Monday, October 16, 2017

"An American Cage" by Ted Galdi


"Danny wants to hit him in those ugly chops. But that would be a bad idea. Danny isn't a fighter. He'd never been in a fight in his life before prison. And all the ones in there he lost. Badly. He feels powerless. Shoulder's shaking, Danny steps away from the other two.".....

Danny, Phil and Monty. Three inmates about to make their escape from a Texas prison. The stakes are high, if they’re caught. With a plan to make it to Mexico, the story follows twenty-four hours in the lives of these three men.

Each with a unique story, and a common reason to want out of their confines. Can they depend on each other? Will they make it to Mexico? They each have a plan. Not everyone is as forthcoming as they may seem. They're are some outsiders mixed in that may cause the plans to change. 

When the plans get changed up a little, two of the three are going to have to figure out what’s next, and quickly. I found the characters a little on the thin side at first. Made it hard for me to like or dislike them. As time went on though I developed an empathy for 2 of them. One was nothing as he appeared, which made the story far more interesting.

Great twists, unexpected outcomes. Is there a cage in when you're locked up? Is there a cage in your head? Who holds the keys? At the end of the day is everyone alive, and will there be another cage? I actually ended up really enjoying this book.

Thank you Ted Galdi, Netgalley, and Precipice Books

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lisa Gardner Summaries and Checklist (Ultimate Reading List) by Sir Reed A. Lot


This is a useful way to keep track of a favorite authors book series. Since I’m a fan of crime/detective, I found this to be an interesting list. Title, along with a short synopsis, makes it easier to keep track of the series.

There are other authors also with “Reading Lists.” I’m currently reading a book by Lisa Gardner: "Right Behind You." I could have done the research myself, but this was time saving, and convenient. Check out the link and see if your favorite author has a time saving list!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

"The Dark Lake" by Sarah Bailey

 Buy "The Dark Lake" on October 3rd on Amazon: click here!

"Regardless, everything I know and remember about Rosalind tells me that this is a crime of passion. Or maybe revenge.".....

Detective Gemma Woodstock relives the memories she has of Rosalind Ryan, a beautiful girl she attended high school with. Rosa is found dead, and Gemma is investigating. The story is told in the present with a look back on Rosa's life and the affect it left on Gemma's life. Gemma goes through the investigation as if it's surreal, and as if she's in some kind of shock. Will it hinder or help her find the killer? Will Rosa's past somehow collide with Gemma's?

Rosalind had left town after high school, but returned to teach drama. What happened to Rosa while she was in Sydney? Why did she return to her hometown? Why would anyone want this woman dead?

From a wealthy family, her dad and three brothers are left in shock, and grieving for her. Not everyone was close, and there may be a secret or two.

Gemma has her own hidden facets, a child, a secret love. How will this case change her? Change her life? There are secrets at the “Dark Lake.” Some fascinating twists will have you wanting to reach the last page as quickly as possible.

Thank you Sarah Bailey, Netgalley, and Grand Central Publishing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Cold Comfort (A Bridgette Cash Mystery Thriller) by Trevor Douglas


"She shared Hoffman's concern about catching the killer, but right now she was far more concerned about stopping the next killing. As the ambulance's engine started, she began to formulate a plan.".......

Detective Bridgette Casseldhorf is new to the force. Paired with a detective on the edge of retirement, Bridgette will have to stand her ground with him. Taking in clues at a murder scene, Bridgette thinks it may be the work of a serial killer. Her more experienced partner, Detective Lance Hoffman, is dismissive of her ideas. It might be a long 3 months until his retirement. 

As the clues unfold will Hoffman realize Bridgette might actually have something to contribute to this case? Will there be more murders? Is there a serial killer on the loose in Hartbourne? Can these Hartbourne Metropolitan Police detectives find a way to work together peacefully, and solve a horrific crime? 

Just a few chapters in, and I was hooked. There are a few surprises you won't expect that involve Bridgette. I liked getting to know her. The characters had layers added to them smoothly, as the story carried on. A possible serial killer won't be the only danger Bridgette faces, old family secrets will add to the story line. She also comes to the attention of a couple people she'd be better off not ever meeting. 

What a enthralling crime story. I look forward to seeing Bridgette evolve as a detective, and if she will find her foothold among the men in the squad. I've been reading crime novels for at least 35 years. It's not often I can find a story that is unpredictable and captivating. 

Thank you Trevor Douglas.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

"Sunday Morning Coming Down" by Nicci French ( A Frieda Klein Novel 7)

"The shapes weren't looking at the walls. They were looking down. and Karlsson followed their gaze. This didn't make sense: why were the boards up? Why was the smell so strong, so terrible? Karlsson felt a ripple of dread and then, as he glimpsed what lay in the gash in the floor, a rush of relief that ran through his body, like a pulse of electricity. He leaned on his crutches, utterly confused. "........

This is the 7th book in the "Frieda Klein" series. The tale opens with the body of a man, a friend and protector to Frieda, found beneath the floor in her home. Her home has been invaded by a murderer. Someone is coming close to her, but she's having a hard time sorting it out.

With her friend DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) Karlsson behind her, as well as several other friends on the case, there is hope he can solve this before the killer makes another move. They know who the killer is. They know why he killed the man under the floorboards of her home. The trouble is everyone was convinced this killer died seven years ago. Is he alive? Is someone wanting them to think he's still alive? Revenge? 

Those close to Frieda are at risk. Her niece, her friends. They are truly at risk and suffering, as Frieda does for those she loves. I love the consistency from book 1 to book 7. Stand alone, or depth adding to the characters, if you've read the others. I could read book 1 and then book 7 with clarity. Just enough past intrigue to make me want to see what I've missed in between.

I enjoy detective series immensely, and this one does not fail to entertain. I've not read books 2-5 yet, but I have purchased them. I'd love to know the sequence of events in Frieda's life from the first book, through to this one. What a great ending! Not what I expected. 

Thank you Nicci French, Netgalley, and Penguin Random House UK

Monday, August 21, 2017

"Blind Jimmy and the Blind Ballerina" by Eddie Owens


"I got him outside and there wasn't a taxi in sight. Typical. I leaned him against a lamp post and lit a tab. I might as well smoke while I waited. I rang a taxi and watched as he threw up in the gutter. Oh well, at least he didn't do it in the taxi."......

This story takes place across the pond. Twenty six year old "Fat Jimmy," is a hard drinking, hard living guy by day, and a mouthy comedienne at night. He so wants to be famous that it brings out the desperation in him. His best friend Lenny, also is following the same career path, but with a little less conviction.

The story was a little rough around the edges, but no story about a hard life trying to rise to the top wouldn't be. A fall out with a former friend, costs him some rungs on that ladder to fame and fortune. "Fat Jimmy" really isn't a very nice guy, or a good friend. His view of women is kind of ugly.

The more I read, the more I disliked him. Then it took a turn, and I started to like him a little more. There is some humor throughout that made me laugh. The underlying theme though is the true story. What would you do to move up? Human nature and all its ugly sides.

When "Fat Jimmy" gets a chance at a television show, it will either make or break him. Lots of little back stories concerning his family and where he came from. Maybe he will find someone to put him on the chosen path. How will it end? Will "Fat Jimmy" find his "Blind Ballerina?" Will he find fame and fortune? In the end I actually enjoyed the overall tale.

Thank you Eddie Owens

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"The Art of Hiding" by Amanda Prowse


"She looked out, seeing the building through the eyes of her boys had lived in splendor, in a gracious house, attended a beautiful school and had taken their leisure among the pale Bath stone buildings of an orderly, prosperous city. And all for what? They had ended up back at the beginning, her beginning, and one she had fought to escape.".......

What starts out as a typical day for well to do mom, Nina, ends in tragedy with the death of her husband. She's left to cope with her two sons, as secrets her husband held are revealed soon after the funeral. 

Their entire lives will change, and Nina will have to find a way to create a new life for Connor and Declan. Losing the luxury they're so accustomed too, only to have to return to her roots. The ones she thought she left behind, even the people she thought were her past. 

The story was thoughtful and tragic. Children paying the price for their fathers decisions and secrets. Can Nina accept what was and let it go? Can she find it in herself the strength to create a new life? How will the boys lives change from the only one they ever knew? 

Finns death changes the way Nina and her children relate to each other, and other family members. Will there be a life raft to this family? Will their burdens be theirs to carry alone? It captivated me from the beginning. Where do you go when you lose everything that makes up the fibers of your life?

Thank you Amanda Prowse, Netgalley, and Lake Union Publishing. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

"Blue Monday" by Nicci French


"He'll probably be dead by now. I feel sorry for the poor bloody teacher who let him go. She's become a hate figure." Frieda didn't really hear what he was saying. She was scanning the story about Matthew Faraday who had slipped out of his Islington primary school unnoticed on a Friday afternoon and been last seen going towards a sweetshop a hundred yards or so away.....

This is the first book in this series where we meet Frieda Klein. She is a psychotherapist, with her own interesting history and thoughts. She leads a controlled life, one she is giving a try at sharing. The story takes place in London. When a 5 year old disappears, Frieda makes a connection to one of her patients. The man describes a child he sees in his dream that matches the missing child. 

This book is a great set up and introduction into Frieda and her character. There are currently six more books after this one. As a fan of series, with criminal story lines, I look forward to seeing where this series takes us. 

Frieda is reluctant to help the police? DCI Karlsson tries to appeal to her. A past similar crime reminds him of this one. Could Frieda help him unravel the puzzle? Leaving her carefully constructed world isn't easy for her. Is her patient responsible? What will she risk to find the answers? Suspense, and a few shocking surprises will keep you glued to this story. Is Matthew even still alive, or does a monster darken her office? Her personal issues, and her own changes, make Frieda an interesting character.

This first book drew me in so much, that I purchased the next five in the series, and have the seventh one lined up to read through Netgalley! 

Thank you Nicci French, Netgalley and Penguin UK Publishers 


Monday, July 31, 2017

"Chase and Chloe" by Simone Elise


"I stomped on my cigarette and headed towards him. If he knew what was good for him, he would take my warning and back off. Chloe had put her life on hold because of us. Chase loved her, and considering Chase had always given things up for us, this was nothing. I wouldn't rest until Chloe was back where she belonged.".......

Chloe is just nineteen, and running from the hands of an abusive stepfather. An accident in the car she stole, to run away in, lands her right on the radar of a biker named Chase.

Chase isn't any run of the mill outlaw. He is the main outlaw. President of his motorcycle club, left to him by his late father. Chase's brothers are also part of his pack. On the other side Chase takes care of his family, mom, sisters and his brothers. So when he finds Chloe he is completely drawn into caring for this wreck of a runaway. 

Chase's lifestyle, and Chloe's abusive past, make for some roadblocks. Undeniably attracted to each other, there are things that will come between them. Especially when Chloe's step father comes looking for her. 

This bad boy biker romance was filled with action, suspense, and a few well placed surprises. Not overly done in the explicit department, which I appreciate as a reader. I don't want to read on and on about the sex. I want the story! 

Can Chloe find a way to Chase? His family will provide some of their own roadblocks. Can Chase break through to Chloe's heart? Trust issues abound. The law is never too far behind either.

Another great book by this author. I see the ending as a definite road to another "Chase and Chloe" book. 

Thank you Simone Elise and Inkitt Publishing

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Girl in Snow" by Danya Kukafka

For the first time in three and a half years, Cameron started to cry. The tears were hot on his cheeks. They dripped onto the portrait, creating lakes where there had been only paper. Because Cameron could only do such realistic portraits of things he had seen. Lucinda dead on the carousel was one of them."....

This mystery thriller starts with the death of fifteen year old Lucinda. Found lying on the play ground, covered by a layer of snow. This small Colorado town is about to become hot with gossip. Lucinda was a shining star, why would someone want her dead?

The narrowed suspect range from stalker, Cameron Whitley, to Jade Dixon-Burns, a jealous girl. Is one of them guilty, or are they looking in the wrong direction? 

Investigating officer, Russ Fletcher, is the ex partner of the father of one of the suspects. Why is Cameron a suspect? What will Russ uncover, and will he tells what he knows, or protect Cameron as a favor to Cameron's father? 

Told from each characters perspective. As the story goes, you learn of their secrets and ultimately what happened to Lucinda. A definite page turner. I loved these well written characters. I couldn't wait to find out what they were hiding. Let's say each of them held big secrets. 

Thank you Danya Kukafka, Netgalley, and Simon & Schuster Publishing.