The Leopard by Jo Nesbo (#8 Harry Hole)

The Leopard

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

 Originally Published: 2009

4stars

 

Previous Book in the Series: #7 – The Snowman

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo is the 8th in the Norwegian Inspector Harry Hole Series.

Background:
Harry Hole is a superb detective, who seldom follows the rules. He is also a recovering alcoholic who doesn’t always follow those rules either. He is responsible for shutting down a big gun smuggling ring with police involvement, and solving the first serial murderer case in his country. Both have had repercussions in his work, and in his love life. Rakel and her son have moved away, and Harry is pining. He is also mourning the loss of a couple of beloved co-workers.

My Synopsis:
After the last case, Harry handed in his resignation, grabbed a bottle, and flew to Hong Kong, where opium has become his new drug of choice. He has no intention of returning to Oslo. When Kaja Solness from the Crime Squad finds him and tries to convince him that there is another serial killer on the loose at home, and he’s probably the only one that can solve this, Harry says no. It is not until she tells him that his father is seriously ill, and in the hospital, that he relents.

Upon his return he discovers that politics is messing with the police force, and his Crime Squad is in danger of being disbanded, and Kripos, a central crime unit in Oslo, may soon run everything. The head of Kripos, Mikael Bellman, is power hungry.

In the meantime, Gunnar Hagen, his old boss, assigns Kaja and Harry’s old partner Holms to help Harry solve the crime spree involving the murder of two women. The three of them will be somewhat handicapped in their endeavours, as they must work without the knowledge Kripos has, and without Kripos finding out they are investigating. However, there is a leak somewhere, and Kripos seems to be one step ahead. But Harry doesn’t really care who he is working for, he just wants to solve the case.

With some unexpected help, Harry finds the link between the tortured women. They had all spent the night at a ski lodge in the mountains, and now everyone who had been there is a target of the killer.

My Opinions:
This one was deep. Intense. Sometimes hard to follow. There are a lot of characters (and yes, I’m still having problems with the Scandinavian place/people names). However, if you pay attention, you will be pleasantly rewarded. There are a lot of twists, and a lot of things going on in the background that may sway you from the path, but your eye on the prize (Harry), and he will lead you to your destination.

One of the themes of this book seemed to be the need for power. The killer needed to be in control of everything. Bellman as well, wanted power, and both would do anything to make sure he got it. Not everyone was so happy to give it up though.

It was interesting to learn a little more about the relationship with father in this one, as it just adds a little more to Harry’s own character depth.

The plot in this was great, with some rather gruesome scenes (fine by me), but be warned, the book is long. Even with all the action, it felt long. Possibly because there was a lot going on.

Think I’ll take a break before the next Harry Hole….but I’ll be back!

 

Read: October, 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from The Leopard:

“Someone had told her leopards made so little noise they could sneak right up to their prey in the dark. They could regulate their breathing so that it was in tune with yours. Could hold their breath when you held yours.”

“Friendship means nothing to a man if he has a tempting enough offer. Nothing.”

“I think it’s possible to learn. The problem is that we learn so damned slowly, so that by the time you’ve realised, it’s too late.”

 

Jo Nesbø

About the Author:  Jo Nesbo (1960 – ) (pronounced “you nesbaugh”)  is a Norwegian author.   When is dreams of being a soccer star were dashed by an injury, he entered the military, then he entered the world of finance, then formed several bands.  Then he started writing.  He has never stopped.  Apparently he still rock climbs.

 

 

Forget Me Not by A.M. Taylor

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not by A.M. Taylor

 Publishing: October 5, 2018 by Harper Impulse/Killer Reads

4stars

 

Forget Me Not by A.M. Taylor is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publishers Harper Impulse/Killer Reads, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
10 years have passed, and there are still no answers. 10 years since Nora went missing. The 17-year old’s car was found, but Nora was not. Her family and friends have not had closure. Her best friend, Maddie, has not really moved on. Nothing has gone right for Maddie since Nora disappeared.

On the anniversary of Nora’s disappearance, 17-year old Noelle is found murdered in the exact location where Nora went missing. Noelle (Elle) is Nora’s younger sister. Noelle is the same age as Nora was when she disappeared. Too many coincidences.

Maddie’s already fragile state of mind goes into overdrive, and she starts trying to track a murderer, hoping that she will also find out what really happened to Nora. She may find more than she wants.

My Opinions:
First, as a debut novel, this was really good.

The story is told through a number of different avenues. Both Maddie’s current thoughts and her memories play a big role, but so do social media and the press coverage.

Although there were some early clues as to the perpetrator, the motive did not surface until close to the end, and meanwhile there were other possible culprits thrown in. The suspense built rather slowly, but the read was interesting.

The writing is good, the plot was interesting, and most of the characters had depth. I am looking forward to read whatever A.M. Taylor comes up with next!

 

Read: November, 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Forget Me Not:

“It seemed to me as though it was the world that kept changing, often with a loud, deafening crack as life tore itself apart, and we were all left struggling to keep up. Not all of us managed to.”

“Sometimes, knowing what’s coming doesn’t save you, it just sets your heart pounding as you teeter on the edge, waiting for that rush of air before the earth rises up to greet you.”

 

About the Author:  A.M. Taylor is a British author.  I can’t find much about her, but from the blurb in the book: “She’s been obsessed with mysteries ever since Nancy Drew first walked into her life and would probably have attempted to become a private detective at some point, if only it didn’t involve actually having to talk to people.”  – My kind of woman.

 

 

Think Yourself Lucky by Ramsey Campbell

 Think Yourself Lucky by Ramsey Campbell

Publishing: November 15 2018 by Flame Tree Press (Originally Published 2014 by PS Publishing)

StarStar

 

Think Yourself Lucky by Ramsey Campbell is a horror novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Flame Tree Press, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
David Botham is working for a travel agency run by his ex-girlfriend Andrea. The atmosphere there is poor, as Andrea keeps threatening people will be fired if things don’t improve, and the staff is overly involved in everyone’s business.   David’s new girlfriend Stephanie is a cook with a rather rough boss, and she is looking for a new job.

David is not a writer. Has no intention of being a writer. Insists he is not a writer – again and again. When a blog appears using a title that David had thought of, he doesn’t think much about it.  Until he reads the posts.  The rants that the author of that blog writes scare David.  He becomes a bit paranoid. The blogger is writing about events surrounding David. Events where people die – violently. David knows these people, and they are dying in a manner that the blogger knows, maybe first-hand.

The blog is written by somebody called Lucky Newless. David had an imaginary friend as a child called Lucky. David is beginning to wonder if the blogger is that friend. He is starting to feel responsible for these deaths, even though the papers call them all accidents.

My Opinions:
I didn’t like this book. I thought the supposed humor was in very poor taste, and the writing did not seem stream-lined. The dialog between the characters all seemed false and cutting, snide for no apparent reason, and there really wasn’t a character I liked.

I stuck with it because it was given to me in exchange for an honest review, so I felt I had to keep reading it. I just hoped it would get better.  I did however, like the plot idea.

Overall, this book was just not for me. I struggled with it from beginning to end. I am, however, going to try something else by this rather prolific and well-respected author.

 

Read: November 2018

 

Ramsey Campbell About the Author:  Ramsey Campbell (1946 – ) is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. He is the author of over 30 novels and hundreds of short stories, many of them widely considered classics in the field. Three of his novels have been filmed, all for non-English-speaking markets.

 

Question for my Followers: 

Can anyone recommend a book by Ramsey Campbell that I may enjoy more?

 

 

 

 

Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

Someone Like Me

 Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

 Publishing:  November 6, 2018 by Orbit Books

5Stars

 

 

Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey is a psychological thriller/horror/supernatural marvel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Orbit Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
16-year old Fran Watts is the freaky girl at school. Everyone thinks she’s crazy. That’s okay, because she is. She has the right to be. When she was six years old, she was abducted by a crazy man with a knife, held in an old motel for 2 days, and almost killed because he thought there was something wrong with her shadow. Fran has never gotten over this ordeal, although there are a lot of blanks in her memory. She has an imaginary friend/fox called Lady J, or Jinx for short. Jinx is always there to protect her, dressed in armor and carrying a shiny sword. Fran has decided it is time to face her demons.

Liz Kendall is trying to raise her two kids on her own. 16-year old Zac and 6 year old Molly are her life. She has divorced her abusive husband, but Marc is still stalking her. When he attacks her in her own kitchen, Liz has had enough. But when she sees her hand breaking a bottle and repeatedly smashing it into her ex-husband’s face, she is scared. It doesn’t feel like her hand doing the damage. It does not feel like her anger. She is not in control. When she later becomes enraged and verbally and physically abuses a women in a parking lot, she is more than frightened. Where is this anger coming from? Why does it feel like there is someone else inside her trying to take control? She needs help.

When Liz and Zac run into Fran at the psychiatrists office, Fran sees two of Liz…and one of them is a monster. That monster is about to come out and take over, putting everyone in danger.

My Opinions:
Another amazing book by M.R. Carey!

As always, Carey created wonderfully deep characters that you can relate to, a wonderful plot that you can immerse yourself in, and enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The writing is good, as is the dialog. I loved the relationship between Liz and her kids, but I loved the one between Fran and her father even more. I loved the strength of both Liz and Fran.

I can’t say enough about this one. It is long, but the time just flies by.  I wouldn’t have minded more.

Highly recommend it.

 

Read: November, 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Someone Like Me:

“Your mom’s lucky to have you,” she said. “And your dad’s a huge dick and he should die. Apologies if that’s controversial.”

“Literary puns. She had to admit, she did find that pretty hot.”

“She was seeing the past through the holes in the present. She knew the word for this: it was a palimpsest. Something that had been written on, imperfectly erased and then written on again. That was her whole life, right there, in that one word.”

 

M.R. Carey About the Author: MR (Mike) Carey (1959-) is a British writer of works which include novels, books and film.  He is the acclaimed writer of Lucifer and Hellblazer (now filmed as Constantine). He has recently completed a comics adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and is the current writer on Marvel’s X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. His best known novel to-date is The Girl With All the Gifts.

 

QUESTION TO MY FOLLOWERS:  Has anyone read this yet?  Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

 

 

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields (#1 Luc Callanach)

Perfect Remains (D.I. Callanach, #1)

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields

 Published: January 2017 by Avon Books

4stars

 

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields is the 1st in the Luc Callanach series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Avon Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
DI Luc Callanach is half French and half Scottish, living most of his life in France, and working for Interpol. Due to circumstances beyond his control, he leaves France, his job, his friends, his mother. Few are sad to see him leave. With some assistance from his bosses, he heads to Edinburgh to take command of a homicide team. His welcome is not particularly warm, particularly from DS Lively, who feels there should have been a promotion from within. DS Lively will make things rough. Luc does, however make friends with a co-worker, DI Ava Taylor, and a few others are there to help.

His new job immediately becomes his only focus. A woman’s body is found, burned beyond recognition, except for a tooth, and a bit of a scarf, which identifies her as Elaine Buxton, a missing lawyer in Luc’s jurisdiction. When a beloved minister, Jayne Magee, is abducted, things start to get out of control. Luc will have to deal with DS Lively and an arrogant profiler while still trying to keep the case going in the right direction.

Dr. Reginald King has his own agenda, and thus far, he has been meticulous. He’s been leaving evidence that show his victims are dead, while he has them hidden in a sound-proofed room in his house. He’s been killing substitutes, but that doesn’t mean that the kidnapped victims are safe. He believes that torture will make them submissive, and become his perfect life partner.

Meanwhile, there is another player behind the scenes that has their eye on Luc, and that reunion may not proceed as planned.

My Opinions:
I really enjoyed this book. Evidently I have a new author to add to my favorites. Helen Fields is very talented. Her characters are deep, but you still want to learn more. Her writing is fluid, and her plot was great.

The story is told from multiple points of view, but mainly Luc and the kidnapper. Everything flowed smoothly. It is fast-paced, moving quickly from one scene to the next. Fields didn’t shy away from showing the brutality of the kidnapper, so if you are squeamish, beware.

Wonderful book, highly recommend it, and I am so happy to know that there are a couple more in the series I can already read 🙂

 

Read: September, 2018

 

About the Author: Helen Fields is a British author, who started out practicing family and criminal law, spending years working with the police, CPS, Social Services, etc.  She then moved on to being a script writer and producer and co-owns a media company.  She is now devoting a lot of time to writing. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.

The Perfect Family by Shalini Boland

The Perfect Family

The Perfect Family by Shalini Boland

 Publishing: November 6, 2018 by Bookouture

4stars

 

 

The Perfect Family by Shalini Boland is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
To all appearances, Gemma Ballantine has the perfect life. She runs her own company. Her handsome husband also has his own business. Their two children, 6-year old Katie, and 10-year old Eva are happy and well-adjusted. Maybe their house is a little messy, and things are a little hectic, but they are happy.

It all falls apart one morning when little Katie walks out the front door before school, and Gemma falls apart. Even though Katie is found, anxiety abounds. When Diane, her rather interfering mother-in-law, suggests a nanny, Gemma at first balks. But as she starts to realize that she seems to be behind on her daughters school activities as well as housework, Gemma finally sees the benefits.  A nanny is needed.

Diane seems to have found the perfect nanny. Not only do the kids love her, but Sadie is able to help with Eva’s preparation for a new school acceptance program. She cooks, she cleans, she looks after the kids, always willing to help out. Gemma starts to feel “redundant”. If she only knew.

My Opinions:
Shalini Boland’s books are rather mesmerizing. This one was no exception. It held you tight from the first moment, and as the suspense rose, you were afraid to put it down.

The characters were true to the story. You either loved them or hated them. Even though you knew Sadie was bad from the start, you didn’t see the end coming. The twist at the end definitely surprised me. Loved it!

Recommend this one!

Read: October, 2018

 

Shalini Boland About the Author:  Shalini Boland writes suspense thrillers and dark adventures.  She lives in England with her husband, two children and dog.   Before writing novels, Shalini was signed to Universal Music as a singer/songwriter. Books and music are her passion, and at one point she was signed to Universal Music as a singer/songwriter.

 

 

Who I Am by Sarah Simpson

Who I Am

Who I am by Sarah Simpson

 Publishing: November 6, 2018 by Bookouture

3.5 stars

 

 

Who I am by Sarah Simpson is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
They were originally a group of four who lived together in university.

Joanne was the quiet one, whose bouts of anxiety and depression left her vulnerable. Andi took care of her.

Clara was the loud-mouthed, brash girl whose twin sister had died. She grew up with Andi, and became rather possessive of her.

Camilla was new to the group, of a different class from the rest. She was the poor, down-trodden girl, who was trying to fit in, and become one of the “elite”. Andi took her in and they became fast friends.

Andi came from money, and was the stable one of the group, or so they thought.

What started as four, ended as one. Two of the group died in a tragic drowning accident, their bodies never found. Another of the group committed suicide.

18 years later, we find that not everything that happened that fateful night was true, and those that “died” may still be alive. Andi is being driven crazy trying to maintain her wonderful life, home, husband and children. Between the alcohol and a stalker who knows what she did, she is slowly losing everything.

My Opinions:
I struggled at the beginning with this one. I found it difficult to like any of the characters, although their stories did grow on me. The characters all seem to be very unhappy with their lot in life, whether they were rich or poor, no one was happy. Although the story shows love and friendship, there is a lot of jealousy and lies, manipulations and secrets. Everyone has their own agenda, and some are not so clear.

The story is told by different characters and timelines throughout the book, but mainly Andi and Camilla, as well as one un-named person. Through the constant back and forth of the time-lines, we eventually heard the whole tale.

The mystery of trying to determine who is who had a rather surprising twist at the end.

Overall, it was a good book (although some of the grammar was atrocious…which I am blaming on the publishing crew, and hope will be changed when the book comes out – I am notifying them).

 

Read: October, 2018

 

Favorite Quote from Who I Am:

“I am who I am.
I’ve always hated when people are too weak, too pathetic to be who they are. Accept me as I am, warts and all, that’s me.”

Sarah  Simpson

 

About the Author:  Sarah Simpson has a business degree (majored in marketing) and a first class honours degree in psychology.  She lives in Cornwall with her husband, three children, a german shepherd, a cat, and numerous birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before She Falls by Dylan Young (#3 Anna Gwynn)

Before She Falls (Detective Anna Gwynne, #3)

Before She Falls by Dylan Young

 Publishing: November 1, 2018 by Bookouture

4stars

 

Previous Book in this Series: #2 – Blood Runs Cold

Before She Falls by Dylan Young is the 3rd in the Detective Anna Gwynn series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Series Background:
DI Anna Gwynne works Cold Cases. She also has a rather unusual relationship with Hector Shaw, a man who is serving life sentences for multiple murders. He killed and tortured his victims while trying to avenge the death of his daughter, who he believes was targeted by a group called Black Squid. His daughter committed suicide at their direction. Hector helps Anna solve some of her cases, by giving her the locations of dead bodies. His “help” has almost gotten her killed.

My Synopsis:
A girl leaps off a cliff, and it becomes evident that she had done so at the bequest of someone else. Is Black Squid back? Are there more teenagers out there being tormented and directed to kill themselves?

When Hector leads Anna to the body of another victim of Black Squid, they are all surprised when the cadaver dogs scent another dead body not far away. The bodies are found by a set of railway tracks. Beyond the tracks is a 17’ high fence securing the residents of a mental hospital. On further investigation, it appears that one of their nurses went missing at the same time as the young boy who had committed suicide. Two graves, so close together, cannot be a coincidence.

Meanwhile, Hector seems to be ailing. They aren’t sure what is wrong with him, but Anna is trying to wrap her head around their relationship. As much help as he has been to her, he is still a convicted murderer. Should she be sympathetic?

On another note, Anna is having more problems with the relationship between her and her Mom. But she may finally find the reason behind all the animosity.

My Opinions:
Really enjoying this series. Anna is a strong female lead, who earns the respect of her team, and treats the team as a family. Love her character.

The subject of teenage suicide is bad enough without having a group goading them into it. It’s a scary thought, but Dylan Young handles it well.

This series keeps getting better as the characters get more depth. The plot is always fresh, with lots of action, and the writing clean. The books are a fast read.

Can’t wait for the next one!

Read: October, 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Before She Falls:

“That’s because getting information from you is like squeezing a desiccated lemon”

“Like most high-functioning introverts, Anna needed an entry and exit strategy for gatherings. ‘Arrive acceptably late and leave early,’ was her motto. That way she managed to avoid the twin horrors of boredom and excessive small talk that hung over every party and meeting she’d ever been to.”

“Her mother dismissed Anna’s introversion as nothing other than a mood problem she should and could ‘snap out of’”

 

Dylan Young

About the Author:  Dylan Young was born in Wales, where he lives today with his wife.  He has published 4 thrillers under the name Dylan Jones; children’s fantasy under the name Rhys A Jones, and Adult fantasy crime as DC Farmer.

 

 

 

 

14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson (#14 – Women’s Murder Club)

14th Deadly Sin (Women’s Murder Club, #14)

14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

 Published: 2015

3stars

 

Previous Book in the Series: #13 – Unlucky 13

 

14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is the 14th in the Women’s Murder Club series.

Series Background (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books):

The cast of the Murder Club includes: Lindsay Boxer, Homicide Detective; Claire Washburn, Medical Examiner; Yuki Castellano, Lawyer; and Cindy Thomas, Reporter. These ladies come together to fight crime “after-hours”, and often at a favorite restaurant called Susie’s.

Secondary characters are: Joe Molinari (Lindsay’s husband), Richie Conklin (Lindsay’s partner and Cindy’s on/off boyfriend), Warren Jacobi (Lindsay’s old partner and current Chief of Police), and Jackson Brady (Lindsay’s boss and Yuki’s husband).

My Synopsis:
There is a robbery crime spree going on. In addition to attacks on small places that carry a lot of cash, drug dealers and their warehouses are also being targeted. Somebody is getting away with a lot of money and drugs. Unfortunately, all evidence points to members of the San Francisco Police Department as being behind these crimes. So many people are dying, both civilian and police. Lindsay and Richie are assigned to help the Robbery Division solve these crimes. Unfortunately, as the robbers may be police, they don’t know who they can trust. They will have to figure it out soon, because these crimes have ticked off a major drug lord by the name of Kingfisher.

When Joe unexpectedly loses his job with the Port Authority, he starts helping Lindsay investigate the stabbing of a woman in a crowded intersection. Lindsay thinks it could be a serial killer out there that is targeting women on a specific date. They both endanger their lives trying to find this killer.

Meanwhile, Yuki is making a major change in her life, and neither her old boss, nor her current husband are pleased.

My Opinions:
As always, with the short chapters, it was a fast read, with a lot of action. It is one of his series that I go to when I need a break from true suspense and mystery. With these books, you don’t have to think much, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

However, I am not a fan of cliff-hangers, particularly by well-established authors who don’t need to ensure their next book will be read. I always feel like it’s just a money grab. This is not the first time I have complained about Patterson’s cliff-hangers, and it is unlikely to be the last.

Note that I am re-reading this series, and apparently I gave it 3 stars last time too. Hmmmm…guess it didn’t grow on me.

Anyway, the plot was still interesting, and the book was okay.

 

Re-Read: October, 2018

 

About the Authors:  

James Patterson is one of the bestselling writers of all time, with more than 350 million books sold worldwide.  His lifelong passion for books and reading led him to launch a website, ReadKiddoRead.com, which helps parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians find the very best children’s books for their kids.  Each year, The Patterson Family Foundation awards scholarships to students at over 20 different colleges and universities around the country.

Maxine Paetro is a novelist and journalist, who lives in New York.  She has collaborated with James Patterson on a number of his Women’s Murder Club novels.

The Spite Game by Anna Snoekstra

The Spite Game

 The Spite Game by Anna Snoekstra

 Publishing: October 30, 2018 by Harlequin – MIRA

4stars

 

The Spite Game by Ana Snoekstra is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Harlequin – MIRA, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
Ava is at the police station, waiting for the detective to come in. She has a confession to make.

As Ava sits in the interrogation room, she thinks back over her life, and the reason she is in this room.

She remembers being rather shy in high school, and wanting to be one of the cool girls instead of being one of the nerds. But she never felt good enough. She longed to be part of the clique consisting of Mel, and Sanvvi and Cass, and when an opportunity finally presented itself, she was in. But was she really? She ended up being mercilessly bullied, and her last months at school were a nightmare.

But out in the real world, Ava has never forgotten, nor forgiven her tormenters. Saanvi is now an architect, Cass a psychologist and Mel an actress…or so they say. Ava is following them, and sees that they are still not what they say they are. Ava is going to get revenge on each of them…when the time is right.

My Opinions:
This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I rather enjoyed it. Not sure if it should be classified as YA, or adult thriller. A lot of it went back to high school days, where there are always different cliques of students – the rich, the poor, the nerds, the bullies, the stomped-on. This is a tale of what happens to some of these when they grow up, and how some of them never change, and now some of them never forget.

The narrator is Ava, and it goes back and forth between high school and present day to tell her story.

The characters were good, and you either loved them or hated them. You really felt the shallowness and cruelty of the three girls, while you felt Ava’s aching need to be popular. You also felt the love Evan, Bea and Celia felt for Ava, and the lack of love Ava felt for herself. I loved Ava, even when she was planning revenge, because she really tried to be better.

It’s a quick read, and although it started a little slow, it picked up and ended up being fairly suspenseful.

 

Read: October, 2018

 

Favorite Quote from The Spite Game:

“I cursed myself. I was still doing it. Seeing everything through the lens of my stupid revenge plot.”

“But even if everyone wants you to be invisible, even if you want it too, that doesn’t make it happen. Somehow it just made you more conspicuous, because it felt so wrong that you existed at all.”

 

Anna Snoekstra About the Author:  Anna Snoekstra (1988 – ) is an Australian author who studied Creative Writing and Cinema, followed by Screenwriting.  While writing for independent films and directing music videos, Anna also worked as a cheesemonger, a waitress, a Christmas elf, a nanny, a receptionist, a cinema attendant and a film reviewer.  She is now writing novels and teaching story-telling.  (All according to her website).