Follow You Home

follow-you-homeAfter being utterly gobsmacked by ‘Lies’, I couldn’t possibly turn down another psychological thriller recommendation given to me by my sister. So I trotted off, downloaded it straight to my kindle and got reading right away. To be honest, I’m in two minds about this book and had trouble forming a solid conclusion.

The story follows Daniel and Laura as they travel around Europe. However, after a perfect start to their trip, things begin to go horribly wrong when they’re thrown off a train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilization, their only hope is to follow the tracks and hike through the forest… a terrifying journey that leaves them both disturbed. Back in London, both Daniel and Laura vow never to speak of that night. But, as they try to slot back in to everyday life, it becomes clear that their nightmare has only just started.

The suspense in this book was beyond brilliant. Although we don’t actually find out what happened that night until roughly half way through the book, the build up is constant and done in such a fashion that I was totally immersed in the story. Not only this, but the way the writing would switch from present to past and also from points of views was skillfully done. I especially liked how the writing allowed the reader to really get inside Daniel’s head; all his thoughts, emotions and feelings were exposed.

Furthermore, I appreciated the intricate plot, and how it didn’t deviate but stayed true to its course. All the twists and turns were well thought out – especially the major twist at the end, which blindsided me completely. Although the ending was left a tad ambiguous (not necessarily a bad thing), everything else had been explained and neatly wrapped up.

Despite this, there were a couple of issues that I had with this book. Firstly, the characters themselves weren’t in any way remarkable. I felt no connection and didn’t really care for them. Of course, I fully sympathized with them, however I felt totally disconnected which bugged me a little. Maybe it’s just harder to form connection with characters from standalone books? Yet when I read ‘Lies’, I liked Joe and cared what happened to him, so I don’t think this is the case.

“I shrugged. ‘My life is unremarkable.’ She smiled. ‘No life is unremarkable.”

The mystery itself left me feeling a tad disappointed. I suppose I was hoping it was going to have a supernatural element to it but this wasn’t quite the case. In fact, whilst reading about what had happened that night, I felt physically sick and disgusted. Anyhow, that’s more of a personal thing rather than a direct negative point to be used against the book – it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

In a nutshell, this was a great book in the way it had been written. I managed to finish it roughly within a day, which basically says that it was an engrossing book from start to finish. Nonetheless, I don’t think I’ll be reading more of Mark Edwards but that’s more to do with the topics he writes about rather than his writing.

Happy Reading,

Saz

 

American Gods

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Being an absolute avid fan of Gaiman’s works, this was a book I could not wait to read. Gaiman’s books have always impressed me in one way or another, and to be honest, I felt this book should be no different. Yet surprisingly, ‘American Gods’ fell quite short of my expectations and left me feeling both very confused and disappointed.

The premise is as follows –

Shadow, a man no longer scared of tomorrow, has served his time behind bars for three years and waits for the day to return home to his wife, where he dreams of starting afresh. But, days before his release, both his wife and best friend are killed in an accident. With his life shattered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on his way home – a mysterious man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. Shadow soon learns that underneath the calmness of everyday life a storm is brewing – an epic war for the very soul of America is about to take place and he is in more danger than he could possibly imagine.

Shadow was a character that I  liked quite a bit. He seemed like someone who just kept his head down and got on with stuff. Despite this, I also felt like there was something missing – the emotional side of him seemed to be lacking. Considering what had happened to him, and not to mention whom he had met along the way, Shadow seemed to be devoid of thoughts and emotions save that of mild interest. He seemed to be less worried about the war between the Gods that was about to come and more so about his ability to perform coin tricks.

In addition, a variety of other and rather interesting characters had been presented – for example the characters of Mr. Ibis, Loki and Mr. Jacquel were very intriguing. Although these characters were presented, it felt as if they hadn’t been properly explored nor given enough depth. They made an appearance, disappeared and then briefly appeared again. Not only was this a tad disappointing, but it also took something away from the characters themselves.

“Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world.”

The plot moved at what can only be described as a  glacial pace that took a convoluted route. The majority of the book felt like an endless story with very little happening. In addition to this, excerpts of history had been added in, which didn’t really have any link with the main story nor were engrossing in the least. In fact, there came a point where I was skimming through these particular chapters. Everything relevant to the plot seemed to happen right at the end of the book. At times I wondered if the storm was ever going to come. When it finally did come, it felt more like light rain that disappeared as abruptly as it had come.

Overall, the actual concept and ideas behind the book were promising and extremely intriguing. However, the way it was written was a major let down. The story felt too stretched out and became a chore to read. Be that as it may, not all the blame should be dumped on Gaiman. As a reader, I failed to understand what Gaiman was trying to  convey through his writing, which makes me blame worthy as well. I wouldn’t personally recommend this book. Nonetheless I would be very much interested to see what other readers get from it.

Happy Reading,

Saz

Lies

Title: Lies
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Author: T M Logan

Published: 2017

This is a book that I probably would not have gotten round to reading in all honesty. I would have picked it up in a bookstore, read the blurb and thought to myself ‘hmm, that sounds interesting’, then put it down and probably forgotten all about it. However, I did read it because it was strongly recommended to me by my sister.

When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in. When he witnesses her in an angry altercation with a family friend Ben, he can’t help but intervene. But just as the confrontation between the two men takes a violent turn, Joe must flee the scene. When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is fine, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared. And that’s when Joe receives the first message…

This was a brilliant psychological thriller that was extremely hard to put down. It expertly demonstrates how a split second decision coupled with the dangers of technology can make your whole life come crashing down in an instant. The whole technology and social media aspect was intriguing and very thought provoking. It raises many valid points about the dangers of what we post online and what repercussions those posts can have if we’re not careful. The whole concept was well thought out and brilliantly executed.

I immediately liked Joe from the get go. He was depicted as an ordinary man who was a loving husband and father that prioritized his family. There were moments in the book when I wanted to physically shake him for being way too trusting and naïve. But to be fair, put in his situation, I think a lot of people would have acted in a very similar manner. The relationship between Joe and his son, William was amazing to read. Their parts never failed to make me smile. An array of characters were presented and all their portrayals were interesting and skillfully written. Not all of them were likeable in the least, but they were all very realistic and believable.

The writing itself was simple and very much to the point. The descriptions were concise and minimal but enough to paint a vivid picture. On the whole, it was fast paced and packed with action. However, towards the middle I did feel as if it was slowing down and perhaps even lagging a little bit with unnecessary bits thrown in. Yet, after reading the whole novel, I would say that this isn’t the case at all – there were no unnecessary parts! All through out the book, the tension was building towards the climax and OH MY GOSH what a climax it was! I can honestly say, I did not see any of twists coming! The ending of the book was just incredible! My heart was literally racing as I was turning the pages.

In conclusion, this was a brilliant debut novel. A fast paced psychological thriller with many surprising twists and turns along the way. Definitely worth a read for anyone who loves a good psychological thriller. It’s a story of love, trust, obsession and betrayal.

Happy Reading,

Saz