Tuesday, December 31, 2013

(65) The Awakening: Book 1 of the Sisters of Spirits Trilogy

Title: The Awakening: Book One of the Sisters of Spirits Trilogy by Yvonne Heidt
Publisher: Bold Stroke Books
264 pages
Genre: LGBT Romance, supernatural

Synopsis: Sunny Skye, a psychic medium, is the head investigator and founder of Sisters of Spirits, a paranormal society dedicated to helping others understand what they can’t see. She is excellent at finding ghosts but finds it difficult to cope in the real world. When she meets Jordan, she is instantly attracted and completely unnerved by the personal demons she carries around with her.

Street tough Jordan Lawson molded herself into what she thinks an excellent cop should be. She trusts only two things: facts and herself. She believes only in the evil that mankind commits and she certainly doesn’t believe in ghosts, even when confronted by one.

When spiritualism and jaded skepticism collide, who backs down first?

Review: I was a little skeptical of this book when I first started reading it, I found it difficult to identify with Jordan who just seemed a bit over the top angry.  But as the story unfolded I started to like her and Sunny is just, well, Sunny.  Her character is as infectious as her name.  By the end I fell in love with the story and with the characters.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series and learning more about Sunny's Sisters of Spirit.

(64) Memory in Death

Title: Memory in Death by JD Robb
Publisher: Berkley
384 page
Genre: romance

Synopsis: Eve Dallas is one tough cop. It should take more than a seemingly ordinary middle-aged lady to make her fall apart. But when that lady is Trudy Lombard, all bets are off. Just seeing Trudy at the station plunges Eve back to the days when she was a vulnerable, traumatized young girl—and trapped in foster care with the twisted woman who now sits smiling in front of her.

Trudy claims she came all the way to New York just to see how Eve is doing. But Eve’s fiercely protective husband, Roarke, suspects otherwise—and a blackmail attempt by Trudy proves his suspicion correct. Eve and Roarke just want the woman out of their lives. But someone else wants her dead. And when her murder comes to pass, Eve and Roarke will follow a circuitous and dangerous path to find out who turned the victimizer into a victim.

Review: If you've read any of the other books in this series then you know the horror that Eve came from but we don't know what happened after she escaped it. Trudy shows up pretending to be Eve's loving foster mother but Eve knows different, she tortured Eve as a young girl and many others, now she is here trying to make some quick cash.  When she turns up dead the woman Eve wanted nothing to do with suddenly becomes her responsibility.  Who killed her and why, the suspect list is long and no one would blame anyone for killing this horrible woman but its Eve's job to find the killer.  This is one of the better books in this series.  I like getting glimpses into Eve and Roarke's past.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

(63) All in with the Duke

Title: All In with the Duke (Gambling on Love) by Ava March
Publisher: Carina Press
210 pages
Genre: LGBT Romance

Synopsis: London, 1822
Max Arrington, the Duke of Pelham, vows to never again let a handsome face blind him to a man's true intentions. But ten months of celibacy and lonely nights drive him to a decadent brothel, where a beautiful young man arouses his illicit passions as never before. Tristan Walsh has grown tired of being used for men's pleasure. But his latest client is different: commanding yet generous, Max makes him feel cared for as well as wanted. Yet Tristan knows he'll never have the choice to leave the brothel and submit only to Max. So when Max invites him to be his guest at his country estate, Tristan eagerly agrees to his terms—days to do as he pleases while Max tends to the dukedom, and nights spent together in wicked play. But when the "business arrangement" begins to deepen into something more, Tristan must face the fact that he has no true place in Max's life—or in Max's guarded heart…

Review: Ava March shows us that love is love, it doesn't matter the gender makeup of the pair.  All in with the Duke gives us a muscular imposing gorgeous imposing man and a more effeminate male in looks alone.  Tristan is anything but a pushover and Duke or not Max has finally found someone who isn't scared of him.  Wildly sexy with a small bit of light bondage thrown in.  Definitely a fun read.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

(62) Into the Fire

Title: Into The Fire (The Ending Series) (Volume 2) by Lindsey Fairleigh & Lindsey Pogue
Publisher: L2 Books
360 pages
Genre: end of world, Post-apocalyptic,

Synopsis: The much anticipated sequel to the emotionally charged post-apocalyptic tale, After The Ending. The Virus changed them, but that was only the beginning… …death…mutation…insanity…corruption…terror… …all that remains is hope. In the wake of destruction left behind by the Virus, it took Dani and Zoe months to find each other. But their reunion was short-lived. Dani has been taken, and though little distance separates them, they might as well be worlds apart. From the moment she hears Dani’s scream, Zoe’s only goal is to save her best friend. She and her companions scramble to come up with a rescue plan, but when a ghost from Jake’s past reappears, lines are blurred, decisions become harder, and secrets are revealed…and some secrets are best left buried. To keep heartache and fear from consuming her, Zoe must cling to her determination. She WILL see Dani again. Dani awakens inside the final hold-out of civilization: the Colony. Remnants of the former world surround her—electricity, safety, social order—but all is not what it seems. As she faces her most manipulative adversary yet, she loses sight of who she is and who she can trust. Friends become enemies, enemies become allies, and allies will betray her. Dani will have to decide what she’s willing to do and whose lives she’s willing to risk if she is to have any chance of breaking free.

Review: I found this book to be very reminiscent of the Cronin's The Twelve.  It seems that people with mind control powers always seem to want to take over the world and those people in the medical research field often do things that they later regret after they realize what a horrible weapon they can be.  Maybe people should think about these things BEFORE they do them? Just an observation.

Into the Fire finds us in the Colony and finally discovering how the world ended as we know it ended. Of course the supposed safe haven of the new world is anything but and now Dani has to find her way out and hopes to save her old friends and some new ones in the process.

Once again the story flip flops between Dani and Zoe only this time it is easier to follow.  I'm not sure I like this book as much as the first but it certainly had its moments and it definitely held my interest.  I guess this one just felt a little more formula than the first but still a good read and had some aha moments that really tied some things together for me.  Definitely enjoyable and the characters continue to make me want to read more.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

(61) Origin in Death

Title: Origin In Death by JD Robb
Publisher: Berkley
384 pages
Genre: Romance

Synopsis: Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Wilfred B. Icove has been found dead in his office – efficiently murdered by one stab to the heart. Struck by the immaculate condition of the crime scene, Eve Dallas suspects a professional killing. Security discs show a woman calmly entering and leaving the building – the doctor’s final appointment. Known as “Dr Perfect”, Icove devoted his life to his family and his work. His record is clean. Too clean for Dallas. She knows he was hiding something and suspects that his son knows what it is. With her husband Roarke working behind the scenes, Dallas follows her instincts into the Icoves’ pasts. And what she discovers are men driven to create perfection – playing fast and loose with the laws of nature...

Review: Doctors who play God are a fascination, a fear and disturbing reality in this world.  This book definitely had a creep factor that made me angry and glued to the page.  I was a little confused in the end on whether or not some of the craziness escaped but I guess if it did I will find out in another book.  These books are just a guilty pleasure and Eve, Roarke and all the others are like old friends.  I love this series and this is one of the better ones.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

(60) Survivor in Death

Title: Survivor In Death by JD Robb
Publisher: Berkley
384 pages
Genre: Romance

Synopsis: No affairs. No criminal connections. No DNA. No clues. Eve Dallas may be the best cop in the city - not to mention having the lavish resources of her husband Roarke at her disposal - but the Swisher case has her baffled. The family members were murdered in their beds with brutal, military precision. The state-of-the-art security was breached, and the killers used night vision to find their way through the cozy middle-class house. Clearly, Dallas is dealing with pros. The only mistake they made was to overlook the nine-year-old girl cowering in the dark in the kitchen. . . Now Nixie Swisher is an orphan - and the sole eyewitness to a seemingly inexplicable crime. Kids are not Dallas's strong suit. But Nixie needs a safe place to stay, and Dallas needs to solve this case. Not only because of the promise she made to Nixie. Not only for the cause of justice. But also to put to rest some of her own darkest memories - and deepest fears. With her partner Peabody on the job, and watching her back - and with Roarke providing the kind of help only he can give - Lieutenant Eve Dallas is running after shadows, and dead-set on finding out who's behind them.

Review: Okay where to start with this review? The police work in this book is good the case is disturbing and heartbreaking.  That it takes Eve back to her past is an added plus.  I love the relationship Eve has with her young witness Nixie.   The child scares the hell out of her.  When she isn't seeing visions of her past when she looks at Nixie she is wondering what to do with her.  Having someone rely on her makes her vulnerable and Eve isn't used to feeling vulnerable.  The romance between Eve and Roarke is still going strong and the friendly animosity between Eve and her Butler still bring a smile to my face.  I hope that Nora Roberts will bring Nixie back in a much later book so that we can see how she develops because it seems to me that she is a mini Eve in the making.

Monday, November 18, 2013

(59) Of Fever and Blood

Title: Of Fever and Blood (The Inspector Svärta Thrillers, 1) S. Cedric
Publisher: Publishers Square
408 pages
Genre: Mystery

I received an advanced e-galley of this book through netgalley.com. I was published on September 23, 2013

Synopsis: Of Fever and Blood begins at the end of an investigation. Inspector Svärta, an albino profiler, and her colleague Vauvert, solve a series of sadistic ritual murder cases, and the supposed culprits—the Salaville brothers—are killed in a standoff.
However, one year later, the killings start again, this time in Paris. All forensic evidence points to the brothers, but how could that be?

The investigation leads to a discovery of the incredible truth about a killer for whom death is not an option.

Review: Super natural mixed with a mystery thriller.  While John Connelly's Charlie Parker series does this mix really well I felt that this one pushed the envelope a little to far and made it hard to be believable.  I found the book entertaining but there was just something missing. I'm not even sure what it was, maybe credibility of the characters, maybe something else but there was something I kept hoping for that never made it.

Inspector Svarta's character is strong yet broken.  She is haunted by her past and maybe thats where the breakdown was, I just can't see any police department hiring someone as broken as she is.  Thats where John Connelly has it down, Charlie was kicked off the force.

I found the story line and the references to Elizabeth Bathory and her bloody obsession with youth very interesting.  I loved the historical aspect to this book and liked the way the old was intertwined with the new. So there were aspects of this book I liked I just felt the characters were too broken and outside the realm of reality.

Friday, November 8, 2013

(58) Runner

Title: Runner (A Sam Dryden Novel) by Patrick Lee
Publisher: Minotaur books
336 pages
Genre: thriller

I received an advanced e-copy of this title through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. It is due to be released February 18, 2014.

Synopsis: Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn’t know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She only remembers the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.

Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago, agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both. Although Dryden is only one man, he’s a man with the extraordinary skills and experience—as a Ranger, a Delta, and five years doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team. But, as he slowly begins to discover, the highly trained paramilitary forces on their heels is the only part of the danger they must face. Will Rachel’s own unremembered past be the most deadly of them all?

Review: Fast paced thrill ride.  From the opening chapter to the end there is non-stop action and some creepy science.  The very thought of the government experimenting on people the way they do in this book is not outside the realm of my imagination and that is even scarier to me. The relationship between Sam and Rachel is touching and a bright spark of hope in an otherwise scary universe. Sam's character reminds me of Jack Reacher from the Lee Child series, ex military, very capable and even a little scary in his capabilities.  Rachel is a sweet girl who finds herself in terrifying position of being the target of a lot of very capable government people and they all want her dead.  Underneath that sweet young girl with the missing memory is a very scary and very capable young woman who can do things that will terrify you.  A great quick read.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

(57) Reality Boy

Title: Reality Boy by A. S. King
Publisher: Little Brown
368 pages
Genre: YA

I received a free copy of this book from netgalley.com for an honest review. This title was released October 22, 2013

Synopsis: Gerald Faust started feeling angry even before his mother invited a reality TV crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he's still haunted by his rage-filled youth--which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle--and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. No one cares that Gerald has tried to learn to control himself; they're all just waiting for him to snap. And he's starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that...until he chooses to create possibilities for himself that he never knew he deserved.

Review: Reality TV is not really reality.  It is staged for the camera's and for entertainment value.  What you think is real is usually just a small piece of a much larger picture. Gerald Faust became a reality star when he was 5 when his parents allowed a TV crew into their home to "help" with his behavior.  Of course he may have been the star of the show but he wasn't the one who really needed the help.

Now a teenager and still angry at the world Gerald has a choice to make. Does he continue to live in the shadow of his 5 year old self or does he decide to make his own way and show everyone that they were wrong about him? Through this journey he realizes that he may not be the only person who had a shitty childhood and just because it wasn't aired on TV doesn't mean it doesn't hurt just as much.

This book makes you think about what you see on TV and the impact it has on the people who are putting themselves through all this just for their 15 minutes of fame.

(56) Coming Clean: A memoir

Title: Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller
Publisher: New Harvest
272 pages
Genre: Memoir

Synopsis: Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a tidy apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. You would never guess that Kim grew up behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspapers, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room—the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding.

Review: I've watched Horders on tv, and been shocked by their living conditions but Kimberly's memoir puts you right in their moldy trash ridden house along with her.  The shame and humiliation she felt at living like that.  Surviving a fire that killed all her pets, but left her happy that they got to start over somewhere else that was clean was heartbreaking.  At least nowdays its known to be a disease.  There is a name for this and kids whose parents have it at least have a name to put to it and the knowledge that there are other people out there who live like them.

Reading this book made me want to throw everything out and clean my house.  I'm not a hoarder by any means but I can understand Kimberly's need to live very sparsely.  A very interesting read.

Friday, October 25, 2013

(55) The Creeper

Title: The Creeper: A Novel by Tania Carver
Publisher: Little Brown
468 pages
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Synopsis: Suzanne Perry is having a vivid nightmare. Someone is in her bedroom, touching her, and she can’t move a muscle. She wakes, relieved to put the nightmare behind her, but when she opens the curtains, she sees a Polaroid stuck to the window. A photo of her, sleeping, taken during the night. And underneath,the words: “I’m watching over you.”
Her nightmare isn't over. In fact, it’s just beginning. Detective Inspector Phil Brennan has a killer to hunt. A killer who stalks young women and insinuates himself into their lives.But the more Phil investigates, the more he delves into the twisted psychology of his query, Phil realizes that it isn't just a serial killer he’s hunting but something—or someone—infinitely more calculating.

Review: This is the 2nd book in this series.  The first book The Surrogate was another nail biter but this book freaked me out.  Stalkers freak me out in general but when one lives in your house and watches you, drugs you and does creepy things to you when you think you are asleep its worse.  I think what gives me the willies is that this kind of stuff does happen.  It doesn't jump the shark, it is a sick twisted mind that does this and there are people like that out there.  I really enjoyed this book.  I love the characters and the creep factor. There were some issues that I wish an editor had caught but they didn't take away the enjoyment of this book.  If you are looking for a fast paced nightmarish thriller this is one for you. I may have to sleep with the lights on for a night or two.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

(54) Bad Luck and Trouble

Title: Bad Luck and Trouble: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
Publisher: Dell Fiction
477 pages
Genre: Thriller

Synopsis: From a helicopter high above the California desert, a man is sent free-falling into the night . . . and Jack Reacher is plunged into the heart of a conspiracy that is killing old friends.

Reacher has no phone, no address, no ties. But a woman from his former military unit has found him using a signal only the eight members of their elite team would know. Then she tells him about the brutal death of one of their own. Soon they learn of the sudden disappearance of two other comrades. But Reacher won’t give up—because in a world of bad luck and trouble, when someone targets Jack Reacher and his team, they’d better be ready for what comes right back at them.

Review: I feel like I'm late to the game with these books, and I haven't started from the beginning but it doesn't seem like you really need to.  I didn't feel like I was missing anything jumping in somewhere in the middle of this series.  Jack Reacher is nothing like Tom Cruise.  I see why there was a big hub bub when he was cast to play him. Jack is a large man, tall and wide.  He seems anti-social and lives life by his own rules.  He drifts from place to place does what he pleases but when his friends are in trouble he is right there to help them get out.  There isn't a lot of thinking when reading these kinds of books, its like a romance novel for adrenaline junkies.  When you want to kick some butt you pull out one of these.  I liked it. I like Jack and I think I'm gonna have to read more of these.  

(53) The Guilty One

Title: The Guilty One: A Novel by Lisa Ballantyne
Publisher: William Morrow
480 pages
Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: An eight-year old boy is found dead in a playground...and his eleven-year old neighbor is accused of the crime. Leading the defense is London solicitor Daniel Hunter, a champion of lost causes.

A damaged boy from a troubled home, Daniel's young client, Sebastian, reminds Daniel of his own turbulent childhood - and of Minnie, the devoted woman whose love saved him. But one terrible act of betrayal irrevocably shattered their bond.

As past and present collide, Daniel is faced with disturbing questions. Will his sympathy for Sebastian and his own memories blind him to the truth? What happened in the park - and who, ultimately, is to blame for a little boy's death? Rethinking everything he's ever believed, Daniel begins to understand what it means to be wrong...and to be the guilty one.

Review: I wanted this book to make an impression on me.  It had the potential to but since I started this review back in May and then forgot about it until I just stumbled upon it today, I have to say that this one just faded away. It had potential.  The story flip flopped back and forth between when Daniel was a child to modern day when Daniel is defending a boy who reminds him of his past.  I liked the premise, I even liked the beginning but somewhere along the line it fell flat.

The story seemed predictable and ultimately it is more about Daniel than it is about Sebastian.  Did Minnie betray Daniel out of misguided love? The lack of details left me not really caring that much.  Since this is Lisa Ballantynes first novel I hope that her next ones give us a little more to sink our teeth into. Characters that aren't memorable don't last, and neither do the writers who write them.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

(52) Janes Melody: a novel

Title: Jane's Melody: A Novel by Ryan Winfield
Publisher: Atria books
337 pages
Genre: Romance

Synopsis: That's the question a grieving mother must answer when she takes in a young street musician she believes can shed light on her daughter's death—only to find herself falling for him.

Review: I needed something light after reading my last book.  I kept seeing ads for this book on facebook (so their advertising worked on me!) so I thought I would check it out.  I was pleasantly surprised.  While there were a few things that didn't suspend my disbelief overall I found the book to be entertaining and fun.

Drug addiction, alcohol addiction and grief all play big roles in this book and while that may seem heavy it didn't weigh the story down.  Unfortunately I know a few people who have lost their children to drugs and the grief experienced is twice as raw and three times as painful as what is portrayed in this story but I will let that go since its supposed to be a romance novel and there is always some disbelief in those.

Learning to let go and move forward is a big part of this story.  I enjoyed it and thought it was well done.  It had the usual romantic sap but it wasn't too over the top.  Highly enjoyable fun.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

(51) Buck

Title: Buck: A Memoir by MK Asante
Publisher: Randomhouse Publishing
272 pages
Genre: memoir

I received an advanced e-galley of this book through netgalley.com. It was released August 20, 2013

Synopsis: MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone—his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country—and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary.

Review: Drugs, crime, broken families, and violence is nothing new to this Philly girl but it may be new to some.  This is a story of a brilliant writer who almost lost his battle to grow up. Through diary entries written by his mother and chapters told in the voice of his 15 year old self this is a book that holds you captive. Even though I know this book is written by the voice in the story I still found myself holding my breath in places hoping that things would work out.

This is the story of so many young urban people.  Parents either absent or on drugs, schools that are more like prisons, where teachers have given up hope, and the streets become the schools. The murders, the friends who die too young, the helpless feeling and the lure of drugs and money.  This story is written in a way that is accessible.  That will speak to so many, or at least be familiar.  While we are living in a slightly different time the troubles are still relatively the same.

MK has shared his pain and written a book that could be any inner city kids story, except this one doesn't end in a coffin, it ends with a career, a way out through education.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

(50) The Heavens Rise

Title: The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice
Publisher: Gallery Books
336 pages
Genre: horror

I received an advanced e-copy of this book through netgalley.com It is due to be released October 15, 2013.

Synopsis: It’s been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished near Bayou Rabineaux, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, the survivor who ran away from the mangled stretch of guardrail on Highway 22 where the impossible occurred…and kept on running. Who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction…and who alone knows the source of her very bizarre—and very deadly—abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.

An accomplished surgeon, Niquette’s father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium: “the final resting place for the heroic and virtuous.” Then, ten years ago, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred something that had been there for centuries—a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body.

Niquette is living proof that things done can’t be undone. Nothing will put her family back together again. And nothing can save her. But as Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. And unlike her, this man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge.

Review: This book started out with a bang.  It was creepy, fast paced and spooky, by the middle I was struggling and the end was a disappointment.  The settings were pure NOLA and the characters were strong with the exception of Nicky who left before we really had a chance to fully know her. I was routing for Nicky and Anthem's relationship and Ben just seemed like the quirky sidekick until half way through when he became the main character and the glue that holds everyone together.

Christopher Rice loves his hometown.  He knows exactly how it feels and how it moves.  He understand all the different parts of it and how they fit together in a quirky mix.  If you love NOLA this book definitely has great descriptions and feeling.  I wanted to visit Elysium, I wanted to see the pool that ruined the love of a lifetime, but Katrina ruined it, just as it ruined most of the city that Christopher and I both love.  For this alone I can't totally discount this book.  There were parts of this book I really enjoyed but then others that were just so over the top and rushed that I felt let down.

I've read several of Christopher Rice's other books and I've found them to be a bit all over the place as well.  Some I liked (Density of Souls), some were just so so for me. I guess I would have to characterize this one as a so-so read.

Monday, September 16, 2013

(49) Gone Missing

Title: Gone Missing: A Thriller (Kate Burkholder Novels) by Linda Castillo
Publisher: Minotaur Books
277 pages
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Amish

Synopsis: Rumspringa is the time when Amish teens are allowed to experience life without the rules. It’s an exciting time of personal discovery and growth before committing to the church. But when a young teen disappears without a trace, the carefree fun comes to an abrupt and sinister end, and fear spreads through the community like a contagion.
A missing child is a nightmare to all parents, and never more so than in the Amish community, where family ties run deep. When the search for the presumed runaway turns up a dead body, the case quickly becomes a murder investigation. And chief of Police Kate Burkholder knows that in order to solve this case she will have to call upon everything she has to give not only as a cop, but as a woman whose own Amish roots run deep. Kate and state agent, John Tomasetti, delve into the lives of the missing teen and discover links to cold cases that may go back years. But will Kate piece together all the parts of this sinister puzzle in time to save the missing teen and the Amish community from a devastating fate? Or will she find herself locked in a fight to the death with a merciless killer?

Review: I am fascinated by the Amish culture and love these books.  This latest book in the Kate Burkholder series I couldn't put down. Fast paced, and haunting I loved every minute of it.

In search for someone who is abducting young Amish girls John enlists Kate to help him by speaking to the families of the missing girls. What Kate uncovers starts to hit a little too close to home.  Most of the girls were rebellious, didn't feel they fit into the Amish community and had considered leaving.  For John the case hits close to home because the girls are close to the age that his children would have been had they not been murdered along with his wife several years ago.  Fighting their own demons Kate and John must now find a serial abductor who is working within the Amish community.  Given that the Amish don't trust the English and are loathe to give any details that might make their children look bad (or normal to most people's standards) it is hard to find a connecting thread that ties all the crimes together to give them a good enough lead to find them.  As more women are abducted Kate finds herself personally involved.

I'll leave it there because the ending was really good and I don't want to slip up and give anything away.  If you are as fascinated by the Amish as I am these books are a good fit.  You catch a glimpse inside the plain life and learn that evil doesn't necessarily skip them just because of their beliefs.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

(48) The Troop

Title: The Troop by Nick Cutter
Publisher: Gallery Books
368 pages
Genre: Horror

I received an advanced e-copy of this book through netgalley.com.  This title is due to be released January 7 2014. 

Synopsis: It begins like a campfire story: Five boys and a grownup went into the woods...

It ends in madness and murder.And worse...

Once a year, scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a three-day camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story and a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bio-engineered nightmare. An inexplicable horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival that will pit the troop against the elements, the infected…and one another.

Review: This book just got creepier and creepier and its going to be hard to write this review without giving too much away.

The "bio-engineered nightmare" left me completely freaked out.  I found myself covering my mouth and inspecting my food many times while reading this book hoping I wouldn't catch it. Lets just say I won't be eating spaghetti for a while.  Some of the scenes may have pushed the limits of my suspension of disbelief but I quickly got over them with the fast pace of this book.

Although quite a few of the boys on this trip I wanted to smack several times over, I also could relate to them.  I have met people like them...well most of them.  The horror of what happens on that island and the aftermath leave me with the creepy crawlies.  It makes you wonder, could it really happen? Scientists have a way of doing things without forethought and then in hindsight try to justify their reasoning despite the fact that their research caused the deaths of many. Makes me think maybe Monsanto should read this book, but thats for a different blog.

If nothing else Nick Cutter exposes that sometimes the biggest danger is fear - although I wouldn't have wanted to catch what they had, fear led many of these kids to do some horrible things. Fear also seems to separates the weak from the strong, and sometimes the strong aren't who you think they would be.  (Never underestimate that nerd in the class!)

Overall this is a creepy read that left me wanting to douse myself in antibacterial soap and take a ton of antibiotics.  If a book can do that its got a thumbs up from me!

Monday, September 9, 2013

(47) The Road

Title: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Publisher: Vintage Books
287 pages

Synopsis: The searing, post-apocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

Review: This is one of those books that I feel like everyone has read and they either loved it or hated it.  Most of the people I had talked to hated it so I never picked it up until my sister told me she loved it and passed it on to my partner who thought it was "ok" and passed it on to me. Now I felt obligated to read it and figure out for myself if it was worth all the hype.

I still don't understand all the hype around this book.  I didn't hate it but I didn't really like it either.  Its a very dark book, dark, desolate, desperate, with no hope.  The lack of grammar and the repetitive text made this book difficult to follow in parts.  You couldn't always follow who was speaking or if they were speaking or if they were just thinking. The whole book seemed a bit pretentious.  Even though the language was easy and the writing was easy, the lack of punctuation just fell flat for me.  I'm glad I read it just to cross it off my list but I have a very big TBR pile that I would have preferred to dive into first.

Friday, August 30, 2013

(46) Breeding in Captivity

Title: Breeding in Captivity: One Woman's Unusual Path to Motherhood by Stacy Bolt
Publisher: Skirt
180 pages
Genre: Autobiography/memoir

Synopsis: Breeding in Captivity takes us on Stacy Bolt’s journey to have a child at "advanced maternal age," first with the help of a Really Expensive fertility specialist, and then ultimately through a local adoption agency.

Review: I feel I should start off by saying I am one of those annoying women who you just look at and I seem to get pregnant.  Although my GYN told me I may have trouble conceiving due to some complications I had as a teenager, they were wrong, very very wrong.  So although I can not first hand understand all the feelings, emotions and gut wrenching moments that Stacy went through during her journey to parenthood I can empathize with her since I spend my days helping women like her to adopt.

This book has to be one of the most funny yet honest looks at a woman's journey to parenthood.  I have had friends go through these different steps and I have witnessed it first hand in my work and its hard. Stacy has a way of telling her tale with a light touch and a wit that will keep you laughing and smiling but you can also feel the pain, the desperation and finally the relief when her journey finally ends with her adopting.

Her journey through the adoption process is spot on.  The hoops she jumps through the feelings of euphoria and then the disappointment of a failed adoption. The anger that she has to fill out 120 questions and have someone "judge" her when women on meth and crack are having babies all the time with no issues.  This book is honest and spot on while also being light hearted. This is a great book for those experiencing the pain of fertility struggles to know you are not alone and for those entering into adoption to read first hand some of the ups and downs that go along with that process as well.  All paths to parenthood are a roller coaster, but each is a little different.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

(45) Joyland

Title: Joyland (Hard Case Crime) by Stephen King
Publisher: Hardcase Crime
288 pages
Genre: Horror, Thriller,

Synopsis: Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.

Review: I am not a die hard Stephen King fan in fact I think this is only the second of his books that I have read (I read Cell and hated it) because it was handed to me and I was told I "have to read this!" So I did, because you don't question it when your partner tells you to read something and you want a happy home life.

I was really pleasantly surprised.  This is not a horror book, more of a coming of age story with a little mystery and romance thrown in. You get to relive the thrill of being at a carnival for the first time, being a kid and seeing your favorite character come to life and see how life isn't always peaches and cream. Joyland is a roller coaster ride.  King brings you up and then brings you down only to wind you back up again.  I really enjoyed this book and I loved the evolution of Devin, how he went from an innocent boy to a man.  Finally I can understand what all the fuss over Stephen King is really about.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

(44) What We Saw at Night

Title: What We Saw At Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Publisher: Soho Teen
Genre: YA

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com - This title was released January 2013

Synopsis: The story of three outsiders, teens with a deadly allergy to sunlight that forces them to live a life opposite of everyone else in their small town. When they discover the extreme sport Parkour, it seems that they've finally found something uniquely theirs—even if leaping from buildings in the dark feels somewhat suicidal. Everything changes when they witness a horrible crime while practicing on an allegedly empty building. Worse: what they see, sees them, too.

Review: I've had this book on my list for a while I'm not sure why I just got around to it, but I'm actually quite glad since the 2nd book in this new series, What We Lost in the Dark , is due to be released December 17, 2013 so I have less time to wait!

What at first feels like a book about 3 teens doing Parkour actually turns into more of a coming of age, mystery novel.  One night while doing Parkour Allie looks in a window from a balcony and sees a man standing over the body of what looks like a beaten and dead woman.  When a series of ever more disturbing sightings and events start happening Allie is determined to find evidence against the guy who she things is hurting woman in their area but is protected by his high profile family.

Allie and her friends face death every day, not just when they do Parkour but with their diagnosis of XP or a deadly allergy to the sun. People with XP don't have full life expectancies so looking forward is often difficult and scary.  Mitchard does a good job of showing us the conflict in Allies head about learning to live for whatever amount of time she has and not letting anything hold her back.

I really enjoyed this book.  As I said in the beginning I can't wait for the second one.  It was full of suspense, teen romantic angst and really interesting characters.

Friday, August 9, 2013

(43) Rituals

Title: Rituals: A Faye Longchamp Mystery (Faye Longchamp Series) by Mary Anna Evans
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
250 pages
Genre: Mystery

I received this book as an e-galley from netgalley.com it is to be released November 2013

Synopsis: Faye Longchamp doesn’t believe in ghosts. But she’s an archaeologist—dead people are her life.

While working in Rosebower, a rural New York town founded by Spiritualists, Faye is surrounded by people who talk to the dead on a regular basis. When the most influential Spiritualist in town, Tilda Armistead, invites Faye and her project assistant to commune with the dead, she can’t say no. Curiosity is also a cherished part of an archaeologist’s life. 

An hour after her crystal ball shows Faye things no rational mind can explain, Tilda is dead. The evidence says that someone trapped Tilda in a small room, nailing its one door shut before setting Tilda’s Victorian home afire. There is no possible way for Tilda to have escaped the blaze, let alone drive for miles before finding Faye and dying in her arms. Yet Tilda did. How? And why?

Anywhere but Rosebower, these people would be dismissed as crazy. As Faye watches the psychics and charlatans jockey for power, and sends an SOS to her shrewd husband Joe, Tilda’s sister, Myrna, is slowly dying. Will Rosebower reveal its secrets, and the Armisteads their history, to Faye before more goes up in flames?

Review: This is the newest book in the Faye Longchamp series.  Faye is an archeologist who finds herself mixed up in a small town mystery.  I wish I had read the other books in this series because I found this one to be a fun and quick read, although I also feel like I missed some back story about Faye.  Not that this book can't be read as a stand alone because it can, I think I just liked Faye and wanted to know more about her and her daughter Amande. Faye and Amande are strong independent women but that doesn't take away from Joe, Faye's smart and gorgeous American Indian husband.  

Rosebower is a town filled with psychics or at least that what most of them claim to be.  Psychics, spiritualists, etc...Faye is hired to help out at the local museum but during her research she befriends sisters Tilda and Myrna who have been around as long as the town has.  She also finds herself in the company of Toni, a woman who is writing an expose on fake psychics, something that is sure to set off the towns ire.

Fun, light, mystery, I am running over to amazon to purchase one of the other books in this series and do some catching up.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

(42) The Silver Chain

Title: The Silver Chain (Unbreakable Trilogy, Book 1) by Primula Bond
Publisher: Mischief
369 pages
Genre: Romance/ Erotica

This book was received as an e-galley from netgalley.com  The kindle version is available now, the paperback version will be released in January 2014.

Synopsis: Bound by passion, she was powerless to resist.

The Silver Chain is the first in the sexy, passionate and addictive Unbreakable Trilogy by Primula Bond.

One dark evening in London, photographer Serena Folkes is indulging her impulsive side with a night-time shoot. But someone is watching her – mysterious entrepreneur Gustav Levi. Serena doesn’t know it yet, but this handsome stranger will change her life forever… Serena is fascinated by Gustav, the enigmatic owner of the Levi Gallery, and she soon feels an irresistible pull of attraction. The interest is mutual, and Gustav promises to launch Serena’s photographic career at his gallery, but only if Serena agrees to become his exclusive companion. To mark their agreement, Gustav gives Serena a bracelet to wear at all times. Attached to it is a silver chain of which he is the keeper. With the chain Gustav controls Serena physically and symbolically – a sign that she is under his power.

As their passionate relationship intensifies, Gustav’s hold on the silver chain grows stronger. But will Gustav’s dark past tear them apart?

A seductive and beautifully written novel perfect for fans of erotic romance.

Review: I found this book to be inconsistent.  Some of the scenarios really took a lot of stretching my imaginations while others were believable.  The romantic action was few and not as steamy as some others, but it had potential.  I didn't start to really care about the characters until 3/4 of the way in and the semi-shocking ender is something I wasn't expecting so I will probably read the second one just to find out what happens.

I think perhaps if the author had set out just to write a romance and then twisted it into an erotic story the relationship would have seemed less strange and more believable.  I did enjoy it but I wasn't in love with it. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teaser Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• 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 this week is from Joyland (Hard Case Crime) by Stephen King

 " If they did, they thought it was just part of the show. But probably the body went unnoticed. Remember, Horror House is a dark ride. The only one in Joyland, as it happens." 

Monday, July 29, 2013

(41) The Affliction (Anita Blake)

Title: Affliction (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Berkely Hardcover
576 pages
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: Some zombies are raised. Others must be put down. Just ask Anita Blake.

Before now, she would have considered them merely off-putting, never dangerous. Before now, she had never heard of any of them causing human beings to perish in agony. But that’s all changed.

Micah’s estranged father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita makes her living off of zombies—but these aren’t the kind she knows so well. These creatures hunt in daylight, and are as fast and strong as vampires. If they bite you, you become just like them. And round and round it goes…

Where will it stop?

Even Anita Blake doesn’t know.

Review: There were times when I seriously considered giving up on this series but I can't seem to drag myself away from the gorgeous men, and crazy life of Anita Blake. While the sex scenes are still plenty and graphic they aren't the main focus of the story anymore.

Zombies are something Anita knows all about but she has never seen Zombies like this.  Flesh eaters that cause their victims to rot from the inside out.  The only time Anita has seen something like this was before she killed the Vampire The Lover of Death.

Cops are not always Anita's biggest fans.  They are scared of her, confused by her, and jealous of her.  The male cops don't like that she is just as tough or tougher than they are, the female cops are jealous of her beauty, and skill, not to mention the dozens of beautiful men who surround her and keep her warm at night.

The last two Anita books have not disappointed.  There was actual story and plot associated with these.  And while I would have liked to hear more about Anita's struggle and fear over her own power I also understand the story needed her to "get over it" and move forward.  There were a lot of really good pieces to this story, and we get some back story on Micah which was interesting. All in all a good read, its always fun to revisit with old friends.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

(40) The Returned

Title: The Returned by Jason Mott
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
352 pages
Genre: fiction

I received an advanced e-copy of this book via netgalley.com. It is set to be published August 27, 2013.

Synopsis:  All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he's their son. 

As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

Review: This is not about zombies, or faeries, or anything like that, its just a what if.  What if your loved one came back from the grave years after.  Would you accept them back? Would you shun them? Do you consider them human, or something else? These are the complex questions explored in this novel.  Of course fear of the unknown always leads down dark and scary paths when it comes to governments and questions of what to do when the dead return to the living.  Is it right to hold people that we consider lesser hostage? Didn't we already learn these lessons? Apparently not.  Jason Mott's novel leaves questions unanswered and gives you some to think about.  Do you stand up when you see injustice or do you hide behind fear and anger? What can one person do to change things? Definitely food for thought and a book that will stick with me for a while.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

(39) Doc

Title: Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell
Publisher: Ballantine Books
432 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: Born to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier hoping that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Soon, with few job prospects, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally with his partner, Mária Katarina Harony, a high-strung, classically educated Hungarian whore. In search of high-stakes poker, the couple hits the saloons of Dodge City. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins— before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology—when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.

Review: All I've ever known about Doc Holliday is what the movies or folklore has repeated, just a small blip in the life of a man.  Mary Doria Russell dives deeper to let us know more about who this person who is forever linked to Wyatt Earp really is.

 Mary Doria Russell has done exhaustive research on Doc's early life before the OK Corral. Who knew that Doc Holliday was actually a dentist? You can feel the grit in the air, and the dirt on your boots as you read through this novel.  If you are looking for some fast paced excitement this isn't it.  This is more about the characters that you've heard about but didn't really know.  Mary Doria Russell is known for her vivid descriptions and characters and she delivers once again.  Well worth the read.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

(38) The Quick Red Fox

Title: The Quick Red Fox: A Travis McGee Novel by John D. MacDonald
Publisher: Random house trade paperbacks
224 pages
Genre: crime mystery

Synopsis: She’s the opposite of a damsel in distress: a famous movie star, very beautiful, very much in control of her life. She’s just made one little mistake and now she needs Travis McGee to set it right. The money is good and Travis’s funds are in need of replenishing. But that’s not the only reason he takes the case. There is the movie star’s assistant—efficient and reserved, with a sadness underneath that makes McGee feel he’d brave any danger to help her.

Review: I love mystery novels and old fashioned hard boiled detective novels are a passion.  Travis McGee definitely delivers.  Dashing yet with scruples Travis takes on cases where his fee is half of the value of whatever he is hired to get back plus expenses.  When the client is an actress those expenses can certainly pile up.

In a time without cell phones or computers detectives had it a lot harder, now days it seems anyone can be a detective.  This is a fast paced thrill ride with a great cast of characters.  I can't wait to read another, and another....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Teaser Tuesday June 25, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• 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 for today is from Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell

"Along with everyone else in the saloon, the South Carolinian went motionless a heartbeat later, paralyzed by the sight of a short-barreled nickel-plated Colt .38 leveled at his chest.

'Think about how much practice a move like that takes! Hours and hours, ' Bat would say.

Monday, June 24, 2013

(37) The Boy in the Suitcase

Title: The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol & Agnete Friis
Publisher: Soho Crime
317 pages
Genre: Crime / mystery

Synopsis: Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can't say no when someone asks for help—even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive.

Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy's are in jeopardy, too. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down.

Review: I'm a big fan of the Scandinavian crime book invasion.  I like their dark tone and slower pace, a lot of them remind me of the show The Killing on AMC. However, this book just left me a little flat.  I was originally drawn to this book because of the title and the true case of the boy in the suitcase that happened in Philadelphia, only that boy was found dead on a street corner.  This boy is found alive and in a train locker.

The book jumped around a bit too much for my taste and the main character Nina Borg just didn't strike me as this heroic character.  In fact she seemed damaged and incapable.  She sees danger everywhere and so has trouble bonding with her children and fitting in at home and when taking care of this lost boy who she knows people are trying to kill she doesn't go to the police, she just runs around endangering everyone else.   I also had a a problem with the fact that Nina seems so compassionate to everyone yet doesn't seem to be able to create a relationship with her children or family.

The boys mother on the other hand seemed much more heroic and I actually she thought she was the central character until about half way through the story when I realized the authors were focusing more on Nina.  I have the second book in this series, I got them together so I will try that one and see if these authors can hook me or I think I will just pass on any other books in this series.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

(36) A Taste for Passion, Vampire Romance

Title:  A Taste for Passion, Vampire Romance (Kendrian Vampires, Book #1) by Patrice Michelle
Publisher: Limitless Ink Press
141 pages
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Kindle

Synopsis: Rana Sterling finally meets the man of her dreams and boy does he know how to push all the right buttons. Only, Mr. Tall, Dark and Too-Good-to-Be-True turns out to be just that-he's beyond her world.
Lucian Trevane has a duty to fulfill. He's expected to take the role of Vité, leader of all the vampires, but he knows he won't take the position without his mate by his side.

Now, after searching seventy years for his reincarnated fiancé, he finally finds his mate in Rana. Only he has a slight problem, Rana refuses to become his vampire wife. Add to the mixture a vengeful vampire, a surprise twist and time ticking against him, Lucian will have to call upon all his vampire skills and beyond in order to draw Rana fully into his world.

Review: This is a short 50,000 word bodice ripper.  Lucian is the steamy, dreamy vampire who is searching for the reincarnation of his lost love.  Rana is a book store owner reeling from the death of her grandfather. After bumping into the handsome Lucian at the cemetery she finds her way to an antique dealer where her purchase of a charmed ring brings her and Lucian's futures hurtling forward.  Steamy, quick read.  Loved it, just what I needed for a quick mind candy moment.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Teaser Tuesday June 11, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• 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!

"As she drove off in the rumbling car, her thighs tingled and her body still throbbed in unfulfilled desire. How long would she be able to hold off in order to assure herself what they had was real?"

Monday, June 10, 2013

(35) The Right Side of Wrong

Title: The Right Side of Wrong: A Red River Mystery (Red River Mysteries) by Reavis Z. Wortham
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
250 pages
Genre: Mystery

I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in return for an honest review. 

Synopsis: Cody is ambushed and nearly killed on a lonely country road during an unusually heavy snowfall. With that attack, the locals begin to worry that The Skinner, fromThe Rock Hole

Constable Ned Parker struggles to connect a seemingly unrelated series of murders as his nephew recovers. As the summer of 1966 approaches, rock and roll evolves to reflect the increasing unrest in this country and the people of northeast Texas wonder why their once peaceful community has suddenly become a dangerous place to live.

Ned’s pre-teen grandchildren, Top and Pepper, are underfoot at every turn. The two lawmen, along with the deputy John Washington, cross paths with many colorful characters originally introduced in Wortham’s acclaimed Red River series: cranky old Judge O.C. Rains, the jittery little farmer Isaac Reader, and the Wilson boys Ty Cobb and Jimmy Foxx.

And then there’s the arrival of the mysterious old man named Tom Bell.

When Cody follows his main suspect across the Rio Grande and into Mexico, Ned understands that to save his nephew, he will have to cross more than a river, he will have to cross over to the Right Side of Wrong.

Review: This is apparently the third book in this series but I didn't feel lost without having read the others.  There was some back story that I had to pick up but it was explained in passing and wasn't that important or hard to piece together to interrupt the flow of the story.  I often found myself forgetting what time period the story was set in until someone made a racist comment about a black lawman, and different dining rooms for "coloreds", that always threw me.  The mystery is multi-layered and without revealing a lot of plot lets just say that as they continue to investigate they find a much bigger mystery with players that have much more to lose.  I loved the characters and the two pre-teens who are always getting in trouble really help move the story along.  I would consider myself a new fan.

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