Book Reviews: April 2017

Behind Closed Doors – B A Paris

I want to start by saying this was the book I’ve most enjoyed in absolutely ages. I was immediately drawn to this book as any thriller is right up my street, especially one with a bit of a twisted story. This book had a very ‘Gone Girl’ feel about it, but in my opinion was much more gripping.

The protagonist Grace, and her husband Jack appear to have the perfect life. But this psychological thriller highlights that things are most definitely not always as they seem. The book is set in the UK and has 3 main characters – the married couple Grace & Jack, as well as Grace’s sister Millie. This book had me hooked from the first page until right at the very end. I often feel let down by the way thrillers similar to these wrap things up, you know when you can guess the ending by the penultimate chapter? Well ‘Behind Closed Doors’ had my heart racing right until the last page.

I loved the way Paris portrayed the relationship between the sisters and the almost parental way Grace shielded Millie. But for me the best part of the story was the way Jack’s character developed. The story flits with each chapter between the past and present but manages to keep each chapter relevant to the previous one. The fact Millie is disabled and lives with Down’s syndrome adds further depth to the story.

If you enjoy a thriller and like a story that will get you guessing right until the very end, then this book is most definitely for you. A thoroughly enjoyable read that I’d completed within 48 hours. 4.5/5.

Blood Lines – Angela Marsons

This is the 5th and final book in a series by Angela Marsons. If you’re not aware, the series follows Detective Inspector Kim Stone and the police force. ‘Blood Lines’ focuses on the murder investigations but also flits to give the reader insight into the detective’s personal life, just as the other books in the series did.

It follows two side by side murder investigations and again is an investigation that had me gripped from the beginning. However, the book for me ran on too much from the 4th book, but not quite enough. The problem I had was that the story wouldn’t really make much sense if you hadn’t read the previous, so in my opinion Marson should have written the book under the presumption the reader had read this. However, the book continually outlined and reiterated characters and plots from the 4th edition. I can’t help but feel they could’ve maybe even been incorporated into one?

However I did love the ending to this novel. The final few chapters were fantastic and I’m really glad I persevered with the story through to the end. The ending did read as though it would be the final edition, but who knows what’s in store for DI Kim stone? 3/5.

The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow

Randy Pausch was a computer scientist and professor at Carnegie Mellon University who was tragically diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given 3-6 months to live. The book is based around the ‘Last Lecture’ he gives. The lecture is given to 400 student and his wife Jai. The lecture is a celebration of his life, as well as a legacy to leave to his three young children.

The book is crammed with childhood stories and Pausch describing how he’s achieved his childhood dreams which include becoming a Disney imagineer and being in zero gravity. The book most definitely made me admire the way Pausch lived his life and undeniably had me blubbering at its inevitable conclusion. However, I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed by the way to book was put together. Randy Pausch clearly lived a unique and exciting life but the way to book was put together was actually the opposite of this – at no point did I feel gripped to read about adventures of the computer scientist. There was lots of advice on how to live your life, and some lovely photos of Pausch and his family. As much as I did enjoy Pausch’s anecdotes, I must admit I just didn’t find anything ‘ground-breaking’ about the book. 2.5/5

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