Review: The Silent Girl – Tess Gerritsen

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Rizzoli & Isles #9

SYNOPSIS: Every crime scene tells a story. Some keep you awake at night. Others haunt your dreams. The grisly display homicide cop Jane Rizzoli finds in Boston’s Chinatown will do both.

In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair—not human—cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel.

Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious martial arts master who knows a secret she dares not tell, a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. A secret that may not even be human. Now she’s the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil.

Cracking a crime resonating with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning—and a swift, avenging blade. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7Well, rereading this book, I enjoyed it far more than I did the first time. The first time I read it, it was just okay. Now it was actually a fair and decent read. There was a chunk of Chinese culture woven through it, and it was done well for the novel. I feel that the balance between Maura and Jane was not quite equal in this one, what with some serious things happening with Maura, and then having those skipped over for the main story here. It just didn’t flow well, but I was also somewhat relieved that I would not have to read her melodramatic internal thoughts again. Sometimes she is just too much. The last novel worked really well, but sometimes she is just way too whiny. Frost got some more time here, which was great, but I really wish we got more of Gabriel Dean in the stories. He’s an awesome character that I find grossly underused. The Silent Girl touches on quite a few topics, a lot of them serious. Love, family, loyalty, honour, memories, justice, vengeance. Overall, I feel that the themes are balanced quite well, which is lovely. I would loved to have read more about Julian, but alas, this was not the novel for it. I am not a big fan of the chapters that skipped to a first person point of view (Iris Fang’s perspective), it was jarring every single time it flipped back to that, but still. I enjoyed the addition of latest detective, Johnny Tam, and how he reminds Jane so much of herself in her youth, her tenacity and spirit. The plot progressed in a manner that revealed just enough at specific times, and at times, things were a little predictable, whereas others, twists were implemented with finesse. What I really liked about this were the vigilantes that were brought into the story. They were strong characters, though shrouded in shadow and mystery. They had an hononur and integrity (not necessarily mentioned, but the actions told a whole story). This series is well worth a read, ups and downs and all. While not as gripping as the last entry, this is still well worth a look see, with a tight plot that barrels along at the speed of light and characters that have become so familiar to us, The Silent Girl carries itself well.

Review: Dream House (2011)

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“Once upon a time, there were two little girls who lived in a house.”
– Will Atenton

Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) moves his family into what is supposed to be his dream house, a new start on their lives and a positive spin on their future. His wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz) is an artist, and takes to moving into a new home with gusto. Their two daughters, Dee Dee (Claire Geare) and Trish (Taylor Geare), move with them. One evening, the girls come screaming to their father, who is trying to write his new novel after resigning from the publishing business – there is a man outside, a man with a funny face.

dream house familyWill does not take kindly to this, and soon discovers that some man has indeed been watching his family. He attempts to keep it under wraps in fear of scaring his family and ruining their dream of staying together in peace, love and harmony, but Libby knows he is keeping too much to himself. The house’s past is revealed: a family was brutally murdered in the house by the father, who was the only survivor even though his wife shot him in the head.

Teenagers gather in the basement, worshiping Peter Ward in that sick way children do when they are obsessed with death but lack the understanding that comes with it. Will banishes them from the house, but he needs to know more about the house, and goes on a mission to find out what really happened to the family that night, and wonders why the police are not very helpful in catching the perpetrator that has been stalking his family, and why the neighbours treat him the way they do. His neighbour, Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts) is more forgiving, and seems to have a soft spot for Will.

But what happens when you find out you are looking for the wrong answers? Will’s life collapses when he makes the gruesome discovery that he is Peter Ward, that he killed his family, and that he was the lone survivor. The elaborate world that has been created in his head and fueled by his dream house prevent his family from ever really leaving him alone, and Ann lets Peter know that she does not think he killed his family.

Can they piece together the mystery of what happened that night? Is Peter, in actual fact, the killer of his family, and will he have to find a way to come to terms with that? Will Peter ever find a way to move on with his life and bear the stigma of being labelled a psychopathic murderer?

I rate Dream House scores 5.5/10. I was lost for a little when they let the Peter Ward cat out of the bag so early, and they floundered for a while and then found their footing again. I really did not know what they were going to do with the movie after the big secret dropped, but they managed. I felt Dream House was an exceptionally sad movie, and it was actually pretty depressing at times. It was not a phenomenal movie, but truly it had its moments, and the execution was not too shabby, either. There were some serious plot holes, but not so severe (well, a little) as to cast the movie into oblivion. Overall, worth a look see at the very least.

Poker night madness!

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I am so excited! I had my office end year function yesterday, and it was thoroughly enjoyable, but I am thrilled about tomorrow: our monthly poker night is upon us!

Poker night playing poker A group of friends, one of their parents, myself and my boyfriend host a poker night each month, alternating between houses, who serves snacks, etc. We have a small buy in, which turns out to not be that bad a haul at all when you add all of it up, and have an absolute blast each time we play.

We have big wins, we have narrow wins, we have ridiculous wins, we have people not counting correctly, but no matter what, we enjoy ourselves immensely. We play clean, we play fair, and we play to spend time together. We play Texas Hold’Em as it keeps the game going, being very fast and to the point. Making it a consistent night forces us to make sure we have time to see each other, an activity to do, and a game that goes on for hours. The first weekend of every month is dedicated to fun and spending time with those you love, and I always look forward to them. We are a bit late this month, as December is always an unpredictable and busy month, but no matter, the opportunity to participate again with those close to me makes any wait worth it! Let the games begin!

Do any of you have specific activities that you clear dates in the calendar for consistently? If so, what do you do, and with whom do you do it?