4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Edelweiss, Fiction, Lucy Black, M, RATING, Read in 2015, Review Book, SERIES

2015.23 REVIEW – The Forgotten Ones by Brian McGilloway

The Forgotten Ones
by Brian McGilloway

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 256
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 19 – 25, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 23
Format: E-Book
Source: Edelweiss
Series: Lucy Black #3

The Forgotten OnesBlurb:
 The body of an elderly man is hauled out of the rushing water of the River Foyle, cold dead. Detective Lucy Black is called in to investigate when it becomes evident that this was not a suicide: the man’s body was embalmed before it ever entered the water.

Confounded and exhausted, Lucy heads home to review the case in quiet; but there will be no rest for her tonight. She’s barely in the front door when a neighbor knocks because his wife’s sister has been attacked and they need her help.

As a string of strange crimes is unspooled throughout the city, Lucy is pulled in countless different directions… until she realizes there may be something dark and dangerous connecting everything.


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

Lucy Black. Oh how I love you! I mean seriously, I absolutely adore this book series!! There’s just something about Lucy. And Tom Fleming. And Lucy’s mom. I just have some weird love fest with these characters. I can’t help it. I almost missed out on this one, I was just randomly searching Edelweiss one day and came across it. I was so excited to see that there was more Lucy Black!

In this installment there’s a lot going on. Lucy definitely has her hands full. Her father’s Alzheimer’s is rapidly progressing (such a sad, sad thing to watch happen to family members). She has to figure out why an embalmed body is found floating in a river. Then she has to deal with a neighbor’s family member having an abusive partner. Oh, her boyfriend wants her to move in with her. Then there’s another string of murders. A string of murders that she has to figure out why they all seem to be connected. There’s a lot going on.

If I had to tell you the one weak part of this whole book it’s that there was so much going on. It was almost like there were too many dead bodies for me to keep track of. I eventually couldn’t remember which name went with which murder. I understood how they all connected in the end, but it was a lot of confusion for a little bit on my end. Now, that might just be because I read this book in bits and spurts, never really committing a whole lot of time at once. But it didn’t really slow down my enjoyment of this book whatsoever.

After about the 60% mark of this book (darned Kindle – I want page numbers, not percentages!), this book just absolutely flew by. There was a lot of action going on and I could hardly wait to get to the end to see how on earth everything ended up. The writing was excellent, the storyline was fast paced and exciting. The character development is exceptional. Overall it’s a book that I just want to gush about.

Truly, I can’t say enough about this series. I fell in love with Lucy after reading Little Girl Lost and Someone You Know. I seriously hope you would give Mr. McGilloway’s Lucy Black series a chance. While I personally am always a stickler for reading books in order, I can tell you that this book would read relatively well as a standalone.

Bottom line …. read this book! (Read this series!)

Advertisements
3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, D, E-Book, Edelweiss, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2015, Review Book

2015.24 REVIEW – Spy Trade: A Novella by Matthew Dunn

Spy Trade: A Novella
by Matthew Dunn

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 100
Rating: 3/5
Read: July 27-28, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 24
Format: E-Book
Source: Publicist via Edelweiss
Series: Spycatcher Novella

Spy TradeBlurb:
 When a mission goes awry in Syria, senior CIA officer Bob Oakland is captured by aspiring members of ISIS, who demand the release of one of their own, Arzam Saud, in U.S. captivity. When their hands are tied by Washington’s refusal to negotiate, the CIA turns to MI6 officer Will Cochrane to find out what’s really going on. The threats are escalating quickly, and in order to save the CIA officer, Cochrane must uncover why Saud is truly so important . . .


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

I have never read anything by Matthew Dunn before, but when the opportunity to review this one showed up in my email a couple of weeks ago I jumped on it. I figured it would give me a great intro to the series and the author to see if I would want to start the Spycatcher series.

I didn’t hate this novella, but I didn’t love it either. It was just in the “okay” category for me. I think part of my issue with it was the ISIS aspect of it. I didn’t enjoy reading about it. I really enjoyed the parts where Patrick was dealing with Washington “politics” and Will was trying to track down Bob Oakland. The other parts, I could have done without. So like I said, I didn’t hate this one, there was some really good parts in it. I can say that my interest has been piqued enough to place the first Spycatcher novel on my TBR list for sometime in the future.

Overall, I think this one is short enough that readers can easily squeeze it into their reading schedules and I’m glad that I made time for it … I may have found another new series to enjoy 🙂

 

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Edelweiss, Fiction, J, RATING, Read in 2015, Review Book

2015.21 REVIEW – Stand Down: A Novella by J.A. Jance

Stand Down: A Novella
by J.A. Jance

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 112
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 17, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 21
Format: E-Book
Source: Edelweiss via Publicist
Series: J.P. Beaumont #21.5

Stand DownBlurb:
 Life has shifted for J. P. Beaumont. After a tragic accident that devastated—and ultimately disbanded—his Special Homicide Investigation Team, he accepts that he has left homicide detection behind at this point, but he has a lot of unanticipated free time on his hands. He’s keeping busy with renovations on the new house that he and his wife Mel Soames, the newly appointed Chief of Police in Bellingham, Washington, have bought. But new fixtures and paint palettes can occupy only so much of Beau’s daily life, and Mel is encouraging him to return to where he is needed: investigating crimes.

In the meantime, she is struggling to gain control of her new situation, cast into a department where some are welcoming—and some are not. It’s been a few months, and the tension in the police department is rising, but Beau realizes Mel has to tackle things in her own way, so he refrains from advising. But when Beau shows up one afternoon to survey the construction at their new house and finds Mel’s car there but no sign of her, his investigative instincts kick in. Suddenly he’s back in the game—except this time, his heart is on the line as well as his professional dignity.


Review: I was contacted about this novella a while ago and had kind of filed it away thinking it sounded interesting, but I wasn’t really sold on it. But when I got a second email reminding me about it because the release date was near, I thought I’d give it a try. What’s to lose when there’s only112 pages?

Part of my reluctance is that I’ve actually only read one book in the J.P. Beaumont series and it was many, many years ago. So I figured I would be completely lost jumping into this series at book 21.5! But fear not … I had no trouble sliding right in with Beau and Mel. There was just enough background that I wasn’t scratching my head trying to figure out who was who and what was going on. Actually it made me want to read some of the previous books to really know more of the backstory (BAD Tara! The last thing you need is another book series……).

I was a little more than bummed when I reached the end of this novella. I was definitely left wanting more. I found this slim installment to be a lot of fun. It was fast paced and entertaining. I’m glad I gave this one a shot; I would definitely recommend it.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, K, RATING, Read in 2015, Read-a-Long

2015.18 REVIEW – Misery by Stephen King

Misery
by Stephen King

Copyright: 1987
Pages: 356
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 1 – June 17, 2015
Challenge: #MiseryRAL
Yearly count: 18
Format: E-Book
Source: Purchased
Series: N/A

MiseryBlurb:
 Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing.

That’s when the car accident happens, and he wakes up in pain in a strange bed. But it isn’t hospital. Annie Wilkes has pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs.

The good news is that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news is that she has long been Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she finds out what Paul has done to Misery, she doesn’t like it. She doesn’t like it at all.

And now he has to bring Misery back to life. Or else…


Review: When I first saw a read-along mentioned on Twitter for Misery I was intrigued. I had skipped over the few King read-alongs there have been in the past. Mainly because I’m not very social on Twitter. However, I’m trying to change that and I had been kicking around the idea of re-reading some of the old Stephen King books that I fell in love with. So I figured now was as good a time as any to join in on the read-along fun.

As I said at one point on Twitter … Annie is bat-shit crazy! Sometimes all I can do is just shake my head at what Mr. King has come up with for his books. I mean, you pretty much get the idea that Annie has to be crazy just by the book blurb, but you really don’t have any idea just how psycho she is until you get into this book. She’s really creepy psycho. And it makes for some great reading!

For the first time, clearly, the thought surfaced in Paul Sheldon’s mind: I am in trouble here. This woman is not right. (p. 14)

Oh, Paul … you really had no idea just how “not right” Annie truly was. You were her number one fan, you know. Creepy, right? I shudder just at the thought of everything that Paul went through with Annie.

I felt sorry for Paul. Annie really does a number on him psychologically and physically. She breaks him down. She makes him completely dependent on her and the drugs she has. But little by little he brings himself up out of the fog he’s in and it really begins to become a game of wits between the two. That’s when the book starts to get really good!

If he meant to get out of this, he would have to kill her.

Yes. That’s the answer – the only one there is, I think. So it’s that same old game again, isn’t it? Paulie … Can You? 

He answered with no hesitation at all. Yes, I can. (p. 201)

There’s not much I can say in this review that hasn’t been said a million times before. Personally, I enjoyed this book. However, I don’t think it would be at the very top of my list of favorite Stephen King books. It wasn’t scary to me … it was just downright creepy. And kind of gross in some places (okay … very gross!)

My copy had 356 pages. That’s relatively short for a Stephen King book. And it reads quickly (I would have finished it a lot sooner had I not spent a week dealing with Katelyn’s surgery and recovery). So I would definitely recommend picking it up if you’ve never read Mr. King and you’re intimidated by the size of most of his books.

Highly recommended.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, E-Book, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2015

2015.9 REVIEW – The Masque of a Murderer by Susanna Calkins

The Masque of a Murderer
by Susanna Calkins

Copyright:2015
Pages: 295
Rating: 4/5
Read: Feb. 28 – March 3, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 9
Format: E-Book
Source: Author for Review
Series: Lucy Campion #3

The Masque of a MurdererBlurb: In Susanna Calkins’s next richly drawn mystery set in 17th century England, Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies’ maid in the local magistrate’s household, has now found gainful employment as a printer’s apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate’s daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man’s last utterances, but she’s unprepared for what he reveals to her—that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered.

Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate’s son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man’s background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined.

In The Masque of a Murderer, Susanna Calkins has once again combined finely wrought characters, a richly detailed historical atmosphere, and a tightly-plotted mystery into a compelling read.


Review: I read and reviewed the first Lucy Campion book, A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate back in 2013. It was an impulse find on NetGalley that really ended up being a home run for me. Somehow I missed the release of the second Lucy Campion book, From the Charred Remains. It’s kind of a bummer, really. But I was approached by Ms. Calkins to consider the third Lucy book for review. I jumped on the opportunity. And am so glad that I did!

I really enjoyed this book. The pages just flew by. There’s something about Lucy’s character that really makes her easy to read. Even though this series is set in 17th century London, it definitely doesn’t read like that. It reads so conversationally. I remember liking that about the first novel as well.

Overall this book stands relatively well on its own. I would have preferred to have known what happened between books 1 and 2, and perhaps one day I will read From the Charred Remains. But, in reality, if you haven’t read any of these books before, it shouldn’t affect your enjoyment whatsoever.

I think what draws me to these books is the strong character that Lucy is. For 17th century London it’s truly amazing at what she does and gets away with. It’s not at all what I would ever picture for a woman during that time period, let alone a woman with such humble beginnings as Lucy. But that’s what makes her likable to me.

The storyline in this book was a lot of fun. I got a lot of enjoyment out of trying to figure out who the imposter was before Lucy (and no, I didn’t guess right). The writing is so easy to read. The characters are all so well-developed. And I cannot wait to find out what happens with the Lucy-Adam-Duncan angle!

It’s really just a great book, to be honest. And one that I would highly recommend. You don’t have to be a historical fiction aficionado to thoroughly enjoy this one. Definitely give it a try if possible!

Disclosure: I received an electronic copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed above are my own.

 

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, K, RATING, Read in 2015, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2015.3 REVIEW – City of Liars and Thieves by Eve Karlin

City of Liar and Thieves
by Eve Karlin

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 266
Rating: 3/5
Read: Jan. 14 – Jan. 20, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 3
Format: E-Book
Source: TLC Book Tours
Series: N/A

City of Liar and ThievesBlurb: A crime that rocked a city. A case that stunned a nation. Based on the United States’ first recorded murder trial, Eve Karlin’s spellbinding debut novel re-creates early nineteenth-century New York City, where a love affair ends in a brutal murder and a conspiracy involving Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr erupts in shattering violence.

It is high time to tell the truth. Time for justice. . . . How she was murdered and why she haunts me. It is not only Elma’s story, it’s mine.

On the bustling docks of the Hudson River, Catherine Ring waits with her husband and children for the ship carrying her cousin, Elma Sands. Their Greenwich Street boardinghouse becomes a haven for Elma, who has at last escaped the stifling confines of her small hometown and the shameful circumstances of her birth. But in the summer of 1799, Manhattan remains a teeming cesspool of stagnant swamps and polluted rivers. The city is desperate for clean water as fires wreak devastation and the death toll from yellow fever surges.

Political tensions are rising, too. It’s an election year, and Alexander Hamilton is hungry for power. So is his rival, Aaron Burr, who has announced the formation of the Manhattan Water Company. But their private struggle becomes very public when the body of Elma Sands is found at the bottom of a city well built by Burr’s company.

Resolved to see justice done, Catherine becomes both witness and avenger. She soon finds, however, that the shocking truth behind this trial has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.


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

When I was first pitched this book I was immediately intrigued. I love a good historical fiction novel based on a true crime story from the past. It takes two of my favorite things – true crime/mysteries and history – and blends them together in a way that I love to read about! So I was really excited to read this book!

Overall, it wasn’t necessarily a bad book. But I felt like the blurb might have been a little bit misleading. I expected more Hamilton/Burr than I got out of this book. I also wasn’t quite prepared for the sheer amount of political references.

But I will say this, I loved the scene that was portrayed by Ms. Karlin. She really brought nineteenth-century New York City to life for me. And definitely made me appreciate the modern conveniences we have and take for granted!

So while this story was a little more politically involved than I had been prepared for, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. I learned about a murder trial I had never heard about before. I felt like I was walking the streets of New York City in 1799. And it was just an overall entertaining read.

Recommended!


About the Author: Eve Karlin was born and raised in New York City. She is a graduate of Colgate University, where she studied literature and creative writing with Frederick Busch. Karlin worked in publishing for more than a decade in marketing, at Random House, Newsweek, and, later, as a foreign book scout with clients in the United Kingdom, Italy, Holland, Brazil, and Japan. She has had several short stories published in The East Hampton Star and has been a contributing writer for Patch.com. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband and their sixteen-year-old triplets. City of Liars and Thieves is her first book.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY! There is also a giveaway available in conjunction with this tour. The winner will receive a $25.00 gift card to the e-book retailer of their choice and one copy of City of Liars and ThievesPLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE GIVEAWAY PAGE. 

As always, I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, January 6th: Mystery Playground
Wednesday, January 7th: Bibliophilia, Please
Friday, January 9th: Fiction Zeal
Monday, January 12th: Omnimystery News – author guest post
Tuesday, January 13th: Dwell in Possibility
Tuesday, January 13th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, January 14th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, January 16th: Reading Reality
Monday, January 19th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, January 20th: Sarah’s Book Shelves
Wednesday, January 21st: A Fantastical Librarian
Thursday, January 22nd: Chew & Digest Books
Monday, January 26th: History from a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, January 27th: Tales of a Book Addict
Wednesday, January 28th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, January 29th: 100 Pages a Day… Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Friday, January 30th: Books in the Burbs
TBD: Back Porchervations

3/5, A, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.51 REVIEW – Duke City Hit by Max Austin

Duke City Hit
by Max Austin

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 150
Rating: 3/5
Read: Dec. 12 – Dec. 18, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 51
Format: E-Book
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: N/A

Duke City Hit

Blurb: Max Austin takes readers back to Albuquerque for another action-packed thrill ride in Duke City Hit, as an elite assassin takes aim at—well, everyone.

According to Vic Walters, the secret to happiness is low overhead and few demands. Living rent-free in a modest bachelor pad behind his boss’s house, he has no debts, no entanglements, and no expensive relationships. He works just a few days a month, but his bank accounts keep growing.

Vic is a high-priced hitman with a legendary record of success. That is, until someone starts eliminating his marks before he can get to them . . . until his manager puts him in the middle of a vicious drug-cartel feud . . . and until a young man walks into his life with a big .45 and a startling revelation.

For Vic Walters, it’s time to step out of the shadows. Which means it’s killing time in Duke City.


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

You may remember that earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading Mr. Austin’s book Duke City Split. I enjoyed that one and was pleased to be offered the chance to read more from Mr. Austin.

I knew going into this book that it was a short read – only 150 pages. Sometimes that is exactly what you need! And I definitely needed it!

For me this book was a fun read. It was just plain fun. There wasn’t a lot of thinking involved, it was just a mindless, quick read. Perfect for around the holidays (and when you’re in the middle of moving and unpacking a gazillion boxes).

Don’t worry if you pick this one up without reading Duke City Split. It’s a whole new cast of characters. And just as fun.

Recommended!!


Max AustinAbout the Author: Max Austin is the pseudonym of writer Steve Brewer. He lives in Duke City (Albuquerque), New Mexico.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY! There is also a giveaway available in conjunction with this tour. The winner will receive a $25.00 gift card to the e-book retailer of their choice and one copy of Duke City Split. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE GIVEAWAY PAGE. 

Please be sure to check out all the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, December 9th: Nightly Reading
Wednesday, December 10th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, December 11th: Reading Reality
Thursday, December 11th: Rhodes Review
Friday, December 12th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Monday, December 15th: Omnimystery News – author guest post
Monday, December 15th: Bell, Book & Candle
Tuesday, December 16th: CiCi’s Theories
Wednesday, December 17th: Reading to Distraction
Thursday, December 18th: Teena in Toronto
Monday, December 22nd: Book Nerd
Monday, December 22nd: The Book Diva’s Reads
Tuesday, December 23rd:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, December 29th:  From the TBR Pile
Monday, December 29th: FictionZeal
Tuesday, December 30th:  Tales of a Book Addict

tlc-logo-resized

4/5, AUTHOR, Author Debut, Book Review, C, E-Book, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.50 REVIEW – The Kill List by Nichole Christoff

The Kill List
by Nichole Christoff

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 270
Rating: 4/5
Read: Dec. 7 – Dec. 12, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 50
Format: E-Book
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: Jamie Sinclair #1

The Kill ListBlurb: In this taut debut thriller, Nichole Christoff introduces a savvy private investigator with nerves of steel—and a shattered heart.

As a top private eye turned security specialist, Jamie Sinclair has worked hard to put her broken marriage behind her. But when her lying, cheating ex-husband, army colonel Tim Thorp, calls with the news that his three-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, he begs Jamie to come find her. For the sake of the child, Jamie knows she can’t refuse. Now, despite the past, she’ll do everything in her power to bring little Brooke Thorp home alive.

Soon Jamie is back at Fort Leeds—the army base in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens where she grew up, the only child of a two-star general—chasing down leads and forging an uneasy alliance with the stern military police commander and the exacting FBI agent working Brooke’s case. But because Jamie’s father is now a U.S. senator, her recent run-in with a disturbed stalker is all over the news, and when she starts receiving gruesome threats echoing the stalker’s last words, she can’t shake the feeling that her investigation may be about more than a missing girl—and that someone very powerful is hiding something very significant . . . and very sinister.


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

What a fun, solid book! I didn’t know what to really expect going into this one, but I sure got more out of it than I was expecting!! Let me just tell you that the book starts off with a pretty intense scene that really sets the tone for what’s to come. I was so wrapped up in everything going on in this book that I could barely stand to put it down!

I liked Jamie, but I also liked what she had going on with Barrett. It was a very gradual growing relationship and I liked that a lot. And I can’t wait to see how much more it unfolds in future books!

I have to say that I was amazed at how much I learned about military life through this book. I don’t know have any family or close friends in the military, so it was definitely a learning experience to me. And very enlightening to see it portrayed in such a respectful way. I also liked that Jamie was really able to succeed in such a male-centered world (military/government). I have read a few military-ish books in the past, and very few of them have women in any sort of leading/successful role. Definitely a fresh aspect on things!

Overall, the storyline was extremely interesting. There were a lot of twists and turns. Things were not as they appeared. And it really was a fun story! Definitely a book that I think will appeal to all mystery lovers!

Highly recommended.


About the Author: Nichole Christoff is a writer, broadcaster, and military spouse who has worked on air and behind the scenes producing and promoting content for radio, television news, and the public relations industry across the United States and Canada. Christoff is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America. She also belongs to the Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and three of RWA’s local chapters where she’s served as an officer and a member of the board. In Christoff’s first year as a member of RWA, her first manuscript won the Golden Heart for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. Her second manuscript won a 2011 Helen McCloy Scholarship from the Mystery Writers of America. Her latest work, The Kill List, is a 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense nominee.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Please be sure to check out all the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, November 25th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Friday, November 28th: Nightly Reading
Monday, December 1st: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, December 2nd: Bell, Book & Candle
Wednesday, December 3rd: Omnimystery News – guest post
Thursday, December 4th: CiCi’s Theories
Friday, December 5th: Reading to Distraction
Monday, December 8th: Read and Shelved
Tuesday, December 9th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, December 10th: Book Nerd
Thursday, December 11th: Back Porchervations
Monday, December 15th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, December 16th: Booked on a Feeling
Wednesday, December 17th: A Fantastical Librarian
Friday, December 19th: Tales of a Book Addict
TBD: Queen of All She Reads
TBD: Annabel and Alice

tlc-logo-resized

3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, NetGalley, P, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.44 REVIEW – Ryder by Nick Pengelley

Ryder
by Nick Pengelley

Copyright: 2013, 2014
Pages: 280
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Sept. 23 – 28, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 44
Format: E-Book
Source: NetGalley via TLC Book Tour
Series: Ayesha Ryder #1

RyderBlurb: As Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare to make a joint announcement at the Tower of London, an influential scholar is tortured and murdered in his well-appointed home in St. John’s Wood. Academic researcher Ayesha Ryder believes the killing is no coincidence. Sir Evelyn Montagu had unearthed shocking revelations about T. E. Lawrence—the famed Lawrence of Arabia. Could Montagu have been targeted because of his discoveries?

Ryder’s search for answers takes her back to her old life in the Middle East and into a lion’s den of killers and traitors. As she draws the attention of agents from both sides of the conflict, including detectives from Scotland Yard and MI5, Ryder stumbles deeper into Lawrence’s secrets, an astounding case of royal blackmail, even the search for the Bible’s lost Ark of the Covenant.

Every step of the way, the endgame grows more terrifying. But when an attack rocks London, the real players show their hand—and Ayesha Ryder is left holding the final piece of the puzzle.


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

When I was first pitched this book I was immediately intrigued. I love a good action adventure novel. What I didn’t realize was that this book would have a lot of references to the Middle East. I am not a very political person. In all honesty, I know very little about what goes on in that side of the world. So for me, this book was a little over my head in regards to everything Middle Eastern.

That being said, I still liked the book. Because I liked Ayesha’s character. I wanted her to succeed. There came a point in the book when someone who I thought was trustworthy did a total 360 on Ayesha. I actually gasped out loud. And from then on I was hooked. It was at that point when I went from being slightly intrigued by this book to being full-on, Ayesha-has-to-succeed-no-matter-what. There were so many twists and turns, but it was that one revelation that really turned the whole book around for me.

The writing was very good. The action was extremely well written. The storyline, while I personally found it somewhat hard to follow just because of my lack of Middle Eastern knowledge, was still easy enough to follow that I wasn’t completely lost. The characters were interesting (Lady Madrigal Carey! What. A. Character!)

Overall it’s definitely a good book, but not necessarily the easiest book to read just because of the Middle Eastern slant. But I’d definitely like to revisit Ayesha again in the future.

Recommended.


There is a GIVEAWAY included in this tour. For a chance to win a $25 gift card to the e-retailer of your choice AND a copy of Ryder, please CLICK HERE.


About the author: Nick Pengelley is the author of the political thriller Ryder. Australian by birth, he’s had careers in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom as a law professor, legal consultant, and analyst on Middle East politics, which is his passion. Pengelley lives in Toronto with his wife, Pamela.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-a-Million | Barnes & Noble

Other tour stops:

Monday, September 22nd: Bell, Book & Candle

Monday, September 22nd: Omnimystery News – guest post

Tuesday, September 23rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Wednesday, September 24th: D. L. Kamstra | Writing about Stories

Thursday, September 25th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, September 29th: Reading Reality

Tuesday, September 30th: Tales of a Book Addict

Wednesday, October 1st: Patricia’s Wisdom

Monday, October 6th: Crime Book Club

Tuesday, October 7th: Read Love Blog

Wednesday, October 8th: 2 Kids and Tired Books

Thursday, October 9th: Queen of All She Reads

Friday, October 10th: A Fantastical Librarian

Friday, October 10th: Mystery Playground – Drinks with Reads guest post

Monday, October 13th: By the Book Reviews

Tuesday, October 14th: the smitten word

Wednesday, October 15th: Dwell in Possibility

tlc-logo-resized

2.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, L, NetGalley, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014, Review Book

2014.43 REVIEW – I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers
by Barry Lyga

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 282
Rating: 2.5/5
Read: Sept. 7 – 14, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 43
Format: E-Book
Source: NetGalley
Series: Jasper Dent #1

I Hunt KillersBlurb: What if the world’s worst serial killer…was your dad?
Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could–from the criminal’s point of view.
And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret–could he be more like his father than anyone knows?


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

I first saw this book in a NetGalley email. I don’t read a ton of young adult, but something about this book really caught my attention. I requested it and was excited to see that I had been approved for it.

Overall, I am a little disappointed in this book. It started out pretty interesting. But then somewhere along the way I really started disliking Jazz’s character and it all kind of went downhill from there. I was just so tired of his attitude. I get that he’s a teenager and he’s angsty. I get that his circumstances suck. But I could hardly stand the “oh, I think I am a serial killer because my dad is one” attitude that he kept taking. Deep down I want to believe he’s a good kid. But he seems to think otherwise. And it was a contradiction that just didn’t work out for me.

I actually got to about 70% done and was seriously considering giving up on the book. But at that point you get so far in and you don’t really want to quit. So I persevered on and finished it. I didn’t gain or lose anything from reading this book, and I think that’s why I had such a problem with it. It wasn’t horrible, yet it wasn’t very good. It was just so-so. But the potential. Oh the potential was so there. The whole idea of what happens when you’re the kid of America’s most infamous serial killer … that really was interesting. But the execution just didn’t work for me. And that’s really disappointing to me.

Maybe I didn’t “get” this book because I’m not a huge YA reader. I don’t know. But it didn’t really work for me.