The Short Drop by Matthew Fitsimmons a Review

 

The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons is not only engaging, meaning you can’t put it down to freshen your coffee that you’re at risk of sipping it cold, the story is also complex.

What do I mean by that? You ask…It’s one of those books you read and then days later you thing, yeah, but what about this… 

Again, what do I mean by that? It’s a great book, don’t get me wrong and I hate to list spoilers (so spoiler alert.) And, I wouldn’t review it if I didn’t recommend it. So with that said, I think there might be a plot hole or two. Or, I’m just being picky. I really liked the story and completely recommend it for a good read, however, one issue is the early mention in the story when two investigators compare pictures of the main character and the missing girl. One guys says something like, “you see that,” pointing to the something in the appearance of one of them in a photograph and the other guy say, “yeah, I wonder if he knows.” Though they never explain what the physical comparison was. You’re left to assume a connection later.

(Big spoiler coming,) The missing girl has a baby and sadly this child is the result of incest. Or so the story would have you think because the earlier mention of the similarities is never tied into the fact that perhaps it wasn’t incest at all. The missing girl is possibly the half-sister of the main character though you wouldn’t know that because they never made the connection in the end. And, I hate to think that this fictional baby is living a life thinking she’s the product of incest when she’s not. It’s all terrible and but an interesting story all the same.

This is just one small point in this otherwise excellent mystery that you will enjoy reading in spite of what I’ve said here. Please enjoy the book. 🙂

Oh, and on a side note, I finished the first draft of  Durham Departure. More soon.

A Death in Sweden by Kevin Wignall

A Death in Sweden isn’t so much a James Bond thriller as it is a thrilling mystery. I loved it.

I thought it was a refreshing take on the whole spy, revenge killer thing. There’s a bit of humanity lost in our main character, and he not only recognizes this with the aid of a beautiful Swedish agent, and dead college, he dares to overcome that legacy but not before revenge of course. I thought Kevin Wignall did a great job. His writing is certainly excellent and I’ve got to say I thought it was much better than the bestselling thriller currently running, Girl on the Train.

This is a very worthy read. As a writer myself, I’ve learned to ignore other reviews and choose books based on the author’s merit, not other opinions that seem sometimes to become copycats of their predecessors. Bad habit that… thinking for oneself is so much more worthy.

A Death in Sweden doesn’t actually release until January 1st, but I was able to read it early through Kindle First. It’s worth mentioning that if you are a Prime member of Amazon, there is a new monthly perk where you can obtain one book per month that hasn’t even been released yet! Yipee! There is usually several to choose from, and A Death in Sweden was one of them. This is FREE to Prime members, and if you have it, you can already take advantage of this. Cool huh? I know I was thrilled.

If you are not an Amazon Prime member, I encourage you to become one because of all the FREE 2-Day shipping, music, photo storage, books, live stream shows…so many advantages. It’s awesome, and the yearly fee is well worth just the free 2-day shipping alone. You can watch Man in High Castle, which I recommend, for no additional fees…I’m sure I’m only using half of the advantages as it is but my family loves it and the monthly household products we purchase through Subscribe and Ship are well worth it too. You can even give Amazon Prime as a gift.

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Book Review – Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I’m behind a few book reviews so I’ll try to catch up this week. I read The Girl on the Train a few weeks ago. I’m a voracious reader and with that said, I tend to pick books in a variety of genres by all kinds of authors. I guess you could say, I’m an equal opportunity reader.

I also tend to read books occasionally from the bestseller list. There are many lists, New York Times Best Seller List, USA Today, Amazon Best Sellers, take your pick. This book ranks near the top of them all currently and I have to ask myself as a writer, what elements of a book make it a bestseller?

I mean, I read The Goldfinch… I don’t get it. The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction last year. That astounds me. It was certainly a thick novel, I’ll give it that. It was repetitive and descriptive in ways that made me put it down and regret my reading time.

I don’t do bad reviews however. If I can’t say something nice about a book, I don’t say anything at all. That’s just my method to the madness, you don’t have to follow suit.

The Girl on the Train, isn’t The Goldfinch. I looked forward to reading it. I wanted to finish it. I admired how the author wove certain elements into her story, but it did remind me of The Goldfinch in the shock and awe category. The shocking alcohol abuse ad nauseum. I know it’s harsh, but it’s an element running through those books at the top. It’s like the publishers got together and decided that was the topic to promote. Adults at their worst selves ever. Flawed, drunken, strung-out individuals….yes, those are the ones we want to exploit this year. We don’t see enough of the harsh side of life? Really?

I’ve got say, I think we do. Reading is supposed to be an escape from reality and if you’re lucky you come away from it a better person than you were before you picked up that book.

So am I recommending The Girl on the Train which has some elements of The Goldfinch within? Yes, I am… Besides the shock and awe factor, it is a good story. It’s very well written. Maybe it’s me but I guessed the ending. (My family gets annoyed that I do that when we partake in a new movie. “He’s the killer!” Yes, it drives them crazy.)

Here’s the description: Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.”

I can see the “Hitchcokian thriller” bit. I would agree with that. It’s a story about sorrow, murder and betrayal at it’s deepest level.

There are lives like this…I remind myself. I’ve seen them in time, like slinking shadows kept upright in dark places. I keep myself away from them for a reason. Their torment is self-imposed but it’s a prison they cannot afford to escape from. They already own the label. It would be too much work to change…

If you’re looking for a book of gritty human agony, read The Girl on the Train. Did I come away from it’s pages a better person? No…I came away with a reminder of what I’ve seen in the past. Something, not worth remembering.