Angels Fall


Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Murder, Mystery, Contemporary Romance, Thriller.

Page Count:  391

Book Synopsis:  A chef moves to a small town in Wyoming after her Boston restaurant is shut down because of a fatal shooting. She starts to come to terms with her situation and the town,  untill things take a turn when she witnesses a mass murder in a hiking trail.

Movie Adaptation: Angels Fall (2009) 

This is the first suspense/mystery novel I read in my early teens and it’s an absolute thriller!(And I don’t say that from a thirteen year old’s point of view)

The journey is fluid! Each event glides past smoothly and tantamounts to a really good mystery! The novel has elements of romance, mystery, thrill, murder-making it a really engaging experience.

Here’s a sneak:

REECE GILMORE smoked through the tough knuckles of Angel’s Fist in an overheating Chevy Cavalier. She had two hundred forty-three dollars and change in her pocket, which might be enough to cure the Chevy, fuel it and herself. If luck was on her side, and the car wasn’t seriously ill, she’d have enough to pay for a room for the night.Then, even by the most optimistic calculations, she’d be broke.She took the plumes of steam puffing out of the hood as a sign it was time to stop traveling for a while and find a job.No worries, no problem, she told herself. The little Wyoming town huddled around the cold blue waters of a lake was as good as anywhere else. Maybe better. It had the openness she needed—all that sky with the snow-dipped peaks of the Tetons rising into it like sober, and somehow aloof, gods.

My preferences don’t take a liking to reading romance, but this bubble of love painted by Roberts is subtle, is calm, and it just glides through like it was meant to be. The spark between the lovers is unmissable! 

Sly comments, under-appreciated symbolism, satisying and engaging and moreover, an overall terrific plot- this one definitely is worth the read!

 Ratings:

Critics : 4 / 5

I’d rate it : 4 / 5

 

Advertisements

Kafka on the Shore


  • Author: Haruki Murakami
  • Genre: Fantasy, Thriller, Romance
  • No. Of pages: 615

You must’ve heard of those “100 books to read before you die” lists; well this one is definitely one of them!

A book of its very open kind, it’s not bordered by any genre whatsoever. It is a science fiction, a mystery thriller, a fantasy with science and adventure. And oh yes it has romance too! 😛

Considered one of Murakami’s better works, Kafka on the shore takes the reader on an exhilarating ride in a world of bizarre. With unimaginable events happening things do tend to get a little gory, and gory it does get. But the words don’t​ let the interest deter on bit.

Let me show you what I mean:

Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. 

Why? 

Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

But the one major dip in the book is the whopping number of loose ends it gives way to. Too many things are left unanswered, which might make the reader feel unsatisfied even after a read of over 600 pages.

This clash of things good and bad makes one either applaud at how cunning Murakami is as a writer or how selfish he is to have left the reader hanging in curiosity forever!

Selfish or no, Murakami does give us various points to ponder over- human nature, our superstitions​, our prejudices, our very existence. Such food-for-thought easily compensates for all the loose ends one could possibly find.

Ratings:

Critics- 3.9/5

I’d rate it- 4.2/5

Dark Places

images

 

Author: Gillian Flynn

Page Count: 349

Genre: Psychological thriller, Mystery.

Book synopsis: A woman confronts traumatic, childhood memories of the murder of her mother and two sisters when she investigates the possibility that her brother is innocent of the crime.

Movie Adaptation: Dark Places (2015)

Gone Girl led me here, lead me to read this one! And let me tell you, this one doesn’t disappoint!  Flynn spins off this piece with quite ease, thanks to her spot-on narrative style, which she has aced!

This book mostly covers what happened after the big event,  but it occasionally keeps swivelling back to the events before the big one.

It is really nicely written! I really appreciate the way Flynn  has arranged the specks of events, far apart but not so much to seem far fetched or disorderly! You might think you were there all the way or almost there only to be proved wrong!

Wrong people,  wrong perspectives, spurious events and the tedious that is the life and task of a survivor, and the exhaustive investigation,  plus the survivor’s quest for the truth,  for the unclouded version of the truth, is artfully revealed.

Here’s an excerpt:

Libby Day

Now

I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it. It’s the Day blood. Something’s wrong with it. I was never a good little girl, and I got worse after the murders. Little Orphan Libby grew up sullen and boneless, shuffled around a group of lesser relatives—second cousins and great-aunts and friends of friends—stuck in a series of mobile homes or rotting ranch houses all across Kansas. Me going to school in my dead sisters’ hand-me-downs: Shirts with mustardy armpits. Pants with baggy bottoms, comically loose, held on with a raggedy belt cinched to the farthest hole. In class photos my hair was always crooked—barrettes hanging loosely from strands, as if they were airborne objects caught in the tangles—and I always had bulging pockets under my eyes, drunk-landlady eyes. Maybe a grudging curve of the lips where a smile should be. Maybe.

The novel along with its complex storyline is dark, almost disturbing (Massacre, Satanic cults). Make sure you have something happy to do while reading this or else the darkness will sweep you over. Incredibly demented , it’ll keep you scared, yet riveted to keep going!

You just sort of hang onto the book, hang on to it all the way, step by step until absolute finality finds you.

Finally, Flynn indeed accomplishes her mission to keep you guessing!  Maybe that is infact the motto she lives by!

Do not read this if you like happy novels. This book may probably be the literature version of Black Metal music.

 

Reviews:

Critics: 3.9/5

I’d rate it: 4/5

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

Angels & Demons

canvas2r

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

The Da Vinci Code

Author: Dan Brown

Page Count: 573

Genre: Mystery,  Thriller

Book synopsis: 

Symbologist Robert Langdon travels from Paris to London to discover the truth behind a mysterious and bizarre murder. Later, he learns about a religious mystery protected by a secret society.

Movie Adaptation: The Da Vinci Code (2006)




A thriller to keep you on your toes! That is what this book is! One of Dan’s Brown finest works about the exceedingly intriguing and historical work of Leonardo Da Vinci! 
This book outstretches it’s arms and grabs a hold of you!A hold so firm and steady; while slowly revealing the depths in it’s pages; keeping you just there, steadfast! 

It will educate you, it will inspire you to curiosity; and it will give you a griping experience all the while retaining it’s title of a cryptic, ancient, and perhaps a scandalous novel! History has never been more interesting ; Science has never been more charismatic! 

Here’s an excerpt from the Prologue:

Louvre Museum, Paris 10:46 P.M. 

Renowned curator Jacques Sauniere staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery. He lunged for the nearest painting he could see, a Caravaggio. Grabbing the gilded frame, the seventy- six-year-old man heaved the masterpiece toward himself until it tore from the wall and Sauniere collapsed backward in a heap beneath the canvas. As he had anticipated, a thundering iron gate fell nearby, barricading the entrance to the suite. The parquet floor shook. Far off, an alarm began to ring. The curator lay a moment, gasping for breath, taking stock. I am still alive. He crawled out from under the canvas and scanned the cavernous space for someplace to hide. A voice spoke, chillingly close. “Do not move.”

 
This book outstretches it’s arms and grabs a hold of you!A hold so firm and steady; while slowly revealing the depths in it’s pages; keeping you just there, steadfast (although the writing is nothing great)! It will educate you, it will inspire you to curiosity; and it will give you a griping experience all the while retaining it’s title of a cryptic, ancient, and perhaps a scandalous novel! History has never been more interesting ; Science has never been more charismatic! 
Dwelling on the depths and past of Catholicism and Jesus Christ, it teaches you to have an open mind about religious beliefs, because beliefs are made by man and man is not unknown to mistakes. You may find it offensive, you may find it shocking, but it is what it is!

 It effectively couples religion and science! It gives you a basis for your beliefs, both religious and atheistic! If this book doesn’t give you a new perspective, I don’t know what will!

Read it with an open mind, read it with a curious mind, read it not only because its based on a famous painting but read it because it is one hell of an experience! 

Ratings:

Critics: 3.8/5

I’d rate it: 4/5

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