Hey friends! Every year at the half point of winter Anne Bogel from The Modern Mrs. Darcy complies a list of both the small and big things that are saving her life. She always invites readers to join in, and while I’ve loved the idea, […]
Hey bookworms! I can’t believe January is almost over! It flew by with work stress and all the meal prep (and dishes!) involved in Whole30. I’m looking forward to February, which hopefully will be a bit more relaxing! I read 10 books in January. I’m […]
Hi friends! I’m so excited about the book review I have for you today. If you’re like me, you’ve seen signs/ads for TNT’s new show, The Alienist. And if you’re anything like me, you like to read the book before watching the movie/TV show. Caleb Carr and The Alienist really deliver, and I highly suggest picking up this book!
In New York City in 1896, a string of horrific murders have begun to take place. A young boy’s body is found mutilated and left on the Williamsburg Bridge. This young boy was not the first victim and, sadly, will not be the last. Crime reporter John Moore teams up with Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, an “alienist” or psychologist, along with several detectives from the police force, including one woman who is determined to be the first woman officer in the NYPD to try to solve these murders with never-before-used criminology methods. As the team begins to put together a psychological profile of the perpetrator–based on the details of the crimes and the clues left behind–the group begins to realize just how dangerous this man is and that the closer they come to solving this mystery, the more danger they are in.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Although a longer story, the pacing was great, the characters were dynamic, and the murderers were gruesome without being over the top.
I really loved the psychology that is underlying the whole story. Certainly, some of the theories they used are no longer considered sound science, but it was fascinating to see how the team used small clues to create an image/background of the killer. The criminology, including the discussion of the use of fingerprints (even though it was a science that had not yet been approved for courtroom use) was well done and added an extra layer to the crime solving.
While I enjoyed Moore and Dr. Kreizler, I personally think Sara stole the show. She was a feisty, independent women who not only held her own mentally but also physically when needed. Carr did a great job of creating a woman who was a forward thinking individual while still keeping her appropriate to the time period. I also enjoyed how the characters all interacted with one another and the quick banter and wit that the team developed throughout the book. The characters (including secondary characters like crime boss Paul Kelly) didn’t always do exactly what you thought they were going to do, and that made them much more dynamic and like actual people than some characters in books.
The murders were gruesome and well-described without being over the top or done simply for shock value. Each part of the murder was linked by the team to part of the personality profile of the killer, and it was fascinating how well Carr did bringing each minor detail of the murders full circle with the criminal profile.
Rating 5/ 5 – This book was a great historical mystery that not only had a unique serial killer, but also had dynamic characters, a great blend of action and witty dialogue, and a great look at how criminology and profiling (or the lack thereof) worked in the late 1890’s. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book!
The series will premier on TNT on January 22. I’m really excited to watch! The cast looks great, and I hope they do a good job adapting the book. I’ll be sure to let you know how I feel about the show after I watch a few episodes!
Do you need to read the book a movie/show is based on before watching it?
I always try to, but in the end it doesn’t always work out.
Hi friends! In the last few years I have really gotten into participating in reading challenges. I read a lot and I feel like picking a challenge or two helps me branch out from my normal reading habits and be more deliberate with my reading […]
I picked up the below book as part of the Black Hearts Reads (check them out on Instagram @blackheartreads) book club. They pick a new “creepy, dark, and twisted” book each month with a discussion on Instagram at the end of the month. It seemed low key and easy to be involved as it’s all on Instagram right now. I missed the first month (they just started) but thought this book sounded interesting so I picked up the book to join along with the club.
Ellery Hathaway, the only victim who survived when abducted by serial killer Francis Michael when she was younger, has changed her name and is trying to keep the past away as a cop in a small town in Massachusetts. As people start to go missing every year around her birthday, Ellery knows something is wrong and that someone is trying to send her a message. With the help of the FBI agent who saved her life, whose own life is a complete mess right now, Ellery will try to stop whoever is out there bringing back her past nightmares.
I enjoyed the plot and trying to figure out the mystery as the story went on. There were several layers to the story with Ellery’s past and the current crime which added some depth that made the plot more interesting. I still have a few unanswered questions about things at the end, but overall I thought the story wrapped up nicely.
Ellery and Reed were both characters who were battling their own demons while trying to solve the current case. Although that story line is used frequently in thrillers, I still enjoyed it, the author used a little of the “character with a rough past has a drinking problem so no one believes them” concept, which I hate, but fortunately it wasn’t a huge part of the story. Ellery’s dog Bump added light-hearted moments to the dark story, and I really thought bump was used well throughout the story, especially at the end. There is a good amount of police work/FBI behavioral analysis in this story, which I personally really enjoyed, but I can see why some readers might feel parts of the book were a little slow.
The book has several typos and mistakes, which always takes away from a book for me. There were at least 2 sentences where I had to go back and re-read because there was an additional or incorrect word that was not supposed to be there, and it just messed with the flow of the story.
Rating 4/ 5 – While still a thriller that uses many of the standard story lines, The Vanishing Girls added interesting plot points (including a healthy dose of police procedural) to distinguish this book from others. A fast read, I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see who did it.
What do you want out of your thrillers? More or less police procedural?
Hi Friends! Happy Christmas Eve (if you’re celebrating!). I hope everyone is getting a chance to relax a little today and get some reading in. I’ve got to getting some baking done and make a batch of sangria but hopefully when that’s done I’ll be […]
Hi friends! I attempted to complete both Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading for fun and reading for growth book challenges this year and did pretty well (I didn’t quite complete either challenge)! I read some really good books and some not so great books for the […]
Hi readers! I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season and getting in lots of great winter/holiday themed books. Tis the season and all!
Below I have a review of Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges by Jen Mann. Mann runs the blog People I Want to Punch in the Throat, where she discusses, yep you guessed it, people she wants to punch in the throat, including Overachieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies.
As someone who is not a suburban housewife I’m not the target audience for this book but I still laughed out loud until I cried a few times.
This book is a collection of funny essays focusing on the holidays, mainly Christmas. Covering holiday topics from cookie exchanges, to elf on the shelf, to hiding presents and not being able to find them again, and the discussion of just how many free standing Santa’s her mother really has, Mann uses humor to talk about the less than stellar parts of her holiday season.
This collection of essays is a quick read and fun for this time of year when everyone is in crazy holiday overdrive. Several of the stories come right from her blog, but if you’re not already a fan/follow her this books does a nice job curating some of her holiday related posts all in one place.
Several stories made me laugh out loud (when Carlos picks up that TV by himself I about died) but many of them were simply cute, which was a bit of a let down after how much I heard about the hilarity of this book.
Beware – this book is not PC and includes many “adult only” statements, which I personally really enjoyed (does that say something about me?). I most enjoyed reading about just how much Christmas stuff Mann’s Mom really has and how her daughter is picking up on the overachieving holiday spirit that skipped Mann. The short essays at the end of the book about other holiday mishaps were also pretty funny.
Since the main theme of this book is Christmas the book is short, which makes it a great end of year read that you can fit in which all the craziness that is currently going on but I would suggest borrowing it from your library, it might also make a great last minute white elephant/gag gift if you still need something!
Rating 3/ 5 – A quick, funny, unPC, collection of essays about those people who just really don’t like the Christmas overachievers!