2 Mini Book Reviews: A GREAT RECKONING and THE WHISPERING ROOM

A GREAT RECKONING (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #12) - Louise Penny
Published: August 2016 - Sphere
Pages: 498.
Genres: Adult / thriller / contemporary
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mature themes / bad language
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes. Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must. And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map. Everywhere Gamache turns, he sees Amelia Choquet, one of the cadets. Tattooed and pierced. Guarded and angry. Amelia is more likely to be found on the other side of a police line-up. And yet she is in the academy. A protégée of the murdered professor. The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, and his possible involvement in the crime. The frantic search for answers takes the investigators back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own horrific secrets. For both Amelia Choquet and Armand Gamache, the time has come for a great reckoning.


This book has a lot of positives:
1: It is so atmospheric. I love the snowy setting and the chilling tone.
2: Dialogue is realistic and sharp.
3: The writing is punchy and eloquent, with short sentences.
4: There's good, dynamic tension between all the characters.
5: The mysteries are clever, and they're seamlessly revealed.
6: I love the relationship between Armand and his wife, Reine-Marie.

But there are negatives, too:
1: The cast is so, so, so big. I couldn't keep track of everyone. It's a waste of some genuinely compelling personalities.
2: There's diversity. Nathaniel (and Jacques, I think?) are gay, and Huifen is Chinese.
3: The story is sooooooooooooooooooo slow. I was so, utterly, completely, bored. It kinda undid all the good elements of the story for me.

          



THE WHISPERING ROOM (Jane Hawk #2) - Dean Koontz
Published: December 2017 - HarperCollins.
Pages: 528.
Genres: Adult / thriller / contemporary
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / bad language
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

Mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacherCora Gundersun takes her own life, and many others', in a shocking act ofcarnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, itseems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better. In the wake of her husband's inexplicable suicide - and the equallymysterious deaths of scores of other unlikely individuals - Jane picks up thetrail of a secret cabal of powerful players using a terrifying technologicalbreakthrough to gain power for their own monstrous ends. But these people neverbanked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue - and become thenation's most wanted fugitive - in order to derail their plans. Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-oldson she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator.Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls acrossthem.


I tried with this book. I really, really tried. And if it hadn't been against my unspoken rule that I will never DNF a book, I would've definitely DNF-ed.

The writing is over-descriptive. It is so heavy, there are so many ridiculous details, and it's not concise at all. Honestly, I don't want to know every teeny tiny minuscule detail - especially when it's supposed to be a thriller. I mean come on. The author over-describes every. single. thing, and I was literally itching to throw the book across the room.

The dialogue is melodramatic. It's like the author's trying to make it smooth and slick and cool, but instead he's just trying too hard. It's cheesy.
(Just FYI: There's very little dialogue at all. So get used to large chunks of boring text over-describing the atoms in the room. (That's is a teeny little exaggeration there, just btw).  


The book is extremely boring. I didn't care for any of the thinly drawn characters or their problems, and the writing killed everything. There's little action, little dialogue, and too many unnecessary words.
           





Hope you liked these reviews! 
Have you read or heard of these books? What do you think of them?