Oct 052017
 

The Sinner

Author: Petra Hammesfahr
ISBN: 9780143132851
Publisher: Penguin

Summary

On a sunny summer afternoon by the lake, Cora Bender stabs a man to death. Why? What would cause this quiet, kind young mother to stab a complete stranger in the throat over and over again, in full view of her family and friends? For the local police, it’s an open-and-shut case. Cora quickly confesses and there’s no shortage of witnesses, but those questions remain unanswered. Haunted by the case, the police commissioner refuses to close the file and begins his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into a woman’s private hell. A dark, spellbinding novel, where the truth is to be questioned at every turn.

About the Author

Hailed as Germany’s Patricia Highsmith, Petra Hammesfahr has written more than twenty crime and suspense novels, and also writes scripts for film and television. She has won numerous literary prizes, including the Crime Prize of Wiesbaden and the Rhineland Literary Prize. Her breakthrough novel, The Sinner, was a major critical and commercial success internationally, including in Germany, where it stayed on the bestseller list for more than fifteen months. The Sinner has been adapted for television as a limited series on USA starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman.

My Review

I decided to purchase this book after being completely enamored with the limited series on USA. It was an amazing show, if you haven’t watched it, go binge those 8 episodes -you won’t regret it!!

As for the book, it is equally amazing. It does follow the show fairly closely but we do see a lot more of the abuse that Cora has gone through as she grew up and the way she came to be. I feel like the show was more about someone else inquiring into Cora’s actions that day on the beach, but the book explains to us how Cora was raised and really answers everything amazingly well. The show did too and I honestly can’t compare them as far as quality goes.

Normally, a show is either better or worse than the book, and while I would love to say that the show was better simply because the English wasn’t the greatest for the book as it was translated from German, the story itself is equally as compelling and forces you to keep turning the page. If you love one you will love the other.

I am looking forward to reading other books by Hammesfahr that are translated to English.

The basis for the “instantly gripping” (Washington Post) limited series on USA starring Jessica Biel, The Sinner is an internationally bestselling psychological thriller surrounding an unexplained murder

On a sunny summer afternoon by the lake, Cora Bender stabs a complete stranger to death. Why? What would cause this quiet, kind young mother to commit such a startling act of violence in front of her family and friends?

Cora quickly confesses and it seems like an open-and-shut case. But the police commissioner, haunted by these unaswered questions, refuses to close the file and begins his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into the depths of her own psyche and the violent secrets buried within.

A dark, spellbinding novel where the truth is to be questioned at every turn, The Sinner is now a smash summer hit, with the TV series hailed as one of the best new shows of summer.

“As I read [the novel], I kept going, ‘I know where this is going—there’s no way this could be interesting.’ And then it would just take a com­pletely different direction.” —Jessica Biel

“The Sinner is unnerving and weird and guaranteed to stick with you weeks later.” —Sarah Weinman, editor of Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives and Women Crime Writers

“Hauntingly insightful and sensitive.” —The Guardian

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Feb 212017
 

Chaos (Scarpetta #24)
by Patricia Cornwell
ISBN: 0062436724
URL: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062436726/chaos

Summary

#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns with the remarkable twenty-fourth thriller in her popular high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, twenty-six-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. It appears she was struck by lightning—except the weather is perfectly clear with not a cloud in sight. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Cambridge Forensic Center’s director and chief, decides at the scene that this is no accidental Act of God.

Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie. Though subsequent lab results support Scarpetta’s conclusions, the threatening messages don’t stop. When the tenth poem arrives exactly twenty-four hours after Elisa’s death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved, and sounds the alarm to her investigative partner Pete Marino and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley.

She also enlists the help of her niece, Lucy. But to Scarpetta’s surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece. Also, Lucy can’t explain how this anonymous nemesis could have access to private information. To make matters worse, a venomous media is whipping the public into a frenzy, questioning the seasoned forensics chief’s judgment and “a quack cause of death on a par with spontaneous combustion.”

My Review

I absolutely LOVE Cornwell and the Scarpetta series, however this wasn’t the best in the series. There was a lot of buildup to a fairly fast ending. The book is entirely narrated by Kay Scarpetta and talks about her family and the past and things that anyone who has read the majority of this series would already know. That said, its a GREAT book for someone who is new to Cornwell and the Scarpetta series! It wasn’t as big of a page-turner as other Scarpetta novels, but it was still good and a book I will keep on my shelves to read again!

I did feel like I have missed the last book previous to this because there were some major life changes for one of the main characters, but it was explained enough to understand and to be honest, I don’t know if it would be in a prior book. I will certainly find out when I see the book I am missing!

About Patricia Cornwell

#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns with the remarkable twenty-fourth thriller in her popular high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, twenty-six-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. It appears she was struck by lightning—except the weather is perfectly clear with not a cloud in sight. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Cambridge Forensic Center’s director and chief, decides at the scene that this is no accidental Act of God.

Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie. Though subsequent lab results support Scarpetta’s conclusions, the threatening messages don’t stop. When the tenth poem arrives exactly twenty-four hours after Elisa’s death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved, and sounds the alarm to her investigative partner Pete Marino and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley.

She also enlists the help of her niece, Lucy. But to Scarpetta’s surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece. Also, Lucy can’t explain how this anonymous nemesis could have access to private information. To make matters worse, a venomous media is whipping the public into a frenzy, questioning the seasoned forensics chief’s judgment and “a quack cause of death on a par with spontaneous combustion.”

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

 

Jan 032016
 
Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published by Slogan Books (first published August 31st 2011)
ASIN: B005KKUVX6

Summary

In the exclusive enclave of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a woman who builds custom guitars is murdered. A disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator is hired by the dead woman’s father and immediately becomes the target of a violent ex-convict. An enigmatic music star performs damage control on her links to the dead woman. And a professional killer who idolizes Keith Richards is brought into town by a mysterious employer.

My Review

Started and finished this book in a single day. I love when I get sucked into a book so quickly that I lose track of time! It has been awhile since I have really enjoyed reading and I am finding some awesome reads lately that are just sucking me straight in.
This was a suspense/mystery without much graphic so I consider it to be a fairly clean read. There was some moments but that was more than expected.
The story for me was quite unique having it be a private investigator rather than a police officer or another member of law being the one who is doing all the leg work and unraveling the mystery/story. I enjoyed the extreme use of humor in this book, it really made it feel like I was reading the thoughts of the narrator rather than just the actions, which was a lot of fun. I love that this story had me guessing as the pages turned. Definitely recommend it to anyone who is into crime novels!!

Jan 022016
 
Author: Terri Ragsdale
Paperback, 509 pages
Published December 1st 2009
By Booksurge Publishing
ISBN 1439203547
ISBN13: 9781439203545

Summary

WINNER OF THE PINNACLE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN LITERATURE HISTORY!

A suspenseful novel filled with unbridled passions, jealousy, incest, murder, witchcraft and dark superstitions. Roots of Indifference is interwoven with the story of a prestigious family during the early 1900s, struggling with racial intolerance as they try to carve a place for themselves in a hostile land during the Mexican Revolution, World War 1, and The Great Depression. This fascinating novel brings to light the horrendous injustices inflicted upon the Mexican-Americans, who suffered cruel indignities and discrimination. It is a story that needs to be told about the turbulent times during those dark years of indifference.

My Review

This book is LONG but well written and it contains a lot of history that we don’t often think much about any more which I personally enjoy. The author does a good job building characters. I think that this is a book for people of all ages and that it would be welcome reading for school projects or book reports. This is a story of injustice, racism, wartimes and everything else that was going on in the early 1900’s. I absolutely love reading fiction that is so well done that you believe it to have actually happened as written and that is what Terri Ragsdale does, she brings us to the past and lets us live through her characters so we can understand how bad things were. A MUST READ!

A suspenseful novel filled with unbridled passions, jealousy, incest, murder, witchcraft and dark superstitions. Roots of Indifference is interwoven with the story of a prestigious family during the early 1900s, struggling with racial intolerance as they try to carve a place for themselves in a hostile land during the Mexican Revolution, World War 1, and The Great Depression. This fascinating novel brings to light the horrendous injustices inflicted upon the Mexican-Americans, who suffered cruel indignities and discrimination. It is a story that needs to be told about the turbulent times during those dark years of indifference.
$19.99 USD
May 262015
 

Author: James Anderson
Hardcover: 288 pages
Published: February 15th 2015
By: Caravel Mystery Books
ISBN: 0912887109
ISBN13: 9780912887104

Summary

BEN JONES, the protagonist of James Anderson s haunting debut novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner (Caravel Books, February, 2015), is on the verge of losing his small trucking company. A single, thirty-eight-year-old truck driver, Ben s route takes him back and forth across one of the most desolate and beautiful regions of the Utah desert. The orphan son of a Native American father and a Jewish social worker, Ben is drawn into a love affair with a mysterious woman, Claire, who plays a cello in the model home of an abandoned housing development in the desert. Her appearance, seemingly out of nowhere, reignites a decades-old tragedy at a roadside café referred to by the locals as The Never-Open Desert Diner. The owner of the diner, Walt Butterfield, is an embittered and solitary old man who refuses to yield to change after his wife s death. Ben s daily deliveries along the atmospheric and evocative desert highway bring him into contact with an eccentric cast of characters that includes: John, an itinerant preacher who drags a life-sized cross along the blazing roadside; the Lacey brothers, Fergus and Duncan, who live in boxcars mounted on cinderblocks; and Ginny, a pregnant and homeless punk teenager whose survival skills make her an unlikely heroine. Ben s job as a truck driver is more than a career; it is a life he loves. As he faces bankruptcy and the possible loss of everything that matters to him, he finds himself at the heart of a horrific crime that was committed forty years earlier and now threatens to destroy the lives of those left in its wake. Ben discovers the desert is relentless in its grip, and what the desert wants, it takes. An unforgettable story of love and loss, Ben learns the enduring truth that some violent crimes renew themselves across generations. The Never-Open Desert Diner is a unique blend of literary mystery and noir fiction that evokes a strong sense of place. It is a story that holds the reader and refuses to let go and will linger long after the last page.

My Review

I *thought* I had reviewed this book but apparently I somehow forgot, which is a surprise because the book is a really great one! My dad is a truck driver so in some of the things I can relate simply by going to work with him when I was a kid. This book begins with a man who seems to be hiding in the desert, away from his feelings, we are then introduced to several other characters, all of whom have their own degree of mystery. The book is well written, a fun and easy read and one I am excited to keep on my shelf. I have an uncorrected proof that was sent to me in exchange for my honest review so I won’t go into detail in case edits were made. Overall five stars and a thumbs up!

About the Author

James Anderson was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. He received his undergraduate degree in American Studies from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and his Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Boston Massachusetts.

Undergraduate thesis: Word-man/Poet: The Poetry and Poetics of Lew Welch

Masters thesis: The Never-Entered Kingdom: Beyond Linguistics in the Rendering of the Literary Child in Adult Fiction

His first publication in a national magazine, a poem entitled Running It Down, occurred at age nineteen, in Poetry Northwest. The poem was later anthologized. His poems, short fiction, essays, reviews and interviews have appeared in Northwest Review, New Letters, The Bloomsbury Review, Solstice Magazine and many others.

In 1974, while still an undergraduate, Anderson founded Breitenbush Books, a book publisher specializing in literature and general interest trade titles. From 1974 to 1991 Anderson served as publisher and executive editor. Breitenbush received many awards for its books, including three Western States Book Awards, juried by Robert Penn Warren, Elizabeth Hardwick, N. Scott Momaday, Jonathan Galassi, Jorie Graham, Denise Levertov, William Kittredge and others. Notable authors published include Mary Barnard, Bruce Berger, Clyde Rice, Naomi Shihab Nye, Michael Simms, William Greenway, John Stoltenberg, Sam Hamill and Gary Miranda.

From 1995 to 2002 Anderson co-produced documentary films, including Tara’s Daughters, narrated by Susan Sarandon. The film, which won Best Documentary at the New York Film Festival, chronicled the plight of Tibetan women refugees as carriers of Tibetan culture in the diaspora.

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