Thursday, August 25, 2016

Angela Marsons: Play Dead

This is the fourth book in Angel Marsons' DI Kim Stone series. I personally think that you should start at the beginning of the series (Silent Scream, Evil Games and Lost Girls) and the books are amazing (especially the first two), but I think you could read this book as Marsons does a good job in defining who the characters are.

Angela Marsons is back with the next DI Stone book and there are going to be even more bodies on the body farm:

All dead bodies hold a mystery especially those of people that have been murdered. It is the job of a Body Farm to help understand how elements of nature can affect a body and help solve cases. Westerley is a new Bod Farm research facility in DI Kim Stone's backyard and she it voluntold by her boss to go there, take a tour and try to use the expertise of the Doctors there to help solve some unsolved and historical homicides. Things never seem to be so simple for Kim as she discovers a body that does not belong on the body farm. The murder victim is killed in such a way that Kim knows that there will be more than one as it seems too personal. Kim is proved right when another victim is found at the farm barely clinging to life. Kim now has a serial killer on her hands and knows that the victims won't stop till she discovers who the killer is.

Ah how I have missed DI Kim Stone, really truly missed her. Right from the very beginning of the book, where Kim is willing to put her job and at times the case on the line in order to protect the innocent, you fall right back in love with her character. Kim is what makes this series so addictive as well as Marsons writing style which grabs hold of you and never lets go (I really wanted to and could have read this book in one sitting, as there never seemed to be a good place to stop, but alas it was not to be).

I found that this book was not as inventive as her previous books in this series, but still entertaining and she was able to surprise me in the end as Marsons has become a master at red herrings and having some questionable characters throughout. I was able to figure out part but not all of the mystery/serial killer aspect. I think part of what I missed in this book is the separate case that Kim or one of the members on her team takes on. I wonder what case Marsons will come up with next. I actually wish there was more of a story behind the human/child trafficking story that the book leads off with. I think that would be an interesting story for Kim and her team to tackle against as the cross border aspect that could occur.

I liked that we got to have some additional points of view from Tracy (Kim's nemesis reporter) as her and Kim play really nicely off each other. As Tracy has been a fixture in this series so far and her obsession of trying to find out what makes Kim tick as well as the next big story, it was nice to get to know more of her as a character. We also get a glimpse into Tracy's past as to what shaped her into the woman she is today. Marsons does a good job of this in each of her books, taking at least one secondary character and fleshing them out so you feel that you do not just know Kim but the people around her (both good and bad) as well.

Although I do not think that this book is as good as the first two novel in this series As long a Marsons keeps writing with Kim as her main character I will continue to read her books. I cannot wait for the fifth book in this series.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tosca Lee: The Progeny

Tosca Lee begins a new series with showing how far a woman will go to hide the information she knows:

Emily wakes up and does not know who she is. She cannot remember anything about her life or her preferences. However, Emily is told that this was her choice, her choice to have all of her memories erased and to start a new life. She leave a note for herself to not go looking into her past. However, some things are easier said than done. Emily Jacobs is a descendant of
Lady Elizabeth Bathory, who was one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. Emily is now on the run for her life for the information that she knows but decided to erase so it would not fall into the wrong hands. There are those that want to help her and say they know her but she cannot trust anyone as she cannot remember, all she knows is that she needs to find what she has lost before she is killed.

Looking at other reivews of this book I am in the minority for this book in my DNF status. I hate it when I do not finish a book, but after trying to read this book for 3 weeks I had to call it quits when you find yourself dreading picking up your ereader to read. I made it through a good chunk of this book over 50% and I kept wanting it to get better and more interesting but it just never got there for me, which is disappointing as the premise was really promising.

I think the beginning of this book is really strong with Emily waking up from having her memory erased and obviously she cannot remember why, but with a note to herself to try and live a normal life and to not go looking into the past. I mean there has to be a really good reason why anyone would go to that types of measures. I found this interesting and even when things do not go as planned I still was wanting to pick up this book. Everything changed for me when it was revealed as to Why Emily was being hunted and made me want to stop reading as the reasoning for me went out of the book. I mean Lady Elizabeth Bathory is touted as one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. She killed a lot of people, supposedly, depending on whose side you are on in this book. These murders created the Hunters group whose goal is revenge for all the murders she committed; they want to terminate her line. I guess for me all these years later and I'm pretty sure we could all trace some for of ancestry back to her and really lots of people were murdered on mass throughout history by bad people, there would be none of us left if everyone wanted revenge for what happened in the 1500s.

Lee tries to have a paranormal aspect in the book with having the Progeny have the ability of persuasion, in which they can make people do things just by thinking it. Interesting aspect but I could see that as more of a reason to hunt them then the whole Lady Bathory aspect.

This book was just not for me and that is why it has become my DNF of this year (thought pretty good that I have only had one so far). If you are interested in picking up this book, please do not just read my review. As I said above there are people that loved this book, I just wasn't one of them.

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Anna Snoekstra: Only Daughter

In Anna Snoekstra's debut novel an imposter learns that the most dangerous place can be your home:

Rebecca Winter was just a regular 16 year old teen until in 2003 she disappeared, the only clue was her cell phone found in a ditch. It is now 2014 and The Imposter who has just been arrested needs a way out. She knows she looks like Rebecca Winters but is it enough to fool her family and everyone involved in the case. The Imposter just tells herself it is just for a short amount of time till she can figure out her next move. Before long the Imposter is living Bec's life with her family but The Imposter soon learns that home can be more dangerous than you think as everyone in Bec's life seems to have secrets.

The is a really good and interesting debut novel and I will say that this book Had me hooked from the prologue, when Bec feels like someone is watching her as we have all felt that feeling before, the eyes that never seem to go away. I really enjoyed the style that Snoekstra decided to use in which she goes back and forth between the 2003 and 2014. I think this highlighted the story that Snoekstra was going for and like in other books of this design you want to read faster and faster to find out what happened the days leading up to Bec's disappearance.

Really enjoyed the manipulation that The Imposter used in order to make those around her believe that she was Bec. She is truly a master of manipulation and playing off the cues of others as well as using the little bit of information that each of the people in the family and Bec's friends give her. I liked that The Imposter never really broke from character, you never learn her real name, only get some tidbits of information from her past and she refers to Bec's parents as The Mom and The Dad.

Bec is a typical teenage girl with a teenage crush and hating on her parents. I think one of my problems with how Snoekstra had Bec's chapters is that we were in her mind but not in her mind at other times when it would have been pertinent to know some of what she was thinking. I think that Snoekstra waited a bit too long in the book to reveal some of this information.

I love when a book can surprise me and Snoekstra was able to do that. There were so many weird experiences that happened to Bec in 2003 and The imposter in 2014 that there are multiple people who may or may not know what happened to Bec. Even the investigator on the case seems like he has a shady side, though Snoekstra does not go in to the investigation too much in this book, which I would have liked more information about what was done and who was interviewed in 2003 and the suspects that they had.

A very interesting debut and I loved how Snoekstra portrayed The Imposter. I look forward to seeing what Snoekstra comes up with next.

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