Publicat în Michael Crichton

Airframe by Michael Crichton

Synopsis:

The twin jet plane en route to Denver from Hong Kong is merely a green radar blip half an hour off the California coast when the call comes through to air traffic control:

‘Socal Approach, this is TransPacific 545. We have an emergency.’ The pilot requests priority clearance to land – then comes the bombshell – he needs forty ambulances on the runway.

But nothing prepares the rescue workers for the carnage they witness when they enter the plane.

Ninety-four passengers are injured. Three dead. The interior cabin virtually destroyed.

What happened on board Flight TPA 545?

Review:

I always loved those TV shows with aircraft disasters so when I read the description of this book, it was impossible not to put it in my cart. And I did like it, but honestly, not as much as I thought I would. Probably if it would have been at least a hundred pages shorter, the whole reading experience would have been much more enjoyable. But the way it is, I just found it to have way, way too many technical details for a casual reader. Of course, whenever a writer is choosing a topic that he’s not familiar with, he needs to gather as much information as possible in order to deliver a realistic story. But I feel like Michael Crichton overdid it in Airframe. Probably the people working as pilots or in aircraft engineering would find the book extremely accurate and realistic. But a normal reader will be completely lost in the never ending load of acronyms and technical items and aircraft pieces, no matter how well the author tried to explain them. It’s just too much and with every new details your interest drops a little.

Yes, I finished the book and no, it wasn’t a disappointment. But I honestly felt it more like a burden than a pleasure, since for every good twist you have to pay by enduring pages of useless details.

The last quarter of the novel starts having a faster rhythm, the accent falls more and more on the action instead of descriptions so you will probably find yourself reading it with more curiosity and excitement.

I can’t talk about the characters, because they felt more like chess pawns arranged in a way meant to deliver the storyline. We get a minimum amount of information about them, as the whole attention is centered mainly around the events. I got the sensation that the investigation of what happened on the Flight TPA 545 is both the story and the main character of the book and not the persons involved in it.

Airframe is a pretty good story but be warned that you need to prepare your mind with all the patience you can possibly gather in order to get over the scores and scores of technical terms to really get to enjoy the book.

Publicat în Nina Laurin

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin

Synopsis:

„Local police have announced that they’re closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.”

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband’s first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There’s a big difference.

My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it’s an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.

When the voice does finally come, it’s female, low, muffled somehow. „Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is.”

A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She’s not just in my head.

A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It’s Colleen.

Review:

Oh, how confused I felt during the reading of this book…

It starts as a classic family thriller, with a growing feeling of unhappiness, in contrast to the dreams of joy that the main character had when she got married to the one who looked like the ideal husband. And then, slowly, things start to change and you get the feeling that something is wrong, although you cannot really put your finger on what exactly it is. The heroine starts acting weirder than the situation would ask for, normal things begin to look shady, the characters keep changing colors from white to black and vice versa from one chapter to another.

At some point, I was annoyed with the heroine, thinking she’s overreacting and going paranoid for absolutely nothing. Because we’re getting the whole story from her point of view, for a while things don’t seem to make sense, everything is foggy and unclear.

Not until the perspective changes and all of a sudden, boom! Here comes the shocking truth and after that, everything is spiraling out of control, all the puzzle pieces start falling in the right places and you discover a whole new story, in a way you couldn’t have predicted in a million years.

Publicat în Stephen Edger

Till Death Do Us Part by Stephen Edger

Synopsis:

The wedding vows are exchanged, then the nightmare begins…

It was supposed to be the happiest day of her life…

Alice Tandy has dreamed of her wedding since she was a little girl. The perfect venue, the perfect dress, the perfect groom. It’s all going exactly to plan.

But then her whole world comes tumbling down. Just as she and her new husband Ben are cutting their wedding cake, three policemen storm in and arrest Ben. Alice looks on in horror, unable to comprehend what is happening. Did they say murder?

The next day, Ben is released on bail, but for Alice, the nightmare is only just beginning. And as more details about the murder of Kerry Valentine emerge she starts to realise that everyone around her is keeping secrets. Can she trust anyone? And who really killed Kerry?

Review:

This book might not be the kind of thriller that leaves you completely breathless, but the writing itself might be the best that I’ve encountered in a while. Don’t get me wrong, there’s mystery and tension and I did appreciate the scenario. I’m just saying that the way the author dug into the characters minds and relations simply eclipsed everything else. And in no way this is an issue.

What we know from the synopsis and from the first pages of the book is that on their wedding day, Ben, the groom, is taken by the police and accused of murder.

So naturally, this introduction already makes you imagine that Alice, the bride, which will start doubting her new husband as soon as she finds out the details that led to this terrible situation. This is what would happen in any good thriller, right? But if you think about it, this wouldn’t happen in real life. In reality, if you’re choosing a person to be your lifelong partner, you will trust that person to the deepest. And this was the most surprising part for me. That Stephen Edger chose to work with a more realistic version of the characters’ reactions rather than the one you’d expect from a book and that would probably increase the suspense even more. I absolutely loved the trust between the two main characters, the way they cling to each other at any given time and don’t let go easily, no matter how difficult the situations might be, no matter how many doubts and questions their minds would create. Because every new detail that shows up during the development of the investigation, every new untold truth that comes up later has a high potential of destroying their relationship. And despite that, Alice doesn’t end up giving up on Ben, she doesn’t share her fears with anybody else outside of their new family, she keeps fighting every urge to feel uncertain about him. And with all the lies that unclock day by day, that’s a really tough thing to do.

As I said earlier, the whole story is definitely gonna keep you hooked from the beginning till the explosive ending, even if it’s not really the kind of book that makes you forget to eat and sleep just to get another chapter done. The rhythm is not rushed, some chapters are slow paced, but overall, you will die of curiosity to find out what really happened. But definitely, the best and most amazing part of the book is the way the characters deal with the nightmare they woke up into.

Publicat în A.S. Hatch

This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch

Synopsis:

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.

Review:

We’re leaving in an era where information is available so largely, so easy and in such quantities that it created a downside. Our attention span is way shorter than it used to be, we’re losing our patience to concentrate for long and our interest is hooked only for a limited period of time. Therefore, as a reader, when you are choosing a certain type of book that is promising to offer you a quick gratification, like a thriller or a horror or a YA book, you’re definitely not expecting a very slow action, tons of descriptive paragraphs, either on the surroundings or on the characters feelings.

When I rated This Little Dark Place, I browsed a bit through other reviews and as I was anticipating, a lot of readers were disappointed by how slow this book is. Of course, if you’re reading a family drama, a decades saga or whatever book that obviously has an imminent unhurried rhythm, this wouldn’t be a problem. But the story A.S. Hatch creates is centered around not one, but two mysteries, one in the past and one in the present and it starts building the suspense from the very first pages. So when it continues to develop the storyline is a painfully slow pace, I cannot imagine how any reader would feel other than frustrated.

The whole plot of the book is not bad at all. But there are so many unnecessary descriptions that it’s difficult to get past this annoyance and not lose your interest until the end.

Despite this issue, I did enjoy the story and I did like the characters. With so much insight that the author offers on the characters, it’s easy to see their evolution, to understand their actions, even if some of them are negative, to feel their fears, their struggles and their hesitations. You get to know them so well that you can even anticipate their future moves and you might get frustrated when the main character himself still acts surprised or is unable to predict what comes in his way.

Despite suspecting what the outcome of all that suspense will be, I still couldn’t hold myself from hoping that I’m mistaken, mostly because of one of the characters involved, which seemed to be the most interesting of all and have the most potential to spice up the story and the lives of the ones around her.

Even if it was definitely not a WOW read, This Little Dark Place cannot really be thrown in the „bad books” basket, as it has an equal amount of positive and negative parts. I wouldn’t rush on recommending it to the people looking for a very thrilling experience so as long as you keep in mind that the action develops in a slow rhythm, you might find it pretty satisfying.

Publicat în Ann Aguirre

The Third Mrs. Durst By Ann Aguirre

Synopsis:

Some people just need killing.

Marlena Altizer Durst lives in her husband’s shadow. He controls her every move—what she wears, the food she eats, and the friends she’s allowed to make. If she disobeys, there are… consequences. And he has all the power, so nobody would believe her.

Her Cinderella story has been well-documented and it seems that she leads a fairy-tale life. But nobody ever wonders if Cinderella was happy after she married the prince. Marlena has traded freedom and safety for luxurious imprisonment, and most days, that seems like a bad bargain. Death may be the only exit she’s allowed. Just like his first wife. And his second.

Unless she flips the script.

And gets away with murder…

Review:

This book was very far from what I was expecting when I first read its description. It sounded like it will be another domestic thriller where the wife is a powerless, weak victim of a manipulative husband, the kind that keeps the illusion going for a long while before showing his true character. So imagine how surprised I was when I discovered that the roles might not be so clear as they seemed and when the story turned into a real action movie! And no, I’m not exaggerating. One evening, when I was browsing Netflix for something interesting to watch, I remembered that there was a movie or a TV series that I didn’t finish yet and kept me hooked. It took me a few seconds to realize that what I was actually thinking about was the book I was reading and not a screenplay! But the whole story turns into a movie in your mind and trust me, in a very good one!

In the same time, the fact that the book is so visual, it means that somehow, it doesn’t have as much depth as other books. The accent goes more on the action, on the details that create visual scenes instead of the characters motivations. Yes, we do know something about the heroine’s reasons, but no other characters’ motives are really exploited. Not the bad ones, not the good ones either. We just get some very general ideas, like love or egocentrism, care for the family members, an abnormal wish for control or revenge and that’s pretty much all. Because of that, the secondary characters look more like chess pawns, moving on the board automatically, along with the heroine and not because of their own will.

But overall, The Third Mrs. Durst is a quick, easy and full of adrenaline read and I doubt the readers will have any complaints. It keeps you hooked and curious to find out what other crazy turn things will take and leaves you with a satisfied smile when you turn the last page.