Monday, 26 June 2017

#BookReview Dancing with Death by Amy Myers

Dancing with Death by Amy Myers
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Introducing chef-sleuth Nell Drury in the first of a delightful series of 1920's traditional country house mysteries.

1925. The fashionable Bright Young Things from London have descended on Wychbourne Court, the Kentish stately home of Lord and Lady Ansley, for an extravagant fancy dress ball followed by a midnight Ghost Hunt - and Chef Nell Drury knows she's in for a busy weekend. What she doesn't expect to encounter is sudden, violent death.

When a body is discovered in the minstrels' gallery during the Ghost Hunt, Nell finds herself caught up in the police investigation which follows. As the darker side of the Roaring Twenties emerges and it becomes increasingly clear that at least one person present that night has a sinister secret to hide, Nell determines to unmask the killer among them. Could the Wychbourne Ghosts hold the key to the mystery?


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Oh, I'm so disappointed. This book looked and seemed so good, but alas I couldn't find myself getting into the story and towards the end did I find myself pretty bored.

Now, the book did feel promising in the beginning, but somewhere along the way when Miss Marple ... Eh I mean Nell started to investigate the case because the lady of the house trusts her to be able to talk to the servants, the family, and guest and find out the truth about the murder. Yeah, because the chef is the obvious person to go to when someone has been murdered. Anyway, the book was OK, in the beginning, thanks to the list of characters, in the beginning, was it not so hard to know who was who. The story seemed interesting and I was curious to see who would get killed.

However, the book started to go downhill somewhere along the way as Nell was trying to find out where everyone was during the murder. And, the ghost thing? It was just ridiculous. It should perhaps have been seen as a funny thing with the Lord Ansley's sister being quite positive about the house being haunted by a legion of ghosts. It wasn't!

By the time the inspector at the end revealed the truth had I already abandoned this book mentally and was just reading to find out who the killer was. Would I read more books in this series? No, Nell was not an interesting person to read about, too dull for my taste and she felt not very substantial, which I felt is the big problem with most of the characters in the book. They just didn't come to life.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#BookBlast The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack (@Gwen_Womack) @hfvbt @PicadorUSA

The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack

Paperback Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Picador
Paperback; 368 Pages
ISBN: 9781250099778
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mystery



FROM THE AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF THE MEMORY PAINTER COMES A SWEEPING AND SUSPENSEFUL TALE OF ROMANCE, FATE, AND FORTUNE.


Semele Cavnow appraises antiquities for an exclusive Manhattan auction house, deciphering ancient texts—and when she discovers a manuscript written in the time of Cleopatra, she knows it will be the find of her career. Its author tells the story of a priceless tarot deck, now lost to history, but as Semele delves further, she realizes the manuscript is more than it seems. Both a memoir and a prophecy, it appears to be the work of a powerful seer, describing devastating wars and natural disasters in detail thousands of years before they occurred.

The more she reads, the more the manuscript begins to affect Semele’s life. But what happened to the tarot deck? As the mystery of her connection to its story deepens, Semele can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Only one person can help her make sense of it all: her client, Theo Bossard. Yet Theo is arrogant and elusive, concealing secrets of his own, and there’s more to Semele’s desire to speak with him than she would like to admit. Can Semele even trust him?

The auction date is swiftly approaching, and someone wants to interfere—someone who knows the cards exist, and that the Bossard manuscript is tied to her. Semele realizes it’s up to her to stop them: the manuscript holds the key to a two-thousand-year-old secret, a secret someone will do anything to possess.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Powell's


Praise for The Fortune Teller

“Beginning as a clever mystery based on an ancient manuscript and evolving into a family epic spanning centuries, an international thriller, and a destined romance, The Fortune Teller has something for everyone. Offer it to fans of A.S. Byatt’s Possession and Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series.”―Booklist

“Womack alternates back and forth between a whirlwind history that spans thousands of years and the suspense of Semele’s search…Entertaining.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The Fortune Teller is a gripping, twisting tale that spans thousands of years, thousands of miles, and perhaps even crosses over to the ‘other side.’ A fascinating read that is that unlikely combination of unputdownable and thought-provoking.”—B.A. Shapiro, bestselling author of The Art Forger and The Muralist

“There aren’t enough words to adequately describe how much I love The Fortune Teller. It is a gripping and masterfully woven combination of history, mystery, fate, adventure, and family ties: a true page-turner that enthralls from the first sentence with unique characters, fascinating settings, and intriguing artifacts. Womack brilliantly illuminates how there is more at play in the world than logic can explain.”—Kelli Estes, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

“The Fortune Teller takes you on an international thrill ride across centuries—with fascinating research and memorable characters—proving once again that Gwendolyn Womack is a magician, keeping readers turning pages with wonder and awe.”—M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author

“What a mesmerizing journey. The suspense increases steadily throughout the novel, as Semele realizes her identity is caught up in the mysterious manuscript and that the truth of her own abilities is a secret people will kill for. Readers who enjoy the novels of Katherine Neville, Kate Mosse and Diana Gabaldon will savor this treat.”—Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown

Link to Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/Ws3VTKpjnGc

About the Author

Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack studied theater at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She holds an MFA in Directing Theatre, Video, and Cinema from California Institute of the Arts. Her first novel, The Memory Painter, was an RWA PRISM award winner in the Time Travel/Steampunk category and a finalist for Best First Novel. She now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and her son. For more information please visit Gwendolyn Womack's website.

You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.



Book Blast Schedule 


Tuesday, June 6

Wednesday, June 7

Thursday, June 8

Friday, June 9

Monday, June 12

Tuesday, June 13

Wednesday, June 14

Thursday, June 15

Friday, June 16

Monday, June 19

Tuesday, June 20

Wednesday, June 21

Thursday, June 22

Friday, June 23

Monday, June 26

Tuesday, June 27

Wednesday, June 28

Thursday, June 29 

Friday, June 30 

Giveaway

During the Book Blast we will be giving away a Tarot Deck & Book Set! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Description: This deck/book set provides everything you need to understand tarot. The full-size deck is a vibrantly recolored version of the classic Rider-Waite deck, updated with subtle shading that gives depth to the familiar tarot scenes. The 272-page, user-friendly handbook with full-color illustrations is perfect for beginners as well as experienced readers who want to refresh their tarot skills.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 The Fortune Teller Book Blast

Sunday, 25 June 2017

#BookReview Ice Lake: by John A. Lenahan @KillerReads

Ice Lake: by John A. Lenahan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A BODY IN THE WOODS
Deep in the woods of North-Eastern Pennsylvania, the body of a man is found – shot three times, once in the back of the head, dumped under the trees where the local kids will find him.

A MAN ON THE CASE
When psychologist Harry Cull arrives in the picturesque town of Ice Lake to help with the murder investigation, he begins to unravel a web of lies and deceit that leads from the close-knit community to the dark heart of the Fracking industry.

A KILLER ON THE HUNT
It’s not long before the second corpse turns up, a lawyer left for dead in the forest, and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer – who will do anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.


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The cover fooled me into believing it was a story set in the winter. But, I soon learned that I was wrong. I didn't mind it, but it's interesting how a cover can make you expect something like that.

Ice Lake starts off with a man getting shot to death by someone unknown. Pennsylvania State Trooper Edward Cirba calls his friend psychologist Harry Cull to come and help him with the case since ex-cop Cull has a knack for knowing if someone is lying. Cirba and Cull met at a conference in Las Vegas and that was a memorable experience that included a visit to a strip bar that Cirba has forbidden Cull to ever bring up again. Of course, Cull doesn't mind mentioning the strip bar now and then.

I found the book to be entertaining to read, but at the same time did I feel that I had some difficulties to really get into the story. I mean, I loved the banter between Cirba and Cull, their friendly relationship made the book quite fun to read. Also, a small town, with eccentric people with a lot of secrets are usually my kind of thing. However, the story never really clicked for me, but I can't say that I was bored either. I liked the book, but it lacked thrilling moments and a stronger story.

Ice Lake is an OK book, no more no less. I liked Cirba and Cull so much that I would love to read more about them in more books. I did, however, feel that Cull, who has been quite an ordeal in his life was surprisingly cool about it. I can't reveal what happened, but I would have expected a man to be a bit more broken than Cull seemed to be. And, it bothered me a bit. I guess I prefer my main characters to suffer more anxiety and be more complex.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! 

#Wishlist June: Most Wanted 2017

I was browsing Goodreads trying to come up with a good theme for this month's wishlist when I strumbled over my list of books published this year. Books that I really, really want. So, here are 5 books I hope to get a chance to read (soon)! It's a mix of genres, and several are part of a series. Well, all, but one...;)

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The fifth book and the exciting conclusion to bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's "impossible-to-put-down" Cainsville series, in which she mixes hard-hitting crime writing with phenomenal world-building to create a brand of fiction all her own.

When Olivia Taylor-Jones found out she was not actually the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers, her life exploded. Running from the fall-out, she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois, but she couldn't resist trying to dig out the truth about her birth parents' crimes. She began working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer who also had links to the town; their investigation soon revealed Celtic mysteries at work in Cainsville, and also entangled Olivia in a tense love triangle with the calculating Gabriel and her charming biker boyfriend, Ricky. Worse, troubling visions revealed to Olivia that the three of them were reenacting an ancient drama pitting the elders of Cainsville against the mysterious Huntsmen with Olivia as the prize.

In the series' fifth and final novel, not only does Gabriel's drug addict mother, who he thought was dead, make a surprise reappearance, but Kelley Armstrong delivers a final scary and surprising knock-out twist. It turns out a third supernatural force has been at work all along, a dark and malevolent entity that has had its eye on Olivia since she was a baby and wants to win at any cost.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a new explosive thriller.

Mind Game takes Jane MacGuire back to Scotland where she continues her search for the treasure she’s been chasing for years. But now she’s being plagued by dreams of a girl in danger. Who is this girl, and what is she trying to tell Jane? And will Jane figure it out before it’s too late—for her and the mysterious young woman? Things are further complicated when Seth Caleb comes back into Jane’s life. This time he’s the one in trouble, and Jane will find herself pulled unexpectedly into his world as she fights to save him.

With the adventure, intrigue, and explosive energy that Iris Johansen fans love, Mind Game is a high-octane thriller that readers won’t be able to put down.

The thirteenth novel in Craig Johnson's beloved New York Times bestselling Longmire series, the basis for the hit Netflix series Longmire

Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of twenty-five armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff's Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back. Armed with his trusty Colt .45 and a paperback of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, the young Walt was ill-prepared for the machinations of twenty-four veteran sheriffs, let alone the cavalcade of curious characters that accompanied them.

The photograph--along with an upcoming parole hearing for one of the most dangerous men Walt has encountered in a lifetime of law enforcement--hurtles the sheriff into a head-on collision of past and present, placing him and everyone he cares about squarely on the tracks of runaway revenge.

The search for a kidnapped child leads a courageous railway cop down a twisted trail of murder.

It’s been five months since Special Agent Sydney Parnell survived a violent confrontation with a gang of brutal thugs, an encounter that left her physically and emotionally scarred. Deep down, Sydney fears she isn’t ready for another investigation. But when a woman is murdered on the train tracks and a child is kidnapped, she knows she’s the only one who can lead the hunt for the killer. While Denver police and the FBI chase down blind alleys, Sydney focuses on a single cryptic clue left behind at the crime scene—one that will send her down a path of greed, violence, and long-ago love.

With Denver beset by a series of monsoonlike thunderstorms that threaten to flood the city, Sydney and her K9 partner, Clyde, must wade through a murky trail of murder that stretches back thirty years—all to rescue a child…and catch a killer with a long memory and an insatiable appetite for destruction.

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, thirteen passengers on a hot-air balloon flight witness a brutal murder. Within the next hour, all but one of them will be dead.

Alone, scared and trusting no-one, she flees for her life, running to the one place she feels safe. But she's seen the killer's face, and he's seen hers - and he won't rest until he's eliminated the last witness to his crime . . .

That's it my friends! There are several more I want to read published this year. But 5 it is (this time!)

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Want to see more wishlist?
Check out these that my friends have posted:

Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

Saturday, 24 June 2017

#BookReview Local Girl Missing (Ung kvinna saknad) by Claire Douglas (@Dougieclaire) (SWE/ENG)

Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

En septembernatt för arton år sedan försvann 21-åriga Sophie Coller. Allt hon lämnade efter sig var en marinblå sneaker ute på den gamla piren och ett gapande tomrum i sin bästa vän Francescas hjärta.

När kvarlvevorna efter en kropp sköljs upp på en strand återvänder Francesca till Oldcliffe-on-Sea, den lilla kuststad där hon växte upp och som hon gjort allt för att lägga bakom sig. Hon hoppas att det nya fyndet till sist ska avslöja vad som hände Sophie. Men det dröjer inte länge förrän Francesca börjar önska att hon stannat kvar i London. De människor hon en gång kände är nu främlingar och i deras blickar anar hon en oroande misstänksamhet. Och vart hon än vänder sig hemsöks hon av spöklika minnen från det förflutna, vålnader som får henne att frukta för sitt förstånd - och sitt liv.

Samtidigt blir hon alltmer övertygad om att någon i den lilla stden vet vad som hände den där natten för längesedan...


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I Ung kvinna saknad får man läsa om hur Francesca åker tillbaka till Oldcliffe-on-Sea efter att fått ett samtal från en barndomskamrat om att kvarlevor av en kropp har hittas, men man får också parallellt följa det som hände Sophie genom hennes dagboksanteckningar. Både den nutida handlingen och barndomsanteckningarna är intressanta att följa.

De bästa psykologiska thrillers är de som förbryllar, får en att tvivla på vad som pågår och misstro huvudkaraktären och alla andra karaktärer också givetvis. De ska även vara blad-vändare, gärna med korta kapitel som gör att man "skulle ju bara läsa ett kapitel till" istället blir till 2 timmar senare och en utläst bok.

Ung kvinna saknad har alla dessa element. Kanske inte så många överraskande vändningar, men boken har definitivt den paranoida känslan av att något är fel tack vare allt skumt som händer Francesca. Om det är något jag gillar så är det när man börjar ifrågasätta huvudkaraktären, har hon rent mjöl i påsen, är hon galen, eller är något ute efter henne? Och, var hände egentligen med Sophie Coller arton år tidigare? 

Claire Douglas har skrivit en lysande psykologisk thriller, det tog mig bara en dag att läsa klart den tack vare den intressanta och beroendeframkallande handlingen och jag ser fram emot att läsa hennes andra böcker.

Tack till Louise Bäckelin Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

The old Victorian pier was once a thing of beauty. It's also where twenty-one-year-old Sophie Collier vanished eighteen years ago.

Francesca has spent the last twenty years haunted by the disappearance of her best friend. But when she receives a phone call from Sophie's brother saying that a body has been found, she knows she can't keep hiding from what happened. With her own secrets to keep, Francesca doesn't relish the idea of digging up the past or returning to Oldcliffe. But it is time to go back to where she grew up, and it looks like she isn't the only one there hiding truths.

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In Local Girl Missing, you can read about how Francesca returns to Oldcliffe-on-Sea after learning through a conversation with a childhood friend that a body has been found washed up at the pier where her best friend Sophie disappeared  eighteen years ago. Parallelly in the book do we also learn what happened to Sophie through her diary notes. Both the present-day story and childhood notes are interesting to follow.

The best psychological thrillers are those that confuse, make one doubt what is going on and distrust the main character and all other characters of course. They are hopefully also page-turners, preferably with short chapters that turn" just one more chapter" into a binge reading marathon with the book done around midnight or later.

Local Girl Missing has all these elements. Perhaps not so many surprising twists, but the book definitely has the paranoid feeling that makes you think something is wrong thanks to all the things that happen to Francesca. If it's something I like it's when you start to question the main character, is she really so innocent, is she mad or is someone really out to get her? And, what really happened to Sophie Coller eighteen years earlier?

Claire Douglas has written an excellent psychological thriller, it only took me one day to finish it thanks to the interesting and addictive story and I look forward to reading her other books.

Tack till Louise Bäckelin Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

#CoverReveal The Missing Girls by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer) @bookouture

THE MISSING GIRLS by Carol Wyer

An absolutely nail-biting serial killer thriller with a heart-stopping twist (Detective Robyn Carter crime thriller series Book 3)

Out on 14th September 2017


One girl found dead. Another girl gone...

Long shadows danced on the tin walls. Inside the trunk lay Carrie Miller, wrapped in plastic, arms folded across her ribcage, lips sealed tight forever...

When, a girl’s body is found at a Midlands storage unit, it is too decomposed for Detective Robyn Carter to read the signs left by the killer.

No one knows the woman in blue who rented the unit; her hire van can’t be traced. But as the leads run dry another body is uncovered. This time the killer’s distinctive mark is plain to see, and matching scratches on the first victim’s skeleton make Robyn suspect she’s searching for a serial killer. 

As Robyn closes in on the killer’s shocking hunting ground, another girl goes missing, and this time it’s someone close to her own heart. 

Robyn can’t lose another loved one. Can she find the sickest individual she has ever faced, before it’s too late?

An utterly gripping and darkly compelling detective thriller that will have fans of Robert Dugoni, Angela Marsons and James Patterson hooked from the very start. You will not guess the ending!

What readers are saying about the DI Robyn Carter series:


‘This book was fantastic and it kept me gripped from the first page and I read it in a day, I really, really didn't want to put it down – it’s one of the best I've read so far in 2017 … Would not hesitate to give the book 5 stars!!’ Donna’s Book Blog

Fantastic! So good to the point that I finished it in just over a day! ... Wow, wow, wow. This was a great book!! ... kept me hooked from page one ... genuinely didn’t guess who it was until it was revealed! There are lots of twists and turns, and a great ending! I can’t wait for the next book!!’ Stardust Book Reviews 5*

‘I loved every page ... captivating and unputdownable. The tension, twists and turns, kept me flipping the pages ... 5 shining stars ... I loved it!’ Write Escape

'What a page-turner! Wow. My head was spinning from the first page to the last. I was so gripped by the introduction to the characters and then just pulled right into the meat of the thriller until the very last page! Five Stars!' Jersey Girl Forever

'The suspense was fantastic ... the drive to keep turning pages was overpowering ... really well written I want more!' The Belgian Reviewer

'This book totally gripped me from start to finish. It is a very cleverly crafted thriller which leaves no loose ends. Five stars!' Sincerely Book Angels

#BookReview A Death by Any Other Name by Tessa Arlen @FreshFiction

A Death by Any Other Name by Tessa Arlen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Building on the success of her last two mysteries in the same series, Tessa Arlen returns us to the same universe full of secrets, intrigue, and, this time, roses in 'A Death By Any Other Name'.

The elegant Lady Montfort and her redoubtable housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, investigate a murder among a group of amateur rose-breeders while the idyllic English summer days count down to the start of the First World War.

When Mrs. Jackson receives a visit from a cook who believes she was an indirect witness to murder from a poisoned dish of breakfast kedgeree Lady Montfort promises to do what she can to clear the cook’s name, and contrives an invitation to Hyde Castle, the home of a self-made millionaire, to investigate a murder of concealed passions and secret desires.

With the help of the invaluable Jackson Lady Montfort sets about solving the puzzle surrounding the death of the rose society’s most popular member and discovers a villain of audacious cunning among a group of mild-mannered, amateur rose-breeders.

While they investigate, the headlines bring news of the growing crisis in the Balkans following the assassination of.the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire. As each day brings more threatening news and the very real fear that Britain will be drawn into war, Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson must race against the clock to solve the mystery before Britain declares on Germany.

Brimming with intrigue, Tessa Arlen's latest does not disappoint.


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As a big fan of historical mystery books have I been curious about the Lady Montfort Mystery series. So, when I got the chance to read the third book in the series, A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME, was I thrilled to finally see if this series would appeal to me. What intrigued me about this book was the idea of a lady and a housekeeper investigating murders. In the beginning of the 20th-century is the idea of two so different women working together in that way remarkable since they come from different social classes. But, it works very well I think, mostly because Lady Montfort feels like a well- grounded person and not a snob.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview Sawbones by Melissa Lenhardt (@MelLenhardt) @FreshFiction

Sawbones by Melissa Lenhardt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest in this fast-paced historical debut.
When Dr. Catherine Bennett is wrongfully accused of murder, she knows her fate likely lies with a noose unless she can disappear. Fleeing with a bounty on her head, she escapes with her maid to the uncharted territories of Colorado to build a new life with a new name. Although the story of the murderess in New York is common gossip, Catherine's false identity serves her well as she fills in as a temporary army doctor. But in a land unknown, so large and yet so small, a female doctor can only hide for so long.


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The story starts off with Dr. Catherine Bennett having to flee New York after being falsely accused of murdering a doctor. It's the wife of the doctor that is accusing her and Catherine hasn't a clue to why she would do something like that. And, what's worse is that Catherine does not have a good alibi. Catherine and her maid Maureen quickly leaves the town, and she changes her name to Laura Elliston, but it doesn't take long for someone to recognize her so she abandons her plans for California and set her sight on Colorado instead. However, this may not be the best idea since the uncharted territories of Colorado can be quite dangerous.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#CoverCrush: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!


In this glittering tale of forgotten treasures and long-held secrets, international bestseller Karen Swan explores one woman’s journey to discovering the truth behind an abandoned apartment and a family whose mysteries may be better left undiscovered

“The Paris Secret had me from the moment I started reading. Filled with a smart and sympathetic protagonist, a touch of romance, a smidgen of history, plenty of intrigue and suspense galore.” —Diane Chamberlain, internationally bestselling author of The Midwife’s Confession

When high-powered fine art agent Flora Sykes is called in to assess objets d’art in a Paris apartment that has been abandoned since WWII, she is skeptical at first—until she discovers that under decades of dust the treasure trove of paintings is myriad…and priceless. The powerful Vermeil family to whom they belong is eager to learn more and asks Flora to trace the history of each and every painting.

Despite a shocking announcement that has left her own family reeling, Flora finds herself thrown into the rarified and glamorous world of the Vermeils. But she soon realizes that there is more to this project than first appears and as she researches the provenance of their prize Renoir, she uncovers a scandal surrounding not only the painting, but a secret that goes to the very heart of the family itself. The fallout will place Flora in the eye of a storm that carries her from London to Vienna to the glittering coast of Provence.

Xavier Vermeil, the brusque scion of the family, is determined to separate Flora from his family’s affairs in spite of the powerful attraction that propels them to one another. Just what are the secrets he is desperately trying to hide? And what price is Flora willing to pay to uncover the devastating truth…?


Some thoughts about the cover:
Honestly, I think Paris is probably one of those cities that just are perfect for a book covers. I usually love them all! LOL! The cover is no exception, love the bright cover of this one with the Eiffel tower in the background! 

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

#BookReview Behandlingen (The Treatment) by Mo Hayder (SWE/ENG) @ModernistaRed

The Treatment by Mo Hayder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

En man och hans hustru hittas inspärrade i sitt eget hem på en stillsam bostadsgata i södra London. De är gravt uttorkade, och de har blivit fastbundna och brutalt misshandlade. Mannen är nära döden.

Men det ska bli ännu värre: Deras åttaårige son saknas. När kriminalinspektör Jack Caffery kallas in för att utreda visar det sig vara omöjligt för honom att förhålla sig kyligt och objektivt till brottet; likheterna med händelser ur hans eget förflutna är alltför stora. Och när han gräver djupare i fallet samtidigt som han försöker hålla ihop sin tillvaro trots de alltmer omskakande avslöjandena om hans eget liv så börjar den verkliga mardrömmen…


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Behandlingen är bok två i Jack Caffery serien, men kan läsas fristående.

Vad kan jag annat än säga än att när man inte tror att det kan bli värre så blir det så i boken. Behandlingen är i mångt och mycket en mycket obehaglig bok. Det finns nog inget värre ämne att läsa om än pedofiler och i denna bok får man sannerligen en mörk inblick i en värld man helst skulle önska inte fanns.

Mo Hayder är en lysande författare, varje bok jag har läst av henne har varit fantastiskt, denna är inget undantag. Dock är denna bok den värsta jag läst av henne. Behandlingen är kanske inte den mest skrämmande jag bok jag någonsin har läst, men definitivt en av mest obehagliga och jag önskar det var stycken jag kunde få glömma bort för gott.

Boken är också djupt tragiskt, på så många sätt, från Jack Caffery egna trauma från barndomen med en bror som försvann och aldrig hittades till de stackars utsatta barnen. Jag ville ett flertal gånger under boken gång bara skrika åt poliserna att hitta mördaren innan det var för sent för nästa familj. För som sagt, detta är en mardröm som inte slutar med försvinnandet av en pojke...

Mycket bra bok, dock mycket obehaglig och jag rekommenderar den bara till läsare som klarar sådana här mörka teman.


Tack till Modernista för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

Midsummer, and in an unassuming house on a quiet residential street on the edge of Brockwell Park in south London, a husband and wife are discovered. Badly dehydrated, they've been bound and beaten, the husband is close to death. But worse is to come: their young son is missing.

When DI Jack Caffery of the Met's AMIT squad is called in to investigate, the similarities to events in his own past make it impossible for him to view this new crime with the necessary detachment. And as Jack digs deeper, as he attempts to hold his own life together in the face of ever more disturbing revelations about both the past and the present, the real nightmare begins.

**********

The Treatment is book two in the Jack Caffery series but it can be read as a stand alone.

What else can I say than that, when you do not think it could get worse, it does the book. The Treatment is in many ways a very unpleasant book. I think there is nothing worse to read about than pedophiles, and in this book, you certainly get a dark insight into a world one would have hoped didn't exist.

Mo Hayder is a brilliant author, every book I have read by her has been amazing, this is no exception. However, this book is by far the worst I read by her. The Treatment may not be the scariest book I've ever read, but definitely, one of the most unpleasant and I wish I could forget some of the passages from the book for good.

The book is also deeply tragic, in so many ways, from Jack Caffery's own childhood trauma with a brother who disappeared and was never found to the poor jeopardized children. I wanted to scream at the police several times during the book to just find the murderer before it was too late for the next family. This is a nightmare that does not end with the disappearance of one boy ...

The Treatment is a very good book, but also very unpleasant and I only recommend it to readers who can handle such dark themes.

Thanks to Modernista for the review copy!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

#BookReview Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin (@girlinthetitle) @GrandCentralPub #Giveaway

Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can't bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw's whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact...

I've spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn't been another girl.

And now there is.


**********

Girl Last Seen is the debut book by Nina Laurin and it's an exciting thriller that engrossed me from the moment I started to read the book. One of the reasons for the book to be so darn good is that Laine, the first girl that was taken was so well written that one could really feel her torment through the pages. She may have escaped her tormentor, but she is still not free. And, now another girl, Olivia has gone missing and the girl looks just like her. Is it a coincidence or has the man that took taken Olivia as well?

Now, there were things I saw coming that didn't surprise me, as things happen that made me perceive how it probably would go. Not that the book was without surprises. The last part of the book was definitely not lacking surprises. It's a book that pulls you in as you follow Laine being pulled into the investigation and even being suspected of being involved in Olivia's disappearance.

There was just one thing that bothered me in the book, but it's a spoiler thing so I can't really discuss it so much, but it's something that happens when the police officer in charge is at Olivia's school with Laine. They learn something there about Olivia that the school shouldn't know as far as I know when it comes to the law and I found that really puzzling. And, that's all I'm going to say about that! Other than that was the book really good!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nina Laurin is a bilingual (English/French) author of suspenseful stories for both adults and young adults. She got her BA in Creative Writing at Concordia University, in her hometown of Montreal, Canada.

WEBSITE - https://thrillerina.wordpress.com

TWITTER - @girlinthetitle

FACEBOOK - @GirlInTheTitle

Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

#BookBlast Iced by Avery Daniels (@My_AveryDaniels) @partnersincr1me #Giveaway

ICED: A Resort to Murder Mystery

Avery Daniels

June 20, 2017 Book Blast

Synopsis:

Iced by Avery Daniels
Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime.

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who know what's best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn't understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice.

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to her widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?

Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth
Published by: Blazing Sword Publishing, Ltd
Publication Date: May 31st 2017
Number of Pages: 296
ASIN: B071LFD6JV
Series: A Resort to Murder Mystery, 1
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Kindle Unlimited  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

Today everything in my life changed.
I’m the events coordinator and membership manager, in training that is, at a five star resort in Colorado. Some days, like today, it feels like I was sacrificed to some sadistic little idol somewhere. Coordination of conferences and meetings of all sizes in the resort’s convention center facility was part of my training. But this particular event, a Leadership Luncheon that brought together the town’s community leaders to network, was a challenge from the first minutes this morning.
"Julienne, this event must be executed with precision and perfection." Those are the favorite words of my boss, Chad. This particular event is a daylong exercise in patience.
Every job has its great parts and it’s not so great. Today encompassed one of the more unpleasant aspects of my job. Occasionally, okay usually, the hardest part of my job is the customer relations and today was particularly difficult. Some customers just can’t be satisfied and some events are riddled with issues.
We were only serving a modest seventy-five attendees, but I had already been assailed with special requests and numerous complaints. Picky doesn’t begin to cover it.
“How hard would it be to setup for a video presentation with a large screen and surround sound?”
“There are windows. It’s too distracting, people will be watching the hotel guests walking around.”
“Can we change the setup of room C from an L configuration to a U shape? But only for that one session, then move it back.”
“Can we get the Lobster for the buffet flown in that morning? Scallops are out….Can we have the scallops after all?”
“Music piped in during the breaks?”
“No music piped in at all.”
“Red tablecloths with white napkins.”
“Royal blue tablecloths with white napkins.”
“White tablecloths with yellow napkins.”
“Candles on mirrors for lunch centerpieces.”
“Fresh flowers for centerpieces.”
The changes continued even after the event started.
The Convention Center, with its classic European décor had a small lobby area with a few potted trees and plants on column stands. The rest extended down a hallway with two large areas on each side that could be divided into smaller rooms via partitions that extend from the walls as needed. The space could be up to eight small rooms, four on each side, or any combination from one to four rooms per side of the hallway.
The hallway was wide with several half-circle console tables including marble tops holding large dried floral arrangements and a few elegant chairs. The walls displayed large paintings of the Italian countryside and vineyards with carved gold gilt frames.
I was in a partitioned room overseeing the set up of the lunch buffet. The Italian Renaissance architecture was accentuated with interior details and décor that created a European elegance, all lit with the warm glow of a massive amber glass chandelier.
The room was a rectangle with the entrance from the hallway to one end and the door to the catering staging area at the opposite end. The buffet table was along the wall next to the staging door so wait staff could easy restock food items. The six-person round tables covered in rich golden linens were scattered strategically throughout the room to allow easy traffic flow. The thick carpet felt plush and cloud-like under foot.
I was surveying the buffet table with a critical eye. The five foot long ice sculpture of a swordfish occupied the center of the table and looked as though it was caught in mid leap, frolicking in a wave and ready to dive back into an unseen ocean. My stomach growled as the succulent smells of seafood teased my nose. The attendees would be returning to this room for their lunch and keynote speaker shortly.
"Brad, where are the crab leg metal crackers and little forks? Can you grab a few dozen and bring them right away?" Brad, slim and serious, had joined the team only two months ago and was picking up extra hours at every opportunity. He had asked to work this event as soon as I blocked out the time on the schedule. This would give him a good paycheck. He was lanky and took off with an easy loping stride to the staging area through the back door.
The door to the staging area had barely closed when I felt a hand grab hold of my derriere with an iron hard grip.
"This is more like it honey. I haven't had any fun today."
I whirled around and stumbled back. "Don’t touch the staff. That includes me Pastor Tom." I practically shouted. Pastor Tom Drake was well known around town, and getting national attention lately with his mega church. He was included in the luncheon due to his influence, but he was just Pastor Tom since he was a local guy who started his church and radio ministry from his garage.
I had contended with bad behavior before, but never this grabby. I think I was going to have a bruise left from his vicious hand.
"You’re not being very fri…friendly." I noticed his eyes were droopy and then I caught a whiff of the scotch he must have gotten at the Gilded Hornet pub next to the convention center building.
I decided to alert security we needed a person to monitor the rest of the event and turned to go. His iron hand grabbed hold of my arm and yanked me to him. Without a thought I took my knee to his groin and enjoyed watching his mouth form an "O" as his breath whooshed out. I broke free and backed away. I wasn’t turning my back on him again.
"I will see you fired for that you bitch." He whispered with a jagged voice.
He couldn’t do that, at least I was pretty sure he couldn’t. I guess I’d find out. I rubbed my still smarting arm where he grabbed it. Brad would be back or the event participants would start to wander in so he couldn’t do much more, but I didn’t want to stay and find out. I backed out the door to the hallway toward the lobby and took my cell phone from my pants pocket.
"Hey Ron, we have a person under the influence at the luncheon in Convention Center. Can you spare someone for the afternoon?"
"I’ll make sure somebody’s there immediately Julienne. How bad is this guy?"
"Well, I’ll probably have a black-and-blue handprint on my arm and …my backside." I took a deep breath.
"Son of a … I’ll be right there. You stay away from him." Like I would go near that Neanderthal again, pastor or not.
The other participants were starting to exit the smaller break out session rooms and meander to the banquet room and bathrooms. The noise level began to creep upward from multiple conversations competing to be heard.
There was a loud crash of metal from the banquet room and a participant jerked open the door and froze in place. "Oh sh…" The participant’s mouth gaped and his eyes were large circles.
I ran over to the open door and saw Pastor Tom impaled through the chest with the sharp end of the Swordfish ice sculpture, from his back right through to the front. His head was forward against his chest. Blood, running down the swordfish tip that jutted from his chest, dripping to the carpet. Drip, drip, drip in a macabre but surreal scene.
***
Excerpt from Iced by Avery Daniels. Copyright © 2017 by Avery Daniels. Reproduced with permission from Avery Daniels. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Avery Daniels Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units. She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her spirited companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !


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#BlogTour Beyond Evidence by Emma Clapperton (@EmmaClapperton) @Bloodhoundbook

In an alley way of the back streets of Glasgow there lies a decomposing corpse of a slain female baking in the midday heat. No one has found her yet, but medium Patrick McLaughlin knows she is there. It is not the first time he has dreamt of death... and he soon finds out that it is not to be the last. Meanwhile, the local police start to request DNA samples from twenty something men in the bustling city of Glasgow where several bizarre murders have taken place. Through a hunch and in the belief that the terrifying dreams hold the key to the identity of the murderer, Patrick works alongside the police to track down the predator before they can strike again. The nightmares do not ease up and begin to tear at Patrick’s sanity and in the midst of the investigation, at what cost would Patrick have to pay to stop the killer striking again? His friends? His family? His life?

Guest Post:

The idea behind Beyond Evidence and how I developed Patrick McLaughlin’s character.

I have been writing since 2010 and my idea of Beyond Evidence started off with a simple DNA test. I love the psychic world and the afterlife and the idea that our souls do not die with us, that some of us stay behind to carry on with something we haven’t yet finished. And this is how I came up with the idea behind Beyond Evidence.

Patrick McLaughlin is the main character in the book. He is a psychic medium who runs the west end spiritualist church in Glasgow, where he conducts demonstrations of his ability to contact the dead in front of an eager audience.

I based Patrick’s ability on a woman whom I visited a number of times in my local town hall when I began writing the book. Her name is Anne and she is a medium and my word, was she accurate. Of course, not everyone believes in what she does. But that’s the beauty of it, it means we can have interesting discussions regarding science or a higher order.

I was part of an audience who went to see her one evening and she told an interesting story about when she was a child, playing in the back garden at her house. I remember she said that she was having a discussion with someone, as she did most days. But her parent told her there was no one there. Up until that point, Anne believed everyone could do what she did, that everyone was just like her.

Anne’s demonstrations fascinated me, she would talk about her spirit guide standing by her, helping her with contact. She would mention miniscule details when giving a reading and I could never work out how she would know these things. I know there will be sceptic out there who will have an explanation for these things but it doesn’t make me believe any less.

Patrick’s characteristics as a medium are based around this lady, who really helped me in writing spiritual contact scenes without even realising it.

Patrick’s mannerisms, in a way, are a little like my own. He is calm at the most important of times but he lets things get on top of him before he’s realised it. Patrick is big on loyalty and this is apparent with the way he is towards his fiancée, Jodie. I did not base him on myself, but there are little traits of me in him.

I did not plan Patrick’s character in terms of noting down his appearance and characteristics. I really did just sit down, open up a word document and start writing. I don’t have much of a plan when it comes to plotting and planning. I love the freedom of a blank page. Going over plots is for the editing process.

I am currently writing more for the Patrick McLaughlin series.

Author Bio:

Emma Clapperton, born December 1985, has always had a passion for reading and writing. She particularly enjoys reading supernatural or horror books.

Emma studied childcare and gained qualifications to work with the early years in 2002, later going on to work in the Montessori sector of early years. In 2017 she gained a qualification to work as a Forest School early years leader and can often be found teaching three and four year olds how to cook on an open fire.

She is the writer of a supernatural crime series based in Glasgow, which she writes under the pen name of Emma L Clapperton.

She currently resides in a little town outside of the city of Glasgow with her husband and ginger cat and is working on future projects.
You can contact Emma via:


Monday, 19 June 2017

#BookReview Random Acts: Prequel to the Lightkeepers Series by Erica Spindler

Random Acts: Prequel to the Lightkeepers Series by Erica Spindler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Before the Countdown Began....

One dead queen.
Three bizarre acts of violence.
No visible connection between the crimes.


Michaela Dee Dare, newly minted detective for the New Orleans PD, is called to a Garden District mansion--someone's decided to bludgeon a former Queen of Carnival to death with her own scepter.

Even as the investigative pieces begin to fall into place and they close in on a perpetrator, something's not adding up for Micki. It's too easy, the crime too random. But what's a rookie detective to do when her seasoned partner doesn't agree with her?

Betting on her instinct and gambling with her future in the NOPD, Micki strikes out on her own, pulling at strings that reveal an evil that chills her to her core--and may cost her everything she holds dear.

Set in New Orleans' most iconic neighborhoods, this exciting prequel to The Lightkeepers --a series lauded as 'enthralling' and 'not to be missed'--introduces tough, likable heroine Micki 'Mad Dog' Dare, and foreshadows the thrill-packed journey to come.


**********

To be honest, if I hadn't read an Erica Spindler book a while ago and loved it wouldn't I have looked twice at this book. I mean the cover isn't that appealing and if you aren't a fan of Spindler or this series can't I see how this cover would catch your interest.

I have not read any books in the Lightkeepers Series, so the characters are totally new to me and it's a novella so it's not a particularly complicated story. It was easy to see where it would lead and it never surprised me. However, it was for the moment an enjoyable book and I bet that fans of the series will love this novella. Personally, it didn't do much for me, but I wouldn't mind trying out the first book in the series to see how it is.

Random Acts felt like a novella for fans of this series, new readers perhaps should go for the first book instead since the novella doesn't really do more than introducing Micki. I would have loved to know more about her, it felt more like one was given an appetizer, but I wanted the full course.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!

#BookReview Selfies (The Scarred Woman) by Jussi Adler-Olsen (SWE/ENG) @albertbonniers

Selfies by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Avdelning Q håller som vanligt till i Köpenhamnspolisens källarrum, men står nu inför stora utmaningar. Dels vad gäller arbetet, men också på det personliga planet. Gruppens sammanhållande länk Rose har nämligen sjunkit ner i en psykos vars trådar leder långt tillbaka in ett mörkt förflutet. Ett förflutet där ett grymt brott kan ha begåtts.

Det har kommit ledningen till känna att uppklarningsstatistiken för Avdelning Q ligger långt under det förväntade. Utan Roses hjälp måste de tre återstående medlemmarna – den karismatiske ledaren Carl Mørck, mystiske Assad och det senaste tillskottet Gordon – kämpa för att övertyga dem om att de ska få fortsätta sitt arbete. Samtidigt hittas en äldre kvinna mördad i Kongens Have och en galen bilist har inlett en dödlig jakt på unga kvinnor, medan nya brott planeras på en helt annan plats. Har händelserna ingenting med varandra att göra, eller finns ett samband begravt någonstans?


**********

Selfies är bok 7 i Avdelning Q och är den första boken jag läser i serien. Nu är det så att jag länge velat läsa serien, då böckerna verkar väldigt bra, men jag har inte hunnit med dem (Så många böcker, så lite tid). Men då jag fick hem denna bok för att läsa och recencera tyckte jag att det var ett utmärkt tillfälle att se om denna serie var för mig. Jag har sett varje film som gjorts av böckerna och tack vare det så kände jag att jag var bekant med både Carl Mørck och Assad.

Handlingen var lätt att komma in i, det är flertal sidospår varav flera av dem har länkar till varandra, vilket visar sig längre fram i boken. Detta är en av de sällsynta fall där jag faktiskt känner sympati för mördaren i boken (den galna bilisten som verkar vara ute efter en viss typ av offer), inte för att jag tycker att mord är acceptablet, utan för att personen i fråga har verkligen drivits till bristningsgränsen samt att offfren är inte direkt några personer man känner sympati för. Tre utav tjejerna som blir måltavlor får vi följa i ett sidospår och det är skrämmnade att läsa hur de snyltar på samället.

Men utav allting som pågår i boken är det ändå Rose som jag känner mest för, den del av boken som är mest intressant och mest tragiskt. Hennes levandsberättelse är verkligen hemsk och jag hoppades verkligen genom bokens gång att allting skulle gå vägen för henne.

Selfies är en mycket bra bok och jag ser fram emot att läsa de sex tidiagre böckerna i serien!

Tack till Albert Bonniers Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q, Copenhagen's cold cases division, meets his toughest challenge yet when the dark, troubled past of one of his own team members collides with a sinister unsolved murder.

In a Copenhagen park the body of an elderly woman is discovered. The case bears a striking resemblance to another unsolved homicide investigation from over a decade ago, but the connection between the two victims confounds the police. Across town a group of young women are being hunted. The attacks seem random, but could these brutal acts of violence be related? Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q is charged with solving the mystery.

Back at headquarters, Carl and his team are under pressure to deliver results: failure to meet his superiors’ expectations will mean the end of Department Q. Solving the case, however, is not their only concern. After an earlier breakdown, their colleague Rose is still struggling to deal with the reemergence of her past—a past in which a terrible crime may have been committed. It is up to Carl, Assad, and Gordon to uncover the dark and violent truth at the heart of Rose’s childhood before it is too late.



**********

The Scarred Woman is book seven in the Department Q series and is the first book I read in the series. I have for a long time wanted to read the series because the books seem very good, but I haven't had time (so many books so little time) to read them until I got this home to read and review. I was very happy to get the chance to read this book to see if this series would be something for me. I have seen every movie made by the books and thanks to that do I feel that I'm familiar with both Carl Mørck and Assad.

The story was easy to get into, there are several side stories, many of them have links to each other, which will be clearer later on in the book. This is one of the rare cases where I actually feel sympathy for the killer in the book (the crazy motorist who seems to be looking for a certain type of victim), not because I think murder is acceptable, but because the person in question really has been pushed to the limits and that the victims are not directly any people you feel sympathetic to. Three of the girls who become targets do we get to follow in one of the side stories and they are the kind of freeloader that don't want to work, and just get money from the state to spend on themselves.

However, of all the things that are going on in the book, is it Rose that I feel most for. Her part of the book is the most interesting and most tragic. Her life story is really terrible and I really hoped through the book that everything would work out for her.

In the end, I just want to say that The Scarred Woman is a very good book and I look forward to reading the six past books in the series!

Thanks to Albert Bonniers Förlag for the review copy!