The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

MY RATING: ★/5

A father protects his daughter from the legacy of his past and the truth about her mother’s death in this thrilling new novel from the prize-winning author of The Good Thief.

“Everything breaks if you hit it hard enough.”

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Isn’t it weird how you love a book too much but you just run out of words to describe your love? This is the case for this novel. I don’t think I can ever express how grateful and deeply touched by this novel I am. If you liked the movie Logan, you’ll love this novel. It has the same father and daughter vibe but the dynamic is very special. We have a father Sam, who doesn’t know what’s good for his daughter Lou, because he always lived in the dark sides of criminal activities. The death of his wife is the turning point of his life and where he decides that he would never go back to those dark activities again and take care of Lou instead.  Continue reading

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

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    After reading All the Missing Girls, it was only a question of time before I got my hands on Megan Miranda’s latest thriller. The Perfect Stranger is her second psychological suspense novel and had the unlucky fate to surpass its predecessor. While both stories are stand-alone novels, it is the originality and the masterful story-telling of All the Missing Girls that set the bar high for this new story. All the Missing Girls was a completely new and mind-baffling story that will probably always be used as a reference when authors will deliver their stories backwards, but Megan Miranda’s newest release is still a brilliantly-crafted, character-oriented mystery story that will keep you guessing till the end. This is the story of Leah Stevens as she leaves her reporter life in Boston due to a horrible incident in order to embrace a fresh new start in a small town alongside her trusted roommate, Emmy Grey. Things however don’t go as planned as Emmy disappears out of the blue and Leah starts to wonder how much she truly knew about her friend.
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Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

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    While I haven’t been on a lot of roller coasters in my life, I can assure you that this was one ride that never wanted to slow down! Daniel Cole’s debut thriller is the story of Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes and it is action-packed from cover to cover. Reinstated to his post after a controversial case surrounding the Cremation Killer, Wolf returns to duty with a case that will leave anyone completely baffled. It is upon arriving at a crime scene featuring one body, but six different victims, that the ride reaches its peak. This is the beginning of a deranged individual that will forever be known as the Ragdoll Killer. Things however doesn’t stop getting weirder from there. It’s one thing to find pieces of different bodies sewn together, but it’s another thing when Wolf’s reporter ex-wife arrives with photographs of a yet-to-be released crime scene and a list of names with dates on which the so-called Ragdoll Killer plans to take their lives. Ragdoll is a fantastic debut that promises to deliver fans of crime novels and thriller a brand new detective to follow in his adventures.
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The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachino

MY RATING: ★★/5

A prismatic tale of a group of characters who emerge and recede throughout the novel and touch one another’s lives in ways even they cannot comprehend, The Lucky Ones captures the intensity of life in Colombia as paramilitaries, guerrillas, and drug traffickers tear the country apart. Combining vivid descriptions of life under siege with a hallucinatory feel that befits its violent world, The Lucky Ones introduces a truly original and exciting new voice in fiction.

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The marketing campaign describes it as “a jigsaw puzzle”. Oh my god. Hell yes it was! Julianne Pachico not only tells a single story but many stories from different point of views and… in the same chapter. It was very confusing to me. I never knew who the narrator was or how it changed from one event to another, and slowly, it started to only make sense after a few chapters. I think the fact that it was all over the place ruined the reading experience for me.

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

MY RATING : ★★ (4/5)

“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
― Amy Engel, The Roanoke Girls

After reading this book, Roanoke will be a name you won’t be able to forget. For me it’s Flowers in the Attic meet Riverdale (the TV SHOW). Suspense, thriller and devious scheming is what you’ll find in this book.The book introduced us to Lane, whose mother just committed a suicide leaving her orphan in New York City. Until one day, a social worker informed her that her two only relatives from Kansas wants to take her in. There,  begins the journey of Laney-girl into the house of dark secrets and the most twisted relationships.

Amy Engel’s prose is as enchanting as her characters. The peculiar thing about this book is when you tell the story out loud to a friend, or reflect on it, it doesn’t have any extraordinary aspects but somehow she managed to get me hooked through every page. The writing is simple yet delicate. You can feel the charisma from the characters through the descriptions and their behaviours. You become attracted yourself to the characters without knowing why.
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The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep by Steven Heighton

Elias is sent to Cyprus to recover, where he attempts to find comfort in the arms of Eylul, a beautiful Turkish journalist. But the lovers’ reprieve ends in a moment of shocking brutality that drives Elias into Varosha, once a popular Greek-Cypriot resort town, abandoned since the Turkish invasion of 1974.- Goodreads Blurb

MY RATING : ★★ (4.0)

Bewitchingly touching, this book is about humanity in all of its forms. When I first read the blurb, I expected a political and historical novel but it is so much more. What we have here is a protagonist, an ex-soldier, struggling with the traumas of war in Afghanistan and is sent to Cyprus to “recover”. But he spiraled down a path of no return: a brutal event happens to him and he ends up  in an abandoned town populated by a group of exiles and refugees.

“Rationalizations are daytime creatures, less plausible by night”

The focus of the novel is of course the evolution of Elias, and, oh my, the character development was on point. What’s really special is that as a starting point, Elias is already introduced to us as a broken man with his PTSD moments from Afghanistan. But it doesn’t stop there. He will undergo even more unfortunate events obliging him to fight his own demons while dealing with new encounters. Continue reading

Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri

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    Imagine parachuting off an airplane. From the moment the doors are opened till your two feet touch the ground, there simply isn’t an instant where you can stop to take a breath or pause to embrace the excitement. Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri delivers a just as electrifying read with his first American debut. This page-turner is a chunk of enthralling police procedural. Translated by Anthony Shugaar, Kill the Father gives any crime novel enthusiast exactly what they crave for. The story follows two individuals carrying completely different backgrounds that still affect their present day in so many ways. First, we have Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli who is currently still on leave after surviving a horrible disaster and, second, we have Dante Torre, a man who was trapped inside a concrete silo by a person who proclaimed himself as The Father during more than a decade of his childhood. Dante Torre has since then become a consultant with hypersensory perception for countless specialists. After the discovery of a horrendous crime scene, these two individuals are brought together on a mystery that will soon expand into a disaster of a much grander scale.
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The Spider and the Fly by Claudia Rowe

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“Well, well, Claudia. Can I call you Claudia? I’ll have to give it to you, when confronted at least you’re honest, as honest as any reporter… You want to go into the depths of my mind and into my past. I want a peek into yours. It is only fair, isn’t it?”

— Kendall Francois

    The Spider and the Fly is a blend of memoir and true crime. You can’t help but wonder how it could be possible. Maybe the writer is the criminal? That would definitely would be interesting, but this book has something just as bewitching. This piece of literature is journalist Claudia Rowe’s first book in which she chronicles her connection with serial killer Kendall Francois. Working for the New York Times in Poughkeepsie, New York, Claudia Rowe’s fascination for the mystery behind the discovery of a serial killer who is arrested for the murder of eight prostitutes stashed in the attic and the basement of his home has brought her to embark on an ambitious and dangerous adventure. In fact, her curiosity brings her to maintain a four year mail correspondence with a serial killer behind bars. While her decision to decipher a serial killer’s motive to take lives also brings ruin to her own life, The Spider and the Fly discloses a journalist’s road to self-discovery and her attempt to understanding her deepest pains and passions.
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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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    After checking out Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood and appreciating the patent Agatha Christie inspiration in her stories, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to read her second book, The Woman in Cabin 10This time, the story essentially takes place on a luxurious cruise ship. How is that possible? Leave it to Ruth Ware to bring readers a closed-room whodunit mystery. If the setting isn’t enough to convince you of its potential, then watch a fascinating protagonist hinder your ability to trust the narrative. In the end, you’re bound to find a great mystery with Ruth Ware. The story kicks off with Laura Blacklock, a travel journalist who’s been lurking in the shadows of her coworkers and waiting for a golden opportunity to prove her worth for quite some time. After experiencing one of the most traumatic experiences in her own home and coming out of it unharmed, she’s propelled onto an assignment to cover a cruise on the Aurora because of her coworker’s sudden and unfortunate unavailability. In front of a grand number of sketchy high-profile figures, a couple of journalists with hyena-like personalities, an ex-boyfriend and a mysterious cruise ship staff, Laura Blacklock will come across something terrible by being at the wrong place, at the wrong time. A desperate need to find out the truth then takes her over.
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Her Nightly Embrace by Adi Tantimedh

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    There’s nothing like stumbling into a whole new life when things don’t go your way. Adi Tantimedh writes the story of Ravi Chandra Singh, a failed religious scholar and a former high school teacher who becomes a private investigator right out of the blue. This Indian P.I. isn’t like any other (who is, right?). People see something special in him. At least that’s what everyone at the Golden Sentinels, a London private investigations and security company, think of him. Even if Ravi doesn’t believe in his unique abilities, he does know one thing about himself. He can see Gods. They don’t seem to want to speak to him. No, no. But they do appear at random moments and seem to have been thoroughly modernized to our time and age. Don’t expect them to be represented as they usually are in Hinduism. Enrolled in a company that deals with highly placed members of society—they always seem to have really sketchy lives and the most messed up stories to tell—Ravi quickly finds out that his new job is about to drastically change his life. And the exit? Not really an option. Continue reading

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

“Show Holmes a drop of water and he would deduce the existence of the Atlantic. Show it to me and I would look for a tap. That was the difference between us.”

— Anthony Horowitz, The House of Silk

    The number of stories based on the great Sherlock Holmes is astounding. But not all of them are approved by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate. It’s one hell of a honor for Anthony Horowitz to be grafted onto an author’s legacy like that. The House of Silk is the first book by Anthony Horowitz regarding Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. One can only be happy to see the dynamic duo back in action without it being another pastiche or attempt to freely recreate Sir Conan Arthur Doyle’s work. It’s easy to grow tired of fan-fiction based off of one of the most genuine partners in crime in literature. In an abundance of tales lived by the great detective and his trustee sidekick, this one is set in London, 1890. It’s upon the arrival of a desperate fine art dealer that Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are put into a turbulent set of adventures filled with surprises at every juncture they reach. Each surprise launches the detective and the doctor onto fragile grounds that might lead them to live the most unexpected turns of events. Continue reading

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

MY RATING: ★★★

“There’s nothing so painful, so corrosive, as suspicion.”

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Goodreads blurb :

“EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. 

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.”

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In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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    What would it be like to be accused of a murder, but you can’t remember it? Ruth Ware envisions the perfect setting for a novel to unfold this mystery. With the right characters, the right pace and the right focus on the whodunit nature of the novel, it is possible to be standing in front of a highly entertaining psychological thriller that will keep you on the tip of your feet from cover to cover. In a Dark, Dark Wood is a tale that wishes to stress its reader till the very last page, and as much as possible. Focusing on building the right amount of tension before unleashing the beast, this novel has its ways to immerse you in a well-written story and keep you page-flipping till the end. A routine life is all that’s needed for things to go downhill from there. And it’s when Nora, our main protagonist, receives an invitation for a hen do for a friend she has not seen for over 10 years that things are set into motion. With big question marks floating around her head, Nora accepts to go on an adventure that she is likely never to forget. Continue reading

Aliss by Patrick Senecal

MY RATING: ★★★★

Everyone knows Alice in Wonderland and its symbolism, sprinkled with vivid colors to eccentric and absurd sceneries. But what if Alice lived in Montreal? What if Wonderland was just a playground with no moral clause with dark and wild colors? Patrick Sénécal, Quebec author, known for his pen skills in writing pure and disturbing horror, a hint of fantasy maybe… but disturbing nonetheless! This is my first book from him and I confirm it, he masters the genre with his fingertips.

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This book’s forte? The narration; huge round of applause for that! The Quebec French might not measure up to Molière’s French, but for once, I found beauty in its vulgarity. The authenticity of the narration by Patrick Sénécal is undeniable, it is raw and filled with Quebec French jargon and expressions.  For a girl who grew up in Montreal, I felt at ease in the universe. As for the humour, it is flawless. You will laugh out loud, that’s for sure. Continue reading

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

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    The past has a funny way to catch up to you. It follows you like a shadow and emerges at the most unexpected turns. It doesn’t have worries, concerns, dilemmas or problems. It does however bring them upon you. Nicolette Farrel left her hometown, friends and family after the disappearance of her best friend, Corinne. She didn’t look back and is now keeping herself busy with work, a fiancé and a harmonious future. But sometimes, things don’t last forever. She has to revisit the past she once left in order to take of her father who still resides in Cooley Ridge, right in Philadelphia, her hometown. Although it’s been 10 years since she’s last stepped foot down memory lane, things weren’t about to get any easier for the girl who had a future set in stone. Another girl, Annaleise Carter, goes missing and she will be the trigger to the unveiling of buried secrets and the discovery of the truth behind the disappearances. Continue reading

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

MY RATING : ★★★★

Don’t read the blurb. Hide it. Just ignore it. And completely plunge into this book without knowing what it is about. Let the title tickle your curiosity. This is all you need to know before reading this novel.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is such a mysterious title.. When I first read it, I thought it was going to be about suicidal thoughts. But Iain Reid did his magic and completely uses those words in every situation possible, so you don’t know what it means until the very end. Continue reading

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

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“In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it.”

— Lisa Lutz, The Passenger

     It’s in our nature to think about our survival when everything is at stake. Survival remains the most fundamental instinct that drives human behavior to pursue their lives and not give in to despair. But it’s the circumstances that brings us to the edge that varies from a person to a person. And the things that a person would do in these situations—and would never have thought of in their daily lives—could make anyone shiver in disgust and even fear. Lisa Lutz brings readers a psychological thriller of a woman who’s past haunts her day and night. It’s only safe to say that Tanya Dubois only sees one way to escape her current plight, a husband laying at the bottom of the stairs lifeless. To run. The Passenger is her story told in first person as she goes in hiding by adapting different identities and looks. It’s in her disguises that she slowly, but surely, looses all grip on her true self and finds herself in an existential crisis with only one objective. To escape. But things get even uglier when Tanya Dubois runs into a women who goes by the name of Blue. Her path then becomes narrower, darker and nerve-wrecking. However, a life on the run is not one that people wish for. Tanya Dubois only contemplates freedom and that’s what she’s going after. To live.

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Mortom by Erik Therme

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“But I got no reason to talk. Everybody’s got their own quirks and secrets. The smaller the town, the harder it is to keep things private. You’d think it’d be easier, but it ain’t.”

— Erik Therme, Mortom

     We’ve all dreamed of receiving an outrageous amount of money deposited into our accounts or an empire being dropped on you, leaving you the sole beneficiary. Wouldn’t that put a smile on absolutely anyone? Well Craig Moore, who has recently committed suicide, leaves behind “an empty bank account and a run-down house” for Andy Crowl, his cousin. Not exactly the greatest parting gift, but things get quite fishy when your dear cousin wasn’t exactly… close to you. Upon arriving in the small town where Craig lived, Mortom, Andy and his sister are catapulted into a suspicious and thrilling adventure. The discovery of a clue that might untangle the very mysteries that embellish the house brings relationships to the very brink of extinction, minds on the verge of eruption and chaos in the immediate proximity. Seeking answers to questions, Andy and his sister Kate explore well-kept secrets and Craig’s history until this very dead man’s game delivers the unexpected. Continue reading

The Devil in the White City : Murder, Magic, And Madness At The Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

4ssI was born with the devil in me,’ [Holmes] wrote. ‘I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.’”

— Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City

      How often can you go through a non-fiction without constantly crossing over between reality and dreams? It’s pretty hard to keep your eyes open as the author unveils historical moments in their most subtle details. It doesn’t mean that the events you’re reading about are boring, but that the author needs to do a great deal of editing to deliver a compelling and eye-opening story. Erik Larson is one of those rare authors that has the skill to transform the unreadable into a thrilling and exquisite story. Blessed with a masterful talent with words, he turns the non-fiction that The Devil in the White City is into a captivating and magnificent story that reads like a novel shelved among the top works of fiction. This novel follows the adventures of a ambitious architect and a hair-raising serial killer. As Chicago hosts the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, a nifty team of brilliant heads gather together to realize one of the most memorable fairs the world has ever seen. Filled with sorrowful moments, destruction and misery, the even still manages to rise from the shadows and shine bright in history. But thing’s wouldn’t be dark enough if there wasn’t a killer in the premises who contemplates his own adventures and makes a name for himself in the most barbarous way possible.

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