I discovered the works of Karin Slaughter through a recommendation from a Facebook book group. The Kept Woman is the most recent novel by her that I have read. I do think Slaughter is a brilliant surname for a crime writer. Karin Slaughter is an American crime writer, whose first novel Blindsighted became an international success, was published in almost 30 languages, and made the Crime Writers’ Association’s Dagger Award shortlist for “Best Thriller Debut” of 2001. She was born on 6 January 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The Kept Woman is the eighth outing for her character, Will Trent. I rather enjoy his idiosyncrasies.They make him interesting and different to other detectives in this genre. Slaughter is just amazing at characterization: as much as I love Will for his flaws, I dislike very strongly Angie for her selfishness. Slaughter’s writing is not for the faint hearted. It is gritty and dark, very gritty and dark. I have warned you! I also found this book a bit confusing. It has a great many characters many of whom are involved in different story lines, the time periods include past and present and family relationships seem to crop up where you would not expect them.
Sara, Will’s girlfriend, is the medical examiner and is called to a murder where the dead body is that of a police officer. Sara realizes that the extensive amount of blood does not belong to the corpse, but belongs to a woman. They must find the missing woman as she may be close to death with the amount of blood lost, whether she is a victim or a killer.
The body is found in a night club owned by a basketball star that was accused of rape. A case that Will had been investigating. With high priced lawyers, and other powerful allies, the athlete was able to walk. And if that is not enough on his plate, Angie is back in his life.
This book was an especially emotional rollercoaster. We get to know Angie’s story. She is still married to Will and The Kept Woman gives the reader insight to how she got to be the way she is. If you enjoy complicated, crime thrillers. The Kept Woman is the novel for you.
I always enjoy coming across new authors, particularly those who write crime thrillers, my favourite genre. The books of MJ Arlidge were recommended to me by my fellow members of a book group on Facebook. Matthew Arlidge is an English author of crime novels starring DI Helen Grace. He has also worked in television for the last fifteen years specializing in high-end drama production and I could certainly visualise the action as I read the first in his D I Grace series, Eeny Meeny.
Repeatedly, two people are abducted at the same time, then imprisoned together, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.
Eeny Meeny introduces DI Helen Grace and the first case she is presented with is a cruel, strange, game more twisted than any Detective Helen Grace has ever seen. Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case, with its seemingly random victims, has her baffled.
As more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense. This was one dark book. A couple who are hitchhiking are kidnapped and left for death – unless one of them kills the other. One is found and an investigation begins by DI Helen Grace, a hard-working woman who has her own issues.
The cover and title for Eeny Meeny by M J Arlidge made this an easy reading choice for me. It gave me a feeling of danger and kept me reading to the end. It is this author’s debut novel, and it’s a good one. I highly recommend Eeny Meeny and certainly intend to read more by this author.
I am delighted to be with my friend Nina Romano on her blog today. We share a love of reading and writing: this is a powerful link.
I believe that to be a good writer you must first develop a love of reading and stories and telling stories. I remember when my younger sister and I were little girls our Mum used to make time to sit and read us stories on a Sunday afternoon. These were not like bed-time stories, on a Sunday we would get to sit in the ‘good’ living room and she would read us books including ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens, ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ by H. Rider Haggard,’Swallows Amazons by Arthur Ransome and ‘Emma’ by Jane Austin.
We loved listening to the stories but after we were in bed, having heard another story, my sister often could not get to sleep right away, so I would make up my own stories to tell her until she fell asleep. The first book I ever wrote was one of these stories, an adventure entitled ‘The Douglas Family’. I was about 9. I always planned to write a sequel, maybe one day I will.
It is often said that when we are teenagers we rebel and when we grow older we become ourselves again. It was certainly true of me! I have always read voraciously but my writing, for many years was confined to studies, work and journals. However, when I was older, I discovered blogging. It was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My way of coping during my treatment was to revert to type. I read all I could about the disease and began to blog about my journey at www.survivingbreastcancernow.com However, I have also always enjoyed good food and loved to travel. It is said I would go to the opening of a paper bag! So I decided to start another blog to encompass these interests. Whenever I go anywhere, or go out to eat, I will share the experience here at wwwhotelandrestaurantreviews.com – to date it has not resulted in free meals, but I live in hope!
It was also during the time that I was recovering from cancer that I began my book review site. For almost a year I was too ill, first from the disease and then from the cure, to do very much. However, I could read: and I did, even more than I ever had. It seemed sensible to extend my blogging to include reviews of the books I was reading, so my third blog, www.bookreviewstoday.info was born. I began to get asked by writers to review their books and I am always happy to do that. I do not make a charge, but I receive many excellent novels and biographies in return for my honest reviews.
I always enjoy reading books by writers that are new to me, as well as those with whose work I am familiar. I just like to read. I have always found that reading can take you to a all kinds of places to meet different people. Perhaps it is my love of travel, this time through the medium of the written word. This was a great way for me to escape, especially from myself, when I was ill.
I particularly enjoy sharing my views on books I have read, I read a lot of book reviews too. When I am reading a book review, I am looking for an honest opinion about the book. I also like to learn a bit about the author, their background and how they came to write the novel. It is also important that any review, like any other piece of writing holds my interest but please, please don’t spoil my enjoyment of the story by telling me what happens! That really upsets me.
My own debut crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ is to be published by Crooked Cats Books in February next year, so I will have to get used to being on the other side of reviews. My goodness, hat is a daunting thought.
In ‘Hunter’s Chase’ my story is set in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Setting is very important to me in my writing, even when I wrote ‘The Douglas Family’ for my sister all those years ago, I could visualise the house the family lived in, each room and the garden in which they had so many of their adventures.
I did consider creating an imaginary town for my protagonist, DI Hunter Wilson. However, I know the city of Edinburgh well as I lived there for many years and it has everything a writer could need. It is a diverse city with all different kinds of buildings and people. It is small enough that characters can move around it quickly and large enough for it to be credible that anything I want to happen there, could happen.
Edinburgh is also a beautiful city with a castle, a palace and a cathedral, wealthy homes, horrible slums, fine restaurants, fast food outlets and idiosyncratic pubs. It is home to an Olympic size pool, the National Rugby Team and two famous football teams. It also hosts the Edinburgh International Festivals every August. What more could I or my characters want?
Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her first crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ set in Edinburgh, Scotland will be published by Crooked Cat Books on 02.02.2018. She is now writing the sequel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’.
Several books by Robert Harris have been recommended to me, and The Fear Index is reviewed on this site: https://bookreviewstoday.info/2017/07/20/the-fear-index-by-robert-harris/ . However, I the first read Pompeii when it was book of the month in our local book group. Robert Harris is a British author and previous journalist and BBC television reporter. Pompeii was originally published by Random House in 2003. The ability to disguise the outcome is held to be a vital part of the thriller writer’s art. Robert Harris, though, has built a major career in the form through open defiance of this rule. Indeed, Harris is successful in making us flinch and fear for characters who are going to a doom which we know before them.
Pompeii, although it is an ancient story, is one which still holds fascination for us. Robert Harris is an author who can comfortably shoulder the mantle of the old fashioned storyteller. Pompeii is the story of Marcus Attilius Primus, the aquarius, or chief water engineer, who is sent to the Bay of Naples to manage the water supply to all of the towns in the area.
The main artery of the supply is the aqueduct, Aqua Augusta, which Attilius’s grandfather may have built under the supervision of the great Agrippa. Water engineering has been the career path of Atillius’s family back through at least four generations. However, Attilius is up against it. His predecessor disappeared mysteriously, and neither his team of engineers and slaves nor the masters who govern Naples and the surrounding area, are inclined to trust him as the new aquarius.
From the first chapter the reader is gripped by the horrendous execution of a slave who has been held responsible for the death of one of the local lord’s prize fish. The lord’s daughter, accompanied by the unfortunate slave’s mother, urgently seek the help of Attilius. He quickly discovers that it is something in the water that has killed the precious fish. Unfortunately, it is too late to save the wretched slave.
Events unfold and develop during the two days leading up to the famous eruption which buried Pompeii. There are many dangers to overcome, and, the reader wonders who will survive and who will not: it does not become clear until the final pages.
I do not often go back to a book, but I reread this marvellous book when my husband and I recently visited the ruins of the city Pompeii. That is a sign of how well Robert Harris engages the reader with the characters in this book.
If you enjoy historical fiction, or thrillers, I highly recommend this book.