Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Angela Marsons: Dead Souls

As the cover of this book states, this is the sixth book in the D.I. Kim Stone series and you really should pick up the previous five books (Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead and Blood Lines) in order to understand Kim as a main character and the team she works with. Plus this is one of my favourite D. I. series which I highly recommend it.

When a collection of human bones is during a routine archaeological dig a Black country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene and need the expertise of D.I. Kim Stone. Too bad it's outside of her jurisdiction by a hair. However, this brass have other ideas and Kim is forced to work with Det. Travis who she has a troubled past with and the fact that he despises her does not help. As they dig deeper and the bones are sorted they uncover that these people died in horrible ways from animal traps to bullet holes. While Kim is away Bryant is in charge of the team and they are dealing with an increased amount of malicious Hate Crimes that shake the team to the core that eventually puts more than one of them in danger. Can Kim uncover what happened in the Black County fields in order to save her team?

I am a big, no make that HUGE fan of Marsons, right from her first book in this series, Silent Scream, I knew that she was an author to watch out for and I was right. After five books the series was still going strong, but I did start to wonder if Marsons could continue to come up with interesting and twist worthy plots with the release of her sixth book. I think that this was one of the weaker books in this series so far. This is not to say that I did not enjoy it however, I thought that it was a bit slower than the previous books and lacked some of the imagination was not there. I also found that after reading the five previous books, you get to know that Marsons does have a formula which works great but I think that it is time to change it up a bit as I was able to see the connections fairly early while reading this book. What I did love about the plot was that it had the small town feel where everyone keeps the secret until the very end just to protect the town and themselves as well as the idea that the past can never stay buried for long.

What I appreciated in this book was that we got to know Kim better as a character in the present, not focus so much on her tortured past and focused on some of her history within the police force. This comes when she is forced to work with her former partner Travis. Lets just say they did not end on good terms, and if you have read the previous books in this series you will see that things are very much sour between them. Marsons also highlighted not only how much her team relies on Kim's leadership but how much Kim relies on Bryant and how she acts when he is not there. Bryant is very much the strongest member on their team.

There was also more development of the secondary characters as Kim is away, especially Stacey. I'm not sure if Marsons took a lot of reviewers critiques from the last book about Stacey's use of language and British slang, but it was not as nearly as bad in this book as it was in the previous. I think that Stacey was really the last character of Kim's team to be developed as a character past the computer wiz and online expert and I am glad that Marsons took the time to give more of Stacey's backstory and really give her more of a backbone in this book as well.

While this book is not my favourite in the series and I found it slower at times, I did appreciate getting to know Kim better as a character. On a whole this series is extremely solid, one of my favourite out there and I recommend it any chance I get. I now have to wait for the seventh book in this series, and it cannot come fast enough. Seriously check out this series I do not know what you are waiting for.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Darynda Jones: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

As the title of the book suggests this is the fourth book in this series, so You will need to read the previous books (First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left  and Third Grave Dead Ahead) to understand what is happening in this book, so with that said there will be spoilers below from the previous three books...you have been warned.

Charley Davidson, aka The Grim Reaper, is in a grim mood after her last case, so she has taken some time off but The Reaper's work is never done. When a young woman seeks Charley's help, convinced that someone is trying to kill her, Charley knows her time off has come to an end. Everyone close to woman refutes the story or thinks that she is insane, but the more push back that Charley receives the more she is convinced there is something wrong. Life will never be normal for Charley not only because she is the Grim Reaper but Reyes is out of prison, on the run and always looking for trouble where Charley is concerned

Alright, this is not my typical read, I will admit that, but I have this thing for series that I started awhile ago and revisiting them every now and again to see how the story progresses. I feel like I cannot leave a series behind especially when I remember enjoying it. So this is my return to Jones' series and her Grim Reaper. There were some high and low points to this book which made it an okay read for me.

Charlie was not as annoying in this book as the last one, I think she had to grow up a bit more with what happened to her in the previous book and really look at her life. She still had some snarky comebacks but I felt that they were more well placed in this book and not as childish as in book 3. I also appreciated that there was also less sex scenes in this book compared to the last. The scene was was a little bit drawn out for me, but I think that readers who like this in their novel will appreciate it. These scenes are something Jones has had in all the books of this series so regular readers would probably miss it if she took the sex scenes out.

This book was pretty predictable in my opinion. I was able to figure out all of the mystery aspects within the book way before the end of the story; who was harming Piper, who the bank robbers were and who was moving in to the apartment next to Charlie. So this was basically I knew it all as soon as all the mystery aspects were introduced. This is not where Jones excels it would be nice for her to have an unexpected twist and turn here or there. This makes the mystery aspects secondary to what appears to be happening in Hell (which we do not get a lot of) and Charlie and Reyes' relationship.

Speaking of their relationship I did get sick of Reyes continually threatening Charlie. I mean it has not worked in the previous three books, I highly doubt that it is going to work now. Why doesn't he grow up, change his tactics and just accept Charley for who she is, I mean isn't that what attracted him to her in the first place.

One thing that I was disappointed about between the third and fourth book was I thought that Swopes was dead, I was surprised that he was reintroduced all of a sudden in this book. Kind of made me like the third book a little less and I'm disappointed that Jones could not let one of her secondary characters die. I thought that was a big turning and maturing point for Charley as well as this series.

I do not know why I keep reading this series at times. It has so many elements that I do not like in  the books I read now, now being the key word. As stated above the only thing I can think of is this is like my guilty pleasure or something and just not being able to let go of series that I have already started. It's like my once a year return to what I used to read, lol.  That said I'm sure fans of this series will enjoy this book, as Jones has found a formula that works.

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Wendy Walker: All is Not Forgotten

Wendy Walker takes the readers on a journey as a young women struggles to remember one of the worst nights of her life:

What would you do to protect your loved ones? Would you want tot ake away their pan, their suffering, the worst day of their life. This is the choice that Jenny Kramer's parents faced the night that she was attacked and raped. Would it not be better if she could not remember anything of that night? Her parents decide Yes and give her a experimental drug that will make her forget. However, as the weeks go by Jenny may be healing from her physical wounds but the psychological ones are ever present, even though she has no memory of that night. Jenny wants to know what happened that night, her mother just wants to move on a pretend nothing happened and her father becomes obsessed. Obsessed with finding out who did this to his little girl. Dr. Alan Forrester believes that he can help Jenny recover her memories but while helping Jenny Alan is forced to take some dark paths that he though he would not have to revisit.

This an engrossing, emotional, and at time a thought provoking read, that you will not want to put down, I know I didn't. It deals with some very tough subject matter of rape (it does go in to detail) as well as the choices that parents make for their children and how this affects everyone. So with that said this book will not be for everyone, at times it is not an easy read, it is very character driven with the over hanging occurrence of Jenny's rape, what happened that night and who responsible, very much a whodunit.

I really enjoyed that this book was by the Alan, Jenny's psychiatrist in the book, with his own observations thrown in. It was also interesting that he also became the psychiatrist for her parents as well. I think this was not only a different way to tell the story but also an effective one, as we still experience everything that Jenny does, with the loss of memory and trying to gain it back in the sessions they have together, but also the police, parents and other characters information without switching between points of view. It also shows how people can be different when people think they are in a safe place and the power that they essentially give these people. Since the book is told from Alan's point of view you only really get to know him as a character and his motivations to help Jenny and the decision he has makes along the way to help and at times hinder her. There will be points that you love Alan and hate him, but this just makes him a very real character.

This book makes you think quite a bit about the choices you would make in the situations presented, as a parent, a victim and human. There are several points in the book that will have you questioning whether you would do the same thing or could you see a different route. I like books that make you have these thoughts and Walker had me questioning myself many times in this book.

I think that this will be a polarizing book, you will either love it or hate it, I do not think that there can be an in-between. I personally really enjoyed everything in this book, from Alan (love and hate him) the plot, the way everything unfolded, how it was told and an ending that I did not see coming (I love when an author can surprise me). I especially liked that it had me questioning myself, which is not always something you want from a fiction read, but this one did. I look forward to what Walker release next

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