4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2017, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

Review: Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie

About Garden of Lamentations

• Paperback: 448 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (November 14, 2017)

Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are drawn into separate investigations that hold disturbing—and deadly—complications for their own lives in this powerful mystery in the bestselling series.

On a beautiful morning in mid-May, the body of a young woman is found in one of Notting Hill’s private gardens. To passersby, the pretty girl in the white dress looks as if she’s sleeping. But Reagan Keating has been murdered, and the lead detective, DI Kerry Boatman, turns to Gemma James for help. She and Gemma worked together on a previous investigation, and Gemma has a personal connection to the case: Reagan was the nanny of a child who attends the same dance studio as Toby, Gemma and Kincaid’s son.

Gemma soon discovers that Reagan’s death is the second tragedy in this exclusive London park; a few months before, a young boy died in a tragic accident. But when still another of the garden residents meets a violent end, it becomes clear that there are more sinister forces at play. Boatman and Gemma must stop the killer before another innocent life is taken.

While his wife is consumed with her new case, Kincaid finds himself plagued by disturbing questions about several previous—and seemingly unrelated—cases involving members of the force. If his suspicions are correct and the crimes are linked, are his family and friends in mortal danger as well? Kincaid’s hunch turns to certainty when a Metropolitan Police officer close to him is brutally attacked. There’s a traitor in the ranks, and now Kincaid wonders if he can trust anyone.

As Gemma begins to see a solution to her case, she realizes she holds a child’s fate in her hands. Can she do the right thing? And can Kincaid rely on his friends, both inside and outside the Scotland Yard force, to stand beside him as he faces the deadliest challenge of his career?


Review:

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review; all opinions expressed are my own.

I was thrilled when I was offered this book for review. I had read and reviewed the 15th book in the series, The Sound of Broken Glass, back in 2014. I thoroughly enjoyed that book and was looking forward to jumping back in with Gemma and Duncan.

It’s always hard to pick up a book in the middle of a long running series and not be a little lost. Looking back at my review for the previous book I mentioned that, but it didn’t really affect my opinion on the book all that much. For this installment, while I still enjoyed the book …. I definitely missed something big in the 16th installment. Practically the entire case that Duncan is working on throughout this book is heavily influenced by something that happened in the 16th book. It was definitely frustrating, but not a deal breaker by any means.

Gemma’s case she was working on was a lot easier for me to read, because it had nothing to do with the previous books. It was fun to work the case with Gemma. And I enjoyed unraveling the who-dun-it with her. But it felt strange because she wasn’t working with her normal crew, she got pulled into the nanny case because she happened to know someone who knew the victim. She found herself working with someone she obviously had a history with …. but once again, that seems to have been something a previous installment touched upon.

See a trend here? This is why I hate to pick up a book in the middle of the series. Because it just makes me want to go back and read the entire series from the start so that I can get a good base … but at the same time you hate to do that because you already know things that are slightly spoiler-ish. Such a conundrum when dealing with a long running series!

I did enjoy this book. I just happened to prefer the storyline Gemma was dealing with more than Duncan’s storyline. So definitely give this book a chance…. but I highly recommend reading at least the 16th book first!

And now I’ll be going back to the beginning……. 🙂


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Deborah Crombie

Deborah Crombie is a New York Times bestselling author and a native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland. She now lives in McKinney, Texas, sharing a house that is more than one hundred years old with her husband, three cats, and two German shepherds.

Connect with her through her website, Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

tlc tour host

Advertisements
4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2017

Review: I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark

I’ve Got You Under My Skin
by Mary Higgins Clark

I've Got You Under My Skin

Copyright: 2014

Pages: 371

Read: Nov. 4 –9, 2017

Rating: 5/5

Source: Grandmother

 
Blurb: Five years after watching his father brutally gunned down, eight-year-old Timmy Moran is still haunted by a killer’s piercing blue eyes. His mother, Laurie, is troubled by the man’s threat as he fled the scene: “Tell your mother she’s next, then it’s your turn…”

As the producer of a true-crime television show, Laurie is no stranger to murder. Her new series will feature the twenty-year-old unsolved case of a socialite who was found suffocated in bed following a graduation gala for her daughter. The sensational murder made news nationwide. Reopening the case in its lavish setting with the cooperation of the fatal night’s surviving guests, Laurie is sure to have a hit on her hands. But when filming begins, it becomes clear her subjects are hiding secrets … small and large.

And a pair of blue eyes is watching events unfold, too…


Review: Mary Higgins Clark is the epitome of murder mysteries. Her books are always so good! Entertaining, suspenseful, clean …. just good fun! This particular book was no different.

I went back and forth between all of the subjects throughout the entire book before the killer was finally revealed in the last few pages. The killer wasn’t even someone I had even given a second thought to! I thought I had it all figured out …. but nope! I wasn’t even close! That to me is what makes a perfect murder mystery. I shouldn’t be able to peg the killer early on in the book. Even though looking back on it, this person should have been more suspect to me … they weren’t. Wasn’t even really on my radar!

Apparently this is the beginning of a series, one featuring Laurie Moran continuing to find and produce her television show showcasing old unsolved cases. I didn’t realize that going into this one, but I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of Laurie’s story in the future!

So another backlist book that I definitely highly recommend! If you love a great murder mystery this one is definitely for you! Just Mary Higgins Clark at her finest!

A, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, F, Fiction, H, Lucas Davenport, M, Mini Review, Nina Reilly, O, Read in 2017, S, SERIES

September & October 2017 Reads

Well….. it’s obviously been awhile 😦 September saw a HUGE reading slump…. I went from reading anywhere from 6-9 books to a whopping 3 in September…. October wasn’t that much better….. Here’s to hoping November is better 🙂

So I’ll do a quick mini-review round up of my September and October reads. It’s so impressive, I tell ya …. ::eyeroll::

Sate of the Onion
Title: State of the Onion
Author: Julie Hyzy
Read: Sept. 3-6, 2017
Pages: 325
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the first in the White House Chef Mystery series …. it was a fun read that I enjoyed! It was cute, but not cutesie …. if that makes sense? I definitely am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Where They Found Her
Title: Where They Found Her
Author: Kimberly McCreight
Read: Sept. 10-19, 2017
Pages: 326
Source: Purchased New
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: So this one I found in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble. I had my eye on it when it first came out because I had read and LOVED her previous book, Reconstructing Amelia, so I think I had high hopes for this one. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t grab me right off the bat and I struggled to really get into it. And when it was all revealed in the end, it wasn’t as surprising as I had hoped for. So good, but not great.
Obstruction of Justice
Title: Obstruction of Justice
Author: Perri O’Shaughnessy
Read: Sept. 20-29, 2017
Pages: 512
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 3rd book in the Nina Reilly series. I have read and enjoyed the previous two so I was looking forward to this one! I enjoyed it and it definitely left me wanting to read the fourth book … if only they weren’t so long, I often find myself too intimidated by longer books these days….
Her Last Breath
Title: Her Last Breath
Author: Linda Castillo
Read: Oct. 2-5, 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 5th book in the Kate Burkholder series. I read and LOVED the first 4 in 2016 and had tried to pick this one up shortly after I read the 5th, but realized that I was a little burned out on the series. In fact, I can recall feeling like the books were all too similar to each other. So I set it aside and decided I’d come back to it later. Apparently a year later I decided it was time …. I’m glad I waited because I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had no trouble jumping right back into Kate’s life and I can’t wait to see where her and Tomasetti go in the future. I definitely recommend this series!
Pop Goes the Weasel
Title: Pop Goes the Weasel 
Author: M.J. Arlidge
Read: Oct. 8-13, 2017
Pages: 390
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I read the first book in this series, Eeny Meeny,  back in January of this year and I absolutely adored it! So I had high hopes for this one, but I wanted to let it sit for awhile (series burnout is real!) … and while I did enjoy this one, it definitely didn’t grab me as fast as the first book did. It was gruesome and a roller coaster ride, but I felt like it was a letdown from the first book. Yet I still want to continue on with this series, so it wasn’t terrible either. A solid thriller.
Beautiful Storm
Title: Beautiful Storm 
Author: Barbara Freethy
Read: Oct. 6-25, 2017
Pages: 321
Source: B&N Serial Reads
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: This book was October’s selection for Barnes & Noble’s Serial Reads…. I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense, mainly because I don’t read a lot of romance. So I was a little unsure going into this one, but I was immediately intrigued by the storyline – the missing person’s case. If only it had been a little more on the intrigue and less on the romance (which really, wasn’t overbearing honestly…) it would have been a lot more interesting to me. So not something I would ever pick up on my own, but definitely a decent freebie read.
Winter Prey
Title: Winter Prey
Author: John Sandford
Read: Oct. 21-27, 2017
Pages: 400
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I remember very clearly thoroughly loving the previous book in this series, Silent Prey, so I was looking forward to getting to this 5th book in the Lucas Davenport series. Why did I wait so long between books?!? I really enjoyed this book. It was so creepy and suspenseful. I know I’m only on the 5th book in the series, but other than #2 they’ve all been home runs for me! Definitely makes me look forward to continuing on sooner rather than later!

2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, FBI Thriller, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2017, SERIES

Review: The Target by Catherine Coulter

The Target
by Catherine Coulter

The Target

Copyright: 1998

Pages: 381

Read: June 25 – 28, 2017

Rating: 2/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: Escaping unwanted media attention after a notorious incident, Ramsey Hunt retreats into the solitude of a cabin high in the Colorado Rockies. But his isolation is shattered when he rescues a small girl unconscious in the forest and strangers invade his private meadow, their intent to kill.

Molly Santera, the little girl’s mother, catches up with Ramsey and her daughter, mistaking him for the kidnapper. When she discovers that he instead saved Emma, there’s little time for thanks. The men pursuing want them badly.

Savich and Sherlock as well as MAX, the transvestite laptop, return to assist. Ramsey and Molly, facing constant danger, unravel the clues and ultimately discover why they’re at the center of the target.


Review: Ok, so I read the first two books in this series, The Cove and The Maze way back in 2009. And looking back on those reviews, I actually enjoyed those two books. So I’m not exactly sure why I never picked up the third book until 2017… Unfortunately, this book was a little more than disappointing for me.

First of all, the entire storyline was way too farfetched for my liking. I mean, come on … a federal judge is going to come across an unconscious little girl in the woods and not go straight to the authorities with her? His whole line of thinking was ridiculous. And Emma’s character (the little girl), I’m sorry but Ms. Coulter did not write a believable child’s character with her. Having two young children myself, there’s no way that either of my kids would ever act like she did with Ramsey. I don’t care what kind of trauma they had been through – it just would never happen. And let’s not even talk about how stupid Molly was. I mean, all three of them were idiotic and completely unbelievable in my book.

And then there was the writing style itself. It didn’t flow very smoothly in my opinion. Half the time I couldn’t even make out who was talking. And then it was switch tenses right in the middle of a paragraph! It was absolutely ridiculous! It was just not good writing in my opinion.

So yeah. …. I don’t know about reading any more from this series. I have the fourth book on my shelf, but after the fiasco this book was I’m definitely not rushing right to it. I can’t really recommend this book to anyone, honestly. It just didn’t work for me. I just didn’t care for it.

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Harry Bosch, RATING, Read in 2017, SERIES

Review: City of Bones by Michael Connelly

City of Bones
by Michael Connelly

City of Bones

Copyright: 2002

Pages: 421

Read: June 3 – June 7, 2017

Rating: 5/5

Source: Grandmother

 

 

Blurb: On New Year’s Day, a dog finds a bone in the Hollywood Hills – and unearths a murder committed more than twenty years earlier. It’s a cold case, but for Detective Harry Bosch, it stirs up memories of his childhood as an orphan. He can’t let it go. As the investigation takes Bosch deeper into the past, a beautiful rookie cop brings him alive in the present. No official warning can break them apart – or prepare Bosch for the explosions when the case takes a few hard turns. Suddenly all of L.A. is in an uproar, and Bosch, fighting to keep control, is driven to the brink of an unimaginable decision.


Review: This is the 8th book in the Harry Bosch series. And I think this one was one of my favorites in the series so far! It was a really great book! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

There were a lot of twists and turns here and there as well as some interesting revelations and decisions. It will be interesting to see where Mr. Connelly takes Harry from here after the ending of this book…

I really felt like Harry was a different person in this book. It was probably because of that rookie cop mentioned in the blurb. He was just a lot happier for the most part.

Definitely makes me look forward to reading the next book relatively soon!

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2016

Review: Gone Missing by Linda Castillo

Gone Missing
by Linda Castillo

gone-missing

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 277

Read: Oct. 9– Oct. 13, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Rumspringa is the tie when Amish teens are allowed to experience life without the rules. It’s an exciting time of personal discovery and growth before committing to the church. But when a young teen disappears without a trace, the carefree fun comes to an abrupt and sinister end, and fear spreads through the community like a contagion.

A missing child is a nightmare for all parents, and never more so than in the Amish community, where family ties run deep. When the search for the presumed runaway turns up a dead body, the case quickly becomes a murder investigation. And Chief of Police Kate Burkholder knows that in order to solve this case, she will have to call upon everything she has to give, not only as a cop but as a woman whose own Amish roots run deep.

Kate and State Agent John Tomasetti delve into the life of the missing teen and discover links to cold cases that may go back years. But will Kate piece together all of the parts of this ominous puzzle in time to save the missing teen and the Amish community from a devastating fate? Or will she find herself locked in a fight to the death with a merciless killer?


Review: This is the fourth book in the Kate Burkholder series. I have read the first three – all this year. And I think that’s why this one fell a bit flat for me. I hadn’t intended to pick it up as quickly as I did after reading the third, but it fit into a Goodreads challenge that I had going and I figured it would be a quick, fun read. And it was. But lord was it predictable. And that was my problem with it. The ending was so predictable it was almost laughable. And what’s sad is that it overshadowed the entire book for me. It was an  interesting storyline. But it just felt so much like the previous three books that it was flat for me. It’s also frustrating because I feel like if I had read this books spaced out further then I would have enjoyed this one much more than I did. So while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t the greatest for me. But I would still highly recommend this series!

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2016

Review: Daddy’s Gone a Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark

Daddy’s Gone a Hunting
by Mary Higgins Clark

 

Daddy's Gone a Hunting
Copyright: 2013

Pages: 385

Read: Sept. 25-28, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased new

 
Blurb: What was Kate Connelly – a tall, glamorous CPA – doing in her family’s antique furniture museum when it exploded into flames in the middle of the night? Why was Gus, a disgruntled retired employee, with her? Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in a coma, cable to explain the tragedy’s mysterious link to a decades-old missing person case. Nor to warn her sister what could happen next. In this dazzling and suspenseful mystery, Mary Higgins Clark presents readers with a fascinating cast of characters – one of whom may just be a ruthless killer…


Review: I picked this one up knowing that when I bought it a couple of years ago I had actually set it aside after not immediately being drawn in. But I usually love Mary Higgins Clark and decided it was time to give it another shot. I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s a very good book.

However, it’s not perfect. There are numerous grammatical errors throughout the book – sometimes entire words are completely missing! I found that somewhat disappointing. I also had the ending pegged with about 150 pages to go – so I would say that it was somewhat predictable as well.

So while probably not the best Mary Higgins Clark novel out there, I still enjoyed it. Ms. Clark is definitely the queen of mystery! Her books are just good, enjoyable reads. Definitely recommended.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2016

Review: The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark

The Melody Lingers On
by Mary Higgins Clark

The Melody Lingers On

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 354

Read: Aug. 3-Aug. 8, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Grandmother

 
Blurb: As an assistant to a famous upscale interior designer, Lane Harmon, mother to four-year-old Katie, is accustomed to visiting opulent homes around the tristate area. So when she is called to a modest town house in Bergen County, Lane knows the job is unusual. Then she learns the home belongs to the wife of a notorious and disgraced financier named Parker Bennett.

Parker Bennett was last seen two years ago on his sailboat in the Caribbean before he vanished, along with the five billion dollar hedge fund he managed. The scandal over whether Bennett was suicidal or staged his disappearance still continues. His clients and the federal government all want to trace the money and find Bennett, if he is still alive.

Lane is surprised to find herself moved by Mrs. Bennett’s calm dignity and faith in her husband’s innocence and drawn to Eric, the Bennetts’ son, who is similarly determined to prove his father is not guilty. Lane doesn’t realize that the closer she gets to the Bennetts, the more she puts her life – and her daughter’s life – in jeopardy.


Review: I love Mary Higgins Clark. I haven’t read all of her books, but I have yet to read a book by her that I didn’t enjoy. She just writes a really good story.

This book felt very believable just because you hear about these sorts of things happening all too often (Bernie Madoff?). And it’s my experience that when a book can be relatable to someone because you know it could happen, well that just makes the book all the more enjoyable.

I liked Lane’s character. She was sweet, but extremely naive. Almost to the point where I felt sorry for her. Luckily for her it turned out all right, but you have to wonder why women authors don’t write stronger women characters. But I’m not an author, so what do I know?

Anyway, I enjoyed this one and definitely recommend it to mystery lovers!

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2016

Review: Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo

Breaking Silence
by Linda Castillo

Breaking Silence

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 302

Read: July 23-27, 2016

Rating: 5/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, prosperous and hardworking, with four children and a happy extended family. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane-gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers evidence of foul play. Who would want to make orphans of the Slabaugh children? And is this murder somehow related to a recent string of shocking hate crimes against the Amish?

Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. The state sends in agent John Tomasetti, with whom Kate has a long and complex relationship, and together they search for the link between the crimes – and uncover a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community.


Review: This is the third book in the Kate Burkholder series. I absolutely loved the first book in the series and the second one was good, but just a little flatter. But Ms. Castillo came out guns blazing with this one! I absolutely loved every minute of it! Just when I thought I had it all figured out, she threw a curve ball .. and then another!

I really like Kate’s character. She’s a good cop with some baggage, but she’s very relatable. And John, he’s just a male version of her. Their relationship works really well and makes for some enjoyable moments throughout the book.

I can’t believe I have waited this long to start this series… and I’m looking forward to reading the fourth book soon!

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2016

Review: Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo

Pray for Silence
by Linda Castillo

Pray for Silence.jpg

Copyright: 2010

Pages: 322

Read: May 28 – 31, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: The Planks moved from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to the small Amish community of Painters Mill hoping to resume the comforts of the Plain Life in Ohio. Less than one year later, the family of seven is found dead – slaughtered on their own farm.

Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect. But when the diary belonging to the rebellious teenager Mary Plank turns up, Kate is surprised to find a murder suspect: the charismatic stranger who stole Mary’s heart. Then there’s Mary’s brother, Aaron, who’s been shunned by his family and the rest of the Amish community.

Formerly Amish herself, Kate becomes immersed in the case, and as her obsession grows, so does her resolve to bring the killer to justice – even if it means putting herself in to the line of fire…


Review: I read the first book in this series back in March and just absolutely fell in love with it. So I was more than anxious to read the second one. What’s surprising is that I didn’t follow my normal routine and wait 3 years before reading the second book in a series. Thank goodness I didn’t, because this was another great book!

Just a warning – this book is really gruesome. It’s pretty graphic in places. But that sure didn’t stop me from reading and enjoying it.

I did enjoy this book, but I will admit that I think the first book was better than this one. I felt like Kate made some stupid decisions based on her emotions that the case brought forward from her past. I could understand why she did those things, but it didn’t make it any smarter.

Overall, a good book that I enjoyed and I definitely recommend it.