Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster (♦♦♦)

Adam Lockwood inherits his grandparents’ cottage in the North Yorkshire moors, and convinces his wife Grace to relocate there from London alongside their toddler Millie. However, a week after arriving at the moors, Adam vanishes without a trace leaving Millie on the front porch just after dusk.

Grace leaves the moors after Adam’s disappearance and travels to France with her parents to nurse her wounds, but after a year, she is ready to find answers and goes back to the moors accompanied by her daughter. When Grace arrives, she is welcomed by members of the Blakeney family, whose matriarch has lived in the village since birth. Not without difficulties Grace begins to find clues in the most unexpected places and only when it seems she is on the brink of losing her sanity, she has a daring thought that changes everything.

This is a good ghost story though not a memorable one. The desolate moors contribute to the sinister atmosphere and so does the folklore of the place, but in this book nothing is what it seems and even ghosts can be conjured at will.

Despite not being unforgettable, Beneath the Shadows is compulsively readable and keeps one guessing until the final page. It is very well written and has great character development. The secrets of the Blakeney family are perfect ingredients for a conventional soap opera. After all is said and done, Grace, Ben and Claire are the only morally sound characters in the story, and Millie, but she is a toddler…

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