Friday Face-Off – 10th August 2018

Friday Face-Off – 10th August 2018

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 with cover with a mask: ‘…Christine, who have torn off my mask and who therefore can never leave me again!’

This week’s book is the classic The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.

Cover A:

mask1

Cover B:

mask2

Cover C:

mask3

Cover D:

mask4

Cover E:

mask5

Cover F:

mask6

Cover G:

mask7

And the winner is… COVER F!

It most definitely isn’t the classic look that the world is so used to thanks to the stage show of the same name. The expression that shines through is so sad, haunted. There is a definite human connection can be felt even beyond the mask.

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 weeks’ theme is a book cover that is a cover with a starry sky: ‘Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.’

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The Girl at the Bar by Nicholas Nash

The Girl at the Bar by Nicholas Nash

Her sudden disappearance in the midst of a high-stakes quest to cure cancer between two rival billionaires sets into motion an inexplicable chain of events as the bodies start to pile up.

No one knows why she disappeared. The race to find answers ensnares everyone around her, one of whom is a deeply disturbed psychopath lurking in the shadows.

Is Rebecca still alive? What happened to her? Who did it? And why? Questions about her vex everyone looking for answers. No one can be trusted and no one is above suspicion…

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.

As mystery novels go, The Girl at the Bar makes for an interesting read. When down on his luck ex-city trader Ragnar meets a beautiful woman, Rebecca, at a bar he begins to believe his fortunes might be turning around. Things really heat up when the evening returns to his apartment. That is, until the morning comes and Rebecca is gone with not so much as a goodbye.The Girl At The BarRagnar is left to wallow in his own self-pity as realisation sets in that it was just a fling, or so he thought. NYPD come knocking on his door in relation to the disappearance of a successful medical researcher that Ragnar appears to be the last person to see. Rebecca is missing. Something sparks within him, and he strives to find her himself.

As the story develops and more horrific crimes occur, suspect becomes detective enlisting help from Rebecca’s colleagues, ex-boyfriend and people from her past in a race against time to save her from becoming the latest in a string of increasingly brutal murders.

The pacing is good, moving between the kidnapper, the police investigation, Ragnar and Rebecca’s colleagues, while still being easy enough to follow. At no point do the different strands confuse each other or inadvertently reveal the identity of the culprit. Motives are well laid out leading to anyone of a number of possible suspects all with potential reasons. The only thing that lets the book down for me is some of the text itself. Sometimes passages repeat an idea or even a phrase is repeated within the same page just reordering the same words. A minor detail that did detract from my enjoyment of the book, but still an overall good read.  

My rating:
okaybook

Friday Face-Off – 3rd August 2018

Friday Face-Off – 3rd August 2018

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 with a closed door or door standing ajar: ‘Knock, knock… ‘who’s there?’

This week’s book is the second book in Stephen King’s epic series The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three.

Cover A:

door1

Cover B:

door2

Cover C:

door3

Cover D:

door4

Cover E:

door5

Cover F:

door6

Cover G:

door7 (1)

And the winner is… COVER E!

The atmosphere and sense of foreboding in this design really appealed to me, and captures the feel in the books. There is a mysterious feel coming from the door, and while darkness seems to be all around, the glow from around the door hints at hope.

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 weeks’ theme is a book cover that is a cover with a mask: ‘…Christine, who have torn off my mask and who therefore can never leave me again!’

Friday Face-Off – 27th July 2018

Friday Face-Off – 27th July 2018

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 with a steampunk theme: ‘I saw huge buildings rise up faint and fair, and pass like dreams.’

This week’s book is Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding.

Cover A:

steampunk1

Cover B:

steampunk2

Cover C:

steampunk3

Cover D:

steampunk4

Cover E:

steampunk5

Cover F:

steampunk6

Cover G:

steampunk7

Cover H:

steampunk8

And the winner is… COVER A!

Dark and moody with a dank atmosphere, cover A wins it for me. The shadow environment, the lone figure looking out and the hulking airship drifting in really capture the steampunk feel in my view.

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 weeks’ theme is a book cover that features a close door or a door that is ajar: ‘Knock, knock… ‘who’s there?’

Friday Face-Off – 20th July 2018

Friday Face-Off – 20th July 2018

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 somewhat ironic given the UK’s long-running heatwave: a cover featuring snow or icicles: ‘In winter with warm tears I’ll melt the snow.’

This week’s book is Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.

Cover A:

snow1

Cover B:

snow2

Cover C:

snow3

Cover D:

snow4

Cover E:

snow5

And the winner is… COVER D!

Cover B was definitely a contender this week with the bold icy theme, but D caught my eye. I find it draws me in with the almost bored look on the girls’ face coupled with the reclined barbarian at the bottom of the cover.

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 weeks’ theme is a book cover that is steampunk: ‘I saw huge buildings rise up faint and fair, and pass like dreams.’

Friday Face-Off – 13th July 2018

Friday Face-Off – 13th July 2018

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 ghost or spectre: ‘There’s more of gravy than of grave about you.’

This week’s book is The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde.

Cover A:

ghost1

Cover B:

ghost2

Cover C:

ghost3

Cover D:

ghost4

Cover E:

ghost5

Cover F:

ghost6

And the winner is… COVER F!

I found the decision much tougher this week. Cover E was a close runner for me, but what held me back from choosing that one was it was more comic bookesque in style. While cover F is very much cartoonish and childish, something about it intrigues me and draws me in.

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 weeks’ theme is a book cover featuring icicles or snow: ‘In winter with warm tears I’ll melt the snow.’

Nasty Cutter by Tim O’Mara

Nasty Cutter by Tim O’Mara

Danger gets a little too close to home for ex-cop Raymond Donne . . 

When his fathers’ former law partner, Harry Stover, is murdered while being celebrated as Williamsburg, Brooklyns’ Man of the Year, ex-cop turned schoolteacher Raymond Donne fights his old police instincts and vows to stay out of the investigation. That is until his childhood home is broken into and one of his students is threatened.

Has a decades old case of his father s come back to haunt the Donne family? Could the murder have something to do with the victim s charitable work connecting low-income kids with business leaders in Williamsburg? Raymond never has liked unanswered questions, and when the answers come a little too close to his home and school, he decides he s not above giving the cops a little unwanted help.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Nasty Cutter is a crime novel from author Tim O’Mara and the fourth in the Raymond Donne Mystery series. I first encountered Tim O’Mara thanks to a collection of three short crime novellas by three different authors. I enjoyed his writing then, so when the opportunity to read a full length novel came up I was interested to give it a go.
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When a lawyer known for his voluntary work with underprivileged children is murdered at his own benefit dinner, Raymond Donne does all he can to leave his cop instincts behind him. The questions surrounding who might want to kill this philanthropist capture him early on, leading Raymond and his reporter girlfriend on a race to find the culprit. A decades-old crime from the lawyer’s past rears its head as a factor in the mysterious murder.

Many crime novels ratchet up the tension and the action as the story progresses. Clues are uncovered, suspects put in the frame and the pace progresses. Tim O’Mara brings something different to the genre with Nasty Cutter. Following Raymond Donne, an ex-cop turned school dean, makes for a slower pace. Rather than following the almost scripted police procedural tropes, Nasty Cutter moves at a calmer pace. Research is the name of the game, and uncovering clues is sometimes accidental.

There are numerous moments where tension is built through implied or actual threat, but overall O’Mara keeps things calm and evenly-paced throughout with a likeable, real cast of lead and supporting characters that all help to lend an interesting and engaging dynamic to what is a good, fun crime novel.

My rating:
goodread