Tag Archives: Murder

Oh, Aector

book cover of Sorrow Bound by David Mark

Title: Sorrow Bound
Author: David Mark
Series: Aector McAvoy #3
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars (Madeleine) 4.5 stars (Zelda)


The ever-lovable, lumbering police detective Aector McAvoy returns for his third book in Sorrow Bound. When Philippa Longman is found brutally murdered, Aector and Pharaoh are at a bit of a loss to understand why. The woman was well-loved, kind, and dedicated to improving her local neighborhood. Philippa’s death is followed by another murder, and the only connection between the two is that both saved the life of a man years ago. But who would kill someone for being a good samaritan?

Aector’s personal life is also a source of stress. Aector and Roisin are preparing to move into a house that they may or may not be able to afford. After standing up for a friend and confronting a drug dealer (okay, and stealing his money), Roisin becomes the target of the local crime lords. And in other parts of Hull, DC Helen Tremberg finds herself in a sticky situation after attracting the attentions of a man who seems to be too good to be true.


Madeleine: Let’s be honest: what keeps me coming back to this series is Aector. He is such an atypical fictional detective in a world of hardboiled, jaded detectives with destroyed personal lives. Aector is a genuinely good person who constantly worries about being a good person and deeply loves his wife and family. I love reading about a detective who isn’t sure about actions to take, who can’t quite maintain a professional distance and often finds himself bewilderedly comforting grieving family members, and who blushes whenever someone teases him. I especially loved this description of Aector:

“She remembers their first meeting. Remembers that agonizing walk from Queen’s Gardens to Hull Crown Court. It had rained the night before and the damp pavements were patterned with the crushed shells of snails that had not got out of the way as the city’s commuters began their walks to work. McAvoy had kept stopping every five or six steps to pick up any snail he thought was in harm’s way. He filled his pockets with them then ran back to Queen’s Garned to put them safely on the grass.”

The man saved snails!

Zelda: The snail story was perhaps one of my favorite parts of the book!! I love that while Aector struggles with work and his family, he at least has a family to go home to. I love reading about jaded detectives as much as the next owl, but someone has to be happy, right?

Madeleine: The only other detective similar to Aector that I can think of is Maeve Kerrigan from series by Jane Casey. I’ve only read the first book, but Maeve brings a fresh perspective as an early-career detective who is also concerned with doing the right thing and not 100% sure what to do at all times. In fact, now I want a crossover series with Maeve and Aector teaming up and being awesome together. Pharaoh can join too.

Zelda: I simultaneously want to go drinking with Pharaoh, but also find her so intimidating I hope we never meet. She seems so fun and yet terrifying. It’s a thrilling combination, I suppose. Jane Casey is fantastic. I love Maeve and can’t wait to get her next book, which is in cataloging as I type. 🙂

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I didn’t think I could fall in love with this author or this series any more…I was wrong.

Victoria Schwab has created a world I am desperate to live in. I can’t get enough of this series! I want to shout from the rooftops to everyone in range to read these books.

If you have read any of my reviews you have quickly come to realize that I break one “important” rule and I judge my books by their covers.

I originally picked up The Archived when checking in a cart of brand new YA books and thought it was GORGEOUS!

I read the explanation and knew that I had to read it. The cover for The Unbound is equally fabulous.

I also have to say if there isn’t a book 3, I don’t know how I will deal with that. I NEED a book 3. This is beyond a want. I can just immerse myself in this world and not even think of anything else. I have to immerse myself in it. I’m not ready to let go.

The new characters were a lot of fun in this book. I was quite pleased that the introduction of Cash didn’t cause a full on brawl between him and Wesley (Guyliner), because I would have been pretty disappointed. There was some hinting toward a love triangle, but it never went beyond slight flirtation really, and I loved that. You could tell both boys had some interest and there was a slight tension during interactions between both boys and Mackenzie. It felt real and even I felt conflicted and a little unsure what would happen…even though we all know that Guyliner is the way to go.

Mackenzie. I adore her. She is so strong and feels real to me. I want to be her best friend…or just be her. She is so beautifully flawed and so great. Even though she was being “independent” it really translated to “Stop being so dumb and talk to Wesley! Ack!” in my head, but you can’t help but understand how she feels. I love that she doesn’t depend solely on him to solve her problems and wants that independence and doesn’t want to have to rely on anyone but herself and what her grandfather taught her. Like I said, I want to be her. I think at the end of the day she is a stronger person than I am.

 I am a grandpa’s girl. I didn’t really have a father growing up, I had my grandpa. He is someone I look up to and what he says/does/thinks matters. I relate to Mackenzie’s strong feelings for that relationship she holds on to.

Enough babbling. Just do yourself a favor and read these books. Grab a cup pot of coffee and stay up all night getting lost in this wonderful world.

I hunt (and read) killer books

I’m finally back to serial killer and death books. It’s been so long and I’ve missed them. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga tells the story of Jazz (short for Jasper). A body was discovered in a field just outside of town and Jazz just had to take a look. He makes a habit out of spying on the cops when he hears interesting calls over the police scanner, but this one is different. When he sees one of the policeman hold up an evidence bag containing a single severed finger, Jazz knows that there’s a serial killer in town. You see, Jazz is the son of the world most notorious serial killer, Billy Dent, who over the course of his career killed 124 people. This type of death in small Lobo’s Nod was sure to cast suspicion on Jazz.

Jazz was afraid of two things in the world, and two things only. One of them was that people thought that his upbringing meant that he was cursed by nature, nurture, and predestination to be a serial killer like his father. The second thing . . . was that they were right.

To the outside world Jazz seems “impressively well adjusted.” He has a girlfriend, Connie, and a best friend who’s been with him for years, the incredibly loyal hemophiliac Howie. But on the inside Jazz knows he’s not normal. He constantly has to remind himself that “People matter. People are real. People matter.”

He doesn’t want to turn out like Dear Old Dad, but knows that he’s irrevocably scarred for life from his experiences from his childhood. His father started coaching him on the basics of how to be a functioning sociopath at a young age. Jasper has also been having terrifying dreams where he can feel himself cutting into human flesh hearing his father say, “Nice job, son. Nice good cut. It’s just like chicken.” And Jazz can’t figure out if it’s just a dream or a repressed memory seeing how no one knows what happened to his mother.

Since Jazz knows so much about murder and he wants to prove his innocence (to himself and others), he volunteers his services to the local police.  After all, who better to find a killer than a killer?

As the murders continue, Jazz is the first to recognize the victims as copies of his father’s first murders. Someone is trying to recreate Billy Dent’s murder spree. As the town is going through the motions by the book, which takes time. Jazz takes it upon himself to try to find the killer, but as he starts examining clues and the deaths more closely he starts losing touch with himself and fears that the killings are all because of him.

Who is the murderer: The police chief who had a mental breakdown after catching Jazz’s father? The reporter who would do anything to get back in the spotlight? The new detective who just happens to be from the same town as the first victim?
And what will become of Jazz? Can he hold it together or is he destined to become his father?

Original Skin

I haven’t reviewed a mystery in a while and this one is worth talking about! I really loved The Dark Winter by David Mark when I read it last year. It was totally different and the main character was really fantastic. The premise is basically a killer going around murdering people the way they would have died, which is always totally horrific. I couldn’t WAIT for the library to purchase this book! Then they did and I thought DS Aector McAvoy was great and I wanted to know more about him. Then comes Original Skin.

This plot on it’s own would have drawn me in but already knowing the characters was nice. Aector is still his lovable self and I couldn’t have been happier about that. There are a few different plot lines being drawn together and they are woven together so nicely. I never felt as though the changes in the book were jarring, mostly they just cutaway right before the good stuff to keep you reading! I also only felt like I was missing out on one plot point that seemed less developed. I won’t give anything away but I will say the way the book opens, it doesn’t really go back to that often and let you explore where that could have gone.

This one gives more insight to the main character and his life with his wife. I loved that this takes a different spin on the detective’s life than many of the other murder mysteries I have read recently. There seems to be a lack of family life or a really tragic back story regarding their family. I enjoyed reading about a happy and stable relationship for a change.

I’m actually really impressed that The Dark Winter was this authors first novel. He is definitely gifted with mystery writing and tells a really addicting tale. Add to all this the fact that before writing these novels David Mark was a crime reporter for fifteen years? His experience definitely shows and it makes the novels that much more alive. I read a lot of really dark murder books but these two definitely need some recognition.

Overall, I would say definitely pick this one up if you need a new mystery! It would make sense without reading the first one but it was so good you should read both of them!

I received an ARC copy of this from NetGalley the week after this was published (May of 2013). Keep an eye out for book 3!


Wow. I mean WOW. This book was so engrossing I don’t even know what to say about it yet. I loved it. There. I loved it.

The plot. THE PLOT!! It’s so genius and creepy and fantastic. Bodies shelved like books? Check. The Librarians are the only ones who can “read” them. Done. The bodies are called Histories and wake up sometimes and they have to be “re-shelved” creepy and sold. AND, as if you needed more convincing, murder!

I read some mixed reviews on this one and frankly that makes me sad. Don’t over think it! Just enjoy the uniqueness of this and the fun characters. This was really well written and that is something all the mixed reviews agreed on. Some were questioning why the archive exists. Honestly, I didn’t even think about that. I was told it exists by the author so it exists. I didn’t any further explanation yet. I imagine book 2 will tell me more. Yes, this is a series. On the plus side, book 2 has a great cover that follows the same style, so kudos to your cover gods, Victoria Schwab. (C’mon January of 2014!! You will bring me a great book AND winter. We can’t go wrong together!)

Wait for it, another book without absent parents?! Step back and enjoy the family life. Now there was death in the main family but her parents are still there. Through the whole book! I’m liking this trend. Do other authors just start out with some parents then they get to the end and say, “Oh shoot…they had parents didn’t they? Well…maybe no one will noticed…yeah they won’t notice.” Well, we noticed.

Romantic interests. This is another one with a female character that didn’t need to be saved every 5 seconds and wants some independence, but is open to some making out. I approve of this.

The next book is called Unbound and I have no idea where they will head with this one but I don’t care. Sign me up. Where can I apply to be a Librarian here? I have no experience with dead bodies, but I’m willing to learn. Also, I can be a bit jumpy and I’m not a good runner but I could chase them if need be. For at least a minute.

Ok, I’ve rambled long enough. 5 stars to this lovely book.

Go read this. Seriously, drop what you’re doing and go read this book.


I do love a dark and murky murder mystery. Silenced is like that. I read the book prior to this one but you don’t have to. The main character is the same but I couldn’t really remember anything about the first one. That is the problem with reading so much and having my memory start to go already. This book follows a completely different mystery. The first one was a bit more twisted but this plot was more intricate.

I sort of have it figured out but not right away. The main character and I aren’t really similar and she does some things that make me question her but I like her anyway. The writing is easy to get wrapped up in and the mystery kept me coming back for more.

Not that this is the most important but the covers of these two books are so nice! They look like good dark murder mysteries. 

I also felt that the plot was a little ridiculous so I was kind of worried when I started the book. It wasn’t what I thought it would be. I was thinking terrorists the way it was headed and I find terrorism books kind of boring because there is no surprise in that. Oh the terrorist did it? Yeah, I got that when it started with the terrorist group…thanks. 

This book also kind of plays on this fear that people with money and connections can make anything happen. Anything. They want to close your email? Piece of cake. Cancel your flight back to your homeland? No big deal. Delete your identity? Already done. Wait, what?! They can do that?! Even to imagine that happening to someone makes me a bit uncomfortable and I love that fear. It isn’t overdone and overloaded. That sense of a lack of security is enough. 

It was nice that the author didn’t lose sight for where this was headed. Sometimes if the plot is overly complicated it doesn’t seem plausible or there are too many side plots and I get distracted from the main plot or forget about it entirely. Then I come back and go “Oh yeah! That’s what this book was about? Why?” Kristina Ohlsson did a great job mixing the plots together and not changing the characters from who they were in the first book. Changing personalities is another thing I have a problem with at times. Too much change and you might as well write a whole new book.

I can’t wait for more by this author, must read more great murder books while I wait!

I give this one 4 stars. She is sold writer and I look forward to more from her.

Faithful Place

Tana French is great. Her writing is so engaging even if that book is a bit predictable I still really enjoy it. The Likeness is by far the best so far but this one was really quite good.
Frank Mackey is one of my favorite characters in her books. There is something about him that just leaves you wanting more and more. It might have something to do with how real he feels since he is just so believable as a character. 

I am quite excited to read Broken Harbor but I still don’t think it will surpass my favorite Tana French novel The Likeness.

There wasn’t much I was unhappy with but she does use a lot of the same lingo in all her books. I can predict when someone with use the phrase “sweet f*ck all” which kind of makes me laugh.

I enjoyed the back story on Frank and I thought she did a really good job creating a previous world for him after being introduced to him in The Likeness.

I can’t help but picture this guy playing Frank.

This might be entirely related to the Disney tv movie Luck of the Irish with Ryan Merriman. I said it MIGHT be related…yeah it is…but I still think he would do a good job!
Well I will wrap this up because if I go any further I will tell you what happens! I will just say that I love Tana French and you should read her books too!