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Book Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Book Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Cover of book for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Genre: Mystery, Murder Mystery, Fiction

Published: June 1926 by William Collins, Sons


The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is singularly spectacular.

After recently enjoying some mystery fiction, I decided to explore the genre a bit more and my research concluded that there was hardly a better option than an Agatha Christie novel. I did not plan on reading any specific one until I perused an article on some of the best murder mysteries and saw an Agatha Christie book listed. First published back in 1926, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was voted the best crime novel ever in 2013 by the British Crime Writers’ Association. I had found my next read.

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Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Genre: Mystery, historical fiction

Published: 1st October 2020 by Raven Books (Bloomsbury Publishing, UK), 6th October 2020 by Sourcebooks Landmark (US)


Cunningly crafted and delightfully devilish, the Devil and the Dark Water is not only a masterpiece of a mystery novel but also the most fun I had between the pages in 2020.

And that right there might be all I need to say. While it was a horrible year in most aspects, books were a shining light in the dark, providing the very escapism I needed time and time again with a stellar line-up of stories read. Eeyore-mode averted. (It’s not a pretty sight, I confess.) And if it isn’t already transparently obvious, The Devil and the Dark Water more than did its part in keeping that gloom away. It was one of the stars of the show, making Mr Turton a shoo-in for not only the best new-to-me author I read that year but also my auto-buy author list. This might be your triumph dear author, but it feels like the pleasure was all mine, and I thank you for it.

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Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley


The Guest List by Lucy Foley
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Mysteries are one of those hit-or-miss genres for me. Sometimes I’m able to guess the big twist or outcome or both within the first 100 pages, and then lose my patience with the rest of the narrative and the cast for not getting there faster. Sometimes the author includes wild twists for the sake of sensationalism that come out of left and field couldn’t have been predicted. Both types of mystery novels drive me a little crazy. The Guest List was neither of those. Told in a way that leaves you guessing without the sensationalism and populated with an interesting group of characters, I was invested through the final pages.

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Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton


The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Devil and the Dark Water is a wonderful spin on a nautical mystery in the style of Sherlock Holmes. Featuring a stellar cast, a rich and atmospheric setting, chilling brushes with the supernatural and a grippingly paced plot, this was everything one could possibly hope for from a mystery novel. I found it incredibly clever, satisfyingly twisty and deliciously suspenseful. And it had an ending I didn’t see coming. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for more.

“Questions are swords and answers are shields… I’m begging you, armor yourself.”

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Book Review: The Holdout by Graham Moore

Book Review: The Holdout by Graham Moore

 

The Holdout by Graham Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published: 20th February 2020 (Orion)

Being a juror on a high profile murder case has got to be a thrill ride and a half: looking at the bloody evidence and weighing witness statements, the savage craziness of the media interest, then finally getting to decide the fate of a man charged with murder. It’s got to be just like tv, right? Exciting. Maybe even a shot at your own fame… 15 minutes or otherwise.

But what Maya Seale got wasn’t quite fame, it was INFAMY. Not convinced of Bobby Nock’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, she campaigned for a Not Guilty verdict and eventually persuaded, or wore down, all the other jurors. The result was spectacularly unpopular, provoking uproar in both the courtroom and the real world, and changing the jurors’ lives forever.

Now it’s 10 years later and they’re back together again. Apparently there’s new evidence to consider and more questions to be asked. Everyone wants to know if they got it wrong. But when one juror ends up dead, it looks like someone’s willing to kill to keep their secrets buried for good.

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Book Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Book Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager


Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It took me over a week to read the first 150 pages of this book. Then I read the last half in an evening. While it took a while for the story to really get off the ground, the back half of the book was truly addictive and I couldn’t stop reading. Even when I should have been asleep.

From the beginning, we know things have gone horribly wrong for our narrator, who has been apartment sitting in the most illustrious residence in New York City. The Bartholomew is insanely famous, having been the home of countless celebrities over the decades. When recently unemployed Jules stumbles across an opportunity to live in the glamorous building while she gets back on her feet, and actually get paid a thousand dollars a week to do so, it’s too good a chance to pass up. But the Bartholomew isn’t what it seems, and the learning the truth behind the famous gargoyled facade could prove dangerous. Or even fatal.

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Book Review: Safe House by Jo Jakeman

Book Review: Safe House by Jo Jakeman

 

Safe House by Jo Jakeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published: 31st October 2019 (Harvill Secker)

Steffi Finn was in love with her man. So when he told her that the police were trying to fit him up for something he hadn’t done, she lied for him. Said he was with her all night. Because that’s what you do, right? You protect the ones you care about. Most of all, you believe them. In cases like this, you have to believe them. Otherwise those questions about missing women mean there’s something a whole lot worse going on than you just making a mistake….

And boy was she ever wrong, with a prison sentence to prove it.

Now she’s out. New name. New life. A chance to start again.

But someone thinks she doesn’t deserve it.
They’re going to show her what it really means to be sorry.

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Book Review: The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger

Book Review: The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger

 

The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Published: 03 October 2019 (HQ)

Bad people win. They win all the time.

Rain Winter was outraged by the not-guilty verdict that allowed Steve Markham to get away with killing his wife and their unborn child. Her investigation of the murder had left her with no doubts about his guilt, the injustice of his freedom and the inevitable media circus that gifted him the celebrity spotlight leaving her feeling sickened and powerless. Taking time out from journalism to care for her husband and baby seemed like a welcome and necessary step, a break from all the madness. But now Markham’s dead. Butchered by the same method he used to get rid of his family. And word is that it’s not the only time this vigilante has acted. That the first was actually Eugene Kreskey, the man who tried to abduct her as a child. The man who killed one of her friends and tortured the other.

If there’s a link, a story, she needs to find it. All of a sudden, she’s right back in, bringing to light all kinds of secrets that should have stayed buried. Especially her own.

 

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Book Review: Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Book Review: Under Currents by Nora Roberts


Under Currents by Nora Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m sure most everyone who follows my reviews has noticed this by now, but I really love Nora Roberts. I don’t tend to read all that much in the contemporary or romance genres, but she’s my exception. I’ve been reading my way through her back catalogue since I was fifteen or so, and for the past ten years have been reading her new releases as soon as I can get my hands on them. Now, she’s one of the few authors who is an insta-buy for me. While Under Currents didn’t blow me away, it was another strong offering that demonstrated to me once again that Nora seems incapable of producing a dud. She’s just awesome.

“The couldn’t take who we are away from us. We’re who we are despite them.”

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