Greetings, fellow readers.
I just started a new year at university and I’m already stressing out but somehow I know I’ll had to grow a wide set of ovaries and pass this cycle with generally good grades, specially on my last French term since rules have change and if I don’t burn my lashes studying I won’t get out graciously nor alive so yeah… Anyways, I managed to read a decent amount of books related to Criminal Mysteries, or just Criminality as a whole which got my truly enchanted from the day I read those synopses on Goodreads.
First book I read was the number one book in the House of Furies series by Madeleine Roux, that goes along the name of the series itself.
Right in a past century, Louisa is a girl who has learnt to survive on her own by clever lies and clean scapades until she’s given some gold by a strange old lady and the town she’s nesting in starts blaming her of being a thief. To make it our alive. she’ll have to live in an old great house where she will discover that every wrong doing has its payment and that the devil himself is gathering that discharge right in the attic of the same house. Because everything she sees is true, the monsters, the murder, the blood, and the pain; and if there’s one way of getting justice is by entering that house.
I STILL DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT FINAL CHAPTER AND THE EPILOGUE.
I have three words to describe this book: frightening, creative and confusing? The nerve that took to create those creatures and to humanize them at the same time turning them into some sort of family living in that rotten mansion with that creppy yet handsome ring leader, trying to explain Louisa what is really going on and why killing evil people is not so morally incorrect, what is lurking in the shadows and what has been taking over her from the moment she was born. It’s a lovely story filled with terrifying monsters and the worst of humanity’s basic instics which goes from manipulation to cannibalism. It showed us two kind of monsters, those that look pure and are ready to bite us at any time and those who look ready to end us but turn out being truly caring about our welfare. Yet again Madeleine Roux manages to scare us and shock us with her marvelous writing style in the Gothic kind of thriller.
Then I read the first book in the Pretty Little Dolls series by Ker Dukey and K. Webster, named Pretty Stolen Dolls.
“Benny was a friendly stranger who defended them from a scary fat man. Benny wanted to take them to their parents to give them a doll. Benny gave them a drink inside his ban to make them sleep. Benny gathered them as His dolls. Benny was a monster.” That’s all Jade knows, when she scaped her tormentor leaving her little sister behind only to get her memories taken from her by a car hitting her head. Now she’s a cop tying a new mysterious crime to Him making her loose her mind hoping she could get to see her sister again as she’s forced to remember once again the years she spent as Benny’s Dirty Doll.
SO MEAN YET SO GOOD.
The topic itself was pretty harsh, twisted and dramatic putting yourself inside the raw memories of a former kidnapped rape victim with guilt issues and an acknowledged romantic attachment problem. The intense torture Jade had to endure and the nightmares sprinkled with the little flashbacks of those painful and shameful years, manifests through her wish to find her kidnapper and rescue her missing sister without imagining what could come to her for digging too deep. Pretty Stolen Dolls narrates a tale of unshakable selfish violence, with a dry and shameless writing style that shows the broken soul of a rape victim. No doubt I was drawn to this story because of the twisted concept, though I was able to learn that rape is not only the physical pain of a non consented sexual act but the emotional sorrow of having your will taken away from you, feeling like you’re guilty for the involuntary reactions your body had; the act was still not consensual and depraved. It showed me a different side of the feeling of been violated.
The third book was the emotionally and mentally challenging stand-alone The Good Girl by Mary Kubica.
He had lured her to go to his apartment after a flirty night at the bar. He had put a gun at her forehead after she had kissed him. He had tied her up and forced her to go inside his car. He had to give her up to those men, they had hired him for that mere purpose. But Colin didn’t do it, now he’s on the run form a criminal organization and the cops with Mia Dennett by his side crying scared and giving all of herself to get away from him. But things are not as easy as they look, specially when the only voice they get to hear is each others’ isolated in the middle of nowhere with no future and no hope.
CRYING WAS REQUIRED.
I totally spent the last five chapters crying my ass off, no joke. I thought that maybe there was hope for a new beginning and then I was reminded that this was realistic therefore no way this was gonna end well. Anyways, the writing style was quick and pretty defined, not confusing at all with some amazing turns of events and such humane characters with their terrible flaws but painful redeeming qualities. I must give props for creativity because even though this was not a regular mystery where you’re not so desperate to find out who’s after the crimes, it managed to get my attention through the thrilling feels and such intense moments.
Next was the first book in the Charlotte Proxy series by Jonathan Harrow, named Dolls.
Charlotte Hayes was only haunted by the paparazzi trying to get her comments on what happened to her that night when she killed the old bastard who had kidnapped her, shamed her and gathered girls to tear them apart. That’s why she had run from LA to live with her estranged father, but a night she receives a peculiar call from one of the girls He had hurt telling her they were never alone since she had survived unharmed. Now her sanity is going to hell as she starts seeing and feeling things that come out of horror films, physically hurting her and all those who dare to help her.
THAT WAS DEFINITELY SOMETHING.
Try Drag Me to Hell meets The Evil Dead remake, and you’ll find a horrifying aesthetic, the one I pictured while all the violent, gruesome and supernatural stuff was happening. I mean the whole love story was in fourth place when it came to the plot and the direction the story was taking; I must admit that I wasn’t convinced at the beginning with such insane first six chapters that got me scared to death, I was like “WTF is going on I was promised some teenagery little high school fright, not some quality horror😵”. Then I got drawn to the plot and I just needed to understand what the hell was taking place and why, by the way also Why, until I loved it and I could literally picture all that was going on which I thought was also a small rendition to that 90’s anime they mentioned which I found was equally disturbing with bloodthirsty villains with no humanity left which got me enchanted, props for such gore-ish scenes and the fact I’ll never see adult nerds the same fucking way. Good job, Jonathan.
The fifth was a tiny little embarrasing short story named the Vampire King’s Nanny by T. S. Ryder.
Thomas rules a world of darknesss, barely helping his peers from the harmful demons around them, and wants some pure light to guide his daughters path before wickedness takes over her young life so he finds her a human nanny in the most unorthodox way. What he doesn’t know is that this brave and untamed human female comes with her own bagage and emotional turmoils on her own.
OK, I GUESS.
I wasn’t expecting a master piece of fantasy writing, I knew it was a short story made for entertainment purposes only yet I still wanted the story to feel fuller than what I was given. The arcs and personalities were not truly developed and I considered the characters had so much potential, I specially like Clarissa a lot with her supernatural way of being, she was a winner for me. So to anyone looking for something with a reliable love story, this is a big no no but if you just want something to get in between big badass emotionally charged stories then this is a strong suggestion.
The following book was a haunting stand-alone known as Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin.
Tessa Cartwright was once a normal and happy sixteen-year-old until she waskidnapped and later woke up below the soil next to a recently dead corpse and two skeletons with beautiful black-eyed susans growing above them. She forgot her time with her kidnapper and the names of the girls, even the way he looked but in the end a man was named guilty for the crimes against her. Now, over a decade later, she finds herself unable to be certain she helped sent the right person to jail as that man’s dying hour is near according to Texas laws, she must recall her former therapy sessions as unknown details of what happened in the trial that day because her real kidnapper could be still out there planting black-eyed Susans on her yard again.
I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD END THIS THE SAME DAY I STARTED IT.
Wow, just fucking wow. A book hadn’t shocked me since Paula Hawkins’ one, or Dangerous Girls I mean WOW. First of all, don’t let the premise of the traumatized bored single mother being haunted by ghosts of her past discourage you in any way, trust me it is worthy, and so so right on the spot when it comes to the mystery element and the inevitable plot twists. I mean just when you think you got it all figured out, you’re slapped with some ice cold reality that tears your bones apart. The was the writing style which was impecable and in an adult responsible way, a little ethereal yet not depressing which is the first thing that pops in your mind when you see some postraumatic stress disorder in a kidnapped sixteen year old, but the way things are in Her mind are pretty minimalistic looking for answers and a way out of being constantly looking behind her back with a gun. In the end, you’re left not with a happy ending but with so many thoughts not questions, but options for what truly happened in the minds of the leading characters of this shocking tale.
The seventh book was another thrilling and mysterious stand-alone, now by the talented Paula Hawkins, named Into the Water.
Julia never wanted to go back to the town that haunted her since she was thirteen years old, specially not for her sister. The cruel sister who never loved her nor took care of her when they were younger, but Nell threw herself of the Drawning Pool in a dramatic fashion and now Julia has to take care of her estranged fifteen-year-old niece. She thought she could just bury her memories and her sister, to then make a new life outside that town but things get complicated when she realises Nell was not the first woman to allegedly have commited suicide in there, that perhaps the horror stories Nell told her about those troublesome women getting too near the water only to drown later could be true.
PAULA HAWKINS DID IT AGAIN.
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, but I left it to be read in my most recent Criminal Week and I wasn’t disappointed, I had some high hopes and now I know Hawkins will forever be my thrilling mysterious place to land. However, when I started reading I had a hard time trying to get accustomed to the amount of POVs I was getting and got extremely confused during the first 75 pages since I got no physical descriptions till there and my brain doesn’t cope well without a picture in my mind, I totally confused Erin and Nickie a million times because of this. Anyways, these characters were precious, so emotionally fucked up that they all need some therapy sessions and perhaps medication cuz all of them have some fucked up issues, which I think made them more real, despite this the plot was enchanting once I got into the mystery I needed to solve it and I had it kind of figured out the moment the drowning of the feline came up until Paula Hawkins threw an F-bomb right at my face with that last POV and as I said before: these folks need a psychiatrist.
Finally there was the book I just finished an hour ago, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series 16th book by J. R. Ward named The Thief.
Assail promised himself he would leave her alone to have a human life with her grandmother, but his cousins never made that promise. As his sudden death comes near, they waste no time taking Sola to see him with the hope that maybe seeing his female could bring him back to life out of the darkness his brain has turned into. While Vishous and Doc Jane are having their own marital issues and when their separation becomes inevitable, will the new poisonous threat against the vampire world be enough to reunite them?
PAULA HAWKINS DID IT AGAIN.
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, but I left it to be read in my most recent Criminal Week and I wasn’t disappointed, I had some high hopes and now I know Hawkins will forever be my thrilling mysterious place to land. However, when I started reading I had a hard time trying to get accustomed to the amount of POVs I was getting and got extremely confused during the first 75 pages since I got no physical descriptions till there and my brain doesn’t cope well without a picture in my mind, I totally confused Erin and Nickie a million times because of this. Anyways, these characters were precious, so emotionally fucked up that they all need some therapy sessions and perhaps medication cuz all of them have some fucked up issues, which I think made them more real, despite this the plot was enchanting once I got into the mystery I needed to solve it and I had it kind of figured out the moment the drowning of the feline came up until Paula Hawkins threw an F-bomb right at my face with that last POV and as I said before these folks need a psychiatrist.