Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Do you trust blurbs that compare book titles? Do they work for you? Lies We Bury by Elle Marr was recommended for the readers of “Room”. Read my book review of Lies We Bury to Elle Marr to know if it worked for me.

About Lies We Bury

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr Book review

Book Name: Lies We Bury

Author: Elle Marr

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Marissa Mo (Clariss Lou), Jenessa, Lily, Rosemary, Nora, Chet, Shia Tua

Setting: PortlandOregon, The USA

Thanks to Netgalley and Megan Beatie Communications for the free e-copy.

Plot Summary of Lies We Bury

It has been twenty years since Marissa escaped the only place she had known – a basement prison. She reinvented herself a couple of times and now with a new name, a new city and a job as a freelance photographer she moves back to Portland. She decides she has moved on from the trauma, finally.

But it is all happening again.

When she has to cover a series murders in the underground tunnels of Portland, it is too close to home. And to make matters worse, she keeps finding small trinkets from her distant past all over the crime scene.

Is someone trying to frame her as the murderer? Or is it a weird copycat who is commemorating the release of her imprisoner? Read Lies We Bury by Elle Marr to know more.

Book review of Lies We Bury

I started reading Lies We Bury by Elle Marr without much expectations and was pleasantly surprised.

With two alternating timelines (present day and from twenty years ago), Lies We Bury follows Claire trying to navigate her adult life while completely ignoring her past trauma.

Claire is not particularly likeable. Her actions were not well thought through, especially when it is apparent that she is wrong. Well, that could be off putting and annoying after a while.

I am a sucker for books with psycho/serial killers, Lies We Bury seems to have it all. It made me guess and then second guess every person. Trust me, there were many out there. Though the ending may have been duller than what I had in my mind, it made sense. No complaints there.

What worked for me

  • Reading the past based on a seven year old’s version made it all the more real.
  • I liked the broken and dysfunctional relationship that Claire has with each of her sisters and the love for all the mothers.

What may have been better

  • The main lead may get on the nerves with her bad decisions and may be off putting for a few.

Content warning

Physical and sexual abuse, imprisonment,

Bottom line

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr is fast paced thriller that will keep you hooked till the end. Yes, it is similar to “Room” but with a darker future. I will definitely be on the look out for the author’s other books.

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Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

I had been putting aside Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, who is one of my favorite authors, for a while, even when I was almost sure that I will like it. I just wanted savor it but when the dreadful slump threatened, I had to bring in the big gun.

So did Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn work well for me? Was it worth the hype and will I be watching the Amy Adams starring HBO series? You will have to read my book review of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn to know more.

About Sharp Objects

Book Name: Sharp Objects

Author: Gillian Flynn

Genre: Fiction – Psychological Thriller

Characters: Camille Preaker, Amma, Adora, Alan and Marian Crellin, Chief Bill Vickery, Frank Curry, Richard Willis, Natalie and John Keene

Setting: Wind Gap, MissouriThe USA

Plot Summary of Sharp Objects

Camille Preaker has been offered a chance to redeem her career as a journalist and her position with her chief, who has been always by her side even during her recent stint at the psych ward.

All she has to do is return to her hometown and cover the unsolved murder of a pre-teen girl and the recent disappearance of another.

While Camille is no way ready for visiting her hometown, but she does it anyway. She hasn’t spoken to her obsessive mother (Adora) in years and barely knows her half sister Amma.

With an uncooperative local Sheriff and handsom Kansas City detective on tow, Camille finds herself not just covering the story but finding the murderer who removes the teeth from his victims.

Will Camille be able to dig through the mystery, without awakening her demons from the past? What’s the deal with her family and her past? Grab a copy of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and read it right away.

Book review of Sharp Objects

I should start with a huge disclaimer: I am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn and I have read all her books including her novella. She is one of those authors that I would recommend to anyone looking for a fast psychological thriller or a new reader.

And I am glad to announce that Flynn didn’t disappoint me at all with Sharp Objects. Yes, it is apparent that it is not as nuanced as her later works, but it is still as dark as her books are usually. Fans of dark pasts and dysfunctional families, you won’t be disappointed.

I guessed the killer at about 70% of the book but I think Sharp Objects was more than just finding the murderer. It has always been about the characters themselves for me, which were fully developed and intriguing in their own ways.

If you have read Gone girl and/or Dark places, you know what you are in for and you will love it.

What worked for me

  • No one writes dark and damaged characters like Flynn and I have come to expect them in all her novels.
  • I love how motherhood was a subtle theme all through the book. Even the last article that Camille was working on before returning home was about a mother who abandons her kids for some drugs to her own mother who hugged her “ferociously”.
  • Sharp Objects is set in a small town (I am a huge fan of those) that is creepy and closed in equal parts.

What may have been better

  • You may not like the protagonist at all. And Camille just makes it hard to root for her and her actions gets only desperate and irrational after a while. (I like such characters, but just a warning for those of you who don’t like books with unlikeable protagonists.)
  • The whodunnit part can be figured out or at least guessed before it happens. So if you are in just for the mystery part of it, Sharp Objects might seem predictable.

Content warningy

Self harm (cutting), parental neglect and abuse, mentions of underage sex and rape, recreational drugs.

Bottom line

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is an engrossing thriller that will stay with you for a long time if you like twisted and dark characters and dysfunctional families. Flynn doesn’t disappoint her fans with Sharp Objects at all.

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Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite – A book review

I had been meaning to pick up My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite for a long time now, having seen the countless reviews and posts on bookstagram. But after hearing Ms Braithwaite speak (virtually) at the Emirates Litfest this year, I grabbed it immediately. Read my book review of My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite to know more.

About My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite book review

Book Name: My Sister, the Serial Killer

Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Genre: Fiction – Thriller, Drama

Characters: Korede, Ayoola, Tade, Muhtar Yautai

Setting: Lagos, Nigeria

Plot Summary of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Set in the modern day Lagos, Nigeria, My Sister, the Serial Killer opens with Korede helping her younger sister Ayoola get rid of her latest victim’s body. Ayoola tells her it was a self defense, but Korede is not convinced entirely.

Korede, a sincere nurse with a crush on her coworker, the handsome doctor Tade. Her only “friend” is a patient in comatose, to whom she confides about her suspicions about her self absorbed sister, who might be a serial killer.

What happens when Ayoola and Tade fall for each other, and her friend who knows all her deep and dark secrets, is no longer in a comatose? You have to read My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite to know more.

Book review of My Sister, the Serial Killer

I loved the plot and while not being original, I wanted to know more about the sisters and what happens to them. There are some flashbacks that talk about their childhood and their late father.

The chapters are quite short and you can race through the book in a sitting, like I did. But the short chapters made it seem like it was rushed and underdeveloped at places.

The small snippets about their abusive tyrannical father, which offer some glimpse into why Ayoola might be doing whatever she does. And the fact that we may never know the full story made it more interesting for me.

I wanted to like Korede, but unfortunately she seemed too passive about her situation and life in general. On the other hand, I loved reading the social commentary about the modern day Lagos and their inept and corrupt police force.

[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”cl9hemzmnn” question=”Please leave a feedback on this” opened=”0″]My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is my first book set in Nigeria, is there any other Nigerian books that I should be reading?[/wpdiscuz-feedback]

What worked for me

  • I loved the premise and it had me hooked from the first sentence.
  • The short chapters with cliffhangers got me reading the entire book in a single sitting. My Sister, the Serial Killer is a perfect popcorn fun read!
  • I loved reading about Lagos and Nigerian lifestyle and I will definitely watch out for the author as well.

What may have been better

  • The short chapters made it seem like there was more to the story and it was rushed through.
  • I wanted to like characters but sadly none of them had any character development to start with.

Content warning

Parental abuse

Bottom line

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a short fun read that may have not lived up to the hype for me. Nevertheless, it is still a good thrilling read that you can breeze through in an afternoon.

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Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Book Review: The Fourth Monkey Killer

It is no secret that I love a serial killer and of course a good cop chase. specially when I receive a book from an author I already have read and loved who now promises an ‘impossible to catch’ psychopath. Well I had to grab the chance to read The Fourth Monkey Killer by J D Barker.

I know you all love my rant induced reviews and are dying to read more from me. Of course you do. (YOU DO, right???). But for once I thought I will let you guys read something from a friend who is not a book reviewer as he begged for a chance to write for my blog (one of these is a lie). So here we go.

Book Name: The Fourth Monkey Killer 
Author: J D Barker
Genre: Fiction – Thriller
Characters: Sam Porter
Setting: Chicago, The USA

Three years after the critically acclaimed and multiple award winning Forsaken, Barker comes up the first book of the series named after the central character of the plot; The Fourth Monkey Killer (4MK).

A major portion of the novel covers events across just a couple of days and the narration moves at a brisk pace. Even the flashback portion that runs parallel to the live narration pertains to a reasonably short period of time and keeps the plot on its toes.

Non-linear narration has been handled professionally and I wouldn’t be far from truth when I say that this does not come across as the work of an author penning just his second novel.

The setting up of the flashback narration, read as: diary entries, is a small dampener in what is a near-flawless price of work. There aren’t many places where unnecessary details or deliberate mis-directions drag the story which helps sustain one’s interest. The fact that Barker has been able to give us a fabulous view into the killer’s head despite the brevity deserves appreciation.

Bottomline:

4MK would appeal to you if you are a fan of detective novels, if you are into stories involving serial killers and to those that like fast paced thrillers.

Hey, it is me again. Do you like the psychopath and troubled cop trope? Do you miss me already? Are you interested in posting on my blog? Talk to me in the comments. 

P.S Hint: I would be really glad if you did miss me!

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine: Book Review

How well do you know anyone? You might meet people every day, but still, do you know the real them? Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine takes us for a wild ride making us question the very thing,

And it is not a surprise to know that it has been on the Amazon Top Charts for more than eight weeks now. Read on to know more about the top selling serial killer novel Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine right ahead.

About Stillhouse lake by Rachel Caine

Stillhouse lake

Book Name: Stillhouse Lake

Series: Gwen Proctor #1

Author: Rachel Caine

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Gwen Proctor, Melvin Royal, Lancel Graham, Sam Cade

Setting: The USA

Plot Summary of Stillhouse lake

Gina Royal is a happy stay at home mother for her kids and is happily married to Melvin. Her life falls apart when a drunk driver wrecks their garage, exposing the remains of the heinous murders her husband had committed. She is tried as an accomplice and acquitted later, while Mel is sentenced to death row.

Fearing the Internet threats and the trolls, that she dubs as Sicko Patrol, Gina renames herself Gwen Proctor, a fearless mom who will do anything to protect her teens . Gwen could have been her last identity change until the serial killing starts again just around her neighborhood. She continues to fear her husband’s threats and doesn’t know whom to trust.

What length would she go to save her kids and her own sanity? Read Stillhouse lake by Rachel Caine to find out.

Book review of Stillhouse lake

Stillhouse Lake is a fast paced thriller that is not your breezy summer read. The well placed twists would keep you hooked until the last page. The reader is as confused as Gwen about the people she could trust and things she should stay away from.

Stillhouse lake talks a lot about the dark side of the Internet. It is terrifying that all the threats and abuses she and her kids have been facing are possible in today’s world.

Stillhouse Lake review baffles me

There are a few plot holes that I am trying hard not to nitpick, but the whole premise works only on those flimsy grounds. For instance, Gina was married for ten years and she has never been into her husband’s garage, where he hid, raped, abused, and killed several women.

Gina trusts someone who had been against her from the beginning. And this baffles me: is it even possible in this real life that there are thousands of people who want to kill a family when they were not even related to the murders, especially in this self-absorbed world where we talk about any social issue only until the next one crops up?

The creepy serial killer angle works great, but no other characters are likable. Usually I like women protagonists who are stong and fight back, but Gwen did nothing of that sort, except being so predictable and stupid.

The book ends with a cliffhanger which may or not work for you. Though much has been said about Stillhouse Lake ending with a cliffhanger in the book world, the book works well as the first installment in a series to come and as a standalone too. I didn’t mind that some questions have not been answered.

Stillhouse Lake review bad writing

While the plot and premise are refreshingly new, the writing leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth. If keeping the story moving was all that the author aimed at, well she succeeded. There are girls tortured and killed, kids kidnapped and one character is sent to death row and yet I am thinking about the bad writing. Yes that was the level of emotional connection I had to the characters.

The badly written monologue that repeated in every chapter annoyed me. The author commits more than once the cardinal sin of telling but not showing. She tells the reader what to see, what to feel rather than letting us learn by action or context. It irritated the crap out of me.

Bottom line

Despite all these misgivings I was not able to put Stillhouse lake by Rachel Caine down until the last page. So if you are looking a fast paced thriller like The Girl on the Train this is your poison, pick it right away.

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