Posted in Reviews

Review: Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Don't Wake UpDon’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Suspense fans, this one’s for you!

The mystery begins on page one and doesn’t let up until the very last chapter. I was so hooked.

Before I get into it, read this description and see what I mean:

Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table. The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.

The choice he forces her to make is utterly unspeakable.

But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.

And then she meets the next victim.

Ok – so as you can tell one of the central mysteries is what happened, if anything happened at all! And I couldn’t even tell THAT until the end. Every time I thought I had it under control, something would make me question myself.

I really liked Alex, even if she was hard to get a grip on, and I was very much invested in her story from the beginning. It’s a nightmare everyone has, and she very possibly lived through it.

The author is very skilled at creating rich characters and a very complex plot without giving much away. There’s a lot of moving parts and they are very nicely tied together at the end.

I really enjoyed the ending. It was a fitting conclusion to a great novel. I don’t want to say too much because this book is so good, you’ll want to enjoy it yourself.

Just go get it. Seriously.

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Posted in Reviews

#BlogTour: The Man in the Wall by Emma Ångström

About the Book:

Alva is a sad and lonely child. With her father locked up in prison, she moves with her mother and two older sisters to an apartment building in town. She does not like her new home. Her room is small and her sisters continue to exclude Alva from their games.

Soon a bizarre murder takes place in the building. A husband discovers his wife dead in the hall of their apartment, two week after she disappeared from their home.

Where had the body been hidden for two weeks? And how could the perpetrator get in and out of the apartment?

As more disturbing things start to take place, Alva is drawn into a sick and twisted game by a killer who is hiding in plain sight. But Alva is just a child and has no idea just how deadly her new friend might be…

The Man in the Wall is a thrilling and stylish Scandinavian thriller.

My Review:

If you are a fan of horror movies, you will love this book.

It’s not a slasher/gory/bloody book (too much, at least) but it is a kind of creepy that will completely unsettle you. It’s definitely a “What if?” type of book, and that scenario is really horrifying. It’s perfect for these gray, cold nights when you’re lookin for a scary read to put a little extra chill into your night.

And the mIn character, Alva, is really something. She’s a complete mystery at first, then when you get to understand her, it’s very, um, interesting. (I’m realllly trying not to give spoilers!)

The ending is so creepy. OMG. Just wait for it. It really brings things full circle and will leave you quite breathless. I was creeped out long after closing the book.

Overall, this is a great, gritty, scary read. I really liked it.

About the Author:

Emma Ångström is an author and architect. She has a Master’s degree in architecture from the Royal Technical University in Stockholm and from Parsons in New York. Besides her writing she currently works as head of communications at an architectural firm in Stockholm, Sweden.

She was born in 1982 in Västerås, Sweden, and started her writing career as a journalist at the age of 17. Since then, she has also worked as a lighting designer, and written non-fiction books about lighting design and architecture.

Ångström made her debut in 2009 with the novel AND ALL IS DISTORTED (Och allt är förvridet). In 2016 THE MAN IN THE WALL was released, a remarkable and nerve-wracking thriller with a ”monster” it is hard not to feel certain sympathy with. Condensed writing shaping characters of real flesh and blood, a steady hand’s brushwork forming each piece of the portrait’s originality to a whole, stylistically assured.

Links:

Author website: www.emmaangstrom.se

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_emmaangstrom_/

Posted in Book Extras

Teaser Tuesday – on a Thursday!: Man in the Wall by Emma Ångström


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. The meme is hosted by The Purple Booker!
It is very easy to play along:
Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  •  Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

This week has been crazy, so I was unable to post my Teaser Tuesday this Tuesday. So we’re still celebrating TT – but on Thursday! Gasp!

Anyway, I am loving this book so far – and I’ll be on the book tour soon! Yay! It’s really very eerie and unpredictable – I’m excited to see where it goes from here!

Here we go:

Alva lay in bed and waited. There was a drumming in her body. She was still on edge but knew she couldn’t let herself be scared. Not now. She was never scared of anything. Even so, the fear she felt seeing Vanja in the dream did not subside.

About the Book

Alva is a sad and lonely child. With her father locked up in prison, she moves with her mother and two older sisters to an apartment building in town. She does not like her new home. Her room is small and her sisters continue to exclude Alva from their games.

Soon a bizarre murder takes place in the building. A husband discovers his wife dead in the hall of their apartment, two weeks after she disappeared from their home.

Where had the body been hidden for two weeks? And how could the perpetrator get in and out of the apartment?

As more disturbing things start to take place, Alva is drawn into a sick and twisted game by a killer who is hiding in plain sight. But Alva is just a child and has no idea just how deadly her new friend might be…

The Man in the Wall is a thrilling and stylish Scandinavian thriller.

Posted in Reviews

Be My Killer by Richard Parker

Be My KillerBe My Killer by Richard Parker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Be My Killer,” is a book that has a great premise to live up to: What would happen if people put themselves out there on social media as potential targets for psychopaths? Who would be responsible for their deaths if they did die?

Fortunately, the book lives up to the “hype,” in my opinion, with the gore of a slasher movie and the suspense of a good detective story.

The novel follows Hazel, a documentary filmmaker who sees that a childhood friend has become the fourth victim of a ruthless killer who took people up on their tweet “requests” to be murdered. Hazel and her film crew set up shop in the abandoned amusement facility where Meredith was murdered to seek some answers about the killings. Then, people attached to the project begin to disappear.

This book is a great, creepy read. From the setting – an abandoned amusement park called the “Fun Zone” – to the eccentric cast of characters that knew the victims and have agreed to take part in the film, this book is nonstop suspense. The death scenes are a little gory, but nothing you wouldn’t see in a typical slasher movie. If you can’t stomach those, this isn’t the book for you.

I didn’t see the ending coming. In fact, I had no idea where the novel was going because there were enough moving parts and characters to create multiple plausible villains. Without a doubt, some of the side characters – like one victim’s social-media-obsessed stepbrother, or the creator of the @BeMyKiller Twitter account – really make the book great. You just want to know how they all fit into the story.

At the same time, the only downfall of the book is in the myriad of characters that can become confusing at points, especially toward the end at “the reveal” scene, when the fates of the characters is decided. Some of the names made me pause and think, “Oh yeah, that’s so-and-so.”

Overall, this was a very good thriller that will give you goosebumps. I thoroughly enjoyed it – it’s a must read for horror movie fans or anyone looking for a good creep-fest!

View all my reviews

Posted in Reviews

Blog Tour: Gavin by Russell – Review and Giveaway!

gavin 2

MY REVIEW

GavinGavin by Russell*

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To start: This book is dark. Very dark. It contains some very intense scenes involving sexual abuse and childhood abuse. Those that are looking for a light, warm-hearted read should pick another book. But for those that want to try a mystery/thriller with just a touch of horror: this book is an amazingly suspenseful thriller that will leave you begging the author for more.

The novel begins as Gavin Nolan and his partner – homicide detectives in the Chicago PD – are summoned to a crime scene in which two men are brutally murdered. The killer, who they’ve been investigating for weeks, also leaves a personal message for Gavin: “You could have saved me.” The investigation doesn’t seem to be going anywhere as Gavin wracks his brain for any connection between the victims. How are these seemingly random (and quite, frankly, douche-baggy men that no one seems to really miss) victims connected? And how doe Gavin fit in? We’re about to find out.

Like I said, this novel does not shy away from anything, from the descriptions of the crime scenes, to the events that ultimately connect all the dots. It is not for those with a weak stomach. But I couldn’t stop reading; I was sucked in from almost the very first page. The author leaves a trail that is intriguing and keeps you guessing, while handing you little clues throughout. For example, I had a theory that I formed about halfway through – I was wrong. But that’s part of the fun with these types of novels.

The personal storylines were also good. They contributed to the storyline, but didn’t take away from the mystery. And the author does a good job of advancing them throughout the story – the characters grow and develop throughout the novel in a way that is really satisfying – I hate when characters stay stagnant.

The ending also promises more from these characters, which is great. Normally, I’m not a fan of cliffhangery-type endings, but this one was done in a really great way that gave closure to the story at hand, while promising more excitement coming.

I’ll definitely be reading the next in this series.

View all my reviews


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

_XPR4892.jpgFor nearly two decades, Russell was an executive chef in the restaurant industry, in which he created succulent entrees and managed various types of kitchen operations. In the last seven years, he began to teach future culinarians how to achieve their professional goals in hands-on classroom and lecture settings. With his recent graduate work in the field of sociology, his interests center on organizational behaviorism, social theory, and food insecurity.

Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Last year, he published a second edition of his freshman novel, The Tale of Old Man Fischer. Slipping into alternative universes allows Russell to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Most importantly, inspiration is a continuous piece of his work and results from the world around him. Currently, he lives in Upstate New York with his wife, two children, and several cats.

Please visit Russell on these social media platforms:
Facebook: Russell (The Author)
Twitter: @Russell_Writer
Instagram: @Russell_Writer


GIVEAWAY

Win one of NINE signed copies of the novel!


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND PURCHASE

Barnes and Noble
GoodReads
Kindle
Paperback

Posted in Reviews

The Girl from Rawblood by Catriona Ward

I’m so excited to finally be able to share my love of “The Girl from Rawblood” with you all! The book is out now – don’t forget to check out the preview and giveaway for your chance to win a free copy!
The Girl from RawbloodThe Girl from Rawblood by Catriona Ward

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every so often, I read a book that is so good, when I’ve finished it, I find myself wanting to read another book just like it. The experience was that good.

“The Girl From Rawblood” is one of those books.

It’s a gothic novel that gave me a Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein-like vibe. And please note: it is dark and depressing, just like that novel. If you’re looking for happy endings, please find another book.

But I seriously couldn’t put this book down once I got into it. I devoured it.

The novel begins with Iris, a young girl whose father doesn’t allow her to venture outside the confines of their home, Rawblood, or have friends, since their family is haunted by a strange curse which will kill them if they invite love into their lives. The pair are the last of the Villarca line and the story then begins to tell, from their own perspectives, the story of their family and how the curse, known as “Her,” came to be.

As I’ve said, this novel is very much in the style of classic gothic novels and is a dark, sad tale which will rip your heart out in places. But it’s also a tale of the power of love and how much it pervades our lives, no matter how much we try to push it away. Love reaches all of the characters, no matter how hard they push it away.

I think some of the lower reviews were from people expecting a modern-day style novel, and it’s not. It’s very much classical literature-style. You have to go in knowing that. Also, FYI: This book does contain some scenes where animals are harmed. Not anything over-the-top, but it may give you pause.

I do have some questions about the ending, since it’s very symbolic and tries to tie together all the loose ends of the novel, but I can deal with that – most is explained and revealed, there’s just some details I need to confirm. Hopefully, once the book comes out I’ll be able to read some fan theories.

Overall, I’m really still processing this book. It will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it. If you’re a gothic horror/romance fan, buy this book, yesterday. I loved it.

I will definitely be buying more from Catriona Ward.

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Extras

The Girl From Rawblood: Preview and Giveaway!

image001In March, I’m super excited to be part of the blog tour for “The Girl From Rawblood,” by Catriona Ward, which I have just finished reading and am now obsessed with.

From the publisher – but trust me, the description can’t do it justice:

For generations the Villarcas have died mysteriously, and young. Now Iris and her father will finally understand why. . .

 

At the turn of England’s century, as the wind whistles in the lonely halls of Rawblood, young Iris Villarca is the last of her family’s line. They are haunted, through the generations, by “her,” a curse passed down through ancient blood that marks each Villarca for certain heartbreak, and death.

 

Iris forsakes her promise to her father, to remain alone, safe from the world. She dares to fall in love, and the consequences of her choice are immediate and terrifying. As the world falls apart around her, she must take a final journey back to Rawblood where it all began and where it must all end…

 

From the sun dappled hills of Italy to the biting chill of Victorian dissection halls, The Girl from Rawblood is a lyrical and haunting historical novel of darkness, love, and the ghosts of the past.

To get you excited, below is a Chapter One sneak peak, as well as a chance to win a free copy of the book (starting the 27!), which comes out March 7!

Continue reading “The Girl From Rawblood: Preview and Giveaway!”