Tag Archives: Thriller

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

A Review of Power Surge: A Novel by Ben Bova

Power Surge: A Novel

by Ben Bova

3,0

I had high hopes for this book. It sounded really good, but it didn’t live up to its hype. The story was quite predictable, with only a couple of mild surprises. The characters felt generic. It seemed like I had met them all before, just “their names were changed to protect the innocent.” It isn’t that Power Surge was badly written, it’s just that it could have been so much more.

I give Power Surge 3 Stars out of 5. I really don’t recommend it, but other reviewers seem to have found something in it that I didn’t, so your experience may differ from mine.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

Power Surge_coverSix-time Hugo winner Ben Bova brings us Power Surge, a gripping political thriller on the cutting-edge of science and technology

Dr. Jake Ross came to Washington, D.C., to make a difference. As the science advisor to a newly-elected freshman senator, Jake has crafted a comprehensive energy plan that employs innovative new technologies to make America the world’s leader in energy production while simultaneously boosting the economy and protecting the environment. The facts―and the science―are on Jake’s side, but his plan soon runs afoul of entrenched special interests, well-funded lobbies, cynical bureaucrats, pork-barrel politics, and one very powerful U.S. Senator.

To keep his plan alive and secure a sustainable future for America, Jake needs a crash course in the way Washington really works. Everyone keeps telling him that his plan has no hope of succeeding, but Jake is determined to prove them wrong even if it kills him . . . something that certain hostile parties may be all too happy to arrange.

Book Details

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (August 11, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765334976
ISBN-13: 978-0765334978
Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

About the Author

Ed Chappell
Ed Chappell

BEN BOVA is a six-time winner of the Hugo Award, a former editor of Analog, former editorial director of Omni, and a past president of both the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America. He is the author of more than a hundred works of science fiction and fact, including his most recent novel, Power Play. He lives in Florida.

ABOUT FORGE BOOKS:

FORGE BOOKS, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books, founded in 1993 and committed (although not limited) to thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction and general fiction. Forge includes books by bestselling and critically acclaimed authors such as Douglas Preston, Eric Lustbader, W. Bruce Cameron and Ralph Peters. Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is also the home of award-winning Tor Books, which annually publishes what is arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher.

A Review of Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Crimson Shore (Pendergast #15)

by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

4.5

This is pretty simple. If you like the Pendergast series, you will definitely like Crimson Shore. If you haven’t read any books in this series, this could be a decent starting point. This is the 15th book in the series, so you won’t know the whole back story, but you won’t feel lost.

For the people who are thinking about reading this series, let me tell you what it is like. Special Agent Pendergast is an FBI agent from New Orleans, but he is unlike any FBI agent you have ever run across. He is eccentric to say the least, but he has a fascinating strangeness about him. There is something about this series that reminds me of Sherlock Holmes. They both are very meticulous and see things that other detectives miss. Many of the Pendergast books seem to have an obvious mystical component to them, but usually there is some scientific solution that disproves the supernatural. But sometimes there seems to be a touch of the metaphysical still left at the end. If you think about some of the more famous Holmes stories, you will notice the similarity. (The Hound of the Baskervilles comes to mind.)

In Crimson Shore Pendergast works closely with his ward, Constance Greene. She plays a major role in the investigation, but she feels like Pendergast discounts her contribution. I always enjoy the books in which Constance plays a major role. She is a good foil to Pendergast’s meticulousness, and an interesting character in her own right.

One thing that you should realize before starting this book, is that there is a cliffhanger. The Pendergast series has had a couple of these trilogies. The Diogenes Trilogy and The Helen Trilogy were each three book mini-series’. I expect that is the start of another one. So if you shy away from trilogies, this might not be the best book to start with. But of course if you are a Pendergast fan, then it won’t matter to you, since you were planning on reading each book as it came out anyway.

As nearly always, I enjoyed this Pendergast book. There has been a couple of low points in the series, but this isn’t one of those. Even though there is a cliffhanger, the main story does have a conclusion. So all in all Crimson Shore is another great read. I give it 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! If you haven’t read Pendergast, what are you waiting for?

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston & Lincoln ChildA secret chamber.
A mysterious shipwreck.
A murder in the desolate salt marshes.

A seemingly straightforward private case turns out to be much more complicated-and sinister-than Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast ever could have anticipated.

Pendergast, together with his ward Constance Greene, travels to the quaint seaside village of Exmouth, Massachusetts, to investigate the theft of a priceless wine collection. But inside the wine cellar, they find something considerably more disturbing: a bricked-up niche that once held a crumbling skeleton.

Pendergast and Constance soon learn that Exmouth is a town with a very dark and troubled history, and this skeleton may be only the first hint of an ancient transgression, kept secret all these years. But they will discover that the sins of the past are still very much alive. Local legend holds that during the 1692 witch trials in Salem, the real witches escaped, fleeing north to Exmouth and settling deep in the surrounding salt marshes, where they continued to practice their wicked arts.

Then, a murdered corpse turns up in the marshes. The only clue is a series of mysterious carvings. Could these demonic symbols bear some relation to the ancient witches’ colony, long believed to be abandoned?

A terrible evil lurks beneath the surface of this sleepy seaside town-one with deep roots in Exmouth’s grim history. And it may be that Constance, with her own troubled past, is the only one who truly comprehends the awful danger that she, Pendergast, and the residents of Exmouth must face . . .

Book Details

Series: Agent Pendergast series
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (November 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1455525928
ISBN-13: 978-1455525928
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Authors

Douglas Preston & Lincoln ChildThe thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child “stand head and shoulders above their rivals” (Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child’s Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number-one box office hit movie. They are coauthors of the famed Pendergast series and their recent novels include Fever DreamCold VengeanceTwo Graves, and Gideon’s Corpse. In addition to his novels, Preston writes about archaeology for the New Yorker and Smithsonian magazines. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published five novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm.

Readers can sign up for The Pendergast File, a monthly “strangely entertaining note” from the authors, at their website, www.PrestonChild.com. The authors welcome visitors to their alarmingly active Facebook page, where they post regularly.

A Review of Ghost Sniper: A World War II Thriller by David Healey

Ghost Sniper: A World War II Thriller

by David Healey

4,0

Ghost Sniper is a good World War II story. It starts on Omaha Beach during the “D-Day” invasion. The story is told without graphic details, no blood and guts. The actual facts seem to ring true, but I’m not a WWII expert. The characters are likable and authentic, even the German sniper.

The story is told from two Points of View. The German sniper, Kurt Von Stenger, is the Ghost Sniper. He is a professional soldier, and has taught sniper classes, so he is a formidable foe. His American counterpart, Micajah Cole, grew up around guns, and was the best shot in the entire 29th Division, but since the US Army didn’t have a sniper unit, he had an M1. He connected with a lieutenant during the fighting on the beach. He had a rifle with a scope. Cole used it to knock out a machine gun installation, so they weren’t killed that first day of the invasion of Normandy.

The rest of the book continues with the action in Normandy. It shows how difficult it was to gain any ground. It tells a story of how important snipers were to both sides during the conflict, and how the Allied Forces were sometimes dependent on the local resistance. It was an exciting story, and one that keep me interested. I don’t normally read WWII fiction, but I enjoyed this book.

I give Ghost Sniper 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up! If you like military fiction, I’m sure that you will enjoy it.

I won a copy of this book from a contest run by the author.

Book Description

SCN_0006June 6, 1944. On the dawn of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, two snipers find themselves fighting a battle all their own. One is a backwoods hunter from the Appalachian Mountains in the American South, while the other is the dreaded German “Ghost Sniper” who earned his nickname on the Eastern Front. Locked in a deadly duel across the hedgerow country of France, the hunter matches wits and tactics against the marksman, both of them one bullet away from victory—or defeat—as Allied forces struggle to gain a foothold in Europe.

Book Details

Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: Intracoastal Media (February 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615945902
ISBN-13: 978-0615945903
Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces

About the Author

David Healey’s 13 novels and nonfiction books have been published by Jove Books (Penguin Putnam), the Agatha Award-winning Bella Rosa Books, and The History Press. He worked for 21 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, and won awards in feature writing and editorial writing from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and Suburban Newspaper Association. He has written freelance articles for many newspapers and magazines, including The Washington TimesAmerican HistoryBlue & GrayRunning TimesChesapeake Bay MagazineOut & About, and Delmarva Quarterly. He is a member of the Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, where he edits the Words Between Bays blog to showcase writers and writing on the Delmarva Peninsula. He is also an author member of the International Thriller Writers and a contributing writer to the ITW’s The Big Thrillmagazine. He is a frequent speaker on regional history and writing topics. In 2011 he was recognized as a Chaney Visiting Scholar by St. Mary’s College of Maryland. A graduate of Washington College and the Stonecoast MFA program, he is now a fulltime professor of composition at Kaplan University.

Follow him on Facebook at http://facebook.com/david.healey.books and visit his website at http://davidhealeyauthor.com.

A Review of Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen

Playing with Fire

by Tess Gerritsen

4.5

This book really grabbed me. I could barely do anything else. I was reading an e-book, so I had it with me on my phone. I would sneak in a couple of pages every chance that I could. I’m glad that it was such a quick read, because now my life is back to normal.

Playing with Fire has so many twists that I can’t say much about it without spoiling some of the book. It has two main Points of View. The first POV is in the present. Violinist Julia Ansdell discovers an old , hand-written piece of music. She buys it, and attempts to play it. The story takes off from there. The second POV takes place in Venice, Italy, just before the start of World War 2. You meet Lorenzo Todesco, the composer of the piece of music and learn why it exists. The two POVs are different sections in the book, so you are always aware of what is going on.

This is a very exciting book. There is a magical, nearly fantasy feel to it at the beginning. If you aren’t a fan of books based on magic or cursed items, don’t worry it doesn’t go spiraling off in that direction. Everything stays pretty realistic. But there is just a little touch of the mystical, just the right amount. It’s just a little spooky, and that’s a good thing!

I give Playing with Fire 4 1/2 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up! The only reason it doesn’t get 5 Stars, is because I was a little disappointed in one of the final twists. I can’t say more without it being a major spoiler, but when you read it, you will probably know what I meant. But don’t let that hold you back. This is a great book, and you really should read it. I loved the stories, and how they came together. The characters were realistic and likable, and there was a message behind it all. A must read!

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Playing with Fire by Tess GerritsenA gripping standalone thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series

In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music—the Incendio waltz—and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. Full of passion, torment, and chilling beauty, and seemingly unknown to the world, the waltz, its mournful minor key, its feverish arpeggios, appear to dance with a strange life of their own. Julia is determined to master the complex work and make its melody heard.

Back home in Boston, from the moment Julia’s bow moves across the strings, drawing the waltz’s fiery notes into the air, something strange is stirred—and Julia’s world comes under threat. The music has a terrifying and inexplicable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently transformed. Convinced that the hypnotic strains of Incendio are weaving a malevolent spell, Julia sets out to discover the man and the meaning behind the score.

Her quest beckons Julia to the ancient city of Venice, where she uncovers a dark, decades-old secret involving a dangerously powerful family that will stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.

Book Details

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 27, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1101884347
ISBN-13: 978-1101884348
Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About the Author

Photo: © Paul D’Innocenzo
Photo: © Paul D’Innocenzo

Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, “Adrift”, which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), The Bone Garden (2007), The Keepsake (2008; UK title: Keeping the Dead), Ice Cold (2010; UK title: The Killing Place), The Silent Girl (2011), and Last To Die (August 2012.) Her books have been published in forty countries, and more than 30 million copies have been sold around the world.

Her books have been top-3 bestsellers in the United States and number one bestsellers abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon). Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen”.

Her series of novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the TNT television series “Rizzoli & Isles” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.

A Review of What You See by Hank Phillippi Ryan

What You See (Jane Ryland & Jake Brogan #4)

by Hank Phillippi Ryan

4,0

Sometimes people think they know what you are going to say before you finish telling them something. They may jump in and finish your sentence for you, or even worse they may just assume that they understand what you are trying to tell them, and then not really listen to you. They may be on their phone or watching something on TV, or thinking about their hot date for Saturday night. Communication seems to be suffering in these fast paced days that we are living.

Ms. Ryan highlights this phenomena in What You See. Everyone cuts off each other. They are trying to multitask and therefore can barely single-task. Too much is going on, and too many worries and problems get in the way, so everyone thinks that they are getting the whole picture, but really they are missing crucial facts.

All of this churning around frustrated me. I wanted to yell at Detective Jake Brogan. He needed to follow-up. He had to do one thing at a time, but of course he couldn’t. He was pulled every which way and didn’t even have time to sleep, which just made everything worse. Laid-off Reporter Jane Ryland wanted to find a new job. She had her sister’s wedding to deal with at the same time. Then her sister’s future step-daughter goes missing. She is offered a temporary job with a local TV station. Everything happens at once. I wanted to yell at Jane too. Everyone just needs to calm down and complete what they are doing!

This book is very fast paced. It’s hard to feel comfortable while reading it, but that’s what the author wanted to convey. She wanted to make you feel what all of the characters were feeling, the hectic pace and the confusion. The feeling like you were being pulled in multiple directions, never able to compete anything before having to switch tasks and work on something else. The struggles of dealing with other family members. Trying to keep feeling from being hurt. She did a very effective job.

I give What You See 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up! If you are ready to put up with the fast-paced challenge of modern multitasking along with the struggles that dealing with the secrets that families keep, then this book will keep you up all night.

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

Book Description

What You See by Hank Phillippi RyanWhat You See: another thrilling installment in Hank Phillippi Ryan’s award-winning Jane Ryland mystery series.

Why would a father abduct his own child? A wedding is planned in Jane Ryland’s family, but there’s a disaster instead. Nine-year-old Gracie-supposed to be the flower girl-has been taken by her stepdad. Where are they? Is the girl in danger? Reporter Jane Ryland learns there’s a limit to the bonds of family-and learns to her peril what happens when loved ones are pushed too far.

Meanwhile, Detective Jake Brogan’s got a doozy of a case. At Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, a man is stabbed to death in front of a crowd of tourists snapping photos of the murder on their cell phones. Solving the case should be easy, but the pictures and surveillance video lead him to a dark conspiracy of extortion and stolen lives.

Jane and Jake must explore where their loyalties lie-to each other? To their families? To their careers? If they make the wrong decision, the consequences could be fatal.

Book Details

Series: Jane Ryland (Book 4)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Forge Books (October 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765374951
ISBN-13: 978-0765374950
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About the Author

hank-ryan-crop-pressHANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate. A television journalist since 1975, she has won 33 Emmys and thirteen Edward R. Murrow awards for her work. Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution.

A best-selling author of seven bestselling novels of suspense, Hank’s first Jane Ryland novel,THE OTHER WOMAN won the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award! It was nominated for the Anthony, Agatha, Daphne, Shamus and Macavity Awards. THE WRONG GIRL won the Agatha for Best Mystery, the Daphne for best suspense. It spent seven weeks on the Boston Globe Bestseller list.

Her current book TRUTH BE TOLD also won the AGATHA for Best Novel of 2014. it is also a Library Journal Best of 2014.

WHAT YOU SEE (Oct Forge 2015) is already an RTBR TOP PICK! Reviewers say “Ryan is master of her craft” and say the book offers “exceptional suspense!”

Reviewers have called her “a superb and gifted storyteller” (Booklist), ” a master of crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “Stellar!” (Library Journal.)

Ryan has won the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity awards for her short stories.

Hank is on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America (and a founding instructor at MWA-U) and is 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime.

She’s been a radio reporter, a political campaign staffer, a legislative aide in the United States Senate, and in a two-year stint in Rolling Stone Magazine’s Washington Bureau, worked on the political column “Capitol Chatter” and organized presidential campaign coverage for Hunter S. Thompson. She began her TV career anchoring and reporting the news for TV stations in her home town of Indianapolis and then Atlanta.

She and her husband, a nationally renowned criminal defense and civil rights attorney, live just outside Boston, Massachusetts. http://www.HankPhillippiRyan.com