Show Us Your Books + Cozy Night In Gift Guide

Posted November 14, 2017 by shooting in Book Review / 41 Comments

I’m here today to link up with Jana Says and Life According to Steph for Show Us Your Books. I have six mini reviews to share today – all mysteries and most are actually about serial killers. If that interests you at all, then read on! But before you do, visit my Twitter (and the pinned tweet) to enter my Booksgiving Giveaway! I’m hosting my own giveaway, but so is Cassie so you have to follow us both and RT the tweet to enter (Cassie has her own giveaway here– totally different items, so you can enter one or both).

6 Mini Mystery Book Reviews #ontheblog! Which would you read? Click To Tweet

Now to my mini reviews—

Unsub by Meg Gardiner

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This is the first book in a series and it’s definitely something I will continue reading. I thought Caitlin Hendrix was a great character and it was easy to see how much she wanted to bring down the Prophet, since he had essentially destroyed her own father’s life. If you like mysteries/thrillers about serial killers, this is one you should definitely check out!

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

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Another serial killer story, this time following Detective Erika Foster and taking place in London. Erika’s last case was very traumatic for her, and this is shown throughout the book but it did feel a bit like we were missing part of the story since there is no prologue or complete flashback. Regardless, I did find this to be an intriguing mystery. The “girl in the ice” is a young socialite whose family isn’t being terribly helpful as an investigation looks poorly on them. While I liked this one, I didn’t love it. However, I would be curious to check out the second book in the series (there are five out now).

In the Woods by Tana French

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This is a book I’d wanted to read for years, but honestly, I was a bit disappointed. There is the present-day mystery that was solved and I found that aspect to be really fascinating. However, there is a mystery from the past (that feels a bit similar to the present one) that is talked about throughout the entire book and yet I don’t feel like we got any closure there. That was probably my biggest complaint, but it also just felt like an overly long book at times.

With Malice by Eileen Cook

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Jill spent weeks in Italy but she can’t remember anything. The book starts with her waking up in the hospital, having no memory of getting in a car crash that killed her best friend, Simone. Now the question is – did Jill crash on purpose? Did she mean to hurt, or even actually kill, Simone? This is an interesting YA mystery that had me second-guessing my own thoughts. The media is ready to make Jill the villain, but that’s what the media does. Someone has to be at fault, so it might as well be the surviving friend who was driving the car. With Malice was a good read, but I have a feeling the end of the book might leave some readers divided.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

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I’ve wanted to read this book for such a long time, so I was excited when I learned that my library had a YA for Adults book club and this was the book they were reading for October. I’m currently a little over halfway through the second book, so I think it’s safe to say that I highly enjoyed this one. The Diviners focuses on people with various special abilities, particularly Evie who comes to New York from Ohio to live with her uncle. When she holds an object that belongs to someone, she can sometimes see images and moments from their life. She eventually uses this skill to help figure out who is behind the recent serial killings. The Pentacle Killer has a specific plan for his gruesome murders – and the way he arranges the bodies after – and it’s up to Evie, her uncle, and her new New York friends to figure it out. This is a paranormal murder mystery full of suspension and even some great humor! Plus, it’s set in the 1920’s and the author does a great job creating the atmosphere of the time period and place.

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

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This is another book I’d wanted to read for awhile. It focuses on teenager John Wayne Cleaver who knows he could easily be a serial killer, so he keeps rules on how to behave. He doesn’t feel emotions very well and can’t empathize with others, but he watches other people and mostly knows how to act. Of course, when a serial killer shows up in his town, John can’t stay away from the action. I found this to be a really intriguing premise, and I highly enjoyed the book. John might be capable of being a serial killer, but he’s not yet, and it’s easy to see how hard he tries to be “normal.” I also loved his mom, even if some of her ideas for helping John probably aren’t the best. The one thing I was a bit surprised by in the book is that this isn’t a straight up contemporary/realistic novel – I won’t say more to avoid spoilers. It threw me off a bit at first, but I eventually got used to it. This is the first in a series – and there is even a movie based on this novel on Netflix that I hope to watch soon.

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41 responses to “Show Us Your Books + Cozy Night In Gift Guide

  1. RO

    I’m a serious fan of suspense novels and thrillers that keep me guessing, so these all look pretty wonderful. Right now, I’m reading a spy novel called Twelve Days by Alex Berenson and it’s a nail biter! Hugs…RO

  2. I love reading about serial killers. There is just something fascinating about it! Some of these are already in my TBR pile but some aren’t so I’m adding a few. 😉 Great list!!

  3. A lot of good books listed – a few are on my TBR! I just bought a pair of those Target slippers in store a few days ago, and they’re super comfortable!

  4. There are a couple of these that sound interesting to me! With Malice sounds really good and so does I Am Not a Serial Killer. I will have to add them to my list! And oh my god the Nest candles – those are the best. They smell so good and last so long!

  5. A big reader of this genre way back when, I admit to not reading so many these days. Of all of these books it was the cover of In The Woods that really appealed to me. A shame it disappointed you. I shall however perhaps add it to my list as a possibility when I need a good serial killer novel.

  6. So many friends absolutely love The Diviners series and sadly, when I tried reading book one wasn’t able to really get into it at the time. Been really loving historical fiction lately though and might give it another go seeing you’ve enjoyed it so much Lauren. Gosh it’s been so hot here lately, not looking forward to summer at all. I might need to migrate over there for the winter months <3

  7. I enjoyed Unsub too. I believe she sold the rights for either a movie or TV series. I was the opposite of you on In the Woods. I was more drawn to the past than the present crime but am with you 100% with feeling unsatisfied by the unresolved nature of it. I can take (and actually really love) ambiguous endings but not with mysteries! My inner Scooby-Doo needs the villain to be unmasked! I am Not a Serial Killer sounds fantastic (a little reminiscent of Dexter so I hope he doesn’t end up a logger) and I’m adding it to my TBR.

  8. What a fun post. I read the Diviners when it came out, but haven’t continued the series, I need to. Bummer about The Woods, I have that on my list, I think I will skip it.

  9. I don’t read mysteries typically BUT you have some great ones here! With Malice is one I’ve wanted to read for a very long time!!! And I Am Not a Serial Killer was so hugely popular a few years back. Man, I need to read those. I do like mysteries, they just stress me out (wuss!!!!!)

  10. I thought In the Woods was okay but I didn’t like the two follow-ups at all, so I stopped the “series” at one book. Oh well.
    I tried The Girl in Ice but just didn’t like it enough to continue.

  11. Jen

    The Diviners looks like one I need to add to the list. I am going to see if my library has a copy, because it would be fun to read this over the Thanksgiving holiday!

  12. I’m not a big crime/thriller reader but I do enjoy them from time to time. I love Tana French but haven’t read that one–bummer that you didn’t enjoy it! With Malice and I Am Not a Serial Killer both sound really good!

  13. Good mini collection of books here. I am not a massive thriller reader but I am realising I enjoy them far more than I thought. I have obviously read a few because a couple of these on your list are familiar to me. I really enjoyed The Diviners and although I struggled a little with the second book I am reminding myself I need to get the third book sometime soon. With malice sounds good, I’d seen it about but it’s one I wanted to check out.

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