BOOK REVIEW: The Valentine Circle – by Reinaldo DelValle

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Title: The Valentine Circle
Author: Reinaldo DelValle
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
First published: September 6th 2014
Finished reading: November 4th 2015
Pages: 497
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“Asking too many questions makes it seem as if your head is just empty space. Most of the things you think you don’t know, you truly do know. You just don’t know you do.”

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I got my copy of The Valentine Circle as a kindle freebie back in April, and my TBR jar decided it was about time I read it. This novel by Reinaldo DelValle has an historical setting and a plot with an interesting enough twist to make me quite enjoy it despite the minor flaws. The prose and the pace made this historical mystery into a slow read at points and it took me longer than planned to actually finish this novel. I’m not sure I did appreciate all the characters and the whole mystery around officer Silas de San Michel felt a bit unreal and forced at points, but it does show that the author took his time investigating the historical facts of the era. I guess I have to admit that not knowing who Silas really is did make me want to continue reading… That and the question what was really happening within the Valentine Society. If you like the genre and don’t mind a slightly slow read where the actions are not perfectly balanced with the dialogue, you will most likely enjoy reading The Valentine Circle.

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The police of Boston has been busy after a string of kidnappings and a murderer running loose killing the unborn babies of the city’s social elite. Part of the elite form a group called the Valentine Society and control the police department, making it hard for the ‘honest’ cops to do their job properly. On top of that a mysterious man appears out of nowhere, not remembering who he is or where he came from, but with some very impressive skills… Inspector Belloc makes Silas an officer and asks him for his help with the murder case. It turns out they will need his special skills to continue with the case, because the Valentine Society doesn’t want the murders leaking out… Will Silas be able to help as well as try to get his memory back? And who is he really that he has all these dark skills?

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When you read the blurb, The Valentine Circle sounds like a proper thriller/crime read. Unfortunately, the story itself is a bit low on action and focuses too much on the dialogues and general interactions between the characters. Which is not exactly a bad thing, but I felt that in this case it slowed down the pace a bit too much. I quite liked the historical setting though and I guess those who enjoy reading historical mysteries will probably like this one as well. It’s not a great read, but without doubt still entertaining enough.

WWW Wednesdays #63 – November 4th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at 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’m about 60% into The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle and while it’s not a mindblowing read, the general plot is interesting enough for me to keep reading. I will probably end up finishing it later today… I still haven’t continued with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; not because I’m not enjoying it, but there are a few other books I want to finish first before fully commiting to this giant.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books and a novella this week; not bad at all…
* The first is The Fear Trials by Lindsay Cummings; an excellent prequel novella that gives the perfect introduction to the story and will convince you to read the rest of the series.
* Next up is Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, a novel that kept popping up at my TBR lists and finally decided to pick up. Not a bad read, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by it either…
* I then decided to read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey since it was the last title on my October TBR I hadn’t started yet. I know other people love this series, but I wasn’t convinced by the sequel either.
* After two mediocre reads, I wanted something good and decided to pick up the Anna sequel Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. While not as good as the first book, this one is still really good!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as I finish The Valentine Circle, I will either start Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo or Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Basically I’m superexcited to read both and I will be having a hard time deciding which one to pick up first. I also want to read Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling since it’s nominated for the Goodreads Choice awards… And my new TBR jar pick is Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

WWW Wednesdays #62 – October 28th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at 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 have finally started reading The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, although it’s still too early to say if I like it better than the first one. I’ve also started the prequel novella The Fear Trials by Lindsey Cummings… I’m going to try and finish this series ASAP. And I’ve put Outlander by Diana Gabaldon on hold until November because there is no way I will be able to finish it before the end of the month anyway. It’s not that I don’t like it so far though!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I didn’t have that much time to read last week and I was also quite distracted by my new food blog Easy Peasy Delicious Food, so I only managed to finish three books.
* The first is The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings, a read I really enjoyed and I will be reading the sequel soon as well.
* Next up was Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart, a very entertaining and well written read.
* Last but not least: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. Quite a short read, but not as good as I hoped for.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I really want to read Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake… I loved the first book and reading this one also means I will finish another series. Although I might give in and start yet another series first with Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender… I should also read Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver since it has been appearing on my monthly TBR and WWW posts for ages. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is still my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until the month is over.

WWW Wednesdays #61 – October 21st

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at 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 am currently reading two titles I have been wanting to start for a while now: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The first is a really fast and entertaining read so far, so I will most likely finish it first and then continue with Outlander. I’m not too far into that one yet, but so far things are looking promising!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Four finished books this weeks, which is not bad at all considering I didn’t have that much time to read.
* The first is The Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson; a title I picked up because I was in the mood for a good fantasy read. I really enjoyed this one!
* I then finally finished And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, completing my two TBR challenges. Yay! I didn’t enjoy this one as much as his other work though…
* Next up is Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake, which I LOVED! It’s such a creepy and perfect Halloween read! I’m going to read the sequel ASAP.
* The last one is On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, a read that starts out really confusing and I’m still not completely sure what to think of it.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The first book I will pick up when I finish The Murder Complex will be my only pending ARC Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart. After that, I will probably try to finally read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey… Although I might give in and start yet another series first with Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender since I’m trying to read a bunch of creepy books for Halloween. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is still my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until I’ve finished most books on my October TBR.

WWW Wednesdays #60 – October 14th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at 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 finally did it: I started reading the book that has been on my TBR pile the longest! And The Mountains Echoed is just as good as Khaled Hosseini‘s other books so far, so I’m still not sure why it took me this long to finally pick it up. I’ve also started reading On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta… I’m not that far into the story yet, but it is yet another title I have been wanting to read for a while now.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I managed to finish no less than six titles since last week, so I’m pretty much a happy camper. Most of them were on my original October TBR so it looks like I might actually complete the list!
* Somehow I have never read a graphic novel before, but Through The Woods by Emily Carroll was hauntingly beautiful and the perfect introduction to the genre.
* My next read was The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom, a truly inspirational read about how we have become obsessed with time over the centuries.
* I then read Firebolt by Adrienne Woods, an ARC and fantasy story about dragons I absolutely loved. I will have to continue the series soon since the ending was a mayor cliffhanger!
* I was in the mood for a good crime story, so I picked up The Night She Disappeared by April Henry up next. It was a quick and entertaining read and just what I was looking for.
* I managed to finish The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern next. I really enjoyed this read and the descriptions and prose are more than beautiful. The odd pace did prevent me from finishing this read quickly though.
* The last book on the list was the only one I was slightly disappointed by this week: My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as I finish And The Mountains Echoed, I wil start reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I have been wanting to start this series for ages now and I’m really looking forward to read it. I should read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey first though since I have been starting way too many new series without reading sequels… And I have a new ARC, Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart, pending as well. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until I’ve finished most books on my October TBR.

Friday Finds #34: May 1st

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Another week, another month, and yet again I’ve added more titles to my already exploding TBR list…  Below you can find a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page.

My finds:

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