Tuesday, June 30, 2009

David Moody - Hater

Remain Calm
Society is rocked by a sudden increase in the number of violent assaults on individuals. Christened Haters by the media, te attackers strike without warning, killing all who cross their path.

Take Shelter
The assaults are brutal, remorseless, and extreme: within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied vicious killers. There are no apparent links as a hundred random attacks become a thousand, and then hundreds of thousands. Everyone, irrespective of gender, age, race, or any other difference, has the potential to become a victim - or a Hater.

Wait For Further Instructions
People are afraid to go to work, afraid to leave their homes, and, increasingly, afraid that at any moment their friends, even their closest family, could turn on them with ultra-violent intent. Waking up each morning, no matter how well-defended, everyone must now consider the fact that by the end of the day, they might be dead. Or perhaps worse, become a killer themselves. As the status quo shifts, "ATTACK FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER" becomes the order of the day ... only, the answers might be far different than what you expect... .


Daniel McCoyne lives an average life. Married, three children and a job he hates he lives pretty much uninterested in change or better his situation as long as the job pays the bills. But things seems to change without his doings. People around him suddenly act strangely violent killing other people. As the situation escalates David must hide with his family in fear to be the next one who is attacked by the so called Haters, people who suddenly seem to become murderous beast.
But when David awakes one morning he becomes a "Hater" himself barely surviving his defending wife. On the run he witnesses authorities "cleaning" the town he lives in. Haters, including him are arrested and presumably killed. Driven by his only thought, one of his children he recognized as not being a thread to him, he wants to make his way find his wife and rescue his child.


So what is it that makes people rave about this book ? I couldn't answer this question even if I tried. The book drags along with David witnessing people changing or chapters where the book completely shifts to an unknown person becoming a Hater. David's personality is a huge bore, as are the small short stories about the Haters.
Interesting though is the fact, that the reader gets to hear the story from the other side when David becomes a Hater himself, filled with rage against those that aren't like him.

The question remains if the reader is interested enough to read the following two parts which aren't published yet. I would be interested in reading how the story goes on, now that we finally got to the point where something happened in David's life but I couldn't stand to bore through another one- or two hundred pages where literally nothing happens except the same thing over and over again.

Visit David Moody.

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1 edition (February 17, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312384831
ISBN-13: 978-0312384838

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lisa Jackson - Malice

The scent is unmistakable - gardenias, sweet and delicate, the same perfume that his beautiful first wife, Jennifer, always wore. Opening his eyes in the hospital room where he's recovering from an accident, New Orleans detective Rick Bentz sees her standing in the doorway. Then Jennifer blows him a kiss and disappears. But it couldn't have been Jennifer. She died twelve years ago.

Once out of the hospital, Bentz begins to see Jennifer everywhere, haunting ad taunting him, then vanishing without a trace. Could she still be alive ? But it was Bentz who identified Jennifer's body body after her horrible car wreck, and there had been no question in his mind that it was her crumpled form behind the wheel, her clothes, her wedding ring. He's never doubted it until now. He can't tell his new wife, Olivia, about the sightings or his secret fear that he's losing his mind, even though he knows she suspects something is wrong. But Olivia is also hiding a secret.

When a copy of Jennifer's death certificate arrives in the mail, emblazoned with a red question mark, Bentz follows the postmark trail to Los Angeles, returning to the painful memories he's tried so hard to forget, and straight into a killer's web. Reconnecting with his former LAPD colleagues, Bentz begins to piece together Jennifer's last days, but each new discovery only serves as a chilling reminder of how little he really knew about his first wife. Then the murders begin, each victim a part of Jennifer's past, each grisly corpse pointing to Bentz as the prime suspect.

Someone's been waiting patiently, silently. Someone who knows exactly what happened that night twelve years ago and has been anticipating Bentz's every move. Soon it will be Bentz's turn to suffer for his sins. But he won't be the only one made to pay the ultimate price. For a diabolical killer has now made Olivia the prime target.


Rick Bentz left LAPD 12 years ago after a fatal shooting where he shot a teenage in self defense and his wife's horrible car accident that left him a widower to raise his daughter.
Today he is happily married to Olivia and lives and works in New Orleans. But lately, since he woke up from a short coma, he's been seeing his dead wife. It soon becomes clear that someone, his dead wife or not, wants him to return to Los Angeles.
The situation spirals downwards when former friends of Jennifer are found killed just after Rick talked to them about his dead wife and her secrets.


I'm not at all familiar with Jackson's New Orleans series or the character Rick Bentz so I won't speak about character development but rather about a gripping thriller with only sometimes too much words to wrap it up. Malice for me felt very conclusive but had its moments when I thought nobody would go such difficult ways just for revenge.
Overall I found this book entertaining and finished it fast. Unfortunately the reader assumes too fast who's the culprit.

Visit Lisa Jackson.

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation; (April 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758211848
ISBN-13: 978-0758211842

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan - The Strain

They have always been here. Vampires. In secret and in darkness. Waiting. Now their time has come. In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months - the world.

A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.

In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing....

So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city - a city that includes his wife and son - before it is too late.


I am an audiobook freak and listen to a lot of books but very rarely sit down to review one. With this one I am making an exemption because I believe it deserves a good review.
The book is narrated by Ron Perlman, who I've never listened to before, except on various movies. His deep voice however is gripping and very kept me listening for hours.
Besides the phenomenal, non romantic, dark vampire plot the book creates a sense of darkness the old vampire lover has been craving for a long time, at least since vampires have become humanized with way to much romantic novels lately.

So who searches for romantic is at the wrong place with this one. What you'll find is a haunting darkness you haven't encountered for a long time. I find it to be excellent and exciting.

This audiobook is the first installment of a planned trilogy in which at first a plane lands in New York. Its passengers, besides four survivors, are all dead without visible indications of why. CDC Dr. Eph Goodweather is called to enter the plane first as it is suspect to a possible virus.
The plane also had a huge crate in its cargo that mysteriously vanished the same time, the survivors turned into raving, vampirelike killer machines.
Old Abraham Setrakian knows what is happening and is out to contain the so called virus but he knows better. His past taught him that Manhattan and the whole world is facing extinction.

New York is infected, vampires running the streets.
The war has begun and its only opponents is a small group of an old man, a woman, a doctor and his little boy and a sewer cleaner.


Audio CD
Length: 13 hrs and 36 mins
Publisher: HarperAudio; Unabridged edition (June 2, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061715204
ISBN-13: 978-0061715204

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gillian Flynn - Sharp Objects

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.


Camille Preaker is a news reporter and her latest assignment sends her to her hometown and her dysfunctional family. Camille's loss of her little sister years ago and the upbringing by a mother that didn't shown any affection towards her made her an alcoholic and cutter who used to compulsively cut words into her skin.
Now two girls have been killed and were found with their teeth pulled.

While interviewing Wild Gaps residents Camille also gets to know her little sister who seems at her young age of 13 to be the towns beauty and bully, described by everyone as being mean.

Camille is drowning in memories about her sister and her long way of suffering until she died when a terrible, terrible suspicion begins to form in her mind.


I've recently read Dark Places, Flynn's second novel which reminded me I've got another one of hers on my shelf since like forever.I also remember there was a lot of hype about this book which I can't relate to.

First and foremost each and every person in this book seems to be more or less to be disturbed. It didn't make the characters likeable at all which might be difficult for some readers. The story unfortunately is very predictable and I remember I looked up around page 50 and told my husband it would be a shame that I already know who's the killer and how the story is going to unfold.
I do believe the novel has a lot of darkness in it and at times it becomes too much and too implausible.

I'm glad I read the second book before the first one otherwise I'd ever have picked up Dark Places which actually was entertaining besides it's flaws.
Sharp Objects though lacks something not every new writer has: sophistication. Regardless of the author being a more or less "famous" reviewer for Entertainment Weekly.


Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books (September 26, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0307341542
ASIN: B0028N729O

Monday, June 15, 2009

Simon Clark - Vampyrrhic

Leppington is a small town, quiet ad unassuming. yet beneath its streets terrifying creatures stir.
Driven by an ancient need, united in their burning hunger, they share an unending craving. They are vampires. They lurk in the dark, in tunnels and sewers ... but they come out to feed.
For untold years they have remained hidden, seen only by their unfortunate victims. Now the truth of their vile existence is about to be revealed - but will anyone believe it ? And is it already too late ?


David Leppington left his birthtown, named after his family, when he was a young boy. Now he returns with a job offer and the hope to reconnect with his uncle George who tells him about ancient tales of their families and the shocking truth about a pact that was made once with the great North god Thor who in return for a favor asked for the Leppingtons' leader to lead an army of his in his war against Christianity.
According to his uncle the last Leppington is supposed to unleash and army of undead upon his return to town. The army, hidden and locked away in the tunnels under the town have been waiting for centuries, living from blood that came through the drains of a huge slaughterhouse.

Meeting Bernice, another guest in the Station Hotel, and Electra, its owner, the three have a dinner when a fourth person, the badly mannered, mean looking jack Black enters the game. The circle is closed and the group feels they are there for a purpose and have been many years ago.

History might or might not repeat itself.


Although I liked the books I've read by Clark so far, this one felt more like a badly influenced Stephen King novel. I didn't quite get the reference to the watching crow except I thought about Randall Flagg who appeared in numerous novels written by Stephen King.
All in all I didn't think there was any uniqueness in this novel. Too much inconsistencies, not enough action.

Simon Clark on fantasticfiction.com

Paperback: 434
Publisher: Leisure Books (July, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0843950315
ISBN-13: 9780843950311

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lisa Jackson - If She Only knew

She woke up with a new face...
Not only has Marla Cahill survived a deadly car accident, but her beautiful features have been restored through plastic surgery. She should be grateful. Instead, she's consumed by confusion . . . and panic. For the people gathered at her bedside — her family — are strangers. And so is the woman whose haunted eyes stare back from the mirror...

She woke up with no memories...
Secluded at the magnificent Cahill mansion, Marla waits for something to trigger recognition. Yet the only thing she's left with is the unshakable feeling that she is not who everyone says she is, and that something is very, very wrong...

... and she woke up to murder
Determined to piece together the truth of her identity, she finds herself drawn to her brother-in-law, Nick — a man who seems both to want and despise her. And as her fractured mind slowly clears, Marla begins to have flashes of another life . . . of cruel betrayals and deadly secrets. Marla's life isn't just different — it's in danger, controlled by a twisted killer who's waiting for the right moment to strike ...the moment Marla remembers...


Marla Cahill survived a terrible accident that left her without any memories of her life before. No she slowly wakes up from a coma, learning she has a husband and two children she doesn't feel anything for. From the beginning she feels something is wrong with the people around her keeping secrets hidden from her. The situation doesn't get easier for her when Nick, her husband Alex's brother, is called to help with the huge company Alex owns.
She feels attracted to him, he despised her and what she once did to her.
But only he is on her site when everybody else is trying to keep her hidden in the Cahill's huge mansion as if they didn't want her to get her memories back.


Having read a few of Lisa Jackson's novels I found this book only average at the most. The tension once expected from the storyline doesn't really come out.
From things that didn't make sense in the end to things that were just obvious, the book including its ending is a disappointment for me.
Luckily and the reason why I read a mystery from the genre romance, Jackson kept the cheese in a low profile. Thank you for that.

Visit Lisa Jackson.

Paperback: 447 pages
Publisher: Zebra (October 1, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420101927
ISBN-13: 978-1420101928

Sunday, June 7, 2009

J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (Year 4)

Harry Potter is midway through both his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron and the Weasleys.
He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream).
He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for hundreds of years.
He wants to be normal - even by wizarding standards.
And in his case, different can be deadly.


Beginnig his fourth year at Hogwarts, fourteen-year-old Harry Potter and his friends eagerly await Dumbledore's huge announcement of the Triwizard Tournament involving two other European schools of magic. The Goblet of Fire will choose those 17 and above to participate in the tournament and there will only be one student of each school participating..
The bigger the surprise when the goblet gives a fourth name as participant and it is no other than the underage Harry Potter.

Seeing and feeling the signs of Lord Voldemort once again Harry has to face three difficult tasks, a crumbling friendship with Ron and last but not least the dangerous Lord Voldemort.


The forth installment in this series really hits the mark going out of being pure children's literature. Dealing with problems every young adult faces sooner or later. What I liked about this very thick book is that it never got boring once with much darker elements and more action it's contents grew with our three heros.
As always Harry relies heavily on the help of his friends and teachers to survive.

Visit J. K. Rowling.

Paperback: 752 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (July 30, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439139600
ISBN-13: 978-0439139601

Monday, June 1, 2009

Terri Persons - Blind Sight

A deer hunter tracking his wounded prey through the Minnesota woods gets much more than he bargained for when he makes the grisly discovery of a young girl's bod. The condition of the corpse is shocking:
The girl had been pregnant, but the fetus has been removed from her womb and an inverted pentagram drawn on her forehead.
After the girl is identified as the daughter of a high-powered senator, the FBI is called in to find the murderer - and the missing baby.

The case becomes increasingly complex as Bernadette and Tony's personal relationship heats up, and the investigation is hampered by the many lies that lead them on an circuitous - and deadly- route to the truth.
Through dogged police work and Bernadette's unique powers of second sight, they close in on the killers on a frigid night in snowy woods in an effort to save the tiny victim of the toughest crime they've ever had to solve.


The corpse of a young, runaway girl is found by a deer hunter. Lydia Dunton was the daughter of U. S. senator Magnus Dunton, her pregnant womb was sliced open to remove the baby she carried and on her forehead the killer left an inverted pentagram.
Bernadette Saint Clare and her supervisor and partner Anthony Garcia are pressured to solve the case asap and get the smallest victim back alive but where to begin ?

When evidence is tampered with, a suspect is killed and a whole town keeps silent about a possible satanic cult or a witches coven the investigators have to find other ways. One leads Bernadette to an old case that happened many years before in a town not far away and a town where Lydia Dunton was shortly before she was killed.
Recovering Lydia's backpack and using Bernadette's special ability, the investigators are able to bring a little light into the case, a light that puts her own parents into the spotlight.

Blind Sight is the third novel in a series featuring Bernadette Saint Clare and Anthony Garcia and as the two previous novels, Blind Spot and Blind Rage it keeps what it promises. Like before Bernadette's sight is mostly irrelevant but gives her hunches and the killer's surroundings that come in handy. With a not too overpowering romantic relationship deepening in this novel it offers the typical whodunit FBI procedure with very likeable characters and and introduction to a new character I got the feeling we will meet again.


Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (May 26, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385526539
ISBN-13: 978-0385526531