ARC REVIEW: Call To Arms – by Rachel Amphlett @RachelAmphlett

Title: Call To Arms
(Detective Kay Hunter #5)
Author: Rachel Amphlett
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: March 11th 2018
Publisher: Saxon Publishing
Finished reading: August 24th 2018
Pages: 360

“A cold chill crawled over his shoulders as fear began to overcome his anger. It wasn’t meant to be like this. Everything was out of control.”

*** 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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First of all a shout out to the wonderful Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles who made me finally get to know Kay Hunter after I won this book in her giveaway a few months back. Thanks again for introducing me to what has become one of my new favorite series this year! ❤ ❤ ❤

I became an instant fan of the main character of this series as soon as I got to know her in the first book back in April, and this feeling hasn’t changed since. If anything, my love for Kay Hunter has only increased and picking up another book of this series is like putting on your favorite sweater, snuggling up in a comfortable spot and spending the day forgetting about your own problems. I hadn’t expected any different by now, but book number five Call To Arms has exactly the same quality I have become used to. Strong, solid and engaging writing, excellent character development, an interesting plot… This detective thriller has it all. I really liked that we see a vulnerable side in various characters; this makes them only more human. The characters feel like old friends and you cannot help but feel and root for them as they try to figure out what really happened as they reopen a ten year old old case. It was interesting to see them all working together to rescue one of their own… The plot and plot twists are well executed as always, and I definitely didn’t guess the final revelations! Call To Arms is another excellent addition to this series and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book. I can highly recommend this series if you enjoy the genre!

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

Kay Hunter managed to survive a brutal attack some time ago, but not without consequences. It has taken time for her to recover, both mentally and physically, and she is not the only victim. DI Devon Sharp is still suspended from duties as they investigate allegations made by a now former colleague. Kay Hunter is slowly going crazy being put on desk work until she is fully recovered, and finds herself something to keep her mind occupied instead. She is determined to clear Sharp’s name and reopens a cold case that links Sharp to his accuser, hoping that solving the case will bring the truth to light.

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Basically, you can’t go wrong when you pick up one of the Detective Kay Hunter books. This series has been consistently strong so far and Call To Arms is no exception. Less fast-paced and violent than the previous book, Call To Arms instead focuses more on the main characters we have become to love, show a sensitive side and just how well they work together as a team. The cold case they investigate is another good one, with many twists, secrets and turns to keep things intriguing. Things are getting personal, and digging up the truth might hurt more than one person. Fascinated yet? You won’t regret reading Call To Arms or the other books in the series if you can appreciate a good detective thriller.


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ARC REVIEW: Truth And Lies – by Caroline Mitchell

Title: Truth And Lies
(DI Amy Winter #1)

Author: Caroline Mitchell
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: August 30th 2018
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: August 16th 2018
Pages: 348

“She has always vaguely aware of something dark and monstruous buried deep inside. Something that made her blood turn cold.”

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

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!! Happy publication day !!

After highly enjoying Caroline Mitchell‘s thrillers in the past, of course I couldn’t resist the request button when I saw this title pop up on Netgalley. Although I still wish I could have another dose of Ruby Preston, it was great meeting a new detective. And boy, does she have an explosive past! I love a good serial killer thriller and the husband-and-wife serial killer team described in Truth And Lies will give you goosebumps. 200% twisted and Amy Winter’s background definitely sets the tone for this first installment of a new detective series… The writing is solid, and will make you fly through this story. There are a lot of different elements incorporated into the plot, including the serial killer duo, their victims, Amy’s past, a new kidnapping case, the Truth Keepers and domestic abuse. While each element on it’s own is intriguing and adds something to the story, I do think it was a little too much. Why too much? Because there were so many different elements, I felt some of them lacked the development and attention it deserved. Also, I felt that some elements and subplots were kind of abandoned halfway and simply cut off instead of neatly ended. As for the credibility… I’m still on the fence about that one, but I don’t think I was completely convinced. There were a few surprising plot twists though and I will be curious how things will continue, because Truth And Lies ended with a pretty big cliffhanger with mayor consequences for the main character’s private life. All in all Truth And Lies wasn’t my favorite, but still an entertaining serial killer thriller.

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DI Amy Winter is hoping to make her father proud, who was a highly respected and successful police officer himself. Then her whole life falls apart when receives a letter from prison written by the infamous Lillian Grimes. She is one half of a husband-and-wife serial killer duo, and also claiming to be Amy’s biological mother. Memories long repressed start resurfacing again… Especially as her mother claims to finally want to reveal the location of three of her victims, but only if Amy does exactly as she says.

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I have a weak spot for serial killer thrillers, and I really like the original angle used in Truth And Lies. It’s not the first time I’ve read a story written from the perspective of a serial killer’s daughter, but it hasn’t been done a lot either. The details about the past, the memories resurfacing, the broken family story… It definitely adds something fascinating to the story. But for me this element kind of got a bit lost in between all the other elements used in this story; there was simply too much going on, too many different elements and subplots to make for a proper coherent and believable plot. I felt some angles were left unfinished and I think the story would have benefitted by simplifying things and leaving some elements out. That said, it was still an entertaining read and a good start of a new series.


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WWW Wednesdays #185 – August 29th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m about to finish The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson, and unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I loved his writing style and humor in The Hundred-Year-Old Man, but somehow this story is quite slow, drags at points and I’m not sure about the characters. I’m starting I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh soon and I’m hoping that one will manage to convince me. I’ve heard so many people praise this title!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 06/09
The writing style is engaging, strangely funny at points and solid in general. This made it easy to connect to the story and fully emerge myself in this urban fantasy slash detective story. Did the story drag at points and became a tad too slow? Probably. Did my initial enthusiasm fade away a little towards the end? Maybe. But while not perfect, I still had a great time with Rivers Of London despite a few minor flaws and problems.

2. Mortals And Immortals Of Greek Mythology – by Francoise Rachmuhl (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 06/09
Mortals And Immortals Of Greek Mythology is ment to give children a little insight in who is who in Greek mythology with the help of both lovely illustrations and easy to follow short descriptions and stories around the characters. The cover gives you a perfect example of what the illustrations are like, and this beautiful style is used throughout to show us both the characteristics of each mortal and immortal described as well as illustrating the stories themselves. Wonderful to look at and educative at once: this handy and interesting guide will be an entertaining journey for both young and old.

3. Call To Arms by Rachel Amphlett (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 31/08
Basically, you can’t go wrong when you pick up one of the Detective Kay Hunter books. This series has been consistently strong so far and Call To Arms is no exception. Less fast-paced and violent than the previous book, Call To Arms instead focuses more on the main characters we have become to love, show a sensitive side and just how well they work together as a team. The cold case they investigate is another good one, with many twists, secrets and turns to keep things intriguing. Things are getting personal, and digging up the truth might hurt more than one person. Fascinated yet? You won’t regret reading Call To Arms or the other books in the series if you can appreciate a good detective thriller.

4. A Patient Man by S. Lynn Scott (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 03/09
A Patient Man isn’t your typical psychological thriller as you experience everything through the eyes of an eight-year-old and very street wise kid. This definitely adds a little something extra to this character driven story, although I do have to say the pace is quite slow at points. I kind of saw the ending coming and didn’t like some of the characters, but overall this was without doubt an interesting story with a few hidden morals as well.

5. Leah On The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (4/5 stars) REVIEW 09/09
Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my all time favorite reads, so of course I wanted to read the sequel as well and see more of my favorite characters. I’ve heard mixed things about this title, and while I don’t think it is as good as the original, it does have a love triangle and Leah can get annoying, I do love the diversity in this story. It’s cute, it’s fluffy, it’s lgbt, it has interesting characters and I had a great time reading it. Plus, we get a whole lot of Simon and his gang. ❤

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

With the N.E.W.T.s readathon starting this Friday August 31st, I don’t think I will be able to finsh any other titles but my current reads… So the four titles above are all for prompts for the N.E.W.T.s. I have heard so many fantastic things about The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid that I can’t wait to finally pick it up despite romance not being my genre. And since I seem to be in the mood for something lighter, I want to pick up Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins too. Both Claw The System by Francesco Marciuliano and The Lying King by Alex Beard are NG ARCs I want to get out of the way… I’ve seen a few pages of the first and it seems hilarious, and I’m having a good feeling about the other as well.


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Teaser Tuesdays #186 – August 28th: The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden

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’m currently reading book number nine of my August TBR and probably the last title before the N.E.W.T. readathon madness begins… I’ve been meaning to read The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden for a long time, mostly because I’m a huge fan of The Hunderd-Year-Old Man. I know his books and humor are not for everyone, but there is just something about his writing that hits the mark for me (although I admit not always). Fingers crossed this one will be another winner!

My teaser (1%):

“The twenty-three-year old stepped into the latrine office and couldn’t help immediately complaining about the smell. There, on the other side of the desk, sat the latrine manager, the one who was about to be dismissed. And next to him was a little girl who, to the assistant’s surprise, opened her mouth and replied that this was indeed an unfortunate quality of shit – it smelled.”

What are you reading right now?


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N.E.W.T.s Readathon: TBR #NEWTsReadathon2018

I first heard about the N.E.W.T.s Readathon earlier this month when I read Kelly’s post, and as a huge Potter nerd I of course knew I HAD to join straight away. Problem: I never did sit my O.W.L.s, and everybody knows that without O.W.L.s it’s impossible to sit the N.E.W.T.s… So instead of doing the N.E.W.T.s readathon along with everybody in August, I decided to do my O.W.L.s first. Things went waaay better than planned so I managed to actually read books for all TWELVE subjects, meaning I can sit for any N.E.W.T. I want.

But first credit where credit is due. Both readathons are hosted by the wonderful Book Roast and you can find the introduction to this readathon below with all the necessary information.

 As a true Ravenclaw and with my inner Hermione talking, I’m actually going to try and get at least an Acceptable for each of the subjects. What? Reading so many books in only a month? Yes, I know it’s kind of crazy, but I’m going to try anyway haha. Below you can find my tentative TBR for the readathon… Subjects and prompts are on the left, with book covers for each prompt and grade next to them. The first six Hogwarts subjects I want to get no matter what; the second group is more optional.

Words cannot describe how excited I am about this particular readathon! I will be starting on August 31st and reading like a maniac until September 30th (I’ve added an extra day to get the full 31 days). Bring it on, N.E.W.T.s!

N.E.W.T.s Readathon TBR

Have you read any of these titles? Any books you think I should read first?


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ARC REVIEW: The Confession – by Jo Spain @crookedlanebks

Title: The Confession
Author: Jo Spain
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: January 11th 2018
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Finished reading: August 21st 2018
Pages: 288

“But here’s the thing about fairytales. Sometimes they’re darker than you can ever imagine.”

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

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Fellow book bloggers have been saying I need to try out Jo Spain‘s work for years, but somehow other pending books always got in the way. So when I had the chance to receive an ARC of her newest title The Confession, of course I jumped at it. A lot of people will know this title with a different cover, published back in January, but I actually really like this version and how well it fits the story. Scheduled to be published early next month! I went in with an open mind and found myself really surprised by what I found. The first thing that stands out is the writing style, which is solid, engaging and draws you right in. That and the fact that you find out the identity of the suspect right in the beginning. Talk about unusual! But somehow it The Confession it really works. Because while you know the who, you are completely left in the dark about the why until the very end. Plot twists and false leads will take you on a journey through the lives of both suspect, victim and those trying to solve the case. Very cleverly done! I had my guesses about how it all fitted in, but I definitely didn’t see the final reveal coming. The characters themselves are not exactly likeable, but well developed and feel real. My only problem would be with the cops Moody and Gallagher, who I both found to be arrogant and frustratingly annoying (especially Gallagher). And despite other minor annoyances, this was still a very solid psychological thriller. Well crafted, clever and creative… Three little words will make you want to keep on reading until the very end: WHY? Not your typical psychological thriller, but oh so good.

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The life of the wealthy McNamara couple changes forever when a man walks into their home and brutally attacks Harry while his wife Julie is watching. Not an hour later, the attacker J.P. Carney hands himself in to the police and confesses… Although also claiming he didn’t know the identity of his victim nor was his attack premeditated. But disgraced banker Harry had just been found innocent in a highly sensationalized fraud trial, so can this really be true? Was this an act driven by temporary insanity, or is something more sinister going on?

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Normally, finding out the who behind an attack or murder is one of the main drives of a crime thriller. So how can The Confession work that well if we know who did it right away? It has to do with both the well crafted plot and the also important question ‘why’. We may know the who, but readers are left clueless when it comes to the reason behind this attack. What secrets are J.P., Harry and Julie hiding? What connects them? Why was Harry attacked? Oh yes, you will keep wondering why, why, why as you keep turning pages and encountering the next clever twist. A very solid read indeed!


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YVO’S SHORTIES #40 – Uprooted & The Shadow Cats

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time two YA Fantasy reads that didn’t really convince me in the end… The first Uprooted, started out excellent but more and more things started to disappoint me. The second, The Shadow Cats, was short and the writing was solid, but the characters mostly let me down.


Title: Uprooted
Author: Naomi Novik

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic
First published: May 19th 2015
Publisher: Del Rey
Finished reading: August 19th 2018
Pages: 465

“There was a song in this forest, too, but it was a savage song, whispering of madness and tearing and rage.”


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I’ve been wanting to read Uprooted for years, but it was one of those titles that somehow escaped the top of my TBR pile every time and I kept posponing it. But no longer… I finally picked up my copy of Uprooted thinking it was going to be a dragon story, but I definitely didn’t remember the facts right. This isn’t a story about the mythical dragon, although there are other creatures involved. Was this a disappointment? Maybe, because I do love my dragon stories, but between the writing style, interesting worldbuilding and magic it was easy to forget all about that. Initially, I really enjoyed this story and I was positive it would receive a really high rating. The writing style is just wonderful, the worldbuilding is intriguing, I loved the many references to the Polish culture and Agnieszka’s character has an interesting background. I liked seeing the magic evolve and even tolerated the Dragon. But why o why does this story have to be destroyed by unnecessary and disturbing romance?!?! Seriously, I don’t understand the why of the introduction of this element, especially since it’s abrupt and doesn’t really make sense. Also, there was one x-rated scene that I found really unfit for a YA book. The romance alone made me lower the rating considerably, but that wasn’t the only thing that bothered me. The pace was quite slow at points, making the story drag. Especially when Agnieszka is in the capital… And her character in general, with the repeated descriptions of her clumsiness and ragged appearance, really started to get on my nerves. Still, with the wonderful writing and the interesting worldbuilding, I’m glad I had the chance to get to know this story.


Title: The Shadow Cats
(Fire And Thorns #0.5)
Author: Rae Carson

Genre: YA, Fantasy
First published: July 17th 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Finished reading: August 20th 2018
Pages: 54

“It’s a beautiful weed,” Elisa answers. “And the perfect flower for you to carry, for it is like the people of Khelia, strong and unstoppable, capable of blooming and thriving where nothing else can grow.”


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I really enjoyed the first book despite a few little problems I encountered back in 2015, but somehow I never picked up the sequels. I was going to read book two originally, but then remembered I had a copy of the novellas as well, so I decided to read those first. The Shadow Cats is actually a prequel to the first book and focuses more on Elisa’s older sister Alodia. I never really liked her, but if possible she comes over as even worse in this novella. Arrogant, aloof and speaking horribly about her sister… Yes, there isn’t a lot to love about her. And what about her running off alone?? Elisa was quite annoying as well, with her answer to everything being she needs to pray more. I did really like Lupita’s character though. The writing is solid as well and I loved the use of many Spanish words, both in names and other descriptions. Very creative!


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