Review: Marked For Life – Emelie Schepp

marked for life emelie schepp cover

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Jana Berzelius #1

SYNOPSIS: When a high-ranking head of the migration board is found shot to death in his living room, there is no shortage of suspects, including his wife. But no one expects to find the mysterious child-sized handprint in the childless home.

Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius steps in to lead the investigation. Young and brilliant but emotionally cold, Berzelius, like her famous prosecutor father, won’t be swayed by the hysterical widow or intimidated by the threatening letters the victim had tried to hide. Jana is steely, aloof, impenetrable. That is, until the next body is found…

A few days later on a nearby deserted shoreline, the body of a preteen boy is discovered, and with him, the murder weapon that killed him and the original victim. Berzelius is drawn more deeply into the case for as she attends his autopsy, she recognizes something strangely familiar in his small, scarred, heroin-riddled body. Cut deep into his flesh are initials that scream child trafficking and trigger in her a flash of memory of her own dark, fear-ridden past. Her connection to this boy has been carved with deliberation and malice that penetrate to her very core.

Now, to protect her own hidden past, she must find the suspect behind these murders, before the police do. – via Goodreads

GRADE 5Well, this certainly didn’t go as I had hoped. It isn’t a bad read, but it is a long one. There were so many unnecessary scenes and interactions that could have been cut out to make it a tighter read, or at least replaced with things that we needed, such as character developments and history. Reading Marked For Life, it felt as though this novel was part of a series, and not a standalone book. There were too many relationships if felt like we were expected to understand, and afflictions and issues each character dealt with that seemed like we were already supposed to know all about them. I see now that this is the first book in what will become a series, but I intensely doubt that I will be revisiting other books in this series. There were also major issues with the characters – they were all unlikable. I couldn’t root for Jana, our main peanut, and even the side characters sucked (here’s looking at you specifically, Mia, ugh). I also found that the translation for this novel was not exactly grand, and there were sections that were not easy to read. The translation also made the dialogue cringe worthy and unbelievable and stilted. As for the story? I honestly thought it had a lot of potential, and I was very disappointed with the direction that the novel took eventually. Not the worst book to spend time on, but not something I will be revisiting, and not a series that I will be continuing.

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