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Book Review: The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

Book Review The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

It feels like a long long time since I have read a book this perfect and which associates science and mathematics in a fictional murder mystery. Have you heard about P=NP problem? Basically, it asks whether it’s more difficult to think of the solution to a problem yourself or to ascertain if someone else’s answer to the same problem is correct. This is a line picked from the book itself. And then later, A feeling rose inside him, making him queasy, as though an elaborate formula he’d thought was perfect was now giving false results because of an unpredictable variable. How would you react? No no, do not worry, no spoilers from my end. I just cannot help gushing over this book and thinking how I had missed reading this all these years for the book The Devotion of Suspect X was published in 2005.

Ending my review note with a point for you to ponder upon, how far would you go for someone you love but who does not give two cents about it? The corresponding line from the book – He held no aspirations of ever being anything to them.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.

When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko’s manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there’s something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

About the author:
Keigo Higashino is one of the most popular and biggest selling fiction authors in Japan.

Born in Osaka, he started writing novels while still working as an engineer. He won the Edogawa Rampo Prize, which is awarded annually to the finest mystery work, in 1985 for the novel Hōkago at age 27. Subsequently, he quit his job and started a career as a writer in Tokyo.

In 1999, he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Inc award for the novel Himitsu (The Secret), which was translated into English by Kerim Yasar and published by Vertical under the title of Naoko in 2004. In 2006, he won the 134th Naoki Prize for Yōgisha X no Kenshin. His novels had been nominated five times before winning with this novel.

The Devotion of Suspect X was the second highest selling book in all of Japan— fiction or nonfiction—the year it was published, with over 800,000 copies sold. It won the prestigious Naoki Prize for Best Novel— the Japanese equivalent of the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize. Made into a motion picture in Japan, The Devotion of Suspect X spent 4 weeks at the top of the box office and was the third highest‐grossing film of the year.

Higashino’s novels have more movie and TV series adaptations than Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum, and as many as Michael Crichton.

Rating: 10/10
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Book Name: The Devotion of Suspect X
Author: Keigo Higashino
Pages: 298
Publication Year: 2005

Book Review: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Book Review The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Have you played a video game? What happens when your character dies? You start over, right? But what if not only starting over, you become another character of the same game? Quite interesting, no? This is how I felt while reading this book.

Though the person who had recommended this book mentioned it a light read, I did not find it so. It needs concentration in case you do not want to miss out on the mastery of author’s connecting dots between characters or you can simply mark passages in your Kindle book – the points you find relevant enough to cross reference. It will be especially intriguing for a reader who can remember the pages she read previously as a different character.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (UK edition) or The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (US edition) is a whodunnit of different kind. And being a whodunnit, I am not giving any spoilers away. In fact, I had not even read the book blurb till I completed the book, of which I am sure, most readers refer to book blurb at least, if not its reviews. And this made it even more interesting for me, for with the way characters were written and no one was what it seemed, I felt even Aiden Bishop was a fictional character in this mumbo-jumbo. I started reading the book and felt exactly like the main protagonist waking up and on his way to discovering what is happening around. Though I felt the last few pages of the ending could be better, all-in-all it was a good bumpy murder mystery ride, which I completed yesterday night at 3 am (do not tell this to my hubby).

Time is running out, you have only eight days to solve a murder. Can you? Before Aiden does?  Go go go, pick this book…

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
The Rules of Blackheath

Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

About the author:
Stuart Turton lives in London with his amazing wife and daughter. He drinks lots of tea.

When Stuart left university, he went travelling for three months and stayed away for five years. Every time his parents asked when he’d be back, he told them next week, and meant it.

Having trained for no particular career, Stuart has dabbled in most of them. He stocked shelves in a Darwin bookshop, taught English in Shanghai, worked for a technology magazine in London, wrote travel articles in Dubai, and now he’s a freelance journalist. None of this was planned, he just kept getting lost on his way to other places.

Twitter: @stu_turton

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Book Name: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author: Stuart Turton
Pages: 438
Publication Year: 2018

Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson

Have you read a book where at so many points you think that now this is going to be a climax? But then you check bottom left corner of your Kindle and notice that oh, there are so many pages still remaining (of course, this would not happen with physical book) and sometimes you are left with an expression like – what what what, 50% of the book is still left!! Ok not necessarily everyone will accede to my point, but this was my feeling while reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

The book is a good whodunnit with respect to the basic story-line, but the detailing in it bored me to such an extent that I was skipping lines (my college-mate told me that he skipped pages). Add to it the fact that I hate slow books in general and especially in a whodunnit, I want things to keep on happening, here I mean, “relevant” things. Till almost 50% of the book, the two main protagonists do not even interact with each other and it felt like reading two separate stories without any conjoin and this was my biggest problem. So many parts of the book could have been removed and it seemed that this would have hardly made any difference. Without giving any spoilers away, I felt there were a few points which were left unattended like Armansky thinking Salander to be a perfect victim, but perhaps this has to do with the continuance and reveal which will happen in the next books of this series.

So what do you think – should I continue to read the next book in this series – The Girl Who Played With Fire or simply jump to watch the movie based on this series?

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story and financial intrigue.

A Sensational #1 Bestseller – Now a Major Motion Picture In Theaters March 2010.

It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.

It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

About the author:
Stieg Larsson (born as Karl Stig-Erland Larsson) was a Swedish journalist and writer who passed away in 2004.

As a journalist and editor of the magazine Expo , Larsson was active in documenting and exposing Swedish extreme right and racist organisations. When he died at the age of 50, Larsson left three unpublished thrillers and unfinished manuscripts for more. The first three books (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest) have since been printed as the Millenium series. These books are all bestsellers in Sweden and in several other countries, including the United States and Canada.

Website (not in English)

Rating: 5/10
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Book Name: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(Millennium #1)
Author: Stieg Larsson
Pages: 465
Publication Year: 2005

Book Review: Alone (Detective D.D. Warren #1) by Lisa Gardner

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Alone (Detective D.D. Warren #1) by Lisa Gardner

If you are a follower of my blog, you would know that the maximum number of books that I read are murder mysteries and detective series. Come what may, whichever genre I get into, I have to go back to my favourite genre. And guess what, I have found one girl in my reading group who too does the same though she has read many many more such detective series than me and I have thought of falling back upon her recommendations if I get bored of books I pick up by myself. Lisa Gardner was one such author that she had recommended. And you know the most interesting thing I found about this author is that you can nominate someone whom you want to get killed/ maimed in her next book and as of writing this, I have already done the nomination and the person whose name I have recommended, he (yes, he) would be reading this book review as well and know I am referring to him only and none else because after all, there’s one and only one. Haha.

So back to the book, the story is simple, yet I felt creepy while reading a few scenes. Ooooooo how many times have you wondered (your low points) that there is no one on whom you can rely and you and only you have to take action to find a solution, come what may! Without giving away spoilers, though some things could not be conceived and can happen very rarely, still the story was put together in a conventional flow which is easy to read. Gosh, at least I did not have to apply my brains in imagining scenes here unlike when it goes too much back and forth (hinting at Gone Girl, The Girl on The Train, Sometimes I Lie). And hey, that is a good thing when you want a detective series pure and simple unraveling the murders one after the other.

Recommended book for murder mystery lovers, just don’t think of D. D Warren doing too much in this book since this is just her introductory book.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
Alone . . . Massachusetts State Trooper Bobby Dodge watches a tense hostage standoff unfold through the scope of his sniper rifle. Just across the street, in wealthy Back Bay, Boston, an armed man has barricaded himself with his wife and child. The man’s finger tightens on the trigger and Dodge has only a split second to react . . . and forever pay the consequences.

Alone . . . that’s where the nightmare began for cool, beautiful, and dangerously sexy Catherine Rose Gagnon. Twenty-five years ago, she was buried underground during a month-long nightmare of abduction and abuse. Now her husband has just been killed. Her father-in-law, the powerful Judge Gagnon, blames Catherine for his son’s death . . . and for the series of unexplained illnesses that have sent her own young son repeatedly to the hospital.

Alone . . . a madman survived solitary confinement in a maximum security prison where he’d done hard time for the most sadistic of crimes. Now he walks the streets a free man, invisible, anonymous . . . and filled with an unquenchable rage for vengeance. What brings them together is a moment of violence—but what connects them is a passion far deeper and much more dangerous. For a killer is loose who’s woven such an intricate web of evil that no one is above suspicion, no one is beyond harm, and no one will see death coming until it has them cornered, helpless, and alone.

About the author:
Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she turned her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed suspense novels.

With over 22 million books in print, Lisa is published in 30 countries. She’s also had four novels become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour, The Perfect Husband, The Survivors Club, Hide). Her books have received awards from across the globe. Her novel, The Neighbor, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers, while also receiving the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter. Finally, Lisa received the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers in 2017 for her work on behalf of at-risk children and the Humane Society.

For a bit of fun, Lisa invites her readers to enter the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy” Sweepstakes at Every year, one Lucky Stiff is selected to meet a grand end in Lisa’s latest novel. Past winners have nominated spouses, best friends and even themselves.

Lisa lives in New Hampshire where she spends her time with an assortment of canine companions. When not writing, she loves to hike, garden, snowshoe and play cribbage.

Twitter: @LisaGardnerBks

Rating: 8/10
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Book Name: Alone
(Detective D.D. Warren #1)
Author: Lisa Gardner
Pages: 451
Publication Year: 2004

Book Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

My blog now has a fair share of psycho-thrillers this past year: Gone GirlThe Woman in the Window and The Girl on the Train (click on the hyperlinks to check my review of these books).

Written in similar style as Gone Girl (diary entries of past) and The Girl on the Train (back and forth of timeline), Sometimes I Lie will interest those who love psycho-thrillers with back-to-back twists. At time when you will think ab bas ho gaya (now the story ahead should be plain vanilla), a new twist will occur. No no, do not worry, I am not giving any spoilers away, just telling you to expect the unexpected like the famous Gone Girl. But somehow you know what happened while I was reading the book and drawing so many parallels between this and its predecessors (and that too not consciously every single time), I felt it as a drag. Perhaps, I was reading too much in-between lines to guess which was truth and which was a lie and again perhaps, if I would have taken a break of 6 months between two psycho-thrillers, I would have better appreciated the same.

However, this being a debut book, the book is written in the way thrillers are supposed to be written. I am sure you would not have guessed the end since most murder mysteries make the husband the culprit. Well, he may or may not be in this book 😉 So, check the book blurb below and if you find it interesting (I did find it good enough), do go ahead and start reading it. Next on my radar is yet another psycho-thriller The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, but I will take at least a month long break now 🙂

Few of my favorite lines from the book (and these were just at the start of the book, later I got so engrossed and at others so bored that I forgot highlighting them in kindle so that it is available for ready reference in my goodreads profile):

A lot of people would think I have a dream job, but nightmares are dreams too.

I can play all the parts life has cast me in, I know all my lines; I’ve been rehearsing for a very long time.

People are not mirrors—they don’t see you how you see yourself.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?


About the author:
Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She spent 16 years at the BBC, where she worked as a Reporter, News Editor, Arts and Entertainment Producer and One O’clock News Producer. She has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside, where she lives with her dog – a giant black Labrador who is scared of feathers. Sometimes I Lie is her debut thriller and is being published around the world. It is soon to be a TV series.

Twitter: @alicewriterland
Facebook: @AliceFeeneyAuthor

Rating: 7/10
Genre: Thriller
Book Name: Sometimes I Lie
Author: Alice Feeney
Pages: 387
Publication Year: 2017

Book Review: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

No Spoilers

Magpie Murders had appeared time and again as one of the most interesting murder mysteries by many people. Luckily, I had never read any review of this book. Whenever I used to see someone has posted a review, every single time I used to scroll past. Tell me, what will be the use of reading a murder mystery just in case some silly reviewer would have spilled the beans or even given a hint? So, as I start writing the review of this book, let me assure you there is not going to be a word extra other than what has been mentioned in book blurb.

As I started reading the book, I wondered why is there an introduction by Susan Ryeland and if she is some famous personality of which I am not aware. But I kept that thought aside and continued with the murder mystery. Only half-way through the book did I realize that there is a story within the story. I would have known all this had I read the book blurb before, but I did not want to waste that much time once I got hold of this book. This book pays a homage to Agatha Christie (I am a big time fan of hers. If you search my blog, there will be reviews of more than 20+ books of hers) with subtle and not-so-subtle references to places, characters, and scenes of different books written by her.

The name Magpie Murders is in reference to a poem – this is also on similar lines of how Agatha Christie wrote (And Then There Were None, A Pocket Full of Rye etc):

One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret, Never to be told.

In fact, this book helped me take a glimpse into the minds of a writer. There were various quotes/lines I felt like highlighting while I was reading the story in kindle, but at times, I got so engrossed in the mystery that I missed out some notable ones, still I am mentioning a few below:

I’m not sure it actually matters what we read. Our lives continue along the straight lines that have been set out for us. Fiction merely allows us a glimpse of the alternative. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we enjoy it.

These had been his plans. But if there was one thing that life had taught him, it was the futility of making plans. Life had its own agenda. 

I took out my iPhone and moved away from the front door so that I could get a picture of the whole thing. I didn’t know why I did that, but then why does anyone take photographs ever? We never look at them any more.

Finally, this books make me hum a line – jab ek k daam mei do miley, toh koi ek kyun le, do na le (when you can get two stories at the price of one, you should definitely go ahead). So, if you like murder mysteries, you really really have to read this book for it is ingenious, has various cross references, puzzles, anagrams, ah the list goes on.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

About the author:
Anthony Horowitz is one of the most prolific and successful writers working in the UK – and is unique for working across so many media. Anthony is a born polymath; juggling writing books, TV series, films, plays and journalism. He was awarded an OBE for his services to literature in January 2014.

Anthony has written over 40 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, which he adapted into a movie that was released worldwide in 2006. The Alex Rider series is estimated to have sold 19 million copies worldwide. He is also an acclaimed writer for adults and was commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate and Orion Books to write two new Sherlock Holmes novels.

Twitter: @anthonyhorowitz

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Book Name: Magpie Murders
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Pages: 502
Publication Year: 2016

Book Review: Nutshell by Ian McEwan

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Nutshell by Ian McEwan

August has been the month of thrillers for me and I guess the month where I have read the maximum number of books as well. Do not go by the count of book reviews posted on this blog since at times, I miss writing reviews the month I have read or write reviews of too many books at once (like the time in Dec 2017 when I wrote review of I guess 20+ Agatha Christie books read over last 3 months). And when I say thrillers, it is not only by the same author; that would have been an easy pick and I have plenty of time to scroll through book blurbs and recommendation posts now.

Even though Ian McEwan is more famously known for Atonement, while browsing through various books of his, Nutshell is the one that sparked more curiosity in me. By the way, this is my first McEwan. Reading the book, the non-fiction style of writing got to me at the start (if you are my blog follower, you would know that I only read fiction) but the way the book is written commenting on everything the foetus (yes, you read it correct) hears through his (or hers, the sex is not revealed) mom or surroundings, was a real piece of writing I have not read in a long long time. Haven’t we as Indians heard of the story of Mahabharata’s Abhimanyu who learnt the art of breaking into the Chakravyuha when he was in Subhadra’s womb? The same tale is extended but in a different fashion. A murder is planned and the only witness is the foetus. The entire book is narrated by the foetus itself who gets affected by the emotions of his mother and at times, his father as well.

In conclusion, I will say you need to read this book if you are looking for something serious and are not easily affected by what you read/ see.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.

About the author:
Ian Russell McEwan is an English novelist and screenwriter. In 2008, The Times featured him on their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945” and The Daily Telegraph ranked him number 19 in their list of the “100 most powerful people in British culture”. Many of his books have been translated into movies.

McEwan’s works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last Rites; the Whitbread Novel Award (1987) and the Prix Fémina Etranger (1993) for The Child in Time; and Germany’s Shakespeare Prize in 1999. He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction numerous times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998. His novel Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), National Book Critics’ Circle Fiction Award (2003), Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). He was awarded a CBE in 2000. In 2006, he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Saturday and his novel On Chesil Beach was named Galaxy Book of the Year at the 2008 British Book Awards where McEwan was also named Reader’s Digest Author of the Year.

Facebook: @IanMcEwanAuthor

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Mystery
Book Name: Nutshell
Author: Ian McEwan
Pages: 208
Publication Year: 2016

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

For years, I was scared to pick up Gone Girl, the famous psycho-thriller though I had read The Woman in the Window (click on the hyperlink to check my review of this book read a few months back) and The Girl on the Train (click on the hyperlink to check my review of this book read more than a year back). However, this time, I planned to skip my fears and give it the much awaited time it needs (for I have plenty of time these days ignoring the amount of effort it takes to raise a baby).

Have you read a book and felt deja vu? Not in the sense that you have read the book previously but that you have seen it or more like, you can predict the exact scene of what is to happen next. If you are wondering that perhaps I may have watched the movie, then no, I have not. I just watched the trailer of Gone Girl (2014) just before starting to write this review and it did not look at all similar to the scenes I saw in my mind as flashback while reading the book. In fact I googled to find out if there was any other adaptation of the book, but unfortunately, I could not find anything. If you do know any such movie or TV episode, please do let me know in the comments below, for I am stunned to think that I can also write psycho-thriller and if my mind works like the Amazing Amy! Just kidding…

So enough about me and my book finickiness, coming to the book, I simply loved it – the rise and fall of tempo, the two perspectives, the back and forth of timeline and the amazing skills of diary writing of Amy (hey, I am not giving anything away but I think I too can write such now). And the book makes me want to say that love is such a questionable entanglement! The book is definitely better than the other two psycho-thrillers I have read and if you are in love of such genre, you MUST pick this book.

Two of my favorite quotes from the book:

Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.

Wear this, don’t wear that. Do this chore now and do this chore when you get a chance and by that I mean now. And definitely, definitely, give up the things you love for me, so I will have proof that you love me best.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

About the author:
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. Her work has been published in forty-one languages.

Flynn’s 2006 debut novel, the literary mystery Sharp Objects, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards—the first book ever to win multiple Daggers in one year. The book is now an HBO® limited series starring Amy Adams.

Flynn’s second novel, the 2009 New York Times bestseller Dark Places, was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice. In 2015, the movie adaptation starring Charlize Theron was released.

Flynn’s third novel, Gone Girl, was an international sensation and a runaway hit that has spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists. Gone Girl was named one of the best books of the year by People Magazine and Janet Maslin at the New York Times. Nominated for both the Edgar Award and the Anthony Award for Best Novel, Flynn wrote the screenplay for David Fincher’s 2014 adaptation of Gone Girl for the big screen, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

Her newest release, The Grownup, is an Edgar Award-winning short story and an homage to the classic ghost story. Universal has optioned the rights to The Grownup.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Twitter: @TheGillianFlynn

Facebook: @authorgillianflynn

Rating: 10/10
Genre: Thriller
Book Name: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Pages: 415
Publication Year: 2012

Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Ethereal Jinxed | Book Review | The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

OMG, I absolutely loved it. Of course, it was more so related to the factor that I had not read psycho-thrillers since long. But then, I have not read many other genres as well since a long time while focusing only on the light reads and the detective ones. My last such psycho-thriller was The Girl on the Train (click on the hyperlink to check my review of this book read more than a year back) and gosh, it had given me nightmares for almost a week then. So, it was some trepidation that I picked a similar sounding book The Woman in the Window recommended in my reading group. So here is my review:

Have you been alone for a long time? If not physically, but mentally even when people surrounded you? Even if it was for a short time, but it felt mightily longer? So much so that the loneliness in your mind/ heart made you start assuming stuff and wondering what is real and what is in your dreams? You tell me no. But what about some bad dream or some single instance that affected you/ your thinking? And have you never ever ever been interested in the doings of others? Don’t tell me, but do not lie to yourselves. I have done that – online stalking and at one time, I was on the verge of breaking point. I still do now, but hey, what will a housewife (me temporarily) do other than reading books and eating chocolates (my two favorite tasks) to take a break.

That is the premise of the book of the human psyche. There is not a single thing I found in the book which was extraneous. Everything combined together perfectly in the end and the feeling for me was ecstatic. I could hear the background music hum-dum-dum with every rise and fall of the scenes. And if you would hear any negatives about this book, it is more because such books have flooded the market (like the craze of mythology fictions) – the psycho-thrillers where the protagonist is a female and unreliable. But heya, you should not doubt my high opinion of this book since I had tried it after very very long time.

I would not give anything away other than to tell you – read on this book if you love psycho-thrillers but not otherwise if you have a weak heart (I had that once but now I think I am super-strong keeping aside horror ones, or maybe I will give that genre also a try soon).

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

About the author:
A.J. Finn, pseudonym for Daniel Mallory, has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement(UK). A native of New York, Finn lived in England for ten years as a book editor before returning to New York City.

Tid-bit: Daniel Mallory, a senior editor at William Morrow, wrote his suspense-laden thriller under the nom de plume A J Finn where his own publishing house bought it without knowing the same. A well-known figure in the literary world, he was ‘terrified everyone would hate it and I’d end up with egg on my face’.

Instagram: @ajfinnbooks
Twitter: @AJFinnBooks

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Thriller
Book Name: The Woman in the Window
Author: A.J. Finn
Pages: 449
Publication Year: 2018

Book Review: C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton | Kinsey Millhone series

So tell me, as another book reviewer, how do you keep the interest going for reviews of similar books. Which by the way, brings me to a bigger question – how do authors keep the next ones in a series intriguing. And I am not giving credit to shitty Bollywood (a few Hollywood too) movies whose directors/ producers just for the sake of milking the success of first movie keeps on releasing next one in a series.

C is for Corpse is yet another rock-n-roll series where at the very start you know who is the victim/ client (both being the same in this case) and then along with Kinsey, you as a reader, have to explore and find out the correct sequence and motive. But you know all you hear is not true since people morph the telling suit their own personal needs. For example, a character was not so forthcoming to say he/she (hey, I am not giving any spoilers away and hence the neutral tense) was married once. But I tell you, this one is the best so far among A, B and C. So, keep your fingers crossed while reading the book so that there are no more murders in this one.

Next one on the line is, yes, you guessed it right, D is for Deadbeat. Keep watching my blog for more book reviews.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
How do you go about solving an attempted murder when the victim has lost a good part of his memory? It’s one of Kinsey’s toughest cases yet, but she never backs down from a challenge. Twenty-three-year-old Bobby Callahan is lucky to be alive after a car forced his Porsche over a bridge and into a canyon. The crash left Bobby with a clouded memory. But he can’t shake the feeling it was no random accident and that he’s still in danger.

The only clues Kinsey has to go on are a little red address book and the name “Blackman.” Bobby can’t remember who he gave the address book to for safekeeping. And any chances of Bobby regaining his memory are dashed when he’s killed in another automobile accident just three days after he hires Kinsey.

As Kinsey digs deeper into her investigation, she discovers Bobby had a secret worth killing for―and unearthing that secret could send Kinsey to her own early death.

About the author:
Sue Grafton was a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She is best known for her “alphabet series” featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. Prior to success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies. Her earlier novels include Keziah Dane (1967) and The Lolly-Madonna War (1969), both out of print. In the book Kinsey and Me she gave us stories that revealed Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past.

Grafton never wanted her novels to be turned into movies or TV shows. According to her family she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name. Because of these things, and out of respect for Sue’s wishes, the family announced the alphabet now ends at “Y.”

Grafton was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, the Ross Macdonald Literary Award, three Shamus Awards, and many other honors and awards.


Rating: 9/10
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: C is for Corpse
Kinsey Millhone/ Alphabet series, #3
Author: Sue Grafton
Pages: 305
Publication Year: 1986
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