Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review - Bloodman by Robert Pobi

Book Summary from Amazon - Published May 2012

FBI contractor Jake Cole deciphers the language of murderers by reconstructing three-dimensional crime scene models in his head, a talent that has left his nerves frayed and his psyche fragile. Jake returns to Montauk, New York, for the first time in a quarter of a century when his father, a renowned painter, lights himself ablaze and crashes through a plate-glass window. Once home, Jake is pulled into a gruesome local homicide investigation that echoes his mother’s murder three decades earlier.
As he sifts through the detritus of his father’s madness, Jake discovers thousands of seemingly meaningless paintings stacked in the studio – a bizarre trail of dust-covered breadcrumbs the painter left as he tumbled down the rabbit hole of dementia. Breadcrumbs that Jake believes lead to the killer.

With the help of Sheriff Dan Hauser – a man scrambling to prepare the seaside community for the arrival of a catastrophic hurricane – Jake Cole sets out to find the seemingly unstoppable force of malevolence known as the Bloodman.

A unique and disquieting thriller that redefines the genre, Bloodman will leave you reeling long after its operatic finale.

My Review 3 More Sugar Please

This is categorized as a thriller but I think it should be categorized for the horror genre fans with a psychological thriller feel. I love reading about serial killers - I even started a Serial Killer Reading Challenge so the excitement and expectation is already set high.  This is a debut by Robert Pobi that I can see huge potential for his future but not quite there yet.  With some more experience I would say he could be in the same category as Dennis Lehane and Stephen King.  Even though they are not my cup of tea they have an amazing fan base and Robert Pobi made me think of there works.

The beginning was great, edgy with numerous suspense moments to keep you wondering.  The serial killer the police are looking for skins his victims so definitely a novel for those that can handle gruesome details.  There is a hurricane coming into the town also, so the police are dealing with evacuation but also trying to hunt down the killer. We have those scenarios but Jake initially comes into town to care for his father who has Alzeheimers, so many twist to try and play with your mind but for those that are fans of this genre I think will be able to figure it out.

By the time I got half way I was starting to get bored, I felt numerous things were being repeated and not benefiting the investigation so they felt like filler instead of adding to the story.  My disclaimer..... I never do this so will feel less guilty stating.  I had 100 pages left and decided to read the last 3 chapters, it was what I had expected so I didn't bother to complete, so in the end I probably didn't read 75 pages.

Some scenes were amazing in my opinion and can be looked at as for shock value to others.  I do enjoy the unorthodox detectives but I don't know if Jake truly passes the test as being as highly respected in the profession as the author wanted us to believe.

Overall a good try, I would be willing to try this author again and that is why I finally decided on a 3, it was sitting at 2 1/2 for awhile.

This one will go towards 2 challenges, my serial killer and horror read.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's NOT the Books, It's Me

I have realised or am hoping, it is me,my life, not my love of books letting me down.

I love to read, love to blog, enjoy writing the reviews, reading the comments and networking with you and others around the blogosphere.


To be straight to the point, life has been an emotional roller coaster.  I will try not to be too emotional and have this be to long.

My partner's mom passed in March, she had been in my life for 12 years.  Some of you may remember, my brother had a massive stroke last year February, he started getting a little better but was told he will never walk again this year February.  I believe he stopped fighting at that point and he passed in May.  My 5 year old daughter started asking if I'm going to die, heartbreaking.

So dealing with grief has been hard and the usual escape of reading a book obviously hasn't happened.

It's not the books, it's me............

The diamond in the rough was us buying the house. (See a picture here) We bid in February but had to walk away due to the family tragic moments that were both sudden.  We received a call to say the house was up for rent also, we wanted to do anything to get the house, was told they accepted our offer.  An hour later was told the renters signed on the contract and we will have to buy with the 2 year rent, BIG ASS SIGH.

There was lots of tears from me, my partner had lost him mom by this time and couldn't concentrate but thought 2 years getting income would be great.  Yes great BUT not my goal.  I was already emotional invested in the house and wanted to make it my own, so now I own a beautiful home, receiving rent but cannot move into it until April 2012.

So yes.

It's not the books, it's me............

I haven't had an amazing read in months, honestly only 1-2 are memorable.  I do still try to come and comment but it is hard.  I read maybe 20 pages a day.  I'm sorry, I think I am slightly depressed, stressed and now officially in a reading and blogging slump.

It's not the books, it's me............

So real life has taken over, I have high hopes though, the cup is always half full with me so I'm not going anywhere.

Now you have an answer to why I'm not posting or networking like normal.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mysterious Feature - Dead End Deal by Allen Wyler


Book Summary

World renowned neurosurgeon Jon Ritter is on the verge of a medical breakthrough that will change the world.  His groundbreaking surgical treatment, using transplanted non-human stem cells, is set to eradicate the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and give hope to millions.  But when the procedure is slated for testing, it all comes to an abrupt and terrifying halt.  Ritter’s colleague is gunned down and Ritter himself is threatened by a radical anti-abortion group that not only claims responsibility, but promises more of the same.

Faced with a dangerous reality but determined to succeed, Ritter turns to his long-time colleague, corporate biotech CEO Richard Stillman, for help.  Together, they conspire to conduct a clandestine clinical trial in Seoul, Korea.  But the danger is more determined, and more lethal, than Ritter could have imagined.

After successful surgical trials, Ritter and his allies are thrown into a horrifying nightmare scenario:  The trial patients have been murdered and Ritter is the number one suspect. Aided by his beautiful lab assistant, Yeonhee, Ritter flees the country, now the target of an international manhunt involving Interpol, the FBI, zealous fanatics and a coldly efficient assassin named Fiest.

Dead End Deal is a fast paced, heart-pounding, and sophisticated thriller. Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler—who often draws from experience, actual events and hotbutton issues when writing—Dead End Deal is unmatched as a technical procedural. Its medical and scientific details can impress even the most seasoned medical practitioners. And yet, the technical expertise is seamlessly woven into a riveting plot, with enough action and surprises to engross even the most well-read thriller enthusiast.
A smart, unique, page-turner, Dead End Deal delivers.


Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.
Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Review - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Book Summary from Goodreads

"'What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?'"

Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what did really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? And what was left in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war...

My Review - 2 (Initially gave a 3 as I completed it but really is a 2 for me)

I have figured out a style of writing that does not impress me but wows many others, the clever style.  I am always reading thinking this is total BS and either laughing at the characters, not in a good way or totally pissed off, and I was both while reading this one.

This was my first try by Gillian Flynn, I am open to trying one of her earlier books as I do enjoy dark reads but I personally didn't enjoy this.  I will recommend it to all that loved Still Missing by Chevy Stevens and Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson.  I also gave those two 3 stars, they all made me mad for different reasons but I have the same complaint, the authors, in my opinion, play the reader for fools.

I actually found the first half of the story, 52% on Kindle, torture to get through, so slow, I was waiting for that WHAM moment and when it came, I knew that was coming so it was a roll my eyes moment.  I should have stopped reading then.  That was the beginning of the 2nd section, then the 3rd section came and the author just ended it to soon, it was all summarised and just so ridiculous.  I really am not happy I spent $12 on Kindle for this one.  It was my most anticipated read this year and I am totally disappointed. I am unsure how to pick up on the 'clever' scenarios that many others seem to enjoy, I would stay away from those reads in the future, have to figure that out for myself.  I do love the play with my mind reads but this and the other two were unbelievable and categorized as BS for me, sigh.

I enjoyed Nick's character until the ending, what a wet towel, walk over guy, who wants a man like that.  I never liked Amy and she was a total sociopath, never figuring out who she was or who she should live for.  This is the ultimate dysfunctional couple that deserved each other.

An annoying contributor I couldn't get passed this - his sister is named Margo and they called her Go, every time I was reading Go as a word instead of nickname, it was frustrating and totally took away from the flow of reading for me. This was huge and I never got passed it.  Also, instead of her, Go could be used five times in a paragraph, so frustrating.

It gets a 3 because I actually completed it.  There is so much that goes on in this book that no one would be able to review without spoiling, very intricate, again 'playing us for stupid' or maybe it was playing the characters for stupid.

Some quotes

It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.

"People want to believe they know other people. Parents want to believe they know their kids.  Wives want to believe they know their husbands."

An assertive knock at the door.  The kind a parent give right before swinging the door wide: I won this place.  I stand in the middle of my room and debate not answering.  Bang bang bang.  I understand now why so many horror movies use that device - because it has the weight of a nightmare.  You don't know what's out there, yet you know you'll open it.  You'll think what I think:  No one bad ever knocks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review - Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho

Book Summary from Amazon

Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that "love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . ." A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune. Maria's despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness -- sexual pleasure for its own sake -- or risking everything to find her own "inner light" and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.

My Review - 3 1/2 More Sugar Please

I have had Eleven Minutes on my bookshelf for 2 years, one of the first books I brought after blogging.  The main thing I can say about this book is that it was thought provoking.  It was hard to decide what to rate this book, the beginning I was fascinated and as it went on I began losing interest but I enjoyed the ending of the journey and how it all came together with the understanding of the clever title Eleven Minutes. This book will not be for everyone, it is exploring sexuality with spirituality undertones and may make some feel uncomfortable.

What I enjoyed about this book was that it was like reading a thesis/dissertation paper, very literal with artfully contrived meanings but easy enough for you to understand and have your own opinion on.  Maria was looking for adventure, to become a star, find a husband and be happy, we went on the journey along with her.  I thought she gambled with her life, she took risks that many do when they are young but some of hers could have caused her her life.

Now that I have experienced reading a memoir when I read different novels I realise if it was a memoir I would have enjoyed it more, this is in that category.   The character was inspired by someone but Paulo Coelho still put his own interpretation on the choices and consequences.

If you want a thought provoking but easy read I say go for it.  This is the first book I have read that I can understand every rating, if someone DNF or rated it a 1 to 5 star, I get it but it has its place in the writing world for sure.  It seems like Paulo Coelho very much has a style of writing, that may seem formula like but I think it is more like a personal research paper that he allows the reader to experience and think about also.

Another favourite was the opening, I would like to share.

Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria.  Wait as minute.  "Once upon a time" is how all the best children's stories begin and "prostitute" is a word for adults.  How can I start a book with this apparent contradiction?  But since, at every moment of our lives, we all have on foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss, let's keep that beginning........

More favourite "thought provoking" quotes

A writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love.  Page 53

"Does a soldier go to war in order to kill the enemy?  No, he goes in order to die for his country.  Does a wife want to show her husband how happy she is?  No, she wants him to see how devoted she is, how she suffers in order to make him happy.  Does the husband go to work thinking he will find personal fulfillment there?  No, he is giving his seat and tears for the good of the family.  And so it goes on:  sons give up their dreams to please their parents, parents give up their lives in order to please their children; pain and suffering are used to justify the one thing that should bring only joy: love."

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Monday, where did the week go.......

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while continuing to add to your 2012 Wishlist.

I'm currently reading Gone Girl, my most highly anticipated so far for the year and I am not impressed, sigh

I completed this one but still need to do the review.  I am 3 reviews behind :-(  I'm never behind. 

I think I am going to read a review book next, sounds so good and my Serial Killer Challenge has not impressed me yet, where are the crazies, lol

I participated in the Introductions of Armchair bea but just didn't feel the connection as much this year.  The introductions were fantastic but the rest of the week just didn't pull me in, definitely was the year to go I guess. 

I really want the year to change with my reading, it has been appalling but I will remain optimistic. 

Hope you have a great week.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Armchair bea Introductions.........

 Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

Welcome to Tea Time with Marce 

1)  Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

I am an international blogger.  I was born and raised in Bermuda.  I'm 36 years old and have a 5 year old daughter.

My genres of choice are Thrillers, specifically Psychological mess with your mind thrillers, Suspense, Mystery, Adult Fiction and since blogging I have enjoyed some Memoirs.  My simple pleasure are Verse Novels.

This year September will make 3 years blogging for me. I joined the amazing blogosphere when I came across Booking Through Thursday, I immediately wanted to join in the meme and network with others. That was before I even realised the amazing extent of what blogging is and can be. I feel honoured to be a part of this community.

2) What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

My current read is on my sidebar, my first experience with Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes.  My favourite book this year is Department Thirteen, an espionage thriller, I highly recommend, I am sure the main character and book will be in my top ten this year.  My review.

3)  Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

I am busting at the seams to truly announce this, I am about to be a 1st time home owner.  Bermudians say 'owning a piece of the rock'. We are officially signing all the last papers this week.  It is called Amethyst.......   I'm so happy.  I can't wait to design my bookshelf.

4)  Where do you see your blog in five years?

I would love to still be actively blogging 'at my own pace' but be known as the blog to come to for Thriller, Mystery and Suspense recommendations, to have a true community of those genres.  I started the Thrill Week event last year, look forward to this year, September and hope it is still around in 5 years with possibly 50 plus participants. Email at marceblogspot(at)hotmail(dot)com for more information.

5)  Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

My reading taste and number of books read a year has changed drastically.  The only must read book for me was always Mary Higgins Clark's newest in Hardcover.    When traveling I may have picked up 1 or 2 mysteries in the airport or bookstore.  Even when I didn't have a Wishlist or TBR list "that I will never actually get to" I still read 1 book a week on average, that hasn't changed but now I read approximately 50 books a year, love that.  I just never knew or considered researching how to find so many amazing books and authors.

I have also became an eclectic reader, Memoirs and a little YA or Classic with my favourite genres as discussed above.

The #1 change, I got a Kindle 2 1/2 years ago and LOVE it, prefer reading on it.  The highlighting and built in dictionary are superior features.

Thank you so much for visiting during BEA, I look forward to visiting you and possibly becoming a full time commenter/follower and fan of your blog.

For those that are there or check in later, jealous :-)  Can't wait to see your 'after bea' posts.