Friday Face-Off – 18th October 2019

Friday Face-Off – 18th October 2019

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a scream: “It’s your favourite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.”

For this theme I’ve picked The Case of the Screaming Woman by Erle Stanley Gardner.

Cover A:

scream1

Cover B:

scream2

Cover C:

scream3

Cover D:

scream4

Cover E:

scream5

Cover F:

scream6
And the winner is… IT’S A DRAW!

Covers A and B are my winners. They both spoke to me, giving off a vibe from vintage Hollywood.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a scary cover of my choosing for Halloween.

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Don’t Get Involved by F.J. Curlew

Don’t Get Involved by F.J. Curlew

A missing shipment of cocaine.
Three street-kids fighting for their lives.
A mafia hit-man intent on killing them.
A naive expat who gets in their way.
Who would you bet on?

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Don’t Get Involved tells of the struggle of life for the many street kids living rough on the streets of Kiev. Every day is a struggle to find shelter, warmth, food, safety; the children having to beg, scrounge and steal any little scraps they could to get by. Sometimes these children must submit themselves to unspeakable things to earn a bit of money – just enough for a few morsels of food and drink, not enough to break the vice-like grip the corrupt hold over them.
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That is until one girl comes into the possession of a life-changing haul of illicit drugs. The money this could sell for is life changing, but the mafia are on the hunt for their lost haul. Nadia, a Scottish expat, her compassion drawing her to the children, like a moth to flame, does what she can to help them throughout her time in the city. Having fled an abusive relationship at home and having forged new friendships and relationships, finds herself drawn into a situation far bigger than herself. She marks herself out to the mafia hit-man and the corrupt military police as she seeks to dig the children out of a situation.

Don’t Get Involved is dark and gritty, providing an insight into the hidden aspects of society that most of us are fortunate enough to not ever have to experience. F.J. Curlew does a fantastic job of painting a picture of the city. From the perspective of outsiders it seems to be a place of wonder, new experiences to be found around each corner. From the side of the street children Kiev appears stark, inhospitable and corrupt to the core. 

The tales told on both sides of this book are tragic for different reasons. The story offers the slightest of glimmers of hope throughout for all involved, and while I was not too sure about the ending, overall I enjoyed this book for the dark, sorrow-filled atmosphere that permeated from the first to the last page.

My rating:
goodread

The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker

The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive.

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.

Wow, what an incredible read The Fourth Monkey has been. This is the first book I’ve read by J.D. Barker, and that is often the make or break when trying a new author. I can wholeheartedly say that this is one of the best crime thriller novels I have ever read. The killer is highly enigmatic and mysterious. A dark and shadowy figure foiling the police at every turn. The discovery of another body, the body of the killer throws a curveball at the team investigating his crimes. Clues on the body start to point to one last victim with little time left and clues to his background.
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J.D. Barker has found a fantastic approach to making the threat ever present as we follow the team in their hunt for the victim, while they also seek an answer to who the Four Monkey Killer was and why he did what he did. A diary of sorts provides some answers, chronicling the life of the killer as a child and events that developed him into the man he became.

I found The Fourth Monkey to be a rare book. While there are many I have loved, this is one of the few that kept me wanting for the next chance to sit down and find out what happened next. I needed to know where this killer came from. I needed to know what becomes of his final victim. I needed to know who the Four Monkey Killer was. And even once the identity became clear, somehow the twists and thrills did not let up there.

The only disappointment came when I read the final sentence. I had answers, but that wasn’t enough. J.D. Barker has produced a novel that left me wanting more. Thankfully for me, books two and three are on my shelf ready for me to dive right in to. This is possibly one of the best crime thrillers I have read.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 11th October 2019

Friday Face-Off – 11th October 2019

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring an inn: “And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”

Cover A:

inn1

Cover B:

inn2

Cover C:

inn3

Cover D:

Kein Leben ohne Minibar von Will Wiles
And the winner is… COVER B!

Simple yet effective. For some reason this one really caught my eye, even though it doesn’t have a lot going on.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a scream: “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.”

Friday Face-Off – 4th October 2019

Friday Face-Off – 4th October 2019

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover that is 60s horror: “Feed me, Seymour!” For this I’ve picked Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.

Cover A:

horror1

Cover B:

horror2

Cover C:

horror3

Cover D:

horror4

Cover E:

horror5

Cover F:

horror6

Cover G:

horror7

And the winner is… COVER G!

This was very nearly a draw. Cover G just edged it for me. The colours and art style caught my attention, alongside the somewhat deranged look on the merry-go-round horse. Cover B was a close second – I really liked the vibrant yet simple style to this one.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that features an inn: “And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”

Friday Face-Off – 27th September 2019

Friday Face-Off – 27th September 2019

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a freebie: a book of my choice. For this I’ve gone for Stephen King’s From a Buick 8.

Cover A:

freebie1

Cover B:

freebie2

Cover C:

freebie3

Cover D:

freebie4

Cover E:

freebie5

Cover F:

freebie6

Cover G:

freebie7

Cover H:

freebie8

And the winner is… COVER A!

This one really catches my eye. The car somehow looks menacing, almost evil.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that is 60s horror: “Feed me, Seymour!”

Friday Face-Off – 20th September 2019

Friday Face-Off – 20th September 2019

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a book cover featuring hair: “your hair is winter fire, January embers. My heart burns there too.” For this theme I’ve gone with Victor Hugo’s classic Les Miserables.

Cover A:

hair1

Cover B:

hair2

Cover C:

hair3

Cover D:

hair4

Cover E:

hair5

Cover F:

hair6

And the winner is… COVER F!

For me, I always picture the girl when I think of Les Miserables. With this cover, the grungy, grimey atmosphere really speaks to the poverty that runs through the story, emphasised by the focal point of the girl with her dirty, matted blonde hair.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a freebie – any cover I fancy. This could be a tough one to pick!