Monthly Archives: September 2015


Author: SJ Bolton
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Well, I have to say that it was nice to read a faster paced book for once. My last few had been on the slow-going end; this one, not so much. Sacrifice starts off with Tora Hamiliton finding a women’s body in her field after beginning excavation for her horse’s grave. Being on the local hospital staff, her interest is piqued as she has to examine the body to find that the women had recently given birth in addition to having her rib cage cracked open and heart removed. Of course, finding something of this magnitude on your own property would surely warrant extra interest. Who’s to say the killer isn’t still around?

The story follows Tora’s exhausting quest to solve who exactly the women was and where she had come from. Bolton brings the odd and somewhat squeamish ‘folk’ tales of Shetland Island’s history to life all while also giving way to fairly accurate medical and current day procedures. The plot moves at a riveting pace which makes it a very quick read.

(Slight spoiler ahead!)

My only complaint (why it’s short of 4 stars) is that I feel like the mystery itself wasn’t too hard to guess at. I feel like Bolton gave away too much, even dragging out the story to fit in all the little tidbits. In fact, about half way through, I had the case one hundred percent solved before the main character. I know that I have a habit of looking for specific clues that author’s drop and tend not to fall for the ‘wrong guidance’ that is sunk in the text, but I feel like this one was a little too easy. What kept me reading though, was wanting to know how it all ended and how proof could be brought to the surface.

If you like medical mysteries, spooky English folklore, and words that move like steam engines, this is a book for you.

WILD ANIMALS – Trampled by Turtles

Wild Animals by Trampled by Turtles is just one of those songs that plants itself in my head and continues to grow and grow, my mind and emotions completely entangled with it by the end of a week.

The song begins by swelling and then plummeting to only a pluck of strings. I’m immediately thrown into that feeling, inhaling and exhaling right with them. (It’s actually kind of stress relieving!) The first verse is curious and mysterious. Simonett’s voice starts in telling us about another world that’s really “made for us” because the one here leaves us “trapped in bodies” that are “made to rust.” Is he talking about the afterlife? Continuing, he sings “It’s one that I can break right through/I am ready, how about you?”

After posing that question, the beginning of the song shines through again as the chorus. The wave-like swells take hold and the eerie, scratching of the violin becomes more noticeable, giving way to the spooky side of this track.

The next verse travels further into the theme of afterlife and death. There is a feeling of misbelief with “and this just can’t be happening,” as if to question whether or not death is possible and that it could affect them. But this is directly followed by a strong understanding in finding “everything we need buried deep beneath the leaves.” Almost as if so to say they are comfortable with the final outcome. The chorus’s howl starts back in after this. One could believe that the howling is almost a mark of pain in realizing the finality of life throughout these verses.

In the last verse, a light string arpeggio plucking is heard that reminds (for some reason) of twinkling stars. I doubt that was their intention, but I find it fitting. It as if to say the night is settling in, but even with the darkness there is still light.

The song continues with the Simonett saying that he “can see the better part of you.” But even though that good exists, “I’m a monster just like you/Wild animals it’s true.” I believe this verse gets away from the death theme and delves more into human nature. That even though our intentions are mostly good, there is still flares in the opposite direction stemming from the fact that we are “wild.” Within a person, instinct still exists and can control your reactions/emotions. Whether it be good or bad. Whether that even leads you to bury something under the leaves. Human nature, right?

By the end of the song, I’m always howling with it. It’s too much to resist and to just let yourself be carried by the waves of this song is fantastic. I did get to see these guys at Red Rocks this year, and I nearly jumped out of my skin when they started playing this one. Outside, with the wind blowing on your face and the cool mountain air creeping in, is possibly the greatest way to hear this song.

Please take a listen of the track here and check out the full lyrics below. Please also do yourself a favor and listen to this song with something that can carry bass. Put those five dollar headphones far away.


“Wild Animals” by Trampled by Turtles (Wild Animals)


There’s another world, it’s made for us
Trapped in bodies, they’re made to rust
It’s one that I can break right through
I am ready, how about you?


By the coming dark, we try to breathe
And this just can’t be happening
We found everything we need
Buried deep beneath the leaves


I see the better part of you
I see the better part of you
But I’m a monster just like you
Wild animals it’s true



Soft whispers
do not echo
but fade
into the night.

Words lost
on the plains,
swept with the wind.

I want to hear them
but cannot.
They are the kind
spoken behind
closed doors.
Questionable misgivings.
Rearrangement of thoughts.

Do they know what’s better for you?
Surely they know all parts
of the story.
Every angle and plot.

They understand you.
Smile at you.
Befriend you.
Tightening their knots.

Of course,
the real answer you already know.
Letting you go would be a tragic affair.
For cutting the bind would bore them so.
No fun at all it would be,
actually treating a person as whole.

JUST FINISHED: The House at Riverton

Author: Kate Morton
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The House at Riverton is a fictional history of a prominent English family from the viewpoint of a housemaid named Grace. An interesting twist on the storytelling is that it is done from present day Grace in the last of her days in an attempt to relinquish the grief she has carried from the family. Many memories are spawned back to her as a movie director that has decided to make the family’s life into a film begins meeting with her about details of the house at Riverton. Telling the story in this manner reminded me greatly of another novel I had read by Morton, The Secret Keeper, which tells me that this type of POV writing is a favorite.

Grace’s life is greatly changed as she entered service as a housemaid, becoming completely engaged at the curiosities and energies exhibited by the Hartford children: Hannah, Emmeline, and David. Full of new notions and a familiar feeling that Grace cannot shake off, she become enamored and falls in love with the family.

The novel begins with a frightening scene told as Grace’s nightmare which is slowly pieced together throughout with the true turn of events revealed at the end. While that is the main line that keeps this book interesting, there is also the ongoing mystery of what will finally bring it all to the end, as in the dispersion of the family. The Hartford children create problems for themselves at a rate that is increasingly dramatic as they age. Much like a freight train on crash course with no brakes.

An interesting historical topic that this book deals with is the changing of times
after World War I and into the 1920s. During this time the English Elite were starting to diminish as the middle class began to take hold of the world. The book delves into this issue showing the changing attitudes of the people. One particularly notable change that occurs is that when Grace begins her life of service her position is held highly but by the end many would not even dare take a job as a lady’s maid. That life offered only diminishing returns and no freedom.

If you enjoy Downton Abbey and books built around parasitic relationships, you should check this one out.