Lost Girls by Angela Marsons ~ Fiction Book Review

26123233This is the third installment of Angela Marsons’ D.I. Kim Stone novels, and it has quickly become my new favorite series – just when I wasn’t looking for a series to be caught up in. In fact, I was actively struggling against an addiction to the series, but Marsons’ books provide such a strong fix that I can’t put them down.

This is a fast paced, gritty novel that pushes the boundaries of nightmare land. I did guess the identity of the nameless bad guy, but I had no idea how the events of the book would progress or what the outcome would be. (Note to self – don’t pick up the next book in this series if you have other things you need to get done.)

Five stars and a break to catch my breath!

Mortal Fall by Christine Carbo ~ Fiction Book Review

25987140Christine Carbo is an excellent writer. She draws the reader into her characters’ world, making them see what they see, putting the reader into their fictional shoes. Her descriptions and insights are wonderful. That said, for a suspense novel, her writing is a little too good. By that I mean that perhaps it’s too literary. The wonderfully crafted sentences detract from the story’s momentum.

Maybe I’m alone in this as a reader and a writer, but I feel there’s a huge distinction between sentences that leave you breathless due to beautifully crafted language and those that leave you breathless due to magnificently crafted suspense. It’s hard for the two to meet. Not impossible, but hard.

The good news is that over the course of the hundreds of pages of a novel, there’s a time and a place for both. Reading is like breathing. When the tension mounts, the sentences, like our breathes, need to become shorter – quick, simple and easy, with nothing to take the reader out of the zone. Wordiness bogs the reader down, slowing their pace, their breathing, their heartbeat. It brings them back to reality, and who wants that?

I enjoyed this book, but found it a little too slow because of the good writing. Is that a valid complaint? Carbo in a new author and I have a feeling she’s got wonderful things in store for her readers. I love reading about Montana’s wilderness and Glacier National Park. 4-4.5 stars.


Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf ~ Fiction Book Review

25785334Hmm. I am a big Heather Gudenkauf fan. That’s one of the reasons this long awaited release was so exciting. It’s her first book to be released in hard back, a wonderful accomplishment for any writer. I greatly anticipated getting my hands on a copy this book.

That said, from page one I found myself asking, “This is Gudenkauf?” The writing was uncharacteristically simple and sparce. The characters weren’t as well developed as hers usually are. And the plot? It was a simple paint by numbers murder mystery. Not at all what I was expecting.

It wasn’t bad, I enjoyed it, but my first suspect was indeed the guilty culprit and the writing kept taking me out of the story. This book gave me the impression that Gudenkauf got the much coveted deal for a hard cover release before the book was written, and she choked. She’s a much more talented writer than this book portrays. I would recommend this book to someone looking for a quick and enjoyable mystery, but not to anyone expecting The Weight of Silence. It is with a heavy heart that I give this one only 4 stars.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh ~ Fiction Book Review

23125266This book had been on my wishlist for a while, so when it was featured as a Kindle deal at an awesomely discounted price, I couldn’t resist. It’s another book where I went in cold – I knew only that many of my Goodreads friends really enjoyed it. (If you haven’t already, add me on Goodreads, I want to see what you’re reading!)

Let me begin by saying that this book is an emotional roller coaster. And just because you think you know what’s going on, doesn’t mean you do. The plot twist at the end of part one caught me completely by surprise, as in totally blindsided – not only did I not see it coming, the option never even crossed my mind. I love love LOVE when that happens, but it doesn’t happen nearly often enough.

From that point, in part 2, the book takes a much more sinister turn. A dark, uncomfortable, I don’t want to be on this road alone at night bend that makes you consider certain characters and their actions in an entirely different light. I really had a hard time not giving spoilers away in this review, but I’d hate to rob other readers of that breathless, hit hard feeling. This is a debut novel by what promises to be a formidable author! Five stars!