Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review - Where all the Dead Lie by JT Ellison

Book Summary

The headshot didn't kill Taylor Jackson. But it will haunt.

In her showdown with the murderous Pretender, a bullet taken at close range severed the connection between Taylor’s thoughts and speech. Effectively mute, there’s no telling if her voice will ever come back. Trapped in silence, she is surrounded by ghosts— of the past, of friendships and trusts lost—of the specter of a lost faith in herself and her motives that night.
When Memphis Highsmythe offers Taylor his home in the Scottish highlands to recuperate, her fiancé John Baldwin can’t refuse her excitement, no matter his distrust of the man. At first, Memphis’s drafty and singularly romantic castle seems the perfect place for healing. But shortly the house itself surrounds her like a menacing presence. As Taylor’s sense of isolation and vulnerability grows, so, too, does her grip on reality.

PTSD. Pills. Ghosts. Grudges.

Someone or something is coming after Taylor. But is she being haunted by the dead...or hunted by the living?

My Review - 4 Great to the last Drop

JT Ellison is a great author when writing about serial killers.  This is book 7, the end story of the series.  I thoroughly enjoyed So Close the Hand of Death and feel like these 2 read together complete a great story.

I found this one to be very different from what I expect of JT, no serial killer involvement, only the after affects of almost dying from the hands of one.  Initially I felt the book was all over the place, was it a mystery, romance or ghost story.  I find many story lines are intertwined and create the perfect puzzle but this one felt odd to me.  Then, we get the heart pounding race to the end, total edge of your seat greatness.  The book went from an almost 3 to immediate 4 star for me, a great Psychological Suspense read.  JT may have went for playing with the readers mind with not allowing us to know where it was going but I have to say I don't think it was executed well but it was greatly pulled together at the end.

Sam was dealing with Post-traumatic stress disorder and the way the counselors assisted her was extremely interesting and set the scene in many ways. I did enjoy not knowing what was reality or possible hallucinations.

Quotes I enjoyed

At least Sam was getting a chance to heal; her wounds were hidden, on the inside.  Taylor had to parade around town with her scars, and without her voice.

This was what she wanted, right?  For him to apologize.  To offer to make things right.  They were better as a team. Together they could conquer anything.  But apart, they were two lonely icebergs, drifting silently toward a certain doom.

She felt the nimble touch again, more familiar this time, then it stopped and she was able to breathe and then sit up. She turned on the light, hands at her throat, gasping for air.  Her heart was pounding out of control.. What in the hell had just happened?

Thanks to NetGalley for having it available last year. 
Other Books in series I have reviewed.

All the Pretty Girls  Book 1

So Close the Hand of Death  Book 6

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Last day to enter Crime Novel Giveaway - Luck of the Draw

Thank you to Anthony for sending me this book for my honest review, which you can find here.  He has also agreed to a giveaway of Luck of the Draw, he said he can handle book giveaways not BMW's ;-)

International Giveaway - Ends Feb 29

NOTE - Please enter and comment here - My Review and Giveaway

About the author

Anthony J. Cardieri was born and raised in the great CITY of Brooklyn, NY on July 16, 1965. His father, Vincent, is a retired NYC police detective. His mother, Mary, is a retired postal worker and homemaker. Anthony is one of eight children (4 boys, 4 girls) and learned to tell stories as a defense mechanism to get himself out of constant trouble.
Anthony attended Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic School and Lafayette High School, both in Brooklyn, and worked as an accountant, electrician, and as an employee of the NYC Dept. of Sanitation when his studies were completed. He rose through the ranks of the DSNY and is now a District Superintendent in the Brooklyn South area. Anthony moved to Staten Island in 1997 and still resides there.
Anthony is married to his wife, Tammy, and has three children, Nicholas 14, Matthew 12, and Lauren 7. He is signed to a contract with St. Martin's Press and is represented by Nancy Coffey of Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review - Green River Killer (A True Detective Story)

Summary of Green River Amazon

Throughout the 1980s, the highest priority of Seattle-area police was the apprehension of the Green River Killer, the man responsible for the murders of dozens of women. But in 1990, with the body count numbering at least forty-eight, the case was put in the hands of a single detective, Tom Jensen. After twenty years, when the killer was finally captured with the help of DNA technology, Jensen and fellow detectives spent 188 days interviewing Gary Leon Ridgway in an effort to learn his most closely held secrets-an epic confrontation with evil that proved as disturbing and surreal as can be imagined. Written by Jensen's own son, acclaimed entertainment journalist Jeff Jensen, Green River Killer: A True Detective Story presents the ultimate insider's account of America's most prolific serial killer. Green River Killer is bound to become a well-recognized member of the crime-genre graphic novel family, including titles like Darwyn Cooke’s The Hunter and Alan Moore’s From Hell.

My Review - 4 1/2 Great to the last drop
This is my first experience reading a Graphic Novel, I was intrigued the whole time.  The minimum text and art work gave all that was needed to make this a successful project. I quite liked that it was all in black and white and not coloured pictures, it gave the feel of newspaper articles, the old meeting the new and colour may have been to much detail for some, this was very classy for such a topic.
What an amazing honour this novel is to Tom from his son Jeff Jensen.  You get glimpses of the serial killer Gary Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer but the focus is on Tom as the Detective, father and husband. 
I enjoyed the different parts of the book, all the time frames included to give a true feel of the journey to find The Green River Killer.  Years of frustration came over perfectly, the searching, evidence, interview families of victims and also Gary was done so well.  In less than 300 pages you were able to take away an overall feel of a 20 year plus investigation and how so many were affected.
Jeff is obviously very proud of his dad and what a memento to have for life, your son writing your true story of your career.
This book will be enjoyed by those that read memoirs, non fiction, crime, suspense and of course graphic novels.  I recommend you give it a try.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience of reading a Graphic Novel but don't think I will look out for others.  If one sounds good I may go for it. 
I read this after 2 bloggers reviews.  Sandy's blog You've GOTTA read this..... and  Ath's blog Reading on a Rainy Day

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review - The Life O'Reilly by Brian Cohen

Book Summary from authors site

On the outside, Nick O’Reilly has it all: a high-flying legal career, as a partner of an elite Wall Street law firm, and financial security, with an apartment overlooking Central Park.  Having grown up in a working-class family, as far back as Nick can remember this was his dream.  But at the age of thirty-six, after several years of sacrificing his personal life for professional gain, Nick has started to ponder his future and consider the mark he wants to leave on society both professionally and personally—his legacy.

After being chastised in the press for turning a cold shoulder to the community, the firm calls upon Nick to help rehabilitate its image by handling its first pro bono case.  Nick is asked to represent Dawn Nelson, a domestic violence victim who is fighting for custody of her young son, Jordan.  A far cry from Nick’s specialty of defending the misdeeds of Corporate America, it is up to Nick to set Dawn and Jordan on a path to a better life.  But Nick gets much more than he signed on for, as Dawn forces him to reassess his life choices and, ultimately, be true to himself.  Only when Nick finally realizes what is truly important in life does he face his toughest—and possibly final—challenge: a battle for his own survival.

Exploring the flaws of being human and the importance of controlling one’s own destiny, The Life O’Reilly reminds us of how precious life is and how quickly and tragically it can change.  Written with great empathy, The Life O’Reilly is an emotional and unforgettable tale that will challenge one’s expectations of the modern love story.

My Review - 4 Great to the last drop

What a charming, sad, thought provoking read.  I went through the why do bad things happen to good people opinion to appreciating and having a life of fulfillment opinion.

I have had this book for far too long but I am such a mood reader I just didn't pick it up.  I am on vacation with my best friend and her new born baby and I thought it would be perfect while missing my daughter, partner and family back home.  What a great choice.

I really enjoyed this story and recommend it for anyone that has chosen to be a career mom or dad, living the legacy of a family tradition, deciding to put their lives on hold for that 'special moment' instead of creating the moments.

All the characters were very real and I enjoyed them, even the miserable pain the ass colleagues.  They had their place in the story.  I thought the legal storylines were true and gave you a sense of the hard choices needed to be successful in this industry.

Nick had to be placed on Pro Bono work to be shown another side of life that he had dreamt of but never thought of achieving.  The beginning of a journey that threw him every curve ball thought of but what amazing strength to get through it, very touching.

I think Brian Cohen did a great job with his debut book and can see this kind of story being his niche.  I enjoyed reading an adult fiction novel from a men's perspective.

Overall, I thought this was a very good love story with legal drama and the way to deal with unfortunates of life.

I took a moment and considered what kind of person I wanted to be.  I love and revered my father deeply, but his company-guy mentality no longer served me well.  I was ashamed of myself.  And then, when I thought about it, I realized that, deep down, after everything Dad went through, he wouldn't want me to just sit back and keep quiet.  It was time to stand and be counted.  pg. 120

And there it finally was.  The faceless picture I had had in my mind for so many years was no longer faceless.  The blanks were filled in.

No matter what the future rings, I thought, my legacy is intact.  pg. 247

If you enjoyed A Note from an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker I also think you will enjoy this one.

Thanks to the author Brian Cohen for sending me his book for your review.  I apologise for taking so long but am pleased to say I really enjoyed it, thank you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reading and Going on's......

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while continuing to add to your 2012 Wishlist.

What a week.

I worked until 10pm Wed to do reports and handover since I will not be work for a week, flew out the next day to get ready for my best friends virtual shower.  I am so pleased, we were able to surprise her.  Well actually baby came early and surprised us last week :-)  but I had a Virtual Skype party planned, her Bermuda family and US family.  It was totally amazing.

On to the reading.

I will finish my current read tonight - really enjoying it.

I think my first graphic crime novel is next.

Giveaway ends Feb 29 - My Review and Giveaway

Hope you have a great reading week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Abandoned (my thoughts) - Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Book Summary from Amazon

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….

Not a review but why I abandoned

Why do I go with the hype at times, I almost always regret it, ugggh.  I never even read reviews of this series because I knew it wasn't my type but than a favourite author wrote how she is obsessed with the books and I did a post here - Do you think I'll catch the fever?

Well I didn't catch the fever.  I only got to 34% before I decided to abandon.  This is totally not my cup of tea, not my genre and I have accepted that.  Another try with Urban Fantasy.  The 2nd genre on my no no list, Dystopian and now Urban Fantasy.

I have no interest in Vampire's, Werewolves and now Faeries. 

I do enjoy ghost stories but more specific to real people seeing or feeling a loved one etc.  I love reality or what can be reality.  I am embracing what I love or do not love to read and need to stick with that.  I think blogging has helped me to read out of my comfort zone with many amazing books I have tried and new genres I enjoy, eg, memoirs.  At times trying has failed.

So was reading this a waste no, but I was able to tell myself this is not for you so stop, don't torture yourself.

Here are some quotes that sealed the deal for me, again, not the writing, just not my cup of tea.

19% on Kindle

Alina didn't get into woo-woo stuff any more than I did.  We both loved to read and watch the occasional movie, but we always went for your run-of-the-mill mysteries, thrillers, or romantic comedies, none of the bizarre paranormal stuff. 

Vampires?  Eew.  Dead. Enough said.  Time-travel?  Ha, give me a creature comforts over a hulking highlander with the manners of a caveman any day.  Werewolves?  Oh please, just plain stupid.


31% on Kindle

Parts of it were underdone, and parts of it were horrifyingly overdone.  Its head was huge, hairless, and covered with dozens of eyes.  It had more mouths than I could count - at least that's what I think the wet, pink leechlike suckers all over the misshapen head and stomach were - I could see the flash of sharp teeth as the moist puckers expanded and contracted in the gray, wrinkled flesh with what sure looked to me like hunger.  Four ropy arms hung from its barrel-like body, two puny ones drooped limply at its sides.  It stood on legs like tree trunks and its male sex organ was distended and grotesquely oversized.  I mean, as big around as a baseball bat and hanging past its knees.

There you go, I won't be adding my thoughts to any review sites, I will just delete book from my Goodreads and LibraryThing account.

I do have a blog to share my thoughts with you and for my own record though.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fever Series - what I am reading....

Friends, over the weekend I posted Do you think I'll catch the Fever?

I think some of you thought I meant I did and recommended the Fever Series.  Well I am only 30% in and so far not catching the fever guys, so wait out for the review, it may not be for us.

Not vampires but about Faeries, the evil ones, not really getting it yet, rolling my eyes.

Last week I completed

Currently Reading

I really have no idea what is next, so much been going on personally my mind is overwhelmed with real life.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Do you think I'll catch the Fever?

I have seen this series around and then the last book in the series nominated on Goodreads but never read reviews, why, I thought it was Paranormal vampire stuff.

Then I was reading author, Michelle Zink's blog and she wrote...... 

Things I love.

This week’s Thing I Love is the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. And actually, saying I love them is kind of an understatement.

More like I’m obsessed with them.
I read the first book in the series, Darkfever, because I kept hearing people talk about it in my Goodreads reading group (where I mostly lurk). These people were CRAZY for the Fever series, so I decided to check it out.

Now I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much. I figured they would be a quick, fun read.

And they are, but they’re SO MUCH MORE. The world building is incredibly detailed and fascinating, the characters are three-dimensional and experience genuine growth and change through the series, and the pacing is dead-on, grabs-you-and-doesn’t-let-go. Moning takes the story everywhere you DON’T expect, and that makes you think, “Oh! Right. That’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. How could I not have seen it?!” Part of me is so absorbed in the story while I’m reading that I can’t stop and the other part, the writer part, is thinking, “How does she DO this? How am I on the edge of my sit with unexpected things happening every three pages?!”

Basically, I’m super impressed that a series can rate so high on the commercial enjoyment scale and still have such great writing. This is one of those VERY few series where I found myself ordering the next book before I was done with the one I was reading because I didn’t want to go ONE DAY without knowing what was next.

One word of caution; this is NOT a YA series. It’s very much adult, and there are a lot of sexytimes.

I am so intrigued so just started, we will see, what do you think, will I catch the Fever?

BTW - I LOVE Michelle Zink, read her Prophecy of the Sister trilogy and can't wait for her Temptation of Angels book release in March.

My Reviews


Friday, February 10, 2012

Review - The Glass Case (short story) by Kristin Hannah

Short Story Summary

In her classic short story THE GLASS CASE, Kristin Hannah explores the heart and mind of a young mother.  April Bannerman is a young mother of three, married to her high school sweetheart & living in the same small town in which she grew up.  Although she loves her children and husband, April is plagued by the growing doubt that she has not lived up to her mother's expectations for her---until one day when something terrible and unexpected happens, and April must face the truth about her own life and discover what really matters.
My Review - 5 Tea Time Perfection
Kristin Hannah is the Queen of emotional adult fiction.  In my mind a short story is a success when you want to read more but everything has been closed nicely and touched you in a special way. 
April has to deal with a tragic scare and during the heart stopping, holding breath moments it brings her back to when her mom died, when she was only a teenager and feeling like she hasn't lived up to her moms expectations.
This was the perfect in between, not sure what to read next story.
As it is a short story I won't share any more but will leave you with quotes.
The words have a resonance tonight, a sad wistfulness I never noticed before; perhaps I wasn't ready to see until now, this very moment.  The disappointment was about my mother's life, not mine, an expression of her dissatisfaction with her own life.
For years I have kept my mother's memories in a glass case, thinking that they were too fragile to touch.  But now I have to examine them, dissect them, and understand what part she played in who I am and how I feel about my life. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review - The Delilah Complex by MJ Rose

 Currently Reading

Book Summary from authors site

The second novel in the Dr. Morgan Snow series examines women's sexuality, women's power and powerful men who enjoy being sexually dominated by women. The place where these men seek sexually aggressive women is the Scarlet Society, a fictional secret sex club based on actual sex clubs that exist throughout the country. Fear pervades The Scarlet Society when male guests are suddenly turning up dead. Photos of their corpses are being sent to The New York Times with locks of the victim's hair enclosed in sandwich bags.

My Review - 4 Great to the last drop

I have read Halo Effect, the first in the trilogy and gave it a 3 but no review, this one I enjoyed even more.  There are story lines that continue from one to the other but both can be read as stand alone's.

It started off with a great bondage crime scene, what a way to capture your attention immediately.

I really enjoy stories with counseling sessions, to be a fly on the wall, so real and energised.  Dr. Snow is a sex therapist which her daughter calls Dr. Sin as a cute joke between them.  The fascination of this story is knowing some of the dark sex secrets from The Scarlet Society and how everyone is scared with the mystery of who is involved and how is edge of your seat entertaining.  Missing men that of course the women from the SS realise, so they are feeling guilty, grieving, emotionally angry with each other and then you have the other men that realise they are at risk to be the next victim.

Every character and storyline are interesting and keep you glued to the pages waiting for the outcome.  I loved the additions on breaking the case and thinking they were done then BAM what a great ending.  And to understand the reason behind the serial killer, fascinating, such a great Dr. Snow storyline.

I recommend this trilogy, can't wait to read the next one.  Sexy, addicting, thrilling with a great ending.

Favourite quotes

You don't ever stop missing someone you have loved, you simply learn how to make the longing for them a piece of you.  You learn that missing them is the part of loving them that never leaves, but that  doesn't mean that every once in a while it doesn't catch you unawares and shock you with its potency. 

He inflicted the kiss on me.  I  accepted it as my sentence.  I argued with my mouth.  It had not been all my fault.  He had not fought back.  But he was fighting back now.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Giveaway - Crime Novel: Luck of the Draw by Anthony J. Cardieri

Thank you to Anthony for sending me this book for my honest review, which you can find here.  He has also agreed to a giveaway of Luck of the Draw, he said he can handle book giveaways not BMW's ;-)

International Giveaway - Ends Feb 29

Please leave your email address in comments

About the author

Anthony J. Cardieri was born and raised in the great CITY of Brooklyn, NY on July 16, 1965. His father, Vincent, is a retired NYC police detective. His mother, Mary, is a retired postal worker and homemaker. Anthony is one of eight children (4 boys, 4 girls) and learned to tell stories as a defense mechanism to get himself out of constant trouble.
Anthony attended Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic School and Lafayette High School, both in Brooklyn, and worked as an accountant, electrician, and as an employee of the NYC Dept. of Sanitation when his studies were completed. He rose through the ranks of the DSNY and is now a District Superintendent in the Brooklyn South area. Anthony moved to Staten Island in 1997 and still resides there.
Anthony is married to his wife, Tammy, and has three children, Nicholas 14, Matthew 12, and Lauren 7. He is signed to a contract with St. Martin's Press and is represented by Nancy Coffey of Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Review - Luck of the Draw by Anthony J. Cardieri

Book Summary from Amazon
When Detective Deke Durgess finds himself at the scene of a brutal murder in Lower Manhattan, he has no idea that it’s just the beginning of the most prolific murder spree in New York City history, one where entire families will be wiped out by a vicious killer dubbed The Daily Killer.
The murders are being meticulously committed, with no forensic evidence left behind except for the killer’s callous calling card, a short note left on the body of the victim. The mayor and police commissioner are coming down hard on Deke to make progress, but Deke and his team of detectives and FBI agents are at a standstill until a series of events, and one misstep by the killer, leads them toward cracking the code in the victim selection process. Believing he knows where the killer will strike next, Deke sets up a sting operation, only to be slapped back down as the killer turns the tables on him, forcing the police department to take a good hard look at its own finest.
Anthony J. Cardieri’s first crime novel is an adrenaline-charged ride through the streets of New York.
My Review - 3 More Sugar Please
A good crime debut but I wished it was more gritty with a darker edge.   The scariest kind of serial killer, the 'normal' guy that walks and mingles around us, so always the unexpected. Can you imagine New York City during Christmas time with a daily killer out there, I would leave the area until the killer was found, you are not safe in your home.
Overall my thought with this book is that is surfaced throughout.  How many were killed in each scene, how they were found and the note 'Better luck next time' but I never felt affected by the scenes, they didn't come across as gruesome, sad, that omg, etc, they just felt as is, there was just something missing, I have been thinking what and I can't quite come up with the word.  It may be that this is my favourite genre and I love the gruesome details, the more the better which make others uncomfortable or to scared to read it and there weren't details to recreate the scenes.
The killer went for it every day becoming known as The Daily Killer, usually you feel the heart stopping race to find the killer but you know they won't until near the end of the book so you almost look forward to the next kill to get more clues.  The killer is so great though there are no clues so the Detectives can only wait.  No clues drove me crazy.  The title Luck of the Draw is great, it became truly a luck case and they still screwed it up.  The sting operation was laugh out loud worthy, what hopeless detectives, honestly, just disgraceful.  Anthony Cardieri did such a great job here, the perfect red herring.
Luck of the Draw kept me reading and I enjoyed the ending but there are many unbelievable situations for me, I refuse to think Detectives are as dumb as they were for these crimes.  One, yes but then again serial killers get away with numerous murderers don't they.........
Thank you to the author, Anthony Cardieri, for sending me his book in exchange for my review.  I will have a Giveaway coming up for this on Tuesday if interested.  All Serial Killer Reading Challenge participants will be entered to win also.

Friday, February 3, 2012

January's Reviews from the Serial Killers Challenge

I am not feeling well, fighting the bug and planning my daughters 5th Birthday so blogging has had to take a back seat this week.  I'm even behind on a review but my brain cannot deal with pulling that together right now.

I would like to do this post monthly.

We had 4 reviews this month, go check the bloggers review.  The Retribution by ValM sounds like the winner of the month to me.

Paula, Whispers - Lisa Jackson

The Retribution by Val McDermid @ Telly Says

Marce (Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay)

Paula - The Bodies Left Behind

It's not to late to join in on the Challenge, no level this year.......  Go here to join