The name is Bo…errrr… I mean Allon, Gabriel Allon

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The Kill Artist – 3 stars

The Kill Artist introduces us to Gabriel Allon, a retired secret agent as an art-restorer who repairs/restore classic arts to its original glory. But it was just his cover while he actually worked for the government. He had made many enemies in his life and one of them was Tariq who took his wife and child away from him forever. But after a long time, when a ruthless killing occurs at Paris with Tariq’s signature written all over, Gabriel has to come out of retirement and settle the store permanently.

Daniel Silva surely has written some moments and shines bright due to its surprisingly appealing characters. But it is a bit slow and the biggest problem is that the whole set up is too much traditional and cliché:

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a hurt, retired hero coming back – check,
hero seeks revenge on villain – check,
a sexy, beautiful femme fatale secret agent by side – check,
appealing villain storyline – check,
unattainable romance storyline – check,
emotional twists and changes – check.
The book is so cliché that unless it had the smartly written characters, it would have sunk completely. The villainous characters – Yusef, Tariq become much closer than the hero Gabriel. The female sleuth Jacqueline is very very well written but one wonders: a model like Kate Moss suddenly works at a gallery and no one notices/recognizes?
All over this is an average above thriller with some memorable characters. The book could have come out much better because the final showdown seems a bit let down.

Oh My Devil!

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Horns – 4 stars

Ig lost his girlfriend Mary 1 yr ago. She was raped and murdered in such way as if only devil could have planned it. Although Ig can’t remember what happened that night and there is no proof, the whole town thinks he was the one who murdered her. 1 yr later, one morning after an usual drunk night he wakes up with two horns poking out of his forehead. And if that is not enough to make him go crazy, no one seems to notice the horns as if its just his nose on his face. More to that, people seem to tell him their darkest sins and desires without knowing and Ig seems to be in control of that. Snakes, pitchfork and fire breath, Ig is now becoming what people have though he is for last year : The Devil!!
Horns Movie Picture (6)What more does a book need to make it interesting after all that? Its great! Horns wastes no time in introduction or slow pacing. It jumps right in a hell-storm and lets us know more later. Suspense is excellent and the characters are written so well, it feels like we have already read stories about them before.
After Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft this was the first novel by Joe Hill for me. A complete slow burning suspense full of surprises. I am looking forward to the movie adaptation now!

Nothing is what it seems

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The Accident – 4 stars

Glen is in contracting business and things are looking a bit low in case of money. His wife Sheila says she has a new way of making some money and just then she dies in an accident. She gets way too drunk, stops her car at the middle of road at midnight while driving back home and another car hits it. But Glen is not ready to take this as it looks because Sheila never had any drinking problem. And then starts a ride of friends calling about something more important than Sheila’s death, being loomed by an assassin, being sued because of Sheila’s ignorance. More deaths and threats make clear to Glen that Sheila’s death is more than just an accident. Can Glen and his little girl Kelly survive this cobweb?

Mr Linewood has written a very engaging novel which folds itself to one after another page of twists. The Accident is very very gripping, fast, action packed and most of all heartfelt. Every character has his/her own weight and the little girl Kelly is such a wonderful character. I can’t stop loving her every time she appears. The father-daughter bonding is just great. Just when you think you can take a relaxing breath, the book dives in some new danger! It never wastes time, no moment is dull and never slow. This is a must read.

Suspense at its finest

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Now You See Me – 4.5 stars

Almost each one of us who loves a good crime thriller, has heard of Jack the Reaper right? Now what if the legacy starts to repeat itself after 120 years? The same pattern, the same chilling letters and exactly same locations. Only this time Jack is focusing on one particular Policewoman. Can they catch Jack this time?Ripper_cartoon_punch

The book gives a kick-start from the very first page and never ever looses one bit of pace for the rest of it. Every page is full of intelligence, always entertaining and nail-biting. This book is a total adrenaline rush. I read it on the bus, I read it staying awake at night. I just could not stop myself from turning to the next page.

I bought this a few months ago from a second hand book shop for even less than a dollar without even knowing about the author. But here I am now searching at book-stores on and offline for more books by Ms. S. J. Bolton.

I have read many novels, many mysteries but this one really is one of the top. I wish I could jump, yell, hold and shake someone saying, “Oh for the love of crime thrillers, just read this book, Damn it”. It may sound like blabbering of a fan-boy but please read this book at least once.

One more thing, crime thrillers often covers identity crisis/confusion. But brace yourself when you read the last chapter of this one. I never read an identity shift like this.
The only little problem was that it didn’t have to contain any cliché romance.

The beauty and horror of destruction

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Swan Song – 5 stars

Swan Song first came out in 1987, swiping away many of the fantasy/horror awards and since then, it has been helmed as one of the master piece in horror genre. As a post-apocalyptic fiction, the books premise may feel a bit odd place and time for horror but the book unfolds itself in such ways and manners that it feels controversially pleasing!swan-song Almost all the countries of the world have started nuking each other as if the tension of the cold war broke all over the world. But unlike any World War, it is not going to end. Because this time it is the end of the world. At a near post apocalyptic future the book follows the journeys of Sister, Swan, Roland and of course the Man with the Scarlet Eyes. Sister find a magical glass ring that still reminds a man about hope. Far from her, Swan is a little girl who develops a power of regenerating life. Without hope and life human becomes a toy of the devil. And the devil must stop them using Roland who is a little boy hungry for power. A magic glass ring that still gives streaks of hope at a dead world, a little girl with magic and a face changing devil march towards the crossing of their paths over the dead-bodies in a world full of radiation, mutation, disease, horror and magic. It might take a few years and hundreds of miles but in the world of survival, they will meet and when they do, the world will either die or live again. Robert McCammon is a master of horror. Just when you might think that the book feels like fantasy or science fiction, turn the page and you will flinch, look away and remember why it belongs to the true horror genre. It is a fight between good and evil, God and Devil but in a manner never seen before. The book has a huge time and space variation which makes it a Magnum Opus. Death, death and death is all there is wherever you look. Sister is personally my favourite character but it was really hard to choose. Mr McCammon plays with the words so easily but carefully that he makes us love a filthy character or loath a heartfelt character over just a few pages! Roland, Josh, Paul, Hugh, Rusty, Pawpaw, Moody etc. the list goes on and each character has significant heartfelt part and development. When I finished this book, it felt as if I had just read a series of books like Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein all at once with 50 times the horror, death and violence. I had asked for a horrifying book and I was punched with it. I loved it by all means and it is going to linger in my head for quite some time for sure.