Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The GrownupThe Grownup by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unbelievably The Grownup is my first read from Gillian Flynn and I did quite enjoy this dark little novella.

You may have seen this quote already but I have to include it because, well it's a legend, a quote amongst quotes. Chances are it might not stand up to the test of time but I'll never forget it and it introduces the stories protagonist and vocation.

I quit because when you give 23,546 hand jobs over a three-year period , carpal tunnel syndrome is a very real thing.'

So she's in the process of moving from hand jobs to scam artist in the guise of a fortune-teller when she meets Susan Burke. And soon she is employed to rid Susan's house of evil spirits and step-son Miles is integral. Then it's exploration of the demon child phenomena and it did grip me as things swung from is he? To isn't he? All told this was a story that keeps you guessing, some delicious twists and the kid is pretty likable for a possible sociopath, definitely interesting with an ambiguous finale.

A 3.5* rating

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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Rain by Craig Saunders

RainRain by Craig Saunders
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been on a bit of a Craig Saunders splurge recently starting with The Estate, on to Rain and the final one being A Strangers Grave. And they just get better, dark fiction with a mixture of fascinating characters, occasionally funny moments, gripping plots but most of all just bloody good reads.

Rain starts with John March and his not too busy bookshop, in fact there's only one regular customer and he comes in attempting to sell a few books. Mr Hills last visit finished with him saying something a little odd John thinks briefly but what comes later is way past odd. Mr Hill dies that night and John is the beneficiary of two amazing things, firstly a will worth 5 million pounds.

And secondly a strange wooden box containing a lock of hair, a finger bone and a tooth in a jar of water. A simple message says. 'Blood and bone and hair and tooth'.

Then a phone call.

'You have something of mine. Give it back and I will let her live.'

Then comes the Rain.

Followed by screaming, sirens, and death, lots of it.

Smiley, Mandy and the rest of the gang aren't up to much, smoking some weed, you know the score. Until they're caught by a policeman, not your average copper, this one needs a job done and there's something not altogether right about this guy.

'Something in the man's eyes. Something cold. His eyes were black. Weird. Full-on black, like they'd been painted in by a kid. The others didn't look around. They sat silent, defeated.
Smiley looked into the policeman's eyes.
He wished he hadn't, but by then, he couldn't look away'.

The rain is alive, it has murderous intent and it’s fucking scary stuff. There's a lot going on to keep the interest alive, I have to say it's brilliantly imaginative and the evil contained within the rain combined with its urgent needs left me slightly staggered and more than impressed with Craig Saunders once more.

John March, his wife and her carers, Smiley and Mandy will face off against the unthinkable. And you can't help but run the gauntlet with them, every rain soaked step. This author has written some incredibly dark and gripping fiction, and it's a complete joy to slowly work through his back catalogue.

Recommended, no, more than Recommended and well worth dipping your toes into this murky water.

A 4.5* rating.

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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White Picket Prisons

White Picket PrisonsWhite Picket Prisons by Kelli Owen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While on suspension, detective Mark Baker gets a letter from his sister, whom he hasn't spoken to in ten years. With pregnant girlfriend in tow, Mark goes to the isolated town his sister lives to check on her. Will he be able to break Sarah from her White Picket Prison?

White Picket Prisons is a fairly short tale of a town with its own set of biblical-inspired laws. Valley Mill seems quiet, almost idyllic, at first, until Mark and Gina figure out what's actually going on. It could easily be an episode of The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Dark Side.

It could have easily been a short story without a lot of meat on the bone but Mark's feelings about the ineffectiveness of the justice system he works for give the story the conflict it needs.

A few pretty chilling things happen in White Picket Prisons. Owen doesn't roll around in the gore and somehow I think that makes them that much more horrific.

This is the second Kelli Owen book I've read and won't be the last. She really has the knack for dark fiction. Three out of five stars.

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