Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton @AuthorSJBolton @StMartinsPress #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

We thought today would be the perfect day to share one of our favorite creepy-good, Halloween reads!!!   There is something more than just secrets buried in this story!!!

The Craftsman by Sharon J. Bolton

Web_L143-2_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

Sharon Bolton is a favorite author for me and I was really excited to add The Craftsman to the Traveling Sisters group reads.  Seven Traveling Sisters joined in on this sister read and a couple sisters have now added Sharon Bolton to there list of favorite authors.

The Craftsman has all the elements here with the atmospheric setting and buried secrets, disturbing and claustrophobic crime, a brew of witches and the supernatural lurching to make this story an entertaining, and deliciously creepy yet disturbing at times story.

The story starts off with an intriguing and creepy scene that sets the story up perfectly.  We are then taken back to the past and are drawn into a gruesome and disturbing crime that would have anyone feeling claustrophobic.   We start to get to know our main character Florence and loved how different she is from other female characters in a police procedural. She is fierce, strong and independent at a time when women were treated like they shouldn’t be.  She faces challenges here with strength and determination. She is driven not by her own personal demons but by her independence and need to prove herself.

We all loved the setting here with the small town and its mysterious characters and the buried secrets they hold.  The setting comes alive with its spine-chilling danger and we could feel the terror the characters felt in this story.  We loved the real danger and the magical and supernatural danger to the story.

We highly recommend this one to thrillers lovers looking for a little something different.  You will be sure to read something different here with this story.

Web_L077-3_brunette_brown-eyesNorma’s review

Whoa! That was one awesome read…..and because I can’t help myself! Holy Shooty Balls that was some book!!

Chilling, gripping & unputdownable!

I absolutely loved this book and it was definitely my kind of story!  I love creepy suspenseful books with supernatural aspects to it and this one definitely satisfied my craving for an excellent spooky, spine-chilling and suspenseful read!

THE CRAFTSMAN by SHARON BOLTON is a dark, disturbing, tension-filled and an absolutely fantastic psychological thriller that had me totally engrossed, entertained and interested throughout this entire book.  I was immediately drawn into this story and not once did I lose interest. In fact, it had me on the edge of my seat with feelings of excitement and uncertainty right from the very start and in the end I was totally blown away by that ending.    

SHARON BOLTON delivers an impressive, original, clever, atmospheric, suspenseful, twisty and well-written read here with the perfect mix of intrigue, suspense, mystery, and the supernatural.  Bolton captures the essence of these characters and the eerie setting perfectly.

I thoroughly enjoy Bolton’s writing style and absolutely loved how this story unfolded.  It opens up in the present, 1999 and then switches narrative to 1969 through flashbacks and then back to the present, 1999.  This was an extremely effective way to set the mood and keep the suspense and tension high.

It was one of those books that definitely cast its spell on me and the witchcraft and supernatural aspects to this story was absolutely spellbinding.

Web_L099-2_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s review

A suspenseful, chilling and ‘witchy’ story!

This novel follows Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady who, as a new police officer in 1969, helped put convicted murderer Larry Glassbrook in prison.   Larry, the local funeral director, was found guilty of murdering three local teenagers by burying them alive in caskets he made himself. Florence’s determination and persistent drive to find answers and solve the murders lead her team to the shocking conviction of Larry.

There are two timelines – 1999 and 1969.   In 1999, Florence is attending Larry’s funeral in the small town where she brought him to a murder conviction.  Here she revisits her old stomping grounds and rehashes long-buried memories and secrets. The second timeline in 1969 follows Florence through her introduction into the male-dominated police force where she relentlessly works toward proving herself and solving her case.  I enjoyed both timelines and felt they flowed and intertwined intriguingly.

I loved Florence’s character!   She had an innocence about her but such a strong will and determination to get answers.   I was rooting for her from page 1. The ‘witchy’ factor in this novel is quite strong which was perfect for a late October read, however, I found that it did get a little too ‘witchy’ for me in the second half of the book.   Some details felt unrealistic and I couldn’t wrap my mind around them causing me to lose some of the connection I felt in the first half. Regardless of this, I still enjoyed the novel and look forward to reading more by this author (this was my first Sharon Bolton).  

Web_L083-1_brunette_green-eyesFrom Kim’s review

I have read close to 70 books this year and this one is in my top 3! To think, I almost passed on reading this book because I was worried it would be too gruesome for me. I decided to brave it and I am so glad I did. It is a creepy, twisted, edge of your seat thriller. I could not put this one down! Now excuse me as I am off to order my next Sharon Bolton book, Daisy in Chains. I have some catching up to do as I have now added another favorite author to my list! For Kim’s full review

FC-8-JamieFrom Mary Beth’s review

This book is my favorite book on 2018. I loved this one so much. This was the perfect Fall/Halloween read. It had everything I wanted in a thriller. I loved the witchcraft and the covens. I was immediately drawn into the story. This book really creepy and scared me and I do not scare easily. Any book that has to do with being buried alive really creeps me out. Shockingly I didn’t have nightmares last night. I think this book will stick with me for a very long time.

I thought I had this book all figured out and thought I knew what was going to happen next. I kept guessing and guessing and I was wrong every single time. This book is so intense, with so much action that never stops.

Sharon Bolton is my all time favorite author and I always want more after I read her books. She has one brilliant imagination.

Web_LF05-5_brunette_green-eyesFrom Stephanie’s review

I love thrillers that are deeply dark, dangerous, and take you places in your mind you might otherwise not want to go. I’m more than a bit morbid and bloodthirsty with my thrillers, and Bolton gives you that with The Craftsman, where the atmospheric vibe is at times tense, disturbing, and extremely terrifying. Yet what can you expect in a book that has a psychopathic, monstrous serial killer on the loose not only kidnapping children but burying them alive too–whoa! Then throw in some witchcraft, both white and dark spells, a little voodoo, masterful writing, an out of this world plot, a strong, intelligent female character like Florence, and I’m sold! And you should be too because this is an amazing book. In fact, I probably don’t have the words to express how stunning and marvelous this book is!  For Stephanie’s full review

Norma’s Stats:

  • Cover:  Creepy, sinister, piqued my interest and fitting.
  • Title: Oh what an absolutely brilliant title and loved how it played into the storyline.
  • Writing/Prose: Well-written, compelling, stunning, and proficient.
  • Plot: Suspenseful, creepy, darkly gothic, supernatural, witchcraft, unsettling, fast-paced, enjoyable and extremely entertaining.  I loved this brilliant original storyline!
  • Ending: Totally shocking and jaw-dropping!  I must have read those last few sentences over about 10 times because that is how stupefied I was!  I loved it!
  • Overall: A riveting read that was perfect for the Halloween season.  One of my favourite books of the year and was quickly placed into my favourite reads shelf for 2018! Would highly recommend!

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Have you read this one?  Did it make the perfect creepy good read for you?  Want to read this one?  Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you.

Posted in Coulee Chatter, Traveling Sisters Reads

Lets Chat! About books we have fallen behind on #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Today we are sistering up with Kim@It’s All About the Thrill and Christina@Recipe and a Read with something a little different than our normal Can’t-Wait Wednesday.  When chatting with Kim and Christina about what book we can’t wait to read, Kim said I feel like we should rename it can’t catch up Wednesdays.  We all seem to be in the falling behind coulee and can’t-wait to get out of that coulee.  So we thought it would be fun to switch it up and start a meme to discuss books we are falling behind on.  Today we are switching our Can’t-wait post to Falling Behind and after today we will continue this post on Fridays.

Let’s chat about those books we are falling behind on.  Sometimes I think my list of books I have fallen behind on is longer than my to be read list of books.  Norma is always running behind and trying to catch up and Lindsay she been buried in a coulee for a while now.

I added A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl by Jean Thompson to the Traveling sisters’ group a month ago and it is one we kept sliding back.  I haven’t taken a peek into the threads but have checked out a few reviews for it and they are mixed.  I am still on the fence if this one is one we should catch up on or keep sliding it back.  It sounds like a very emotional and tough read with a few things explored in this story.  If you have read this one, drop us a comment and let us know what your thoughts are for this one.

A Cloud in the Shape of a GirlA Cloud in the Shape of a Girl by Jean Thompson

From National Book Award finalist and the New York Timesbestselling author of The Year We Left Home comes a moving family saga about three generations of women who struggle to find freedom and happiness in their small Midwestern college town.

A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a poignant novel about three generations of the Wise family—Evelyn, Laura, and Grace—as they hunt for contentment amid chaos of their own making.

Evelyn set aside her career to marry, late, and motherhood never became her. Her daughter Laura felt this acutely and wants desperately to marry, but she soon discovers her husband Gabe to be a man who expects too much of everyone in his life, especially his musician son. Grace has moved out from Laura and Gabe’s house, but can’t seem to live up to her potential—whatever that might be.

In A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl we see these women and their trials, small and large: social slights and heartbreaks; marital disappointments and infidelities; familial dysfunction; mortality. Spanning from World War II to the present, Thompson reveals a matrilineal love story that is so perfectly grounded in our time—a story of three women regressing, stalling, and yes, evolving, over decades. One of the burning questions she asks is: by serving her family, is a woman destined to repeat the mistakes of previous generations, or can she transcend the expectations of a place, and a time? Can she truly be free?

Evelyn, Laura, and Grace are the glue that binds their family together. Tethered to their small Midwestern town—by choice or chance—Jean Thompson seamlessly weaves together the stories of the Wise women with humanity and elegance, through their heartbreaks, setbacks, triumphs, and tragedies.

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Along with Kim, we keep falling behind on The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman.  This is one I really want to read and I have rescheduled for November and it’s one I am now putting on my Can’t-wait list to read.

The Exes' RevengeThe Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman

 

Originally titled Sticks and Stones

A wickedly dark debut thriller about three women who’ve all been involved with the same man and realize the one thing they have in common is that they all want revenge against him…

Divorces are often messy, and Imogen’s is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he’ll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable–something that puts her in control for the first time in years. She’s desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life.

But she wasn’t expecting both Phillip’s ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different women–and unlikely allies–reluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all.

Web_L195-5Christina has been so busy with work and she has been buried in a coulee I haven’t been to before.  She has fallen so far behind I am not even sure what book she will be talking about today.

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Have you read either of these titles?  Help us decided if we should catch up on them or fall behind some more on them.

Want to join us on sharing what titles you have fallen behind on?  Join us on Fridays with our Falling Behind Friday meme by linking Kim, Christina and us so we can travel on over and check out your post. Drop your link in the comment section for everyone to check it out.

What titles have you fallen behind on?  Is your fallen behind list longer than your TBR one?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!