Friday, January 29, 2016

Book Review: Tough Justice: Trapped (4 of 8) by Gail Barrett

Release Date: January 12, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Special Releases
Format: e-book (Kindle)
Pages: 85 pages
Genre: mystery/Romance
Buy: Kindle | Audio


Synopsis:

Can they get out of this investigation alive?

Special Agent Lara Grant's team are racing against the clock to prove infamous crime boss Moretti is behind a recent series of murders. With each lead ending up in a body bag, Lara's trapped by the weight of her own guilt. How many would still be alive if it weren't for her troubled history with the villain?

But he won't quit, so neither can Lara. The sniper is the key to finding the link between Moretti and the current cases. But before they can reach him, Moretti hits closer to home than Lara could have imagined…

Part 4 of 8 in the chilling, high-octane FBI thriller TOUGH JUSTICE from New York Times bestselling author Carla Cassidy and Tyler Anne Snell, Carol Ericson and Gail Barrett

Review:

Another great installment in this 8 part series.  Gail Barrett really kept up the pace of Carol Ericson's 3rd installment of this book.   Nick is back in the story and Lara and Nick attempt to move past her secrets but may have crossed a line. Lara is still worried about her secret and whether or not the ultimate finale may involve it.    

As the FBI race against time to figure out who is killing these random people and try to get ahead of the criminal before their finale they may have finally caught a small break that could lead them to connect the violence back to Moretti even though he is still in prison. 




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

ARC Review: Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: MIRA
Format: ebook
Pages: 288 pages
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Buy: kindle | Hardcover |
Paperback | Audio (Audible)


Synopsis:

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

Review: 

This book grabbed me from the beginning.  It is filled with characters that just seem off.  Jack is distant and not forthcoming about what happened to his parents when he was a child, or pretty much anything else pertaining to his life before leaving Penny Gate.  His cousin Dean and wife Celia definitely seem to be hiding something and before you know it Sarah is entrenched in a decades old mystery.

Sarah was a very genuine character but I had a difficult time relating to Jack and many of the other characters who just seemed to be there to move around Sarah.  The mystery itself was very well done.  There are a lot of different pieces that are uncovered like peeling away an onion. I found myself flip flopping around about who I thought was actually the bad guy.


This was a quick read and had a very suspenseful ending that I really enjoyed.  


Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review

Monday, January 25, 2016

ARC Review: The Dolls House (A Detective Helen Grace Thriller ) by MJ Arlidge

Release Date: February 2, 2016

Publisher: NAL

Format: Ebook

Pages: 288 pages

Genre: Mystery

Buy: Kindle | Paperback |
Audio (Audible)



Synopsis:


Ruby wakes up in a strange room. Her captor calmly explains that no one is looking for her. No one wants her. Except him.

When the body of a woman is found buried on a secluded beach, Detective Helen Grace is called to the scene. She knows right away that the killer is no amateur. The woman has been dead for years, and no one has even reported her missing. But why would they? She's still sending text messages to her family.

Helen is convinced that a criminal mastermind is at work: someone very smart, very careful, and worst of all, very patient. But as she struggles to piece together the killer's motive, time is running out for a victim who is still alive...

Review:

While it always surprises me how many serial killers can live in such close proximity I love these type of books and this series has me hooked.  I wasn't super thrilled with the first one but this one and the last one (Pop Goes the Weasel) were very well done and the serial killers are creepy and just a tad too real.

The interplay between the female characters in power is unfortunately very true to life. Why so many women in power feel they need to push down the other women around them instead of trying to lift each other up is beyond me but is very common.  I also appreciate how the author delves into the personal lives of these characters making them much more realistic than if we just saw them at work, not really understanding some of their motivations.

DI Grace is a complex woman with many secrets that still haven't been fully revealed.  She is also desperate to find her nephew whose life she feels she ruined when it was discovered his biological mother was Helen's serial killer sister.  In this book we find her looking for her nephew, attempting to find a missing girl who may be the next victim of a serial killer and defending herself from a power hungry boss who doesn't like sharing the spotlight with Helen.

While Helen gets a lot of the credit for finding and apprehending these criminals there is a team of loyal staff that helps back her up and protects her from the powers that try to pull her down.  It is a really well developed set of characters and a very interesting series.  The 4th book in this series is due out mid 2016, and I'm glad I won't have to wait too long to reunite with these characters.



Disclaimer: This title was received from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Book Review: Tough Justice: Burned (3 of 8) by Carol Ericson

Release Date: January 12, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Special Releases
Format: Kindle 
Pages: 83 pages
Buy: Kindle | Audible


Synopsis: 

She burned Moretti…now it's his turn.


Destroying Moretti was Special Agent Lara Grant's biggest coup, but she paid a heavy price to make the bust. She'll do anything to keep him—and her secrets—behind bars.

But Lara knows he's playing the FBI like a maestro even from jail. So when her boss's daughter is kidnapped, it's personal…and not just for Lara.

With the team at breaking point, it's up to Lara to keep everyone focused. Until a chilling photo is delivered to her home address. Moretti knows where she lives. And he knows what she's hiding

Part 3 of 8 in the chilling, high-octane FBI thriller TOUGH JUSTICE from New York Times bestselling author Carla Cassidy and authors Tyler Anne Snell, Carol Ericson and Gail Barrett. 


Review: 

There is a rift forming between Lara and her partner Nick.  Nick knows she is hiding things but Lara won't tell him why or what.  While investigating it seems their killer is always one step ahead of Lara and her team and they know things that only a handful of people know. A secret so dangerous that Lara is terrified when she discovers that her secret now seems to be out.

I really liked this installment, I feel that the suspense really built but didn't feel rushed as it did in the last installment. There were a lot of mind games being played by Moretti and his gang, which made the book seem like I was watching a game of chess. This book moved very quickly and a lot of things were going on but somehow it seemed to come together very well.

Although I anticipated what the big secret was I found the way it was revealed was clever, I will be interested to see what the other authors do with it. Nick's role was significantly diminished in this book, in fact he was almost nonexistent, not sure if this author just wasn't sure what to do with him or if there is a plan for him in the future.




Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Teaser Tuesday January 19, 2016



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Open to a random page:
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
*********************************************************************************


My TT comes from the book ARC The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza due out February 12, 2016 received from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

"The arm rose and again came crashing down, and then everything went black. 

The road remained silent and empty as the first specks of snow began to fall, twirling lazily to meet the ground. "

Monday, January 18, 2016

ARC Review: The Killing Forest by Sara Blaedel

Release Date: February 2, 2016

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: ebook 
Pages: 320 pages
Genre: Danish Mystery, Crime

Buy: Kindle | Hardcover |


Synopsis: 

Following an extended leave, Louise Rick returns to work at the Special Search Agency, an elite missing persons unit. She's assigned a case involving a 15-year-old, who vanished a week earlier. When she realizes he is the son of a butcher from Hvalsoe, she combines her personal investigation of her boyfriend's long-ago death with her search for the missing teen. 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 network of deadly connections, Louise unearths toxic truths left unspoken, and dangerous secrets.

Review:

Louise Rick is struggling with the attack on her at the end of book 7(The ForgottenGirls) but is trying to put it behind her and move forward.  It is effecting her personal life as well as her professional life.  The new case she is on puts her back in her hometown and leads her to look into not only the case of a missing boy but also the strange information she received about her past lovers death.

When bodies are uncovered in her friends forest she finds the key that leads her to a conspiracy that has lasted decades. There is a lot of interesting information on the ancient religion of Asatro.  In fact my interest was really peaked and this lead me to explore this a little more. 

I was very drawn into this book, when I started reading about the young boy who is so excited about his initiation into the old religion and the book kept me hooked from that point forward. The characters are extremely well developed and the cultural differences really shine through in this installment. 


After reading the last Louise Rick book I was looking forward to reading future installments and this one did not disappoint. I'm definitely going to continue to follow this author.





Disclaimer: This book was received from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review

Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Review: Tough Justice: Watched (2 of 8) by Tyler Anne Snell

Release Date: January 12, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Special Releases
Format: Kindle
Pages: 89 pages
Genre: Mystery/romance
Buy: Kindle | Audible


Synopsis: 

Special Agent Lara Grant is back in her enemy's sights, but this time she's not alone. She has a brand-new team and Lara knows she'll need to trust them with her life. Starting now.

When a lead becomes a victim, Lara and her team are thrown. Lara put Moretti away for life—so how can a guy who is still in prison be pulling strings? There's only one way to find out.

But when Lara comes face-to-face with the monster from her past, will she get answers? Or unleash hell?

Part 2 of 8 in the chilling, high-octane FBI thriller TOUGH JUSTICE from New York Times bestselling author Carla Cassidy and authors Tyler Anne Snell, Carol Ericson and Gail Barrett.

Review:

I find this series interesting since each installment is written by a different author.  I could definitely tell that this one was written a little differently from the first.  The character took on a more edgy feel and the descriptions were different. At first it felt like I was almost reading a different book until I started to get into the flow of the new authors style.

More people are dying and they still have no leads on who is doing the killing other than it has to be someone connected with Lara's past uncover op in the Moretti crime ring.

Lara seems to be coming unraveled, the case is shaking her.  She didn't take any time off after her undercover job and she is starting to blur lines.  I think this is a bit unrealistic as no cop would be thrown right back in the field right after being deep undercover for that long, but I'm going with it.

There were a few elements of this installment that made me feel that it was being rushed or something was a bit off.  Not sure if it was the writers style or the story itself.  Looking forward to the next author and the next installment.



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Book Review: Hades (An Archer & Bennett Series) Book 1 by Candace Fox

Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Kensington
Format: Ebook - Kindle
Pages: 320 Pages
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis: 

Twenty years ago, two children were kidnapped and left for dead.

Raised by a master criminal, they grew up to become cops. Very unusual cops . . .

Homicide detective Frank Bennett has an intriguing new partner. Dark, beautiful, coldly efficient, Eden Archer is one of the most enigmatic colleagues Frank has ever worked with—that includes her brother Eric, who’s also on the Sydney Metro police force. All of them are tested to the core when a local man discovers a graveyard of large steel toolboxes lying at the bottom of the harbor. Each box contains a grisly trove of human body parts.

For Frank, the madman’s clues are a tantalizing puzzle. For Eden and Eric, the case holds chilling links to a scarred childhood—and a murderous mentor named Hades. But the true evil goes beyond the bloody handiwork of a serial killer…

Review:

I read Eden (book 2) of this series last year and was so intrigued by it I had to go back and read Hades to see where it all started.  Hades is an intriguing character. When two young children are brought to him to dispose of he is very upset but when he finds out they are still alive he does the unthinkable, he decides to raise them.  Now they have become cops although both Eden and her brother Eric have rather unique personalities and hobbies.

Interspersed with a murder mystery is the story of Eden and Eric told from when Hades received them on his doorstep.  Book 2 tells Hades back story in a similar manner.  I am really enjoying the backstory on Eden and Eric and find the murder they are investigating chillingly viable.  Black market organ donation is a scary thought but what is even more disturbing is the people who feel that because they have the means they are more deserving. Makes you wonder who is the true monster in that case.

I am really happy I went back and read this book it really gave great insight into the characters and made the series stand out even more.  Loved it.






Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - January 12, 2016



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Open to a random page:
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
*********************************************************************************

My teaser is from the e-galley of Adoption Beyond Borders by Rebecca J. Compton due out March 1, 2016 

"International adoption in particular is controversial because it raises complex issues of culture and privilege. It demands that we face the abysmal circumstances in which many of the world's people live, circumstances that can include deep poverty, lack of medical care and social services, unaccountable governments, malnutrition, fractured families, alcoholism and drug addiction, and even abuse and neglect."

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review: After the Storm (Kate Burkholder book 7) by Linda Castillo

Publisher: Minotaur Books
Format: ebook
Pages: 320 pages
Genre: Mystery
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover | Audio (Audible)


Synopsis: 

When a tornado tears through Painters Mill and unearths human remains, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder finds herself tasked with the responsibility of identifying the bones―and notifying the family. Evidence quickly emerges that the death was no accident and Kate finds herself plunged into a thirty year old case that takes her deep into the Amish community to which she once belonged.

Meanwhile, turmoil of an emotional and personal nature strikes at the very heart of Kate's budding relationship with state agent John Tomasetti. A reality that strains their fragile new love to the breaking point and threatens the refuge they've built for themselves―and their future.

Under siege from an unknown assailant―and her own personal demons―Kate digs deep into the case only to discover proof of an unimaginable atrocity, a plethora of family secrets and the lengths to which people will go to protect their own.

Review: 

I love this series.  Each book sucks me in and keeps me turning the pages.  This book is filled with difficult choices, and secrets.  I really appreciate how the author not only gives you a mystery to solve but also keeps pulling you along with Kate and Johns relationship and their struggles.

Living near the Amish, stories like this always peak my interest.  I've been stuck behind buggies, and driven past their farms.  I think that Linda Castillo does an admirable job of showcasing the good aspects of this culture and also raises some questions about it.  She also does a good job of relating the different sects ranging from the very strict to Mennonite.

There are two different major stories going on in this book. One that is a cold case when some bones are found and the other that happens in the aftermath of a tornado.  Some of the descriptions can be very graphic so if you are squeamish I'm not sure this is a good book for you. This is not a sweet country story but a story of a brutal murder. Along with the two mysteries there is a subplot that involves Kate and John and their relationship.  Given that they both have pasts that they struggle with this new bump in the road is either going to tear them apart or bring them closer.



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