– by R.A. LaShea
*This commentary applies to all 3 installments of “21 Weeks”
(Weeks 1-7, 8-14 & 15-21)*
How do you catch a perfect killer?
R.A. LaShea‘s tour de force of a serial crime saga, “21 Weeks” that spanned out in 3 7-week installments, is prolly the best constructed and executed crime procedural series I’ve ever read in any fic yet! Thanks to an enthusiastic recommendation from one of my GR mates (Cheers, Farah!), I grabbed a copy and never looked back! My goodness! It was like watching the entire case on-screen! So meticulous. So methodical. So absorbing and addictive. In fact, LaShea’s design of the entire case is so ready to be adapted from book-to-screen. imho! “21 Weeks” is truly one of the most original serial crimes created, what with the types of killings constructed and the methodology of solving it.
First off, I was immediately drawn to the aesthetic structure of LaShea’s presentation of her story – dividing it into weeks. Reminded me of the TV series, “24,” but instead of every episode representing one hour, this one was by week. And in each week, starting from “Week 1,” the story began with the day, the location and the time, reminiscent of the TV series, “Law & Order.” With this technique, I discovered that my brain was processing my reading of each Week as if it were a week instead of my usual reading time of x minutes to finish a chapter (Week). In essence, the constant display of the day and time on the pages tricked my brain into slowing down the reading time lapse to match LaShea’s. I can’t explain it any other way, so if you think I’m bonkers, maybe I am! Ignore this! Anyway, it literally brought Beck and Co.’s entire investigation of each homicide to life, for me, making my experience much more acute! In addition to this effective structure of presentation, one of the best bits was that I felt like LaShea gave me, the reader, the opportunity to work through and determine the killer’s modus operandi myself rather than spoon-feeding me, you know? Simply brilliant!
Continue reading “21 Weeks Series (Weeks 1-7, 8-14, 15-21)”
– by Tammy Bird
One word. Sandman. On the book cover. The text almost translucent, as if trying to hide in plain sight with its colour melding into the sandy beach with an ominous-looking sky looming above the troubled waters.
What is Sandman?
When I first heard about Tammy Bird‘s debut novel, “Sandman,” I was immediately curious. First, the cryptic title, which set my mind whirling trying to ascertain its meaning or symbolism. The aesthetically unsettling cover closed the deal for me. SOLD.
Then, the fact that the revealed plot from the blurb was twofold – a search-and-rescue effort post-hurricane and what was lurking in the sand dunes. I thought that was a fascinating approach to writing in the crime thriller genre in lesfic. Needless to say, I utterly enjoyed the story as a whole. I was glad to discover that there were more than met the eye, beyond the twofold-plotline blurb! Truth be told, I actually didn’t read the blurb before I read the book because I was so intrigued by the title that I wanted to find out for myself including what the case would entail. I must say, I was surprised when I went back to read the blurb afterwards when I saw the revelation of the title’s meaning! I wish the blurb didn’t mention that, though. Oh well, it didn’t affect me because, thank goodness, I didn’t read the blurb before delving into a book this time!
Continue reading “Sandman”
– by Lesley Davis
*This commentary applies to all three books in this “Wings” trilogy.*
After coming off a reading high with Lesley Davis‘ latest brilliant romance novel, “Playing with Fire,” I wanted to explore more of her writing and stories. Imagine my delight when I saw that she also wrote in the paranormal genre! Why, it’s only one of my favourite genres! And it was a trilogy! Plus, when mixed with crime/mystery and romance, too?! Cor! Not only that but….
Angels & Demons?! Gods & monsters?! Demigods?! Oracles?! Immortals?! Awakened (humming “was blind but now I see….”) souls?! Possessions?! All congregated in the same time-space with, dare I say…(gasp!)…Ordinary humans running around, too?! Good vs Evil?! Heaven & Hell?! The Underworld?! Bloody hell!
Also, maybe it’s the fact that I’ve just recently watched Amazon’s Neil Gaiman/Terry Prachett-adapted mini-series, “Good Omens,” which I absolutely adored because of its sheer audacity, satire and endlessly hilarious presentation! So, that “heavenly/hellishly,” “divine” feel prolly lent to my immediate pounce on Davis’ Trilogy, besides my obvious interest in the genre! Either way….
3 words: Hook. Line. Sinker.
By the end of this epic trilogy, I was well and truly entertained, satiated, satisfied. In ALL aspects of what I was looking for in this particular paranormal angle, including obviously, a delish romance wrapped around every installment! Best few hours spent devouring all three books back-to-back, in one fell swoop! End of.
Continue reading “Wings Series (Books 1 – 3: Dark Wings Descending/Pale Wings Protecting/White Wings Weeping)”
– by Meredith Doench
After having read Books 1 and 2 of Meredith Doench‘s utterly engaging “Luce Hansen Thriller” crime series, which I thoroughly enjoyed, obviously I HAD to read its 3rd installment, “Deadeye!” Speaking of Doench, it was thanks to Jeannie Levig who first recommended her series to me when we talked about dark lesfic crime thrillers. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known and would’ve missed an opportunity to explore Doench’s brilliant crime writing style and plot weaving in lesfic! For me, her style is reminiscent of James Patterson and Thomas Harris’, which is my cuppa tea. Needless to say, Doench’s 3rd installment continued to showcase her crime/thriller writing skills in crafting yet another intriguing case, not to mention, her insights into the ongoing development of Hansen’s emotional and psychological journey as she continued her efforts to juggle her work with her personal life better this time. One swift read later, yup, this one’s my favourite installment of the series, yet.
Obviously, I have to comment on the captivating book cover! Feast thy eyes: A scope target. Fixed on a Celtic cross. Red all over. Interpretation: Danger. Insidious. Deadly. Sniper. That’s the story. Right there. Staring at me. Who wouldn’t be curious? Well, I was! And as I explored the story, I was immediately struck by its symbolism. Well done!
Because Doench also included Hansen’s private life which she first developed in “Crossed” (Book 1), continued growing in “Forsaken Trust” (Book 2), including her romantic relationships/entanglements, there was no reason she wouldn’t further advance Hansen’s relationship with her current partner, Bennett (first introduced in “Forsaken” not merely as Hansen’s love interest but played a major role in investigating and solving the featured case), in this installment. So, even though, like other crime serials, the Luce Hansen series is a procedural, meaning each installment can be read as a stand-alone, I’d personally advise readers who haven’t read the previous two books, to do so, IF you’re also interested in the chronological development of Hansen’s private life besides the case-of-the-week plot.
Continue reading “Deadeye (Luce Hansen Thriller Book 3)”
– A. Rose Mathieu
After having SO much fun with “Sins Of Our Fathers,” obviously I HAD to continue the A. Rose Mathieu way with her sophomore effort and sequel to “Sins,” “Secrets Of The Last Castle” immediately or I wouldn’t be able to go on with other titles! First off, sequels, in general, are hard to write mainly because of all the pressure of trying to top the success and quality of their originals, aren’t they? Hence it’s not commonplace for sequels to fair better than their predecessors because most often than not, creators tend to go overboard (with few exceptions, obvs!). But Mathieu not only succeeded in nailing another top-notch sophomore story but also succeeded in crafting a sequel with flying colours! Perhaps even surpassing the overall quality of the writing and storytelling of the first one, imho! In fact, for me, “Secrets Of The Last Castle,” was just superbly remarkable and extraordinary!
You know how sequels tend to be bigger and more elaborate than the first, right? Like Randy Meeks said in “Scream 2,”: “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate — more blood, more gore. Carnage candy.” Mathieu did it. With remarkable effect. The plot was bigger, more sinister and infinitely more dangerous, Elizabeth and Grace’s relationship was more expanded, deeper, their roles in the plot more intricately entwined, stakes couldn’t be higher.
I was beyond ecstatic that I had the opportunity to take that fabulously thrilling ride with Elizabeth, Grace and the rest of the pack from “Sins Of Our Fathers” in this highly entertaining, superlatively weaved, darkly subversive piece of crime/mystery thriller! This time, Mathieu took her innate skill in weaving a truly splendid tale and elevated it to another level of brilliance! In this sequel, Mathieu delved even deeper into the many intertwining events and stories that formed this tale. A cerebral, intelligent, clever, ingenious plot that just kept getting more intricate at each developmental stage of the story, the characters, primary and secondary alike, the ever-changing situations and warping circumstances.
Continue reading “Secrets Of The Last Castle”
– by A. Rose Mathieu
Truth be told, I stumbled upon A. Rose Mathieu‘s 2017 debut novel, “Sins Of Our Fathers” sometime last year and quickly placed it on my reading queue primarily because of the “sinfully” ill-omened cover beckoning me so resistance was futile for me, tbh! You know me and spellbindingly aesthetic art! And then, there was the title with the familiar phrase which, to my delight, would equate to the saying, “old sins cast long shadows,” which could only mean – hidden past, unsolved mystery, convergence of the past, present and future with intertwining stories – that I could look forward to in Mathieu’s book! Why, then, wait until now to read it? Blame my horridly LONG reading queue and…timing….mood. Yup, that’s it. So now that I’m in the mood for some good lesfic crime/mystery/thriller, I thought it was perfect timing for me to read it. Well, I inhaled it. At no time at all because…what a page-turner, it was!! Utterly brilliant writing and storytelling! I LOVED it!
Continue reading “Sins Of Our Fathers”
– by Eden Darry
Just look at the cover! Aesthetically sinister, innit? OK, I saw this cover recently, tried to stay away despite being instantly drawn to it because my current reads were overloaded already and I really needed to finish them first before I went mad with panic for not clearing the queue in a timely manner! I know…oddball nutter I am! But then the image of the ominous-looking, totally mesmerising house, photographed in a chilling, intimidating angle with that menacing ivy wrapped around it, kept resurfacing in my peripheral vision which eventually got the better of me. I couldn’t deny its disquieting allure anymore. The house was beckoning me!! Crikey! Yes, as soon as I found a tiny little space in-between books in my reading schedule, I managed to squeeze this in with a quick read (not having heard of the author before be damned!). Was I glad I did because, Eden Darry‘s “The House,” her full-length debut effort, I might add, satisfied most of my required ingredients in a properly written, plotted and constructed story, not just in the paranormal/horror genre in fiction but specifically in lesfic, with a compelling and captivating plot that also combined a couple of goodies to enrich the main ghost/paranormal plot – corporeal evil and clairvoyance! So, the story’s also crafted within the realm of the psychological thriller genre, too, cleverly serving as a backdrop to it main ghost/paranormal flavour.
As expected, the “look” of the house on the cover lived up to its implication as Darry introduced me to it when the two MCs along with their two kids had to move from the comfort of their house in the city to THE house in the outskirts, ala the countryside, to escape the horrors that happened to Sadie. Darry certainly didn’t mess about when she constructed that whole scenario involving Fin, Sadie, the other prospective buyers and the estate agent of the house early on in the book that ended with my hairs standing up on the back of my neck! Yup, that tingle that I always crave for when reading books of this genre? Well, Darry went and did it…with a subtle chill. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Bloody well done!
Continue reading “The House”