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What did our community read this week?

By Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

The end of another week means it’s time to spotlight some of the reviews from the community.

The Heist by Daniel Silva

The HesitLegendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon is in Venice repairing an altarpiece by Veronese when he receives an urgent summons from the Italian police. The eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood has stumbled upon a chilling murder scene in Lake Como, and is being held as a suspect. To save his friend, Gabriel must track down the real killers and then perform one simple task: find the most famous missing painting in the world. Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one.

“This book shows once again the depth of Daniel Silva’s research and understanding of the of the dangerous world of the Middle East. Fans of Gabriel Allon will not be disappointed but will probably be surprised to see a softening as he contemplates fatherhood and the responsibilities to come. While the characters and the modus operandi are a similar to previous adventures and could be considered a bit predictable by some, this contemporary tale is probably one of the most complex, puzzling, nail biting, and exciting with an ending that is hard to predict.” – Suncoast

Written in my own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Written In My Own Heart's BloodIn her now classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon told the story of Claire Randall, an English ex-combat nurse who walks through a stone circle in the Scottish Highlands in 1946 and disappears into 1743. The story unfolded from there in seven bestselling novels, which now continues in Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

“As always the author delivers a whopping good read, as contained within the book’s 800 or so pages are plots, counter plots, ruinations, machinations, scenes to make you weep, scenes that will have you stamping your feet in irritation at the folly of men, and whole sections that will have you reading and then re-reading in order to clarify just what hidden meaning is concealed within each tantalising chapter, and with over 141 chapters, there is sometimes a lot of re-reading needed!” – jaffareadstoo

The City by Dean Koontz

9780345545930_p0_v2_s260x420There are millions of stories in the city, some magical, some tragic, others terror-filled or triumphant. Jonah Kirk’s story is all of those things as he draws readers into his life in the city as a young boy. Introducing his indomitable grandfather, also a “piano man”; his single mother, a struggling singer; and the heroes, villains, and everyday saints and sinners who make up the fabric of the metropolis in which they live. And they who will change the course of Jonah’s life forever. Welcome to The City, a place of evergreen dreams where enchantment and malice entwine, where courage and honor are found in the most unexpected corners and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.

The City is a story of fate, luck, tragedy, family and love with a light touch of the paranormal and it’s what I’ve been waiting to read from Koontz for years! There are no monsters or great battles between good and evil, and no dog central to the plot. But what is offered is a glimpse into the life of one young boy and the influence of his guardian, Miss Pearl and the unforgettable Mr. Nashioka, a humble tailor. This is easily the best Dean Koontz book I’ve ever read and I recommend it highly!” – Carpe Librum

The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo

The Dead Will TellEveryone in Painters Mill knows the abandoned Hochstetler farm is haunted, but only a handful of the residents remember the terrible secrets lost in the muted/hushed whispers of time. Now death is stalking them, seemingly from the grave. On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide, an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. Evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of that long ago incident.

“Fast-paced, with plot twists until the very end. Really enjoyed this book.” – Purpleprincess1

Edge of Tomorrow / All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

Edge of TomorrowWhen the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armour and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji’s escape or to his final death?

“A thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi actioner that shares more than it’s quota of similarities to Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (the book people, not the movie) as a green cadet learns to become a dedicated killing machine of alien beings. Only with a fun computer game style reboot time travel gimmick. Killer Cage is a fun creation and his growth is handled with skill and subtle precision, whilst despite the alien killing premise there are very few battle scenes to bore the pants off of those of us who don’t go much in for bloodshed and carnage.” – bbbgtoby

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's CurseAs a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, 17-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin, but he, too, has a secret. Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

“I didn’t want to put it down until I had finished it. The society which exists within its pages is interesting and the characters are unique yet realistic. As a first book in a trilogy – I’m eagerly awaiting the release of book 2 because The Winner’s Curse has been one of my favourite books of 2014.” – whYAnot

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor SleepStephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

“A very satisfying sequel to The Shining; it would make a great movie with the right director (thankfully not Kubrick) and cast. Another excellent tale from the master story-teller.” – Cloggie1Downunder

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

InsurgentOne choice can transform you, or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences. As unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

“Holy Mackerel, what a book! I absolutely loved Divergent and unfortunately haven’t had the chance to see the movie yet. I was excited to read Insurgent, see where Tris and Four ended up and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The ending was shocking, I couldn’t believe that it just stopped, ggggrrrr. That’s the talent of Veronica Roth though, always leaving the reader wanting more.” – ktu35114

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