Monday, 12 March 2018

The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson

Book Review

The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson - Reading, Writing, Booking

"...the visions of the past haunting her, the fear of the future looming over her."

The Darkness will be released in the UK on 15th March 2018. It is written by Ragnar Jónasson and published by Michael Joseph.

I really wanted to like The Darkness, I've never read any Ragnar Jónasson before but have heard good things about the Dark Iceland series. So, when this popped up on NetGalley, part of the new Hidden Iceland series, I thought I'd give it a go.

Before Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik Police is forced into early retirement she is told to investigate a cold case of her choice, and she knows just the one. A young woman found dead on remote seaweed-covered rocks. A woman who was looking for asylum and found only a watery grave. Her death ruled a suicide after a cursory investigation. But Hulda soon realizes that there was something far darker to this case.
This was not the only young woman to disappear around that time. And no one is telling the whole story. When her own force tries to put the brakes on the investigation Hulda has just days to discover the truth. Even if it means risking her own life . . . Spanning the icy streets of Reykjavik, the Icelandic highlands and cold, isolated fjords, The Darkness is an atmospheric thriller from one of the most exciting names in Nordic Noir.

Don't get me wrong, The Darkness is very atmospheric, very dark, but I didn't feel engaged. The investigation felt dragged out and there were no particular high points, not that I need a shock a minute, but one or two little ones would have helped. The shocks that were there I guessed.

It also didn't feel particularly realistic, while the setting is very real and gritty, the actual case seemed a bit unbelievable, with leads conjured out of no where and perfectly timed  revelations.

I did like the premise of the investigator Hulda, it was interesting to get the perspective of a female officer nearing retirement. She did have depth to her but sometimes Jónasson's writing was a little too obvious, a lot of telling, not showing. I also found a few elements of her character unrealistic. And occasionally, she was just too whiny and depressing.

I felt as I was reading, that there seemed to be a past that I was missing, especially in the relationships between Hulda and her colleagues. And actually, I've only just realised that The Darkness is part of a trilogy which is being published backwards. This revelation has made the book make a bit more sense to me, but I still wasn't enthralled by it.

I'd still like to try the Dark Iceland series as I've heard they are quite different to this one.

My Rating: 3 Stars

I received a copy of The Darkness, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review. My thanks to the author and publisher.

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Bring Me Back by B A Paris

Book Review

Bring Me Back by B A Paris - Reading, Writing, Booking

"I know we're not going to find her."

Bring Me Back will be released in the UK on 8th March 2018. It is written by B A Paris and published by HQ.

Bring Me Back started well, but ultimately it went down a rather ridiculous path. I guessed the ending, even though I thought that it couldn't really be true because it was completely unbelievable!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Carnivore by Jonathan Lyon

Book Review

Carnivore by Jonathan Lyon - Reading, Writing, Booking

"Evil is necessary to live vividly."

Carnivore was released in the UK on 24th August 2017. It is written by Jonathan Lyon and published by HQ.

Carnivore has garnered very mixed reviews, ranging from five star rambles about how amazing and daring it is, to no star rants about how it's disgusting and rambling. I thought it would be a book that I would either love or hate, but actually I'm resolutely in the middle. It is shocking and explores the psyche of a seriously damaged young man well, but after a while all the shocks and stream of consciousness narrative actually got a bit boring.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

Book Review

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements - Reading, Writing, Booking

"One coin marks the first to go.
A second bodes the fall.
The third will seal a sinner's fate.
The Devil take them all."

The Coffin Path was released in the UK 8th February 2018. It is written by Katherine Clements and published by Headline.

This is another review that I'm very late in posting, I'm now trying to catch up with myself, almost there.

I've been reading quite a lot of short ghost stories recently, I like M.R. James, Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. So when The Coffin Path cropped up on NetGalley and was described as 'The perfect ghost story' I thought I'd give it a go.

This is an excellent book to read in a cold and miserable winter, it has a good balance of supernatural and human interactions. I do think the story line was a little predictable, but I still enjoyed the read.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

Book Review

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin - Reading, Writing, Booking

"How simple life might be if we could shape time to our need, but instead its silent footsteps walk on, leaving me in their wake."

The Wicked Cometh was published in the UK on 1st February 2018. It is written by Laura Carlin and published by Hodder & Stoughton.

Oh dear, I am behind on my NetGalley reviews. I meant to get The Wicked Cometh, and a number of others, posted before their publication dates, but due to Christmas, holiday and then illness I've fallen spectacularly behind. Expect a number of belated reviews over the next couple of weeks.

And I'm aware I haven't done a monthly favourites for ages either, maybe I'll manage February.

Anyway, onto the review. I must say that the title drew me to this book and I was hoping for a dark Victorian drama. I did get this, but it was a lot slower and jumbled than I'd hoped, and I must admit the wicked took along time in comething.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

#BlogTour - Force of Nature by Jane Harper

#BlogTour - Force of Nature by Jane Harper - Reading, Writing, Booking

"Alice brought this on herself."

Force of Nature will be released in hardback on 8th February 2018.It is written by Jane Harper and published by Little Brown.

I'm really excited to be a part of the Force of Nature blog tour. I've only recently read and reviewed the prequel to this book, The Dry, but I loved it and when I had the opportunity to review the sequel I jumped at the chance.

#BlogTour - Force of Nature by Jane Harper - Reading, Writing, Booking

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Conclave by Robert Harris

Book Review

Conclave by Robert Harris - Reading, Writing, Booking

"Any man who is truly worthy must consider himself unworthy."

Conclave was written by Robert Harris and published by Arrow.

Apologies for the radio silence, but I came down with what felt like the Black Death but what the doctor said was a viral infection. It knocked me out for a couple of weeks and I'm only now feeling human.

I'm back with a review of Conclave by Robert  Harris. I wasn't going to actually review this book, just read it for pleasure, but it was so good that I feel I've got to share it. Even though I'm actually quite late to the party as it was published a couple of years ago.

Monday, 15 January 2018

The Dry by Jane Harper

Book Review

The Dry by Jane Harper - Reading, Writing, Booking

"It wasn't as though the farm hadn't seen death before, and the blowflies didn't discriminate."

The Dry was written by Jane Harper and was published by Little Brown.

This is a grim first line, and one that sets the tone for the rest of the book. But though The Dry is dark it's also authentic and engaging. It's easy to see why this Australian outback crime story is so popular.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

Book Review

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor - Reading, Writing, Booking

"For who are we if not the sum of our experiences, the things that we gather and collect in life? Once you strip those away we become just a mass of flesh, bone and blood vessels."

The Chalk Man will be released in the UK on 11th January 2018. It is written by C.J. Tudor and published by Michael Joseph.

I often find that hugely hyped books just don't live up to the buildup generated around them, but I'm pleased to say that The Chalk Man is one of the few that does. I've been seeing lots of good reviews for this one, and the premise sounded right up my street, so I requested it from NetGalley and I'm so glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've read a lot of thrillers recently that have been only OK and I was a bit wary to have to read another one that didn't grip me, but The Chalk Man was a breath of fresh air.