Tag Archives: Psychological Thriller

Bully Boy Blue #bookreview @nicholl06

  • Title: Bully Boy Blue
  • Author: John Nicholl
  • Print Length: 62
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Thriller, Psychological thriller, suspense, novella

Bully Boy Blue is a short psychological thriller by John Nicholl, author of White is the Coldest Colour and When Evil Calls Your Name. This novella takes only an hour, maybe an hour and a half to read for several reasons. One, it’s only 62 pages, and two, it’s extremely engaging. From the beginning, we get inside the head of the wife (Kathy), who is married to an abusive husband. Like many abusive husbands, only Kathy gets to see his dark side.

As usual, John Nicholl weaves the tale in a way that forces us to become a part of the story. There’s sympathy for Kathy, who has no one but her sister to turn to, there’s hatred for her husband with his hateful slurs and degrading abuse toward his wife, and there are people that surround them that you just want to slap for their ignorance.

I could tell how the story would end, but it pleased me just the same. With every piece of his writing (I’ve read and enjoyed them all), John Nicholl grows and digs deeper into your psyche. And the titles he comes up with is always pure genius. Well worth the read! My only complaint is I want more!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more reviews, click here.*

Biography

John Nicholl

John Nicholl, an ex police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, has written three dark psychological suspense thrillers, each of which have been Amazon international bestsellers, reaching # 1 in multiple categories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the USA. John is always happy to hear from readers, bloggers or the media, and can be contacted via his author website at: http://www.johnnicholl.com. Rights enquiries should be directed to Mr Toby Mundy – Literary agent at TMA.

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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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A Sense of Discovery #BookReview

  • Title: A Sense of DiscoveryA SENSE OF DISCOVERY(A GRIPPING PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE NOVEL) by [MARTIN, PETER]
  • Author: Peter Martin
  • File Size: 2,000KB
  • Print Length: 291
  • Publication Date: July 18, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

A Sense of Discovery opens with a bang. Garry receives a phone call from his mother, who lets him know that she’s in severe pain. He calls for an ambulance and rushes to her side. During the whole ordeal, he’s feeling guilty for not being there for his mother in recent days. Then just before she dies, she informs him of something startling. Based on her last words, he embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth.

The storyline is original, which is my favorite thing about reading A Sense of Discovery. Another favorite is that it held many twists and turns, which were filled with tension. Some of the scenes were written in a somewhat unrealistic way, however, the situation itself was very authentic. The conversation between characters was sometimes tedious. Through the narrative, most of the time we’re given what’s happening, rather than shown.

The ending kind of blew me away. I reread it several times and still don’t know what to make of it, or how I liked it. I still can’t decide. It certainly ended in a twisted way. I believe that the first half of the story was better, and all in all Peter Martin has the potential to being an excellent writer. I wouldn’t mind reading his other books.

Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

Biography

Peter MartinBorn and bred in the West Midlands UK. Martin writes under the pen name of Peter Martin. Missing – Dead or Alive is his second novel, following Against Her Will, his debut novel, the story of one young woman’s fight to lead a normal life after a horrific attack.
His current novel is about a teenager who goes missing for no apparent reason. It is the story of how this affects the lives of his family
Martin’s interests lie mainly in crime, suspense, and thrillers. His favourite authors are diverse, including Robert Goddard, R J Ellory, Kate Mosse, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Diane Chamberlain, Harper Lee, Wilbur Smith. For more info martinperks.weebly.com.

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Portraits of the Dead #BookReview

  • Title: Portraits of the DeadPortraits of the Dead: A gripping serial killer thriller by [Nicholl, John]
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2016
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Format:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

I love reading books where you find yourself in the minds of the characters, whether they are the protagonist or the antagonist. So far, John Nicholl’s first two novels do just that, and now Portraits of the Dead is no exception.

When the story opens, we witness the kidnapping of nineteen-year-old Emma. She’s taken to a place where time has no meaning and she has only the voice of her captor to keep her company. Emma’s captor sees everything that she does. He rejoices in her pain, her fears. He makes her do certain things that delight him. To her, his name is Master. To him, Emma’s new name is Venus 6.

Emma wants to give up and die so that her misery is over with, however, her will to survive is too strong to allow her. Her captor has already eliminated five girls that look like Emma and wonders if she is finally the one he’s been searching for.

Portraits of the Dead is a dark psychological thriller that throws twists and turns at you at every corner. The characters are very well-rounded and believable in what they do and how they speak. The interactions the main detectives (Grav and Rankin) had with their suspects or witnesses were fun and entertaining to read. It was easy to imagine watching their exchanges rather than simply reading, which is one quality I require in a great book.

My only issue would be that the point of view would switch in a single paragraph, which at times threw me off; however, the storytelling was tight, so I paid little attention to the POV shifts as I moved through the plot line.

The ending has a twist that left my jaw clenched and my eyes raced across each line to see what would happen next…that’s as far as I am willing to go without giving anything away. I could not put this book down. it was fast-paced, riveting, dark, creepy, tense. Everything I love in a book.

Over the past few months, I’ve been reading several serial killer thrillers as a kind of research for my own work in progress, and I have to say that Portraits of the Dead is one of my favorites. As always, I look forward to more of Mr. Nicholls’ brilliant writing and recommend him for fans of psychological thrillers that grips you with no intention of letting go.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

John Nicholl

John Nicholl’s debut novel: White is the coldest colour, a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller, draws on the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker. The novel entered the Amazon UK top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and became one of the 25 most read books on Kindle, reaching # 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. It also reached # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological Thrillers in France, # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological & Suspense in Spain, and # 1 in British Detectives and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, where it reached # 10 of all books in the Kindle store. The gripping sequel: When evil calls your name, was published on the 31st of December 2015, and quickly reached # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Women in the UK, # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Criminals and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, and # 1 in Violence in Society in the USA. Portraits of the dead, a gripping serial killer thriller, is available for pre-order from the 14, August 2016, with a 1st of September release date.

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When Evil Calls Your Name #BookReview

  • Title:  When Evil Calls Your NameWhen evil calls your name: A gripping dark psychological suspense thriller (Dr David Galbraith Book 2) by [Nicholl, John]
  • Author: John Nicholl
  • File Size: 635 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publication Date: December 31, 2015
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0191ODNJK
  • Format:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

Synopsis

When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counselor persuades her to write a personal journal exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder. Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. She begins writing and holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours.

Review

When Evil Calls Your Name is the second book of Dr. David Galbraith., and the title fits perfectly for the novel. The story is told by Galbraith’s wife, Cynthia, as she spends the remainder of her life in prison. Her prison counselor had suggested that she write a personal journal in order to help come to term with her past and future, and she does so in such gripping detail, it makes you really feel for her.

It’s a much easier read than its predecessor, White is the Coldest Colour. The storyline is smooth and free of plot holes. John Nicholl does, as he did in his debut novel, a wonderful job at weaving the story together. When Evil Calls Your Name is set at a very slow pace. We look into Cynthia’s  life as she was an innocent young girl, suffering from losses and pain. It only makes sense–and delving into Cynthia’s mind, we see exactly how it’s effective–that she was brainwashed and verbally abused. And that’s what makes this thriller scary. Looking on the outside, it’s not so easy to see why a young woman can be so easily manipulated  and molded to fit the image of an evil man. Only someone who has lived it and seen it can relate. As a former police officer and child protective services worker, Mr. Nicholl does well in explaining how it could be done.

After the halfway mark, when we begin learning about Cynthia’s relationship with Galbraith, I felt sorry for her having to go through what she went through. She was understandably a weak-minded young woman, who fell to the charms of a man she believed to be caring. It’s writing such as this that makes me love to read. It takes a natural writer to be able to grab your psyche the way Mr. Nicholl does.

I highly recommend reading White is the Coldest Colour first. It’s not easy to read, but still, wonderful story telling, and highly intelligent. I believe the first book is essential to truly appreciate the second. I can’t wait to find out what new novels Mr. Nicholl has in store for us next.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

John Nicholl

John Nicholl’s debut novel: White is the coldest colour, a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller, draws on the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker. The novel entered the Amazon UK top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and became one of the 25 most read books on Kindle, reaching # 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. It also reached # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological Thrillers in France, # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological & Suspense in Spain, and # 1 in British Detectives and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, where it reached # 10 of all books in the Kindle store. The gripping sequel: When evil calls your name, was published on the 31st of December 2015, and quickly reached # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Women in the UK, # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Criminals and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, and # 1 in Violence in Society in the USA.

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@FTThum #bookreview ‘I Let You Go’ by Clare Mackintosh

I needed a book to read, and this Sunday Times bestseller was compared to ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Girl on the Train’ so how could I not?

I let you go

Title:          I Let You Go
Author:          Clare Mackintosh
Publishers:     Sphere, Hachette (2014)
Format:          Paperback
Website:         www.claremackintosh.com
Pages:             371
Genre:            Psychological Thriller, Fiction

What’s it about?

Jenna Gray’s world disintegrated when she lost her son, in a hit-and-run.

It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a bid to escape the memories and pain, Jenna ran away to the Welsh coast, initially keeping her identity a secret but gradually, as she re-discovered her old passion and talent and more, her life began to turn around.

But it was not to be, as her past returned to haunt her.

In the meantime, Detective Inspector Ray Steven was assigned to solve this hit-and-run case, only to find the mother of the victim missing, and encountering the world of web-shaming directed at Jenna as he experienced the tension between his career aspiration which demanded that he closed the investigation down and his moral conscience to solve this case. And all this on top of marital problems.

So how did the two worlds converge? This psychological thriller kept me guessing and truth be told, flipping back pages to ‘work it out’.

Would I recommend it?

Yes. An entertaining gripping read by the beach. Kept me up till I got to the twist end.

P/S Clare Mackintosh’s next book ‘I See You’ is due on 28 July 2016. Check it out here.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think:                   3/5
Overall enjoyment:               4/5
Readability:                           4/5
Recommended:                     4/5
Overall Rating:                  4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 9.08
  Paperback USD 6.05
Booktopia Paperback AUD 13.95
Bookdepository Paperback £7.99

 

~ FlorenceT

florence-2

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2016 LitWorldInterviews

Interview with John Nicholl

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

I wrote ‘White is the coldest colour’ primarily as an entertaining dark psychological thriller, but I also hoped it would play a small part in increasing public awareness of the heinous risks posed by sexual predators.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

The book draws heavily on my working life. Some years have now passed, and that time sometimes feels like a different life; but, with that said, writing the book brought back some memories of real events that were perhaps better left in the past.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Writing some aspects of the book proved cathartic, in that you can control events in books a lot more easily than in real life.

Are there misconceptions that people have about your book?  If so, explain.

I think the vast majority of reviewers understood what I was trying to achieve. I have had to accept, however, that you can’t please everyone. The book addresses an emotive subject, and was always going to engender strong emotions.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I read an eclectic range of books, from historical biographies to modern thrillers. I find books written by people who have experienced extraordinary events particularly interesting.

How long have you been a police officer and child protection social worker? Is there anything you can tell us about that?

About 21 years in total. I finally retired from a post heading up child protection services for the county of Carmarthenshire in Wales.

When did you decide to write this series?

The first book tells the story from the perspective of the offender, his intended victim, and the boy’s family. The sequel tells the story in the words of the perpetrator’s wife, and explores issues of domestic violence and manipulation. It answers some of the questions readers are left with after book one.

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject, that isn’t so?

When I first worked in child protection it was extremely difficult to convince other professionals, let alone the general public, that a significant number of adults, most of whom were male, posed a significant risk to children. This lack of knowledge was one of the reasons men like Jimmy Saville avoided arrest for as long as they did. That’s changed now, and I think the public have a much better awareness of the activities of this group of deviant criminals. That has to be a good thing from a protective perspective.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

While fictional, my books are influenced by real experiences. Readers tell me that that shows in the writing.

Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?

I used to run a Taekwondo club and play squash, but these days it’s yoga, swimming and travel.

Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)

I tend to write until lunchtime, with weekends off; always with music playing.

Are you working on anything presently?

Yes, I’m working on a serial killer thriller, which I hope to finish by September 2016.

What is your writing space like?

I only wish I had one! I write at the dining room table with family life going on around me. Such is life.

White is the Coldest Colour #BookReview

 

  • File Size: 728 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2015
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00VR8X45W
  • Format:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

From the author:
White is the coldest colour is entirely fictional, but draws on my experiences as a police officer, child protection social worker, manager and trainer. During my career I was faced with case after case that left me incredulous as to the harm sexual predators chose to inflict on their victims. The book reflects that reality.

The story is set in 1992, a more naïve time when many found it extremely difficult to believe that a significant number of adults posed a serious risk to children.

The book includes content that some readers may find upsetting from the start.

It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

Review:
White is the Coldest Colour is a gripping, disturbing narrative of child abuse. Dr. Galbraith is a child predator and a character that appear so real within the pages of the story, it’s terrifying. The events take place in the early nineties, where, in the author’s words, many find it difficult to believe that children could be put at risk of adults.

A story such as this is one that can both make you want to throw the book across the room, yet can’t let you go. The scenes are welded beautifully, each as strong as the next. John Nicholl terrifyingly describes what’s happening in such vivid detail, it tugs at your heartstrings. The first chapter alone is one that would make you want to put the book down because you’re in the mind of a pedophile. However, it’s an essential part of the story, one that must be included. The next few chapters show the truth of how a sexual predator appears to the general public.

The characters, primary and secondary, stood out and you really feel for them. You get mad at them, but you can’t help but love them. The only one you don’t love are the ones doing the bad things, but they blossomed in the writing.

While reading novels based on child abuse is not my choice of an enjoyable read, I found that reading it helps raise awareness that anyone, even a well-liked child psychologist, married with children, could be a sexual predator. A lot of parents still, even to this day, believe that their children are safe. But the truth is, this is a dark world in which we live. And White is the Coldest Colour does well in reminding us of that.

The author, John Nicholl is a former police officer and child protection social worker, so he knows his stuff. He wrote this book to help his readers realize the pain and suffering children go through by sexual predators.

I recommend White is the Coldest Colour because as hard of a read it was, the story moved forward, the scenes and characters were strong, and it raised important issues, one that people just don’t want to discuss. I can only imagine how hard it is to write a book such as this one, especially when it’s based on the things you’ve seen in your career. I truly look forward to seeing more from Mr. Nicholl.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

John Nicholl

John Nicholl’s debut novel: White is the coldest colour, a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller, draws on the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker. The novel entered the Amazon UK top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and became one of the 25 most read books on Kindle, reaching # 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. It also reached # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological Thrillers in France, # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological & Suspense in Spain, and # 1 in British Detectives and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, where it reached # 10 of all books in the Kindle store. The gripping sequel: When evil calls your name, was published on the 31st of December 2015, and quickly reached # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Women in the UK, # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Criminals and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, and # 1 in Violence in Society in the USA.

 

Stacey: The Twin: Book Two

  • Title:  Stacey: The Twin: Book 2 (The Twins: A Psychological Thriller)
  • Author: R.G. Miller
  • File Size: 2221KB
  • Print Length: 211
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1532755236
  •  Publisher: R.G. Miller
  • Publication Date: April 8, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01E1MIMFC
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

Summary: If you have to kill one, kill the other also.”
These were the words that the renown psychologist, Dr. Susan Patterson had reluctantly had spoken to Dt. Isis Williams. Their topic of discussion: 16-year-old Stacey and Jannifer McHill, The Twins.

A few weeks after Detective Isis Williams and her partner and lover Annette Toni horrific confrontation with the twins– where Dt. Williams was forced to shoot and kill Jannifer McHill–Stacey McHill was sent to a new facility for the criminally insane. Dt. Isis Williams could not bring herself to pull the trigger on the remaining twin.
“If you have to kill one, kill the other also.”
In the meantime, a sadistic rapist/murderer is on the prowl in Harlem, his targets: middle age women. While Williams and Toni are hot on the rapist trail, Stacey McHill escapes while being treated by her psychologist, Dr. Susan Patterson. Now Detective Isis Williams will come to regret the day she did not take heed to Dr. Patterson’s warning:” If you have to kill one, kill the other also.

Review: Stacey: The Twin is the second book in R.G. Miller’s psychological thriller trilogy. Like its previous counterpart, it starts the ground running with its grotesque scenes and doesn’t let go.

Just under a year after the manhunt for two sadistic teenage serial killers ended, Detective Isis Williams is back, hunting for a brutal rapist and murderer. We are briefly reminded of the past events that took place, and the current fate of Stacey McHill, the only living twin serial killer.

Like the first book, the characters were often referred to by their whole name, which takes me away from reading. There were a lot of misspells or wrong word use throughout the novel, as well as telling rather than showing. However, the scenes were put together much better than the previous, although at times there weren’t breaks between point-of-views, which forced me to reread the paragraph a few times to grasp the difference between the scene changes.

At first, it seemed as though Detective Williams mellowed out from when we are first introduced to her in the first novel. Then at times her moods begin to fluctuate, making it appear to me as though she is bipolar. There was a brief scene when even her partner and lover questions Williams’ morals.

In this book, a lot of psychopaths did, or hinted at doing, psychotic deeds, which made me confused as to who was doing what. And, while the book was titled Stacey: The Twin, it took half the script to delve into the latest story of Stacey McHill, but we do end up finding that everything intertwines together, leading to a climatic ending.

Stacey: The Twins was written with a better effort than its predecessor. If you don’t like novels laced with foul language or you don’t like gruesome scenes, I’d steer clear. However, if you can look past them, then you may truly enjoy this series.

Overall Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

About R.G. Miller

Author R.G. Miller image“R.G.Miller, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s an avid reader. His favorite subject is Abnormal Psychology. He enjoys classic R&B and Rock. He’s the grandfather of three, and he enjoys picking up a mike and singing a tune or two.

R.G.Miller spent three years working on his trilogy.”If you’re a fan of CSI, Criminal Minds, or Law and Order, The Twins: A Psychological suspense thriller is the book for you.”

The Twins: A Psychological Thriller is R.G.Miller’s first novel.”

Connect with R.G. on his Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/r.g.millerthetwins/

The Twins: A Psychological Thriller

  • Title:  The Twins: A Psychological Thriller Book 1the-twins-r-g-miller
  • Author: R.G. Miller
  • File Size: 525KB
  • Print Length: 227
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1514105799
  •  Publisher: R.G. Miller
  • Publication Date: November 21, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B018BREYFK
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

From the author:

A Gritty Suspense Thriller about innocence lost and darkness gained…What if two thirteen-year-old sisters, who were identical twins; sisters who’d came from an affluent family; twin sisters whose parents had shielded them from all the ugliness of the world; identical twins who’d shared that unique twin consciousness, were suddenly forced to watch the unthinkable: the torture and murder of their parents? What if three years later, these identical twin sisters go on an unrelenting quest for vengeance? This was the fate of 13-year-old Stacey and Jannifer McHill, identical twins who’d survived a living nightmare, but in doing so…they’ve become a living nightmare.

On their 13th birthday, identical twins Stacey and Jannifer McHill had to witness the worse thing imaginable: the brutal murder of their parents. Stepping into the shoes of the twins, it leaves you haunted by the end of the first chapter. As the story progresses three years later, we find that Detective Isis Williams, who is battling a serious anger problem, is hunting the twins who are on a murderous rampage. This is a story where we already know who did it. We just need to figure out the motive behind the heinous deeds.

The narrative tone throughout the story doesn’t seem as dark as it should be based on the story. The tone leaves one with the feel of a story intended for a slightly younger reader in spite of the sex, language and crime scenes. The twin girls, in the beginning, appear to be younger than 13, but I’m able to look past the youthfulness because on their birthday, they should be excited and happy.

However, according to the book’s description, the twin’s lives have always been perfect. Without reading the blurb, I see the twins as just being normally happy, and at the most, eight years old, rather than 13. We don’t know until near the end that the twins were shielded from a painful life.

When we meet Detective Williams, we find that she is a brutally angry woman. We even see her fighting a rookie in her first scene, which seems odd for a woman in her rank in a real world setting. I did enjoy the brief banter she and her new partner exchanged when they first met. And as Detective Williams progresses, her brutal anger turns to dedication of finding the killers.

My main issue with the story is that there were very few breaks in the scenes, if any. It could be the twin’s perspective, then Detective Williams, then someone else in one paragraph. This caused me to reread the scenes a few times to grasp which scene I should be focusing on at which time. Especially since the switches were so quick in the paragraph. There were also some editing errors that threw me off.

We quickly see how brutal, how dark, how gritty the crimes are. The crime scenes bring me to mind of CSI, or even Saw. That being said, a few word changes here and there would have made the narrative more intense. There was a lot of telling, rather than showing.

As someone who has been obsessed as of late reading literature about serial killings, and has always loved reading about identical twins, I thought the idea of this book was stellar. A little cleaning up, it would be that. If you enjoy movies like Saw, then you’ll probably want to give R.G. Miller’s debut novel, “The Twins” a try.

 
Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

About R.G. Miller

Author R.G. Miller image“R.G.Miller, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s an avid reader. His favorite subject is Abnormal Psychology. He enjoys classic R&B and Rock. He’s the grandfather of three, and he enjoys picking up a mike and singing a tune or two.

R.G.Miller spent three years working on his trilogy.”If you’re a fan of CSI, Criminal Minds, or Law and Order, The Twins: A Psychological suspense thriller is the book for you.”

The Twins: A Psychological Thriller is R.G.Miller’s first novel.”

Connect with R.G. on his Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/r.g.millerthetwins/


Angela Kay, Author imageBook Review

by Angela Kay.

#Bookreview of Shiny Bones by Enrique Laso (@enriquelaso). Translation by Olga Núñez Miret. You don’t need to be weird to solve the case, but it helps.

Hi all:

Although I bring you a book review, because the circumstances are a bit special (I’ve translated the book to English and therefore these are my impressions of the book in Spanish, rather than a rigorous review of the book in English) I decided not to follow the usual format, because I’m somewhat involved in the process. But I wanted to bring you the book, because we’ve had the writer as a guest before, and because I’m very excited about this project. I also leave you some information about where to contact me if you’re interested in translating your work to Spanish.

But first:

Shiny Bones by Enrique Laso. Translation Olga Núñez Miret

Shiny Bones de Enrique Laso. Traducción Olga Núñez Miret
Shiny Bones by Enrique Laso. Translation Olga Núñez Miret

A NEW ETHAN BUSH NOVEL
The FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit special agent Ethan Bush must investigate a serial killer in Nebraska…
A GRIPPING HEART-STOPPING THRILLER
The monster lives in each one of us. We are beasts that have learned, over the centuries, to control ourselves, to restrain our basic instincts and live peacefully in society. We are, after all, fully domesticated and well-trained beasts.
Only on rare occasions, the wild animal that hides deep in our entrails goes on a rampage, giving rise to an insane nightmare…

If you enjoyed novels like ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ or TV series as ‘Criminal Minds’ or ‘True Detective’… this is the story that you have been waiting for.
FROM THE NOVEL:
The county police had cordoned off the zone less than an hour after the boys’ find. A pathologist established that the remains were human, although a large part of the skeleton was missing. In fact, what was missing was what would have been most helpful in the task of identifying the body: the cranium.
“Do you have any clues as to how long have those bones been here?” the sheriff asked, perplexed. His head was full of the terror that he knew would grab hold of his entire community just a few hours later.
“Not long. And one of the boys has told us that he comes for walks in this area often and they weren’t here a few days ago.”
“But this stiff croaked some years ago, don’t you think?” asked the sheriff, pointing at what looked like a tibia. Never in his life had he seen such a thing, and it perturbed him.
The pathologist looked at the grayish sky, where clouds were growing and thickening threatening to release a good downpour. But that storm would only be a child’s game in comparison with what was hanging over the county where he lived.
“I don’t know,” he replied, laconic.
“What do you mean, you don’t know?” asked the sheriff, who felt he’d got a completely senseless answer. These were the remains of a skeleton; therefore one didn’t need to be an eminence in medicine to deduct that the guy, no matter who the hell he or she was, would have stopped breathing a very long time ago.
“These bones have been thoroughly cleaned. They have been manipulated. Without studying them in detail, right now I can’t tell you if the owner died yesterday or over ten years ago.”

THE BLUE CRIMES review on Amazon:
‘And so proceeds Enrique’s THE BLUE CRIMES and the manner in which he places Ethan Bush and team in the resolution of crime is tense, suspenseful, and at all times involving. This is quality mystery writing by a voice new to most of us – a welcome addition to the thriller genre’
Grady Harp, TOP-100 Reviewer/ Hall of Fame/ Vine Voice

Shiny Bones by Enrique Laso. The second Ethan Bush novel. Translation Olga Núñez Miret. You don’t need to be weird to solve the case, but it helps.

As I had mentioned when I read the first novel in this series, thrillers that purport to follow the investigation of complex crimes usually have two fundamental elements that go almost hand in hand: the crimes and the investigation (which allow the readers to put their wits to the test), and the investigators, individuals or teams, and less often, the criminals.

It is true that if the crimes are highly intriguing or very strange the book might be interesting even when those doing the investigating aren’t gripping individuals. On the other hand, there are times when the personality and the adventures of those doing the detecting are more interesting than the crimes themselves (as is the case in many ‘cozy mysteries’ like many of Agatha Christie’s novels). The best novels of the genre manage to achieve a balance between the two.

Shiny Bones has a bit of everything. The case is extremely convoluted and twisted, clearly the work of a complex and traumatised mind (and no, I’m not taking about the writer), but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to solve, quite the opposite.

And we also have Ethan Bush, an FBI psychologist who comes back, as arrogant, intelligent and annoying as before (in The Blue Crimes). The mature Etan Bush of years later offers us his comments and reflections, not only about the case (where he keeps many things quiet, of course), but also about his own actions, therefore acting as an ersatz reader (or perhaps more accurately, author).

This time Ethan doesn’t have his team at his disposal (that in fact is not “his” team, as his boss keeps reminding him throughout the novel), and he’s obliged to work with the Nebraska State Patrol, the local force, and has to try and reach a compromise with them, although that doesn’t mean he doesn’t try to use all the tricks in the book to get his own way. His intelligence, his skill manipulating people, and even his feelings are put to the test in this case that’s a big challenge for him.

To those of you who enjoy solving the cases whilst you read the novel, I’m afraid I have to tell you that, although you’ll have many suspects, you won’t be able to guess who did it. Even with that it will make you think and question many things.

Personally I am eager to go back to Kansas to discover who murdered Sharon Nichols, a case that’s central to The Blue Crimes but never solved, and I’m waiting anxiously the arrival of Las libélulas azules (The blue dragonflies).

As I mention above I’m happy to disclose that I’ve translated the novel. The book has also undergone professional editing/proof-reading. Due to this circumstance I haven’t shared this review in selling channels, although the original is a review of the Spanish novel, rather than of my own efforts in translation.

Link:

relinks.me/B01A4O3ZD0

Just in case you’d like to know more, I interviewed Enrique for Lit World Interviews, here and I reviewed his first novel in the series The Blue Crimes, here.

Ah, if you think you’d like to know more about getting you books translated, in this page I talk about it (I talk about other things too but, keep reading…). And if you want to see examples of books I’ve translated, you can check here.

Thanks very much to Enrique for this opportunity, thanks to you all for reading, and remember it’s good to like, comment, share, and feel free to click too. 

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

#Bookreview ‘The Man Who Watched Women’ (A Sebastian Bergman Thriller) by Michael Hjorth and Hans Rosenfeldt. Sometimes expectations can be a killer

The Man Who Watched Women
The Man Who Watched Women

Title:   The Man Who Watched Women (A Sebastian Bergman Thriller) 
Author:   Michael HjorthHans Rosenfeldt 
ASIN:  B00TQDWIHK
Published:  June 18th 2015
Pages:  528
Genre:  Psychological thriller

Sometimes expectations can be a killer

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC copy of The Man Who Watched Women.

Like most people in the planet (particularly readers) I’m well aware of the phenomenal boom Scandinavian thrillers have experienced in the last few years. I must confess I haven’t read that many of the novels (I have read some Wallander novels and a few others), but I’m a big fan of the TV series. I stumbled upon The Killing, then after watching the BBC version of Wallander I watched the Swedish version (well, there seem to be several), and then The Bridge blew me over, and I recommended it to everybody I met (near enough).

So when I read about this novel and the fact that one of the writers had written The Bridge, I had to get it.

And then, expectations can be a killer.

This is, evidently, the first in a series of novels with Sebastian Bergman, a psychologist expert in serial killers who has experienced a terrible personal loss, as the protagonist. The novel takes on the points of view of most of the characters, including the killers, all the members of the investigative team, and some minor characters (although it is written in the third person). And that was my first issue. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the formatting of the draft copy I received, or it is intentional, but there is no way of distinguishing when there is a change of point of view. Sometimes within the same paragraph there will be two different characters (or rather, it will pass from one to another), creating confusion, especially at the beginning when you don’t know who anybody is or what is happening. So you need to be on your toes, and not only due to the nature of the story.

Then, the characters. The case itself is interesting, although I’m not sure it’s the most interesting novel with a serial killer (or more than one, but I don’t want to spoil the story) that I’ve read. But I did not find any of the characters likeable enough. Most of them were interesting, but I found it difficult to connect with them. Sebastian is a complicated man, with an awful tragedy in his past, but he is a dislikeable human being, and other than intelligence (and he’s not at his sharpest throughout the novel) there are no redeeming qualities I could find. I also thought there were inconsistencies, like his reaction to a woman who comes into his life during the book (and there were many women in his life, and that’s the central issue, although I found it difficult to see why…), his lack of insight, and his proclaimed love for somebody but total inability to reveal a crucial bit of information that would have made everything easier and possibly mark the difference between life and death for the said person. Egotistical, and as personality disordered as the criminals he studies, he lacks the charm that might make understandable the attraction others seem to feel towards him. Yes, he’s at a low moment, but there is no evidence that he’s ever been any different, apart from possibly with his family, and we only have his memories to rely on. The ending might have been intended as some sort of redemption for Sebastian, but I thought it was too little, too late.

The rest of the characters didn’t fare any better for me. Again some were interesting, but either we didn’t get to know enough about them, or they were presented in such a single-minded fashion that it was not easy to make a connection. I thought Billy and Torkel might have some potential, but there was not enough about them to know. I was not sure about the female character who invades Sebastian’s life. She appears disturbed, and considering he’s a psychologist he should notice, even in the circumstances, and the authors add a twist at the end regarding her character that felt a bit tagged on to ensure a second part. Ursula has potential but I wasn’t sure the snippets of information we were given hang together and the surprise at the end… Well, maybe she’ll be developed further. Vanja… other than being a good police woman, and easily irritated, there was nothing else. Hinde, the baddy, is a psychopath, intelligent, with his own traumas, but no particular appealing characteristics.

There were things in the plot that I wasn’t so sure about. The psychologist Sebastian is visiting at the beginning, who was a promising character, disappears suddenly, and he’s never even questioned, despite one of the victims being his patient. When they are trying to track several people throughout the book, they never try to find them through their mobiles, even when they get phone messages sent to them from the said individuals. Although they know about one of Hinde’s associates, and they know he’s somehow involved, he disappears and it’s not clear what efforts, if any, are being made to track him down. And they should have paid attention.

All in all, maybe somebody who comes to the book without my expectations will find it more satisfying. I suspect I was expecting far too much. It is an interesting book, for sure, but I won’t be coming back for the second part. (And if the commercial edition is better formatted and a paragraph given to each character, that would definitely help).

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 3/5
Readability: 2/5
Recommended: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
 

Buy it at: 
Format & Pricing:
Hardback: $19.00 http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Watched-Women/dp/1780894554/
Kindle: $10.91 http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Watched-Women-ebook/dp/B00TQDWIHK/

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

Book review by @FTThum – Second Life by @SJ_Watson

I read SJ Watson’s debut novel ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ when it was released in 2011, which was then made into a film in 2014 starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.  I enjoyed the book tremendously so when his second book ‘Second Life’ was released in February this year, how could I possibly resist?

 

second life book coverTitle:               Second Life
Author:          SJ Watson
Publisher:    Doubleday (2015)
ISBN:             9781922079251 (paperback)
ASIN:             9781921961472 (ebook)
Website:       http://www.sjwatson-books.com/
Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/S.J.Watson.Writer
Genre:          
Fiction, Psychological thriller

 

 

What’s it about?

How well do we truly know another?

When Julia Plummer’s sister, Kate, is found dead in Paris in suspicious circumstances, she sets out to uncover the truth. This takes her into the world of internet dating and hook-ups where her sister was known to traverse. All this at the risk of jeopardizing her relationship with her husband and the life of her son.  It is gradually revealed that Julia’s 14-year-old son, Connor is actually Kate’s child, the result of a fling with an unknown man.  Julia, now a professional photographer, appears to be a respectable middle-class woman, a dedicated mother. Then her past returns to haunt her – her alcoholism from her days in Berlin. Julia is trapped in her mind – constantly questioning her own motivations and desires; ignoring her intuition and burdened with baggage.

While Julia is filled with pathos (complete with baggage), there is a lack of depth in comparison for the other characters, particularly that of Lukas, the man Julia met online. The same for her long-suffering husband, Hugh who is 10-years older encountering problems of his own.

Watson’s attempt at eroticism through Julia’s ‘online dating’ seems forced, although his portrayal of the dark side of internet relationships is horrifying. The voice of Julia is less believable than the voice of Christine of Watson’s first book. The ending is for me dissatisfying – abrupt and utterly convenient.

Simply put, this second book of Watson’s did not live up to his first.   Nevertheless, it is entertaining.

Recommendation:

This book is a well paced and easy to read psychological thriller with enough suspense to carry it through, yet containing loop holes easily identifiable if one is to go looking. So don’t. Just read for near-mindless pleasure.

LWI Rating:

Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think:                   3/5
Overall enjoyment:             3.5/5
Readability:                            4/5
Recommended:                    3/5

Overall Rating:                    3/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Hardback USD 19.88
  Paperback USD 19.88
  Kindle USD 9.99
Bookdepository Hardback Euro 19.47
  Paperback Euro 14.52
Booktopia Paperback AUD 25.50
  Ebook AUD 42.40

 

Happy reading!
– FlorenceT

 

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

Florence 2