Sunday, September 13, 2015

Book Review - Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace, #1)Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My many thanks to Net Galley, the publisher PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW
and the author M.J. Arlidge for providing me with the ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

This book came highly recommended from my group in GoodRead "A Good Thriller" group. and I must say it was worth it's weight in gold. I started this book very late due to being busy with other work but I must say I am glad I finally caught up to this little nugget.

Dark is the work I have heard used often with this book. I must admit I was having problems identifying the genre of work as I am not used to reading many dark books. But this one was different. Once you got started into it, the book grabbed hold of you and never really let go. Even when the book ended because you need to know what happens next in the life of Detective Helen Grace. Ohh.. Just where do I start with this one??

A diabolical villain or a deeply flawed and psychologically scarred heroine or the gory murders. Charles Darwin proposed the survival of the fittest theory but Arlidge has taken it to another level. Humanity when reduced to its basic is just that, survival at all costs. The emotions like empathy, kindness and kinship does not mean much.

The story line is very intricate, the plots and twists are planned to the perfection and the execution is pretty amazing, so much so that when the common thread tying up the entire exercise in macabre flies at you you are pretty much blindsided and left thinking how the hell did I miss this.

The story has a little bit of everything to keep the readers from different genres satisfied. Suspense to keep those indulged, action to keep the junkies interested, darkness, macabre and gore to keep the darkies engaged, thrill to keep the seekers seeking and finally a fitting finale to satisfy all.

Arlidge has just shot to the top of my must read authors. The only difficulty here is I would like him is smaller doses rather than one big chunk to keep the dark in me satisfied while not overwhelming my senses as well.


Book Review -- Boko Haram: Inside Nigeria's Unholy War by Mike Smith

Boko Haram: Inside Nigeria's Unholy WarBoko Haram: Inside Nigeria's Unholy War by Mike Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My many thanks to Net Galley, the publisher I.B. Tauris and the author Mike Smith for providing me with the ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Somalia and Nigeria are two hotspots of trouble in Africa. One affected by piracy and the other by militant Islamism. I don't believe in the fundamentalist interpretation of any religion. IMO it is just an excuse to cover bloodthirsty behavior. Islam is a peaceful religion, none of my friends who practice Islam subscribe to the school of thought propagated by the fundamentalist. It is their own greed for power that makes them cloak their fight in the garb of religion to give it legitimacy.

Boko Haram is no different. Emerging through the crucible of Nigeria's impoverished North east region, Boko Haram is using religion to cloak its bloodthirstiness. Mike Smith has forged a convincing tale of emergence of this terror group from its initial years under radical preacher Mohammad Yusuf, the Boko Haram group was based on the Wahabi ideology. Initially attracting followers with his fiery speeches and opposition to Nigerian government rules and thoughts, the group evolved into a ultra conservative terror outfit after Yusufs death and the emergence of his deputy Abubakar Shekhau as the new leader of the group.

Nigeria is a important country in African continent. It has a semblance of democracy and is oil rich. This makes it the de facto leader for growth, prosperity and stability in the African region which is inundated with myriad problems like famine, poverty and ethnic conflicts. Nigeria's is too divided between an impoverished and reeling under the aegis of Boko Haram North and the relatively affluent South with its oil riches. Overall the country is still in doldrums due to deep rooted corruptions and the lack of political will in the Nigerian leadership to grow the country.

The schism between the top elite of the country and the poor is exploited by Boko Haram. Denouncing the government the group emerged initially as trying the overthrow the government to replace it with Islamic Caliphate. But the methods and the legacy left behind by the group is too bloody and too gory to justify any teachings of Islam and the group remains as a terrorist organization in its entirety.

Mike Smith spins a cohesive story about the emergence of the group, the growth under Yusuf, the downturn after Yusuf's death and their bloody reemergence under the aegis of Shekau. It gives insights into the cultural, economic and social crucible that is Nigeria which has forged one of the most deadliest terror outfits in the world today.

Back to Reading

Almost 3 months of being out of sync with my books, I am finally making a comeback. The year started off great, I read some really great books this year, courtesy of my group A Good Thriller in GoodReads. The books that they recommended were excellent. I was really on a high….

But then life happened and priorities took precedence over pleasure. I missed out on reading for around 3 months now. The last book I read was in May until I started stealing time here and there to get back into the groove of reading.

This month I have finished two books, including my book pal book of the month for this month. Eeny Meeny and Boko Haram - Inside Nigerias Unholy War. Two books a month is by far smallest of the reads that I have done in the month, but it gives me hope that I will pick up the pace and hit my target of 40 books by the end of this year.

I have started to blog again and with that I hope to restart my other blog OutSpoken and True as well.