Author: Nick Cutter
Genre: Supernatural Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Gallery Books
It’s 1966 and Micah, Ebenezer, and Minerva are assassins for hire, the best mercenaries of their time, and they all end up in the same place to kill one another. Needless to say, this does not turn out well. They band together, and are all hired by a woman to do a welfare check on her nephew, who has been taken by her father in to a religious compound known as Little Heaven. This leads to them having to face off with the Biggest Bad that any of them have ever faced before. Cut to 1980 and Micah’s daughter has been taken by one of the bad dude’s minion’s as what he knows is a lure to lead them back to Little Heaven to face off once again.
This book was strange, thrilling, and had nice horror elements all at once. It shifts between the “original” story of 1966 and the “present day” story of 1980, so the reader gets some nice world building for the supernatural elements, and a great backstory. The character development for the main characters was very well done, aside from the “standard” of using rape as one of the female’s main motivations. It is overused, overdone, and I know I am not the only one that is really wishing that authors would, please, come up with another backstory to use for their female characters to motivate them. It is not discussed often throughout this novel, really only in the divulging of her story, but if the mention of it is a trigger- here is your trigger warning. It is also a bit heavy on the racist slurs as part of the dialogue. That could have been cut down a bit. As to the story itself, I really enjoyed it very much! This was my first Cutter book, and his writing style reminded me a bit of King whom I am a huge fan of. It even seemed to borrow some elements from King stories, although not shamelessly or in any sort of a plagiarized manner. If you are a fan of the horror/supernatural suspense genre, I think that you would probably enjoy this novel. I will definitely be reading more Cutter novels in the future.
Thanks to Gallery Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Stephen King
As I have said many times before, short stories are one of my favorite things. This newest collection by King did not disappoint. In fact, it is what finally got me out of my reading slump. I had already ready several of the stories in previous collections/editions, although a couple were reworked or rewritten for this collection. Regardless of having read them before, they were all worth reading again. It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite story from this collection, but UR (a kindle with some very interesting features), Dune (an elderly judge has been making the canoe trip to a dune outside of his home since he was a boy to see the names of people who are to die soon written on its shore), and The Little Green God of Agony (a very wealthy man, who was in a plane crash and can’t get rid of the blinding pain, calls in a preacher to help him) are a few of the gems in this edition that I really enjoyed. The thing that I think that I loved the most about this collection was the pages that actually came before the stories themselves. Before each short story, King gives the reader a glimpse in to how the story came to him, what or who inspired it, and some of what his thought process was when he was penning it. It is incredibly interesting to get a glimpse in to this great author’s mind. Overall, I loved this collection, and would recommend it to any King or short story fan.
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Rachel takes the same train in to town every day. Every day she sees the same couple, and watches as their lives (as she sees them) unfold before her. Their lives that are being lived just a few houses down from the life that she so recently lost. She has made up her own story about their perfect life. In her mind, it is a wonderful life. It is wonderful, until the day that it isn’t. Rachel sees something that shatters her image of “Jess and Jason”. Not long after seeing this, “Jess” goes missing. Rachel is suddenly thrust in to the middle of, not only the investigation, but their lives and the lives of everyone around them- including her ex-husband and his new family. Will they believe what Rachel has to say?
I will start by saying that it actually took me two tries to really get in to this book and read it all the way through. I believe that was a “me” thing though. It is a book that you have to be in the mood for, and I don’t think that I was in the right frame of mind the first time. The second time, however, I really enjoyed it. It is told from different narrators, but mostly from the unreliable narrator that is Rachel. It would be easy to feel a bit lost if you aren’t paying attention to the book as you’re reading it, as the narrator is an unreliable one (a drunk), so it can be difficult to tell if you’re really getting the story or not. That being said, it is a great psychological thriller with a wonderful twist! If you enjoy books that keep you thinking and guessing, this is a good one for you!