Autumn crime reading and reviews

The last few weeks I have been nesting. Because of the bad news we got,
but also because autumn has finally come to Sweden. All I have wanted to do
has been to curl up in front of the fire with lots of tea, chocolate and crime.

So, last Friday I ducked in to the supermarket and snatched a couple of books
off their tiny, portable shelf. I was craving crime. Fast-paced and entertaining,
but most often forgettable, crime. Befitting my mood. I devoured them.

So yesterday I went to a proper book store and acquired four more.
But before I start in on them I thought I would share my 10 cent reviews.
You should know that to me a crime novel could never get more than 4 out of 5.
After all, they are meant to offer escapism, not to change your life.

The Devils' Footprints by Amanda Stevens

 The troubled, pill-popping tattoo artist, Sarah, was left by her detective boyfriend a year ago and hasn't spoken to him since. But late one night he calls her up to ask for her expertise in a murder, where the killer has left a remarkable tattoo across the victim's back. It is only the beginning of a series of murders with occult undertones, that somehow all seem to connect to our protagonist.

I liked the New Orleans setting, the complexity of the characters and the self-reliant but troubled heroine of this novel, but some parts were more believable than others. Because this was my first attempt at a Harlequin published crime novel, I was expecting there to be thrown in some gratuitous sex, but none was present. Even the scary and violent details were mostly glossed over, which at times felt unfortunate.

Where all the Dead Lie by L.T. Ellison

Reeling from being shot in the head and losing her voice, detective Taylor Jackson escapes the increasingly strenuous relationships with her best friend and with her fiancée, and travels to Scotland for the holidays. But caught in a blizzard, her all too attentive - and attractive - host, and the psychological trauma Taylor has suffered, may prove too much for her, as she slowly slips in to madness.

This buy was a mistake and I can't possibly give it a fair review, since it is very much part of a series and throughout the whole book the reader is playing catch up with the characters and their outfall from the previous book in the series. It's also not really much of a crime story. Though I am sure that someone who has read and enjoyed all of them will enjoy this one too, to me it was a little repetitive and predictable.

Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay

Journalist David's wife seems to have plunged in to a deep depression. Then, during a visit to the local fair, she suddenly disappears. Has she been abducted? Has she taken her own life? David is confused and devastated, and when the police start to direct their suspicions towards him, he knows that he has to try to find out what has happened to his wife on his own.

This was a solid, fast paced and entertaining crime mystery. But it did have its problems, first and foremost: If you are going to write a story in the first person, you had better make sure that all of the pieces can possibly be known to the narrator - either while the story is unfolding or afterwards. Otherwise it is just  inconsistent. This issue annoyed me and pulled me out of the story at times. The characters were also a tad underdeveloped, and I think the ending would have benefited from a proper twist.

It's been a year or two since I last had the reading bug. Truth be told, I can
probably count the books I've read since I met Cinnamon man on my two hands.
It's weird; some years I devour books like there is no tomorrow,
some years I get bored just picking one up. Is it like that for you guys?


13 kommentarer:

  1. I am going to grab The Devil's Footprint, sounds good and I am dying for a good read.

    1. It is that time of year, isn't it? Hope you enjoy it!

  2. These soubd like books my sister would like..
    She's really into crimenogy.
    I don't really get into it unless the crime was cause by a goblin or a gigantic octopus, lol
    I read all the time, I won't fall asleep unless I read first.

    Wishing you a happy weekend:)

    1. I find that I at times have a hard time suspending my disbelief to include fantasy and sci-fi. Reading crime is more like watching a movie, it's easily digestable.
      I'm a speed reader and prefer to finish a book the same day I pick it up. So I guess that makes me a weekend, or a-slow-day-at-the-store kind of reader :)

  3. The idea of curling up in front of a fire with coffee, chocolate and books is heaven to me. I'd pick supernatural fiction rather than crime though. For me, it's always a case of so many books, so little time, but when I do carve out some time to read, it always does me a world of good.

    Still hoping that you and your Cinnamon man have some good luck come your way very soon!

    1. When we talk about curling up by a fire, I still can't wrap my head around the fact that it's springtime where you are now... But yes, reading calms the soul.

  4. Some good reads here.

    I love nothing more than curling up with a good book
    and a mug of drinking chocolate, while Cobweb falls
    asleep in my lap.

    I usually take a book with me everywhere I go, you
    never know when you'll be hanging around doing nothing : )

    1. Oh, are you one of those people - the ones that read while cooking, while on the bus, while standing in line at the supermarket? I'm always afraid these people will wander right out in front of a car one day.

  5. I am somewhat the same with books... I get the bug and devour whatever I can get my hands on, other times I can't get through the first few pages of anything before I'm putting it down because I just can't get into it. That being said, The Devils Footprints sounds like it could be an interesting little read, and I may pick it up if I come across it. It's fall now here where I am and there really is nothing better than curling up with a good book, getting lost in the pages while outside the leaves turn orange and raindrops tap at the window. :)

    1. Couldn't agree with you more, and we seem very much alike :)

  6. I tend to like most books based in New Orleans (I think the setting is magically haunted ;-) but I would have probably being disappointed, too, if a novel held back so much that it sounded almost unbelievable.

    Really hate when I jump into the middle of a series by mistake.

    Writing in the first person is very difficult. Either the character goes through the book half clueless or he or she knows everything that happens and solves every mystery with the reader. When I, for instance, discover something before the main character does (unless if was intentionally done by the author) I lose interest.

    Books are good for staying grounded, so read if you must...

    1. It seems every other book I pick up nowadays is part of a series, it pisses me off. But one of the next things I'm reading is your 'Thorn in Red'. I have copied + pasted all of the parts in to a document, to read all in one go on a rainy night :) Looking forward!


Lately I have been falling behind answering comments, for many reasons. But I read and cherish all of them! Your comments make my day, yay!

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