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Showing posts from December, 2015

No Mercy: True Stories of Disaster, Survival and Brutality by Eleanor Learmonth & Jenny Tabakoff

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No Mercy: True Stories of Disaster, Survival and Brutality by Eleanor Learmonth & Jenny Tabakoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 24th 2013 by The Text Publishing Company

Epically fascinating. The authors take a look at the group dynamics of (mostly) men who meet disaster and the neurological factors that play an important role into whether the group will survive or not. Starting off with "The Lord of the Flies Principle" and the "Robber's Cave Experiment" as examples of group survival decay they examine several shipwrecks from the 1700s and 1800s which all had atrocious survivor rates except one which had 100% success. They discuss how our brain reacts in these situations, typical feelings and almost always shared situations and problems. While discussing these topics many other survivor disasters are referenced, sometimes in full, as well. So while the book is very heavy on shipwrecks others are regularly mentioned such as the A…

The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

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The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Doubleday Canada
Source: received a review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Awesome! I stayed up way too late because I just could not put it down without finishing it. I partly had the scenario figured out, but there were so many twists and turns that there was enough that kept me guessing. If you're familiar with the mangas "Judge" or "Doubt" you'll know where the author's idea comes from. A warehouse, with kidnapped teens who are being murdered by captors wearing masks.

For a YA book this has the violence, fast pace and psychological thrills of an adult book of the genre, yet it never stops reminding you that it is, indeed, a YA book. And there is where I have my problems and am not sure how to rate or review the book yet. Since the book starts off with a group of teens in a mental therapy group, their diagnoses become the "issue…

Winemaker Detective Mysteries #10: Late Harvest Havoc by Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noël Balen

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Late Harvest Havoc by Jean-Pierre Alaux &  Noël Balen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 167 pages
Published December 15th 2015 by Le French Book
first published in French 2005)
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Winemaker Detective Mysteries (#10)


The tenth satisfying addition to the Benjamin Cooker series begins with a macabre little opener to set the mood. This time, Benjamin and Virgile are on a whirlwind tour of Alsace and a small section of Germany trying to uncover the identity of a vandal who is chainsawing rows of young grape vines from various vintners with apparently no connections. They end up uncovering gossip and family secrets that lead full circle to the opening setting for a broody and moody ending. I always say this, but what I love about this series is that each one is different, we never know what is going to happen besides being immersed in the glorious world of decadent french food and wine (plus stinky cheese in this book). Late Harvest Havoc brings a particularly…

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 397 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by William Morrow
Source: egalley via edelweiss

I loved every second of this! I can't believe it's only been a year since I read Slaughter's last book which I really enjoyed for the writing but "Pretty Girls" brings back all the macabre serial killer goodness I love about this author's books. Another standalone, this book had me going from the beginning and really threw me for a loop in the middle. It is quite tense with some very unnerving parts and not, repeat not, to be read by the weak-stomached. I also liked the relationships portrayed in the book and especially enjoyed it being a sister story (since I'm a sister) This feels fresh to me like Slaughter has come out rejuvenated with something different yet more like her earlier works. This was a page-turner for me, a disconcerting thriller that kept me reading way into the wee hours of the night.



FRUSTRATED WITNESS!: The True Story of the ADAM WALSH Case and Police Misconduct by Willis Morgan

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FRUSTRATED WITNESS!: The True Story of the ADAM WALSH Case and Police Misconduct by Willis Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 356 pages
Published September 24th 2015 by BookBaby
Source: review copy from the publisher



A very intriguing read! Willis Morgan was at the Sears mall the day that Adam Walsh was kidnapped and since that day he has been a "frustrated witness". This book is his story as a witness and a very convincing case for Jeffrey Dahmer being the real killer of the little boy. Morgan is not the first to suggest this and in fact Dahmer has been a suspect since his pictures appeared on TV in the '90s after his arrest and witnesses of Adam's kidnapping placed him as the suspect from the composites they had given in the '80s. I won't go any further into the facts, this book provides them all. Full of original documents from witness statements to inter-office memos, the complete Adam Walsh case files are either printed in this book, referenced he…

Investigation Discovery: Serial Killers December/January 2016

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Investigation Discovery: Serial Killers December/January 2016
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Magazine, 98 pages
Published November 2015
Source: retail store
Investigation Discovery Channel


Glossy magazine with mostly two-page spreads about all the most popular serial killers you can think of. Heavy on the mid 20th century to present but still has a decent amount of the famous older cases. Divided into topical sections such as females, duos and the infamous there's a brief rundown on everyone and interesting stats throughout the magazine. I'm well read on this topic and didn't find anything I hadn't known before, even the pictures were all ones I'd seen before so I wasn't overly impressed with this from an information perspective. But it's nice to have the glossy in your hands rather than looking at pics on pinterest all the time. The last issue on Unsolved Mysteries was far better for me, but you'll like this issue more if you don't already know all the in…

Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie

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Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 180 pages
Published July 12th 2013 by Diversion Books
Source:  egalley via Netgalley


Colin Mochrie, famous for his improv, has put his talent into story format and written a book! Not Quite the Classics is not quite literature but is full of a dozen rollicking good yarns. Each story starts with the first sentence of a classic piece of literature and ends with its last sentence. These are printed in bold so the reader knows when they start and stop. In between those appropriated words are rambling pieces of comedic buffoonery that could only come from the mind of Colin Mochrie. I read this book but for the first time in my life as a non-audio book person, I was hearing Mochrie's voice in my head and actually wishing I was listening to the audio version. Only one of the twelve didn't amuse me, the others had me laughing out loud from giggles to outright guffaws. Mochrie may not quite be the best writ…

9th Annual Graphic Novel and Manga Reading Challenge

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The 9th Annual Graphic Novel and Manga Reading Challenge is open for sign-ups!!!!! 
Come join us next year.

Calls Across the Pacific by Zoë S. Roy

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Calls Across the Pacific by Zoë S. Roy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 270 pages
Published October 21st 2015 by Inanna Publications
Source: review copy via the publisher


A brilliant historical fiction set in the 1970s of a young woman who escaped Maoist China to freedom via Hong Kong to the US and finally comes to rest in Canada. But she doesn't find her final rest until she is able to go back and find out what happened to those she left behind, which she is able to do in the days leading up to the death of Chairman Mao. The story flashes between the present 1970s and the early 1960s when Nina's family was persecuted by the Mao regime and she herself was at first a Red Guard before being shamed for her parent's crimes and sent to a re-education camp. Takes a good look at the travesties inflicted on the people of any ilk under Mao's regime and Nina through her research on political science and a book she is writing brings both the political system and capitalism vs c…