2014.17 REVIEW – Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson

Children of the Revolution
by Peter Robinson

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 336
Rating: 4/5
Read: April 2 – 11, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 17
Format:  Print
Source: Publicist for blog tour
Series: Inspector Alan Banks #21

Children of the RevolutionBlurbThe body of a disgraced college lecturer Gavin Miller is found on an abandoned railway line by a woman out walking her dog early one winter morning. In the four years since Miller’s dismissal for sexual misconduct, he’s been living like a hermit, listening to music from his college days and existing as frugally as possible on the outskirts of a small village. So where did he get the five thousand pounds found in his pocket?

Leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks begins to suspect that the victim’s past may be connected to his death. Forty years earlier the dead man attended a university that was a hotbed of militant protest and divisive, bitter politics. And as the seasoned detective well knows, some grudges are never forgotten – or forgiven.

Just as Banks is about to break the case open, his superior warns him to back off or risk losing the promotion he has been promised. Yet Banks isn’t about to stop, even if it means risking his career altogether. He’s certain there’s more to the mystery than meets the eye, and more skeletons to uncover before the case can finally be closed.

CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION is available now at
Amazon | B&N  IndieBound 


Review: I received a copy of this book for free for review purposes in conjunction with a blog tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I read and reviewed my very first Peter Robinson book just last month, Watching the Dark. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Enough so that it made me want to sign up for the blog tour for this most recent installment in the Inspector Banks series.

Overall I liked this one quite a bit. There were a few more revelations regarding the main characters that gave a little bit more insight into their backgrounds. Since I’m not likely to go back and read the entire backlist (hey, 19 books is a lot to commit to), I still have a lot of questions, but things are starting to make a bit more sense the more I read.

As I stated in my review of Watching the Dark, this book is not necessarily a page-turner, thrill-a-minute book. Instead it is meant to be savored. The writing sucked me in and I was entirely wrapped up in what was going on. As I felt with the previous book, I so enjoyed working the case with Banks.

I did have one issue, though. The ending. The way that it occurred (no spoilers), well it just didn’t sit well with my opinion of Inspector Banks’ character. I can’t imagine that he would let things end the way it did. Maybe it’s a sign of what’s to come in future books (that promotion?), but for whatever reason it didn’t feel right to me. Obviously, having only read two of these books, I’m no expert on Banks’ character, it just felt off to me.

All that aside, though, I would definitely recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am definitely looking forward to the next Inspector Banks installment!

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros #18

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Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts this meme.

The Spymistress

Today I’m featuring a book that I’m reading for review. 

The Van Lew mansion in Richmond’s fashionable Church Hill neighborhood had not hosted a wedding gala in many a year, and if the bride-to-be did not emerge from her attic bedroom soon, Lizzie feared it might not that day either.

Turning away from the staircase, Lizzie resisted the urge to check her engraved pocket watch for the fifth time in as many minutes and instead stepped outside onto the side portico, abandoning the mansion to her family, servants, and the apparently bashful bridal party ensconced in the servants’ quarters. Surely Mary Jane wasn’t having second thoughts. She adored Wilson Bowser, and just that morning she had declared him the most excellent man of her acquaintance. A young woman in love would not leave such a man standing at the altar.

Perhaps Mary Jane was merely nervous, or a button had come off her gown, or her flowers were not quite perfect. As hostess, Lizzie ought to go and see, but a strange reluctance held her back. Earlier that morning, when Mary Jane’s friends had arrived – young women of color like Mary Jane herself, some enslaved, some free – Lizzie had felt awkward and unwanted among them, a sensation unfamiliar and particularly unsettling to experience in her own home. None of the girls has spoken impudently to her, but after greeting her politely they had encircled Mary Jane and led her off to her attic bedroom, turning their backs upon Lizzie as if they had quite forgotten she was there. And so she was left to wait, alone and increasingly curious.

I’m reading this one as part of a TLC Book Tour. I hope you’ll come back on April 28th and see my final thoughts! So far I’m really enjoying it, I personally didn’t think the first few paragraphs were really going to draw me in, but as I finished the first chapter I was hooked!!

Mailbox Monday, April 14, 2014

Mailbox Monday has returned home to Mailbox Monday’s site this year.

No physical books this week, but I did get approved for an e-galley that I’m super excited about!! I read and reviewed the first book in the Lucy Black series, Little Girl Lost, earlier this year and was beyond excited to get the chance to read the next one!!

Someone You KnowOn the outskirts of a picturesque Arcadian city, just before Christmas, a 16-year-old-girl is found dead on the train tracks. Detective Lucy Black is called to identify the body. The only clues to the teenager’s last hours are stored in her mobile phone and on social media – and it soon becomes clear that some of her friends may have been her worst enemies.

 


This second book is another e-galley I had signed up for a chance to review through a Shelf Awareness ad.

The ThreeFour simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he’s right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…

Book Spotlight: You’re Not Safe by Mary Burton

Today I’m spotlighting a book that sounds like a really good read, I only wish I had time to read and review it right now, but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to share some more information about this book with my readers. I have most definitely added it to my never-ending TBR list!

About the book: 
YoureNotSafe_158

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary Burton lets loose an obsessed killer who’s granting the wishes of four former friends the only way he knows how—by killing them—in her latest suspense novel, YOU’RE NOT SAFE It joins Burton’s highly praised novels NO ESCAPE andTHE SEVENTH VICTIM to complete her Austin-set trifecta featuring Texas Rangers confronting multi-layered crimes of passion and deceit.

YOU’RE NOT SAFE is Ranger Tec Bragg’s and vineyard owner Greer Templeton’s story. Greer has had enough pain in her life and has worked hard to move forward, to ensure the fulfillment of her aunt’s dreams for her fledgling Texas Hill Country vineyard and to stay out of the limelight of her past.  Then Tec shows up on her doorstep questioning her about a suicide on the adjacent property, her relationship to the dead man and why her photo was found at the scene.

Tec, a no-nonsense, hardened professional isn’t sure what he expects to find when he heads to Bonneville Vineyards to question Greer.  A broken body has been found hanging from a tree and his gut tells him it wasn’t a suicide.  Greer is his best lead, and possibly his top suspect, and he’s determined to find out what she knows, despite her refusal to betray confidences of the past.

Soon, another death—also an unlikely suicide—makes it all too clear that something from Greer’s teen years ties her to the killer and his victims.  The question is what? And, as not one but two more murders are discovered, can Tec find and knock down the walls Austin’s elite are hiding behind before the killer gets to Greer?

Mary Burton, the “modern day Queen of Romantic Suspense”* brings readers characters faced with daunting challenges that take them to the dark side and back again, not simply in the pursuit of justice, but as they come to terms with themselves and the lives they’ve chosen.


About the author: 
MB2 author photo croppedNew York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton has been intrigued by investigative work and the people who do it since Virginia, her home state, was stung by a string of serial killings that spanned more than twenty years. Not surprisingly, many of her suspense novels are fueled by the acts of multiple killers and the people who pursue them, as is YOU’RE NOT SAFE, which completes the trio of stories set in and around Austin she began with The Seventh Victim and continued with No Escape.

The author of twenty-one novels and three novellas, her earlier work includes I’m Watching You, Dead Ringer and Dying Scream, set in her home town of Richmond, and Senseless, Merciless and Before She Dies, set in Alexandria.

Mary’s intensive research has led to meetings with key members of law enforcement, to seminars and classes, and to the firing range. She is a graduate of the Henrico County Citizens Police Academy and the Richmond FBI Citizen’s Academy, and has attended Sisters in Crime’s Forensic University program and the Writers Police Academy in Jamestown, North Carolina.

A Richmond native whose family roots run as deep as the nation’s, Mary has lived there for most of her life. She graduated from Virginia’s Hollins University and had a career in marketing before deciding to write full time. Her first manuscript, a historical romance, was published in 2000.

She is a member of Thriller Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She travels often for signings, speaking engagements and other appearances. She is a frequent speaker regarding writing and genre fiction, and continues to present her “Unraveling Romantic Suspense” workshop and her day-long program “Writing Your Book…The First Step.”

Mary is currently finishing work on her new suspense novel, Cover Your Eyes. The first of three thrillers set in Nashville, it is being published in November. In October her novella, A Ranger for Christmas, will be featured in the holiday anthology, Our First Christmas, along with works by Lisa Jackson, Mary Carter and Cathy Lamb.

Connect:
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EXCERPTED FROM MARY BURTON’S YOU’RE NOT SAFE
As he approached the building, a woman pushed through the glass doors of the main entrance. She wasn’t tall, barely standing over five feet, but she held her shoulders back and her clear green eyes cut. Not more than thirty, she had gently tanned smooth skin that accentuated a high slash of cheekbones. She wore her light brown hair in a braid that brushed slender shoulders, a white Bonneville Vineyards T-shirt billowing over full breasts and tucked into faded work jeans hugging gently rounded hips. Her boots were dusty, well-worn. “Can I help you?”
Her voice had a rusty, whiskey quality giving this wholesome farm girl a seductiveness enjoyed by older more sophisticated women.
Elizabeth Templeton.
She was a far cry from the girl in the old image or the pictures Rory had taken. The last dozen years had leaned out her frame and face adding maturity and an appealing naturalness. But Rory’s picture images had gotten her all wrong. What he’d taken for as anger and bitterness in the photos, in person, appeared to be a fascinating intensity. He suspected this woman did no job halfway.
“I’m with the Texas Rangers.”
Elizabeth cocked her head, studying him close, as if sensing this place wasn’t his kind of place. However, even as her gaze catalogued his large frame and the scar on his face she showed no fear. “How can I help you?”
He managed a smile. “You Elizabeth Templeton?”
Mention of her name triggered waves of tension that straightened her spine and narrowed her eyes. Hesitation flickered as if she seemed to toy with a lie. “That’s right. But I go by my middle name now. Greer.”
Elizabeth Greer Templeton. Greer. The woman who’d offered his boy a job. “Sergeant Tec Bragg.”
**********
He studied her expression closely. “I investigated a murder bordering your land yesterday.”
A hint of remorse darkened her gaze. “I heard about that. Some fellow hanged himself.” And then as if to head off his next question, “A cruiser came by yesterday and spoke to my farm manager while I was in town. I’m supposed to call him back but haven’t gotten to it. “
“You hear anything else?”
“No. I don’t have time for gossip and news. So if you’re here to ask me about the dead person I’m afraid I can’t do much for you. I spend most of my days here working. I don’t venture out much.”
And yet you’d made your way into town yesterday to talk to my boy. “I think you might know the victim.”
“Could be, but I only know a handful of people in the area.”
He studied her face closely. “The victim’s name was Rory Edwards.”
Irritation gave way to surprise. Pursing her lips she drew in a deep breath, letting it out so slowly he barely saw her move. “Is this some kind of trick? Are you trying to prod information out of me because I hired your nephew?”
“No trick. The medical examiner confirmed the identity of the body yesterday.”
She folded her arms over her chest. “I’ve not seen Rory in a long time. At least twelve years.”
“You’ve had no contact with him in this time?”
Her lips pursed. “I had a message on my voice mail a week ago. The caller said he was coming to see me. He was an old friend. I did not return the call.”
“Why not?”
Green eyes clouded before sharpening. “Some matters are better left in the past.”
“I get the impression he still cared about you after all this time.”
She shook her head. “I have no idea.”
“I searched his room last night. He had a box full of recent pictures of you.”
Her face paled. “I don’t know about that.”
“Can I ask how you two met?”
The grip on her biceps tightened. “I get the sense you already know.”
Apprehension rolled off her and all but slammed into Bragg. Rory Edwards and her past were sore subjects. “Answer the question.”
She glanced around as if making sure no one was around. “We met when we were teenagers. We were both in a clinic for troubled teens.”
“You both tried to kill yourself.”
The lines in her forehead deepened. “I’m not proud of that time, but what does it have to do with Rory’s death? Like I said, I haven’t seen him in a dozen years.”
Bragg unclipped his phone and scrolled to the picture he’d taken of the photo found at the crime scene. He held out the phone, coaxing her closer toward him. “You remember this picture?”
She didn’t approach right away but then moved closer. The soft scent of soap rose up around her. No flowery perfumes or exotic scents but simply clean soap. His body tightened, unmindful of logic or reason.
For a long moment she didn’t say a word and then she cleared her voice. “It was taken the last night we were both at the camp. Rory left the next morning.”
“How’d he end up with the picture if he left?”
“I sent him a copy from camp. I didn’t want him to forget me.”
“His brother said you wrote to him several times a week but Rory’s father threw out the letters.”
Her jaw tensed, and he suspected an old wound opened. “I guess one letter made it through.”
“Rory never forgot you.”
She stepped back. “I wish he had.”
“Why’s that?”
“Really, do you have to ask? It was a painful time, and I’ve done my best over the last twelve years to forget about it.”
He locked his phone and tucked it back in its cradle. “Were you really able to forget?”
She cleared her throat. “Rory’s family did us a favor by keeping us apart. But the rest? No, I have not forgotten that I wrecked a car and killed my brother and his girlfriend. I ruined so many lives. I carry that with me every day.”
“That why you tried to kill yourself?”

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros #17

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Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts this meme.

Children of the Revolution

Today I’m featuring a book that I’m reading for review. 

As Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks walked along the disused railway track, he couldn’t help but imagine two young lovers kissing on the footbridge ahead, shrouded in smoke from a steam engine. All very Brief Encounter. But the age of steam was long gone, and it wasn’t love he was walking towards; it was a suspicious death.

I’m reading this one in conjunction with a blog tour hosted by the publisher. I read my first Peter Robinson book this year (Watching the Dark) and enjoyed it and was thrilled to get the opportunity to read the latest installment from Mr. Robinson. So far this book has definitely caught my interest, and I hope you return on April 16 to see my final thoughts.

2014.16 REVIEW – Duke City Split by Max Austin

Duke City Split
by Max Austin

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 253
Rating: 4/5
Read: March 30 – April 2, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 16
Format:  E-Book
Source: TLC Book Tours


Duke City SplitBlurb
: Bud Knox isn’t your average bank robber. He’s happiest fixing a nice lunch for his wife on her lunch break or watching his two young daughters play soccer. He leaves the boldness and brawn to his partner, Mick Wyman. In the past fourteen years, they’ve hit nearly thirty banks all over the West—everywhere but “Duke City,” their hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

So when Mick calls him about the perfect job, Bud is less than convinced, because the target is on their own turf. But with the potential to haul in millions, Bud simply can’t say no. If they do this job right, Bud may never have to work again.

As it turns out, the heist is the easy part. Holding onto the money while evading everyone from the FBI to the Mafia to the low-life criminals who want a cut will be the hardest thing Bud Knox has ever done—and it might just cost him his life.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free via NetGalley for review purposes in conjunction with a TLC Book Tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

When I was first pitched this book I was a little unsure to be honest. There was something about the description that intrigued me, but I wasn’t 100% sold. But I have to tell you, I am so glad that I took the plunge and gave this book a shot. It ended up being one heck of a thrill ride!

The concept behind this book … two bank robbers who had been successful for years? That is like so unheard of in real life! And the whole idea that they then proceed to go home and be normal, average, everyday guys?! Insane to consider, right?! So what on earth would make these guys not only take on a third partner but also hit a bank in their hometown? Millions, that’s what! Not that I could really blame them… ha!

If you want a fun book this one will definitely fit the bill. But don’t expect too much out of it. There’s no thinking involved. The characters, while enjoyable, are not very complex. There are no curveballs thrown at you along the way. It’s just a plain jane fun book. I liked it. It works. And I’m dying to know what happens next!

There’s a lot going on in this book. But I found myself actually wanting Bud and Mick to get away scot-free! And let me tell you, they did a lot of unsavory things throughout this book. But for some reason, I wanted them to succeed. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?!

Another great book that I think will appeal to a lot of readers. I hope you give it a chance!

Recommended.

 

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

I hope you’ll take the time to stop by the other blog stops:

Monday, March 31st: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Thursday, April 3rdReading Reality
Friday, April 4th:  A Bookworm’s World
Monday, April 7thTales of a Book Addict
Tuesday, April 8thMom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, April 9thNo More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, April 14thCrime Book Club
Friday, April 18thFrom the TBR Pile
Wednesday, April 23rdCupcake’s Book Cupboard
Monday, April 21st…the bookworm…
Friday, April 25thPatricia’s Wisdom

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Mailbox Monday, April 7, 2014

Mailbox Monday has returned home to Mailbox Monday’s site this year.

Just two books this week, both for review.

The SpymistressBorn to slave-holding aristocracy in Richmond, Virginia, and educated by Northern Quakers, Elizabeth Van Lew was a paradox of her time. When her native state seceded in April 1861, Van Lew’s convictions compelled her to defy the new Confederate regime. Pledging her loyalty to the Lincoln White House, her courage would never waver, even as her wartime actions threatened not only her reputation, but also her life.

Van Lew helped to construct the Richmond Underground and orchestrated escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison under the guise of humanitarian aid. Her spy ring’s reach was vast, from clerks in the Confederate War and Navy departments to the very home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In Chiaverini’s riveting tale of high-stakes espionage, a great heroine of the Civil War finally gets her due.


The BlondeIn 1947, a young unknown Norma Jean meets a mysterious man in Los Angeles who transforms her into Marilyn the worldwide star. Twelve years later, he comes back for his repayment, and Marilyn is given her first assignment from the KGB: Uncover something about JFK that no one else knows.

But what begins as a simple job turns complicated when Marilyn falls in love with the bright young President, and learns of plans to assassinate Kennedy. Now the most famous woman on the planet will do anything to save her man, the leader of the free world. Part biography, part love story and part thriller, The Blonde is a vivid tableau of American celebrity, sex, love, violence, power, and paranoia.