Posts Tagged ‘murder’

In the winter of 1973, a volcano eruption buried an entire Icelandic town under ash and lava. Now over 30 years later, some of the homes are being excavated for historical purposes. What no one expects to find in the basement of one of these homes are corpses that have been hidden underground since the eruption occurred. Markus Magnusson, who lived in the home as a child, comes under suspicion for killing his childhood crush and it seems that the murders from the past are somehow connected to the murder in the present.

Ashes to Dust is a new tightly wound thriller by acclaimed author Yrsa Sigurdardottir. The novel brings together all the best elements of a murder mystery – family, secrets, murder, betrayal, and deceit. The plot is thick with twists and surprises, and the story winds its way through the characters involved like a well placed tourniquet of suspense. Ashes to Dust grabs hold of the reader and refuses to let go – they are left guessing until the very last chapter. Fans of Steig Larsson should not miss this evocative and enthralling Scandinavian crime thriller. It truly sets a new standard for the genre.

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book free from Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program. However, this had no impact on my opinion of the book or my review.


In this gripping thriller, Dr. Kimberly Chappel must come to terms with the violent murder of one of her friends before realizing that the man responsible isn’t finished yet. However, the serial killer who is stalking Dallas women has no idea that he has a stalker of his own who is biding their time until it is his own time to pay. Soon the Dr. Chappel and her friend Tammy are in the middle of a game of cat and mouse between two killers and they must stand together if they hope to survive.

This novel has a great amount of horror and suspense with a touch of romance thrown into the mix. The characters are well-rounded and accessible; they are people that the reader can identify with. The dialogue felt a bit forced and unnatural throughout however. Due to the author’s background in medicine, he is able to lend a unique insight into medical terminology and life as a health care professional. Fans of thrillers and suspense novels will thoroughly enjoy this novel, especially those readers who enjoy a good dose of justice in the end.

            I received a complimentary copy of Darkness in Dallas as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team.  Visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

           The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler is a bestselling novel of suspense set in Sweden. The story revolves around Detective Joona Linna and Dr. Erik Maria Bark and his wife and son. Early in the book, a triple homicide is discovered and there is one surviving witness. However, the boy has suffered severe trauma and is in a state of shock. Linna convinces Dr. Bark to hypnotize the boy in order to find the murderer before he strikes again. Dr. Bark has sworn never to practice hypnosis again, but eventually agrees in the hopes of saving a young woman’s life. When Dr. Bark breaks his promise and they hypnotize the boy, a chain of terrifying events begins to take place.

This novel has joined the ranks of bestselling crime novels from Scandinavia. I found that the plot of the story had great potential but the writing was lacking. It felt like the book was just dragging along. I lost interest early on, but continued reading in the hopes that the storyline would begin to pick up. It did eventually, but not to the point I had hoped. The characters of Joona Linna, Erik Maria Bark, Simone, and the other major players were well developed, but some aspects left the reader asking questions. For example, the reader learns early on that Linna is a driven detective that will not let a case go unsolved. The reason behind this is a sense of personal guilt over something that happened in his past, but the reader never gets to find out what that secret is. Other aspects of the writing were lacking as well. The plot of the novel was interesting but the way the story unfolded was very predictable and all of the “twists” were able to be foreseen. The ending of the story is also lacking – it does not give the reader any type of closure. It leaves the characters and their relationships with one another in limbo with no resolution.

I found this novel to be mediocre at best. The plot definitely had potential, but the writing was lacking and the book could have been so much more. I bought this book after reading the other reviews and the description, but I wish I would have saved my money for something worthwhile. This is a book worth reading for fun and for fans of Scandinavian crime fiction such as Steig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, but I would recommend that you borrow it and not waste your time and money buying it.