My review: The Spaces In Between, by Collin Van Reenan

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About the book:

One of the most disturbing true stories you will ever read…

Paris, 1968. Nicholas finds himself broke, without papers and on the verge of being deported back to England. Seeking to stay in France, Nicholas takes a three-month contract as an English tutor to the 17-year-old Imperial Highness Natalya. It is the perfect solution; free room and board, his wages saved, and a place to hide from police raids. All that is asked of Nicholas is to obey the lifestyle of the household and not to leave the grounds.

It should have solved all his problems…

The Spaces In Between details the experience of Nicholas as he finds himself an unwitting prisoner within an aristocratic household, apparently frozen in time, and surrounded by macabre and eccentric personalities who seem determined to drag him to the point of insanity. Much deeper runs a question every reader is left to ponder – if this tale is fact and not fiction, then what motivation could have driven his tormenters?

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

‘The Spaces In Between’ has one of the most interesting stories I have ever read. It has everything – the biggest mystery, love story, some Russian history and cultural features, a little bit of Paris, psychological thriller, a bit of drama and lots, lots, lots of secrets. 

The ending of the book can be disappointing for some readers, but I just liked it the way it was. Was it all fiction or not? Was it just a game of imagination? Was it a very vicious plan? And why…

Without giving anything away, I just say that I liked absolutely everything about this book. It kept my attention so much that I couldn’t wait to get on the bus on the way home or to work to start reading again chapter after chapter. The story is truly captivating. The possible truths are very interesting as well. And in my opinion, quite possible.

The cover designed by Patrick Knowles is an absolute masterpiece itself and illustrates the book so well.

My score is 5* out of 5*.

My review: The Girlfriend, by Sarah Naughton

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About the book:

Mags doesn’t believe her brother’s fall was an accident. In that forty-foot stairwell, he didn’t just slip over the edge.

But there is only one witness, Jody, the girlfriend grieving at his bedside.

Which is another story Mags doesn’t believe.

Because Jody likes telling stories, and this may be her most twisted one yet.

As Mags begins to unearth the secrets hidden in her brother’s wake, she finds she isn’t just looking for the truth. For Mags, this is more than a simple tragedy. This is an opportunity for revenge.

My review:

I must say that I enjoyed this book which will sound horrible because it is about some shocking life stories. Every character in this book has a hell of a childhood, upbringing and life in general.

The storyline is absolutely captivating. I had my suspicions but didn’t guess the truth.

Despite being at times annoying, Mags’ character is very likeable. She is very smart, confident and straightforward, and these qualities deserve some respect. She is also kind and caring, but somewhere deep inside. It is physically hard for her to express her feelings. But that’s the price you pay trying to be strong.

The author did a great job researching so difficult topics. Not everyone can write about these things, particularly in good depth and decency. Rape culture, mental illness, child abuse, depression, other crimes…and how all this affects a person who went through it. What protective mechanisms can be built to stay alive. 

The only trouble I had with the book is the title. In the book, it is clearly stated that Jodie was Abe’s fiancee, not a girlfriend. Maybe it wasn’t edited in my version.

I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good psychological thriller.

My score is 4* out of 5*.

My review: The Murder of Magpies, by Mark Edwards

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About the book:

The terrifying sequel to the #1 bestseller The Magpies.

Five years ago Jamie Knight lost everything: his home, his wife and their unborn child. But at least the woman responsible, ‘Dark Angel’ Lucy Newton, was in prison, and slowly Jamie was able to rebuild his life.

But now Lucy has been freed on appeal, and before long Jamie receives a message from a desperate stranger. Lucy is up to her old tricks—ruining lives for fun.

Jamie agrees to help. But once again, he has no idea what he is getting himself into…

My review:

Mark Edwards is one of my favourite authors, and of course, ‘The Magpies’ is one of my favourite thrillers. With no doubt I couldn’t miss a little sequel to ‘The Magpies’. So, before reading it, take a look at the first book first.

I would call this novella ‘short and sweet’. It doesn’t take long to read it, but it has everything for a successful thriller: suspense, drama and a cliffhanger.

I think ‘The Murder of Magpies’ is about many things: it’s about revenge and desire to make everything right, it’s about love and what you can do for it and it’s about letting go. Probably the last was impossible for Jamie. But can you blame him after what he and Kirsty have been through?

The story is absolutely crazy which makes it even more interesting. I actually was craving for more, so it was almost a torture to finish the book so quickly.

There definitely should be the third book that I am looking forward to already, as I enjoyed the first novel and a sequel novella.

My score is 4* out of 5*, just because I would’ve really loved this book to be longer.

 

 

 

 

My review: The Night Market, by Jonathan Moore

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About the book:

From an author who consistently gives us “suspense that never stops” (James Patterson), a near-future thriller that makes your most paranoid fantasies seem like child’s play.

It’s late Thursday night, and Inspector Ross Carver is at a crime scene in one of the city’s last luxury homes. The dead man on the floor is covered by an unknown substance that’s eating through his skin. Before Carver can identify it, six FBI agents burst in and remove him from the premises. He’s pushed into a disinfectant trailer, forced to drink a liquid that sends him into seizures, and is shocked unconscious. On Sunday he wakes in his bed to find his neighbor, Mia—who he’s barely ever spoken to—reading aloud to him. He can’t remember the crime scene or how he got home; he has no idea two days have passed. Mia says she saw him being carried into their building by plainclothes police officers, who told her he’d been poisoned. Carver doesn’t really know this woman and has no way of disproving her, but his gut says to keep her close.

A mind-bending, masterfully plotted thriller—written in Moore’s “lush, intoxicating style” (Justin Cronin)—that will captivate fans of Blake Crouch, China Miéville, and Lauren Beukes, The Night Market follows Carver as he works to find out what happened to him, soon realizing he’s entangled in a web of conspiracy that spans the nation. And that Mia may know a lot more than she lets on.

My review:

This book provided so much promise at the start that I felt a bit disappointed in the end. The storyline, its science fiction/dystopian part, is absolutely fascinating. This area had so much potential that I got my hopes up. The mystery part was exciting as well but the ending wasn’t quite there for me.

Ross Carver is a great character and I felt strongly connected to him. He is a great detective, great friend you can always trust. Mia, on a contrary, made me dislike her from the start. Maybe it’s just me but I found everything she was saying or doing absolutely hideous. Not that I didn’t believe her but how she did it (or the author did for her). If Jonathan had an intention of creating a love story, then for me personally it failed.

The other thing I didn’t quite like is a title. I don’t really get why it’s called ‘The Night Market’….If you get, can you please help?

Despite the stated dislikes, I quite enjoyed the story and how it was going. I’m an absolute sucker for dystopias. The more the better. This one also about really interesting society created on consumerism and advertising technologies which are great topics to explore. As I said it can be so much more in that. This was my favourite aspect of ‘The Night Market’.

I was also disappointed to find out in the end that it’s the third book in a series. It can be read as a standalone novel but now I keep guessing how much connection it had to other books.

This book is one of those to enjoy the process but not the ending. I score it 4* out of 5*.

My review: Don’t let go, by Harlan Coben

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About the book:

With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful new thriller.

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

My review:

Harlan Coben never dissappoints, that’s for sure. ‘Don’t let go’ is a quality thriller with a great storyline, interesting characters and a big secret.

I must say I found a character of Nap quite likable and relatable. I liked his natural toughness and ‘don’t give a shit’ attitude alongside with high morals and common sense. His character ‘doesn’t let go’ until he knows the truth. He is not scared of authorities or danger. At the same time he is not that ‘sickly perfect’ character and still has some flaws and can be wrong in some situations which I like very much. Nothing worse than ‘too perfect’ characters that make you cringe on every page, because they are too unreal.

I absolutely enjoyed all TV series and movies based on Coben’s novels, so would like to see if ‘Don’t let go’ to come on a TV screen. I won’t say more not to spoil the plot for you.

The story is quite tragic. It often comes to the decisions you make when you are young. At the time they seem silly and harmless, but the results can be devastating. This book is also about families and relationships. How well we know our siblings, our parents, our friends. Do we notice something is wrong at the right time? At the time when it’s not too late?

I think this book is also about the choice. The choice we make to question things. The choice to want to know and try to find out. The choice to get involved and stop some things. The choice to never let go.

My score is 5* out of 5*.