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Showing posts from January, 2016

Black Iris by Leah Raeder

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Black Iris by Leah Raeder

                Laney Keating has been called many things: a slut, a queer, a fag, a dyke, a bitch. She has been laughed at humiliated, manipulated and set up. She is our unreliable narrator. And Laney makes it very clear from the beginning that this isn’t the story about how she changed. There will be no forgiveness. She’s been hurt and she plans on hurting those people that have hurt her. This is a love story. This a revenge story.                 This is really freaking complicated and intense. Oh, Laney. How dark and twisted you are. How corrupt, headstrong and bent on getting what you want. How damn well written and believably deranged. Raeder has done it again. Black Iris introduces yet another anti-hero that you want to root for because you understand that some wounds never heal. Sometime inflicting pain is the only thing that makes you feel better. This novel is insane and yet it works. Why? (Because Raeder can do no wrong.) Because Raeder understands …

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

                I hate falling into books with a lot of hype. It can be such a bitter disappointment after hearing great reviews if I don’t like the book. I didn’t have this problem at all with The Girl on the Train even though halfway through the book I still wasn’t sure how I felt about it. This novel is told in alternating narratives between our lead characters. Rachel Wilson is a lonely alcoholic who gazes out of the window of the train as she heads into work every day and has fixated her imagination on what she believes to be the perfect couple. When the woman in the perfect couple, Megan, goes missing she is convinced that she has information that could help solve the case. But between her alcoholic stupor and her extreme insecurity she ends up being largely ignored. What are you supposed to do in that situation when someone’s life may be on the line? Well, in Rachel’s case she starts acting irrationally and makes things worse before they ge…

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

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Still Alice by Lisa Genova


                There are some things you just never want to imagine. One of those things is losing all of your memories and your sense of self because of Alzheimer’s disease. I don’t know how Genova was able to create this novel that so beautifully detailed a realistic look at that struggle but I have to take my hat off to her because Still Alice was amazing. It was heartbreaking in its simple writing style and matter of fact tone. Every moment that seemed to show a little hope was crushed under the staggering reality that this disease, Alzheimer’s, would continue to progress and get worse. The mind would continue to deteriorate and then the world would cease to have true meaning.                 Alice Howland is a 50 year old psychology professor at Harvard who thought she was having simple memory lapses because of menopause. That was until she got lost on her usual run and couldn’t remember how to get home. She also went to class one day and forgot to teac…

Black Cross by Greg Iles

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Black Cross by Greg Iles

                I usually can’t get enough of Greg Iles. He is an author that I have been familiar with for quite some time. When I realized that he had written a historical fiction account of a secret mission during World War Two in Germany, I knew eventually I would have to read it. This novel is the story of Mark McConnell, a doctor who was working at Oxford University during WW2. He was working to find a way to protect the Allies from possible chemical warfare when he finds himself part of a mission to capture a sample of Soman from a concentration camp. The concentration camp is Totenhausen outside the city of Dornow in Germany. It is being used as a test facility for Soman and Sarin gas. Jonas Stern, a Jewish fighter originally from Dornow, has also been recruited for the mission. The two men must learn not only to trust each other but to also trust Brigadier Duff Smith whose been orchestrating the entire event. Both McConnell and Stern know that Brigadie…