The Murder of Roger Ackroyd ~ Agatha Christie


The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot #4)The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

******** SPOILERS!!!!! *********

My mom has been trying to get me to read Agatha Christie novels for years and after deciding to do a “1001 Books to Read Before you Die” marathon I thought it was about time to take up her recommendation.

As you can tell by the 5 star rating I absolutely loved it. It was kind of funny though because as I was reading it and not getting the usual “feeling” for who the murderer I thought to myself “Wouldn’t it be cool to write a book where the narrator turns out to be the killer”….well well well! I was devastated to find out that my very “original” idea was not so original at all. (Really….I yelled at my mom a lot…and she just laughed and laughed of course…because that is what we do….we yell at each other about things that boggle our brains).

Very much looking forward to picking up a few more of Ms. Christie’s works. She is clearly skilled and her sense of humour shines through the pages. I love it!

rs-5

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Gods and Fathers ~ James LePore


Gods and FathersGods and Fathers by James LePore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When confronted with a book like this one I often feel a little ill equipped to give a fair review. The thing is that while this book is very well written I can’t say that I enjoyed it. It’s one of those books that I refer to as a “boy” book. I didn’t gel with the character dynamic, often feeling a little oh-for-heaven’s-sake about the exchanges between them. The main character is barely likable, but isn’t awful enough to excuse the fact that you just don’t really care what happens to him. His son, who all drama revolves around is repulsive and I really felt no sympathy for him at all – so much so that I would have been quite happy if he went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit, simply because he was an asshole and bad shit should happen to assholes. On top of all that is was about Muslim terrorists. Oh. Dear. Lord. No thank you. I am so sick of this subject and am constantly finding myself disappointed when the “Muslim terrorists” make an appearance in the books I read. I LOVE crime fiction – but rather give me a serial killer please. Of course none of this is the fault of the writer – I bet we don’t like our eggs done the same way either! But the subject matter and the heaviness of the book just didn’t do it for me. I’m giving it a four for being decently written and well researched, but I’m afraid I have to give it a two for enjoyment value.

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Broken ~ Karin Slaughter


Title: Broken

Author: Karin Slaughter

Publisher: Century

Pages: 384

Where I got it: Bargain Books – couldn’t resist when I saw it was only fifty bucks!

Rating: 4

Goodreads Blurb: When Special Agent Will Trent arrives in Grant County, he finds a police department determined to protect its own and far too many unanswered questions about a prisoner’s death. He doesn’t understand why Officer Lena Adams is hiding secrets from him. He doesn’t understand her role in the death of Grant County’s popular police chief. He doesn’t understand why that man’s widow, Dr. Sara Linton, needs him now more than ever to help her crack this case.
While the police force investigates the murder of a young woman pulled from a frigid lake, Trent investigates the police force, putting pressure on Adams just when she’s already about to crack. Caught between two complicated and determined women, trying to understand Linton’s passionate distrust of Adams, the facts surrounding Chief Tolliver’s death, and the complexities of this insular town, Trent will unleash a case filled with explosive secrets—and encounter a thin blue line that could be murderous if crossed.

My thoughts: Particularly loved this book because I didn’t figure out what was happening at all. I had no idea the whole way through the book which was a kind of refreshing change for me. Crime fic has become a bit predictable lately – my brain seems to have worked out some sort of pattern that leads me to predict the killer as soon as he/she steps onto the page. Luckily with this book my intuition failed me and I was able to enjoy that glorious need to be constantly turning the page. I love Karin Slaughter. I think that she has some seriously clear-cut feelings about a lot of rather touchy subjects and she is unafraid to voice them through her characters. I’d love to meet her one day

Bitter Pill ~ Peter Church


Title: Bitter Pill

Author: Peter Church

Publisher: Burnet Media

Pages: 379

Where I got it from: The author had a book launch at Fogarty’s which I attended.

Rating: 5

Goodreads Blurb:

Inside the heaving party hub that is Cape Town’s student playground, someone is preying on the young and unwary. As allegations of drink spiking and illicit sex hit the local papers, university authorities move quickly to limit the damage…

A world away in Seattle, Carlos De Palma, the shadowy operator behind Dark Video, is plotting his survival strategy in the ever-changing Internet landscape. With his precious clients clamouring for heightened thrills, Carlos begins tapping into a new service that blurs the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds…

Enter Robbie Cullen, nice guy and average student, dumped by his girlfriend and struggling with grades. But when it comes to the crunch, Robbie doesn’t know the meaning of stepping back. Once he encounters the beautiful and mysterious Fallon, his small-town bravado is set to make him some powerful enemies…

A gripping thriller that sweeps through the intoxicating haunts of Cape Town’s nightlife and lingers on the sugary sand of Plettenberg Bay – before exploding on the streets of the Mother City’s exclusive southern suburbs.

My thoughts: Bitter Pill is a fantastic follow-up to Dark Video. I love when writers take us so deeply into the minds of the disturbed. Crime fiction at it’s best. And the best part? It’s set in South Africa!

Dark Video ~ Peter Church


Title: Dark Video

Author: Peter Church

Publisher: Two Dogs Publishing

Pages:285

Where I got it from: Met the author at a book launch for his other book, Bitter Pill, and decided it would be a good idea to purchase both books.

Rating: 5

Goodreads Blurb: A minibus taxi flipping spectacularly on its head; two teenagers engaged in illicit sex in a shopping-mall rest room; a raunchy table dance in a Cape Town strip club… What have these scenes got to do with a beautiful young woman running through Newlands Forest early on a Sunday morning?

Alistair Morgan is the key. A gifted law student with a glittering career in the offing, Alistair seems to have it all: looks, charm and money – and the attention of the hottest girls on campus. But his privileged lifestyle is about to be turned upside down as he is lured deeper and deeper into the sinister online world of Dark Video, where reality blurs and morals unravel.
From the ominous slopes of Table Mountain and the murky depths of False Bay to a dusty Karoo farm and the limestone cliffs of Arniston, Dark Video is an intense thriller that will keep you spellbound from the word go.

A minibus taxi flipping spectacularly on its head; two teenagers engaged in illicit sex in a shopping-mall rest room; a raunchy table dance in a Cape Town strip club… What have these scenes got to do with a beautiful young woman running through Newlands Forest early on a Sunday morning?
Alistair Morgan is the key. A gifted law student with a glittering career in the offing, Alistair seems to have it all: looks, charm and money – and the attention of the hottest girls on campus. But his privileged lifestyle is about to be turned upside down as he is lured deeper and deeper into the sinister online world of Dark Video, where reality blurs and morals unravel.
From the ominous slopes of Table Mountain and the murky depths of False Bay to a dusty Karoo farm and the limestone cliffs of Arniston, Dark Video is an intense thriller that will keep you spellbound from the word go.

My thoughts: Ok so maybe I am one of those overly-enthusiastic proudly South African people – but I seriously loved this book! I tend to devour crime fiction on a regular basis but have been finding most of the stuff I pick up a little dissatisfying lately. Dark Video, however, was brilliant. The entire book kept me on my toes.

The lovely bones


Title: The Lovely Bones

Author: Alice Sebold

Publisher: PICADOR

Pages:324

Where I got it: From my sister

Rating: 5

 

Susie Salmon was raped and murdered at the young age of fourteen. She finds herself in her own personal heaven where she looks down on her family and how they deal with her death. How they try to unravel the mystery behind her killing and how life goes on without her. The story is told from her point of view and how she has to face the interaction between her family and the man who killed her.

The story is feel-good and heartbreaking in the same sentence. Sometimes slightly nerve wrecking, but luckily, Sebold spared us most of the gory detail. What I really liked about it was how the author described Susie’s heaven and how she made the interaction between heaven and earth so real and possible. It makes one think twice about the shivers you get when no wind is blowing, the kiss you feel on your forehead at night when you lay in bed and you know no-one else is awake. It makes one think about life and death in general which is really kind of great from someone else’s perspective for a change.

Mortal Remains ~ Kathy Reichs


Title: Mortal Remains

Author: Kathy Reichs

Publisher: Arrow Books

Pages: 356

Where I got it: I think the momma knicked it from her friend Sue. I in turn knicked it from the momma.

Goodreads Blurb: #1 New York Times bestseller Kathy Reichs is back with her thirteenth novel featuring America’s favorite forensic anthropologist, Tempe Brennan.

Helpful huh? Yeah…

Ok well this one is about mistaken identities and war remains.

Kathy Reichs is consistently readable… And funny enough I still don’t imagine Emily Deschanel when I read these books. They really are two completely different characters. It does make me wonder if Kathy Reichs herself hasn’t inspired the exaggerated quirks of Bones’s Temperence Brennan…

So yeah – if you liked the others you will like this one too. But…you already knew that…

Time of Death ~ Beverly Barton


Title: Time of Death

Author: Beverly Barton

Publisher: Avon

Pages: 442

Where I got it: That damn “3 for R99” thing at Bargain books gets me every.single.time.

Rating: 3

The blurb on Goodreads is rather useless so let me summarize: There are porn stars. There are loads of policemen and women and FBI agents and loads of sex. There is a stalker and a serial killer. And it’s all very spooky. You can’t go wrong! Right? Continue reading

Swimsuit ~ James Patterson & Maxine Paetro


James Patterson fascinates me. He writes something insane like three or four books a year. All of them bestsellers. Always. MADNESS!! But wow go James!

I am a huge fan of crime fiction, though these days I kind of feel like I should give it a break for a while. I’m tired of predicting story lines and culprits within the first tenth of whichever book it is that I’m reading. This is not the fault of the writer. It is my fault. I’ve just read too many of them. Subconsciously I get the book almost before I’ve even thought about it. Damn.

I don’t read James Patterson much though. I don’t want to generalize because I haven’t read enough of his stuff to do that. But with this book I didn’t have the “I guess the murderer in the beginning” problem because that’s not how he wrote the story.

Swimsuit is basically about a killer hired to provide an elite bunch of rich people with snuff films. It’s kind of gruesome. Actually it’s a lot gruesome. Graphic slaughtering, graphic(ish) sex, lots of dead pretty people. There’s no mystery to it at all, but you do keep reading out of a curiosity for what happens next. There isn’t a twist in the end so much as a slight bending. And to be honest I wasn’t impressed by the romantic element at all.

Mostly I could barely get through a page without going “four books a year!” and being all fascinated that the author has turned writing into such an exact science that he just churns them out en masse. Wow! Really! That’s impressive enough for the content of the book to not matter at all really… For me at least….