THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published months or years ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.

My Pick This week is….

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Published March 10, 2016 by Avon

You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil? You’re wrong…
The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall.
Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.
As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.
But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.
And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?

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I would never have picked this up based on the cover and title, neither are appealing to me. However, when my friend Annie at The Misstery suggested I give this detective series a try I immediately headed to the library to see if it was available. The murder mystery aspect of the story begins immediately with the killing of the head teacher of the school and from then on out, the bodies steadily keep dropping. All were killed by different means but all were given a warning that their time had come. Questions linger as to why and what, if anything, all these seemingly random people have in common?

Enter the detectives, DS Grey and DS Miles, two likable detectives who have obvious baggage from their pasts. I really really liked DS Miles, he was flawed but you could just tell he was a good guy. I also liked DS Grey and boy had she suffered some serious injuries in her past, not only physically but emotionally as well. I liked the respect and friendship these two had for each other as well as their intelligence in piecing together the puzzle. Speaking of puzzle, there are many subthreads to this story and while I did have the “who” figured out I didn’t have the “why” so I was happy about that. One very big word of warning for this book which is also at the bottom of the blurb on Goodreads….it’s most definitely NOT for the faint hearted! This is an overall dark themed book. The murders were gruesome, there were discussions of past abuse and torture…these were not images I particularly liked having in my head and reminded me of some of Karin Slaughter’s novels. Tough stuff. If you know that going in you’ll be better prepared. The best part of this book, for me, were the two detectives and the puzzle so if you’re looking for a new detective series why not give this one a try.

HAPPY READING!

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Lynne at Fictionophile

Annie at The Misstery

Diana at A Haven for Booklovers

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

REVIEW: DON’T LET GO By Harlan Coben

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Publish Date Sept. 26, 2017 By Dutton Books

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

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In many ways, this might be one of the harder reviews I’ve had to write. I don’t know about everyone else but I often have so much to say when I want to completely gush about a book like I’ve done with several of my recent reads. This one, however, will not bring gushing which is really hard for me to say because I’ve loved almost all of Coben’s standalones in the years past. I’ve thought for a few days about why one of my most anticipated Fall reads fell flat for me, while many others are loving this so much.   As my friend Chelsea recently discussed on her blog  The Suspense is Thrilling Me, that’s the wonder of the book world…we can all read the same book and have vastly different opinions.

Moving on with my actual review…Napoleon “Nap” Dumas is a detective on a serious mission. He’s been unable to make peace with the death of his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana and the subsequent disappearance of his first love Maura. To say he’s been obsessed for 15 years is an understatement as the man has basically put his entire life on hold trying to figure out what happened to his brother and why Maura disappeared. What he slowly starts to discover is a web of tragedies, conspiracies, betrayals and lies that may or may not lead Nap to getting the answers he seeks.

So, that’s a taste of the plot and here’s a breakdown of what worked and didn’t work for me….

What Worked…

  • Lightning fast dialogue. Harlan Coben can seriously write realistic dialogue and there’s a ton of it in this story which I really enjoyed
  • Fast paced plot. With lots of dialogue and a continuously moving plot, this was a super fast read.
  • A fairly difficult mystery to unravel. I wasn’t able to figure out what happened or why which is always a plus for me
  • Nap’s character. I liked that Nap was a flawed character who’s heart was always in the right place even when he was taking justice into his own hands. He was a good guy which made it easy to root for him

What Didn’t Work…

  • An over the top feel to the writing. The writing (example being the first line of the book) often came across as “cheesy” and trying too hard to be funny, witty, sarcastic, etc
  • Most everything about the military base plot line. I found myself uninterested in this plotline which was very central to the story. The author gave quite a bit of background detail about the abandoned military base and I found myself skimming quite a bit when this came up
  • Nap’s 15 year obsession with Maura whom he hadn’t really dated that long…in high school. I just had a hard time buying his complete obsession and inability to move on for so many years as an adult
  • An overall lack of connection. While I liked Nap, I wasn’t overly connected with him or the outcome of the story to consider myself fully invested and have that ‘I can’t stop reading’ feeling

It’s quite possible that I just wasn’t in the mood for this story at this time or maybe my reading tastes for this type of story are changing because five years ago I think I would’ve liked this more. That being said, I encourage you to try this for yourself, especially if you like mysteries with dynamic dialogue. I still highly recommend trying some Coben’s early books as well!

Many thanks to Dutton Books via Netgalley for my copy