October 2020 Book of the Month Club - 1st Year Anniversary (Poll)

Vote for the book we should read in October 2020

  • Biography – The House of Kennedy by James Patterson and Cynthia Fagen

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Contemporary Romance – The Numbers Game by Danielle Steel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dystopian – 1984 by George Orwell

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Historical – Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Thriller – Killing Me Softly by Nikki French

    Votes: 3 37.5%

  • Total voters
    8
  • Poll closed .
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  • #41

rubysmama

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Almost done. Three chapters to go, I think. I probably could have finished it last night, but it was getting late, so decided to wait. Alice just
ran from the flat and arrived at the police station. I guess since I knew she was safe, at least for the moment, it was easy to put the book, or actually e-reader, down.
 
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rubysmama

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Is everyone done reading Killing Me Softly?
Finished last night, and immediately went to Goodreads to see what people wrote about it. Now anxious to see what everything here thought. Usually we start the discussion on the 22nd, but we can start a day early, right. :evilgrin:

My first comment is about the writing style of the authors. Did anyone else find it confusing how they sometimes changed from one scene to another with nothing more than a line space between the sentences? Maybe it was different in the print copy, but it was extremely confusing reading with my e-reader.
 

maeganj

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My first comment is about the writing style of the authors. Did anyone else find it confusing how they sometimes changed from one scene to another with nothing more than a line space between the sentences? Maybe it was different in the print copy, but it was extremely confusing reading with my e-reader.
I read it on kindle, maybe the formatting was different, but I think I know what you are referring to. The version I had used 3 asterisks between scenes which I actually kind of liked because it gave me good spots to take breaks mid chapter.
Screenshot_20201021-124608_Kindle.jpg
 
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rubysmama

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Here's one of the scene changes I found confusing. The first 3 "paragraphs" are at Adam's father's place, then suddenly they are having dinner at Alice's parent's place. Reading it now I guess it's clear they're being dismissed by his father, but the first time I read it, I thought they were still there. Not a big deal, but it happened more than once throughout the book, and no asterisks, or anything to indicate the change of scene.

1603304670112.png
 

Mia6

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Here's one of the scene changes I found confusing. The first 3 "paragraphs" are at Adam's father's place, then suddenly they are having dinner at Alice's parent's place. Reading it now I guess it's clear they're being dismissed by his father, but the first time I read it, I thought they were still there. Not a big deal, but it happened more than once throughout the book, and no asterisks, or anything to indicate the change of scene.

View attachment 355824
I think that was a misprint, rubes
 
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rubysmama

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I think that was a misprint, rubes
There were a few more instances, but maybe it was just me who found it confusing. :crazy:


This was my first book by Nikki French, so I didn't know what to expect in regards to their writing style. Like Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 , I'm glad they left the descriptions vague, though that didn't exactly make it easier to read.

By the end of the book I was worried for Alice, however, at the beginning I didn't really care for her. And I definitely couldn't relate to her, as couldn't ever imagine becoming involved with someone you literally met in the middle of the street. Especially when you were already in a stable relationship.

And though, thanks to the warning, I skipped the murder of Sherpa, I hate that the authors felt that needed to be part of the story. Surely there was something else they could have written instead.

I think skipping that part I missed something. Was there an explanation in those pages that confirmed that Tara was the one making the phone calls and leaving the messages?

I was surprised by the ending. In fact, I half expected that either a) Adam would have somehow beat the police to the grave and have removed poor Adele's body, or b) killed Alice's parents, or c) simply took off. I didn't expect him to kill himself. But I guess in his twisted, obsessive mind, losing Alice was the end of his life.

Can't really decide if I liked the book or not. It was a quick read, though, and I didn't have to push myself to finish it.

So what did everyone think?
 

Mia6

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I loved it. I first read it in the late 90s and have reread it so many times.

I have never been in a relationship like theirs.nor do I ever want to be but I can relate to seeing
someone on the street, or wherever and getting that za-za-zing feeling. Then she learned of
his climbing skills. I am glad she left Jake soon afer the affair began. That way he could get on
with his life and he did.

Adam couldn't tolerate a woman leaving him, so he kills them, and other people on that last climb.

Even if I had married him, after the weird honeymoon, I would've left. I feel what people do in their
own bedrooms is their business as long as both are consenting adult but doing what they did is a
dangerous fame indeed.

will write more later.
 

verna davies

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When I started the book I thought it was going to be excellent but once the obsessive relationship started I changed my mind. For me it was totally unrealistic, yes I understand instant attraction, but Alice held a responsible job, appeared sensible and lost her mind with Adam. To throw away a nice home, good relationship and risk losing a good friend in Penny all so quickly and for someone she knew little or nothing about and who was controlling from the start was not in character. In saying that, once the story moved on I started to enjoy it again. I liked how Adams character was so dark with so many hidden secrets and that the truth was drip fed to me. I too was surprised that Adam took his I ended life. I would give this book 2.5/3 out of 5, would have been a point higher if the speed and all consuming relationship had been toned down. Having said that, I will read another of her books
 

maeganj

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I was surprised by the ending. In fact, I half expected that either a) Adam would have somehow beat the police to the grave and have removed poor Adele's body, or b) killed Alice's parents, or c) simply took off. I didn't expect him to kill himself. But I guess in his twisted, obsessive mind, losing Alice was the end of his life.

Can't really decide if I liked the book or not. It was a quick read, though, and I didn't have to push myself to finish it.
I can't decide if I liked the book either. I definitely am not a fan of the "cheating/random dude on the street hook up" theme in the beginning, but I had to get over that and accept that fiction is a form of escapism.

I thought it was super weird that Alice's old circle of friends invited her AND Adam to a birthday party but maybe it was their way of checking up on him and her. Supported by the bit of foreshadowing when she had lunch with Clive, " “You’re not happy,” he said. “You’re unbalanced." " But I guess her friends really weren't all that compassionate considering her letter was betrayed to a person they barely knew other than by what was written about him in books and magazines.

If a friend gave me a letter like that under duress, I have to be honest, I would probably read it but I sure wouldn't go to the person it was about with it. Especially since there were obvious physical/mental decline since she met Adam.

I was also a little surprised by the rushed ending. I couldn't imagine it being dragged on much further, but the suicide thing was a little too quick. Adam's character seemed too headstrong and obsessive to just give up like that and not "win" Him disappearing and reappearing some time later to murder Alice seemed like it would be a little more acceptable (if not Hollywood-ish) considering his controlling personality.

I could probably write a second book as a review but I'm trying to be succinct, all in all I enjoyed reading this but I probably wouldn't re-read and for sure not watch the movie😋 it was well written also easy to read and I think that is important for people who want to just "escape"
 
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rubysmama

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I am glad she left Jake soon afer the affair began. That way he could get on
with his life and he did.
I was happy when she left Jake, as well, as he seemed like a nice guy.

but Alice held a responsible job, appeared sensible and lost her mind with Adam.
I know. I mean, she started to neglect her job, and could have, maybe even should have, been fired.

but I had to get over that and accept that fiction is a form of escapism.
Most characters in books are totally different than me, so even though I can't often relate to them, at least their stories aren't boring.
 

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I have also read this book twice - both times I found it almost impossible to put down. 4 out of 5 stars!
Although it's not my favorite Nicci French book, I still enjoyed it very much - even the second time around.
I was surprised at how much I had forgotten: the beginning with Adam seemingly dying in his tent, only brought back part of the plot. I remembered the bit when Alice almost confided in a doctor and relived the hope I had felt that she would save herself. As soon as a cat appeared on the scene, I knew that Adam was the villain but I had to read on.
Some people seem to think that Alice was acting out-of-character leaving a perfectly nice young man for a wildly attractive alpha-male. Alice had lived a rather cold-hearted, but probably fairly normal childhood and used her head to gain her qualifications and some respect and recognition. Her relationship with Jake did not start with a bang but she just grew into it. She was already thinking, with her head, about settling down but her heart did not really come into the equation. The sudden sexual attraction for a man on the street was for Alice a first time experience, completely unexpected and had to be followed up with all the dreadful consequences.
There are many women, even highly intelligent women, who sometimes let themselves get involved with the wrong sort of partners. These may not be as sadistic as Adam but still potentially dangerous. When I told a psychotherapist that I was scared of what my husband could do to me or my children he just said ".... and so you should be!" And my ex was just a normal man who no longer felt he was the boss. But.....
Adam - after an extremely solitary childhood - grew up to discover that his good looks could get what he wanted from women and his strength and physique made him an exceptional athlete. He believed he was infallible and pushed himself and others to their limits. He could reject women he no longer wanted but it was unforgivable for a woman to try to leave him. He was not afraid of death - as demonstrated in the first chapter of the book when he believed he was dying. It was completely in character that he would kill himself when it was discovered that, instead of being a hero, he'd deliberately caused the death of so many people. To disappear would mean defamation of his character and that was something he wouldn't be able to live with - even with a new identity.

Well, that was my short opinion. Sorry, I was never good at precis writing - and, although cruelty to animals is not acceptable, I can't find fault with the book because a cat had to die at the hands of this beautiful pervert, who also sent so many innocent people to their deaths.

I've no idea why anyone would want to make a film based on this book. The book's appeal is in the language, describing the conflict - Alice's love for an unusually attractive man who makes her feel loved for the first time in her life and the dreadful acts he performs both on her and others. It would be impossible to show both sides of the story on the screen without turning it into a sloppy love story with brutal bed scenes. I'm glad I haven't watched the film.
 

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gilmargl gilmargl what is your favorite Nicci French book? She for sure is a decent author.

I read the reviews of the movie referring to the book and reviews of the book referring to the movie and a few on both sides of it saying neither were like the other. I'm not surprised they made movie of it, is it not similar-ish to 50 shades of grey? (I haven't read or watched that at all so I'm sure I'm wrong, just surprised they could make a movie of it)
 

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gilmargl gilmargl what is your favorite Nicci French book? She for sure is a decent author.

I read the reviews of the movie referring to the book and reviews of the book referring to the movie and a few on both sides of it saying neither were like the other. I'm not surprised they made movie of it, is it not similar-ish to 50 shades of grey? (I haven't read or watched that at all so I'm sure I'm wrong, just surprised they could make a movie of it)
I'll have to think about my favorite book. I'll answer later.
Regarding "50 Shades of Grey": I have never read it and never wanted to read it. I unfortunately purchased "The Mister" by mistake and did read it (not to be recommended). I imagine that "50 Shades of Grey" would be classified as erotic fiction and would appeal to a mass audience. "Killing Me Softly" is a psycho-thriller about obsession and mistrust. I wouldn't call it erotic, but perhaps someone thought they could make an erotic film out of it and make some money! :)
 
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rubysmama

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Just read the wiki page for the movie, and there's some major differences. One big one,
Deborah, rather than being a doctor and mountain climber friend of Adam's, she's his sister.
 

Mamanyt1953

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OK...within the first few pages, I was sure of where this was heading. I was vastly relieved that it was no more implicit than it was. Unlike some of you, I found that first meeting entirely believable...I had something very like that happen way back in the VERY early 70s, think "hippie." I am pleased to say the outcome was MUCH gentler and happier, although very short-lived. But with a strong background in mental health, I could easily see the "whys" that escape a lot of readers.

Adam was probably a narcissist. Everything about his background and upbringing suggest it. Even his seeming concern for those under his care came off (to me) as more a concern for his own reputation. The fact that he killed women who left him was, for me, almost a foregone conclusion, and perfectly in keeping with his character. I was a bit surprised at his suicide, although not shocked. What did surprise me is that he didn't find a way to take Alice down with him. That would be the more expected thing for a narcissist to do.

The one character that I felt the most sorry for (other than Sherpa, whom I quite fell in love with), was that poor girl, whose name escapes me right now, who proudly showed Alice the scars that Adam gave her, and maintained, "He marked me. He LOVES me. He has to come back to me." And I've known women like that, who have pain and love confused in their minds. They are sad, pitiable people, unable to function in a healthy relationship. Should they escape the one that they are in, they will seek another just like it.

I, also, fail to understand why someone who was supposedly Alice's friend would show a letter like that to Adam, of all people...but as I recall, there was a slight hint that the woman may have been closer to Adam than was overtly stated. Or that she wanted that to be true.

Good book. Kept me engaged. I don't know that I'll read more of Nicci French, but that's mostly because my "to read" list is so very long, and there are many authors that I am more interested in.
 
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Mia6

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When I started the book I thought it was going to be excellent but once the obsessive relationship started I changed my mind. For me it was totally unrealistic, yes I understand instant attraction, but Alice held a responsible job, appeared sensible and lost her mind with Adam. To throw away a nice home, good relationship and risk losing a good friend in Penny all so quickly and for someone she knew little or nothing about and who was controlling from the start was not in character.
I wrote this yesterday but forgot to click post reply

That's what's drew me in. Why would someone like Alice do this? I had to keep reading to find out. Many women
go through a bad-boy stage..Maybe Alice never did when she was younger? Before she was being scolded by her
doc, we really didn't know what their sexual relationship was like, as it was more implied,.I said the same thing to
myself that doc said to Alice, "respect yourself."

It seems after all she went through, at the end, Alice will be ok.

Psychological thrillers are my fave genre. I think this was probably my first one although I think Rebecca,
though written many years ago, falls into this genre.
 

verna davies

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I think part of the attraction to Alex was the excitement. I think she felt that the relationship with Jake was 'nice and comfortable' but lacked fizz but to throw everything away at the speed......well what can I say.
 
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