Read in March 2018 Part 1

5 April 2018

I actually managed to read quite a lot this month. These 3 I read in just over a week because I was on holiday in France and what are holidays for if not constantly reading. I mean it was too cold to get out of bed so really that's all I could do. Well that and eat all the delicious french food. I decided to split this months books into 2 parts so that the post isn't too long. So here's what I read in March Part 1.

Chris Carter Gallery of the Dead
Gallery of the Dead by Chris Carter

"‘Thirty-seven years in the force, and if I was allowed to choose just one thing to erase from my mind, what’s inside that room would be it.’

That’s what a LAPD Lieutenant tells Detectives Hunter and Garcia of the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit as they arrive at one of the most shocking crime scenes they have ever attended. 

In a completely unexpected turn of events, the detectives find themselves joining forces with the FBI to track down a serial killer whose hunting ground sees no borders; a psychopath who loves what he does because to him murder is much more than just killing – it’s an art form.

Welcome to The Gallery of the Dead."

In typical Chris Carter fashion this book is gory and sucks you in with the first chapter. I think The Robert Hunter series is probably one of my favourites. This is the 9th book in the series and I highly recommend you go and read them all as they are so much better read in order. (Brief review of book #8 The Caller)

In the Gallery of the Dead, Hunter and Garcia join forces with the FBI to try and track a killer who seems to be leaving a trail of bodies with no connections. Each new body just adds to the confusion.

There is a twist that I was not expecting, which left me a tad devastated. I mean I knew something was going to go wrong I just wasn't expecting it to that degree.

Garcia's sarcasm is out in full force in this book which made me laugh a few times. However, I found some parts of the book a bit long winded. Explanations don't need to be that long. Although, there are times when Hunter has huge revelations with regards to the case and we are never told how he comes to those conclusions. You also need to be prepared to not put the book down as most chapters seem to end with a mini cliff hanger. The ending has definitely left me ready for the next one though.

Gallery of the Dead wasn't my favourite out of the Hunter series but I still really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who loves a gory crime thriller. If you are on the squeamish side I'd probably give it a miss because there is some seriously gross parts.

The Special Girls by Isabelle Grey

The Special Girls by Isabelle Grey

"DI Grace Fisher investigates the murder of a young doctor working at a summer camp for young girls with eating disorders. Professor Ned Chesham, the man behind the camp deep in the Essex countryside, is hailed as a miracle worker, but the murder of one of his team throws a spotlight on his work and the 'special girls' under his care.

Grace Fisher is pulled from the murder investigation to head up a cold case review involving Chesham himself. She must tread carefully: Chesham has just been knighted, he has friends in high places and any suspicion about his work risks damaging his patients even further. But the deeper Grace probes, the clearer it becomes that there is something rotten at the heart of his treatment programme.

As Grace peels away the lies that led to the young doctor's murder and uncovers the extent of the damage done to Chesham's patients, she realises how few people want her to get to the truth. Is there anyone she can trust with the horrifying secret of the special girls?"

So once again I have done my usual and read book 3 first. This book kept me hooked and broke my heart. I have however already bought and finished book 1 because I enjoyed this one so much. It's a hard read at some points but it is written sympathetically. I would definitely say this comes with a TW for sexual abuse and eating disorders.

A doctor is murdered at a summer camp for girls with eating disorders. DI Grace Fisher starts to investigate and is then called to re look at a cold case involving the Doctor that runs the camp. Chesham is a well loved man with friends in high places and all the awards. However the deeper that Grace delves, the more suspicious she gets. Is there a conspiracy and has someone covered up a history of child abuse?

This book really makes you feel a range of emotions. You get the hurt, anger and frustration. Then there's the great friendship between Grace and Ivo, a reporter (which makes way more sense after reading the first book). I had my suspicions over who the murderer was but the why makes it so much sadder.

I could not put this book down and was gripped until the very end. Obviously don't read this if any of the topics will trigger you but I highly recommend checking out Isabelle Grey.

The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone

The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone

"You know your son better than anyone. Don’t you?

When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.

However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?

Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.

When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?"

I picked this up because it was on offer and it sounded a bit different. I can safely say I was not a fan. At first I ended up really confused because the names in the synopsis didn't match the names of the couples in the story. It does make sense further on in the book though. There were also some continuity errors and the author makes out that smoking weed is one of the worst things in the world. There are shady drug dealers and even withdrawal symptoms. 

Basically Jacob gets a life saving heart transplant and morphs into a different person. He goes from being the sweet, sensible son of a reverend to a violent man who drinks too much, smokes too much weed and abuses his girlfriend. The plot is based on cellular memory, meaning that the recipient takes on the personality of the donor which is an interesting topic. However, it moved into ridiculous when it made out that it could result in your fingerprints changing.

I found the book super predictable and pretty boring. Nothing majorly exciting happens. I also didn't find any of the characters likeable. We don't really know what Jacob was like pre transplant so it's hard to compare and his parents just irritated me. The ending was also a bit far fetched. I kept reading wondering if it was going anywhere but it didn't. I just can't seem to give up on a book without finishing it.

Beth...x

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