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Tag: Crime fiction

Book Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Book Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby


Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, y’all. Razorblade Tears broke my heart and kept me on the edge of my seat in equal measures. It’s a superb piece of crime fiction with powerful messages about racism, sexuality, and accepting your loved ones for who they are, no matter how different they might be, before you run out of chances. It’s about vengeance and justice and learning that you can still grow even when you’ve been set in your ways for longer than you can remember. It’s about family, both that which you’re born into and that which you build for yourself along the way. It’s about grief and how, sometimes, you don’t even feel like you deserve to feel it. Above all, this is a story that felt honest and real and true at its core, despite being a work of fiction.

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Book Review: A Narrow Door (Malbry, #3) by Joanne Harris

Book Review: A Narrow Door (Malbry, #3) by Joanne Harris


A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a digital copy of this novel from the publisher, OrangeSky Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Narrow Door is one of the smartest, most interesting and sympathetically voiced pieces of crime fiction I’ve read in a very long time. The only other modern book in the genre I’ve enjoyed this much was We Begin at the End, but this book had more in common with The Maidens and The Divines, both of which disappointed me last year. It was a perfectly paced, pitch perfect blend of mystery and academia that captivated me from the prologue through to the epilogue. I hung on every word. This is a story that felt so incredibly real, which such a delicious building tension, that I thought about it almost constantly when I wasn’t reading it. It found its way into my dreams, which has become a rare thing as I’ve gotten older. And the ending was something that, in hindsight, I might should have been able to see. Especially considering the opening. But I didn’t.

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Book Review: Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Book Review: Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

 

 

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Published: 9th September (Vintage)

 

 

It’s her first day at college, but Chloe Sevre isn’t nervous at all. She has a plan. Get rid of Mom, take the best room before her dorm-mate arrives, make 6-8 new friends before 4pm, and find Will. If you’re thinking ‘how sweet’, she must be looking for her boyfriend, you’re dead wrong. Will’s days are numbered (literally, the book includes a countdown), because the main reason Chloe came to John Adams University is to kill him. And she doesn’t plan on giving up till it’s done…

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Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

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We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Thriller, Literary fiction, Crime fiction

Pages: 344 pages (Kindle)

Published: 26th March 2020 by Zaffre


Melancholic, compelling, and so beautifully written.

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Book Review: The Captive by Fiona King Foster

Book Review: The Captive by Fiona King Foster


The Captive by Fiona King Foster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, Ecco, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Captive is a compelling, intriguing thriller. The plot moves along quickly. Rustic noir isn’t a subgenre I’ve come across before, and that mixed with the slightly dystopian setting kept me interested. The writing was solid. Unfortunately, it left me dissatisfied.

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Book Review: Golden In Death (In Death, #50)

Book Review: Golden In Death (In Death, #50)


Golden in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I think I let my expectations run a little too wild in regards to this book. Because it’s book 50 (which is crazy, right?!) in a series, I was anticipating something mind-blowing for this installment; instead, I got fairly run-of-the-mill. And I’m so disappointed about it. In case you didn’t know, I absolutely adore Nora Roberts. She’s my ultimate comfort read. I’ve read literally everything she’s written, and I can’t think of another author so prolific (she’s written well over 200 books) that I can say that about. There’s something about her books that feels like coming home from the very first page. This is doubly true for the In Death series. Following the same characters through FIFTY books is a wild experience. Eve and Roarke and Peabody and so many others feel like members of my family that I get to catch up with a couple of times a year. If I’m being honest, these characters often feel more real to me than real people in my life. Or at least, they usually do.

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Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

 

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Published: 2nd April 2020 (Bonnier Books UK)

 

Chris Whitaker is one of those authors whose every release makes me wonder just how much better he can get. He’s only on book 3 and I’m wondering if this time he might have created something unmatchable. Honestly, I’ve been sitting on this review for ages because I can’t seem to write anything that’s not offensively superlative. We Begin at the End is a triumph. Spectacularly plotted, gut-wrenchingly genuine, and memorable in that way that sits heavy on your heart.

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Emma’s Best Books of 2019

Emma’s Best Books of 2019

The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions’ Top 20 Lists. 


Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m cheating… my Best Books of 2019 post is a little different from the rest of the Novel Notions team.

It’s felt like a bit of a strange reading year for me, with a lot of study, non-fiction, and comfort rereads. My number is sitting at 164 so far, with a whole load getting that very respectable 4 star rating. However, there have only been a small amount that have truly floored me, that have deserved the 4.5 or the big, shiny 5 star rating. These are the kind of books that stay in your memory forever, that you recommend EVERYWHERE and as often as possible. They’re the ones where it’s almost impossible to stop your eyes from flicking forward to see what’s coming next because you’re so excited to get there. When I made that feeling the criteria for my list, it made things immediately clear. I don’t have 20, I have 10. They were all published this year and I loved them all. I hope you consider giving them a go too…

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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: Between Two Evils by Eva Dolan (DI Zigic and DS Ferreira, #5)

Book Review: Between Two Evils by Eva Dolan (DI Zigic and DS Ferreira, #5)

 

 

Between Two Evils by Eva Dolan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published: 5th May 2020 (Raven Books)

Between Two Evils, the 5th instalment of the DI Zigic and DS Ferreira series, has Eva Dolan turning her searching gaze towards yet another significant social question: the multifaceted forms of racism and abuse experienced by immigrants to the UK. When a doctor is found dead in his home, his work in the local all-female detention centre provides an obvious avenue for investigation, especially when the detectives discover his role in whistle-blowing a culture of horrifying misconduct. But that’s not all the officers have on their plate. A violent serial rapist has been freed thanks to police malpractice and Zigic and Ferreira know that it’s only a matter of time before he attacks again. And this time it might be even closer to home…

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