like mysteries and detectives, but grow tired of same old men solving them, these might be the perfect starter books. That is, if you are also into romance, constant reminder of their youth, and not so funny jokes of “you’re already 18, I can almost smell the grave dirt on you“. This one gets a 3 out of 5.

Coffee? | Etsy

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Detective Books, Historical Fiction Books, Mystery 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 | Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco | Stalking Jack the Ripper 3

escaping from houdini kerri maniscalco book coverAuthor: Kerri Maniscalco
Title: Escaping from Houdini
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper 3
Genre: YA; Mystery
Pages: 416
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Having some really tough time, not gonna lie. Needed something easy to read, so I picked up “Escaping from Houdini” by Kerri Maniscalco, third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, for I knew her writing style to be perfect for this kind of mood. And it indeed did the job.

About the Book: A luxurious liner trip, with travelers gathered to admire a show troupe full of magicians, fortune tellers, acrobats, and so on, soon becomes a nightmare, as the ship becomes a gilded cage, a prison, with all the passengers trapped inside with a killer; A master in slight of hand, for no one is the wiser, even after someone is brutally murdered among them. Victims tend to disappear just to reappear in a tarot setting, dead. And it’s up to Audrey Rose to find the killer, and find them fast, for it is not just strangers in danger…

My Opinion: The writing style is pretty good, very light, and very easy to read. If you, like myself, aren’t native English speaker, but want to practice reading books, I can really recommend Kerri Maniscalco works. They’re unique and quite interesting. But one thing I did have an issue with in this particular book. It’s the scenes that seem to exist only to add to the volume of the book. I mean, I do understand there’s an attempt to set a scene, create the false calm before the storm, but often they just flopped as scenes designed to portray an outraged lady in society where so much is forbidden to women.

It’s a good lazy read, even if not my favorite. I can give it a very solid and firm 3 out of 5, and will definitely read the next book.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Detective Books, Historical Fiction Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

horror | “The Carrow Haunt” by Darcy Coates

1Author: Darcy Coates
Title: The Carrow Haunt
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature, Paranormal
Pages: 370
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I feel like there’ll be many of these random horror books in my search for the good ones. I want to read more of King, of course, but I don’t want to be reading him back-to-back, so here goes. This one wasn’t really good, sadly. Not my cup of tea.

About: Carrow Haunt House stood ominous, open to tourists in search for spirits, ghosts, thrills, and terror. Many have been slain here by one of the previous owners, and due to ritualistic nature of their deaths – the dead don’t seem to be able to move on. Remy leads tourist groups in and out, shepherding, warning, telling stories. And no one ever fails to feel, see, or hear something. All went well, and she was happy with her job. Until she took one she shouldn’t have. One of the men from the group offered a week long stay at the Carrow Haunt, with seances, mediums, experts. But soon after settling in they all realized they’re in mortal danger…

Mine: It took forever for anyone to start questioning motifs behind this offer. And yet no time has been wasted in assuming it might be real blood and flesh killers at work, someone physical hidden in the house, even if evidence showed contrary. The most scary part about the book was the detailed descriptions of the horrors there, corpses, specters, ghosts. But that’s the thing, I don’t like it when I know what’s chasing everyone. It felt too much like “Heart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill, and I’m of poor opinion on that one too. But keep that in mind if you liked it.

I don’t know, I just didn’t like it. Not my thing, not scary enough, with this strange feeling that author forgot she was writing a mystery, and thus had to introduce new “evidence” that would somewhat deny what we read before. It felt jumbled. 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, ghosts, Mystery Books, Paranormal | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charlaine Harris “Midnight Crossroad” | Midnight, Texas 1

3Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: Midnight Crossroad
Series: Midnight, Texas 1
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery
Pages: 305
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Some time ago Charlaine Harris has held a contest on her Twitter to win her trilogy “Midnight, Texas“. I attended. And, being the lucky bastard that I am, I won. And then kept them until October, until now!

About: Midnight is a small town, regular, ordinary, as many other in Texas. Passer-by’s don’t linger, and locals know it’s likely their permanent home. For Midnight is a town where no one asks you anything about your reasons or past without a very great need. And everyone in Midnight has secrets. Manfred Bernardo, a psychic with a semblance of true gift, moved here in search for privacy, and has found plenty of it, even if locals do seemed strange at first. But then, he also got here just in time for some gruesome adventures… On a picnic day one of the local women walks upon a well deteriorated corpse. And since only one person is missing from their little town, conclusions come naturally: someone has killed the runaway woman, who might not have been a runaway after all. And that someone is a local. That someone might very well sit among them in this picnic.

Mine: While I do believe this book is likely set in the same world as Sookie Stackhouse, due to mention of synthetic blood, the stories are absolutely unrelated, and I’m not even sure people here already know about vampires. Because this town has one, but people react to him weird. Now, the detective line is definitely of Charlaine Harris top-notch quality that has spoiled me so much. You never know when she’ll trick you, twist you, turn you on a wrong path, and then hand you the truth that you’ve not expected one damn bit. So yes, this is a good detective. Also, there is a talking cat. Not a shifter, a real, actual, grumpy, sassy kitty cat who is so awesome, and whom I love very much, and whom I hope to see in all the rest of the books.

This wasn’t a perfect start for the trilogy, but definitely a good one. I am very eager to continue with the story, and hope to see the cat again. 4 out of 5 so far.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Mystery Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

John Burdett “Bangkok Tattoo” | Sonchai Jitpleecheep 2

3I really didn’t feel like reading anything, so I picked up second book in John Burdett series Sonchai Jitpleecheep, “Bangkok Tattoo” (Sonchai Jitpleecheep 2; ISBN 1400032911; 320p.; Goodreads). I loved the first one phenomenally. But this one just didn’t feel right. In fact, it felt normal, like many other thriller detectives. For, somehow, the characters lost their characters.

A CIA agent is killed and mutilated in a room of a bar girl. They had a one-sided love history and a romance, with kind enough parting between them. And Chanya just doesn’t seem to have a heart for such a violent act, even if circumstances seem to point at her. Yet due to him being an American CIA agent in Bangkok, and this world being set just after the tragic 9/11 terrorist attack, there’s a chance that if there’s any of those evil group members around – they wouldn’t have missed a chance either. But forwards come the Muslim community, prepared to do whatever it takes, whatever means necessary, to keep this blame off of them: it’d destroy the solid community out here. So Sonchai does what Sonchai does better, he picks up whatever strings are left for him, and heads out to see what tangles he can rustle up. What could get a man like that killed anyway?

Apparently, a tattoo. And it might just not be over. Out there, in the dark underground, a good classic / traditional tattoo artist is valued, and so are their works. To the point where murdering and skinning is almost a norm, for owning a piece is a sign of status. The agent had one. And so does Chanya. Yet she’s still alive.

In some dumb sense, Sonchai got too simple for my liking. He lost his fatalistic self, settling down, calming down. And since he’s the one telling the story, and he’s the main hero in it too, it hits the whole tale quality over the head. I can’t give it more than 3 out of 5, but I’m also not ready to give up on the series just yet.

Categories: 3-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books: Everything, Crime Books, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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