Chills and Thrills — Author Christopher Greyson’s Riveting Novel, The Girl Who Lived

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Okay, folks. It’s time for a book review. A SHORT one.

I finished reading Christopher Greyson’s suspense thriller, The Girl Who Lived, last week.

Just an FYI, suspense thrillers aren’t genres I read on a regular basis, but they are in my reading mix, along with women’s fiction, classics, and at times, historical fiction.

From the few suspense thrillers I’ve read recently, Greyson’s novel is a big winner and eclipses the last one I read called Wave of Terror. Only once throughout that novel did I feel a bit of tension/thrill.

So, why was Greyson’s novel a winner? Because…

  • His story drew me in, in the first line, paragraph, and page of his novel.
  • His writing style is solid, good.
  • Whoever edits and proofreads his manuscripts is a stellar human being. I don’t recall seeing any typos or errors of any kind.
  • I could barely put the book down. I forced myself to set the book aside so that I had the majority of the book to read on my vacation. And I did finish it while sitting out on our cabin’s porch in Estes Park, enjoying the absolutely perfect weather.
  • He wrote so well, his suspenseful scenes, quite a few, had me tensing and on the edge of my seat, so to speak, and one scene actually gave me the chills. Now THAT’S what I call a true THRILLER. 🙂
  • He kept me guessing with many twists and turns up until practically the end, on who was involved in Faith’s family and friends’ murders.
  • Lastly, a great bonus. His writing is quite clean with regards to language and sex. The violence is somewhat graphic, but not enough that I’d need to skip over parts. They were just enough to get the point across. Clean, gritty, realistic, and sharp storyline, plot, and good fleshed-out characters.
  • I had a moment of a pinch of disappointment in who was behind the murders, as I had people in mind, but at the same time, all info explaining why that person and how was plausible and believable enough that in the end, I was satisfied.

Here’s the blurb on The Girl Who Lived:

Ten years ago, four people were brutally murdered. One girl lived.

No one believes her story.
The police think she’s crazy.
Her therapist thinks she’s suicidal.
Everyone else thinks she’s a dangerous drunk.
They’re all right–but did she see the killer?

As the anniversary of the murders approaches, Faith Winters is released from the psychiatric hospital and yanked back to the last spot on earth she wants to be–her hometown where the slayings took place. Wracked by the lingering echoes of survivor’s guilt, Faith spirals into a black hole of alcoholism and wanton self-destruction. Finding no solace at the bottom of a bottle, Faith decides to track down her sister’s killer–and then discovers that she’s the one being hunted.

I have found a new author I really, really like and will be reading more of his books in the near future. If you like gripping thrillers, check out Greyson’s The Girl Who Lived.

the girl who lived book cover

 

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Those Writers Were You

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As writers, we struggle at times to get words on a page, ideas formulated, and plots created. We labor through a crummy first draft, along the way, sporadically wondering why we are writing the particular stories we are trying to write at that time.

Sometimes we feel alone, like we’re the only ones with brain melt from the overwhelming mental effort it takes to create storylines, plots, characters, and scenes.

In between those struggles, we read books we truly adore, finding them superbly written, taking us out of our worlds and into the characters’ worlds.

We thank the magnificent authors for spurring ideas for our own stories and helping us to write our next few paragraphs, or even chapters.

A few days ago, I came across an inspirational quote via a meme circulating on Twitter that really did uplift me and made me feel like all my work was worth it. And it made me realize all these wonderfully written books by these awesome writers were once where I was before they were known and their books soared in the published and reading realm.

“Never forget that every single one of your favorite books

were once awful, error-filled, unpolished first drafts.” — Unknown

 

Now, go finish that first draft, those revisions, and know your book(s) is/are just as spectacular as the ones you read.

 

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My Review Of A Fantastic Book

lovely book unlikely pilgrimage of harold fry

I’ll start out by saying, no, this book is not a newly published one, but came out in 2012.  I’ve just been behind on reading contemporary works until a few months ago because I’ve been reading so much for my university classes and nonfiction and spiritual books.  Now, on with my very informal and basic review.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce is one of the best books I’ve read in decades.  It harkens back to the classic literary fiction of the ages, meshed with contemporary life.  I hope that makes sense!

Short synopsis of the story via amazon:

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning a letter arrives, addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl, from a woman he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. But before Harold mails off a quick reply, a chance encounter convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. In his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold Fry embarks on an urgent quest. Determined to walk six hundred miles to the hospice, Harold believes that as long as he walks, Queenie will live.

I love stories of the human condition, the human spirit, and ones that have flickers of hope in them.  They are beautiful, and this book is loaded with these elements.  Also, I am one drawn in by writing style, beautiful prose in descriptions, etc.  Some folks aren’t interested in that, but I am.  The characters are quirky, endearing, and so very human.

The main character, Harold, is such a broken, beautiful soul with a gentle spirit.  He decides to walk those six hundred miles to see Queenie, a former co-worker, with the belief that Queenie will live the months it takes for him to walk there and arrive.

Harold and his wife’s relationship is strained at the beginning of the book and little love is shown, and his wife experiences many different feelings dealing with his absence and her own thoughts of the past several decades.

Through the walk, Harold reminisces about his childhood and the past many decades, and encounters interesting people along the way.

Here’s a little review I wrote on it when I finished reading it a few weeks ago and posted in Goodreads:

The story is precious, touching, unique, and wonderful. It starts out at a good tempo and slows a little after a couple chapters in, but once you keep reading through those slower chapters, it continues to unfold like the blooming of a rose, with such sweetness and touching moments of the human struggle and spirit, that you become more and more drawn in. Lovely, beautiful, brilliant, and well worth the read and to own.

I highly recommend this book.  

*You probably have already read this one, right?  If you have, share your thoughts.  If you haven’t, maybe you’d like to share your thoughts anyway. 🙂

 

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