Perfect Days by Raphael Montes

imageTeo Avelar is a loner. He lives with his paraplegic mother and her dog in Rio de Janeiro, he doesn’t have many friends, and the only time he feels honest human emotion is in the presence of his medical school cadaver—that is, until he meets Clarice. She’s almost his exact opposite: exotic, spontaneous, unafraid to speak her mind. An aspiring screenwriter, she’s working on a screenplay called Perfect Days about three friends who go on a road trip across Brazil in search of romance. Teo is obsessed. He begins to stalk her, first following her to her university, then to her home, and when she ultimately rejects him, he kidnaps her and they embark upon their very own twisted odyssey across Brazil, tracing the same route outlined in her screenplay. Through it all, Teo is certain that time is all he needs to prove to Clarice that they are made for each other, that time is all he needs to make her fall in love with him. But as the journey progresses, he digs himself deeper and deeper into a pit that he can’t get out of, stopping at nothing to ensure that no one gets in the way of their life together. Both tense and lurid, and brimming with suspense from the very first page, Perfect Days is a psychological thriller in the vein of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley—a chilling journey in the passenger seat with a psychopath, and the English language debut of one of Brazil’s most deliciously dark young writers.

I won’t get into the story as the synopsis  pretty much covers it.  Teo makes Misery look like a sane and normal human being!  Teo does really unspeakable things to Clarice and he justifies it by saying that she is unstable and he is trying to help her.  He also believes in what he is doing is absolutely fine and justifies what he does as for her benefit and if she would just listen to him he is sure that she would fall in love with him.

This is disturbing, Teo is obviously unstable and just pure evil. He shows no emotion, he manipulates those around him and when he does something vile he feels that he is doing it for the benefit of others and sees himself at the centre of his own little world and nothing and no one will stop him from having Clarice, not even Clarice herself.

This book gave me chills at just how methodical, cool, calm and collected Teo was in hi actions. The lies he told an how well he weaved his web while others fell into it willingly.  I have read some reviews where some readers found this book to be “hilarious and funny!”  I don’t know what book they were reading but it wasn’t this one!  There is nothing funny about this story. It’s dark, twisted and disturbing in many ways….some dark humour but that’s as far as I am willing to go…

4.5 stars

Crash

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Chaos in Kabul by Gerard DeVilliers

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As U.S. troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan, and the Taliban is poised to take over, the CIA calls upon the Austrian aristocrat Malko Linge to execute a dangerous and delicate plan to restore stability to the region.

 On the ground in Kabul, Malko reconnects with an old flame and hires a South African mercenary to assist with his mission. But Malko doesn’t know whom he can trust. His every move is monitored by President Karzai’s entourage, Taliban leaders, a seductive American journalist–and a renegade within the CIA itself. Before he can pull off his plan, Malko is kidnapped and nearly killed. When he finally manages to escape, he finds himself alone and running for his life in a hostile city.

 I received an e-mail asking if I would be interested in reviewing this book. I have never heard of the author and it looked interesting so I figured, why not. When I had the book in my hands I knew it was going to be a good read, but I didn’t know how good.

I don’t read many books in this genre as it’s a hit or miss for me and sometimes a dry read. I read this book in two sittings, it had me from the second chapter and would not let me go. There is so much that goes on and has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster.

The story line is well written and the plot could be, and probably was, something that was conceived by a government and could have been plausibly executed. De Villiers had connections with various intelligence agencies making this story a blend of fiction and truth. All the characters are very believable, the settings are incredibly detailed and the story as a whole was enthralling. The main character, Malko Linge is an aristocrat playboy who plays the spy and has been compared to Bond, who is the spy who plays the playboy. Malko has more lives than a cat in this book his life is constantly in danger and how he is able to get out of the situation is sometimes remarkable and a bit far fetched but it takes nothing away from the story line.

I will say that I really enjoyed this book and I am very glad that I have been introduced to another writer who I will be reading again when more of his books are made available. De Villiers died in 2013 and his books are being translated for the first time from his native French. This is the second in the Malko Linge series but it can be read as a stand alone book.

Book provided by publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review

5/5 stars

Crash

 

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