What are memories made of?

I am Missing Book Cover I am Missing
David Raker #8
Tim Weaver
police procedurals, mystery, suspense
Penguin
July 27, 2017
416

When a young man wakes up bruised and beaten, with no memory of who he is or where he came from, the press immediately dub him 'The Lost Man'. 

Naming himself Richard Kite, he spends the next ten months desperately trying to find out who he is. But despite media appeals and the efforts of the police, no one knows him.

Richard's last hope may be private investigator David Raker - a seasoned locator of missing people. But Raker has more questions than answers.

Who is Richard Kite?

Why does no one know him?

And what links him to the body of a woman found beside a London railway line two years ago?

Could Richard be responsible for her death - or is he next?

Richard has disassociative disorder amnesia and has asked Raker, a PI who specialises in missing persons, to find out who he is.

Raker delves into what Richard knows – or believes that he knows – but starts to become suspicious about some of the people who have been helping Richard find his identity.

The story is slightly confusing at the beginning as there are sub-stories being told also which are inserted into the text, randomly it would appear, between the main chapters. But by half way through the book, if you persevere, which I did as I became fascinated by what was being discovered by Raker, the links become clear. Maybe if you had read previous books in the Raker series this is a typical method of storytelling by the author and it would not have impacted in the same way. But I haven’t.

Nonetheless, you did not need to know anything more about Raker other than he was very persistent even when threatened with violence and even when actual violence was performed upon him. He admitted to being scared but still he went on his voyage of discovery.

I really wanted to know how Richard came to be found on the shore and why his memory was missing and the story drew me in. Twists and turns and unexpected events trap you into reading yet more and not putting the book down.

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When Archangels Fly

Angels' Blood Book Cover Angels' Blood
Guild Hunter #1
Nalini Singh
Fiction, paranormal, suspense, fantasy, angels, vampires
Berkley
2009
353

Hired by the archangel Raphael--a lethal being--vampire hunter Elena Deveraux must track down a rogue archangel on a killing spree, a job that leads her into Raphael's seductive and deadly embrace.

 

An alternate multiverse that you are taken into that is rich in experience and complexity.

Hooks you immediately  – and yes, I have now bought all the existing 9 books despite my internal war against the expense when I get so many free books – and have a library waiting for reading!

Where to start?

The main area of action is New York (and its surroundings. In this multiverse, Angels and Archangels are real beings. Possibly an alien race but even they are not sure. A race that is effectively immortal, although after many thousands of years they tend to get tired of existence and go to Sleep.

No-one knows how many Angels and Archangels Sleep, nor where or even how this Sleep is maintained. It is possible, their history says, for an Angel who is asleep to wake and Sleep again many times but…

Archangels, by virtue of their long life, effective immortality (immune to disease, can regenerate limb and wings etc) rule the world in 10 different sectors, divided roughly equally.

There are also Vampires ‘Made’ by the Angels mostly as servants. Vampires are also effectively immortal – unless you cut their heads off and incinerate them. But yes, they can walk in the sunlight and perform normal tasks, they just live a long time as long as they drink a little blood.

From time to time, vampires get blood lust and start to kill instead of just drinking, and then they are Hunted. Which is where our heroine Elena comes in.  She is our Wonder Woman archetype. She is strong, fast, exceptional at her job of tracking, and lovely too.  And the Archangel ruling New York becomes rather a fan… even if he is rather a frightening character.

This is a series that really grips. I didn’t believe the reviews but now I do!

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The Mountains are Heaven?

Mountain Angel Book Cover Mountain Angel
Northstar Angels #1
Suzie O'Connell
Fiction, suspense, thriller, psychological
Lulu.com
November 1, 2014
368

Aelissm Davis figured she would eventually return home to Northstar, Montana, but not like this-desperate for the tranquility of the secluded valley and plagued by memories of her dead boyfriend and the advances of an obsessive former friend. Just when she begins to relax, a call from her old friend makes it clear he wasn't deterred, and she calls her overprotective uncle for advice. Things become even more tangled when he sends Patrick O'Neil "on vacation" to keep an eye on her. Aelissm is pretty sure her uncle is playing matchmaker again, but despite her annoyance, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Pat. He is a haunted man with a kind smile and sad eyes, and he may just be the best thing to ever happen to her... if she can convince him to stay.

I thought that, despite the billing, this novel lacked suspense.

I also thought that some of the characters’ way of living was frankly, unbelievable.

  1. Who builds and lives in a cabin with a roof and walls of corrugated iron in Colorado? I appreciate it is a cheap building material but it really loses a lot of heat and also acts as a heat sink when it is hot. One way of torturing someone is to leave them in the sun in an iron box.

And the winters are very fierce –

More than 300 inches of snow at the mountain resorts

An average of 16.5 inches of precipitation (8 at lower elevations and 23 at higher elevations)

33 percent average humidity

First snow usually arrives in September (though it usually snows somewhere in the state every month, except maybe August) so at least 8 months of the year can be considered winter (See the Official Guide to Colorado).

2. live in a trailer in the mountains. ie another form of iron box but have a greenhouse! Just imagine the amount of heating that would require…

3. Use only a wood burner for heating. Now I imagine that not everywhere has electricity but to use a wood burner you need wood – so you fell trees – again(!). And  unless you replant 2 or 3 for everyone you fell – and manage the area and .. well we all know what happens when areas are de-forested.

So apart from that did i find the angels of the title? Not really. The story was light and not well developed. It lacked depth of characterisation and reality.

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Am I really so very Good? or Bad?

Good Me, Bad Me Book Cover Good Me, Bad Me
Ali Land
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Michael Joseph
January 12, 2017
352

ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY, CONTROVERSIAL AND EXPLOSIVE DEBUTS OF 2017, Good Me Bad Me is for fans of quality psychological suspense and reading group fiction. 'NEW NAME . NEW FAMILY. SHINY. NEW. ME.' Annie's mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother's trial looms, the secrets of her past won't let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name - Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother's daughter... Translated into over 20 languages, Good Me Bad Me is a tour de force. In its narrator, Milly Barnes, we have a voice to be reckoned with, and in its author, Ali Land, an extraordinary new talent. Praise for Good Me Bad Me 'Original and compelling - what a sensational debut!' Clare Mackintosh, number one bestselling author of I See You and I Let You Go 'An astoundingly compelling thriller. Beyond tense. You hardly breathe. Best read in ages' Matt Haig 'I absolutely loved it and read it in less than a day. A proper page turner and brilliantly written' Edith Bowman 'Original, intense, and utterly compelling, Good Me Bad Me is not just a terrific thriller but a psychological dive into a young girl's soul' Julia Heaberlin, author of Sunday Times bestseller Black-Eyed Susans 'A triumph of tension. I doubt I'll ever sleep again' Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of Richard & Judy Bookclub bestseller The Last Act of Love 'Intelligent and disturbing, Good Me Bad Me had me hooked from the first page' Debbie Howells, author of Richard & Judy book club bestseller The Bones of You

 

A novel that chills.

The mind of ‘Milly’ is cunning – as she has been taught to be by her mother. She shares what she thinks is needed and required, and that which will progress her objectives.  She seems to have 2 main objectives, one being to ensure that her mother goes to prison for as long as possible and thus she will not have to return to the house of horrors that she was brought up in; and 2 to remain with Mike as a foster child, whatever that takes.

Milly manipulates the situation and we learn just how far she will go as the story develops. She has a Good personality and a Bad personality and she is aware of each and feels no shame when she uses her Bad personality to undertake a behaviour that will bring her closer to one of her goals. She is aware of what is morally correct to do in situations but often behaves differently, justifying her behaviour from her own goals.

In the book her foster sister has a manipulative personality and she is unaware of just how far Milly understands her and can counteract her when necessary. Her mother did teach her a great many ways to manipulate others.

Yet Milly is lonely.  Her life with her mother did not permit her to have friends. She would like to be accepted as who she really is but the very heavy publicity about her mother, who is now on trial due to Milly, prevents this. Only a very few are permitted to know who she really is as she is the prime witness against her mother.

 The story is told by Milly so we see her thinking and rationales as the trial of her mother develops and as her relationship with her foster family is impacted by the trial.

You feel very sorry for Milly. Her mother twisted and warped her through abuse and yet her awareness of good and bad means that in the end, when the full extent of her behaviour is revealed, you realise that she is probably not fit to live in normal society.

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Who’s missing

Local Girl Missing Book Cover Local Girl Missing
Claire Douglas
Penguin
August 11, 2016
400

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE SISTERS - ONE OF THE BEST SELLING DÃ%BUTS OF 2015 - COMES A TENSE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER RIPPED STRAIGHT FROM THE HEADLINES . . . Twenty years ago 21-year-old Sophie Collier vanishes one night. She leaves nothing behind but a trainer on the old pier - and a hole in the heart of her best friend Francesca. Now A body's been found. And Francesca's drawn back to the seaside town she's tried to forget. Perhaps the truth of what happened to Sophie will finally come out. Yet Francesca is beginning to wish she hadn't returned. Everywhere she turns are ghosts from her past. The same old faces and familiar haunts of her youth. But if someone knows what really happened to Sophie that night then now's the time to find out - isn't it? Except sometimes discovering the truth can cost you everything you hold dear - your family, your sanity and even your life . . . Praise for Local Girl Missing 'Compelling and page-turning, wonderfully written and impossible to second guess with a brilliant twist' Debbie Howells, bestselling author of Richard and Judy selection The Bones of You Praise for The Sisters 'Grippingly claustrophobic and unpredictable on every page: perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train' Marie Claire 'Tension oozes from every page . . . [an] addictive read that will leave you on the edge of your seat' Sun 'As soon as I finished the first page, I knew I wouldn't be able to put this down . . . I thoroughly enjoyed it' Good Housekeeping 'Unforgettably dark and complex' Woman & Home

Got 50% of the way through and it was very very slow and the suspense did not build. Seemed rather derivative of the genre. 2 stars.

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