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on July 17, 2016
The great thing about being a teacher on summer break is the ability to read books on your own time. I've read several books this summer but haven't completed any of them.

I charged my kindle two weeks ago and saw that I had downloaded a book. I don't remember when I downloaded it or from where I downloaded it. Originally, I thought that I might have requested to review the book from NetGalley - but it's not listed on the site. I figured I would read the first couple of pages and figure out why I would have downloaded it.

I read the first line:

"I found the head."

With a great first line like that how could I not continue reading? So, I continued reading. And I found myself going back to read it when I had time. I even took my kindle with me to Atlanta when I attended a conference earlier this week.

The List, written by J.A. Konrath is a labelled as a "techno thriller". It's a who done it with a scientific twist. It also happens to be a book I would not pull off the shelves and read, so the mystery remains: what was I thinking when I downloaded this book?

The story revolves around several individuals who have one thing in common: a mysterious blue number tattoo on the bottom of their left foot. The book opens with one of these individuals found dead in his apartment which starts the lead detective's investigation, who also has a tattoo on the bottom of his foot.

The reader discovers the connection rather quickly but Konrath doesn't divulge the whole plot until the very end of the book, which leaves for a great opening for a sequel. However, as far as I can tell, there is no direct sequel to this book. It's a real shame, though. It leaves a few loose ends to tie up that never get tied up. (According to Amazon, Konrath has written 11 books in the collective as stand-alone novels.) As I said, it's a real shame because this could have easily become a series of two, if not three, books.

The book is rather graphic. The head from the opening line is the head of the first victim which has comically rolled under a chair. The language is rough at points but the dialogue is strong through most of the book. Some parts of laugh-out-loud funny while others are groan worthy. There are some rough patches that don't quite "flow" as smoothly as they could and the ending felt pretty rushed. It was presented to the reader in rapid-fire, which considering it was the ultimate climax, would have been okay. But it didn't seem to flow with the rest of the book. The additional story toward the end was good and was a complete surprise to this reader but felt thrown together like the author was nearing a word limit or a deadline.

However, overall, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Will I read it again? No. But to be fair, I rarely read books for a second time. But I would definitely recommend this read to anyone who likes thrillers/mysteries. I'd also recommend this book to anyone who doesn't. I am this reader. I read this, completely out of my comfort zone, and I liked it.

Overall:

Sex - 1

Violence - 10

Gore - 10

Language - 10

(Review also published on my blog at: [...]
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on September 17, 2015
I totally bought this book by accident the first week I bought my Kindle and did not return it as in the beginning I was not aware that I could. I am so glad I didn't. Yes, the gore may have been a little much, but I didn't mind it. (I kind of expected it actually. Seems like this is what sells books.)
Yes, the science seemed a little too far fetched. (But, Hey! I'm not a scientist. I read romance novels that allow for people to not communicate in relationships-this is fiction.)
Yes, much grief was dealt with in a short period of time, and yes it seemed totally unbelievable that any part of this book could actually happen! (Unlike vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches, wizards....)
Yes, there was inappropriate humour. (Such a sin)
& YES, this book did exactly what I wanted. IT GAVE ME A VERY ENTERTAINING READ!! A few spelling errors, but not as many as many books I have read. I will be reading more by J. A . Konrath and I already like Ann Voss Peterson so I may try the books cowritten by these two. I will try Jack Kilborn at some point as well.
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Come up with these ideas? Personally, I think writers of horror stories just love to giggle as the make the horror so awful they know us poor readers have to keep reading.

I know who the character of Tom is, most recently from his game playing with poor not good at games Herb, in Rum Runner, but this gave really good background.

This is a humdinger of a story, all the more so as the premise is all too real. Just looking, actually looking, at the cover, gave me the creeps after finishing the book.

The thrills are intense, and I dare you to put it down once you've started. I have decided to do as suggested by the author and get his books in order. I will read them that way. Finally.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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on September 1, 2015
I got it only because it was $1.99 on my Kindle and people raved about it. I mean raved! After a few pages, I was ready to shut it off and never read any more - I don't like blood and scary stuff, so I went back and read thru a few more reviews. They convinced me to stick it out and am I ever so glad I did. What a trip of a suspense/crime/comedy tale it was. I read until I literally fell asleep. I read during my breaks and lunches at work - and I never take a break or lunch. I read until every drop, every morsel, every word was devoured and then fell back spent, needing a drink and a cigarette. Quick synopsis....cloning (kind of), political aspirations, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Joan of Arc, Jack the Ripper, Attila the Hun, William Shakespeare, Geronimo, Vlad the Impaler, Albert Einstein, murder, violence, slapstick comedy, the slugbug game, and much more, all in one book. Like many reviewers said....I feel like I owe the author more money.
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on June 10, 2013
This is exactly the type of thriller I am addicted to reading; and Konrath nailed it dead centre. I've never read any of his books before, so I was pleasantly surprised to find this author has expertly crafted a novel riddled with scientific experiments gone haywire, intertwined with political conspiracies; antagonists so terrifying you won't want to sleep with the lights off for at least a week. "The List" is incredibly entertaining and had me guessing right until the end - and all my guesses were for naught as nothing was what it seemed. A brilliantly formulated plot with an utterly shocking and unpredictable ending, held me glued to the edge of my seat for hours on end!

I loved all of the characters. Well, all the good ones, at least. Imagine meeting Abe Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein (to name a few) in real life. That would be awesome, right? And can you imagine Joan of Arc as a Hollywood producer trained in martial arts who can kick the heck out of...oh, let's say, Vlad the Impaler? No, that's not a spoiler. That's only a microscopic tip of the iceberg called "The List". Because the reader is catapulted headfirst into the action in the first chapter and is given so many hints at what's to come later in the story, my one fear was that it would lose momentum half way through, and then peter out to a mediocre, unsatisfying conclusion. Lucky for me and everyone else who reads this adrenaline-spiking thriller, this does not happen at all. "The List" starts out fast, driven by clever writing, witty, pragmatic characters and knee-jerking plot twists, and manages to keep its breakneck pacing throughout while building up to a stunner conclusion that leaves you wanting more of this magnificent writer's extraordinary creations.

I'm a huge fan of horror, so naturally Stephen King and Dean Koontz are tops on my list, but as from today J.A. Konrath will be added to that list of authors who have perfected the art of sending chills down my spine with their fear-inducing works. "The List" is mostly a thriller but has enough shocking scenes and malevolence in this fast paced heart-stopping story to satisfy any horror fanatic's lust for the macabre. I will most definitely be reading more of Konrath's books!
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on August 4, 2015
It's not often I refuse to finish a book, but one third of the way in and I just can't keep going anymore. The concept of the story is pretty neat, if a bit unoriginal. The characters could be pretty decent, if they were fleshed out at all. The main issue here is that the book reads like a TV show where you can't see the actors. You get dialogue and action, but pretty much zero insight into what the characters are thinking or feeling. Combine this with many editorial mistakes and just not great writing in general, and it's just a painful read. I wanted to like this book, but it just feels like a precocious 12 year old who doesn't understand science or law enforcement procedure decided to write a novel adaptation of a mediocre TV show.
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on April 2, 2018
I opened this story about four hours ago and couldn't leave it alone. It pulled, prodded and generally made me finish reading. In short, a wonderful time was has by all. The characters are enchanting in an odd sort of way but by the end they became fast friends. The situations, though often fantastic, were strangely plausible. I found myself looking at close friends and people claiming to be my relatives in a new way. This is a magical voyage of sheer imagination and ingenuity. My thanks and kudos to the men behind the adventure!
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on June 11, 2017
I liked the idea...the execution... not so much. I got about a third of the way through, and had to fast forward to the last chapter, just to see how it ended. Gory, and some things just didn't need to be written... really. I actually got bored with it, as it was just too far fetched, and I felt that considering the situations, most of the characters were taking things a bit too lightly. Not a bad story... but not really that good either, in my opinion. I have read this authors work before, and this is not quite as good as most of the Jack Daniels books. Just as gory...just not quite as good.
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on July 15, 2017
I've read 4 of Konrath's books starring Jack Daniels solving crimes, but this one is completely different.
There are a series of people solving mysteries about themselves. When someone starts killing members of the group, their lives become intertwined and they begin working together.
Well, SOME of them work together.
Such imagination!!
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on December 12, 2017
Both the words in my title are true. The idea of cloned figures is fascinating, and the choice of good guys and bad guy incredibly interesting. Towards the end it gets a bit repetitive, but nonetheless it is one of the most enjoyable books I've read on my Kindle. Spoiler alert--the last chapter suggests ten more clones on the horizon I have bought th next book in the Konrath Horror Collective. I It connects with this one not at all, but I think it will be interesting.
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