The Chalk Man review


Goodreads: In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown and thinks he’s put his past behind him, but then he gets a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank–until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

Well, let me say up front that I am not a fan of books that go back and forth between timelines.  It just isn’t for me.  Tell me the whole story from the present view and share old parts via conversations or dreams.  Hate going back and forth.

Having said that again, I did like this story of the full grown Eddie more than the youthful one.  Had the killer figured out pretty quickly but there were still a couple questions that didn’t get answered till the end.  I didn’t care for the ending – I just didn’t but that is me.

The story is decent and the characters often reminded me of several other books that center on events that started out with them as youths and ended with them never reaching their potential as adults.

This is a good book to sit down and read on a long, snowy weekend. I would be inclined to read the author again and give the book an A.


Girl in the Ice review

28233082Goodreads: Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

Just finished this book.  I have to say, I knew the killer long before mid-book which made me happy to know I haven’t lost my touch.  The protagonist is Erika Foster, a detective newly reinstated after a previous investigation ends up in the loss of several of her team. A bit raw and still recovering herself from the tragedy, Erika throws herself into her new case – the girl in the water.

I did like Erika though I think she felt a bit stereotypical.  Still, one tends to jump in her corner early on.  The story flows nicely and keeps one intrigued even after guessing the killer.  How much did I like the book? Well, I went and bought the four so far in the series.  The library didn’t have #2 available so figured I’d just buy them all – if I don’t like the way it goes, I won’t keep reading them.  I give the book an A.

Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death review

344665Well, all through this book I swore I had already read it.  I find nothing to indicate I did but I knew it all so well that I’m sure I must have.  Guess I didn’t think enough of it to do a review – or whatever.

So Agatha has solved another crime whilst almost being offed herself in the process.  A little thickheaded towards who the killer could be though the rest of us saw it a mile away.

I’m still not sure why people love and rave so much about this character – I find her barely tolerable.  She is rude and crude one moment and off crying in her bedroom over hurt feelings the next.  It is a wonder she ever figures anything out.  However, having said that, I didn’t hate her so much in this book so maybe that is a good sign.  Maybe by the end of book eight, I’ll think she is as superb as so many others rave.

Anyway, this was a decent story and yes, I will give this series another chance. The writing is well done with lovely descriptions of gardens, quaint little towns, tea parties and crumpets.

House of Lost Souls review


Well, this book was not what I expected – was hoping for more of a “Supernatural” spin of an evil house but this was more about ghosts from long ago. I’m not a big fan of any book that jumps generations, as I know I have said many times.

An alright read, long…very long.  Am really taken by the cover – no idea why but it was what made me read the book.

The Montauk Monster

18371375Goodreads: It Kills. . .On a hot summer night in Montauk, the bodies of two local bar patrons are discovered in the dunes, torn to shreds, their identities unrecognizable. . .

It Breeds. . .In another part of town, a woman’s backyard is invaded by four terrifying creatures that defy any kind of description. What’s clear is that they’re hostile–and they’re ravenous. . .

It Spreads. . .With every sunset the terror rises again, infecting residents with a virus no one can cure. The CDC can’t help them; FEMA can’t save them. But each savage attack brings Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton one step closer to the shocking source of these unholy creations. Hidden on nearby Plum Island, a U.S. research facility has been running top-secret experiments. What they created was never meant to see the light of day. Now, a vacation paradise is going straight to hell.

Finally finished this little gem – I’m surprised it isn’t a movie.  Yes, it is a familiar plot – the bad government makes these monsters with the idea that they’d be great soldiers but have no way to control them.  Uh, yeah, it doesn’t do anyone any good to create monsters you can’t control – they tend to kill their makers.

But, I liked the characters enough to be angry when they were killed off by these deformed killing machines.  It felt like the author enjoyed the killing spree.

The book is fast paced and full of action – I can say that there wasn’t a dull moment throughout and I don’t see how they could have cut it down from the 300+ pages without taking out some of the action.  Just once I’d like to hear the government bad guy be sad and ashamed of the slaughter of innocent people but guess they have to be tough asses or they’d never give the order in the first place.

First book I’ve read of this author but imagine I will read more.  I give the book an A.

Snowblind review


Goodreads: The small New England town of Coventry had weathered a thousand blizzards…but never one like this. Icy figures danced in the wind and gazed through children’s windows with soul-chilling eyes. People wandered into the whiteout and were never seen again. Families were torn apart, and the town would never be the same.

Now, as a new storm approaches twelve years later, the folks of Coventry are haunted by the memories of that dreadful blizzard and those who were lost in the snow. Photographer Jake Schapiro mourns his little brother, Isaac, even as-tonight-another little boy is missing. Mechanic and part-time thief Doug Manning’s life has been forever scarred by the mysterious death of his wife, Cherie, and now he’s starting over with another woman and more ambitious crimes. Police detective Joe Keenan has never been the same since that night, when he failed to save the life of a young boy . . . and the boy’s father vanished in the storm only feet away. And all the way on the other side of the country, Miri Ristani receives a phone call . . . from a man who died twelve years ago.

As old ghosts trickle back, this new storm will prove to be even more terrifying than the last.

OK, I finished this book and have been trying to figure out how to write the review.  I don’t want to be critical but I wasn’t all that thrilled about it either.  There seemed to be several issues and it kind of moved a bit slowly.  I couldn’t decide which characters I liked because some of them started out decent but ended up being blah.

The idea is a decent one – not particularly new but a little different.  I think I would have liked it better if the ghosts had not come back.  Why? Because the first ice men who struck weren’t ghosts – so their return should (in my humble opinion) been more like the first one with people trying to figure out what they were and how to kill them.  I don’t know – just thought the ghosts detracted from it.

Overall, it wasn’t bad and I’m not sorry I read it – not sure I would read more from this author though.  I know, it is his first work of fiction and so I should cut him some slack – Lord knows he writes better than I ever could.  I guess I was just hoping for a real thriller of a book and it fell a little flat. I love good monster books.

Haven review

This book seemed about 100 pages too long and had times that were a bit disjointed to me but overall, it was a monster book and who doesn’t like them?

The creature sounded terrifying and possibly would have come more into play but the two men who knew of it’s existence had memory loss so it took a while for them both to remember it all.

There were a few times I had to shut the book in mild frustration but reminded myself that it was the writer’s first work of fiction.  I am pretty sure that, if he stayed with monster books, I would read another of his.  I would have liked a bit more about the creature – a bigger presence of it throughout the book – after all, it was one of the main characters.

Still, a decent work of fiction overall.