Book Review: The One by John Marrs

On social media I saw that the The One by John Marrs was an excellent read. While browsing at my local bookstore on a Saturday afternoon, I saw the novel placed in the bestsellers section and decided to pick it up. The blurb definitely intrigued me.

Genre: Thriller, Romance

Blurb:

How far would you go to find The One?

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

My thoughts:

At first glance, The One may seem like a romance novel – after all, the characters are looking for the person they will spend the rest of their live with. Very quickly, however, the reader comes to the conclusion that the novel is more than a romance. The story has so many unexpected twists in it that the reader is continually surprised. Contained within these pages is murder, some emotional moments, and a glimpse at the different types of people that populate the world.

What I loved about this novel is that it is an unusual story – quite unlike any that I have read before. Marrs truly surprises one with the events that he describes; and yet the segments of human nature that he explores are spot-on. We are taken through the experience of five characters who each have their unique experience with their DNA match; and each experience has an unexpected twist in it.

I enjoyed this novel. Marrs’ writing kept me turning the pages and immersed in the story. If you decide to pick up this book, be prepared to put all else aside.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 53rd in my book pledge for 2019)

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Book review: A Justified Murder by Jude Deveraux

Every novel that I have read by Jude Deveraux I have enjoyed so when I saw a copy of her latest, A Justified Murder, at the Harper Collins booth when attending the OLA Super Conference I picked up a copy with no hesitation.

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Adult Fiction

Blurb:

The small town of Lachlan, Florida, was rocked last year when two bodies were uncovered in the roots of a fallen tree. Despite their lack of investigative experience, Sara Medlar; her niece, Kate; and Jack Wyatt found themselves at the center of the mystery, working together to reveal the truth behind a decades-old secret in the sleepy town. After a narrow escape, they vowed to never again involve themselves in something so dangerous–until Janet Beeson is murdered.

When Janet’s body is discovered, everyone is shocked by the violence of the attack. The sweet little old woman has been shot, stabbed and poisoned, but no one can imagine who would want to harm one of the town’s kindest, most helpful residents. Sara, Kate and Jack are determined to leave this case to the professionals. But they are soon bombarded by townspeople eager to tell their stories and clear their names with the trio who solved the Morris murders. Even the sheriff is hoping they’ll lend their skills to a crime that seems to have no explanation and no motive. And once the town gets talking, they begin to see that there are more secrets buried in quiet Lachlan than anyone could have imagined…

My thoughts:

This book was exactly what I was looking for – a light murder mystery tinged with a bit of romance. When I began reading this story I did not realise there had been a book before this one. However, not having read the first novel did not prevent me from enjoying this one – though there were moments when the first encounters of Sara, Kate, and Jack were referred to and I did not know the back story.

A Justified Murder was a quick and easy read that had me smiling in parts because of the relationship between the three main characters of the series. I loved how the personal story of these three people was interlaced in the murder mystery. The novel is not hard and gritty as some murder mysteries can be; but it is not all fluff either as the reader does experience some surprises.

Unlike many of Jude Deveraux’s novels, this one did not have me reaching for the tissue box. Instead I enjoyed the country-like feel of the story as I read through the unravelling of the mystery with the life-like characters that the author has created. I enjoyed A Justified Murder so much that I intend to play catch-up with the story; and look forward to reading the next Medlar Mystery.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 22nd in my book pledge for 2019)

Book Review: Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

When I picked up Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner, I knew that I was to read a thriller with characters that I had ‘met’ before in previous novels.

Right Behind You brings back two well-known FBI agents – profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner Rainie Conner. The story focuses on Sharlah, the girl that is about to be adopted by Quicy and Rannie. Eight years ago her older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save their lives. A call comes in about a double murder just as Sharlah has finally moved on with her life. As Quincy and Rainie assistait have solving the murder, they are forced to confront the mounting evidence that Sharlah’s brother, Telly Ray Nash, may be the shooter. And it appears that his killing spree has only just begun. In the past, Sharlah’s big brother has saved her life. But it is uncertain, years later, whether he would be willing to continue to protect her.

The novel contains all that I would expect from one of Gardner’s novels – a fast-paced race to the finish as the mystery of the murder is solved. The novel did not disappoint as it was what I expected. However, the story did not intrigue me too much – and it was very easy to set aside as I continued with my day to day responsibilities. The read was enjoyable, but not a book that I would peruse again.

I gave this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars on Goodreads.

Do you enjoy reading Gardner’s novels?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This novel was the 32nd in my 50 book pledge for 2018)

Book Review: Four Blind Mice by James Patterson

I had met Detective Alex Cross before in one of James Patterson’s novel. When I saw that I had not read of his experiences in Four Blind Mice, I knew that I had to read this tale. In this novel, Alex Cross is on the verge of retiring from the D.C. police force when he comes across a case that he is unable to resist. His partner, John Sampson, has a friend who has been framed for murder and is facing the gas chamber. His accuser? The United States Army. Cross and Sampson go up against codes of honour and silence and three ruthless killers. But the bigger threat is the controller of the three murderers.

This story was as expected from a Patterson novel – fast-paced with moments of the Alex-story interwoven in. I enjoyed reading a bit about Detective Cross to see where his life is leading; and turning the pages to see how he and his partner solve the last murder before he leaves the police force. This thriller was a perfect read for me as I had wanted something with uninterrupted action that would not leave me thinking. For readers who enjoy page-turning thrillers, this novel is a perfect choice.

Do you enjoy reading Patterson’s Alex Cross novels?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This novel was the 11th in my 50 book pledge for 2018)

Book Review: The Winds of Change by Martha Grimes

The Winds of Change (Richard Jury, #19)The Winds of Change by Martha Grimes is a novel that was passed onto me. The story sounded interesting – I do enjoy reading murder stories (I am sure you guessed! 🙂 ). This tale describes an investigation by Richard Jury (the name sounds vaguely familiar which means I may have read another of Martha Grimes’ tales of this ilk). The story shows a connection of the dead body of a young girl in London to the cold case of a missing girl in Launceston. The clues of the investigation remain elusive – clues which Richard Jury is able to finally piece together.

I found reading this story slow-going. The back and forth between characters and places is not clearly defined and, in the beginning, was a little confusing. Once I figured out who was who, I was able to make the connections that the authors was describing. I did not find the story enthralling, however, and it took me a while to complete this tale.

Have you read any of Martha Grimes’ tales?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This novel was the fifth in my 50 book pledge for 2018)

Teaser Tuesday: The Cinderella Murder

Teaser

Over the weekend I began reading the story The Cinderella Murder written by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke. As a fan of Mary Higgins Clark, I picked up this story with confidence. I am only a few pages in, but I am sure to enjoy it.

The story centres around television producer, Laurie Moran, who has chosen the next topic for her cold case series, Under Suspicion. She works on what is known as the Cinderella Murder – a twenty year old murder of a beautiful and brilliant UCLA student (Susan Dempsey) who was found dead in the Hollywood hills the morning after she was scheduled to audition for the lead in an up-and-coming director’s new film. Laurie makes contact with, and interviews, family members and friends who knew the murder victim.

My teaser for the novel comes from the beginning of the story:

“When the phone rang the next morning, Jack popped up from reading the newspaper. “There’s our girl, bright and early by a college student’s standards for a Sunday.”

But the caller wasn’t Susan. It was the Los Angeles Police Department. They had difficult news. A young woman had been found just before dawn in Laurel Canyon Park. She appeared to have been strangled. They didn’t want to alarm them unnecessarily, but their daughter’s driver’s license had been retrieved from a purse found fifteen yards from the body. A mobile phone was clutched in her hand and the last number dialed was theirs.” (p. 10, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster).

I look forward to reading more of this story.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Miz B’s Teaser Tuesdays at Books and a Beat)

Book Review: The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny

During the past two weeks I did something I have not done in a while: I sat on our sofa with a hot drink and did some reading. The first book I picked up was one my cousin had passed on to me with the comment, “This story is good!” And it was.

Chief Inspector Gamache is the main character of the story and, even though I had not read the other stories featuring him, I could follow the reasons for his actions as he worked with his colleagues to solve a murder that had taken place in Three Pines, a small village not far from Montreal. While Gamache goes about the business of solving murder, he is working on a more personal demon that is nipping at his heels. This secondary story is interwoven with the main one in such a way that it does not interfere with the reader’s understanding of the plot at hand.

The Cruellest Month is certainly a page turner – and kept me on the sofa for many hours. I wanted to find out who had murdered a woman who appeared to be friendly in a place that is so welcoming to those looking for comfort and rest. Put into the mix a house that is believed to be haunted, a colourful collection of villagers, a thread of unease running among those working for the Sûreté, and you have a recipe for an enthralling story. Fast-paced and riveting, one can understand why this novel has won numerous awards. If you enjoy thrillers, then this story is the one for you.

As I put down this novel at the end of the story, I decided I had not only enjoyed solving this murder with Gamache – but that I had to read the books published afterwards to find out what happens to the lovable Chief Inspector.

Have you read any of Louise Penny’s novels?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015