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Book Reviews

Bentley Little – The Association Book Review

There is something distinctively creepy about small towns that like to meddle in your business. Harvest Home by Tom Tryon (1973) had a nice approach to it and Bentley Little brings his own spin to meddling neighbors.

The story follows Barry and Maureen moving into the house of their dreams in Utah’s beautiful Bonita Vista. It didn’t bother them that they had to join a homeowner’s association. They just never realized the Association would invade every aspect of their lives and that the penalty for bending the rules could be the death of them…

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Book Reviews

The Mailman – Bentley Little Book Review

Let me tell you about a story that happened well before we had internet. Well before emails were a way of communication. Before we had mobile phones and easy communication methods at our disposal.

This is when “The Mailman” takes place. This is the story of horrifying abuse of power (as mailmen and mailwomen are federal government officials) and complaining of the contents of the mail is not the post office’s issue. A small town in Arizona is shocked by an unexpected suicide. The old mailman dies and very suddenly is replaced with this new guy, a thin ginger bloke who has a dark plan with the village. And the only thing he relies on is people opening and reading their mail.

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Book Reviews

Deep Freeze (Virgil Flowers #10) by John Sandford

“Why would a just God allow this to happen? Was it all part of an evolutionary clockwork that God allowed to work through itself, unguided, an enormous experiment of some kind, for good reasons that humans couldn’t perceive?”

Class reunions: a time for memories—good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly—in this New York Times bestselling thriller from John Sandford.

Virgil knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt—and as it turned out, homicidal—local school board, and now the town’s back in view with more alarming news: A woman’s been found dead, frozen in a block of ice.

There’s a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of twenty-five years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little tighter, Virgil begins to dig into twenty years’ worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him.

It’s true what they say: High school is murder.

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Book Reviews

A Simple Plan by Scott B. Smith Book Review

Looking back on it now, after all that’s happened, it seems insane with what little fear I picked this path.

Once one accepts the bizarre premise of Smith’s astonishingly adept, ingeniously plotted debut thriller, the book fulfills every expectation of a novel of suspense, leading the reader on a wild exploration of the banality of evil. It’s very similar to The Basis Of Morality by Stephen King in a way that it explores a “what-if” scenario which puts the concept of good and evil into perspective.

When Hank Mitchell, his obese, feckless brother Jacob and Jacob’s smarmy friend Lou accidentally find a wrecked small plane and its dead pilot in the woods near their small Ohio town, they decide not to tell the authorities about the $4.4 million stuffed into a duffel bag.

Instead, they agree to hide the money and later divide it among themselves.

And it was like magic, too, like a gift from the gods, the ease with which a solution came to me, a simple plan, a way to keep the money without fear of getting caught.

The ‘simple plan’ sets in motion a spiral of blackmail, betrayal and multiple murder which Smith manipulates with consummate skill, increasing the tension exponentially with plot twists that are inevitable and unpredictable at the same time. In choosing to make his protagonist an ordinary middle-class man – Hank is an accountant in a feed and grain store – Smith demonstrates the eerie ease with which the mundane can descend to the unthinkable.

Hank commits the first murder to protect his brother and their secret; he eerily rationalizes the ensuing coldblooded deeds while remaining outwardly normal, hardly an obvious psychopath. Smith’s imagination never palls; the writing peaks in a gory liquor store scene that’s worthy of comparison to Stephen King at his best.

I was doomed now, trapped, that the rest of my life would pivot somehow off this single act, that in trying to save Jacob, I’d damned us both.

This book has been adapted into a movie.

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Book Reviews Stephen King

Stephen King * Desperation Book Review

“God says, “Sure, take away the safety net. And when that’s gone, take away the tight rope too.”

This is one of the many books that Mr. King wrote that got a movie adaptation. A very crappy one indeed. But to be honest, the book wasn’t that good either! You can start throwing your rocks now but this “Desperation” and “Insomnia” were both crappy enough to deserve a sigh and a very slow retreat to the bookshelf in search for something else. It was long. It was repetitive. It was boring.

Plot line can be summarized into “Mad cop keeps travelling family hostage”. That’s it.

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Book Reviews Stephen King

Salem’s Lot * Stephen King (Or the best vampire book since Dracula)

“The town knew about darkness.
It knew about the darkness that comes on the land when rotation hides the land from the sun, and about the darkness of the human soul”

Vampires are so over-rated or so people think. We’ve had Twilight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Strain, The Summoning, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and True Blood.
They weren’t even close to the amazing Dracula.
But “Salem’s Lot” comes pretty close. I’ve read it in two consecutive nights and by the end of it, I was stealing glances towards my hotel window, I was desperate to go and buy a cross necklace to hang around my throat and I was definitely afraid of vampires. Not the slightly effeminate types that seem to appear nowadays, but of true monsters that lurk in the dark and require blood and lives as subsistence.

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Stephen King

Stephen King * Needful Things Book Review

As it’s the season to be Merry and gifting – why not go and have a look at another Stephen King book that deals with people WANTING things, NEEDING things, DESIRING things – and a shop that can fulfill every desire, at a price. “Everything is for sale”, “Free trade is what made this country great”, “Selfish people are happy people” and encouraging feelings of “pride of possession” – reinforce the greed, materialism, and self-satisfaction of the 1980s, making the book a possible allegory of the Reagan/Bush administrations.

Needful Things is the 30th book published by Stephen King; it was his 25th novel, and the 20th novel written under his own name. The book was published by Viking in October of 1991

Everyone loves something for nothing…even if it costs everything.

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Book Reviews

The Dressmaker – Rosalie Ham

‘The sense of being well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.’ Miss C.F. Forbes quoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson in Social Aims

The Dressmaker is a clever satire about village life. Though the novel is set in 1950s rural Australia, it reminds readers of hypocritical, mean-spirited microcosms everywhere.

A review of the dressmaker by CompulsiveReader.com

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It all started when Tilly decided she would go back to Dungatar.

Myrtle, now known as Tilly, has returned to her small hometown in Australia to care for her ailing mother Molly. She left some years ago in a cloud of suspicion in her part played in the death of a young boy, and now she’s come home to roost. A talented seamstress, Tilly is soon noticed by the towns-women who contract her to make their dresses. In a time when one of the only way women were able to express themselves freely – through their clothes and hairdos – Tilly takes advantage of the women’s attraction to her craftsmanship.