Stalker by Lars Kepler (tr. Neil Smith) #BookReview #BlogTour

The internationally bestselling authors of The Sandman and The Hypnotist return with a terrifying new thriller: Detective Joona Linna--recently returned from compassionate leave--reunites with hypnotist Erik Maria Bark in a search for a seemingly unassailable sadistic killer. 
The Swedish National Crime Unit receives a video of a young woman in her home, clearly unaware that she's being watched. Soon after the tape is received, the woman's body is found horrifically mutilated. With the arrival of the next, similar video, the police understand that the killer is toying with them, warning of a new victim, knowing there's nothing they can do. Detective Margot Silverman is put in charge of the investigation, and soon asks Detective Joona Linna for help. Linna, in turn, recruits Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist and expert in trauma, with whom Linna's worked before. Bark is leery of forcing people to give up their secrets. But this time, Bark is the one hiding things. 
Years bef…

Schmuck the Buck: Santa's Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books and illustrated by Karina Shor #BookReview


Meet Schmuck the Buck, just a regular caribou.
He liked to eat grass and then chew and chew and chew.
Yet he and his kin happened to be the sole
Jewish reindeer living in the North Pole.
Schmuck was bullied and treated the worst way,
Until his brilliant plan saved one Christmas day. 

Schmuck the Buck introduces Larry, a young Jewish reindeer. He overcomes his awkward and sometimes painful youth to save Christmas. His tale of acceptance and inclusion is sure to warm the hearts of anyone who loves Christmas, Hanukkah, or both. A unique modern addition to any holiday library.

It's my pleasure to be sharing my review of Schmuck the Buck: Santa's Jewish Reindeer today. Many thanks to Exo Books for sending me a digital copy to read.

I don't usually read illustrated books but how could I resist a seasonal story about a Jewish reindeer who works for Santa at the North Pole?! Like Rudolph before him, young Larry is bullied by his reindeer peers who nickname him Schmuck but he isn't in possession of a glowing red nose to help guide Santa's sleigh so will he be able to save Christmas?
The suggestion that Santa's workshop is more like a sweatshop than the jolly, magical place we think we know should indicate that although this is a rhyming picture book, the satirical humour means it's written for adults rather than children. The irreverently witty illustrations by Karina Shor complement the words superbly and are worth spending a few minutes over to spot all the extra little visual jokes that might be missed at first glance. I loved the yearbook pictures which include a reindeer wearing a rather familiar looking red cap which bears the legend, 'Make Santa Great Again' which I thought was a great little touch in a story that wholeheartedly celebrates diversity.
There are a few rhymes which don't quite flow but nothing that spoiled my enjoyment of this quirkily charming little book. Anybody who includes the lines 'He pranced his way through the piney flora, Racing home just in time to light the Menora' definitely deserves a thumbs-up - and I laughed out loud at Schmuck's Bubby Rose referring to Santa as a 'chubby gentile'!
Schmuck the Buck may not have a song written about him (yet) but he deserves his moment of triumph in this enjoyable tale. A warm-hearted and fun read for Christmas or Hanukkah with a lovely message about love and acceptance which fits in well with the sentiments of the season.

Schmuck the Buck is published by EXO Books and is available to purchase on Amazon US or Amazon UK

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About the Author
EXO Books is the pen name and publishing company of a writer from NYC, USA, Earth. This is his second book. Find out more at EXOBooks.com

About the Illustrator
Karina Shor is the alter ego of an artist and illustrator from Israel currently living in Brooklyn. Her savvy cheekiness is embodied in many works.
See more at KarinaShor.com


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