Mini Reviews – all great reads! Death Deserved – John Lier Horst and Thomas Enger 5*, The Cold Room – JT Ellison 5*, My Sweet Girl – Amanda Jayatissa 5*

I read this one a while ago, when it first came out here, and I know really enjoyed it. But I’ve just re read it and it was as though I had never read it before. I love when that happens, as I could approach it without knowing who the bad guy or girl was and enjoy it as a first time again.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Police officer Alexander Blix and celebrity blogger Emma Ramm join forces to track down a serial killer with a thirst for attention and high-profile murders, in the first episode of a gripping new Nordic Noir series…

Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.

Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing-persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…

Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flare for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.
Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…

Our Review:

DEATH DESERVED is a Nordic Noir, set in Norway, following our two main protagonists Alexander Blix and Emma Ramm. The former being a slightly jaded, world weary detective and the other being an up-and-coming celebrity journalist, who aspires to be a serious crime writer. Emma gets her chance when she stumbles across a suspected kidnapping of a famous sports personality.

Ramm and Blix work together in a race against time to solve the murders and find out who will be the next target. Will they be able to crack the case in time and stop the madman from completing his plan? You have to read it to find out. It’s amazing!

So many twists and turns and red-herrings. I loved the interplay between the two main characters. I loved how they were straight talking and didn’t skirt around things to get the job done. Also their loyalty to one another, that is based on an unfortunate connection from their past, rather than any actual friendship as such (to start with).

The crimes are gruesome, the criminals are horrible, the secondary characters are all really convincing and well done. I don’t really have anything negative to say about this book.

Overall a fab read.

Goodreads Synopsis:

He can only truly love her once her heart stops beating

Homicide detective Taylor Jackson thinks she’s seen it all – but she’s never seen anything as perverse as The Conductor. After capturing his victim, he contains her in a glass coffin and slowly starves her to death. Only when her last breath is gone does he give in to his attraction.

Soon bodies begin to litter the town, arranged in sinister, well-known poses of great works of art. But when similar murders are reported in Europe, it appears the twisted fantasies of a madman cannot be contained. The coffin is empty… Are you next?

Our Review:

Another fab instalment in the Taylor Jackson series.

This time there is a really REALLY creepy bad guy. He is kidnapping women, holding them hostage in a box until they die of starvation, then having sex with their dead bodies… !

It’s quite extreme, I know. But it is really well written, and the police procedural side of the story is so very well done that the gruesome bits are only a tiny part of the overall book.

In the last book, Taylor lost her post at Lieutenant and was demoted back down to detective again. And in this book she is coming to terms with that demotion, whilst also dealing with her stalker from previous books. We cross the Atlantic in this one – with the case reaching both Nashville and Italy.

I love how Taylor is no-nonsense, she’s fair and by the book. She desperately wants her team back, even if she doesn’t make it back to Lieutenant she just wants the old squad back and a competent boss, not a political pencil pusher who doesn’t know a thing about police work.

A great instalment, onto the next!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Paloma thought her perfect life would begin once she was adopted and made it to America, but no matter how far you run, your past will always catch up to you…

Ever since she was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage, Paloma has had the best of everything—schools, money, and parents so perfect that she fears she’ll never live up to them.

Now at thirty and recently cut off from her parents’ funds, Paloma decides to sublet the second bedroom of her overpriced San Francisco apartment to Arun, who recently moved from India. Paloma has to admit, it feels good helping someone find their way in America—until Arun discovers Paloma’s darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her own fragile place in this country.

Before Paloma can pay Arun off, she finds him face down in a pool of blood. Paloma flees the apartment but by the time the police arrive, there’s no body—and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.

Paloma is terrified this is all somehow tangled up in the desperate actions she took to escape Sri Lanka so many years ago. Did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?

Our review:

Perfectly fabulous debut.

This was a perfect debut. It was absolutely thrilling and immersive and nail biting. I couldn’t put it down.

Jayatissa writes with wit and sarcasm and her main characters steal the show from the moment they arrive. I disliked all the characters, not one of them was likeable – and I loved it!

The whole story of Paloma and Lahini was heartbreaking and doomed from day one. The ending was perfect although I did see the twists coming. I don’t think that changed anything for me, in fact I think it made it better because I was ready for them and excited to read it play out the way it should!

Overall a fantastic debut and one that I think will be huge this year. Congrats to Amanda Jayatissa! (Thank you to the publishers for our copy of this one).


All great reads from the last few months.

Will you read any of these?

Happy reading

Becca and Kate

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