Review: Pieces of Her – Karin Slaughter

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?

Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . . – via Goodreads

You know, I was beyond stoked when I got my hands on this book. You all know how deep a love I have for Karin Slaughter’s work, and there are few authors I get as excited about when they have a new book coming, so I was over the moon when I got my paws on this. My joy, however, was short lived.

It is not that I hated Pieces of Her, not at all, but I did not find it nearly as thrilling or as well crafted as Slaughter’s other work. I didn’t like any of the characters, which in and of itself is not something that would ruin a book for me, it’s just that I wasn’t keen on the story. Usually I am fascinated with cults, I really am, and I was interested to see where this would go, and in parts it is really good, and others it is just… bland.

I was so interested to read about the relationship between Andy and Laura, but it never really felt real for me. I did like Gordon. I seriously thought we had some espionage thriller on our hands, and then it went another way. I am seriously struggling to write a review for this. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I just found it to be a bit of a chore to read in the sense that it did not hook me and take me captive, where I just had to know what was going on every second of the way. It is, without a doubt, the most disappointing Slaughter read I have ever read. That is all I can really say on it.

Review: Level 26: Dark Prophecy – Anthony E. Zuiker with Duane Swierczynski

dark prophecy

Level 26 #2

SYNOPSIS: Steve Dark was once a lost soul, torn between his family and his one-of-a-kind talent for hunting and catching serial killers-especially those so-called “level 26” killers whose depravity exceeds law enforcement’s official scale of evil. In his reluctant pursuit of justice Dark once crossed the ultimate line, a line that might cause a lesser man to lose himself completely.

Not Dark. When the world took everything from him, when it destroyed the very thing Dark once lived for, it brought a moment of clarity that few before him have witnessed, and sparked a transformation that, several years later, is only just complete.

Dark is now a man on a mission. A mission that no longer requires law enforcement support. A mission unbound by authorities, moral or otherwise, and supported by a mysterious benefactor with unknown goals of her own. A mission that, at long last, allows him to embrace his destiny. Dark is finally ready- ready to take justice to the next level. – via Goodreads

GRADE 5.5Alright, so I felt that this novel was on to something decent. Granted, it was off to quite a circuitous and rambling start, and took a little too long to get the ball rolling, but when it did I thought that this was quite a decent setup for the novel. Grisly crimes, fancy tarot cards, Dark working on his own, all sounded good. But really, the payoff was such a pointless kick in the teeth ultimately, and left me feeling very unsatisfied. This is purely because the MO was changed, and things became a media circus. It started off and it was infinitely better than its predecessor, but ended up being slightly better only, a far cry from great. I think this was when the villain was introduced – everything lost its spark after that, and became routine and predictable. The whole Lisa Graysmith thing was very annoying, because I know you can have power and all, but it comes across as a little ludicrous for me in the book, and even by the end there is zero explanation. I also got really irritated with Dark’s daughter, Sibby, being dragged in from time to time, almost as an afterthought. Also, the sex between Lisa and Dark eventually was such a clinical, silly, pointless addition to the book for me, and could truly have just been skipped on. Dark is still not a character you can really identify with, which makes it a little difficult for the book to resonate. It is a fast read, quick and to the point, but sometimes events feel like a bit of a stretch. I still like the concept of reading and having videos you can check out in conjunction with the novel, though they aren’t necessary to understand the story. I will admit, however, that I did not go and watch the clips for this book, I just read it, and see a lot of people complain that it didn’t line up nicely like Dark OriginsDark Prophecy doesn’t showcase the greatest writing of all time, either. Don’t go looking for some amazing prose or anything like that, the writing is enough to carry the story and present everything to you, but not to titillate the mind. It is entertaining, nonetheless, but if you are going in expecting the next Hannibal, you are going to be grossly disappointed.