Colomba and Dante are Awesome

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When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman’s husband and await his confession. But the Chief of Rome’s  Major Crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy’s top analytical minds: Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a fierce, warrior-like detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed through the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself “The Father,” Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyper-observant capacities. All evidence suggests that the Father is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left tell-tale signs that signal he’s looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Columba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what’s really going on is darker than they ever imagined. (From Goodreads).

This was one of the better thriller/mystery novels I have read so far this year. Wow. It was well written, filled with lots of twists and turns and the way everything is tied together is fantastic and makes the writing flow to keep you engaged and the pages turning.

The characters speak for themselves. They’re heavily flawed and are dealing with horrible pasts. I like both of them and Dante and Colomba do make a great team. Dante certainly has his quirks and his mannerisms due to his being a previous kidnapping victim. It feels like they certainly complement each other and they have an amazing chemistry when working together. They’re both very strong characters, no doubt.

If any of you have read The Monster’s Daughter by Michelle Pretorius I found some similarities between Colomba and Alet in the fact they both don’t take crap and go beyond their limits to solve things and they’re certainly not afraid to take a swing or kick to make their point across (Colomba has a good share of that throughout the book)

The plot was really good and what I really enjoyed reading the most was the way everything was seamless and how it was put together. Everything that happened to Colomba and Dante was related and well explained. The explanation as to the origins of Colomba’s situation was very well done! I enjoyed that aspect of the plot. The only thing is, the book is rather long and the plot a bit on the slow side but it’s nevertheless a great read and going through the twists and turns was completely worth it.

And yes, there’s a cliffhanger ending. I can’t wait to read the second one.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

 

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This Got My Heart Racing!

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Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact. The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. Never mention The Pact to anyone. Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples–and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare. (From Goodreads)

This book was a complete page turner. I loved the mood, I loved the atmosphere and the tension that was prevalent throughout nearly the entire novel. It was such an excellent read I had to put aside everything else so that I could progress further until I finished.

Jake and Alice were great characters to follow through. It’s a bit hard to see how they both connect and have that chemistry (they’re very opposite of one another) and you don’t really see it between them but somehow their personalities are likable and they just seem to fit well together. Jake is very analytical – his random facts about marriage can attest to that. Also his methods of reading other people is one of the most interesting aspects of his character. Alice on the other hands, is a rock star turned lawyer which is a very odd mix, but you have to pay the bills somehow right?

Onto the plot. The Pact sounds pretty like a harmless group to join doesn’t it? But man oh man does it ever take a twist to the dark and ugly. I love how the dark twisted side of the Pact comes out slowly as you progress throughout the book. The suspense is really tense and you can feel it as Alice and Jake experience the bad side of things – oh but the feelings of paranoia. Those feelings are so strong you yourself feel as if you’re being watched and monitored. Every time you think ‘it’s ok we got this all under control’ nope another big surprise happens around the corner and not everything is going to be okay. You then start to question their trust, and their fidelity and that’s where the mind plays ugly tricks on both Alice and Jake and on you.

I found this book immensely enjoyable and it was a thrill to read. When you feel and start emulating the same way the main characters feel  in the book, you know you’re in for a good one.

I give it a 10 out of 10.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Reading has been pretty slow lately. I think I hit a rut. I think I know the book responsible. Nevertheless we power on! I’m also really hooked on Darkest Dungeon which has also taken up most of my spare time. Not really good when you have lots of good books to read, but again sometimes it’s nice to take a break and let the mind vegetate for a few hours (okay..I’ve been playing more than that…awful awful me)

I did manage to finish one book:

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I’ll be reviewing this one and the post should be up tomorrow.

 

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I’m reading this for an upcoming book blog tour and the world building is excellent and so far it’s not that bad. Arian is starting to grate on my nerves though. I’ll let you all know why when I review it when it’s my turn on the blog tour!

 

 

 

 

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Started this one and really like how it’s going. I’m in need for some real good sci fi with a bit of noir mixed in. Imagine Futurama but more gritty and no comedy (dry sense of humor is more like it).

 

 

 

 

 

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Not much progress on this one a few pages here and there but I still love the read. I find Dante and Colomba make quite an interesting working pair despite Dante’s quirks and Colomba’s past trauma (which we have yet to know what happened – yet you’re given snippets here and there.)

 

 

 

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Besides finishing Siege and Storm, this book was the one I was focusing on the most. I’m nearly halfway and I’m so intrigued as to what’s going on. I’ve noticed the chapters are short in parts of the book which probably attributes to the feeling you’re progressing faster but the plot is so..wow. I’m loving this one so far. I really want to know who’s behind this Pact and what else our Alice and Jake are in for.

 

 

 

These are my reads for the week. Let’s hope Darkest Dungeon doesn’t take up all my time and I try and at least gome some reading done 😀

 

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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Wow we’re close to September!!!!! I can’t believe this! where has August gone?

So I was able to do a little more reading this week even though I was snapping like an angry dragon at the husband for taking up my time (but we always need quality time with our significant others don’t we?)

So this is what I’m reading this week:

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Progressed further into this one. And I just found out who the Privateer was and I was floored for a couple of minutes. This is getting better and better.

 

 

 

 

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Almost halfway on this book and I really like it. Jackaby is very likable despite his quirks and although the case itself is at a slow pace, the cast of very interesting characters really make up for it.

 

 

 

 

 

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OMG I can’t stop reading this one and I keep getting interrupted when I do! THIS IS SO GOOD. Considering I just got married in May I can pretty much relate to this. LOL. It’s so intriguing and I’m really curious as to what’s behind the Pact. It’s pretty shady sounding right now. I hope it doesn’t end up in a lackluster climax.

 

 

 

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I started this one yesterday. Wow. I’m already sucked into it in the first chapter. Dante is one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever met. Colomba also doesn’t let him push her around and I love her personality. She reminds me a lot of Alet from The Monster’s Daughter, with a more stronger in your face attitude that perhaps Alet could have used to let her go through the issues she faced. If you haven’t read this. You really should. It’s pretty good from the start.

 

 

 

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Just started this one that I got for an upcoming blog tour. So far it’s all right. Can’t say much as I am just 2 chapters in.

 

 

 

 

 

These are my reads for this week! let’s hope I get some done!! what are yours!?

 

 

 

 

The Song Actually Fits the Novel…

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Newly reinstated to the Homicide Division and transferred to a precinct in Tokyo, Inspector Iwata is facing superiors who don’t want him there and is assigned a recalcitrant partner, Noriko Sakai, who’d rather work with anyone else. After the previous detective working the case killed himself, Iwata and Sakai are assigned to investigate the slaughter of an entire family, a brutal murder with no clear motive or killer. At the crime scene, they find puzzling ritualistic details. Black smudges. A strange incense smell. And a symbol—a large black sun. Iwata doesn’t know what the symbol means but he knows what the killer means by it: I am here. I am not finished. As Iwata investigates, it becomes clear that these murders by the Black Sun Killer are not the first, nor the last attached to that symbol. As he tries to track down the history of black sun symbol, puzzle out the motive for the crime, and connect this to other murders, Iwata finds himself racing another clock—the superiors who are trying to have him removed for good. (From Goodreads)

So if you’re into police procedurals where you want high speed chases, lots of action and a real fast plot you will not find it in this one. You read this more for the characters and how they’re involved or what they have in common with each other whether through association of one other person, or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

I do admit, this is a very lyrical and poetic novel. There’s snippets of song lyrics, and quotes in between the book that can be distracting to the reading experience and may cause some confusion. Also, you go back and forth in Iwata’s memories to show how he became who he was in present day. This part can especially be confusion because you’re not sure where it starts or begins (you get the rhythm of it however, once you get further into the novel.) This may be off putting to some readers. I found myself taking breaks in between. There’s a lot of characters to take into account and there’s a lot of putting together the puzzle to get why these characters are involved and how.

I took a liking to Sakai. I loved her fiery attitude (understandably so once you figure out what she’s been through) and in the end you do feel for her. I really liked her character, she puts up a tough front and you know she’s hiding something within. When you find out what she’s been hiding all along it’s sad but makes sense as to explaining her behavior.

The plot itself is slow moving and the setting is bleak and dark. The entire theme of the book is rather dark and gloomy. It does not have a noir feeling to it and I was hoping for something more on the creepy side considering a cult is involved. It’s not much scary or thrilling as it’s more dark and foreboding undertone throughout the entire novel. And it’s not just the police case that has this tone. It’s the characters, and Iwata himself that carries this feeling with him.

Iwata as a character, he’s not that likable or unlikable. There’s not much to him. He’s very stoic and takes quite a beating throughout the book. He can be wry with other characters in the book but when he puts his mind to his police work, he does the job even though he makes the rest of the department angry with him. He’s quite abrasive with his co workers but can be a great partner when need be.

Also, take the time to actually listen to the song “Blue Light Yokohama” the song actually suits the novel. 🙂

There’s a sequel supposed to come out with Iwata. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up or not. I don’t mind reading about the characters in depth and length but the plot could have been a lot quicker and less lyrical/poetic.

I give it a 6 out of 10.

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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You actually think I had time to read this week??? nooooooooo it seems everybody wanted my attention JUST when I’m about a third or less into a book then the interruptions start coming non stop. “Let’s go out and do this” “Let’s go get this” “Let’s do a pokemon go raid”

Okay I admit I did go on the pokemon raid……even though it aggravated me to no end because the stupid zapdos just wouldn’t stay in the pokeball and I gave up getting another one because one is enough. I’m not going to go through the frustration and agony of seeing my pokeball roll once only to have that odious bird pop up again no matter how many berries and nanabs I give it. You can just go stuff it Zapdos. Just stuff it. Thanks to you my reading went to a crawling halt. 

That being said however, I did manage to finish two books and started a few. So let’s see how my progress went:

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I finished this one. AND I LOVED IT. Expect a review coming up soon. OH MY GOD THERE MUST BE MORE TO READ ABOUT ERIC CARTER. Although he did manage to tie loose ends, I’m hoping they’ll continue his adventures. You can’t get enough of an anti hero with an attitude!

 

 

 

 

 

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I finished this one just yesterday after MANY INTERRUPTIONS. Finally, it was good. Despite the slow pace and the plot I didn’t mind it at all. It was more about the characters and their own stories that all come together into the novel.

 

 

 

 

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I’ll be working on this one for this week. I really want to finish this and get a review going. It’s off to a good start and introduces you to a small cast of characters. I can only wait to see what’s going to happen next.

 

 

 

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Just a few pages into this one since I read the first book a few weeks back. I still miss the Darkling. I fell for him and his stupid charms. Mal is nice too but we all like the bad boys don’t we?

 

 

 

 

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I was in a few chapters with this book while getting my oil changed for my car. I love this time period and the atmosphere it provides. I’ve read Ariana Franklin’s books before and absolutely loved them. It’s a shame she passed on I loved her Adelia Aguilar books.

 

That’s my reading this week! let’s hope I can actually get some done!!!

 

 

When the Past Comes Back…

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Somewhere on the South African veldt, 1901: At the height of the Boer War, a doctor at a British concentration camp conducts a series of grim experiments on Boer prisoners. His work ends in chaos, but two children survive: a boy named Benjamin, and a girl named Tessa. One hundred years later, a disgraced young police constable is reassigned to the sleepy South African town of Unie, where she makes a terrifying discovery: the body of a young woman, burned beyond recognition. The crime soon leads her into her country’s violent past a past that includes her father, a high-ranking police official under the apartheid regime, and the children left behind in that long ago concentration camp. (From Goodreads)

This is not a book to read, leave and come back to later. The reader needs to read this carefully and put the pieces of the puzzle together to understand how every character was involved and when the loose ends have been tied, it’s an amazing read and we’re left with a wow experience at the final page of the book.

It’s definitely not a quick read but meant to be read slowly as the book spans through the early 1900’s right until present time. One must also follow who’s who in the book and keep in mind the characters. As the ones in the past are still playing in part in what’s happening in the present. Its written through different various points of view so the reader gets both sides of the story but it’s so well written and eventually the reader will be witness as to how the murder has taken place and how Alet is central to what’s happening. The plot was very well done. Some historical information may help to better understand the situation if needed, but otherwise it’s very clear and understandable. What may cause a problem is there’s a lot of terminology and references to various words in Afrikaans. Some words do make sense but others may need some dictionary to help understand it better.

What I enjoyed the most of this book is how characters are tied into the past and the present. The book goes back and forth and you get to see them as how they were in the past, and how they are in the present. Their personalities don’t really change, but you get to see how they evolve and what led them to their positions, and how all of them come together to make this murder case.

Alet is, from the start of the book one big mess (thanks to her past) and although she’s not that likable, she earned my sympathy at the end when her investigation reaches a climax. You certainly feel for her at the end of the book but at the same time admire what she went through to get the information to solve the murder case and you admire her strength afterwards for what she had to do, to put it behind her.

At times this book can be a hard read as corruption is rampant through the police force and those in higher positions are not entirely innocent or have shiny records of achievement. Yet because of their privilege and of who they are, they’ve gotten away with it. You feel the injustice and the resentment throughout the book. You feel sympathy towards those who have been wronged and bear the abuse. I really felt for Flippie, and Jacob. Trudie/Tessa who was central to this story along with Alet, her story was so interesting as all she wanted to was to live peacefully and lead a somewhat ‘normal’ life. It was interesting to read her story from when she was born to the present.

I really enjoyed this novel, I was hoping it would be a series, but perhaps it’s better if it is a stand alone. I don’t think Alet could have gone on that far with what she went through. I greatly recommend this book to anyone who has a liking to a good murder thriller, with historical fiction mixed in. It’s a long read but well worth the journey.

I give it a 9 out of 10.