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
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
Yes, the Christmas season is murderous. Old man Simeon Lee has called all of his family together for Christmas. One son, Alfred, is loyal to his fatheYes, the Christmas season is murderous. Old man Simeon Lee has called all of his family together for Christmas. One son, Alfred, is loyal to his father, David, the sensitive artist, has a burning hatred for his father. Harry is the prodigal son, returning after 20 years. George is an MP and needs money to support his young wife. Pilar is the granddaughter Simeon has never seen. The brothers wives hope the old man wants to reconcile with his sons and granddaughter. But that hope is short-lived as they enter Simeon's bedroom on Christmas Eve. Old man Lee is on the phone talking to his lawyer. He informs his family that he is going to change his will and reduce their allowances. He curtly dismisses them, telling them that he will see them all in the morning.
But morning never comes to Simeon Lee. The family hears furniture overturning and Simeon's unearthly scream. They all run upstairs to find his bedroom locked and Simeon isn't answering them. Stephen Farr, Simeon's old business partner's son help breakdown the door and the family finds the old man dead in a pool of blood. So much for a Merry Christmas. There is no shortage of suspects, everyone under the Lee roof has a reason to want the old man dead. M.Hercule Poirot is spending the holiday with his friend, the Police Super-indent, and is called upon to solve the case.
Christie weaves many red herrings into this classic tale of a lock room mystery as well as many Shakespearean quotes. A mustache, missing uncut diamonds, and a painting lead Poirot to the identity of the murderer. ...more
Myron (he hates the name) Bolitar was in the NBA after leading his college team to two championships. But a freak accident cut short his pro3.75 Stars
Myron (he hates the name) Bolitar was in the NBA after leading his college team to two championships. But a freak accident cut short his promising NBA career. He went to law school then worked for the FBI for a while before becoming a sports agent. He's an honest broker who really cares about his players. And he still lives with his mom and dad, albeit in a basement suite.
His secretary is a former female wrestler and she had me me in stitches. So did Myron's partner and sidekick - Win. Readers, please bend your suspension of disbelief to the breaking point when regarding Win. Every amateur sleuth has to have a superhero sidekick.
Myron is negotiating a big contract for a QB that is the dictionary's definition of the small town boy who made it big while being very humble. Christian Steele receives a porno mag with the picture of his fiancee that has been missing for over a year and a half. Kathy is also the sister of Myron's ex girlfriend who is back in town. Could Kathy be alive? If so, why hasn't she reached out to her family or Christian? Could the murder of Jessica and Kathy's father have been more than just a mugging gone bad? You betcha. Read Deal Breaker and everything becomes clear....more
Shugak has allowed her former boss and part time lover talk her into finding out what happened to two crewmen on the Avilda crabbing vessel captained by the ne'er to well son in law of a major Board Diector of the vessel's parent company. Harry Gault isn't whom he's thought to be. Crabbing in the Bering Sea is hard work as well as dangerous. Kate has much to fear while she's on the Avilda. Mother Nature is brutal this time of the year, and so are some of her crew members. But which ones?
The Author's descriptions of the roiling waves, the ice being beaten, the hard work of the crabbers were wonderful as well as spot on. The Aleutian Islands she visited made me want to go out and purchase a ticket to see them. And we readers learn more about these wondrous indigenous people. I wish more stories were included. And I loved the ship line's names of all of their vessels - very appropriate for a Kate Shugak novel....more
Life and a family emergency interrupted reading and reviewing for awhile. The Heist is funny and a fast read. Nick Fox is handsome, charming,3.5 Stars
Life and a family emergency interrupted reading and reviewing for awhile. The Heist is funny and a fast read. Nick Fox is handsome, charming, and one of the FBI's most wanted man. FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare has been chasing the world's greatest conman for 5 years. She always confronts him saying, "You're under arrest." But Fox always escapes at the very last second, until he doesn't. O'Hare has finally caught her man.
Then the unthinkable happens, Nick Fox escapes from custody under rather humorous circumstances. O'Hare is not assigned to go after Fox, so she goes it alone. Well, her father helps. When she finds Fox, she learns he's conned her bosses to allow him to help the FBI find and capture the most wanted guys that have conned or stolen lots of money. One caveat though, Kate O'Hare must partner up with him.
Their target: a wealthy banker whom ran a scam on his his investors. $500 Billion missing. He's holed out on an island in Indonesia. Kate and Nick must find him and the money. What could go wrong? A group of misfits, pirates, explosions, and Fox thinking about stealing the FBI slush fund that he and his team are using.
The writing is easy and fast paced. The reader wants to know what happens next. The Heist kept me interested and entertained until the very last word. ...more
Black Coffee by Agatha Christie was first written as play in 1929 then novelized in 1930. And it truly is a masterpiece mystery. Hercule Poirot is sliBlack Coffee by Agatha Christie was first written as play in 1929 then novelized in 1930. And it truly is a masterpiece mystery. Hercule Poirot is slightly bored until he gets a call from Sir Claude Amory. He believes that his new formula is going to be stolen by a member in his household. Shortly before dinner on Friday, Sir Claude checks his safe - the formula is gone. He makes a quick call to London. After dining, Sir Claude, his family, his secretary, and and an Italian Doctor move into the library. The doors are locked until Poirot and Hastings arrive from London.
Sir Claude tells everyone that the lights will go out and the thief can return the formula without any repercussions. But when the lights return and Poirot walks through the door, he's not only got to investigate the theft, but murder. Sir Claude is dead. ...more
Wow! Such an amazing read! A true classic in the Murder Mystery Genre. Agatha Christie loved this plot: 10 strangers on an island, lured by U. N. OwenWow! Such an amazing read! A true classic in the Murder Mystery Genre. Agatha Christie loved this plot: 10 strangers on an island, lured by U. N. Owen (Unknown), are going to be killed for taking the life of another. Not only are they going to die, they are going to die exactly as the nursery rhyme:
Ten Little Soldiers
Ten Little Soldier Boys went out to dine, one choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine Little Soldier Boys stayed up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight Little Soldier Boys travelling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven Little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six Little Soldier Boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five Little Soldier Boys going in for law one got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four Little Soldier Boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three Little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two Little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was One.
One Little Soldier Boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Christie, herself, says that she had to write an Epigraph to explain what happened. Do any of the ten survive? And who among them is non plumbed U.N. Owen? The note in the bottle finally gives the readers the "who-dun-it". Agatha Christie surprised me. It's no wonder that And Then There Were None is considered a classic to Mystery fans and movie goers. The fact that is that And Then There Were None was published in 1939 shows Christie's genius....more
An uninvited "guest" appears on Nero Wolfe's doorstep. Archie knows that Wolfe will not accept a female in his home, especially one who won't give himAn uninvited "guest" appears on Nero Wolfe's doorstep. Archie knows that Wolfe will not accept a female in his home, especially one who won't give him her name. Later, a man comes by to contract Godwin and Wolfe to find his ward before June 30th. The same date that the young woman locked in Wolfe's 3rd floor room had stated as the date she wanted to stay through. When Archie sees the picture of the missing woman, Pre Eads, he knows it's the young woman he had interviewed earlier. When her guardian leaves, Nero sends for the Eads woman and throws her out.
A few hours later, Pre Eads is found strangled on her living room floor. Her maid had been strangled in the same manner a few hours earlier to get Ead's key. Archie feels responsible and finds himself a Nero Wolfe client. Who wanted Pre dead? And why is the date June 30th so important?
The closet was small, cramped. Too warm. Dark save for the sliver of dim light from the bedroom beyond. In it, Death waited. Patiently. Without movemeThe closet was small, cramped. Too warm. Dark save for the sliver of dim light from the bedroom beyond. In it, Death waited. Patiently. Without movement or complaint.
Tonight was the night. Soon the man would come. And like the others, he would pay."
Such a delicious beginning! I was hooked and expected to read All Fall Downall through the night. Well, I didn't. An early novel of Erica Spindler, and it showed. The novel could have been about 150 pages shorter. And there were to many gaps between the suspenseful trip Spindler was taking this reader on. And too many love scenes - not that I don't mind them - but some got in the way of the story lines. Also maybe 1 too many story line.
And the characters? They started to bore me after awhile. I had a love/hate relationship with Melanie May and her sisters. I did find her being identical twins with Mia, and fraternal triplet to Ashley fascinating, though.
And, I knew who the Dark Angel was about 1/2 way through the novel. But the sister who pulled the gun on her other sister shocked me. While this is my least favorite Erica Spindler novel, I'll read her yet again, because she is a really good storyteller....more
I was anxious to read The Girl in the Spider's Web for two reasons: 1. I love Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist and 2. Stieg Larsson didn't write it, David Lagercrantz did. Most of the novels in several series I've read after the original creator that penned the prior series novels are down right awful. So to my delighted surprise, The Girl in the Spider's Web stayed true to Stieg Larsson"s Millennium Triology. Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist both sound and act the same way as Larsson wrote them, with 1 little minor detail wrong - I don't remember Blomkvist ever calling Erika Berger "Ricky." And I looked in all 3 books. Another mild criticism is that David Lagercrantz went slightly over my willingness to suspend disbelief in a couple of small scenes. These little "offenses" brought my rating down a half star.
Lisbeth Salander awakes to a dream. A dream of a fist pounding a bed. Then she begins to type upon her computer. She finishes Ed the Ned's sentence. Ed Needham is speechless. There is no way the NSA can be hacked! But before his eyes is the evidence. But Wasp isn't showing off, she has reasons to lead the security analyst down her trails leading to "Thanos," Zala, and the Spiders.
Frans Balder is scared. His life's work is in jeopardy, as is life. His former employer stole his AI program. The new Video game is proof of that, but selling it to the Russian Duma and the criminal Spider Society is horrific. He's carried Artificial Intelligence to the highest level to date. In the wrong hands, his work could be used to eliminate...His son, August, must be protected at all costs. His Autistic son. So he calls Mikael Blomkvist in the wee hours of the morning. Blomkvist is willing to meet with Balder for two reasons. He knows that Balder used a female hacker that is likely to have been Salander, and Millennium is in financial trouble.
Blomkvist arrives just as Belder is murdered. He sees a little boy with glassy eyes banging his head against the bed's head board. The child has seen the killer. The killer who has a small spider patch on his jacket. He is part of Thanos' Spider Society who wants to destroy the sisterhood of the Wasp. Thanos is after the boy as well as Lisbeth Salander. Can she keep herself alive while protecting August? She knows who Thanos is. They've battled before. And which one will walk away this time?
Like Larsson, Lagercrantz pumps up the suspense from the 1st page and never eases up until the very end. Each chapter has multiple POVs that pumps the tension and suspense as the various scenes pushes the story line along. Yes, I say pushes because I felt like I was in a fast moving wagon that was directly locomative. There are the expected turns and twists, then more unexpected twists and turns. I can't reveal any more of the plot, because I'd ruin the whole novel for those who've not read The Girl in the Spider's Web. I was hooked and spent the whole night reading. If David Lagercrantz writes another Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist novel, you can bet your last dollar I will read it!...more
Anna Pigeon finds herself as an EMT embedded in a firefighting crew battling the "Jackknife" fire in Northern CA. The fire has consumed thousands of aAnna Pigeon finds herself as an EMT embedded in a firefighting crew battling the "Jackknife" fire in Northern CA. The fire has consumed thousands of acres and has claimed the life of a man and his dog. The blaze is somewhat controlled and the San Juan crew has been recalled due to a cold front that promises rain. But before Anna and the crew start for the Base camp, a young firefighter is injured. When Anna, the crew chief and the firefighters reach the young man, the winds don't feel right to Pigeon nor John LeFluer.
A "firestorm" swirls rapidly toward them. They must leave the injured firefighter and run! The stretcher suddenly falls as Len runs upward. The others freeze for a second before moving. There is nothing they can do for Newt except pray that his "shake and bake" holds. Anna promises the young man that she'll be back for them. They make it to a dry creek or burn line and get into their fire shelters. Agonizing minutes pass very slowly, as the firestorm passes over them. When the danger has past them, still leaving hot coals in the fire's wake, 8 of 9 people emerge from there shake and bakes. One shelter is still standing. Anna and John can see a lump under the thin shelter - the lump is Len. He's dead, stabbed under his left arm; the knife still in his rib cage. Anna looks around. A killer is in their midst, and everyone is a suspect. All 14 eyes had reasons to kill Len.
News from Base isn't good. Fallen trees and the smoke means no rescue. Smoke turns into fog, the precipitation the National Weather Service predicted is snow. Anna Pigeon must work the murder alone as she and Stephen, the other EMT, try to help the injured crew members. At least FBI Frederick Stanton is close by for her share information and gain a little comfort since she'll have to spend a few days and nights on the mountain in less desirable conditions while catching a killer.
I have always liked Anna Pigeon, but this installment had me wanting to shake her. Her whining became a little tiresome. And her embarrassment for wanting Frederick close to her - well I wanted to scream! Both she and the Agent never said what they were thinking or feeling. You'd think they would with Anna being in danger of freezing to death or worse the killer could have murdered her too.
The fire and the firestorm brought intensity to the story, but the dark, cold nights were slow. And I figured out who the killer was about 1/2 way through the novel, so I rather felt disappointed, but not disappointed enough to dislike this installment. ...more
Finally! I patiently awaited this 7th installment of Jonathon King"s Max Freeman Series with great anticipation. And with good reason, my cynical loner Max is back! King really built the suspense in Don't Lose Her and never let up until the very last word. The Epitaph indicates the story line might not be finished. I love it! Hopefully the 8th in the series is being written as I write this review. Billy Manchester becomes more human too, willing to break the rules like Max. After all it is his wife and unborn child's life at stake.
Federal Judge Diane Manchester is hearing an extradition case involving the worst drug lord Columbia and the US have seen in a while. Soon after the defendant made a veiled threat toward her and her baby in court, Manchester is literally grabbed up from the Palm Beach street while she's walking to a cafe for lunch. Max answers Billy's call to find and rescue Diane. But things are never as they seem, aren't they? The Drug Cartel may not have kidnapped Diane. If it wasn't the cartel, then who and why?
Armed with 100K of walking money, Max follows leads throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. Eventually the trail leads him to the Everglades, and like Diane Manchester says while looking out of a window,"You're screwed. Max knows the Glades and you'll get hurt." But will Freeman get to Diane in time? The FIB's are always right behind him and are constantly demanding that Freeman be debriefed.
I loved the way King moved the story line by several POVs - Diane's,. a kidnapper's, Billy's, and Max's. This built the suspense and pacing brilliantly
That excitement quickly left me. All of the characters, yes even the detective, were just horrible, unlikable. And there was no discernibly difference in each character's voice. True they were all sociopaths, but as a reader I expect character difference. In fact I consider it very important in a novel.
As a twist or an homage to Strangers on a Train this novel was an epic fail and bent my ability to suspend disbelief well past its breaking point....more
Like This, For Ever starts out with a bang. There's another serial killer in London. This time, this time the victims are young boys. They're3.5 Stars
Like This, For Ever starts out with a bang. There's another serial killer in London. This time, this time the victims are young boys. They're found on the beach of the Thames River with throats slit. But more disturbingly is the blood loss they've suffered.
Lacey Flint is still on sick leave from her ordeal at Cambridge (Book #2) and is having a time of it. She has two stalkers, one she knows about - Joesbury. The other is her 11 year old neighbor, Barney. Barney watches her like a protector. But he's the the one that needs protecting. He's obsessed with the missing boys as he is with his missing mother. And the killer is close by. He has his eyes focused on both Barney and Lacey.
DI Dana Tullah, once Lacey Flint's mentor and protector, is also obsessed with Lacey. But not in a good way. She believes the killer isn't a bloke, but a female. A female named Lacey Flint. More boys go missing and time is running out. Can MIT figure out who the killer is before more victims end up in the Creek or on the river's shore?
The character, Barney, is wonderful. I absolutely adored him. But Lacey? She's not quite likable at first. Something is really off about her until she gets involved with Barney. And where did all this hostility toward Lacey from Dana come from? It wasn't there in Book 2, and Bolten really doesn't explain it here in Like This, For Ever. That got old real fast.
Bolten also used too many red herrings. And the twists and turns were odd IMO. Instead of making the story line more suspenseful, it seemed to me to draw the story out like the author couldn't decide where she wanted it go.
The characters of Barney and his gang and their actions were great reading and that's why I gave the novel 3.5 Stars...more
Dead Scared really shook me up. Creepy folks, really creepy. DI Mark Joesbury has DC Lacey Flint go undercover at Cambridge University. Too m4.5 Stars
Dead Scared really shook me up. Creepy folks, really creepy. DI Mark Joesbury has DC Lacey Flint go undercover at Cambridge University. Too many students have been committing suicide, with as many failing at his/her attempts. Dr. Evi Oliver believes these students are being influenced by online pressure from suicide websites and chat rooms. DI Joesbury and Scotland Yard believe something more nefarious is going on at the colleges. These people are either being controlled by evil persons or they are getting help. The suicides are way to elaborate. And there is absolutely no trace evidence.
Flint is just supposed to keep her eyes open and not investigate. Right. We are talking about DC Lacey Flint, after all. Of course she investigates. As she gets closer to the truth, she is targeted. They want to kill her, but she, Lacey Flint must do it herself. They cannot be exposed. Who can she trust? Will she she leave Cambridge alive or in a body bag?
Bolton never lets off the gas. Her narrative is moving faster and faster. The reader feels the anxiety that the girls, Lacey, and Dr. Oliver feel. Stalkers, surveillance, invasion of privacy all feel to real. I checked my front door several times last night. I felt their fear as they were being "scared to death." The killers know what each is most afraid of. ...more
In this (the last?) installment of the Evan Delaney Series we readers finally discover why Jax Riviera and Tim Green keep popping into Evan Delaney'sIn this (the last?) installment of the Evan Delaney Series we readers finally discover why Jax Riviera and Tim Green keep popping into Evan Delaney's life. There is a connection to a mother and son prostitute ring and a failed off the books ops - "Riverbend." Phil Delaney is being prosecuted for revealing classified information and he's been kidnapped by the Sangers. The price is, you guessed it, the Riverbend file that Jax has had hidden all of these years as an insurance policy. Evan must travel to Bangkok, Singapore, and London to get all of Jax's encrypted flash drives before time runs out - Jax has hidden a virus in the encryption that will erase the entire file unless the next drive is installed within a specific timeline. Rio Sanger tells Evan that Phil Delaney only has 72 hours to live without water - she wants that file. So does another interested party that doesn't care about Evan, her father, or an innocent little girl. Jesse Blackburn is working against his fiance, because he promised Phil that he would keep Evan clear from Riverbend, because it would start the "kill chain." Does Evan stay out of the way? No!
Though Evan Delaney have been featured in other Meg Gardiner books as the author told me in her blog's Q & A, the ending of Kill Chain left me cold. I didn't like the way she left Evan - too many questions were left unanswered and more were raised. Gardiner says she'll revisit Evan Delaney/Jesse Blackburn in the near future, but will she? She's written several stand alones and is well through another series, but no Evan Delaney. If a series is coming to an end, I'd like all of the threads tied together, regardless if I like the way those threads are woven. ...more
I really enjoyed this 4th book in the Evan Delaney Series. As before Meg Gardiner grabbed me from the first paragraph and kept me turning the pages, rI really enjoyed this 4th book in the Evan Delaney Series. As before Meg Gardiner grabbed me from the first paragraph and kept me turning the pages, reading furiously until the last word. Although I was a bit put off by one of Evan's decisions in the novel, and that is why I deducted a full star in my rating. That one decision, I'll keep to myself.
Evan Delaney and Jesse Blackburn return to China Lake for Evan's 15th High School Reunion. Many of her classmates are dead - too many. And in the course of 24 hours two more class mates are found brutally murdered. Jax Rivera contacts Evan and tells her that an unstable assassin is killing her friends, and it is connected to a Black Ops project in China Lake 20 years prior. And yes, Evan is a target too.
I love that each book in the series is darker than the previous one. But I do love a dark mystery thriller. ...more
Lawyer and Sci-Fi author, Evan Delaney is having a bad 24 hours. She is called to a Frat house and finds her boyfriend's brother, P.J. Blackb3.5 Stars
Lawyer and Sci-Fi author, Evan Delaney is having a bad 24 hours. She is called to a Frat house and finds her boyfriend's brother, P.J. Blackburn, high in a locked bathroom. He claims he saw a girl falling to her death before a fire breaks out at the house. The Police don't believe her, especially when the girl's body washes up on the beach with Evan's credit cards. Evan was on that beach beaten up by some muscle who claims she owes their boss big money. Earlier that morning her boss demands an explanation as to why their biggest client - Karen and her Rock and Roll husband Ricky Jimson - believe that Evan stole some checks from them and they are made out to Kathleen Evan Delaney. P.J. works for the Jimsons. Evan is a murder suspect and an Identity Theft victim.
The beginning of the novel is shaky as well as chaotic. That might have been on purpose by Meg Gardiner to emphasize the drug high of P.J. or the confusion of the dead girl's identity. But I didn't like the beginning. Jesse is acting erratic also throughout the novel. Marc Dupree surprised me, though. I didn't like how the author treated the puppy, either. I'm an animal lover.
But Gardiner tells a spot on suspenseful story that kept me guessing throughout its pages. ...more
Franklin Brand is back. The Franklin Brand that took Jesse's ability to walk and killed his buddy. He confesses to Evan that he's still stuck there inFranklin Brand is back. The Franklin Brand that took Jesse's ability to walk and killed his buddy. He confesses to Evan that he's still stuck there in Mission Canyon. He can't move to comfort his swimming mate as he lay dying. More memories are coming back and he's being blackmailed all within 9 weeks of his and Evan's wedding.
A couple claiming to be ex-CIA want to hire Evan to ghostwrite their memoirs. She senses something off putting about the couple. She's right. They are part of what happened to Jesse up in Mission Canyon. Her friend is legal counsel for Mako, the company that Brand worked for, is acting weird. The CEO made right toward Jesse, but something is rotten within Mako headquarters, and as Evan and Jesse seek justice for Brand more bodies turn up. What is Mako up to? And why did they (and still do) want Blackburn and another buddy dead?
Again, Meg Gardiner writes a fast paced suspenseful novel. There a few scenes that really stretch suspension of disbelief, but her full characterization of Evan and Jesse in China Lake and this sophomoric installment will allow that suspension of disbelief. Another recommended read. ...more
So, Harry Bosch begins his story. He's been retired from LAPD for almost a year. One case he can't forget. OneThere is no end of things in the heart.
So, Harry Bosch begins his story. He's been retired from LAPD for almost a year. One case he can't forget. One ex-wife he can't forget. One former cop he did forget, but now can't. All are things his heart will not let go.
Angella Benton still haunts him. He cannot forget her hands in death. They are in prayer over her head. He was taken off the case when the Production Assistant is linked to a bold $2 Mill heist. The movie studio arranged a day loan for the cash. As the amour truck arrived to the movie studio, 4 masked men jumped out of a van and grabbed the satchels from the guards. Then all hell breaks out. The last masked man started shooting, hitting the bank's chief security officer and another bank official. Harry is on the set, questioning people regarding Benton. He hears the gunfire and runs toward the melee. He hits the shooter, sending the masked guy flying into the already moving van. The van, the $2 mill, and the thieves get away.
Both cases are handed over to Robbery/Homicide to Detectives Dorsey and Cross. An FBI agent who noticed an anomaly in the serial numbers of the hundred dollar bills that were randomly selected also disappears. Dorsey and Cross are in Nate's having lunch when a masked armed robber shoots leaving Dorsey and the bartender dead and Cross severely disabled. The case has gone cold, partly because no new leads have ever been found, and mainly the case is deemed unlucky by most detectives. But Harry is not a detective any more. He'll solve the case, not for the reward leading to the full recovery of the money. But for the forgotten young production assistant who was murdered on her 24th birthday.
Of course the two cases are "high jingo." Someone or Something tries to stop Harry's investigation. National Security is implied by the FBI's counter-terrorism unit that uses the BAM - By ALL Means - method to justify their actions. The case takes Harry all over Los Angeles, Las Vegas, back to Los Angeles to the Kings of Nights.
Classic Michael Connelly, but a bit darker. Fast paced with the usual twists, but a bit predictable. I figured out who the bad guys were well before Harry which is unusual for me. Nonetheless, Lost Light is worth the read. ...more
I debated whether to give this 4 Stars because I really enjoyed the novel, but it was slow in parts. Then I remembered that Greg Iles is a S3.75 Stars
I debated whether to give this 4 Stars because I really enjoyed the novel, but it was slow in parts. Then I remembered that Greg Iles is a Southern Writer. He takes his time. And that is not a bad thing. But for a mystery, I prefer more of a fast pace that keeps me up at night turning pages. Though in some scenes I did turn the pages quickly, sometimes holding my breath thinking 35 years isn't long enough for Penn Cage to re-open a murder that has the hallmarks of being a civil rights murder. Del Payton was killed in between MLK and Bobby Kennedy in 1968.
Payton was involved with the movement, and was promoted to a job that had been for "whites only." He was considered "uppity" by 1968 Natchez MS white population. Cage had returned home to Natchez hoping it's serenity and his parents could help his 4 year old daughter, Annie, with her grief of losing her mother - Penn's beloved, Sara. But statements he said off the record during an interview with Natchez's newspaper has blown up the small MS city. And Livy Marsden is back in town, too complicating Cage's life as well as the case.
As Penn decides whether to take the case, he finds out that Livy's father - Judge Leo Marsden - is involved, he's full steam ahead. He will destroy the Judge, as Marsden tried to destroy Penn's father years ago. What Penn Cage finds is corruption and every one attached to the case is playing "the quiet game." As people talk, people die. To win the case and find justice for Del Payton, he must play "the quiet game" and live. ...more
I finished this on St. Paddy's Day and I'm still torn between 3 and 4 Stars. Paula Hawkins had me spell bound. Her writing is fierce - she certainly kI finished this on St. Paddy's Day and I'm still torn between 3 and 4 Stars. Paula Hawkins had me spell bound. Her writing is fierce - she certainly knows how to spend a very suspenseful tale, keeping the reader quickly turning the pages despite all of her very unlikeable characters.
Rachel is Tom Watson's ex-wife. She is quite pathetic. She's a drunk and unemployed. But each morning she rides the train to London (to save face) pretending she's just another commuter. And the train always stops very near her old house where she was happy and hopeful with Tom. A few doors down live a beautiful couple that she's dubbed "Jess and Jason." She imagines their life together, giving them wonderful attributes and marriage. Looks can be deceiving as the real "Jess" - Meagan - shows us. Tom's current wife hates Rachel and truly believes that Tom's ex-wife is unstable and dangerous to her, Tom, and their baby daughter. Everything is going as smoothly as each woman's situation can go until one of them suddenly disappears. Rachel must interject herself in the investigation. After all, she's invested a year of mornings and evenings watching this woman. Bad decision, girlfriend.
The story line is told from each of the three women's altering POV, and that technique is powerful and makes the novel work. As I've said there is not one redeemable or likeable character in the whole book, but the reader is also a Rachel - a voyeur of a sort like in Rear Window. Something bad has happened and we know it's coming and we can't shut our eyes. We readers must know what happened and by whose hands. ...more
A new approach for Linda Fairstein with this 17th installment of her Alexandra Cooper Series. For the first few chapters, it is Alex in her 1st personA new approach for Linda Fairstein with this 17th installment of her Alexandra Cooper Series. For the first few chapters, it is Alex in her 1st person POV. A big case of hers has blown up in her face, data from her office computer has been compromised, and her boss has threatened her ever so subtly. Then she's kidnapped while waiting for an Uber driver.
Then Fairstein changes POV. Mike Chapman takes over for the rest of the book. He has a domestic murder that ties into an unholy alliance between the DA himself and the irreverent Reverend Hal Shipley. When he, Alex's team, and her close friends realize that Coop hasn't gone off to be by herself, precious time has elapsed. How much does Mike Chapman know about Alex Cooper? Even though they've been friends and worked together for over a decade, Chapman realizes that he really doesn't know the woman he's in love with, and time is running out for Alex.
A great suspenseful read with the history Fairstein is known for. There aren't the usual light humorous moments that are always associated with the novels in this series. And yet again, Alex is in need of rescuing. ...more
Ret. Det. Bill Hodges is bored and thinking about eating his gun until the killer, dubbed by the Press, Mr. Mercedes sends him a letter. Brady thoughtRet. Det. Bill Hodges is bored and thinking about eating his gun until the killer, dubbed by the Press, Mr. Mercedes sends him a letter. Brady thought wrong. He just gave Hodges a reason to live. He's going to find him and bring him in. For a second he believes him when he says he's not going to mow anyone else down in a stolen Mercedes leaving a clown's mask on the drivers seat. No Brady has a bigger and more evil plan that makes what happened at the Jobs Fair look like child's play. He has enough C4 to blow up a city block in the unnamed Midwestern city. Rather than tell his old partner that the murderer has contacted him, the retired detective with the help of a middle aged woman who still lives with her mother and his 17 year old lawn, computer, and general I-Need-This-Fixed young man. The trio make an unlikely team to go after the notorious Mr. Mercedes Killer, but they fit so well together. I laughed at times and then was frightened for them. They are an excellent team.
What I didn't like about Hodges characterization was King's portrayal of him being old at 61. Close to 60, at 58 years old, I took offense at that. I'm also pretty computer savy also, Mr. King. And then there's Jerome. Please, the jive talk? An upper middle class black teen who is highly intelligent trying to be "ghetto" just plainly got on my last nerve. But the story line was intensely good and kept me on the edge of my seat. Looking forward to reading Finders Keepers later this month. ...more
I have to agree with my GR friend, LJ that Harry is Haller's antagonist in this one. Well it should be so. Harry believes he's on the side of Angels and Haller defends the devil. Both are loners. Both have daughters. Both have the same father - one legitimate; the other son, not. One sees the Law as a game to win in court, the other sees the Law to punish the bad guys. Poor Harry has to work with Haller because the murderer he's trying to catch may be after Mickey now. How's that? Well let's go to the beginning.
Mickey Haller is ready now to go back to court and try cases. A colleague is murdered and leaves all of his cases to Haller, including a film exec who is accused of killing his wife and her lover. A franchise case - Haller needs that right now. Enter his half brother, Harry Bosch whom is investigating Jerry Vincent's murder. Harry believes the killer is one of his clients who are Haller's now.
The investigation comes forefront when Mickey is threatened. Otherwise, the murder investigation goes on behind Haller and his investigation and Eliot's trial. Remember the novel's openning line: Everybody lies.".
The last twist took me by surprise; I didn't see it coming. The strength of Michael Connelly is his plotting and dialogue. His magic is on full display here and he kept me turning the pages, guessing where he was going until the very last word. ...more
A decent first in a series by Jack Nolte who writes under the non de plume, Scott William Carter.
Garrison Gage has ended up in beach community in OregA decent first in a series by Jack Nolte who writes under the non de plume, Scott William Carter.
Garrison Gage has ended up in beach community in Oregon, as far from NYC as he can get. He's running from the memories of his wife's murder, too. He's grumpy. He's a loner. But when he finds the body of a teen-aged girl on the beach, something within him begins to thaw. He feels the responsibility to find out who she is and why she was killed. He knows if he can find out those two things, he'll know who her killer is.
Of course the local police chief and his retired FBI buddy have other ideas. His housekeeper, Mattie, has a bigger surprise for him. And then there is the owner of the small town's newspaper, The Bugle. She's persistent and damaged just like Gage - her's is invisible while his is his shattered knee that will have him severely limping for the rest of his life. Together these people will help him to find the girl's murderer.
Nolte's characters are well developed as is Gage's back story. However, the story lagged a bit here and there. But it's a satisfying mystery novel. ...more