Book review: Disclaimer by Renée Knight

'Disclaimer by Renée KnightDisclaimer: What it is about

From goodreads: “Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day she became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew—and that person is dead.

Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only
hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day . . . even if the shocking
truth might destroy her.”

Disclaimer: What I thought

The story is narrated through the viewpoint of two people: Catherine, the woman who
finds the book about herself, and an older man, a widower. After a while, it becomes
clear how the two are related, and the man becomes a threat to her.

The beginning was a little slow, and relied on the fact that Catherine had never told her
husband and son what happened in the past. She never thought anyone would find
out about it, but they do. And soon her husband mistrusts her and her life falls apart.

Her husband seemed to quite easily believe the story he is told, although Catherine
claims it was not like that. She doesn’t get a chance to tell her story, but when she
does, he quite easily believes that as well. I found it a little too convenient how he believed whatever he was told.

Catherine’s character was very convincing. While she should have told others about what happened to her in the past when it did happen, she had a good reason not to. Some interesting developments make this initially slow book a good read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 352

First published: 2015

I got this: from the publishers for review (E-book via Netgalley)

Genre: Psychological thriller


The 24-Hour Read-a-thon! #readathon


It’s almost time to start the 24 Hour Read-a-thon! Over 1,500 (!) book bloggers and other book lovers all over the world will be reading as much as they can within 24 hours. Some will read 6 hours, some will try and read the full 24 hours.

Everyone starts at the same time, 12 GMT, which is 2pm for me here in the Netherlands. I do need my sleep, but I will try and read for 16-18 hours.


This is what I’ll be reading from:

Readathon pile

[Finished] An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell by Deborah Levy – A short one to keep the spirits up.

[Finished] The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami – Another short one, for my East-Asian month.

Boo by Neil Smith – A YA novel, looks like an easy-going read.

[Finished] The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfeld – Dystopia (which I love) and looks good fun.

[Abandoned for now] Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong – My oldest unread book in the TBR and for my East-Asian month.

[Finished] The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – Got it from fellow readathoner Ciska and it sounds great.

Light and Dark by Natsume Soseki – For my East-Asian month, already over 100 pages in, I’m planning to read a few short chapters every few hours.

Total pages after 24 hours: 889

I read 4 whole books and parts of two more books

End of Event Meme:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour eleven. I was planning to stay awake much longer but this was 1 am for me and I decided to go to sleep for a while.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Girl on the Train was definitely a good choice. An easy, engaging read.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I loved the blogposts – very nicely formatted and easy to follow.
5. How many books did you read? Four and a bit.
6. What were the names of the books you read?

I finished:
An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell by Deborah Levy
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfeld
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I also read some of:
Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong
Light and Dark by Natsume Soseki

7. Which book did you enjoy most? They were all good!
8. Which did you enjoy least? See above
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? n/a
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? 100% if I have the time. I’ll stick to reader as I don’t get to read quite as much these days as I used to. Wouldn’t mind doing a giveaway.

After Twenty-Four Hours

I finished The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (191 pages)

I read 26 pages in Light and Dark by Natsume Soseki

Total pages after 24 hours: 889

After Twenty-One Hours

I read 100 pages of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Total pages after 21 hours: 672

Mini-challenge: Shelfie


I took a shelfie for the Book Monsters‘ mini-challenge! I have more books than that, but these are my favorite shelves.

Hour 17 – After reading and sleeping

I slept from 01.00 (hour 11) to 0.630 (hour 16/17) and now I’m ready to read some more.

I read in bed last night and at breakfast and this is the score:

I read 15 pages of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Total pages after 17 hours: 572

After ten-and-a-half hours of reading

Well, I’m in bed by now! It’s 12.30 am here in the Netherlands.

I finished The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami (96 pages)

I started The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (12 pages)

Total pages after 10.5 hours: 557

After nine hours of reading

I read 160 pages of The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfeld and finished it.

Now reading The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Total pages after 9 hours: 449

After six hours of reading

I read 112 pages of The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfeld

I also had dinner (it’s now 8 pm here) and although the sun is shining, I’ll just keep reading rather than going for a walk.

Total pages after 6 hours: 289

After three hours of reading

I read 95 pages of Wolf Totem, but put it aside for now. It’s a great book, but the story line isn’t strong and I prefer more of a page turner for the read-a-thon. So, I’ll continue reading this, but not now.

I read An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell by Deborah Levy (72 pages)

Total pages after 3 hours: 167

Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I’m reading from the Netherlands. 
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I’m especially looking forward to The Subprimes, a dystopian book – I love dystopia!
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I got some store-bought potato salad that is really terrible, paint-stripping stuff, but I love it!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I have my own book editing business so I get to read ALL THE TIME (and I still wanted to join in the readathon – there’s nothing better than that!)
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I’ll do what I always do: read, eat, blog, and tweet!


Are you participating? What will you be reading?

Please leave a link to your starting post so I can easily find you.

Book Review: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin LiuThe Three-Body Problem: What it is about

From B&N: “Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

The Three-Body Problem: What I thought

I came across this book in a book store and it looked very special, a real find. I was keen to read it soon, so I made April East-Asia month! This is the first book by an East-Asian writer that I finished this month.

It was definitely a special book, but also a little cumbersome. First of all, there was some Cultural Revolution stuff that I wasn’t interested in, but I guess it was needed, because the story did (and had to) cover that time period as well as more recent times. Secondly, there was a lot of science in this science fiction novel. I can handle a lot of science in a novel, but sometimes this went a little too far even for me. At other times, I was pleasantly surprised by a particular scientific explanation. The explanation of the three-body problem especially, in relation to three suns, was very clever.

The blurb suggested an interaction between earthlings and aliens, but it took quite a while before the aliens entered the story. This was my main attraction to the book, so that was a pity. There were some very clever ideas about these aliens (for instance, they would dehydrate when it was too cold to live on their planet and re-hydrate when the temperature was favorable again).

There were several protagonists in the book, and it was hard to feel attached to them and their story. Towards the end of the book, several chapters dealt with the aliens on their planet, trying to unfold a proton, leading to hilarious effects. This was interesting to read, but it felt a little strange to have them appear as protagonists this late in the story.

The idea of what happened on Earth when people found out about the alien contact, and the expectation that they would come to visit at some point in the future, seemed quite likely: there are of course (of course!) several factions with different ideas of what should be done, people trying to have sole access to the transmissions, etc.

While this was at times a difficult and not always interesting book, I loved the ideas that were presented. I feel reading this book was great experience, and I love the new ideas about humanity, aliens, and the future I now have been exposed to. This is the first part of a trilogy, and I both do and don’t look forward to reading the next part. I’m curious how the story continues but I do wonder whether many more great ideas can be included in the story.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 400

First published: 2006

Translated: from the Chinese by Ken Liu

I got this: bought in a book shop

Genre: science fiction


Winner of the Literary Blog Hop

blog-hopIt’s the end of the Literary Blog Hop and time to announce the winner.

The winner is…

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum


Congratulations! I’ll send you an email to ask you for your address details. Please answer this within 3 days.

Thanks to everyone who participated.

Did you take part in the hop? And… did you win anything?


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