Blackstone Publishing Inc | 1 August 2023 | 270 pgs
Source: Library 

One year ago, Nicki went missing after she left a pub in Dublin. She is the third woman who vanished without a trace and till present the police couldn't find any clue about their disappearances nor the perpetrator. Their cases remain unsolved and it was only one of the victims who received the most attention due to her racial and her young age. Nicki, on the other hand, is deemed as a free-spirited woman so there're speculations that she might have run away on her own. But Nicki's sister, Lucy, is certain that Nicki has no reason to run away and with the agony of not knowing what happened continues to torment Lucy, she decided to take matters into her own hands, by putting herself in dangerous circumstances and hoping to lure the perpetrator into giving her a ride. Just like what Nicki was last seen doing. 

Angela is a civilian paper-pusher in the Missing Persons Unit, but her goal is to be a member of An Garda Síochána, the Irish police force. So when she receives a physical evidence by chance that may link to one of the victims' disappearance, she begins to raise the issue with her superior who happens to know the detective who handle the cases. And of course, Angela wouldn't stop there and she'd try every means to get involved in the investigations. 

On the other end, a nameless man reflects on his past actions and "accomplishments" without being caught by the law. His narrative, without a doubt, is the most intriguing considering he's THE serial killer and he's telling us, the reader, how he chooses and abduct his victims. 

Part police procedural and part thriller, this was an unputdownable book in my opinion. The author has crafted an interesting premise of a serial killer and a daredevil woman who's not afraid of the danger she's putting herself into. Angela was another great character to read; and I admired her determination and her perseverance in getting the cases solved. There are twists and turns, of course, but there's also that ending which I didn't see coming and think it might lead to some readers being unsatisfied. Truth be told, I think it kind of worked for me. And I want to reiterate this before ending this review, NEVER get into a stranger's car no matter how harmless the driver appears to be. As the saying goes, you can never judge a book by its cover. 

I can't believe Year 2023 is coming to an end and I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year! I hope 2024 brings you lots of love, good health and joy! 
© 2023 Melody's Reading Corner (, All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
G.P. Putnam's Sons | 7 November 2023 | 368 pgs
Source: Purchased 

I've not read Ali Hazelwood's books until now and what a delightful read this book is! 

18-year-old Mallory Greenleaf has been playing chess since young but after the sport led her family apart four years ago (the truth is later revealed in the book), she's sworn off playing chess and focus on taking care of her (sick) mother and her two younger sisters as she works as a car mechanic to pay the bills. Although she's given up on playing chess, a chance request eventually led her to play in one last charity tournament and she begrudgingly agrees to it. Little did she know that she'd be playing against Nolan Sawyer, the notorious "Kingkiller"/current world champion and reigning Bad Boy of chess. 

After she beat Nolan which shocked and rocked the chess world, Mallory is offered a fellowship that allows her to play professionally. Torn between a battle between financial and her sentiments towards playing chess, she finally decides on a practical approach by accepting it. 

Mallory gradually finds her momentum and her passion back the more she play, and she also can't help feeling drawn to Nolan, who appears to be cold and aloof but is actually a reserved and a considerate person behind that mask. As Mallory practises hard for the next tournaments, she'll soon find out that changing the misogynistic attitudes in a chess world mostly dominated by men is as challenging as the sport itself. Would she be able to change the perspective as she reconcile with what happened four years ago? 

I've to admit I know nothing about chess and this book has been an eye-opening experience to me. Through Mallory’s journey I learned a lot about chess and that it isn't simply about your opponents and strategies but there's also a lot of hard work involving analysing, studying and well, more studying. Of course patience plays an important part, too! I loved Mallory as a character; and all the more as how responsible she was being the eldest sibling. My heart ached for her considering how she acted so much matured as compared to the others of the same age.

Onto Nolan Sawyer. I liked how he was protective towards Mallory, although he wouldn't say it out loud but his actions said everything especially during the interview. And, I loved the interactions between him and Mallory; and his teammates too. Ali Hazelwood has captured the cast of characters well and I enjoyed seeing the characters grow as the story gradually come to an end, in particularly Mallory. This brilliant girl. . . I rooted for her all the way from the beginning till the end and I'm glad she didn't disappoint. This book warmed my heart and well, you can bet I'll be looking forward to reading more books by this author in future. 

I've been slacking in my blog updates, blog hopping and commenting lately and I apologise for that. I think procrastination and watching K-dramas also play a part in that too, although I enjoy doing the latter and don't want to feel guilty for doing that, LOL. 

So what've I been watching lately? Vigilante and Memorist. Both are crime thrillers and while the former has a dark superhero vibe, the latter has a supernatural element (imagine a detective who could scan others' memories through touching). Both are great dramas in my opinion, but I felt there are too many suspense layers and red herrings in Memorist that I felt disconnected at times. And who wouldn't love a superhero who takes justice in his own hands in Vigilante? All the more that actor Nam Joo Hyuk is eye-candy dressed in police uniform! 

Finally, I'll be taking a short break off of blogging and I hope you've a wonderful Christmas holidays ahead! 🎄
© 2023 Melody's Reading Corner (, All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.