Book Review: “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn

Atmospheric characterisation and narration. *** (3.5)

It’s dark, gritty, and at times, uncomfortable. But that’s what Gillian Flynn creates purposefully and brilliantly through her atmospheric characterisation and narration.

Of course, I wasn’t introduced to Gillian Flynn until I read Gone Girl, which by the way, I loved. It instantly became one of my favourite books. I wanted more from her. This is when I was attracted to Sharp Objects. Her debut novel.

We are introduced to a Camille Preaker, a young journalist trying to make a better life for herself. Her sister Marian died at a young age and Camille has been battling her own demons. Her family is hurting and so is Camille, but she wants to focus on her career. That is until she’s sent back to her hometown to report on the death of a girl in Wind Gap, Missouri, her hometown. Another girl is missing, and this is thought by her boss, Curry, to be a big story told by a local.

This is not a detective mystery where we follow the police. Law enforcement doesn’t exist in this story.

Camille is investigator, reporter and resident. It’s dark, it’s gritty, it’s disturbing, it’s creepy. This is all achieved, in my opinion, from the characterisation.

The story itself is painfully slow. I actually found myself telling my better half repeatedly, ‘nothing has happened’. The last 85% though is where EVERYTHING happens. It came and went as quick as a box of Krispy Kreme donuts!

To conclude, I enjoyed the way the story was told but I thought the book was way too slow.

*** (3.5 stars)

Sharp Objects Gillian Flynn

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My 2016 year review and what’s to come! 

Although 2016 has been a terrible year in many ways, it has also been a great year for many. 

Brexit, Trump, celebrity deaths – we all have our reasons for hating 2016, but there are also reasons for people to look back with pride. But the amount of celebrity deaths has been shocking for this year! 

Whether your year has been made by personal achievement, a heartwarming story in the news, or from something as simple as the release of a film, TV show or song, embrace it. 

For me personally, I’ve had a year full of ups and downs, mostly ups, and in terms of my writing it’s been very satisfying. 

Deception: A Love of Lies Goodreads T. J. Blake

My psychological thriller, Deception, has not disappointed. It has received nothing but praise, and has an average rating higher than my other books across Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble ; which I’m extremely proud of. 

There was also the release of my short dark fantasy story, Alive, which I’m very happy with because just like Deception, it’s a genre I’m not used to. 

For you reading this right now, try something new for next year. If you want to try something new and it’s out your comfort zone, just do it, you have nothing to lose. And who knows, it may pay off! 

Dark Fantasy Alive Book Cover T. J. Blake
Roll on 2017 I say, and roll on the final book of my book series, The Endurance Series, coming in the New Year! 

Happy New Year everyone!

My holiday readings in Cyprus

I have recently just come back from a two week break from Cyrpus – which was lovely – and now I’m back, finishing the last few things for Deception.  

From the image below, you can see the clear waters and bright blue sky of Cyprus; which was stunning to experience and look at on a daily basis. Not only that, it allowed us to travel around and experience various days out. They’re also handy for clearing your mind and thinking about new story ideas – pleased to say I planned out a new book idea whilst away.  

The pic below is me thinking of new book ideas – candid shot of course, and completely natural…  


On holiday I began with a Linwood Barclay novel called ‘Far From True’. It was a good story with enticing reading to keep up with all the branching stories in the book. I felt though that there was a lot of focus on ‘The Twenty-Three’ killer in Promise Falls, but there was no reason for as much focus; especially as there was no conclusion to this. I think I was acting or thinking a bit like a spoilt child though, wanting to know who the killer was, but I’ll definitely be reading the third book of his book series. That’s another thing to mention, it is part of the ‘Promise Falls Trilogy’ but is still a good standalone book, as I haven’t read the previous novel. 

I rate Linwood Barclay’s book a 3.5/5

My second read was Stephen King’s new book, ‘End of Watch’. Please note, this is the finale of the Bill Hodges Trilogy. 

The book is ok, I felt like it was a bit far fetched and predictable for me, and it took a while for me to accept all there was to accept about the ‘Zappits’ (without giving anything away). Other reviews have suggested that it is important to read the two previous books before this one – which may have improved my opinion on this book.

I rate it 3/5

My third read was Peter James’s ‘You Are Dead’. 

This was certainly a typical British detective and mystery type of novel set in Brighton, following main protagonist Grace. Again, this book is part of a series, but stood well on its own. It started really well, having you fear for the life of Logan Somervile. Only negative point about this book was that I felt it was a little repetitive; asking/suggesting the same questions to the reader. I did guess some of the story, but there were still some clever surprises for the reader – which was refreshing, and a good last scene with the showdown with the brander and another side story. 

I rate this one 4/5

I then started reading Stephen King’s ‘Dreamcatcher’, which seems to make me laugh quite a lot, which is quite refreshing 🙂 

Anyway, these were my holiday readings. Hope you enjoyed this post, if you’ve read these books and would like to comment, feel free!

To finish, here’s me swimming in the chilly but beautiful Adonis Baths and Waterfall in Cyprus. 

My Holiday Readings: Karin Slaughter and Liz Jensen

Karin Slaughter – Cop Town & Blindsighted

Cop Town

Blurb: Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD… – Goodreads

I did like this story. It was a solid detective novel which was hard to put down at times, however it didn’t blow me away. I had a lot of suspicions as I read the book, a lot of which turned out to be the sneaky twist inserted by Karin Slaughter.
An average read. 3/5.

Blindsighted

Blurb: A small Georgia town erupts in panic when a young college professor is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it’s only when town pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer’s twisted work becomes clear.

A typical Karin Slaughter novel in all the right ways. This was much better than Cop Town in my opinion, but I thought that it was slightly too graphic and violent. The murder at the beginning of the book is certainly not a murder for the faint hearted to read. It did affect me in such a way that it had me thinking and imagining the feelings and the pain of the murder itself; I often thought about the circumstances and imagined how it would feel.
It was a good book with a good set of twists and turns and an element of difference throughout the book. I thought that it was a little too graphic at the beginning, but still had me wanting to read more. 4/5

Liz Jensen – The Rapture

Blurb: It is a June unlike any other before, with temperatures soaring to asphyxiating heights. All across the world, freak weather patterns—and the life-shattering catastrophes they entail—have become the norm. The twenty-first century has entered a new phase.

I liked the characterisation in this, and I enjoyed following the story of Gabrielle and Bethany; I liked the relationship between them too. Although not always pleasant, you could tell that Gabrielle did care about Bethany.
I feel that to enjoy this book you have to be in the right mind set. You need to be open minded and accepting of Bethany.
Overall it had many questions form as you progressed through the book, and it certainly got you contemplating throughout the book.
A decent read, I would give it a 3.5/5

I would probably recommend Blindsighted and The Rapture to friends, and potentially Cop Town if you’re a fan of detective kind of novels.

If you’ve read them, do not hesitate to let me know what you thought of them.

Mobile Phone VS Book!!

Recently, I came back from a weeks holiday in Santorini (Greece). This is my story and plea to never let books die out.

Whilst on holiday, I had a little accident. On the FIRST day, that’s right the first bloody day, I decided to have a dip in the swimming pool. As I stepped into the chilling chlorinated waters, I realised that my pocket was rather bulky. I felt my pocket and thought ‘there’s something hard in this pocket.’ Now I know what you’re thinking (dirty minded people) Let me make this clear… there were a lot of older women with EVERYTHING on show whilst they tanned so it isn’t… let’s say a part of my body. But as I forced my hand into my pocket, I yanked out my phone, covered in water.

‘Great, my life is ruined.’ I thought as I sulked back to my sun bed. I even went to the trouble of placing my phone in some Uncle Ben’s Rice to soak up the water. It didn’t work so it meant that I would have to cope an entire week without my phone.

Admittedly, it was fine, I did not miss my phone. Instead, I spent all my holiday reading.
I read a few books. I read Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge (Average) , A Tap on The Window by Linwood Barclay (A very good book) and most of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Boring at first, better in the second half.).
As I read, I realised that I actually missed reading. With University, Writing and part time work, I never really get to sit down and just read whatever I want to and this holiday gave me that opportunity.
I honestly felt happier reading than if I was on my phone crushing candy, sending selfies or Tweeting about my day to people who simply don’t really care.

So lets all hail books because they’re amazing. Never let them become extinct. Peace.

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Coco says Woof Woof, Which translates into….

Coco says Woof Woof, meaning buy it.

Coco told me to tell you WOOF WOOF… Which translates into.
‘Buy this book. It’s truly amazing. It will keep you guessing through out. I’m reading it and although I’m a slow reader cause I’m a dog, it’s such a good story, I would give all my bones to have it!’

So there you go. Coco Blake has spoken, this pic is proof that she is reading it. So go on, go and buy a copy 🙂