Sunday, 30 September 2018

September Mini Reviews | Last Time I Lied, The ABC Murders + More

- SHARING MY THOUGHTS ON BOOKS I'VE READ IN THE LAST HALF OF SEPTEMBER -

BOOKS MENTIONED

- source: my bookshelf -
BLURB
In 1935, young medic Stephen Pearce travels to India to join an expedition with his brother, Kits. The elite team of five will climb Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain and one of mountaineering's biggest killers. No one has scaled it before, and they are, quite literally, following in the footsteps of one of the most famous mountain disasters of all time - the 1907 Lyell expedition.

Five men lost their lives back then, overcome by the atrocious weather, misfortune and 'mountain sickness' at such high altitudes. Lyell became a classic British hero when he published his memoir, Bloody But Unbowed, which regaled his heroism in the face of extreme odds. It is this book that will guide this new group to get to the very top.

As the team prepare for the epic climb, Pearce's unease about the expeditions deepens. The only other survivor of the 1907 expedition, Charles Tennant, warns him off. He hints of dark things ahead and tells Pearce that, while five men lost their lives on the mountain, only four were laid to rest.

But Pearce is determined to go ahead and complete something that he has dreamed of his entire life. As they get higher and higher, and the oxygen levels drop, he starts to see dark things out of the corner of his eyes. As macabre mementoes of the earlier climbers turn up on the trail, Stephen starts to suspect that Lyell's account of the tragedy was perhaps not the full story...

THOUGHTS
Although this was the second time I read Thin Air, it was every bit as haunting and atmospheric as the first - which was actually only at the start of this same year. I don't typically reread a book in such a close time frame, however I was looking to pick up a good ghost story and remembered how much I enjoyed being enveloped in Thin Air. The following lines are an extract from when I first wrote about Thin Air: 'If you're looking for a ghost story that chills your bones, captivates throughout, and can be reading one sitting, then Thin Air is the book for you.'

- source: for review -
BLURB
The Things We Learn When We're Dead is about how small decision can have profound and unintended consequences, but how we can sometimes get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is what appears to be a hospital - but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN, because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident... or does God have a higher purpose after all?

In HVN, Lorna can at first remember nothing. But as her memories return - some good, some bad - she realises that she has decisions to make and that, maybe, she can find a way back home.

THOUGHTS
Books of a sci-fi nature aren't really my go to, however after talking to author Charlie Laidlaw, I came to learn that The Things We Learn When We're Dead is much more than just a sci-fi/fantasy book, which in itself intrigued me. I came away from this book with quite a mixed experience, with some aspects I did enjoy, and others not so much. The story itself is quite thought provoking, and for the most part, I found myself quite enjoying the author's writing style. Initially the book was a bit of a slow burner for me, but it did pick up. There is quite the cast of characters within The Things We Learn When We're Dead, however, at times I found myself disconnected from main character Lorna, and I think that impacted on my reading experience a little. I haven't read a book quite like this before, and for that reason alone I would recommend it.

- source: my bookshelf (Kindle) - 
BLURB
Have you ever played two truths and a lie?

Emma has. Her first summer away from home, she learned how to play the game. And she learned how to lie.

Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned...

Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she's laying old ghosts to rest but really she's returning to the scene of the crime.

Because Emma's innocence might be the biggest lie of all.

THOUGHTS
Riley Sager has done it again, with a page turning thriller I just didn't want to put down. Last Time I Lied is one of those books that really messes with your head, has a moody atmosphere that envelopes you, with a plot that is so clever and that unfolds perfectly. Many a time in this book I thought I knew what was happening, despite the fact I'd been accusing everyone of everything in my head (lol), and yet I still got it all wrong! Although having only written two books, at this point I would be tempted to say that Riley Sager has a writing stamp in a way - troubled female protagonist, a horrific event that really haunts them from years prior, an isolated location for said event etc - and yet he still surprises me with the story he is telling. Riley Sager has announced another book release for summer of next year, and you can bet I'll be picking that one up too.

- source: my bookshelf - 
BLURB
Murder is a very simple crime. But at the hands of a maniac, a serial killer, it becomes a very complicated business.

With the whole country in a state of panic, the killer is growing more confident with each successive execution - Mrs Ascher in Andover, Betty Barnard in Bexhill, Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston... But laying a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just be his first mistake.

THOUGHTS
I do love an Agatha Christie murder mystery, and The ABC Murders is a good 'un. As with other novels by Christie, the crime/murder that takes place isn't the main event as such, it is all about the investigation that follows and unveiling the criminal - with this portion of the story being so well done in The ABC Murders. When I say I had no idea who the killer was, I literally mean NO idea! Agatha Christie weaves wonderful detective stories, and although she draws you in with a cosiness to her writing, you'll be kept on your toes also.
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6 comments

  1. I really want to read an Agatha Christie mystery this fall — I’m pretty sure the only one I ever read was in high school and I dint remember much!

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    1. Oh, you have to.

      Murder on the Orient Express would be a great autumn/winter read. Plus The ABC Murders has a really great plot.

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  2. I’m pretty sure Thin Air is already on my TBR list. It sounds like a book I’d love. Great reviews!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    Replies
    1. There is so much to love about it! I hope you enjoy, if and when, you do get round to reading it.

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  3. The ABC Murders is one of my favorites and it's one that my brain can't seem to store the ending so every time I read it the solution is a surprise!

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    Replies
    1. I can see why, and I love that feeling when returning to a mystery!

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