“I very much need to be dead.”
These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for—but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demand: find the truth, no matter what.
People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important—so terrifying—that they will exterminate anyone in their way.
But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless—and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.
November 24, 2019
The synopsis on this book was way too intriguing for me to pass it up. Plus, I just enjoy Dean Koontz novels. So, no brainer here.
This was one of those novels that I picked up a year ago, read a few chapters, then got distracted by life and put it down for way too long. So, when I picked it back up, I started from the beginning. This time, it sunk its teeth into me and wouldn’t let go.
It's kind of funny. I bought The Silent Corner and The Silent Patient in the same Amazon order. Then I read them back-to-back a year later. It wasn't even on purpose. Just a funny coincidence I suppose.
The Silent Corner a truly compelling story about mind control, while there may be a bit of a sci-fi edge to it; I shudder to think that anything like this could become a reality. But I wouldn’t deny the possibility. I almost felt like I had been injected with mind-control serum because I couldn’t put this book down. Whenever I wasn’t reading it, I just wanted to get back to it.
I’m a sucker for a badass female protagonist. So, this checks off all the boxes for me. I was thrilled to learn that it’s the first book in a series and not a stand-a-lone. It’s pretty long which could seem daunting, but it flies by.
The ending of this book was absolutely unbearable, because . . . hear me out:
It was ramping up very quickly. I was able to calm myself down by reassuring myself that there are more books in this series, so obviously Jane Hawk doesn’t die in the end (of this one, at least). But, as it went along, I got attached to other characters, and I had no idea how this was going to play out.
Then there was the final scene between Jane and Nathan and it made my cold heart so very sad.
I read A LOT of thrillers and detective novels. They’re the majority of the books that I read. Bad things happen in these books. But, I’m one of those people that doesn’t want anything bad to happen to the protagonists. And, when things are going poorly, I get upset. I know . . . I know . . . it doesn’t make much sense. But here we are. I was squirming while finishing this one. But I was pleased by how it concluded.
Jane Hawk is a badass. I can’t wait to read the next one.
Memorable Quote: “It’s a beautiful, terrible world, isn’t it?”
November 13, 2019
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Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him...
This is the first book in awhile that I started and couldn’t put down until it was over. I read it in just over 24 hours – due to having to work during the day. I don’t know what about it really hooked me, but I needed to see what happened.
I don’t know if it’s just because I’m into psychology and I wanted to know what was keeping Alicia silent, or if the writing was just good enough to keep me turning the page. Either way, I sped through this one and was not disappointed.
I can see why it’s one of the books of the year. It keeps you on your toes. The story winds and weaves and you never really know what’s going on. It had almost a Gone Girl feel (which I loved) but I’m guessing that’s due to the journal entries.
The ending and twist reveal actually got me. I think I was predicting everything except what actually happened. I’ve read some reviews where people said they saw it coming a mile away – I’m just glad that I didn’t. As the chapter was building up to the reveal, I could feel my eyes widening and my jaw actually dropped.
It was a fun ride! The writing was decent. I enjoyed the shorter chapters. I think I would pick up another of Alex’s books to see if I like more of his work. Alas, this was his first novel. I’m interested to see if his next work is also a hit.
Memorable Quote: “I remember thinking, there’s no going back now. We were crashing through every last boundary between therapist and patient. Soon it would be impossible to tell who was who.”
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“Of all the things I am, a killer is one of them. Not a murderer, but still a killer. And a fool. The only child of a mad mother and a narcissistic father. A failed hero. A confused boy. A troubled man. A guy who makes his life up as he goes along. A seeker who cannot find his way.”
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Now Koontz follows Odd as he is irresistibly drawn onward, to a destiny he cannot imagine. The legend began in the obscure little town of Pico Mundo. A fry cook named Odd was rumored to have the extraordinary ability to communicate with the dead. Through tragedy and triumph, exhilaration and heartbreak, word of Odd Thomas' gifts filtered far beyond Pico Mundo, attracting unforgettable new friends - and enemies of implacable evil. With great gifts comes the responsibility to meet great challenges. But no mere human being was ever meant to face the darkness that now stalks the world - not even one as oddly special as Odd Thomas.
After grappling with the very essence of reality itself, after finding the veil separating him from his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, tantalizingly thin yet impenetrable, Odd longed only to return to a life of quiet anonymity with his two otherworldly sidekicks - his dog, Boo, and a new companion, one of the few who might rival his old pal Elvis. But a true hero, however humble, must persevere.
Haunted by dreams of an all-encompassing red tide, Odd is pulled inexorably to the sea, to a small California coastal town where nothing is as it seems. Now the forces arrayed against him have both official sanction and an infinitely more sinister authority...and in this dark night of the soul, dawn will come only after the most shattering revelations of all.
Chalk this up to another book that I had started during my reading slump and took me awhile to finish.
I think my slump was partially due to not being motivated to read and also being the middle of a few books that I didn’t get immediately sucked into/needed breaks from.
This was the first Odd Thomas book that didn’t pull me in and refuse to spit me out until it was over. There was just something about the storyline that I didn’t really care about. Once I was determined to finish it and actually sat down with the intent to do so, I did enjoy it. But, I was not hooked on the storyline in this one.
Odd Thomas sets out to stop a nuclear disaster. With a little help from psychic magnetism and Frank Sinatra – yes, THAT Frank Sinatra, he gets put into some sticky situations but comes out of it as only Odd can.
The story got deeper towards the end. Odd was in moral conflict with himself which was interesting to read. I hope the next storyline grips me more than this one. I really enjoy this series, but it’s hard when it’s a book that isn’t a “cant put this down” read.
Memorable Quotes: “Bad men wound and destroy one another, although as targets they prefer those who are innocent and as pure as this world allows anyone to be. They feed on violence, but they feast on the despoiling of what is good.”
“Sometimes I am a mystery to myself.”
“In fact, people were not in the habit of asking if I would die for them. And I was not accustomed to answering in the positive, without hesitation.”
“No one can genuinely love the world, which is too large to love entire. To love all the world at once is pretense or dangerous self-delusion. Loving the world is like loving the idea of love, which is perilous because, feeling virtuous about this grand affection, you are freed from the struggles and the duties that come with loving people as individuals, with loving one place — home — above all others.”
“Loss is the hardest thing. But it’s also the teacher that’s the most difficult to ignore.”
“Grief can destroy you — or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”
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November 11, 2019
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This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
I decided to start this book after finishing The Nightingale in order to follow a theme. I thought that would be a good idea. It wasn’t. It took me months to finish this one because I couldn’t read too much of it at one time. Going right from Nightingale to Tattooist was really heavy, and I needed breaks.
The amount of time that it took me to finish this book had nothing to do with the writing, though. This book will hook you, pull you in, and make you want to see how it ends.
It’s quite a different way to take in a story about the holocaust. Lale has direct contact with many Nazi soldiers. That gives it an interesting spin. He works for them while also working directly against them.
I know this book is based on a true story, but I didn’t realize how much until I read the epilogue. It made everything in the book that much more interesting.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a good book. It’s not the best writing I’ve ever taken in, but I also can’t exactly put my finger on why. It didn’t turn me off from the book it was just different.
I would recommend it to anyone interested in historical novels – either fiction or non.
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