PositiveThe Nerd DailyThere are journal entries, poems written in junior high, and bumper sticker slogans throughout, but this is primarily a memoir full of engaging stories ... The reader gets the sense throughout that this is a man who has truly opened up about what he has learned in his time on this planet ... there is undoubtedly a \'feel good\' quality to the entire book. In the world we are living in today, this is just the right book to sit down with, and exhale.
Lars Kepler, tr. Neil Smith
PositiveThe Nerd DailyIn what may likely be their most gritty and violent book so far, Lars Kepler has given Detective Joona Linna a pulse-pounding and heart-breaking case that will have the reader audibly gasping on more than one occasion. The book is lengthy, but the action never stops, from the first page to the last. The story is heavy but engrossing as Kepler leads us along on an investigation with constant twists, surprises, and terror. In Lazarus, neither the authors nor the characters ever blink at the graphic horrors brought on by this villainous criminal mastermind, so the reader must be prepared for a full unvarnished look at a truly gruesome tale ... not for the faint of heart. It is not the book to pick up if you just want to \'try out\' the genre. However, if you know you love dark and twisted, sometimes painful, and sometimes disturbing crime fiction, this book will hold you hostage ... For fans of Kepler, this is a ride you will not forget.
RaveThe Nerd DailyFans of Harriet Tyce’s debut thriller Blood Orange have been eagerly anticipating her follow-up, and they will certainly not be disappointed with The Lies You Told. Tyce continues to demonstrate her gift for writing twists that fit organically into her stories, but still shock and excite the reader ... The scandalous nature of the case, caring for her daughter on her own, and balancing all of her responsibilities while carving out this new life for herself and her daughter all create an incredibly stressful situation that Tyce masterfully conveys. So masterfully, in fact, that there were times that I had to set the book down for a few minutes because it was making me, personally, feel too stressed ... There are passages that are not for the faint of heart, but this complex tale has been woven together with expert hands. She writes characters we can love, and she is especially adept with characters we can love to hate. Her ability to craft a story is incredible. Harriet Tyce will have you addicted to her writing in no time.
RaveThe Nerd DailyAlison Stine’s debut novel Road Out of Winter tells the story of a dystopian near-future where, for the second year in a row, it has remained winter ... I was reminded of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven as so much of the story follows a small group of people traveling together in an unpredictable, and often terrifying, landscape. Additionally though, I was also reminded of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone ... Fans of Station Eleven or Winter’s Bone will definitely find a lot to like in Road Out of Winter ... In a very impressive manner, Stine uses the weather and terrain almost as an additional character in this story. Her descriptive language is so completely immersive with the monotony of the snow blanketed landscapes, the unending mysterious woods, and the treacherous broken roads. The landscape becomes a villain on its own, yet another obstacle to be overcome as the main characters search for their Road Out of Winter.
Jo Nesbø, tr. Robert Ferguson
RaveThe Nerd DailyNesbo sinks his teeth into a village full of fascinating characters to bring us this standalone novel that the reader will immediately be immersed in, but likely not be able to leave nearly so easily ... through Nesbo’s exquisite writing, though we see this world through Roy, we are able to clearly understand the motivations of other characters, even when Roy does not ... There are some twists and reveals in the story where the reader may be able to predict the ‘what’ but will still be completely engrossed in learning the ‘how’ and the ‘why\' ... an epic tale of contrasts as it sees people (and life) as both beautiful and harsh, looks at people in the village as cogs in a machine while those living outside the village are almost anonymous strangers, and sees just how ugly the beautiful concept of brotherly love can be.
RaveThe Nerd DailyWith heart pounding thrills and impressive twists, Wendy Walker’s newest thriller Don’t Look For Me is her best yet! A story told from two different viewpoints, on two separate, but interconnecting timelines, Walker keeps the tension level high from page one. For thriller lovers, this has everything: chills, dread, suspense, clever, and intricate plotting, and if you are like me, even the ever elusive out loud gasp! ... As in all of her books, Walker brings us very real, three dimensional characters throughout this tale of psychological suspense ... Don’t Look For Me will keep you glued to the pages, and it is just the right length for a weekend read.
RaveThe Nerd Daily... a thrill-ride that you will be unable to put down ... The twists and turns, revelations and backstories, dark humour and suspense never stop. Siblings Eddie, Beth, and Portia have their entire dysfunctional lives on display throughout this long road trip, and it will be difficult for most readers to find anyone they can consistently call ‘likeable’. (For readers that are not concerned with likeability, you are in for a big treat!) While I would never want to be on this road trip, being able to comfortably sit back and read about it is an absolute joy! This clever tale of greed, betrayal, and family is edgy and entertaining from start to finish. It is a pure fun, escape-from-the-world type of book, but with lots of sneaky little details and an interesting way of telling an outlandish tale.
PositiveThe Nerd DailyTold through chapters that alternate perspectives between Sydney Green, an African-American life-long resident of the neighbourhood, and Theo, her new neighbour who is white, the reader never has the chance to look at the story solely through one lens. This is a technique that makes for excellent story-telling, but at times will likely make the reader uncomfortable ... This thriller constantly ratchets up the tension, and while it is certainly a highly recommended read just as an exciting story, it is also much more than that. There is depth here that needs to be read and thought about. Opening one’s self up to the perspectives and world-views of others is how we learn and how we grow. Neither Theo nor Sydney is 100% likeable, or reliable, but their interactions may provide readers with valuable insight into situations or circumstances they have never been confronted with before.
RaveNerd DailyA smart, and very relevant, mystery by a prolific writer of stage and screen, Michael Elias’s You Can Go Home Now will take you on an intense rollercoaster ride alongside Detective Nina Karim, a homicide investigator in Queens, New York ... With recurring themes of revenge, justice, power, and victimhood, there are frank and graphic discussions of domestic violence situations that might be too much for sensitive readers. They certainly do pack a punch if you will pardon the metaphor ... The incredibly sharp dialogue and such murky ethical questions will keep readers turning page after page. It is not a story full of likeable characters, but it is a story full of very real characters. The themes will work themselves into your brain and not let you go, not to mention the incredible climax that you simply will not see coming!
RaveThe Nerd DailyGet your tissues and settle in because Her Last Flight will take you on a trip back through time that is both beautiful and raw, as well as both heart-tugging and heart-breaking. Beatriz Williams has crafted a novel that tells an incredible story but also has fantastically strong, complicated, relatable, and beautifully written characters ... I’m not sure it is possible to read this novel and not connect with these characters ... The story twists in ways that are surprising and gratifying. There are tears from the characters as they come to certain realisations, but there will certainly be tears from the reader as well (speaking from personal experience). You will know these women, and you may even realise you are these women. Williams’s beautiful writing absolutely makes them women you can feel in your soul ... The story is incredible and wonderfully told, but the outstanding work that went into character development is the shining star here. Highly recommended for any fan of historical fiction, but especially fans of Williams’ previous work.
RaveThe Nerd DailyA book that weaves together the stories of remarkable women always hits my sweet spot, so when I picked this book up thinking I would do just a little lazy Saturday morning reading, I soon realised I could not put it down. Each character is so unique and interesting, and written so incredibly well, that within just a few pages each already feels like a living, breathing person. It takes no time at all to get completely invested into their lives ... Without a doubt, this is one of those books that as soon as you finish it you will be handing it off to your best friend. It is a great book club selection, and will make the perfect summer beach read. I highly recommend it especially for fans of Chanel Cleeton’s previous novels as well as fans of All the Ways We Said Goodbye or Fountains of Silence. This is another masterwork of historical fiction.
RaveThe Nerd DailyRagnar Jónasson is a true master of suspense, there is just simply no other word to describe him. Every single page winds you up a little until you finally realise your entire body has tensed up in anticipation of the next page! ... Jónasson weaves together a multi-layered story at the perfect pace. He constantly leaves you wanting more, and then he gives it to you. From the first page to the last, he has structured the story with such a delicate balance that it keeps the reader constantly engaged ... The Mist is a great length to read in a weekend and it will absolutely grab you and fully engross you in Hulda’s world that Jónasson has created. It is no exaggeration to say that as soon as I finished this book, I immediately started ordering more form this author. The Mist has definitely been added to my ‘frequently recommended’ list!
RaveThe Nerd DailyMcCreight includes several different types of marriages in this story, but all of them at some point will make the reader think about just what an actual good marriage really is, and what it might look like from the outside as well as the inside ... Collectively, we get a fascinating, suspenseful tale that weaves together multiple events and storylines. This is definitely a book that is almost impossible to put down once you have picked it up. You’ll gasp, you may blush, you may cry, and you may cheer, but you will still not be able to stop reading!
Simone St. James
RaveThe Nerd DailyWords like ‘un-put-down-able’ and ‘page-turner’ are so often overused, but in the case of Simone St. James’s new thriller, The Sun Down Motel, those words are spot-on perfect descriptors ... the characters in The Sun Down Motel feel more dynamic, more memorable, and more vivid than in her previous book. The story driving the book forward is clearer and more exciting, as well ... a great cast of characters that will keep you guessing who to trust, who to be wary of, and who just might save the day.
RaveThe Nerd DailyAs gritty and dark as always, Saul Black again drags Detective Valerie Hart through the worst of humanity in order to give the reader another incredible, heart-pounding, tension-filled thriller ... Black gets the twists and the action started quickly and never lets up ... Not for every suspense-lover or thriller-reader, Anything For You goes dark – even in comparison to Black’s other work. There is no one unscathed when the dust settles ... This tightly-wound, brilliantly paced thriller will keep the reader engaged, excited, and glued to the page. This isn’t the kind of book you spread over a few weeks – you read until your eyes can’t focus, sleep, and then read some more!
Melissa de la Cruz
PositiveThe Nerd DailyPart Real Housewives guilty pleasure and part unravelling mystery, Melissa de la Cruz’s The Birthday Girl is (probably) the first book I have ever categorised as \'a fun thriller\'. Maybe that isn’t really a genre, or even a sub-genre, but it is a great way to accurately describe this thoroughly enjoyable, but still suspenseful and twisted tale ... Events from the two timelines ultimately meet up (in a sense), and the story finally brings some of the thriller elements into the present-day timeline, though not as successfully as they were weaved into the past events. The mystery that very successfully unravels in the timeline from twenty-four years ago, did not flow quite as easily into the present-day storyline. There are some very good twists, however, that might have been ruined if the mystery was woven into the two timelines equally ... The story wraps up in a way that felt natural, and true to the characters we had come to know at the party, throughout the evening. It may take an extra minute for the two timelines to match up once the reader has gotten through all the twists and turns, but all the questions do get answered ... This book is a perfect on-the-beach or by-the-pool read, where a \'fun thriller\' is preferred over something more complex or intricate.
RaveThe Nerd DailyGoldin is an excellent storyteller with a terrific knack for setting the pace that keeps her audience unable to turn away, and The Escape Room is a must-read! ... Throughout the chapters that take place in the elevator, the reader can feel the fear, the growing panic, the explosions of rage, the growing hopelessness, and the sense of dread. These chapters display for the reader the constant, and constantly growing, terror of the escape room participants ... excellent storytelling and it constantly pulls the reader further and further inside ... Goldin has the infrequently seen talent of writing likeable and unlikable characters equally well ... engrossing, it’s exciting, and it is a great way to remember just how much fun it can be to \'escape\' into a great book.
PositiveThe Nerd DailyScott...shares interesting details, behind-the-scenes insights, and addresses myths, such as why the Beatles music was left off completely ... More than a time capsule, Jonathan Scott describes in this book a brilliant combination of science and art, which together created a weird but wonderful artefact compiled by an amazing group of people. Created from a strange marriage of politics, bureaucracy, budget, ambition, innovation, and beauty, Scott describes a portrait of humanity that is still traveling out among the stars.