Review: Bad Blood by Brian McGilloway

Bad Blood
by Brian McGilloway

Bad Blood

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0062684558 (ISBN13: 9780062684554)
Series: DS Lucy Black #4
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Blurb: A young man is found in a riverside park, his head bashed in with a rock. One clue is left behind to uncover his identity—an admission stamp for the local gay club.

DS Lucy Black is called in to investigate. As Lucy delves into the community, tensions begin to rise as the man’s death draws the attention of the local Gay Rights group to a hate-speech Pastor who, days earlier, had advocated the stoning of gay people and who refuses to retract his statement.

Things become further complicated with the emergence of a far-right group targeting immigrants in a local working-class estate. As their attacks escalate, Lucy and her boss, Tom Fleming, must also deal with the building power struggle between an old paramilitary commander and his deputy that threatens to further enflame an already volatile situation.

Hatred and complicity abound in McGilloway’s new Lucy Black thriller. Compelling and current, Bad Blood is an expertly crafted and acutely observed page-turner, delivering the punch that readers of Little Lost Girl have grown to expect.


Review: This is the fourth book in the Lucy Black series and I have read the previous three (Little Girl Lost, Someone You Know, The Forgotten Ones ) and thoroughly enjoyed all of them! So when I was pitched this book I eagerly accepted it to review. I was looking forward to falling back in with Lucy and Tom.

Gay rights, immigration, and the legal issues of drugs were all integral parts of this book. The way they were portrayed definitely leaves the reader with some tough questions to ask themselves – how would you react in certain situations that these characters were placed in? I will say that going this route with the storyline gave this book an extremely current feel. While this book is set in Ireland right before the Brexit, these are some of the same issues that plague the United States as well right now.

I still really enjoy Lucy’s character. Theres’s just something about her that I enjoy. She’s a smart cop, but she’s also got a lot of heart. It’s a nice combination to see. There seemed to be a lot more interaction with other police officers in this book than I remember in the previous books. It was nice to see some other secondary characters get quite a bit of attention in this installment.

So while the political issues brought up in this book definitely have a current vibe, I hope it won’t be too off-putting to certain readers. Luckily, I am still looking forward to seeing more of Lucy Black in the future and will be eagerly awaiting the next installment from this series!


Author Bio:

Brian McGilloway

Brian McGilloway was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. After studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb’s College in Derry, where he was Head of English. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling Lucy Black series, all to be published by Witness. Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife and their four children.

Catch Up With Our Author On:Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!


GIVEAWAY

There is a Rafflecopter giveaway! There will be 3 winners of one (1) non-Kindle eBook coupon for a copy of THE FORGOTTEN ONES by Brian McGilloway. The giveaway begins on June 24 and runs through August 1, 2017. You can find the Rafflecopter link HERE.


Excerpt

The hall was already packed by the time Detective Inspector Tom Fleming arrived. The air was sweet with perfume and talc and, beneath that, from the farmers still wearing their work clothes, the scent of sweat and the smell of the earth.
The congregation were on their feet, being led in the opening hymn by Pastor James Nixon. Fleming smiled apologetically at those he squeezed past to get to a free seat in the third row from the back. The hymn finished, the assembly took their seats just as Fleming reached his, and settled to listen to the words of Pastor Nixon.
‘My brothers and sisters, it is a great honour to be here with you this evening and to see so many of you have taken the time to come and pray with me.’ His voice was strong despite his age, a rich baritone still carrying the inflections of his native Ballymena accent.
‘But it is a time of great challenge for us all. Daily, all good people face an assault on their morality with the rampant homosexual agenda that assails us and belittles everything we hold to be true and dear. Men of conscience are tried for refusing to make a cake celebrating homosexuality or print leaflets and posters furthering that agenda. And on the other side of the border, the Irish Republic has voted to allow homosexuals to marry, as if two women playing house is no different to the consummated union of a man and a woman. As if it is not a perversion which shames us all.
A few voices appended his comment with ‘Amen’.
Nixon raised his hands, acknowledging their support. ‘There are those who would silence me, silence us. They tell us we must accept homosexuals in our town, our shops, allow homosexual bars and public houses to operate on our streets. We must allow sodomites to teach our children and to corrupt our young. We must stay silent while a new Gomorrah is built next to our homes and farms, our shops and schools. They say I am dangerous. They say I preach hatred. They say I should be silent. But I say this: I say that there is no danger in truth. I say that there is no hatred in goodness. And I say that I will not be silent.’
Another chorus of ‘Amens’ greeted his proclamation, accompanied by a smattering of applause which began at the front and rippled its way through the hall.
‘I will not stand idly by as our families are exposed to sin and depravity. I will not countenance the laws of the land being used to protect profane persons, allowing them to indulge their lustful practices, forcing those of us with consciences to humour this lifestyle. It is an abomination. The people who practise it are abominations and, like those before them, they will end in fire and brimstone.’
Fleming glanced around at the others in the congregation. While one or two shifted uncomfortably in their seats, for the most part the listeners sat intently waiting for Nixon to continue.
‘Friends, only last week, I read of an African nation – a heathen nation, a Godless nation – who arrested two men for homosexual acts. One of these men was sixteen. Sixteen! And do you know what they did to the pair of them? They stoned them. They took them out of the town and they threw rocks at them until the pair of them were dead. And do you know what I thought? Shall I tell you?’
An elderly lady in the front row called out ‘Yes’, to the amusement of those around her. Nixon smiled mildly at her, as if indulging her.
‘Stoning was too good for those men. Every rock that struck them was a just reward for their sinfulness, their immorality, their ungodly behaviour. Every drop of their blood that stained the ground was a reminder that they deserved to die. It was the wages of their sin!’
***
Excerpt from Bad Blood by Brian McGilloway. Copyright © 2017 by Brian McGilloway. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.
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Review: Gone by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Gone
by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Gone

Copyright: 2013

Pages: 386

Read: June 23 – 29, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: Mexican strongman Manuel Perrine slaughters rivals as effortlessly as he wears his trademark white linen suits. Detective Michael Bennett is the only U.S. official ever to succeed in putting him behind bars. But now Perrine is out and vows to kill Bennett and everyone dear to him.

Bennett and his ten adopted children are on a secluded California farm, guarded by the FBI’s witness protection program. When Perrine begins a campaign of assassinations across the country, the FBI asks Bennett to risk it all – his careers, his family, his own life – to fight Perrine’s war on America.


Review: This is the sixth book in the Michael Bennett series. I read the fifth installment, I Michael Bennett, back in April and was left with this huge cliffhanger – the Bennett’s being placed into the witness protection program. So I was anxious to get to this book sooner rather than later. I immediately ordered it off of Paperbackswap. So I was glad that it fit a recent callout for a Goodreads challenge I’m doing. It gave me a reason to pick it up.

And while this book wasn’t necessarily a bad book, it just could have been better. I think it’s mainly because Michael Bennett was out of his element. I wanted him on a case, working a homicide. And the parts where the farm and whatnot was described, just didn’t feel right for this series. It definitely picked up once Bennett was called into the thick of things with the investigation to find Perrine.

So I’m glad I finally got the resolution I was looking for after the fifth book. I’m not entirely convinced that it needed an entire book in and of itself, but hey, I’ll continue to read the Michael Bennett series, I still like his character a lot. And I’m anxious to see if him and Mary Catherine will finally stop denying the inevitable and just get together already!!

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.

Review: Fuzzy Navel by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy Navel
by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy Navel

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 310

Read: June 10 – 11, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Things are going well for Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels of the Chicago Police Department. She has solved some of the city’s toughest homicides, and Alex Kork, one of the most dangerous criminals she ever arrested, is finally out of the picture. But things turn sour quickly when a group of vigilantes on a murderous spree decide to take down a cop and the people she cares about, and they get downright awful when Jack discovers Kork may not be dead after all…


Review: Ok, I’m not going to lie here … this book was not up to par in comparison to the others in the series.

This particular installment is set over the course of maybe 8 or 9 hours and it’s definitely action packed … but that’s about all that was positive about it…. It started out interesting with the Alex Kork aspect and I even enjoyed the beginning of the vigilante part of the book. But then the two storylines converged and it just didn’t work as well for me.

The only reason I read this book as quickly as I did was because it was the only book I had with me on my train ride home from Chicago. I just had a lot higher expectations for this book. I think a part of me was a little disappointed that there was no real case to solve with Jack and her partner Herb. The humor that is prevalent in all of these books was just plain stupid at times because it was so inappropriate.

This one just didn’t work much for me. It’s definitely a weak link in the rest of this series. So if you’ve never read from this series before, do not start with this one. I’m still looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Cherry Bomb, but that’s really just because there’s a cliffhanger (another pet peeve!) at the end of this one…

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!

Review: Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson

Killer Pancake
by Diane Mott Davidson

Killer Pancake

Copyright: 1995

Pages: 329

Read: May 30 – June 2, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: When Goldy, owner of Goldilocks’ Catering, faces the challenge of whipping up a sumptuous low-fat feast for the Mignon Cosmetic’s company banquet, she rises to the occasion brilliantly … only to discover just how ugly the beauty biz can be!

On the day of the banquet Goldy finds herself confronting an angry mob of demonstrators – “Spare the Hares” – who object to Mignon Cosmetics’ animal-testing policies. As she struggles to carry forty pounds of low-fat fare from her van to the mall where the banquet is being held, she hears an ominous squeal of tires and a horrifying thump. Seconds later, a Mignon employee lies dead on the pavement. And soon the police discover that this hit-and-run was no accident.

Now Goldy is enmeshed up to her saute pans in a homicide investigation. Could the murder have had something to do with Spare the Hares – or with the exotic flower found near the dead body? Though busy serving up Hoisin Turkey and Grand Marnier Cranberry Muffins, Goldy decides to start digging at Mignon’s million-dollar cosmetics counter. But when another murder takes place and Goldy herself is attacked, the caterer turned sleuth knows she must step up her search for a gruesome killer. For this time was only a warning. Next time she’ll be dead – and it won’t be pretty.


Review: It has been ages since I read the fourth book in this series, so I was a little nervous picking up the fifth. However I am happy to say that I easily fell right back in with Goldy and her crew.

I thought that the storyline in this installment was interesting. The killer was not all that surprising, but there were a few times when I was convinced it was someone else. This was an easy read that I enjoyed. It definitely has renewed my interest in reading a bit more from this series.

A fun installment in a fun series – definitely recommended!!

Review: I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

I, Michael Bennett
by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

I, Michael Bennett

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 375

Read: April 18-23, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased new

 

 

Blurb: Detective Michael Bennett arrests an infamous crime lord who vows to rain epic violence down upon New York City – and to get revenge on Michael Bennett. To escape the chaos, Bennett takes his ten kids and their beloved nanny, Mary Catherine, on a vacation to his family’s cabin near Newburgh in upstate New York. But instead of finding the happy town he remembers from his youth, Bennett steps into an urban nightmare of warring gangs. Now Bennett is torn between protecting his hometown and saving New York City. And when beautiful prosecutor Tara McLellan comes to Bennett’s aid, she endangers his relationship with Mary Catherine – even as a cunning, cold-blooded killer closes in on him…


Review: This is the 5th in the Michael Bennett series. It had been forever since I read the fourth book, so I went into this with not a lot of recollection of the characters. But that didn’t really matter, I fell right back into step with the Bennett and his gang.

As typical Patterson books go, this one is filled with short, easy chapters and multiple storylines (only two this time, thank goodness). My one complaint is that there’s really a big cliffhanger at the end. There’s no true resolution to the story (guess I’ve got to read book #6 now!).

As usual, this was a fun and fast read. Mr. Patterson doesn’t write the most literary works, but there usually a good time. This one doesn’t disappoint in that regard. And I am looking forward to revisiting Bennett in the near future… to figure out if he can get out of the mess he’s gotten himself into!