The Woman in the Window #14

Hey Booklovers!

Finally I have finished reading this dump of a book. I am not usually so scathing in my review and believe me am not writing anything harsh as it may sound.

But rarely do I read a book where nothing is happening for the first 200 pages or so in a 427 page book. Am all for reading books with huge page counts. Especially if it’s good I like taking my time to finish it but this book was a slog fest.

Basically the book is about a woman who is suffering from agoraphobia. She stays put in her house and for extra entertainment watches her neighbours or specifically spies on them. From the beginning I had four theories going on in my mind as to what is going on in the book and I was more or less apt.

The woman is Dr. Anna fox, psychologist. She also counsels others suffering from the same online and basically her whole world is controlled online. After been stuck inside for 10 months, a new neighbour settles opposite her building. The Russell’s. They remind her of her own family. But of course nothing is as it seems. After all who can say what goes on in a family huh?

Anna fox is hands down the worst protagonist I have read about this whole year. Her backstory is definitely heartbreaking and made me teary eyed for sure but I find her dependance on alcohol beyond irritating. This is the third female protagonist, after TGOT and TWBU, who is facing hurdles in life as an alcoholic (that I have read). Whats with that? What’s with this pattern?

And the first half of the book is all about her time sitting in her home. Which is fine but I feel it could have have been given lesser attention and page count. This book could have been one fifty pages short in my opinion. I don’t know if the writer is doing this to show off her writing skills or what.

Coming to the plot, once the neighbours settle in, Anna sees something she shouldn’t have and is having a hard time convincing everyone about the truth. So did she really see it or was it hallucinations? Well you can read the book to find out.

Despite the negative start to my review, there are some pros to the book as well. I did find myself rooting for the character in the end despite half heartedly agreeing with the antagonist (which never happens). The writing is funny and heart-wrenching all at once. The character development is engaging and the book does hook you towards the last one fourth. Up to the reader to decide if it’s worth it.

Bibliogyan rating – Tests your patience. For thriller/suspense fans.

The Alienist

Hey Booklovers! August is almost over and am wrapping up this month with my review on The Alienist. How has your month been so far?

Based on the book of the same name written by Celeb Carr and featuring an excellent screenplay, The Alienist starring Daniel Bruhl, Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans is a historical crime drama. It is one of the best pieces of work I have seen in a long time. The story is about an alienist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler by whom we mean one who studies people who are alienated from themselves (i.e, mentally unstable) played by Daniel Bruhl, the new assistant to the police commissioner Sara Howard played by Dakota and an illustrater cum friend of Dr.Kreizler John Moore played by Luke.

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The story is about a serial killer on loose who is targeting young boy whores by mutilating them in the most harsh manner I have seen in a series. Its absolutely heartless and brutal. Dr. Kreizler has a way with kids and tries to learn their minds which is his favourite part of the job so naturally when there is a child killer on loose he is more than interested to solve it especially when the police themselves aren’t interested in doing so. Barring the new police commissioner, Theodore roosevelt played to the point by Brian Geraghty, rest of the police force are corrupt including the ex chief who keeps making unnecessary appearances.

Meticulous in its detail, and lush in its recreation of 19th-century New York City, the series is nothing short of a cinematic experience. The casting is perfect and the acting is top notch, so much so they are the characters they play. Luke’s John Moore is unsure of himself having been left at the alter by his fiance recently. Both Kreizlar and Howard have their own daddy issues to resolve. The story also involves two forensic science detectives and its fun to watch them learn much of what we take for granted today specially in the area of fingerprints.

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Dakota specially is fantastic in portraying a woman in a mans world. Sure of herself but unsure in the presence of callous men. Trying to make a mark for herself despite none taking her seriously just because she is a woman. Every emotion she conveys comes across on her face, naturally. She is a born actor. Where as Daniel Bruhl commands every frame he is present in with ease. All have deeper mysteries, no doubt to be explored further in the rest of the series.

The alienist is one series I would not recommend you miss. Its crafted with such detail and atmosphere that once you start watching, you cannot stop. Thankfully season 2 is under production based on the book The Angel of Darkness by the same author.

Bibliogyan rating – Turn off the lights, forget everything else and Binge watch… The Alienist!

I am Watching You #13

Hey Booklovers! So I finished reading this book – I am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll despite not having it on my TBR list! I happened to come across this book while I was browsing for other books in the library. The book cover and the synopsis had me interested and once I started reading I was not disappointed.

So the story. Two girls on board a train in London. Our protagonist mostly known as The Witness is also on the same train. She happens to see them mingling with recently released convicts. Young and attractive they strike up a conversation with the girls. At first she panics for their safety but later decides to ignore it for reasons best understood whilst reading. The next day one of them turns out missing. One year later the case gets fresh lease of life. What happens forms the rest of the story.

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The author includes a lot of personal data for our characters. It’s not just about the missing girl anymore, you see. It’s also about her family, her best friend who was with her and her family. Their issues. Everything comes out in the open. It made everything seem more personal instead of just reading something as a third person.

I loved the writing style. It was clever, not too much, just enough to hook you. The characters were fresh and given enough meat to justify their presence. The villain was lacklustre to be honest. Could have been given more attention to it. The story unfolds rapidly and there is no dragging here unlike the many authors who do so.

Again the villain is the only weak point in this book which can be overlooked as you reach the end once its all revealed anyways.

Bibliogyan rating – A perfect weekend read.

AUDIOBOOKS #1 THE WIFE BETWEEN US

I have been wanting to listen to audiobooks for the longest time. But everytime I began to listen to one I would be distracted with something or the other. In all honesty I just don’t have the patience to listen when I can read the book much faster. Either ways I decided to listen to this one – The Wife Between Us (TWBU).

Written by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, and read by Julia Whelan TBWU is a story about an ex wife, Vanessa, her ex husband Richard and his new fiance. Vanessa wants to stop her ex husband getting married again at any cost.

Just like the synopsis we would assume its a jealous ex wife wanting to stop her ex getting married but just like in the synopsis Assume nothing.

In the beginning I was irritated with Vanessa. I wanted her to get a life and move on but once the first twist is revealed everything else slowly falls in place.

The book is written like a maze where the author reveals nothing in the beginning but brings it all together in the narrative as it goes on.

I found the audiobook narrator Julia to be very entertaining for sure. Her performance of various characters was spot on except for Richard. I didn’t like her way of sounding male characters. It gave no connection to the character itself. Anyhow, she was a joy to listen to otherwise.

The book is definitely worth reading/listening to for it knows everything we might assume but is nothing like it at all. But I have to say I have read enough and more books so I know where things become predictable. This one was definitely harder to predict but I knew some parts were going to be the way I imagined them.

Vanessa maybe a slow character in the beginning but once you understand her the story propels forward quickly though there are many scenes that may not have been necessary, I felt it was a tad bit dragging at places.

It felt more thrilling than a suspense but it definitely exceeded expectations. I was a bit hesitant in case it was all hype and nothing else and I can see how some may feel duped especially since a lot of the book is told by way of backstory. So only read if you have patience.

Bibliogyan rating – A good friday night read.

The Legacy #12

Hey Booklovers. Sorry I took quiet a bit of time to post since my last review. June been the month of back to school, has made it a bit difficult to read or review. But now am moving back to a schedule so hopefully won’t have a gap like this.

Coming to the book am going to review for you today is The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir.

The story begins with a flashback in the past about three kids up for adoption. Their background is shrouded in secrecy. In the present we are confronted with a grisly murder. This is where we are introduced to the main character Huldar, a police officer in the CID promoted to investigate the case.

Apparently there was a witness in the murder case and its a seven year old girl – the victims daughter. But what she says makes matters worse – There’s about to be another murder.

I found the story to be slow burning but never dragging. Characters are well drawn out specially Freyja and Karl. Karl’s specially is a sad one. I wanted him to become stronger and find his way in life. But in the story he is only there to bring the plot forward.

Freyja works at the Children’s House (for child protection) as well as serves as Huldar’s love interest. She doesn’t have much of a backstory but her arc is drawn out well. Towards three fourth of the book I had an idea who the killer might be, at least their background, though I didn’t expect the final reveal.

The supporting characters are all neither here nor there but Huldar’s colleagues Erla and Rikhardur deserves special mentions.

I picked up this book because I wanted to read something different in the suspense genre and found crimebythebook recommend nordic noir under crime fiction. I was intrigued by the summary of the book and decided to read it.

I liked the characterization and the authors ability to draw us in but I don’t know, maybe I expected something more gripping. Definitely will be trying out her other books but for now am looking forward to reading Jo Nesbos book next. Pick this if you are a fan of crime fiction.

Bibliogyans ratings – Worth a read for crime fiction fans.

All The Missing Girls #10

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Hey Booklovers! So today the book am about to review is All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. It’s a thriller about a girl named Nicolette Farrell and the supporting cast and the disappearance of two missing girls – a decade apart. One her ex best friend and another a girl from her locality.

What sets this book apart from other thrillers is the way its written – backwards. At first I was curious how that would pan out and as I read the book I kept trying to guess whats gonna happen next. The book starts at the beginning laying out all its card right and then is told backwards as to what happened in the last fifteen days that led them to that point in time.

I am not sure everyone can enjoy this book mainly because it feels so personal the way the story unfolds – like about someone we know and they are recounting this story to us in a painfully detailed manner. The plot comes out beautifully describing the protagonist’s past by weaving it in the present. I felt like it could make a scrumptious mini series. Throughout the time I was reading the book I imagined how it would look on the big screen (your mobile, more precisely).

The struggles, the experience, the heartache everything feels very nuanced and I was fascinated by the amount of details the author packed into this book. We come to know Nicolette in just a few pages but by the time you reach the end, you are in a for a big surprise – thats both predictable yet astonishing.

I don’t think many are going to enjoy reading this book and I must confess, I feel the book is ambiguous and can be read both backwards or from day one as well – in fact I plan to skip through from day 1 to day 15 when I get time and see how it goes.

What I liked about the book was the settings, the characterisation and plot structure and not necessarily that its told backwards but the whole structure in itself. I loved how she brought these characters alive. Except for Everett (Nic’s Fiance) every other character felt lived through and real.

My experience reading this book was a good one. I enjoyed the thrill of discovering what the author unearthed but it wasn’t an edge of your seat thriller either. I can see how some may connect it with The Girl on the Train – which I confess I didn’t read but watched the movie – loved Emily Blunt and very mysterious indeed but this one is not up there. Just like the plot, I find myself ambiguous about my preference for the book, while I was blown away with the writing, the ending could have been – for a lack of better word – something more but nevertheless a satisfying read.

Bibliogyan Rating – Read it for something different in the thriller genre.