Book #81: Career of Evil

Robert Galbraith, Career of Evil, 2015, 489p

Since kicking off this blogging adventure, I have read all three of Galbraith (aka Rowling)’s books. (see reviews here and here.) One I enjoyed, the other not so much. So I was interested to see if the third time was the charm.  (Yes, Prisoner of Azkaban was actually my favourite of the series, so I had high hopes.)

In this case, book three seems to be my sweet spot.

Our unlikely heroes Strike and Ellacott are at it again. When Robin receives a severed leg in the mail, the daring duo set out to find the sicko killer, all while the police department put it on the back burner. Strike soon realizes this case is personal and narrows it down to three suspects – all from his deep dark past.

I REALLY liked that we got to know Cormoran and Robin better in this book. Robin always seemed flat to me until this book. The will they?/won’t they? game is STRONG with this one – culminating in a cliffhanger ending. (Is it all really over?!? Obvi not, when there is a fourth book in the works). And FINALLY Cormoran has given up on Charlotte – which is refreshing.

All in all, I liked this book best of the series. Character development ALWAYS wins out for me over grossness.

 

 

Book#71: The Silkworm

Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm, (2014), 455p

I don’t know how I became a fan of mysteries again. Likely due to these Cormoran Strike novels, I suppose. I used to LOVE mysteries. And by mysteries, I mean that Mary Higgins Clark used to be my preteen jam. Her Stillwatch novel was the first adult book I ever ordered from Scholastic. (But like seriously, how was that even an option to order?!?) I devoured many of her books (and typically figured out who the killer was at the beginning due to her cookie-cutter plots).

But, enough reminiscing. Back to this book.

Cormoran is back. This time, Strike and his faithful sidekick, Robin, are hired to track down the ghosted Owen Quine, super pompous writer extraordinaire, by Quine’s wife. He’s disappeared before, but typically comes home with his tail between his legs soon after. But there is more than meets the eye to this case, when Strike discovers that Quine has completed his latest novel – complete with rank and divisive characterizations of himself, his friends and coworkers. When Quine is found in a similar situation to his self-penned persona, Strike and Robin must uncover who had the most to lose.

I will admit this novel is my least favourite of the bunch. Likely due to it’s confusing as all hell characters. It reminded me of Game of Thrones, in that I needed a character cheat sheet listed in the back (Seriously, I used that list in GoT likely a million times). It was dark and twisty and angsty, but didn’t grab me like the previous book.

Still a far cry from Harry Potter though.

Book #41: The Cuckoo’s Calling

Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling, (2013),455p

I swore I wouldn’t read this book. I honestly don’t know why I was so against it – probably due to the fact that Harry Potter holds such a perfect little place in my heart. I hated the hype around this book. It basically came out as a nothing release until it was “leaked” that it was by JK Rowling (ie. clearly announced by the publisher to gain attention and in turn, have huge sales).

But, I was browsing eBooks to read on my vacation and it was actually available. So naturally I downloaded it to read on my trip and naturally I finished it before I was even at the airport.

When supermodel Lulu Landry turns up dead, apparently by suicide, private detective Cormoran Strike is hired by her brother who believes there was foul play. Strike is down on his luck (and down one leg) and will take any chance to make some real money. With a new receptionist by his side, Strike jumps into the case.

Honestly, this was a decent mystery. Yes, it was a little predictable and yes, it was a little convoluted at times, but it captured my interest. Enough for me to power through it and have to find new reads for my beach vacation.

I will pick up the next Cormoran Strike novel. I typically root for the underdog.

2015 Reading Challenge: Mystery or horror novel

Happy reading –
Laurie 🙂

Book #24: Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl, (2012), 415p

I’m really, really horrible for pushing books that I really want to read down to the bottom of my TBR pile. Because let’s be honest, there are SO many books that I really, really want to read, that I a) don’t have time to read them all and b) the ones that are currently sitting on my shelves that I don’t have a time limit to read (ie. from the library) slip to the bottom.

That is UNTIL a movie is coming out based on said book that I really, really want to read. Then that book magically hops, skips, and jumps its way from 150th on my TBR list right up to #1 and I put off reading all of these really exciting, wonderful, angsty teen fiction books to read it.

Enter Gone Girl. It’s seriously been sitting on our bookshelves for two years. I bought it for my partner for Christmas 2012. He read it then and has been talking about it ever since. As I typically do with books he likes, I roll my eyes and say sure I will read it. Then I really don’t and start reading books with adorable cute teen boys in them. But now that he has threatened to see said movie without me, I had to step up my game.

I really don’t feel like I need to give a summary of this book, because I’m guessing most people fall into one of three categories: 1) already read the book way before I did; 2) are going to see the movie instead (not my kind of people – hmmph) or 3) don’t care/currently has it sitting halfway down their TBR pile and will get to it eventually. I’m also worried that I’ll give something away. I had some of the plot given away to me accidentally by people and I would hate to do that.

I’m just going to start off by saying, Gone Girl is one of the few books that I absolutely cannot stand ANY of the characters, but I could not put it down. I hated all of them -Nick, Amy, Go, the cops, the neighbors, Amy’s parents, Nick’s dad. All of them. But, maybe that was Flynn’s plan all along. Cause seriously, NONE of them are likable. They are all damaged, desperate, flawed in their own ways. But this book though – damn!

I will say that typically I like my books wrapped up in a neat little package at the end, complete with a floofy bow and a card. This one doesn’t really do that. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I was completely enthralled by most of it. I did speed read through a lot of it, but only because I needed to know what happened. Because it is all consuming, even with the horrible characters. I’d be interested to check out some of Flynn’s other books and see how I make out with them.

Now I can see the movie with my partner. Alas, this will likely not force me to pick up his book picks any faster, cause well, ya know, stubbornness.

Happy reading –
Laurie 🙂

Book #23: Midnight Crossroad

Charlaine Harris, Midnight Crossroad, (2014), 305p

I should seriously title this blog entry “Why the hell do I keep doing this to myself?!?”

I’ll admit, when I picked up my first book by Harris, I fell in love. It was quite a few years ago when I read Dead Until Dark – the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I quickly read the next eight books or so in the series. I devoured them like a bag of Doritos. But then, they started sucking. Really hard. Not that they were classic worthy reads, but at least they were entertaining. I still haven’t read the last three books in the series. Two of them are sitting gathering dust on my bookshelf. I even tried to read three more of Harris’ series. They were all the same level of entertaining meets predictable. But, apparently I’m a sucker for punishment, and I picked up Midnight Crossroad.

This one starts with an Internet psychic, Manfred Bernado, moving into Midnight, Texas – a tiny town filled with secrets. When a missing town resident turns out to not be missing but murdered, the town residents band together, utilizing their special skills to figure out what really happened. Things aren’t really what they seem in Midnight.

This may be one of the worst books I have ever read. It was a painful experience to finish it. I whined and sighed and procrastinated. But, because of the challenge, I forced myself to do it.

I really hope no one else reads this. Seriously, it’s that bad. I think I have finally gotten Harris out of my system.

Happy reading –
Laurie 🙂