Germany, 1660: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play. So begins The Hangman’s Daughter–the chillingly detailed, fast-paced historical thriller from German television screenwriter, Oliver Pötzsch–a descendent of the Kuisls, a famous Bavarian executioner clan.
I should start by saying that this is not the sort of novel I’d gravitate towards, but the cover of this book had a lot to do with my decision to give this book a try and I don’t regret it a bit.
“because a rumor is like smoke. It will spread, it will seep through closed doors and latched shutters, and in the end the whole town will smell of it.”
This is the story of Jakob Kuisl, a hangman in the small town of Schongau, Bavaria. When some children are found dead, a local midwife is accused of witchcraft and arrested for the murders. Jakob and a local doctor believing in the midwife’s innocence set out to figure out the mystery. I’m not sure why the title of the book is the Hangman’s Daughter. She plays a part in the book but certainly not enough for a title. In any case, this is a very interesting historical mystery. Pötzsch really did a good job researching his family history and that period. I really enjoyed the illustrations in the book and the descriptions of the town and the people were excellent. It really transported me to that time.
As for the mystery itself, I feel like many will be able to figure it out half-way through the book. It is still an interesting reading even though some of the torture scenes were rather graphic. Good pick for fans of historical fiction/thriller.
Trust No One is my first novel by acclaimed writer Paul Cleave. It seems everywhere I look around lately there are more and more novels touching on the subject of Alzheimer’s disease. I’m a nurse, therefore, medical/disease themes attract me quite a bit.
The book also has a great premise. This is the story of Jerry, a crime writer who also suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and starts to be accused of murders which we don’t know whether or not he committed. The book is written with alternating chapters, part Jerry’s journal of the past (written in first person) and Jerry’s journal in present day (written in third person! Yep-I know!).
Unfortunately, the novel just did not work for me. It’s a slow start. The narrative is confusing and repetitive, even with the occasional twists and turns.
I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Tony is bewildered by the horrifying secrets he begins to unravel. Can human heads really be used to predict the future? Who would pay $7 million for the skull of the Russian President? Is British intelligence involved?
His search leads Tony to the wealthy and secretive Chadwick Foundation whose bizarre beliefs both repel and attract him. Are they merely wealthy, powerful people playing an elaborate game, or have they truly gained the power to see into the future? When Tony witnesses the Home Secretary die in an elaborate sex ritual at a Belgravia dinner party he knows he is in too deep to back out.
Dead Secret by Richard Milton is an excellent paranormal thriller about investigative journalist Tony Gabriel and the “science” of physiognomy. I have to say that I was a little skeptical when I read the synopsis of this book. I love paranormal novels and was eager to read this book, but I had my reservations because the storyline seemed a bit far-fetched. Well, I was wrong and this story did not disappoint! Milton is a talented writer and I loved the way he weaved this story.
Tony Gabriel as a character is believable and likable, and overall pretty well-written. As for the other characters in the book Eve was my least favorite, but unpredictable.The narrative goes back and forth between the present day with Tony researching a mysterious organization named The Chadwick Foundation, France in the 1700s, and World War II. Milton did a fantastic job in bringing all these pieces of the story together. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to fans of this genre.
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for my honest review.
Title:Dead Secret /Author:Richard Milton/Genre:Paranorma/Thriller/ ASIN:B00551YXZ2/Publisher:Good Books Online/Rating: 4-Stars/Read:July, 2015.
In Daniel Palmer’s electrifying, brilliantly plotted new thriller, a private school campus becomes a battleground as a desperate father takes on a terrifying enemy….
Jake Dent lives with his diabetic teenage son Andy in the town of Winston, MA. Andy is a computer geek and part of the Shire–a group of hacker kids who steal money from rich people’s bank accounts to give to charity. It’s all nice and fun until the kids hack a drug cartel’s bank account and steal millions of dollars. When the drug dealers stage a chemical spill at the school and take the children hostage; Jake an ex-baseball player turned Rambo, goes on a race against time to save his son and the rest of the kids.
I really enjoyed Daniel Palmer’s new thriller Constant Fear. I wouldn’t call it a page-turner, but it certainly kept me interested. The story is really well-written and the book has a great premise. The characters were well developed, but I found some of the chapters with descriptions of the guns and ammo to be a little too long and boring. Overall, I definitely recommend this thriller.
I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on May 26, 2015.
Title: Constant Fear/Author: Daniel Palmer/Pages: 416/Genre: Thriller/ ISBN: 9780758293466/Publisher: Kensington/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.
Title: Broken Promise: A Thriller
Author: Linwood Barclay
Read: May 2015
After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent…
David Harwood is a widowed father who moves back to his hometown of Promise Falls, NY with his young son Ethan. Life is at its low for David, he loses his job at a local newspaper shortly after moving back and has to move in back with his parents. When David’s mother asks him to take some food to a nearby cousin, he finds out that his cousin Marla is raising a baby. The problem is that Marla does not have a child. David starts to snoop around to try to get to the bottom of the story, and hopefully find the actual mother of the baby. When he learns that the mother of the baby has been murdered, he starts his own investigations, leaning on his experience as a reporter, to find out what happened and what role–if any, his cousin played in the crime.
Linwood Barclay is indeed a master of suspense. Broken Promise was a delight to read. A real page turner. I love the way Barclay developed his characters! The plot was very well written, full of twists and unexpected events. A fantastic thriller! My only complaint was the fact that although the ending was really good, there were a few loose ends that were not explained. I’m hoping there will be a sequel. Overall, it is a great read for fans of this genre.
I received an early copy of this book for free from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on July 28, 2015.
Title: What You Left Behind
Author: Samantha Hayes
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Read: May 2015
Two years after a terrifying spate of teenage suicides, the remote village of Radcote has just begun to heal. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorcycle accident and a suicide note is found among his belongings. When a second boy is found dead shortly thereafter, the nightmare of repeat suicides once again threatens the community.
This is the second installment of the Detective Inspector Lorraine Fischer’s series. I haven’t read the first book, but I was able to read this story as a standalone. The book begins with D.I. Lorraine Fischer’s visit to her sister Jo in the remote village of Radcote, where a series of apparent teenage suicides are happening. Lorraine soon learns that there is more to this vacation than it meets the eyes. She arrives in town with her daughter Stella to find her sister Jo having an extra-marital affair, and her nephew Freddie acting moody and withdrawn. When another teen suicide happens shortly after Lorraine’s arrival, the detective can’t help but start her investigation into what is happening in Radcote.
What You Left Behind is one of those books with a fantastic premise, but gets lost somehow half-way into the story. There were too many subplots and red herrings. The characters were a bit dull, the dialogue was boring and clunky, and although towards the end the novel perks back up leading to a surprising finale–overall this book didn’t do it for me.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
Title: The Farm
Author: Tom Rob Smith
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Read: April 16, 2015- May 2,2015 – I own a copy.
Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden. But with a single phone call, everything changes.
“Your mother…she’s not well, his father tells him. She’s been imagining things – terrible, terrible things. She’s had a psychotic breakdown, and been committed to a mental hospital.”
Before Daniel can board a plane to Sweden, his mother calls: “Everything that man has told you is a lie. I’m not mad… I need the police… Meet me at Heathrow.”
When Daniel gets off the phone after talking to his mother, we embark in this amazing journey of lies, secrets and misconceptions through rural Sweden. Daniel is caught between his parents allegations against each other, and at times it is simply impossible to distinguish who’s telling the truth. There is so much more to this novel than meets the eye.
I read this book in a few days not because of lack of interest, but purely for lack of time. Smith does a fantastic job at building the suspense in this novel and weaving a compelling plot that is really a plot within a plot, full of twists and turns.
What I simply adored about this book was the fact that I had it all wrong. I never saw that ending coming.
I definitely recommend this book! This was my first novel by author Tom Rob Smith, and I simply LOVED it! I’m really looking forward to reading more books from him.
Title: Don’t Turn Around
Author: Caroline Mitchell
Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Crime
Read: April 21, 2015-April 24, 2015
As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave. When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked.
What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict. Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play?
In this book, Caroline Mitchell introduces us to D.C. Jennifer Knight a well-written and complex character. She is more than just a cop; she hears voices inside her head. Her paranormal abilities have helped her solve cases in the past, and she will have to rely on them one more time in order to solve a string of crimes and stop a killer.
This is book number one in the Detective Jennifer Knight crime thriller series, and it was also my very first book in the paranormal/crime/thriller genre. I truly enjoyed the plot and storyline.
This novel had some extremely creepy and scary moments that worked really well together, and still kept me very interested. I particularly liked the narrative from the serial killer’s perspective–chilling and well-written. A great glimpse into a murderer’s mind.
I definitely recommend this book, and my only wish was that there was a bit more romance weaved into this great story. I’m hopeful that the next books will explore the relationship between detective Jennifer and Will.
I’d also like to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.