Tag: 4 stars

Book Review: The Haunting of Merci Hospital by Tanya R. Taylor

The Haunting of Merci Hospital
Author:
Tanya R. Taylor

Published: April 30, 2017
147 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Some patients never leave…
No one expects to visit a hospital for a non-life-threatening injury only to never leave again.

Merci Hospital, one of the oldest in the county, has served countless patients for practically decades. However, something is now very odd about the place as some who are admitted report seeing things that are not there and others never get to talk about it.

Catherine Lucene is fairly new at Merci, a highly regarded nurse whose reputation for excellence and compassion in healthcare precedes her. She gradually becomes aware of the inexplicably sinister happenings at the hospital, but the underlying cause of it all evades her. Will Catherine’s determination to uncover the truth help preserve the lives of those not yet lost, including her own, or will her curiosity of the “unknown” propel her into a horrifying state-of-being she never knew existed?

Kim’s Review:

This is gonna be a simple review for a simple story. Believe me, I’d love to go on and on about the benefits of haunted hospitals and lamenting my lot as the wife of a medical provider who won’t take her up to the haunted floor of the hospital he works at … but I won’t, cuz y’all have heard it all before.

I really liked this book! It was creepy, unique, and even as a ghost story, believable. I liked Nurse Katherine a lot; she seemed to be that perfect nurse who cared and also knew her stuff. I don’t want to give away too much detail, but there were some pretty freaky stuff that gave me goosebumps! My only problem is that I want more detail. This felt a little more like the bare bones of a story versus a completed work. The haunting happened for a reason, but I need more detail about said reason! Where’s the background of the hospital?? When I’m lucky enough to find a book about a haunted hospital or an asylum or even a boarding school, it needs to be at least 300 pages with a complete history of said institution!!!! How hard is that really??? Ok I know, I’m being unreasonable, so acknowledging that about myself, I really liked this book and I recommend it to anyone looking for a simple horror story. It’ll definitely scratch the itch!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Archangel by Robert Harris

 Archangel
Author:
Robert Harris

Published: February 1, 2000
432 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Fluke Kelso was once a scholar of promise, but like so many in the highly competitive world of academia, he’s never delivered. But one night, at a symposium in Moscow concerning the release of secret Soviet archives, he is approached by Papu Rapava, a former Kremlin bodyguard with a story to tell. No one but the desperate Kelso would believe the tale, for what Rapava describes is a sort of Holy Grail among researchers: an actual diary left by Joseph Stalin himself. Such an artifact, if it’s genuine — and if Kelso can survive the fascist Vladimir Mamantov, who wants it for his own agenda — would be the coup of a lifetime for the discredited researcher.

Before Kelso can learn the location of the diary, Rapava disappears, and Kelso’s search for the former bodyguard leads him to the man’s daughter, a whore selling herself in the new Moscow of drugs, corruption, and the Russian mafia. With an unscrupulous American journalist hot on their heels, a major of the new KGB close behind, and the shadowy Mamantov following them all, the two follow a trail that leads from Moscow’s seedy underbelly to the industrial city of Archangel, where Russia once built her fleets of submarines, to a remote camp on the edge of the Siberian nothingness, and finally to a shocking conclusion that bites like the wind blowing off the tundra. What Kelso sees as the coup of his career might turn out to be the catalyst for an actual coup in Russia. There is a legacy behind the diary, a legacy of evil and death, and Fluke Kelso is unwittingly about to unleash it on the world.

Kim’s Review:

Robert Harris has nudged his way onto my list of favorite authors! A hunt for Stalin’s lost papers?? Yes please! If there is indeed that expedition, I volunteer!

Archangel gave a great look at the little details of Russian politics, culture, geography, history, etc. Harris included references to before the fall of communism along with the more current government structure of recent years. He manages to write new stories about current subjects that you can’t help but believe, yet never names real leaders or current politicians. The beginning started a little slow, but I enjoyed the details of the old man’s story and Fluke’s plethora of research.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure how everything was going to come together. I was almost disappointed with the ending, yet Harris surprised me and I was pleased with how everything was tied up. Overall, this is a great book for historians and even for those who love nitty gritty historical detail!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One for Sorrow
Author:
Mary Downing Hahn

Published: July 18, 2017
304 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Kim’s Review:

Another chilling tale from Hahn! My gosh she is the queen of kids’ horror! This one seemed appropriate for the times since it takes place during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Seems a bit more romantic than covid, but I guess we’ll take what we can get.

I really liked this book. The atmosphere of Baltimore in winter and the cemetery in the snow and the mental hospital were vivid and interesting. The story was unique and satisfying and it gave me goosebumps in several places. And considering how annoying I find kids, I actually really liked Annie. She seemed sincere and relatable. My one issue is my complete and utter discomfort caused by Elsie! Hahn does this thing where she puts the nastiest kids down on paper and I spend half my time wishing they never existed! I know the point is to make them unlikable and downright unbearable … but dang, sometimes it’s just too much! But her horribleness added to the story so I was mostly ok. I would definitely recommend this to horror fans and even to kids who like the scarier stories.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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