BOOK REVIEW: Blood Orchids – by Toby Neal

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Title: Blood Orchids
(Lei Crime #1)
Author: Toby Neal
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
First published: December 2nd 2011
Finished reading: April 6th 2016
Pages: 314
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“Everything has to do with everything else—you know that by now. So begin at the beginning, and it will lead to the end.”

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I have been meaning to read more mystery/thriller books as well as escaping the YA/love triangle combination, so I decided to pick up one of my kindle freebies: Blood Orchids by Toby Neal. When I first started reading this story, it had all the signs it would be a typical fast-paced whodunit read. I especially liked the setting in Hawaii and the references to the culture; it really shows that the author grew up there herself. The main character is a policewoman named Lei Texeira; her complicated past causing her to be almost too involved in the current case she is working on. I’m not sure I like all aspects of her character, but she does feel real. What did bother me though were the romance scenes and the fact that not even changing genres helped me escape a love triangle. The romance scenes distracted from the main plot and I don’t think the love triangle was necessary… They mostly made me enjoy this story a lot less. Also, I think Blood Orchids might have too many different subplots, which is distracting. I actually thought the story was already finished at one point, only to find more chapters that didn’t really add anything substantial. In short, Blood Orchids had a lot of potential and I really enjoyed the first part of the story, but I feel the story would have been a lot better without too many distracting ‘background’ plots and romance scenes.

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Lei Texeira has had a difficult past, but she has been trying to get past it and now works as a cop in the quiet Big Island town of Hilo. Being a cop in Hilo normally mostly involves petty crimes, but that changes when she finds the bodies of two murdered teenagers on a routine patrol. She knows one of the victims, and even though she isn’t officially on the case, she becomes involved anyway trying to find justice. Flashbacks from the past bring back memories and soon Lei is obsessed with the case. But she also has other things on her mind… She is being stalked and doesn’t know if she still feels safe in her own home. Lei is wondering if the stalker and the killer might just be one and the same; but can she find evidence to back that up and will they find him before he kills again?

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Blood Orchids started out as an entertaining read and I enjoyed the Hawaii setting. The pace is fast and the story sounds like a typical whodunit, interesting enough but nothing extraordinary either. Unfortunately, I felt like too many things were going on at the same time, which made the plot less credible. Also, the last few chapters felt superfluous and only made the plot look more chaotic. Still, I would probably have given this book a higher rating if it wouldn’t have been for the annoying love triangle and bad romance scenes…

WWW Wednesdays #86 – April 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW 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?

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I actually started the two other books first, but I needed something completely fantasy/romance free after I finished my last read. Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford sounded like it would do the job and so far it’s turning out ot be an interesting and fast read. The other two books I’m reading are A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab, with I’m loving so far and I’ve only put on hold because I’m not really in the mood for fantasy and I don’t want to spoil it… And I’ve also finally picked up Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I’ll probably finish this one first before continuing with ADSOM

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I wanted to escape the whole YA/love triangle business, so I decided to pick up this mystery/thriller kindle freebie: Blood Orchids by Toby Neal. Unfortunately not even changing genres helped me escape a love triangle and it did ruin the story slightly for me, but the story itself is still quite entertaining in general. There were quite a few things that bothered me though; more about it in my full review.
* I decided to pick up my TBR jar pick next, and boy was that the best decision I could have made! I LOVED The Conspiracy Of Us by Maggie Hall despite the hint of a love triangle… Fast pace, international setting, a conspiracy, plot twists, interesting characters: this book is almost everything I want in a series.
* I picked up the sequel Map Of Fates straight after finishing the first book, and while it was not as good as The Conspiracy Of Us and the romance scenes became more annoying (read: love triangle related), I still pretty much loved this one as well. The wait for the third book will be a long one!
* I was actually already reading All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders before I started any of the books mentioned above, but it took me a long time to finish it. Boy, this book was WEIRD! I guess this is one of those where the story either works for you or it doesn’t. I definitely belong to the second group and I wasn’t convinced by this story at all. The plot was all over the place, the pace a bit slow, I didn’t particularly like the characters and the story didn’t really make sense. Also, I thought this was an adult novel, but most of it felt more like a middle grade/YA read; up until a few sex scenes were thrown in. WTF?! I need more time to gather my thoughts…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have been in a weird reading mood lately so I will probably end up reading completely different titles instead, but here’s what I would like to read. First up is Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper since I have been wanting to escape from the whole fantasy/romance/love triangle theme… And I guess both The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah would probably work as well. My new TBR jar pick is The Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson, which I’m really excited about since I have been wanting to start this series for a while now. Jack The Ripper twist, yes please!

Friday Finds #68 – January 8th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at A Daily Rhythm and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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