Tag: horror

An ALC Review: Granite Harbor by Peter Nichols

Granite Harbor
Author: Peter Nichols
Narrator:
Peter Ganim

To Be Published: April 30, 2024
Audiobook: 11 hours 20 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:  April 2-11, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

In scenic Granite Harbor, life has continued on―quiet and serene―for decades. That is until a local teenager is found brutally murdered in the Settlement, the town’s historic archaeological site. Alex Brangwen, adjusting to life as a single father with a failed career as a novelist, is the town’s sole detective. This is his first murder case and, as both a parent and detective, Alex knows the people of Granite Harbor are looking to him to catch the killer and temper the fear that has descended over the town.

Isabel, a single mother attempting to support her family while healing from her own demons, finds herself in the middle of the case when she begins working at the Settlement. Her son, Ethan, and Alex’s daughter, Sophie, were best friends with the victim. When a second body is found, both parents are terrified that their child may be next. As Alex and Isabel race to find the killer in their midst, the town’s secrets―past and present―begin bubbling to the surface, threatening to unravel the tight-knit community.

Jessica’s Review:

This one sounded right up my alley and I was interested in reading it, but it was not for me. I was sent an advanced listening copy and looked forward to listening to it. It is the ‘whodunit’ trope and a slow burn atmospheric read. 

I think this is one where the narrator did not work for me. I don’t remember much about the story other than teens being killed and toads being mentioned a lot. In fact, looking at some other reviews I was shocked that I missed many things, many which should be trigger warnings and knowing these now I would have avoided this book and maybe I am fortunate that I didn’t catch this while listening. Again, I think this was the narrator, and usually I would be interested in giving the book a try in the future, but I will skip this one.

Trigger warnings to be aware of:
Animal Abuse
Sexual Assault
Child Abuse
Teen Bullying

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an alc, I wish I could have enjoyed it!

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

Book Review: Prey by Sarah Davis

Prey
Author: Sarah Davis

Published: October 31, 2023
Paperback: 268 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:  December 11-27, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The fall waterfowl migration has brought something deadly to a small North Dakota town.

Dr. Emily Hayes, a veterinarian and single mom, is the first to submit a sample of mutated Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza—coined H5N1 2.0 or Mad Crow—a highly infectious disease that awakens violent aggression in birds and causes human infection.

Just as the community is about to be overcome by this Hitchcockian nightmare, handsome face from Emily’s past arrives—Dr. Jack Connor. He hopes he can help trace the source of the infection.

As the zoonotic infection spreads, unleashing unimaginable violence and turning birds into lethal creatures, Emily and Jack must overcome their differences and face the secrets that have kept them apart if they are to find a way out of this deadly biological nightmare.

Please be advised with these trigger warnings: Violence, animal death, human death, outbreak/ COVID 19.

Jessica’s Review:

Sarah Davis is a veterinarian, and she writes what she knows! (With some creative licensing).  With Prey, Davis takes a crossover of bird flu and swine flu to create mad crow. We do have references to the COVID-19 pandemic happening in the past, and let’s face it: A medical thriller written in present times of course COVID-19 was going to be mentioned.  It’s a part of our past, present, and will always be around.

I am a big fan of the 1995 movie Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, Cuba Gooding Jr and Rene Russo, so I was excited to get a chance to read this novel! And Prey takes off full steam ahead from the beginning! We get very aggressive bird attacks against humans. The description is very vivid, so reader discretion would be advised. 

The reader also gets multiple povs with short chapters, so this novel makes for some good and quick reading! For the romance readers, there is a little bit of a second chance romance added in to the mix, so there isn’t just deaths and killer birds! 

In case you didn’t know a group of crows is called a murder, and Prey brings on a new meaning to this term!  There were a few times as I was reading this book that I would be on the road and would pass a grouping of crows that might or might not fly off, which kind of freaked me out: But how could I not be while reading this book! Especially with one particular attack that happens early on!

 I did like the ending, we have an ending but not! With a virus that may always be the case. Prey has a little bit of just about everything to it: Action, terror, horror, killer bird, romance, secrets, hope, and a little bit of supernatural.  It should have something for most readers!

I really do like the cover to Prey: It is simple but also not! It achieves what it needs to do and catches my attention!  This is one I would definitely pick up in the bookstore to see what it is about.

It was surprising to know that Davis has never seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds! She mentions that in her author notes. I wonder if that is still the case now?   

Many thanks to Sarah Davis for sending me a paperback copy to read and review! I enjoyed it and I hope more people read it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: The Night House by Jo Nesbø

The Night House
Author: Jo Nesbø

Published: October 3, 2023
245 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 18- October 18, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

In the wake of his parents’ tragic deaths in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Richard Elauved has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle in the remote, insular town of Ballantyne. Richard quickly earns a reputation as an outcast, and when a classmate named Tom goes missing, everyone suspects the new, angry boy is responsible for his disappearance. No one believes him when he says the telephone booth out by the edge of the woods sucked Tom into the receiver like something out of a horror movie. No one, that is, except Karen, a beguiling fellow outsider who encourages Richard to pursue clues the police refuse to investigate. He traces the number that Tom prank called from the phone booth to an abandoned house in the Black Mirror Wood. There he catches a glimpse of a terrifying face in the window. And then the voices begin to whisper in his ear . . .

You know who I am. She’s going to burn. The one you love is going to burn. There’s not a thing you can do about it.

When another classmate disappears, Richard must find a way to prove his innocence–and preserve his sanity–as he grapples with the dark magic that is possessing Ballantyne and pursuing his destruction.

Then again, Richard may not be the most reliable narrator of his own story . . .

Jessica’s Review:

I love the cover of this one, it’s just reminiscent of back in the old days and seems like it was going to be a good, old fashioned horror story.  There are three parts to this novel and the first part was the horror I was looking for! Parts two and three didn’t really work for me.  And Richard definitely was an unreliable narrator and we know that sometimes those work for me, sometimes they don’t. In the case of this novel, it just didn’t work for me for most of the book. Richard was just not relatable and unlikable, as he is a bully and it is seen from the beginning.

You do wonder what direction the story is going to go as you are reading.  It did take me way too long to read this one: a whole month.  My job is trying out us working 4 10-hour days, which means an extra day off during the week!  Which I’m hoping will lead to more free reading time! I am hoping for that at least!

Overall, this book was not what I was expecting. I wanted a good scary horror story for the month of October, and most of the book was not that for me. This is also a foreign author and the book was translated, maybe the difference in the countries and story is what didn’t really work for me. 

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy to read and review. I just wish I could have enjoyed the novel more. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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