Layers of Deception by Leo James


This book starts off with a bang (quite literally!) and doesn’t slow down. The story follows a computer security firm trying to land a contract in Kuala Lumpur. The group gets involved in blackmail, extortion and gang activity when they expose the contract company’s dealings involving the dark web. I don’t have much experience with security technology but the author explains everything so the reader can easily understand. The story itself follows a smooth story arc and follows a natural progression. While the book could use some editing, I found that I couldn’t put it down and I was captivated until the very end. The cover art is unique too! I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case I did–and I’m glad I did!

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


What a beautifully written book! I can’t remember ever reading a book that read like a poem. The result gives the feel of a smoky, vintage detective movie, filled with intrigue. As I read it, I was enraptured and I wondered what was around the corner. The novel also touches on how we can see ourselves in literature, which is what truly attracts us to great books. Moreover, the dialogue of Fermín Romero de Torres was priceless.

The only drawback to this book, without revealing any spoilers, is how the mystery is finally unveiled. Instead of a letter format, it would have been nice if the life of Julian Carax was revealed in a more creative, intricate way to better reflect the rest of the novel.

The Shadow of the Wind is a true ode to literature and I highly recommend it!

The Crazy One – Rebecca Markus


I wasn’t able to put down this thriller! This is an adrenaline-pumping read that explored the blurred lines between reality and fantasy that is entirely plausible in our current technology age. Now more than ever we have unrelenting access to media, making it easier for an individual to observe every move of a celebrity and become obsessed.

The protagonist, Lucy Bonneville, has low self-esteem and doesn’t have much going for her, so she creates a fantasy world for escaping. In this world she is the girlfriend of famous rock star Beau Castle. She finds that she can’t keep up with the musician lifestyle and fall into the arms of Joel Ruskin, an approachable, humble, on-the-rise celebrity. Unfortunately for Lucy, neither of these men even know who she is.

The reader is taken on a captivating ride; the tension mounts with every chapter, and the lengths Lucy goes to engross herself in her fantasy world are both frightening and plausible. The author seamlessly crafted the story; as I read this novel I felt simultaneously sympathetic, sad and afraid for Lucy. I also felt afraid and angry for Joel and his girlfriend as they dealt with their stalker. It takes a talented writer to evoke such conflicting emotions for multiple characters in a novel. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers!