Book Reviews: August 2020 Reads

Last month hasn’t been quite as productive, with just two books on the shelves. Who knew where time went? Here’s hoping August has treated you well, and may September be even better.

Undone (by Karin Slaughter, 2009)
4/5

And now, when she looked in the mirror and saw a new line on her own face, a new wrinkle, all she could think was that she was growing old without him.

Former coroner Sara Linton has just moved to Atlanta to start afresh, but soon finds herself drawn back to the violence she was trying to escape. The case that brings the doctor together with the GBI is one of the most brutal yet, featuring graphic descriptions of sadistic torture.

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Book Reviews: July 2020 Reads

July marks the start of some books that have long been idling on my virtual to-read shelf. Say hello to my new favourite authors Hari Kunzru and Karin Slaughter. Thank you Zoë (follow her blog here) for recommending the latter!

White Tears (by Hari Kunzru, 2017)
4/5

I ought to have made that session, ought to have walked through the door of the Saint James Hotel. Instead I’m twenty-seven years old and rotting in the levee with hate in my heart. Starless desolation in my heart. I was never paid for the whip and the gun, never paid for the work I done.

White Tears begins with the serendipitous meeting of two white youths Carter and Seth, brought together by their love for music. When they hear the forgotten hymn of a black bluesman, they decide to deem him Charlie Shaw and make bank on his music. Instead, they uncover his forgotten voice – and all the pain that comes with it.

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Book Reviews: June 2020 Reads

This month, I’d picked up two novellas by my favourite writers with high hopes. But the book I enjoyed reading the most turned out to be the work of an author completely new to me. So here’s to exploring more diverse voices this month. Thanks for reading, as always. x

The Serpent (by Claire North, 2015)
3/5

All things are chance. Nature is chance. Life is chance. It is a human madness to cry and find rules where there are none, to invent constraints where none exist. The only thing that matters is the choice. So choose.

Every political strife is in sum, a game. The Serpent takes that statement rather literally, turning the city into a chessboard and its people, pieces. The mystery is as fascinating as it sounds, and the first chapter of the trilogy unfolds in satisfying terms.

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Book Reviews: May 2020 Reads

Confession: I’ve neglected reading for frivolous interests. The Animal Crossing epidemic has reignited my interest in Switch gaming, where I am also once again in the calvary boots of Geralt of Rivia. Nevertheless, three 5-starrers managed to steer me away from my console. Thankfully!

Black Sun (by Owen Matthews, 2019)
5/5

No complex motives, nothing that Holmes and Watson would ever feel the need to light a pipe to ponder, ever appeared in the files that landed on Vasin’s desk. […] Only thieves’ pathetic ideas of honor, profit, and survival. The desperate things human beings with no options left did to each other.

Sent to investigate a gruesome lab murder in Arzamas, Major Alexander Vasin never imagined the scale of the ploy at play. What he uncovers sets him on an intense race against time to save himself – and the world. Of dogged dissidents, misguided scientists, and a femme fatale, Black Sun has everything a political thriller should, and more.

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Book Reviews: April 2020 Reads

We are 30-odd days into the lockdown, and I am not complaining about the extra time to read. Here are the books of the month.

A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror (by John Hornor Jacobs, 2019)
4/5

Pleasure makes us numb, stupid, inert. Pain sparks our wicks. The light and scent of pain—the greater the better—draws the attention of the mighty. The prodigious. The vast and numberless.

The first of the two cosmic tales, The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky, is as gorgeously written as it sounds. The prose captivates right from the start with the charismatic poet Rafael Avendano, whom Isabel comes to fall in love with in spite of, or perhaps because of the danger in his reputation.

Caught in something less of a romance than a strange enchantment, she gradually learns of how he lost his eye and his life to the fascist regime. His story unfolds before her with as much grace and terror, gripping in every word.

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