Monday, November 22, 2021

What I've been Reading (Ragnar Jónasson, Gytha Lodge)

 

The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson

Summary from Goodreads:

"Teacher Wanted At the Edge of the World"

My Thoughts:

One of the things that I've learned about myself as a reader this year is how much I enjoy a slow burning, suspenseful read like this one.  I mean I knew that mostly but books like this has really reinforced that fact for me.  I love to lose myself in atmospheric reads and enjoy the ride that the author is taking me on.  I knew that this was a book that I wanted to read as soon as I read that one line from the above synopsis.  What did the author mean by the edge of the world?  I was instantly intrigued and just needed to know more.  The idea of living in such an isolated town felt inherently creepy especially when there was the hint of ghostly presences.  I truly feel like this book was meant for me - it had everything that I enjoy most in books.  I love a good isolated setting, hints of creepiness and the supernatural, and the question of who the main character can actually trust....it all combined just so perfectly.  Even the fact that I wasn't sure exactly how I felt about the main character Una didn't matter because of everything else.  It wasn't that I didn't like her - it's just that I'm a bit over main characters that aren't considered reliable because they drink too much.  It didn't bother me too much as I was too curious on what was actually going on.  I just couldn't stop reading.  And then there is a turning point in the book that I totally didn't see coming.  At that point, I wasn't going to stop reading as I just had to see how this book would end.  

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book.  The ending left me a bit wanting but the isolated, creepy feeling of suspense present throughout the book more than made up for it.  Jónasson is a talented author and this book reminded me that I need to work on catching up with his backlist.  Readers who enjoy suspenseful reads, those who enjoy books with an edge of creepiness and the supernatural, and fans of Nordic noir should definitely pick this book up.  This is an easy book for me to recommend but more to those readers who enjoy slow burns that build up to the climax.  

Bottom Line: The hints of the supernatural and isolated setting combined together into one very strong read!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge

Summary from Goodreads:

"You wake up.
You can't remember what happened.
The man lying next to you is not your husband. 
And he's not breathing . . ."

My Thoughts:

This is the third book in what has become one of my very favorite mystery series.  One of the things that makes this series standout so much for me is that each book has been different from the others.  This book almost felt like a domestic suspense from the way that it was written.  In it, one of the main characters Louise is writing to her husband and explaining certain things as one storyline.  Sorry to be vague here but I don't want to spoil anything because the setup is pretty brilliant.  In the other storyline, we see the events of Louise waking up next to a stranger and the subsequent investigation by Jonah Sheen's team.  The second thing that really stands out to me and that is present throughout each book in this series is the care that is taken with the characters and especially the victims.  The author always takes the time to allow the reader to really feel like they are getting to know these characters in a way that isn't always present in other mysteries or thrillers.  I loved how the author kept me guessing throughout this book.  I wasn't sure who to trust and/or who was to blame.  The only thing that I really knew is that Jonah and his team would figure it out in the end.  

Overall, I found this book to be another strong addition to one of my favorite mystery series out there.  I NEED other readers to find and love this series as much as I do!  You don't necessarily have to read these books in order but I would recommend it if possible.  There are these small threads that play out from each book that you would miss out on otherwise.  I think that you should pick this book up if you enjoy domestic suspense but want something a bit different, if you enjoy police procedurals, or just want a truly page turning read.  I definitely couldn't turn the pages fast enough while reading this one!  Now begins the long wait for the next book in the series...I will be jumping on that one as soon as it gets released!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A suspenseful addition to a standout series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley. I ended up reading a copy thanks to my local library.  Honest thoughts are my own.

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