Leona: The Die is Cast
Series: Leona #1
Author: Jenny Rogneby
Published: July 17, 2014
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
Naked and bloody, a seven-year-old girl walks into a bank in central Stockholm in broad daylight and gets away with millions. Leona Lindberg of Stockholm’s Violent Crimes Division agrees to work on the case. With a long, distinguished history in the police force, she seems the perfect choice. But Leona is grappling with deep issues of her own–a gambling addiction, a strained marriage–that could jeopardize the investigation. As she struggles to keep the volatile pieces of her life under control, the line between right and wrong becomes increasingly unclear–and even irrelevant.
This is a hard-boiled crime novel, filled with unexpected twists and turns, featuring an unusual heroine. Leona makes for gripping reading while challenging feminine norms and posing questions about what lies behind the choices we make.
I’m not sure I’ve ever read a character that I disliked more than Leona Lindberg. Unfortunately, part of the reason that I dislike her is buried in spoilers, so I can’t tell you! She was cold and lifeless and selfish! And the problem is that most of the story is told from her perspective! I’m all about the consequences of someone’s actions, but all Leona did was whine about hers! And she even did that ridiculous justification act where she convinces herself that her family and kids are just too good for her and that’s why she’s free to abandon them! Give me a break.
As for the story:It was ok. The suspense lasted maybe the first quarter, but then everything began unfolding and that took up the rest of the book. If Leona wasn’t so insufferable, I might have enjoyed it more. It did end on a cliffhanger, so be aware if you decide to read it. I’ll admit that I kinda sorta want to keep reading the series, just to see what happens; but then I’ll also admit that I just don’t care. So I kinda enjoyed it, kinda didn’t. Ta-da!
Sleeping Dogs Lie
Author: Samantha Downing
Published: April 1, 2021
Audiobook: 2 hours 8 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened: August 25, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
From the internationally best-selling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It comes a twisted, entertaining novella about a dog walker swept into a criminal investigation when her client winds up dead.
Shelby works as a dog walker in Northern California, and she’s just finished up her biweekly trip to the park with a husky named Pluto. When she brings him back to his house, she finds his owner—Todd Burke, a well-known local businessman and founder of an organic supplements company—dead on the bathroom floor. As a detective interviews Shelby, a medical examiner inspects the body, and more cops search Todd’s home, it becomes clear that the victim’s life was less picture-perfect than his clean-cut persona might lead you to believe.
I loved this novella!! Downing is seemingly becoming a new favorite author for me! This clever novella has all kinds of twists and turns and I was fully engrossed in what was going to happen! I wasn’t expecting to be fully involved in the story of a dog walker.
We have two POVs: The dog walker Shelby who is seemingly caught up in a death case, and the second is the police Detective Grady. What is at first just a death becomes so much more with so many potential guilty parties. I didn’t have any idea on who the guilty party was and was stunned at the conclusion! This fast-paced novella will definitely surprise the listener and also keep them entertained.
The ending was shocking but I also loved it as it was totally unexpected! I had a smile on my face when this audiobook was over![Top]
The Ice Queen
Series: Bodenstein & Kirchhoff #3
Author: Nele Neuhaus
Published: January 13, 2015
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The body of 92-year-old Jossi Goldberg, Holocaust survivor and American citizen, is found shot to death execution style in his house near Frankfurt. A five-digit number is scrawled in blood at the murder scene. The autopsy reveals an old and unsuccessfully covered tattoo on the corpse’s arm—a blood type marker once used by Hitler’s SS. Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver Bodenstein are faced with a riddle. Was the old man not Jewish after all? Who was he, really? Two more, similar murders happen—one of a wheelchair-bound old lady in a nursing home, and one of a man with a cellar filled with Nazi paraphernalia—and slowly the connections between the victims becomes evident: All of them were lifelong friends with Vera von Kaltensee, baroness, well-respected philanthropist, and head of an old, rich family that she rules with an iron fist. Pia and Oliver follow the trail, which leads them all the way back to the end of World War II and the area of Poland that then belonged to East Prussia. No one is who they claim to be, and things only begin to make sense when the two investigators realize what the bloody number stands for, and uncover an old diary and an eyewitness who is finally willing to come forward.
Nele Neuhaus’s The Ice Queen is a character- and plot-driven mystery about revenge, power, and long-forgotten and covered up secrets from a time in German history that still affects the present.
Dang, these European mysteries are complicated!! That’s the main reason I gave it 4 stars; there are so many names!! It felt like the story got all muddled in the beginning and took so many pages just to unmuddle it again! Thankfully, once I got about a third of the way through, things started to unravel and make sense. If you can keep the characters straight, this is actually a pretty good mystery. It kept me guessing almost until the end. I was very impressed with the resolution! I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t say anything more! It is the 3rd book in a series, which I didn’t know when I started reading it, but it was an issue. An occasional comment that didn’t make sense, but nothing to do with the plot. The main characters were actually pretty likable and had interesting arcs. They weren’t perfect by any means but the fact that I came out still liking them says a lot! So overall, a pretty good book that I would recommend!