September & October 2017 Reads

Well….. it’s obviously been awhile ūüė¶ 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 ūüôā

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!

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Review: Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

Kiss cut
by Karin Slaughter

 

Kisscut.jpgCopyright: 2002

Pages: 420

Read: Sept. 17-23, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Bought at used book store

 


Blurb
: Sara Linton, pediatrician and medical examiner in Heartsdale, Georgia, knows only too well the horrors that can hide behind closed doors in a small community. But when a Saturday night argument between teenagers at the local skating rink leads to death – and a subsequent autopsy reveals evidence of ritualistic self-mutilation and long-teem abuse – she realizes that true evil is closer than she imagined. Aided by her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, and Detective Lena Adams, still traumatized by her brush with a maniac, Sara’s investigation is frustrated at every turn by the cold silence of the family and friends of the slain girl. But the truth cannot be hidden forever, as Sara inexorably peels back the many layers of an inhuman outrage that goes far beyond mere murder. For an ominous cloud has settled over the young daughters and sons of Heartsdale – and those who would protect them must act quickly before all innocence here is devoured.


Review: So I picked this one up at my last trip to the used book store and I was glad to have found it. I had been wanting to dive back into Sara Linton’s world – since I last read the first book,¬†Blindsighted, way back in 2013 – oops!

This book is gruesome. It’s difficult to read. The subject it deals with is excruciatingly painful to read – especially as a mother. And interestingly enough, I wasn’t turned off by that. I probably should have been, and I have to admit, I was more than a little shocked in some spots throughout the book, but really I enjoyed this one. Karin Slaughter, while I’ve only read a few of her books, is starting to become a real favorite of mine!

I really like Sara’s character. And I can’t wait to see what happens between her and Jeffrey. The one character in this installment that irritated me to no end was Lena. I get that she went through a lot in the first book, but honestly – she really needs to learn to cope with what she went through. She needs help, badly. I can only hope that she finds herself the help she needs, or else I’m going to go crazy every time I read her name on the page.

So yeah, if you can deal with a really touchy and difficult subject matter, I’d definitely recommend this book to you. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to get to read the third in the series! (hopefully it won’t be 3 years before I pick that one up…)

Silent Prey by John Sanford

Silent Prey
by John Sanford

Silent Prey

Copyright: 1992

Pages: 388

Read: Aug. 22-Aug. 25, 2016

Rating: 5/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: Once, Bekker indulged his brilliant obsession with death; now he is in prison. Once, he was hunted by a man who understood the genius of murder; now he wants revenge…

Lieutenant Davenport should have killed Bekker when he had the chance…

Because today, Bekker escapes.


Review:  What. A. Book.

I mean, seriously!! What a freaking book! This is the fourth in the Lucas Davenport and is kind of¬†a sequel to the third,¬†Eyes of Prey.¬†I read that one a couple of years ago and remember loving it. So why on earth did I wait so long to pick this one up?! I can’t answer that, but I sure am glad I read it now!

The blurb above doesn’t really do justice to the book. It doesn’t mention that there’s actually a dual storyline. The one with Bekker – who escapes and makes his way to New York City. And then the one where Lucas goes to New York in order to surreptitiously hunt down ¬†the “Robin Hoods” (vigilantes killing criminals in NYC) under the auspices of the Bekker case. I personally enjoyed both storylines – they were both interesting.

So yeah, there’s not much I can say about this book except that I loved it! And I’m looking forward to continuing on with Lucas Davenport!

Highly recommended.

Review: Private Games by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

Private Games
by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

Private Games

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 426

Read: Aug. 16-Aug. 17, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchased used

 


Blurb
:¬†Private, the world’s most renowned investigation firm, has been commissioned to provide security for the 2012 Games in London. Its agents are the smartest, fastest, and most technologically advanced in the world.

Hours away from the opening ceremony, Private investigator and single father Peter Knight is called to the scene of a ruthless murder. A high-ranking member of the Games organizing committee has been killed. It’s clear to Peter that this wasn’t a crime of passion but one of precise calculation and execution.

Newspaper reporter Karen Pope receives a letter from a person who calls himself Cronus, claiming responsibility for the murder. He promises to restore the Games to their ancient glory – and to destroy all those who have ruined the Games with lies, corruption, and greed. Now Karen and Peter must work together to uncover a criminal genius who won’t stop until he completely obliterates the modern Games.


Review:  James Patterson is always a go-to for me when I need a quick, easy read. So far I have read a few of these Private books and have enjoyed them.

This one fell a little bit flat in my opinion though. It wasn’t necessarily bad by any means, I just wasn’t all that interested in it. I thought it would be interesting to pick up a book with a storyline revolving around the Olympics during the Olympics (although I literally watched none of the Olympics).

But for some reason this one just didn’t work for me. Like I said, not a bad book, but I could have skipped it and never missed anything.

Review: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls
by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 573

Read: May 15 ‚Äď 23, 2016

Rating: 5/5

Source: Publicist for Review

 

 

Blurb: It’s been more than twenty years since Claire and Lydia last spoke. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire; Lydia, a single mother dating an ex-con, struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the disappearance of their sister Julia two decades earlier – and the shocking murder of Claire’s husband brings the horror and heartbreak of the past roaring back into their lives.

The vanishing of a teenage girl and the killing of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: What could connect them? As they form a wary truce, the surviving sisters unearth the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago … and find the astonishing truth where they least expected it.


Review:¬†Oh for the love of everything holy, this book is one hell of a ride! I read Julia’s story, Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes last year and loved it. So when I was given the opportunity to read this one, I knew I had to know what happened to Julia!

Let me just preface this with the fact that this book is gruesome. I mean, gruesome. It’s not for the faint of heart. That being said, I loved every deliciously disgusting moment of it! It sucked me in and spit me back out at the end. It was one heck of a ride. And can I just say that I was chugging along nicely and about the halfway mark the reader is thrown a curve ball that I¬†never saw coming and hit me like a Mack truck. From that moment on I¬†had to know what happened. I¬†had¬†to know how this ended up. It was just that good!

The characters are enjoyable, and some of them will surprise you in the end. You see a lot of growth in them throughout the book. You see a family torn apart come together. You see what a madman can do to one family. The plot is so intricate it’s amazing. Everything is woven together so perfectly. One little thing mentioned could mean something big later on in the book. It’s not a book to skim through, it’s one to devour. It’s just such a great book I don’t know how much more gushing I can possibly do.

This book will definitely be one of the best ones I read all year long. It was that good in my opinion.

Read. This. Book. Now!

**I received a copy of this book for review, all opinions expressed are my own.

2015.28 REVIEW – Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes
by Karin Slaughter

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 67
Rating: 4/5
Read: Aug. 22-24, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 28
Format: E-Book
Source: Edelweiss via Publisher
Series: N/A

Blonde Hair, Blue EyesBlurb:
 A beautiful young girl was walking down the street?when suddenly…

Julia Carroll knows that too many stories start that way. Beautiful, intelligent, a nineteen-year-old college freshman, she should be carefree. But instead she is frightened. Because girls are disappearing.

A fellow student, Beatrice Oliver, is missing. A homeless woman called Mona-No-Name is missing. Both taken off the street. Both gone without a trace.

Julia is determined to find out the reasons behind their disappearances. And she doesn’t want to be next‚Ķ


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions below are my own.

It’s funny, I used to avoid short stories at all costs. This is partly because I sometimes feel like you don’t get the character development that draws me into a book as much when the story is so short. But these last couple of months I have been drawn to them more and more because I simply don’t always have the time to commit to a full length novel. But that’s all besides the point of this review…

I was originally offered the chance to sign up for the book blast of this book a couple of weeks ago. I had stated in that post that I had yet to get to reading this one. I finally got to it … and I was hooked!

I guess I should have read the blurb to this one AND the blurb to her upcoming full-length novel, Pretty Girls, to know that this short story was actually a prelude for the later release. Which would explain the twisty ending to this short story. And it definitely left me wanting to pick up Pretty Girls ASAP!!

I really enjoyed Julia’s short story. I found her intriguing and believable. I enjoyed seeing her interact with her college friends as well as her sisters.¬†On the one hand, I suppose I knew where this story was going to end up, but I was unprepared for the feeling of shock I had as I flipped¬†that last page on my Kindle. ¬†I would definitely highly recommend getting your hands on this short story.

Ms. Slaughter is a writer that I have only begun to just recently discover. I wish I knew why, but either way, she’s definitely caught my interest now! Highly recommended and I can’t¬†wait to read¬†Pretty Girls soon!!

2014.51 REVIEW – The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton
by Elizabeth L. Silver

Copyright: 2013, 2014
Pages: 308
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Dec. 12 – Dec. 21, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 51
Format: Print
Source: Blogging for Books
Series: N/A

The Execution of Noa P. SingletonBlurb: Noa P. Singleton never spoke a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date.

Meanwhile, Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing, shows up for a visit. She claims to have changed her mind about the death penalty and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute Noa’s sentence in return for the one thing Noa can trade: her story. Marlene wants to understand the events that led to her daughter’s death -e vents that only Noa knows of and has never shared. Inextricably linked by murder but with very different goals, Noa and Marlene wrestle with the sentences life itself can impose while they confront the best and worst of what makes us human.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free from Blogging for Books, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I requested this book¬†months ago from Blogging for Books. For whatever reason, I never got around to it until now. And I have to say that I’m mixed on my feelings of this book.

Here’s the deal. You’ve got Noa – a 35-year-old woman on death row for killing Sarah Dixon.¬†Then you’ve got Marlene, Sarah’s mother, an attorney who comes to Noa six months before her execution date to get the real story of what happened that New Year’s Day when Sarah was murdered. You’ve also got some supporting characters mentioned throughout, Noa’s mother, Noa’s best friend from childhood, Noa’s father whom she reconnected with after high school, and Oliver, an attorney assisting Marlene.

And through all those characters, you the reader has to figure out what really happened the night that Sarah Dixon was murdered. And let me tell you, it’s a wild and crazy web to unweave. As a reader, I didn’t know who to believe. I didn’t know who to trust. I didn’t know which way was up at certain times. This part was the interesting part.

But then there were some issues that ultimately dragged this book down for me. The writing … so over-the-top descriptive and unnecessarily so … it really didn’t work for me. When I went into this book I was expecting it to be a really fast, exciting read. Not even close. Ms. Silver definitely has a way with words … just not one that is to my taste. I’d like to think I’m relatively intelligent, and I am college educated, but there were entire sections of the book that was completely over my head just because of the way they were worded.

Overall, I liked the premise of this book. And really it had a lot of potential. But the writing really took some of my enjoyment away from this one.

So, bottom line … it was an okay book that I don’t regret reading, but it’s not one that I would¬†necessarily recommend to everyone I know.