Monday, October 5, 2015

The Voices by F. R. Tallis

Title: The Voices

Author: F. R. Tallis

Published: May 2014, Pan MacMillan

Pages: 400

Summary: Once you've heard them, you'll never forget them ...In the scorching summer of 1976 - the hottest since records began - Christopher Norton, his wife Laura and their young daughter Faye settle into their new home in north London. The faded glory of the Victorian house is the perfect place for Norton, a composer of film soundtracks, to build a recording studio of his own. But soon in the long, oppressively hot nights, Laura begins to hear something through the crackle of the baby monitor. First, a knocking sound. Then come the voices ...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: As much as I love the horror genre, I haven't really read many horror novels so I am working on remedying that.  I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from The Voices, but from its description it sounded like it could be a good scary novel.

The Voices starts off feeling kind of cliche and there are a couple of the typical tropes that I am sick of encountering so I felt like that was a bit annoying to be honest.   I felt like the author was trying to put personality into some of the characters by introducing their interests but I felt like the ideas were half formed and so one character in particular was sneaking off and I felt like what that character was doing was half established.

While I was recommended this book as a creepy read, I have to say that so little happened to the point where I felt like the creepy element just wasn't creepy.  It was just there and it felt like it was just another part of Christopher's life and that there was nothing sinister about it.

The ending was quite good.  I found that it was interesting and it was a little creepy.  It also gave some closure but also left the reader guessing a little, which I quite enjoyed.  I have to say though, I felt like very little happened up until about the last 70 or so pages and so I had absolutely no idea how the book was going to end.

Overall, I thought that The Voices was an interesting book, but at the same time, I also felt like hardly anything happened.  I didn't really find it spooky at all so I think I was a little disappointed.  I think that if the book had more of the creepy things happening and less about the characters lives outside of the main story, I would have enjoyed it a bit more.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Title: The Silkworm

Author: Robert Galbraith

Published: Sphere, 2014

Pages: 456

Series: Book 2, Cormoran Strike

Summary: May contain spoilers!  When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.
And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before . . .  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: The Cuckoo's Calling was the first book I read this year and is definitely one of my favourites so I was definitely keen to pick up the second book, The Silkworm.

Like the first book, I felt like The Silkworm was a slow burning mystery and that was fine with me because it meant that I could just take my time with it and really enjoy the book.  I also felt like I could examine a bunch of the clues and try and solve the mystery of whodunnit.

Alas, as with the first book, I feel like Galbraith throws in so many red herrings that I did not guess who the murderer was.  I had come up with my own theory about the who and why but it wasn't to be.  I was actually a bit surprised at who it was as it had slipped under my radar.

The Silkworm is more of a book where things are alluded to but never revealed until the very end, so you have to keep a close eye on everything and do some thinking outside the box to try and guess at what is happening.  I really enjoy that aspect.

I feel as though The Silkworm was really enjoyable but because I loved the Cuckoo's Calling so much, I think I had too high expectations of this one.  So while I really enjoyed this one, I think I liked The Cuckoo's Calling a little more.  It will be interesting to see what the third book, Career of Evil will be like.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Seance by Heather Graham

Title: The Seance

Author: Heather Graham

Published: Mira, 2007

Pages: 377

Series: Book 6, Harrison Investigation

Summary: A chill falls over Christina Hardy's housewarming party when talk turns to a recent murder that has all the hallmarks of the so-called 'Interstate Killer' murders from fifteen years before. To lighten the mood, the guests drag out an old Ouija board for a little spooky fun -- and that's when things become truly terrifying.

Summoned by the Ouija board, the restless spirit of Beau Kidd, the lead detective -- and chief suspect -- on the original case, seeks Christina's help: the latest killing isn't a copycat crime, and he wants his name cleared. Back in the real world, cop-turned-writer Jed Braden is skeptical of Christina's ghostly encounters, but his police sources confirm all the intimate details of the case -- her otherworldly source is reliable, and the body count is growing. 
The spirits are right. The Interstate Killer is still out there, and Christina's life is hanging in the balance between this world and the next.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I always find Heather Graham's books to be enjoyable paranormal mysteries.  I generally read them when I want something of a lighter nature.

I felt like The Seance was a lot creepier than the previous books of Graham's I have read.  This one just had this extra chill factor and I really enjoyed it.  It made reading this book at night particularly scary.

In terms of the mystery I did manage to guess what was going on and who the killer was.  One thing I particularly enjoy is that Heather Graham incorporates a few red herrings throughout the book, but I managed to see through them.  Which is something I enjoy.

Overall, I really enjoy reading Heather Graham's mysteries.  They're good for a light mystery with paranormal elements.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

Title: Yoga Girl

Author: Rachel Brathen

Published: Touchstone, March 2015

Pages: 176

Summary: Whether she's practicing handstands on her stand-up paddleboard or teaching Downward-Facing Dog to the masses, Rachel Brathen, Instagram's @Yoga_Girl; has made it her mission to share inspirational messages with people from all corners of the world. In Yoga Girl, Brathen takes readers beyond her Instagram feed and shares her journey like never before, from her self-destructive teenage years in her hometown in Sweden to her adventures in the jungles of Costa Rica, and finally to the beautiful and bohemian life she's built through yoga and meditation in Aruba today. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I've been trying to get into yoga on and off for about seven or eight years but I always find it hard to stick to.  I think that one of my biggest reasons for this is not being in the right mind set and the other big reason was that I just hadn't found anything to inspire me.

I was recommended Yoga Girl as being a good book to get motivated and interested in Yoga practice.  So I decided to pick it up and give it a read.

There are so many colour photos in the book that show Rachel Brathen in various yoga poses and they all just look so good.  I felt like I wanted to head out to the beach and do some yoga myself. There are also a few recipes in the book that sound delicious.  I'll definitely be trying a couple of them at some point.

I feel that Rachel's story itself was very interesting and it showed that anybody from any background can do yoga and that everyone will discover it in their own way.

I think the only thing that I didn't like about the book was that the recipes and little pieces of wisdom were interspersed through the story of Rachel's life and how she got into yoga.  They just showed up on an opposite page to the story and most of the time, the story page ended in half a sentence so you had to flick over the page to finish either the sentence or paragraph and then go back to read the recipes or insights.

At the end of each chapter are a collection of yoga poses that are explained in a good amount of detail.  They're also accompanied by photographs that make it easy to follow the moves.

Overall, I did really enjoy Yoga Girl and I feel as though it was a good motivational booster for getting back into yoga.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Dexter in the Dark

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Published: Orion, 2008

Pages: 376

Series: Book 3, Dexter

Summary: May contain spoilers! In his work as a Miami crime scene investigator, Dexter Morgan is accustomed to seeing evil deeds...particulary because, on occasion, he rather enjoys committing them himself. Guided by his dark Passenger - the voice inside him that helps stalk his prey - he lives his outwardly normal life adhering to one simple rule: he only kills very bad people.

Dexter slides through life underected, working as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, helping his fiancee raise her two adorable (if somewhat...unique) children, and always planning his next jaunt as Dexter the Dark Avenger under the light of the full moon.

But everything changes when Dexter is called to a gruesome double homicide. Dex realises he's dealing with someone a whole lot more sinister than he is and it sends the Dark Passenger into hiding. And when something scares your friendly neighbourhood serial killer, you know it's serious...
More used to inspiring fear then experiencing it, Dex must investigate, while simultaneously coping with is demanding family. If he's to save himself, and those around him, Dexter must pose questions he's never dared ask - where does evil come from, and does it hide inside everyone...?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: It has been a while since I read a Dexter book, but I have been thinking about picking this one up for a while now, so I did.  I was a little hesitant about this one, because a good friend of mine said that it wasn't a good book at all.  

I have to say that when I was reading the first chapter I was a little thrown because the writing style was kind of strange and I was a little tempted to put the book down to read at a later time.  However, I decided to carry on and once I got a few chapters in, I got used to the weird writing style.

Another thing I found while reading this book was that I found it hard to differentiate between the previous books and the tv series so I had to think hard about what had happened in books 1 and 2 as opposed to seasons 1 and 2 because there are some pretty big differences.  Really, in the future to remedy this, I just need to read the next book closer to this one rather than reading it in a year or two.

Overall, I felt like the book was an enjoyable and entertaining read and I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series.