Book: Cold Blood #5
Author: Robert Bryndza
Series: Detective Erika Foster
Publication: September 20th, 2017.
Blurb: She fell in love with a killer, now she’s one too.The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside… When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before. As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago. Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack. But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.
Started On – September 5th, 2017.
Finished On – September 5th, 2017.
I don’t understand why the world works the way it does, how we have so many terrible people-the emotionless and indifferent psychopaths with misplaced or damaged screws inside.
I could tell already what kind of terror we would be facing when it came to solving the murders and I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for even the bad. This story is different, I mean duh. But I loved it, and at the same time, I didn’t. Cause I just want to know what really makes the murderer behave in such a way, and why the cause of so much unnecessary havoc… why…oh why!
This book really messed with my emotions, I wasn’t expecting it. Erika had things a lot easier when it came to dealing with people higher up than her in the police ladder, I’m glad they were more cooperative with her, but her personal life is a mess and I just want her happy you know, Robert please my poor heart is so sad. I love all the Erika Foster books and I always go into reading them with excitement and none of them has ever disappointed me, with each story, it just keeps getting better and better.
I also love seeing Erika’s character development, she’s not as brash as used to be and she’s healing a lot… Although somehow I knew something was up with her Marsh and sigh, I don’t know how I feel about it, but time will tell in the next book. Thank you to Robert for being one of the best crime authors out there and Bookouture for the back to back publishing of this monster thrillers.
Out on March 6th, 2018.
Be aware and be ready for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. This book will blow yours and my mind and leave you speechless, especially if you can get your hands on the first six chapters, you’ll understand why I’m a gushing mess. Not only that this book isn’t even published yet and it’s already has a movie deal and has achieved a lot. Can Tomi please be my creative writing coach.
Nigerians are slaying this writing game and are pushing the writing and reading culture in our country! I can’t wait for the day when Reading is a popular thing here and not just political and business reading, reading for fun and just taking in good fiction.
So I’ve only read the first six chapters and omg I need more! It’s so good and I’m in love. I just can’t wait to have more. I already love the world building and I love how I can relate because these characters have Yoruba blood in them. Don’t you just love when you read a book with a language that isn’t English and you don’t have to look up the meaning because you understand the words and language perfectly?
I can’t wait for next year, so I can get my hands on this book and gladly finish it and the others that will follow it. Don’t sleep on this wonderful book, with the most majificent cover, yes I said majificent.
p.s. this is a first reaction review.
The New York Times bestseller list is, at this point, an institution. Reaching number one is a coveted spot that not only allows you to sell more copies of your book, but also lets you put “NYT Bestselling Author” in front of your name on your next one. The prerequisite for the list, is, of course, selling lots of copies of your book. So how did a book that barely exists and nobody ever heard of manage to become a bestseller?
That’s what happened this week on the Young Adult fiction chart, where the reigning champion of the last six months just got booted out by an upstart. Seemingly out-of-nowhere hits do happen; a super-famous person will mention a little-known title and sales soar. But several in the publishing industry felt that this instance was something different, claiming there were not the usual signs that any readers were rushing out in droves to buy this title.
So how did a book that very few people have heard of, by a new author, from a new publisher, and with no real publicity push behind it suddenly rocket to the top spot on a NYT bestseller list?
Media news site Pajiba did a deep-dive investigation into one new book’s sudden — and improbable — appearance on the list.
For the last 25 weeks, the top of the New York Times bestseller list for YA books has been The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. The novel is a genuine blockbuster at this point, Pajiba reports, with a strong fan base and lots of publisher buzz behind it. There’s even a film adaptation in progress, starring Amandla Stenberg.
But of course, nothing lasts forever; even the most popular book, novel, or film eventually falls in the rankings. And this week, The Hate U Give was finally displaced from its number one slot. The new top dog is Handbook for Mortals, by Lani Sarem.
Apart from its content or fan base, The Hate U Give is, in a publishing sense, a perfectly normal book. It’s published by HarperCollins, a major house, and you can buy paper or electronic copies, in several formats, from bookstores, Amazon, or the publisher directly. Basically, exactly what you expect when you think, “book.”
The same, however, cannot be said of its successor on the list.
Out of nowhere
A large publisher like HarperCollins has a whole process behind book releases. Industry publications get notices, PR sends out praise, and reviewers get copies. Bloggers blog, influencers influence, and readers gossip. There’s a system, and folks in the industry expect it to work.
Smaller publishers don’t necessarily work the same way. But even then, there’s usually some attempt at promotion, or some kind of marketing. At the very least, if you’re aiming for the hardcover bestseller list, there’s an actual book that you can buy and read if you so choose.
But Handbook for Mortals came out of nowhere, Pajiba explains. Not just in the sense that it flew under the radar while people were looking at other things, but in the sense that literally nobody ever heard of it until just before it hit the bestseller list. At all.
Handbook for Mortals was being billed as the first novel from the publishing arm of the website GeekNation. But searching for information about either the publisher or the author leads to… almost nothing. There are press releases about the book — but only press releases, Pajiba notes, and those date from only one week before publication.
Does it even exist?
You would think that, to be a bestseller, you would have to, you know, sell copies of a book. And in order to do that, you need a book to sell.
But you can’t actually buy Handbook for Mortals, it seems. Author Phil Stamper couldn’t find a single copy at any Barnes & Noble in the greater New York City area. Nor can you buy a physical copy on Amazon — the hardcover is out of stock.
You can buy a Kindle version, at least, so the text itself is real. But that appears to be the only way you can acquire it.
Not adding up
The publisher itself seems to have absolutely no interest in promoting or in fact even acknowledging that the book exists — a distinctly strange stance for a company that presumably wants to make money.
GeekNation makes absolutely no mention of any publishing arm or any new book on its website. The last mention of Handbook for Mortals on the site’s Twitter feed dates to Aug. 15, and the one and only mention of the book on the site’s Facebook page is a share of the press release Hollywood Reporter published on July 28.
This is, to put it mildly, unusual. The Twitter feeds for major publishers like Simon & Schuster or HarperCollins are always working to promote new titles, and self-published authors and small publishing houses usually work even harder to talk up their books anywhere and everywhere.
Pajiba notes that the Amazon and Goodreads reviews for the book are also deeply questionable, inconsistent with usual reviewing patterns and highly likely to be fake.
Meanwhile, folks had started to notice that a film for this mysterious new book was already listed as “in development” on IMDB… with its author, Lani Sarem, listed as the star.
The community acts
After Pajiba published the story about inconsistencies around Handbook for Mortals, sources started leaping out of the woodwork to confirm that all was not well.
Three different booksellers confirmed that someone had called and placed or tried to place a bulk order for the book, without actually caring that the book was not in stock and would take some time to arrive.
A librarian also came forward to share information with Pajiba, noting that the book had gone through none of the normal channels and didn’t appear anywhere that she and other librarians usually source information or order new books from.
The book did show up on the list from one distributor that indie publishers and bookstores often use for wide distribution. More than 18,500 copies had been ordered from that distributor — a feat that, Pajiba notes, is “basically impossible” to do “in the first week with no pre-sales or early numbers before that.”
Pajiba then received details from two separate sources, each of whom claimed that the author herself admitted she had a plan to push the book onto the NYT bestseller list by manipulating the sales numbers. “Both sources also noted that the author and publisher’s primary concerns were to get a film deal,” Pajiba notes, “With the movie having been promised funding if it became a bestseller, hence a bulk buying strategy with a focus on reaching the convention circuit.”
By the end of the day, the New York Times appeared to have agreed with the findings from Pajiba’s reports and a legion of internet sleuths. The Hate U Give author Angie Thomas noted Thursday evening that the bestseller list had been updated once again — and Handbook for Mortals was no longer on it.
A spokesperson for the NYT told The Hollywood Reporter, “After investigating the inconsistencies in the most recent reporting cycle, we decided that the sales for Handbook for Mortals did not meet our criteria for inclusion. We’ve issued an updated ‘Young Adult Hardcover’ list for September 3, 2017 which does not include that title.”
Author Sarem, however, expressed her frustration, particularly with the Twitter users who dug up and posted numbers. “My personal opinion: I’m a first time author, I did some great numbers,” Sarem told the Hollywood Reporter. “They put me on the list. The list is curated. They didn’t have to put me on the list despite how many books I sold. When these people made a big issue they [the NYT] were like this is to [sic] much effort.”
Sarem defended her book and her publisher, telling The Hollywood Reporter that to the best of her knowledge, nobody involved with the book engaged in an organized campaign.
Book – Guilty
Author – Laura Elliot
Publication – June 22nd, 2017
Publisher – Bookouture
Blurb – It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child.
On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing.
A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect.
Six years later …
Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a gorgeous baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare.
I did not know I was owing a review for this book, which I should have posted months ago, I thought I had written it. It’s so saddening when life gets hectic and you don’t have the time to do some things or in my case think you’ve done it when you haven’t!
This book was my first Laura Elliot book and I can only say that I was impressed by it. I suppose a lot of people should have read this book by now because it’s published by Bookouture and they push out the best Mystery/Thriller books.
Once I started reading this book, I didn’t want to put it down for anything, I just wanted to take it in one go and figure out what was happening and why. This book is one hell of a captivating psychological thriller.
Missing person books are also thrilling, especially when you want to figure out the pieces and actions that led to the disappearance. But this book is a lot different from that because it deals with how such an occurrence can change the lives of many people and is divided into four parts, that make it seem like we’re reading different stories but is all the same, but ties of nicely at the end.
I do need to state that I for one felt sympathy for Karl and despise Amanda Bowe.
This book was a delightful read and I know it’s a book that will generate a lot of mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it.
I’m so excited to share with you some new books! We have been reading some really beautiful ones lately and I’m finally getting around to posting about them. I hope you enjoy! There are links to each of the books … Continue reading
Book – Beasts Made of Night
Publication – October 31st, 2017
Publisher – Razorbill
Blurb – In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.
Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.
When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.
A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.
Started On – 12th August 2017.
Finished On – 17th August 2017.
I heard about Beasts Made of Night on Twitter. A young lady was looking for a Nigerian book blogger to give this book to and I was the lucky person who she eventually sent it to. She said the author is Nigerian and it’s a fantasy based in Nigeria, and I was just sold because right at that moment, I had actually been seeing the cover across twitter, but never really paid attention to the book so I did a quick Goodreads look up and I was impressed and excited. The cover is also so beautiful.
I didn’t even read the blurb, I wanted to be surprised when I finally got my hands on it and surprise I was by how the execution of the story went.
This story follows the life Taj who is popularly known as Skyfist or Lightbringer, an Aki people who fight and destroy Inisisa, Sin Beasts, which are brought forth by Mages. The Aki are treated poorly and are high disrespected, which I don’t get why? These people are wonderful and what they can do is a blessing, one that the people in Kos should respect if they have common sense, but they don’t I guess. So I didn’t read the blurb of this book, so I didn’t know Mages were meant to be terrible, but I got that vibe quickly from the books. There is a lot of lahala going on in this book that I could have done with out though, but it is there.
I didn’t fancy the romance aspect you see, because it was like Tochi couldn’t make up his mind and left the opening possible for Taj to actually be interested in 3 different ladies, but all I know is I was right about my suspicions along, especially when I got to the end of the book. But I love romance and for me to say I didn’t fancy it at all is something.
I loved reading Nigerian slangs, like Oga – which means boss, ehn-ehn which is used for emphasis and the other slangs, at least I understood them immediately.
I was just confused about the city of Kos. I wondered where it was meant to be and I think it’s meant to be like Lagos. Because Kos is home to many people of different ethnic people because we have the names such as Taj, Aliya, Kolade, Ifeoma, Emeka, Karima, Arzu, Izu etc. So from this, I got that Kos is a diverse city and there are other parts of the world Kos is in.
I also think Islam is the main religion of Kos because they spoke about fasting, and there was always a call to pray and Masjid, which means mosque. Which also negates my opinion that Kos is in Lagos, but based on Northern Nigeria.
There are two main creatures in this story the Sin Beasts or Inisisa and the Arashi, which is meant to be terrifying *cough* By the way I need an explanation to why the Sin-Beasts manifest in the form of animals, there isn’t really a back story to the people and how the magic really works. Yes, we a Mage was trying to explain to it a bit, but I still didn’t grasp it.
I believe there is meant to be a sequel because the story just cuts off, like it just gets interesting and it just stops. I hope it is way better than this book, I would truly love to know what fate awaits Taj and how he manages to overcome the obstacles in his path.
We’re thrust into the city of Kos, just like that and are left alone to stumble around till we figure out for ourselves how the city works and who the people in it are. I have a problem with this because the way the story is written, it’s like Tochi expects us to know the terms he used to describe the people and some of the things in their world immediately.
More than 70% into the story, I still couldn’t understand the purpose of the story and what was meant to be happening. I knew something was meant to be off but the execution of it was too laid back and was as if in passing it still wasn’t making sense to me. Then there’s a full 360 turn from the laid back story telling at 80% of the story and are thrust into fast paced with no sort of warning and that’s how it goes till the last page.
Even the last few chapters felt rushed to me and confusing, even the big twist that was meant to occur, the way it was written, was so flat it had me scrunching my face. I knew it was coming, but the scene was just ugh to me and so cringy. It could be so better.
In fact, the story had me confused a lot because there really isn’t a sense of time to it, we’re just meant to know time is going and so so and so things have occurred. It went from one place to another, which made it hard to follow it well, you have to pay full attention when reading this book. The story although beautiful in my opinion was poorly written, the writing style needs a lot work to make the story shine as bright as it ought to because the concept of this story is wonderful.
It should be noted I received and read an ARC of this book, and it is noted in it that this book isn’t finished or corrected. So I do hope the finished book is way better and much more impressive.
As a Nigerian, I feel sad because I was really really excited and thrilled for this book.