I would have given this story 5 stars except that I found the story incredibly slow and painful for the first 4 chapters. Some of the difficulty was a...moreI would have given this story 5 stars except that I found the story incredibly slow and painful for the first 4 chapters. Some of the difficulty was a result of the sheer number of characters that were being introduced and trying to keep track of how things connected. Initially, I started reading this story months ago but I had to put it down because I just couldn’t get absorbed into the story. Earlier this week I picked it back up because I finally felt up for a complex mystery. Let’s just say that I am very happy I gave this story another go and didn’t give up on it permanently. Maybe it was the mental break or maybe it really was that after the 4th chapter the story really started to pick up in pace and got interesting. I read the rest of this story in just a few days and every time I thought I knew who was in on the murders 11 years ago and who was behind the recent missing persons, I was wrong. Then even near the end when I was right… I still didn’t have the motive.
I can see that I will look for another book in the Bodenstein & Kirchhoff series. (less)
Right out of the box let me clearly state that this is just my own personal opinion and yes I have seen several reviews of this story where it was hig...moreRight out of the box let me clearly state that this is just my own personal opinion and yes I have seen several reviews of this story where it was highly rated. Unfortunately for me, I hated this story and it had very little to do with the actual writing. There are a variety of characters with various subplots that all intersect with the major underlying mystery of who killed Billy Carlson.
The problem for me as a reader was that I hated the characters. The majority of them are self-centered and self-absorbed.
Kath Branch is the stereotypical music personality who cheats on her partner and sleeps around while on the road. Meredith Carlson wants her 15 minutes of fame by solving Billy’s murder even if that means steam rolling her husband’s wishes. Meredith is convinced the killer is Kathy Branch and will do whatever it takes to prove that. Ellen Walker isn’t nearly as self-absorbed but she is also not a sympathetic character. If the opportunity arises for a fling with Kathy, she’s taking it and has informed her husband that she’s going to do just that. What the heck, he owes her a free pass since he’s cheated on her in the past.
I just hated them, all of them. It got to the point where I couldn’t stand reading about them. In fact, I abandoned this book several times. The only thing that kept bringing me back to finish reading it was that I committed to reading the entire story, but it was hard.
Normally such a complex plot with all the inter-related storylines would keep me intrigued but by the time I hit the 50% mark I’d lost all interest in who actually killed Billy Carlson and never really got interested in the mystery again. My only goal was to just finish the thing. Finally there was a turning point in the story where I actually started to enjoy the writing, so much so that I made a note. It was at the 93% complete mark.
I don’t really want to discourage people from reading this story, but it turned out to not be my cup of tea. Maybe because if I knew of these people in real life I would not want anything to do with their drama and would be sorely tempted to smack them upside the head.
Having said all of this, despite hating this particular story, I would give something else written by Lynn Kear another try because the writing itself was ok, I just didn’t like the plot/characters of this particular one. (less)
The story takes place in L.A. and right from the very first page the reader is introduced to Frank and her Detectiv...moreI'd really give this a 4.5 out of 5
The story takes place in L.A. and right from the very first page the reader is introduced to Frank and her Detectives as they investigate a homicide. The story is written in a way that reminds me of several TV shows. There is a central crime being investigated but there continues to be lots of other activity and investigations going on in the periphery which makes the storyline seem more realistic.
Frank is a very complex character, who the reader quickly realizes has a lot of issues, some of which stem from the death of her partner. As the story progresses and Frank searches for the identity of a serial rapist/murderer you also realize that as the reader you are only getting a glimpse of what drives her and you definitely want to find out more.
As for the bad guy, more than once I found myself cringing at just out twisted the guy is and there is this tiny (very tiny) thread of sympathy because you get glimpses of how this guy was “made”. This was a very satisfying read if you like Crime novels I would definitely recommend it. I know I will be reading the next in the series which I believe are as follow: I believe these are the next in the series:
I’ve read some mixed reviews on this book but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have no idea if the author intended the first few chapters to be as funny in...moreI’ve read some mixed reviews on this book but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have no idea if the author intended the first few chapters to be as funny in spots as they were but there were definitely a few places where I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. My absolute favorite scene was the Ghost yelling “Becca Run!!” and the description of the events afterward. I’m still giggling at the visual that was created for me.
I liked the interaction between Becca and Jo and the development of both characters. It’s obvious in the 1st introduction of Jo that she does not do people or emotions well at all, but that’s part of what makes her endearing. I like the fact that Becca and Jo seem to have an inherent ability to figure each other out and can interact in a manner that shows acceptance for each others’ quirks.
I liked it, I liked the story, and I liked the mystery as well. It was a good book. (less)
This was not a book that I couldn’t put down. However, it was definitely a book that I wanted to finish and really enjoyed reading. I can’t tell you t...moreThis was not a book that I couldn’t put down. However, it was definitely a book that I wanted to finish and really enjoyed reading. I can’t tell you the last time I read a really well written female lead in a main stream novel. Lucy Guardino is a captivating character who is strong, determined and yet humanly flawed without falling into the stereotypical “alcoholic” police lead. I liked that. I liked her interaction with both her husband and her daughter. I also liked that she’s respected within her FBI team.
Other things I enjoyed: I didn’t know who the villain was until the author wanted me to know and even after that I wasn’t quite sure what would happen next.
I liked that I hated the TV reporter Cindy. The only thing that disappointed me was that Lucy did not kick Cindy’s ass. Maybe that happens in the next book.
I really like that there IS a next book: Blood Stained (less)
The main character Lucy is struggling with an incredible amount of grief and guilt over the death of her partner Jake in an automobile accident. These...moreThe main character Lucy is struggling with an incredible amount of grief and guilt over the death of her partner Jake in an automobile accident. These emotions tend to manifest as crippling anxiety. Plus for the reader you are never quite sure if she has lost her mind or if she is actually seeing and interacting with Jake’s ghost.
Eventually, we are introduced to the new neighbor “Karen” who is dealing with her own issues but the two women begin to form a friendship that strengthens both women, emotionally.
Initially, when I started reading the story I found the flow a little confusing. I suspect it was related to my getting hung up on the ghostly portion of the story and trying to figure out what was “real”. However, I quickly found myself adjusting to the style and relaxing into the actual characters and their development. There is also a healthy mix of mystery/danger throughout to keep the reader intrigued.
This was a very good book, a bit quirky and I’m hoping to see more from this author, self published or otherwise. (less)
The author is a descendent of Kuisls Executioners and has taken that history and translated it into the fictional character of Jacob Kuisl, the hangma...moreThe author is a descendent of Kuisls Executioners and has taken that history and translated it into the fictional character of Jacob Kuisl, the hangman of Schongau. The story starts off at a decent pace and briefly tells the story of the grandfather who was the hangman and explains how the son does not want to follow in his fathers’ footsteps. It then it jumps forward 35 years and refers to Jacob as the grandson who is now the hangman in the same town with no real transition or explanation. I was surprised at how hung up I got on this detail, throughout the story I found myself trying to figure out if there was an error in the translation and the current hangman was actually the son, and regardless, how the heck did Jacob become the hangman when the prologue clearly indicates that the son would do anything to avoid becoming the hangman.
Setting that issue aside I found that the story moved well in the beginning with the mystery of who was killing the children and the search for the responsible party. Unfortunately, somewhere in the middle the story got bogged down with talk of medicine versus witchcraft and political structures. I almost gave up reading it. Fortunately, clues to the mystery started to pile up and the story became interesting again. Although, I did find myself “skimming” entire sections just to get through it. (less)
Product Description: “FBI Agents Cameron Ross and Andrea Sullivan found the unexpected when they met amongst the warm red rocks and cliffs of Sedona—ea...moreProduct Description: “FBI Agents Cameron Ross and Andrea Sullivan found the unexpected when they met amongst the warm red rocks and cliffs of Sedona—each other. That commitment, along with their ingenuity, courage and resolve, will be tested along the most barren of stretches in California’s Mojave Desert.
Someone is using the bleak highways to dump women’s bodies. But in a landscape where an inviting road can curve into a sand-choked mirage, and a true oasis can be invisible under a white-hot sun, clues can blow away in the wind.
In this sequel to Devil’s Rock, Gerri Hill pits two remarkable women against the harsh and bitter desert and an implacable killer.”
Review: I didn’t think it was possible but I liked this book even more than the first, “Devil’s Rock”. Agent Cameron Ross feels more real in this story. The character has smoothed out a bit. That’s not to say that the character is not edgy and interesting, but more along the lines that her personality is more well rounded. My guess is that is a direct reflection of the relationship between the two characters Cameron Ross and Andrea Sullivan. As the reader I was completely absorbed in their search for the serial killer and what would happen next.
I can only hope that this turns into a full blown series. (less)
Let’s be honest I read quite a few books; not as many as some, but enough. It’s easier than watching TV in German. That and I enjoy reading. That bein...moreLet’s be honest I read quite a few books; not as many as some, but enough. It’s easier than watching TV in German. That and I enjoy reading. That being said, it’s pretty rare when I (a) laugh out loud while reading a book (b) can hear the characters in my head as they speak and (c) finish reading a story and the first words out of my mouth are “Wow that was a really good book, a really good book”
Decoded hit all three with flying colors and to top it off the only time I was able to figure out what might happen next was when the author wanted me to know what was going to happen. I’m not sure that the book description does this story justice. I personally picked it up because I had read “Before I Died” and liked that one enough to want to read this one. So let me give you a couple of hints. This is definitely more of a Mystery/Thriller/Intrigue book than a Romance, although there is just enough romance to give the characters a different dimension without going overboard.
Shay Cooper and Kate Harris are FBI agents thrown together because Kate Harris appears to be in a downward spiral since her FBI partner Williams disappeared. Shay is assigned to her in a last ditch effort to save Kate’s career and hopefully to get Shay back into the game. The story revolves around Shay and Kate’s off the books investigation into William’s disappearance and his possible connection to a serial killer.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Intrigue and Mysteries. It was an excellent read! (less)
Product Description: “Ash Rashid is a former homicide detective who can't stand the thought of handling another death investigation. In another year,...moreProduct Description: “Ash Rashid is a former homicide detective who can't stand the thought of handling another death investigation. In another year, he'll be out of the department completely. That's the plan, at least, until his niece's body is found in the guest home of one of his city's most wealthy citizens. The coroner calls it an overdose, but the case doesn't add up. Against orders, Ash launches an investigation to find his niece's murderer, but the longer he searches, the more entangled he becomes in a case that hits increasingly close to home. If he doesn't solve it fast, his niece won't be the only family member he has to bury.”
I downloaded this book from Amazon because it was $0.99. I admit that might not be the best reason to read a book, but considering I’ve never read anything by Chris Culver in the past; it was as good a reason as any. In the long run I think it will work out. I really enjoyed the book. Ash, is a former detective studying to become a lawyer. He’s a bit of an alcoholic, although I believe he refers to it as a hobby that involves alcohol. The story opens with Ash doing a death notification. We quickly find out that this isn’t any ordinary notification; the girl who has died is his niece.
From this point forward, the reader follows Ash through his investigation into his niece’s death and the plot twists that occur. Ash is definitely a flawed character, but you find yourself rooting for him as he gets dragged further into the grey lines of what is right and wrong.