Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book review:Evil Games by Angela Marsons

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…
When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time - it’s personal.

Ok, I must admit! With every other book, Angela Marsons' writing goes better and better. I am getting more and more hooked as I read her stories. This author became one of my favorites right after her first book. And with the second, she literally overcame herself. She really deserves the place among the top crime writer ever.

This time, D.I.Kim Stone is facing a very hard and emotional case that includes molesting children. Dealing with children that have been abused is hard and requires patience and bravery. And courage not to kill the bastard responsible for hurting the kids. It requires emotional distance in order to catch the real culprit and make sure he/she pays for what he/she did. But the hardest thing of all is helping those kids to go on with their lives and forget the scars that physically and emotionally damaged them.

On the other side, there are different kinds of criminals. The ones who do the bad job and the ones who make others  to do their job. The ones who leave their fingerprints on the crime scene and the ones who don't. D-r Alexandra is a psychologist. She considers herself as an explorer, a scientist. She studies human will, human fear, human reactions of certain things. She plants ideas in her patient's minds, she encourages them to do the things they want, but the things that are bad. She lies, she fakes emotions, she is incapable to feel, to love, to hate, to cry. It's in her blood. It's all fake. She is the mastermind, she doesn't leave fingerprints,  she can not be responsible for anything, no one can connect her with certain crimes. 

D-r Alexandra is incapable to feel, just like Kim. She is smart, so is Kim. She has built walls around her, just like Kim. She lies about her feelings, just like Kim. Maybe that's why Kim is the only one that senses something wrong around her. Maybe that's why Kim is the only one that can not close the case of the raped woman who kills her rapist. Kim's sixth sense is never wrong. 

This time, Kim Stone is more than an anti-hero. We can peek in her past and see why is she the way she is. We can see the reasons that made her built the walls around her, but in the same time we can see those walls breaking. But the disappearance of the walls doesn't make her vulnerable as she thinks. No, it makes her more human, it finally brings her emotions on the surface. In the first book, the author added a child with illness. This time, she added a dog. Man's best friend. Someone who is always there, who never asks questions and gives unconditional love. A small add that brings emotions to the whole story full of  tension and hard feelings. 

Alex and Kim are total opposites in the story. Very same, but also very different. Both are very intelligent and brave, both hide their feelings. Total opposites, but complete match. Like Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. Their development as characters goes slowly, step by step, which makes you more and more hooked to the story. There are moments when you can not be certain who is the good one, and who is the bad one.  Together, they create a perfect balance. 

Evil Games is a masterpiece made from the creative pen of Angela Marsons. Second in the series, hope not the last. Nail-biting to the last page, it will make you turn the pages like there's nothing else out there in the world. Totally recommended! 

My opinion: 5 / 5.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Review: Mayhem in Margaux by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen

It s summer in Bordeaux. There s a heat wave, the vineyards are suffering, vintners are on edge, and wine expert Benjamin Cooker s daughter is visiting. A tragic car accident draws the Winemaker Detective and his assistant Virgile into a case where the stakes are very personal, and they uncover some dirty secrets hiding behind the robe of some of Bordeaux s finest grand cru classe wines from Margaux."

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

France, wine and summer. A perfect recipe for pure joy! And when you add mystery to it! It is an absolute divine!

Let me introduce you with the plot. The main character is Benjamin Cooker, a famous winemaker in Margaux, France. His lovely daughter, Margaux, who is a student, visits him for the summer. She is a lovely and beautiful young woman, and men are interested in her, especially Antoine Rinetti, the new manager of Gayraud-Valrose chateau. Margaux and Antoine go for a trip by car and they have an accident that almost kills them. Like every concerned father, Benjamin is very worried about his daughter, especially after he hears that the car has been sabotaged. He has been helping the police before, and this time he uses his detective skills to find the culprit behind the car accident.

I loved Benjamin Cooker as a main character. He is old-fashioned husband and father, an excellent winemaker and true noir detective. Like every father, he sees his daughter as a little girl, even if she is woman, and acts very protective. He is suspicious for every man around her. As a winemaker, he has an excellent taste and works very hard to make the best wine he can. And as a detective, he has very old-fashioned skills that always work. He doesn't need modern technology to find out what he wants to know. He is not a real detective, but his style reminds me of the very famous Hercules Poirot.

It seems that even the wineyards aren't safe these days. But with winemakers like Benjamin, we can all feel little bit safer. And with a glass of wine, you can enjoy this interesting cozy mystery, perfect for this summer.

My opinion: 4 / 5.