My 52 in 52 challenge.

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I have always loved reading, ever since I can remember. During summers my parents wouldn’t urge me to put down my laptop or games console to go and play outside. They would talk to me about putting down my books to go out and play with my friends. I had always had a vast imagination and loved getting lost in another world. As I grew up and started university and then eventually began working full time my time to read severely dwindled. When I saw this challenge online I knew it would be a great way to keep me motivated and involved in the world of literature! I’ll update this entry regularly with the books I have rate with a short, spoiler free, synopsis! So if you’re interested in books and might get inspired to pick up a new read or a new other then this is the challenge for you!

The serial killers daughter – Lesley Welsh / The story follows the journey of Suzanne Tyler, who never had a great relationship with her father. Upon being contacted by a woman with the news of her fathers death and the inheritance of mysterious journals and photographs of women, it becomes apparent that Suzanne truly didn’t know her father. One of the photos her father had in these journals were of one of Suzanne’s deceased friends. With unease in regards to Sophie’s accidental demise Suzanne sets out to uncover who her father really was, although she’s unprepared for the horrors she discovers.

I did enjoy this book although I found the character of Suzanne Tyler to be a bit of a nuisance. The decisions she made were unrealistic for a responsible middle-aged woman. The plot and story itself are interesting although I feel that Welsh’s representation of Donald Tyler requires a little more research. It was fast paced from start to finish and the general story has you sucked in; making this a book that’s difficult to put down!

Dead Lemons – Finn Bell / Finn moved into a remote abandoned cottage at “the end of the earth” in a remote town in New Zealand. After becoming bound to a wheelchair, the collapse of his marriage, and his recovery from alcoholism Finn decides to move for a fresh start. Self healing comes difficult as he moves to the small tight-knit town, where everyone knows everyone. Finn soon discovered the mysteries surrounding his cottage and the murders that happened all those years ago which have gone unsolved. Finn becomes fixated on discovering the truth of the small town and its inhabitants.

This is such a great book! Pretty unique in its approach and content I thoroughly enjoyed it. I stumbled across it randomly in the amazon kindle store. Initially found it difficult to get into although it did become fast paced as the climax approached. Such an unusual plot twist that I had never seen coming! I thoroughly recommend this book and if you’re looking for something unusual and out with your normal reading list then I urge you to buy this book.

Sister Psychopath – Maggie James / Megan loved her younger sister Chloe when they were children. That was until Megan began to suspect her sister of being a psychopath: she’s manipulative, cold, and void of all emotions. When Megan gets back in touch with an old lover, whom she has kept a huge secret from, Chloe sets her targets on him. With his safety at risk Megan struggles to keep her secret from him. With Chloe manipulating their mentally ill mother causing catastrophic repercussions it becomes apparent what Megan needs to do to ensure the safety of herself and those around her.

I rated this book on goodreads with two stars. The only thing I enjoyed about this was the ending, the twist was exceptional. The things that stopped me from enjoying this so much was the authors complete lack of understand of both mental illness and sexuality. The blatant ignorance towards a male characters bisexuality was frustrating. With sentences like “is he still doing the gay thing” it wasn’t an easy read. It’s a shame because the writing style and general plot line was exciting and fun to read. It was really let down by the blatant lack of research into the topics of sexuality and mental illness; two things that are still sorely stigmatised and should have had a more positive representation.

Dribble – Matt Shaw / Three friends find themselves hiking while searching for the cottage which was filmed in the “evil dead”. Giving up after a failed attempt to locate the cottage the three decide to return to their campsite although they find that someone has stolen their camp gear. With nightfall approaching they try and navigate their way back to the designated camp site but instead stumble across a house in the middle of the woods. The three friends decide to seek refuge and ask if they have a working telephone. The residents of this home happen to be elderly and living with the help of a caretaker; who has agreed to return them to town the following morning. Due to the isolated conditions the elderly residents have evolved a way to sustain themselves, much to the horror of the three friends…

Matt Shaw happens to be my favourite author and be prepared to see his name pop up a lot (especially in the next few titles because I had a massive Shaw binge during my night shift). I’ve read a lot of his work and this has been the first one that has made me physically retch in disgust. His descriptions of the most grotesque puts me in mind of the imagery in “the wasp factory” by Iain Banks (another book I thoroughly recommend). If you’re into horror, even more specifically extreme horror, Matt Shaw is definitely the author to check out!

SickER Bastards – Matt Shaw / A sequel to the extreme horror novel “sick bastards” finds the family leaving the house and searching for any form of civilisation. With the overbearing leadership of father leading the family they find themselves holed up in another house in the compound. With the things closing in on them brother sets out to escape the compound and find his old life. With memories coming back to him and the separation from the family a Brother needs to make a distraction and take down the compound in order to escape.

Even though at the end of sick bastards the truth is revealed I still had the horrible feeling of unease when the family were still together. I can’t really go into how I feel about this book without giving off spoilers. I really enjoyed getting some background about the whole scenario. It was a nice gap filler in the horrors of what was going to unravel in the final book SickEST bastards.

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