Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

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Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
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SYNOPSIS

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.


Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?

Should You read The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley ?

I love reading thrillers and I kept my fingers crossed for Lucy Foley’s novel which I highly anticipated. I’m very happy to say that I highly enjoyed reading The Hunting Party.

Almost every thriller gets compared to Christie’s but I’ll say Lucy Foley adds her own touch to this thriller. Set in a remote and highly exclusive hunting lodge, this eery “who dunnit” mystery tells us the story of a group of old friends who have gathered to celebrate the New Year. However, their celebration ends with a gruesome murder. The friends are namely Miranda & Julien, Emma & Mark, Giles, Samira (and their baby Priya) , Nick & Bo and Katie. All of the characters are different personalities but Miranda was the was who really got on my nerves. Besides the friends, there were five other characters namely Doug, Heather and Ian who worked in the lodge, and a couple from Iceland.

Told in multiple POVs , the story starts with the discovery of a dead body and then diverts back to the time when the friends arrived. At first, it seems like a sweet reunion ..what could possibly go wrong ?! and then, since the first night- game night- in the lodge, we start to see cracks in their friendships. Generous amounts of alcohol act as fuel to the fire and everyone starts to loose control. Their ultimate undoing, which also led us to the identity of the killer, was a game of truth and dare. Nasty secrets get out, arguments start and finally, the killer snaps. Question is, Who is the Killer and the murderer?

The author managed to write a wonderfully paced thriller. The victim and the murderer’s identity was a touch close to being predictable when nearing the end but I was glued to the story as the characters’ perfect facades are ripped off one by one and twists come out of nowhere to smack you in the face.

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of Ruth Ware and Tana French, and love reading atmospheric, unputdownable thrillers.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

Author: Connect with Author Lucy Foley here .

  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Publication Date: 24 Jan 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 394 Pages

Do you think you’ll read The Hunting Party? What are some of your favourite thrillers? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Mini Review: The DNA of You & Me & The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Hi everyone! I’ve been lax with writing up reviews and this is me trying to make up for it. This is my mini- review post featuring The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins and The DNA Of You and Me by Andrea Rothman. They are both debuts but belong to completely different genres.

1. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins(3.5/5 stars)

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  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Publication Date: 4th April , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 384 Pages

Review: The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins is a wonderful debut and I have officially put Sara Collins on my debut authors to watch list. The premise is intriguing: Frannie, a mulatto is brought by her master to England and ‘given’ to another master; later she falls in love with her new master’s wife. The Confessions is told entirely from Frannie’s point-of-view which she wrote while she’s in Newgate Prison awaiting trial in Old Bailey for the murder of her new master’s and mistress.

The Confessions is described as a black woman’s love story inspired by the popular gothic romance Jane Eyre. The author loved reading Austen but never saw a woman of color as a protagonist in those stories instead she read stories a woman of color was the victim. With Frannie Langton, author Sara Collins wanted to write a black woman’s love story and not of her suffering. However, through Frannie’s words we come face-to-face with her love and her suffering as well.

The writing is flawless but the plot is unforgivingly slow. The ending kind of smacks you in the face but in a good way because my boredom turned to interest: interest in finding out if Frannie is guilty of double murder or not? Overall, I would recommend it if you love reading historical fiction set during the Victorian era and if this mini review intrigues you so.


2. The DNA of You & Me by Andrea Rothman (3/5 stars)

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  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Publication Date: 12 March , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 242 Pages

Review:  I loved the unique story of The DNA of You and Me but it’s not for everyone’s taste. Emily was raised by her father and due to a childhood allergy, she was accustomed to spending most of her childhood indoors. This would’ve put a damper on her socializing with other kids but as she grew up, Emily realized that she preferred the company of herself rather than others. Her personal experience eventually left her to research new genes responsible for guiding olfactory neurons to their targets. (Olfactory: the sense of smell) During this research, she meets another academic Aeden and after a series of long arguments, their relationship goes to another level. However, there’ll come a time when Emily has to make a choice: Her career or a life with Aiden?

I loved it but as I said before that this book isn’t for everyone. Most of the book is filled with genomic sciences jargon that took the story a little to much to the non-fictional side. There’s romance if you skim the scientific stuff but it’s an easy read. The sex is almost clinical in the beginning and that may be because it’s told from the POV of the narrator. However, there’s a scene when Emily says ‘no’ but Aeden still goes ahead and that left a bitter note in the entire story. I’m ashamed to say that I even forgot about this scene until I read another Goodreads review. The ending left me emotional but happy and hopeful for Emily. It did give me Eleanor Oliphant vibes but this one has way too many scientific jargon for a reader to enjoy.

However, considering this is a debut and the fact that I liked the writing, I’d definitely look forward to reading her upcoming books.

Thanks to the publishers for providing me ARCs in exchange for an honest review.

Do you think you’ll read The DNA of You and Me or The Confessions of Frannie Langton? Do you prefer reading mini-reviews or full reviews? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

A wonderful and unforgettable novel | ARC Review: Things in Jars Jess Kidd

A wonderful and unforgettable novel | ARC Review: Things in Jars Jess Kidd

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 ARC Review: Things in Jars Jess Kidd

SYNOPSIS

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen. Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.


Why should you read THINGS IN JARS by Jess Kidd

As pale as a grave grub she’s an eyeful. She looks up at him, startled, from the bed.

– Things in Jars, Jess Kidd

I love reading historical fiction and if it has a hint of mystery and/or fantasy mixed into it, I’ll jump on it right away. This was my first time reading a Jess Kidd novel and I can’t believe I didn’t come across her writing before.

Things in Jars is set in the year 1863 when London was a cesspool of crimes and diseases. We follow the story of a female detective Bridie Devine as she attempts to rescue 6 year old Christobel, the kidnapped child of a Lord Berwick. It certainly doesn’t help Bridie that she is a female in a world of male detectives and that she was unable to prevent the death of a child in her last case.

Christobel is not an ordinary child for it seems that she has extraordinary abilities, can play with others’ memories. Her eyes see too much and she has pike’s teeth that can wreak serious damage. However, Bridie is determined not to fail another child and thus, she with her giant but wonderful maid Cora and the ghost of a prizefighter named Ruby, she sets out on a dangerous path to find Christobel.

The timelines are divided are divided into two as we go back to Bridie’s past and come back to her present. Bridie’s past shows us her coming from Ireland when she was a child, collecting corpses with Gan, her time as laboratory assistant to Dr John Eames at Albery Hall, and wearing the clothes of the dead Lydia. We learn soon enough that Bridie’s past links into her current investigation.

… the low, thick fog that has descended upon the city like an unwashed bedsheet. Oh, the unwholesome colour! Like sinus rot, and dense, like only a London Particular can be. You could scoop it into a tankard and it would mug there.

– THINGS IN JARS, JESS KIDD

I can’t sing enough praises about Jess Kidd‘s writing. Her characters are so lively and colourful that they leap out of the page and you stare at them in wonder. Besides Bridie’s housekeeper/friend Cora, the ghost of a boxer who’s in love with Bridie, we also meet characters such as the predatory and sly Mrs Bibby and the viciously dangerous Gideon.

It had all the elements of a perfect Victorian-era detective novel. There are gruesome murders, double dealing, never ending rains that threaten to tear down a city, and deadly villians that come back to haunt from the dead. In a time when medical profession was bound by any ethics, Jess KIdd immaculately describes the gruesome outcome when the penchant of curiosities knows no bound. She writes about corrupt anatomy collectors who are desperate to acquire living anomalies by any means necessary and preserve them in their jars.

Overall, I highly recommend this book not only because of its encorporation of fantasy and mystery, beautifully alive characters, and the storytelling but also because of the brilliant author who wrote it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Connect with Author Jess Kidd here .

  • Publisher: Canongate Books
  • Publication Date: 04 April 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 416 Pages

Do you think you’ll read THINGS IN JARS? Do you like reading historical fiction set in the Victorian era? Have you read any similar books or Jess Kidd’s previous books namely The Hoarder and Himself ? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Newcomer by Keigo Higashino is a brilliant book if you’re new to Japanese mystery/​thriller genre

Newcomer by keigo Higashino review

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Synopsis: Detective Kyochiro Kaga of the Tokyo Police Department has just been transferred to a new precinct in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. Newly arrived, but with a great deal of experience, Kaga is promptly assigned to the team investigating the murder of a woman. But the more he investigates, the greater number of potential suspects emerges. It isn’t long before it seems nearly all the people living and working in the business district of Nihonbashi have a motive for murder. To prevent the murderer from eluding justice, Kaga must unravel all the secrets surrounding a complicated life. Buried somewhere in the woman’s past, in her family history, and the last few days of her life is the clue that will lead to the murderer.


REVIEW | WHY SHOULD YOU READ NEWCOMER ?

The only translated novel I’ve read this year -before Newcomer– was The Flowers over the Inferno by Illaria Tuti. You should check it out, btw. It is superbly written .

Newcomer is a translate Japanese murder mystery set in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. It is the 8th book in the Detective Kaga series but you need not read the first seven books in order to read Newcomer.

The protagonist is Sergeant Kyoichiro Kaga, who has been newly transferred to a new precinct and is assigned to investigate the murder of a divorced woman. Since the woman has ties to the Nihonbashi business district, Kaga has to investigate everyone working in the neighborhood and maybe even their relatives. During the investigation, Kaga finds that everyone – from The Girl at the Rice Cracker Shop to A Detective of Nihonbashi- all have secrets, some of which may be a motive to commit murder.

I had some difficulties with the format -especially keeping track of all the characters and their stories but it didn’t take long to find my footing and to immerse myself deep into the story.

Kyoichiri Kaga just became one of my favourite fictional detectives. We didn’t get a deep insight into how he is a person but as a detective, he is brilliant. He is clever, has incredible observation and communication skills. It’s a bit difficult to put him in a neat little box, a little difficult to familiarise with him but he is a likeable and brilliantly created character.

Overall, this is a mystery novel to cozy up with on weekends and to add it your reading list if you want to read more translated and/or Japanese fiction. I enjoyed this book immensely and it was in a travel-friendly sized which I loved. I would definitely watch out for more of Keigo Higashino’s books.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Keigo Higashino here .

  • Publisher(Translated in English): Hachette India
  • Publication Date: 10 Jan 2019
  • Paperback: 416 Pages

Have you read Newcomer by Keigo Higashino? Did you like it? Love it? Hate it? Let me know all your thoughts about it?

Also,I’m happy to note that this is also my second review for the Year of The Asian Challenge 2019! If you’ve read any translated fiction ,then let me know your recommendations in the comments below .

Review | Cold and Deadly (Cold Justice: Crossfire #1)

Cold & deadly blog tour

SYNOPSIS: Hostage Negotiators can talk themselves out of anything—except falling in love.FBI Supervisory Special Agent Dominic Sheridan is an accomplished expert in the Crisis
Negotiation Unit. Practiced, professional, used to dealing with high-stake situations under tense conditions, Dominic is a master at manipulating people. Everyone, that is, but the headstrong rookie agent bent on destroying her fledgling career. As a child, Ava Kanas put her life on the line when the mob executed her father. Now someone has killed her mentor, the man who inspired her to become an FBI agent—and she’s the only one who recognizes it was anything but a tragic accident.
When another agent is murdered and Dominic nearly dies, it becomes obvious a serial killer is targeting the FBI.
Together Dominic and Ava search for clues in the investigation, all the while fighting a forbidden attraction that will complicate everything, especially when the predator sets their sights on Ava.


Amazon | B & N | Apple Books | Kobo | Goodreads

Review | Why Should you read Cold & Deadly ?

Cold & Deadly is the first book in the spin-off series of her Cold Justice books. Being a big fan of Toni Anderson’s books, I was delighted to review this book in advance( Well, obviously this review is not in advance per se but read on).

C & D starts off with a funeral. We see SSA Dominic Sheridan attending the funeral of a close colleague who had committed suicide or did he? Because rookie agent Ava Kanas think otherwise. Her suspicion is ignored by her superiors but soon the funeral is targeted by a shooter and an FBI agent dies in the shoot-out.

This is where Dominic begins to trust Ava’s intuition about his dead colleague’s death and what follows are a series of events that will leave you speechless and terrified at the same time.

What I liked about Cold & Deadly :

  • Plot: I mean it was marvelously written
  • Characters: Flawed characters. Ava and Dominic are both flawed in their own ways, though Ava is the better character out of the two. Also, we get to see some of the characters from the Cold Justice series.
  • Style of writing: Always loved Toni Anderson’s writing, so it wasn’t any surprise. She writes three POVs – the killer’s, Ava and Dominic’s
  • The show of Inequality in the bureau: I could have included this point in the Style of Writing paragraph but this deserves a one of its own. Cold & Deadly shows just how unfair the bureau(and most of the workspace) can be towards women. This is just my opinion. Ava was constantly targeted, since the beginning of the book and if she was a man, she would have been reprimanded and her faults forgotten. Ava -being a woman and a rookie- had to work twice as hard to gain her seniors’ trust and i loved that Toni Anderson wrote about that

What I didn’t :

  • I didn’t like Dominic. He may be a good Hostage negotiator but he was a cold character who had a “poor rich boy” persona and hated commitments. Even though he made a name for himself in the FBI despite having influential connections, some of his actions made me want to punch him. There was a point where Ava’s career was on the line and he was willing to use his friends’ connections but not his own -hypocritical much, Dom?
  • I didn’t like the romance. It didn’t somehow fit with the story.

Overall, If you’re a fan of her Cold Justice series, then I’d recommend that you pick this up. If you aren’t ,then I suggest reading the first book from her Cold Justice series and then decide for yourself.


Verdict: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Author:Toni Anderson is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, RITA® nominee, science nerd, professional tourist, dog lover, gardener, mom. Originally from a small town in England, Toni studied Marine Biology at University of Liverpool (B.Sc.) and University of St. Andrews (Ph.D.) with the intention she’d never be far from the ocean. Well, that plan backfired and she ended up in the Canadian prairies with her biology professor husband, two kids, a rescue dog, and two laid-back leopard geckos. Toni started writing while pregnant with her first child and never stopped. Her greatest achievements are mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving fourteen Winnipeg winters (fingers crossed). She loves to travel for research purposes and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2016, and she also got to shove another car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy in Wisconsin. Watch out world!

Toni’s books have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and the Top 10 on Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks. Her novels have won many awards.

Website: http://www.toniandersonauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@toniannanderson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toni_anderson_author/

  • Publication Date: 12th February 2019
  • ebook(ARC): 400 Pages
Cold and Deadly review post