Tag Archives: Book Review

A Review of Gone Again by James Grippando

Gone Again (Jack Swyteck #12)

by James Grippando

Mr. Grippando completes the circle with Gone Again. Jack Swyteck is back where he started in the first book in the series, The Pardon. He is back at the Freedom Institute. He says that he isn’t joining the team, just renting an office, but he gets drawn back into a death row case, when the victim’s mother, Debra Burette, talks to him when everyone else is down at the Florida State Prison. She is convinced that the man who is scheduled to die for her daughter’s rape and murder shouldn’t be executed because she is sure that her daughter, Sashi, is alive.

This is just the beginning of a book that is full of twists and turns. Many of the people in this book have secrets, and just when you think that you have them figured out something else happens to change your mind. As the story progresses, layer after layer of lies are torn away, until you reach the truth, a truth that you never expected, and could not have anticipated.

I like the Jack Swyteck series. I read The Pardon a long time ago, and I’ve read another couple since then. I like the Freedom Institute members. I hope that Jack sticks around there. He is a good fit. You don’t need to read this series in order, since each of the books stand on their own; but once you read Gone Again, you probably will want to read some of the earlier books.

I give Gone Again 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up. If you like multilayered legal mysteries, I think you will really like Gone Again.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Gone Again by James GrippandoIn this electrifying and fast-paced tale of suspense from the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Cash Landing, Cane & Abe, and Black Horizon, Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck takes on his first death-row client since The Pardon in a case as twisty as it is shocking.

Sashi Burgette vanished three years ago on her way to school. The night after the teenager’s disappearance, ex-con Dylan Kyle was stopped for drunk driving. An article of Sashi’s clothing was found in his truck, and a police videotape of his drunken explanation under interrogation sealed his fate at trial. Now, just days from Kyle’s execution, Sashi’s mother visits Jack Swyteck, doing pro bono work at the Freedom Institute, and delivers shocking news: “Sashi called me.”

The police dismiss the call as a cruel hoax. The State Attorney refuses to consider the new evidence, insisting the case is closed. The governor has already signed the death warrant. An innocent man may be executed and time is running out—unless his lawyers can locate Sashi.

A man of principle who believes in justice, Jack jumps into the investigation. But the deeper he digs the more he discovers that nothing is what it appears to be. Not the victim. Not her alleged killer. And definitely not Sashi’s parents, whose grief ruptured their marriage, each openly blaming the other for what happened to their daughter.

As their gut-wrenching and hopelessly conflicting version of events unfolds in a Miami courtroom, it becomes clear there is something even more difficult to find than a long-missing girl . . .

The truth.

Book Details

Series: Jack Swyteck Novel
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper (March 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062368702
ISBN-13: 978-0062368706
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About the Author

Monica Hopkins photography
Monica Hopkins photography

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-four novels. He was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and now serves as counsel at Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP. He lives in South Florida with his wife, three children, two cats, and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea that he’s a dog.

A Review of Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Try Not to Breathe

by Holly Seddon

Try Not to Breathe is written with multiple Points of View. Each chapter starts with a name and a date. The chapter is from that person’s Point of View. The time jumps around for some of the characters, so you really do have to pay attention. I often gloss over those chapter headings, but quickly found out that I couldn’t with this book. This complex threaded type of story can be difficult, but Ms. Seddon handled it very well. Everything twists and turns around, but you can follow it. You get hints and start to have ideas. It all comes together at the end.

Since you are inside the head of all the people in this book, you get to know them pretty well. Everyone seems quite believable. Alex Dale wallows in alcohol. If she doesn’t stop drinking it will kill her. Amy Stevenson was attacked and nearly killed fifteen years ago. She has been in a persistent vegetative state since the attack. She has thoughts but can’t interact with the outside world. Her high school boyfriend, Jake Arlington, comes and sits with her often, and has for most of these fifteen years. But he is married, his wife is pregnant, and Amy is becoming a problem because her never told his wife, Fiona, about Amy. She thinks that he is having an affair and that he is hiding things from her.

Once Alex and Amy come together, Alex knows that Amy can be her way out. Alex is a journalist, and so she thinks that Amy’s story could help her climb out of the bottle. The police never found Amy’s attacker, but Alex knows that if she can find him, she will be able to write an important article. But to do this, she needs to control her drinking.

I liked the multi-layered way this story unfolded. Ms. Seddon must have had quite a complex outline for this book. She had to tell you enough in each chapter to keep the story moving forward, but also be careful of what was said, so that you never found out too much. You may have an idea of the attacker’s identity, but you aren’t really sure until the end. Quite well done.

I give Try Not to Breathe 4 1/2 Stars and a Big Thumbs Up. It kept me engaged and interested the whole way. I recommend this debut novel to anyone who likes a character driven mystery thriller, without blood and gore, but with plenty of suspense and tension.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Try Not to BreatheFor fans of Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman, and Paula Hawkins comes Holly Seddon’s arresting fiction debut—an engrossing thriller full of page-turning twists and turns, richly imagined characters, and gripping psychological suspense. 

Some secrets never die. They’re just locked away.

Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning. Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past.

Soon Alex’s routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter’s story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she’s not just chasing a story—she’s seeking salvation.

Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut.

Book Details

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 23, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1101885866
ISBN-13: 978-1101885864
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

About the Author

Holly SeddonHolly Seddon was born and raised in the sleepy south-west of England and now lives slap bang in the centre of Amsterdam with her husband and four children. Throughout her 15-year career, Holly has been privileged to work in some of the UK’s most exciting newsrooms.

TRY NOT TO BREATHE is her first novel, published in the UK (Corvus/Atlantic), Australia and New Zealand (Allen & Unwin) and The Netherlands (Ambo Anthos) in January 2016. Soon after, it will be available in the US (Ballantine/Penguin Random House), Germany (Heyne), Russia (Sindbad), Swiat Ksiazk (Poland and, Crown (Taiwan) .

Holly is currently writing her next novel.

A Review of No Cure for Love by Peter Robinson

No Cure for Love: A Novel

by Peter Robinson

This book was first published in 1995, and is set during that time, so in many was this is sort of a period police procedural. The tech is 25 years old, but that’s OK. The detectives can’t check the traffic cams or try to find someone using their cellphone’s GPS chip, they have to use old-fashioned police work. California has changed a lot in 25 years too, but nothing feels too dated.

Most of us know Peter Robinson as the author of the Inspector Banks series, which are set in northern England, near Yorkshire. The southern California location of No Cure for Love is quite a change for Mr. Robinson, but he pulls it off quite well. It never feels artificial. He gets it right, but he does keep some of his Britishness in his writing. He tones down the gore, and keeps the characters more civilized. His main character, Sarah Broughton, is a British actress  and the lead detective, Arvo Hughes,  isn’t a California native. He grew up in the Detroit area and only had been in LA three years. The minor characters have an LA feel to them, but they really aren’t very developed.

Since this is a stalker type story, it has many things that you have seen before. There are a series of letters written by the stalker. Some of the chapters are the first person thoughts of the stalker. The stalker wants to impress Sarah, so he sets up a scene near her house. That sort of stuff. There are a few twists, but this isn’t a Jeffery Deaver book, by any means.

This was an easy book to read. I enjoyed it. I liked Sarah and Arvo. It could have been a decent start to a series, but was probably more of an experiment for Mr. Robinson. He was sticking his toe into the American book market. It probably didn’t sell well enough to warrant continuing. After all he had DCI Banks. He had published his seventh Banks book in 1994 and No Cure for Love was just a diversion.

I give No Cure for Love 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up. If you feel like a mild psychological thriller set in sunny LA, give it a try. This won’t give you nightmares.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

No Cure for LoveOriginally published in 1995, No Cure for Love is being reissued this year, with an introduction by Michael Connelly. This relentlessly suspenseful thriller from the New York Timesbestselling and Edgar award-winning author of the Inspector Banks novels marks the first time that Peter Robinson has set a novel in America.

Sarah Broughton has come a long way. She’s the star of a hit cop show on TV. She lives in a beautiful California beach house. And—most importantly—she’s put her dark past behind her… as well as her old name, Sally Bolton. No need for anyone to know about that.

When Sarah begins receiving letters mysteriously signed with the letter “M,” she thinks they’re from a harmless admirer… until her real name appears in the third letter. And then she finds that name inscribed in the sand near her home – next to a body.

The message is clear: Someone is watching Sarah’s every move. Someone so obsessed with her that he won’t stop at just one murder in order to prove his love.

Panicked, Sarah turns to Detective Arvo Hughes of the LAPD, a man who specializes in hunting down the most dangerous stalkers. But nothing in Hughes’ experience has prepared him for the mastermind he’s up against. For the killer, there’s no cure for love. And for Sarah and Hughes, there’s no way out.

Book Details

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 16, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062405101
ISBN-13: 978-0062405104
Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

About the Author

Photo © Pal Hansen
Photo © Pal Hansen

Peter Robinson is the bestselling author of the Inspector Banks series, two short-story collections, and three standalone novels, which combined have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. Among his many honors and prizes are the Edgar Award, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, and Sweden’s Martin Beck Award.

A Review of No Shred of Evidence by Charles Todd

No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge #18)

by Charles Todd

Why should you read this book?  I’m not sure. I suppose if you have read the previous 17 books in this series, you probably will be ready for number 18. If you are like me, and have never even heard of Inspector Ian Rutledge, you could give this book a shot, if you are a fan of mysteries that are set in Great Britain just after Word War I. Other than that, there really is no compelling reason to read No Shred of Evidence. The story just kind of meanders along, painting a picture of a time long ago, where everything moved more slowly, but some people still wanted to kill other people.

I didn’t really care about any of the characters in this book, so I wasn’t that curious about why anyone would want to kill any of them. The reasons were there and, I guess they were logical, but I found it hard to believe that everything had to be so mysterious. It just seemed strange that everyone had to lie, or tell their own version of the truth. Not very realistic.

I give No Shred of Evidence 3 Stars out of 5, because even though it was well written, it didn’t engage me. I didn’t feel a part of this story. Your experience may be different from mine.

As I was reading this book, I wondered if any of my friends from Great Britain have read any of the books in this series. If you have, let me know if you like this series, and if it strikes an authentic chord with you. Thanks.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher

Book Description

No Shred of Evidence by Charles ToddIn this absorbing new entry in the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge is caught up in a twisted web of vengeance and murder.

On the north coast of Cornwall, an apparent act of mercy is repaid by an arrest for murder. Four young women have been accused of the crime. A shocked father calls in a favor at the Home Office. Scotland Yard is asked to review the case.

However, Inspector Ian Rutledge is not the first Inspector to reach the village. Following in the shoes of a dead man, he is told the case is all but closed. Even as it takes an unexpected personal turn, Rutledge will require all his skill to deal with the incensed families of the accused, the grieving parents of the victim, and local police eager to see these four women sent to the infamous Bodmin Gaol. Then why hasn’t the killing stopped?

With no shred of evidence to clear the accused, Rutledge must plunge deep into the darkest secrets of a wild, beautiful and dangerous place if he is to find a killer who may—or may not—hold the key to their fate.

Book Details

Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries (Book 18)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (February 16, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062386182
ISBN-13: 978-0062386182
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

About the Authors

Charles-ToddCharles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live on the East Coast.

A Review of Practical Sins for Cold Climates by Shelley Costa

Practical Sins for Cold Climates

by Shelley Costa

I really liked how this book ended. I liked the way the author made Val Cameron grow throughout this book. I think that her stories can be a worthwhile series, but I nearly didn’t find out. I struggled to get though this book. I nearly gave up on it a couple of times. If I had a book that I REALLY wanted to read sitting near the top of my TBR pile, Practical Sins for Cold Climates would have been toast. I started two other books, but neither of them grabbed me, so I dropped back and decided to give it one last shot.

The story started off fine, but seemed to bog down once we actually made it to northern Canada. The various characters were not well enough differentiated, and that, along with some unknown characters doing mysterious things, just confused me. Plus I didn’t really connect with Val Cameron at first. I’m afraid that many people will just give up at that point. I’m glad that I didn’t.

The storyline started to sort itself out somewhere around the midpoint of the book. The characters filled out a bit and I could finally start to enjoy the story. The ending worked very well, and I am looking forward to reading another book in this series. After all, what book lover doesn’t like to read stories where books are one of the principal characters, and the publishing industry plays a major role. That premise was what attracted me to Practical Sins in the first place.

I give Practical Sins for Cold Climates 3 1/2 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up. I really am torn. The ending had such a great feel to it, but I’m afraid that many people will never get there. Just keep ploughing though. It will be worth it.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Practical Sins for Cold ClimatesWhen Val Cameron, a Senior Editor with a New York publishing company, is sent to the Canadian Northwoods to sign a reclusive bestselling author to a contract, she soon discovers she is definitely out of her element. Val is convinced she can persuade the author of that blockbuster, The Nebula Covenant, to sign with her, but first she has to find him.

Aided by a float plane pilot whose wife was murdered two years ago in a case gone cold, Val’s hunt for the recluse takes on new meaning: can she clear him of suspicion in that murder before she links her own professional fortunes to the publication of his new book?

When she finds herself thrown into a wilderness lake community where livelihoods collide, Val wonders whether the prospect of running into a bear might be the least of her problems.

Book Details

Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (January 26, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194339041X
ISBN-13: 978-1943390410
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 15 ounces

About the Author

Photo courtesy of Portrait Innovations
Photo courtesy of Portrait Innovations

A 2004 Edgar nominee for Best Short Story, Shelley Costa is the author of You Cannoli Die Once (Agatha nominee for Best First Novel) and Basil Instinct. Practical Sins for Cold Climates (Henery Press, January 2016), is the first book in her exciting new mystery series featuring New York editor Val Cameron, who is sent to the Canadian Northwoods to sign a reclusive best-selling thriller writer. Murder ensues. Shelley’s stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Blood on Their Hands,The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, and Crimewave (UK). Although she reads across the mystery genre, in her own work she especially likes writing an amateur sleuth with a lot of heart who investigates a murder – it’s so utterly outside the comfort zone. Shelley Costa is on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she teaches fiction writing. http://www.shelleycosta.com.

A Review of Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart

Ochoco Reach

by Jim Stewart

4,0

Ochoco Reach isn’t an easy book to classify. There are some of the elements of a typical adventure thriller. The main characters are always in danger and the cast of villains is fairly typical. There are drug cartel bosses and their soldiers who want them captured or dead, crooked law enforcement officers who want to put them in jail or kill them, along with the other assorted bad guys that you run into in a story set near the US/Mexican boarder. But there is something else going on here. This book isn’t just a fast-paced action story, it has elements to slow it down. Sometimes it nearly feels like a slow-paced “American Indian becomes one with the land story” blended with a fairy tale and a story of true love. But the danger is always there. You can’t forget that.

This story wouldn’t work if you didn’t really like the four main characters, Willimina Hayes (Willy), freelance investigator Mike Ironwood, his special ops brother Daniel, and Bucket, a Catahoula leopard dog. Mr. Stewart makes these characters feel real. They aren’t like anyone you know, but you like them right away. You believe them. You care about them. You want the best for them.

I enjoyed the varied pace of this book. Sometimes it felt nearly too slow, but that was OK. It just let you relax for a few pages. There was plenty of action. The blood and guts were kept to a minimum. There were moments of contemplation and thoughts of what is most important in life; truly connecting with people, the land around you and the animals that live there. Overall a very different book, but well worth reading.

I give Ochoco Reach 4 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! I hope that this is the first book in a long-running series, because I want to read more about these wonderful characters and their lands.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

9780990859338-Perfect (revision test).inddMike’s usual strategy was to gently stir the pot and wait for patterns to emerge, but this case was boiling over from the day Willimina showed up at his office…

Freelance investigator Mike Ironwood doesn’t hesitate for a moment when a lovely stranger asks him to help her get to the bottom of suspicious happenings on her family’s cattle ranch.  The case is intriguing, and Willimina even more so.

Six days in, the case has turned up two dead bodies, an alphabet soup of secretive federal investigators, and a client who just might be The One. That’s when things get complicated.

When a greedy DEA agent and his complicated and deadly trigger man kidnap Willy, Mike enlists help from his brother and sets out to rescue her from the conflicted jefe of a major drug cartel.  The trail takes them on a surreal tour that extends deep into Mexico, but they come home with dangerous unfinished business.

Ochoco Reach introduces Mike Ironwood, his special ops brother Daniel, and Bucket, a Catahoula leopard dog who is equally at home herding cattle and pinning bad guys to the floor. They have each others’ backs, and they have unexpected allies in the natural world, who appear in surprising ways. But they also attract trouble at every turn.

Book Details

Release: January 4, 2015
Publisher: Word Hermit Press
ISBN: 978-0-9908593-3-8
Price: $16.99 (library discount available)
Kindle Price: $2.99
Pages: 289
Distribution: Ingram, B & T
eBook Distribution: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords
Publicity Contact: MindBuck Media

About the Author

Jim Stewart HDJim was born in Chicago and has memories of living in Buffalo, New York, New England, and southern California. finally, he grew up in Oregon where he has lived and worked for the last four decades. his working life has been eclectic, with time spent as a musician, truck driver, laborer, mechanic (of both vehicles and musical instruments), house painter, business owner, salesman, and, through it all, a writer and poet. as a songwriter and performer, Jim has been featured in the films “Dancing on the Edge” and “Pacific Vibrations.” with his longtime musical partner Craig Abrahamson, he formed Bivalve, a lively collaboration that has produced two CDs: “Unhinged” and “Middle Ground.” With bassist Jamie Keller, the group has morphed into a band called tuna reuben and can be heard sporadically around Portland and Oregon’s north coast.

As J.R. Stewart, Jim has published poetry and/or short fiction in the following journals: The Alembic, The Licking River Review, Mostly Maine, Orange Willow Review, Orion Magazine, Progenitor, Rattapallax, The Blue Hour, and Tulane Review. He’s also published short pieces in the North-Coast Times-Eagle and the Portland Guitar Society Quarterly. Jim’s short story “White Ravens” was a finalist in a Glimmer Train open fiction contest.

Jim is hard at work writing the sequel, “Dead Me.” there are more novels and a poetry collection in the queue awaiting their turn to shine.

A Review of Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters by Lida Sideris

Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters

by Lida Sideris

I enjoyed reading Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters. It was fast paced and interesting. Sometimes I felt a little overwhelmed. There just was so much going on that my brain couldn’t keep it all straight. The Complex, the building that housed Keith-Ameripictures, lives up to its name. It seems that there are so many intertwined lives in that office that nobody can really know the truth about what is going on there. All the men are hitting on someone and all the women are trying to capture someone else. Some people have hidden agendas. It is a madhouse. A funny place, but a madhouse all the same.

Corrie Locke is hired as an attorney, and on her first day on the job in The Complex, discovers that nearly everyone is going to be gone the next day. They will all be at a funeral for Claire. But this isn’t the only death in the past couple months. Druby, the assistant head of security at Keith-Ameripictures, also died six weeks ago. His death was ruled a suicide, but some people don’t believe it. AND they want Corrie to figure out what really happened.

Corrie had assisted her Dad on a few high profile cases, so she had been in the news, She had a reputation as someone who could see the stuff that the cops missed. Billy Soto, chief of security, wants her to use her talents to find out who killed Druby, and he has something on Corrie. She doesn’t want to lose her job, so she starts to look into it. Then the trouble begins.

The basic story was pretty good. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and most of them are a bit nuts. You are never quite sure who is doing what with whom and why. Then there are a couple of other little mysteries that Corrie has to figure out. Those are like little side plots, and I’m not sure that they were really necessary. They were kind of funny, but didn’t really add much, and they just added something more to keep track of.

I liked Corrie and Michael. They were old friends, and maybe something more. The rest of the people in the book were anywhere from somewhat annoying to downright obnoxious.

I give Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. It was entertaining and a good start to a new series.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher via Great Escapes Book Tours.

Book Description

Murder & Other Unnatural DisastersWatch out Southern California! There’s a new entertainment attorney in town and she’s got game. Only problem is, it’s not the one she should be playing. Corrie Locke belongs behind a desk, not behind a Glock. She should be taking VIP calls, not nosing around a questionable suicide. Instead, she’s hot on the trail of a murderer.

Luckily, she’s the daughter of a late, great private eye and she’s inherited his love of sleuthing…and illegal weaponry. It doesn’t help matters that her gene for caution is a recessive one. Corrie finds herself in the center of a murder case, unearthing suspects in shocking places. With a cold-blooded killer on the loose, Corrie will have to up her game, or die trying.

Book Details

Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (September 11, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1509202404
ISBN-13: 978-1509202409
Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

lida-sideris4Like her heroine, Corrie Locke, Lida Sideris worked as an entertainment attorney for a film studio. Unlike her heroine, she did not get blackmailed into investigating the suspicious death of a co-worker. Lida resides in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, their rescue shepherds, and a flock of uppity chickens. She was one of two national recipients of the Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America scholarship for mystery writing.

Author Links

WEBSITE:   http://www.lidasideris.com/
BLOG:     http://www.lidasideris.com/blog/
FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/lidasideris

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A Review of Forty Thieves by Thomas Perry

Forty Thieves

by Thomas Perry

4,0

I’ve read quite a few of Mr. Perry’s books. Most of them were from the Jane Whitefield series. I like the originality of his works. He usually comes up with a new idea, and bases his book on that. I like his creativity, and I also like his unusual characters. The people who you meet in this book are totally unique.

First thing, I love a husband and wife team. If an author can pull this off successfully, you get a team where both members know each other intimately, therefore they know exactly what the other is capable of doing, but also they know what can get under their skin. The back-and-forth banter is always fun. Mr. Perry serves up a double dose of goodness in Forty Thieves. He has a team of private investigators, Sid and Ronnie Abel, along with a team of hired assassins, Ed and Nicole Hoyt. They both end up on the same case, The Abels have been hired to find out who killed James Ballantine, while the Hoyts have been hired to cover up the same murder. Both couples are the best at their jobs, so something has to give.

This was an entertaining book that could possibly be the start to a new series. (I hope so!) It really is more of a thriller, but could be called a mystery. There are enough humorous situations that it never gets too intense. I enjoyed reading Forty Thieves. I needed a well-written, engaging book after the December that I had. Thanks.

I give Forty Thieves 4 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up! If you have read any of Mr. Perry’s earlier works, I’m sure that you will like this book. If you haven’t, this would be a great starter book.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Forty ThievesFrom Thomas Perry, the New York Times bestselling author of the Jane Whitefield series, comes a whip-smart and lethally paced standalone novel, Forty Thieves.

Sid and Ronnie Abel are a first-rate husband-and-wife detective team, both retirees of the LAPD. Ed and Nicole Hoyt are married assassins-for-hire living in the San Fernando Valley. Except for deadly aim with a handgun, the two couples have little in common—until they are both hired to do damage control on the same murder case. The previous spring, after days of torrential rain, a body was recovered from one of the city’s overwhelmed storm sewers. The victim was identified as James Ballantine, a middle-aged African-American who worked as a research scientist for a prestigious company and was well liked by his colleagues. But two bullets to the back of the head looked like nothing if not foul play. Now, with the case turning cold, Ballantine’s former employers bring in the Abels to succeed where the police have failed, while the Hoyts’ mysterious contractors want to make sure that the facts about Ballantine’s death stay hidden. As the book races toward a high-octane climax, the Abels must fend for their own lives as they circle ever closer to the truth.

Book Details

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Mysterious Press (January 8, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802124526
ISBN-13: 978-0802124524
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About the Author

Thomas PerryThomas Perry was born in Tonawanda, New York in 1947. He received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rochester in 1974. He has worked as a park maintenance man, factory laborer, commercial fisherman, university administrator and teacher, and a writer and producer of prime time network television shows.  He lives in Southern California.

Perry is the author of 23 novels including the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood MoneyRunner, Poison Flower, and String of Beads), Death Benefits,and Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel.

He won the Edgar for The Butcher’s Boy, and Metzger’s Dog was a New York Times Notable Book. The Independent Mystery Booksellers’ Association included Vanishing Act in its “100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century,” and Nightlife was a New York Times bestseller.

Metzger’s Dog was voted one of NPR’s 100 Killer Thrillers–Best Thrillers Ever. Strip was chosen as a  New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2010, and The Informant was a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2011 and won the Barry Award for Best Thriller, 2011. Poison Flower was chosen among Booklist’s Best Crime Novels of 2013.

A Review of Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

Ashley Bell: A Novel

by Dean Koontz

4,0

I’ve read a few books by Mr. Koontz over the years. Some of them have been great, others have left me feeling unfulfilled. He certainly knows how to write. His descriptions often make me just stop reading and let the picture that he is painting settle into my brain. His characters often feel so real that you are sure that you really know them.

Ashley Bell begins like one of his best works. I was immediately drawn into the story. Bibi Blair’s character was alive and strong. She was someone who I really wanted to get to know. She was driven and nothing was going to stop her. Not cancer, or anything else.

As the book progresses, you learn more about Bibi. She is an author. One of the ideas that comes up, during a section about writing, is that some authors write a book in a well structured manner. They outline their book, laying out the plot before they even start to write. Other authors jump right in. They develop a main character, and then that character has a life of its own. The character takes the story wherever it ends up going. Bibi is that type of an author, and maybe Dean Koontz subscribes to this philosophy also. That may be why so many of his books have such great characters and the scenes are so realistic. His characters are alive inside of his mind. That also may be why some of his books seem to wander around trying to come up with a satisfying conclusion.

On the whole, Ashley Bell was a captivating book. The story was engaging. I liked Bibi Blair, but the rest of the characters were not that fascinating. I was a little disappointed with some of the story development, but it worked. I think most readers will find it an exciting book and enjoy the multiple storylines.

I give Ashley Bell 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up. If you are a fan, then you probably will like this book. If you have never read Dean Koontz before, this would be a good starting point.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Ashley-Bell-CoverTHE MUST-READ THRILLER OF THE YEAR: Featuring the most exhilarating heroine in memory and a sophisticated, endlessly ingenious, brilliantly paced narrative through dark territory and deep mystery, this is a new milestone in literary suspense and a major new breakout book from the long acclaimed master.

At twenty-two, Bibi Blair’s doctors tell her that she’s dying. Two days later, she’s impossibly cured. Fierce, funny, dauntless, she becomes obsessed with the idea that she was spared because she is meant to save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. This proves to be a dangerous idea. Searching for Ashley Bell, ricocheting through a southern California landscape that proves strange and malevolent in the extreme, Bibi is plunged into a world of crime and conspiracy, following a trail of mysteries that become more sinister and tangled with every twisting turn.

Unprecedented in scope, infinite in heart, Ashley Bell is a magnificent achievement that will capture lovers of dark psychological suspense, literary thrillers, and modern classics of mystery and adventure. Beautifully written, at once lyrical and as fast as a bullet, here is the most irresistible novel of the decade.

Book Details

Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Bantam (December 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345545966
ISBN-13: 978-0345545961
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds

About the Author

dean_photo_1When he was a senior in college, Dean Koontz won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and has been writing ever since. His books are published in 38 languages and he has sold over 450 million copies to date.

Fourteen of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list (One Door Away From HeavenFrom the Corner of His EyeMidnightCold FireThe Bad PlaceHideawayDragon TearsIntensitySole SurvivorThe HusbandOdd HoursRelentlessWhat the Night Knows, and 77 Shadow Street), making him one of only a dozen writers ever to have achieved that milestone. Sixteen of his books have risen to the number one position in paperback. His books have also been major bestsellers in countries as diverse as Japan and Sweden.

The New York Times has called his writing “psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying.” The New Orleans Times-Picayune said Koontz is, “at times lyrical without ever being naive or romantic. [He creates] a grotesque world, much like that of Flannery O’Conner or Walker Percy … scary, worthwhile reading.” Rolling Stone has hailed him as “America’s most popular suspense novelist.”

Dean Koontz was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Shippensburg State College (now Shippensburg University), and his first job after graduation was with the Appalachian Poverty Program, where he was expected to counsel and tutor underprivileged children on a one-to-one basis. His first day on the job, he discovered that the previous occupier of his position had been beaten up by the very kids he had been trying to help and had landed in the hospital for several weeks. The following year was filled with challenge but also tension, and Koontz was more highly motivated than ever to build a career as a writer. He wrote nights and weekends, which he continued to do after leaving the poverty program and going to work as an English teacher in a suburban school district outside Harrisburg. After a year and a half in that position, his wife, Gerda, made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: “I’ll support you for five years,” she said, “and if you can’t make it as a writer in that time, you’ll never make it.” By the end of those five years, Gerda had quit her job to run the business end of her husband’s writing career.

Dean Koontz lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

A Review of Sight Lines by Michelle DiCeglio

Sight Lines

by Michelle DiCeglio

4,0

First things first, I don’t think that the author wrote this book for me. I’m a 66 year-old, retired, male, construction worker. I was a little bit uncomfortable reading a novel where the main character, Lacey Mills. is a lesbian police detective. Her girlfriend was killed two years ago. She is thinking about getting her feet wet, but not sure that she is really ready to get involved with anyone quite yet. She does end up meeting a beautiful young web designer, Alison Rhodes. Ali and Lacey hit it off and before too long, they end up in bed. Now I know guys are supposed to get turned on by some hot girl-on-girl action, but it wasn’t really my thing. BTW, it wasn’t overly explicit either. I wouldn’t call it erotic.

For the most part, Ms. DiCeglio does a good job of bringing Lacey to life. She seems pretty lifelike, just, in my opinion, a bit too emotional to be a cop. It seems like her feelings would interfere with her job. They seem to cloud her judgement at a few crucial moments in this book. She has a hard shell act, but crumbles rather easily. I still liked her and wanted her to get though everything.

Sight Lines is a fast-paced, rather twisty, mystery. The story moves pretty quickly, but does slow down once in a while, mainly when Lacey’s emotions are getting the better of her. I did like some of the tender scenes that took place between Lacey and Ali, and also between Lacey and Bishop, her boss. Overall I enjoyed the story, even though it was a new experience for me.

I give Sight Lines 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up! I think that the target audience for this book is the young, hip, female reader, who is looking for a mystery with a romantic twist. They should connect with this story much more than I did.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Sight-Lines-cover-artPolice Detective Lacey Mills is on a mission to find a serial killer. Still reeling from the unsolved murder of her girlfriend two years earlier, Lacey has buried herself in work for too long. At least that’s what she’s told on her mandatory appointment with a shrink after being involved in a deadly shootout. It’s time to stop running away from every woman who shows interest in her.

When she meets a beautiful web designer named Ali, Lacey follows the doctor’s advice and lets herself take another chance on love. So much for cutting back on work—it turns out Ali has been hiding a big secret that might change the entire direction of Lacey’s murder investigation.

A mystery/suspense from Ellora’s Cave

Book Details

File Size: 758 KB
Print Length: 173 pages
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc (November 6, 2015)
Publication Date: November 6, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B0178ADQF0
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

About the Author

MDMichelle DiCeglio is the author of Sight Lines published through Ellora’s Cave Publishing, LLC. She has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and has been working in corrections and law enforcement for fifteen years. She is the photographer and (sometimes) stage manager for a local theater troupe, and in her spare time she will write and direct short films with her friends. Her photography has been published in newspapers and online magazines/blogs.

Michelle is married, and has two dogs and four cats. She hopes to see her novels turn into a movie or television show one day (Netflix, are you listening?).

Michelle can be reached at michellediceg@gmail.com or her website: michellediceglio.com

She is also on twitter: MLRED219 and SightLinesNovel, and Instagram: MLRED_photography