2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, N, RATING, Read in 2019

Review: The Bat by Jo Nesbo

The Bat
by Jo Nesbo

The Bat


Copyright: 1997

Pages: 331

Read: May 11 – 18, 2019

Rating: 2/5

Source: Library e-book


Blurb: The electrifying first appearance of Jo Nesbo’s detective, Harry Hole.

Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case. Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country. As they circle closer and closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those investigating the case.

Review: I have been wanting to try this series for like EVER. I was thrilled to see that my library had an e-book copy that I could easily get and I had a Goodreads challenge callout that would be perfect for this book – so I knew it was time to finally get to it!

And then … I was really disappointed. Like to the point where had I not been reading this book for a challenge I would most have most likely DNF this one. 😦

But I stuck it out … and while it did get better there for a little bit, Harry went on a ridiculous drunken binge and I was just about done. Luckily he straightened back out but  to be honest, I was a little bit over it by then.

From what I’ve seen on Goodreads, the first book in this series is definitely not indicative of how good the books later in the series are. I do know that my grandmother gave me the 7th book in the series with a GLOWING review of it – maybe I’ll get to it someday. Or may be not. The verdict is still out, but this one did not work for me.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, N, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: What Doesn’t Kill Her by Carla Norton

What Doesn’t Kill Her
by Carla Norton

What Doesn't Kill Her

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 367

Read: May 11-15, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased New



Blurb: Reeve LeClaire is not a victim. Not anymore. After four years of being held captive by Daryl Wayne Flint, Reeve is finally getting her life back on track. Little does she know that Flint – imprisoned at a top psychiatric hospital – has been watching, waiting, and meticulously planning his getaway. And he’s ready to seize his chance.

Flint’s escape is Reeve’s worst nightmare. Less than twenty-four hours later, Flint is already on another killing spree … and as he evades capture, baffling authorities and leaving a bloody trail through the forests of Washington State, Reeve is struck by a sudden realization: She knows this psychopath better than anyone – and only she can stop him. But what is she willing to risk to save lives, including her own?

Review: This is the second book in the Reeve LeClaire series. I read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book, The Edge of Normal, back in 2013. I remember I purchased this one a few years ago when I saw it was out in paperback. And then for whatever reason I let it sit on my shelves. I wish I hadn’t done that because I really enjoyed this one!

It was interesting to see Reeve use her knowledge of Daryl Wayne Flint to track him down for capture. At one point Reeve is told that she has a knack for criminal investigation, and I definitely agree – I’d love to see her brought back as a profiler or something in the future!

This book was full of twists and turns. At times my stomach was in knots trying to see if the characters would get out of the jams they were in. I really enjoyed it a lot. It could definitely read well as a standalone (it’s been 5 years since I read the first book, so I was going in pretty well blind anyway). Definitely recommended! A great read!

2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, N, NetGalley, RATING, Read in 2017, Review Book

Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

Before I Let Go
by Marieke Nijkamp

Before I Let Go

Copyright: 2018

Pages: 372

Read: Dec. 16 – 22, 2017

Rating: 2/5

Source: NetGalley



Blurb: Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.

Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…

Review: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

So this was totally an impulse request on NetGalley. The cover really drew me in. The blurb made is sound so creepy. I don’t read a lot of YA, but this one really sounded great to me.

But. It fell flat. Very flat for me. There were times I considered just DNF’ing it. The writing  itself was good, but the actual structure of the book was strange. There were flashbacks and then there were chapters that were written like a script. It was just a strange set up for a book in my opinion.

And the overall plot/storyline? It fell flat as well. I think I expected more from it somehow. It started out extremely slow. Like slower than slow. And it was a little bit all over the place and really confusing.

I didn’t really care for how Kyra’s bipolar illness was portrayed. If you or someone you know has a mental illness issue of any kind, I do not feel like you should read this book at all. The way it is presented was just very disheartening to me.

Bottom line? This book just didn’t work for me.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, N, NetGalley, RATING, Read in 2013, READING CHALLENGES 2013, Review Book

2013.42 REVIEW – The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton

The Edge of Normal
by Carla Norton

Copyright: 2013
Pages: 316
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 30 – Oct. 7, 2013
Challenge: RIP VIII
Yearly count: 42
Format: E-Book
Source: NetGalley

The Edge of NormalBlurb: In many ways, Reeve LeClaire looks like a typical twenty-two year old girl. She’s finally landed her own apartment, she waitresses to pay the bills, and she wishes she wasn’t so nervous around new people. She thinks of herself as agile, not skittish. As serious, not grim. But Reeve is anything but normal.

Ten years ago, she was kidnapped and held captive. After a lucky escape, she’s spent the last six years trying to rebuild her life, a recovery thanks in large part to her indispensable therapist Dr. Ezra Lerner. But when he asks her to help another girl rescued from a similar situation, Reeve realizes she may not simply need to mentor this young victim—she may be the only one who can protect her from a cunning predator who is still out there, watching every move.

Review: This is another great book that grabbed me from the first page and spit me back out at the end.

But I just want to stop feeling like I have this ugly part of myself that no one can possibly understand. I want to have a normal life and be a normal adult. (p. 26)

From the very beginning you know exactly what has happened to Reeve. When she was 12 years old she was kidnapped. She suffered a lot of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse during the four years that she was being held by the psychopath who took her. And all she wants is to be normal. She can’t be faulted for wanting that more than anything. So she’s been seeing her therapist, Dr. Lerner. The reader can tell in the first few pages that Reeve is an intelligent woman who appears to have bounced back rather well from her past. Sure she’s got some issues still, but nothing that I would consider out of the ordinary considering what she went through. But you really don’t see who Reeve is until she is asked by Tilly’s family to come and meet with them. It is here that we are really introduced to an extremely strong woman. Stronger than she gives herself credit for.

This is really quite the suspenseful book. You know from the beginning that there is more to the story than the police officials are aware of. That made it even more interesting for me as far as all the questions being answered. It’s really interesting to see Reeve really put herself out there and investigate for herself. She makes a promise that she does not under any circumstances want to have to break, so she must do things her own way. I felt like that really made the storyline interesting … it was just one more insight into Reeve’s character as a whole.

I have to admit that there were more than a few times that I was a little suspicious of some of the main male characters. My suspicions were completely off the mark, but I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like had the author taken things a different route. Maybe I just wanted to make a mountain out of a molehill 🙂 There are some open-ended possibilities for Ms. Norton to bring Reeve back in another book. I like that there is an opening for that. It would be definitely interesting to see if Reeve goes back to school as Dr. Lerner has suggested to her.

Overall, I felt like this was a great book. It’s not for the faint of heart, but I don’t think that the author went into too much detail that it felt overly gratuitous in any way. I’m definitely looking forward to Ms. Norton’s future in fiction writing!

Highly recommended.

AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, N, Read in 2008

Trust Me by Brenda Novak

Trust Me
by Brenda Novak

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 435
Rating: 4/5
Read: Nov. 15-20, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read

First Line: You already heard, right?

Four years ago Skye Kellerman was attacked in her own bed. She saved her own life by fighting back with a knife. Her attacker, Dr. Oliver Burke, would be caught and sent to prison, but her life was already changed. But when she learns that he is being released from prison, she doesn’t know what to do. The detective that was on Skye’s case has to do everything he can in order to keep Burke behind bars. Unfortunately, Burke gets out … and he is determined to finish what he started…..

I enjoyed this book quite a bit! It took me forever to read though, and it should have been a quick and easy read, but life kind of got in the way 🙂 Anyways, I really liked this book, and I’m definitely looking forward to finding the next book in this series, Stop Me, and finding out more about Skye and her two friends.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, N, Read in 2008

The Widow by Carla Neggers

The Widow
by Carla Neggers
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 332
Rating: 4/5
Read: May 19-24, 2008
Challenge: Eponymous Challenge

First Line: Abigail Browning squirted charcoal lighter fluid on the mound of papers she’d torn up and piled into her backyard grill.

Abigail Browning experienced things on her honeymoon that no women should ever have to go through – her 4 day old marriage ended tragically when her husband, Chris, was shot and killed while on their honeymoon! Seven years later, now a homicide detective, she simply cannot get over the senseless murder of her husband. She can’t let it go. On the seventh anniversary of her marriage, she receives an anonymous call that sends her back to the scene of the murder. But her presence back on Mount Desert Island will cause things to spin out of control. As she pairs up with Owen Garrison, the search-and-rescue man who was too late to save him, they will have to push their feelings aside in order to stop a killer.
This book was really good! There was a little bit of romance, but it wasn’t overpowering, which is how I like my books to be for the most part. The killer was a complete shock for me! It kept me guessing up to the very end. New author for me, and I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended!!
2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, N, Nonfiction, Read in 2008

Coroner by Thomas T. Noguchi, M.D.

by Thomas T. Noguchi, M.D.
Copyright: 1983
Pages: 252
Rating: 2/5
Read: Feb. 23-27, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read

First Line: In my memory, as I write, there is a montage of tragic scenes.

Dr. Noguchi was the “coroner to the stars.” He performed the autopsies of individuals like Marilyn Monroe, Robert F. Kennedy and Janis Joplin. He was also highly controversial in some of his findings. In this book he finally reveals his true thoughts and feelings behind some of the details of his most famous autopsies.
I didn’t care for this book. It started out really good but it just seemed to be quite repetitive near the end. I was really disappointed in it. When I read the description on PBS I thought it would be a lot better and I regret using a credit to order this book. I wouldn’t recommend this book whatsoever.