A Venture into Crime Fiction | The Driftwood Girls Review

I received a review copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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I want to start this review with a bit of backstory about my relationship with crime fiction. For years, I have said that thrillers and crime fiction just aren’t my thing. Ironically, though, some of my favourite TV shows are crime shows, or shows with heavy elements of the kind (think Sherlock, Lucifer etc.). So, I was wondering: why do I love detective shows, but dislike thriller/crime fiction? After thinking about it, I identified a couple of criteria to help me pick a book of this genre I might like:

  1. Crime fiction was going to be more up my street than thriller.
  2. I like crime TV shows where we follow the one investigating the case, so I wanted the story to follow the police/prosecutor etc. and not the victim, victim’s family etc.
  3. I wanted the detective etc. to be an INTERESTING CHARACTER. Part of what makes shows like Sherlock and Lucifer great is the character of the protagonist themselves.

And so, I decided to give a procedural crime novel with a charismatic or interesting protagonist a go! And boy, I think my analysis of my reading tastes was spot on, because based on these criteria I picked this book out of the NetGalley catalog… and I loved it!

Firstly, I will just mention that this is actually the fourth book in a series following the sea detective Cal, and I think that if I had read the other books, I might have enjoyed this one even more. That being said, it definitely works as a standalone as well, and the case itself is begun and ended within the one book. And now onto the four things that made me love this book!

1: The Concept

The concept of this book is particularly interesting. Not the case so much (missing people isn’t super cliched, but it’s hardly unique either), but the method by which the case was investigated. Cal is a sea detective, meaning that he tracks and predicts the movement of flotsam (including belongings and dead bodies) according to tides, weather etc. in order to solve cases. Think private detector for sea-related crimes. I had never heard of anything like this before, so bonus points.

2: The Characters

Did I like all of the characters? No. Were all of the characters well crafted, complex, and generally interesting? Mostly, yes. There were a few curveballs about the character of some certain characters towards the end that felt a bit out of place and I felt like the development could have been smoother, but for the most part the cast of characters are all distinct from each other, flawed but not detestable, and generally very interesting without being a “special snowflake”. I particularly love the dynamic between Cal and Helen: their friendship was realistic, complex, but also very sweet. Olaf was also a particularly interesting character. The sisterly dynamic between Flora and Kate was also very well executed.

3: The use of multiple perspectives

Sometimes the use of multiple perspectives just doesn’t work. Take Game of Thrones, for example: when I read that book, I used to flag the perspectives I was interested in as motivation because only one or two perspectives really interested me. That was absolutely not the case in this book. Although I prefer certain characters over others, there wasn’t a time when I was like “oh I when is the next X chapter going to be?”. All of the perspectives were equally useful, well-developed, and pertinent to the story. I do think it would have been nice to see a perspective from Olaf, but then again this could have ruined some of the mystery… and really it would only be to indulge my love for his character.

4: The Pacing

I don’t really have much to say about this one, but the pacing of this book was perfect and I literally never wanted to put it down.

So that was a slightly anti-climatic ending, but I think you get the idea: if you love procedural crime fiction, or if you’re considering trying out the genre for the first time… READ THIS BOOK. Seriously, just do it! And it’s out now (because I tried to write this review at least 5 times before this and kept failing) so you won’t even have to wait!

P.S. I loved this book so much that when I finished it and it was released I immediately picked up a copy!

P.P.S. Maybe I should go back and read the rest of the books in this series now…

DEUTSCHE NEUERSCHEINUNGEN 2020!

Hallo Leute!

Heute werde ich versuchen, mal auf Deutsch zu schreiben. Mein Deutsch ist nicht perfekt, aber ich werde so gut schreiben wie ich kann, denn heute über deutsche Neuerscheinungen geht, und deswegen macht es kein Sinn auf Englisch zu reden, oder?

Also, es war ziemlich schwierig, Bücher zu finden die von deutschsprachige Autoren geschrieben worden und im 2020 erscheinen werden. Ich habe mir stundenlang Videos auf YouTube angesehen und Buchhandlung-websites durchgesucht, aber fast nichts gefunden. Es war schwieriger denn ich kein übersetzender Bücher besprechen will (denn die meisten sind schon früher auf Englisch erhältlich).

Aber! Ich habe zwei Bücher gefunden die im Februar 2020 erscheinen werden! Also jetzt möchte ich die euch vorstellen!


Hawaii von Cihan Acar


Cover von Hawaii

Hawaii von Cihan Acar erscheint kommt am 17 Februar raus.

Es ist ein literarisches Fiktion Geschichte, die über Heimatlosigkeit und Toleranz geht. Die “Hawaii” vom Titel ist nicht die Paradiesinsel, sondern ein stück eine Stadt die gar nichts gemeinsam mit den Urlaubsparadies hat. In diese Geschichte ist unserer Protagonist der Kemal Arslan, ein ehemaliger Fußballspieler, der wegen eines Unfalls die Karriere früh beenden musste. Ich bin mir nicht sicher, aber ich glaube, dass der Familie Kemal Türker sind, also dies könnte eine interessante Einblick ins Leben die Leute mit Migrationshintergrund in Deutschland sein.

Dies wurde vom Verleger (Hanser Berlin) als “ein Buch über all die Heimatlosen, Nachtgestalten und Romantiker, die im Dazwischen leben” beschreiben, und ist die erste Buch von Cihan Acar.

Hugendubel | Amazon.de | Thalia

Hawaii kostet als Hardcover €22 oder als Ebook €14,99.


Marianengraben von Jasmin Schreiber


Cover von Marianengraben, die irgendwas wie Tintenfisch Tentakeln drauf hat.

Zweitens, und schließlich, kommt Marianengraben von Jasmin Schreiber am 28 Februar aus.

Trotz dem Coverdesign, das ein bisschen fantastisch aussieht, ist dieses Buch auch literarisches Fiktion. Es handelt sich um die Paula, die im Leben nicht viel braucht: nur ein bisschen Geld fürs Essen und ihre Bruder Tim. Eines Tages passiert ein Unfall, der die Paula ins tiefer Depression schickt. Marianengraben ist die Geschichte von wie Paula, zusammen mit Helmut, ein schrulligen alten Herrn, sich auf eine Abenteuer begibt, die sie beide zu sich zurückbringt.

Marianengraben ist das erste Buch von Jasmin Schreiber und erscheint im Eichborn Verlag.

Hugendubel | Amazon.de | Thalia

Marianengraben kostet als Hardcover €20, als Ebook €14,99, oder als Hörbuch €17,99.


Und das war’s! Was denkt ihr über diese zwei Bücher? Wisst ihr von andere Bücher die im 2020 erscheinen werden? Lass mir ein Kommentar und sag es mir bescheid!

Happy reading,K

Keira.

P.S. Wie war mein Deutsch? Hoffentlich war es zumindestens verständlich!

JANUARY 2020 TBR

Hello everyone! Welcome to the FINAL of my TBRs (until February, at least). I decided not to do a ‘Top X Books I Want to Read in 2020’ because I think the TBRs for my year-long challenges is enough hehe. I’m changing a couple of things up with my TBRs this year: they will hopefully be around 4-7 books long, depending on what books end up on them, and apart from ones I need to read for read-a-longs, a class, or a readathon, I will be using a TBR jar (more on that later ;)). I hope you enjoy TBR 2.0! Without further ado, let’s take a look at the books I will be reading this month.


Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami


This is a book that I actually started in 2019, so when Adele (@bookishdella) and I were looking for a short Murakami book to make a read-a-long book for the International Reading Challenge 2020, I suggested this one. As I had already started it, we decided to make it the first one of the year!

It’s a short story collection about men who have lost women from their life. If you would like to read this book, please feel free to join us in the read-a-long! Here is a link to the International Reading Challenge 2020 announcement post over on Adele’s blog if you’re interested.


An einem klaren, eiskalten Januarmorgen zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts von Roland Schimmelpfennig


This book (the title of which roughly translates to On a clear, icy-cold January morning at the beginning of the 21st Century) is a book by the celebrated German author Roland Schimmelpfennig, and as such also counts towards my goals for the International Reading Challenge. Additionally, it will help me to accomplish my 2020 goal to read more books in German.

However, the real reason this book has made its way on to my TBR this month is that I have been reading it for over 6 months now. I’m about 22% of the way through, and I want to finally finish it! I am enjoying it, but I haven’t found myself really reaching for it. I’ve bought the audiobook for it, which is pretty short (less than 5 hours including the bits I’ve already read), so hopefully that will help a lot. Plus, I managed to work it on to my Backlist Bookathon TBR, so yay!


The Silhouette by Georges Vigarello


I asked for this book for Christmas a good three of four years back, and it has just kind of sat on my shelf ever since… I’ve flicked through it a bit and it still interests me, so I hope to read it this month! It’s a bit unwieldy, so I won’t be taking this one with me on the bus, though. This is also one of the books on my Backlist Bookathon TBR!

This is a mixture of all sorts of non-fiction, so I’m not really sure how to describe it, but hey, it will help with my goal to read more non-fiction!


TBR Jar Pick of the Month!


Okay, so something I’m trying this year is that apart from my read-a-thons/reading challenges etc. the rest of my TBRs are going to be decided by…. a TBR JAR. Not a regular one, though, but the kind with prompts, which I can then pick books to fit! It’ll add a bit of fun and creativity, hopefully, without being too limited.

The prompt I drew out for this week is “a book you don’t really know anything about”. (Also, yes that’s my TBR “jar”…. it’s a mini milk jug!) For this one I’m going to pick The Office of Gardens and Ponds by Didier Decoin.

This is actually a book that I read a chapter of and never continued with. You might be wondering how on earth this book fits this prompt if I’ve already read a whole chapter, but that’s just what makes it incredible. I read a whole chapter and I still don’t really know what this book is about.

All I know is that is a historical fiction novel following the widow of the man who supplied fish (maybe Koi?) to the Emperor (maybe?). It’s written by a French author, and is set in Japan. So yeah, I have no idea what the plot is really about or anything. I guess we’ll be finding out! This also counts for my International Reading Challenge, so that’s a bonus as well!


And that’s all for my January 2020 TBR!!!

What books are you planning on reading this month? Would you like to see any reviews for these books? Let me know! And feel free to link your own TBRs below, I’d love to see what everyone plans on reading this month (and I’m sure many of you were much more on it than me and posted your own TBRs ages ago).

Happy reading,

Keira x.

International Reading Challenge 2020 TBR

Wow, SO MANY TBR posts. I’m so sorry. Seriously, it must be getting pretty boring. Luckily, this is the PENULTIMATE TBR! (Actually, there might be 2 more after this… sorry!)

Anyway, this is a particularly important TBR, because it’s a TBR for a reading challenge that I AM CO-HOSTING with the lovely Adele of @bookishdella. The aim of the challenge is to encourage us all to read books written by authors from many different countries. There are prompts, read-a-longs, points to be won etc. so we would love to have you! If you’re interested, check out the announcement post and the Goodreads group!


PROMPTS


Note: these are the variations of the prompts that I am going to do! Please check out the announcement post to see variations/alternatives for some (e.g. #1).

  1. read a book written in a language that is not your mother tongue.
  2. read a classic by an international author
  3. read a book set in a third-world country
  4. read a book by an author from a country you’ve never visited
  5. read a book set in a country from which the author does not come
  6. read a book written by an author from a country you want to visit
  7. read a book featuring an international LGBTQIA+ character
  8. read a book set in eastern europe that is not about world war 2
  9. read a book with a character who comes from a different culture
  10. read a non-fiction book about a country you are interested in 
  11. read a manga
  12. read a book containing folklore from a country that is not your own

READ-A-LONG BOOKS


  • JAN-FEB: Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami (Japan)
  • MAR-APR: Die Verwandlung (Metamorphosis) von Franz Kafka (Czech Republic)
  • MAY-JUN: Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera (Mexico)
  • JUL-AUG: Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih (Sudan)
  • SEP-OCT: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (Russia)
  • NOV-DEC: The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Korea)

OTHER BOOKS


  • The Other World (Asia)
  • The Office of Gardens and Ponds by Didier Decoin (France)
  • Human Acts by Han Kang (Korea)
  • A History of Korea by Kyung Moon Hwang
  • The Royal Tutor Vol 4. by Higasa Akai (Japan)
  • The Day the Sun Died by Yan Lianke (China)
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon
  • An einem klaren, eiskalten Januarmorgen zu Beginn der 21. Jahrhunderts von Roland Schimmelpfennig (Germany)
  • Glittering City by Cyprian Ekwensi (Nigeria)

And that’s all! Are you going to be joining us in the challenge? Please let me know, and if you do, be sure to leave a link to any TBRs or other posts/videos you do so that I can check them out!

Happy reading,

Keira x.

Backlist Bookathon TBR!

Let’s begin with a DISCLAIMER!! I AM NOT DOING THIS READTHON HOW IT’S MEAN TO BE DONE. I’m doubling up (A LOT), I’m not joining the discord or anything, I’m mostly just using it to encourage me to read some books from my backlist (which I think is probably the intention of the challenge anyway, so it’s all good). In any case… if you want to do it properly then you can find the Twitter here. Apart from that, the only other thing I have to say before getting into the post is that this read-a-thon runs from the 15th of January (today!) to the 15th of February!


THE PROMPTS


Even though I’m not doing this properly (I am doubling up a lot, which is kind of discouraged by the original bookathon because it decreases your points- which I’m not keeping track of), I still want to fulfil ALL of the prompts! Watch out for some multi-prompt-filling goodness in my TBR below!

  1. Read a backlist title published before January 2020.
  2. Read a book that was an older anticipated release.
  3. Read a book that has been on your TBR for at least sixth months.
  4. Read a book that you have been avoiding because it is an older title.
  5. Read or unhaul a book you’re still not sure you want to keep on your shelf.
  6. Read a book you’ve been wanting to read, but haven’t gotten around to.
  7. Read the book that has been on your TBR the longest.
  8. Read a book you’ve been avoiding because it intimidates you.
  9. Read a book that you’ve been avoiding because of mixed/bad reviews.
  10. Read a book you were gifted/recommended that you’re unsure you’ll like.

MY TBR


  • An einem klaren, eiskalten Januarmorgen zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts von Roland Schimmelpfennig (Prompts: 1, 3, 5, 8)
  • Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (Prompts: 2, 6)
  • The Silhouette by Georges Vigarello (Prompts: 7)
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (Prompts: 4, 10)
  • milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (Prompts: 9)

So, what do you think of my TBR? Any books here that you’ve read and loved??

Also, if you’re participating in this read-a-thon and have made your own TBR, then please leave me a link to check out!!

Happy reading,

Keira x.