Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen

At first the prisoner scratches at the walls until her fingers bleed. But there is no escaping the room. With no way of measuring time, her days, weeks, months go unrecorded. She vows not go mad. She will not give her captors the satisfaction. She will die first. 
Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck’s been taken off homicide to run a newly created department for unsolved crimes. His first case concerns Merete Lynggaard, who vanished five years ago. Everyone says she’s dead. Everyone says it’s a waste of time. He thinks they’re right. 
The voice in the dark is distorted, harsh and without mercy. It says the prisoner’s torture will only end when she answers one simple question. It is one she has asked herself a million times: 
WHY is this happening?


5 Words: Brutal, slow, intense, horrific, blah.

I didn't enjoy this at all to start. I wasn't so keen on the narrator and I wasn't keen at all on Carl. But then we were introduced to Merete and I couldn't put it down.

But my, is it a long listen.

I didn't like Carl and the way he consistently objectified women and belittled them for not falling at his feet. It actually made me feel sick and is absolutely NOT what I want from a main protagonist.

The scenes with Merete were pretty brutal. I listened curled up, my hands in fists, my jaw clenched. They were disturbingly well written.

I liked Assad. He brought some well needed humour - and even a thread of mystery - to the story. Without him it would have been too heavy.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Stay Alive by Simon Kernick

ONE WITNESS
You're on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out – and your whole life changes in an instant.
ONE SECRET
A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don't know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She's in terrible danger. And now you are too.
NO ESCAPE
You're running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if they catch you, you'll be next... 


5 Words: Thrilling, twisting, unexpected, brutal, love.

5 More Words: Intricate, countryside, police, mystery, drama.

This is a very intricate thriller, which keeps you guessing and continuously keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you have something figured out, then BAM! You were wrong.

The thing I loved most about this book was the unbelievable pace. I was almost out of breath reading this and didn't want to put it down. So much happens between these pages, and to so many people.

I wasn't so keen on the timeline of the book, the way it was written did confuse me at first - but then everything clicks into place and I just sat thinking "oh". Once I'd finished, I knew exactly why it had been written in the way that it was. It easily makes the story much more powerful than if it had been written in a more chronological manner.

The characters in Stay Alive are almost as complex as the plot. There are many layers, many realist qualities to them. They have faults and strengths and weaknesses and beliefs.

I've never read Simon Kernick before, but I will definitely read more by this author.