The Mirror Man by Lars Kepler @RandomThingsTours @ZaffreBooks #crime #thriller #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mirror Man by the writing duo of Lars Kepler. This is the 8th book in the Joona Linna series, and if you are a regular visitor to my blog, then you will probably know what I am going to say next…

Yep, this is the first one I have read, and yes it does work as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my e-copy of this book and my spot on the Blog Tour. My copy came via NetGalley from the publisher Bonnier Books.

The gripping new crime novel from global thriller writing phenomenon, Lars Kepler

IF YOU SEE HIS REFLECTION IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE . . .

Seventeen-year-old Jenny is abducted in broad daylight and taken to a dilapidated, isolated house where she is chained and caged along with several other girls. Their captor is unpredictable and as wily as he is cruel: he foils every one of their desperate attempts to escape . . . and once caught they rarely survive their punishment.

Five years later, Jenny is found dead in a public park, and the police are scrambling to find a lead among the scant evidence. But Detective Joona Linna realizes that this murder has an eerie connection to a death that was declared a suicide years before. And now when Mia, a seventeen-year-old orphan, goes missing, it becomes clear to Joona that they are dealing with a serial killer-and the murderous rampage has just begun.

As the police close in on the killer, Mia and her fellow captives are plunged into ever greater danger, and Joona finds himself in a seemingly impossible race against time to save their young lives.

MY REVIEW

So this is the 8th book in the Joona Linna series, and it is the first time I have read a book by this author, as is my norm it seems. I do wish I had started this series at the beginning, but to be honest there is enough detail from the author for me to focus on this one story. I am curious however as to mentions of past events!

Joona Linna is a detective who doesn’t always follow orders, it could be said that his actions cost jobs, especially as his previous boss is no longer around. A new boss, a new set of rules that Linna just seems to be able to wrangle his way around. It is just as well really.

The case is one that had gripped the Swedish newspapers 5 years previously, Jenny Lind went missing and hadn’t been seen, assumed dead. When her body suddenly turns up in an execution-style way. There is a witness, but he cannot remember anything.

This is a brilliant story and has a good length to it at around 480 pages. This was a book that had me hooked from the outset and it was definitely an addictive one as I read it in one sitting!

The story is about a missing girl, but this isn’t the only story. There are various other substories, well I say that but they are also stories in their own right if you get what I mean. Trying to work out what connects them is what kept me eagerly turning the pages.

There is the story of a man who has mental health problems and it tells why he cannot remember what he saw. There is the story of his wife, the story of the missing girl and of Linna who is trying to piece together the puzzles when he isn’t even supposed to be working on the case.

These stories do start to connect but I didn’t see the bigger picture until the author literally dropped the bombshell. I had ideas, I had theories and I was, as I usually am, wrong. I discovered that each character has a lot more to them than first meets the eye. Everyone has a secret or has something that they don’t like to let on, but his story had many of them. What was preventing people from telling all they knew… fear!

This was such an addictive story and fr me the pacing was perfect. It is a slow case as there are no real leads as such, the odd lead that there is could be seen as tenuous at best. But this is where Linna comes into his own. While he can be annoying to his bosses, he is also quite tenacious. AS this is the first time I have come across this character I am curious. Curious to know more about him and what he has been through, he is a bit of an enigma for me and I think this also added to the intrigue of the story.

This is a fab story and one that has some really awful moments in it. It is shocking reading at times at the brutality but somehow the details that the author does include sort of fit with the image that the author builds up throughout the story.

This is one for those who like the longer mystery thriller, there are some brilliant clues and red herrings scattered throughout. Nothing can be taken for granted and I loved this. Brilliantly paced, fabulous characters and storyline and one for crime, thriller and police procedural fans. I loved it and would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril (b. 1966) and Alexander Ahndoril (b. 1967), authors of the No. 1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series.

With seven instalments to date, the series has sold 15 million copies in 40 languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler, and have each published several acclaimed novels.

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Nesting by C.J. Cooke @CJessCooke @RandomTTours #RandomThingsTours @fictionpubteam #mystery #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Nesting by C.J. Cooke. This book has a gorgeous cover and the story inside is just brilliant. Huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for arranging my copy of the book and also for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Synopsis…

It was like something out of a fairytale…

The grieving widower.

The motherless daughters.

A beautiful house in the woods.

Deep in a remote Norwegian forest, Lexi has found a new home with architect Tom and his two young daughters. With snow underfoot and the sound of the nearby fjord in her ears, it’s as if Lexi has stepped into a fairy tale

But this family has a history – and this place has a past. Something was destroyed to build their beautiful new house. And those ancient, whispering woods have a long memory.

Lexi begins to hear things, see things that don’t make sense. She used to think this place heavenly, but in the dark, dark woods, a menacing presence lurks.

With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.

But protect them from what?

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

I am going to start with the cover for this book and say that I absolutely adore it. The relevance of the cover image is something that is gradually revealed as the mysterious and atmospheric story unfolds.

The story is about Lexi taking someone’s identity and finding herself in Norway in a remote woodland being a Nanny to Gaia and Coco, Lexi is known as Sophie. The house she stays in is creepy, full of weird noises and there is a certain creepiness to it. Why the need for a Nanny, when Aurelia died Tom needed help to look after his daughters while he was finishing the building the eco-friendly house.

Ecology plays a part in this story as does a folk-lore of the land looking after itself. The author has used her own Scandinavian feeling fairy tales to add a folklore vibe to this story. It gives it a wonderful sense of the old world or ancient woodland that fits in so well with this mystery. The atmospheric air is suspense-filled but not over the top spooky. There is the ever-present presence of something lurking in the background and it does give a certain eerie chill.

The story itself is one that had a lot more than I first expected, as much as it is a story of discovering the mystery it is also about one of the characters discovering herself. In fact, the characters all have something that they hold back, giving tension to the book.

I really liked this book and once I started it I found it difficult to put down. It has the feel of a Scandi-Noir and it does have folklore, gothic feel as well as being a mystery and to a certain extent a mystery thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is one that I would definitely recommend.

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KULT by Stefan Malmstrom @kpstefan @silvertailbooks #BOTBSPublicity #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Kult by Stefan Malmstrom. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for the invite and for arranging a copy of this fantastic book.

Let me show you what the book is all about…

THE PAST WILL NEVER LET YOU GO…


When a four-year-old girl and her father are found dead in the Swedish city of Karlskrona, the police quickly conclude it was a murder-suicide, a tragedy requiring no further investigation.


But Luke Bergmann, a reformed criminal still haunted by his violent past, believes they are wrong. The dead man, Viktor, was his best friend, and Luke knows he would never commit such a horrific crime.


When more bodies turn up, Luke is certain the same killer has struck again. Alone, he embarks on an investigation which reaches back through decades to his friend’s involvement with a sinister cult and dark secrets are exposed as Luke struggles to keep his own long-buried demons hidden away.


And when Luke finds himself in a killer’s sights, his search for the truth becomes the fight of his life.


Can Luke get justice for Viktor and his daughter and prove his best friend was not a murderer, or will the shadows of the past overwhelm him?


Fans of The Killing, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jo Nesbø and Will Dean will love this dark and gripping début thriller.


There is an Authors Note that I am also going to share with you…

KULT is a crime thriller but it’s based on a true story. The author, Stefan Malmstrom, was in the Church of Scientology in Sweden for a few years in his early twenties (about thirty years ago now), a relatively short time but which had a profound and damaging effect on his life. Part of the story of KULT is told in flashbacks which are accurate representations of both Stefan’s experiences in Scientology in Sweden (including digging for a spaceship – no joke) and the death of Lisa McPherson in the US in 1995. The present-day plot – the hunt for a serial killer – is entirely fictitious. The book is aimed at a general crime readership (Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo fans among others) as well as the many people who read books about Scientology, such as Going Clear by Lawrence Wright and Troublemaker by Leah Remini. You may not know but Silvertail is the only publisher in the UK willing to put out books critical of Scientology – over the years we’ve had serious legal threats, all of which have been seen off with no problems.” KULT is the first time we’ve done a Scientology novel, and hopefully this aspect makes it a little more interesting than if it were pure fiction.

The synopsis and the authors note were the things that really made me stop and take a serious look at this book. It’s not often I read the synopsis immediately prior to reading for a book, I usually wait until I have finished it. but this item, something caught my eye and I read it and the authors note prior to reading the book and I think it gave such an extra element to the reading experience.

So, what to say about the book… WOW! springs to mind. This is such a strong and dark story and knowing that some of it is based on actual events makes it for seriously tense read.

The story is actually 3 strands that the author flits back and forth between, they are seemingly unconnected until the tweaking and pulling together begins. Then suddenly things link and then I started to get an idea of where this was heading, call it the start of seeing the bigger picture if you like. Because of this seemingly randomness to the threads I was unable to really work things out until the author was ready for me to.

The title of the book, KULT, is an indicator as to the content, it is one of the threads and is set in the past and adds insight as the other stories start to merge. The main focus is the death of Viktor and his daughter Agnes, Luke a close friend does not believe it was suicide and begins to dig around for the answers himself. Then the third thread, wow this is evil and dark, it will not appeal to some readers as it deals with a hard to read subject, the author however does not go into details. I am now reading back through this paragraph and I have realised how obscure and random it is. I did think of changing it but, I am not one to let spoilers out so I have decided to leave it obscure!

This is such a fabulous read, it is dark and deals with tough subjects. The author has used his own experiences to create a story that is a mix of actual facts as well as a fictionalised story. I cannot imagine living within a cult, but I could see how manipulative cult members could be as I read this book. Knowing that the author personally knew what the cult was all about and then using that information adds a believably creepy and horrifying element to the story.

This story did take me a few chapters to get into and took me a while to understand and get to grips with the flow. Once I found my feet with the characters and the time changes I found it extremely addictive.

If you like dark, disturbing, chilling, manipulative, creepy and controlling crime thriller reads then this is one that may well appeal. KULT is a book I would definitely recommend and I look forward with interest to see what this author comes up with next.

I also have to mention the absolutely seamless translation from Swedish into English by Suzanne Martin Cheadle, without her work I would have unable to read such a fascinating book.

Stefan Malmström is a former news journalist who has worked for Sveriges Radio and Swedish TV4. Today he works as a consultant, lecturer and author. At a young age, Stefan was manipulated into the Church of Scientology in Hässleholm, a small town in southern Sweden. KULT, his first book, is based on his experiences in the cult. Stefan lives in Karlskrona in Sweden with his family.  

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx