Tag Archives: Detective

Giveaway for Quicksand by Carolyn Baugh

Giveaway for One Copy of Quicksand by Carolyn Baugh (US and Canada Only)

One chance to win! Contest ends 9/22

Quicksand - Carolyn Baugh

TOR/FORGE Books would like to invite you to enter a contest to win a copy of a new thriller with a unique protagonist, QUICKSAND (A Forge Hardcover; $25.99; On Sale: Sept. 22, 2015).

Carolyn Baugh uses her expertise in Islamic and Women’s Studies to create a captivating protagonist, Egyptian-American female detective Nora Khalil, in this engrossing new suspense series.

Publishers Weekly praises Baugh, “Her action scenes crackle … readers will look forward to seeing more of the plucky Nora.” Don’t miss out on this start to a thrilling new series; details about the book are below.

Contest Details

Here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:

Send an email to contest at mackela dot com.
In the subject line, enter “Quicksand“

In the body of the email, please provide a mailing address (no P.O. Boxes) so the prize can be sent as soon as possible. (The winning address is used only to mail the prize. All other address info will be purged once the giveaway ends.)

Geographic restrictions: This giveaway is open only to residents of the  U.S. and Canada.

The giveaway will end Monday, Tuesday September 22nd (11:00 PM U.S. Eastern Daylight time). The ONE winner will be selected at random. Winners will be announced here on September 23rd. I will also send an email to the lucky winner.

Good Luck!

Book Description

Quicksand: The beginning of an engrossing new suspense series featuring Philadelphia policewoman Nora Khalil by Carolyn Baugh, acclaimed author of The View From Garden City.

Officer Nora Khalil is used to navigating different terrains. As part of a joint task force set up by the Philadelphia Police Department, the FBI, and the local sheriff’s offices, she works to keep Philly’s mean streets safe from gang violence, while trying to honor the expectations of her traditional Egyptian-American family. She can hold her own against hardened murderers and rapists, and her years as a competitive runner ensure that no suspect ever escapes on foot.

Nora tries to keep her professional and personal lives separate, but when a mutilated body is discovered in a tough section of town, Nora must rely on both her police training and her cultural background to find out whether this is another gang-related killing or the grisly evidence of something even darker and more disturbing.

“I’ve spent twenty-five years acquiring ninja Arabic skills, and that ability has allowed me access to worlds not everyone gets to tread.  I wanted to pay homage to some of the tough level-headedness I’ve found in so many of the women I’ve come to know.”
—Carolyn Baugh on her motivations to write QUICKSAND

About the Author

Carolyn Baugh Author PhotoDr. Carolyn Baugh holds both a Master’s (2008) and a Doctorate (2011) from the University of Pennsylvania in Arabic and Islamic Studies. She is an Assistant Professor of History at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses in Middle East and world history and also directs the Women’s Studies Program. Her graduate research focused on minor marriage in early Islamic law, while her translation work includes the Sufi treatise of the celebrated 14th century jurist and scholar Ibn Khaldun. Dr. Baugh co-directs the Erie Voices refugee oral history project geared at collecting the stories of Erie’s diverse refugee community for purposes of increasing tolerance and understanding between cultures. She is faculty advisor for Students United against Human Trafficking and the Muslim Students Association. She is a failed concert pianist, a psychotic soccer mom to two indomitable girls, and the only one in the house who feeds Oreo the Cat.

Visit her website  http://www.carolynbaugh.com/

A Review of Dance of the Bones by J.A. Jance

Dance of the Bones (J.P. Beaumont #22)

by J.A. Jance

Dance of the Bones is the second book that I’ve read that was written by J.A. Jance. This is a different series than Remains of Innocence, which featured Sheriff Joanna Brady. I was able to figure out what was going on in Dance of the Bones, even though I hadn’t read the previous books in the series.

I think that a J.P. Beaumont fan would have enjoyed it more than I did. I was rather put off by all the time the author had her characters mulling over past events. I can understand how that can allow a true fan to relive some of his fond memories of previous books, but come on, what a reader really wants is a story, that takes place now, that moves forward, instead of always looking back.

Since I’m not a die-hard fan, I can’t judge what they will think of Dance of the Bones, but I can tell you that I had to force myself to finish it. There’s nothing wrong with the writing, I just wasn’t really interested in the story. The action was slow and jumped around too much. And the way the characters were constantly thinking about the past; well I already covered that.

I give Dance of the Bones 3 Stars out of 5, and only recommend it to J.P. Beaumont and Brandon Walker fans.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Dance of the BonesJ. P. Beaumont and Brandon Walker, two of New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s most acclaimed series characters, join forces for the first time in one of the most suspenseful works of her career.

Years ago, Amos Warren, a prospector, was gunned down out in the desert and Sheriff Brandon Walker made the arrest in the case. Now, the retired Walker is called in when the alleged killer, John Lassiter, refuses to accept a plea deal that would release him from prison with time served. Lassiter wants Brandon and The Last Chance to find Amos’s “real” killer and clear his name.

Sixteen hundred miles to the north in Seattle, J.P. Beaumont is at loose ends after the Special Homicide Investigation Team, affectionately known as S.H.I.T., has been unexpectedly and completely disbanded. When Brandon discovers that there are links between Lassiter’s case and an unsolved case in Seattle, he comes to Beau for help.

Those two cases suddenly become hot when two young boys from the reservation, one of them with close ties to the Walker family, go missing. Can two seasoned cops, working together, decipher the missing pieces in time to keep them alive?

Book Details

Series: J. P. Beaumont and Brandon Walker
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (September 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006229766X
ISBN-13: 978-0062297662
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

Photo by Mary Ann Halpin
Photo by Mary Ann Halpin

J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and five interrelated thrillers about the Walker family, as well as a volume of poetry. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

A Review of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)

by Robert Galbraith

Well, I guess that I came pretty late to this party, but I finally made it. Since Career of Evil, the third book in the Cormoran Strike series, is coming out this October 20th, I decided to start at the beginning with The Cuckoo’s Calling. So I borrowed both the eBook and the audiobook from my local library. I started listening to the audiobook, read by Robert Glenister. He is perfect for this book. He reads with just enough characterization to the voices that you always know who is talking, but it never feels overdone. After getting well into the book, I switched back and forth between to two versions whenever it was appropriate.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a very good mystery. I liked the story quite a bit. It was interesting and well plotted. But what really made this book worth reading was the two main characters, Comoran Strike and Robin Ellacott. J K Rowling developed these two characters and their personalities slowly and realistically. The interaction between the downtrodden detective and his temporary secretary is quite engaging. You will like them both, and will want to continue reading this series, just so that you can find out more about them.

I give The Cuckoo’s Calling 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! I think that nearly anyone who likes reading a good mystery, will enjoy it. If you like listening to audiobooks, give this one a listen. It is very good.

Book Description

thecuckooscallingThe Cuckoo’s Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

Book Details

Series: A Cormoran Strike Novel (Book 1)
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books (April 30, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316206849
ISBN-13: 978-0316206846
Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.1 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

About the Author

Robert Galbraith is a pen name used by J K Rowling, the British novelist best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series.

A Review of In the Dark Places by Peter Robinson

In the Dark Places: An Inspector Banks Novel

by Peter Robinson

I read my first Inspector Banks book last year. I really liked it. (My review of Children of the Revolution) DCI Banks was the main focus of that book. In the Dark Places shines the spotlight on the rest of his group, and that’s a good thing. I liked getting to know them. It also allows the story to splinter along different tracks. It has many things happening at the same time. You really have to pay attention, because the action jumps around quite a bit. That scene shifting does allow for more tension. It was actually quite exciting and hard to put down. I had expected the slower pace of Children of the Revolution, but this book is a Mystery Thriller, with emphasis on the thriller part.

I was surprised by the contrast in styles of the two Inspector Banks books that I read, so I put a couple of the previous books in the series on hold at my local library. I’m looking forward to reading them. I love the setting in Northern England, with its rural feel and small town type of crime, and the mixture of characters in these books. I want to get to know them better.

I give In the Dark Places 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! If you haven’t been reading the Inspector Banks series, you can start with this one, but don’t stop here, I won’t.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

In the Dark Places by Peter RobinsonPublished in the United Kingdom and Canada as Abattoir Blues

Louise Penny calls In the Dark Places “brilliant.” Tess Gerritsen says it’s “thrilling.” And Michael Connelly describes Peter Robinson as “amazing.” One of the world’s greatest suspense writers returns with this sensational new novel featuring Inspector Alan Banks, hailed by Michael Connelly as “a man for all seasons.”

It’s a double mystery: Two young men have vanished, and the investigation leads to two troubling clues in two different locations.

As Banks and his team scramble for answers, the inquiry takes an even darker turn when a truck careens off an icy road in a freak hailstorm. In the wreckage, rescuers find the driver, who was killed on impact, as well as another body—a body that was dead well before the crash.

Snow falls. The body count rises. And Banks, perceptive and curious as ever, feels himself being drawn deeper into a web of crime, and at its center something—or someone—dark and dangerous lying in wait.

Vibrating with tension, ingeniously plotted, and filled with soul and poignancy, In the Dark Places is a remarkable achievement from this masterful talent.

Book Details

Series: Inspector Banks Novels (Book 22)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (August 11, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062240544
ISBN-13: 978-0062240545
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound

About the Author

Photo by Niall McDiarmid
Photo by Niall McDiarmid

One of the world’s most popular and acclaimed writers, Peter Robinson grew up in the United Kingdom, and now divides his time between Toronto and England. The bestselling, award-winning author of twenty-two books in the Inspector Banks series, he has also written two short-story collections and three standalone novels. Among his many honors and prizes are the Edgar Award, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, Sweden’s Martin Beck Award, and the Danish Palle Rosenkrantz award.

 

A Review of Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild

Blood Ties

by Nicholas Guild

This book grabbed me from the first page. It was exciting and horrifying, and I couldn’t put it down. The murders were shocking. They drew you into the story. You wanted Ellen Ridley to do whatever she needed to do to get this psychopath off the street. She had suspicions and maybe went a little out-of-bounds trying to get evidence against her prime suspect, but you didn’t care.

The first half of Blood Ties was bordering on a horror, mystery, thriller. It was so intense that I had to stop reading, because it was getting late and I didn’t want to have nightmares. I was expecting some really horrific twists and surprises; but when I picked up the book the next day, I was disappointed. It had changed from a mystery to a chase. You knew who the bad guy was. All that was left was catching him. That wasn’t easy, but still, that wasn’t what I was expecting.

Mr. Guild really knows how to write a tension filled story. He brings his characters to life. I guess that maybe I’ve read too many thrillers where the tension slowly builds, and then about halfway through the book, all hell breaks loose. I figured that was what was going to happen in Blood Ties. So I was a bit disappointed. I was so impressed with the start of the book, and was hoping for more. Don’t get me wrong, the story was still very good, but I really thought that I was reading a 5 Star book. I had very high expectations.

I give Blood Ties 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. If you like mysteries with an edge to them, that approach horror, but never quite cross the line, I think you should give this book a try.

I received a hardcover copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

blood ties hc mech.inddHomicide detective Ellen Ridley of the SFPD is tracking a serial killer terrorizing young women in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ridley is sure she’s cornered her most likely suspect: Stephen Tregear, a hacker and code breaker who works for U.S. Naval Intelligence. But Tregear is not the killer… he’s the killer’s son.

Ridley and Tregear team up to look for Tregear’s father, Walter, in an elaborate game of murderous cat and mouse. As the body count rises, Ridley must race against the clock to stop Walter before he kills any more women–and Tregear must finally confront the father who has been trying to kill him for twenty years. Blood Ties is an elegant and frightening thriller from Nicholas Guild.

Book Details

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Forge Books (May 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765378450
ISBN-13: 978-0765378453
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

About the Author

nicholas guild 2NICHOLAS GUILD was born in Belmont, California and attended Occidental College and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at Clemson and Ohio State before turning full-time to writing fiction. He has published a dozen novels, several of which were international bestsellers including The Assyrian (1998), Blood Star (1989), and Angel (1995). Guild now lives in Fredrick, Maryland.

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A Review of Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

Speaking in Bones (Temperance Brennan #18)

by Kathy Reichs

It seems like a lot of books and television shows are picking up on lesser publicized topics lately. Speaking in Bones brings web sleuthing to the foreground. This is another one of those internet activities that can possibly do some good in certain instances, but much of the time the sites and the people involved on those sites become obsessed and go way overboard. Here is a link to a USA Today article Web sleuthing leads to ID of girl found dead in N.Y. The article tells how Carl Koppelman saw a picture of a missing girl and was able to connect her to an unidentified body of a girl that was found dead in 1979. He is a member of Websleuths.com.

Much of what Temperance Brennan does is to gather clues from skeletonized remains found in remote locations. Most of those cases involve trying to identify the victim. The involvement of an avid web sleuth in this book who thinks that she can do a better job than the police are doing, gets under Brennan’s skin. Brennan finds herself in danger because she can’t let it go. She feels that she has to figure this out and therefore doesn’t take normal precautions, such as calling for backup. You can imagine how that works out.

This was another exciting book in the Temperance Brennan series. I enjoyed the web sleuth theme of this book, and it made me do a little research into the phenomenon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready to join in, but this book may get Websleuths.com a few new members. It seems like a worthwhile use of one’s internet connection.

Like I have said in previous reviews, this series is nothing like the US TV series, Bones. You have to read these books without any expectation that there will be connections between the two. They are totally separate. Temperance Brennan is a totally different character in each series. I happen to like them both, but your mileage may vary.

I give Speaking in Bones 4 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up! I liked the way the book taught me about web sleuthing, and think that it is worthwhile to let people know about it.

I received a Digital Readers Copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

Speaking in Bones 2The latest blockbuster suspense novel in the pulse-pounding Temperance Brennan series, from #1 New York Times bestselling author and forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs.

For every case Temperence Brennan has solved, there remain innumerable unidentified bodies in her lab. Information on some of these is available online, where amateur sleuths sometimes take a stab at solving cases. One day, Tempe gets a call from Hazel “Lucky” Strike, a web sleuth who believes she’s successfully connected a body in Tempe’s lab to a missing persons report on an eighteen-year-old named Cora Teague. Since the bones in her lab do seem to match Cora’s medical records, Tempe looks into the case, returning to the spot where the bones were originally found. What seems at first to be an isolated tragedy takes on a more sinister cast as Tempe uncovers two more sets of bones nearby. When she then learns that the area is known as a viewing point for a famous unexplained light phenomenon with significance for a local cult, Tempe’s suspicious turn to murder by ritual sacrifice—a theory thrown into question when Hazel herself turns up dead. Still reeling from her mother’s diagnosis and the shock of Andrew Ryan’s potentially life-change proposal, Tempe races to solve the murders before the body count climbs further.

Book Details

Series: Temperance Brennan (Book 18)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Bantam (July 21, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345544048
ISBN-13: 978-0345544049
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

Kathy-ReichsKathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan novels include Death du Jour, Deadly Décisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, and Bones of the Lost, and the Temperance Brennan e-short, Bones In Her Pocket. In addition, Kathy co-authors the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, and Exposure, along with two Virals e-novellas, Shift and Swipe. These books follow the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan.  Dr. Reichs is also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only eighty-two forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.

 

A Review of From Bruges With Love by Pieter Aspe

From Bruges With Love

by Pieter Aspe

This book is a new translation of a Belgian bestseller that was published in the late 90s. This is the third book in the “Pieter Van In Mystery” series to be published by Open Road in the United States. I read and reviewed The Square of Revenge in 2013. I can understand why this series is so popular in Europe. Commissioner Van In is an old school type detective. He uses forensic evidence, but doesn’t depend on it. He makes connections that some other officers may miss. He also crosses the line sometimes. His methods are unconventional but they get results.

Van In’s new wife, Hannelore Martens, is a deputy public prosecutor, and also is pregnant with Pieter’s child. They work together on this case, but aren’t partners. Sergeant Versavel is Van Inn’s partner. Hugo Vermast’s daughter has found a human bone in their backyard. One bone leads to an unexpected discovery of corruption and depravity running rampant beneath the proper Bruges populace.

I have trouble keeping the characters straight when I first start reading these books. I’m not used to so many last names starting with Ver or Van. I get bogged down if I try to keep them all straight, so I found that if I just keep reading and don’t worry about it, they all work themselves out by the end. Maybe I’ll remember that when I read the next book in the series.

I really do enjoy this series. It’s entertaining and fun. Brian Doyle has kept the Belgian feel in the translation. From Bruges With Love had enough twists and side stories going on so that I really never knew how it was going to end. I enjoy the characters. They are multifaceted and believable. I will look forward to reading the next book in this series.

I give From Bruges With Love 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. If you are in the mood for a quirky Belgian mystery, this one will fit the bill.

I received a Digital Readers Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

From Bruges With Love sBehind the glamorous facade of elite Belgian society lies a seedy world unseen by the public eye—but nothing stays hidden forever 

Inspector Pieter Van In is begrudgingly finishing up a healthy lunch when he hears the news: While restoring their farmhouse, the Vermasts have found a skeleton in the backyard. Van In, who happens to be married to the deputy public prosecutor, is determined to solve the case in double-quick time and squeeze in one last vacation before the birth of his first child.

But this murder is trickier than it looks. The Vermasts’ land belonged to the most prominent businessman in West Flanders before it was suddenly handed over to a right-wing charity. The heavily endowed foundation appears to have no expenditures or investments. So who’s financing it—and why?

Before he knows it, Van In finds himself in the middle of a complex web—one that involves high-level officials, local law enforcement, and common thugs. The harder he tries to unravel the thread, the more difficult it becomes to uncover the secrets that the charity’s benefactors are trying to hide. This time Van In will have to risk lives to find out the truth.

Book Details

Series: The Pieter Van In Mysteries
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (July 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1497678897
ISBN-13: 978-1497678897
Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces

About the Author

Pieter AspePieter Aspe was born on April 3, 1953 in Brugge, Flanders, Belgium as Pierre Aspeslag. He is a writer and actor.

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A Review of Solitude Creek (A Kathryn Dance Novel) by Jeffery Deaver

Solitude Creek

by Jeffery Deaver

I always look forward to a new novel from Jeffery Deaver. I know that I will be put on a roller coaster, with twists and turns galore. I know that I will never be able to figure out what is going on until Mr. Deaver puts it down in black and white, and then half the time he is misleading me. He lets me think that he means one thing, but it really is something entirely different. I love all the misdirection.

Most of Mr. Deaver’s books have a lot of implied horrors. He tells you about events, but doesn’t subject you to blood and gore. The way he writes his books, the anticipation of something bad happening is worse than if he had described a massacre. Your brain makes its own nightmares.

When Mr. Deaver writes books for the Kathryn Dance series he tones down the nightmares a bit, so if you have read the Lincoln Rhyme series and found them a little too intense, then this series will be better for you. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of twists, wrong turns, and “Oh no”s in Solitude Creek, but it won’t give you any sleepless nights. Unless you stay up all night reading, since this book is very difficult to put down.

I enjoyed Solitude Creek and read it very quickly since it was so exciting. Some of the twists that Mr. Deaver used were kind of far-fetched, but that didn’t really affect my enjoyment. Once again I didn’t figure out most of the puzzles before Mr. Deaver revealed the answers. I was sure I had figured out a couple of things, and was sort of smug, thinking that finally I gotten something right before the reveal, but once again I was wrong. One of these days I will figure out Jeffery Deaver, just not in this book.

I give Solitude Creek 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up. If you haven’t read any Jeffery Deaver books, this would be a good introduction.

Book Description

solitude-creekJeffery Deaver, “the master of manipulation” (Associated Press) and “the most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world.” (Daily Telegraph, UK) returns with the new, long-awaited, Kathryn Dance thriller.

A tragedy occurs at a small concert venue on the Monterey Peninsula. Cries of “fire” are raised and, panicked, people run for the doors, only to find them blocked. A half-dozen people die and others are seriously injured. But it’s the panic and the stampede that killed; there was no fire.
Kathryn Dance–a brilliant California Bureau of Investigation agent and body language expert–discovers that the stampede was caused intentionally and that the perpetrator, a man obsessed with turning people’s own fears and greed into weapons, has more attacks planned. She and her team must race against the clock to find where he will strike next before more innocents die.

Book Details

Series: A Kathryn Dance Novel
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (May 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1455517151
ISBN-13: 978-1455517152
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds

About the Author

Jeffery Deaver is the #1 international bestselling author of more than thirty novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction law book. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. He’s received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world. A former journalist, folksinger, and attorney, he was born outside of Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University. You can visit his website at http://www.JefferyDeaver.com.

Born just outside Chicago in 1950 to an advertising copywriter father and stay-at-home mom, Jeffery Deaver was a writer from the start, penning his first book (a brief tome just two chapters in length) at age 11. He went on to edit his high school literary magazine and serve on the staff of the school newspaper, chasing the dream of becoming a crack reporter.
Upon earning his B.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, Deaver realized that he lacked the necessary background to become a legal correspondent for the high-profile publications he aspired to, such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, so he enrolled at Fordham Law School. Being a legal eagle soon grew on Deaver, and rather than continue on as a reporter, he took a job as a corporate lawyer at a top Wall Street firm. Deaver’s detour from the writing life wasn’t to last, however; ironically, it was his substantial commute to the law office that touched off his third — and current — career. He’d fill the long hours on the train scribbling his own renditions of the kind of fiction he enjoyed reading most: suspense.
Voodoo, a supernatural thriller, and Always a Thief, an art-theft caper, were Deaver’s first published novels. Produced by the now-defunct Paperjacks paperback original house, the books are no longer in print, but they remain hot items on the collector circuit. His first major outing was the Rune series, which followed the adventures of an aspiring female filmmaker in the power trilogy Manhattan Is My Beat(1988), Death of a Blue Movie Star (1990), and Hard News (1991).
Deaver’s next series, this one featuring the adventures of ace movie location scout John Pellam, featured the thrillers Shallow Graves(1992), Bloody River Blues (1993), and Hell’s Kitchen (2001). Written under the pen name William Jefferies, the series stands out in Deaver’s body of work, primarily because it touched off his talent for focusing more on his vivid characters than on their perilous situations.
In fact, it is his series featuring the intrepid and beloved team of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs that showcases Deaver at the top of his game. Confronting enormous odds (and always under somewhat gruesome circumstances), the embittered detective and his feisty partner and love interest made their debut in 1991’s grisly caper The Bone Collector, and hooked fans for four more books: The Coffin Dancer (1998), The Empty Chair (2000), The Stone Monkey (2002), and The Vanishing Man(2003). Of the series, Kirkus Reviews observed, “Deaver marries forensic work that would do Patricia Cornwell proud to turbocharged plots that put Benzedrine to shame.”
On the creation of Rhyme, who happens to be a paraplegic, Deaver explained to Shots magazine, “I wanted to create a Sherlock Holmes-ian kind of character that uses his mind rather than his body. He solves crimes by thinking about the crimes, rather than someone who can shoot straight, run faster, or walk into the bar and trick people into giving away the clues.”
As for his reputation for conjuring up some of the most unsavory scenes in pop crime fiction, Deaver admits on his web site, “In general, I think, less is more, and that if a reader stops reading because a book is too icky then I’ve failed in my obligation to the readers.”

Good To Know
Deaver revises his manuscripts “at least 20 or 30 times” before his publishers get to even see a version.
Two of his books have been made into major feature films. The first was A Maiden’s Grave (the film adaptation was called Dead Silence), which starred James Garner and Marlee Matlin. The Bone Collectorcame next, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
In addition to being a bestselling novelist, Deaver has also been a folksinger, songwriter, music researcher, and professional poet.
Deaver’s younger sister, Julie Reece Deaver, is a fellow author who writes novels for young adults.
In our interview with Deaver, he reveals, “My inspiration for writing is the reader. I want to give readers whatever will excite and please them. It’s absolutely vital in this business for authors to know their audience and to write with them in mind.”

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A Review of Night Life: A Novel by David C. Taylor

Night Life: A Novel

by David C. Taylor

I’ve read quite a few mystery books set in the 1950s, but none of them grabbed me as quickly as Night Life did. From the opening pages, Mr. Taylor had me. His descriptive language put me right into the era. I was in New York City in 1954. I was looking around and seeing real life. A life that I never really lived, but a life that I felt part of. Mr. Taylor gives you everything that you ever wished for in a piece of noir fiction. He has well developed characters with lives that you care about set in an authentic landscape. He has hard-hitting, straight forward action, that is mixed together with some of the most ruthless protagonists that you will ever meet. The story has many layers. It’s like an onion, and Michael Cassidy has to peel away the layers to get to the truth. He has to battle the F.B.I. and C.I.A. along with Russian agents and even Senator Joe McCarthy’s public hearings investigating the Communist threat in America. It is a path with twists and turns galore.

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I give Night Life 5 Stars out of 5 and Two Big Thumbs Up! You must track this book down. If you read authentic hard-hitting mysteries, you are going to love this.

I received a hardcover copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

David Taylor - Night LifeNight Life first of a transporting historical crime fiction series from David C. Taylor.

New York City in 1954. The Cold War is heating up. Senator Joe McCarthy is running a witch hunt for Communists in America. The newly formed CIA is fighting a turf battle with the FBI to see who will be the primary US intelligence agency. And the bodies of murdered young men are turning up in the city.

Michael Cassidy has an unusual background for a New York cop. His father, a refugee from Eastern Europe, is a successful Broadway producer. His godfather is Frank Costello, a Mafia boss. Cassidy also has an unusual way of going about the business of being a cop-maybe that’s why he threw a fellow officer out a third story window of the Cortland Hotel.

Cassidy is assigned to the case of Alexander Ingram, a Broadway chorus dancer found tortured and dead in his apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. Complications grow as other young men are murdered one after the other. And why are the FBI, the CIA, and the Mafia interested in the death of a Broadway gypsy?

Meanwhile, a mysterious, beautiful woman moves into Cassidy’s building in Greenwich Village. Is Dylan McCue a lover or an enemy? Cassidy is plagued by nightmares-dreams that sometimes become reality. And he has been dreaming that someone is coming to kill him.

Book Details

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Forge Books (March 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765374838
ISBN-13: 978-0765374837
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

About the Author

david-c-taylorDavid C. Taylor, author of Night Life, was born and raised in New York City. He spent twenty years in Los Angeles writing for television and the movies. He has published short stories and magazine articles, and has had an Off-Broadway musical produced in New York. He now divides his time between Boston and the coast of Maine.

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A Review of Cash Landing: A Novel by James Grippando

Cash Landing: A Novel

by James Grippando

Cash Landing feels like an Elmore Leonard crime caper gone wrong. It’s set in South Florida. A couple of guys get some inside info on how the can easily score a major theft of clean U.S. currency being brought back into the country. They figure that since it will be so easy that the best idea would be to have it be a family affair. So they make their plans, enlist the family, and are ready to go. From then on, things start to go wrong.

Mr. Grippando based Cash Landing on a real life heist that happened in Miami. The following is from jamesgrippando.com

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND CASH LANDING 

“It reads like a movie script . . . Only this was no blockbuster action film. It was a real-life crime drama straight from the streets of Miami.”

Those aren’t James Grippando’s words. They come straight from the FBI’s official website, the bureau’s own description of one of the biggest airport heists in history—$7.8 million in cash stolen by a band of amateur thieves. That real life caper is the inspiration for James Grippando’s twenty-fourth thriller, Cash Landing (HarperCollins Publishers June 2, 2015).

Who were the real life crooks?   The “mastermind,” Karls Monzon, teamed up with his uncle, an ex-con; his cocaine- addicted brother in law; and an insider who worked for Brinks Security, Onelio Diaz. Diaz was Monzon’s neighbor and friend since childhood, and he drove one of the armored trucks that regularly shuttled millions of dollars in cash from Miami International Airport to the Federal Reserve Branch just four miles from the airport.

How much cash are we talking about? Every week a 747 leaves Frankfurt and lands at MIA with anywhere from $80 million to $100 million in U.S. dollars in the cargo belly. German banks don’t need all those fifty- and hundred-dollar bills, and much of Miami’s economy runs on cash.

How did this rag-tag group pull off the heist? The cash is shipped in 38-pound bags, each holding almost $2 million in bricks of bills. The bags have to be opened to clear customs in a warehouse at MIA. Diaz, the security guard, told Monzon about the security failings inside the warehouse: The bills lay exposed; the security cameras didn’t work; the guards removed their guns before entering the building; and most alluring of all, the warehouse’s enormous bay doors led directly onto the street, which meant that any getaway vehicle could bypass the perimeter fence and the airport gatehouse. For an even cut of the haul, Diaz signaled to Monzon when it was time to strike. The gang drove up to the loading dock in a pickup, covered their faces with bandanas, brandished a handgun, and hurried to grab as many bags of cash as they could carry. They dropped one of the forty-pound bags their way out, but they still managed to speed away with Monzon’s cokehead brother-in-law at the wheel and $7.8 million in the bed of the pickup.

How did they get caught? They started flashing money—especially Monzon’s brother-in-law, who loved strippers even more than cocaine. He started buying dancers $40,000 Rolex watches.   An unidentified informant tipped off law enforcement, and the FBI got a wiretap on Monzon’s cellphone. But the FBI was only half their problem. A rival gang kidnapped Monzon’s brother-in-law and demanded a hefty ransom—all of which the FBI was monitoring by wiretap. When it appeared that Monzon’s brother-in-law was in imminent danger, the FBI swooped in. They arrested Monzon, his wife, and Diaz. After a high speed chase, another group of agents nabbed the kidnappers and Monzon’s brother-in-law.

Where are they now?   Federal prison. Monzon, Diaz and the rest of his gang got long prison sentences. The kidnappers got even longer ones—35 years.

Was the money recovered? Only about a million dollars was recovered. The rest? Only the gang knows.

How did you find out about it? The federal judge who presided at the trial is a friend. He’s been on the bench for years, and he told me that this was the wildest case he’d ever seen—and, mind you, he sits in Miami, where “bizarre” is an everyday occurrence. He said, “James, you’ve got to write a book about this.”

How did you turn this true crime story into a work of fiction?
I considered writing it as nonfiction, but the best sources weren’t available. Monzon and his gang are up for parole soon, and I can’t blame them for not wanting to talk to me. You may recall that the movie Goodfellas, which was based on the real life airport heist at JFK in 1978, was made possible by the book “Wise Guys” written by the mob informant Henry Hill.   To this day, the FBI has not identified the informant who tipped off the FBI about Monzon and his gang. In the end, Cash Landing just works better as fiction. It’s a face paced and compelling story that allowed me to further develop one of my favorite characters, FBI Agent Andie Henning, who has appeared in nine of my previous novels.

 Cash Landing is a well written caper novel, with believable characters that do stupid things once they get their hands on huge amounts of untraceable cash. It’s fun to see the extremes that people go to when they think that they are rich.

I give Cash Landing 4 1/2 Stars, and a Big Thumbs Up!

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Cash LandingThe New York Times bestselling author of Cane and Abe and Black Horizon blends Goodfellas and Elmore Leonard in this wild, suspenseful caper inspired by actual events, in which a band of amateur thieves pulls off one of the biggest airport heists in history with deadly consequences.

Every week, a hundred million dollars in cash arrives at Miami International Airport, shipped by German banks to the Federal Reserve. A select group of trusted workers moves the bags through Customs and loads them into armored trucks.

Ruban Betancourt has always played by the rules. But the bank taking his house and his restaurant business going bust has driven him over the edge. He and his wife deserve more than life has handed them, and he’s come up with a ballsy scheme to get it. With the help of an airport insider, he, his coke-head brother-in-law, Jeffrey, and two ex-cons surprise the guards loading the armored trucks and speed off with $7.4 million in the bed of a pickup truck.

Investigating the heist, FBI agent Andie Henning, newly transferred to Miami from Seattle, knows the best way to catch the thieves is to follow the money. Jeffrey’s drug addiction is as conspicuous as the Rolex watches he buys for dancers at the Gold Rush strip club. One of the ex-cons, Pinky Perez, makes no secret of his plan to own a swinger’s club—which will allow him carte blanche with his patrons’ wives. Levelheaded Ruban is desperately trying to lay low and hold things together.

But Agent Henning isn’t the only one on their trail, and in the mob-meets-Miami fashion, these accidental thieves suddenly find themselves way in over their heads . . . and sinking fast.

Book Details

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Harper (June 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062295454
ISBN-13: 978-0062295453
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

James GrippandoJames Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense. Cash Landing is his twenty-third novel. James Grippando was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and he now serves as counsel to 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 he’s a dog.

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