My GR friend Jean recommended this psychological thriller to me, and I almost liked it as much as she did. I felt that DCI Erika Foster's cha3.5 Stars
My GR friend Jean recommended this psychological thriller to me, and I almost liked it as much as she did. I felt that DCI Erika Foster's character needed to be fleshed out a bit more. Yes, she's damaged both professionally and personally because of her last investigation that led to the deaths of her team, including her husband. She's not quite the confident investigator as she used to be, but she does care about her victims greatly. She will get the person who brutally killed them. And especially, the first girl - the girl in the ice.
A young man finds the battered body of the once beautiful socialite Andrea Douglas-Brown under the ice in the boat house on a local museum's property. She's also the daughter of a wealthy and prominent member of the House of Lords. Politics and crime solving don't mix well if you as the investigating officer begin to find out that Andrea had a secret life that she kept well hidden from her family. And of course other members of the Douglas-Brown clan have a few skeletons in their own closet and try to hijack the investigation.
The killer is described only as "the figure" by Robert Bryndza. And I found that technique to be both unique and chilling. When this figure sets his/her eyes toward Erika Foster, things begin to get creepier. More women die. They are all found in the freezing water, strangled, and battered just like Andrea Douglas-Brown. And Erika is next. Can she save other women the same fate as Andrea and live to tell about it?
A few scenes felt a bit off where the writing was slightly weaker than the rest of the novel, and I didn't like the ending because Bryndzal gave us a few lines in the Epilogue to find out why the figure killed Andrea. Others were in custody too, awaiting trial. But The Girl In The Ice is a cross-over genre for author Robert Bryndza, and I expect he will become better and better as he writes more DCI Erika Foster novels. I give him an A+ for the story line and 3.5 Stars for his debut police procedural. ...more
I received a free ARC copy from Thomas Mercer Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is my first novel from Bobby Cole and darI received a free ARC copy from Thomas Mercer Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is my first novel from Bobby Cole and darn it I'm going to have to get the first two books in the series! But that is a good thing, I'm impressed with Jake Crosby - former stock broker turned to a newly minted Game Warden. Don't worry if you've not read the first two novels in the series, Old Money reads pretty much as a stand alone mystery. Cole alludes to Crosby's prior life and injury but doesn't go into a lot of detail so as a reader of series, I want to know how and why Jake Crosby switched careers. And his injury that was alluded? Sounds intriguing, so I must start with the first installment to find out.
I loved the play on a couple themes the Title implies, Old Money. There is old money hidden somewhere in the Mississippi county Jake Crosby patrols. Convicted conman, Bronson Bolivar, according to the locals hid a fortune before he went to jail. Now that he's dead, his former cellmate and his children are determined to find it. But the Bolivar twins aren't going to share the money with their father's mate. He'll disappear in the Mississippi marshes; the twins are that ruthless. But Harry Burns has other plans. He knows where the money is and he's not about to share it.
Jake's old high school sweetheart father is very interested in Harry Burns, the twins, and the money. The Federal Judge asks Jake to keep an eye on the ex-con and the Bolivars quietly. He's not to tell anyone, even his partner - Virgil, nor his wife - of his interest. Could it be because of the money? You betcha, but not for the obvious reason - some restitution to the victims old man Bronson stole from. What's the judge really up to? And of course, Virgil, dreams of what he will do with the money. It seems everybody, but Jake Crosby wants the old money.
Meanwhile Jake and Virgil are investigating a series of robberies of wealthy hunters who've become the prey of a vicious thief. The last two hunters have landed in the hospital with serious injuries. The clues left by the robber are minuscule. And their supervisor and wealthy land owners want the crimes solved yesterday.
And Jake's old flame has come to town, and Jake's wife isn't too happy. She's stressed out with their baby and teen-aged daughter, and Jake's dog - Kramer. Kramer had me laughing so hard that I cried. Oh there's another con being planned, so Jake has his hands full.
Cole rolls out the story lines deftly. He makes you turn the pages to find out what's going on with the old money and the old monied hunters who are being robbed. Also the Bolivars are old money as well as the judge. A couple of coincidences will stretch your suspension of disbelief, but it works....more
I don't understand why so many people hate this woman. I admit that I like her - even more now that I've read this memoir. I learned things I never knI don't understand why so many people hate this woman. I admit that I like her - even more now that I've read this memoir. I learned things I never knew about Palin: how she got scholarship money to go to school, how she suffered a miscarriage, how she eloped, how she entered public service, how she believes so strongly in the "what" she believes.
And she's a smart cookie, too. Her plain-speak may come across as dumb or simple. She's neither. But she wasn't ready to catapulted upon the National stage when McCain picked her as his running mate.
Let me preface my review with the disclosure that Miranda James"s( AKA Dean Jones) Cat in the Stacks is my favorite cozy mystery series. I al4.5 Stars
Let me preface my review with the disclosure that Miranda James"s( AKA Dean Jones) Cat in the Stacks is my favorite cozy mystery series. I always wondered how a female writer could capture the mind of a 50ish widower librarian. Well, Mr. James himself is a librarian and he loves cats.
This 7th installment begins in Spring. Athena, MS is in full bloom. Mother Nature is not the only one undergoing new beginnings - Athena College has a new Library Director, Oscar Dillard. Not only is Dillard a Damn Yankee, he is vile human being. He's brash. He's ill tempered. He's succeeded in offending every one of his staff members. He's also a numbers cruncher brought in to "fix" the over budgeted funds of the College's Library Systems - and his first victims are the Archive and the Rare Book Collection. Yep, Charlie and Melba job's are on the chopping block. Not only that, Oscar has just decided that he's allergic to cats. Diesel, Charlie's Maine Coon Cat, is no longer allowed to come to work with Charlie.
Dillard has also falsely accused the other librarians of serious infractions. Added to that is a menacing stranger that is casing the building that houses Oscar, Melba, and Charlie. An email surfaces that sends Charlie's long time friend and co-worker, Melba, straight to the suspect list when Oscar Dillard is found murdered inside the library. Charlie get his son, Sean, to represent Melba while he ferrets out Dillard's real killer. But, the killer now has Charlie in his/her cross hairs.
There are more subplots that develop, but saying too much more would ruin the novel for those readers that haven't had the chance to read No Cats Allowed yet. The manner of Dillard's death really surprised me - OUCH! But, it was fitting. If I was was one of his employee's I'd have gone off and swung a hammer directly at Dillard's head long before the killer took care of him.
James uses more twists and turns in this installment, and I loved them. As Gomer Pyle said, "Surprise, surprise!" I can't wait for book #8!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...more
I received a free copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I love politiI received a free copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I love political thrillers and the premise of The God's Eye View greatly interested me. In a post Edward Snowden era, the NSA Director has created the ultimate data, image, location, meta data Program - "God's Eye View". He will do anything to protect the U.S. from another terrorist attack, even arranging "suicides", "accidents", and the "murders" of any and all so-called "whistle-blowers". Even questioning these events can get a NSA employee killed. God's Eye is so compartmentalized, no one analyst knows what else is connected to God's Eye. And of course, the Director is using the program for his own personal use. Yes, the program the U.S. isn't supposed to have, let alone be using.
That is until, an analyst finishes the security protocols. You guessed it - she dies mysteriously. But she built in some backdoor access (probably for monitoring by her) and told her lover about it. Perkins meets with a reporter in Turkey. He thinks he's taken enough precautions to have been very discreet, but a young sharp analyst makes the connection between the two men. Shortly after their meeting and after Evie reports her findings to the Director, Perkins is killed in an automobile accident and the reporter is "kidnapped by ISIS affiliated terrorists."
Evie has information that links the Director to these events, and puts herself in the cross-hair sights of the Director. He has 2 assassins completely loyal to him. One, is a sadist that enjoys killing while the other is deaf and a tortured past. Manus can relate to Evie and her deaf son and also finds her attractive. Can Evie survive with these two men breathing down her neck? Will the country survive the The God's Eye View?
This is my 1st novel written by Barry Eisler and I'll read him again despite a few minor problems with the novel. A Size D heroine that gets horny every time she sees or hears from Manus? The buxom, but brainy broad theme got slightly weird and old. Her character and a few others weren't quite as developed as I felt they should have been. Marvin Manus was a terrific character. And the ending fell flat and a little short in my opinion. I wanted more information about Evie, Dash, and Manus in the Epilogue. That is why I knocked a half star off on this novel. ...more
Oh dear. The Coincidence of Coconut Cakeis your typical and predictable romance story: boy meets girl, conflict arises that causes boy to lose girl, bOh dear. The Coincidence of Coconut Cakeis your typical and predictable romance story: boy meets girl, conflict arises that causes boy to lose girl, boy fixes conflict for the girl, and boy gets girl back.
Straight from the movie, You've Got Mail comes the story line. Rather than a bookstore owner, you have a chef and restaurateur. And you guessed it the Tom Hank's character is a food critic who writes a scathing review of her restaurant. True, Al had a "tip" (from her ex fiance) and walks into Luella's on the very night Lou is at her lowest. Finding your fiance in bed with an intern would do that. The review writes itself and Lou's restaurant? You can guess.
I did love the scenes of Milwaukee and the foods! They were the best parts.
The 2 Stars? I'm just not a Romance Genre gal, I prefer murder and espionage to romance, especially if the story's been done much better in a different venue. ...more
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer Publisher for an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
We all have dates on theThank you to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer Publisher for an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
We all have dates on the calendar that we dread. And February 17 is the date that Anna Ray not only dreads, but she numbs herself with lots and lots of alcohol.
When she was a child, her mother killed her father on February 17. She has never spoke of it, and she won't. She won't open her mother's letters or accept her mother's calls.
Last year on February 17, her husband killed himself. His lifeless body hanging too close to the secrets of Anna's past.
This February 17 finds Anna in a new town, hundreds of miles from the home she and her husband shared. She has a new job thanks to her cousin, Jeanie. She drinks way too much wine and beer, but she can still function. Jeanie has come to stay with Anna on this February 17, and Anna is grateful. They both drink themselves into a sleep filled stupor, and Anna awakens late on February 18 to a blanket of snow and a small hope that nothing bad has happened this year.
But it does. Two murders, and she's now the suspect rather than the grieving daughter and widow.
I gave this 3 Stars because the ending didn't really resolve the entire story line. A few loose ends were left dangling that I wanted resolved. And Anna's character wasn't as developed as her cousin, Jeanie. I understand that speaking about her mother and husband is difficult, but...And the fact that Anna is a functioning alcoholic got a little old. What was meant to be mysterious and painful about Anna made her, at least to me, somewhat cold and weak. I almost didn't care about her, then the author made me care for Anna again, but not the way I did at the beginning of the novel.
The revelation of the killer's identity surprised me. I thumped my head and thought, "Of course!" And the reason to frame Anna for the murders was delicious....more
Miranda James has taken a couple of delightful characters from James' Cat in the Stacks Series, Misses An'gel and Dickce Ducote and is featuring them in a brand new series, the Southern Ladies Mystery Series. While I did enjoy this 1st in the series novel, I like the other series best. But that may change with the addition of Benjy, Peanut, and Endora. James still uses the fictional Athena as the novel and murder once again visits the Ducote sisters' ancestral home, Raven Hill.
Misses An'gel and Dickce are cat sitting Diesel while Charlie and his family vacations in France. It's hot in Athena, MS. And it gets hotter when their old sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan appears on their doorstep, dramatically announcing that someone in her family is trying to murder her. Within hours, said family members also arrive at Raven Hill. It may be that Rosabelle is overly dramatic and maybe seeking attention, but when her daughter in law falls to her death, An'gel and Dickce realize they indeed have a murderer under their roof. And an ill mannered one to boot. ...more
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I loved this latest novel from Debbie Macomber. Macomber tI received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I loved this latest novel from Debbie Macomber. Macomber truly understands a woman's heart and her needs, as well as a woman's strength.The stories of Leanne and Nichole are very uplifting. They are both mothers and have gone through divorce together. Leanne is Nichole's ex mother-in-law, but both women are very close because their respective husbands cheated on them. They move downtown into apartments across the the hall from each other and develop "rules" or guidelines on how to move on from their failed marriages.
They both volunteer: Leanne at the Community Center and Nichole at a shop that dresses women who are starting over like herself. These women are looking for jobs, and we get to see a success story there. At the Community Center, Leanne meets a handsome Ukrainian baker, Nikolai. He brings her fresh-baked bread every class. He tells her that his bread says what is in heart that he cannot say. Nichole meets a handsome tow truck driver that is completely different from her ex-husband, Jake. Rocco is rough-edged and has many tattoos, but is a good father and shows interest and tenderness to Nichole's young son.
But things don't always go as planned. Guides don't always work out. In other words, life happens, misunderstandings happen, and ex-husbands interfere with a well planned guide. What happens? You'll have to read this heartwarming novel to find out!...more
I really enjoyed the writing. Yukio Mishima writes almost poetically. However the story was a bit too dark for my liking. That said I did like this smI really enjoyed the writing. Yukio Mishima writes almost poetically. However the story was a bit too dark for my liking. That said I did like this small length-ed novel...more
Benghazi has become both controversial and political. Never for one moment did I believe that the attack on the the Mission and Annex in Beng4.5 Stars
Benghazi has become both controversial and political. Never for one moment did I believe that the attack on the the Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/12 was a protest to an anti-Muslim video. But covering up what exactly happened in Benghazi created the ballooning controversy surrounding the attack. I suspect that whole narrative was used to cover up the fact that the CIA had a presence there. What they were doing there, I don't really want to know. I've seen 3 of the surviving operators on Fox News and believed what they were saying about those 13 hours. They were there. As far as the stand down order, that Tanto and Jack heard from "Bob", I can't say with certainty if that order came from the Section Chief or Washington, D.C. All I know is what the surviving operators say that had happened that awful night. If they had left earlier, Smith and Stephens still may be alive. Perhaps, Roan and Daugherty too.
It broke my heart when each operator realized that no gunship was coming. And I grew livid. Why wasn't any military assets in the area ready to deploy given the significance of the date? The IM message that Smith sent to his gaming buddy - "If we don't die tonight." sent chills down my spine.
I did learn a few new things about the Benghazi attacks, though. I didn't know that a truck from a friendly Libyan security force stopped directly across the street from the Mission and a "security officer" was taking pictures down into the Compound from a 4th floor window of the building across the street. The Mission GRS detail didn't find that odd. Nor did they accept Roan's offer of additional operators in the Mission the night of 9/11/12. The Ambassador's negative decisions on additional security fortifications for 9/11 also surprised me. Roan, who lost his life that night, had extended his stay in Benghazi for the Ambassador's visit, and was dumbfounded when all of his suggestions were shot down.
Another fact that I didn't know was that all of the Libyan security ran away from the Compound and the operators were trapped in different parts of the Compound. The 17 February Militia that State had hired to provide additional security for both the Compound and the Annex either turned tail or didn't even show up. Those few 17 February Militiamen who did show up performed heroically. Glen "Bub" Daugherty died because he climbed up on Building C rooftop to see his old friend Roan, rather than staying inside the building with the other Tripoli operators. Jack, Tanto, Oz thought the man walking around the perimeter of the fence near Zombieland was suspicious, but didn't fire at him because he wasn't shooting at them. The guy was in fact giving GPS locations of where the men were. The 4th bombardment got bot both Roan and Daugherty. The CIA weapons trained men stayed in Building C, never volunteering to go help DB, Tig, Oz, Tanto, Jack, and the TL from the Compound. That both shocked and pissed me off. Perhaps Roan and Bub might have made it if they had helped in the Annex attacks.
What really happened in Benghazi, Libya will be made public many years from now, since the Government keeps the Top Secret classification for decades, Only the President can declassify those documents. Obama won't, neither will Clinton if she's elected. I'd like to know the entire story of what happened that night, Washington's decisions and the rationale behind those decisions. I also want to know why no one was held accountable, except for the film maker still sitting in jail. I won't live to see those answers unfortunately. ...more