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True or False?

Marked for Revenge An Art Heist Thriller Book Cover Marked for Revenge An Art Heist Thriller
(Zelda Richardson Mystery Series Book 3)
Jennifer S. Alderson
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
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Pub Date 19 May 2019

An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance.

When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers. 

To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most.

The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation.

The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.

Marked for Revenge is the third book in the Zelda Richardson Mystery Series. The novels in this series can be read in any order.

This is a great Art Heist Chase story. Rather unusual in its detail about how forgeries are made and set in Amsterdam as the starting town. Which gives lots of opportunities for haring across Europe easily of course. Interesting that it is the Balkans which are blamed for crime families and that the old Mafia gangs are no longer used.

I do wonder if the Dutch law about stolen art was real and if so, is it still in place? Obviously does not apply to holocaust Art but still. I did try and research the law but couldn’t find any reference to it so…

A different crime story with a good twist, and enjoyable romp into a different crime genre.

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A rose by another name

Rosalind Book Cover Rosalind
(The Colville Stories Book 1)
Judith Deborah
Literary Fiction , Women's Fiction
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Pub Date 01 Apr 2019

"There’s everyone else in the world. And then there is you."

World-class heart surgeon Dr. Peter Sutter runs his life with the instinctive precision of a master of the universe. But when he leaves the operating room, the only living thing waiting for him is a golden retriever. Then a chance encounter with an enigmatic woman changes everything.

Exploring the depths of Rosalind's intoxicating body and captivating spirit, Peter quickly falls under her spell. Miraculously, the feeling is mutual. 

But fate is waiting just around the corner. And it might be carrying a lead pipe.

Rosalind is a sensual, witty, moving story about the joy of real love, the surprise and delight of unexpected passion, and the transcendent power of human connection

It took me a while to get into this story as it was written from the male perspective and thinking which was initially confusing for me.  I have read stories written this way before so this was surprising, however I persevered and was glad. The prose improved in style and content and I began to understand the author’s mindset. And it clicked. I saw the rationale for his behaviours as his explanations became clear, and it was in truth a real love story.

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Secrets? Everyone has some

We All Have Secrets Book Cover We All Have Secrets
Dr. Molly McCormick Series Book 1
by Florence Love Karsner
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
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Pub Date 06 Apr 2019

The year is 1962. Dr. Molly McCormick, a young female physician, has been attacked by a deranged psychiatric patient and has suffered physical and psychological damage. She is recovering at her grandfather’s home which is located on an island off the Southwest coast of Florida. Such a great location with one problem . . . it is just a hop and skip to Cuba where Fidel Castro has just pointed Russian missiles in the direction of the United States. The Cuban Missile Crisis is heating up and the whole world is on pins and needles.Dr. McCormick’s grandfather, a retired U. S. Navy Captain, Intelligence Officer, is neck deep in stopping arms from being sent to the rebels in Cuba. Recently he has learned that someone on his island is preparing to supply the rebels with a stash of sulfur mustard, a chemical that can be converted to mustard gas. This weapon can be spread many ways and will cause grave illness and possibly death to thousands. Oh, and just one more small issue . . . Dr. McCormick’s attacker is still out there . . .and has promised to “find her” again!

Down to the sea we go – the steamy sea – the islands with swamps and mosquitoes and noseeums – all ready to drink your blood…

In this novel we go back to the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the islands that are just next door to Cuba.

There are some interesting hints of future storylines coming through in the male characters and it will be disappointing if the series doesn’t follow them up.

The female character – Molly- still lacks definition for me, not yet fully formed but hopefully she will develop. Her final choice of career was obvious from the visit she made to an outlying island so no surprises there.

This is not the first book by this author that I have read, but the one with most potential for me.

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Holy Love is needed

Love You Holy: Wild Child Book Cover Love You Holy: Wild Child
Fran Steinberg
contemporary fiction, romance, Women's Fiction
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Pub Date 25 Apr 2019

A screaming newborn is thrown from a speeding car onto a dusty Texas road. Immediately, swarms of vultures descend on her to feast. A vicious kick from a crippled old man scatters the vultures and gives his wife time to pick the baby up."What is it Ma?" the old man asks his wife. "A sickly bear cub?" he ventures."No, Pa. It’s a newborn baby. See,” she says, pulling the blanket down. “Two arms and two legs. No fur. And look at this, Pa,” she says shaking her head with tears in her eyes, "her umbilical cord still attached." And so begins the life of Max Arrins, an abandoned orphan whose extraordinary character eventually makes her a legend in Texas. She’s a modern-day hero, who defends the weak, takes care of her people and doesn’t take any shit! Determined to join the Storm Kings, an elite group of linemen who put the lights back on after hurricanes and cyclones, she struggles fearlessly with man and nature to achieve her goal. But when her ambitions are blocked, the "Wild Child" in her emerges, with disastrous results for her opponent.If Wild Child Arrins loves you holy, you're safe. Be kind to her and she'll be kind to you. But hurt her or prevent her from getting what she wants… watch out. The Wild Child unleashed is a force to be reckoned with; a force not bears, wildcats or even an entire crew of Storm Kings can handle.

This is a very different story. It is written as an autobiography by the Wild child herself, telling her story from the age of 14 to 17 in great depth. Max also explains her origins, as she knows them, and some details of her life after 17, but the bulk of the story covers the period of her adoption to her marriage.

Her origins and early life are heart-rending and sad beyond belief, and yet you believe the story as it is so well told. The desperate poverty of small land holders with debts and mortgages reliant on their crops to provide their income.

The characterisations of this strange breed of humanity – Texans – are excellent, as is the use of colloquial language and idioms. I thought that the character of the Judge was lovely, and Ben was believable as someone who could ‘tame’ the Wild Child.

This novel kept me turning the pages and wanting to know more about the Storm Kings and yes, the song – The Witchita Linesman’ kept running through my head!

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Who started it all?

A Potter's Tale
by Dave Davis
Sci Fi & Fantasy
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Pub Date: 03 Apr 2019

1935. Roz Lhulier and his team unearth the massive tomb of Pakal, the greatest Mayan king. It’s the discovery of the century, they think. They’re wrong. Instead, deep in the pyramid that holds the seventh-century ruler, hides a primitive Codex, a book of prophecy, predicting the collapse of the solar system. Raising the question, “Does the world end?” The codex is deciphered by Alan Turing, the genius who broke the German’s Enigma Code during WWII, but its message is jealously guarded by the Astronomers, a lethal cult inside the Catholic Church. They’ve compromised or killed anyone with knowledge of the secret—presidents and prime ministers, for starters. The Codex pulls Noah Scott into its deadly orbit, a physician-turned reporter, and his partner Kate. When they investigate the murder and memoirs of DiShannia, a highly precocious teenager who’s achieved national recognition for her research on the demise of the Mayan civilization, Kate and Noah are led from Washington DC, to the British Museum, to the Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva, to Melbourne, Australia. Each step enlightens them, offers them clues, frightens them. And us. The Potter’s Tale weaves two strands of the novel—the Codex and its rich human stories—with another, creating an unsettling narrative DNA. This third strand involves the Potter, who crafts the story. And the genes that craft us all. Does the world end? The Potter knows the answer. Noah, Kate discover it. We learn it too—on the last page.

A novel about an alternate universe – or an alternate history of ours. I found the beginning chapters on the slow side – perhaps there were too many threads to the story too and I started to find it difficult to remember everything that had happened in each one.

There were also still quite a few proofing errors such as ‘well healed developers’ ; ‘members of a leafy sect’ [location 1320]

I also thought that the story could have been shorter – maybe reduce the threads and be rather cruel – there was, for me, too much of a tendency to ramble. The story line needed to be tighter.

All the above aside, the novel got an extra star for the great final twist to the tale.

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