Tag Archives: Murder

The Girl Who Lived by Christopher Greyson. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Girl Who Lived by Christopher Greyson

The day before Faith Winters’ 13th birthday Faith and her sister Kim headed to their family’s cabin and as Kim entered she was stabbed, but she was able to tell Faith to run. Faith ran, hid, and escaped, but the killers also murdered their father, Faith’s best friend Anna, and Anna’s mother. After bumbling the case, the local police ruled it a murder-suicide committed by their father, but Faith knew she had seen someone else there. A man she calls “Rat Face” because that is how he looked to Faith.

Ten years later Faith is in a mental facility. Her therapist believes she is suicidal, the police think she is crazy, and everyone else sees her as a drunk and a danger to herself and others. Faith just knows that every waking minute is spent reliving that horrible day.

Henryka Vasilyeva (Henry as Faith calls her) is a Federal agent who has been tasked with checking into Faith’s claim that she saw the killer. Even though the case is officially closed with the local police, Henry believes there is another murder that has similarities and she is willing to investigate further.

Just days before the anniversary of what Faith calls “Death Day” she is released from Brookstone Mental Hospital and sent back to Marshfield, where it all took place. There is no way for Faith to escape her past here, even more so since her psychologist mother has written a best-selling tell-all about Faith called “The Girl Who Lived.”

Leaving a bar in a drunken stupor she catches a glimpse of Rat-Face, though no one believes her because of the alcohol. Over the next few days, she is certain that the killer is watching and terrorizing her, but since everyone has read her mother’s book they all believe that she is extremely close to going insane.

With no one to trust, Faith believes she has to take matters into her own hands, which always gets her into precarious situations and she knows that time is running out for her one way or another.

This is a good book with a very interesting plot. I could immediately connect with Faith and felt deeply sorry for her. While she does some pretty risky things that always backfire on her, I don’t blame her for that, which is unusual for me. I generally want characters that are somewhat aware of what will happen if… However, with the scope of what Faith has encountered, that would go against her psyche as she is far too damaged to think beyond the here and now.

There is quite a large twist to this novel and I certainly did not see it coming. Grayson does a really good job of keeping you guessing about whom to trust and who the real villains are and that is one of the reasons that I really recommend this book.

Book Details:

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4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

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One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

With a nostalgia that lends itself to The Breakfast Club, the novel One Of Us Is Lying opens with a detention starring familiar stereotypes:

  • Bronwyn Rojas is the typical brain who is involved in everything from student government to prom committee.
  • Cooper Clay is the jock with college and pro baseball scouts hot on his trail that everyone, from students to teachers to parents, love. He is the all-American boy-next-door.
  • Addy Prentiss is the beautiful blonde homecoming queen with the super hot boyfriend.
  • Nate McAuley is the druggie of the group. You know, the one that no one wants to claim to know.
  • Simon Kelleher is the typical nerd. He is also the one who spreads all the juicy gossip, especially if it will hurt someone.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus. A Propensity to Discuss review.

All of the students in detention claim that they are there because they were framed. Someone slipped a phone into each of their backpacks to be found by a technophobic teacher everyone knows searches backpacks for phones, and they all still have their own phones. The story moves quickly to mayhem because before detention is even half over Simon is dead of an allergic reaction.

When the rest of the group is called in to answer a few questions from the police the mayhem begins to look like murder with Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy, and Nate all at the forefront of the list of suspects.

Simon, you see, had nasty gossip app called “About That” which he used to spread hurtful gossip about fellow Bayview High School students. Of the four suspects, only Nate has ever been called out on Simon’s app and that had to do with a drug arrest that is pretty much common knowledge. But they all have secrets that none of them would want to get out. Except the police don’t know about those, and if Simon had known, he surely would’ve used that against them already. Right?

So why in the world would any of them have murdered Simon? They have no motive, but that doesn’t stop the police from suspecting them. And since the police seem to have tunnel vision toward the four of them, Bronwyn knows they have to find out for themselves who really killed Simon, which may prove difficult since so many students who had been hurt by his gossip had plenty of reasons to hate him.

Karen McManus is quite the storyteller. She is a master of giving just enough information to lead you into the next twist only to bring you to the realization that you still don’t know the truth. For me, these leads and twists intensified my need to know the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story.

While I would not classify this as a psychological thriller, it does play mind games with you as you try to figure it all out what actually happened. You may get close to figuring it out, but as the story is told through the alternating points of view of each of the suspects, you are left with only what each character wants you to know or believe and finding out the truth about who did it is quite a shock.

As YA (Young Adult) novels go, this one is a bit lengthy and there is quite a bit to keep up with, but I really came to like and admire the characters. They have so much depth to them and are far more than what meets the eye.  – which I find true to life. So many stereotypical people I have gotten to know I’ve truly crushed my initial idea of them from their stereotype. It is the human equivalent of not judging a book by its cover. Don’t judge a person by their stereotype, get to know them or you never know what you are missing out on!

I highly recommend this book, not only to young adults but also to adults. It is a well-written story that covers issues that we see today often in the real world. People are scapegoats and are “convicted” by the media, their peers, and public opinion without anyone having all the facts or arrests, much less officially in a court of law. It certainly leaves you with a lot to ponder.

Book Details

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4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I whole-heartedly recommend these linked products!

The Good Daughter. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Good Daughter – Karin Slaughter

I have said it before and here it is again: The absolute biggest problem with reading a Karin Slaughter book is finishing and having the agony of waiting for the next one! That being said, The Good Daughter follows true to form.

Rusty Quinn was a man of many words and many beliefs. First and foremost he believed that everyone had a right to a fair trial, which is why he defended the vilest of the vile, always knowing that his family was shunned in their small town because of his cases. And then it all came crashing down around him.

Twenty-eight years ago two men came looking for Rusty but instead found Gamma, the wife he adored, and his daughters Sam and Charlie. The night left Gamma dead and Charlie and Sam fighting for their lives. The events, told this time from Charlie’s point of view, detail what happened to her mother and her sister and how she ran as fast as she could to escape.

Charlie has been running ever since.

Fast forward 28 years to a horrifying shooting that rocks the small town and Charlie finds herself right in the middle of it, peeling the scabs off of the wounds that had never really healed. Head-strong, willful, deeply angry Charlie throws herself headlong into making things right. Rusty, as usual, is the only one ready to defend the girl at the center of this egregious crime again putting his life in jeopardy.

Once again, Karin Slaughter has managed to write a novel that is both grisly and beautiful, lurid and poignant. A book about hatred and healing, fear, and misunderstanding. A book about the power of forgiveness and the desperation of hate.

As with most of Karin Slaughter’s books, the audio version of The Good Daughter is read by Kathleen Early who, as always, brings something specific to every character, even if it is in just a subtle way. She does a superb job of relaying the anguish, the love, the hurt and the hate in a way that leads you straight to the mind of each and every character. I could listen to her read all day and all night. Especially if it was a Karin Slaughter novel.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly Five out of five stars for writing. Five out of five stars for the audio. But beware, once you begin, you are opening your heart for one huge emotional ride!

Book Details

 

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

Memory Man by David Baldacci

The first I knew of David Baldacci was after seeing the movie Absolute Power (Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris). And then I read the book, written by Baldacci from which the movie was adapted. Of course the book was better. I really liked it.

Then I read Saving Faith. I loved it. Then The Winner, you guessed it, I loved it. Then followed all of Baldacci’s books. I have followed his writing since 1997. And I have always been in awe of his writing, his character development, his plot twists and his ability to throw in a shocker ending.

Black as death. Blue as night. Red as three. David Baldacci's Memory Man. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Black as death. Blue as night. Red as three. David Baldacci’s Memory Man. A Propensity to Discuss review.

And now I have finished reading his newest book, Memory Man. I was not prepared. It is fascinating. The character development with Amos Decker is one of the most intriguing and engaging portrayal of a character I have read in a while. He not only allows you to see Decker work, you get to know him. You believe in him. You worry about him. And you like him.

Ten years ago Amos Decker stepped onto an NFL football field for one play. One solitary play that would change his life forever. A hit that would cause the need for resuscitation twice and left him with a brain that was fully utilized, leaving him with both hyperthymesia and synesthesia. He cannot forget anything and numbers and feelings invoke colors.

So when Amos Decker arrives home after a grueling day of work as a police detective to find his brother-in-law, wife and daughter brutally murdered, it takes every ounce of strength he has not to take his own life.

A little more than a year later and Decker is barely hanging on, living in a hotel and only just existing, when a man walks into the police station and confesses to the murders. The same day a massacre takes place at the high school.

Somehow the two crimes are connected, but the man who confessed was in lockup when the murders at the school took place.

The FBI is brought in to lead the investigation and they are not so sure about the 350 lb, bearded Amos Decker. But his former partner and former chief know that Decker has to be brought back into the fold if these cases have any chance of being solved.

The ensuing story takes you in and out of the captivating mind of Amos Decker. And I think you will find yourself truly entranced and waiting impatiently for the next book in the series.

The audio book is, like most Baldacci books, read by Ron McClarty and Orlagh Cassidy. As noted in a previous posts (The Kitchen House and Wind in your face, past in the rear view mirror) she is one of my absolute favorites! True to form, this book is skillfully and beautifully performed.

Perhaps one of the reasons that I became so engrossed with Amos is because I, too, am a synesthete.

Synesthesia. Synesthesia. Black as death. Blue as night. Red as three. David Baldacci's Memory Man. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Synesthesia.  Black as death. Blue as night. Red as three. David Baldacci’s Memory Man. A Propensity to Discuss review.

There. I said it. I hid that fact for years, because I was embarrassed by it. It’s weird, I admit it. And people don’t really believe you when you try to explain it. I only learned that it had a name about 5 years ago. I am not alone! 🙂 YAY!

Hubby recently started listening to the book and he asked me whether or not my number/color combinations were the same as Amos’ combinations. The answer is no. Every synesthete is different. So when he referred to his combinations, it was really strange for me. In my mind I was correcting him.

But that’s OK, because in every other way, Amos Dekker is close to being one of my all time favorite characters.

Please hurry, Mr. Baldacci. I miss Amos.

 

Any chance you could be a synesthete?  Take the test from Synesthesia.org. But if you are, you already pretty much know it. At least now you know there are more of us! 🙂