Book Review: The Hoarder/ Mr Flood’s Last Resort by Jess Kidd

This book is one that I think will be appreciated by a select audience. It has a lot of potential and the descriptions of certain characters must be applauded (Mr Flood in particular really stands out as a creepy, yet vulnerable man). However, admittedly, I cannot say that I enjoyed the novel for a simple reason; I could not get along with the style of writing and the overload of information. The following is a spoiler-free review.

The hoarder mr flood's last resort book cover for book review by jess kidd

Book Blurb: Maud Drennan – underpaid carer and unintentional psychic – is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her. With only her agoraphobic landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?

Mr Flood is a most interesting character and the house he lives in is filled with curiosities which will capture your attention. That is a strong point of the book. However, the process of Maud trying to solve a supposed crime felt very dragged out, to the point where when the answers were given it did not feel like it even mattered. The writing of this book was just not to my taste and it is hard to keep your attention on what is going on in the book. The saints in particular had absurdly comic personalities which don’t seem to really match the subject. It is a mismatch of comedy and thriller, and you may find yourself wondering what the purpose of the saints is as most of the action only takes place in the last few chapters. If you are a fan of quaint thrillers then you are likely to enjoy this book. However, for those not used to this kind of writing the novel is not as enjoyable as it could have been. It is really a case of picking this novel if the writing style suits what you enjoy!

R/T: Thorn (Please see About section for more information)

Rating: 2/5

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Book Review: Verity by Colleen Hoover and optional spoiler ending

This book is not for the faint-hearted. Dark and enthralling, Colleen Hoover has taken a walk off the beaten path and produced an absolute masterpiece in thriller fiction. This ending of this novel will make you question every little detail in every chapter that you previously read. Totally mind-boggling. This book deals with some heavy topics so I do have to issue some trigger warnings to the reader (which you can contact me about if this is a concern, as they are spoilers). The following is a spoiler-free review, however a spoiler section is found at the bottom explaining the ending with a spoiler warning beforehand.

verity by colleen hoover book cover for review

Book Blurb: Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died. Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

The characters in this novel are very unnerving. Everyone from the ‘nice guy’ Jeremy to the nurse, and of course Verity herself. Many of them were alright on the surface but there’s something quite creepy about them. Lowen has some major faults and I disagree with many of the things she did, but you can’t help but read with hunger whenever she hovels up in her room or the study knowing that Verity is in the same household. The characterisation was therefore excellent for the genre.

The story Hoover creates is intricately and beautifully spun like a spider’s web. The author builds pace like a pro, and it is a fascinating read. It is very hard to put this book down so don’t be surprised if you read it pretty quickly! The ending of the book is phenomenally complex. For that alone, I would recommend the book.

R/T: Thorn, definitely a thorn. (Please see About section for more information)

Rating: 4.5/5

Spoiler ending…

Ending explained: So Lowen sees Verity move on the camera and tells Jeremy. Jeremy runs to confront Verity, and as Lowen comes in, Verity moves and responds. It turns out that Verity has been faking her injuries and Jeremy, in a fit of rage, kills Verity with Lowen’s approval. Lowen later finds a letter in the room from Verity addressed to Jeremy explaining that the whole autobiography was just a writing exercise, not to be taken seriously. It then proceeds to write how Jeremy found out about the autobiography and attempted to kill her. She then writes how he did not succeed but she faked her injuries in order to not give him a reason to try again. Her plan was then to run away with the son. Of course, both stories cannot be true. So the question is, was Verity an innocent victim of a misunderstanding, or was she the psychotic liar she appeared to be from the outset?

Book Review: Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (Spoiler and Spoiler-free reviews available)

This is one of those books that you may find gripping and hauntingly beautiful…or one that you may hate completely. Fuller creates a bleak world for the proganist, a girl called Peggy who is taken away into a cabin in the middle of nowhere by her father. If you are seeking a light-hearted read, then this is definitely not the book for you. The novel is dark and depressing from the beginning. It deals with some heavy topics, and has a dramatic conclusion which reflects the hidden horrors of her time away from humanity. Because of this, I do have to issue some trigger warnings to the reader (which you can contact me about if this is a concern, as they are spoilers). The following is a spoiler-free review however a spoiler section is found at the bottom with a spoiler warning beforehand.

our endless numbered days book cover by claire fuller for book review

In all honesty, this book was really slow to begin with. Time and time again I found myself thinking, when is the author going to get to the point? What is the point of all this rambling? I read a couple of pages each day, until I reached the last third of the novel where things finally started to pick up and I read the rest in one sitting. The ending was really interesting and it was one of those ‘Oh I see…now that makes sense’ kind of moments, although some people would find it too disturbing and vulgar for the book. The descriptions in the book are very vivid, particularly of Peggy’s time in the wilderness. On the other hand, the characters themselves were not to my liking; almost all of them bore signs of some sort of darkness. I suppose this is the very premise of the novel, so you either would be into that sort of thing or you wouldn’t.

Overall, if it were not for the ending, I would have rated this book 1/5 for the sheer length of time spent on repetitive descriptions. However, the last third of the book made up for it, bringing the rating to 2.5/5. So have a read if this seems like your sort of thing…or you could just read the last few pages if you are only in it for a plot-twist.

R/T: Thorn. This book is definitely a thorn. (Please see About section for more information)

Rating: 2.5/5

Spoiler….

The girl is taken away by her father into the wilderness. Over the course of time the father starts thinking that she is the girl’s mother and starts to lose his grip. The girl, meanwhile, becomes acquainted with a man who lives in the wilderness who her father is not aware of and they have sex. During this time, her father lets her know that he wants to poison them both as he is fed up. The man she meets helps to save her from her father by killing him and they both run away into civilisation. When the girl wakes up the man is nowhere to be seen. It turns out that the man she met had never existed…she had been raped by her father and used her mind to imagine this man in order to deal with this emotional disturbance. She was also the one who killed him, not the imaginary man.