Monday, April 23, 2018

"Baby Teeth" by Zoje Stage


"There were lots of pictures on the Creepy Photos website, but she'd rejected the ones where the people might be mistaken for alive. She liked the one of the women in their coffins. Or lying stiff as a board on white fabric with lacy edges. In truth, she liked the dead children best, held in their mothers arms, or in tiny coffins, or surrounded by living siblings who looked merely bored, not scared-as if death were so every-day-not-again-here's-another-one. But she wanted Mommy to see other ladies, the other mommies.

Hanna is a silent little girl. Her daddy thinks she’s perfect. Mommy knows something is wrong.

Years of trying to figure out her daughters problems are taking a toll. Hanna has a whole world going on inside her head. She’d have a perfect life, just her and her daddy, if only mommy would just go away.

Suzette is becoming worn down. She has health issues of her own. Will anyone believe that her little girl wants her dead? She’s home schooled her. She’s taken her for tests. No progress is being made. Suzette is paying the price. Maybe another special school will help Hanna.

This young child scared me. She’s like a female version of the demon child, “Damien.” Who will win this tug of war? Daddy is the prize. Hanna wants him to herself, and Suzette would like the life she had with her husband, before Hanna came along.

Just when the parents think they have the upper hand, 7 year old Hanna becomes even more clever, more evil. I’d love to see a sequel to this book. The end is open enough for another story, perhaps when Hanna is older.

Thank you Zoje Stage, Netgalley, and St. Martin’s Press.

Friday, April 13, 2018

"Jar of Hearts" by Jennifer Hillier

"He stops. Makes a show of looking right at Geo, and then at Calvin, and then at the jurors. When he speaks again, his voice is a few decibels above a whisper, so that everyone in the courtroom has to strain to hear him. "You left your best friend buried in the woods, a mere hundred yards from the house you lived in, after your boyfriend cut her up into pieces.".......

This chilling thriller starts 14 years after 16 year old Angela went missing. Three close friends, Angela, Georgina (Geo for short) and Kaiser, were in high school when Angela disappeared.

Angela’s body has been found in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. Geo knew all those years what happened but never told. Kaiser became a police detective. Believing Angela was killed by serial killer, Calvin James, who knows what really happened? Geo and Calvin had their own connection. “Jar of Hearts” could also have been called “Jar of Secrets.” Now that Geo admits to things at Calvin’s trial, she will be heading to prison.

Now as Geo is on the verge of release it’s happening again. Maybe the truth everyone thinks they know isn’t real. Kaiser is now investigating more murders, similar to Calvin James previous ones. Who and why?

This creepy thriller is scary enough to keep you awake at night. Gruesome story line. One dark surprise after another. The quotes before each part of the book I really liked. Caught my attention, which is unusual. I read them, but they rarely sink in before I move on.

Can Kai find out who has started these similar killings? What are the connections? Does Geo still possibly have untold secrets?

In truth I picked to read this book because of the authors past work. I read books by Jennifer Hillier years ago. Her “Creep” two book series was just that, creepy! As was this one. If you’re looking for something terrifying, realistic and thrilling pick up any of her books.

Thank you Jennifer Hillier, Netgalley, and
Macmillan Publishers

"The Penmen Proposition" by Trevor Douglas

"When I first told Hannah about the cancer, she was very upset. We talked a long time about it. The guards were nice and gave us an extra half hour. As she left, she said she had something to tell me. Something she had been keeping from me ever since Tony's death. I asked her what it was and she said she would explain it all on her next visit."......

I’ve been reading the “Bridgette Cash Thriller” series by this author and really enjoyed them both. So I was happy to get to read more of this authors work. I was not disappointed!

Joseph Penmen has a young son. The boy will die without an operation to save his life. How can he help? After all he is in a jail cell. He confides this to his cell mate, Adam. Joseph has a plan.

Adam is about to be released. If he will go get the money Joseph’s brother hid, he will give Adam half, and Adam is to give Joseph’s wife the rest to save his son.

The problem is who the money was stolen from. There are some dangerous people who’d like their money back. Adam is in definite danger. Will he risk his own life for that half of the cash? Will he turn over the other half to save Joseph’s son? Decisions, decisions.

There’s a second back story line here. The reason Adam was unjustly in prison becomes intertwined with his desire to help Joseph’s wife and child.

A fast paced suspense tale. I really couldn’t wait to see how it would all turn out. Will Adam get his own justice? Will Joseph’s son live? Is the 3 million dollars even still hidden?If it’s found, who will end up with it? Can there be any peace for the tragedies that have befallen all involved?

Thank you Trevor Douglas.

Buy "The Penmen Proposition" now on Amazon: click here!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

"Trusting Danger" Book 2 in the "Danger" series by Caila Jaynes and Allyson Simonian

"In Grayson's mind, all of it added up to a spoiled rich girl with no ambition, values, or convictions, and that simply pissed him the hell off. He'd worked too hard for what he'd accomplished and had no patience for self-serving, entitled trust fund babies.".....

Agent Grayson Matthews has been assigned to protect a senators daughter, Claire Parker. While investigating a drug ring it became clear that Claire was about to become a kidnapping target. Gray and his partner, Jeremy, rush to protect her from an unknown kidnapper.

Claire has been studying law at the Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. She’s working on a project that involves a young man arrested for dealing drugs outside his job. There’s more to Claire than law school, and being a senators daughter.

I’m careful using the word “romance” in any book review. I’ve found my regular blog readers think I’ve jumped my genre. It’s not always what you think. I’m hoping to open your reading categories a bit by doing these reviews. You’d be surprised at how good these books actually are! Romance is not just for young girls and little old ladies with lots of cats. Concentrate on the word suspense here. Okay I have cats.

Back to my review... Claire has her own issues. A demanding boyfriend, hand picked by the parents. Is law school really for her? Grayson is also dealing with a personal tragedy. I think these things connect them when a tragic event occurs.

Even though Grayson and Claire get off to a rocky start there are things that are going to make them see each other differently. There’s danger, action and suspense, with a little romance on the side. Can it last or is it fleeting?

There’s a third book coming in the “Danger” series. There is an update of sorts from the original couple in the first book, Camden and Autumn. I was glad to see that. Great, quick weekend read.

Thank you Caila Jaynes and Allyson Simonian

Monday, April 2, 2018

"Cold Trail" by Trevor Douglas


"Bridgette walked out into the early morning sunshine and thought about the day ahead. She had no idea whether she would be in jail, on her way back to Hartbourne or still investigating by lunchtime.".....

We are back for book 2 in the “Bridgette Cash Detective” series. Officer John Tyson has disappeared on a remote mountain area. Bridgette has been assigned to try to find John. Is he lost, still alive, or suffered some other misfortune? Is it Mother Nature that has taken him, or someone or something more sinister? It’s been four months since John failed to report to work at the local police department. That’s a long time to think he may still be alive out there somewhere.

The local police aren’t too inclined to help her. Obviously Bridgette has come across things they’d rather keep quiet in the town of Sandbury. Snow storms are coming their way. Bridgette is fighting the weather, and the locals, in her effort to find out what happened to John. There’s also something else going on in the little town that will sidetrack her from her original goal.

An exciting thriller. Bridgette is a tough woman and a capable detective. The story line was intriguing. I really liked Bridgette in the first book “Cold Comfort.” As her character becomes more developed in this next book, I can’t wait to see where the third book in the series takes her. “Cold Hard Cash” is slated to be book 3 in this series.

What will Bridgette face in her attempts to get to the bottom of what’s going on in Sandbury? Is John alive ? If anyone can find out it will be Bridgette. She trusts her instincts and is not easily influenced. While the side story ties everything together, I didn’t feel like the everyone got what they deserved. She made some new friends and in the end it was an enthralling read.

Thank you Trevor Douglas for another great book!

Friday, March 30, 2018

"11-11-11" by John Rachel


Noah is just turning 23, and growing up in Pulnick, Missouri. A town that was becoming more run down, drug infested, and crime ridden by the day. Noah just wants to leave.

Rumor has it the end of the world is coming. On November 11, 2011, or “11-11-11,” the world as we know it is about to end. So say the billboards and speech givers. Noah doesn’t exactly believe in all this either. He’s busy trying to find out exactly what his sister is doing, and who she’s involved with since running off from home.

Noah had friends, but like his job at the local Walmart, disappeared after he was hit by a truck on his motorcycle. Noah plans to leave, but things seem to keep slowing him down.

In the months leading up to that date, Noah’s life is a strange mix of boring parties, misadventures, and random people coming and going in his life. Nobody you’d really want to know too much about. A new job and a new set of odd friends enters his life. He continues to see billboards about “11-11-11.”

Do we know what “11-11-11” is about? We are kept guessing as to the message here. Eventually we find out what 11-11-11 is going to mean to Noah. The day his whole life changes.

The story line was interesting, but while the activities were well detailed, the people were not. Kind of dragged on in a few places in bizarre ways. I did finish the book, and found it over all an entertaining, albeit a little odd tale.

Thank you John Rachel.

Buy "11-11-11" by John Rachel now on Amazon!

Monday, March 26, 2018

"As She Fades" by Abbi Glines


"Everything was different now. I was lost. Alone. I didn't know how to find myself. I needed Crawford. Knox worrying about me liking the wrong guy was ridiculous. I loved Crawford and I had my entire life. A pretty smile and incredible eyes weren't going to change that. I wasn't shallow."...

Vale and Crawford met as children. From friendship to a plan of life long commitment. The whole world was before them. Until the night of graduation, when an accident leaves Crawford comatose.

Vale sits day after day, waiting and hoping for Crawford to wake up. She’s sure when he does they’ll just pick up where they left off, and live happily ever after.

Even though she makes a new friend, Slate, she keeps him at a distance. There is no one but Crawford in her heart. She has the support of her close family, but it’s not enough. College will have to wait. Life will be on hold until Crawford wakes up.

After a little convincing Vale sees she needs to go on with her life. Crawford would want her to wouldn’t he? Her feelings are a mass of confusion as Slate drifts in and out of her life. As she starts her new life away from home, in range of Slate. Will the girl she once was become a different woman? "As She Fades" from a teenager into an adult things change, as they do for all of us.

What happens in the aftermath of that accident? A plot twist I never saw coming. So unexpected, so clever!

This young adult novel was heartbreaking, and at the same time Vale is learning that life isn’t always what you plan it to be. I really liked Vale, and her family and friends. Great characters and a fitting end.

Thank you Abbi Glines, Netgalley, and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"In Her Skin" by Kim Savage

"We push the door open and prowl the hall, stealthy, and you are funny, making exaggerated hush signs and tiptoeing. You're corny, and its cute, and you treat me like a dumb younger sister, and I sense that you're leading me into trouble but I am so okay with it, because trouble with you is fun, old fashioned, clean fun, stealing poems and spotting ghosts, and I am charmed."....

This young adult story features a 15 year old girl, Jo Chastain. As a homeless teenager, an opportunity presents itself to assume the identity of a missing girl, Vivienne Weir. A wealthy family, the Lovecrafts, were there when 9 year old Vivi disappeared, while her parents dined with the Lovecrafts. Jo finally has the life she wants, or so she thinks.

When the story takes a dark turn, Jo may find herself in danger of knowing the truth. Secrets discovered may not be good for Jo. She will have to decide if staying is the best option, or life back on the streets of Boston might be safer.

What happened to the real Vivienne? Does the Lovecraft family have the truth about that night? A truth they wouldn’t want uncovered? Is Vivi dead? Has Jo got herself in over her head? Can she convince Temple, Vivi’s childhood friend, that she’s really Vivi? Or will Temple’s doubting uncover Jo’s pretend life. A visitor from Jo’s past may also affect her ability to remain “Vivi.”

The story centered a little much on what Temple was to her as a friend. Temple’s antics kind of felt a little to unoriginal, or we’ve seen that behavior in one too many story lines. Rich teenager, sneaking out, theft, etc.

Full of suspense otherwise, and a clever broken girl. Jo needs a new life. She may have picked the wrong one. Overall a good read. Great ending!

Thank you Kim Savage, Netgalley, and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Saturday, March 17, 2018

"Birthday Girl" by Matthew Iden

"Sister was descending the stairs backward so she could drag a large bundle, something long, wrapped in a blanket, and heavy enough that she was having trouble lifting it.".....

Elliot Nash is homeless. His former life just a memory. His daughter was murdered 8 years ago. Her death ended his entire life, his marriage, and his job as a criminal psychologist.

Amy asks for Elliot’s help in finding her daughter. Kidnapped a year ago, she can’t accept her child is probably dead. She thinks that Elliot, with their shared grief, and his educational background, can help her find her daughter, Lacey.

As it turns out, there are at least seven children who have disappeared around the time of their birthdays. This may be the clue that will help Elliot and Amy uncover what happened to these girls. Can Elliot find his own redemption with the answers to this mystery?

Are any of the children still alive? Is it too late? The streets of Washington D.C. are dangerous and treacherous for those who may be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Throughout, I just wanted Elliot to find some kind of peace, find a piece of his life again. I hoped for Amy to get her daughter back. It wasn’t a story you could put down, and not keep wondering what happens next.

I’ve previously read this authors books, including all of his detective “Marty Singer,” series. I enjoy Matthew Iden’s work, and this book, “Birthday Girl,” was also an excellent thriller and mystery suspense tale.

Thank you Matthew Iden, Netgalley, and Thomas & Mercer Publishers.

Monday, March 12, 2018

"Let Me Lie" by Clare Mackintosh


"Suicide? Think again. Not suicide. Murder. Someone stole the life I had. Someone murdered my mother. And if they murdered Mum, it followed that dad didn't kill himself either. Both my parents were murdered."....

Anna has had a terrible year. The bright spot in it is her new baby girl. Her parents committed suicide during the past year. Now on the anniversary of her mothers death, a strange card is delivered to Anna. Her nightmare begins again.

What really happened to her parents? There are secrets to be uncovered that will alter Anna’s life forever. Anna enlists the aid of a semi retired police officer, Murray. Murray has his own personal tribulations at the moment, but wants to desperately help Anna find the truth.

Will Anna find the truth about their suicides from the cliffs of Beachy Head? How will the past affect Anna’s present? Was Anna’s fiancĂ© involved, does the neighbor know more than he’s telling? Maybe there are things Anna herself does not clearly remember.

This thriller was a page turner. Unexpected twists. Characters that compel you to the end. Unexpected ending!

Thank you Clare Mackintosh, Netgalley, and
Berkley Publishing Group.