Friday, October 30, 2020

Review: Little Bones by NV Peacock


 

Overview

This is the first adult thriller by N.V Peacock, who has previously written young adult horror/supernatural books. This debut into the adult genre packs a hefty punch and I couldn't put it down. 

Plot

Little Bones follows the story of Cherrie, who used to be Leigh-Ann, AKA Little Bones. To keep it simple I'm going to call her Cherrie as that's the name the character chose for herself. Cherrie is the daughter of a serial killer the media dubbed Mr. Bones. Cherrie's father used her as bait to entice young boys into his car and killed them, using them for his macabre artworks and allowing Cherrie to help him in his studio. 

Years after Cherrie's father is convicted and incarcerated, a young boy goes missing and a podcast which draws similarities between this new missing persons case and the crimes of Mr Bones turns Cherrie's life upside down. Cherrie has hidden her identity and with one fell swoop the creator of this podcast has ruined Cherrie's life. 

Writing

Like I said, this isn't the author's first book, just their first step into adult thrillers and the writing is impeccable. The way the author portrays Cherrie's descent into sleep deprivation and a willingness to do whatever it takes to put her life back together is very eerie, fast paced and enthralling. The characters felt very real and at one point I almost picked up my phone to google Mr. Bones to check if he was a real criminal and this was based on a true story. 

The sentence structure is punchy, a lot of sentences are short and deliver information rapid fire and as the main character unravels the writing becomes more intense and perfectly illustrates Cherrie's mindset. The dialogue is similar in that the characters are short tempered and angry with each other and it perfectly shines through. I did find the dialogue a little jarring at first but once I got used to it, I was hooked. 

The Characters

As mentioned, Cherrie is the daughter of a serial killer. Her mother killed herself when she found out what her husband was doing and Cherrie was put in foster care. When she turned 17 she changed her name from Leigh Ann to Cherrie and left her old life behind. 

Her new life includes her boyfriend Leo and their son Robin. Both Leo and Robin have distinct and unique voices as characters and though Leo becomes a bit unlikeable that's in line with the character and story arc that unfolds. The side characters feel a little bit under-developed but that isn't surprising given how fast paced this thriller is. I did find myself having to clarify which side character was which a couple of times. 

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere of this book is claustrophobic and creepy. Part of it takes place in a carnival setting which should be a happy and fun place but the book twists that until the carnival feels dark and foreboding. The atmosphere and settings match perfectly with Cherrie's inner monologue and the pace this thriller moves. I 

The Good

This thriller kept me guessing until the last twist. I found myself suspecting everyone of the crime at the centre of this plot and kept wondering how the detectives in the story could be looking in the wrong direction, when I was too. I was wrong by the way, I never guessed who the criminal was. 

The Bad

The ending. It was abrupt and very unbelievable. That's all I'm going to say about that. 

Final thoughts

Despite the fact the ending is a bit weak the novel is a great first adult thriller and I was enthralled the entire way through. I stayed up way past my usual bedtime to finish it and to me that's the sign of a good book. If your eyes are heavy but you're fighting through it to read the last 2 chapters it's definitely at least a 4 star book in my eyes. 

Not only was this the author's first adult thriller but I think it would be ideal for someone just getting into thrillers. 

Trigger warnings: serial killer (duh), childhood trauma, kidnapping, murder, stalking. 

Little Bones by N.V. Peacock comes out on the 31st of October 2020. 

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC. 


Sunday, October 25, 2020

review: the haunting of Beatrix Greene



Overview 

This is a paranormal historical fiction co-authored by three authors (Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons and Vicky Alvear Schecter. It follows Beatrix Greene, a woman who makes her living as a medium but she uses empathy rather than a true connection to spirits to bring comfort to her clients.

When she meets Dr James Walker, a man who professes to be a skeptic and to be able to spot a fake a mile away her life becomes a lot more complex. James offers her the chance to earn £2000 for one night's work to either prove or disprove that James' childhood home is haunted.

Plot

This is a short book and takes place over the course of about 3 days, plus an epilogue. The first day we meet Beatrix, the next day she meets James and on the third day all hell breaks loose at James' childhood home.

It is quickly revealed to Beatrix and her chaperone Harry that James' mother killed his younger brother and then herself and James wants to sell the house but before he can do so he wants to be sure there are no spirits haunting the manor house. A seance is held and terrible things happen... but spoilers, so I'll leave it at that.

Writing

Each author who contributed to this short book has a distinct voice and i found that to be a bit jarring as i don't think it was meant to be so obvious that it's written by 3 authors, however each author is also very talented and the writing is good overall.

Characters

Aside from Beatrix and James, there is Harry: an actor who helps Beatrix with her job as a medium by pretending to be a ghost on occasion; Mrs Amanda Reynolds: an american photographer who has become involved in the spirit photography business; a brief cameo by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an even briefer cameo by Harry Houdini, going by his birth name of Erik and who you would only notice if you're a history nerd like me who knew Harry's birth name and where he started his life and finally James' school friend Lord Stanhope, an insufferable man who shows up unannounced, with rather suspicious timing.

What I Didn't Like

As i mentioned this book is written by 3 authors and at times it doesfeel a little disjointed, and as though the writers didn't liaise beyond reading the previous parts before continuing on their chapters for me personally, that made it difficult to fully immerse myself in the story as each writer had a distinctive tone and it was difficult reading when Beatrix and James seemed to have different personalities depending on who wrote the chapter.

What I Loved

Beatrix is a woman who takes no shit and does what she needs to do in order to survive as a single woman in her circumstances, she's a fun character to read and her banter with Mrs Amanda Reynolds was verging on the flirtatious and was entertaining to read and added an extra dimension to her character. I also loved Harry, and his easy way of speaking with Beatrix.

Final Thoughts

This book isn't perfect and could have done with some polishing butit was by no means bad, i didn't ever feel compelled to put it down and not finish it. i wanted to know what happened and i thought it had a very satisfying ending. I recommend this to readers who want a bit of a creepy spooky read.

Rating out of 5

3.5 stars out of 5

Review: Little Bones by NV Peacock

  Overview This is the first adult thriller by N.V Peacock, who has previously written young adult horror/supernatural books. This debut int...