13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

 Published:  October 2007

4stars

 

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a rather dark look at teenage suicide.

Before we proceed.  I actually reviewed this on Goodreads a while ago, and realized I had put off airing it here.  Apparently even I am not above censorship – of myself.  This is a difficult book to review.  It doesn’t matter what I say, someone will take offence. Unfortunately, few of us get by without knowing someone who has taken their own life. It is not pleasant for family or friends.  So, let’s all take a deep breath and remember….this is my opinion.  You are welcome to your own.  Let us also remember…..this is fiction.  If a book bothers you, stop reading it.  That is why I decided to finally review it.  As it was originally meant to be.  A book.  A fiction book. So, on the merits of it being a work of fiction, let’s go.

Ready?

Clay Jensen arrives home to find a package waiting for him.  Inside are a number of cassette tapes, from Hannah Baker.  Clay was half in love with Hannah.  He misses her. Hannah committed suicide two weeks ago.  On those tapes, Hannah tells Clay that there are 13 reasons why she took her life…and he is one of them.  He doesn’t understand.  He hasn’t done anything wrong!  If he wants to know more, he has to listen to all the tapes, and as per her instructions, he then has to pass them on to the next one in line.  Clay listens.  He follows Hannah’s story across his hometown, stopping at places she mentions on the tapes, following a young girl’s descent.  A descent into despair.

This book draws the reader in, just as the tapes drew Clay in.  As you follow Clay, and hence Hannah, you aren’t sure you want to continue.  Yet you want to know… 

I found the book, if not totally enjoyable, mesmerizing.  The writing is good, the story line original, the characters deep (including those that are very shallow).  The author really made you feel for Clay even more than you felt for Hannah.  His emotions were raw, and felt true.  I think Jay Asher nailed the overall emotions of his characters. 

Now, I guess I’m going to make a few other comments anyway.  Yes, the book has become rather controversial, as a lot of people think it actually glamorizes teen suicide, and shows that there is no help out there for the troubled teen.  However, people who think teenagers will commit suicide because of a book, murder because of a video game, have sex because of a movie….give teens very little credit.  They are much more likely to follow the lead of their family and peers than they are what they read or watch.

Second, there is ALWAYS help out there if you ask.  For the purposes of his book, the author intentionally made it look like there was nowhere to go, and that nobody noticed. We know that is rarely true.  Help is everywhere if you ask.  The author had Hannah dance around it, leaving everyone blaming themselves, while she never flat out asked anyone for help.  She expected everyone to understand her subtle hints, and when they didn’t, lamented “no one cares”.  But as a teenager, that may ring true.  She is very self-centered, and as a teenager, you take every slight more seriously, and feel the world is against you.  Most of us get over it.  Those that don’t, well, most get help, and the others we pray for.  And yes, for the plot to work, no one notices anything wrong with Hannah. In real life, I think someone, even her distracted parents, would have noticed something. In particular, one of the teachers handed out a list of what to look for in suicidal friends. Hannah had a couple of those traits that would have raised a red flag.  Friends, teachers, people in general, are much more aware now, and something would have been done. Again, the lack of awareness works well for the plot of the story.

I also wonder if a truly suicidal person would have the strength to reason out exactly who and why someone else is to blame, much less 13 people.  Let’s face it, when you are mentally unstable, you are not thinking clearly, so although it makes for an interesting plot, I don’t believe it would work quite so well in real life.  Again, that is why this is fiction. 

Now, this book is not for everyone.  Neither are horror books, or romance novels.  They can leave a lasting impressions, like nightmares, or unrealistic expectations of love.  But these books are all fiction.  If you want to read true accounts of suicidal people, they are out there.  This is fiction.  On the other hand, if this book gets people talking about teen suicide, maybe that’s okay too.

The book has been made into a hit television series, which I have not yet watched, although I am starting it.

Again, taken as a work of fiction, I liked the book.  It had an interesting plot, interesting characters, and good writing.

 

Read: October 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from 13 Reasons Why:

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life.
Everything…affects everything.”

“A lot of you cared, just not enough.” 

 

Jay AsherAbout the Author:  Jay Asher (1975 –  ) is an American author of contemporary fiction.  His debut novel, 13 Reasons Why, was Number 1 on the New York Times Bestsellers List, and has won many awards.  Throughout his life he worked in various establishments, including as a salesman in a shoe store and in libraries and bookstores. Many of his work experiences had an impact on some aspect of his writing.

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Six Little Secrets by Katlyn Duncan

Six Little Secrets

Six Little Secrets by Katlyn Duncan

 Published: November 2017

3starsStar

 

Six Little Secrets by Katlyn Duncan is psychological thriller, aimed at Young Adults.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher HQ Digital, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Six students find themselves serving detention in the library one Saturday morning under the supervision of Mr. Curtis, one of the teachers at school.  Although they don’t have much in common, they soon realize that someone thinks they do.  Someone has been watching them very closely, and no secret is safe.  By the end of the day, secrets will be told, and consequences will be felt.

The story is told from the perspective of each student on both the day of detention, and the day the detention was assigned.  This works very well, keeping the plot fresh, and the stories straight.  It also creates a very fast pace, and the whole book is a fast read.  The “secrets” and “tasks” were quite inventive, and if not many of the secrets were a surprise, the tasks definitely were.  That being said, my biggest complaint about the book is that it was too short.  The author could easily have given the characters more depth.

Although not in the Young Adult group, I have reviewed a number of books for this target audience and enjoy most.  Although the plot was good, I think this one needed a little more depth/complexity.

Even so, I plan on checking out what else the author has written.

 

Read: December 2017

 

Katlyn Duncan

 

About the Author:  Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in New England. She still lives in lower New England with her husband and wheaten terrier.

Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff (#3 FBI/Huntress)

Cold Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers, #3)

Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

 Published: 2015

4stars

 

Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff is the third in the FBI/Huntress Mystery Series.

Mass murderer Cara Lindstrom is finally in police custody, after months of being tracked by FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke.  If she hadn’t saved Roarke’s life, she may still be free, and he is having mixed feelings about her incarceration.  Although he knows she deserves to be in jail, he has gotten personally involved.  He understands her.  He knows she kills, but she kills the scum of the earth.  Hence, his confusion.  But it may not matter anyway.  Cara now has her own following, who seem to be willing to do anything to make sure she is freed from custody.  When Jade, the young prostitute who witnessed Cara’s latest murder goes missing, and another murder with Cara’s MO turns up, it brings questions of Cara’s guilt to the forefront.  Cara is released from jail.  Roarke and his team are back to square one, and again hunting Cara.

But now they have another problem.  The murders keep coming.  Although the FBI and police force are trying to catch the killer (or perhaps killers), a lot of people think that the victims deserve what they get.  The “victims” are Pimps and Johns.  To many, their deaths are no great loss.  There are calls for people to take a stand against this “rape culture”. There are protests and demonstrations.  There are altars being constructed on street corners, and prayers offered to Santa Muerte (Lady Death).  Things are escalating, and a blogger named “Bitch” seems to be leading the crusade.

Roarke is being torn in many directions, and his feelings for Cara are confusing the issues at hand.  Should he be chasing Cara, or Jade, or is there someone else who is leading the charge?  Should he just let them go?

Heads up.  This book is about the sex-trade industry, and in particular how very young girls are sold for sex every day.  It is about human traffickers, about rapists, about child predators, about gangs, drugs, corrupt prison guards, about those that prey on the weak and young in our society.  It is also about women who have had enough.  It is about vigilantism. 

Alexandra Sokoloff is an amazing writer.  She did a lot of research on a tough subject, and told the story around it.  She made you really feel for these young victims of crime. You wanted to stand up with them and fight back.  Her characters are strong, her storyline precise, and her writing excellent. 

Very entertaining, and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

 

Read: November 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Cold Moon:

“He knew why she killed. Because anyone with a human feeling would want to kill the men she killed. Because the killing she did prevented the further agony of innocent victims. Because someone had to do it.”

“No gringo can really understand about La Santísima Muerte. The men of the Church have tried to destroy her, but the people keep her alive in their prayers. Because Santa Muerte is a saint who does something. The other saints have failed us, Agent Roarke. Santa Muerte is the court of last resort. She does not fail. She does what must be done.”

“She is out there. But she’s not the only one.
This is a call to arms. This is a war on rape culture.”

“He’d Googled the name for the December full moon.
Cold Moon.
And it was.
What are we doing here?”

 

About the Author:   Alexandra Sokoloff is the bestselling author of both supernatural and crime novels.  Her awards and nominations continue to build up. As a screenwriter she has sold original suspense and horror scripts and written novel adaptations for numerous Hollywood studios.   Although originally from California, she now divides her time between Los Angeles and Scotland.   In her free time, she dances.

 

 

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

Kill Creek

 Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

 Published: October 31, 2017

4stars

 

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas is a horror novel.  It is his debut horror novel, and I really hope it is not his last.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Inkshares, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Four very different authors of horror are invited to spend Halloween Night at the haunted Finch House (Kill Creek House) to be interviewed for a web-based live talk show.  The interviewer is well-known for his unconventional techniques, but the $100,000 payout entices them all to take part.

Author Sam McGarver, often criticized for being too mainstream, is struggling with his next book.  TC Moore, who writes erotic and brutal horror, already has an idea for her next one.  Daniel Slaughter may be losing his publisher, as more of his Christian readers start wondering about the horror stories he is promoting to teenagers.  Sebastian Cole is a literary horror genius, but also way past his prime.   These four (along with the interviewer and his videographer) may spend only one night in Kill Creek House, but the house will leave a lasting impression.   This impression follows them home.   Their only escape may be to return.

Scott Thomas nailed this book.  Although I didn’t get into it immediately, when I did, I didn’t want to put it down.  I loved how he described horror from the perspectives of each author.  He gave the characters real depth, gradually filling in their back-stories.  He wove very different characters together until they became allies, friends, united in their quest, and then he made you doubt their survival, and their loyalties.  The House itself took on a bigger character than all others, and you felt its power.  His vivid descriptions left you doubting nothing.  You were there. 

Thomas is a really gifted writer.  He understands horror!

This is more than a haunted house tale.  This is a true horror novel.  Definitely recommend this book to all who like the genre.

 

Read: December 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Kill Creek:

“Because that’s what horror is. Pain. Unbearable, all-consuming pain. So real and brutal that we almost crave it in a sick way.”

“Sebastian ran a finger over the spines of the books on the shelf. It did not matter to him what the titles were. They were books. They were filled with thoughts. Their relevance was debatable; he was sure some were exceptional while others were the works of lesser minds. He was not above calling a book unreadable. But their literary merit wasn’t important at this moment. They were words strung together to represent the firing of neurons and the transferring of information through synapses. They were human minds set into paper, and Sebastian loved every single one of them, even the ones he found disposable.”

“This is just fantastic. We spend one night in that house, and now we’re on a goddamn supernatural scavenger hunt.”

 

Img 0249 About the Author:  Scott Thomas was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, and attended the University of Kansas where he earned degrees in English and Film.  In addition to this debut novel, he has written for television.  He is the Co-Creator/Exec Producer of Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, Best Friends Whenever and Raven’s Home.  He currently lives in California with his wife and two daughters.

The First One to Die by Victoria Jenkins (#2 King & Lane)

The First One To Die (Detectives King and Lane, #2)

 The First One to Die by Victoria Jenkins

 Published: November 2017

5Stars

 

The First One to Die by Victoria Jenkins is the 2nd in the Detectives King and Lane 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.

Second, it is really good!

When Kiera North falls to her death at a student house party, everyone except Detective Alex King thinks it was an accident.  But something doesn’t feel right.  As Alex and Chloe delve further into the lives of these students, it seems that all of Kiera’s roommates are hiding something.  It also looks like someone is out to get them.  Is one of their secrets enough to get them all killed?

While investigating Kiera’s death, the detectives are also investigating the drug overdose of a young girl who is now in a coma.  A new drug which combines Ecstasy and a high dose of caffeine has been making the rounds with serious consequences.  The dealers have to be found soon.

On a personal level, Chloe is still living in Alex’s spare room, but she is starting to leave her past behind.  It may soon be time for her to spread her wings.  Alex, on the other hand, has been watching her mother die for the last year, and although she thinks she is handling things well, she is not.

Well, Victoria Jenkins has done it again.  I love her writing style.  It is very smooth, well-paced, and gripping.  The second in this series is even better than the first, as her characters have so much depth, that their lives just pull you in and you want to know more.  The twists in this book were awesome, and I didn’t figure it all out til very close to the end.  The pair of detectives Jenkins created is working well, as she has them building on each other’s strengths . Their friendship and support is growing, creating a very stable relationship. 

On a side note, my Mom had Dementia, and although the circumstances were different (we got along just fine), Jenkins wrote about Alex and her emotions dealing with her mother’s disease really well.  It is a really rough time, and Jenkins nailed it.  That whole storyline rang very true.

Can’t wait for the next one!

 

Read: December 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from The First One to Die:
“The cruelty of time, thought Alex. The world kept spinning, clocks kept ticking: time didn’t stop for anyone’s tragedy.”

“It is so easy to blend in and go unnoticed. Hate can be kept well hidden: if you want it to, it can remain without colour, taste, sound.”

“Don’t let anyone or anything keep you from doing what’s best for you.”

“No one could possibly understand what it meant to watch a person alter so drastically in front of them, to see them change and deteriorate until eventually there was just a hollow shell that no longer remotely resembled the person who had once been in its place.”

 

Victoria Jenkins

 

About the Author:  Victoria Jenkins lives in South Wales with her husband.  (I still have to find out more)

Hotwire by Alex Kava (#9 Maggie O’Dell)

Hotwire (Maggie O'Dell, #9)

Hotwire by Alex Kava

Published: 2011

4stars

 

Hotwire by Alex Kava is the 9th in the FBI Special Agent Maggie O’Dell series.

Maggie’s boss sends her to teach a weekend conference in Nebraska, but she gets detoured to investigate some dead cattle that have had their blood drained and organs removed.  Then she suddenly finds herself investigating some teenagers who were experimenting with a new drug and hoping to film the results for You-Tube.  Unfortunately, three of them died, and the stories the remaining kids are telling don’t add up.  Between the electric barbed wire, the bite mark on the girls arm, and the tales of strange lights in the skies, Maggie doesn’t know what to think.  She meets some interesting characters, including a journalist who is fairly certain that the problems in Nebraska are due to UFOs.  The other popular theory is that the US Government is staging war games in the middle of the Nebraska forest.  Either way, Maggie is a little out of her element.

Meanwhile, Maggie’s friend Colonel Benjamin Platt is working with Roger Bix from the CDC to investigate two schools that seem to have been the target of food poisoning. 

Both Maggie and Ben are uncovering secrets. 

This one seemed like a really fast read, and as much as I enjoyed the book, there were a couple of things that seemed off.  I expected the two story-lines to connect, and they did not (yes that’s a bit of a spoiler, but nothing major).  The other thing is the fact that Maggie’s partner Tully was supposed to be working with Platt and Bix, but he was not involved at all. 

I did like the fact that Julia’s role in the story was expanded, and I liked the addition of Lucy Coy, who would be a great addition to Maggie’s future stories.

Overall, it was a good, easy read, with enough action to keep things interesting. 

 

Read: October 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Hotwire:

“She understood it wasn’t an actual fear of flying so much as a fear of being without control, which was often the crux of most fears. If you had control over a situation, there was nothing to fear.”

“You should never deny who you are to please someone else. If that’s the choice, then it’s not meant to be.”

 

Author Alex Kava | Thriller, Suspense novelist

About the Author:  Alex Kava  (June 1960 –  ) is the NY Times best-selling author of this Maggie O’Dell Series.  She  has also written a new Ryder Creed series, as well as stand-alone novels.  Before devoting her time to writing, she held a variety of jobs, mostly in marketing and advertising.  She started her own graphic design company, designing food packages and logos for various national companies.   Kava currently divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida.  She has a pack of Westies (or more likely, they have her.)

Don’t Tell a Soul by D.K. Hood (#1 Kane & Alton)

Don't Tell A Soul (Detectives Kane and Alton, #1)

Don’t Tell a Soul by D.K. Hood

 Published: October 2017

4stars

 

 

Don’t Tell a Soul by D.K. Hood is the 1st in the Detectives Kane & Alton 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.

Deputy David Kane is about to start a new job.  His past has been erased, and he is moving to a small laid-back town in Black Rock Falls, Montana.  While trying to find his new home in a blinding snowstorm, he witnesses a car being run off the road.  When he stops to assist the driver of the over-turned vehicle, he is surprised to find a gun in his face, and his new boss, Sheriff Jenna Alton holding it.  And so begins his new life. 

Between trying to keep his boss safe, and look for two missing persons, Kane is beginning to wonder if this small town is going to be as relaxing as he hoped.  He will have to use his old skills to make it in this place, but Kane needs to keep his past a secret. However, Alton has secrets of her own…..very similar secrets.

I enjoyed this book. There is something great about getting in on the ground floor of a new series. The characters are different, somewhat refreshing, and the author has already piqued my interest in learning more about their backgrounds. They seem to make a good team,  already have some depth, and I am hoping for more.  There is suspense, as well as a touch of humour in the book.   I am not a romance reader, and although there is chemistry between the two detectives, it does not get in your face.  The actual story has a lot of different aspects to keep you interested, and it reads quite smoothly, and at a good pace.  There are a number of police procedures followed and the detailed evidence collecting was very interesting. 

There were a couple of areas where I think the author may have strayed.  First, the fact that both the main characters are in Witness Protection, both having had reconstructive surgery, and now have new lives working together, seems a little far-fetched.  What are the chances that they would be assigned together, in such high profile jobs, in the same small town.  Then there is the character of Sheriff Alton.    With her background she should be able to handle everything, but she made more rookie mistakes than would have been tolerated in any law enforcement agency.  She talks good, and openly admits when she erred, but her actions did not match her job title.   For all the stupid things she did, you would have thought it was her first case.  As well, while she reiterates constantly that she is in charge, Kane seems to take over, and she lets him.  For such a strong persona, she ends up looking like another helpless woman.  I was quite disappointed in that.

All that being said, I really like the author’s writing style. Her dialog and descriptions are really good.  Even with my “critiques” I still like the characters, the whole story shows promise, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.  I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.

Because it’s her debut novel, I gave it 4 stars.  This series shows promise.  It was worth the read!

Read: December 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Don’t Tell A Soul:

“How do you think I can possibly investigate a murder if I don’t examine the body and the scene? I need to catch a killer and I don’t think my psychic powers are quite up to the challenge.”

“She was old-school, preferred to write letters, and refused to own a cellphone. Her granddaughter told me she believed them to be intrusive and preferred to speak to people in person.

 

D.K. Hood

About the Author:  D.K. Hood was born in London England, but now lives in Australia.  She is a member of the International Thriller Writers.

Fragments by Dan Wells (#2 Partials)

Fragments (Partials Sequence, #2)

Fragments by Dan Wells

 Published: 2013

4stars

 

Fragments by Dan Wells is the 2nd in the Partials post-apocalyptic saga.

I would highly recommend that the 1st book in the series (Partials) be read prior to this one.

The world as we know it ended 12 years ago, when a “Partials” war broke out.  Partials were manufactured by the government to look and act human, but with military attributes and enhanced features.  When the Partials rebelled from being treated as sub-par citizens, war broke out, and at the end, the human population was reduced to under 50,000.  As well, a virus (RM) was released which prevented new-borns from surviving more than 2 or 3 days.

Thanks to Kira Walker, they now know the cure for RM.  Children will now be able to re-populate a dying world….if they can figure out how to replicate the formula without starting the next world war.  The senate wants to kidnap Partials to get the cure.  Not all humans agree.

Meanwhile, the Partials have their own problem.  An expiry date has been programmed into their genes, and they are starting to die.  Dr. Morgan and her group of Partials are hunting Kira, who may be the answer to their problem.  Not all Partials agree.

Kira is now on her own hunt. After discovering that she herself is a Partial, although an unknown breed, she needs to know more.  She is trying to find “The Trust”, as per the inscription on the picture she found of Nandita, herself and her father.  The Trust is responsible for creating the Partials, RM, and the world as they now know it.  Perhaps if she can find the Trust, she can find out how to save both humans and Partials.

But she is going to discover more than just information about the Trust.  She is going to find out more about herself, and it may not be something she wanted to know.

I like the fact that in this second book, the author split the group of friends up, and that Marcus is now showing initiative on his own, apart from Kira. As well, the characters of Samm and Heron have been expanded.  Dan Wells has really built on his first book, adding characters (good and bad), and different perspectives.  He gets deep into his characters, so that the reader does too. 

Dan Wells writes really good YA, and really good Science Fiction.  Although I am not in the YA crowd (about 40 or 50 years too old), I can still appreciate a well written story. And I really like post-apocalyptic tales showing how people will fight to re-build the world, against all odds.  I am thoroughly enjoying this series.  The ending to this one was a bit of a surprise.

Bottom line, the sequel was worth reading, and I am now looking forward to the conclusion.

Read: October 2017

Favorite Quotes from Fragments:

“…then they’re just as fragmented as everybody else. They kept secrets from each other; they messed with each other’s work.”

“You’d seen behind the curtain,” said Marcus, “so you saw everything else in a different light.”

“If you have the strength to whine, you have the strength to do something about it.”

 

Image result for dan wells

 

About the Author:  Dan Wells (March 4, 1977 – )  lives in North Salt Lake, Utah, with his wife and children.   In addition to the John Cleaver (I am Not a Serial Killer) Series, he has also written the Partials Series, as well as stand-alone novels.  He has a popular Podcast called Writing Excuses.

99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

99 Red Balloons

Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

 Published: August 2017

4stars

 

99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter is a psychological thriller/mystery.

This is Carpenter’s debut novel, and I am looking forward to reading more from this very talented author.

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

When 8-year old Grace goes missing on her way home from the candy store, her family is thrown into a tailspin. Trying to support each other, they each deal with the loss in their own way. 

There are a lot of secrets in this family.  Is Grace’s mother Emma having an affair?  Is Grace’s father Matt so guiltless?  Then there is Emma’s mother who may be hiding the biggest secret of all.  Grace’s Aunt Stephanie seems innocent, but is she?  Do any of these secrets play a part in Grace’s abduction?  The only thing we can be sure of is that they all love Grace, and want her back safe and sound.

When the newspaper reports the story, another woman is reminded of a similar loss many years ago.  Maggie has lost her husband, and her son, and her daughter.  But  Maggie has never stopped hoping that her missing grandchild Zoe will come back into her life, and when she sees a picture of Grace’s family and reads this familiar tale, she becomes obsessed.

This is the story of every parent’s worst nightmare.  A missing child.  It is also a story about family, blood or not.

Carpenter tells most of the tale from the perspectives of Stephanie and Maggie, but occasionally from a few other characters which are not so clearly defined. This keeps you guessing, and adds even more suspense and dimensions to the book. While you would think this may add confusion, it actually reads very smoothly, getting the story across very well. Carpenter is a talented writer. There were a few twists, but there was a major one near the end that really surprised me – not that easy to do. I loved it!

Enthralling novel, can’t wait for more from this author!

Read: November 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from 99 Red Balloons:

“On the radio, a song plays that I know: ‘Ninety-Nine Red Balloons’. I’m warm inside because Mummy sings it a lot.”

“What else is darkness for if you can’t shed a tear?”

“It’s true that when you spend enough time in someone’s company they lose their shine.”

“Shocking when you think about it – the horrible situations people witness, and then justify their inability to change it by leaving it to someone else to deal with.”

 

Elisabeth Carpenter

About the Author: Elisabeth (Libby) Carpenter is a British author who lives in Lancashire with her family.  She won a Northern Writers New Fiction Award (2016) and was longlisted for Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 & 2016) and MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015).  99 Red Balloons is her first “published” novel.  She is currently working as a bookkeeper.

Nemesis by Jo Nesbo (#4 Harry Hole)

Nemesis (Harry Hole, #4)

Nemesis by Jo Nesbo

 Originally Published:  2002

4stars

 

Nemesis by Jo Nesbaugh is the 4th in the Detective Harry Hole mystery series. 

Harry is a Norwegian detective who is struggling to maintain his sobriety, a romantic relationship, and his job….in any order.  His successes come and go.  He is a good detective, but tends to do things his way, and rules are often bent if not broken.

In this installment, a bank robber, an old flame, and a dirty cop all walk into Harry’s life. Sounds like a joke.  But the combination of those three will have Harry fighting for his freedom.  He is being framed for murder.  He may have to make a deal with a felon to save his own skin.

His new partner in this case is Beate Lønn, who works in the Robberies Division.  She remembers every face she has ever seen.  Her father was also in the police department, but was killed during a bank robbery.  Beate may have an agenda of her own. 

Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Rakel, is in Russia fighting for custody of her son, and Harry’s actions may have an impact on the decision.

Then there is the fact that Harry is still not over the death of his last partner.  Although Ellen’s killer was caught, Harry knows there is more to the story, and he won’t give up til he has an answer.

A lot is happening in this one, and occasionally I got a little confused.  I still have a bit of a problem with the place names (and some proper names) in Norway, and I think this has a lot to do with it.  A couple of times I mixed up the characters, so I found I had to read carefully.  However, the plot was really good, and there were also a lot of twists which kept you very interested in following closely.

The book is about revenge, and it seems a lot of people are looking for it.

It is a very complex novel, but it is worth the read. Overall, I think the problems I had with this book were my own, and I am looking forward to the next in the series. 

p.s. It’s a good idea to read this series in order, as some of the plot continues from story to story. As well, it’s best to get to know Harry gradually.  I am reading them in the North  American Order.  They were originally published in Oslo, and books 1 & 2 were actually written later.  Then of course, there is the fact that they were released in North America out of order as well.  Good thing I came to this series late…

 

Read: October 2017

 

Favorite Quotes from Nemesis:

“The goddess Nemesis, Bertol Grimmer’s favourite motif after the War. The goddess of revenge.”

“He put down the telephone and looked in the mirror again. It was 
gone now, the little smile, the glee that Spite gives.  The Smallmindedness. T he Self-righteousness.  The Sadism.  The four ‘S’s of revenge.”

“Never apologise for the questions you asked; apologise for the ones you didn’t ask.”

‘Vengeance is one of these territorial things you men like so much. It’s not about duty, it’s the Neanderthal urge!’

 

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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.