Tag: thriller

Currently Reading (December ’20)

Currently Reading (December ’20)

My reading list for this month.

1) Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

I wanted to read this book for a long time. I bought it earlier this year and finally started reading it. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a story of Billy Pilgrim; the story is set during World War II. I am only a few pages in now; the plot and the writing are really interesting. It is based on the infamous bombings on Dresden during World War II. This book is said to be one of the best anti-war books; it has an intriguing premise for sure. The story draws from Vonnegut’s own experiences during wartime.

2) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a re-read for me. It’s been a few years since I read it. I don’t remember all the plot details, just a couple of them. This a story about four privileged teenagers who spend summers together on an island their family owns. It has an air of mystery in it, almost like a psychological thriller. I am excited to read it again.

3) One Night With You by Sophie Jordan

One Night With You by Sophie Jordan is a historical romance novel. I know it is a part of the Derrings Series, but I haven’t read the first two. I will read this as a standalone. The story focuses on Lady Jane Guthrie, who is treated, as an outcast in her own family. Seth is a guy who broke her heart when he fell in love with her sister. This story follows the love story between Jane and Seth. As far as I have read by now, it has kept me hooked.

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Book Review: The Snowman (Jo Nesbo).

The Snowman

-Jo Nesbo

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo is the seventh book in his Detective Harry Hole series. I didn’t read the other ones, but it didn’t make any difference to me. I read it as a standalone novel, and it worked. The book follows Detective Harry Hole as he chases down a serial killer. The setting of the book is Oslo, Norway, during the winter season in the early 2000’s.

The Snowman begins with a flashback when a teen boy is asked to wait in the car by his mother as she meets her lover in midst of a snowfall. After that, the story shifts to 2004 and once in a while goes back to flashbacks. Harry Hole is a definition of a functioning alcoholic but he is a very good detective. He has been trained by the FBI to find serial killers because such crimes are very low in Norway. A strange case about a disappearance regarding the mother of a young boy named Jonas is connected to several such disappearances through the years.

Harry is introduced to his new partner Katrine Bratt. She is alluring, quick, and intelligent; they get along well from the start. Katrine seems mysterious at times. Harry and Katrine are similar to each other and have mutual respect. Harry is living alone after his breakup with girlfriend Rakel and her son Oleg. She is now in a new relationship with Mathias who works in the Anatomy department. She still is a part of Harry’s life, and Harry is like a father figure for Oleg. He has lost two partners before Katrine. He is broody, drunk, and to some extent is beaten down by his experiences.

Harry tries to catch the killer dubbed as The Snowman; the killer builds a snowman near the victim’s house that faces the house instead of the street. This killer changes his patterns frequently, and apart from the Snowman at the homes of the victims, there isn’t much in terms of evidence. Finally, they seem to be getting close, but all hell breaks loose when they realize that Katrine might be Snowman. She is captured and admitted to a psychiatric ward. All evidence is against her, but when one more body shows is found, Harry starts to doubt whether Katrine is the real killer or not.

The descriptions of Oslo through Harry’s eyes give the readers an insight into a new country and its culture. The way the novel is written, you are transported to a different place. The atmosphere of the story reminded me of a little of gothic novels where the atmospheres are part of the plot. Harry’s character is not perfect by any means, but he always tries to do his best, and he is an extremely good detective. He has a drinking problem that he tries to keep under check, he is impulsive and gets frustrated easily at times, but he is still likable.

The book is dark, gritty, and eerie almost from the beginning. I think after reading this book seeing a snowman might freak me out a little bit. The pace of the novel is good throughout, but as it gets close to the ending, especially after Katrine is suspected of being the Snowman, the suspense goes up a notch. The identity of the killer came as a surprise to me. There is a chapter which is from the killer’s point of view that gives insight into his mind, and it is creepy. The killer has issues with women that stem from his mother’s dishonesty.

The book has its thrills and suspense. It is much darker than I had anticipated, even in terms of characters, not just story-wise. I have never read anything written by author Jo Nesbo before, his writing is descriptive, and there is a lot of attention to detail. The characters are interesting, and so is the plot. It never becomes predictable. I liked reading this book; it is a perfect suspenseful read.

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Book Review: Angel of the Dark (Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe).

Angel of the Dark

-Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe.

Angel of the Dark by Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe is a thriller novel. It focuses on a series of murders in which the rich older husband violently murdered, and his young wife is brutally raped but left alive. The story spans a few years and different continents as the narration jumps from one timeline to the next.

The story begins in 1996 in Los Angeles when Andrew Jakes, a millionaire, is murdered, and his wife is found alive but badly beaten and raped. Detective Danny McGuire is in charge of the case. He has no promising leads or suspects except the witness, Angela Jakes, the wife. She disappears overnight before the case is officially closed, and all the money she inherited from her husband is donated to children’s charities. 9 years later, Danny is working in Interpol at Lyon, France. The Andrew Jakes’s murder still haunts him, and it is one of the reasons he leaves America.

Danny is contacted by a writer Matt Daley who is persistent about talking to him. Matt Daley, his mom, and his sister were abandoned by Andrew Jakes when Matt was still a baby, and he hadn’t seen him since then. Matt Daley is intrigued by his biological father’s mother and decides to make a documentary about him. Matt is the one who finds the other similar murders where wealthy older husbands were murdered and their wives raped but alive. The wives disappeared soon after donating all the money to charities.

The narration shifts a lot as all characters have a point of view. In the beginning, it was a little confusing, but then it started making sense. The story has a good pace, and the plot is thrilling and mysterious. The intensity level is amped up as the story moves ahead. Sofia Basta is the wife of all victims and has been an accomplice to the murders with Francis Mancini. One thing that slightly bothered me was that the male characters are immediately infatuated with Sofia Basta throughout the book that is almost borderline obsessive. Since childhood, Sofia has faced unwanted advances and assaults. She is a victim too sure, I agree, but the ending for her doesn’t seem appropriate.

The last few chapters started to get predictable. I still wanted to know how things turned out the way they did. Matt’s obsession with Lisa, one of Sofia’s identities, is a little unrealistic. They knew each other for a few weeks and fell in love. The faith he has in her despite evidence proving otherwise at times was illogical. Sofia and Francis both had a rough childhood and ended up in the same children’s home in New York. Sofia has never known safe, but she feels safe with Matt. The tragic love story of Miriam, the Moroccan Princess, seemed random when I read it, but its importance to Sofia is unraveled later on.

The thrill, the romance, and some psychological elements in the mix; it makes an interesting read. The writing style and the pacing of the story were good, and it never felt dull. The only problem for me was that after a certain point, I could guess where it was going. Overall, I liked reading this book. I am not much of a thriller reader, but this book is a good one-time read.

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Currently Reading (October ’20).

Currently Reading (October ’20)

My reading list for this month.

  1. Angel of the Dark by Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe.

I have read any books by Sidney Sheldon before so, this will be a first. It is not written by Sheldon, but it is based on his extensive notes. Angel of the Dark is a thriller tale, surprising and suspenseful. I am only a couple of chapters in, and it seems promising and mysterious. I like it so far. Serial killer stories are fascinating if done well.

2. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo.

I have picked another suspense/thriller book. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo is a Norwegian novel that is 7th in the Harry Hole series. I haven’t read any of the other books. Hopefully, that won’t be an issue. It focuses on detective Harry Hole as he tries to catch a serial killer. I randomly downloaded this book after reading the description and haven’t started it properly yet. It has an intriguing premise and seems focused on darker aspects too.

3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K.Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany.

This play is based on the original story of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Rowling, Thorne, and Tiffany. The book focuses on Harry’s son, Albus, and the weight he feels about living up to the family legacy. Reading this is nostalgic; it a familiar world. I am only a few chapters in, but so far so good. The way the story progressed is surprising yet not uncharacteristic.  

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Book Review: The Obsession (Nora Roberts).

The Obsession

–      Nora Roberts

I have read so many books written by Nora Roberts by now but never reviewed one before. I go through her books way too quickly for me to write a review about them. This time I promised myself that after I finish reading this book I will review it. So, here it is; The Obsession.

The book begins when the protagonist Naomi is 12 years old. The start of the book itself takes a creepy turn as Naomi Bowes finds out that her father is a serial killer. This part of the story is told from a 12-year-old’s point of view which hammers the creepiness of it even more. The story then follows Naomi’s life in brief at different stages of her life until she is 16. This made me understand Naomi as a character and one can understand her need to remain distant and aloof from people.

She is very close to her mother’s brother Seth and his partner Harry who help Naomi, her brother Mason and their mom after her father is arrested. The relationship between Naomi and her brother and her uncles is very sweet. They are very close. She doesn’t have anyone else other than her family she is close to and that is on purpose. She is reluctant to even adopt a dog she finds injured roadside. The suspense element of the novel plays a major role at the beginning of the book then it slows down some and then tension is elevated again.

It is nice to see a character like Naomi, who is been traumatized since she was 12 because of her father, start changing things for herself. She buys a house which in a way makes things permanent like she is thinking of staying in one place. In the new town, she starts to step out of her comfort zone little by little. Xander Keaton owns a garage and plays in a cover band is fascinated by Naomi and notices her mistrust of people in general from the beginning. Naomi and Xander’s relationship is cute. He never babies her and is always blunt which Naomi admires about him.

Just when it seemed like now things are settling down, the past comes back to haunt Naomi. A serial killer is imitating Naomi’s father and trailing her, closing in on her. The point of view of the serial killer is a little hard to read and cringe-worthy. The suspense is at its peak at this point and it took me a while to guess who the killer is. I think the author left little clues which finally added up as I was reading. I loved the character of Mason, Naomi’s younger brother. I liked all the characters in the book, each major character had a development which adds to the story.

The favorite part about the book for me was the experience of the family of a serial killer. Naomi’s mother refuses to believe her husband did all those horrible things when she starts realizing it the guilt of not ever knowing this takes over. Mason, becomes a profiler for the FBI. He does as much research and reads everything possible about the psychological aspects of his father’s actions. Naomi isolates herself and refuses to think about her father altogether. Naomi’s father is in jail after the first chapter itself but there is his looming presence throughout the book in the minds of the family. He manipulates Naomi’s mother every time she goes to see him.

It is one of my favorite Nora Roberts book. I like the stand-alone suspense thriller novel. It is a good mix of suspense, thrill, and romance.

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