BOOK REVIEW: Killing Floor by Lee Child

78129._SY475_Title: Killing Floor

Author: Lee Child

Book Length: 474 pages

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Crime, Suspense

Read Start Date: January 15, 2022

Read Finish Date: March 3, 2022

Brief Summary of the Plot from Goodreads: Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he’s arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Jack knows is that he didn’t kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn’t stand a chance of convincing anyone. not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.

My Review: Okay, so there are spoilers in this review because I’m giving it a 1 star and no one should read this book. I picked up this book because of the movies and the series about Reacher. They are pretty decent, and since books are usually better than the on-screen adaptations, I figured I was in for a good time. Wrong!

First of all, the summary from Goodreads is not what the book is about. Reacher convinces the police that he wasn’t the killer in the first part of the book, and then spends the rest of the book investigating the murders alongside the police. It’s totally misleading.

Additional plot points: It turns out that Reacher’s brother Joe (who worked for the treasury department) was investigating the biggest counterfeiting ring in the US and it got him killed. Reacher has to find out the who, the why, and the how, to solve the case.

While the premise sounds ok for an action book, I just couldn’t get into the story. The first main issue with the book is that the prose was terrible. I felt like I was reading a freaking Trump speech. A prime example of this is below:

“We found the right street. Found the right house. Decent Place. Well looked after. Neat and clean. A tiny one-storey. Small yard, small single-car garage. Narrow gate in the wire fence. We went through. Rang the bell. An old woman cracked the door against the chain.”

This is how the WHOLE BOOK IS WRITTEN! It made it really hard to read without wanting to tear my eyes out. Would it kill the guy to use a freaking comma once in a while?

The second and third issue that I had with this book, was that the main character Jack Reacher is completely unlikeable and the premise behind the plot is just ridiculous. Jack Reacher is a highly trained army veteran who got laid off from the army, so he just wanders around the country. In one of the biggest coincidences of all time, he ends up in some small backwater town in Georgia the day his brother (who he hasn’t spoken to in years) is murdered. Seriously? I think the odds of winning the lottery are better.

After being mistakenly arrested for this murder, and killing a few guys in the county lockup, he is removed as a suspect. He then hooks up with the hottest girl in town, Roscoe, who happens to also be a cop.

Their relationship is on the fast track. Then we start to get scenes such as the below:

“So we showered. Put us in a better frame of mind. We soaped up and started fooling around. Ended up making love in the stall with the water beating down on us. Afterwards, I just wanted to curl up in the glow.”

So we go from hardened army veteran willing to kill remorselessly and violently (ok it was in self defense, but still) to snuggle bunny. Is this the author’s way of making the main character balanced or well rounded or something? Guys, he might be a viscous killer, but he also likes to cuddle! He has depth!

And speaking of depth, Reacher doesn’t even know how to do his own laundry…he just throws away his clothes! He’s so cool (not).

“Next stop was the basement. I fiddled around with the furnace until it kicken in. Then I stripped off and shoved all my clothes in Charlie’s electric dryer. Set it on low for an hour. I had no idea what I was doing. In the army, some corporal had done my laundry. Took it away, brought it back clean and  folded. Since then, I always bought cheap stuff and just junked it.”

Even though Reacher has fallen head over heels for Roscoe, in the last chapter of the book, after a night of talking (so he’s a snuggle bunny AND a good listener…), we get this. I have to say, I thought: “WTF?” Reaches waxes eloquent about this woman for the whole book and then after a night of talking is like, oh well. What happened to the snuggle bunny? What happened to the sensitive guy he was supposed to be? Doesn’t he care at all?

“It didn’t work out for Roscoe and me. It never really stood a chance. There were too many problems.”

The main problem? Apparently Roscoe doesn’t like that Reacher is capable of remorselessly and viscously killing like 10 people. Makes her a little uncomfortable. I wonder why. What annoys me a little bit, is that the reader is supposed to think that this guy is cool or a major badass or something. He just comes across as a little bit of a psycho. This book is written in the first person, so these thoughts are HIS thoughts, what REACHER is thinking. It’s not the narrator giving us a blow by blow of what is happening. So like, when the book is describing how he has to saw the knife into the guys neck to kill him, this is what REACHER is thinking about as he’s doing it.

“Hauled his head back. Cut his throat. You don’t do it with one elegant swipe. Not like in the movies. No knife is sharp enough for that. There’s all kinds of touch gristle in the human throat. You have to saw back and forth with a lot of strength. Takes a while. But it works. It works well. By the time you’ve sawed back to the bone, the guy is dead. This guy was no exception.”

Serial killer much? Would have been fine just to stop at “cut his throat.”

And all these problems made it really hard to get into the story, let alone enjoy it. It wasn’t even that the background story was so interesting either. Sigh.

Would I recommend this book? No. Do yourself a favor and just watch the movie instead.

BOOK REVIEW: In The Heart of the Fire by Dean Koontz

49694471._SX318_SY475_Title: In The Heart of the Fire

Author: Dean Koontz

Book Length (Audiobook): 1 hour 31 minutes

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Short Stories, Horror, Crime, Suspense, Novella

Read Start Date: April 30, 2020

Read Finish Date: April 30, 2020

Brief Summary of the Plot from Goodreads: A bloodthirsty sheriff is terrorizing a small Texas town where justice has been buried with his victims. Until Nameless arrives—a vigilante whose past is a mystery and whose future is written in blood.

Anyone who crosses Sheriff Russell Soakes is dead, missing, or warned. One of them is a single mother trying to protect her children but bracing herself for the worst. Nameless fears the outcome. He’s seen it in his visions. Now it’s time to teach the depraved Soakes a lesson in fear. But in turning predators into prey, will Nameless unearth a few secrets of his own?

In the Heart of the Fire is the first book of the Nameless series.

My Review: I listened to this novella through Kindle Unlimited. I haven’t read Dean Koontz in a while, although he used to be one of my favorite authors when I was a teenager. As it was only 1.5 hours long, it was the perfect length for a long walk, which is why I picked it up to begin with — however, the length in general left something to be desired. There wasn’t enough time to really build any of the characters, and I felt that the story just happened too quickly.

Let’s see how the series progresses.

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

36381091Title: The Cabin at the End of the World

Author: Paul Tremblay

Book Length (Audiobook): 9 hours 31 mins

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fiction, Horror, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Read Start Date: March 23, 2019

Read Finish Date: March 24, 2019

Brief Summary of the Plot from Goodreads: The Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts adds an inventive twist to the home invasion horror story in a heart-palpitating novel of psychological suspense that recalls Stephen King’s Misery, Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, and Jack Ketchum’s cult hit The Girl Next Door.

Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.

Reviewer’s note: I really loved that the family in this book was a modern style family with two dads and an adoptive daughter. I think that this is not done enough in mainstream literature.

One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault”.

Reviewer’s note: If it wasn’t obvious enough that something weird was happening (like why would this guy be talking to this young girl?) when Leonard said that line I was thinking “uh oh”. My first thought was some weird paranormal stuff was about to go down like in that movie Sinister.

Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”

Reviewer’s note: unexpected twist there. Maybe less Sinister, and more The Cabin in the Woods?

Thus begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are entwined. The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay.

Reviewer’s note: That last paragraph is a bit hyped. I didn’t feel the tension at all. I was a little disappointed actually.

My Review: Where to start with this book? Okay, so first I should say that I don’t know whether I liked or disliked this book, which is why I gave it 3 stars, as it came somewhere in between. It was an interesting premise, but I think that the author could have done more with it. Having less than 10 hours of listening time (272 pages), there really wasn’t much room for character building. I can’t say that I really felt anything for any of the characters, even little Wen. This was ultimately disappointing. In a horror story, who doesn’t want to feel at least some empathy toward the characters?

However, I didn’t dislike any of the characters either. As I mentioned above, I liked how the family had two dads and an adoptive daughter.

Since the book was so short, and since the author tried to give time to the back story of each character, it felt more like a summary of their lives than character development. For an example, it turned out (maybe — it was never really proven or not) that one of the strangers was possibly a guy that one of Wen’s dads had beaten up in a bar years earlier. I didn’t really think that this added anything to the story, other than a side comment that maybe these people were “gay bashers” and were therefore just lying about the whole apocalypse thing.

On the other hand, was character development really so important to the story? Could it have been rather that the story itself was more the focus?

I am also currently reading a book by Stephen King and Owen King called Sleeping Beauties. Similarly, it is about the end of the world, so to speak — but it is more than 700 pages long. I am not saying that you need 700 pages to truly develop a character or story, but it might have been nice if Tremblay had allotted a few more pages to the task.

I finished The Cabin at the End of the World in two days because I listened to it over the weekend, and I tend to listen to audiobooks a lot on the weekends. Had this been a paperback book, or had I started the audiobook on a Monday, I am not sure whether I would have been able to finish it in so short of a time, so I cannot say that the pace at which I read the book is any indication of the likeability of the book.

That’s not to say that I didn’t like the book. I typically like books that fall within the horror genre, and I don’t ever expect to be scared, but I do expect some sort of feeling that what I am reading is disturbing or creepy. Even if the story was more the intended focus than the characters for me, I would have liked to have liked the characters more, especially in light of what happened to them in the book.

This book reminded me a bit of The Road by Cormac McCarthy, except that I liked The Road a lot more. Let’s face it, cannibals (especially as vivid as McCarthy’s descriptions were of them) are always super disturbing, and are always going to beat out weird kidnappers / slashers in that department.

I don’t want to give any spoilers away, so it is really hard to give further examples of how the story fell a little short of expectations.

Have you read The Cabin at the End of the World? What did you think?

 

BOOK REVIEW: The 17th Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

35212978Title: The 17th Suspect

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Book Length (Audiobook): 7 hours 4 mins

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

Brief Summary of the Plot: The 17th Suspect is the 17th installment in the Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. You don’t really need to read the other books in order to understand what is happening in this 17th book (the author gives a brief summary of the events relevant for the book, if necessary); however, I always like to read the books in order, but that is just me. Honestly, I am debating reading the books over in order to give a real review on them.

Generally, though, the Woman’s Murder Club is a group of women who are friends and get together to solve crimes. Per the James Patterson official website, the cast of characters is as follows:

Detective Lindsay Boxer: “a homicide detective for the San Francisco Police Department. Lindsay is five foot ten. She was a sociology major and graduated from San Francisco State (to which she transferred from Berkeley when she found out that her mother had breast cancer). She loves beer and butterscotch praline ice cream. She has a border collie named Martha. She enjoys running, loves to read travel books and mysteries and her secret hobby is tai chi. Lindsay has been divorced once and is now married to long-time boyfriend Joseph Molinari. She has a younger sister named Cat and a father named Marty, who was also a member of the SFPD. Marty left Lindsay’s mother when Lindsay was 13.”

Cindy Thomas: “pretty, blonde and city cool. She’s a crime desk reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Cindy is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she was a sociology major. She loves yoga, jazz music and, like her friend Lindsay Boxer, loves to read travel books and mysteries—she’s even a member of a book club. She also has a tattoo, but unlike Lindsay, she has two small G-clefs on her shoulder.”

Claire Washburn, “Claire is black and heavyset; she always jokes, “I’m in shape… round’s a shape.” Claire is wise, confident, kind, and the Chief Medical Examiner for San Francisco. She is married to Edmund, a kettle drum-player in the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Claire and Edmund have two teenage sons and a young daughter named Ruby Rose. Her tattoo: an outline of a butterfly just below her waist. She also goes by the nickname “Butterfly” and has it embroidered on her lab coat at work.”

Yuki Castellano: “an ambitious, young San Francisco district attorney who is passionate, brilliant, given to speaking at 90 miles per hour, and sometimes wears a magenta red streak in her glossy, black, shoulder-length hair. Her parents met at a graduate school mixer for foreign students and married within three weeks. Her mother is Japanese and her father Italian American. Yuki’s favorite drink, when out with the other members of the Club, is a Germain-Robin sidecar.” Yuki joins the Women’s Murder Club in book #5. She replaces another lawyer, Jill Bernhardt who was killed.

As with the other books, this book takes place in San Francisco and has two main cases. In the first story, a man is going around the city shooting homeless people, and Boxer has to investigate the murders (this story is more focused on the police side). The second case is about a man who has accused his boss of rape, and Yuki is prosecuting the woman for rape. It is a controversial case because usually women are not accused of raping men (this story is more focused on the legal side and the other girls are not really involved). Cindy and Claire only make cameo appearances in this book, as both stories are more focused on Lindsay and Yuki.

My Review: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach. I read this book during the winter while running, but it kept me entertained, so that’s something. The stories remind me of Law and Order Episodes, as there are usually two stories, one focused on “the law”, and the other on “the order”. My feelings overall are rather ambivalent. As with most beach reads, the book isn’t meant to stir up any emotions, it is just there to entertain you.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. I have to say though that the Patterson and Paetro collaboration is one of my favorite collaborations from Patterson. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

 

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 12th of Never by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: The 12th of Never

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: November, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 12th of Never by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 11th Hour by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: 11th Hour

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: August, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.

You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.

You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.

You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.

You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.

You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.

You can read my review of the 7th book, 7th Heaven here.

You can read my review of the 8th book, The 8th Confession here.

You can read my review of the 9th book, The 9th Judgment here.

You can read my review of the 10th book, 10th Anniversay here.

The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

See below for the plot of the book (contains spoilers)

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 11th Hour by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 10th Anniversary by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

 

9436746Title: 10th Anniversary

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: May, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.

You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.

You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.

You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.

You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.

You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.

You can read my review of the 7th book, 7th Heaven here.

You can read my review of the 8th book, The 8th Confession here.

You can read my review of the 9th book, The 9th Judgment here.

The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

See below for the plot of the book.

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 10th Anniversary by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 9th Judgment by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: The 9th Judgment

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: May, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.

You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.

You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.

You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.

You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.

You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.

You can read my review of the 7th book, 7th Heaven here.

You can read my review of the 8th book, The 8th Confession here.

The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

See below for the plot of the book, but be careful because there are several spoilers.

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 9th Judgment by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: The 8th Confession

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: May, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.

You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.

You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.

You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.

You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.

You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.

You can read my review of the 7th book, 7th Heaven here.

The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

See below for the plot of the book, but be careful because there are several spoilers.

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 7th Heaven by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: 7th Heaven

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: May, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.

You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.

You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.

You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.

You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.

You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.

The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

See below for the plot of the book, but be careful because there are several spoilers.

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 7th Heaven by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”