Unnatural History by Jonathan Kellerman – Review

About The Book

A gripping new crime novel featuring Alex Delaware from the bestselling master of suspense.

When a photographer is found inside an LA warehouse slumped in bed, shot to death, it sets in motion a complex and dangerous case for Lieutenant Milo Sturgis and Psychologist Alex Delaware.

The victim had just received rave media attention for his latest project – images of homeless people living out their ‘dreams’. But there were many who saw the work as crass exploitation.

Did anger turn to homicidal rage? Or do the roots of violence reach down to the victim’s own family?

As new murders arise, Alex and Milo must peel back the layers of the case – and will find themselves coming up against in one of the deadliest threats they’ve ever faced…

My Review

It is many years since I read a novel from this series but it felt like only yesterday as soon as I started reading this novel. It didn’t matter that I can’t even remember the last book I read, I didn’t feel like there was anything I’d missed. Apart from the continuing relationship between psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis. Understated but full of respect for what each other did to get results. That respect was also evident with other other members of the team, a willingness by all of them to accept a civilian’s input to an investigation.

Alex is definitely the main character in the novel, his background helped them get answers from witnesses, family and the homeless of LA. He seemed to be able to encourage even the most unwilling to talk about their own lives, the way they got to know the victim and the impact that he had on their lives. I thought that one of the good points of this novel was showing the other side to LA, that not all are wealthy or famous, that there is the side that has nothing and who often are just invisible. It is not something I come across often, a willingness and honesty in showing the characters who live a completely different life. No matter what city, what country. 

I felt that this is how the author wanted to portray his victim, as one who wanted to show that the homeless had dreams at one point and he gave them a little respite for a short time. I also appreciated seeing brief glimpses of Delaware’s other career, no huge detail but it was obvious that those cases were just as important to him.

I don’t want to leave it as long before I read another book in this series. I may have to read them backward for a while to catch up a little bit.

The Shadow Child by Rachel Hancox – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Eighteen-year-old Emma has loving parents and a promising future ahead of her.

So why, one morning, does she leave home without a trace?

Her parents, Cath and Jim, are devastated. They have no idea why Emma left, where she is – or even whether she is still alive.

A year later, Cath and Jim are still tormented by the unanswered questions Emma left behind, and clinging desperately to the hope of finding her.

Meanwhile, tantalisingly close to home, Emma is also struggling with her new existence – and with the trauma that shattered her life.

For all of them, reconciliation seems an impossible dream. Does the way forward lie in facing up to the secrets of the past – secrets that have been hidden for years?

Secrets that have the power to heal them, or to destroy their family forever …

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I chose to read this novel because it sounded completely different to everything else I read. I’m so glad I did and it served as a reminder that I need to widen my reading preferences.

There are multiple narrators who are all connected as family or friends. But there are issues between them, mainly because all of them find it difficult to talk about openly about how they feel. All of them were suffering because of this, either by keeping secrets or not talking about their past. There was really only one of them who was fully honest about his childhood, his frustration at what he saw as interference and his love for Lara. That character was Nick, at times my least favourite, but I had to show respect for his honesty.

Cath was another character who I had conflicting views on. At first, when she was trying too hard to get close to Lara and Nick it troubled me. I could fully understand why Nick struggled with it. But she could see that it wasn’t the right thing to do and the more I read the more I liked her.

Emma was another who I liked more as I read. The guilt over the deaths that had touched her. Her role in the home she was living in and the friendships made. She was the one who revealed a lot more than any of the others. And the one whose pain affected me more than the others.

But it was one of the minor characters I liked reading about most. Young, naive and innocent Jeannie. I adored everything about her and I liked to think that she was stronger than any of the others and would be the one to ease the years of pain.

This was a wonderful novel about a family. Probably a similar family to many with happy memories and devastating ones. And like many, one that needed to talk about feelings to each other.

The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

By the time you read this, I’ll have killed one of your husbands.

In an isolated retreat, deep in the Northumbria moors, three women arrive for a weekend getaway.

Their husbands will be joining them in the morning. Or so they think.

But when they get to Dark Fell Barn, the women find a devastating note that claims one of their husbands has been murdered. Their phones are out of range. There’s no internet. They’re stranded. And a storm’s coming in.

Friendships fracture and the situation spins out of control as each wife tries to find out what’s going on, who is responsible and which husband has been targeted.

This was a tight-knit group. They’ve survived a lot. But they won’t weather this. Because someone has decided that enough is enough.

That it’s time for a reckoning.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. 

I always enjoy a novel that contains an unreliable narrator and twists. I can honestly say that this novel had plenty of twists and the majority of the characters, all who were narrators, could only be classed as unreliable. There were probably only three who I felt were balanced and they didn’t feature that heavily. They were also the only ones I had positive thoughts about. 

There are two different sides to this novel. The events in the barn where the relationship between the three women rapidly disintegrated as their worries increased You got to see their true feelings towards each other, their jealousy, self doubt and their thoughts regarding their marriages.

The other part of the novel concerned Imogen, Edie’s daughter. It is difficult to say much about her but it is the part of the novel where I realised that this was an extremely clever storyline which wasn’t going the way I expected it to. I felt increasingly unsettled, not knowing what was going to happen next. It didn’t really matter who was involved, just reading what the characters concerned were thinking was enough to make it very difficult to put this book down. 

Damaged characters, for various reasons. Deteriorating health, which added to the trauma in the barn as well as on the family concerned and appalling weather conditions which I hope never to experience all made a novel which I enjoyed a lot. 

The Book of Mirrors by E. O. Chirovici – Review.


About the Book

A gripping psychological thriller full of hidden fragments and dark reflections.

How would you piece together a murder?

Do you trust other people’s memories?
Do you trust your own?
Should you?

Princeton, 1987: renowned psychologist Professor Joseph Weider is brutally murdered.

New York, twenty-five years later: literary agent Peter Katz receives a manuscript. Or is it a confession?

Today: unearth the secrets of The Book of Mirrors and discover why your memory is the most dangerous weapon of all.

Already translated into 37 languages, The Book of Mirrors is the perfect novel for fans of psychological suspense and reading group fiction.

My Review

When Peter Katz receives a manuscript, he initally put it to one side. He eventually gets a chance to read it and is fascinated by the writing and discovering who murdered Joseph Weider twenty-five years earlier. All evidence points to it being the author but only part of the manuscript is available. Unfortunately, the author has died, the manuscript is missing and he hires a journalist to investigate and talk to people who might have answers. The journalist manages to make contact but in trying to find answers he becomes obsessed and this has consequences on his own life. The remainder of the story deals with the police officer who dealt with the murder at the time. By his own admission, he has made many mistakes. Both in the investigation and his marriage. He isn’t a likeable person, like many in the novel and has spent most of his life alone and full of regret.

The strongest character by a long way was Laura Baines. Cold and manipulative but unlike the detective she had no remorse or regret. It is a strange novel and the ending was a little unexpected. I thought I knew what had happened but I was completely wrong. There was also something hinted at but never revealed, this was left for the reader to consider and was a little chilling. I think the main theme of the novel was obsession. All the characters were obsessed with either an individual, success and fame within a career or the past. But it also showed that there could be a chance for redemption.
I was surprised that the author was based in the U.K. The American setting was very convincing.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy via NetGalley.