book review/Books/fiction/Romance/crime fiction
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A Foggy Day?

The Fog Book Cover The Fog
A Berry Springs Novel #3
Amanda McKinney
Adult, Mystery, Romance
December 4th 2018
kindle

Synopsis:

Former Marine turned ballistics expert, Wesley Cross is known around town for two things, his rugged good-looks and cocky attitude—

until he finds his ex-girlfriend lying in a puddle of blood in his basement. The scene screams setup, but the discovery of a rare gem and a puzzling autopsy suggests the murder goes much deeper than that. Wesley will do whatever it takes to clear his name, including calling in a notoriously headstrong—and sexy—scientist.

While most little girls were playing dress up, Gwyneth Reece was digging in the dirt collecting bugs. Now one of the top forensic entomologists in the country, Gwen reluctantly accepts a job from a pushy cowboy and travels to the small, Southern town of Berry Springs. Heavy storms are brewing, and when she’s forced to check into the creepiest hotel she’s ever seen, she instantly regrets her decision to help out the former Marine.

Following up on a tip, Wesley heads to the Half Moon Hotel but quickly realizes his visit was not by chance. The killer lured him there, and suddenly everyone from the uptight bellman to the wealthy couple just passing through town become suspect. Bodies begin to disappear, and Wesley knows the killer will do anything to get to him…. including hurting the woman who’s kept his head spinning since he first laid eyes on her.


 

I really wanted this book to be longer.
It was very enjoyable but slight specially on the psychological suspense which I felt could have been ramped up.
I liked Gwen and her career and reading about the work of a forensic entomologist and feel that she deserves her own series – all about her cases. But I was not that sympathetic to Wes and the gun culture that pervaded this novel. I realise that it is probably truthful to the setting but….
Although I did feel that Wes could have been explored more as a character – his angst over his past career, his nightmares etc.
Overall, I felt that the storyline skimmed lightly over areas that I would like to have heard more about to give the story more depth.
Bobbi is worth her own story too.
I haven’t read much of this author so I don’t know if this is typical of her work or if the points above have already been dealt with in previous books. It does seem from the series though, that Berry Springs is a bad place to live – nasty things keep happening…
But for me, the lack of them in this book made the story a 3.75 * (4) rather than the potential 4.5.
Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:
Award-winning author of sexy murder mysteries, Amanda McKinney wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Her books include the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES and the BLACK ROSE MYSTERY SERIES, with many more to come. Set in small, Southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning whodunits peppered with steamy romance. Amanda is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and lives in Arkansas with her handsome husband, two beautiful boys, and three obnoxious dogs. Visit her website atwww.amandamckinneyauthor.com
Author links:

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Death and Destruction?

Death & Damages: A Mystery and Thriller Collection  Book Cover Death & Damages: A Mystery and Thriller Collection 
multi
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller, anthology
Publication date: November 27th 2018
kindle

Fans of Lee Child, James Patterson, Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and John Grisham will devour these puzzling mysteries and gripping thrillers.

Book & Author Details:
Synopsis:

Danger lurks around every corner!

Courageous cops, adventurous agents, and daring detectives hunt for the answers to stop crimes by vicious killers.

But what if the damage is already done?

Inside these pages you’ll find 24 adventures full of captivating conundrums, hair-raising homicides, and suspenseful secrets from today’s USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling and award-winning authors.

Become a private investigator yourself. Inspect plots of deadly assassins, cold-blooded killers, and bone-chilling suspense inside the pages of DEATH AND DAMAGES, an enthralling mystery and thriller boxed set.

Fans of Lee Child, James Patterson, Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and John Grisham will devour these puzzling mysteries and gripping thrillers.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41572884-death-damages

https://amzn.to/2r4iJOZ

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-damages-patricia-loofbourrow/1128811305?ean=2940155519492

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/death-damages-a-mystery-and-thriller-collection/id1391338389?mt=11

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/death-damages-a-mystery-and-thriller-collection

Patricia Loofbourrow;

Pauline Creeden;

John Ling;

Alexa Padgett;

Siera London;

Shereen Vedam;

Deborah Shlian;

Kelly Hashway;

Maggie Carpenter;

Tiana Laveen;

Angela Sanders;

Karen M. Bryson;

Aime Austin;

Lisa B. Thomas;

Fiona Quinn;

Kerry J. Donovan;

Jane Blythe;

Dan Alatorre;

Muffy Wilson;

Dariel Raye;

Ja’Nese Dixon;

Terry Keys;

Bill Hargenrader;

Judith Lucci;

Maria Grazia Swan

Excerpts

Maggie Carpenter: 

He hadn’t noticed her carrying the package. He chided himself. He’d been so taken with her baby blues, wavy blonde hair, and pouty scarlet mouth, she could have brought a suitcase into his office and he wouldn’t have seen it. He hesitated. Based on her frantic demeanor, the innocuous brown paper bag could contain anything from a body part to a gun.

Pausing to take a quick breath, he unfolded the top and peered inside. “Why am I looking at a shoe?” “A red stiletto to be exact.” “You need to explain,” he said, lifting his gaze. “Why did you bring me a shoe?” “I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know where to go.” “Mrs. Rose—” “Ruby,” she said hastily, cutting him off. “Call me Ruby.”

“What’s so special about this shoe? And please, as simply as you can, tell me why you need my help?” “Take  it out. Take it out and look at it.” Her voice was growing shrill, and hoping she wasn’t on the verge of hysteria he reached in and pulled it out. The shoe was glossy patent leather with an unusually high narrow heel. “I don’t think I’ve ever laid eyes on a shoe like this. How can you walk?” “Look! Look! Don’t you see it?” “See what? It’s a red shoe with a very narrow, very high heel that’s clearly expensive, and—” “Blood! It’s covered in blood!” she exclaimed cutting him off a second time. “It was sitting next to my husband when I found him.”

A sudden chill rippled down his spine.

Suicide Blonde  Karen M. Bryson

When I left Florida as a wide-eyed twenty-year-old, I vowed never to set foot in the Sunshine State again. I was determined to do whatever it took to make it in Hollywood. I wanted to be better than where I came from.

Now here I am right back where I started twenty-five years ago.

Apparently that old saying is true: you can take the girl out of the south, but you can’t take the south out of the girl.

As I pull my rental car into the Swamp Angel Trailer Park all kinds of memories flash through my head. None of them positive. This is the place where my sister, Layla, and I grew up. The place where she apparently still lived. The place I couldn’t wait to escape from.

I rented a Jeep for one week. I don’t plan on extending the rental. My plan is to get my sister’s affairs in order and get the hell out of Florida for good.

While most of this booming bayside city has experienced a major revitalization, entering the trailer park is like stepping back in time. It’s barely changed in the last quarter century.

It’s still a festering sore in the armpit of the city.

Swamp Angel Trailer Park is right in the heart of Suitcase City. It’s a seedy part of town a few blocks west of Big State University. The rundown section of town was so named because many of its residents are so transient, they never bother to unpack their bags. It’s the kind of place where nobody knows your name and people like it that way.

When Layla’s father died, she inherited the trailer we grew up in. I’d be surprised if it’s worth forty thousand. I can make that in a month renting out my beach house in Malibu.

As I pull the Jeep up to the front of the trailer, I notice there aren’t any other vehicles parked outside. Layla was a graduate student at Big State University. We’re a few miles from campus, not really close enough to walk. I wonder how she got to class without a car.

Seeing the crime tape over the front door feels surreal. You’d think after playing a detective on television for twenty years I’d be used to it. But when it’s stuck across the door of your childhood home it feels a lot different.

I don’t have a key to her place, but I do remember where the spare keys were hidden. One was underneath a garden gnome in a patch of weeds that was supposed to be the front yard. The other was under the upper left corner of the tacky straw welcome mat outside the front door.

The straw welcome mat must have bitten the dust because it’s been replaced with an even cheaper looking Wipe Your Paws fake grass mat.

With no spare key underneath.

Fortunately, the sun-cracked garden gnome produces the goods. The key is old and a little rusty, but it still manages to unlock the trailer door.

My plan is to sell anything that’s worth selling. Donate what’s still usable to a thrift store. Then toss whatever remains into the trash.

Armed with heavy duty plastic bags and a pair of rubber gloves, I charge into the trailer ready for action.

Forbidden Distraction  Siera London

“Where did I go wrong?” Jared whispered. He felt the muscles along Vivianne’s back tense. “Have I hurt or offended you in some way?”

He couldn’t stop himself from massaging the tension from her lower back. Maybe, she thought he slept with the women who’d accompanied him to SCMC fundraisers. Jared thought of his parent’s marriage. He grew up watching how his father’s betrayals chipped away at his mother’s adoration. Johnson Pierce thought his money would cover his sins. That trinkets and trips could sustain his wife’s love and his only son’s respect—he’d been wrong. His father’s infidelity was one of the reasons that Jared had waited until the right woman had come along before he gave his heart. Vivianne was smart, funny, and giving. She was it for him and he could never be unfaithful to the woman he loved.

“No,” came her soft reply, a slight moan escaping on the tail end. “Of course not.”

Yet, she was leaving him.

They’d reached his corner office. With a touch of added pressure, she walked through the door he held open. Once she was inside, he engaged the lock. She jumped when the ‘click’ sounded in the room. In a flash, he had her back pressed against the closed door, his big body trapping her.

“Then why try to leave without my knowing?” She let her head fall back against the door. For the first time, he could see the mental anguish she was under. She was suffering, too. “You want another man?”

He had to hear her say the words. After more than a year of torturing himself to stay away from her, he needed to understand her reasoning. Before Vivianne, he’d been with women who only wanted sex. He’d felt deep in his soul that Vivianne wanted more from him. The way she’d touched him, caressed his face during their lovemaking like she was imprinting his every nuance into her memory. She’d tempted him beyond sanity with her slow and thorough exploration of his body. Dark hair to match his own, dark eyes that flamed higher with each touch, skin so rich, he’d be the wealthiest man in the world if he possessed her.

“It’s purely for therapeutic reasons…”

So, she would share her body, a body that occupied his dreams, with another man for medicinal purposes?

Love Thy Sister  Maria Grazia Swan

Crawling away from the pain. She had to get up from the floor. Her mouth foamed. She felt like her chest was exploding.

“One big explosion, followed by a smaller one. Just as pleasurable but not as powerful,” the man had said last night in the bonding anonymity of the dark motel room, his voice an oily whisper.

What was that smell? Maybe decaying food the other girls left behind. She concentrated on the noises from below. A door slammed somewhere in the building. She didn’t care who saw her, she needed help.

Air, she had to get some air. She grasped the front of her smock until it ripped. Her long black hair fell over her breasts.

“One big explosion….”

Was it last night or just a few hours ago?

VENGEANCE John Ling

Maya Raines hated the idea of walking into a trap, but she decided to do it anyway.

She was dressed in a Muslim robe — long and loose and rustling in the wind. Her face was covered by a veil. She carried a grocery bag as she moved along the sidewalk, being careful not to trip on the pockmarked concrete and scattered rubble.

All around her, ominous black flags hung from the shopfronts and soared from the rooftops, declaring the rise of an Islamist caliphate. And just ahead, a roadblock had been set up, manned by jihadi fighters. A modified pickup truck — a technical — was parked on the intersection, with a machine gun mounted on its rear bed.

Maya could hear Arabic being spoken in the distance. It sounded harsh and strident; completely different to the gentle melodic rhythm of the Malay language that she was used to. These men were foreign Sunnis. They had come from as far afield as Egypt and Libya, drawn to Malaysia by the promise of killing local Shiites.

Maya felt the slow burn of anxiety in her stomach…

Facing the Past  Alexa Padgett

“Hank. Thirteen hours. At dawn, Jonathan, gone for thirteen hours.”

Hank turned toward Nancy, his look hollow. Nothing moved across his face, through his eyes. He tilted his head, marginally interested as she swallowed then gasped for air. Hank closed his eyes. “I can’t see any better in the dark than they can,” he said. “You heard the detective say they brought in the dogs. A helicopter from Fort Worth. It’s a full-scale search, almost everyone in town was out looking till it got too dark.”

A faint hum. Louder, a thwap, thwap overhead, a blinding spotlight. Again.

“They could miss him from up there.”

“We’ve already missed him,” Hank shot back, eyes glinting in the semi-darkness.

Nancy shrank back, away from him.

He lowered his head nearly to his knees. Inhaled, exhaled. “My son.”

Cicadas hummed, pressing their bodies against the house. Nothing could hold them together. Not with Jonny missing.

A whippoorwill called. Hank stood there, between the foyer and the living room where Nancy huddled.

“What are we going to do?” she asked him.

Another pass from the helicopter. A dog barking.

Hank hesitated again before seeming to consciously lift his leg to step into the room.

He lay his hand on her shoulder, fingers against her collarbone, his face telling Nancy he was too used up to do more as darkness crowded out the faint porch light.

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Beware guests…

I invited her in Book Cover I invited her in
Adele Parks
Adult, Psychological Thriller, Romance
HQ
September 20, 2018
384

‘I invited her in… and she took everything.’

When Mel hears from a long-lost friend in need of help, she doesn’t hesitate to invite her to stay. Mel and Abi were best friends back in the day, sharing the highs and lows of student life, until Mel’s unplanned pregnancy made her drop out of her studies.

Now, seventeen years later, Mel and Abi’s lives couldn’t be more different. Mel is happily married, having raised her son on her own before meeting her husband, Ben. Now they share gorgeous girls and have a chaotic but happy family home, with three children.

Abi, meanwhile, followed her lover to LA for a glamorous life of parties, celebrity and indulgence. Everything was perfect, until she discovered her partner had been cheating on her. Seventeen years wasted, and nothing to show for it. So what Abi needs now is a true friend to lean on, to share her grief over a glass of wine, and to have some time to heal. And what better place than Mel’s house, with her lovely kids, and supportive husband…

This dark, unsettling tale of the reunion of long-lost friends is thoroughly gripping exploration of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.

A chilling tale that warns you to beware of long ago friends and guests that over stay their welcome.

A story that had me hooked up until the last couple of chapters. Excellent writing and and characterisation but I felt that someone had tried out different story endings (like they do in flims sometimes), and had settled for one that could be considered happy.

It rolled up all the loose ends neatly.

Too neatly for me.

I was going to give this book 5 stars but the ending downgraded it to 4. sorry.

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And it comes back?

Ricochet Book Cover Ricochet
David A. Kennedy 
adult, thriller, crime
Acorn Publishing
November 6th 2018

Brenda Roseberry’s youth was fractured with personal loss and sexual assault. In response, she’s trained her body through rock climbing and Isreali martial arts. Her genius at engineering tends toward the devious: she invents technology that allows her to see through walls, along with bulletproof clothing and specialized grenades.

Brilliant, fearless, and eminently disturbed, Brenda is ultimately recruited by Special Crimes Response And Mitigation—SCRAM. And so begins her daring pursuit of white-collar crime, fringe terrorist conspiracies, and anyone deserving of her unique brand of draconian justice.

Her only real friend is a notorious MS-13 gangster named Pucaso. He’s got a crush on her but that only makes Brenda deride him and loathe herself. Still, she relies on his help, whether she’s in Belize to wipe out the server farm of a corrupt hedge fund, or on Maui to take on the poisonous executives of a giant chemical company. Brenda treats wrongdoers like insects—the kind that need extermination.

I debated about the stars ranking but in the end, I felt that it just didn’t enthuse me enough, and I won’t bother with book 2 in this series – when it comes out.

Please note that the author does climb and thus we can be fairly sure that the parts about climbing are (more or less, given artistic licence) correct. I thought that these climbing descriptions were the best part of the story. And would have liked more written about what it was like to make these climbs and the characters of the type of people who undertook extreme climbs,

This was another character set that didn’t feel quite rounded to me. I got the disturbed nature of the characters but …

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40194838-ricochet?ac=1&from_search=true

https://amzn.to/2JJX3jG

About the Author

Dave is a guidebook writer/publisher turned novelist. He began rock climbing around 1984, which was a “logical” extension of hiking, camping and backpacking since boyhood. After his first article on climbing in San Diego’s back-country was published in Rock & Ice magazine, he created the San Diego County Climbing Guide, which proved extremely popular. Next came San Diego Adventures: Classic hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. In 2007 he completed and published a second edition of the climbing guide, which vividly detailed over 2,000 routes.

Subsequently, he embarked on a fiction-writing odyssey, producing sci-fi novels and short stories “rather unsuccessfully” in terms of publication. He finally found his proper voice in 2017 when he wrote Ricochet, an intense modern-day thriller about a young female vigilante. Upon its completion, he learned about Acorn Publishing while attending the 2018 Southern California Writers’ Conference and was signed by them shortly thereafter.

David is also an accomplished horticulturist. He became interested in tropical plants called Bromeliads in 2010, which quickly turned into a passion. He is an active member of the San Diego Bromeliad Society, and has won “Best of Show” awards in their annual show multiple times. His Tillandsia collection is considered one of the best in the region. For many years he and his wife Debbie have been chief volunteer caretakers of the San Diego Zoo’s Kent Bromeliad Garden.

Becoming a novelist is the realization of a lifelong dream. David loves the process of storytelling, of waking up each day well before dawn and diving into the art of making words come together in a way that appeals.

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What do you inherit?

A Heritage of Death Book Cover A Heritage of Death
(A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery, #2)
Alexa Padgett
Adult, Mystery, Thriller
October 23rd 2018

An unconventional pastor. A brutal murder. To solve the case, one reverend will look for help from beyond the grave…

Reverend Cecelia “Cici” Gurule dreams of a bruised and bloodied woman who looks alarmingly like Cici. She’d like to pretend the dream is a nightmare and nothing more, but there are too many coincidences in her waking life to write it off. Like the baby that turns up on her porch–a baby that disappeared weeks before.

Cici and Detective Sam Chastain race to find the woman, but the killer finds her first. As the trail grows cold, Cici’s only chance to solve the mystery before she becomes the next target may be a clue left by her ghostly twin.

A Heritage of Death is the second novel in a compelling female sleuth mystery series for fans of Ruth Ware and Gilly MacMillan. If you like convention-shattering heroines, vivid Southwest settings, and a touch of the paranormal, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s twisty mystery.

So here we have a pastor who lives in a small town in the USA but whose twin died by murder. She has always been linked to her twin, in the way they often are, in that they would feel each other’s emotions and pains. And so she knew when her sister was in trouble and when she died.

And now, from the grave, her sister’s ‘ghost’ or at least its presence and some semblance of words, tries to help her when she gets involved in crimes. Because this pastor always does.

i read book 1 first to obtain the background and by the end of it,

i was wondering if there was anyone left alive in her church and the small town. For me, it was Midsummer Murders in a book form, but better written. Just too many people were killed. So I was not sure about book 2 which is the one this blog tour is for.

But it is better. As with so many authors, they learn their craft and improve their story-telling and the characters develop as the series progresses. This is what has happened here I think.  but let’s not have too many murders please. One complex one per book is enough.

 

about the author

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

http://alexapadgett.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15193920.Alexa_Padgett

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexaPadgett/

https://twitter.com/AlexaPadgett

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40963296-a-heritage-of-death?ac=1&from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FVZVPH3/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-heritage-of-death-alexa-padgett/1129039660?ean=2940155521440

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-heritage-of-death/id1432300300?mt=11

ttps://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/a-heritage-of-death-1

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