Book Review: Sting by Sandra Brown

29203612Author: Sandra Brown 
Release Date: 16th August 2016
Series: –
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 408
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Rating: ★

Blurb:

When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something definitely sparks. Shaw gives off a dangerous vibe that makes men wary and inspires women to sit up and take notice. None feel that undercurrent more strongly than savvy businesswoman Jordie, who doesn’t belong in a seedy dive on the banks of a bayou. But here she is . . . and Shaw Kinnard is here to kill her.
As Shaw and his partner take aim, Jordie is certain her time has come. But Shaw has other plans and abducts Jordie, hoping to get his hands on the $30 million her brother has stolen and, presumably, hidden. However, Shaw is not the only one looking for the fortune. Her brother’s ruthless boss and the FBI are after it as well. Now on the run from the feds and a notorious criminal, Jordie and Shaw must rely on their wits-and each other-to stay alive.
Miles away from civilization and surrounded by swampland, the two play each other against their common enemies. Jordie’s only chance of survival is to outwit Shaw, but it soon becomes clear to Shaw that Jordie isn’t entirely trustworthy, either. Was she in on her brother’s scam, or is she an innocent pawn in a deadly vendetta? And just how valuable is her life to Shaw, her remorseless and manipulative captor? Burning for answers-and for each other-this unlikely pair ultimately make a desperate move that could be their last.
With nonstop plot twists and the tantalizing sexual tension that has made Sandra Brown one of the world’s best-loved authors, STING will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the final pages.

Review

DNF at 10%.

I’ve read Friction by Sandra Brown earlier and loved it, so I was really looking forward to reading this one. I was well aware that Brown’s novels had steamy scenes in them, but in Friction, the scenes went well with the story. But this book was way too much and the sexual tension shown between the 2 main leads in the first 10% of the book made me feel so awkward that I simply couldn’t go further.

The writing felt off too and it was more tell than show. On top of all this, the snide remarks of the protagonist were way too much for me.
This book felt more like an overly sexed up New Adult rather than a Thriller. Or at least that’s how I felt.

If you don’t mind reading this kind of content then you might actually like this book. I don’t usually have trouble reading normal sexy stuff (seriously, who does?!), but it’s just that I was hoping to read a really good Thriller and really high expectations from this one.


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Book Review: Sister Sister by Sue Fortin

33411823Author: Sue Fortin
Release Date: 6th January 2017
Series: –
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 364
Publisher: Harper Impulse

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

 

From the bestselling author of The Girl Who Lied

Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.

Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.

Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.
Alice thinks Clare is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.

One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac.
Two sisters. One truth

Review

Sister Sister by Sue Fortin is a gripping page-turner of a novel that’ll leave you craving for more.

I picked up this book impulsively and having nothing better to read in the first week of the year, I decided to go for it. I was hoping to fill up my entire lazy week with this book as I was on a vacation on a beautiful hill-station, but when I started reading this book, all hell broke lose and I was up in the night at 4 o clock trying to read the book and finish it as soon as I could.

The best part about this book is the pacing. The book was proceeding with a blinding speed and I started to feel really anxious whenever the lead character was faced with a dicey situation.

The characterization is beautifully real. I could totally relate to the main character, though at some places she behaved rash considering that she was a lawyer by profession, but I still understood as behaving with a calm mind in every situation is almost always next to impossible for impatient people. I loved how beautifully the relationship between the lead couple was shown and how over the period of time it was shown getting weak by the chapter due to the situations and “incidents.”

The beginning was good and I was pulled into the story from the starting page itself. The ending was perfect and even though it was predictable, the pacing and the tension buildup totally made up for it.

The writing style of the author is brilliant and it made this fun a really memorable experience. I still can’t get the story out of my mind. This was my first book by author Sue Fortin, but I’m sure I’ll be buying her other books soon as I absolutely loved her writing style.

I’d recommend this book not only to all the mystery and thriller lovers but also to anyone who wants to read a nice book with strong characters and a powerful story.


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Book Review: Climatized by Sally Fernandez

32511383Author: Sally Fernandez
Release Date: 4th October 2016
Series: Max Ford (Book #1)
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Detective Fiction, Conspiracy
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 224
Publisher: Dunham Books

Rating: ★★★

Blurb:

Maxine Ford, having resigned as deputy director of the States intelligence Agency, soon needed an outlet for her innate sleuthing capabilities. It only made sense that she would be destined to establish her own investigative firm. Naturally, her stellar clients would be among the Washington elite, including senators, members of the various congressional committees, along with other high profilers inside the beltway.

In the first novel in the series, Climatized, Max is hired by the wife of a prominent Senator to determine the cause of his untimely death. It leads her to discover that three world-renowned scientists had been killed days before they were scheduled to testify before the late Senator’s investigative committee. Meanwhile, a fourth scientist has gone missing. Max determines he is the key to unearthing the motives behind the deaths. Following the many twists and turns, Max and her associate, Jackson Monroe uncover a powerful organization responsible for the killings. The challenges to the global warming “cottage industry” heats up putting into question the alleged science behind the widely accepted climate change dogma. Cogent evidence is provided to the president, forcing him to make a crucial decision-to cover up a diabolical plot-or bring down a multi-trillion-dollar world-wide economy.

Review

Climatized by Sally Fernandez is a mystery thriller that is centered around a huge political conspiracy involving the climate change.

I liked the book as I started reading it, but after around 100 pages the book started to get a bit flat for my taste. The main problem was that there was a lot of telling when it came to the main character Maxine Ford. At places, it felt like the author was forcing the reader to like her and to “get” how stud Maxine is. Plus, there was a lot of background info that was packed in the midst of scenes and situations that made the experience a bit overwhelming. I understand that background is necessary, but in this case, it was too much.

And for some unknown reason, I was not able to connect to the main character, Max, at all and hence, I lost interest in reading this book by the 50% mark. I still kept on going, but it was a real slog and I skimmed over pages just to be done with it. The descriptions of the climate stuff were too taxing and were impossible to keep up with, especially for a layman like me who has no idea about the technical stuff related to any of the climatic situations or the measures taken to avoid/stop them.

This book is not for me, but if you like science (or medical) and conspiracy thrillers then this book might impress you because there are a lot of raving reviews and testimonies for this book by a lot of big people (there are a few testimonies by professionals from NASA.) So I’m pretty sure that this book would be a huge hit in the right hands.


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Book Review: Losing Lauren by Alretha Thomas

32575253Author: Alretha Thomas
Release Date: 7th September 2016
Series: Detective Rachel Storme (Book #2)
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Detective-Fiction, Thriller, Suspense.
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 358
Publisher: Diverse Arts Collective

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Alexandra Winifred has played a supporting role in her cousin’s life since they were children. When Lauren Water’s parents are killed in a plane crash, Alexandra becomes her protector, and together they navigate their way through childhood and college. They’re both overachievers, but it’s Lauren who steals the spotlight when she’s discovered by a notable agent and goes on to become an award-winning actress, leaving Alexandra in her shadow as her fledgling publicist. Now Hollywood royalty, Lauren starts to cut those people out of her life who were responsible for her success. Alexandra fears she will be next on the chopping block. But her trepidation about her failing relationship with her cousin becomes her least concern when she’s identified as a prime suspect in Lauren’s subsequent disappearance. Detective Rachel Storme, who has a full plate taking care of a parent with Alzheimer’s and supervising a meth-addicted aunt, is eager to get her hands on a challenging case, but nothing could prepare her for the dark secrets and lies that she uncovers while she does everything in her power to find out what happened to Lauren.

Review

Losing Lauren by Alretha Thomas is an exceptionally brilliant book. So much so that I enjoyed it even more than the first book in this series (which, by the way, I absolutely loved!)

This book is intense, gripping, complex and officially un-put-down-able!

I was hooked right from the beginning to the very end. The plot was amazing and had a depth that I found very satisfying considering that it is a crime novel. The level of intrigue, suspense and thrilling action was perfectly balanced. I enjoyed all the twists and turns that kept me guessing and I am not at all ashamed to say that at some point or the other I doubted each and every single character.

The ending completely baffled me! The whole woman thing literally caught me off guard and I ended up mentally kicking myself for doubting all the wrong people.

One thing I noticed in this book (and the last book too) was that author Alretha Thomas has a unique way of creating characters that have so many layers of complexity that you end up doubting the main POV character more than twice and start wondering “is she the murderer? Is she even aware that she killed another person.” And that is why I enjoy reading her books so much!

The characters, as usual, were well-crafted and relatable. I loved Detective Rachel Storme already, but this part made me love her even more and I guess she is actually in line for becoming one of my favorite fiction detectives of all time.
All the other characters were also very well-developed and I was able to connect to them all. I loved reading about the rich backgrounds of each and every character, more so because they belonged to the Hollywood and their lives were shown beautifully and in a very realistic way.

As usual, this book was written brilliantly with the use of simple language and in relatable POVs which made this book a complete package for me.
I’d recommend this book to all the crime-mystery and detective fiction lovers. This is one series you can’t afford to miss.


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Book Review: The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews

29985686Author: Brian W. Matthews
Release Date: June 17, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 260
Publisher: JournalStone

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Beneath the calm waters and pastoral fields of Emersville, a deadly secret lurks. But when psychologist Dr. Brad Jordan stumbles upon the odd happenings in the town, he sets off a series of tragedies that threatens to expose a danger long kept hidden from the world. Relentlessly following a trail of madness, suicide, and murder, he soon finds himself confronted with a massive conspiracy, and a sinister device known as the Conveyance.

REVIEW

The Conveyance by Brian W. Mathews is a splendid Supernatural Thriller novel.

The author has cleverly used his background as a psychiatrist to use in the novel as the protagonist’s profession. The struggles and the conflicts of the main lead were so realistic that i was able to connect with him right away and the bond only deepened as the story progressed further.

I was literally pulled into the book right from the very beginning, where the main lead is shown talking to one of his patients (a kid,) and I wasn’t able to put down the book right till the very end when everything goes to hell.

The pacing and the timing were brilliant and so was the fast paced plot. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and some of the parts really creeped me out! This book is a brilliant example of how a good super natural story can be written without having any of the stereotypes in it (yes, I talking to the Vamp and Werewolf lovers.) The author took the concept of creepy dolls to another level. It really blew my mind off!

I found the author’s writing really easy to follow and it made reading this book a really pleasant experience. It was fresh, clever and had a distinctness that I really liked.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who has a liking and an appetite for a creepy supernatural book that actually crosses its path with Sci-Fi genre. So, all in all, if you like Stephen King books and the likes then you really have to read this book!

My copy of The Conveyance:

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The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews

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Book Review: Captcha Thief by Rosie Claverton

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Author: Rosie Claverton 

Release Date: February 29, 2016
Series: The Amy Lane Mysteries (#3)
Genre: Mystery | Suspense | Crime | Thriller
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 293
Publisher: Crime Scene Books

 

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Blurb:

Agoraphobic hacker Amy Lane and her sidekick ex-con Jason Carr are caught in a tortuous and increasingly dangerous adventure as Amy seeks to help track an art thief and Jason seeks to impress the National Crime Agency investigator Frieda Haas sent to recover the missing painting – and its abductor.
As the evidence leads Amy and the police in circles, Jason finds himself taking more and more risks in his hunt for the thief. Nothing is as it seems. Are Amy and Jason merely playthings for a vicious murderer? Can they survive the game?

Review

Captcha Thief by Rosie Claverton is a brilliantly thought-out and a cleverly written book.

It has a great pace which edges towards fast, yet at the same time being subtle. I felt compelled to read this book in one sitting, but in spite of being terribly busy,  I managed to read it in three.

The suspense and story build-up is truly magical and I was left longing for more when it came to the backgrounds of the lead characters.

The characterization is truly stunning. I felt a really strong connection with Amy in spite of her being too socially awkward for my taste. There were moments when I felt emotions well up inside of me so strong that I literally had to stop myself from screaming at the book.

On the other hand, the character of Jason is so darn unique and good that I developed an instant liking for him. He’s this strong yet sensitive guy who’s always misunderstood in spite of being a really kind person.

At some places, the main plot gets a little overshadowed by the sub-plots, but the author’s clever writing and pacing manage to make the reader feel the urge to know more about the sub-plotline in order to see what’s happening in the character’s lives.

The random sprinkling of chapters of the murderer throughout the book took the story to a whole new level. Also, the use of new hacking techniques made it a really interesting book for me.

The beginning was really good because the murder pulled me into the story right from the first page. It took me only a few chapters to get the flow of the various POVs and after that, the story kept on getting better and better.

The ending is great. It’s not the typical mystery sort of ending where the killer is revealed and such, but it ends taking the main character’s story into focus. I am eagerly waiting for the next part in this series, and meanwhile, I’m considering buying the first two parts just to get to know Any and Jason better.

I loved this book and I cannot recommend it enough to everyone who loves mystery.

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Opening Line: Night after night, he returned to that one place.

Highlights: Excellent pacing and brilliant storytelling.

Lowlights: Nothing.

Memorable Quote:

… this time, it wasn’t the dead man’s face that haunted her, but the delicate features of a woman who’d died a century earlier.

The second time was easier, killing someone.

Final Thoughts: An outstanding mystery read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

WOLSDORF_SECURITY_HCJKT_02_25.indd

Author: Gina Wohlsdorf
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Slasher, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 241
Publisher: Algonquin Books

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

When the gleaming new Manderley Resort opens in twenty-four hours, Santa Barbara’s exclusive beachfront hotel will offer its patrons the ultimate in luxury and high-tech security. No indulgence has been ignored, no detail overlooked. But all the money in the world can’t guarantee safety. As hotel manager Tessa and her employees ready the hotel for its invitation-only grand opening, a killer is in their midst. One by one, staff are picked off with ruthless precision. And before the night is over, as Tessa desperately struggles to survive, it will become clear that the strangest and most terrible truth at Manderley is simply this: someone is watching.
With stunning ingenuity, Gina Wohlsdorf puts readers front and center as the elite resort becomes a house of horrors. Riveting to the final sentence, Security is fierce, wry, and impossible to put down. With a deep bow to the literary tradition of Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Daphne du Maurier, Wohlsdorf’s razor-wire prose blitzes readers with quick twists, sharp turns, and gasp-inducing terror. Security is at once a shocking thriller, a brilliant narrative puzzle, and a moving, multifaceted love story unlike any other.

Review

THIS BOOK IS TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

First of all, I’d like to thank Kim (one of the best book reviewers I’ve ever met and a good friend) who personally recommended this book to me. Thanks a bunch, Kim, you’ve introduced me to some pretty awesome books, but this one takes the cake.
Read Kim’s review of Security here.

Coming back to the review, I loved Security for more than a dozen reasons. If I’ll try and explain all of them, I’ll probably go nuts because I’m already feeling too excited to even write a review for this book. So I’ll just list a few reasons why I loved this book so much without getting into details:

  • Unique concept. Security is written from the point of view of a stranger who see the entire hotel through a number of cameras (around 25 of them.)
  • The sheer brilliance of the plot line.
  • Remarkable characterization in a sense that more than half of the characters were only two-dimensional, but on purpose. That was how they were meant to be, and they played their magic in a way that was intended.
  • Exceptional pacing.
  • Ingenious execution of the plot.
  • The shamelessly artistic dissection of human emotions.
  • Excellent writing highlighted by clever dialogues and eloquent  sarcasm.
  • Awfully, yet brilliantly gory slashing and trashing
  • Heartbreaking ending. I’m still so upset about how the book ended that it’s literally making me go crazy. It didn’t make me weep (that would have been creepy) but it really unsettled me because I literally fell for the unknown POV guy (Mr. Head Of Security.)
  • The abrupt scene cuts, in my opinion, served as a master stroke and delivered a sense of urgency quite beautifully.

I’d recommend this book to each and everyone out there who read books. You should read this book simply because if you don’t, then you’ll miss out on a really, really, really GOOD book. And I’m sure you wouldn’t want to do that. Do you?

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Opening Line: The maze is twenty-five hundred yards square.

Highlights: Everything!

Lowlights: None

Memorable Quotes:

“The best security is invisible security.”

“No one, except one person, is aware that no one, except two people, have access to 1802.”

“She never looks so sad as when she looks almost happy.”

“The most thorough safety is safety one’s object of protection doesn’t know about.”

Memorable Paragraph:

“It is easy to be nice when being nice is easy, but niceness is the first thing to go when an unexamined life becomes even slightly difficult. People begin failing tests then never realized they were taking. people get pills; people get mistresses. They get angry at grand injustices they created for themselves, and they created those injustices in an effort to ignore the fundamental, foundational injustice that being alive means living in the shadow of death. It strikes them – these blessed children – as horribly unfair.”

Final Thoughts: This book is a masterpiece!


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Netgalley, and Amazon.

Book Review: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

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Author: Julia Heaberlin
Release Date:
11th August, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Mystery | Psychological-Thriller | Suspense | Crime | Contemporary | Adult
Edition: Kindle (.mobi)
Pages: 369
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A girl’s memory lost in a field of wildflowers.
A killer still spreading seeds.
At seventeen, Tessa became famous for being the only surviving victim of a vicious serial killer. Her testimony put him on death row. Decades later, a mother herself, she receives a message from a monster who should be in prison. Now, as the execution date rapidly approaches, Tessa is forced to confront a chilling possibility: Did she help convict the wrong man?

Review

Black Eyed Susans has a really unique plotline which is brilliant, to say the least. The pacing was great and the twists and turns, along with the suspense build-up was amazing. I enjoyed this book a lot and I’m eagerly waiting to read more books by the author.

The alternating POVs of the lead at 2 different ages provided an ingenious angle to the story and makes it all the more interesting.  I enjoyed the young  POV of the lead character (Tessie) because it was the read deal, but the older one (Tessa) wasn’t disappointing either.

The characterization was great and I was able to feel a strong connection with the main character – Tess (both the selves of her – Tessa and Tessie), which added a new flair to the book. The secondary characters were also well-developed and I was able to connect to almost all of them.

The book started with a great beginning and I couldn’t resist myself from getting lost in this book right from the beginning. And throughout the book, the story had an air of gloominess to it which makes this book a perfect suspense read.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the ending. The ending felt a little rushed and it came off as if not a lot of thought was put into it. After reading such a great story I was expecting a little more creativity (and also sinistral thinking) towards the end. It wasn’t well executed and it really made me sad because I had to cut back on a star from its rating.

Still, I’d say this book is worth reading. I’d recommend this book to everyone who enjoys multiple POVs and mystery, thriller and suspense novels.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Thirty-two hours of my life are missing.

Highlights: Storyline

Lowlights: Ending

Memorable Quote:

People appreciate pretty fantasies like this, where there is a feisty hero, even when there is no factual basis for it.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant psychological thriller.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon, and NetGalley.

Book Review: The Killing Forest by Sara Blaedel

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Author: Sara Blaedel 
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Series: Louise Rick Series
Genre: Crime | Thriller | Mystery | Suspense
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 320
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Publicist
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Following an extended leave, Louise Rick returns to work at the Special Search Agency, an elite unit of the National Police Department. She’s assigned a case involving a fifteen-year-old who vanished a week earlier. When Louise realizes that the missing teenager is the son of a butcher from Hvalsoe, she seizes the opportunity to combine the search for the teen with her personal investigation of her boyfriend’s long-ago death . . .
Louise’s investigation takes her on a journey back through time. She reconnects with figures from her past, including Kim, the principal investigator at the Holbaek Police Department, her former in-laws, fanatic ancient religion believers, and her longtime close friend, journalist Camilla Lind. As she moves through the small town’s cramped network of deadly connections, Louise unearths toxic truths left unspoken and dangerous secrets.

Review

I read The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel, not so long ago, and quite liked it. I was able to connect to the author’s writing and the story was interesting, to say the least, so when I was contacted for this book, I immediately accepted.

The Killing Forest is the kind of novel that’ll keep you up at night and would pull you into the story making you forget about the world outside. I really liked this book as it kept me intrigued. Like the previous book by author Sara Blaedel, there was not a lot to guess in this book, but the pacing was good enough to keep things interesting throughout. The author again shocked me towards the end with a smart plot twist.

The premise of the story was great and pacing was also good. The suspense was mild but I was able to feel a sense of urgency throughout the book (which is a big plus.)

The characterisation was good and I was happy to read about all the characters from the previous book in detail. I felt a connection with the main lead of the book,  detective Louise, though it was not as strong as it felt in the previous book. Still, the story being the hero in this book, I enjoyed reading it.

The writing was good but I did notice 2 major flaws that made it difficult for me to come up with a proper rating for this book when I was done with it.

Firstly, there are a lot of places in this book where the translation played tricks and hindered the flow of the book. This issue wasn’t there in the previous book so I was a little displeased this time around. The dialogues didn’t feel real and, at more than a couple of places, I was left wondering what the hell was the original dialogue anyway.

And the second thing that bugged me was that there was more ‘telling’ than ‘showing.’ It happened in more than a dozen places and it really affected the entire reading process altogether.

But, in spite of these two flaws, I still enjoyed the book and would love to read the next parts in Louise Rick series. I’d recommend this book to crime and mystery lovers.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: He hesitated before grabbing the dead chicken his father held out to him, its white feathers peppered with blood close to where its head had been chopped off.

Highlights: Story and ending.

Lowlights: Translation.

Memorable Quotes:

“…This is hell. No one gets out.”

Final Thoughts: A nice mystery read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Netgalley, and Amazon.

Book Review: Justice For Jessica by Alretha Thomas

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Author: Alretha Thomas
Release Date: March 31 2016
Series: Detective Rachel Storme
Genre:  Mystery | Thriller
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 328
Publisher: Diverse Arts Collective
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Mousey, overweight Stacey Sullivan would love to trade places with her glamorous socialite BFF, Jessica James—that’s until she discovers Jessica murdered in her own home. Whip-smart detective Rachel Storme is ready to exchange her gun and badge for a gardener’s hat and hoe. But she reluctantly puts her plans on hold when she’s asked to help solve Jessica’s murder. These two strangers from different generations—Stacey a millennial and Rachel a baby boomer—become unlikely friends in their pursuit of JUSTICE FOR JESSICA. But their friendship is put to the test when Stacey insists that her husband, Matt, is innocent in spite of evidence that speaks to the contrary. Rachel, baffled by Stacey’s blind loyalty to Matt, doggedly fights to take Matt down, but with Stacey’s help, he eludes her at every turn. Is Matt the killer or could Grant, Jessica’s husband, be the culprit? Perhaps it was her jealous sister, Georgette or the maid, Rosa? No matter who the killer is, Rachel, by any means necessary, is determined to find her man or woman.

Review

I read Missing Melissa by Alretha Thomas last year and I totally loved it! So when I was contacted by the author for the review of Justice For Jessica, I immediately accepted. And as it turned out, this book lived up to all my expectations.

It is a brilliant and entertaining book and it serves as a delightful start to a new mystery series. The storyline was not only good but also remarkably engaging as the author cleverly used the plot twists that kept me guessing the entire time.

The pacing was good and the flow of the story was really smooth. The alternating first person POVs of Rachel and Stacey, the main characters, not only helped in building the suspense beautifully but also managed to keep me glued to the book the entire time.

The characterization is also brilliant and I’m happy that I was able to feel a strong connection with Detective Rachel Storme, as this is the beginning of a new detective series in which she’s the said detective. The character of Rachel is really strong and in spite of her age, I felt a really strong connection with her.
I really loved her and I’d definitely read the next book in the series. In fact, I’d love to read ALL the books in this series!

The other characters were also very well-developed and relatable, especially that of Stacey. I’m not sure if we’ll see her in the next books in this particular series, but I hope that we do because I’d love to know how her life turns out in the future.

The plot of this book hooked me right from the first chapter, where the murder happens, and after that it book took me on a really exciting and thrilling journey. At times, I was so engrossed in the lives of Rachel and Stacey that I completely lost track of time.

Like any good mystery novel, this book ended with one hell of an unpredictable ending that left me completely surprised.

The cover art of the book is really good and the color theme is also good. The blurb is self-explanatory and I’m sure that these things are more than enough to make a reader pick up this book from the stands.

I’d recommend this book to all the mystery and thriller readers and also to those  who are searching for a new detective series to begin with.

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Opening Line: “Thank goodness it’s finally Friday. Halle-freakin’-lujah!”

Highlights: Plotline and mystery.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

It just seems impossible that someone that beautiful could be a murderer. That’s probably the same thing people said about the serial killer, Ted Bundy.

Final Thoughts: A thoroughly engrossing and exciting read!


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Death Unmasked by Rick Sulik

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Author: Rick Sulik
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Series: 
Genre:  Mystery | Thriller | Historical Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 287
Publisher: Christopher Matthews Publishing
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★ – DNF

Blurb:

A reincarnated evil is stalking the women of Houston. With each murder, the madman quotes an excerpt from the Oscar Wilde poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.” A huge smokestack belching smoke, a ragged flea market double-breasted wool coat, and an old antique picture frame, bring the distant past back to haunt Houston Homicide Detective, Sean Jamison. With those catalysts, Jamison knows who he was in a past life and that he lost the only woman he could ever love. Searching for his reincarnated mate becomes Jamison’s raison d’être as he and fellow detectives scour Houston for a brutal serial killer. The memory of timeless love drives Jamison’s dogged search for a serial killer, determined to finish what he started decades earlier.
Each clue brings Jamison closer to unmasking his old nemesis. Tenacious police work, lessons learned in the past, and intuition may be the only weapons he has in preventing history from repeating itself.

Review

I left this book at page no. 158 (which is more than 50% of the book) because that was exactly where my patience gave way. The story began nicely and I liked the concept and settings, but the narration and editing didn’t work me.

At times, the dialogues didn’t make sense and most of the time if felt like the male lead was giving lectures instead of having conversations. I really think that this book needs heavy and thorough editing.

I hate DNF’ing books and I always try my best to push myself and to give the book another chance (again and again,) and with this book too I tried the same (especially because the author sent me the book from the US) but even after forcing myself to read further I simply couldn’t.

I really feel that a few revisions and strong editing can help this book reach its full potential, but right now it’s simply not ready.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)

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Author:  Sylvain Neuvel
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Series: Themis Files
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy > Robots | Speculative Fiction | Thriller
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 320
Publisher: Del Ray
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb: 

World War Z meets The Martian. This inventive first novel will please devoted fans of sci-fi as well as literary readers hoping a smart thriller will sneak up on them.

17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.

Review:

 

This book is a MASTERPIECE. I mean I don’t even know where to start and what to say about this book…

*Sigh* Let’s begin here… At first I had only a faint idea of what this book would be like, but trust me, it wasn’t even 1% of what it turned out to be (in a good way.) It totally BLEW my mind OFF!!!

First off the format is super intriguing and very, very clever. The transcripts, interviews, personal entries, a few random conversations, newspaper articles etc, were not only intelligently constructed but also mixed deftly in what can only be called a really, really impressive combination. The sequencing was brilliant and made this book an epic read. Hats off to the author for pulling this off with such perfection.

I can’t even begin to express how impressed I am with this book’s format and writing. I mean, as an author myself, I can understand how difficult it would have been and for that alone, kudos to the author.

Coming to the story, I was expecting it to be something different. But saying that I was surprised by the direction the plot took in the second half would be an understatement. I mean it was a whole lot different from what I could have expected. The story itself is an outstanding piece of work in itself.

If it’s not obvious already, then let me state it clearly. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I mean really love it. It’s a really, really intelligent book with a very strong plotline and astounding characterization.

The end of this book completely caught me off guard. So yeah, it was good through and through.

And the nameless interrogator cum adviser cum whatever the hell you wanna call him, was simply wow! I love him… I mean he is indeed a real softy (an inside joke for anyone who reads this book.)

In the end, I’d just like to say one thing: If you want to read only 1 book this year, make sure Sleeping Giants is the ONE.

And I just found out (while writing this review) that this book is the 1st book in series, Themis Files. So, now I’m eagerly waiting for the second part… Hope it comes out soon!

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It was my eleventh birthday.

Memorable Quotes: 

If you fall in love with someone, there’s a good chance the person won’t love you back. Hatred, though, is usually mutual. If you despise someone, it’s pretty much a given they’re also not your biggest fan.

There I was, this tiny little thing at the bottom of the hole, lying on my back in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Highlights: Format and characterization.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: If you want to read only 1 book this year, make sure Sleeping Giants is the ONE.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Journey To Death

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Author: Leigh Russell 
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Series: Lucy Hall Mystery
Genre: Mystery | Thriller
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 324
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★ – DNF

Blurb:

Lucy Hall arrives in the Seychelles determined to leave her worries behind. The tropical paradise looks sun-soaked and picture-perfect—but as Lucy soon discovers, appearances can be very deceptive. A deadly secret lurks in the island’s history, buried deep but not forgotten. And it is about to come to light.

As black clouds begin to gather over what promised to be a relaxing family break, Lucy realises that her father stands in the eye of the coming storm. A shadow from his past is threatening to destroy all that he holds dear—including the lives of his loved ones.

A dark truth is about to explode into their lives, and that truth is going to hit them right between the eyes.

Review

 

DNF’ed at 28%

The initial plot build up of this book felt promising but after 15% of the story, it started to feel a little scattered. I enjoyed the part of the vacation and the descriptions of the island, but I felt that after a few pages, the author went a bit onboard with the descriptions. I mean considering the book is a thriller and not a travel guide, the descriptions were too much for my taste. It was distracting me from the basic storyline and kept me thinking, “when the hell will the story start.” – Which is, of course, not a good thing.

Secondly, I thought that the concept of the “angel of death” was quite a bit exaggerated, considering she abducted a female at the 25% mark. I really lost the patience after slogging through the 28% of the book and hence, gave up.

The female lead, Lucy, failed to impress me in any way and the book fell short of characterization in a really bad way.

If you’re a patient reader and don’t mind tons of descriptions, then maybe you’ll like this book. Or maybe if you like light mysteries then this book will be an ideal match for you. But not for psychological thriller fans.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.

ARC Review: Eighth Day by Joseph John

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Author: Joseph John
Release Date: March 31, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Speculative Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 250
Publisher: Obsidian Dawn
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

A warning from a stranger.
“Nothing you know is real. Your name isn’t Shawn Jaffe, you’re not an investment broker, and you’re not from Ohio.”
But the stranger is murdered before he can explain.
Now Shawn isn’t sure who he can trust.
Even his own memories are suspect.
Someone is watching him, controlling him, using him.
To survive, he’ll need to find out who and why.
But the stakes are much higher than one man.
Our humanity is on the line, and on the eighth day, it could be the beginning of the end.

Review

The Eighth Day is an outstanding book and I truly enjoyed reading it. The book is written in multiple POVs and captures each and everyone’s viewpoint beautifully. The author has skillfully woven a tale that feels nothing short of magical, but in a speculative way. One thing that I’d like to mention here is that the timing of the POVs (the order in which the information or story line was revealed) was perfect and it was due to this that the book hit the bull’s eye for me.

The concept itself is out-of-the-world-brilliant and the blurb made it all the more exciting by conspicuously revealing only a few details at a time, only enough to make the reader go “hmm… that sounds interesting.”

The writing is sharp and the sentence formation is really clean and crisp. I enjoyed reading the way the author has this unique style of describing stuff using parallels without, but being blatant. And that’s one thing I’m looking forward to learning from this book. I admire the author’s ability to keep me engaged and speculating throughout the book.

 

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Right from the imaginative plot to the characterization, the author came out as a winner on all fronts. I felt a strong connection with the lead as well as the supporting characters, and even the bad guys. They were so well crafter and thought out that I even sympathized when one of the bad guys lands in trouble. This book had the give-enough-details-and-you-start-understanding-the-bad-guy’s-purpose sort of thing.

The fast pace of the book keeps things interesting right until the end where the book ends with an explosive climax. The ending is perfect and I really hope that the author writes a sequel to this book(?) and that too soon!

I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a good speculative or even a sic-fi read. Mystery lovers will also enjoy this book equally.

My Bookstagram

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “They’re watching you.”

Highlights: Writing.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

He was darkness in a world of darkness, and soon he’d dance again.

He was a shadow. He was the night. And nothing would stop him now.

Memorable Paragraphs:

Each morning, he woke and took a shower. He suited up and ate breakfast. He drove to work, and each day he faced countless acts of immorality and ungodliness that deepened his contempt for humanity. Evil came in the form of colorful pills, white powder, and a syringe. It dressed in blue jeans and a T-shirt, a business suite, and sometimes it wore a uniform and carried a badge. It wielded a pistol, a rifle, a knife, a baseball bat, and anything else it could get its hands on to shoot, stab, and bludgeon. It stole cars, money and lives. It raped, and it murdered, and it was everywhere.

Final Thoughts: An exceptionally brilliant book!


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Baggage by S.G. Redling

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Author: S.G. Redling
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 229
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: 
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Over the years, terrible things keep happening to Anna Ray on February 17. First, there was the childhood trauma she’s never been able to speak about. Then, to her horror, her husband killed himself on that date.
A year later and a thousand miles away, Anna tries to find solace in the fresh start of a new job in a new place. She takes comfort in her outspoken cousin Jeannie, the confidant and best friend who’s there whenever she needs help. On the day of the dreaded anniversary, Anna and Jeannie hit the town, planning to ease the pain with an alcohol-induced stupor and then sleep.…
When Anna awakes the next morning, she thinks she can put one more February 17 behind her, but fate is about to intervene in the form of two gruesome murders with eerie similarities to her violent past. This time, however, she won’t be an abandoned daughter or a grieving widow. This time, she’ll be a suspect.

Review

The book started off really great. The dysfunctional life of Anna is portrayed beautifully and her willingness to drown out her sorrows in wine makes her come across as a completely vulnerable lead, which serves just right for the foundation of the story. The initial plot built-up sets a really interesting premise for the mystery that lingers over the alternate chapters like a heavy cloud. These chapters are often mixed with Jeannie’s 17-year-old self and Anna’s 12-year-old self. The author keeps the book really interesting with these mixed POV chapters and lays a brilliant foundation for a great psychological thriller.

The story build-up was great, and the alternating POVs and the time frames really kept it interesting. I loved reading this book and really enjoyed reading it. The pace of the book was good and I found some or the other interesting bits happening in every chapter which kept me glued to the book.

Like a good suspense novel, there were a lot of suspects that the reader could zero in on, but the ending was truly surprising. I only wish that the author would have made the motive of the murderer a little more solid as it felt a little week and it really didn’t add up with the blurb’s mysterious tone. And the fact that the date mentioned so clearly in the blurb really had no significance was a little disappointing. Nonetheless, I was totally baffled when the killer was revealed as I really liked that character. a lot!

The characterisation is excellent and all the characters have really good depth and layers and layers of traits which make them come across as real people. They are extremely relatable and likable.

The writing is also really good. The easy flow made the book a quick as well as an enjoyable read. The pace of the story was great and made it difficult for me to put down the book after every chapter. The author did a fantastic job in keeping the reader busy in the possible-suspect-guessing-game and, at the end, she really nailed it with a surprising ending.

This book is a quick read and the blood and gore were minimal, so it was a good change to read a relatively clean psychological thriller.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “I would already be home if I would stop turning around to stare.”

Highlights: Plot build-up.

Lowlights: None

Memorable Quotes:

“Sometimes all it takes for us to see things the proper way is for someone else to see them wrong.”

Nothing takes the glory out of a victory like passive surrender.

“Welcome to the Fucked Up World of Anna Shuler Ray. There’s a small, pissed-off, hand hacking butcher running around the edges of my world, and it’s the cop I’m afraid of.”

Final Thoughts: A really good and relatively clean psychological thriller.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, NetGalley and Amazon.

Book Review: Floor 21

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Author: Jason Luthor
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Series: 
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, YA, Suspense, Thriller
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 234
Publisher: Kindle Press
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

As humanity lives out the remainder of its existence at the top of an isolated apartment tower, young Jackie dares to question Tower Authority and their ban on traveling into the tower’s depths. Intelligent and unyielding, Jackie ventures into the shadows of the floors below. But will her strong will and refusal to be quiet—in a society whose greatest pride is hiding the past—bring understanding of how humanity became trapped in the tower she has always called home, or will it simply be her undoing?

Review

I LOVED this book. It started off pretty great and ended on the same note. Floor 21 is written in the form of recordings in alternate person and I truly enjoyed how this format took this story to a whole new level.

It was really intriguing and kept me on edge the entire time. I was constantly trying to figure out the mystery of the tower as well as that of what awaits outside it. The author has done a splendid job in beautifully carving out the story.

The pace of the story is great and the voice of the main character just wooed me! It was literally like sitting in front of a teenage girl and listening to her blabbering about her life.

I was hooked from the start to the very end. Each and every chapter or recording kept me glued to the book and made me finish the book in a day.

There were a few loose ends left at the end, but considering it was in the form of recordings, I’m ready to give this book benefit of the doubt. Though I do hope that there’ll be a sequel to follow this book so that we can finally know what really happened and that what lies outside the Tower.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “My name id Jackie, and it’s not so bad living here.”

Highlights: Format of the book.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A great dystopian book.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Dead Eyed (DCI Michael Lambert #1)

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Author: Matt Brolly 
Release Date: September 3, 2015
Series: DCI Lambert
Genre: Crime | Detective Fiction | Mystery | Suspense | Psychological Thriller | Adult
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 315
Publisher: Carina UK
Source: Publishing Push
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★☆

Blurb:

DCI Michael Lambert thought he’d closed his last case…
Yet when he’s passed a file detailing a particularly gruesome murder, Michael knows that this is no ordinary killer at work.
The removal of the victim’s eyes and the Latin inscription carved into the chest is the chilling calling-card of the ‘soul jacker’: a cold-blooded murderer who struck close to Michael once before, twenty-five years ago.
Now the long-buried case is being re-opened, and Michael is determined to use his inside knowledge to finally bring the killer to justice. But as the body count rises, Michael realises that his own links to the victims could mean that he is next on the killer’s list…
The gripping first novel in a thrilling new crime series by Matt Brolly. Perfect for fans of Tony Parsons, Lee Child and Angela Marsons.

Review

This book started out slow and took its sweet time to pick up the pace. Initially, I had to struggle a bit to get into the book, but once I was 15% through, I was in for good. The pace picked up and the book went from slightly interesting to quite interesting and then I was on the edge of my seat almost biting my nails.

The story felt a little too long but considering that it is the first book in a detective series, I’m okay with it because I know that establishing the basics and the background is really important.

I like Lambert… a lot. He’s one hell of a stud detective. One that I would love to read about. He’s all broken and stuff but, again, he is a real stud! He is everything a detective should be like- smart, intelligent, sharp and daring. And this is all to say that the author truly nailed the characterization. Even the other characters, esp. Sarah May, were quite good and totally relatable.

The writing is great and the shifting POVs keep the book interesting and intriguing. The descriptions were so good that I squirmed every time another victim turned up with either their eyes cut out or stitched shut with black thread… And, trust me, it is one of the best things about this book.

The only thing that I find a little off is that the motive of the killer wasn’t made clear. I mean after reading a seemingly lengthy book, there’s nothing that I wanted more than to know the gory and dirty details of the killer’s motives or, at least, the driving force behind them.

Still, I enjoyed the book. And for a debut novel, this book is really amazing. Unfortunately, I’ve stopped rating books with 1/2 stars, otherwise, this book would have been 4+1/2 instead of just 4.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “The man hovered on the edge of the dance floor.”

Highlights: Characterization.

Lowlights: Ending.

Memorable Quotes:

In oculis animus habitat. The soul dwells in the eyes.

She viewed her past like a voyeur, her memories akin to a reader imagining a character from a book.

Final Thoughts: A fantastic start to a new Detective/Crime series.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Cold Girl (West Coast Crime #1)

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Author: R.M. Greenaway 
Release Date: March 26, 2016 
Series: None
Genre: Mystery|Thriller|Suspense|Crime Fiction
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 336
Publisher:  
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s too cold to go missing in northern B.C., as a mismatched team of investigators battle the clock while the disappearances add up.

Smart urbanite RCMP Constable Cal Dion isn’t designed for snow, silence, and deep, dark woods. But that’s where he finds himself after a life-altering car crash: coping with brain damage and posted in the snowbound Hazeltons of northern B.C. But how can he find his footing in a new life when he can’t find his own keys?

Detective David Leith has his own demons to tackle. Forty-two years old and a dogged investigator, he’s seen a lifetime’s worth of cruelty on the job, and his conscience has taken a battering. And now a monster is murdering young women on his turf.

Kiera Rilkoff, a popular young singer, is missing. Has she also fallen victim to the so-called Pickup Killer? The urgency ramps up as one missing woman becomes two. It isn’t until the bitter end that Leith discovers who is the coldest girl of all.

Rating

4half-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Cold Girl is one of those books that you can either love or hate. And for me, fortunately, it’s the first one. I really enjoyed the story and relished the way it ended. The plot is not only outright gripping but quite unique as well but in its own subtle way. Cold Girl has a character driven plotline and the author successfully pulls it off. The plot line is simple enough, but the twists and the turns scattered throughout the book makes it a fairly complicated one but in a good way.

The writing is a little different, which took me a fair amount of time to get used to, but by the end I got the hang of it. The story flowed well and the pace of the story was also good. But, in spite of everything being great, I thought that the book was exceptionally lengthy. In my opinion, it can be reduced to 3/4th of its length and still have the same impact. This little fact bugged me to no end because it was a really, really time-consuming read.

So, if you have enough time on your hands, then go ahead and read Cold Girl, as it’s a superb detective fiction.

Characters:

As I just said Cold Girl is a character-driven book and the author has managed to create something that I call as “awesomeness.” The main characters, Leith and Dion, are the life of this book and I can still picture them moving around and doing stuff in their daily lives –  that’s how powerful the characterization in this book is. I was totally able to connect with them and the bond that formed is a really strong one.

When we have two male leads who hate each other there is bound to a favorite. Mine is Dion. His vulnerability is what draws me to him and I’m sure in the coming books he’ll emerge as a really strong lead, even more than Leith.

The other characters such as the Law brothers, other constables and DCs, the victims and the suspects, each and everyone had a unique personality and surprisingly I was able to relate to them all. Full marks for characterization!

Romance/Kills:

There is no romance as such, but a major part of the investigation revolves around the relationship of the deceased and the suspect.

There is also a considerable number of killings prior to the main case which involves a serial killer. It serves as a great diversion initially and later on connects beautifully to the case-at-hand.

Writing:

The writing in this book is a little different than what I’m normally used to. Some of the sentences felt a little awkward at times but later I realized that it had more to do with the author’s style of writing than glitches. Fortunately, after reading half of the book I found myself getting used to it.

Having said that I would have definitely enjoyed the book more if the editor had straightened out those awkward sentences and made them a little less painful to read.

Still, I enjoyed the book and the amazing characterization totally made up for whatever problems I had with the writing in the first half of the book.

Beginning:

The book started off perfectly well with an intriguing prologue and then continued on a high note that kept me engaged the entire time. I enjoyed the detailed insight into the police procedurals and enjoyed the overall suspense that kept on building till the end.

Ending:

The ending of the book was perfect considering that it’s a part of a series. In fact, I’m really looking forward to how things are going to shape up in the next part. The mystery also ended well. A classic example of a simple situation going out of hands.

Blurb:

The blurb is apt and gives a really clear idea about what to expect from the book. If I had come across this book in a bookstore then I would have definitely grabbed it after reading the blurb.

Cover Art:

The cover art is good but not excellent. It could have a been a lot better.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: She was the only patch of stillness on the planet, to Dion, the dark-haired girl sitting on the far wing of the bleachers, second to lowest tier, watching the band play.

Highlights: Exceptional characterization.

Lowlights: Length of the book.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant but lengthy read.

Book Review: The Child Garden

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Author: Catriona McPherson
Release Date: September 8, 2015 
Series: None
Genre: Mystery|Thriller|Suspense|Scottish-Fiction
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 336
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Eden was its name. “An alternative school for happy children.” But it closed in disgrace after a student’s suicide. Now it’s a care home, its grounds neglected and overgrown. Gloria Harkness is its only neighbor, staying close to her son who lives there in the home, lighting up her life and breaking her heart each day.

When a childhood friend turns up at her door, Gloria doesn’t hesitate before asking him in. He claims a girl from Eden is stalking him and has goaded him into meeting her at the site of the suicide. Only then, the dead begin to speak—it was murder, they say.

Gloria is in over her head before she can help it. Her loneliness, her loyalty, and her all-consuming love for her son lead her into the heart of a dark secret that threatens everything she lives for.

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

The Child Garden has an amazing plot story full of well-timed twists and turns. I enjoyed reading it t and tremendously and felt compelled to read it in one go. I was sucked right into the book from starting to end. The main suspense of the book is also mindblowing and there is no way in hell one could have guessed that the things will turn out the way they did.

The pace of the story is great and the writing proceed smoothly without interfering the flow of the story. I really liked the deliberate slow progress of the investigation as it kept me intrigued throughout the book. One more thing that I’d like to add is that the small part of the book where the author used a little demon reference was the stroke of a genius. Why? Because it really made me put down the book at the night. it was a really small part (maybe a few pages,) but it really gave me a good scare.

Characters:

In spite of liking the story, I wasn’t able to feel entirely connected to the main character, Gloria. The story is written in first-person but still I felt a little detached from her. In fact, at one point I felt that she herself was the murderer. I’m not sure what went wrong, but it just felt that the narration was responsible for the detachment I felt.

The other main character is that of Stig and I really liked him, though I felt a little irritated at times to find out that in spite of whatever Gloria did for him, he  continuously held back the truth from her. Still, I liked him a lot and enjoyed the amazing foods he dished out.

Romance/Killings:

There was no romance, but there were a number of killings. Though at times the murders were a little confusing (maybe because of Scottish names and surnames or the fact that a few names were similar,) I still enjoyed the book thoroughly. All the killings really intensified the pace of the story and left me wanting for more.

Writing:

As I mentioned earlier, the writing is good and flowed beautifully without interfering the reader’s imagination. Though I felt the characterization was a little (just teeny-weeny) weak. I would have enjoyed more if the MC would have been a tad more relatable but nonetheless I still enjoyed the story.

The attention to detail is remarkable!

Beginning:

This book hooked me right from the beginning. It started with a beautiful prologue and carried on with the same effect.

Ending:

The ending is mind blowing and I was completely spell-bound by suspense that was revealed at the end. Though I felt that the story was a little rushed right before the suspense was revealed.

Book Cover:

I love this book cover because it really gives me the willies! I picked up this book because of the cover and the blurb.

Blurb:

Okay now, this is where it gets a little ugly. The blurb is quite misleading. I thought that the book is a supernatural one (as the blurb says) but it is NOT. It’s a suspense-thriller book.

You can also read this review at:
 Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It was far from silent in the dark wood.

Highlights: Amazing storyline and suspense.

Lowlights: Characterization and misleading blurb.

Final Thoughts: A really good suspense read.

Book Review: The Forgotten Girls (Louise Rick #7)

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Author: Sara Blaedel
Release Date: February 3, 2015 
Series: Louise Rick
Genre: Mystery | Thriller | Crime-Fiction | Scandinavian Fiction | Suspense | Adult
Edition: e-book (mobi) 
Pages: 315
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: NetGalley (Thanks, Tiffany!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick—the new commander of the Missing Persons Department—is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed—and hidden—n the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

The Forgotten Girls is a brilliant book with an exciting plotline which engulfs  the reader right from the beginning. The enjoyed the storyline thoroughly and would definitely love to read more from the author. This book has so many elements that it’ll keep the reader guessing at all  times. This book is what a real psychological thriller should be. The twists and turns were well timed and the intrigue factor was always present.

I loved the story from beginning to end and I’d recommend it to everyone, especially the genre lovers.

Characters:

The characterization felt a little weak to me. The main character, Louise Rick, is a decent character. I won’t say that I felt an out-of-the-world connection with the lead, but still I was able to relate to her on some level. Maybe it’s just me or the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy reading about 30 something women. Still Louise Rick, as a character, was quite good.

I enjoyed reading about her partner, Eik, and her son and neighbor. All these characters are also well-built and relatable, but again, only at some levels. but the little bit of romance seemed a little awkward as again I’m not used to reading about women with children.

Romance/Kills:

There were one or two killings, which contributed to creating the whole mystery. The killings were not really gruesome or gut-wrenchingly intense so I’d say that it’s actually a light thriller.

There was also a little romance, though it was more like flirting and it was quite awkward cause it happened so suddenly that I thought that I missed a page. It doesn’t even matter as it’s a thriller and not a romance book.

Writing:

The  book is written in third-person narrative and the writing style of the author is really simple and understandable. To be honest, I felt that the writing was decent, but the story-telling was quite weak. With a plotline this amazing I was expecting the book to be an outstanding read, though it was not quite there. And for me, that was because of the story-telling.

Having said that, I think maybe it’s because of the fact that the book is translated or poorly edited. Whatever it is, it’s the only thing that, according to me, pulled the book down a little.

Beginning:

I enjoyed the beginning of the book and was sucked into it right from the first page. Though, after the prologue the story  flowed quite slowly. But after a while it picked up the pace.

Ending:

The ending was quite unpredictable. I was completely blown off by it and it’s one of the strongest parts of the book (after the plot itself.)

Cover Art:

I love this cover art. It gives the feeling of being forgotten and the darkness of the woods really intensifies the feel.

Blurb:

The blurb is just perfect. it made me accept the book in spite of being completely packed with review-requests. I would have definitely bought it if I had stumbled upon it either on Amazon or in my bookstore.

You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Gone is coming, Gone is coming!

Highlights: Brilliant plotline.

Lowlights: Storytelling.

Final Thoughts: A decent psychological thriller with a strong plotline.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.

Book Review: Smokescreen

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Author: Tasha Lessey 
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Series: Standalone
Genre: Science Fiction | Thriller
Edition: Kindle (mobi)
Pages: 288
Publisher: Self-published Amazon Digital Services, Inc
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It starts in Washington when a lone gunman enters a busy burger chain and opens fire killing twenty-five people. It continues in Paris, London, Sydney and Beijing. Authorities, including FBI agent Jack Rossi find no motive or any connection between the shootings causing fear and panic in the world’s major cities.

As Jack scrambles to get answers, he stumbles upon a secret world of hybrid humans, moles and a threat he never saw coming. One that could lead to the loss of an unprecedented number of lives. Including his own.

Rating

3half-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

I thought the story had great build up. In the beginning, it starts off as your standard novel with a globalized terrorist threat to set the scene for the action. I was prepared for the aliens, but I was not prepared for feeling like I was on the edge of my seat.
The story was similar to Independence Day (the movie) in the sense that the aliens seemed to have an impenetrable defense. But that is not to say that if you saw the movie, it was the same story. This was different is so many ways. There are secrets, lies, intrigue, action, plot twists, and light romance.
A lot of the suspense came from the fact that it was difficult to know who to trust. Who is a hybrid human? Who is a mole? I need answers! I need to know now!

Characters:

The characters acted in a way that was understandable for the circumstances. Jack was a no-nonsense FBI agent that is trying to figure out how to solve the case. He is dealing with a threat that he never knew existed. A lot has changed in his life in a short period of time and he has hardly any time to decide how he is going to handle all this new information. At the same time, he is trying to resist his urges to initiate a physical relationship with his partner Lauren.
Lauren has feelings for Jack too but knows the timing is off. They are dealing with a global catastrophe and other personal issues. There seemed to be little room for developing their romance. As the story progressed, I could understand her hesitancy.

Romance/Kills:

I was not surprised at the number of kills in this book. After all, the story starts with several mass shooting scenes. However, the killing was not overly graphic. As the reader, I knew there was carnage but it was not described in a way that I could see the blood dripping from wall. The stage was set for the story.
I was surprised that there was a little romance element included in the story. Similarly to the killing, the love scenes were not too graphic. There was enough detail to get a mental picture of who was touching whom and where.

Writing:

I think the author did a good job of writing the story from the various viewpoints and tying everything together at the end.

Beginning:

The opening scene is the mass shooting in the restaurant in DC. The action gets started on the opening page.

Ending:

While the story focuses on Jack, by the end, I thought that Lauren was the true hero of the book. I think the ending was fitting and leaves the reader to imagine the possibilities for the future.

Cover Art:

The cover art is fits the story because the overall vibe is ominous with the freaky looking eyes.

Blurb:

From the blurb mention of “hybrid humans”, I could tell there was going to be a sci-fi aspect. I could not tell that the book was going to be about alien invasion. However I had a clue as to what the book would be about because it is categorized in Amazon under the following genres: Alien Invasion, Science Fiction, and Supernatural Thrillers.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Her penchant for French fries and hamburgers had finally gotten her in trouble.

Highlights: The suspense.

Lowlights: I wish some of the characters had not been killed.

Final Thoughts: I enjoyed it.


Review Contributor:

pics-3Amaryllis Turman

I work in an office. Outside of work, I participate on several non-profit boards and volunteer time as a life skills mentor. One of my favorite past times is reading, especially romance genre. I also enjoy writing, travelling, and trying new experiences with my hubby.

I write poetry when inspiration moves me. My hubby and I try to travel a new location each year. I have a goal each year to try something that I have not tried before. Because of that goal, I have ran various types of 5k races, started playing tennis, and attended numerous wine tastings.

You can read more about Amaryllis here.


Book Review: The Perfect View

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Author: Carolyn Young 
Release Date: August 23rd 2014
Series: None
Genre: Psychological Thriller | Adult
Edition: Kindle (mobi)
Pages: 554
Publisher: Lulu Publishing
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Mara is unaware that she is not the only one with the perfect view of her own life. Someone who has known her since the very beginning is watching her from across the lake and has been hiding in the shadows around and behind her for years, even long before she moved into her beautiful house with her husband and his daughter. The watcher has witnessed all that she has suffered and every horrible mistake that she has made in each turbulent phase of her life, but he also knows why she made them, just as he knows with certainty that she needs him to watch over her so that he can rescue her when the time comes.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Note: In most reviews when I give above 3.5 stars it’s so easy to write a review for that book, but here… Here writing the review was extremely hard. Every other word I wrote just reviled a lot of details that I didn’t wanted to share (keeping this spoiler free, lol). So it took me a while to write the review where I share what I love but without any revealing details.
Before I will start with the review, I have to say that this book is more suitable for adults due to its harsh content.

Plot/Story:

Okay, this book was a great read. I enjoyed it so much and it was a fast pace read. You get immersed in the story fast (I loved that) and your connection with the character is from the start.
This is a story that makes you want to read more with page turn. The plot here is Mara’s (the main characters fights her demons and trying hard to heal the past.
I will say that the book is mostly one flashback after another and sometimes this can be a bit overwhelming, but here the author did a great job of making it feel smooth and not overbearing as most books with a lot of flashbacks.
I normally don’t read Psychological Thriller, but I am happy that I’ve read this book. It was an awesome read.

Characters:

Mara (the main character) is struggling a lot to find her right place in the world while she battles against her own demons.
I loved how Carolyn (the author) made Mara so strong, even if she drinks a lot and self medicate to forget, but she is so strong and slowly she knows that the only thing that will help her is to remember.
You go from frowning at Mara and get upset by all the wrong choices she make and then you sympathy towards her. The author made this character so well, that Mara will not be forgotten.
Jack is another strange, dysfunctional character and when the author showed his point of view it was really scary and chilling. Trust me when I say, that these two characters will hunt you in your thoughts.

Romance/Kills:

Wow, this story is full of emotions; more like an emotional roller-coaster (I will end this here before I will start telling too much, again, lol).

Writing:

I loved Carolyn’s writing style. She writes so beautifully, it was so smooth, clean and she was able to grip my attention from start to finish. She made all the flashbacks easier to handle and they were not overbearing. Even though this story talks about abuse, affairs and addictions, the author wrote so well that your heart is immediately go out for the Mara and her story.
The author puts a lot of details on the flashbacks, but here it made the story to take shape into a wonderful book to read.

Beginning:

It’s was a harsh start as you are thrown from the beginning to the inside of Mara’s mind and emotions, but it was still a very fast pace read and from the start I enjoyed the dysfunctional Mara and was able to connect with her immediately.

Ending:

I loved the ending so much. It has a nice twist to it (it did surprise me), but in a very satisfying way.

Cover Art:

I love the cover of this book a lot. It’s so beautiful and dark just like the story.

Blurb:

The blurb sounds really nice and it does set the tone for the entire plot of Jack and Mara.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Mara was dimly awake and sitting on the edge of the bed with her feet on the floor, but she could not quite force her weighted eyes to open completely.”

Highlights: I love Carolyn’s writing style a lot and how she shows us the inner turmoil of a person so beautifully. It’s such a sad but wonderful book.

Lowlights: None!

Final Thoughts: If you like to dive into the mind and soul of a person, you will love this book. This book has it all, hard life, harsh experiences, addictions, love and so much more. The Perfect View is wonderful read, it may not be an easy read, but it is a great one!


Review contributor:

pics copy 2Galit Balli

I am an avid reader, coffee addict, a writer and a blogger. I am a bit of agoraphobic (people scare me, lol). Me and my hubby love to spend every moment together, we even game together.

I live mostly in my own imaginary world full of dragons, magic and vampires and from time to time I pull myself away to deal with the real world.

Read more about Galit here.


Book Review: Sisters Of Sorrow

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Author:  Axel Blackwell
Release Date: 24th April, 2015
Series: February 17, 2015
Genre: Fantasy | Adventure | Young Adult | Magic | Supernatural | Mystery | Thriller | Suspense
Edition: mobi
Pages: 332
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Anna Dufresne lives in a factory that eats children. If the brutal machines don’t kill Anna, her guardians’ neglect and abuse probably will. The only thing this abandoned teen wants is out. But the factory is inside a stone fortress, on an island, where people are sent to be forgotten. It serves as a dumping ground — both for orphans who are not welcome at finer institutions, and for nuns who have disgraced the Church. The walls of Saint Frances du Chantal’s Orphan Asylum hum with secrets and buried scandal.

In the catacombs below the factory, something long dead, something almost forgotten, stirs. It offers Anna a key, and promises freedom, if she will seek it out when she escapes. She knows her plan will endanger the other children, but Anna cannot resist the call of freedom.

Her escape attempt triggers a chain reaction of chaos, shaking the orphanage to its foundation and laying bare its deadly secrets. As Anna flees into the night, she discovers that the evil nuns were the least of her worries. The swirling mist of the island hides terrors more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Sisters Of Sorrow has an amazingly superb plot-line. It is a complete adventure-mystery package and this book is by far one of the best books I’ve read by an independent author. I enjoyed each and every chapter to the core and I literally had to drag myself away from the book to sleep at night.

This book is a masterpiece and I’ll recommend it to all the adventure and mystery fans. If you want to read a good book with an amazing story and superbly crafted characters, then this book is for YOU.

This book is about an orphan girl who tries her best to get away the cruel nuns of SFDCOA. She risks everything, even the life of her girls (sisters) and other orphans. But when she gets out, she discovers the ugly truths of the island and the asylum itself. The story shows her struggles and dilemmas beautifully and the of course highlights her choices which ultimately makes her a hero.

I enjoyed every ounce of this story and I’m going to re-read it soon, in fact I wanted to start it over again as soon as I finished it, but I have a lot of stuff to do right now to indulge in something so absorbing.

Axel Blackwell has beautifully proved that YA genre is so much more than Hunger Games, Divergent and Immortal Instruments.

Characters:

The author, Axel, did a fabulous job in creating, what I like to call as, the perfect characters. The characterisation is so strong that you’ll fall in love with each and every single character. I felt so bonded with Anna and Donny that I wanted to get in the book and help them out at tight places.

Even the characters of the evil nuns are so beautifully created that you’ll want to get stay away from McCain and Eustace.

Another character that I really enjoyed was that of Joey. The author really impressed me with such a unique character. I enjoyed having such a different being in a story like this.

Romance/Kills:

It’s a YA book and the main character is 14 years old, so there’s no romance but there’s a lot of love. Anna’s love for her girls (whom she lovingly calls her sisters of sorrow) is so heart-warming. Her attitude towards all her girls make me want to cry the tears of joy. She is such a brave little girl that I really, really love her.

Writing:

Writing style of Axel Blackwell compliments the story beautifully. He is an amazing story-teller. the writing is simple and perfect. I enjoyed reading the perfectly written third person throughout the book and based on this book I’m going to read all the books by him.

Beginning:

My heart clenched so bad when the story began. The nuns terrified me to no end and thinking about little girls and boys under their supervision gave me the willies.

The beginning was so powerful that as soon as I read the first page, I knew that I’m not going to be putting this book down anytime soon. I started to feel the bond with all the characters (that were mentioned from beginning) in the initial pages only and by the time I was half way through the book, I knew it’s going to be my new favourite.

Ending:

The ending of this book is perfect. It couldn’t have been better than what it is. I was so relieved and happy that the author maintained his level of brilliance throughout the book, till the very last word.

Blurb:

The blurb gives a fair idea about what to expect from the book. This book has so much to offer that it’s practically impossible to sum it up in a small blurb.

Cover Art:

Nice. I really like it and coupled with the blurb, it gives a really mysterious feel to the book. I love it.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Anna Dufresne sat on the edge of her cot in the predawn hour, staring down at her mummified pinky finger.

Highlights: Amazing plot and brilliant characterisation.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

When I’m dead, there’s nothing else they can take away. And that is it’s own kind of freedom.

No food and no blankets gets you dead little girls and boys.

If a child will not work, neither let him eat.

Being Anna’s friend is a bad idea.

They can only kill you once. After that, they can never hurt you again.

Memorable Quote:

A troop of broken orphans, shell shocked into doing the next thing that must be done. The only difference was that this time, the next thing that must be done involved sneaking through a storm while being chased by ax-weilding nuns and a Joseph-Thing. These girls have faced the stampers and needle machines on a daily basis, this wasn’t much worse.

“Lady!” Jane interrupted, in a voice that made Anna want to hide under a cot. “are you blind as well as stupid? Look around you. There used to be a fortress here. It stood here for a hundred years. It’s gone now. You know why? Because it made Anna it’s enemy. If anyone ought to be scared, lady, it’s you. There used to be a factory there, now it’s just a hole full of sand and seaweed, because it tried to keep Anna on this island.

“Anna fought off an entire order of evil nuns, an army of mercenary witch-hunters, a pack of wolves and a-a-a Joseph-Thing, to rescue her girls and get us off this island. And now you are going to just saunter up in your silly white dress and threaten her? I’ve seen a lot of moronic behaviour since I’ve lived here, lady, but you take the cake. You are one dumb-witch.”

Final Thoughts: You’ve GOT to read this book!!!


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Review: Demon Dance (A Sundancer Novel #1)

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AuthorBrian Freyermuth
Release Date: November 17, 2013
Series: Sundancer
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Paranormal | Thriller
Edition: mobi
Pages: 4159
Publisher: Middark Press
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Nick St. James was born different. His extraordinary gifts have saved him time and time again, but they couldn’t save the one thing he loved most: his wife.

Now he just wants to forget his old life, but more importantly, he wants to forget the magical underworld that lives beneath the “real” world. A place where a man’s faith can determine the very fabric of reality. Where ancient forgotten gods walk hidden among us, and angels and demons fight for our very souls.

But nothing stays hidden forever. Nick’s peaceful world is ripped apart when a demon slaughters his ex-partner and marks him for death. Now he must use all his gifts to find the one who summoned the nightmarish creature, but more importantly, he needs to find the one thing he lost long ago.

Himself.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

After the death of Nick’s wife and her sister, nick start to plan and start to realize that he can no longer hide from what he is. This story is one big ups and down and tons of action, with lots of emotions. This book has everything you might want from a book in this genre and much more.

Characters:

Nick is a wonderful and surprising main character. All he really wants is normal life, after all “he’s just a writer” but life always seems to interrupt with his plans. Soon he learns that he can no longer hide from his paranormal world, but he also learns how he fits in the normal world. I loved the inner battles Nick faces and see how he faces them.

Romance/Kills:

The constant battle against demons is not pretty, lol, but the author details of these violent battles are not too revolting (for my taste) but they are not pretty 😉
From bizarre friendships and surprising characters along the way, I loved that this book ends with the best happy ending that can be for Nick, at least for the first book.

Writing:

This is a first person told story and it’s full of sarcastic humor and emotions. The author truly has a great writing style that keeps you flipping those pages fast and wanting to know more. I love how took this wonderful and harsh world of the paranormal and yet still kept our normal world and the humanity more dominant and more important to the story.
There are big, big names in this book that you might already know and Nick and his friends battle them all.

Beginning:

The beginning of the book was very fast pace, exciting to read and the author’s writing of the paranormal really grabs your attention from the start. For the first few lines you get to know the author’s humor and writing style and you are hooked 😉

Ending:

There were a few things, that remained unexplained, but I guess the author leaves some for next book. With that being said, the ending was still very satisfying and I am sure to read the next book.

Cover Art:

I loved the cover art a lot. It’s simple yet very pretty and hints nicely of the book’s plot.

Blurb:

The blurb on Goodreads was really intriguing and I am happy it didn’t disappoint me, as sometime this happens. It’s a short blurb, written with hints and clues and overall very interesting.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Leave it to an ancient god to ruin a perfectly good afternoon.”

Highlights: Everything! I love the characters, the paranormal world and I love Brian’s writing style a lot.

Lowlights: None!

Memorable Quotes:

Leave it to an ancient god to ruin a perfectly good afternoon.

Ann used to say that life is a constant battle between faith and chance. That by giving us free will, the creator also gave us chance.

It will never be you, Nick. The game is in your blood. It’s what made you…you. It’s what Ann fell in love with.

Oh, and Nick?” “Yeah?” “Don’t be so dumb either. You really do have a hard time staying in one piece.

Final Thoughts: This is a bizarre, entertaining and fantastic book to read, I truly enjoyed reading it.


Review contributor:

pics copy 2Galit Balli

I am an avid reader, coffee addict, a writer and a blogger. I am a bit of agoraphobic (people scare me, lol). Me and my hubby love to spend every moment together, we even game together.

I live mostly in my own imaginary world full of dragons, magic and vampires and from time to time I pull myself away to deal with the real world.

Read more about Galit here.


Book Review: The Demeter Code (Ridley Fox/Nita Parris Spy Series #3)

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Author: Russell Brooks 
Release: July 4th 2014
Series: (Ridley Fox/Nita Parris Spy Series #3)
Genre: Spy | Thriller
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 7325 (422)
Publisher: Russell Brooks
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

When two American embassies in northern Africa are bombed, CIA operatives, Ridley Fox and Nita Parris, are assigned to track down the perpetrators. However, when their top asset is killed in a failed op, the agents suspect that there may be a new threat. Their search for the truth puts them on a collision course with a powerful multinational—which will go to extreme lengths to bury its criminal activities. However, the agents soon learn that someone with a personal vendetta against that company not only knows their secrets, but will expose them in a way that could result in the largest single-day attack against America.

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

This book starts not long after the first book (Pandora’s Succession) ends. It was really nice to return to Brook writing style after reading the second book. Here it had all the fine elements of a good spy story. It was a fast pace read and full of action and lots of tech stuff. Here it has a much stronger feel of mission impossible style in the plot, but not in a cheesy way, as it has lots of twists and turns and keeps you guessing till the end.

Characters:

CIA Agent Nita and Fox are working together and going all over the world, fighting off evil operations that try to inflict disaster in huge proportions. There were many characters that the author introduced to us and it was a bit hard to keep up with him, but in the overall look at the story it didn’t do it any harm. Brooks kept the main characters moving and intriguing throughout the book, which made me more invested in them.

Romance/Kills:

There is no spy movie or a book without some kills, but they were all tasteful of a spy story.
The relationship between Fox and Nita was very real written and I found myself wishing for something more to happen. Like in any spy movies here as well was a very detailed sex scene (I will leave it at that).

Writing:

This was a nice change in the writing style after the second book. You see the detail that Brooks wrote here and the story is much more attention-grabbing and pleasant.
All the action scenes were beautifully made and planned out, which made me just enjoy this story more, even though I do not read much spy books.

Beginning:

At first it was a slow read, as I was trying to keep up with all the character and all that was happing, but after the first few pages, I was more than hooked to the story and my investment for the characters was rising.

Ending:

By the end of the story the author ties everything nicely, still with a few surprises but in a very fun way for the reader (I will not say anything more to keep this spoiler free).

Cover Art:

Well… I don’t like the cover much, but it does have the feel of the book.

Blurb:

I really do like the Goodreads blurb for this story. It’s short and sweet 😉

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Watch where you’re going, dammit,” snapped the woman.

Highlights: I enjoy reading and getting to know Fox more and the author did a wonderful job with all the action scenes in the story. Making it a very fun read.

Lowlights: The tech stuff could get a bit overbearing, especially at first, but after you go on with the reading you get the feel for it and it becomes easier.

Final Thoughts: I truly enjoyed reading this book and if you like spy book or even movies, you will enjoy reading this book.


Review contributor:

pics copy 2Galit Balli

I am an avid reader, coffee addict, a writer and a blogger. I am a bit of agoraphobic (people scare me, lol). Me and my hubby love to spend every moment together, we even game together.

I live mostly in my own imaginary world full of dragons, magic and vampires and from time to time I pull myself away to deal with the real world.

Read more about Galit here.


Book Review: Pandora’s Succession (Ridley Fox/Nita Parris Spy #1)

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Author: Russell Brooks
Release: October 24, 2010
Series: Ridley Fox/Nita Parris Spy Series 
Genre: Thriller | Mystery
Edition: Mobi
Pages: 4733
Publisher: Russell Books
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

The deadliest weapon against mankind has been Unleashed. CIA operative, Ridley Fox, never stopped hunting his fiancée’s killers—a weapons consortium called The Arms Of Ares. When Fox follows a lead to one of their top-secret bioweapons facilities in Chechnya, he barely escapes alive. However, he’s learned that Ares has weaponized a hyper-deadly microbe called Pandora. The trail leads Fox to Tokyo, where he teams up with an old flame and fellow operative, Nita Parris. Aside from Ares, they must contend with rogue agents who’ll stop at nothing to get Pandora. This throws Fox and Parris into a deadly game of spy vs spy, as they must rely on each other to locate the microbe. For if it’s unleashed, it could mean the end of humanity.

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Wow, this book was really hard to review. There were a few this that held me back from reading ahead and I needed to go back a few pages (3 times), but the story itself and the overall feel when you are done reading was really great. The first 20 pages were a bit slow and it dragged for a while on too many details. That being said this was still a very nice thriller story to read.

This book is really action packed and you do get to learn a lot about the CIA, guns and biological information and after the slow start, I started to really be invested in the plot and in the main character Ridley Fox. The author explains the science behind everything that needs explaining and it made me connect to the plot and to the story more. The author makes the action in the book seem very real, like watching a wonderful action movie. With all that surrounds us these days in the news and in real life, the threat against terrorists is very relatable.
The story has a few twists and turns, but not too much and in a way that really made me turn the page. Even though I was able to know who was the true villain here (as I mostly do), it still didn’t made the story less enjoyable.

Characters:

I really loved Fox’s motivation and how driven he was to find the truth about his fiancée and save the world. He was so strong and the author showed his feelings and thoughts well enough for me to relate to Fox and be by his side as he undergo through everything.

The main characters were a bit off, as I craved for more information about them and more emotions from them.

Romance/Kills:

As an action/thriller book, there were necessary kills, but not in a way that I remember them. For me the focus was just on Fox and I think here as well, is where the author shined.

Nita is a nice female presence in this novel, although I did want to see more about her. She is the epitome of a feisty female agent. Nita and Fox were a wonderful pair together and I loved the almost awkwardness about them and I can’t wait to see where the author takes their relationship in the future.

Writing:

I loved Brooks (the author) writing style a lot. The book was well written and edited, making it so easy to read. Brooks made all the action scenes look really effortless and I could relate to how real this could be and enjoy the overall story.

Beginning:

As I said the start of the book was a bit slow and almost leggy in some ways, but you get past that very fast and it is worth it. The rest of the story is well writing and you actually having fun reading it.

Ending:

The story ended in two ways for me. First: Something was missing for me, but I still can’t put the finger on it of what is missing (sorry) but I just have that feeling. Second: The story ended with leaving me feeling that I just read a wonderful book I really can’t wait to read the next.

Cover Art:

I didn’t like the cover much, but I guess for an action-thriller book okay (I just don’t get to read much of action books).

Blurb:

I did like the blurb as it sets the mood and was very accurate of the plot to come, but still not giving too much information.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “The blow to the side of his head dropped Ridley Fox to the floor.”

Highlights: I think the highlight for me here is the Brook’s writing style, he really shined here for me and it made me turn the pages faster.

Lowlights: The first 15-20 pages were a bit of a slow read, but it didn’t make me stop reading.

Final Thoughts: This could make a wonderful action movie. If you like action book or thrillers, this book is for you.


Review contributor:

pics copy 2Galit Balli

I am an avid reader, coffee addict, a writer and a blogger. I am a bit of agoraphobic (people scare me, lol). Me and my hubby love to spend every moment together, we even game together.

I live mostly in my own imaginary world full of dragons, magic and vampires and from time to time I pull myself away to deal with the real world.

Read more about Galit here.


Book Review: The Magician

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Author: D.A. Pupa
Release Date: July 10, 2014
Genre: Psycological-Thriller | Fiction | Mystery | Suspense
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 316
Publisher: Wing Span press
Source: Author (Thanks a lot Dave!)
Buy it here: Amazon

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Graphic Novel Review: Copperhead: A New Sheriff In Town (Vol. #1)

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Author: Jay Faerber
Illustrator: Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley
Release Date: 11th March, 2015
Series: Copperhead
Genre: Science-Fiction | Western | Mystery | Suspense | Action | Comics 
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 128
Publisher: Image Comics
Source: NetGalley

Continue reading “Graphic Novel Review: Copperhead: A New Sheriff In Town (Vol. #1)”