Tag Archives: San Francisco

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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GiveAway for Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild starts May 1st!

Tor/Forge Books #GiveAway
BLOOD TIES by Nicholas Guild
Starts May 1st

(Limited to readers who live in the U.S. and Canada)

blood ties hc mech.inddI’m happy that three of my readers have a chance to win a copy of NICHOLAS GUILD’s engrossing novel BLOOD TIES (A Forge Hardcover; $25.99; On-sale May 12, 2015)! Guild books have been published from Japan to Russia and several have been international bestsellers.  He has written thrillers, historical novels and, most recently, a ghost story.  Early in his career he was recognized as a writer of abundant grace, power and technical agility.  Publishers Weekly described him as “a master of timing, plot and style.” Now FORGE Books will publish his highly anticipated novel, BLOOD TIES. A mystery/thriller set in the San Francisco Bay Area mixed with secret government alliance, hackers, code breakers and a relentless serial killer. BLOOD TIES captures readers pulling them into an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

A Review of The Keeper by John Lescroart

The Keeper by John LescroatThe Keeper (Dismas Hardy)
by John Lescroart

This is the fifteenth book in the Dismas Hardy series, but most of the story is told from the point of view of former homicide detective Abe Glitsky. He has been retired for about 6 months and Hardy hires him as an investigator. He was bored reading books and watching TV, so he was quite willing to go out and do something useful, even though he felt like a turncoat, working for the defense. Hardy gives him a lot of freedom. He just wants him to find out who killed his client’s wife. Glitsky is a veteran detective, so he knows what to do. Before too long the DA needs a new investigator, when one of his people is killed, so he hires Glitsky, still with the imperative to find out the truth.

This book is a fairly run of the mill Police Procedural. It works well as a stand alone story, and you don’t feel like you jumped into the middle of a series. Abe Glitsky is a fairly fleshed out character, and you get a feel that he could have a future as an investigator for the DAs office. He is the only character that gets to be filled out. The rest of the players are more two-dimensional bit characters, you probably know them if you have followed this series.

I enjoyed The Keeper, but wasn’t glued to the page. The story plodded along without too much happening other than Glitsky’s detective work and home life. There wasn’t too much tension, it felt more like a Police Procedural from the UK than an American Police Procedural.

I give this book 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. I liked Glitsky, but the plot could have used a few more twists and surprises.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.

Book Description

Release date: May 6, 2014

From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, a riveting novel featuring Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky on the hunt for clues about a woman who has gone missing.

On the evening before Thanksgiving, Hal Chase, a guard in the San Francisco County Jail, drives to the airport to pick up his step-brother for the weekend. When they return, Hal’s wife, Katie, has disappeared without a clue.

By the time Dismas Hardy hears about this, Katie has been missing for five days. The case strikes close to home because Katie had been seeing Hardy’s wife, a marriage counselor. By this time, the original Missing Persons case has become a suspected homicide, and Hal is the prime suspect. And the lawyer he wants for his defense is none other than Hardy himself.

Hardy calls on his friend, former homicide detective Abe Glitsky, to look into the case. At first it seems like the police might have it right; the Chases’ marriage was fraught with problems; Hal’s alibi is suspect; the life insurance policy on Katie was huge. But Glitsky’s mission is to identify other possible suspects, and there proves to be no shortage of them: Patti Orosco—rich, beautiful, dangerous, and Hal’s former lover; the still unknown person who had a recent affair with Katie; even Hal’s own step-mother Ruth, resentful of Katie’s gatekeeping against her grandchildren. And as Glitsky probes further, he learns of an incident at the San Francisco jail, where Hal works—only one of many questionable inmate deaths that have taken place there. Then, when Katie’s body is found not three blocks from the Chase home, Homicide arrests Hal and he finds himself an inmate in the very jail where he used to work, a place full of secrets he knows all too well.

Against this backdrop of conspiracy and corruption, ambiguous motives and suspicious alibis, an obsessed Glitsky closes in on the elusive truth. As other deaths begin to pile up he realizes, perhaps too late, that the next victim might be himself.

Product Details

Series: Dismas Hardy Book 15
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (May 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476709181
ISBN-13: 978-1476709185
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound

About the Author

John Lescroart is the New York Times Bestselling author of twenty-four novels, including most recently THE OPHELIA CUT, available online and in bookstores now. He has written sixteen novels in the San Francisco based Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series. Libraries Unlimited has included him in its publication “The 100 Most Popular Thriller and Suspense Authors,” his books have been translated into twenty languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories appear in many anthologies.

John’s blog at JohnLescroart.com is updated regularly with writing tips, insights on his books, recipes, recommendations, book give-aways, and more!

The book description is from Amazon.  The Keeper (Dismas Hardy)

A Review of The Ophelia Cut By John Lescroart

TheOpheliaCutThe Ophelia Cut
By John Lescroart
Atria Books: May 7, 2013
I’m not real sure what to say about this book. The story is interesting and I really wanted to like it, but it seems like Mr. Lescroart lost his way. The conclusion is not very satisfying. I had an idea of where the story was headed but then a few things happened that mixed it all up. They weren’t the plot twists that you expect and look forward to in the normal mystery novel. It was more that the author didn’t know what to do with his story, so he came up with a bunch of off the wall ideas, threw them into a hat and picked out a few and called it the conclusion of his book. 
I give this book 2 Stars out of 5 because even though it was well written, and some of the characters felt fleshed out, the ending was disturbing, hollow, and didn’t really tie up all the loose ends. I didn’t feel that this was the “cliff hanger” ending of a continuing series, so I’m really not sure why you are left out to dry.
I received this book for free from NetGalley.com.
Book Description
Release date: May 7, 2013 | Series: Dismas Hardy
Moses McGuire has good reason to be concerned about his beautiful twenty-three-year-old daughter, Brittany. She moves quickly from one boyfriend to the next, and always seems to prefer a new and mysterious stranger to a man she knows something about. But her most recent ex, Rick Jessup, isn’t willing to let her go, culminating in a terrible night when Brittany is raped.
Within twenty-four hours, Rick Jessup is dead, Moses McGuire is the prime suspect in the investigation, and Dismas Hardy has been hired to defend his brother-in-law. Making things even more complicated, McGuire has fallen off the wagon, and his stay in prison could bring to light old secrets that would destroy Hardy and his closest colleagues’ careers.
As the overwhelming evidence against McGuire piles up, Dismas Hardy focuses on planting doubt in the minds of the jurors—until, in a feat of legal ingenuity that is staggering in both its implications and its simplicity, Hardy sees a new way forward that might just save them all. But at what price?
For the first time since 2009, Dismas Hardy, the author’s most beloved protagonist, returns in a masterful novel that showcases Lescroart’s extraordinary story-telling gifts: a cast of flesh-and-blood characters, morally complex situations, and relentless, nail-biting suspense.

Product Details
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (May 7, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476709157
ISBN-13: 978-1476709154
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author
John Lescroart is the New York Times Bestselling author of twenty-three novels, including most recently THE HUNTER, available online and in bookstores now. He has written fifteen novels in the San Francisco based Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series. Libraries Unlimited has included him in its publication “The 100 Most Popular Thriller and Suspense Authors,” his books have been translated into twenty languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories appear in many anthologies. 
John’s blog at JohnLescroart.com is updated regularly with writing tips, insights on his books, recipes, recommendations, book give-aways, and more!
The book description is from Amazon. The Ophelia Cut: A Novel