ARC REVIEW: Broken Dolls – by Sarah Flint

Title: Broken Dolls
(DC Charlotte Stafford #4)
Author: Sarah Flint
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: August 7th 2018
Publisher: Aria
Finished reading: July 20th 2018 
Pages: ?

“Things looked good on the surface, but things were never as they seemed.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Aria in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’m always a sucker for a good serial killer thriller and I was 100% intrigued after reading the blurb of Broken Dolls. What I didn’t realize until later though that this story wasn’t a stand-alone, but actually book number four in a detective series… And I might have screwed up there. It is what it is though, and thankfully it was quite easy to read Broken Dolls without too many obvious gaps in the background information. And this is definitely not what bothered me about this story either (although it would have been my own fault in the first place). I read a lot of detective thrillers, and as a consequence I cannot help but compare them to each other. It’s one of my favorite subgenres and that is a lot to live up to… And somehow I wasn’t all that impressed by Broken Dolls. I’m not saying the human trafficking, sex industry and the murder cases on its own aren’t intriguing and make for a very twisted, disturbing read that might make you feel uncomfortable. There is nothing boring about this story and there are some shocking reveals included. BUT. I wasn’t able to warm up to the writing style or tone at all and this slowed down the pace considerably for me. I didn’t think the dialogues were all that natural and I just couldn’t get used to the writing style in general, which was really a shame. I liked the idea of undercover civilians and there were quite a few twists and turns to spice things up, although the plot itself is quite intense already. But somehow this intensity didn’t get translated well onto paper, or at least I didn’t feel myself as invested as I would have expected. And sadly, I don’t think I will be continuing this series any time soon. It was interesting to at least see how this case was wrapped up though, as the final reveals were pretty shocking.

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It has been a tragic week when DC Charlie Stafford and her boss DI Hunter first find the body of an abandoned baby and are then called in to the crime scene of a young prostitute who was violently beaten until death. They are struggling to identify both victims at first and soon discover ties with the sex industry and other less than legal activities. It won’t be easy to discover the truth about what happened to both victims and stop any new crimes from happening… But they will have to try before things escalate even further.

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On its own, Broken Dolls has all the signs of a potentially explosive read. The disturbing plot, plot twists to spare, a lot of action, secrets and lies… It’s a tough case and world to dive into, but without doubt a recipe for an interesting story. Something stopped me from properly enjoying it though, and I don’t think it was the fact I haven’t been able to read the previous books. I’m having the feeling it has more to do with the writing style and tone, which just didn’t work for me and made it lot more difficult to keep reading. Is it simply another case of ‘not for me’ or is something more specific going on? I’m not sure, but the fact is that I wasn’t able to enjoy the story as I thought I would.


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Teaser Tuesdays #181 – July 24th: Run And Hide

TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve been slowing working through my pile of ARCs and this is another one… Run And Hide by Alan McDermott. I’ve been in the mood for a good thriller so fingers crossed this one will deliver. It’s looking to be a promising story so far!

My teaser (1%):

“The hunt was always easier when the prey didn’t know they were in the crosshairs. A deer might be naturally cautious and take heed of every twig snapping in the undergrowth, but a man with no known enemies was oblivious to the dangers around him. ”

What are you reading right now?


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The Netgalley Book Tag

I was tagged by the wonderful Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog to join the Netgalley Book Tag and I thought why not? You all know how addicted I am to NG ARCs in the first place. 😉

Rules

    • Link back to the tag’s creatorKourtni @ Kourtni Reads
    • Thank and link back to the person who tagged you: Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog Thanks again for the tag! ❤
    • Answer the questions the best you can. If you don’t use NetGalley, you can substitute other sites or places where you get books!
    • Tag a few people to do this too!

 

AUTO-APPROVED: WHO’S ONE AUTHOR WHOSE BOOKS YOU AUTOMATICALLY WANT TO READ, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY ARE ABOUT?

This is such a difficult question! I have quite a few favorite mystery/thriller/crime authors I could name on here… And quite a lot from other genres as well. Do I really have to pick just one?

Yes, I’m totally aware I have not answered the question yet. You can’t make me without bribing me with at least a batch of brownies. 😉

REQUEST: WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO REQUEST A BOOK ON NETGALLEY?

I’m a huge sucker for pretty covers, but I always read the blurb as well… I have a few favorite publishers I browse, but I like trying new authors as well. The ‘Recently Added‘ tab is my worst enemy! I never can seem to resist at least browsing every couple of days.

FEEDBACK RATIO: DO YOU REVIEW EVERY BOOK YOU READ? IF NOT, HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT BOOKS TO REVIEW?

I always write at least a short review, even if I DNF it… I feel like I owe it to the publishers for making a title available to at least explain why I liked o disliked a title.

BADGES: IF YOU COULD CREATE ONE BADGE TO DISPLAY ON YOUR BLOG, WHAT WOULD IT BE FOR?

Maybe an eclectic reader badge? I’m proud of the fact I try to read books belonging to a wide variety of genres, although I guess it does show which genre is my favorite in the end. 😉

WISH FOR IT: WHAT’S ONE BOOK THAT YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY DYING TO READ?

I’m dying to finally pick up The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton! Although I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it that I’m a bit afraid to pick it up only to find out I’m the only person on this planet not to enjoy it. Unpopular opinion curse and all. 😉

The last book I reviewed was Broken Dolls by Sarah Flint, which is scheduled to be published tomorrow afternoon… It’s actually the fourth book of a detective series, and while the story can be read as a stand-alone quite easily, I did struggle with certain other aspects of the story.


That’s it for this tag! Feel free to consider yourself tagged if you want to join the fun. 🙂


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YVO’S SHORTIES #32 – Champion & The Year Of The Rat

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! Another YA edition… The first a final book of a trilogy, Champion by Marie Lu, which I didn’t find to be as strong as the first two books. The other title is my first Dutch read of the year. A Dutch translation of The Year Of The Rat by Clare Furniss, which was quite good overall.


Title: Champion
(Legend #3)
Author: Marie Lu

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance
First published: November 5th 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Finished reading: July 8th 2018
Pages: 384

“Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”


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I decided to pick up Legend book number three shortly after finishing the second one as part of the promise to myself to start finishing more series. After enjoying the first two books, I was actually quite surprised I didn’t enjoy the final book of the trilogy as much as the previous two. I can’t put my finger exactly on the why, but I think it has to do with the fact that I just didn’t think the plot was as interesting as I would have hoped for a final book. Also, the love triangle really started to get on my nerves… But then again I’m never a fan of those in the first place. Champion wasn’t a bad read, but it lacked the little something extra from the previous books for me. Sure, the writing has the same quality and I guess fans of the genre and series will have a good time with it, but I hoped for something more. This also goes for the ending, which I didn’t like at all. It’s kind of an ending that can go either way for you though, because there are some twists that will definitely mess with your emotions and it depends on how you react to that. All in all not a bad read, but I had hoped for a stronger ending of the Legend trilogy.


Title: The Year Of The Rat
Author: Clare Furniss

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: April 24th 2014
Publisher: Querido
Finished reading: July 10th 2018
Pages: 272
(Read in Dutch: ‘Het Jaar Dat De Wereld Op Zijn Kop Stond’)

“You shouldn’t be wasting your time worrying about what’s going to happen after you die. It’s pointless. Think about what’s happening now. In your life. That’s what’s important. ”


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I still can’t believe I was able to finish my Dutch read of the year this quickly! The Dutch translation of The Year Of The Rat was quite a fast read and that definitely helped me reach the final page easily. I’m not a fan of reading in Dutch, but I liked this story well enough and it was interesting to see what loss and grief can do to a person. Although not perfect, the story itself was well developed and I definitely appreciated that there almost wasn’t any romance included in the plot. The Year Of The Rat is a mostly family focused and character driven story where we follow the main character Pearl as she tries to deal with the fact that her mother died giving birth to her little sister. While I can’t say I was able to connect to the main character, there is no doubt some very powerful emotions are described; it’s a story that will make you think. If you are looking for something easy and fluffy, you are definitely looking at the wrong story, because you will find some very difficult moments in this read.


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Stacking The Shelves #50 – July 21st

Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

 I’m honestly trying to stay away from NG and adding any more new titles to my huge pile, but I just can’t seem to resist… At least I’ve already finished browsing Crochet Animal Rugs and even wrote a little review, so no real damage done right? I do have a few pending requests as well. Oops?

# NETGALLEY ARC #

Click on the summaries below to go to the Goodreads page… 

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ARC REVIEW: Hell To Pay – by Rachel Amphlett @RachelAmphlett

Title: Hell To Pay
(Detective Kay Hunter #4)
Author: Rachel Amphlett
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: November 16th 2017
Publisher: Saxon Publishing
Finished reading: July 10th 2018
Pages: 324

“In all my years working on this team, I’ve never seen anything as bad as what’s down here.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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The fact this that I’ve become a huge fan of Kay Hunter in the short time I’ve gotten to know her. I have absolutely loved my time with this detective so far and book number four is no exception. This might just be my new favorite! Although it’s hard to pick favorites when all the books are good… So what about Hell To Pay? As always, the writing is sublime, the plot well developed and the story definitely has some shocking surprises in store. Oh yes, if you thought the previous books were intense, you are in for one hell of a ride with Hell To Pay. As always, although the books could be read as a stand-alone, I advice reading them in order to fully understand the character background. Plus, they are all so good you won’t regret spending more time with them in the first place. Hell To Pay offers both a new crime investigation as well as new developments to an existing subplot that has been keeping readers intrigued since book one. There is a LOT of development on that part so if you were desperate to find out more, book number four will more than deliver. And make sure to prepare yourself for an explosive ending! Oh yes, I had a blast with Hell To Pay and I think the title is spot on. Now bring it on, book number five!

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first three books of this series yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

What seems like a road traffic accident as first, turns out to be something a whole lot darker and disturbing as Detective Kay Hunter and her team start investigating and expose a serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women. The investigation doesn’t come without danger though, especially since there might be connections to those who wanted to silence her all those months ago… But Kay Hunter is determined to keep going until the full truth comes out.

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The Detective Kay Hunter series is without doubt one of my favorite discoveries of 2018 and the books just keep delivering that same high quality of writing, plot and character development. I like my main characters strong and with their own personality, and Kay Hunter is one that will be able to win over your heart in record time. Hell To Pay might just be the best book yet, or at least the story with the most intensity of the bunch. Be ready for some very explosive plot twists and scenes! This one will leave you staring at the last page with your heart beating like a maniac. SO good!


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ARC REVIEW: Her Mother’s Grave – by Lisa Regan @bookouture @Lisalregan

Title: Her Mother’s Grave
(Detective Josie Quinn #3)
Author: Lisa Regan
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: July 19th 2018
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: June 25th 2018
Pages: 346

“She is spiteful, jealous, and vengeful, and most of all, she’s unpredictable. And very, very dangerous.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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!! Happy publication day !!

I can’t seem to resist a good detective thriller and this series is no exception. After the rollercoaster rides with book number one and two, deciding whether to read book number three was an easy one. And I have to say Her Mother’s Grave is the strongest book yet of this series, and it’s without doubt my new favorite. Lightning speed pace, excellent writing, dark, twisted, disturbing, suspenseful… Oh yes, this story will keep you in its claws and there is a lot to love here. Her Mother’s Grave reads like a train and will mess with your mind. The personal life of Josie Quinn plays a huge role in this book, the story showering us with shocking details about her past. You will need an extra hand to keep your jaw from dropping to the floor as you discover more and more facts about her life. Trigger warnings for abuse, violence, neglect and graphic scenes in general, but if you think you can stomach that, you are in for one hell of a ride. Josie Quinn will have to face the impossible and we are right beside her as she tries to keep her life together. Imagine a war zone with plot twists bombs dropping on you, danger around every corner and no clue how to reach the ending safely… Trust me, Her Mother’s Grave is a story you won’t soon forget.

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first two books of this series yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

Two young boys are playing in the woods behind a trailer park when they find human bones buried beneath a tree. Detective Josie Quinn and her team are called in to investigate, and Josie has a very uncomfortable feeling about the case. She knows the spot where they found the remains, since she used to play in those same woods as a child, trying to escape for a few hours from her abusive mother. When a rare dental condition confirms the bones belong to a teenager murdered thirty years ago, a girl with the same name as her mother, Josie realizes she has no other choice but to try and track down her mother… Even if she wants nothing more than just leave the past buried.

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If you like your thrillers fast, suspenseful and filled with plot twists and shocking surprises, you will be in for a treat with this one. The first two books of the series were already great reads, but Her Mother’s Grave is without doubt my new favorite. Things get close and personal and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time trying to figure out both what happened all those years ago and what was happening in the present. Oh yes, I had a blast reading this book and I’m already looking forward to the next one!


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