Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TLC Book Tour: The Stranger You Know by Andrea Kane


Series: Forensic Instincts
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (September 24, 2013)
It begins with a chilling phone call to Casey Woods. And ends with another girl dead.
College-age girls with long red hair. Brutally murdered, they’re posed like victims in a film noir. Each crime scene is eerily similar to the twisted fantasy of a serial offender now serving thirty years to life—a criminal brought to justice with the help of Forensic Instincts.
Call. Kill. Repeat. But the similarities are more than one psychopath’s desire to outdo another. As more red-haired victims are added to the body count, it becomes clear that each one has been chosen because of a unique connection to Casey—a connection that grows closer and closer to her.
Now the Forensic Instincts team must race to uncover the identity of a serial killer before his ever-tightening circle of death closes in on Casey as the ultimate target. As the stalker methodically moves in on his prey, his actions make one thing clear: he knows everything about Casey. And Casey realizes that this psychopath won’t stop until he makes sure she’s dead.
I think it's pretty comical that I was asked to review this because of my blog name, Red Headed Book Child, and the fact that the book is about a serial killer that preys on redheads. Why the heck not? I have heard so many good things about Andrea Kane. Marce over at Tea Time with Marce has raved about her and we tend to have pretty similar tastes.
I have to say this was a pretty decent read. It was pretty simplistic writing. Nothing overly in depth. Straight forward. It was fast paced enough to keep me going and I liked the whole idea of the Forensic Instincts Team. 
Andrea Kane's website describes the team as " an eclectic team of maverick investigators, each with different talents and personalities, all with one common bond—a blatant disregard for authority." I would have to agree with that. Whether they have psychic abilities or some other eclectic talent, I enjoyed that twist to the mystery. That is what stood out for me. I think fans of Paranormal romance even would like this.

There are two others in this series and I'm certainly curious about them. If I'm looking for a quick, easy read I may pick them up. Like I said, I enjoyed it but it wasn't anything that made me think too much! Maybe that's a good thing every now and again.

Thanks to Lisa for having me on this tour!
Author Website and Tour Information:
Visit her at www.AndreaKane.com
Monday, October 14th:  A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, October 15th:  Inside of a Dog
Wednesday, October 16th:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, October 17th:  Simply Stacie
Friday, October 18th:  Bibliotica
Monday, October 21st:  The Book Wheel
Monday, October 21st:  Shelf Pleasure – author guest post
Tuesday, October 22nd:  The Well Read Redhead
Wednesday, October 23rd:  Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, October 24th:  Chaotic Compendiums
Friday, October 25th:  She Treads Softly
Monday, October 28th:  Literally Jen
Tuesday, October 29th:  Redheaded Book Child
Wednesday, October 30th:  Mental Foodie
Friday, November 1st:  Life, Love, & Books
Monday, November 4th:  The Daily Mayo
Monday, November 4th:  Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, November 5th:  Bookalicious Mama
Wednesday, November 6th:  Kritter’s Ramblings
Thursday, November 7th:  My Shelf Confessions
Friday, November 8th:  From the TBR Pile
Monday, November 11th:  Sarah’s Book Shelves
Tuesday, November 12th:  Reading Reality
Wednesday, November 13th:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, November 14th:  A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, November 15th:  Booked on a Feeling
Monday, November 18th:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Tuesday, November 19th:  My Bookshelf
Wednesday, November 20th:  Broken Teepee
Thursday, November 21st:  Fiction Addict
Monday, November 25th:  October Country
Tuesday, November 26th:  A Chick Who Reads
Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!
red headed book child

Monday, October 21, 2013

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Book Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more. (Goodreads)


I am just going to start by saying this book has the potential to be just as big as Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. It combines the gothic with the literary, with the suspense, with the mystery. It had it all...even a little romance, though not in the traditional sense.

I did not read the author's first novel though it received great acclaim. I must say I was impressed with her superb writing style. She wrapped me up. It was hard to put down. Events get a little wacky right after the middle of the book but overall, it was a page turner and put together quite well.

I liked that it included seemingly "real" newspaper articles, photos, blog posts, and police files. Having all that pop up throughout the book made it seem so realistic. I wasn't drawn towards any one character. They all had their own mystery to them and I was intrigued by them all. The director Cordova was haunting and intriguing and I was curious what all the hype was about. 

Overall, though it took me a bit to complete it was definitely worth reading. I highly recommend it. It's already been sent to my pal, Cheryl. :) 

This was one of the books I selected for the R.I.P Challenge from Stainless Steel Droppings. I am happy I completed it in time! It definitely combines most of the genres listed for this challenge, combing a lot of gothic with a lot of mystery.

Author Website:
Marisha Pessl

Challenge:
R.I.P Challenge

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!
red headed book child

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New Season of Blogger Night at the Ordway: Miss Saigon


A tragedy of passion and beauty—based on Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly—Miss Saigon is set during the Vietnam War. Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg (Les Mis√©rables) created another absolute masterpiece in Miss Saigon. Like Les MisMiss Saigon presents an array of inspiring music and lyrics which appeal to all our senses and emotions.
Miss Saigon follows the love story between a young girl, Kim, and an American GI, Chris. Years after leaving Vietnam, Chris discovers his war bride Kim is still alive and is now raising his son. He returns to Saigon to find her, but with the Viet Cong closing in on the city and other ties at home binding him, Chris is forced to make some challenging decisions before leaving Vietnam again.

Purchase tickets here. Runs October 8-13
This show has been on my radar for years. Several of my friends and family members have seen it and have raved about it.
I took my theater buddy, Kim, with me again for the kick off to a new season of Blogger Nights at the Ordway. She is a teacher and has a degree in history so it was fascinating to get her take on the historical side of this show.
I know about Vietnam about as much as a learned in school. I know a bit from my dad who was in the army. That's about it. Overall, the show was intense. Big dramatic songs, lots of chaotic scenes, noisy helicopter sound affects, powerful video of children of war. That was captured well. 
I, however, did not feel the love story. It was sudden and intense from the first moment and I just could not get into them as a couple who longed to be together. I think the power of the story was also lost due to it being an opera. Every word was sung and with that, there was no ebb and flow of feelings. It was intense all the time! And that got to be tiring.
The "comic relief" numbers sung by the Engineer were okay but too long and didn't seem to fit with the story. I was not impressed with the actor who played Chris. His voice was a bit too forced and overly dramatic. As the show progressed he got better but the first number was too much.
I really liked the actress who played Kim. She had an amazing voice and had the delivery that conveyed the necessary roller coaster of emotions she was feeling. I appreciated it.
It was really worth seeing and I think the more theater I have the opportunity to see, the more I learn about the differences in how a story is really told.
I recommend Miss Saigon. Don't let some of my negative comments influence you. I was also blowing my nose a lot from a bad cold and coughing up a storm. It demands to be seen. The history was interesting. The idea of it all was worth creating. 
And the ending...well, the ending is a tear jerker. 
Happy Viewing and as always, thanks for stopping by!
red headed book child

Monday, October 7, 2013

TLC Book Tour: The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Guest Review)

You've heard from her before. My book loving friend Cheryl gives her take on the latest award winning book by Louise Erdrich.

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.
While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.
Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.


Cheryl’s Review


Louise Erdrich has long on my list of authors to read, but The Round House is the first of her novels I read.


The book description says the characters as “all-too-human.” Erdrich develops the characters in a way that one can identify with nearly all of them in some way. She beautifully captures the emotional depth of the characters and their relationships wtih each other. Joe, the main character, struggles with wanting to remain a free-spirited child while longing to be an adult; his father is trying to help his wife recover from her trauma and find her justice while trying to raise a boy; and his mother grapples with the memories of her trauma and knowing she and her life will never be the same.


Joe’s devotion to his mother and wanting to know, and understand, all the details of what happened is the center of the story. This incident, whether he is fully aware or not, feeds into and marks changes his relationships with his parents, relatives, and friends. He wants to go back to the way things were but knows that is impossible. The setting of 1988 adds many layers to the characters and their relationships. Erdrich interweaves how women and Native Americans are treated and viewed in society, and how those complications affected the characters’ development and the story’s outcome.

The Round House
makes me want to read more of Erdrich’s books. Her realistic story and characters are easy to read but accurately depicts the complex situation of living on a reservation in a larger society with different rules and perspectives. At its heart, it is a coming of age story of a boy becoming a man and how the world is changing around him.



Tour Schedule:

Tuesday, September 24th: Lavish Bookshelf
Wednesday, September 25th: she treads softly
Thurssday, September 26th: The Lost Entwife
Monsday, September 30th: Book-alicious Mama
Tuesday, October 1st: Bound by Words
Wednesday, October 2nd: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, October 3rd: Books Speak Volumes
Monday, October 7th: red headed book child
Tuesday, October 8th: The Blog of Lit Wits
Wednesday, October 9th: Lit and Life
Thursday, October 10th: Book Addict Katie
Monday, October 14th: Dolce Bellezza
Tuesday, October 15th: guiltless reading
Wednesday, October 17th: Lectus
Monday, October 21st: Becca’s Byline
Tuesday, October 22nd: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, October 23rd: Turn the Page
Thursday, October 24th: Book Snob

Author Info:
Louise Erdrich doesn't have a website but here's her official Facebook page


Thanks again Cheryl for stopping by!
Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child