Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Book Review: Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.

The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stoneand the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour...

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Angela Marsons is quite new on the crime scene, but with three books in a row for less then a year, she definitely is a name to be remembered. I still haven't seen an author who can write that fast and that good. She became my favorite author with her first book, Silent Scream, and I love her writing more and more with every next book. Every time she leaves me with my jaw dropped and I am not surprised that easily. The third book, Lost Girls, is definitely cherry on the top of the cake, but knowing Angela Marsons, The Kim Stone Series are far from over.

Two little girls, two best friends, have been kidnapped together. Soon after the abduction, the families receive text messages. The family that pays more, gets the daughter back. The other one dies. The families that have been friends like forever, become worse enemies. There is no friendship when your child is in danger. A year ago, another two girls have been kidnapped. One girl came home, the other one didn't. But the game is far from over.

DI Kim Stone has a lot on her back. One of the mothers is her foster sister, and she counts on her. Kidnappings are not Kim's domain, murders are. When a case of a murder of a protected witness leads the team to the case of the kidnapped girls, Kim takes them both. Tough from outside, Kim is a real softie from inside, especially when is comes to protecting the ones who can not protect themselves. So she does her best. Her final goal, to bring BOTH girls back home, safe!

Apart from the case, this time we can see the softest side of Kim. In the last book, she adopted a dog. She really cares about her new best friend, her only friend, except Bryant. She slowly starts to break the walls around her and let people inside. She starts to care.

As I said previously, Lost Girls was even above my expectations, and I had high ones for Angela Marsons. I had only one issue, but that's just me and my opinion, I've found one scene particularly very grossy and disturbing, and my opinion is that the effect of the story could be achieved even without that scene. But even with that scene as a part of the plot, I couldn't leave my kindle until I finished my reading. She wrote a gripping story that literally brought tears to my eyes at the ending. This time we coped not only with murders, but with every parents' worst nightmare, their child's safety, and every child's nightmare, being locked alone in the dark. Angela Marsons really nailed it this time!

Would I recommend this book? Million times!

My opinion: 5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE and HERE.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Review: Defenceless by Kati Hiekkapelto

Chilling, disturbing, and terrifyingly believable, an extraordinary thriller by one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction

When an old man is found dead on the road—seemingly run over by a Hungarian au pair—police investigator Anna Fekete is certain that there is more to the incident than meets the eye. As she begins to unravel an increasingly complex case, she’s led on a deadly trail where illegal immigration, drugs, and, ultimately, murder threaten not only her beliefs, but her life. Anna’s partner Esko is entrenched in a separate but equally dangerous investigation into the activities of an immigrant gang, where deportation orders and raids cause increasing tension and result in desperate measures by gang members—and the police themselves. Then a bloody knife is found in the snow, and the two cases come together in ways that no one could have predicted. As pressure mounts, it becomes clear that having the law on their side may not be enough for Anna and Esko.

Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Finland. When a Hungarian girl runs over an old man on the road, it turns out that the man has already been dead. Murdered!

Senior Constable Anna Fekete is called for the road accident because of her Hungarian origin. But knowing the Hungarian language isn't the only thing that connects her with this case. Soon the murder becomes her priority case that starts to reveal much more than a dead body on the road.

Sammy arrives in Finland hidden in a truck like many immigrants like him before. He runs away from war in Pakistan and leaves behind him his family. But the dream for the promised land soon becomes nightmare. Sammy becomes drug addict and a criminal. Few robberies here and there, just to get the dose he needs. But murder was never on his mind!

An old lady is missing. A neighbor from the building where the man found on the road lived. Is there a connection?

When two girls find a bloody knife in the woods, no one knows who the blood is from. But very soon, Anna starts to connect the dots.

Anna has to deal with her own skeletons in the closet. She is an immigrant from Serbia, part of Hungarian minority that lives in Vojvodina, northern Serbia. One of her brothers dies during the war in the nineties, and her family leaves for Hungary in order to save the other son. Anna leaves for Finland, but she finds no peace there. No matter how much she tries to mix with the rest, she is always the outsider, she is always the immigrant. At least she is a hard-worker, not like her brother who likes to depend on social care.

This is my first book by this author, but it certainly won't be the last. As a lover of Scandinavian crime noir, I've found this book very thrilling and interesting. What starts like a car accident, ends like totally jaw-dropping planned crime. The plot is fast-paced, creepy and sometimes very emotional. Murder is there, also enough blood, mystery is all over the scene. The author also deals with the issue of the immigrants, all from different countries and all there from different reasons. She gives the perspective from the eyes of the immigrants but also from the eyes of the local Finnish people. The ending of the story left me little bit wandering, some things were left untold, but I suppose that was because a sequel it's on its way. I would love to read a sequel of this book.

My opinion: 4,5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE and HERE.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: 99 Percent Kill by Doug Richardson

Lucky Dey, an on-again/off-again Los Angeles County Sheriff's detective is both willful and acerbic to a dangerous fault. While in a holding pattern for official reinstatement, Lucky accepts a one-time private detective gig to track down the missing teenage daughter of a Midwestern software millionaire. This first Lucky Dey Novel winds its way through an L.A. landscape where the lights are bright, but the edges can be dark, perilously frayed, and populated with mix of human predators, amusing losers, and ambitious fringe dwellers." 

Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

A teenage girl runs away from home. Having the body of a model, she tries to achieve the American Dream. Instead, she ends up as a dancer and possibly prostitute. But her father is after her, he'll do whatever it takes to bring his little girl back home.

But dad doesn't know where to start his search from. So he hires Lucky Dey, ex-cop, private investigator. Lucky is everything but an ordinary PI. He does the things on his own way.

Karrie is fifteen years old. She thinks she has everything she needs to become a model or actress, to become famous. Running away from a broken home is not that hard. But the road to the fame is hard. She dances on parties for money, and there she meets another dancer, Cherry. She introduces her in the world of photography and acting. But along with the ticket to the world of rich and famous, comes the side path of human trafficking and prostitution. Young provincial girls are target of pimps and drug dealers. And serial killers!

But when Lucky gets the things in his own hands, everyone is a suspect, everyone is on the target. He might be rough and hard to deal with, but when he starts something, he finishes it, no matter what. A teenage girl is missing, he'll walk across dead bodies if he has to, but that girl is going to be save!

When ever I think of Lucky Dey, the image of Liam Neeson pops up in my mind. Big bad guy, with a heart of gold underneath all that rough surface. If this books turns into a movie one day, the only person that I can imagine acting Lucky is no one else but Liam Neeson.

This is my second book by Doug Richardson and I must say that action is not lacking in his books. The story is full of adrenaline-rushed nail-biting moments and ending that literally made my jaw dropped. If you want a calm read, this isn't a book for you. But if you want a real page-turner and a fast-paced story that won't let you sleep until you finish it, then, this is a perfect book for you! And knowing that Doug Richarson is also a screen writer, I would expect to see this book turning into a movie very soon. Because this book really deserves that! Totally recommended!

My opinion: 5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE and HERE!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Review: 24 Hours by Claire Seeber

My best friend, Emily, is dead – killed last night in a hotel fire.

But it was meant to be me.

Now I have 24 hours to find my daughter.

Before he finds out I’m still alive.“

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Imagine the tv show 24 with a female main character. Imagine the same show but not with a spy who runs around the world but with a mother trying to protect her child. Imagine all that and you'll get the gripping story of Claire Seeber, 24 Hours.

Laurie runs for her life. Not just for hers, but also her daughter's. Someone is after her and she is in danger. She hides in a hotel, but her best friend dies instead of her. Her little girl is missing and she has no idea where and why. She has no idea who is after her but she knows one thing: her little girl has to be safe!

Twenty-four hours ago everything seemed fine. Twenty-four hours ago her daughter was safe and sound. Twenty-four hours ago, she was planning a future. Now, she suspects everyone, from her ex-husband to her new boyfriend, someone wants her dead. She is going to die if she needs to, but she'll find out who and why, and the most important thing, who has her daughter.

Wow, I've never read so fast-paced story! From one page to another, the story moves from one edge to totally another, from one turn-over you suddenly end-up into another. There is no single page that doesn't keep you on the edge, not a single scene that doesn't make your jaw drop. Adrenaline-paced, gripping, rushed, describes every mother's worst nightmare: her child's safety! But there were moments when I was wondering about the realty around the main character. She seemed so real, but in same time so paranoid, so frightened. I was asking myself was her fear real or everything was just an overactive imagination. But as the story continued, Laurie's accusations became like a ping-pong game: it's him, not him, no, it's him! It became really exhausting and at the end, I didn't care. The pace at the ending of the story turned in the wrong direction (according to me) and ruined the whole impression (for me). But overall, I enjoyed the adrenaline rush and tension and will be in search of other Ms.Seeber's books in future.

My opinion: 3,5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE!

Book review: The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of
that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

Before requesting this book on NetGalley, I read the comparisons with Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I liked the both books, so decided to give it a try. The story captivated me and I couldn't leave it until finishing it. But Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train weren't on my mind.

The main character, Leah, is living a life of a fugitive. Always hiding, always running, always leaving the place. Fourteen years ago something happened and she has been running since then. She has a boring (but safe) job at a library, she surrounds herself at home with lots of books. It doesn't sound boring for a bookworm like me, but Leah is hiding. She avoids contact with people, doesn't go to parties, doesn't invite people at her home, doesn't have friends at all. She stiffs at every sound, runs from every shadow. She is scared.

One evening, Leah meets Julian on a dating website. He seems normal and understanding person, not a freak like some who hang on dating websites. He seems different, like someone who might understand her, someone who might love her. But then, shadows from the past arise. Mysterious emails, mysterious phone calls, strangers bumping into her on streets. The past is back!

But there is also Ben, a guy who often comes to the library. A guy who has a girlfriend, but unselfishly offers nothing more than friendship. And Leah decides to trust him, to let one friend in her life after so many years. But the past is lurking from the shadows, not letting Leah to live again.

Who is after her?

Who is she running from?

Is she a victim?

Is she the one who is hunted or is she the hunter?

Can she escape her past?

Page after page, Leah's story is revealed. But it was hard for me to decipher her fear. Two things had happened fourteen years ago. Now, she is running from what she has done or from what she hasn't done? What is she feeling guilty for? She has spent last fourteen years in solitude to hide from someone or to punish herself? As the story continues, Leah reminds me more and more of Dostoyevsky's character Raskolnikov from „Crime and Punishment“. If I have to describe this book in simply one sentence, it would be „a modern version of „Crime and Punishment“. Because, Leah is just like Raskolnikov, surrounds herself and her guilt with loneliness and fear.

Overall, I liked the story. Has many turn-overs and is not predictable at all. There aren't many characters, just a few and all of them are surrounded with mystery. The story keeps you wondering till the last page and will leave you wondering even after that. You won't be able to put it down until you find out why Leah is a girl with no past!

My opinion; 3,5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE

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