Crime fiction must-read!

Bestselling author Tana French’s Broken Harbor pulls you into her world with a jolt.  
Her fourth novel about the Dublin murder Squad starts with the grisly stabbing of young family of four.
The family home is in Broken Harbor, a depressing and shoddy half-built development on the Irish Coast.
At the scene the father and two young children are found dead and the mother is barely alive.
The house looks weird, and – disturbingly — there’s apparently no motive for the murder.
Veteran detective Mike Scorcher and his rookie partner Richie Curran are assigned to the
high-profile case and are under pressure to solve it.
Tana French weaves an intricate, believable web of complex relationships as the crime is unraveled. She peels back the layers of her characters’ psyches and exposes their secrets mercilessly, just like detectives when solving homicides.
French paints unforgettable characters so vividly that you hear their accents and see their different gaits as she moves them through her tale. She also recreates modern Dublin and brings you deeply into the world of police stations, crowded pubs, and steamy homes filed with loud children and whistling tea kettles. French teases the reader with her characters’ secrets, doling out tiny morsels at a time and slowing striping way assumptions. As you turn the pages, you are caught in her web as she deftly manipulates both characters and readers to a haunting conclusion.

How to stay alive!

In a perfect world, you would never have to worry about looking over your shoulder or walking to your car late at night. There would be no date rape and no stalkers. But the world is far from being safe. Every day, women are raped, kidnapped, stalked, and murdered.
However, paying more attention to obvious danger signs could help keep you safer.
Do you put yourself in danger by focusing on a cell phone or texting when you are in the public? Could you ignore or not hear a predator because you are you so plugged in to a device? Do you broadcast personal information on Facebook, foursquare, or even your luggage tags? Does your publicly available personal information allow would-be attackers or thieves to track you or approach you with familiarity?
Do not ‘friend’ or social network with people you do not know, or who are not referred by friends. Check referrals. Keep your information private and never use viable labels on belongings.
It is better to post impressions and pictures after attending an event than during it, especially if you have left your home or apartment vacant. Always report any suspicious strangers. Do not worry about looking foolish. Always have your keys in your hand ready to open your door so you do not have to fumble in the dark looking for them. Never leave your car unlocked. Always park in safe, lighted areas. Never hesitate to get security to walk you late at night to your car or subway stop. Learn to scream loudly. It is harder than you think. Take a good self-defense course.
Never, overestimate the security screening of dating and social media sites. These sites are designed to make revenue, not protect you. They can be the perfect way for predators to approach and victimize young woman. Be cautious when meeting strangers, even in public. Remember, we know that many people lie about simple things like their height and age on dating sites, so they can lie about anything else, too.
In his must-read book ,The Gift of Fear: Survival signals that protect us from violence security expert Gavin de Becker points out that ignoring natural apprehension or fear from a sense of polities often gets young women killed.
De Becker, one of the leading U.S. experts on violent behavior, believes there are clues to violent behavior, as well as ways to protect yourself from it. Learning to be alert to danger and having respect for fear is empowering.
So darlings, learn to look up from your gadgets in public, sharpen up your senses, hone and resect your intuition, and read The Gift of Fear.
Finally, if a place or situation seems wrong, dangerous, or just off, leave right away. Do not let anyone tease you out of following your instincts. The worst thing that will happen if you are wrong is that you will get a good night's sleep. If they are wrong, you may end up dead.

My dysfunctional Mafia family

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers by Jennifer Mascia is not a comfortable read, but it is compelling. Mascia — an assistant on the Metro desk at The New York Times and a graduate of The Columbia School of Journalism – thoroughly dissects her rather ugly life story. In many ways, she is a remarkable young woman just for having survived her life. 

Jennifer Mascia is the daughter of a dysfunctional low-level crime family. Her father went to prison for murder during her childhood. Her family called it being away at “college”. Jessica, who was very young, knew he was in jail, but never realized the implications. Later her father started a carpet-cleaning business as a cover for his drug dealing. Mascia later discovered her favourite aunt was his supplier.
As her family goes from middle class to wealthy to food stamps, Jennifer grows up and begins to figure out her family is not “normal”. 
Mascia struggles to reconcile her memories of a loving father with the facts of her father’s past. She struggles to make sense of her emotional, high-living mother who condoned her father’s life while raising her daughter to be an academic achiever and “nice Jewish-Italian” girl.
This is more than just another coming of age biography or Mafia princess tale. It is study of a young woman who grows up surrounded by psychopaths, drug addicts, and criminals, and yet manages to survive. She struggles to find her own identity and retain a sense of compassion and self-worth.