Book Blitz

Book Blast: A Murder on Jane Street by Cathy Cash Spellman

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A Murder on Jane StreetSYNOPSIS
 

A brutal murder.
A heinous secret
A deadly conspiracy.

The brutal murder of the little old lady next door puts FitzHugh Donovan on the case. A retired New York City Police Chief, he knows a cover-up when he sees one and his Irish Cop conscience can’t let that happen.

Now, Fitz, his family and his quirky band of Bleecker Street Irregulars are ensnared in the bizarre secret the woman died to protect.

Is this a 75-year-old cold case turned hot again, or an unspeakable crime-in-progress that could alter the course of the world?

Fitz doesn’t yet know how high the stakes are, that failure isn’t an option, and that the little old lady was so much more than she appeared. But he’s trying to keep everyone alive long enough to find out.

Characters you’ll care about, dark shocking secrets, and disturbing similarities to today’s political scene, will keep you turning pages to an ending you won’t see coming.

 
Praise for CATHY CASH SPELLMAN

“…Almost impossible to put down. The Author has the ability to produce one powerful scene after another and the action draws you helplessly on…” ―Publisher’s Weekly on So Many Partings

“…A cross between The Thorn Birds and Ragtime…” ―ALA Booklist on So Many Partings

“Flows along with an inexorable narrative current that propels the readers from one involving episode to the next.” ―Booklist on So Many Partings

“An energetic plot that never takes a breather.” ―Kirkus Reviews on Paint the Wind

“A western extravaganza.. a plot teeming with outsize characters.” ―Publishers Weekly on Paint the Wind

“I have never read a book or connected with an author who has touched me so deeply – as a mother, a grandmother, and another psychic kindred soul!” ―Elizabeth Taylor on Bless the Child

“This book has really touched my heartstrings as both a mother and grandmother. And Cathy Cash Spellman is one hell of a writer!” ―Maureen Stapleton on Bless the Child

“With a seductive, at times spellbinding style, author Spellman (An Excess of Love) incorporates ancient myths into an entrancing romantic thriller.. Spellman succeeds in capturing the reader’s close attention as an unrelenting sense of foreboding drives the narrative forward with power.” ―Publisher’s Weekly on Bless the Child  

Cathy Cash SpellmanABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Multiple New York Times and International Bestsellers, a Paramount Movie, book sales in 22 countries, Cathy Cash Spellman writes stories about love, friendship, adventure, and history. Known for her big sprawling sagas and memorable characters, Cathy writes the kind of stories women like to lose themselves in, and then remember long after the book is done.

Her books range through several genres: contemporary, historical, mystery, mystic and romance. Several take place in two time-frames, both current and historical.

Bless the Child was a Paramount movie in 2000, starring Kim Basinger and Jimmy Smits, and Paint The Wind has been optioned for film and TV.

Cathy is an Astrologer, Martial Artist (Black Belt Goju Ryu Karate) and has expertise in Chinese Medicine, several alternative healing modalities and many metaphysical disciplines.

She has written for Self, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Mademoiselle, Cosmo, Penthouse, Mode, Kung Fu and many other magazines about women, health, empowerment, sexuality, spiritual philosophy and Astrology. She blogs for The Huffington Post and The New York Times.

 
PHOTO CREDIT: DAKOTA CASH

WEBSITE: https://www.cathycashspellman.com/
TWITTER: @CCashSpellman
  
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/95409.Cathy_Cash_Spellman


GIVEAWAY:

Gift Card Giveaway Banner-2

 

One winner will win a $25.00 Amazon gift card. This is open internationally and you must be 13+ to enter. Please click HERE for the Rafflecopter.

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Book Blitz

Book Blast: Little Girls Sleeping by Jennifer Chase

LITTLE GIRLS SLEEPING by Jennifer Chase, Crime Thriller

Title: Little Girls Sleeping: An Absolutely Gripping Crime Thriller (Detective Katie Scott Book 1)

Author: Jennifer Chase

Publisher: Bookouture

Pages: 377

Genre: Thriller/Crime

 

 

He looked down at the little girl, sleeping peacefully, her
arms wrapped around a teddy bear. He knew he was the only one who could
save her. He could let her sleep forever.
An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott
it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp
twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t
rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea.

But as Katie starts to investigate, the case reveals itself to be
much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Hidden deep in the forest
she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a
brightly coloured teddy bear.

Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving
young girls—finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in
Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie
is the only one who can stop them.

And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home.

Katie’s still haunted by the friend she failed to protect, and she’ll
do anything to stop the killer striking again—but can she find the
little girl before it’s too late?

Compulsive and gripping crime fiction for fans of Lisa Regan,
Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh. Katie Scott’s first case will have you
on the edge of your seat and gasping with shock.

Readers love Jennifer Chase!

‘WHAT A FANTASTIC READ! OMG! I just finished reading this
book! It was an absolute thrilling, edge-of-your-seat read!… I couldn’t
believe who the serial killer was; I thought I knew but was surprised! I
could not put it down… BRAVO JENNIFER!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘GREAT!!! Thoroughly enjoyed!!! Jennifer Chase has become
one of my favorite crime thriller authors. She totally captures you from
beginning to end!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Fantastic read! The author kept me hooked from the first
page till the last. I truly thought I knew the serial killer… Boy was I
wrong. This is a fantastic read, it kept me on the edge of my seat for
the entire time. Well done!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Wow!… Such a gripping tale… I couldn’t stop reading and
found myself daydreaming about it while I was supposed to be working… A
gripping thriller with multiple twists and turns. A must read!’
Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Great book. I really liked it! Would like reading more of
her books! This book keeps you involved and unable to put it down!!
Great!!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Action-packed… An adrenaline-packed book from start to finish. ’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Wow… This book will take you for a ride. Have you soaked
right in till the end! Absolutely loved it and can’t wait to read
another from this author!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘This is one of the best books I have read in a while.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 

‘From beginning to end this is a non-stop thriller.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Real page turner. I read this book in two hours. I could
not put it down. I never guessed who the killer was until he was
revealed. Mind blowing.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Captivating from beginning to the last page. A “who did it”
crime mystery that keeps you guessing, and then changing your mind!’
Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘I loved this book and cannot wait for the next one. I could
not put this book down. A real page turner full of suspense!’ Goodreads
reviewer, 5 stars

 


  

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Girls-Sleeping-absolutely-Detective-ebook/dp/B07PM81LJZ/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=Jennifer+Chase+Little+Girls+Sleeping&link_code=qs&qid=1555184588&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

 

 

______________________

 

The oversized tires
obliterated the rural roadway before the large truck came to an abrupt stop.
The driver stalled the engine. Dust rose in a curious flowering cloud, swirling
in front of the vehicle’s hood and creeping toward the back of the camper
shell. When the surrounding vicinity finally cleared, a dense forest landscape
emerged.
The truck overlooked the sheer
cliff and rugged scenery that had become a permanent roadblock. The usual
silence of the deserted region was interrupted by the incessant and rhythmic
sound of a cooling engine.
Tick… Tick… Tick…
The vehicle remained parked.
No one moved inside the cab or got out. The truck stayed immobile as if an
unlikely statue in the vast wilderness—a distinct contrast between nature and
manufactured steel.
The truck sat at the ideal
vantage spot, which was both mesmerizing and terrifying for any spectator; but
still the occupant chose to wait. The intense high beams pierced ahead into the
picturesque hills, leaving a hazy view of the area above the massed trees.
When the driver’s door finally
opened, a man stepped out, his steel-toed leather work boots hitting the dirt.
They were well-worn, reflecting the many miles he had walked and the many hours
he had labored. Swiftly the door shut as the man, medium build and wearing only
a plain dark T-shirt, walked to the back of the truck and, with a loud bang,
released the lift gate. He moved with purpose and with a calm assertiveness, as
if he had performed this particular task many times before. His weathered
hands, calloused from years of working with heavy tools and machinery without
the protection of leather gloves, had a certain agility and speed.
He grasped two well-used
shovels, a large arching pick, and a bulky utility garbage bag. As he tossed
the bag onto the ground, the top burst open and several medium-sized teddy
bears spilled out. Their smiling faces accentuated the brightly colored ribbons
tied around their necks, contrasting with the muted shades of their
surroundings.
The man pushed the floppy bag
aside with the toe of his boot. He worked in quiet solitude, no humming, no
whistling, and no talk.
He flipped on the flashlight
fixed to his baseball cap. Straight ahead and slightly arced, the large beam
illuminated his path while he strode steadily toward a particular wooded area.
The surrounding thickets and
trees remained still without any wind to rustle the leaves. The only audible
sound was the man’s quick footsteps—never with any hesitation. He walked with
the gait of a young man, despite his stature of someone older.
He hesitated as if he had
forgotten something, standing motionless with his arms down at his sides and
his head hung forward as he shone the bright light at the ground and the tops
of his boots. He still held firmly to the tools. He mumbled a few inaudible
sentences of a memorized prayer, which sounded more like a warning than a
passage from the Bible, then he raised his head and continued to walk into the
dense forest.
Dropping his tools, he
carefully pushed a pine branch aside and secured it with a worn piece of rope
that had been left for the purpose. An opening was exposed—a tunnel barely
large enough for a man to enter.
He grabbed his digging tools
once again and proceeded. The flashlight on the front of his cap brightened the
passageway as it veered to the right. He followed, only ducking his head twice
before the path opened to an area with several boulders sticking out of the
cliff. Clusters of unusual rock shapes, some sharp, some rounded, made the
terrain appear more like a movie set or backdrop.
A narrow dirt path of crude,
sloping man-made steps dropped fifteen feet to a landing jutting out from the
rock formation. A small yellow flag was stuck into the earth, marking a spot. A
slight evening breeze picked up, causing the flag to flutter.
The man balanced the shovels
and pick against the hillside and pulled a hunting knife from a sheath attached
to his belt. Pressing the bone handle tight against his palm, he drew the blade
through the packed dirt to mark a rectangular pattern on the ground.
He stared intently at the
soil, then retrieved the pick, gripping it tight, and swung it hard against the
dry, heavily compacted earth. It dented the surface, spewing chips of dirt in
every direction. A few small rocks buried in the soil since the beginning of
time hampered his progress, but after several more arced swings, the ground
began to crumble, exposing the fresh earth.
The heavy pick was exchanged
for one of the shovels. Soon there was a small pile of California soil,
comprised of sand, silt, clay, and small rock. The repeated movements of dig,
scoop, and deposit continued for more than forty-five minutes at a brisk pace.
The hard work of manual labor didn’t deter him. It only made him more
determined to create a work of genius—his ultimate masterpiece.

At
last he stepped back and admired his handiwork, perspiring heavily through his
shirt from the effort. Exhilaration filled his body, keeping his muscles flexed
and his heart pumping hard. He leaned against the shovel, a smile forming on
his lips as he waited for his pulse to return to normal, and marveled at the
unmistakable outline of a freshly dug grave.

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime
fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a
bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology
& criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her
curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience
with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal
investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds
certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an
affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic
Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.Her latest book is the thriller, Little Girls Sleeping: An Absolutely Gripping Crime Thriller (Detective Katie Scott Book 1).

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Facebook

Twitter

Newsletter Sign-Up

 Author Blog: https://authorjenniferchase.com/

Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion   Dead Game   Dark Mind   Dead Burn   Dark Pursuit

Dead Cold  Scene of the Crime

Silent Partner   Body of the Crime   Screenwriting

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

 

 

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, MMD Book Club, R, RATING, Read in 2019

Review: The Gown by Jennifer Robson

The Gown
by Jennifer Robson

The Gown

 

Copyright: 2018

Pages: 371

Read: June 1 – 10, 2019

Rating: 4/5

Source: Library

 

 

 

 

Blurb: London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.


Review: This book is the June selection for the Modern Mrs. Darcy online book club. I had had it on my radar since it came out but I wasn’t entirely sure that I would like it. I was drawn by the cover, but historical fiction (while I do generally enjoy it) is not necessarily something I go out of my way to read. But I also have a fascination with the Royal Family so I kind of enjoyed that connection with this book (although that connection ends up being very, very small).

So what did I ultimately think? It was good. Somewhere between good and really good, probably. For the most part I enjoyed it, but I had some issues with one of the characters. How could Heather’s mother (Ann’s daughter) not have a few more questions about why she didn’t know more about her mother? She knew nothing about her father. She couldn’t even answer whether or not Hughes was her married or maiden name. And yet – she didn’t even seem to have any curiosity regarding the huge gaps of information she knew about her mother and her own familial history! I just cannot imagine not wanting to know more. As the reader gets the answers to those questions I can certainly understand why Ann chose to keep so much to herself, but it still irritated me.

There were some pretty heavy scenes throughout the book. Definite trigger warning right here. And honestly … I didn’t really feel like some of it was really all that necessary. It could have gone a completely different way. It almost felt thrown in there for the shock factor. It just didn’t fit with the rest of the book itself.

So now that I’ve gotten the negative out of the way, I can say that the rest of the book was really good. I enjoyed how the story unfolded, going back and forth between Ann and Miriam and Heather. I was rooting for both Ann and Miriam individually and I was sad to see that they were not able to continue their friendship long-term.

I really don’t know what else to say about this book. I enjoyed it. It’s an interesting look at the post-war years in England – something that I personally have not read much about. This book is definitely not my usual reading style, but I’m glad that I gave it a go and I would definitely recommend it!

 

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, R, RATING, Read in 2019

Review: A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

A Woman is No Man
by Etaf Rum

A Woman in No Man

 

Copyright: 2019

Pages: 337

Read: June 3 – 5, 2019

Rating: 5/5

Source: BOTM

 

Blurb: Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining this suitors her father has chosen for her. Her desires are irrelevant, however – over the course of a week, the naive and dreamy girl finds herself betrothed, then married, and soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law, Fareeda, and her strange new husband, Adam: a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children – four daughters instead of the sons Isra is expected to bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. At her grandmother’s insistence, eighteen-year-old Deya must meet with potential husbands and prepare herself for marriage, though her only desire is to go to college. Her grandmother is firm on the matter, however: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man. But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her family, the past, and her own future.

Set in an America at once foreign to many and staggeringly close at hand, A Woman is No Man is a story of culture and honor, secrets and betrayals, love and violence. It is an intimate glimpse into a controlling and closed cultural world, and a universal tale about family and the ways silence and shame can destroy those we have sworn to protect.


Review: This book is AMAZING. It gave me all.the.feels. I’m so glad that I picked it up sooner rather than later, I had no idea what I was missing! And I’m definitely glad I didn’t miss this one.

When it came up as a Book of the Month club selection back in February I was hesitant. But to be honest, I didn’t feel like choosing the thriller selection that month – it feels like that’s all I pick from there. I wanted to branch out a little bit and for whatever reason this book really spoke to me. So I picked it. And then I let it sit. And sit. And sit some more. Fast forward to June when it just so happened to fit a Goodreads challenge callout that I had going I was nervous to pick it up but it was my best option for this particular callout. All I can say is thank goodness I gave it a shot!

I basically read this book in two sittings. The first 75 pages I read one night while letting my daughter watch her nightly iPad show before bed (don’t mom judge me!). I found it to be interesting but nothing spectacular at that point. It was reading easily enough. But then the next day I really didn’t want to pick it back. up. So I didn’t. But the next day I sat down with it for what I figured would be a few minutes with it. I ended up sitting there with it until I finished it. No joke! I NEVER do that. But I just couldn’t let the story go by that point. I had to know how it ended.

And whew. It’s a whirlwind of a book. There are so many emotions elicited. Anger. Disbelief. Sadness. Shock. I could go on and on. But this is kind of one of those books that I really think you have to read to fully comprehend. I could tell you the storyline but you have to feel this book to really get it. I could tell you all about it – but I think it’s best to just tell you to read it yourself. It’s an amazing book. And one that will undoubtedly be one of the best books I read in 2019.

Read. This. Book. 

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, June 17, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

I haven’t posted a Mailbox Monday all month – so this post combines the last few weeks of acquisitions.

For review:

The Cutting RoomWhile Britain is obsessed with the newest hit true-crime television show, Fact, or Fable? detectives Ruth Lake and Greg Carver are tormented by a fiendish flesh-and-blood killer on the loose.

Lured to a “crime scene” by a mysterious digital invitation, Ruth Lake is horrified by what she finds: a bizarre and gruesome tableau surrounded by a crowd of gawkers. The deadly work is the latest “art installation” designed by a diabolical criminal dubbed the Ferryman. Not only is this criminal cold-blooded; he’s a narcissistic exhibitionist desperate for an audience. He’s also clever at promoting his deadly handiwork. Exploiting England’s current true-crime craze, he uses social media to titillate and terrorize the public.

Ruth is joined in the investigation by her partner Greg Carver, who is slowly regaining his strength after a run-in with another sadistic criminal. But Greg can’t seem to shake the bewildering effects of the head wound that nearly ended him. Are the strange auras blurring his vision an annoying side effect of his injury, or could they be something more . . . a tool to help him see a person’s true nature?

In this utterly engrossing and thrilling tale of suspense, a pair of seasoned detectives face off against a wickedly smart and inventive psychopath in a tense, bloody game that leads to a shocking end.


My Book of the Month selections:

Female cyclist riding without lights on a dark, foggy road.M.T. Edvardsson’s A Nearly Normal Family is a gripping legal thriller that forces the reader to consider: How far would you go to protect the ones you love? In this twisted narrative of love and murder, a horrific crime makes a seemingly normal family question everything they thought they knew about their life—and one another.

Eighteen-year-old Stella Sandell stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost fifteen years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him?

Stella’s father, a pastor, and mother, a criminal defense attorney, find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A Nearly Normal Familyasks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?

Ask Again, YesA profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the bond between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, two rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. What happens behind closed doors in both houses – the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne – sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

Ask Again, Yes is a deeply affective exploration of the lifelong friendship and love that blossoms between Francis and Lena’s daughter, Kate, and Brian and Anne’s son, Peter. Luminous, heartbreaking, and redemptive, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood – villains lose their menace and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story, while tested by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.


And from Paperbackswap:

 

 

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, G, Kinsey Millhone, RATING, Read in 2019, SERIES

Review: H is for Homicide by Sue Grafton

H is for Homicide
by Sue Grafton

H is for Homicide

 

Copyright: 1991

Pages: 256

Read: May 27 – 30, 2019

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: His name is Parnell Perkins, and until shortly after midnight, he’d been a claims adjuster for California Fidelity. Then someone came along and put paid to that line of work. And to any other. Parnell Perkins had been shot at close range and left for dead in the parking lot outside California Fidelity’s offices.

To the cops, it looked like a robbery gone sour. To Kinsey Millhone, it looked like the cops were walking away from the case. She didn’t like the idea that a colleague and sometime drinking companion had been murdered. Or the idea that his murderer was loose and on the prowl. It made her feel exposed. Vulnerable.

Bibianna Diaz was afraid for her life. If there was one thing she knew for sure, it was that you didn’t cross Raymond Maldonado and live to tell the tale. And Bibianna had well and truly crossed him, running out on his crazy wedding plans and going into hiding in Santa Teresa – light years away from the Los Angeles barrio that was home turf to Raymond and his gang. Now she needed money to buy time, to make sure she’d put enough space between them. And the quickest way she knew to get money was to work an insurance scam – just like the ones Raymond was running down in L.A. The trouble was, Bibianna picked California Fidelity as her mark. And it wasn’t long before her name surfaced in one of Parnell Perkins’s open files and Kinsey was on her case. But so, too, was her spurned suitor, Raymon Maldonado.

He had a rap sheet as long as his arm, a hair-trigger temper that was best left untested, and an inability to take no for an answer. He also had Tourette’s syndrome, which did nothing to smooth out the kinks in his erratic and often violent behavior. All in all, Raymond Maldonado was not someone to spend a lot of time hanging out with. Unfortunately for Kinsey, she didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. Not after the love-sick Raymond kidnapped Bibianna. Like it or not, Kinsey was stuck baby-sitting Bibianna along with Raymond and his macho crew. You might say she was a prisoner of love.

It may be Kinsey Millhone’s most complicated and risk-filled case.


Review: This is the 8th book in the Kinsey Millhone series. It had been a while since I had read “G” but I remember really enjoying it, so I was looking forward to falling back in with Kinsey.

This one read a lot differently than any of the previous books in the series. It definitely had a grittier feel to it. Kinsey was in a more precarious position than I feel like she ever has been in previous books. It was a good read, I enjoyed it.

It read quickly and easily. It kept me interested in the storyline. I felt like all the characters were well-developed – even the less important characters had good development. I really liked this book.

Recommended. And I’m looking forward to “I”.

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2019, S

Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea
by Rita Sepetys

Salt to the Sea

 

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 400

Read: May 18 – 25, 2019

Rating: 3/5

Source: Library E-Book

 

Blurb: In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.


Review: This was a total impulse read based on a Goodreads challenge callout requirement. It’s not something that I would have picked up under any other circumstances.

Overall I was not that impressed by this book. It was just “ok” for me. I felt like a good 100 pages could have been deleted out and the story still could have accomplished its goal. Plus I didn’t care how there were so many points of view. Some of them didn’t feel necessary to tell the story being told.

It just didn’t work for me to be honest. It wasn’t bad, and it read easily enough. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2019, T

Review: Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy

Monkeewrench
by P.J. Tracy

Monkeewrench

 

Copyright: 2003

Pages: 404

Read: May 13 – 24, 2019

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: People are dying for the new computer game by the software company Monkeewrench. Literally. With Serial Killer Detective in limited release, the real-life murders of a jogger and a young woman have already mimicked the first two scenarios in the game.

But Grace McBride and her eccentric Monkeewrench partners are caught in a vise. If they tell the Minneapolis police of the link between their game and the murders, they’ll shine a spotlight on the past they thought they had erased – and the horror they thought they’d left behind. If they don’t, eighteen more people will die…


Review: This is the first book in the Monkeewrench series. I have had this one on my shelf for quite some time so I was excited to finally get to it.

For the most part I enjoyed it. But it had a pretty slow start for me. I’m not sure exactly why, but I struggled to get to the halfway point. I think it was the bouncing back and forth between two distinct storylines that kind of held me up. They were completely different and I had no idea what on earth was going to tie this two plot lines together. But then it finally came together as to what the connection was. And from that point on it was a race to the finish to find out exactly what had happened and why.

I am on the fence about whether or not I want to continue on with this series or not. Part of my issue is that this one felt like a standalone, the storyline wrapped up nicely. I assume it’s because this book was not written with the intention of being the first in a series.

Either way this particular book was enjoyable enough. Once you get past that slow start the book itself is enjoyable and I liked it.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, F, Non-Fiction, Presidential Reading Challenge, RATING, Read in 2019

Review: John Adams: A Life by John Ferling

John Adams: A Life
by John Ferling

John Adams-A Life

Copyright: 1992

Pages: 454

Read: April 20 – May. 19, 2019

Rating: 4/5

Source: Abebooks.com

 

 

Blurb: John Ferling’s masterful John Adams: A Life is the most comprehensive single-volume biography of the man who succeeded George Washington in the presidency and shepherded the fragile new nation through the most dangerous of times. Drawing on extensive research, Ferling depicts a reluctant revolutionary, a leader who was deeply troubled by the warfare that he helped to make, and a fiercely independent statesman.


Review: This is my 4th book on John Adams. And I have to say, if you are looking for a really good single-volume biography of Mr. Adams – read this one! I wish I had read this book first, because it was extremely readable and provided just the right amount of information to give a pretty good broad overview.

I personally thought this book was easier to read than David McCullough’s work. But I think that is just my personal preference – I struggled that McCullough’s book kind of jumped around here and there at times. Ferling’s book was linear in the timeline and I just preferred the writing style of this one.

For the most part I found Ferling to be quite fair in his analysis of John Adams. I was glad that I finally read a book where the author finally called Adams out for basically being an absent husband for a good 3/4 of his married years. I wouldn’t say that he was over-critical of that, but it was refreshing to finally have it pointed it, not just swept under the rug like it was no big deal.

The book itself reads easily. I personally struggled to get through the diplomatic years. But that has nothing to do with this book. I struggled with those same years in the previous books I’ve read. (Just like I struggled through the war years in the George Washington books I read).

Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It’s well-researched and well-written. I think it can appeal to casual readers as well as students of history. This one is definitely going to be a stand-out for me as far as the John Adams books I’m reading go. And like I said – if you’re looking for an easy-to-read single-volume biography on John Adams, I would highly recommend this one.

2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, N, RATING, Read in 2019

Review: The Bat by Jo Nesbo

The Bat
by Jo Nesbo

The Bat

 

Copyright: 1997

Pages: 331

Read: May 11 – 18, 2019

Rating: 2/5

Source: Library e-book

 

Blurb: The electrifying first appearance of Jo Nesbo’s detective, Harry Hole.

Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case. Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country. As they circle closer and closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those investigating the case.


Review: I have been wanting to try this series for like EVER. I was thrilled to see that my library had an e-book copy that I could easily get and I had a Goodreads challenge callout that would be perfect for this book – so I knew it was time to finally get to it!

And then … I was really disappointed. Like to the point where had I not been reading this book for a challenge I would most have most likely DNF this one. 😦

But I stuck it out … and while it did get better there for a little bit, Harry went on a ridiculous drunken binge and I was just about done. Luckily he straightened back out but  to be honest, I was a little bit over it by then.

From what I’ve seen on Goodreads, the first book in this series is definitely not indicative of how good the books later in the series are. I do know that my grandmother gave me the 7th book in the series with a GLOWING review of it – maybe I’ll get to it someday. Or may be not. The verdict is still out, but this one did not work for me.