Friday, February 12, 2016

2015 Mini Reviews (Thriller Edition)

I ended 2015 with over thirty books that I hadn't shared my thoughts on.  I've been working on those reviews here and there and have whittled that number done some but not enough for my liking.  At the rate I'm going I will be sharing my thoughts on these books until 2017.  Rather than do that (and forget my thoughts on some of these books entirely) I have decided to do some mini reviews to help me catch up faster.  I really shouldn't feel guilty for not reviewing a book but I do so short reviews it is.  Here are a few books that I have been wanting to share my thoughts on for awhile now:

Hidden by Karen E. Olson

Summary from Goodreads:

"Nicole Jones – if that is her real name - lives off the grid. She doesn’t have a license, passport or bank account. She definitely doesn’t own a computer. She hasn’t left her refuge, Block Island, in fifteen years. She’s hidden from the world and she likes it that way. Nicole doesn’t use a computer, not because she’s afraid of it, but because she’s afraid of what she – a badass hacker in her past life – would do with it.

When the last person Nicole wants to see suddenly reappears, using a name he knows will draw her out, Nicole realizes that her time hidden is now ending. Her past secrets tumbling into the open and her carefully-constructed new life set to fall apart, Nicole must re-hone her long-suppressed computer skills in order to escape from an island that is no longer a haven, but suddenly a prison."

My Thoughts:

I really loved this book and cannot believe that I waited until now to share my thoughts on it!  It was such a unique thriller and was one of those books that swept me away.  I was completely caught off guard by it and found myself just immersed in it the entire time that I was reading.  This is one of those books that will just suck you in and it wouldn't let me go.  I can't describe it any other way.  I found myself constantly reading (long after I should have been in bed) and the entire time I was guessing.  Guessing at what was going to happen next, guessing as I tried to figure out Nicole's past, really I was just guessing and trying to figure out what in the heck was happening the entire time.  And I loved every minute of it!  This book was such a page turner (or it would have been but I read it on my kindle- what do you call that?) and it was just so good!  I'm gushing a bit at this point but that is because I really loved my reading experience with this one.  The summary was the reason I requested it from NetGalley but the book itself was so much more than I expected.  Nicole was so much more herself and I loved her character!  I was so nervous while reading this one as I wanted everything to turn out okay for her.  The tension and suspense that this author created was so intense and was why this book was such a great read for me!

Overall, I was left exhausted after reading this one.  Literally, as I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish and work came way too early that next morning.  It was completely worth it though and I was thrilled to learn that this is a beginning to a new series.  Heck yeah!  I have no idea what kind of ride that this author is going to take us on next but sign me up!  I'm also hoping to go back and check out this author's other books as some of my favorite bloggers recommended them to me as well.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A wild ride that left me breathless by the end!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks the publisher courtesy of NetGalley.

Birdman by Mo Hayder

Summary from Goodreads:

"Greenwich, south-east London. The Met's crack murder squad, AMIP, is called out by nervous CID detectives to a grim discovery. Five bodies, all young women, all ritualistically murdered and dumped on wasteland near the Dome. As each post-mortem reveals a singular, horrific signature linking the victims, officers realize that they are on the trail of that most dangerous offender: a sexual serial killer.

Detective Inspector Jack Caffery - young, driven, unshockable - finds himself facing both hostility within the force and echoes of his past in this, his first case with AMIP. Haunted by the memory of a death long ago, he employs every weapon forensic science can offer for he knows it is only a matter of time before this chaotic, sadistic killer strikes again."

My Thoughts:

This book!  Oh boy, this was such a dark and disturbing read!  I don't get creeped out too often by books but this one definitely had the creepy factor on high.  A few years back (I think-not sure how long ago) I read a different book in this series and really enjoyed it.  I knew that I wanted to see how this series began so I grabbed this one from the used bookstore one day.  Wow!  This book packs a punch and is quite the beginning to this mystery series!!  While it isn't a book for everyone, it is a book that is very well done and one that kept me reading easily.  There were times that I actually wanted to set it aside because it was just so dark but I couldn't because I also needed to see what was going to happen next.  What does that say about me?  Not sure I want to look too closely at that but I cannot sing this author's praises enough.  She isn't afraid to make the reader cringe and it was great to go back and learn more about Jack's character.  He has this mysterious air to him and I'm hoping that we will learn more about him (and his past) as we get further into the series.  I will definitely be continuing on with this series- I know that for sure!

Overall I found this to be a very disturbing thriller but one that I also won't be forgetting about any time soon!  It was fast paced and intense....basically everything that I look for in a good mystery series!  I will be grabbing book two for this series sooner rather than later.  I just need to make sure I am in the right frame of mind for it.  Ha!  Twisted is the best way to describe it!  And that ending will make the entire ride worth it!  Recommended but with the warning that this isn't a book for everyone!  Gruesome factor is high!

Bottom Line:  One of the darkest books that I read all year but I still loved it!

Disclosure:  I purchased a copy of this book from my local used bookstore.  

Two books is enough out of me for one day!  Heck, that is two off of my list so that is even better.  I'm going to try and make a few more posts just like this so that I can catch up completely with my 2015 reads.  Have any of you read either of these?  I would love to chat more about both of these with you if you've read them.  Let me know!!


  1. Love Mo Hayder, but you nailed it with the creepiness factor. She's pretty much at my limit. I listened to the second book in this series, and just loved the narrator and how she said 'Jack'. I haven't been able to listen to any others, but I have read. There is a mini-trilogy in the series with Flea Marley, a diver. Keep reading - you'll love them!

  2. I have both of these books on my Kindle. Glad to hear that Hidden worked so well for you. Wendy praised it highly and now I can add your recommendation. Sooner rather than later to read, right? And Birdman is another book that I have meant to start. Several blogger had recommended Mo Hayder, but I've not ever read one of her books. I bet I would like it. Somehow, I seem to be able to deal with dark. Not sure why. Thanks for the reviews and those were pretty long mini's. Bet you could go even shorter and pique everyone's interest! LOL

  3. I wonder if Karen Olson is the same author that wrote the maternity/mom mysteries, hmmmmm. I love the excitement Sam, do you know I add way to many books to my TBR pile after visiting you :-) which I love of course.

    I have heard I have to read Birdman for all the reasons you said. Dark, twisted and bloody....... I must get to it this year.

    I love when you said 'what does that say about me' hahahahha I so understand.

    1. It is the Tattoo Shop Mystery series I was thinking of, not the Maternity/Mom mysteries, I knew I had a book on my list to read by her.

  4. Nothing wrong with mini reviews! :) I have to do some of those myself every once in a while or else I'll never catch up. Ha. I'm really excited about the Karen E. Olson book. I read her two other series and those were fun so I'm looking forward to this one. Mo Hayder is an author I have not gotten around too yet.

  5. Excellent, enthusiastic reviews, Sam! You've been reading some intense books! I enjoy how you summarize your feelings in the "Bottom Lines".

  6. I am so glad you enjoyed Hidden. I did too. I just couldn't stop reading! I felt much the same way you did about that one. Birdman is one I want to read, but haven't yet. I really enjoyed the one book by Mo Hayder I've read and I keep meaning to read more.

  7. Raidergirl- That is really great to know- I didn't realize that there was another series relating to this one. I'm excited to hear that!!

    Kay- I tried to write "mini" reviews but once I start talking about books I enjoy I can't seem to stop :) LOL! Seriously these are both worth a read and since we are similar readers I think you would enjoy them as well.

    Marce- I add just as many books when I visit your blog so let's call it even :) I've already added the first book in Olson's other series to my TBR list now so thanks. I'm really looking forward to reading more by her!

    Iliana- I will never catch up on my reviews from 2015 if I don't do some mini reviews. I was horrible on writing up my thoughts last year which is why I have such a huge backlog. I definitely think you would enjoy Hidden as well!

    Suko- Thanks!! These were both really intense books for different reasons and I'm glad that I finally shared my thoughts on them.

    Wendy- Yes! Did you see that the second book is on NetGalley for this series? I am trying SO hard not to request it because I am so far behind but it is so very tempting.

  8. I know Hidden will be on my wishlist after reading Wendy's and your reviews. And ooh, I'm a huge fan of Mo Hayder! I'm always looking forward to her new releases but last year there wasn't any. I hope this year there'd be one!

  9. I'm so glad you reminded me about Hidden. It's been on my wish list for a while, and now after reading your review, I've got to get my hands on it!!


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