Book Reviews X’s 2: “There Was A Crooked Man” and “Everything That’s Underneath”

I enjoyed this book. However, when I requested it from Library Thing’s Early Reviewer Program, I did not realize it was a sequel. Thus, some of my enjoyment was muted due to the fact that I did not fully understand the main characters’ backstory. I kept waiting for pertinent facts to be revealed and, when they never were, I was sorely disappointed. Thus, I would recommend that readers start with Ms. Hogan’s first work, They All Fall Down.

There Was A Crooked Man is a dark and intense novel. The chapters the author has written from Scott’s POV are compelling and the reader soon realizes that he is a dangerous psychopath. The other characters are revealed slowly, from the third person POV, and we see how their lives have been impacted by their relationships with Scott and his criminal enterprises.

The novel begins with a murder in Marrakech where Scott and Fran are up to their eyeballs in illegal drug trafficking, and ends at the harbour in Ireland, back where things all began.

Ms. Hogan has created fascinating characters in Scott and Jen and the result is a gripping read. Highly recommended for those who enjoy psychological thrillers and complex, though not always likeable, characters.

Four stars – and, by the way, I love the cover!

Kathy DeMeester’s anthology of shorts is very creepy and strange. The stories, which don’t always have a beginning, middle, and end, are more like disconnected nightmares – some parts remembered vividly and others forever lost. If you’re looking for traditional horror, this is not it. These stories eat away at your mind, lingering in the back, making you wonder what, indeed, they were really all about anyway. My favs – “The Lightning Bird” and “Everything That’s Underneath.

A good, thought-provoking, dark read. Highly recommended.

5 big shiny stars for horror fans!