Posts Tagged 'art'

The Last Beautiful Girl by Nina Laurin

Genre: Fantasy/Suspense

When Isabella Brixton is forced to move away from her home, friends, and starring role in her school play she is sure her life is ruined. Her parents have been offered jobs they simply cannot turn down, but the university they work for is going to allow them to stay in a gorgeous mansion that used to be owned by a famous artistic muse who died many years ago. When Isa starts at her new school she meets Alexa, a talented photographer who wants to photograph Isa inside the famous mansion wearing the clothes the former occupant left behind. At first, they have a lot of fun with this because the pictures turn out absolutely stunning every single time. They create an Instagram account to share with the world and they soon go viral. Eventually, Isa and everyone who comes in contact with this house begins to change, however, and not for the better. Isa begins acting strangely and even sleepwalks where she finds hidden things in the mansion she shouldn’t know about. She’s also pretty sure there’s an unnatural spirit in the house that has startled her on occasion. Her mother starts to become obsessed with cleaning and often acts out of character, such as forgetting to pick up Isa from school and then claiming she did. Things that used to matter to Isa no longer do as her hunger for power and fame grows. Can Isa get out of this house before it’s too late? Will others get hurt along the way? What is causing the bizarre phenomena in this house?

This story definitely has some suspenseful and frightening scenes as people try to help Isa escape this house, so it is not for those looking for a light-hearted read. The transition that occurs as more people enter the house and interact within it is gradual and very believable as the overall atmosphere begins to change. The characters themselves are affected in believable ways, but it is unclear why some are changed more than others. Overall, a very unique story that will hook readers from early on as it becomes clear that there is something amiss with this house. It also offers an interesting commentary on the dangers of social media and fame. Recommended for those who enjoy suspense mixed with fantasy.

Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Genre:  Mystery

# of Pages:  198

RAC Book:  Yes

Nikki Heat is an NYPD detective investigating a murder of a man dropped from a six story balcony.  She is less than thrilled when she is forced to allow a writer to shadow her for background research, despite his obvious enthusiasm for her work.  Jameson Rook travels with her to crime scenes, interrogations, and autopsies so that he can gain enough insight into Nikki’s squad that he can write an article about them.  He always promises to stay out of the way, but has a knack for finding his way into trouble.  As Nikki tries to solve the murder further incidents try to distract her from her mission including a personal attack in her home, an attack on a witness, and a major theft.  Can Nikki sort through the many clues to find the truth about what happened?  Can she do it while Rook is standing by her side?

This book is based on the character’s of ABC hit series Castle. The book closely resembles the characters in the show they are meant to be based on and make it a fun read for fans of the show.  The mystery itself is complex, but not convoluted.  The clues reveal themselves in a timely manner and the outcome is satisfying.  The backdrop of NYC in the midst of a heat wave is an interesting setting for the story and the extreme heat does affect their investigation from time to time.  All in all, a fun mystery story for fans of writers like Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie.