Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2 Favorite 2014 Mysteries

I've been looking over my books read in 2014 list and realized I never blogged about two of my favorite mysteries released this year, so here are two micro reviews.

The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood 
(Trade paper. Released October 28, 2014 by Penguin Books)

I enjoyed the characters and the plot. Yes, there is a mystery (or mysteries), but it's the characters that carry this story. They're all down on their luck, struggling with the consequences of past choices or shitty childhoods, but they ring true and intrigue.

Marwood's writing style has an ease to it that made me forget I was reading at times. If you can stand some gore and smelly stuff, I highly recommend this one.

Stephen King's blurbs continue to puzzle me. He calls this book "Scary as hell." Not sure what he means by that. It's scary that your neighbor could be a murder, but this isn't scary as in, "I need to turn on all the lights and lock my windows & doors" or pull out the garlic and crucifix.
From the publisher: Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be renting rooms in a dodgy old building for cash—no credit check, no lease. It’s the kind of place you end up when you you’ve run out of other options. The six residents mostly keep to themselves, but one unbearably hot summer night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance. What they don’t know is that one of them is a killer. He’s already chosen his next victim, and he’ll do anything to protect his secret.
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Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
(Hardcover. Released July 31, 2014 by Viking)

This is not a book I'd have normally picked up for myself--I could care less about a celebrity that's released from prison on a technicality after 10 years for the murder of her mother--but I took a chance on a review copy and am glad I did.

Janie Jenkins is an unlikeable, sarcastic bitch, but I found myself turning the pages to find out what happens next as Janie leaves California under the cover of disguise to search for the truth of her mother's murder back where the family's story begins, in South Dakota. I don't mean to sound dismissive when I say this is a light read because it is entertaining even if the climax is a bit much. The voice is original, as is the plot.
From the publisher: Ten years ago, in a trial that transfixed America, Janie was convicted of murdering her mother. Now she's been released on a technicality she's determined to unravel the mystery of her mother's last words, words that send her to a tiny town in the very back of beyond. But with the whole of America's media on her tail, convinced she's literally got away with murder, she has to do everything she can to throw her pursuers off the scent.


FTC disclaimer: Both books were review copies received from the publishers for an honest review.

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