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Daily Deals: Books that inspired movies

The Girl Who Disappeared Twice Andrea KaneThe Girl Who Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Despite all her years determining the fates of families, judge Hope Willis couldn’t save her own. Her daughter taken, she’s frantically grasping at any hope for Krissy’s return. Her husband dead-set against it, Hope calls a team not bound by the legal system.

Forensic Instincts: a behaviorist. A techno-wizard. An intuitive. An ex-Navy SEAL. Unconventional operatives. All with unique talents and personal reasons for joining Casey Woods’s group, they’ll do whatever it takes.

Able to accurately read people after the briefest of encounters, Casey picks up in the Willis household signs of a nervous spouse, a guilty conscience, a nanny that hides on her phone. Secrets beg to creep into the open.

Forensic Instincts will dig through each tiny clue and eliminate the clutter, working around the clock. But time is running out, and Casey’s team knows that the difference between getting Krissy back and her disappearing forever could be as small as a suspect’s rapid breathing, or as deep as Hope’s dark family history.

This one hasn’t inspired a movie but Kane is a reliable name in romantic suspense. This one, however, looks to be less romance and more suspense. Published by MIRA.

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Layer Cake by J. J. ConnollyLayer Cake by J. J. Connolly. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Our narrator’s too smart to tell you his name (“if I [did], you’d be as clever as me”), but he’s not afraid to tell you everything else about the “layer cake”-London’s intricately arranged constellation of underworld fiefdoms. He’s a drug dealer who’s planning to retire on his thirtieth birthday-after one last great score-to a life as “a gentleman of leisure.” Only problem is his boss, the crime kingpin “don” Jimmy Price, has other plans. He can walk away from the life for good only if he can track down a runaway daughter for Jimmy’s old friend.

Complicating matters are two million top-grade Ecstasy tablets that were robbed from a factory in Amsterdam by a renegade outfit in Jimmy’s employ who are now looking for someone to offload the ill-gotten loot. With an angry mob of German neo-Nazis in hot pursuit, and all crosses and double-crosses leading back to Jimmy, our narrator finds he may have to negotiate a new exit strategy.

With a rich supporting cast of dozens of characters, Layer Cake is a gripping, linguistically inventive thriller, a cross between Irvine Welsh and Dennis Lehane that keeps you turning the pages until the very end.

This is Connolly’s debut book and from the looks of the new cover, Daniel Craig will be playing a major role in the motion picture based on this book back in 2004. Kirkus said “There’s rarely a moment here when the characters, a garrulous lot to be sure, won’t take a dozen or so pages to relate some tale about a mate of theirs and some ruckus he was involved in; fortunately, though, Connolly knows how to spin a good yarn, so this way of proceeding is never a problem. There’s more than a little fancifulness here, regardless of how spot-on the argot or knowledge of the vicissitudes of the cocaine game might be. The book still has awhiff of the Tarantino fan about it-meaning that it’s an addictive read, for better or for worse. A walloping debut that could well presage a wave of Brit crime lit heading for these shores. “

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QfbS_rl5VsoCStrangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A major new reissue of the work of a classic noir novelist.

With the acclaim for The Talented Mr. Ripley, more film projects in production, and two biographies forthcoming, expatriate legend Patricia Highsmith would be shocked to see that she has finally arrived in her homeland. Throughout her career, Highsmith brought a keen literary eye and a genius for plumbing the psychopathic mind to more than thirty works of fiction, unparalleled in their placid deviousness and sardonic humor. With deadpan accuracy, she delighted in creating true sociopaths in the guise of the everyday man or woman. Now, one of her finest works is again in print: Strangers on a Train, Highsmith’s first novel and the source for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1953 film. With this novel, Highsmith revels in eliciting the unsettling psychological forces that lurk beneath the surface of everyday contemporary life.

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Blood and Chocolate  Annette Curtis KlauseBlood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. $ 3.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Vivian Gandillon relishes the change, the sweet, fierce ache that carries her from girl to wolf. At sixteen, she is beautiful and strong, and all the young wolves are on her tail. But Vivian still grieves for her dead father; her pack remains leaderless and in disarray, and she feels lost in the suburbs of Maryland. She longs for a normal life. But what is normal for a werewolf?

Then Vivian falls in love with a human, a meat-boy. Aiden is kind and gentle, a welcome relief from the squabbling pack. He’s fascinated by magic, and Vivian longs to reveal herself to him. Surely he would understand her and delight in the wonder of her dual nature, not fear her as an ordinary human would.

Vivian’s divided loyalties are strained further when a brutal murder threatens to expose the pack. Moving between two worlds, she does not seem to belong in either. What is she really–human or beast? Which tastes sweeter–blood or chocolate?

This is a really fantastic werewolf book. It’s categorized as YA but I read it as an adult a few years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit.

From the Kirkus Review
Poor Aiden–as a prospective lover he’s not so different from prey; to Vivian his smile flashes like heat lightning, and at times he looks so delicious she wants to “”bite the buttons off his shirt.”” When, after a series of sultry but frustrating dates, Vivian reveals herself to him, he responds, not with the pleasure and lust she expects, but stark terror. Extrapolating brilliantly from wolf and werewolf lore, Klause creates a complex plot, fueled by politics, insanity, intrigue, sex, blood lust, and adolescent longings, and driven by a set of vividly scary creatures to a blood-curdling climax.

The ending is a satisfactory one, for me (and I’m a romance reader) but there is a love triangle in the book as Vivian struggles between her human and her wolf sides. But for anyone wanting to read a book about an alpha female, this would be a great one.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Maili
    May 25, 2013 @ 04:40:23

    The ‘Strangers on a Train’ novel is somewhat different and much darker than the ‘Strangers on a Train’ film, but both are excellent in own right. ‘Layer Cake’ is pretty unsentimental but funny as feck in sense of dryness. I think I liked the film a little more than the novel, mostly because it has less profanity, but both are equally good. For those who like traditional happy endings, you won’t get it from

    Buried Comment (Reason: spoiler)   Show

    Layer Cake (film and novel – the narrator’s fate in both endings is ambiguous, which can be frustrating for some; at least it was for me) and Strangers on a Train (novel).

    ‘Blood & Chocolate’ is a firm old favourite YA novel, but the film adaptation? So awful that it could be passed off as a Uwe Boll film. Easily. On a personal level, I was gutted because it was female director Katja von Garnier’s first major directorial effort after impressing the industry with her U.S. HBO TV film ‘Iron Jawed Angels’. According to Garnier, the suits didn’t trust her enough to let her get on with it and so, as a result, B&C was so badly done – and poorly received – that it’d effectively ended her rising directing career and accidentally affected other female directors’ opportunities for some time.

  2. DS
    May 25, 2013 @ 06:59:18

    I’ve never read Strangers on a Train although I have seen the movie. I’ve also read a biography of Patricia Highsmith who was very, very strange herself.

  3. LG
    May 25, 2013 @ 08:39:32

    I love Blood and Chocolate, although, even when I was a teen, Aiden did absolutely nothing for me. I agree with Maili – the movie is awful. It had very little to do with the book, to the point that even character personalities were changed.

  4. Danielle Gorman
    May 25, 2013 @ 11:39:25

    Blood and Chocolate is one of my favorite books from when I was a teen but the movie was just awful. Thanks for sharing, I will definitely be adding this one to my kindle.

  5. Wahoo Suze
    May 25, 2013 @ 12:23:16

    Fourthing the “B&C is awesome but the movie sucked” comments.

    I was so excited to hear a movie was being made, but over the *years* that it took to make, every time I checked up on it, the director had changed, the writers had changed, the director changed again, something else changed. I don’t remember the details, but it was kind of doomed from the start, and it’s such a shame. It’s a wonderful book.

  6. hapax
    May 25, 2013 @ 20:36:36

    Anyone who loved BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE should check out Klause’s first novel, THE SILVER KISS (*not* a sale, alas). It was the YA novel that sold me on the idea that vampires could be sexy, and a young woman could love one and not be TSTL; although [SPOILER]
    the ending is arguably “happy”, it certainly isn’t a conventional romantic HEA.

    ETA: I tried to use the spoiler tags but they didn’t seem to work for me.

  7. Mary
    May 25, 2013 @ 22:56:23

    Fifthing (?) the B&C is fabulous but the movie was not…good. It might have been good if it wasn’t based off of the book I guess…
    I was especially disappointed because of Hugh Dancy who I quite like but always seems to be in bad adaptations of my favorite YA books (B&C, Ella Enchanted…)

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