Jul 15

Reviewing “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty

A parent is dead. In the schoolyard. But is it murder, or was it a tragic accident? Everyone conjectures, except the indisputable fact — someone is dead.

From the beginning, we know that someone is going to end up dead.

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has just ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead, and everyone just knows how it might have happened. They conjecture, and so the story begins and follows the heart-wrenching (and breaking), tragic (and challenging) story of second wives and ex-husbands, and new friendships and old betrayals — and schoolyard politics.

But who did what?

Three women, a great beauty married to a fabulously rich businessman; a withdrawn, single mother, finding and failing with ways to fit in; and a can-do mom who is capable of putting together the meanest of art projects but fails to prevent her teenage daughter from preferring her divorced father.

Then there are the subplots, and the lies no one realizes they have told themselves. Big little lies is a “domestic” classic that speaks about motherhood, marriage, and modern upper-middle-class family life— it’s a glimpse of what really happens behind closed doors in the Australian suburbia.

The Three Women

The Big little lies is a story of Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, the three women who have just one thing in common — children at the same school.

Then there are the lies… little ones.

Big Little Lies follow three women, each at a crossroad, and each women’s choice fatefully intertwined by the small dangerous lies that each of them, and each of us tells ourselves each day.


Madeline is an unforgiving in character, un-forgetful of events that pass her, sleazy with her tongue (both funny and biting), and a passionate force to be reckoned with. She is a divorcee.

Her ex-husband, and his yogi new wife have done something to torch here very being — thrice, in one go. They have moved in her beloved beachside community, and sent their daughter in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest. Then there is her teenage daughter…


A mother of the perfect twins, Celeste is the women whose looks would make the world stop. And stare. But she is concerned about the twins, and her new place alongside her husband as the king and queen of the school’s parent’s body where the twins are set to go. Then there is the price to royalty, and how much she is willing to pay.


Often mistaken for a nanny, her sadness and secret doubts about her devouring her body and soul, she is taken under the wings of Madeline and Celeste. Neither of which realize her sadness, nor how the her boy will sew their fates so abruptly and crudely together — with little lies.

The Crossroads

Set in the Australian suburb, the story tears across the entire length of the suburban lifestyle as each woman symbolizes little lies of different classes, and their lifestyles. The three women play their parts, as if to replay the eternal tragedy, to explain its agony, and to tell how the little lies turn out to be the most lethal things… little lies….as Liane Moriarty vividly and evocatively reminds, are what we keep telling ourselves each day.


Jul 15

Book Review of “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd

A metropolitan slave named Hetty “Handful” Grimke who has been yearning for an existence beyond the wealthy Grimke house’s suffocating walls, and the daughter of the rich homeowners, Sarah, who has engraved in her mind that she is to do something substantial with her life but is hemmed in due to the limitations imposed on females; these are the two main characters of Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Invention of Wings”.

Most novels and storybooks are mostly enticing all due to their interesting plots and storylines. The same is the case with Kidd’s adventurous novel, as it is set in Charleston with an early nineteenth century backdrop. The plot follows the story of the two girls from Sarah’s eleventh birthday, the day when young Sarah is given a handmaid of her own, who is the ten year old Handful.

The coming thirty-five years of their lives include remarkable journeys, each of which are brilliantly portrayed in the captivating novel in dramatic fashion. These events shape the two main characters’ destinies as they form a complex bond marked by estrangement, guilt, defiance, and the unorthodox methods of love. The average reader is bound to find this eerie relationship between the two main characters highly captivating and moving, as the two main ladies lead rather difficult lives before ultimately being lead to their destinies.

The stories carefully expanded throughout the novel are ultimately building to a rather enthralling climax. As the novel continues, Handful suffers sorrow and loss, leading her to find a sense of self and courage in the course. On the other hand, Sarah experiences betrayal, ostracism, crushed hopes, and unrequited love, all before she finally decides to leave Charleston so she can find a place for herself alongside Angelina, her courageous younger sister. This is a plot which ultimately paves the way for the two characters in becoming two of the earliest pioneers in the running for women’s rights movements.

Despite the fact that the story is inspired by the true events of Sarah Grimke, a historical figure, Kidd goes beyond recorded history in order to flesh out the wealthy interior lifestyles of all the characters in her novel, both invented and real, such as Charlotte, Handful’s shrewd mother who invites menace throughout her quest for a better life. Along the book are several other instances, all of which the readers are certain to find not only interesting, but also thought provoking.

The well-written novel, in gut-wrenching fashion, portrays the triumphant storytelling abilities of Sue Monk Kidd, as it displays the devastating wound in the history of America with unwavering eyes. This wound is none other than the struggles of the women who sought expression, liberation, and empowerment. Needless to say, reading the novel is bound to move any reader.

Simply put, “The Invention of Wings” is a must read for the lovers of drama, women empowerment, and storytelling.

Jul 15

Book Review of “Mr. Mercedes” by Stephen King

Stephen King’s new book, “Mr. Mercedes” isn’t an all-horrifying affair; it’s a somewhat crime thriller, with more of a pointed portrayal of the dilemma faced by the unemployed. Not to mention, the novel exquisitely puts some of King’s most emphatic characters yet on the page. But does that mean “Mr. Mercedes” is a flat-out, boring read? Not necessarily.

Through most of the author’s works, we’ve seen expression of outright tenderness, which also seems to be the motto here as it is clearly evident. Don’t mistaken that not even a second for King’s weakness, as he more than definitely knows how to sketch some of the most brutal scenes of carnage as well, one of which comes straight at the outset.

King takes us into the lives of a few of the hundreds of desperate individuals scouting for jobs while standing in long quos in the year 2009. The most touching out of these is a young, single mother who has been forced to bring her infant while waiting overnight to get a chance for the available position. The two are curled within a sleeping bag, which happens to fall directly in the path of a Mercedes that plows into them and several others on purpose. Eight are killed and many others are injured, while the readers wonder as to what sort of a maniac victimizes the unemployed in a mass murder scheme, while leaving a clown mask behind on the front seat.

The initial scene definitely disturbs you as you question the author’s mentality for slaughtering a bunch of desperate, unemployed individuals while they were merely waiting in line for a job fair. As the story continues, we are introduced to the main character of the novel, Bill Hodges, a detective who tries his best to find the killer, but is never able to during the investigation. Now deep into his retired years, Hodges gets another shot at the Mercedes Killer when he receives a rather friendly letter from the menacing monster.

The letter is congratulates the retired detective for all the years he spent in service, claiming that the killer’s murders were enough memories to last a lifetime. The Mercedes Killer also vows that he has no plans for doing something like that again. But wait – so that means both the detective and the killer are old and retired? Oh yes, it does.

Amidst the twisting tale which follows the lead character closing in on the Mercedes Killer who is attempting yet another outrage, are the former cop’s two recruits as well, a teenager who is responsible for mowing Hodges’ lawn while competing for the Ivy League, and a middle-aged woman who has amazing computer skills while also having a pronounced psychiatric disorder.

“Mr. Mercedes” is definitely a lighter touch from King, except of course, the fact that it is based on a sociopath hell-bent on causing a bloody rampage. The novel is set to be a trilogy, with the next part to be released some time in 2015.

Jul 15

Book Review of “Invisible” by James Patterson

It shouldn’t come off as a surprise for anyone that James Patterson was featured on the New York Times Magazine’s cover in which he was hailed as “The Man Who Can’t Miss” as well as the author that permanently changed book publishing. But even these two titles are insufficient to define the massive hit that James Patterson has become thanks to his long and illustrious list of thrilling novels.

Patterson, who has also been estimated to have written one-in-four of all hardcover thriller/suspense novels published, is the first of only a few authors to exceed ten million recorded eBook sales. On top of this, he currently holds the record for having held the #1 NY Times bestseller positions the most times. The fact that Patterson’s success doesn’t solely come from thrillers is also a notable factor, as he is also a well known bestselling author in the middle grade and young adult markets.

The master of thrillers is at it again, redeeming his prestige as one of the best thriller novelists with his latest release: “Invisible”.

The novel follows the story of Emmy Dockery, a research analyst who works for the FBI but is currently on unpaid leave after having been accused of sexual harassment by her boss.

The stand-alone thriller is based on a rather grim backdrop, which features the death of Emmy’s sister in a house fire. This event occurs eight months prior to the current setting, and thus far, Emmy, being certain that the incident was not an accident despite having been ruled to be so, has uncovered a host of other similar accidents that were fatal for persons living alone, yet were also ruled accidental.

The protagonist knows nobody will pay any heed to her findings despite the fact that she could be closing in on a serial killer arsonist. As such, she has no other option but to seek help from her former fiancé, Richard Bookman, who is also a former special agent.

This is pretty much the entire storyline of “Invisible” with uncanny and surprising events strung together that ultimately lead to a rather norm-defying finish. The entire story unveils at a breathtaking pace, and is further complemented by twists and misdirection that the average writer is bound to find awe-inspiring. There will also be several chilling instances that will be plain and simple horrific. Readers will believe that they have the ending figured out throughout the novel, but the inexplicable twist at the end is certain to leave them befuddled and lost for words.

In simpler words, “Invisible” is one of James Patterson’s best works to date, as the bestselling author is at it again in order to reestablish himself as the king of the niche he so effectively ruled over not too long ago. Thriller and mystery novels fans will likely find it an interesting read. Plus, there’s also some romance thrown in that delicately balances the otherwise suspense-filled story.

Jul 15

Reviewing James Rollins’ The Sixth Extinction (Sigma Force)

If you are looking for a page turner to keep you up way too late, then James Rollin’s latest addition to the scientific thriller SIGMA series is the next best choice to finding yourself part of a real science thriller.

Don’t believe it? Then read on, and remain alert for some spoilers!

“Kills Us, Kill us All” — The Distress Call

From the remote mountains of the Sierra Nevada, a military research lab (with a secret) sends out a frantic distress call. “This is sierra, victor, whiskey. There's been a breach. Failsafe initiated.” It ends with an order: “No matter the outcome: Kill us . . . kill us all.”

So begins the saga where personnel from the neighboring base are rushed to rescue any survivors in the lab, only to discover it’s too late: for the lab scientists, researchers, and every other living being in its vicinity — fifty square miles of it,  a scenario of total, apocalyptic, sterile annihilation.

The land is entirely sterile of plants, animals, insects, even microscopic organism — -and the blight is spreading.

The site is part of TECOMM, the U.S. Army Test Command, and the thriller has everything that the genre demands: ancient maps, alien life forms, Nazis, a ticking nuclear clock, and awesome deadly beasts. Then enters Rollins, who makes it all too believable, and sizzles your eyes with hints of further action at every turn of the page.

Enter SIGMA Force — Lead Commander Grey Pierce

Fans and followers of the series remember the famed ex-military personnel that form the SIMGA Force. Retired scientists with guns, whose unique talents and skills make them impossible to be replaced. Recruited by the Department of the Defense, they alone have the capability and the know-how to halt the inevitable. Commander Gray Pierce and his Sigma team must unravel the threat that rises from the distant past, a time when Antarctica was green and life on planet earth balanced itself precariously on knife’s edge, and when something crept below the surface to hibernate through extinction.

The team follows the clues from ancient map (from the lost Library of Alexandria!) only to discover an ancient continent and a new death buried under miles of ice. The team is set with a nuclear and biological time bomb in the background to prevent what the dead scientists of the lab had been working with, and the explosion that set it off, and the aftermath — the next extinction of species. Only this time it’s all too human.

But is it already too late?

Time to find out! As scincetriller.com succinctly phrased the whole action packed adventure:

“If you’re a fan of science-themed or techno-thrillers but you don’t know author James Rollins and the Sigma Force series, it’s past time to join the party.”

The Sixth Extinction combines pulsating adventure, intriguing history, and cutting-edge advances in science and technology in a thrilling white-knuckle ride that delivers as only James Rollins can.