Review: Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway

Lacy Eye
by Jessica Treadway

Lacy Eye.jpg

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 339

Read: July 4 – 6, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Book of the Month Club

 
Blurb: Hanna and Joe send their awkward daughter Dawn off to college hoping that she will finally “coming into her own.” When she brings her new boyfriend, Rud, to her sister’s wedding, her parents try to suppress their troubling impressions of him for Dawn’s sake. Not long after, Hanna and Joe suffer a savage attack at home, resulting in Joe’s death and Hanna’s severe injury and memory loss.

Rud is convicted of the crime, and the community speculates that Dawn may also have been involved. When Rud wins an appeal and Dawn returns to live in the family home, Hanna resolves to recall that traumatic night so she can testify in the retrial, exonerate her daughter, and keep her husband’s murderer in jail.

But as those memories resurface, Hanna faces the question of whether she knows her own daughter – and whether she ever did.


Review: If you have never read this book, stop reading this.  There will be a few spoilers in this review. 

Still with me? Good. So here’s the thing…. Hanna is an idiot! Plain and simple. Anyone with half a brain would realize within the first chapter that something was seriously wrong with Dawn. First of all, no 20-something woman will call her mother “Mommy” that’s just not normal in my opinion. Also, it was painfully obvious that something was “off” with Dawn from a very early age, teachers mentioned this multiple times … and yet, they never sought any help for her. I know it’s difficult to see your children in any light other than perfection, but at some point in time you have to get your head out of the sand and face reality that perfection does not exist and that there may be something needing attention. I was just flabbergasted at how Hanna’s character was portrayed throughout the entire book. As a mother it was really discouraging for me to read and I can only hope that I would not ignore any of those warning signs in my own children.

Moving on … overall I enjoyed the book. It gripped me from the very beginning and I found it hard to put down. I was pretty well convinced that I already knew the truth behind the attack rather early on, so there wasn’t any great big surprise. But it was still interesting to see the psychology behind all the characters and the decisions they made. It was well written, and I enjoyed reading it. I just had the little problem with the naiveté of Hanna’s character. If it hadn’t been for that, this would most definitely had been a 5 star book for me.

So yeah, I’d definitely recommend this book. You probably won’t have any huge surprises along the way while reading this book, but it was still a good solid read. I’m only upset that I waited so long to read this one!

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2015.29 REVIEW – Coercion by Tim Tigner

Coercion
by Tim Tigner

Copyright: 2013, 2015
Pages: 304
Rating: 4/5
Read: Aug. 24-31, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 29
Format: Print
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: N/A

CoercionBlurb:
After the Iron Curtain’s collapse, Russia appears to be finished as a superpower. But KGB general Vasily Karpov is working behind the scenes to restore Russia’s status by forcing Americans into traitorous acts of espionage and sabotage, with the aid of a new secret weapon. Meanwhile, his biggest target is within Russia, where Karpov is plotting to capture the Kremlin for himself.

Former US soldier and spy Alex Ferris becomes the first to fathom Karpov’s grand plans. Racing from San Francisco to Siberia, Alex must elude ambushes, assassins, and death from exposure as he wages a one-man war against a growing global threat and the resurgence of the Soviets.


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

When I was originally pitched this book something about it really caught my eye. I’ve been trying to stay away from taking on too many review commitments because my reading has been severely limited since welcoming our second child in May. But this was one that I couldn’t seem to pass up on.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I found it to be fast paced and interesting. It held my attention throughout the whole book (something I struggle with these days). I came to really like Alex’s character – even if I did have a hard time believing that he was able to survive so much.

I’m always a little nervous when there’s a “Cast of Characters” list at the beginning of the book. It usually means I will have a hard time keeping up with things. However, once I got through the few first chapters, I had no trouble at all keeping things straight and didn’t even need to refer back to the list.

If I had to make a complaint, it was that I felt the ending was a little flat. There was no real big “show down” which I was hoping for. Endings are a very difficult thing – you can’t please everyone. But it didn’t affect my overall opinion of this book, so it obviously didn’t bother me too much. I am excited that there is a door open for Mr. Tigner to bring Alex back in a future book …. and I hope he does! I’d love to read more!

If you want a book that is fast-paced, interesting and a lot of fun, I would definitely recommend this one. The characters are extremely well-developed. The storyline is interesting. The whole idea of the Peitho implants is scarily realistic in this technological age, which kept things relevant in my opinion.

This one will attract a lot of political thriller fans, mystery fans, and historical fiction fans alike. Highly recommended.


About the Author:

unnamed-3Tim began his career in Soviet Counterintelligence with the US Army Special forces, the Green Berets. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Tim switched from espionage to arbitrage. Armed with a Wharton MA rather than a Colt M16, he moved to Moscow in the midst of Perestroika. There he lead prominent multinational medical companies, worked with cosmonauts on the MIR Space Station (from Earth, alas), chaired the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, and helped write Russia’s first law on healthcare.

Moving to Brussels during the formation of the EU, Tim ran Europe, Middle East, and Africa for a Johnson & Johnson company and traveled like a character in a Robert Ludlum book. He eventually landed in Silicon Valley, where like minds with wild ideas come to congregate around the creation of (nightmares and) dreams. Now he launches new medical technologies as a startup CEO, and devises devious devices for fictional characters who aim to change the world.

Tim grew up in the Midwest and Europe, earning a BA from Hanover College and then a MBA in Finance and a MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He now lives with his wife Elena and their two daughters in Northern California.

Connect:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

As always, I hope you will visit the other stops on the tour:

Monday, August 31st: BookBub Blog – author guest post – “Eleven Thrillers We’d Kill to See on the Silver Screen”
Wednesday, September 2ndIt’s a Mad Mad World
Thursday, September 3rdMallory Heart Reviews
Tuesday, September 8thBuilding Bookshelves
Wednesday, September 9thBooksChatter – author Q&A
Thursday, September 10thPatricia’s Wisdom
Friday, September 11thMockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, September 14thTales of a Book Addict
Tuesday, September 15thFictionophile
Thursday, September 17thLife is Story
Friday, September 18thThe World As I See It
Monday, September 21stSJ2B House of Books Blog
Thursday, September 24thLazy Day Books
Friday, September 25thBooksChatter
Monday, September 28thA Book Geek
Monday, September 28th5 Minutes for Books
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2012.25 REVIEW – Takedown by Brad Thor

Takedown
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2006
Pages: 433
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 25-Oct. 3, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012; Off the Shelf 2012
Yearly count: 25
Format: Print
Source: Personal copy

Blurb: July 4th weekend, New York City: As thousands of holiday travelers make their way out of Manhattan, a flawlessly executed terrorist attack plunges the city into a maelstrom of panic and death. Amidst the chaos, an elite team of foreign soldiers is systematically searching for one of their own, a man so powerful that the U.S. government refuses to admit he even exists and will do anything to keep him hidden. Now, with the world’s deadliest enemy upon America’s doorstep, counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath must fight his way through the burning city streets to take down an invisible terrorist mastermind with the means to unleash hell on a global scale.


Review: What a great installment in this series! I would definitely consider it the best one thus far. And the ending – wow, what a cliffhanger! I suppose it was surprising because Mr. Thor hadn’t done a cliffhanging ending in the previous four books of this series, so it was definitely unexpected. It for sure made me very eager to get to the next book (which I would have done immediately if I didn’t have review books that have to get read. )

Unlike the previous books, this one was set in the United States. I definitely preferred that simply because I could understand the setting a little bit better. These books are a little bit out of my comfort zone with the terrorist aspects to them, but I thoroughly enjoy them.

The writing in Mr. Thor’s books is alway exceptional; he definitely has a great editor because there never seem to be any grammatical errors (sometimes I feel like I’m the grammar police, but bad grammar is a big pet peeve of mine).

We met a slew of new characters in this installment that I hope will make some appearances in later books. Character development (another biggie for me) was done quite well and definitely left me wanting to learn more and more about these new characters!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

2012.20 REVIEW – Blowback by Brad Thor

Blowback
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2005
Pages: 568
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 30 – Aug. 11, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012; Off the Shelf 2012
Yearly Count: 20
Format: Print
Source: Personal copy

Blurb: Scott Harvath’s counterterrorism career has just crashed and burned – thanks in part to a ruthless senator with her sights set on the White House. But when the war on terror takes a chilling turn, the president has no choice but to secretly bring Harvath back inside. Deep beneath an Alpine glacier, an ancient weapon designed to decimate the Roman Empire has been unearthed – and a shadowy organization intends to use it for America’s downfall. Racing across Europe, Harvath must secure the ultimate instrument of destruction before it brings the United States and the rest of the world to its knees.


Review: This is the fourth in the Scot Harvath series. I read the first three last year and then took a big break. These books are not easy reading. But I have enjoyed all four books in this series.

I’m still trying to figure out what to say about this book. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But as I stated above, Mr. Thor’s books are not easy to read. They definitely take a lot more concentration to get through. So with everything going on in my life, I am pleasantly surprised that I was able to get through this book as quickly as I did. I say this because I actually tried to read this book earlier this year and actually had to set it aside because I simply didn’t have the concentration for it (pregnancy brain at it’s finest!) However, I am very glad that I decided to pick this book back up when I did. Because I found it to be a very exciting read.

I sometimes struggle with books that have terrorist aspects. There’s no particular reason for this, other than it’s outside my comfort zone. But in this book, it didn’t phase me at all. There were a few times throughout the book that I struggled to understand what was going on, but that was always when they were discussing the weapon that is at the heart of the plot.

As I stated earlier, this is the fourth book in the series. While I always prefer to read books in order, I do not think that it would be a requirement for this book. I felt as if it could have read as a stand-alone just as well.

I like Scot’s character. Mr. Thor has managed to make him quite appealing in my opinion. First he’s married to his job. But he’s also not a womanizer. And it was in this particular installment that the reader really gets to see that Scot may be regretting not being settled down. I am definitely anxious to see where Scot’s romantic life takes him in subsequent books. There’s just something about his character that fits perfectly in my opinion. It’s hard for me to put into words what I feel about this.

Another thing that I like about these books is that Mr. Thor always seems to have a very strong female secondary character. This complements Scot quite well. And it also fits my tastes perfectly. I hate the whole damsel in distress thing, so I enjoy seeing Scot interact with women who are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.

Overall, while these books may not be for everyone, I enjoy them quite a lot and would definitely recommend them.

2012.4 REVIEW – Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

Presumed Innocent
by Scott Turow

Copyright: 1987
Pages: 421
Rating: 4/5
Read: Jan. 29– Feb. 9, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012; Off the Shelf 2012 Challenge
Yearly Count: 4
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: Hailed as the most suspenseful and compelling novel in decades, Presumed Innocent brings to life our worst nightmare: that of an ordinary citizen facing conviction for the most terrible of all crimes. It’s the stunning portrayal of one man’s all-too-human, all-consuming fatal attraction for a passionate woman who is not his wife, and the story of how his obsession puts everything he loves and values on trial – including his own life. It’s  a book that lays bare a shocking world of betrayal and murder, as well as the hidden depths of the human heart. And it will hold you and haunt you … long after you have reached its shattering conclusion.


Review: Sometime last year I picked this book up, read 80 pages, and walked away from it. I just never took to it at the time. However, I hung on to it. I considered trading it (and the other books in the series that I have collected), but I never could make myself do it. I can say that I am glad that I did not trade it. While I will admit the beginning was a little hard to get through, mainly because of all the flip-flopping between what was going on and what was being described by Rusty to his psychiatrist. But once I got through that part the book really started to take off.

I will admit that this book has to have, honestly, some of the best legal courtroom scenes I have ever read. I was just totally enthralled by the courtroom action. Sometimes I felt as if I was right there in the courtroom watching the action unfold. And when Rusty’s lawyer, Sandy, had his big shining moment in the courtroom, it was simply unbelievable! Criminal defense lawyers would probably give their right arm to have that kind of moment in a case.

That’s not to say that this book isn’t without its faults. First of all, as I mentioned above, the beginning was a little slow to get into. And my biggest complaint is that the “who-dunit” part wasn’t all that surprising to me. I kind of had an inkling about halfway through about what the outcome would be, and sometimes that irritates me. Maybe I just read too many mysteries, I have the “formula” figured out 🙂

Either way, I am very glad that I read this book (finally!). I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great legal thriller. And I’m really hoping to see the movie sometime in the future … I can’t believe I never saw the movie either!

2011.58 REVIEW – State of the Union by Brad Thor

State of the Union
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2004
Pages: 523
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 25– Oct. 2, 2011
Challenge: Take a Chance 3 Challenge
Yearly Count: 58
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: With the fragile peace between the world’s nations shattered, Harvath must unravel a brilliantly orchestrated, fiendishly timed conspiracy intent upon bringing the United States to its knees. Teamed with beautiful Russian Intelligence agent Alexandra Ivanova and a highly trained CIA paramilitary detachment, Harvath races from the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., to the streets of Berlin, the coast of Finland, and into the heart of Mother Russia herself before returning home for a final showdown with an enemy from America’s past more sinister and deadly than has even been seen before…

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! Having liked the previous book (Path of the Assassin), but not really enjoying the whole Middle Eastern theme involved, I was really excited to read about Cold War-era Russian spies. For me, that’s more up my alley than the what the previous book dealt with. This book was definitely action packed. Scot Harvath manages to find himself in all kinds of trouble, no matter where he goes, it seems! And his sense of loyalty to those closest to him is amazing, he definitely puts himself in harm’s way for his friend, mentor  and boss, Gary Lawlor. I am definitely enjoying this series. We didn’t get to see a lot of Meg in this installment, but hopefully in the next book we will get to learn more about her and Scot and where they go to.

2011.57 REVIEW – Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor

Path of the Assassin
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2003
Pages: 503
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 19– Sept. 25, 2011
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly Count: 57
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: After rescuing the President from kidnappers, Navy SEAL turned Secret Service agent Scot Harvath shifts his attentions to rooting out, capturing, or killing all those responsible for the plot. As he prepares to close out his list, a bloody and twisted trail of clues points toward one man – the world’s most feared, most ruthless terrorist, Hashim Nidal. Having assembled an international league of Islamic terrorist networks in an ingenious plot to topple both Israel and America, Harvath and his CIA-led team must reach Nidal before it’s too late. One problem remains – they have no idea what the man looks like. With no alternative, Harvath is forced to recruit a civilian – a woman who has survived a brutal hijacking and is now the only person who can positively identify their quarry.

Review: This was a very good book. It was fast paced and exciting. It definitely makes me look forward to the next book and seeing what happens with Meg and Scot. I enjoyed that Meg is such a strong female character. She is able to keep up with Scot so easily, it’s definitely refreshing to see such a strong female character. The only thing that I had trouble with was the Israel terrorist plot line. I’m not all that up-to-date or interested in Israeli terrorists and the like and so I find it difficult for me to read about. Other than that I found this to be a highly enjoyable book and am definitely looking forward to continuing this series with the third book.