Book Review: Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolás Obregón

Tags

, , , , ,

“Setagaya ward, Tokyo
Inspector Kosuke Iwata, newly transferred to Tokyo’s homicide department, is assigned a new partner a
32188289nd a second-hand case.

Blunt, hard as nails and shunned by her colleagues, Assistant Inspector Noriko Sakai is a partner Iwata decides it would be unwise to cross.

A case that’s complicated – a family of four murdered in their own home by a killer who then ate ice cream, surfed the web and painted a hideous black sun on the bedroom ceiling before he left in broad daylight. A case that so haunted the original investigator that he threw himself off the city’s famous Rainbow Bridge.

Carrying his own secret torment, Iwata is no stranger to pain. He senses the trauma behind the killer’s brutal actions. Yet his progress is thwarted in the unlikeliest of places.

Fearing corruption among his fellow officers, tracking a killer he’s sure is only just beginning and trying to put his own shattered life back together, Iwata knows time is running out before he’s taken off the case or there are more killings . . .”

goodreads-badge-add-button

I feel rather conflicted about this book, as I liked aspects of it but struggled with others.

I was intrigued by the premise of a serial killer with a link to a religious cult, but I found the plot too slow, as I do like a fast paced crime novel. I found it hard to get to know the main character Inspector Iwata, as he felt too distant and his many mixed up memories really confused me at times.

I struggled to keep with all the different minor characters and where they fitted into the plot. Fortunately because I was reading this on my Kindle App I was able to search within the text to discover who different characters were and when they’d been mentioned before. I’ve never had to do this before so this came in very handy.
Having never visited Japan nor Tokyo and other places mentioned throughout, I found it hard to imagine where scenes were taking place.
I did think about giving up on it but I wanted to find out what happened.

Would I read something by the author again? Maybe, but I’d borrow it from the library instead. Would I recommend it? Only if like you like a slow paced police procedural.

Thanks to NetGalley, Penguin UK – Michael Joseph for my free digital copy.

First Line Friday #7

Tags

, , , , , , ,

firstlinefriday

My choice for this week comes from Learning to Swim by Clare Chambers, a novel set in England in the 1970s and 80s dealing with childhood and family relationships.

“Loyalty never goes unpunished. My father said that once when he was passed over for promotion at work and I’ve never forgotten it.”

802453

Abigail Jex never expected to see any of the Radley household again. In dramatic contrast to her own conventional family, the Radleys were extraordinary, captivating creatures transplanted from a bohemian corner of North London to outer suburbia, and the young Abigail found herself drawn into their magic circle: the eccentric Frances, her new best friend; Frances’ mother, the liberated, headstrong Lexi; and of course the brilliant, beautiful Rad.
Abigail thought she’d banished the ghost of her life with them and the catastrophe that ended it, but thirteen years later a chance encounter forces her to acknowledge that the spell is far from broken …

 

 

.goodreads-badge-add-button

 

Review: Meeting the Muse by Mick Mooney

Tags

, , ,

meeting_the_muse“What does it take to achieve our creative aspirations, and how do we bring to life the ideas and the stories deep within us? Milton Green had an answer to this very question: He just had to meet his muse. If he could only find his inspiration, then all Milton’s greatness within would surely burst forth and he would finally write a prolific and critically acclaimed novel.

Well, as fate would have it, after an unexpected event (getting fired) and an impulsive reaction (getting drunk) Milton finds himself in an out of body experience to meet the very person he’s been seeking: The Muse!

So what does the Mansion of the Muse look like? What wild and wonderful rooms does it contain? How many adventures and revelations can one have there? Milton discovers the answers to all these questions as he is taken on a tour by the Muse, from room to room, and along the way learns just what it means to not only find your inspiration, but to truly connect with it.

Meeting the Muse is a funny, thought provoking story that weaves a tale of how inspiration and perspiration work together to create art that makes a difference in the world and our own lives.”

goodreads-badge-add-button

This is such a fun story that I read very quickly, as the plot made me want to find out what happened when Milton finally got his chance to question The Muse. I could really identify with Milton and his idea of having written a best-seller without doing the hard work. The Muse himself was a great character full of fun, energy and wisdom  I definitely recommend this modern parable for living a creative life.

Meeting The Muse by Mick Mooney is published in Kindle format today 14 February 2017.

About the Author

Mick Mooney is a storyteller at heart and a life-long student of human nature. His books are both entertaining and insightful, and revolve around the quest for inner freedom and the pursuit of a life directed and empowered by love.

You can connect personally with Mick on his website: http://www.mickmooney.com, via Twitter: @mick_mooney and on Facebook: facebook.com/mickmooney.author

 

 

 

Review: Birds Art Life Death by Kyo Maclear

Tags

, , , , ,

32321197“One winter, Kyo Maclear became unmoored. Her father had recently fallen ill and she suddenly found herself lost for words. As a writer, she could no longer bring herself to create; her work wasn’t providing the comfort and meaning that it had before.

But then Kyo met a musician who loved birds. The musician felt he could not always cope with the pressures and disappointments of being an artist in a big city. When he watched birds and began to photograph them, his worries dissipated. Intrigued, Kyo found herself following the musician for a year, accompanying him on his birdwatching expeditions; the sounds of birds in the city reminded them both to look outwards at the world.

Intricate and delicate as birdsong, Birds Art Life Death asks how our passions shape and nurture us, and how we might gain perspective, overcome our anxieties and begin to cherish the urban wild spaces where so many of us live.”

goodreads-badge-add-button

This is a gentle book that made me really think about so many things in my life. It’s not just about bird watching, something I do regularly, but about living deliberately in our fragile world. I loved the way it follows the birding year around Toronto, with its highs and lows and I enjoyed the author’s thoughts on Love, Waiting,  Lulls and Smallness. Definitely a book that I’ll return to throughout this year and years to come.

Thanks so much to NetGalley, 4th Estate and the author for free my digital copy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodreads Monday

Tags

, , , ,

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. In order to participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link up on Lauren’s blog!

I came across this weekly meme through a post by Danielle @ Books, Vertigo and Tea and loved the idea of finding a random read on my tbr list.

I’ve chosen The Faces of Angels by Lucretia Grindle. It’s actually the first book in a trilogy set in Florence, Italy. I already read the final book a few years ago without realising it was in a trilogy, I loved it, so I definitely won’t mind reading it again.

953894A sweltering day in Florence, and newly-wed art student Mary Warren breaks away from her tour group in the Boboli Gardens to wander into a shady tunnel of trees. But the tranquil setting conceals a complex maze and a masked killer: within minutes Mary has been severely attacked and her husband brutally murdered.

A year later and the ‘Honeymoon Killer’, Karel Indrizzio, is dead and Mary is living a restless life in Philadelphia. Her scars are a constant reminder of that dreadful day, but in an effort to help her forget, her friend – attractive journalist, Pierangelo – invites her to return to Italy.

However, in this city Mary’s dark secret cannot stay buried for long. For there is a new menace stalking the women of Florence, and his technique is startlingly reminiscent of her own attacker’s. Piero is following the deadly trail and Mary soon recognizes terrifying implications and patterns in his research: either this is a copycat, or her husband’s murderer is still at large . . .

Published July 7th 2006 by MacMillan

goodreads-badge-add-button

Have you read anything by Lucretia Grindle? Have you got any particular books on your Goodreads tbr that you want to read soon?

Standalone Sunday

Tags

, , , , ,

standalone-sunday

Standalone Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by  Megan@bookslayerreads. Standalone Sunday was created to let others know about all the standalone books you have loved, but maybe don’t get the attention they need. Megan created the banner as well and anyone joining in can use it too. Why not check out her blog too🙂

This week I’ve chosen Fatherland by Robert Harris.

 

Fatherland is set in an alternative world where Hitler has won the Second World War.

It is April6913278 1964 and one week before Hitler’s 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin’s most prestigious suburb. As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with an American journalist, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth – a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history.

I read this back in 2001 after one of my older sisters recommended to me. It’s a great dystopian thriller that still gives me a chill when I think about it.

 

goodreads-badge-add-button

 

 

 

 

First Line Friday #6

Tags

, , , , ,

firstlinefriday

My choice for this week comes from A Fever of the Blood by Oscar De Muriel, a book that keeps moving lower down my tbr rather than higher. I thoroughly the enjoyed the first book in this series but for some reason I don’t seem to get around to reading this one, even though I have a paperback copy on my bookshelf.

“Open the curtains, ” Lord ambrose demanded, almost gagging from the effort. ” I need to see them die.”

25853078New Year’s Day, 1889. In Edinburgh’s lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey. Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient – a girl who had been mute for years. What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won’t she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition? McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill – home of the Lancashire witches – where unimaginable danger awaits…

 

goodreads-badge-add-button

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

Tags

,

“Family,9781683663560 community, faith, and love.
These quilt blocks sewn together made Ariana s beautiful life.
When the
y are pulled to pieces, will anything familiar remain?
The Old
Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she is immersed in the”Englischer”world, getting to know her mother, and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana s worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living”Englisch,” can help steady Ariana s tilting ground between the two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals?
At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can t leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn’t belong in either family.
New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they pray for the wisdom and strength they ll need to follow God s threads into unexpected futures?””
“Fraying at the”Edge is the second novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.”

goodreads-badge-add-button

I really enjoyed this lovely audiobook by Cindy Woodsmall.

Even though it’s part two of a trilogy there was enough back story to fill me in on the first book without getting confused or feeling like I’d missed out.

I loved getting acquainted with the situation that found both Arianna and Skylar living in completely different worlds since being switched at birth twenty years earlier. I felt their emotions as they struggled to adjust to their new families and lifestyles and wondered how I would’ve coped in a similar situation. I was fascinated by  the glimpses into the Old Order Amish community and enjoyed the comparisons with the modern “Englisch” life. I particularly enjoyed conversations Arianna had with her English father about blindly accepting beliefs and authority.

The narration by Stina Nielsen was perfect as she brought all the characters, male and female, young and old to life. I really hope she narrates the next audiobook in the series as I definitely want to find out what happens to Arianna and Skylar.

I think all ages would enjoy this audiobook and I can imagine this series would be a great for groups to discuss the different themes throughout.

Thanks so much to christianaudio.com Reviewer’s Program for my free copy.