4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, D, Fiction, Pump Up Your Book, RATING, Read in 2012, Review Book

2012.34 REVIEW – The Sons of Jude by Brandt Dodson

The Sons of Jude
by Brandt Dodson

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 314
Rating: 4/5
Read: Dec. 19 – Dec. 24 2012
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 34
Format: Print
Source: Pump Up Your Book Promotions

The Sons of JudeBlurb: When Chicago detectives Frank Campello and Andy Polanski are assigned to investigate the murder of Trina Martinez it seems like an ordinary homicide. An unfortunate young girl in the wrong place at the wrong time has been brutally murdered. But their investigation is halted by a wall of silence, a wall formed by powerful interests that will render their inquiry a lost cause.

Then they enlist the support of reporter Christy Lee – and come under immediate fire. Polanski is arrested. Campello threatened. Christy is attacked.

It’s the case that every cop gets. The one that changes his life. The one where justice is elusive and the hunter becomes the hunted.


Review: I took this book on vacation with me and I have to admit I was a little bummed that I chose my vacation as the time to read it – it was that good! I hated to put the book down once I started it.

This book starts off with a bang and never stops until the last page. As a reader I really felt for Frank’s character when we find out that he had just lost his partner and is almost immediately partnered up with another detective – and a “traitor” at that. But I think what I liked the most about the whole situation is that Frank really took the high road and worked things out with Andy. It was definitely a tough position for a cop to be put in, but it made me feel that Frank’s character really was a top-notch police officer. The job is obviously everything to him and it makes him come across as a highly likeable character. On the other side of it, Andy’s character is fleshed out nicely when Frank begins to open up. The reader learns that things aren’t necessarily as they seemed with Andy – and I liked that. So yeah, I really enjoyed the characters in this book as you can see.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at the way that Chicago politics are depicted in this book. Good old Chicago crooks politicians 😉 I was quite intrigued by what was going on with the politician and the predicament that he found himself in … going along with certain things in order to make his political career stronger. I thought it made for a good secondary storyline and definitely set things up in for the next book.

I always enjoy finding a new series (yeah, like I need any more of those!) and this one was definitely a good start to what I hope is a very successful series. I personally found the characters to be very well-developed. I look forward to seeing what happens with Christy and Frank as well as Frank and Andy. I think that Mr. Dodson has done a fantastic job setting up the characters for some very interesting storylines in future books.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I felt that the writing was great, the storyline was interesting and the characters were enjoyable. I would honestly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good crime thriller.

Highly recommended.

Brandt DodsonAbout the Author:

Brandt Dodson was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, which he would later choose as the setting for his Colton Parker Mystery series. Although he discovered in grade school that he wanted to be a writer, it would be another twenty-one years before he would put pen to paper.“I knew in fifth grade that I wanted to be a writer. Our teacher had given each of us a photograph which we were to use as inspiration for a short story. The particular photo I was given was of several young men playing handball in New York City. I don’t remember all of the particulars of the story now, but I do remember the thrill that writing it gave me.”

Later, while in college, one of Brandt’s professors would echo that teacher’s comment.

“But life intervened and I found myself working at a variety of jobs. I worked in the toy department of a local department store and fried chicken for a local fast food outlet. Over the course of the next several years I finished my college degree and worked for the Indianapolis office of the FBI, and served for eight years as a Naval Officer in the United States Naval Reserve. I also obtained my doctorate in Podiatric Medicine, and after completion of my surgical residency, opened my own practice. But I never forgot my first love. I wanted to write.”

During his early years in practice, Brandt began reading the work of Dean Koontz.

“I discovered Dean’s book, The Bad Place, and was completely blown away by his craftsmanship. I read something like 13 or 14 of his back list over the following two weeks. It wasn’t long after that I began to write and submit in earnest.”

Still, it would be another twelve years before Brandt was able to secure the publishing contract he so desperately desired.

“I began by writing the type of fiction that I enjoyed; I wrote edgy crime thrillers that were laced with liberal amounts of suspense. Over the years, I’ve begun to write increasingly more complex work by using broader canvases and themes.

Since securing his first contract, Brandt has continued to pen the type of stories that inspired him to write when he was a boy, and that have entertained his legions of readers.

“I love to write, and as long as others love to read, I plan on being around for a long time to come.”

Brandt Dodson’s latest book is the crime thriller The Sons of Jude.

This tour also has a Kindle Fire HD Giveaway – if you are interested, please go HERE for the sign-up.

**This review is posted in conjunction with the Pump Up Your Book! blog tour. I received a copy of this book to review in exchange for my honest opinion. I
received no monetary compensation.

AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Dirk Pitt, Fiction, Read in 2013, READING CHALLENGES 2013, SERIES

2013.8 REVIEW – Iceberg by Clive Cussler

by Clive Cussler

Copyright: 1975
Pages: 340
Read: Jan. 30-Feb. 10, 2013
Challenge: 2013 Eclectic Reader Challenge, Off the Shelf 2013
Yearly count: 8
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: The luxury yacht had disappeared long ago, on its way to a secret meeting at the White House. Now, it has been discovered – within a million-ton mass of ice …

The only clue to the ship’s demise – and its missing cargo – are the corpses of its crew, and a set of ornately carved rings. The only man who can find the answer is Dirk Pitt…

Review: This is the 3rd book in the Dirk Pitt series. Overall I enjoyed this book. But it definitely wasn’t perfect. First of all I didn’t really like the technical details about the underwater probe that went missing. And while that wasn’t a huge portion of the book, it was definitely a central theme. Luckily, there was enough action in the book to keep me going. I find it amazing just how much trouble Dirk Pitt finds himself in time after time. You’d think that the man would have died 50 times by the third book – but he always manages to find his way out of the trouble he’s in. The ending really surprised me, there was a twist to it that I really never saw coming. And I’m not sure how Dirk made the connection, either, to be completely honest.

It’s really hard for me to review this book without giving away a large portion of the plot. So I’m just going to leave it at this … I liked it.

While these books aren’t for everyone, I thoroughly enjoy them. But what I like about this series is that (so far) they stand well on their own – you don’t necessarily have to read them in order to have a complete understanding of what is going on. I look forward to continuing on with this series in the future.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, February 4, 2013

Mailbox Monday time again! And February’s host is Audra at Unabridged Chick

Had another good mailbox this week … three books … two from Paperbackswap, one from the publisher via Shelf Awareness, and one from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program.

From Paperbackswap:

Spy Tsar

From Publisher via Shelf Awareness

Snow White Must Die

Snow White Must Die introduces the investigative police detective team of Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein, who, on a rainy November day, are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: a woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to the little village of Altenhain, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. Eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace. Their bodies were never found. In a trial based solely on circumstantial evidence, the then-twenty-year-old Tobias Sartorius, Rita Cramer’s son, was sentenced to ten years in prison. Bodenstein and Kirchhoff discover that Tobias, after serving his sentence, has now returned to his hometown of Altenhain. Did the attack on his mother have something to do with his return? In the village, Pia and Oliver encounter a wall of silence. When another young girl disappears, the events of the past seem to be repeating themselves in a disastrous manner. The investigation turns into a race against time, because for the villagers it is soon clear who the perpetrator is – and this time they are determined to take matters into their own hands.

From LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer Program:

Manifest Injustice

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barry Siegel tells the gripping legal story of a man who has spent almost forty years in prison for murders he denies committing and follows as well the tenacious lawyers who are fighting for his freedom. In 1962 the mysterious killing of a young couple on an isolated desert lovers’ lane bewildered the sheriff’s department of Maricopa County, Arizona. Despite a few promising leads – including several chilling confessions from Ernesto Valenzuela, a violent repeat offender – the case went cold. More than a decade later, a clerk in the sheriff’s department, Carol Macumber, came forward to tell police that her estranged husband was responsible for the 1962 Scottsdale Road murders. Though the evidence linking Bill Macumber to the crime was questionable, authorities arrested and charged him with a double homicide. During the subsequent trial, the judge refused to allow the confession of the now-deceased Ernesto Valenzuela to be admitted as evidence because of the attorney-client privilege. Bill Macumber was found guilty and has been in prison ever since, but for a brief interlude out on bail.

The Macumber case, rife with extraordinary irregularities, has attracted the sustained involvement of the Arizona Justice Project, one of the first and most respected of the nonprofit groups that represent victims of manifest injustice. This story illuminates the troubling nature of our criminal justice system, which as kept a possibly innocent man locked up for almost forty years, and introduces readers to the dedicated lawyers who are working to fix that system. With precise journalistic detail and evocative storytelling, Barry Siegel will change your understanding of American jurisprudence, police procedure, and what constitutes justice in our country.