Tag Archives: Crime

Murder Without Pity #Bookreview

  • Title: Murder Without Pity
  • Author: Steve Haberman
  • File Size: 623KB
  • Print Length: 319
  • Publication Date: May 5, 2012
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime

Murder Without Pity is a slow-moving suspense, told in a way that makes you want to turn the pages and keep going. If I had the chance to read it in one night, then I probably would have. It wasn’t even the mystery portion of this novel that I enjoyed so much, although I enjoyed trying to solve the crime before reaching the ending. While I had a few suspects in mind, I feel that there could have been a little more foreshadowing or red herrings to help solve the mystery. As a mystery author myself, I certainly understand how hard it is to throw in red herrings without giving the plot away. There were, however, enough twists to keep me yearning for more.

This story was much more than just solving the strange murder of a man. The investigator, Stanislas Cassel, spends a good amount of his time interacting with the people of France, hoping they either won’t judge him or they just don’t know that he’s the grandson of a French propagandist for the Nazis during their WWII operation. This part of his family’s past mortifies him, so Cassel attempts to avoid anything political and hopes no one will recognize him. Of course, we all know that’s not always possible. And as Cassel continues his investigation, he finds himself in the midst of a larger wickedness beyond the small crimes he prefers to investigate.

This wasn’t a book where you can easily skim a few words here and there…let’s face it, we all tend to do that, whether we mean to do so or not. If you’re focusing on solving the mystery, then it’s possible something would be missing between the lines on the pages. Even reading carefully, I’m sure I missed a thing or two. And if you’re only along for the ride to enjoy the beautiful scenery that’s portrayed, then skipping around will force you to miss out. I’ve never been to France, and as someone who would like to one of these days, I felt I had a good idea of what Paris was like during the time this story takes place. The writing splayed across my mind as though I was watching a movie. It was so beautifully descriptive, whether it was about the thick fog smothering the city or Cassel’s thoughts.

I would most certainly enjoy reading more from this author.

Overall rating: 4 of 5 stars

Biography

Steve Haberman

A University of Texas graduate, Steve Haberman pursued legal studies at UCLA before embarking on a career as a legal assistant. Profitable stock market investments made travel abroad possible, and he has since visited Europe extensively and frequently, including London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, as well as Milan and Budapest. Many of these feature as settings in his two e-book novels. “Murder Without Pity,” a murder mystery with tragic echoes from the past, occurs in Paris. “The Killing Ploy” (with heavy overtones of “fake news” before that was topical) is set partially in several Continental capitals. His two works in progress, “Darkness and Blood,” the sequel to “The Killing Ploy,” and “Winston Churchill’s Renegade Spy” also use foreign locales. He is presently planning another three month trip abroad for research on a fifth thriller, this one set in the post World War II apocalyptic ruin of the German capital.

*For more book reviews, click here.*

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Spotlight on Indie Author @AngelaKaysBooks. The Murder of Manny Grimes.

Today’s Spotlight Author is our very own Angela Kay! A new Indie Author as well as one of our busiest book reviewers here at LWI.
angela-kay
1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel the Murder of Manny Grimes?
I started writing it during my final semester of college. I was taking a writing course where we were to write the first thirty pages of a novel. I didn’t really have an inspiration strike…I just started writing and the plot seemed to unfold. My professor and students alike 8-the-murder-of-manny-grimes-coverloved the beginning of the story. Because of my passion of writing, I continued the first draft with the hopes of getting it published one day.

2. For aspiring writers out there, tell us how long it took you from idea to publishing your novel? Tell us about the process of how it all came about.

It took me seven years to perfect it. I finished the first draft in a year. I was excited because it was the first full length novel I finished. For the most part, I’d only written short stories. After that, I began to edit my book, and it was a major headache. I must have changed the direction of the story three or four times. I took a lot of breaks from it…more than I should have. Finally, by the many rocks God tossed my way, I finished my final draft. And just as I finished, I came across an awesome editor who didn’t mind fixing a few kinks. I played around with the idea of submitting my completed novel to a bunch of agents, but the truth is, it’s a dog eat dog world out there. I didn’t have patience for a bunch of no’s. Even when I was ready to send it off, I was hard on myself about whether it’s good or not. After considering my options, I went the route of starting as an Indie author. My publisher is a long time friend of a friend, so I trusted him. After I got my beloved books in my hands, I knew I did the right thing.

3. What kind of research did you do for the novel?

The setting used to take place in New York, but someone a long time ago told me it sounds as though it’s in Augusta, Ga (where I currently reside). That got me a bit worried because the setting relies a lot on the aftermath of a bad snowstorm. I mean, it is the south, where we hardly see one flake. I went online to see whether it was possible (although I knew it’d be okay since it’s fiction and anything was possible). I was glad to find that in 1973 we were hit with sixteen inches of snow. Although it was a long time, it satisfied me. The other researching I did was try and get the investigation as close to real as possible. I spoke to several police officers, primarily lieutenants, since  my main character is a lieutenant. They were kind enough to answer any and all questions.

4. When I read a book I sometimes like to have a visual of characters. What actors would play your main characters in a movie?

Lt. Jim DeLong: Michael Fassbender. He’s a little older than DeLong, but I think he’d be good for it.
Russ Calhoun: Possibly Dean Winters
5. What are you working on now?
I’m currently editing the sequel to “Manny Grimes,” and plan to release it in a few months. I also have an FBI thriller ready to be edited and another book I’ve almost completed. I’m only doing suspense now, however, I’m starting to dabble with a bit of romance–I already have an idea for a saga.

6. I know you edit the work of other authors, how can people contact you for your services?

7. What do you think is the one thing that drives your main character to do what he does?
Lieutenant Jim DeLong is passion-driven. I think when he gets something in his mind, he can’t seem to let it go. It’s also somewhat of a release while he’s dealing with personal issues outside of work.

8. If you could’ve written any other book than your own, what would it be and why?
Probably “Pride and Prejudice.” I love that book so much. It’s in a complete different era and I get swept away in the character’s lives.

mark-and-krystinaIs there a way people can get an autographed copy of your book?

Sure! They can email me for more information at angelakaysbooks@gmail.com. I sell signed copies of my book for $14 even. That includes shipping and handling. You can check out my book by clicking on these links: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Like me on Facebook: Angela Kay’s Books

To learn how to receive a FREE PDF copy of The Murder of Manny Grimes, click HERE!

#Book #Review Illusions of Magic by J. B. Rivard.

illusions-of-magic-cover4_stars_gold

 

Illusions of Magic: Love and Intrigue in 1933 Chicago

by J. B. Rivard

Fiction: Historical/Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. 233 Pages Print. Gray Dog Press (April 17, 2016)

Author Biography

J.B. RIVARD: As a young child, J.B. Rivard began drawing by copying newspaper comics. In his teens, he drew illustrations for his high school’s award-winning yearbook. He attended the Chicagojb-rivard Academy of Fine Arts and his artworks have appeared in more than fifty juried exhibitions, earning many prizes and awards. He’s an artist-member of the Salmagundi Club of New York City. The author draws on wide experience—he served in the U.S. Navy, graduated from the University of Florida, worked as a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer, and on the engineering staff of a U.S. National Laboratory where he wrote and co-authored many technical reports. His broad background supports an array of significant publications, from short stories to song lyrics, from essays to novels.  Learn More @ http://www.illusionsofmagic.com/. (The author has a special limited time offer on his home page you need to check out.)

Book Review

Illusions of Magic: Love and Intrigue in 1933 Chicago by J.B. Rivard is a historical novel with the assassination attempt on then President-elect Franklin Roosevelt’s life as one aspect. NICK ZETNER is a magician who finds himself working among the criminal elements of 1933 Chicago to make money as the Depression and the film industry make the need for a magician act less desirable. Little does he realize that a romance from 20 years ago will play an important role in the dangerous mess he finds himself in or that the errant bullet that missed Roosevelt and hit the mayor of Chicago instead would bring him even more danger.

Illusions of Magic is a fast paced read. If you start it in the morning on a weekend, you’ll likely finish it in one day. The style is 1930s gangster movie with a touch of romance, and some historical reveals and glimpses into how politics and crime worked, sometimes hand in hand, in 1930s Chicago. You’ll even imagine yourself seeing images flash across a movie screen in black and white as you read the book. It helps that the author also includes an occasional illustration to let you know what certain characters look like or the atmosphere of a scene is. I really enjoyed the clothing styles and the cars.

Instead of a one dimensional crime drama we have the inclusion of a romance with mystery attached to it from the main character, Nick Zetner’s, past. All things are connected in the book, which you don’t realize at first and might only notice after the fact. But everything from the discovery of an old bicycle bell to the assassination of the mayor of Chicago has significance. At first the book seems like a lot lighter fare but turns into something with more layers to it than expected.

I was expecting a little more to do with magic, because of the title, but you won’t find it in this book. Perhaps a sequel could have Zetner again delving into the underworld of Chicago and using magic to trick his way out of bad situations. But you don’t miss the magic here once into the story. I only mention it now so you don’t go into the book expecting to find tricks galore.

I recommend this book for history lovers or old movie buffs who want that nostalgic feeling in an enjoyable and fast paced format.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get Illusions of Magic @:

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Visit Author and Artist J. B. Rivard @: http://illusionsofmagic.com/

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I. Williams #BookReview

  • Title:  I. WilliamsI. Williams: A Psychological Thriller (The Twins Book 3) by [R.G. Miller]
  • Author: R.G. Miller
  • File Size: 1056KB
  • Print Length: 201
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1514105799
  • Publisher: R.G. Miller
  • Publication Date: December 3, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MYW1KME
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

It has been a long while since Detective Isis Williams’ last confrontation with Stacey McHill, one-half of the serial killer twins. Williams has failed to apprehend the teenaged serial killer and is now faced with embarrassment among her colleagues and severe depression.

While Williams and Toni are assigned to desk duty by their new captain, babies are being snatched in broad daylight throughout New York City and replaced with lifelike dolls. Detective Williams has succumbed to paranoia and to top it off, her great-niece is abducted. Can she save herself, as well as her niece? Well, you’ll just have to pick up the conclusion to The Twins trilogy to find out.

I. Williams was tightly written, fast paced and very intriguing. The ending is both a twist but at the same time inevitable. The storyline is intense, dark and I couldn’t put it down. If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, do so before picking up this one. This way, you’ll have a feel of why Williams’ emotions are running amok in I. Williams. After reading all three of this series, I have to say the third is my favorite.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

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Murder on the Strike of Five #BookReview

  • Title:  Murder on the Strike of Five
  • Author: MP Peacock
  • Print Length: 324
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: August 22, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Suspense, Thriller, Crime

Synopsis:

Moscow, Russia, February 1917. As the tinder-box of Revolution ignites, Inspector Vladimir Lesnoy gets a vital lead in an investigation he has been working on for years – the case of a brutal serial killer. Aboard the Trans-Siberian Express, Lesnoy is intrigued by his fellow passengers who all seem to have secrets to hide. While the train rumbles through the cold, bleak Siberian landscape, tensions start to simmer and romance blossoms. When murder strikes, all the first-class passengers come under suspicion and it soon becomes clear that each one of them had the motive to kill, as well as the means and the opportunity. A classic whodunnit set in a time of social upheaval, which will appeal to fans of Agatha Christie.

My Review:

The serial murders are told mainly as a back story, through various letters over the course of several years, as well as brief scenes with Inspector Lesnoy hunting for his killer. The Potato Sack Killer had been striking throughout Russia for at least ten years, leaving Lesnoy and his people perplexed.

During the aging years, we walk through time, learning about Sophia’s friendship and devotion to Countess Tatiana. When Sophia and Tatiana’s father realizes that the countess is in danger, the young girls are sent away to board the train out of Moscow. However, their troubles don’t end there. A murder is committed aboard the train and each of the first-class passengers has the means and opportunity, as well as a motive.

I found that the plot moved steadily and was intriguing. The storytelling was tightly written, ending quite well. It really does give you an Agatha Christie feel. The characters were very well-developed, their conversations interesting. The narrative painted a beautiful picture to make it seem as though you were being swept away in the story. I could almost hear the locomotion in my mind’s eye. My favorite narrative scene was the beginning of chapter fifteen where we get the first sense of the train moving along the Siberian landscape.

If you are a fan of dark crime and enjoy Agatha Christie, I highly recommend that you add Murder on the Strike of Five to your reading queue.

Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Murder and More #BookReview

  • Title: Murder and More
  • Author: Gerald Darrell
  • Print Length: 222
  • Publication Date: February 3, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Crime

From the Author

This short story fiction work, Murder and More is what the author calls “Fiction for Fun.” It uses real places and real geography to spin a story that didn’t happen, but should be fun for the mystery reader. As a quick read, those familiar with the early 1960’s geography in the novel, will travel back in time to places that will always be remembered. This is the fourteenth story in the Carson Reno series. The other books are available in paperback, hardback and e-book formats. Some are also offered as an audiobook.  His book, Don’t Wake Me Until It’s Time to Go, is a non-fiction collection of stories, events and humorous observations from his life.  Many friends and readers will find themselves in one of his adventures or stories.

My Review

Murder and More is a quite intriguing story. The author does well to take the readers back in history. The scenery were very well described, the characters three-dimensional and interesting. The story pops out from the pages and you’re really just watching a movie–that’s how engrossing it was…for me, anyway.

This is the fourteenth installment of the Carson Reno series but is a stand alone. We get the sense of who Carson is without knowing anything about this novel’s predecessors.

Carson is a very likable man, but I had trouble discerning how old he was. Sometimes he seemed to be in his mid-thirties, while other times he appeared to be much older. Either way, he gets his job done well.

Throughout the novel were various photos which help remind us that it’s set back in time. While I enjoyed the old-time landscaping and sign photos at times, some of the photos were beginning to become a bit of a nuisance, making it more of a picture book.

I did rather enjoy reading Murder and More. It was a quick, easy read, kept me guessing, and I became so engrossed in the story telling that I managed to finish in one day. I highly recommend the story, whether you’ve followed along with Carson Reno in the past or not.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

Gerald DarnellA Florida native, Gerald grew up in the small town of Humboldt, Tennessee. He attended high school and was a graduate of HHS class of 64. Following graduation from the University of Tennessee, he spent time in Hopkinsville, KY, Memphis, TN and Newport, AR before moving back to Florida – where he now lives. During the early 70’s the author actually worked from an office in the Memphis Peabody Hotel. So many of the events about the hotel in Carson Reno’s stories are real as well as many of the characters you meet.
His fiction books are what he calls ‘Fiction for Fun’. They use real geography and include pictures and characters some readers might recognize. The ‘Carson Reno Mystery Series’ features adventure mysteries set in the early 1960 time period. The primary geography is Memphis and West Tennessee, but Carson’s stories take the reader across the United States and occasionally to foreign countries. Each story is considered light reading and is rated PG for everyone’s enjoyment. You are invited to pick your character and put yourself in the ‘play’. You might find it fun!
The reader will experience character continuation through all the stories and enjoy the growth of the core characters with each new adventure.
Current published ‘Carson Reno Mysteries’ include ‘Murder in Humboldt’, ‘The Price of Beauty in Strawberry Land’, ‘Killer Among Us’, ‘Horse Tales’, ‘the Crossing’, ‘Sunset 4’, ‘the Everglades’, ‘The Illegals’, ‘Dead Men Don’t Remember’ ,’Fingerprint Murders’,’Reelfoot’, ‘Justifiable Homicide’, ‘Dead End’ and ‘Murder and More’.
Gerald’s non-fiction book ‘Don’t Wake Me Until It’s Time To Go’ includes stories and events spanning time from pre-high school to his now retirement in Florida. As an avid hunter and fisherman, many of the events involve activities and stories from his personal outdoor adventures. As a business executive, and extensive traveler, he gives us some playful observations accumulated from the millions of miles he traveled across the US. As someone who loves animals and adventure, he offers thoughts and observations that are probably outside most reader’s imagination. Not a ‘tell all’ narratives, real names and real people are included. If you know the author, you might find yourself – or one of your adventures – included. If not, I’m certain you will find a real familiarity with the stories and the times chronicled in the book. A must read if you enjoy hunting, enjoy humor and can laugh at yourself – while others are also laughing at you.

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#Bookreview EILEEN by Ottessa Moshfegh. A Marmite kind of novel

REVIEWS FOR LITERARY WORLD REVIEWS

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Title:   Eileen
Author:   Ottessa Moshfegh
ISBN13:  978-0143128755
ASIN:  B01BYMRLEA
Published:  Penguin Books
Pages:  272
Genre:  
Thriller: Crime and suspense, literary

Description:

Shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize and chosen by David Sedaris as his recommended book for his Fall 2016 tour. 

So here we are. My name was Eileen Dunlop. Now you know me. I was twenty-four years old then, and had a job that paid fifty-seven dollars a week as a kind of secretary at a private juvenile correctional facility for teenage boys. I think of it now as what it really was for all intents and purposes—a prison for boys. I will call it Moorehead. Delvin Moorehead was a terrible landlord I had years later, and so to use his name for such a place feels appropriate. In a week, I would run away from home and never go back.

This is the story of how I disappeared.

The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s caretaker in a home whose squalor is the talk of the neighborhood and a day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a buff prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. When the bright, beautiful, and cheery Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counselor at Moorehead, Eileen is enchanted and proves unable to resist what appears at first to be a miraculously budding friendship. In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.

Played out against the snowy landscape of coastal New England in the days leading up to Christmas, young Eileen’s story is told from the gimlet-eyed perspective of the now much older narrator. Creepy, mesmerizing, and sublimely funny, in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and early Vladimir Nabokov, this powerful debut novel enthralls and shocks, and introduces one of the most original new voices in contemporary literature.

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Editorial Reviews

Review

Eileen is a remarkable piece of writing, always dark and surprising, sometimes ugly and occasionally hilarious. Its first-person narrator is one of the strangest, most messed-up, most pathetic—and yet, in her own inimitable way, endearing—misfits I’ve encountered in fiction. Trust me, you have never read anything remotely like Eileen.” —Washington Post

“What makes Moshfegh an important writer—and I’d even say crucial—is that she is unlike any other author (male, female, Iranian, American, etc.). And this sui generis quality is cemented by the singular savage suburban noir of Eileen. . . . Here is art that manages to reject artifice and yet be something wholly new and itself in sheer artistry.” —The Los Angeles Times

Eileen is anything but generic. Eileen is as vivid and human as they come . . . Moshfegh . . . writes beautiful sentences. One after the other they unwind — playful, shocking, wise, morbid, witty, searingly sharp. The beginning of this novel is so impressive, so controlled yet whimsical, fresh and thrilling, you feel she can do anything . . . There is that wonderful tension between wanting to slow down and bathe in the language and imagery, and the impulse to race to see what happens, how it happens.” —The New York Times Book Review

“The great power of this book, which won the PEN/Hemingway debut fiction award last month, is that Eileen is never simply a literary gargoyle; she is painfully alive and human, and Ottessa Moshfegh writes her with a bravura wildness that allows flights of expressionistic fantasy to alternate with deadpan matter of factness…As an evocation of physical and psychological squalor, Eileen is original, courageous and masterful.” —The Guardian

 

Body of review:

Thanks to NetGalley and to Random House UK, Vintage Publishing, Jonathan Cape, for providing me with an ARC copy of this novel that I have freely chosen to review.

I confess that I did look at some of the reviews on this novel before writing mine and they are very evenly divided. Some people love it and others can’t stand it. Yes, I guess it’s a Marmite kind of novel. Why? Having checked the novel in several online stores I noticed that it is classified under mystery novels, and if lovers of the genre of mystery read this novel I suspect many of them are bound to feel cheated or disappointed. Literary fiction, which is another one of the categories it is classified under, perhaps is a better fit.

The story is an in-depth look at a character, the Eileen of the title, who is narrating an episode of her own life, in the first person. It is not strictly written as a memoir. As I observed recently when reviewing a novel also told from the point of view of the older character looking back and reflecting at her young self (in that case it was Anne Boleyn), these kinds of books have the added interest for the reader of trying to work out how much of what is being told is filtered by the wishes of the older person to provide a positive portrayal of their young selves. In this case, what is quite shocking is that either that younger Eileen had no endearing features, or the older Eileen is trying to make herself feel better and reassure herself that she’s come a very long way, indeed.

Eileen is a lonely young woman (twenty-four at the time of the episode she describes), whose mother died years back, who has a very superficial relationship with her only sister (who no longer lives at home and who seems to be very different), and who lives with her father, a retired policeman, an alcoholic and paranoid man, who sees hoodlums and conspiracies everywhere. From the mentions she makes of her mother and her past experiences, her childhood was also sad and the opposite of nurturing, with both parents drinking heavily, and neither of them having any interest in family life (and even less in Eileen, as her sister seemed to be the favourite). She lives in a derelict house, drives an old car with exhaust problems, works at a young boy’s prison, and has no friends or hobbies, other than shoplifting and looking at National Geographic magazines. She lives in a world of fantasy, and even her physiological functions are bizarre.

In some ways, the novel reminded me of Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller because of the narrator, who was also very self-absorbed and had no empathy for anybody, although in that case, it wasn’t evident from the star. Here, Eileen sees and observes things carefully as if cataloguing everything that happens, but has nothing good to say about anybody, apart from the people she gets crushes on (however undeserving they might be).

The novel, full of details which can be seen as sad, shocking, or bizarre but humane depending on our point of view, hints from the beginning at something momentous that is going to happen and has influenced the choice of the point at which the story starts. A couple of new employees come to work at the prison and Rebecca, a young and glamorous woman (at least from Eileen’s point of view) becomes Eileen’s new obsession. She tries her best to deserve this woman’s attention and that gets her in some trouble that I guess it the mystery part (and I won’t discuss to avoid spoilers, even though as I said I don’t think the novel fits in that genre easily, although perhaps it shares similarities with some classics of the genre, and I’ve seen mentions of Patricia Highsmith. Ripley, perhaps?). From the reviews, I saw that some readers were disappointed by the ending, although it fits in well with the rest of the book. (And from the point of view of the character, at least, it feels positive.)

The novel is beautifully written (although the content itself is not beautiful by any stretch of the imagination), detailed and fantastically observed, and it works as an impressive psychological study, that had me wondering about all kinds of personality disorder types of diagnosis (although the whole family are depicted as very dysfunctional). It is difficult to empathise with such a character, although she seems to be an extreme representation of somebody with low self-esteem and completely self-obsessed (and at a lesser level, even if we might not feel comfortable acknowledging it, most of us have contemplated some of her thoughts or feelings at some point). She is relentless in her dislike for almost everybody and everything, but even her older self remains unapologetic (and well, it takes guts to just not care at all). I could not help but wonder how much better she is now, despite her words, as her comments indicate that she hasn’t changed an iota. If anything, she’s come into herself. But I guess self-acceptance is a big change for her.

I found it a fascinating novel, a case study of the weird and disturbed, pretty noir, but not a read I would recommend everybody. (After all, I’m a psychiatrist…) It is not a feel-good or a nice novel to read but it might be for you if you like weirdly compelling characters and are happy to go with a narrator who is not sympathetic at all. I don’t think I’ll forget Eileen or its author in a hurry.

eileen3

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 4.5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 3.5/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $9.52 (https://www.amazon.com/Eileen-Novel-Ottessa-Moshfegh/dp/0143128752/

Kindle: $6.19 (https://www.amazon.com/Eileen-Shortlisted-Booker-Prize-2016-ebook/dp/B01BYMRLEA/

Hardback: $17.64 (https://www.amazon.com/Eileen-Novel-Ottessa-Moshfegh/dp/1594206627/

Audiobook: $23.59 (https://www.amazon.com/Eileen/dp/B01K7U9GFW/

 

Link to an example one (areas you enjoyed, areas for improvement)

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#Interview with author @ProfKellyOliver.

Kelly Oliver ImageToday’s interview is with the author of a book I reviewed not long ago called WOLF. I won’t say too much about it as she discusses it a bit in the interview, and you can read the review by clicking here. Now on to the interview.

You are very eclectic in your writings over the years. What lead you to writing fiction?

Since I discovered writing, I’ve relied on it to give my life meaning. I live to write.

As a philosopher, in my nonfiction, I write about ethics and ways to make the world a better place.

But, with fiction, I realized I could create a world. I could create a world and then live in it for a few months or years. I could create a world where women and girls come out on top.

How did Jessica James, a cowgirl, come to life? I understand the philosopher part, but I’m trying to get the cowgirl part.

Usually, it’s the other way around.  Folks get the cowgirl part, but scratch their heads at the philosophy part.

Some of Jessica’s story is based on my own experience, a working-class girl who grew up in Montana, Idaho and Washington, going to the big city for the first time to study philosophy, a mongrel amongst pedigreed Ivy Leaguers.

But, there’s a kind of funny story about how I came up with “cowgirl philosophy.” A few years ago, there was a move in the philosophy department to create a “Vanderbilt brand” so everyone would associate the Vanderbilt philosophy department with a special type graduate. I imagined taking a hot iron and branding our students as we handed them their diplomas. I got a bunch of the women philosophers together and joked that our brand should be cowgirl philosophy. One of my students made a logo for us with a really cute blonde long-haired Scottish cow that said “cowgirl philosophy.”  I still have that cowgirl philosophy sticker on my office door.

You have two stories running simultaneously in WOLF, how WOLF cover imagedifficult was it to keep things straight as you went along? By the way, you did a great job. I never got confused, even once.

Jessica James and Dmitry Durchenko are very different. In some ways, the brooding Russian janitor is more of a philosopher than the party-girl philosophy graduate student. So, it was easy to keep their stories straight. The harder part was bringing them together organically. I wanted the stories to become more intertwined as the novel progresses, so they’re intimately connected by the end of the book.

When I was sending out various drafts of the novel to get feedback from other writers, some loved Jessica and others loved Dmitry. At one point, when the Dmitry lovers were ahead in the polls, I had started and ended the novel with his perspective. But, in the end, I realized that the ongoing story is really Jessica’s, so I started and ended the novel with her. It just never felt quite right to start with Dmitry, even though he is an important, and hopefully compelling, character. And, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him!

How much of Jessica’s adventures pulled from actual events you’re aware of?

As I said, some of Jessica’s adventures are based on my own experience in graduate school.  But I plead the fifth on what parts.  I like how you asked about events that I’m “aware of”…maybe not being aware could get me off the hook for some of the more incriminating parts of the story. Jessica’s not the only one who drank too much whisky in graduate school.

You have Russian characters in your book, some are very important to the entire storyline. How did you go about getting the language just right? It was a very smooth transition from English to Russian. I thought it seemed very natural and not intruding at all when I was reading.

Thanks. I did a lot research on Russian sayings, culture, food, and drink, and, of course, the Russian mafia. And, I had a native Russian speaker check my use of Russian words and phrases. It was important to make it authentic.

Just before I started writing WOLF there was a huge FBI sting involving Russian mafia in New York that took in over 30 people on charges of illegal gambling, money laundering, and extortion. Some of my characters are inspired by people pinched in that operation, including a beautiful woman running a high stakes poker game for Hollywood movie stars, and the playboy son of a billionaire art dealer. I also learned that the Russian mafia is alive and well, not only in Russia, but in the U.S.. You don’t want to mess with those guys, so I don’t dare say more about my real-life mafia role models.

You discuss the date rape culture that is so prevalent on college campuses. I’m not sure how much goes on at Vanderbilt but I know cases happen where I’m from. So many even go unreported. What made you think of including that in your book? Did you do any particular research into it with victims? I mean you don’t go too much into details but there are some instances where research seems evident.

As I was writing WOLF, a high profile Vanderbilt rape case was making national headlines. It involved a woman who may have been drugged by something slipped into her blue cocktail, taken back to a dorm room, and then gang raped by a group of football players, instigated by her boyfriend. Because she was unconscious, she didn’t know she’d been raped until the police showed her video recordings the perpetrators had taken “for fun” and sent off to their friends. This case was so stunning, so mind-boggling, and so egregious, I couldn’t imagine what it must be like to find out something like that about yourself from a video.

That lead me to write my latest nonfiction book, HUNTING GIRLS: SEXUAL VIOLENCE FROM THE HUNGER GAMES TO CAMPUS RAPE. I was writing that book at the same time as WOLF. It was important to include the issue of party rape in the novel since it has become an epidemic on campus.

You did a great job of hiding in plain sight who the killer of the titular character was. Which is always the way with a great mystery. There were so many possibilities that when it was finally revealed, there was a bit of surprise, unless you were really following all closely. Writing a mystery, do you worry about revealing too much? How do you balance the hidden and the revealed?

Thanks. Yeah, it was a bit like Jessica who had the evidence proving the identity of the killer all along in the bottom of her backpack. The killer is there all the way through, and signs point to him, too. But, he’s not your usual sort of killer.

I was actually surprised to find out from some of my friends and COYOTE book imagereaders who they suspected. I was floored that lots of them suspected Jessica’s love interest, since I never intended him to be a suspect.  So, that was cool.

In my second Jessica James Mystery, COYOTE (out in August), the mystery is not so much who are the killers, but what happened in a highway accident eleven years ago that binds all of the main characters together in mysterious ways.

How important are beta readers or test readers for a book like yours? Do you have a target reader who reads your book and you ask, “How soon do you figure things out?”

I have an amazing developmental editor, Lisa Walsh, who reads everything and gives me very detailed feedback. I also have a trusted group of friends whose opinions I trust, and if they tell me something’s gotta go, it’s gone.

A lot of my friends are actually professional literary critics, so they are a tough crowd!

What’s been the reaction of your peers who’ve read the book? Are any of them worried they are the model for WOLF?

Hmmmm….given the continued headlines about sexual harassment by male professors, I don’t think there is too much danger of finding that needle in this haystack.

So far, all of my academic friends who’ve read WOLF tell me they love it!  Of course, they get the inside jokes.

How does Tennessee differ from having been a native of Washington State? I’ve been in the South my entire life so all I know is the laid back life.

As I mentioned, I grew up in the Northwest. I go back as often as I can. I miss the mountains. So, I usually spend part of the summer in Idaho near my folks, who live in Sandpoint. And, every winter, I make an x-country ski trip with my brother and sister-in-law to Glacier Park, Montana. Actually, my second novel, COYOTE, is set in Glacier Park. I love it there, especially in the winter when the park is deserted.

To me, the West is dusty brown, with wispy clouds racing across a Robin’s egg blue sky. It’s that sunburnt blister on my nose when I was a teenager dancing til dark at the street dance on the fourth of July. It’s huckleberry milkshakes and stopping in your tracks for a giant moose.

The South is sticky green, with thunderheads sending me into my moldy basement looking for flashlight batteries. It’s soggy turnip greens, deep fried pies, and painting chigger bites with nail polish. It’s the thickening of my waistline, my corneas, and my resume. And, now it’s home.

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Help an Indie Author out.

We have several authors that work here on LWI. We’re all Indie Authors and you know what that means. Out of our own pockets for everything.

First time Author,  Angela Kay is trying to raise funds for her novel The Murder of Manny Grimes. But she’s doing something I’ve never seen before, although it’s probably been done. She’s giving away stuff at each level of donation.

Click the link to check it out and if you can’t donate at one of the levels, any amount helps. We all know that if everyone that saw this gave just a little then it would be done in no time.

You can see a mock up of her cover below.

Now back to editing her book.

Ronovan

https://www.gofundme.com/manny-grimes-novel

Manny Grimes Cover

3 FOR #FREE #FRIDAYREADS!

Design on a Crime
Ginna Aiken
“Sometimes decorating can be deadly serious

Haley Farrell is taking a chance on herself. After earning her interior Desing on a Crimedesign certificate, she quits her retail job and opens a decorating business. But starting her own company may be tougher than she first thought. Just as Haley’s first assignment gets underway, she suddenly finds herself as the prime suspect in a murder investigation. What’s worse, the victim is Haley’s best friend and mentor, Marge Norwalk.

Reeling from Marge’s death, Haley soon realizes that the only way to prove her innocence is to find the real murderer. Before long, Haley is collecting clues and suspects like other designers collect paint chips and fabric samples. But will contractor Dutch Merrill and detective Lila Tsu be swayed by her investigative talents? Or will she be the one punished for this perfectly designed crime?”`-Amazon

Forbidden Mind
Karpov Kinrade
“From USA Today bestselling author Karpov Kinrade comes an award-winning series full of romance and page-turning suspense.
She reads minds. He controls minds. Together, they might get out alive.
Forbidden MindI’ve seen into the minds of killers and have crawled into the darkest mental corners of humanity, but even I wasn’t prepared for this.
I thought that when I turned 18 I would be released from my secret school of paranormal spies and free to follow my dreams and make my own life. That’s what we all thought. Until I met Drake.
Everything changed when I linked minds with the blond-haired boy strapped to that gurney. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined the dangerous truth behind my life.
And now time is running out. We must work together to save ourselves and everyone we love. Before it’s too late.
“…a thrilling, dark and deeply romantic read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and eagerly awaiting the next installment.” ~ Refracted Light Young Adult Book Reviews
Winner of 2011 Forward National Literature Award”-Amazon

Samson’s Deal
Shelley Singer
“Library Journal said: “Great bar scenes, a wonderfully wry narrative, and the obvious affection between Jake and Rosie will have readers clamoring for more.”
Samson's DealMURDER, POLITICS, AND STRANGE BEDFELLOWS…
Samson’s Deal is the FIRST cozy mystery in the Jake Samson and Rosie Vicente detective series by award-winning author Shelley Singer.

“Singer has a good ear for dialogue among the witless … It’s fun to watch [Jake and Rosie] work together, and the bad guys eventually get their satisfying comeuppance, after an interesting plot twist that keeps things hopping till the very end.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian

Ex-Chicago-cop Jake Samson is tired of the rat race. He’s living in laid back Oakland, California with a couple of cats and just enough savings to eat canned oysters and accept collect calls from his bemused parents, when an old friend–a progressive political science professor–calls with an enticing offer. Seems the professor’s wife was found dead in the backyard of their Berkeley home, and he wants to pay Jake ten thousand dollars (plus expenses) to figure out whodunit.

The police pick up the usual leads; jealousy, dirty politics, and an estate worth killing for. Naturally, since the professor is the dead woman’s spouse, he’s the primary suspect. Samson doesn’t like the guy much, but the case heats up—quite literally—when the professor’s office is set afire by a radical right wing activist group, of which, it turns out, the wife was a member.

With his good friend Rosie, and her justice-dispensing two-by-four, Samson follows a twisted trail that leads through the Bay Area’s bizarre cultural labyrinth, from pop meditation ashrams to neo-Nazi rallies, to the startling but all too human truth.

“A fast-paced and often frightening look at the insidious attraction of the extreme right. Even though most of those drawn to the group may be on the lower end of any IQ chart, their sense of dedication to the mistaken idea that they possess a genetic and racial superiority is enough to make them very dangerous. This Shelley Singer novel is recommended.” -Bookbrowser

“…one of the nicer guys in the private eye business, who operates in a relaxed, casual style without need for macho posturing.” -Washington Post

WHO WILL LIKE IT: Fans of Parnell Hall’s Stanley Hastings series, Tony Dunbar’s Tubby Dubonnet series, Bill Pronzini’s “Nameless” Detective series, Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone series, Susan Dunlap’s Jill Smith series, Julie Smith’s Rebecca Schwartz series … and vintage TV series like COLUMBO, THE ROCKFORD FILES, HARRY O, MAGNUM, and HAWAII FIVE-O.

Shelley Singer is the author of ten mysteries, two science fiction novels, one mainstream fiction, and many short stories.”-Amazon

 

Book review @FTThum : The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by @JoelDicker

Harry Quebert

Title:               The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
Author:          Joel Dicker (translated to English by Sam Taylor)
Publishers:   MacLehose Press, London (2015)
Format:         Paperback
ISBN-10:        1848663269
ISBN-13:        9781848663268
Website:         http://joeldicker.com/
Twitter:          @JoelDicker
Pages:             624
Genre:            Fiction; Crime Mystery

What’s it about?

And if every writer had to limit his writing to his own experience, literature would be impoverished and would lose all its meaning. We’re allowed to write about anything that affects us. And no one can judge us for that. We’re writers because we do one thing differently, one thing that everyone around knows how to do: write. All the nuances reside there.              Harry Quebert

And so it is that Marcus Goldman seeks to write a particular story about his mentor and inspiration, Harry Quebert.

Marcus Goldman is a high achieving and competitive writer, who has returned to see his mentor Harry Quebert in the quiet seaside town of Somerset, New Hampshire as the deadline for his second book looms. He is experiencing a severe case of writer’s block in the wake of his first highly acclaimed book.

It was while visiting Harry that the body of Nola, a 15 year old girl lost for some 30 years, was uncovered in the backyard of Harry’s house. As things unravel, stories involving Harry, Nola and the many characters in the town came to light as Marcus was compelled to investigate. There are twists to the story at every turn so don’t get comfortable. 🙂

Beyond the murder mystery/thriller (it is indeed difficult to slot this book into a particular genre), this book is also about the relationship between Harry and Marcus, the bonds they forged and the meaning of trust and loyalty. I can’t help being a vicarious mentee to Harry!

Don’t write in order to be read, write in order to be heard.     Harry Quebert

This is also a romance novel, documenting a love story between two unlikely characters, a story of love and sacrifice that is rather unexpected, and makes the reader (moi) question the usual conceptions of love, age and romance.

What she felt for him was something I had never felt before…and it was at that moment that I realized…that I had probably never been in love. That lots of people have never been in love. That they make do with good intentions; that they hide away in the comfort of a crummy existence and shy away from that amazing feeling that is probably the only thing that justifies being alive.                     Robert Quinn

The conclusion was a little disappointing to me in that, after the twists and turns, it wrapped up neatly. Don’t get me wrong, it wrapped up well, the resolutions to a complex plot and multiple timelines are well executed but I was expecting one final twist but alas, no.

Would I recommend it?

This is a compelling book, a page turner expertly told with an engaging voice of Swiss writer Joel Dicker and translated seamlessly into English by Sam Taylor. It is a book which takes you into the life (and thoughts and emotions) of the characters, and you will lose yourself in that world.

There is dry wit and humor in the dialogue, a simplicity to the narrative which makes this book an entertaining easy read.

Highly recommended.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization:   3.5/5
Made Me Think:                4/5
Overall enjoyment:           4/5
Readability:                        4/5
Recommended:                  4/5
Overall Rating:                   4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 14.74
  Paperback USD 21.49
Booktopia Paperback AUD 16.75
Bookdepository Paperback € 14.58

 

– FlorenceT

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

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© 2015 LitWorldInterviews

#BookReview @FTThum – Straight Jacket by Adrian Deans

This book was published in 2013, I read it at the end of that year…and re-read it recently.

It deserves a review. Why? Read on.

straight jacket

Title:             Straight Jacket
Author:          Adrian Deans
Publisher:     High Horse Books (7 August 2013)
ISBN-10:        0646906259
ISBN-13:        9780646906256
Website:        http://www.adriandeans.com/
Pages:           Paperback, 278 pages
Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/StraightJacket242
Genre:            Fiction – Crime

 

What’s it about?

“If God is too indifferent, or too non-existent to take care of His creation, then clearly it’s up to Me.”

This is Morgen Tanjenz, a lawyer with a God complex, or maybe Devil complex… or simply misunderstood? As he intervenes in the lives of those around him, his life intersects with Detective Sergeant Peter ‘Blacksnake’ Fowler who has problems of his own not least the woman he loves is having an affair. With a serial killer on the loose, Fowler is under intense pressure, and the pressure valve is sure to explode when taunted by the likes of Morgen?

This is an edgy crime novel set in Sydney – dark and interspersed with moments of humour. The protagonist and other characters are quirky and believable, a twist from the usual crime novel characterisations.  And what’s with the cicada on the book cover…and the reference throughout to these insects prominent in the Sydney-scape in summer?

Deans once again has enthralled his readers with his dark sense of humour and unusual perspectives. A book for those willing to explore difference and open to the less than beautiful side of life – its sexual overtones and drugs usage. Morgen is not a lovable character, I don’t think, but captivating.  I want to be on his side. Compelling read as I begin to invest in Morgen’s life – curious to know what happens to him, not wanting anything negative to occur to him. Persuasive writing.

Definitely a worthwhile book to read, especially if you enjoy intense dark crime novels with drama and humour.

LWI Rating:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5
Readability: 3.5/5
Recommended: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 5.27
Bookdepository Paperback Not available at present
Booktopia Paperback AUD 21.25
eBook AUD 4.50

 

Florence 2– FlorenceT

@FTThum

MeaningsAndMusings.WordPress.com

 

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She was never going back. #Book #Review of Deception by Eloise De Sousa @mello_elo

Title: Deceptiondeception_body_bag
Author: Eloise De Sousa
ISBN-10: 1291547955
ISBN-13: 978-1291547955
http://eloisedesousa.wordpress.com/
Pages: 234
Genre: Adult Crime-Romance

 

What’s it about?

Deception is a story about facing your past and learning to trust.

Amanda Glenson has a nice life working in a law firm in London while raising her 5 year old son Zachary. Unfortunately for her, a past that sent her fleeing from her home, her country on another continent, has finally caught up with her. There is no way around facing it; she must return home to Zimbabwe.

Enter Alex Edwards a lawyer brought in specifically to handle a situation in Zimbabwe for the law firm Amanda works for. Sparks fly between the two, only for Alex to discover he will be taken along for the ride into Amanda’s past, a coincidence that fate brings about. Two people with tainted pasts join together in a quest to find truth.

Highlights of the Book

236 pages of every kind of emotion keeps you reading.  The suspense makes you want to read it in one sitting. Who did what? How are Amanda and Alex connected? What is the Deception? And how does little Zachary play a role in the story?

De Sousa brings a realistic feel to the story and her imagery is perfect. She writes what she knows–London and Africa. Authentic in her knowledge of her environment, she carries you along on a tour of her image memories. This in part is what makes it a good, easy flowing read.

The deception title is all through the book in so many ways you have to keep guessing what is the deception. You won’t guess but you can try.

Romance, desire, heat, and all done well with taste and great imagery that gives you just enough to let you become part of the story, but not so much to drive you away from it. Very well done, classy.

Challenges of the Book

There are several interesting characters that could have greater depths in personality and add to the story. There were some opportunities for the male protagonist, Alex, to have done more on several levels. That being said some of the emotional aspects of the character were perfect.

What do you get from it?

Trust is a hard thing to do.

What would I change if anything?

I would have used Alex a little more and turned up either a bit more of the action or perhaps liked to have seen a little more intense dialogue exchanges to increase the tension that made the insides twist wanting more.

Who would I recommend this book to?

The book is classified as a Adult Crime Romance, but to me, it could also be classified as Suspense Drama. There are Romance elements in the book but are not driving points of the story. When Romance is part of the story, it is done very well.

Ratings:product_thumbnail.php4
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 3/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Ovearall Rating: 3.8

 

Buy it at:
 Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: 8.41 USD
Kindle: .99 USD
Alternate Purchsing:

Amazon U.K., Lulu.com

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Eloise De Sousa

 

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