When is a Killer a Killer?

This is an FBI Criminal Behavioural Analysis story with a (feisty) female investigator. She has a colleague who is crooked and lazy and basically misogynistic and woman hating.
In this story we hear about a prostitute who has a clever idea – she films her clients and stores the videos on the Dark Internet, thus making them extremely difficult to find by anyone other than herself, but useful material against the time she might need them for blackmail or additional income...
I wrote and explored the Dark Internet in a previous post – about Tuesday Falling - but just a quick recap here: the Dark Web is a series of web sites that are publically visibly but that hide the IP addresses of the servers behind them. They are thus effectively anonymous and difficult to police.
The Dark Web can be useful for legitimate uses such as when you live in a country that has banned external contact, you can do this through the Dark Web, but mainly it is used for illegal activities.
There is also the Deep Web: this includes the Dark Web but also all user databases, webmail pages, registration required web forums, and the pages behind paywalls. This means that every page visible on the internet has maybe millions of Deep Web pages behind it which can be accessed.
The Dark Internet is further networks, databases or websites that cannot be reached over the (normal and visible) internet and are proprietary, niche, or very private.
So, for the computer (very literate) there are many places where you can hide the items you don’t want anyone else to know about...
The agent - uses a Keurig coffee machine. Now this is a make I was not familiar with, and being a coffee fanatic, and as it was rated highly in this book, I thought I should find out more about this. It seems that it is just another form of Nespresso – a pod machine. I use a Nespresso at home and can recommend it for those not up to the ‘real’ machine which my husband uses. He tamps and presses and..produces coffee with the best crema ever.
 Note to all users of coffee machines. Use Volvic water. I know I sound like I am an advert here, but the more neutral your water is, the better coffee you will get. It really does make a difference to the taste whichever machine you use. The perfect cup of coffee should be made with water high in magnesium and low in bicarbonate and low in sodium. It’s all in the chemistry.. and you can read pages and pages about the chemical compositions that make the difference to get the most precise ‘best’ taste. However, I confess, what I like in coffee taste, may not be what you like. After all, people still drink Starbuck’s standard coffee!
 Of course in this novel the characters also mention that they don’t like the homogeneity of big chains, and are part of the movement  ‘Coffee shops against Starbucks’ [insert photo of eclectic] and look forward to coffee shops with  built in shelves where books are ‘set wild’ and there is an eclectic layout and furnishings. And I am with them on this and thus have collected a few photos of my favourite coffee shops to demonstrate, but will only show a very few of these here.20151129_141557 20151129_141605 20150604_13074220151007_164239 20151007_164630
I also was very interested in that the story considers, in an oblique, way, the issues after rape – especially that of child abuse rape. Here we see that the characters change – their emotions are affected, their behaviour becomes different, some turn violent and act out their rage, others remain child-like in their behavior and yet others decide to exploit others sometimes through prostitution. Watching the TV programme ‘Ray Donovan’ you see all this in the characters of the 3 brothers – two of whom were raped by a priest and one managed to get away.
 The final item that I would like to explore from the novel is about knowledge management. Now, I would land on this wouldn’t I? As this was my career for many years in academia – lecturing on this very topic. But it also links into psychology and brain activity.
In the book it says that a fact without context is just a data point, with context it takes on a different meaning – everyone walks through the world influenced by confirmation bias. 

Now this is true but the reason behind needs some explanation. The confirmation bias is a result of that person’s life history. It includes their physical and psychological make-up, their upbringing, their education, their experiences. 

In fact everything that has up to that point in time, made that person the person they are, with the understanding of the world that they have. In the end that which turns them into a person who believes in the glass half-full or half-empty. Or somewhere in between – everything they see and do is confirmed and explained by what they have seen and done before including the people they have met and the conversations they have had, or not had.
That is not to say that you cannot change. With help you can change your view from half-empty to half-full, but it is difficult. As any psychologist!
Added to which there is the witness syndrome. People in high stress situations tend to blend what they feared might happen/could happen with what actually saw. And they would pass a polygraph as they truly believed what they saw. So in any road accident, ask people what colour and size was the car, and they will tell you different things – and truly believe what they say.
Do take a look at the Huffington Post, if you don’t believe me. Search for eyewitness errors and you will see many. Never ever convict someone on a witness’s testimony. They may truly believe what they say, but it may not be true at all. 

See the TV programme ‘The Making of a Murderer’ about Steven Avery in Manitowoc County, USA. Made over 10 years, this is a real-life story of someone who was originally convicted on a witness line-up which was later proved to false – it had been manipulated by the law enforcement officers. 

The later murder I am not going to comment on as there is still a great deal of press coverage about what was left out or left in the TV series and the evidence that was or was not presented by the film-makers.
So, did I like the book? Well yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing at any length about any of the content.
Was it well written? Yes.
wellwrittenPAGETURNERMURDERMYSTERY

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Is it dark out there?

Dark Room: A Society X
Heidi McLaughlin & L.P. Dover
Publication date: January 26th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rules of Society X are simple . . . break them and you’re out.
Rule #1 – No names
It doesn’t matter if you want to know, it’s forbidden.
Rule #2 – No exchanging numbers
You can never call.
Rule #3 – Everything is to remain strictly anonymous
It doesn’t matter if you want to tell, it’s forbidden.
The Dark Room is the only place you can live out your fantasies and no one will ever know it’s you.
For Parker, what started out as a business transaction has turned into an addiction.
For Mia, it’s been a chance to discover who she truly is.
What happens in the dark will have you begging for more . . .
Goodreads / Amazon / iBooks

Here are all the buy links for Dark Room:

Amazon —> http://amzn.to/1NsBk8l
B&N —> http://bit.ly/1NrNhes
iBooks —> http://apple.co/1K17ehc
Kobo —> http://bit.ly/1UhggY6

Amazon/UK —> http://amzn.to/1OFZTCC
Amazon/CA —> http://amzn.to/1NsBpsu
Amazon/AU —> http://bit.ly/1K42GXo

 
Dark Room Soundtrack:
DR Promo 6 1-19-2016 DR Promo 3 - 1-13-16

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can't forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.
Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over seventeen novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.

L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

You can find L.P. Dover here:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Heidi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.
Originally from Portland, Oregon and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup, and their newest addition of a Highland Westie/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL.
During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she's writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting courtside during either daughter's basketball games.

Find Heidi here:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter

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Run as though your life depended on it – it does!

End of the World Running Club
A dystopian novel which claims to be the only thriller you'll ever need to read this year..
But can you like a book - a story - when you don't like the main character? The story-teller? And I'm not talking here about an anti-hero, but a story-teller who says he is exactly the type of person you would avoid at parties. A character who is dislikeable - not loathsome - but one who has no redeeming features neither physically nor mentally except that he claims to love his family. A person without personality.
So as the story begins and Edgar starts to tell his story, you consider whether his story might be worthwhile reading. Do you want to read about his redemption through running? Or not?
Then as the story continues, you realise that this is not a thriller at all but a Stephen King-alike horror story. One that gave me nightmares when he tells you about what happens at the farm and to the visitors.
But to find his family he has to run to Cornwall as the ships will be leaving soon and so the story continues.
I am afraid that after the farm incident I cheated and went to the end chapter. I couldn't take any more not being a person who reads horror stories or watches horror movies.
So for all Stephen King fans out there - read this book - I guarantee the nightmares!
This book was given to me by NetGalley for an honest review.

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Julie Wetzel Writes and her Husband Worries

I’m an author not a murderer
“Julie?” my husband calls from the other room.
Walking into the living room, my heart skips as I see him sitting at my computer. “Yes?” I ask.
He waves his hand at the screen. “Should I be worried?”
Leaning forwards, I place my hand on the back of his chair so I can see what he is looking at. The man has foolishly opened my browser history and found my research on poisons. “No,” I say with a smile, “that’s just research for my book. What would you like for dinner tonight?”
Giving me a dubious glance, he looks at the website detailed the best way to make ricin and shakes his head. “I think we should eat out for a while.”
“Good, my caster bean plants haven’t finished growing yet,” I tease as I leave to get change for dinner.
Every time I start into a new book, my husband gets worried that I’m going to kill him in horrible and gruesome ways. But I’m not really researching the best poisons to slip in his meal, I’m finding out the best way to kill off my characters.
The backbone of a good story is how believable that story is. You can have great characters and a good plot, but if their actions aren’t possible in the real world, then the story suffers for it. So if an author comes up on a subject they haven’t had personal experience with, like making chloroform, they need to find a source of information to help. It’s amazing the things you can find on the internet. I’ve spent hours researching how the world works to make sure the details of the book match real world scenarios. But of course the cost of easy research is a browser history that would scare the pants off the local authorities.
For Kindling Flames Burning Nights, I spent many nights poring over endless documents on poisons looking for something that would kill quickly and how it worked. An on page death scene wouldn’t be complete without proper a proper description of how the person died. And night—while my son is in bed and not there to ask questions—is the best time to do this kind of research.
What’s even worse are the places that I’ve bookmarked because they’ve provided me with amazing information. Not only for my vampire series, but for other projects I’m working on. There is a wealth of information out there, but you really do have to go to some fairly shady places to find some of the darker subjects.
So to anyone that happens to come across my computer, please don’t turn it into the FBI. I’m really not a porn watching Satanist that’s looking for the perfect way to poison and dismember someone before feeding them to the crocodiles. I’m author doing vital research for my latest book.
What are 10 fun facts about you?
  1. I am the middlest child of four. I have an older sister who photographs marathons, a younger sister who locks people in a room and laughs at them while they try to escape, and a baby brother also in the Navy. My brother is currently serving aboard the USS George HW Bush (CVN 77).
  2. I am terrified of living spiders, but I have spiders on everything. Earrings, necklaces, shirts, table cloths, and many other things. I figure if it terrifies me that much, I need to immerse myself in it. Same thing with zombies.
  3. I have been accused of being a ‘well of useless knowledge’.  If you give me a subject that isn’t too specific, I can probably come up with some fact about it. I pick up little things everywhere and stuff them away for later use. Make me a real contender in Trivial Pursuit.
  4. The author picture in my books was taken during a Tiger Cruise aboard the USS George H W Bush with my sister. When the ship came back from her maiden deployment, they arranged to host members of the sailors’ families for a few days as they sailed up the east coast. They picked us up in Mayport, FL and took us up to Norfolk, VA. That picture was taken as we crawled through the floor hatch after going down to look at the bilge.
  5. Although I live in Mississippi now, I’m originally from Ohio. I love to travel and see new places. So far I have seen 32 states(Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, New Orleans, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Texas, and California.)  One of these days I will hit all fifty states. I’ve also visited Canada, England, Ireland, and Scotland. Someday I will invade the rest of the world too!
  6. I love Halloween! Ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and anything creepy. Vampires are my favorite, but any monsters are welcome. Just please, keep me off the menu. Thanks
  7. I’ve only been writing for a few years now. This whole thing started in 2011 when my sister wanted us to send her the stories. She was deployed at sea and couldn’t get online to read her fanfictions. So, instead of her strange mashups, I decided to write her stories. Things got out of hand from there.
  8. I’ve broken nine bones. My aunt punched me in the face during a self-defense class and deviated my septum. I took a fall wrong in Jujitsu and broke my thumb. A friend tightened my corset wrong and broke a rib (yes you can break bones wearing clothing wrong). I walked into a doorway and broke my nose again (that does count as twice). I was rough housing with a friend and took a knee to the chest breaking a rib on the other side. I fell off a cooler at work and broke my fibula (no I was not drunk or drinking, I stood up on it to hang a sign and it rolled).  Finally I rolled my car in the waterworks curve of I-55 in Jackson, breaking my manubrium and crushing the t3 and t4 vertebrae. And of those nine bone, not one plaster cast for my friends to sign.
  9. I can’t get to sleep if my feet are uncovered. I have to have them tucked in no matter how hot it is. I know it’s weird, but I’m still afraid that something under my bed is going to crawl out and chew on my toes while I’m sleeping (Hey, it could happen, you haven’t seen what’s under my bed!).
  10. I can not sleep in a room with a closet door open. My imagination runs away from me and I can see eyes watching me from that crack. It doesn’t help that Krys has several xenomorph statues tucked away in the top of the closet. Those things creep the hell out of me! And no, he is not allowed to put up the life size poster on the back of the bedroom door!
Author links:
http://www.juliewetzel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/JulieWetzelAuthor?ref_type=bookmark
https://twitter.com/JulieKWetzel
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8338174.Julie_Wetzel

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From the Mafia with Love

Mafia Takeover
Amy Rachiele, E.J. Fechenda, Kat Shehata, Lisa Cardiff
Genres: Adult, Suspense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russian Tattoos by Kat Shehata
Falling in love isn’t a crime—but falling in love with a Russian mafia boss could be deadly.
Competitive tennis player Carter Cook wants a taste of freedom. Her overprotective father monitors every aspect of her life, so when he becomes employed by Vladimir Ivanov—a sexy Russian with an array of tattoos and an accent that weakens her knees—a bit of danger is within Carter’s grasp. Behind her father’s back, she enjoys spending time with Vladimir at his lavish estate.

 But is he really the upstanding businessman she believes him to be? [Read more…]
The Bargain by Lisa Cardiff
Three weeks, twenty-one days, or five hundred and four hours…
That’s all it took to derail my life and twist it into something unrecognizable. One moment I had Evan, the man I thought I’d marry. The next moment shattered the illusion.
Now I have no one.
Except him. [Read more…]
The Beautiful People by E.J. Fechenda
Natalie Ross has always gone to her brother for help. Grant’s been her rock throughout their turbulent childhood. Knowing she’s struggling financially, he gets her a job at Crimson, one of the hottest nightclubs in Philadelphia where he works as head of security. 

Natalie promises Grant she won’t get sucked into the party scene or involved with any of her co-workers because she’s focused on finishing her last semester of college. Her promise doesn’t last 24-hours once she meets Dominic. [Read more…]
Mobster’s Girl by Amy Rachiele
Gripping my chest is the only way to hold myself together or what’s left of me will fall out. The past week has enlightened me on one thing-I don’t care.
 Megan, Mobster’s Girl 
I didn’t even hesitate. I took two strides and blasted him in the face with my fist. He was ready for it this time-unlike in church. He tried to hit me back but I ducked and smashed him again.
 Antonio, Mobster’s Girl [Read more…]
Buy on Amazon:
Russian Tattoos
The Bargain
The Beautiful People
Mobster’s Girl
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Teaser for TBP
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