The Night Stalker (Detective Erika Foster, #2)

A well-designed plot with complex characters

This book is a great continuation of the series. It just comes to show how talented Robert Bryndza is in order to effortlessly write a plot that finally brings everything into focus and perspective at the same time.

I really got connected to Erika’s character and I like the fact that she is regaining her determination to change her life and fight back for what she believes in. At the opposite end, Sparks is just super annoying and disturbing. Whereas Marsh seems like a puppet of his bosses. I enjoyed the friendships Erika fostered with Moss, Isaac and the strange relationship forming with Peterson. There might be something there.

The plot itself, with the psychologically damaged killer and the disturbing connotations, was masterfully executed, completely gripping.

Now on to the next novel in this highly-addictive series.

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Turtles all the Way Down by John Green

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This is probably my favorite John Green book of all. Simple, yet with impressive depth of focus, it reads like an amazingly fluent introspection of self. I love it because of its simplicity of style and the pure motives of its characters.

The Girl in the Ice (Detective Erika Foster #1) by Robert Bryndza

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This was a much needed suspense book in the midst of my other current reads. The style was effortless and the plot brilliant. Robert managed to bring in charcaters of all sorts with a penchant for the wicked low class being undervalued by the high class, with chilling hierarchical structures that I hope don’t exist in real life (but of course they do).

I really enjoyed the twists and Erika’s gut feeling. In the beginning, Erika seemed a bit lame, with all her failures and lack of nerve. Soon enough though, she became stronger and caught up with the case, making some great discoveries and links. I also liked Moss and Isaac Strong for their skill at reading human nature and distinguishing having morals from just doing your job.

All these being said, I am very curious about the next titles in the series and super glad that I finally got to read one of Robert’s books.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

This is an amazingly well-written book, filled with both triumph and tragedy. I was deeply affected by the stories of the brave dial painters, their suffering and determination to fight back against the radium companies. It feels unreal to me how blind and ruthless these companies chose to be only for the sake of making profits.

I do believe gender had a lot to do with this sort of segregation and cheating of the dial painters teenagers/girls. They were basically used, sacrificed, yet they somehow became more than life through their suffering and contribution to the radiation branch of the health system/medicine in the US and world-wide.

This almost didn’t feel like nonfiction in terms of the writing style. It was a continuous flow, accessible language, well-rounded characters and seemless storytelling. I’ll have to check other books written by Kate Moore.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

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Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

This book was a tedious psychological introspection into the twisted mind of a guy thinking himself above others, better and knowing more about his girlfriend than anyone else.

While the plot and idea are smart and rather difficult to portray, the book takes too long and pieces out each thought and movement.. slowly, annoyingly.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

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Mum in the Middle by Jane Wenham-Jones

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A super fun weekend read, with a one of a kind plot. I had my expectations set high for an Alzheimer granny as the main character. However, this book turned out to be more of a chick lit than I expected, which was a relief to say the least.

I absolutely loved the British atmosphere of the whole book, and the whole close-knit society kind of suburbia. Some of the characters were brilliantly depicted and funny. At the same time, the author managed to highlight the emotional struggles of a mom whose kids are theoretically grown up and she is also divorced, hence available in the dating field. The whole situation is funny and complex, while catching glimpses of humanity and friendship vs depravity and obsession.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

The Pisces by Melissa Broder

Beautifully raw in every sense, this novel is about the self discovery of a deeper level of consiousness, perhaps the being afraid to love oneself and another person to the fullest.

For Lucy, there is always the fear of being not enough and not having enough, of eventually being left for another. And this is depicted with skill, in a huge metaphor of life with the Greek myths and with Gods.

Amazingly witty in my opinion, modern and daring, yet not for everyone’s taste. Perhaps this was also the goal, to not appeal intentionally and fully, but rather through means of depthness of style and creative composition of the plot.

There was a particular scene I didn’t enjoy, the blood on the white couch part. While I got the message, it was simply too much “in your face” … pun intended. And gross. Otherwise I loved this book for all the wrong reasons.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

This book is fantastic, a wonderfully written non fiction on two parallel timelines and with the spicy ghost dippings confusing the reader that maybe this is a ghost story instead. The book is so much more than a ghost story though! It is a smartly written thriller, which brought in even a refugee from Nazi camp!

The woven threads of the plot are matching the style and the mood is perfectly created. I also enjoyed the characters, especially the dorm roommates at Idlewind both when they were young and their present old witty versions.

The romance between Fee and Jamie is beautifully depicted, both shy and bold at the same time. It all came down to the baggage and the past secrets or the undiscovered happenings. Its development throughout the book matched perfectly the mood and the events.

What also striked me as special was the background story of Mary Hand, a really well woven detailed part which influenced everyone in the book and created the chilly armosphere all over.

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Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson

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This book is brilliant in what it brings into the spectrum of psychological thrillers, containing the surprise element through the intensity of razor sharp twists. The fact that the story is almost nonfiction is pure crazy.

At times I felt overwhelmed by the messed up characters, each more damaged than the other. This being in fact a surge towards the insane search for Mr Tender. Crazy crazier.. then boom, he is who he is and he proves his even crazier psyche, as if just being Mr Tender was not enough.

The connections between characters and their past is a tangled web of clues and certitudes in a rediscovered past by Alice.

#misterythriller #slenderman #blackheartreads

IT by Stephen King

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My first horror book by #stephenking #readalong with the amazing #losersclub with the lead of @keeperofpages on Instagram. I am dazed, crazed and amazed in a wildly grotesque way.

Though not necessarily horror, but rather gory and psychologically messed up, this mammoth of a novel has various layers of character development, intriguing mind blowing features regarding memory loss, friendships, adult relationships. It also touches upon discrimination of more kinds (women, blacks, rich vs poor).

The clown and all other apparitions meant to dazzle the mind of kids, especially, is skillfully depicted by King and I loved the fact that the kids in the powerful friendship (meant to be) see together all the “haunting monsters” of their minds.

A definite must if you love deeply engaging psychological books with gore galore (uhmm you may actually skip the detailed descriptions involving blood) and amazingly crafted characters.

I took off a star due to one scene in the last chapter, of which I got the symbolism but do not agree with morally. Also I did not like what happened to Eddie.