This is an English police procedural. Although I read this book quickly, I unfortunately have many issues with this acclaimed, so-called thriller. I did not find it gripping or for that matter very believable. The acronyms were confusing. The story line was too similar to The Other Woman's House, which unlike this book was well-crafted by another female, UK author. I disliked the non-ending. I felt Mo Hayder did a poor job connecting the perpetrator’s crimes to the families he attacked. Additionally, Hayder did not fully explain the perpetrator's rational, although I guess if you are crazy, you are crazy.  She failed to develop or solve an interesting, key story line. Perhaps she plans to do this in her next book or these characters continue on in her other stories. I will never know what transpires as I don’t plan on picking up another Mo Hayder mystery. Finally, the descriptions of the tunnels were unreadable and difficult to imagine. I definitely don’t think this should have won the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award.

International Book Week

According to many Facebook posts, it’s International Book Week. I could not find anything in depth about this dedicated week. But honestly, who cares. You love books, I love books and I love that Facebook has created a game that celebrates books. I’m moving the game to my blog! The rules are simple:

1)    Grab the closest book to you.
2)    Turn to page 52
3)     Post the 5th sentence as a comment on my blog! (Oh, and   don’t mention the title.)
Here's the excerpt from the closest book to me. 
You remember, the guy whose eye you shot out.

Night Circus

To grab my blog book images, I go to the goodreads site. I immediately could not help but notice that review after review were negative. I can’t believe the number of people who had such disdain for this book. A reviewer wrote, "How did this get published?" Another commented, "Shrug." The worst stated, "Has magic ever been less fun?" What is wrong with people? Could everyone be like my dear friend who hates magic, referring to it contemptuously as trickery? (You know who you are. This book would most likely put you over the edge. I definitely would not recommend this one for you.) 
In sharp contrast to the majority of readers, I immediately, thought while first embarking on this author’s debut tale how fortunate I am to be on such good book kick. Night Circus is delightful. I am captivated by stories such as these that forces the reader to entertain another reality. This story takes magic to an entirely new level. Morgenstern uses lush imagery of a mysterious circus that only operates at night to catapult the reader to a bizarre but beautiful place which I would be happy to explore and embrace.

The Other Woman's House

This is a suspenseful read with a complicated and provocative plot. Hannah does an excellent job of creating a intriguing novel. However, the story was not easy for me to get into and for the first five or six chapter’s I was having difficulty fully following what was going on. One reason for my confusion is Connie, one of the main narrators comes off as mentally unbalanced. I was frustrated, questioning was I reading the delusions of a mad woman. Additionally, there are a lot of characters some of whom are not very necessary and take away from the story. Since this is Hannah's sixth book featuring detectives Charlie and Simon, perhaps some of these other characters were more fully developed in her previous novels. Maybe Hannah is providing readers with a glimpse into how these other character's are managing. (This was my first Hannah book so I'm  just guessing.) Nevertheless once I was fully invested I did not want to put the book down. I wanted to find out what was really going on with these bizarre characters. I would recommend this book and look forward to reading other Sophie Hannah mysteries. 

Dreams of Joy

Lisa See does a fantastic job with this sequel to Shanghai Girls. Unfortunately I read Shanghai Girls so long ago, I could not remember all the details from the first book. Regardless, this is a fascinating read, drawing on life in communist China during Mao’s Great Leap Forward. The book is horrifying, yet captivating. By the end I was teary eyed.
I really enjoy reading historical fiction. Sadly my formative education was sub-standard. I would imagine many of you will think this is a strange comment from a girl who went to a public school with a strong reputation. For most of my friends Pali provided an excellent education. However, unlike my honor level friends, I was in mostly average classes due to my dyslexia diagnosis. Average classes were a joke. Teachers were locked in closets while classmates ran amuck. In one class a student stabbed another classmate with a pencil, all while the teacher sat at his desk doing the LA Times crossword puzzle. While my friends learned of the Vietnam War, I learned how not to cause waves with my fellow average level classmates. Now, I often find myself gravitating towards the historical fiction genre to expand my knowledge base of what I should have learned in school. Dreams of Joy provided me with history I had not known. 

See is an impeccable researcher, making her books incredibly informative. I particularly enjoyed that See shares her personal journey of writing this book with wonderful stories and photos from her trip to China in the Reader's Guide. See is compulsively readable. I highly recommend all her books, although I still need to read On Gold Mountain: The 100 Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family.