Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins

Creepy psychological thrillers seem to be topping the reading charts, and if you're on that band wagon you've probably already read The Girl on the Train. If you haven't, then it should be your next Kindle purchase!

Rachel's journey into craziness begins when she can't get pregnant at which time the drinking also begins. When her husband dumps her for another woman, it picks up pace, but when the new woman has a baby, Rachel is a gonner! Her heavy drinking causes her to lose her job, but she continues her commute in town because the trip takes her right past the home of her ex and another "beautiful couple" who she observes and fantasizes about. She begins a campaign of harassing phone calls, random drop-ins and drunken rages where she suffers blackouts and memory loss. And then, "beautiful girl" disappears, and Rachel finds herself bruised and banged up and can't remember where she was when this happened. Suddenly, she is in a whole other world of trouble.

This book is full of suspicion and twists that keep you reading and guessing until the very end. If you liked Gone Girl and Sleep Tight, you'll like this. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Murder as a Fine Art

by David Morrell

A very well-written historical fiction murder mystery! What makes this so well done is how much information you gain about Victorian England as you read, without it seeming as if you are having a history lesson. Morrell provides specific details that effortlessly fit in context and situation, making them a part of the story rather than a sidestep.

In 1854, Thomas de Quincey's last installment of "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" was published, providing a shockingly gory account of the notorious East End murders, which occurred in the early 1800's. So when some similar murders begin taking place and because of his other scandalous essay "Confessions of an Opium Eater", de Quincey is a natural suspect. Fortunately for him, de Quincey has on his side London's Inspector Ryan and his own equally outstanding daughter, Emily.

In this novel, de Quincey delves into the mind of a serial killer and explains Murder as a Fine Art.  While trying to outsmart the "artist" he is constantly battling the haunting effects of his opium addiction. His brilliant daughter provides support, but is also a swashbuckler in her own right. She is a smart, sassy, daring character, if not a bit rebellious. Inspector Ryan and Constable Becker add some level-headedness to the mix and all bases are covered to solve the mystery.

If you liked The Pale Blue Eye and The Alienist, then read this one too!

She's Baaaaaaaaack!

So far 2015 has been one big roller coaster ride. There have been moves.... numerous.... births, deaths (again numerous), graduations, parties, tests and trials of many kinds, and yes, there have been books! You just haven't heard about them. For now, it appears that my ride may be coming to an end, or perhaps I'm just on the flat, windy track, so I will attempt to review those books. Generally, I can remember the main details of a book, but I'm not so good at remembering specific goods and bads. If I hated a book, I could probably say why, otherwise I can't provide much more than a synopsis. So until I'm caught up, these will be short.