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Shelf Control | Silent Scream

I’m stealing this one from Joe because I’m hoping that, in sorting through older books I have yet to read, which have sat in my TBR for well over a year, that I might actually pick one up and read it. Instead of being lured into my local bookshop, and buying yet another new book!

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a post about a book that you own but haven’t read, yet.
  • Link back to the creator of the meme, Bookshelf Fantasies.
  • Check out the other posts and, have fun!

Title: Silent Scream
Author: Angela Marsons
Published: 2015
Length: 406 pages
ISBN: 9781909490925

What’s it about: (taken from Goodreads)

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?

How I got it:

I grabbed this one off the shelf at my local bookshop after the person that ordered it failed to collect it.

When I got it:

Last year.

Why I want to read it:

I read EVIL GAMES last year, which is book two in the series, so of course, I had to go back find book one and read it in order to answer questions about things that happened in book two. Which might prompt me to read both, back to back.

NaNoWriMo 2018

It’s that time of year again, and, as November fast approaches, and while many are absorbed in Halloween and Blogween Reads, a few of us that also write are planning for NaNoWriMo. For those of you unfamiliar with NaNo (as it’s affectionately known) it’s a month-long writing competition in which you challenge yourself to write 50k words in 30 days.

I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo from the first year it started. That’s not to say I’ve finished each and every year with a completed manuscript. I haven’t. Maybe the first few times I entered, I was intent on achieving the magical 50k. But then I realised I could put NaNo to better use as a means of kick-starting new or languishing projects. The whole point is to make me focus on one story at a time, which is where I have trouble—as an endless ideas machine, I never stop scribbling down plots and scenarios.

I have no problems starting a project, but I do have problems focusing on one project at a time, and on not being distracted oh, look, shiny!

The other problem I have is stopping. Yes, you read right. I once started a short story, that became a novella, that morphed into an epic and moved into a trilogy and, yes, you guessed it, is still on-going. Your guess is as good as mine as to when I will run out of steam and wrap it up.

But there in lies the fun, for me at least, in writing. I love world-building. I love the act of creation, and fashioning a world out of strands of imagination and fragments of ‘What-If’. And, through words, making it all coalesce on the page or, these days, a screen.

All this to say, I’m having a hard time deciding on how to best utilise NaNo this year. Do I resurrect an old project and get back in the saddle? Or do I start afresh, given I have a large list of ideas. Or, do I set my focus on the latest novel I wrote a prologue for—DECEPTION POINT—and see where that one takes me?

Meanwhile, I know Joe, over at J.W. Martin, is doing NaNo this year, but who else out there is thinking of joining in?

I’m #TeamLori Are You?

Hey, fellow readers and reviewers, do you live in the UK and, do you want to be a part of reading Steph Broadribb’s next release: DEEP DIRTY TRUTH, the third installment of the Lori Anderson series?

If yes, and who wouldn’t want to read the next book early AND, be in line for a whole host of other great goodies. Then pop on over to the Crime Thriller Girl website, and sign on up to be a part of #TeamLori … go on, you know you want to.

 

Book Review: A MAN CALLED OVE

DETAILS

Title: A MAN CALLED OVE
Author: Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Sceptre Books
ISBN: 9781444775815
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

BACK COVER BLURB

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbour from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

WHAT I THOUGHT

I don’t normally read contemporary or literary fiction, in the same way I don’t want to get a nasty skin rash — through avoidance. But after reading a couple of reviews, and seeing it listed on a couple of blogs as a book to read — yes, I’m looking at you, Norrie. I found myself staring at the cover in my local bookstore and thinking, okay, maybe this won’t be so bad. Maybe I won’t get a skin rash, vomit, swoon or faint from cracking open its pages. So I bought it.

Sure enough, I checked myself regularly through out the reading process and, no rashes. I did, however, laugh a lot—because of his droll observations and the awkward situations he found himself dealing with—and smiled at the nicknames he gave everyone in his neighbourhood, including the mangy cat. Through to shaking my head in wonder, when the seemingly innocent act of drilling a hole in the ceiling turns out to be a lot more than drilling a hole in the ceiling.

There is so much more going on in Ove’s life, that trickles in through those first few chapters which, by the end, make you sit up and realise what’s really going on. And just why there is no colour left in Ove’s life anymore.

Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for the living For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.

All people at root are time optimists. We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like ‘if’.

People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.

Poignant, funny, uplifting and yes, at times, heartbreakingly sad, Ove has lived a simple life that’s anything but simple. In that the challenges he’s had to overcome, and the people—good and bad—that have shaped and moulded the boy through to the man that he becomes, all become part of the very cleverly written backstory. From Ove’s interactions with his father, through to the loving relationship he has with his wife, Sonja, and how they met and fell in love.

But it’s in the present we see how Ove’s life slowly transforms through the interactions with his (somewhat) friends and neighbours. Flawed people who make mistakes, argue (a lot) and drive Ove nuts yet, who at times, also touch Ove deeply in ways even he never expected — especially his next door neighbour, Parvaneh and her two young daughters. And even though Ove tells these people exactly what he thinks of them, they still manage to be there and to rally round, and change a grumpy old man’s life, in ways he never expected, and for the better.

Sad, funny, poignant and heartwarming, A Man Called Ove is an immensely enjoyable read. And one you will not forget easily. Certainly, it touched me deeply.

Rating : 8 / 10

First Impressions Friday: THE WHISPERER

It’s that time of week, again, which means, it’s First Impressions Friday. For those of you who are unfamiliar, #FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading then share your first impressions, predict what you think will happen, and then say whether you think you’ll enjoy it.

Last weekend I picked up two books, one was A MAN CALLED OVE, the other was THE WHISPERER by Donato Carrisi. Well, I finally finished reading A MAN CALLED OVE last night (which I’ll review next week) and have just started THE WHISPERER, billed as a gruesome murder-mystery. Well, I have to say, just reading the back cover blurb of this one gave me shivers down my spine.

Six severed arms are discovered, arranged in a mysterious circle and buried in a clearing in the woods. Five of them appear to belong to missing girls between the ages of eight and eighteen. The sixth is yet to be identified. Worse still, the girls’ bodies, alive or dead, are nowhere to be found.

Lead investigators Mila Vasquez, a celebrated profiler, and Goran Gavila, an eerily prescient criminologist, dive into the case. They’re confident they’ve got the right suspect in their sights until they discover no link between him and any of the kidnappings except the first. The evidence in the case of the second missing child points in a vastly different direction, creating more questions than it answers.

Vasquez and Gavila begin to wonder if they’ve been brought in to take the fall in a near-hopeless case. Is it all coincidence? Or is a copycat criminal at work? Obsessed with a case that becomes more tangled and intense as they unravel the layers of evil, Gavila and Vasquez find that their lives are increasingly in each other’s hands.”

I mean, come on, if that doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will. But, as I’m only a few pages in, I’m not sure where this one will lead and, by the end, whether or not it will be a hit or a miss. Certainly, all the right ingredients are there. I just hope that with this being a translated work, that nothing has been lost in translation, as oft times can happen.

Here’s to solving this grisly mystery.