Tag Archives: Thriller

Review: Connected Underneath by Linda Legters

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About Connected Underneath

Madena, upstate New York. Like any other small town, everybody keeps an eye on everybody else’s business without recognizing the secrets that connect them. The wheelchair-bound Celeste conjures up lives from what she sees and thinks she sees while peering through binoculars from her kitchen fan vent. Fifteen-year old Persephone trades sex for tattoo sessions that get her high and help her forget her girlfriend doesn’t love her. Theo was the high-school bad boy who couldn’t have the respectable girl he adored from afar, but now, sitting behind the counter of the last video store in town, worries wretchedly about the restless daughter he never understood. Natalie, trying to grasp the last shreds of respectability, would do anything to forget the baby she gave up long ago, including betray her husband and son. Celeste, longing to connect, combines truth with fantasy, intervenes and interferes, finally understanding that things have gone terribly wrong and that she stands at the heart of disaster.

Connected Underneath is a lyrical, scalpel-keen dissection of the ties that bind and of those that dissolve.

My Review

An emotional read exploring the dangers of harboring secrets, adoption and single parenting of a teen, relationships.

Theo and Seph are on the verge of a major collision. Theo desperate to mend rents in the relationship with his daughter as he achingly tries to figure out how along with what’s eating her alive, clawing at maintaining the thin tether of connection. Parents will be able to relate to Theo’s dilemma and conundrum. His pain, confusion and love for Seph is evident, I thoroughly empathized with his struggle. Natalie and Celeste frustrated me to no end, selfish troublemakers period. I felt for Seph, confused, wounded, lost. Interesting perspectives from protagonists, truly reveling their inner thoughts and feelings, no doubt all the characters are seriously flawed with yearnings for more as they flounder.

A glimpse into small town life full of suspense, moments of tenderness, leaving the reader with lots to contemplate, plenty avenues open for deep discussion. Understatedly moving story.

About Linda LegtersLinda-Legters-AP

Linda Legters was born in the far western reaches of New York State. She earned her B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and her MFA from Vermont College. She lived in Boston and New York before settling in Connecticut to raise her three sons. She currently teaches at Norwalk Community College and at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio.

Her short stories are about people from across the social spectrum and have appeared in literary journals such as Glimmer Train and Alaska Quarterly Review. She is passionate about art and music in addition to literature, and is at work on her second novel.

Find out more about Linda at her website.

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Publisher: Lethe Press (April 4, 2016)

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Filed under 2016, Fiction, May, Review

Spotlight: 122 Rules (122 Rules Series) by Deek Rhew

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Rhew 2 Rhew Blog Tour ­ 122 Rules Book Blitz Extravaganza! How’s that for a catchy title? What a crazy adventure this has been FIVE years in the making, and it has finally arrive: 122 Rules has been born unto the world. The stories I could tell just so I could tell you this story…well, let’s just say it’s been an interesting, educational, and life ­altering adventure. 3811370

This has been a grand journey, filled with hardships, fun, learning, and growth. But of all the things that have happened on the writing road, meeting the love of my life is the most unlikely and easily the luckiest, most blessed things to have ever happened to me.

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Ahhhh, it’s cold out here!

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Do ya feel lucky punk? Well, do ya?

Erin Rhew and I started out as critique partners, became friends, and now she’s my bride. She’s my best friend and partner in all things. Even if I don’t sell a single copy of my writings, I’ll always be a smashing success because I met Erin.

Book Blitz

6439764_orig On this half of the Rhewination tour, I am visiting blogs all over the globe, from Australia to the farthest corners in Canada. Next week, on the second half of the tour, Erin will be gracing the pages of 50+ bloggers! In addition, we are giving away a $50 Amazon gift card! Prepare yourselves to win! Page 1 of 6
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122 Rules

1088662_orig Today, we are announcing my adult thriller novel, 122 Rules. 9371548_orig

Synopsis

In his black and white world, Sam Bradford­­former Marine turned government assassin­­ finally sees a speck of grey. He has always followed orders without question, but his latest assignment threatens to disrupt the precision of his universe and may either severe or redeem his last remaining sliver of humanity. Using his mastery of the 122 Rules of Psychology, Sam hunts down everyone The Agency sends him to find and eliminates them. Just as he has his rifle scope focused on his latest victim, Monica Sable, a SoCal girl entangled with the mob, his long­dormant conscience reappears for a final performance…one last ditch effort to save the sinking ship of Sam’s soul. He’s killed innocents before, but tarries on pulling the trigger this time. When Monica escapes his crosshairs and fumbles her way across the country in a pathetic attempt to elude capture, Sam gives chase. But he’s not the only one after her. Ruthless henchmen, hired by the mob, froth like bloodhounds and nip at Monica’s heels. Now Sam is faced with a choice: turn his back on the rules and jeopardize his way of life by helping her or join the pack and rip her to shreds. What are readers saying?

122 Rules is a fast­paced thrill­ride, filled with rich characters living in an expertly woven world of mystery and suspense. Deek Rhew’s debut novel will take readers by storm, and keep them coming back for sequels.

​~Michelle K. Pickett, Bestselling and award­winning author of PODs and Unspeakable.

The perfect, fast­paced novel for fans of kick­butt heroines, creepy killers, and getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. An absolute must­read!

~Meradeth Houston, author of Travelers, An Absence of Light, and the Sary Society Series

Visit the 122 Rules Web Page

 Visit Amazon and Goodreads!

While you’re on Deek’s site check out Birth of an American Gigolo.

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Synopsis

An old party girl shoehorned into domestic divaship, infuriated by her husband’s cheating and his holier­than­thou, tree­hugging, no­tits and no­hips girlfriend, inflicts her wrath by training a local boy in the fine art of seduction. She and her new boy toy turned love god start a gigolo business as a distraction for the neglected and mistreated housewives of Alabaster Cove.

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Take a selfie with your ebook or paper copy of Birth and post it on social media with the tag #BirthSelfie. We’ll post you on the Rhewination web site!

Deek Rhew

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Deek lives in a rainy pocket in the Pacific Northwest with the stunning YA author bride, Erin Rhew, and their writing assistant, a fat tabby named Trinity. They enjoy lingering in the mornings, and often late into the night, caught up Erin’s fantastic fantasy worlds of noble princes and knights and entwined in Deek’s dark underworld of the FBI and drug lords. He and Erin love to share books by reading aloud to one another. In addition, they enjoy spending time with friends, running, boxing, lifting weights, and exploring the little town­­with antique shops and bakeries­­they call home.

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Spotlight: Storm and Silence by Robert Thier

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About Storm and Silence

Freedom – that is what Lilly Linton wants most in life. Not marriage, not a brood of squalling brats, and certainly not love, thank you very much!

But freedom is a rare commodity in 19th-century London, where girls are expected to spend their lives sitting at home, fully occupied with looking pretty. Lilly is at her wits’ end – until a chance encounter with a dark, dangerous and powerful stranger changes her life forever…

Enter the world of Mr Rikkard Ambrose, where the only rule is: Knowledge is power is time is money!

Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About Robert Thier6123144

Robert Thier is a German Historian and writer of Historical Fiction. His particular mix of history, romance and adventure, always with a good deal of humor thrown in, has gained him a diverse readership ranging from teenagers to retired grandmothers. For the way he manages to make history come alive, as if he himself had lived as a medieval knight, his fans all over the world have given him the nickname “Sir Rob”.

For him, Robert says, becoming a writer has followed naturally from his interest in history. “In Germany,” he says, “we use the same word for story and history. And I’ve always loved the one as much as the other. Becoming a storyteller, a writer, is what I’ve always wanted.”

Besides writing and researching in dusty old archives, on the lookout for a mystery to put into his next story, Robert enjoys classical music and long walks in the country. The helmet you see on the picture he does not wear because he is a cycling enthusiast, but to protect his literary skull in which a bone has been missing from birth. Robert lives in the south of Germany in a small village between the three Emperor’s Mountains.

Connect with Robert: Website | Google+ | Facebook | Twitter

Published March 19th 2016 by Robert Thier

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Review: Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear

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About Journey to Munich

Working with the British Secret Service on an undercover mission, Maisie Dobbs is sent to Hitler’s Germany in this thrilling tale of danger and intrigue.

It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square—a place of many memories—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man’s wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie—who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter—to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.

The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie’s travel plans. Her nemesis—the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death—has learned of her journey, and is also desperate for her help.
Traveling into the heart of Nazi Germany, Maisie encounters unexpected dangers—and finds herself questioning whether it’s time to return to the work she loved. But the Secret Service may have other ideas. . . .

My Review

Maisie Dobbs returns and I am always happy to reconnect with this fabulous woman. Winspear strikes again with one of my favorite characters turned book friend.

Maisie’s suffered her share of profound loss as we journey with her on her road to healing. In fact Winspear sets the table for the reader to understand the fear all are experiencing as war looms.

A narrative filled with excitement and sensitivity while providing an intimate glimpse into the beloved Maisie as she struggles with her personal life while maintaining her professional equilibrium. The narrative primarily focuses on Maisie with her assignment secondary. Despite the plot being unconvincing, I found it enjoyable simply due to Maisie’s involment and unmistakable presence.

Maisie’s strenghth, calm, intelligence and courage not to mention fearlessness, combined with personal and professional poise mold her into a favored character. Winspear certainly allows her creativity to run wild as she demonstrates through Maisie.

About Jacqueline WinspearJacqueline-Winspear

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Timesbestsellers Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other national bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.

Find out more about Jacqueline at her website and find her on Facebook.

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Publisher: Harper (March 29, 2016)

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Filed under 2016, April, Fiction, Review

Review: The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

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About The Girl in the Red Coat

Costa Book Award for First Novel finalist
Dagger Award finalist

Newly single mom Beth has one constant, gnawing worry: that her dreamy eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, who has a tendency to wander off, will one day go
missing.

And then one day, it happens: On a Saturday morning thick with fog, Beth takes Carmel to a local outdoor festival, they get separated in the crowd, and Carmel is gone.

Shattered, Beth sets herself on the grim and lonely mission to find her daughter, keeping on relentlessly even as the authorities tell her that Carmel may be gone for good.

Carmel, meanwhile, is on a strange and harrowing journey of her own—to a totally
unexpected place that requires her to live by her wits, while trying desperately to
keep in her head, at all times, a vision of her mother …

Alternating between Beth’s story and Carmel’s, and written in gripping prose that
won’t let go, The Girl in the Red Coat—like Emma Donoghue’s Room and M. L.
Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans—is an utterly immersive story that’s
impossible to put down . . . and impossible to forget.

My Review

Engaging read from the start. I was flipping through pages to reach the end, to read more of Carmel as well as the final outcome.

Beth and Carmel are compelling characters, I was invested immediately. Beth’s anguish, guilt, her emotional rollercoaster tore at my heart. I cannot fathom grappling with a missing child, I would be shattered. I admired her strength and hope. Carmel, her courage, precociousness served as tools to her survival. I do wish her ‘specialness’ was handled differently. Both protagonists felt authentic as did their emotions.

The narrative left several unanswered questions, too many for my liking. Alternating from Beth to Carmel possessed depth although further ferreting would have been appreciated, at times it seemed as if vital pieces were missing. Not much of a thriller, the plot explores the emotional damage and turmoil spectrum mother and daughter endure. The plot ebbs and flows, the ending felt wildly rushed.

Well written magnetic read in need of a slight nudge with the potential for more, nonetheless worthy of your reading time.

About Kate HamerKate.Hamer_

KATE HAMER is a winner of the Rhys Davies Short Story Prize. Girl in the Red Coat is her first novel. It is shortlisted for the Costa Book Award for First Novel and a finalist for The Dagger Award. She lives in Cardiff, Wales with her husband and two children.

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Publisher: Melville House (February 16, 2016)

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Filed under 2016, Fiction, March, Review

Review: The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore

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About The Big Rewind

Listening to someone else’s mix tapes is a huge breach of trust. But KitKat was dead . . . and curiosity got the better of me.

When a mix tape destined for her friend KitKat accidentally arrives in Jett Bennett’s mailbox, Jett doesn’t think twice about it—even in the age of iTunes and Spotify, the hipster residents of the Barter Street district of Brooklyn are in a constant competition to see who can be the most retro.

But when Jett finds KitKat dead on her own kitchen floor, she suspects the tape might be more than just a quirky collection of lovelorn ballads. And when KitKat’s boyfriend, Bronco, is arrested for her murder, Jett and her best friend, Sid, set out on an epic urban quest through strip joints and record stores, vegan bakeries and basement nightclubs, to discover who the real killer is. However, the further Jett digs into KitKat’s past, the more she discovers about her own left-behind love life—and the mysterious man whose song she still clings to. . . .

My Review

After reading this book it’s fair to say I’m not part of its intended audience, at least this was the aftertaste I felt upon completion. I’m a mature hipster, a fan of 80’s music, mildly nostalgic yet I felt misplaced with the plot.

Cudmore’s writing is springy, she’s creative, great premise. Incredibly fast read but I felt it was a tad misleading from the summary.

I was expecting a mystery, and a mystery was there although it felt like a forgotten second fiddle to a narrative centered more around music, romance and a huge chunk of nostalgia, in fact it was all over the place, too scattered for my liking.

I enjoyed the music references but soon they became monotonous and annoying, overdone. Jett and her ‘boyfriend box’ was a bit much along with her ‘love’ reunions with past boyfriends, far-fetched and saccharine. The fact she continually dwelled on her ex was trying, she just couldn’t move on. Wasn’t a fan of Sid’s quasi indecisiveness towards Jett until his mistake was realized and outed, it screamed predictablity.

The narrative couldn’t make up its mind what it wanted to grow up to be. What parts were thrown in regarding KitKat’s murder were darn good, if only the book stuck with this angle as I was led to believe, as is the entire KitKat fiasco felt like afterthought or filler, it certainly digressed to other avenues.

If you’re looking for a hipster murder mystery you might want to change your taste to align more with women’s fiction, certainly the sub-genre this plot conveys.

I would give Cudmore another shot with the hopes of better execution where I didn’t feel like non-millennial diaspora.

About Libby CudmoreLibby-Cudmore-AP

Libby Cudmore worked at video stores, bookstores, and temp agencies before settling down in upstate New York to write. Her short stories have appeared in PANK, The Stoneslide Corrective, The Big Click, and Big Lucks. The Big Rewind is her first novel.

Follow Libby on her blog and connect with her on Twitter.

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The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore, published by William Morrow Paperbacks (February 2, 2016) is available at AmazonIndieBound and Barnes & Noble.

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Filed under 2016, February, Fiction, Review

Review & Interview: No Ordinary Life By Suzanne Redfearn

About No Ordinary Life

A story about a young mother’s fight to protect her children from the dangerous world of Hollywood.

Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and her three children . . . or that she’d have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don’t come without a price. And in a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it’s impossible to know whom to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family.

Emotionally riveting and insightful, No Ordinary Life is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children’s lives.

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

My Review

Redfearn did a marvelous job exploring every scenario Faye faced with her daughter’s catapult in to stardom. Every trial faced seemed plausible and added multilayers to the narrative.

Characterization ruled this story. Faye, Molly, Chris along with the entire ensemble drove the narrative. A motley of personalities, motives, positions created an array of entertainment supporting the subject matter.

I was conflicted over Faye. I felt for her situation but her passiveness, stubbornness, helplessness and weakness was very unappealing. I understand why Redfearn took this direction with Faye, nevertheless I wasn’t a full on fan. Her choices left me shaking my head on more than once occasion, her stupidity floored me, needless to say Faye left me exasperated and frustrated. I prefer my female protagonists possessing strength, smarts and independence, none demonstrated by Faye.

I was very uncomfortable with Redfearn’s handling of Emily’s traumatic event. For something as supercharged as that incident it should have been addressed and resolved, as is it serves as a terrible message. A pet peeve of mine is introducing a heavy and fragile incident and leaving it messy and glossed over, wrong in so many ways.

Great glimpse into life of a child star and the machinations of Hollywood et al along with its impact on family, siblings and life in general. I enjoyed the book but the incident and improper handling of Emily’s tragic event marred my reading enjoyment.

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Raven Haired Girl extends a warm welcome to Suzanne Redfearn. Thank you for joining Raven Haired Girl, Suzanne

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part is always starting, sitting in the chair and putting words on the page when I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I knew I wanted to write about a child star and the fascinating world of Hollywood, but I didn’t want to tell a train wreck story like the ones written about constantly in the tabloids, and I didn’t want to write a mommy dearest story. Faye introduced herself to me first, then I discovered Molly, and through them, I figured out I wanted to tell a story about a family, not an individual, to focus on what celebrity does – not just to the person who is famous but also to those around them.

How do you want readers to view Faye?

I hope they like her and sympathize with her. She is a young single mom doing the best she can and who finds herself in a dizzying world that would be difficult for anyone to navigate. She is presented with impossible choices, having to decide what is best for the family as a whole as well as weighing the welfare of each of her children against each other. She is also forced to choose between her compassion for others as opposed to her need to buffer her children from the insanity of the world in which they have found themselves. She evolves throughout the story, is forced to become stronger and more resilient. Hopefully the readers understand her transformation and identify with her journey.

Emily’s traumatic event, why did you handle it the way you did considering its seriousness?

It was important to drive the point home of how dangerous the world of celebrity can be. Access to excess doesn’t come without its hazards. Emily’s trauma is not made up. Unfortunately, many young stars and those around them suffer at the hands of their handlers, their fans, or as a result of not having anyone looking out for them and protecting them. One of the most disturbing parts of my research was discovering how many former child stars were sexually abused as kids.

What secret talent do you have?

It’s not much, but I can sing all the words to the theme song of Gilligan’s Island.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

Are We There Yet?

What can we expect from you in the future?

I am currently working on a story about two moms on the run together from the police and their husbands. It’s a road trip story, which I have always wanted to write, and so far I am having a lot of fun with it.

Thank you, Raven Haired Girl, for the great questions!

About Suzanne RedfearnSuzanne Redfearn Headshot

Suzanne Redfearn is the author of Hush Little Baby, which was chosen as a Target Recommends selection and Target’s Emerging Authors program. She graduated summa cum laude from California Polytechnic University and, prior to becoming an author, was an architect. She is an avid surfer, golfer, skier, and Angels fan. She lives with her husband and children in Southern California. No Ordinary Life is her second novel.

 

Connect with Suzanne:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Goodreads

 

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing – February 2, 2016

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Filed under 2016, Fiction, Interview, January, Review

Review & Giveaway: The Illusion of Innocence by Jacqueline Jacques

The Illusion of Innocence cover

About The Illusion of Innocence

Three people on a crowded train, brought there by the same crime.

Archie Price, painter and police artist, blessed with a photographic memory, is travelling to Chelmsford to testify in a murder trial.

The accused, Freddie Porter, is under police escort in the guard’s van.

Freddie’s sister, Polly, is desperately trying to escape her brother’s gang before they realise what she’s done, unaware he’s on the same train.

When the locomotive is derailed, Archie and Polly are injured, and put up by the same local family while they recover.

Where is Freddie?

Polly is so terrified she is driven to desperate measures and Archie finds himself being drawn into her nightmare…

My Review

I was caught off guard by the fiery narrative. The plot explores pornography – including children as well as a brutal rape, murder too. The plot burns until the very end. Jacques manages to reveal much in few pages. I felt the narrative was rushed in some instances and in others not explored or developed enough, characters also, however more elaboration might diminish its notable impact, bottom line, I enjoyed as is, my reservations trivial in the end. Perfect amount of mystery, thrills and suspense mingled with a light romance undertone. Fantastic ending.

Archie and Polly are adorable. Archie’s intelligence, sensitivity and flashbacks of his past endear him to readers. Polly’s strength and determination mixed with compassion are admirable, her past and present full of tribulation. She’s a survivor savoring her independence and new lease on life, she’s discovered her life’s purpose.

Quick read keeping you on your toes as you hope the loathsome receive their punishment as the hero and heroine shine bright. I’m interested in continuing with the series as well as reading more from Jacqueline Jacques. Mystery, thriller, suspense lovers seeking a plot with intensity and bite will want to add this to their TBR.

Jacqueline Jacques APAbout Jacqueline Jacques

Jacqueline Jacques was born in war-time Anglesey, North Wales, but has lived most of her life within spitting distance of London; hence the East End references in each of her seven novels. She taught in mainstream primary and special needs schools, until the writing bug bit her and has never regretted her late career move. She is now the author of six books, this is her seventh, and the second of the Archie Price Victorian thrillers.

Find out more about Jacqueline at her website, and follow her on Twitter.

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Illusion of Innocence by Jacqueline Jacques. US residents only. Ends 12/10/15.
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• Paperback: 304 pages
• Publisher: Honno Ltd (November 5, 2015)

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Filed under 2015, December, Fiction, Review

Review & Giveaway: A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd

A-Pattern-of-Lies-429x648-199x300Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (August 18, 2015)

Bess Crawford must keep a deadly pattern of lies from destroying an innocent family.

I’m a huge Charles Todd fan. I adore the writing, the setting, the smart mystery and of course Bess Crawford. This was a satisfactory installment but I need Bess to grow in her character. I understand wartime has alter lives, however, Bess is becoming predictable and boring, we know what to expect and, most importantly, what not to expect from her romantically and personally. Yes, we know of her family, her dedication to her job, a woman of principles but we really don’t know her singularly from all that’s been generically fed to the reader. With the war closing I hope Todd reveals more of Bess, her enigma status is starting to become rote. Simon, Lassiter or an onslaught of men – just bring someone into the mix so we can have some life breathed into this once captivating series and character now growing unbearably stale.

Can’t say I was thrilled with the ending, abrupt closing considering the apex was adrenaline fueled, loose ends left dangling. Prefer a tidier wrap-up.

Regardless of the future of Bess Crawford, Charles Todd certainly delivers with stellar writing along with a sophisticated mystery. Looking forward to more evolvement (fingers crossed) in the series.

About Charles ToddCharles-Todd-224x300

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina.

Visit their website at Charlestodd.com and like CharlesToddNovels on Facebook.

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a copy of A Pattern of Lies, please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 9/1/15
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Filed under 2015, August, Fiction, Review

Review & Giveaway: The Hypnotist by Gordon Snider

The Hypnotist

• Paperback: 324 pages
• Publisher: Helm Publishing (August 3, 2009)

In 1906, San Francisco has reached the peak of its golden age. Fortunes have created a society that attracts European opera singers and cordon bleu chefs. It is a world defined by elegant balls, oysters, and champagne. But there are darker sides to the city as well. The Mission district south of Market Street houses tenements where shanties huddle together and rats plague the streets. And nearby sits Chinatown, an endless warren of dark alleys that offers gambling, prostitution, and opium, all controlled by vicious gangs, called tongs.

A hypnotist, a man who hypnotizes young women from the tenements and delivers them to the tongs in Chinatown to work in their brothels.

Snider deserves high praise for creating such a wonderful character Marta Baldwin. Her intelligence, strength, independence and altruism leaves the most misogynistic of men softened. A feminist, a woman clearly out of place in the era, undeterred she makes her way, knowing when to pull in her superiority, the woman is whip smart fully aware of her ability to intimidate males. Her fearlessness and determination is to be admired. Brave, courageous Marta is a true heroine.

The abundance of secondary characters also adds interest, increasing the weight of the plot. You are provided enough background with varying personalities allowing full character development. Once again Snider does a wonderful jon marrying a loaded cast with an elaborate narrative.

I’m not a fan of a narrative that’s busy. Multiple story lines are usually distracting. Snider manages to craft multiple plots effortlessly with plenty of interest intersecting without annoyance. Despite the title, the narrative does not fully focus on the hypnotist, rather the focus is central to Marta, certainly staving off monotony.

The setting is vibrant, you feel Chinatown, the fog of San Francisco, the presence of tongs and the sweet sickening smell of opium. The San Fransisco Earthquake of 1906 is described impeccably, you can almost feel the earth shake along with the harrowing plight of survivors.

Entertaining story with the perfect amounts of romance, suspense, mystery and of course paranormal. A pleasant surprise and a thriller of a reading adventure.

Gordon SniderAbout Gordon Snider

Gordon Snider has written three non-fiction books, including his latest, I’m Travelling as Fast as I Can, which takes a humorous journey to far-away-places around the world. When he moved to California’s Central Coast in 1999, he began writing fiction. The Origamist is his fifth novel and a sequel to his third, The Hypnotist, a very popular historical thriller that is set in San Francisco in 1906. The other novels include: Sigourney’s Quest, an adventure story about a woman’s harrowing journey across Tibet; The Separatist, a mystery/suspense novel set in modern San Francisco; and Venice Lost, an adventure/fantasy about a man who becomes lost in time in Venice, Italy.

Gordon has lived in California nearly his entire life. Home has ranged from Los Angeles to San Francisco, with stops in Santa Barbara and Pismo Beach. Currently, he and his wife, Fe, enjoy walking the beaches and observing the migrating whales from their home in Pismo Beach. It is, he says, the perfect setting for creative writing.

Find out more about Gordon and his books on his website.

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Hypnotist, please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 8/6/15
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