Evil At Heart

Author: Chelsea Cain

Page Count: 376

Genre: (Fiction) Crime, Thriller

Book synopsis: Since serial killer Gretchen Lowell went on the run,  following Detective Archie Sheridan’s latest near-fatal encounter with her, the city of Portland has descended into Beauty Killer hysteria.

Archie Sheridan has spent the last few months in the city’s psychiatric hospital,  battling with his addiction to painkillers and his strange obsession with the woman who tortured him.

But soon Archie,  along with journalist Susan Ward, finds himself investigating a new spate of killings when bodies start to turn up at local beauty spots, their eyeballs removed. Could this be the work of a copy-cat? Or has Gretchen really returned?  One thing is certain: whoever is behind these brutal murders,  they will do whatever it takes to get Archie…

Prequel: Sweetheart

Sequel: The Night Season



Goriness in all it’s glory!  A book packed with thrills and chills! This is the first book I read from the series and yes, it lives up to it’s title!
Introducing, a  gorgeous female who also happens to be a seriel killer; consequently a prime instance of “Looks can kill! “!

This one is not for the weak-hearted! Explicitly gory and stunning,  this novel practically introduced me to this bone-chilling genre. Cain delivers a twisted story, with the writing ever so plain and straightforward, even while describing the gore!  Moreover, she manages to make the book thoroughly engaging, and even so manages to incorporate humor into it! 

Here’s an excerpt:

The rest stop off I-84 on the Oregon side of the Columbia River was vile, even by rest-stop standards……Eighteen miles from the nearest bathroom, and they end up at a rest stop trashed by hooligans. There was no alternative. Amy put her hands on her hips and stared at her eleven- year- old daughter.”Come on, Dakota,” she said.Dakota’s blue eyes widened. “I’m not going in there,” she said…..”Just squat over the bowl,” Amy said.Dakota bit her lip, leaving a glob of pink lip gloss on her front tooth. “It’s gross,” she said.”Want me to see if the men’s room is any better?” Amy asked.Dakota’s cheeks flushed. “No way,” she said.”You said you had to go,” Amy said……Amy pushed open the door to the last stall. It was cleaner than the rest, or at least less filthy. Toilet paper in the dispenser. No visible human waste. That was a start. “What about this one?” Amy asked her daughter.Dakota took a few tentative steps up behind her and peered into the toilet bowl. “There’s something in there,” she said, pointing limply to the pale pink water in the bowl.Amy didn’t have time to explain to her daughter the effect of beets on pee. “Just flush it,” Amy said. She turned and walked overto the row of white sinks and waited. She heard the toilet flush and felt a little bit of the tension bleed from her shoulders. They would be on the road soon…..”Mom?” Amy heard her daughter ask.What now?Amy turned and saw her daughter standing in the stall, the metal door swung open. Dakota’s face was white, blank, her hands balled into fists. The toilet was overflowing, water spilling over the lid onto the floor, forming a puddle that seemed to almost have a tide. Only there was something in the water. It swirled with veins of red. It looked almost menstrual. And for a second Amy thought, Did Dakota get her period? The bloody water streaked down along the outside of the white toilet bowl, onto the floor, under Dakota’s sneakers, and toward where Amy stood frozen. There was something in the toilet, something that had bobbed to the surface and now sat at rim level. A piece of something raw. Flesh.

You start to pity the good side and envy the villain! A cat and mouse game, wherein Cain leaves it up to you to decide who’s which, or both!

I am yet to read the sequel/prequel but this one seems promising! 

Warning: Possibly nightmarish.

Ratings:

Critics: 4/5

I’d rate it:4/5

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Angels & Demons

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Author: Dan Brown

Page Count: 616

Genre: (Fiction) Thriller, Mystery, Crime, Conspiracy

Book Synopsis: When Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon discovers the resurgence of an ancient brotherhood known as the Illuminati, he flies to Rome to warn the Vatican, the Illuminati’s most hated enemy. Joining forces with beautiful Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), Langdon follows a centuries-old trail of ancient symbols in the hope of preventing the Illuminati’s deadly plot against the Roman Catholic Church from coming to fruition.

Movie Adaptation: Angels and Demons (2009)

You may call it a sequel or a prequel to Brown’s other works; I’d just like to think of it as  one of the series of hefty cases in Robert Langdon’s life,thanks to Dan Brown!

I may be completely wrong when I say this one is not one of Dan Brown’s finest works, nevertheless it doesn’t fail to make you inquisitive! Based on a highly misunderstood secret society, this novel uncovers the depths and takes us back in history to the times of Galileo and Newton, to the atrocity Religion imposed on Science during those times.  (Also see The Da Vinci Code)

Although not a religious book, it has religious elements and covers both Rome and Vatican city. Terror attacks and hostage situations turn the novel  pretty graphic: Brown holds nothing back!

Here’s a peek:

PROLOGUE

Physicist Leonardo Vetra smelled burning flesh, and he knew it was his own. He stared up in terror at the dark figure looming over him. “What do you want!”

La chiave,” the raspy voice replied. “The password.”

“But…I don’t… ”

The intruder pressed down again, grinding the white hot object deeper into Vetra’s chest. There was the hiss of broiling flesh.

Vetra cried out in agony. “There is no password!” He felt himself drifting toward unconsciousness.

The figure glared. “Ne avevo paura. I was afraid of that.”

Vetra fought to keep his senses, but the darkness was closing in. His only solace was in knowing his attacker would never obtain what he had come for. A moment later, however, the figure produced a blade and brought it to Vetra’s face. The blade hovered. Carefully. Surgically.

“For the love of God!” Vetra screamed. But it was too late.

The novel is exhausting, really talky and unnecessarily long. There were times halfway through the book where i couldn’t find the motivation to continue reading; but i managed to finish it as it somehow managed to pick up the long-due  pace. It starts of spectacularly, looses pace, gains pace and looses it again.

There have been substantial amounts of discrepancies and inaccuracies in the facts stated in this novel, so make sure you verify before you believe although there are updated versions of the novel published correcting the same.

Otherwise the novel is totally action-packed and fast-paced (and melodramatic!)  and undoubtedly remains true to it’s genre!

Ratings:

Critics: 3.8/5

I’d rate it:  3.3/5

Mr. Mercedes

  • Author: Stephen King
  • Genre: Mystery thriller, crime fiction
  • No. Of pages: 436

Stephen ‘word-weaver’ King!! This man has a flair so good with writing that can turn the most mediocre story plots into a nail-biting read!

No, I’m not saying that Mr. Mercedes has a weak plot but being an avid reader of murder mysteries, I’ve read plots way better than the one King presents us here. But writer of such a caliber converts this book into a thorough page-turner with his usual ease.

Like in all of King’s books, the characterization is top notch. The “Det. Ret.” is so convincing as a cold, competent but borderline suicidal Detective who’s baited by an even colder, inhumane mass murderer “Mr. Mercedes”. Even the Detective’s sidekicks are so well described, you’d be sure you practically know them!

Mr. Mercedes, undoubtedly, is one of the best villains to be ever written. You appreciate him one instant and our grossed out the next.

Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.

Though it’s not among King’s best books, the thrill and the suspense and the cat-and-mouse chase of the right and the wrong, make it a worthwhile read.

Because, “everybody likes the ice cream man”.

Ratings:

Critics- 3.9/5

I’d rate it- 4.2/5

The Partner

Author: John Grisham

Genre: Legal thriller

Page Count: 412

Book Synopsis: They watched Danilo Silva for days before they finally grabbed him. He was living alone, a quiet life on a shady street in Brazil; a simple life in a modest home, certainly not one of luxury. Certainly no evidence of the fortune they thought he had stolen. He was much thinner and his face had been altered. He spoke a different language, and spoke it very well.But Danilo had a past with many chapters. Four years earlier he had been Patrick Lanigan, a young partner in a prominent Biloxi law firm. He had a pretty wife, a new daughter, and a bright future. Then one cold winter night Patrick was trapped in a burning car and died a horrible death. When he was buried his casket held nothing more than his ashes.From a short distance away, Patrick watched his own burial. Then he fled. Six weeks later, a fortune was stolen from his ex-law firm’s offshore account. And Patrick fled some more.But they found him.

Movie Adaptation: (Development ongoing)



This one may not be Grisham’s finest work but it is worth the read! A cleverly plotted story seen from different perspectives, it incorporates violence,  drama, sardonic humor to make one edgy thriller.With every turning page the plot perfectly fits; It’s all relative!

Grisham’s sense of social satire and wittiness is perhaps unsurmountable! Such clever manifestation of legal proceedings, court trials and perspectives of prosecution into a novel should be a crime! The need for freedom emphasized by the elusory protagonist is elaborately explained, moreover, even justified!

This book is vile, but satisfying; shrewd, but exceedingly clever ; adorned with court related humor, but is impartial. Grisham leaves it to you to judge what is right and what is easy!

Here’s an excerpt:

December 7, 2008

They found him in Ponta PorÒ, a pleasant little town in Brazil, on the border of Paraguay, in a land still known as the Frontier.They found him living in a shaded brick house on Rua Tiradentes, a wide avenue with trees down the center and barefoot boys dribbling soccer balls along the hot pavement.They found him alone, as best they could tell, though a maid came and went at odd hours during the eight days they hid and watched.

The writing has no special elements but is fairly plain, thus does justice to the exhaustive story! You’d be disappointed if you expect murder/killing from the start, since neither of that happens, atleast not during the story timeline the writing is based on.

I found the ending a bit upsetting but that’s no biggie!

What more can I say? Well, for more details, all you gotta do is READ IT and decide for yourself! 😉

Ratings:

Critics: 3.9/5

I’d rate it:  3.5/5

Tell Me Your Dreams

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Author: Sidney Sheldon.

Genre: (Fiction, based on actual cases) Thriller.

No of Pages:    363                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Book Synopsis: Three beautiful young women are suspected of committing a series of brutal murders. The police make an arrest that leads to one of the most bizarre murder trials of the century.Based on real medical cases, Sheldon’s novel races from London to Rome to the city of Quebec to San Francisco, with a climax that will the reader stunned.

Movie Adaptation: Anniyan (2005).

 

Q)Whats better than Sidney Sheldon writing murder-thrillers?

A) Sidney Sheldon writing psychological-murder-thrillers with several unreliable narratives!

This is one of his books I swear you don’t put down till you reach the end!  I specifically remember this piece keeping me up till 4 at dawn! The best part is,  it starts all quite plain and ordinary only to surprise you further on!

The narrative lets you explore three distinctive lives, lets you travel four different locations, while keeping you on your toes! As aptly put by New York Daily News, ‘If you want a novel you simply cannot put down, go to Sheldon’.

Here’s what the very first paragraph of the very first chapter tells you:

Someone was following her. She had read about stalkers, but they belonged in a different, faraway world. She had no idea who it could be, who would want to harm her. She was trying desperately hard not to panic, but lately her sleep had been filled with nightmares, and she had awakened each morning with a feeling of impending doom.

You could give this a shot also if you enjoy reading judicial court matters and trials (who doesn’t? )

I actually did have higher expectations from the book, but that’s perfectly okay, since it in no way whatsoever diminuted the experience.

Well, I probably need to stop here: Giving any further details would prove disastrous. Also ‘coz I am a really nice person.

Imagine if a random stranger in the street grabs hold of your arm and whispers, ‘Tell me your dreams!’. Hey you just found your date!

“A penny for a spool of thread,

A penny for a needle

That’s the way the money goes

Pop! Goes the weasel”

*Ron Weasley does not approve* (Rhymes right? Yes it rhymes. Yes it does.Okay)

 

Ratings:

Critics: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I’d rate it: ♥ ♥ ♥