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Category Archives: Supernatural

The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth..

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colette mcbeth - the life i left behind

Blurb:

Six years ago Melody Pieterson was attacked and left for dead. She coped by locking away her memories, burying herself. The man responsible was caught and convicted. Even his release from jail won’t derail her new life. She’s a survivor after all. Then the body of another woman is discovered in identical circumstances. Like Melody she has blond hair and green eyes. Like Melody she is found holding a gold bird cage chain.

Her name is Eve Elliot.

The woman were strangers, so Melody thinks. But Eve knew all about Melody’s life. She’d been talking to her friends, she knew their secrets. She knew the man who attacked them had never been caught.

Eve has left behind her story, the clues that will force Melody to confront her own lies and the lies she’s been told.

The clues that will put her life in danger all over again.

Review:

A big thanks to Headline Review for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. This is Colette’s second book and I loved it just as much as her first. Colette was kind enough to send me a signed copy of her debut novel and from the moment I turned the first page, I became an avid fan. The Life I Left Behind cemented Colette as one of my favourite psychological thriller authors!

The story revolves around our protagonist Melody who was a victim of an attempted murder six years ago. Although physically she’s mostly healed, emotionally she’s still as tormented and distraught as before. Melody has tried really hard over the years to move on from what happened to her and in some ways believes that getting married is a step forward in that direction. However, unfortunately things never usually go to plan in a crime novel and before anyone realises, the body of a woman is found tortured in the same way Melody was. Although it was initially presumed that the man responsible was convicted, Melody becomes convinced that something isn’t right and somehow, someway a killer is still lying in wait. The woman who’s body was found is called Eve Elliot and she becomes one of the three main narrators, with the other two being Melody and Detective Inspector Victoria Rutter, who was in charge of investigating the crimes. From the moment we read about Eve’s murder, the novel takes an abrupt turn and becomes this fast paced journey of finding out whether or not the killer was actually convicted and how this will put not only Melody’s life in jeopardy but also those around her.

Now I love a good ghost story as much as the next person but The Life I Left Behind is so much more than that. Melody’s narrative was by far my favourite. Perhaps because she already knew about the lies surrounding the characters or maybe it was just because of how she was as a character but I really loved getting into the mind of a woman who was brutally murdered and who has now made it her mission to warn and protect Melody.

Both Eve and Melody were likable characters. Their grief was saddening and at times I felt that their characters shined the most when they were at their worst. Melody has suffered a great deal and although her family wants the best for her, it becomes apparent that the trauma she has suffered is long term and it’ll take a long time for her to fully overcome it, if ever. In that regard, I found Eve to be quite refreshing, one wouldn’t presume that she’s a individual who has just been murdered. Her sole focus is to warn Melody of the dangers that lie ahead. It was Eve’s narrative that had me turning page after page.

The writing style is unique in the sense that Colette is very detailed in how she goes about telling the story of these two characters. There were times when I felt the story went slightly off tangent but Colette quickly draws the reader back in by adding a new twist in. Like her debut novel, this story too had many twists and turns that are enough to keep you reading from start to finish.

Although I prefer my psychological thrillers to give me the chills and keep me on the edge of my seat, The Life I Left Behind is an intelligent and well crafted thriller that allows you to appreciate this genre to its full capacity. Colette’s storytelling is brilliant and one that I thoroughly enjoy and if you’re a fan of psychological thrillers then this book is definitely worth a read! The Life I Left Behind is a well written, fast paced novel that captivates you from beginning to end and takes you on a thought provoking journey of just how deeply a trauma can impact you and those around you.

Overall Rating: 9/10

You can find out more about Colette and her books from the following places:

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter

The Silenced by Heather Graham..

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the silence heather graham

Blurb:

Where is Lara Mayhew? 

Lara, a congressman’s media assistant, suddenly quits her job—and disappears on the way to her Washington, DC, apartment.

Novice FBI agent Meg Murray, a childhood friend of Lara’s, gets a message from her that same night, a message that says she’s disillusioned and “going home.” To Richmond, Virginia. Meg discovers that she never got there. And bodies fitting Lara’s description are showing up in nearby rivers… Could she be the victim of a serial killer?

Meg is assigned to work with special agent Matt Bosworth, a hard-nosed pro in the FBI’s unit of paranormal investigators—the Krewe of Hunters. They trace the route Meg and Lara took more than once in the past, visiting battlefields and graveyards from Harpers Ferry to Gettysburg. Places where the dead share their secrets with those who can hear… As Meg and Matt pursue the possibility of a serial killer, they find themselves in the middle of a political conspiracy. Is there a connection? If so, has Lara been silenced for good? And whom—besides each other—can they trust?

Review:

Heather Graham is one of my favourite suspense authors, especially because she goes a step further by adding in the paranormal with a touch of romance. The Silenced is the 15th book in the Krewe of Hunters series and it’s my eighth KoH read. 

The story revolves around the disappearance of Lara Mayhew, a strong and bold woman in an otherwise corrupt political government. Having recieved an upsetting voicemail from her childhood friend, FBI Special Agent Meg Murray makes it her mission to find out what has exactly happened to Lara.  

Having just graduated from Quantico, Meg is still finding her bearings until she meets Adam Harrison, the director of a special unit within the FBI, nicknamed the Krewe of Hunters. She’s brought into the team and partnered with seasoned Special Agent Matthew Bosworth. Now they may seem like ordinary people investigating the usual crimes but what makes this unit so special is their ability to interact with the dead. Every member of this (incredibly large) unit has in one way or another interacted with ghosts.

The story follows a secondary investigation where bodies of women sliced and gutted are piling up and it becomes a race to find out whether or not the two crimes are connected. 

Both of our leads are very likeable characters and individually their stories shined. However I had a problem with the romance between the two. It didn’t feel as realistic to me and when they did come together I felt it was slightly venturing away from the plot – I wasn’t entirely convinced by their relationship. Having said that I did enjoy the small backdrop stories we recieved for both the characters and I especially liked discovering about the relationship between Meg and Lara. 

I was hooked from the first few chapters but unfortunately I felt the pace of the novel drag a lot and I found myself skipping pages. Heather has a unique way of creating a story that integrates so many subjects whilst still maintaining its authenticity. At times this was apparent but I did miss some of the thrills and chills I used to get from previous books in this series. 

Although this is book number 15 in the series it can definitely be read as a standalone. If you’re a fan of paranormal suspense with a little romance then you’ll enjoy this book. However if you’re are looking to read a Heather Graham book for the first time then I recommend you choose from some of her earlier books in this series, as I thoroughly enjoyed those. 

I was intrigued by plot of the novel and the writing style is good however there was just something missing from this book that I’ve definitely seen in Heather’s other books. Regardless, do pick up other Heather Graham books as they are are much better and more enjoyable. 

Overall Rating: 7/10 

You can find out more about Heather and her books from the following places:

Official WebsiteFacebookGoodreads

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness..

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Deborah-Harkness-A-Discovery-of-Witches

Blurb:

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

Review:

Thank to you the wonderful people at Headline Publishing who provided me with a copy of this book and its sequel via Bookbridgr.

The novel has by many been called the ‘new-generation Twilight’. I personally don’t think it’s fair to compare either of these books together because where Twilight was YA; this is definitely targeted towards adults. The book itself is long and honestly speaking I was intimidated by the size. However once you get into the story, the length of the book is suddenly no longer an issue.

The novel focuses on Diana Bishop, whom we know from the blurb comes from a long line of witches but has kept her magic a secret since the death of her parents. She is part of a race that makes up ¼ of the world’s population. The other races being humans, vampires and daemons. Up until now all four races have seemingly been living peacefully amongst each other however Diana’s decisions soon change that. Her meeting and eventually falling for the hero, Matthew Clairmont (a vampire) sets of a chain of events that has them turning their back on everything and everyone they believed in and embarking on a journey where they fight to retain the peace that once existed.

Initially, it took me a while to get into the story. The pace of the story is quite slow and therefore I found myself skipping pages quite early on in the book. Diana’s meeting with Matthew was the turning point for me and from then on I felt the book picked up its pace and the story began to grow. Deborah does a good job of interweaving different twists and turns that keep you engaged throughout the book. As well as that, I felt that the writing flowed smoothly from page to page, making the overall reading experience more enjoyable.

My favourite character in the book was the protagonist, Diana. Diana is just so endearing that it becomes quite easy to like her. Her intelligence, her simplicity and subtle beauty is what draws the reader (and Matthew) in and I can gladly say that she is a much better protagonist than Bella Swan. Matthew is a gentleman through and through. Again as he’s as intelligent as Diana and both make a perfect match.

As I’ve said, I wouldn’t label this a book for Twilight fans because it’s so much more. There aren’t any angry werewolves who have six packs, no damsels in distress or sparkling vampires. This is a much more sophisticated romance with magic, manuscripts and mayhem. Honestly, for me it was a step further than the Twilight series and I enjoyed it so much that I’m halfway through the second book and eagerly awaiting the release of the third book (which just so happens to be today)!

Fans of supernatural romance books will love this book as much as I did. If you’re put off by the length then don’t fret, the story will immerse you in such a way that you’ll have reached the ending feeling disappointed that it’s over so soon. Deborah Harkness has done an exceptional job with this novel and from what I’ve read so far, with the second too! Don’t forget to pick a copy, it’s well worth it!

Overall Rating: 8/10

If you would like to find out more about Deborah, you can do so on her official website. You can also follow Deborah on twitter and facebook.

If you’ve read Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, the third and final book in the trilogy – The Book of Life, releases today!! Don’t forget to pick up your copy.