Tag Archives: crime

Book Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Doubleday Books
Published Nov. 20, 2018
240 Pages

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works, is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they’re perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it.- Goodreads 

I was surprised at how fast I read through this book. I didn’t realize it was a short novel until about half way though it. This wasn’t an issue as this book was a strong read that packed a lot of punch within a short amount of time.

Would I call this a mystery or thriller? No. You know who done it. You see a huge turning point early in the book and you kind of have an idea of how it is going to end. There was nothing thrilling per say about this book but it was a good read.

Korede is relatable. As the less desirable sister, she lives in Ayoola’s shadow and proves to be the more responsible, level-headed family member out the bunch. She doesn’t have the confidence or love of herself to stand on her own and that is very clear from the 6th chapter of the book. Therefore, everything that comes afterwards has a line of predictably, except the ending. Kind of.

Two things happen and at those moments you regret that the book was so short. There is no saving Ayoola but Korede. . .  the author can add so much to her story and hope and wish she will.

But beyond this, fast read that is very descriptive and keeps you wanting more. Due to the short nature of this book, you jump right into the thick of things and although the author does go back and forth between the past and present, it isn’t messy nor overly complicated. The transitions are perfect and the past makes sense with the present. Downtime feels nonexistent within this book; everything is building up to the climax. There is no fluff and I greatly appreciate that.

Overall, this didn’t have me at the edge of my seat but I was heavily invested in the plot. I want more about Korede and I want more from this author.

3 Pickles


NetGalley Review: Zodiac by Sam Wilson

Pegasus Books To Be Published Feb. 17, 2017 452 Pages
Pegasus Books
To Be Published Feb. 17, 2017
452 Pages

San Celeste, a society divided by Zodiac signs, are dealing with a series of brutal murders with victims from completely different walks of life. Detective Jerome Burton and astrological profiler Lindi Childs are on the case and despite their differences in beliefs, they know that this serial killer has bigger plans that can destroy the world as they know it. 

Let’s just say that this read was creative and the author deserves so much credit for creativity. Think of the caste system but with your zodiac sign. Depending on your zodiac sign you are placed into a pre-determined way of life. It is actually really cool, how the author breaks down the zodiac and how it applies to a group of people and then how he breaks down the planets at a certain time and date. I was impressed and my awe keep the book going for me.

It wasn’t the only thing. I loved the different stories, the different point of views all leading to one big picture. Everything flowed; it didn’t feel forced in any way. There was one particular story I was more interested in and that is what push the book further for me. The plot was great and although at some times there was an obvious wall but you’re so interested and curious about what happens next, the wall doesn’t bother you too much.

Lindi was a surprising character for me. I liked how she balanced Jerome and I liked how free she was. Big up to the author for diversity as well. I wish Jerome had more of a personality; I didn’t mind him being so closed-minded at times but a spark in him would have been nice.

I did feel the book was a bit long but I am more than happy with the outcome.

3.5 Pickles

Book Review: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Feiwel & Friends To be published Oct. 4, 2016 336 Pages
Feiwel & Friends
To be published Oct. 4, 2016
336 Pages

Flynn’s girlfriend, January has disappeared and the cops are asking him questions he cannot answer. And her friends are telling stories, he has never heard of. Determined to discover the truth about his girlfriend, Flynn hunt down answers but with a secret of his own, he has to tread lightly.

 *Short review*

I am disappointed in this book. Not just from the summary but from the book itself. It started off really really good. But then the author feel right into the predictability. And he didn’t just fall slowly, but the downfall was really fast.

I hated Flynn. He was a jerk and he had no right even close to complain about January when he was using the mess out of her. He had this sense of entitlement as her boyfriend; he had no right and he pissed me off.

What made the story predictably was Flynn’s secret and what happened to January. It was such a typical turn of events. Yeah, it had its little oh moments but there wasn’t many. The way it was written despite the predictability was really good. I kept reading the book but it was a struggle because I knew what was going to happen. Roehrig has talent as a writer but this book would be best for someone who has never read this type of story before.

I can’t say much about the characters because they were predictable as well as the romance.

Overall, I would have probably enjoyed this book better if I read this before I read any other disappearing act stories.


2 Pickles

Book Review: The Real Mrs. Price by J.D. Mason

St. Martin's Griffin To Be Published May 24, 2016 336 Pages
St. Martin’s Griffin
To Be Published May 24, 2016
336 Pages

Lucy Price is married to a successful businessman, Edward Price. For a year, she has lived a happy existence as his wife. That is until she discovers Eddie’s illegal activities and that is a dangerous man, who does not care for her life. Eddie disappears after he realizes Lucy knows the truth but not before he threatens her life.

Six months later Eddie’s body turns up in a small town in Texas and it is perceived that his “wife” Marlowe Price killed him.

Marlowe isn’t a stranger to danger. Known as the hoodoo woman in the town, Marlowe is use to being the outcast. But a six months ago, she thought happiness was finally hers; a unexpected romance turned into a marriage in Mexico with a man she thought she would spend the rest of her life with, although not ideal but it was perfect.

When she sees Eddie, kill a man and stuff him in the truck of a car, her happiness disappears as fast as her husband. Now, Lucy and Marlowe need to work together in order to find out who Eddie really was and how they can get their life back. 

This book . . . . Yo . . . This book is a must read by any person on this earth that loves murder, suspense, magic and some sex. From beginning to end this was a perfect read and I am so pleased with it, I am buying a physical copy when the book is released. So shoutout to Netgalley for the introduction and thank you St. Martin’s Griffin for the approval.

So let me begin to say that the book is more about Marlowe than both women. Lucy gets her shine but as it is mentioned by one of the characters in the book, Marlowe was the last one to see Eddie, therefore more shine is on her.

Marlowe is a complex, indecisive woman who doesn’t listen to anyone other than her heart and body. I loved her. She was woman from beginning to end. Realistic, honest, smart and although she didn’t always know what she wanted if she made a decision she followed through. I can’t even talk bad about her character development because although it really wasn’t there, it wasn’t needed. The entire story-line didn’t take years not even months.

Lucy was a surprising character because from the beginning you know something is off but when you find out you’re like whoa. Lucy may have not been as complicated as Marlowe (which is cool) but she played her role very well. I have a love hate relationship for her. Even after everything was said and done, I wanted to slap her but then give her a hug. I thought she was selfish and I didn’t trust her; still do not trust her.

The ending of the book was simple. Simple in the sense that no questions was left unanswered, no lingering what if statements either. You know exactly where everyone stands and you do not need anything more than that.

This was a quick read and it was quick because it was so freaking good. It was detailed without doing too much. It had a obvious mystery but everything that happened to get it solved was unpredictable. It was sexy . . . very very sexy. I laughed during this book, my gut twisted during this book, I broke out in sweat reading this book.

Again, The Real Mrs. Price is a highly recommended read. I cannot wait to see what this author does next.

5 Pickles

NetGalley Review: As White as Snow (Lumikki Andersson #2) by Salla Simukka, Owen F. Witesman (Translation)

Amazon Publishing Published Jan. 1, 2013 224 Pages
Amazon Publishing
Published Jan. 1, 2013
224 Pages

If you haven’t read book one, check out the review here

Lumikki almost died. So after getting out the hospital and convincing her parents that she is fine on her own she goes away to Prague for an escape after helping to take down the Polar Bear drug ring.

But it doesn’t take long for trouble to find out. A mysterious woman  names Lenka approaches Lumikki claiming to be her sister. Although Lumikki notices how frighten the woman is because she believes parts of her story she allows herself to get caught in Lenka’s dangerous world.

*Short Review*

The thing about this book is it has nothing to do with book one. It doesn’t pick up where we left off and it doesn’t even solve the mystery of the Polar Bear Twins. This book is completely a different story. I didn’t really enjoy this because Lumikki isn’t getting involved because she has some shady past as a crime fighter or because she is concerned. Lumikki is nosy. She doesn’t believe Lenka. But she says to herself “Well maybe it could be true, so why not.”

I don’t like Lumikki. Her moodiness is unjustified as well as her lonliness. I also didn’t like the fact that the author added an extremely important character to Lumikki’s life out of no where. One moment you are reading about Lenka’s awkward visit and next you are reading about Lumikki having sex. It was weird and disturbing.

But I give the author credit for creating an engaging story even though the main character sucked the life out of it. There was predictability but it wasn’t too bad.

I was hoping with this book that Lumikki would be a better character. I wanted more insight about her past. Maybe I would have liked her if I understood her. Maybe I would have liked this book more if it tied into book one.

Overall, have zero intentions of reading the last book.

2 Pickles 



Manga Review: Secret, Vol. 1 by Yoshiki Tonogai

Yen Press Published Jan. 20, 2015 208 Pages
Yen Press
Published Jan. 20, 2015
208 Pages

Six survivors of a bus accident discover that maybe the tragic lost of their classmates and teacher wasn’t a accident at all and that three of the survivors are actually murderers. 

The murderers have one week to think over their crimes and answer for them before they are turned over to the police but when everyone has a secret, how do you know who is telling the truth?

I have walked passed the manga at the bookstore for a while now because it didn’t seem that interesting. But I decided to try it and the end result is . . . it was alright.

The thing about the story line is it is really vague for most of the part. You instantly know that there are murders in the group; there is no build up to that. You also instantly know ironically all six survivors indirectly or directly had something to do with who died; not as in classmates but on the day of the accident everyone made decisions that changed some things.

So after that the build up was lack luster. There isn’t enough mystery surrounding any of the survivors for me to be at the end of my seat or for me even to consider this a great who done it story.

When things started moving a bit faster, it still didn’t make the book exciting because there as no build up to it. You knew as reading it that someone was going to slip however, the person that did slip was unexpected but in a way that you scratch your head thinking why? The author focuses on three other characters so much in this first novel that not only do you forget about the other three you also think they really have nothing to do with what happened.

It was a weak way to surprise the readers.

The artwork other than the creepy bunny heads was average; nothing stood out.

Overall this wasn’t a horrible manga nor was it really good either. I can’t say I am unhappy to have read it but it wouldn’t had made a difference on my shelf. Will I read volume two . . . yes. I have a rule to give mangas or graphic novels at least two readings before I completely cut them off my list.

2 Pickles

Book Review: Angels Cry: A Novella by Tina Glasneck

Vie La Publishing House, LLC Published Dec. 30, 2013
Vie La Publishing House, LLC
Published Dec. 30, 2013

Peter Lazarus is an undercover cop that sacrifices the world for his job. Going by the name Shane Sterns, Peter is trying to get the dirt on a notorious gang that running the East Coast.

But when he walks in to Charlie, the woman he married while undercover and then deserted, at a nightclub things turn very quickly.

Charlie a woman who had things so right at one point is now a dancer, on drugs with an abusive “boyfriend” from the same gang Peter is trying to get information on.

The past, present and future collide when Charlie and Peter are reacquainted again. 

The idea of this book is a really great concept. Even as a novella the passion that is felt the moment the book begins is what drives a reader (me) to keep reading. However, the characters were dry. What made the story passionate was the drive but what the story dry was the lack of personality of the characters. Also the lack of understanding. Charlie did a complete 180 on her life. I understand that she was lonely needed help and comfort but I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

I also felt there was no complete development. Yes this is a novella and it is short but there still needs to be something deeper and I didn’t feel anything for this novella.

Again the concept was there and it was an interesting story to tell but the ending didn’t provide closure or even a likeness for either character. They both were extremely selfish and had a one track mind.

Overall, 2 Pickles.

NetGalley Review: As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka

Skyscape Published Aug. 14, 2014 274 Pages
Published Aug. 14, 2014
274 Pages

Lumikki Andersson is 17-years-old living on her own away from her parent’s hometown, leaving the past and all its demons behind. As senior in high school, all she wants to do is keep a low profile, graduate and leave.

But when she walks into a dark room and finds thousands of Euros stained with blood, she gets involved in a game she should have walked away from. Dirty cops, drug dealers and murder, Lumikki sees her composed world slipping away as she is faced to deal with not only current events but her past as well.

To say that this book didn’t peak my interest would be completely misleading. But to say that this was an amazing read is misleading as well.

Lumikki doesn’t want anything to do with anybody which tells me that her past is completely screwed up. She is a tough girl that knows so much about staying low key and out of sight that I was expecting such an amazing twist on her story. But nothing really came. Yes, it is explained why the way she is but it doesn’t explain why she’s the way she is.

Lumikki’s story is extremely lacking because it doesn’t explain her complications because trust me this girl is very complicated and I actually feel that she enjoys this complication. She does because there is truly no reason for her to be involved in this deadly game she has many opportunities to get out of it but kept going and going. Maybe she was bored or maybe she wanted to be the hero but whatever the case she wasn’t part of this until she made herself part of it.

The author added things in this book that seemed completely irrelevant. For instance, Lumikki’s “relationship” seemed forced . . . rephrased was forced since Lumikki barely had emotion to enjoy some ice cream.

Overall, the story was told pretty well. Character issues was the biggest flaw but it wasn’t a horrible story. The down time was really slack and apparently big time drug dealers aren’t as smart as they seem to be.

2 Pickles for an okay read. Hoping book two will be better.