Bargain Friday: Serial Killers Abridged by RJ Parker and JJ Slate

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First, Happy Friday! Not only is it one of the best days of the week, it’s also a gorgeous spring day here in Boston.

Just a quick update to kick off a new weekly series that I thought would be fun to do.

Welcome to Bargain Friday’s!

A new series where I’ll share the books I’ve picked up, either for FREE or on super sale, during the week (not including books I’ve received for reviews).

This week I picked up Serial Killers Encylopedia of 100 Serial Killers by RJ Parker and JJ Slate

Where to buy: Amazon

Kindle Price: $0.99

The ultimate reference for anyone compelled by the pathology and twisted minds behind the most disturbing of homicidal monsters. From A to Z, and from around the world, these serial killers have killed in excess of 3,000 innocent victims, affecting thousands of friends and family members. There are monsters in this book that you may not have heard of, but you won’t forget them after reading their case. This reference book will make a great collection for true crime enthusiasts. Each true story is in a Reader’s Digest short form.

So here’s the thing – I’m not really a big fan of true crime. True Crime novels are too procedural for me, generally dry and a little sterile. Perhaps I just haven’t found the right ones, but that has been my experience.

That aside, I am fascinated by the pathology of a killer. Have you ever seen that show Deadly Women? Or those serial killer documentaries on Netflix? I love that shit. A book detailing some of the deadly killers that have roamed our streets? I’m all over it.

Don’t Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell

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Release:  April 24, 2015
Publisher: Bookouture
Series: Detective Jennifer Knight #1
Length: 318 pages
Buy:  Amazon | Book Depository
Format: Kindle
Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Crime, Paranormal
Rating: 6/10

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You don’t know him. But he knows you.

‘Soon he would be able to touch her, to feel the warmth of her blood. And when the time came, nothing would stop him.’

As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave.

When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked. What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict.

Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play…

With her mother’s terrifying legacy spiraling out of control, Jennifer must look into her own dark past in a fight not only to stop a killer – but to save herself and those she loves.


Don’t Turn Around is Caroline Mitchell’s first fiction novel – which is incredible, because as a debut it’s pretty solid. Paranormal Thrillers are a mixed bag for me – I tend to shy away from them because it can take a really good book, and turn it into cheese really quick. I’m both happy and relieved, that the blend of supernatural and crime fiction was smooth which made for an enjoyable read – no eye-rolling necessary.

DC Jennifer Knight is a high-heel wearing, OCD Detective with a tiny little unwanted problem – she hears voices. This “gift” landed her a transfer and a visit to the mental health counselors the last time she expressed her concerns on a case, so when these voices begin to appear again after a spate of questionable deaths, she doesn’t know where to turn. She knows how her DI will react – but will her partner and longtime friend, Will Dustan, believe her?

In an alternate perspective we meet Frank Foster. His childhood is a nightmare: his mother’s a whore, his father left because he couldn’t deal with it, and there is a darkness in Frank that overwhelms him. We follow Frank from a young boy to a dark and dangerous man with ties to DC Knight’s dead mother.

Then things start getting strange and eerily familiar.

The story for me isn’t flawless, but there’s a lot I love about it. Take Frank, for instance. He’s evil and creepy and I enjoyed watching how his story unfold (not sure what that says about me but hey…don’t judge). It made switching the POV work for me because I was always anxious to get back to his perspective. Overall, I just loved Mitchell’s well fleshed-out characters. Aside from Jennifer and Frank, there are a lot of peripheral characters and they all work and feel integral to the story.

Not only are the characters in this thriller well written, there are some great twists that I really appreciate as well. And I won’t lie…there are a few “I just had to read that twice … with the lights on” moments in the book.

For me, the ending left a little to be desired. There was so much buildup that when the time came for the showdown, it just felt rushed. With that said, though, Mitchell nails it when it comes time to tie up loose ends and builds up the anticipation for the next novel – because I’m already itching to read it!

Stacking the Shelves

While I work on my next review I thought it would be fun to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews where you share what books you’ve purchased, picked up from the library, received from giveaways, as gifts, or for review.

STS 5/4/2015

FOR REVIEW:

Black-Eyed Susans by  Julia Heaberlin

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

As Nights Falls by Jenny Milchman

The Starved: Inception by Rick Ochre

Trust No One by Paul Cleave

Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk

I’m pretty excited to read all of these books but let it be known that Paul Cleave is one of my favorite authors of the mystery & thriller genre. The fact that I get to read an advanced copy of Trust No One pretty much makes my year!

I received all of these books as e-books from the publishers and NetGalley except for Method 15/33. The publisher contacted me through Goodreads and sent me a hard-cover.

The Kind Worth Killing

FROM THE LIBRARY:

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

On Saturday mornings my daughter and I hang out at our local library. I get to grab a new book to read and she gets to play in the kids room and read lots and lots of fun new books. It’s one of our favorite places to hang out together.

I had to put in a request for this book because my local branch did not have it.  I’ve heard great things about it! Two folks meet on a flight back to Boston, make small talk, then things get weird…and dark… then a plot for murder is born. Yikes!

Genres: Mystery & Thriller, Fiction, Suspense

RL STINE 176402

PURCHASED:

Party Games by R.L. Stine

Dangerous Girls by R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine takes me back…I mean WAY back! I don’t know many people who didn’t grow up reading Goosebumps or the Fear Street series and these books were huge for me growing up! Party Games is the first book of the Fear Street relaunch so when I saw it at my local bookstore I felt a little nostalgic and had to snag it.

Dangerous Girls is a new series all about romance and vampires (interesting) which made me so curious that I had to grab it too. And for $2.00 I mean, why not!?

Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller, Vampires, Paranormal, Mystery

We the Living

GIFTED:

We the Living by Ayn Rand

This book was gifted to me by someone through Free Objectivist Books. Basically the site gets donors to send books to students who’d like to read them. Pretty simple…and very cool.

We the Living is Ayn Rands first book and was published in 1936. The theme is  “the individual vs. the state” and portrays the impact of the Russian Revolution on three people who demand the right to live their own lives and pursue their own happiness.

Her politics, views, and writings are not for everyone. I’m reading this one to sort of prime me for Atlas Shrugged which is a doozy of a novel.

Genres: Fiction, Classics, Philosophy, Literature

If anyone needs me I will be spending every free moment I have (that’s funny) nose deep in all these awesome books!

Happy Reading!