It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some of the #grimdragon challenge prompts on here! Of course, in true fashion, I’m a day late on sharing this one (my fault for scheduling it wrong!)
This prompt was 13/10 would recommend. There are SO MANY great books out there that I would recommend to anyone, but I made sure to keep the list to just five books.
I do have an honorable mention at the end, because I thought of it right after sharing the Instagram post.
13/10 Would Recommend Books:
THE FATHER – Anton Svensson – 5/5 stars (Thanks to Quercus Books for sending this!)
I had originally requested THE SONS by Anton Svensson (releasing in early March) but then I was told that it is part two in a series and that I needed to read THE FATHER before diving in. I’m so happy that I did. This book sucked me in from the first page and held on until the end. With it being almost 600 pages I was surprised at how quickly I read this one.
This is based on the true story of the brothers and father that rocked Sweden with multiple violent bank robberies, a bomb threat, and the largest weapons theft in European history. The first chapter was crazy – the violence these boys faced as children definitely sets the tone for the duration of the story.
Leo, Felix, and Vincent are brothers and were always told that they are a clan, and a clan never turns on each other. These qualities were engraved into their minds by their violent and proud father, Ivan. The book bounces back forth between Now and Then (clearly marked as different parts). I thought this was great because after events in the present we are then brought back to their childhood and see the events that ended up molding these sons into the bank robbers they’ve become.
It’s so hard to really describe all the events in this without ruining the reading experience. I highly recommend picking this one up. Not only is it based on true events and people, but brings the reader into the minds of these boys and their father. What breeds a criminal? We also get to see the investigation end of the story with Detective Broncks as he desperately tries to find out who these highly sophisticated bank robbers are.
After reading this book I realized that Anton Svensson is the pseudonym for Anders Roslund and Stefan Thunberg. Stefan is the 4th brother of the Military League – the name that the Swedish newspapers gave the criminal gang. That added an element to the novel for me that set it apart.
THE GIRL IN 6E – A.R. Torre – 5/5 stars (Stumbled upon this at the bookstore)
This was a 5 star read for me both times I’ve read it! Deanna hasn’t had any physical contact with anyone in 3 years. How is that possible? How does she make her living? I had so many questions when I read the back of the book. Deanna has an uncontrollable blood lust and constantly fantasizes about murder. It was so interesting looking into the mind of Deanna. I’d go insane if I couldn’t leave my house – cabin fever is real problem in my life.
Her clients and subscribers know her as Jessica, a college co-ed that’s camming for money for tuition. This is definitely a guilty pleasure read – you get a front row seat as Jessica works with her diverse clientele. You get to peak behind the camera and see what happens – the readers also get to learn some different fetishes and how they relate to the characters and story. So it’s definitely got some explicit content.
Without giving away too much, Deanna discovers that one of her clients has particular tastes and when a little girl goes missing she uses her extensive network to try and save her. Will she have to leave the confines of her apartment and control her murderous urges.
Throughout this book we’re brought through the eyes of many characters and it was done seamlessly. Sometimes it can be choppy and inconsistent, but Torre did a fantastic job meshing together their stories.
If you want a page turning suspense novel then I’d highly recommend this one! If you want murder and blood lust with a sexy twist, then you need to grab this one. I was so mad I flew through the trilogy, but DO NOT DISTURB and IF YOU DARE are both just as amazing as the first book. That’s a rare thing with book series.
HANGMAN – Jack Heath – 5/5 stars (Thanks to Hanover Square Press!)
You know when you pick up a book and expect to enjoy it based on the cover? Well, this one I went into knowing very little about it and I did not expect to finish it in one sitting! HANGMAN by Jack Heath is one of those compulsive binge reads. Before I knew it I was halfway through and I powered through the rest of it.
Timothy Blake is not your average character. He is a civilian consultant for the Houston FBI Office. He is useful to them because he seems to be able to solve the impossible cases, but he is always their last resort. His specialty? Missing persons. The beginning sucks you in right away as you get to see his mind at work with the minute details he is able to put together to solve the case at hand.
Why does Blake help with these cases? He has a secret appetite he needs to have satisfied before it consumes him and he loses control. The head of the FBI field office has an arrangement made with him that no one else knows about, but it keeps Blake coming in to help on the seemingly unsolvable cases.
When he is brought in on a ransom case he quickly realizes he may have met his match. If he can’t solve these crimes, then his urges will go unfulfilled.
I loved all the riddles and puzzles at the beginning of each chapter! I’m happy I got some right – I’ll admit I had to look up a couple. Blake is such a unique character and Heath’s writing was so fluid, gritty, and fast paced. If you’re a fan of Hannibal and Dexter, then look no further for your next twisted read.
MISTER TENDER’S GIRL – Carter Wilson – 5/5 stars (Thanks to Sourcebooks!)
Who here is fascinated with the Slender Man case? I definitely am and the whole idea of Slender Man sends a shiver down my spine. A faceless man/demon that gets you to commit violence – no thank you! Well, MISTER TENDER’S GIRL by Carter Wilson is inspired by these true events and he does a fantastic job sufficiently making you uneasy as you read.
Alice is trying to run from her past. She was the victim of a brutal attack at the age of 14. Two “friends” of hers took her into the woods of Gladstone Park and attempted to kill her in the name of Mister Tender. The worst part? Mister Tender is a character from a series of graphic novels that her father created. He is part man and part demon that gets you to commit horrific acts of violence and in return you will be rewarded what it is you want most.
She changed her name and moved cities trying to put the past behind her. One day she is sent something that shouldn’t exist – the cover art of the final book in the Mister Tender series. Her father vowed to never draw him again after her stabbing. It is soon revealed that she has a stalker, someone that has been following her for years and knows her deepest secrets. A man known only by his username: Mr. Interested.
Will she be able to rid her life of Mister Tender forever? She is on a mission to get to the bottom of who her stalker is and what he wants with her. With lots of twists and turns this story will keep you on the edge of your seat!
I read this book in one sitting and I definitely read well into the 2am hour. I love horror and suspense, and it takes a lot to creep me out. Well done Carter Wilson, as I was turning off the lights in my house I had that eerie “something is behind me” feeling. You know that speed walk you do when that happens, where you’re trying to not make it obvious? That was me!
You will not regret picking up this book! I want more about Mister Tender – it would be so interesting to see more about him and how he was created/other stories about him.
ANY MAN – Amber Tamblyn – 5/5 stars (Thanks to Harper Perennial)
I’ll start out by saying that this is a very intense read. This will not be for everyone because it depicts the physical, mental, and emotional aftermath of rape and sexual assault. ANY MAN by Amber Tamblyn is one that I definitely won’t be forgetting any time soon, and not just because of the topic. Her writing style is so unique and original, while it did take a chapter or two to get used to, I absolutely loved it.
We follow the stories of 5 men that all have one thing in common – they all fell victim to the same female rapist. This book takes a look into rape culture and how the public sees and treats the victims of these horrible crimes. I will say that this is the first book to actually get some kind of emotional reaction out of me. I got so frustrated with a few parts and things that people were saying in response to these crimes, but I’ll leave that for you to read!
This was told through the eyes of each character, journal entries, transcripts, poetry, and online chats (mainly OkCupid and Twitter). The chapters aren’t clearly marked by the names of the characters, but they each have such strong voices and stories that it is very easy to know who is the narrator.
ANY MAN is emotionally raw, harsh, and unapologetic. While the attacks are the focus of the story, we also get to see how these men begin to overcome these terrible crimes. They are survivors and find ways to cope and help each other. I hope to see more fiction in the future from Amber Tamblyn and can’t wait to hear what others think of this one. Definitely an engrossing and intense read that you won’t quickly forget about.
THOSE OTHER WOMEN – Nicola Moriarty – 5/5 stars (Thanks to William Morrow!)
This book is one of those books that seems to span over a couple genres – I’d definitely say that it falls into the women’s literature but it also has some drama and mystery to it as well. THOSE OTHER WOMEN by Nicola Moriarty covers a topic that is very prevalent in society – whether or not women want to have children.
Poppy’s world completely changes when she comes home to find her husband and best friend waiting for her. They ambush her with the news that they are in love and have been seeing each other behind her back for 4 months, the worst part? Karleen insists that Garrett actually wants children. Poppy had been adamant from the beginning of their marriage that she never wanted children and Garrett had always supported that, until now.
After the divorce, Poppy befriends a woman at work, Annalise. Together they create a private Facebook group for all of the women in their area that do not want children. Since there are exclusive groups for mothers only, they figured they could make their own. It started out as a place for women to find support and vent about how all the mothers in their lives seem to get preferential treatment – especially when it came to work and using their kids as excuses to leave early.
The story alternates between three different perspectives: Poppy, Annalise, and an Imposter in the group (a woman that is pretending to be a single woman without children). It was so interesting bouncing back and forth and seeing the struggles that each woman faces and the stigma around not wanting children. It’s always assumed that when a woman doesn’t have kids it’s because she hasn’t found the right man, is having issues conceiving, or is looking into fertility options. It doesn’t even cross someone’s mind that a woman might not want children.
The drama that ensues when women from the Mums of Parra (MOP) hear about the Non-Mums of Parra (NOP) and how they complain about poor parenting, screaming children, and mothers getting out of work because of their kids. You get to see both sides of the argument in this novel. From the point of view of the women that don’t want children and from the point of view of the mothers struggling to balance work and home life.
Overall, if you’re looking for a nice summer read with plenty of drama, then THOSE OTHER WOMEN will be the next book for you!