I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. No other consideration was received or expected.
I finished this book with an overalI received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. No other consideration was received or expected.
I finished this book with an overall impression of meh. I felt it was competently written and well researched. Unfortunately, I can only describe this as explosive if I'm referring to the actual bomb explosions, and not the plot or the storytelling. This was no thrill ride, no edge-of-the-seat-what's-going-to-happen next. The story is mostly a plod through to the end, kind of picking up to a slow jog at times, but never taking off at a full, breathless run.
In the author's note, the author acknowledges that nobody wants to read about policemen filling out forms, but this felt like just one step above that. I kept waiting for the flu epidemic sweeping through the department to have some bearing on the story. Tick, tick, tick - it didn't. So why spend so much time on it? It didn't move the story forward, and it didn't contribute to the character development (unless you count the details of Capobianco's gastric distress as character development).
The characterizations felt shallow to me, like everyone was a cardboard cutout going through motions. For me, a novel has to have either strong characterizations (in which case I can forgive story flaws) or a non-stop story that overcomes the lack of characterization. This had neither. Actually, the character I found most interesting was Salinowsky, the drug-addled homeless veteran. I never connected with Manny. I thought he was mildly interesting, but not compelling and not strong enough to carry the entire story. I found all interactions between Manny Diaz and his roommate, Jennifer, uncomfortable and awkward, as if even the author wasn't comfortable with their relationship. On top of that, I didn't feel the relationship added anything to Manny's character, and it certainly didn't do anything for the overall story. If anything, it slowed it down even more. The whole thing felt like a throw-away. If it was meant to "sex up" the story, it failed.
Overall, reading this first in a series doesn't leave me wanting to run out and read the rest of the books. It was a quick and easy read; and, with the exception of the whole Manny/Jennifer thing, relatively painless so it's not a waste of $0.99 as long as you don't expect a lot from it....more
See also my reviews of other novels by this author: Olives - A Violent Romance and Beirut: An Explosive Thriller.
As I previously read and enjoyed bookSee also my reviews of other novels by this author: Olives - A Violent Romance and Beirut: An Explosive Thriller.
As I previously read and enjoyed books by this author, I was happy to say yes to his request for a review of Shemlan - A Deadly Tragedy. As usual, I was provided a free copy of the book, but made no promises and received no other consideration.
When McNabb includes words like "violent" and "deadly" in the title of his books, take it as a warning: his books are violent. People get blown up, tortured, and killed. Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to bad people. If you can't handle that, don't read these books. If you ignore the warning and read them anyway, don't complain about the violence.
Fortunately for me, I don't have a problem with violence, and I enjoyed these books immensely. McNabb crafts a masterful spy novel full of twists and turns, really bad bad guys and questionably good good guys. If you thought the spy novel died with the end of the Cold War, take heart and pick up these novels.
Gerald Lynch is back, and for a guy who has been declared by his agency to be physically inadequate to perform his job, he still manages to kick ass and take names. This story centers around the sad and clueless character of Jason Hartmoor, who attended the "British spy school" in Beirut before. After Beirut erupts in civil war and the school is closed, Hartmoor is placed on assignment thither and yon around the world. He's a diplomat, that's what happens. At the time this story takes place, Hartmoor is retired, and dying of cancer, He returns to Beirut for one final farewell to his past, and a woman he loved. His return stirs up old troubles and sets off a series of unexpected events. Gerald Lynch ends up right smack in the middle of the trouble. I have to say - for a dying man, Hartmoor certainly displays a strong will to live. Apparently, he would prefer to die as a proper Englishman should - at home, in his own bed. Lynch has to figure out who all the players are, while making sure the more deadly players don't get their hands on Hartmoor. In the process, Lynch loses people who are precious to him, and the spy games become personal.
One thing I like about this series is McNabb doesn't take the easy way out. It would too easy, given the setting in the Middle East, for the intrigue to center around terrorists and their plots. However, McNabb doesn't take the easy path. Instead, readers get a wild ride through the Middle East and East Europe, and a glimpse at another kind of evil, the kind that can be found in any corner of the world. Each story delves deeper into Lynch's character and while some of what we know about him might make us uncomfortable, he shines as the flawed hero of the story.
It helps to have read the prior novels in this series. This book does reference some of the people and story plots. However, in my opinion it isn't absolutely necessary to do so in order to get the full impact of this story. But why wouldn't you want to read them all? :-)
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That was quite some time ago and when David Grace asked me to review a new book, I reI was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That was quite some time ago and when David Grace asked me to review a new book, I realized I read this one and then never wrote a review.
So, I re-read it (because, of course, with almost 100 books in between, I’d forgotten the details), and I enjoyed it all over again. I rarely read a book twice anymore, so the fact that I read every single word a second time, rather than skimming through to refresh my memory, is a huge endorsement for this book.
I’m always looking for the trifecta of character, story and setting. This book hits all the marks. I live in Los Angeles, so I always enjoy stories set in LA. At times, the author seems to want to disguise the location, changing names of streets and some other locations, but for me, it wasn’t a distraction.
I realized how much I enjoy the character of Chris Hunter, and how Big Jim Donegan carefully schools the boy he sets out to mentor, to shape into a man who is not only a good person, but good for something. The reader sees how still waters run deep in the character of Chris, and how successful Big Jim has been in shaping his life.
For me, the story was mostly about character, and the characters. Each character is carefully constructed, serving as a foil for both Chris Hunter and the story.
The story could plod, yet it doesn’t. It flows steadily and thoughtfully from start to finish, mirroring Chris Hunter’s personality. It starts with the murder of a prostitute, and as the bodies start piling up, Chris finds himself having to sort through the data points, which he understands, and human nature, which he doesn’t, to solve the case. But this story isn’t just about solving a murder, it’s about how lives are shaped and about doing what’s right.
I definitely recommend this book. It’s well written, and there’s more here than just a murder and a police procedural on solving it....more
I am always happy to read a book by Mark Chisnell, so I was thrilled when he requested a read/review of Powder Burn.
I'm going to appoint Chisnell theI am always happy to read a book by Mark Chisnell, so I was thrilled when he requested a read/review of Powder Burn.
I'm going to appoint Chisnell the Thriller King. When I pick up one of his books, I expect a taut, well-written, can't-put-it-down thriller with unexpected twists and turns and I'm never disappointed.
Powder Burn is another home run hit in the thriller category. It features Samantha (Sam) Blackett, and I'm happy to find this is only the first of a series featuring Sam. She's gutsy, broke, and willing to go on an adventure with a good-looking Brit and his companions, mostly so she doesn't have to go back to her mother and admit defeat. Aside from the part where she's hiking off into high altitudes of the Himalayans with strangers part, I can relate. :-) It turns out, everyone on this trip is keeping some secrets. Pete Halland (the handsome Brit) and his friends don't tell her they're on their way to find the legendary Powder Burn to document a snowboarder's dream ride down a flawless chute. What they don't tell Sam is that this ride will take them illegally into the mystical and mysterious country of Shibde. They're counting on Sam's writeup for National Geographic to catapult the film and its participants into fame and fortune. What Sam doesn't tell them is she's only had one article published, in a small regional magazine where her mother works, and has a snowball's chance in hell of getting a story accepted by National Geographic.
While they planned on having to quietly sneak across the border of Shibde to access the legendary Powder Burn, they didn't plan on meeting a revolutionary and his apparently magical sword. What follows is classic Chisnell, a tight buildup of tension as the roller coaster chugs its way to the top of the mountain, unexpected twists and turns, then a long, gut-wrenching drop to the finish. The epilogue is the revealing photo finish.
I don't know what this book's pricing is going to be, but whatever it is - it'll be worth it! Watch for it on April 3rd, then get ready for a great thrill of a read.
Updated (April 1, 2013): This book is now available at Amazon. For only $0.99, it's a steal....more
I had read and reviewedSea of Crises, which I loved, so I was anticipating another good read when the author asked me to read and reviewDefiant Heart.I had read and reviewed Sea of Crises, which I loved, so I was anticipating another good read when the author asked me to read and review Defiant Heart.
Don't pick up this book and expect one anything like Sea of Crises. The only thing the two have in common is the author. Which isn't a bad thing because that means you're going to get to read first-rate storytelling. Like Sea of Crises, this book is well written and well told.
I fell in love with Jonathan Meyer, Mary Dahlgren, Walt, Ben, and the small town in Indiana where most of this story takes place. My heart broke for Jon, whose entire family is killed in a car accident, leaving him to travel alone to his new home with his grandmother, whom he has never met. He is greeted by her instruction to call her ma'am - not Grandmother, and this sets the tone for their relationship. Jon finds his grandmother isn't the only one in town with a cold shoulder. Before long, he's ostracized at school and loses his job at Dahlgren Hardware, because he's Jewish. As his grandmother warms to him (like a glacier warming), she gives him an old bicycle to fix up and Jon assuages his loneliness by riding far and wide through the surrounding countryside. In this way, he meets Ben, who becomes like a father to him. But he continues to run crossways with the bullies at school, even while falling in love with Mary Dahlgren.
I could go on and on about the story, but you can read the book. I can tell you I couldn't put it down. I laughed, I cried and I sighed. I loved every minute of it, and it's not the genre I generally prefer to read. It's one of those books that present a conundrum: I couldn't stop reading, couldn't get enough of the story, even though I knew I'd feel the pang of loss when I did reach the end. And don't ask me which book I prefer, Defiant Heart or Sea of Crises - it's like asking if I like filet mignon better than homemade cinnamon rolls. They're both excellent, but can't be compared to each other.
I'll definitely be adding Marty Steere to my list of favorite authors to watch. I can highly recommend watching for this book's publication on April 15th so you can grab it and immerse yourself in the life of Jon and Mary for a few hours....more
I'm always happy to read and review one of Ed James' Scott Cullen mysteries. I confess the title of Ghost in the Machine kind of threw me for a loop aI'm always happy to read and review one of Ed James' Scott Cullen mysteries. I confess the title of Ghost in the Machine kind of threw me for a loop and I wondered WTH I was getting in for. I almost turned him down. Once I started reading, the title no longer mattered and I was glad to be introduced to this series. I also confess that when Ed asked if I would review Fire in the Blood and sent it along to me, I dropped all the other books on my list in favor of reading this one first. Once I find an author I like, I will read everything they write and now Ed's on that list. Frankly, I was relieved to pick up a book I actually knew I'd like before I even started reading it.
Writing a series allows an author to really develop characters and setting; if the job is done right, reading a book in a good series will be like curling up on your sofa with a bunch of old friends, ready for the next adventure. I like series and I really like this series.
When I read a murder mystery, a lot of the fun (for me) is to try and guess who the killer is before it's revealed and I give high points if I can't guess. This one had me as baffled throughout as the previous two - which is, of course, the whole point. It helps that the characters are familiar, because there's a lot going on. The author continues to add depth to Cullen while fleshing out the story with secondary and minor characters.
What better place to hide a body than in a whiskey barrel that nobody's going to open for years? Scott Cullen has a lot on his plate with this case, including his usual conflicts with Bain and pending changes in the police department. To further confuse things, two young men who could fit the description of the body disappeared at approximately the same time as the barrel was sealed. By the time the body is finally conclusively identified, Cullen's list of possible suspects is getting rather lengthy. Cullen's running a marathon to solve the case while taking flack from Bain. By the time I was 30% into the book, I could hardly put it down, and the ending had me biting my nails.
If you haven't read the other books in this series, you should - not because this book can't stand alone, but because you're missing out on a good read. Or - read this book and you'll go back and read the other two....more
This is a short review because it's all I have time or interest in writing. The author sent me a copy of this book and a request for review.
I gave upThis is a short review because it's all I have time or interest in writing. The author sent me a copy of this book and a request for review.
I gave up after reading only 10% of the book. It starts with a spark of interest - someone is about to get killed in the neighborhood park where the ladies meet every afternoon to drink cocktails and let their dogs play. After that, it's all downhill. The author plods through the back story of each and every character - telling telling and more telling. It was like reading Genesis. It wasn't suspenseful, funny or even interesting. I kept reading, hoping for improvement, but finally lost patience, along with any interest in finding out who got murdered, or why....more
I was asked by the author to review this book and received a free copy of the book in exchange.
I really had a difficult time deciding whether to rateI was asked by the author to review this book and received a free copy of the book in exchange.
I really had a difficult time deciding whether to rate this book 2/5 or 3/5 and finally went with the lower rating because although the story line is promising, it ultimately falls flat. I had a difficult time reading it all the way to the finish.
My biggest problem with this book is the writing. It is not well written and the readability of the story is negatively impacted. The most prevalent problem is the confusing use of pronoun. Here's a good example:
"In one lightning fast move, Nick whipped his arm upwards at the exposed flesh. Broken glass ripped through his skin, slicing tendon and muscle on impact. The improvised blade cleanly severed his carotid artery."
I read that and wondered if Nick had killed himself. Well, of course he didn't! But that's how it reads. The confusing use of pronouns is commonplace throughout the entire book.
I also had a problem with the entire story line. I didn't find Vogel's motive for suppressing the historical foundation of his wealth believable, or the lengths he was willing to go to in order to keep it a secret. And if it was so important, why didn't Vogel, his group and/or his ancestors just hunt down the information themselves and get rid of it, instead of just killing anyone who showed any sign of stumbling on it? They certainly had the financial resources, and it would've been cleaner. I just wasn't buying the motive, which was the basis for the entire story.
The characters also felt one dimensional to me. I never really connected with any of them and by the time they end up in a shoot-out at Mount Vernon, I really didn't care much.
As a result of all the above, the story never reached the "thriller" level for me. I didn't stay up late, turning pages and fighting to stay awake because I couldn't wait to see what happened. I find it difficult to really immerse myself in a book when I'm constantly having to re-read sentences and paragraphs to make sense of the writing.
I really can't recommend this book. The writing makes it too difficult to read and it falls flat in almost every respect....more
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Honestly, I couldn't finish it. I rate most books I can't finish as 1; I gave thiI received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Honestly, I couldn't finish it. I rate most books I can't finish as 1; I gave this a 2 because I read 50% of it before giving up. I kept waiting for it to get better, and it didn't.
I found the story disjointed and the storytelling confusing. The story skims the surface, resulting in a shallow story that's difficult to get into, and shallow characters that are difficult to connect with. When the only character I found even somewhat interesting is killed and I didn't gasp in surprise, I knew I needed to just give up on this book. The numerous grammatical and spelling errors were an annoying additional distraction.
In my opinion, the racial stereotypes and sexist depiction of women only added to the shallow characterizations. I don't know if that's the author's idea of "tough talk," or if that's what the author thinks makes the book more male-oriented (do men really want to read this kind of thing?), but I didn't feel it added anything to the story or the characters. I'm not offended by it, mostly because I'm not easily offended, but I do feel it's a lazy path to take, and not necessarily the best one. I was amused that the author threw former Soviet Union tough guys into the mix with radical Muslims, since radical Muslims have replaced Soviet spies in thriller novels since 9-11. It wasn't enough to keep me reading, however.
I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
This story has an unlikely character in the darkness. It creeps, reaches outI was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
This story has an unlikely character in the darkness. It creeps, reaches out, smirks and giggles as it tries to overcome Maggie and drag her back down into its depths. It becomes the lead character in the psychological warfare that has become Maggie Quinn's life.
A once-brilliant detective in Chicago's Area One, Maggie succumbed to the darkness after the death of her only child and only the chase to find a serial killer motivates her to resist its advances.
This is a noir thriller with great depth of character. There's broken Maggie, struggling to come back to life and finally put a face on the killer that haunts her dreams. There's her father, who showed his loyalty to The Outfit by taking a fall that landed him in prison for life, where his loyalty is rewarded with influence. There's Rayney, who understands Maggie like nobody else and knows he needs to be strong if she's going to come back from the pit of darkness. There's Nick Dublowski, newly made detective, who has a lot to learn and finds his best mentor in the broken Maggie. There's a killer, playing games with Maggie and her already screwed up head, but Maggie gives as good as she gets as she pulls away from the darkness to strike back.
I was on the edge of my seat. I was totally confused and I loved it. Was Maggie right about the killer? Who would win the war? Could Maggie hold herself together and push back the darkness long enough to solve it? I even gasped in surprise a couple of times.
By the time I finished, I felt washed in Maggie's darkness. There's no real redemption in this story, but that's okay; nobody is looking for redemption. I felt I knew Maggie as much as anybody could know her, and I felt her pain.
Sink into the darkness with Maggie. It's an uncomfortable place to be, but I couldn't put it down....more
The author sent me a free copy of this book and requested a review.
This book starts out strong and never lets up. Jubal Dark, sheriff of Francine CounThe author sent me a free copy of this book and requested a review.
This book starts out strong and never lets up. Jubal Dark, sheriff of Francine County, Texas, is one of the best characters I've read in some time, and Carl Alvin Spence, an escaped convict, and Buck Nevin, a Texas Ranger, are first-rate counterparts. Added to the great characters is the compelling landscape, as the chase for Spence takes the reader through the back roads of rural Texas. As I read the book, I felt like I was in familiar country with people I knew. I'd love to see more Jubal Dark stories.
Jubal Dark is a compelling but simple man. He misses his wife, Annabelle, who has been dead for four years. For two years, he has been haunted by his failure to find the killer of a local woman, Carol Railsback. He's getting old and fat. He's up for re-election and his nemesis, Buck Nevin, has convinced a Houston homicide detective to run against him. Jubal wants to keep his job as sheriff, but maybe there's something inside him that believes he doesn't deserve it because he hasn't found Carol Railback's killer. And then Spence inserts himself into the mix. Sheriff Dark was the man who originally brought Spence to justice, and four years later, escaped from prison, Spence is out for revenge before he heads off to Mexico. With his two accomplices, Spence breaks into Dark's house - and finds only his dog. And you know what happens in Texas when you kill a man's dog. Killing the dog is only the beginning of the bloody trail left behind by this trio. Spence and his fellow escapees move on, stopping at the home of a local man, his wife and two children, then killing them all before moving on. Spence makes sure the killing happens in Sheriff Dark's county, just in case Dark doesn't already know what Spence thinks of him.
Jubal Dark now has a burning passion for justice and he intends to get his man, in spite of Buck Nevin, jurisdictional issues, or his re-election against a candidate who says he's too fat, too old, and too old-fashioned to stay in office. Jubal doesn't have time to campaign; as far as he's concerned, catching Spence is his campaign. And if he can solve the case of Carol Railsback, he can retire satisfied that he did his job. This is a fantastic story, and the author tells it well. Go grab this book and join Jubal Dark as he tears up Texas!...more
I was asked by the author to read/review this title and was provided a free Kindle copy.
This book is too painfully awful to read and I didn't finish iI was asked by the author to read/review this title and was provided a free Kindle copy.
This book is too painfully awful to read and I didn't finish it. When I say it's over-punctuated, I mean it's REALLY over-punctuated. The misplaced commas make it difficult to follow the story. It's as if the author isn't quite sure how to use commas, so he just inserts them randomly. The dialogue is stilted and comes off like a couple of bad actors - for whom English is a second language - sitting and reading a badly written script. The dialogue of Alex Hollick's phone call to a suicide hotline was so painful, I was almost hoping he'd kill himself and end the torture. Unfortunately, since that was only 3% into the book, I knew it wasn't likely to happen unless the bloodbath ritual was one that raised Hollick from the dead.
The book starts with long and detailed descriptions of each character involved in the first scene. It was a complete character rundown: here's what this guy looks like and where he comes from. There was no effort to weave the character description and background into the story. That's when I first started checking to see if I'd read enough to say I'd given it a good effort.
I didn't make it through even 10% of this mess. I realize this is the author's first book; he needs a really REALLY good editor and a brutally honest beta reader group. This book should never have been published in its present state. Don't waste your money....more
I was asked by the author to review this book and received a free copy in exchange.
This is a gripping story that combines several elements. It's not jI was asked by the author to review this book and received a free copy in exchange.
This is a gripping story that combines several elements. It's not just a murder mystery. In fact, the who/why/where surrounding the burned body of a little girl takes a second seat to the death sentence and the legal maneuvering to try and save George Calhoun.
The execution of George Calhoun, convicted of murdering his daughter, will take place in 6 weeks. Dani Trumball, an attorney at the Help Innocent Prisoners Project (HIPP) believes he's innocent and she has to race against the clock to find a way to prove it before all his chances are gone. George's conviction rests on the discovery of the burned body of a little girl, believed to be the Calhoun's daughter, who has disappeared, and his wife's insistence that George killed their daughter. George insists the remains are not those of his daughter, but he refuses to say what actually happened to her.
This race against time is an obstacle course; or rather, a minefield. For one thing, the case is 17 years old. Even without red tape and people who don't have the same sense of urgency as the HIPP team, it's difficult to investigate a case that old. People have died or moved away, memories aren't as sharp as they used to be. I had a difficult time putting it down.
My only criticism is the amount of time spent on things the reader doesn't really need to know and that didn't move the story forward. There's a fair number of words spent of travel and food details I felt were unnecessary. I think the story would have moved faster without them, but overall it didn't detract that much from my enjoyment. I was still eager to find out how the story ended and I just blew over those parts.
This book will keep you reading and make you think. It's a great deal for the price....more
I read this book at the request of the author and received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I have previously read and reviewed OlI read this book at the request of the author and received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I have previously read and reviewed Olives, the first book in this series.
Beirut is a thriller that centers around the Middle East. Michel Freij, a powerful Lebanese billionaire is running for the office of president, with his central platform being the claim that he will unify the many factions in Lebanon. He and British intelligence agent Gerald Lynch are set on a collision course in Olives, and the conflict continues as Lynch and a community of European intelligence agents seek to keep Cold War nuclear warheads from ending up in Freij's hands. Freij, however, is a skilled adversary and he takes the intelligence community on a twisting, turning chase as he executes one slight of hand after another in order to obtain his prize.
There are a couple things I really liked about this book. I enjoyed Olives immensely, so I was happy to see Beirut picks up almost immediately where Olives ended. I also like that this book delves deeper into the character of Gerald Lynch. The best part is the author has done an amazing job of weaving together all the pieces to keep the reader guessing - and the location of the nuclear warheads and what Freij plans on doing with them isn't the only question. Every time I thought I had at least part of the plot figured out, another faction slid in under the radar, surprising me (and Lynch as well, on occasion).
I was fully engaged in this story from start to explosive finish and only wish I had more hours to sit and read - I would've finished it in a one day if I'd had the time to spare. This one goes on my recommended list, along with the recommendation that you watch for the next book in the series. ...more
I was asked by the author to read/review this book and received a copy of the book in exchange.
This is a well-written book and the characterization, eI was asked by the author to read/review this book and received a copy of the book in exchange.
This is a well-written book and the characterization, especially Ray, is compelling. From the minute Jude St. Onge encounters Ray, I was fascinated by Ray, his actions and his motivations. He's like an archangel gone off course, bringing mercy, redemption and fiery justice all at once.
This book is not for the faint of heart, however. It's raw, and at times very violent. The story wouldn't ring true otherwise; the author solemnly shows the reader that people like Swallow exist and they do things most of us don't even want to think about.
The story is well paced and moves at a fairly good clip through the events, giving the reader the opportunity to take a good look at the window into the lives of the characters and the events as they unfold. It wasn't a can't-put-it-down read for me, but I also wanted to keep reading, and I was surprised when I realized I was almost done.
I have to say something about this cover. It's the only thing about the book that's really ugly; try not to judge the book by it. Maybe the author means for it to be ugly, because it's kind of an ugly story he's telling. Overlook it - the writing is better than the amateurish cover.
I finished the book hoping that Ray actually will be able to take Edward fishing in the summer. If you really like a raw, edgy story that's character driven, then I can absolutely recommend this book....more
Chalk up another book I couldn't finish. I gave up halfway in. I kept waiting for the rambling nonsense to come together and become a coherent story,Chalk up another book I couldn't finish. I gave up halfway in. I kept waiting for the rambling nonsense to come together and become a coherent story, but it just got worse. At that point, the only mystery was a missing journalist and a dead banker. Not only did I have absolutely no idea what one had to do with the other (if anything), there wasn't any discernible progress being made towards enlightenment.
The description claims this book has a "touch of the absurd." That's like saying salt dough has a touch of salt in it. I appreciate a touch of the absurd, but I just can't connect with the completely absurd. There's an awful lot of words spend on what appears to be absurdity for the sake of absurdity, and none of it moves the story along.
I did like Jett Roscoe, which was the only reason I read half the book before giving up. Unfortunately, he was stuck in the absurd and nonsensical nonstory unfolding around him.
If you're a huge HUGE fan of absurdity and nonsense and don't care all that much about a story that actually makes progress as you turn the pages, you'll probably love this book. If not, don't waste your money....more
I was given a free e-book in exchange for an honest review.
I gave up on this book almost one-third of the way through. It's badly written and predictaI was given a free e-book in exchange for an honest review.
I gave up on this book almost one-third of the way through. It's badly written and predictable.
The story is a well-known one: somewhat desperate and decidedly ambitious young man puts away his moral compass and sells his soul to the devil(s); in this case, a trio of rich white men looking to get richer while letting the young man take the fall. I was looking for some twist that would indicate this wasn't the same tired and predictable story that's already been told numerous times. I kept waiting for the thrill ride referenced by other reviewers. When a character referred to as a red head [sic] early in the story was later described as having long brown hair, I started to lose patience with the sloppy storytelling and the absolutely awful grammar and punctuation.
Don't waste your money on this book. This story has been told many times and by better writers....more
I was asked by the author to review this book and received a free copy of the book in exchange.
When I agreed to review this book, I kind of wondered wI was asked by the author to review this book and received a free copy of the book in exchange.
When I agreed to review this book, I kind of wondered where the author was going with it. Would it be a sequel? A prequel? Would it have some of the same characters as The Mine ? Interestingly, none of the above. Although the theme is similar, this is a completely different story than The Mine.
It's similar in that the main character, Michelle "Shelly" Preston is thrown back in time. It's different in that this time, the character encounters the younger version of herself. She gets to view her life through the lens of an experienced adult who actually lived it - and wishes things could have been different.
It raises the question of whether we would change our lives if we could. Can Shelly influence her younger self and point her in a different direction - and should she?
I enjoyed the book. It's well written and well paced, and with an ending that really surprised me. (No spoilers!)...more
I previously read and reviewed the first book in the Scott Cullen series, Ghost in the Machine, and happilyI was given a copy of this book for review.
I previously read and reviewed the first book in the Scott Cullen series, Ghost in the Machine, and happily fell back into DC Cullen's world at Lothian and Borders.
This time, DC Cullen is called to investigate the disappearance and subsequent murder of a 13-year-old girl. At the same time, he's dealing with the emotional fallout of his partner being killed and the part he feels he played in his death, a new relationship, all while navigating the minefield created by his boss with the local police force.
Ed James does an excellent job of crafting a story, keeping the reader guessing right up to the end. In this story, the reader gets deeper insight into DC Cullen. He's not flashy, he doesn't blow the bad guys into oblivion, but he exudes a quiet strength while dealing with his very human inner conflicts. As the story twists and turns, DC Cullen doggedly pursues the truth while facing down DI Bain's propensity for finding a culprit around whom he can fit the evidence (sometimes with a great deal of creativity).
I felt the one major flaw in the story is it doesn't really go into why people who are educated, hold professional jobs and are quite well-to-do would so completely buy into the cult created by Father Mulgrew. That said, the religious aspect of this story adds depth and interest, as well as the opportunity for more red herrings and twists in the story. It's a flaw that can be overlooked and didn't lessen my enjoyment of the read.
I definitely recommend this series if you like police procedurals. At $3.99 for the Kindle version, this book is a steal....more
I received a copy of this book with a request for review from the author.
I liked the setting. The small town atmosphere was appealing and the settingI received a copy of this book with a request for review from the author.
I liked the setting. The small town atmosphere was appealing and the setting at a Rendezvous was unusual and different. Having been to a Mountain Man rendezvous, I was interested in how the author would use that setting. I thought the author could have used the rendezvous setting more effectively, but it was adequately interesting.
The writing is not polished. As a result, I felt both the story and the character of Cassandra suffered. The characters in general and particularly the character of Cassandra never felt fully developed to me. Cassandra frequently rushes from one scene to another and I felt the story was lacking in depth. I felt many of Cassandra's decisions were just plain idiotic, and I find it difficult to relate to a character who doesn't feel very smart. The story was frequently disjointed and incongruous. In addition, the author has an inexplicable love affair with commas, which randomly appear in sentences without rhyme, reason or grammatical intent.
Nevertheless, it was sufficiently interesting that I finished the book....more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
This is a pleasant story about four women who met the first day in kindergarten and nearly 60I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
This is a pleasant story about four women who met the first day in kindergarten and nearly 60 years later still meet once a week to play mah jongg and catch up their lives. It's about how things change and how things stay the same and how you're never too old to "come of age."
This is a well-written, light read with interesting characters. Readers will probably recognize at least one person they know in the personalities of these women and the people in their lives.
I like that it's written about "women of a certain age," which isn't often seen in chick lit. I especially relate because I'm getting to "that age!"
I don't often read chick lit but I enjoyed this book and think most women, especially those of us past middle age, will also like it....more