A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man called

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations. 

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Back in June, Fredrik Backman had a small Canadian tour where he visited the town of Uxbridge, which has a large book community. My friend and I journeyed out to Uxbridge where we got to hear author Terry Fallis interview Backman and then we got to meet and get our books signed. I picked out A Man Called Ove, which I quite enjoyed!

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A Man Called Ove is filled with a cast of characters that I quite enjoyed. Front and centre, you have Ove, a man who has just lost his wife as well as his job. He finds himself lost without a purpose or someone to share his life with. The novel is filled mostly with his interactions with his neighbours, whom he tolerates, but doesn’t understand. I loved all of the neighbours, especially Parvaneh and her daughters. I really enjoyed their interactions with Ove.

I didn’t expect to get so attached to the story as well as the characters. The ending definitely got me a bit choked up! I’ve read a few of Backman’s novels, but this one is by far my favourite! It’s amazing how well the novel was translated to English from Backman’s native tongue, Swedish.

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4 calculators out of a potential 5. I highly recommend A Man Called Ove if you haven’t read this amazing novel yet. Also if Backman goes on another book tour and it is within driving distance, I would suggest that you check that out as well!

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The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett #2) by Cody McFadyen

The Face of Death

I want to talk to Smoky Barrett or I’ll kill myself.

The girl is sixteen, at the scene of a grisly triple homicide, and has a gun to her head. She claims The Stranger killed her adoptive family, that he’s been following her all her life, killing everyone she ever loved, and that no one believes her.

No one has. Until now.

Special Agent Smoky Barrett is head of the violent crimes unit in Los Angeles, the part of the FBI reserved for tracking down the worst of the worst. Her team has been handpicked from among the nations elite law enforcement specialists and they are as obsessed and relentless as the psychos they hunt; they’ll have to be to deal with this case.

For another vicious double homicide reveals a killer embarked on a dark crusade of trauma and death: an artist who’s molding sixteen-year-old Sarah into the perfect victim – and the ultimate weapon. But Smoky Barrett has another, more personal reason for catching The Stranger – an adopted daughter and a new life that are worth protecting at any cost.

This time Smoky is going to have to put it all on the line. Because The Stranger is all too real, all too close, and all too relentless. And when he finally shows his face, if she,s not ready to confront her worst fear, Smoky won,t have time to do anything but die.

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This is a book that will not be for everyone. This is a book that is scary and horrible and upsetting. I’m a huge fan of mysteries and thrillers and there were nights that I couldn’t read this novel before I went to sleep because I didn’t want to go to sleep upset. It’s a tough, tough read.

The first thing that I loved about the novel (and the series) is the cast of characters. Each character is flawed and scarred both physically and mentally. Put everyone together and you have a team that won’t let anyone hurt one of their own and will protect one another to the death. I loved it.

I also really enjoyed the mystery and how Sarah’s diary came into play with solving the mystery. It was really hard to read about what Sarah went through, but it was also really important to understand where her mind was at when she meet Smoky.

So my husband read the novel before I did (he loved it) and he mentioned that I would probably tear up at the end of the novel. We were commuting home on the train and he saw that I was approaching the end of the book. He watched my face completely crumble during the last paragraph and I sobbed like a baby. Face of Death just pulled at all of my emotions and I loved it when a novel does that to you.

4 calculators out of a potential 5. I would recommend this novel (and series) to those that enjoy dark thrillers. Make sure to start the series from the beginning since there are spoilers from book 1 (Shadow Man) that are in book 2.

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Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

Lying in Wait

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.

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Wow what a novel and what an ending! This is my first Liz Nugent novel and it was refreshing to read a novel that is anything from typical. From the beginning sentence – My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it – to the final scene, everything was unconventional.

Lying in Wait isn’t your classic who dunnit. Right from the opening lines, the reader knows what happened and who is to blame. The rest of the novel focuses on Lydia Fitzsimmons, her son Laurence and Annie Doyle’s sister, Karen. Parts of the novel were super creepy especially once you got to know the characters a bit better. I really enjoyed reading about the different characters and how their lives became intertwined.

4 calculators out of a potential 5. If you are looking for something different check out Lying in Wait and I’m excited to check out Liz Nugent’s other novels!

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WWW Wednesday – August 14, 2019

WWW

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The Three Ws are:

What did you recently finish reading?

A Man called

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

What are you currently reading?

The Face of Death
I want to talk to Smoky Barrett or I’ll kill myself.

The girl is sixteen, at the scene of a grisly triple homicide, and has a gun to her head. She claims The Stranger killed her adoptive family, that he’s been following her all her life, killing everyone she ever loved, and that no one believes her.

No one has. Until now.

Special Agent Smoky Barrett is head of the violent crimes unit in Los Angeles, the part of the FBI reserved for tracking down the worst of the worst. Her team has been handpicked from among the nations elite law enforcement specialists and they are as obsessed and relentless as the psychos they hunt; they’ll have to be to deal with this case.

For another vicious double homicide reveals a killer embarked on a dark crusade of trauma and death: an artist who’s molding sixteen-year-old Sarah into the perfect victim – and the ultimate weapon. But Smoky Barrett has another, more personal reason for catching The Stranger – an adopted daughter and a new life that are worth protecting at any cost.

This time Smoky is going to have to put it all on the line. Because The Stranger is all too real, all too close, and all too relentless. And when he finally shows his face, if she,s not ready to confront her worst fear, Smoky won’t have time to do anything but die.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Washington Black

Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born.

When his master’s eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or “Titch,” is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist.

He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, Titch abandons everything to save him.

What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life, one which will propel him further across the globe.

What are your WWW? Have you read any of my WWW?

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