#BookReview “Unbound Ties” by Liz Mistry

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5/5 Stars!

I’ve read dozens of books and watched as many television shows and movies where police officers and detectives have personal connections to horrific cases their departments are investigating.

Unbound Ties wins the prize for the most connections! Eat your heart out, Kevin Bacon!

When a young pregnant woman is found hanging at the top of the stairs in her home, the ritualistic scene displayed at her feet not only rule out suicide but also fills DI Angus McGuire with dread that the killer is just beginning. And he’s right. There will be more murders. Some will follow the pattern and some won’t. But with each death, Gus and his team are sure there’s a connection they’re missing. However, he’s gobsmacked when he learns the killer… and the murders could be directly connected to his mother’s childhood.

This was such a good read told from multiple points of view… and one of them belongs to the killer. An arrogant piece of work, he enjoys choosing victims and planning the murders as much as he does taking lives. He also enjoys taunting the police, knowing they won’t catch him before his endgame.

Though the methodical killer stumps Gus’ team at first, they dig in their heels, determined to close the case before he strikes again. When Gus is removed as lead investigator because he’s too close to the case, there are a few stumbles, but first Alice and later Nancy take the lead and Gus might even learn a thing or two from them.

He is a moody manimal! Of course, after everything Gus has been through in his adult years alone, moody is not a condemnation. He has a loving relationship with his parents but too many lies and secrets over the years have left Gus wondering whom he can trust, and the last lie guts him.

Several themes run through Unbound Ties, but for me, it was racism that stood out. Not because it was loud and preachy, accusatory, or timely, but more so because it wasn’t. While the thirty-five-year-old mixed-race Gus had his share of discrimination growing up, he never considered what his mother went through. But his mother also never talked about it. Born to a woman who didn’t want her, blamed her for her desolate life, and abused her mentally and physically, half Jamaican Corrine Cameron didn’t fare any better when she was thrust into the foster care system. Gus has to reconcile the strong, professional woman who raised him and his sister with the child scapegoated and traumatized simply because of her dark skin and the ignorance of others.

Infidelity, betrayal, mental health, and the coronavirus pandemic are also key themes, but also not in-your-face. Liz Mistry does an excellent job of weaving them not just through the story but through the lives of its characters and how they were affected as they worked together to catch a serial killer.

I have a knack for jumping into a series anywhere except the beginning, and in this case, it was book seven… of a seven-book series. Only me, right? But I LIKE these characters with all their quirks… and unwavering support of each other even when they don’t agree, so I’ve added six books to my already towering TBR. Make sure you add this one to yours.

Enjoy!


SYNOPSIS

When the past unravels, all that’s left is death.

Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly,

When DI Gus McGuire is called out to the murder of a pregnant woman, the crime scene tells him that this killer is not only taunting them … he’s also just getting started.

Lavender’s green,

With ritualistic precision, the killer has placed a series of clues beneath the victim’s feet. Gus soon realises that these clues link back to his mother’s past as a child in foster care in Scotland.

When I am king, dilly dilly,

Troubled by his mum’s secrets, Gus is in a dark place. Side-lined from the main investigation, Gus works another murder, not realising that the two are linked and that the killer is closer than he realises … Dangerously close.

You shall be queen.

Then the killer begins to target people near to Gus. Angry and determined Gus races to unravel the past and catch this sadist before the loss is too much for him to bear.

The seventh gripping thriller in the DI Gus McGuire series, for fans of Angela MarsonsVal McDermid and LJ Ross.

Purchase Link – mybook.to/UnboundTies


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#BookReview “Two Reasons to Run” by Colleen Coble

Two Reasons to Run by Colleen Coble

As if Police Chief Jane Hardy didn’t have enough to deal with getting to know her fifteen-year-old son, Will, coming to grips with the betrayal by his father… and hers, working through the aftermath of an attempt on her father’s life, and searching for the mother who abandoned her as a child, now she’s added a murder and possible terrorist plot to her plate.

When Keith McDonald doesn’t arrive home on schedule, his mother, Ruby, follows his cryptic instructions and contacts Jane. After overhearing a conversation, Keith fears something bad is planned for the oil rig where he works. He also knows if something happens to him, a Pelican Harbor resident, the young police chief won’t rest until justice is served.

Before even determining Keith’s whereabouts, Jane learns the young oil rigger also shared his suspicions with investigative journalist Reid Dixon… Will’s father. Now she must put her personal feelings aside to find a killer and stop a terrorist plot that could devastate the southern coasts that haven’t fully recovered from the last oil rig explosion.

I liked all the characters in this suspenseful page-turner, even if I didn’t care for all of their actions. I’m looking at you, Will.

When Will’s life is threatened to force Jane to stop her investigation, she and Reid pull together, with the help of her father to protect their son until she can solve the case. Just as Jane lets her guard down, betrayal rears its ugly head again and Jane doesn’t think she can ever trust anyone again.

The shared pasts and cult-life of Jane and Reid is a strong sub-plot and the reason for so much anger and animosity. I liked the way the author worked to resolve issues in a realistic manner.  It didn’t feel forced or fake. Jane has every right to her hurt and pain, but for how long and at what cost? The inspirational theme is also nicely woven through the story and realistic. Not over-the-top preachy or hypocritical.

While I didn’t read the first book in the Pelican Harbor Series (yet), I didn’t feel lost in Two Reasons to Run. Just enough details were woven through the story for me to understand the relationships of all the characters without info dumps. A good ending brings resolutions and character growth… and enough unease for the upcoming book three.

Enjoy!


Synopsis:

Gripping romantic suspense from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble. 

A lie changed her world.

Police Chief Jane Hardy is still reeling from the scandal that rocked her small-town department just as she took over for her retired father—the man who wrecked her life with one little lie. Now she’s finally been reunited with her presumed-dead fifteen-year-old son, Will, and his father, documentarian Reid Bechtol. 

A crisis looms.

When a murder aboard the oil platform Zeus exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood Mobile Bay with crude oil, Jane and Reid must put their feelings for each other behind them and work together to prevent the rig from being sabotaged.

A killer targets her son.

Then the terrorist puts her son Will’s life on the line. Protecting him could be the common ground they need . . . but then ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Jane and Reid for good.

She’s got plenty of reasons to run. But what if she stays?


Tour Participants:

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Giveway!!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Colleen Coble. There will be 3 winners, each winning ONE LITTLE LIE by Colleen Coble (Print). The giveaway begins on September 21, 2020 and runs through October 25, 2020. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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#BookReview “A Conspiracy of Silence” by Anna Legat ​

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A Conspiracy of Silence pulled me right in because early on, everyone is so close-mouthed…which, of course, makes them suspect to me.

After an evening of displaying confrontational and erratic behavior at home, fifteen-year-old Rachel Snyder disappears. On the same night twenty-year-old Bradley Watson is found in a local park… shot through the heart with an arrow.

On the surface, the two cases—a missing teen and a dead adult–don’t appear connected. She’s believed to be a runaway, and his drug-dealing past finally caught up with him.

However, much to the chagrin of DS Mark Webber, who handling Rachel’s case, the two investigations morph into one when it’s revealed that not only was Bradley a groundskeeper at Rachel’s school, but a photo memory card was found in his pocket full of pictures of Rachel that she did NOT pose for. With a promise to work as a team sharing information, DI Gillian Marsh combines the cases. Webber knows he’ll have a struggle on his hands because his superior is single-focused and unapologetic. She also doesn’t realize there’s no ‘I’ in team.

Gillian Marsh is also damn good at her job and gets results. She goes toe-to-toe with everyone, including her boss and anyone she questions during the investigation. The unflattering thoughts of some of the males she questions are quite telling. They don’t like her because they cannot intimidate her, and before it’s all over, they fear her because they realize nothing will stop her from finding the truth. While Gillian’s abrasive, caustic personality won’t win her any awards, family and coworkers understand that’s simply her personality. Nothing more, nothing less. And that personality will help her as she deals with;

Grieving parents,

A best friend, who wasn’t a best friend,

A boyfriend, who wasn’t a boyfriend,

A pompous headmaster who reeks of righteous indignation… and whiskey,

And a school full of privileged students who all claim to “barely” know the young girl who’s been their classmate for three years.

Gillian and company ride a roller-coaster of emotions with more deaths, a trial, an incredible verdict, and pressure from her boss to leave things as they are.

But Gillian’s gut instinct won’t let go and justice will not be denied. When the truth behind the deaths is revealed, all I could do was shake my head. The more things change, the more they stay the same… through the generations.

Well-written with strong characters, I enjoyed this fast-moving crime fiction after I adjusted to the author’s writing style, especially the side stories that showcased the personal side of some of the investigative team.

Enjoy!


SYNOPSIS

When a body is found in the grounds of a prestigious Wiltshire private school, DI Gillian Marsh takes on the case. The young groundsman, Bradley Watson, has been shot dead, pierced through the heart with an arrow.

As the investigation gathers pace, DI Marsh is frustrated to find the Whalehurst staff and students united in silence. This scandal must not taint their reputation. But when Gillian discovers pictures of missing Whalehurst pupil, fifteen-year-old Rachel Snyder, on Bradley’s dead body – photos taken on the night she disappeared, and he was murdered – the link between the two is undeniable.

But what is Whalehurst refusing to reveal? And does Gillian have what it takes to bring about justice?

Purchase Links

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US


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Giveaway

Win a DI Marsh Series Mug, and the first four books in the Series

DI Marsh Series first four books – Swimming with Sharks, Nothing to Lose, Thicker than Blood and Sandman.

(UK Only)

E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days, then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.


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#BookReview “Emergency Powers” James McCrone

Emergency Powers by James McCrone Banner

on Tour October 1-31, 2020

5/5 Stars!

The first female United States President is dead, supposedly from a heart attack, but even before an autopsy is completed, her vice-president is sworn in as the new president, and covert cells are activated. Before she’s laid to rest, key positions in the administration are replaced. A plan decades in the making for the ultimate power is almost complete.

FBI Agent Imogen Trager is furious at the fast-moving chain of events, and at herself. Had her Faithless Elector investigation had the successful conclusion of rooting out all the conspiracy members, including the leader, President Diane Redmond might still be alive… and Trager not heading some obscure, aimless department in the bureau.

Though she moves with caution, Gen doesn’t let any dust settle. Reaching out to some of her former department contacts, they track recent events leading up to and immediately following the president’s death with a new focus. They realize they were looking—or not looking—at the right people. Their investigation heats up… and the body count continues to rise, but Gen is caught off guard when one of the architects of the conspiracy—and her number one nemesis contacts her. He wants protection for what he knows. While his testimony could change everything, why should she trust the man who tried to kill her?

There’s no time to catch a breath as this read powers forward. Circumstances and allegiances change in the turn of a page, and sometimes I felt as though I needed a scorecard to keep up! Told in multiple points of view, each character is an active part of the whole regardless of which side of the conspiracy they’re on. It was quite telling that those on the dark side of history were more self-serving with personal motivations, while those trying to stop them saw a bigger picture and fought for a cause. Even poor Calder.

Like George Orwell’s 1984 and Octavia Butler’s Parable Series, Emergency Powers is eerily prophetic. In the current political climate, the events of the story don’t seem fantastical or exaggerated. Or fictional. And that’s the part which makes this wild ride a page-turner… and a little scary.

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

Emergency Powers by James McCrone

The accidental president is no accident. The investigation that was FBI Agent Imogen Trager’s undoing may be the key to stopping a brutal, false flag terrorist attack meant to tighten a puppet president’s grip on power.

Emergency Powers will delight mystery and thriller fans (“Great for fans of Brad Meltzer, David Baldacci.” –Publishers Weekly) And politics junkies will enjoy the ripped-from-the-headlines urgency. But it’s about more than the headlines. And darker. A story of corruption and redemption, achieved at enormous personal cost, featuring FBI Agent Imogen Trager: “a memorable protagonist—as tough as she is smart.” (Kirkus Review)  Indeed, “Three tough female characters steal the show: FBI agents Vega, Sartain, and Trager. Overall, the power dynamics of these women…are something special.” (T. LIEBERMAN, Independent Book Review)

As the story begins, Imogen is haunted—and sidelined—by a case she couldn’t solve. When the president dies in office, she knows that the conspiracy she chased down a blind alley still has life in it—and she needs to get back in the hunt. As bodies pile up and leads go cold, the main target from that old case reaches out to her. He’s still at large, and now he needs protection. Imogen doesn’t trust him, and it’s not only because he’s offering intel that sounds too good to be true. He’s already tried to kill her once.

Set in D.C., Seattle and small town America, Emergency Powers is a story of corruption and redemption, achieved at enormous personal cost.

“A high-stakes political thriller that feels so chillingly true, you pray it’s not”—TOM STRAW, seven-time NYT bestselling author, as Richard Castle

“RECOMMENDED” – Kate Robinson, US Review of Books

“Compelling, heart-pounding and thoroughly intriguing…”— STEPHEN MACK JONES, August Snow, Lives Laid Away

“Keen portraits of true patriotism—and the courage that drives it.” —  ART TAYLOR, The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense-Thriller

Published by: James McCrone

Publication Date: October 1, 2020

Number of Pages: 300

ISBN: 9780999137727 (9780999137734)

Series: An Imogen Trager Thriller

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org | Goodreads


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for James McCrone. There will be 4 winners. Two winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two winners will each win EMERGENCY POWERS by James McCrone (Print ~ US and Canada addresses only). The giveaway begins on October 1, 2020 and runs through November 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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#BookReview “Murder, Forgotten” by Deb Richardson-Moore

on Tour October 1-16, 2020

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5/5 Stars!

When a man is murdered in his home late one evening, there is no shortage of suspects, including his loving wife.

Celebrated novelist Julianna Burke is devastated over the death of her husband, Connor. When she can remember it. Struggling for several months with memory loss and blackouts, it’s believed she was sinking into dementia. Her late husband and her assistant, Margot, were her social buffers, reminding her of dates, places… and names.

When Margot takes Julianna to Scotland to “rest,” her daughter, Logan, dog sits her beloved Annabelle. When her mother returns early, unannounced, and more alert than she’s been in months, Logan decides to stay with her mom to learn more about her condition. Mother and daughter are not estranged, but Logan and her older brother, Harrison, have always felt like outsiders since their mom married Connor twenty-two years ago, even though Connor Burke never excluded them and treated them better than their own father had.

Proximity not only gives Logan time with Julianna, but also allows her to follow the police investigation more closely. She learns the day before Connor’s murder, he and Julianna hosted a happy hour for their close-knit group of neighbors and the police are questioning all of them. Logan has known the group—and most of the residents of the tiny South Carolina island—for most of her life. However, whispered words and shared confidences lead her to wonder if she ever knew any of the neighbors she considered family.

Reading the manuscript of her mother’s latest book, Murder, Forgotten, also makes Logan suspicious… and guilty. How well did she know her mother? Could she be a killer?

Tragedy rocks Logan’s family again but brings with it an explanation for Julianna’s constant confusion and potential links to the past, Julianna’s manuscript, and Connor’s murder.

This slow-burner deftly uses misdirection and distraction to keep you guessing. Before story’s end, Logan will suspect everyone including her brother, her best friend’s father, and her mother’s assistant. As both she and the police investigation get closer to the truth, a killer shows killing again to keep a secret is not a problem.

This was an excellent read! The characters are well-sketched personalities that will invoke a myriad of emotions. Harrison is an entitled jerk. There, I said it. Logan is steadfast and searches not only for justice but also for confirmation Julianna and Connor were the loving, devoted couple she knew them to be.

Murder, Forgotten is a definite page-turner for readers of suspense and crime fiction.

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

Book Details:

Genre: Murder Mystery, Southern Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Lion Fiction
Publication Date: September 18th 2020
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1782643117 (ISBN13: 9781782643111)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Tour Participants:

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Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Deb Richardson-More. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each win one (1) ebook copy ofMurder, Forgotten by Deb Richardson-Moore. The giveaway begins on October 1, 2020 and runs through October 18, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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#BookReview “Everywhere to Hide” by Siri Mitchell

on Tour October 1-31, 2020


5/5 stars!

Leaving her barista job one afternoon, Whitney Garrison finds a man lying on the ground in the alley, blood oozing from his head. Shocked, she glances around, seeing no one until she looks up and sees a man with a gun on the roof.  Before he can aim at her, a garbage truck rambles down the alley and the man disappears.

It isn’t long before a mass of law enforcement is on the scene investigating and asking questions. What did she see? Did she know the dead man? Can she identify the killer? Though she has the dead man’s blood on her hands from trying to rouse him and she saw the gunman on the roof, Whitney can’t identify either man. Not because she doesn’t recognize them, but because she can’t… Whitney has prosopagnosia—face blindness.

Having just left a relationship where she endured emotional and physical abuse, Whitney’s nerves are already frayed. She works two jobs while studying for the bar exam and stresses over the massive student loan and credit card debt she amassed. The police investigation only adds to her burden, especially when a connection is found between the murder and an internship Whitney had done for a congressman who chaired the House Financial Services Committee.

Whitney finds kindness in Detective Leo Baroni, the case’s lead investigator, but when it’s discovered Whitney has a stalker and he’s escalating, turning her life upside down, Leo’s interest becomes personal.

This was an excellent read with a great plot device! First-person POV is not my narrative of preference, but author Siri Mitchell nails it. With a protagonist who doesn’t even recognize herself, the story is still engrossing as Whitney has to rely on hairstyles, clothing, voices, and journal notes to identify people around her.

A killer with surprising motivations contributes to a nice, twisty ending. Readers of thrillers and suspense will love this one and the attention to detail!

Enjoy!


Synopsis:

How can she protect herself from an enemy she can’t see?

Law school graduate Whitney Garrison is a survivor. She admirably deals with an abusive boyfriend, her mother’s death, mounting student debt, dwindling job opportunities, and a rare neurological condition that prevents her from recognizing human faces.

But witnessing a murder might be the crisis she can’t overcome.

The killer has every advantage. Though Whitney saw him, she has no idea what he looks like. He knows where she lives and works. He anticipates her every move. Worst of all, he’s hiding in plain sight and believes she has information he needs. Information worth killing for. Again.

As the hunter drives his prey into a net of terror and international intrigue, Whitney’s only ally, Detective Leo Baroni, is taken off the case. Stripped of all semblance of safety, Whitney must suspect everyone and trust no one—and hope to come out alive.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense

Published by: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: October 6th 2020

Number of Pages: 352

ISBN: 0785228640 (ISBN13: 9780785228646

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com® | Goodreads


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Siri Mitchell. There will be 3 winners. Each winner will receive one (1) physical copy of Everywhere To Hide by Siri Mitchell (U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on October 1, 2020 and runs through November 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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#BookReview “The Lie She Told” by Catherine Yaffe

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Kate Walker flees from the courtroom as her ex-husband, Darren, now a convicted felon is dragged off to prison promising to get even with her. His crime wasn’t immediately disclosed, but authorities wasted no time relocating Kate and her young son, Joe.

A determined woman and dedicated mother, Kate works hard to build a new life. A small Scottish pub not only brings Kate employment and a place to live, but its owner, Jack Bruce, becomes a surrogate father and grandfather to her and Joe.

Kate proves herself a savvy businesswoman and asset to Jack, and she goes from employee to partner. She looks forward to the future and the life she’s always wanted for her and Joe until she gives a stranger a ride on a rainy night.

The stranger turns out to be Ryan Albright, the man Kate had an affair with, a former close friend of Darren’s, and bad news.

While Kate’s first reaction to seeing him is anger and she knows she should avoid Ryan at all costs, she falls for his fake sincerity and lets him back into her life, clueless he’s playing her and the price she will pay for it.

I didn’t find Ryan to be charming or irresistible and was annoyed with how easily Kate dropped her guard. She went from a confident woman to soggy, wet dishrag when he showed up, weighing down the story’s pace… and my interest.

A troublemaker since his youth, Ryan Albright was not a criminal mastermind, or even clever. He took plans for crimes more as guidelines and always took the easy way which benefited him more. Even his family knew he couldn’t be trusted. And Jack’s growing unease around Ryan drives a wedge between him and Kate, who seems like a freshly lobotomized teenager as she defends Ryan.

The truth comes out when Ryan carries out his plan, but justice can’t be served until Kate admits to the lie she told which set everything in motion and brought her to her current situation.

For me, the story never rose to the thriller level. I felt more fear and hysteria from Kate in the opening when she rushed from the courtroom than when her child was missing. I also didn’t sense ruthlessness from Ryan, despite his crimes. Callousness, yes, but he never seemed dangerous to me.

But The Lie She Told is well written with a good plot and strong supporting characters like Jack Bruce and Fiona, Kate’s sister, who helped move the story forward to a satisfying ending.

Enjoy!


All Kate wanted was a peaceful life.

All Ryan wanted to do was destroy it.

Living in the remote Scottish Highlands under Witness Protection, life is finally happy for Kate Ward and her young son Joe, until someone from Kate’s past appears. Ryan Albright is the only person that knows all of Kate’s secrets, and what she had to do to escape her previous abusive relationship. Ryan is determined to complete the mission set for him by Kate’s ex-husband. Systematically and violently, he pulls Kate’s new world apart with devastating consequences for everyone around him, including Kate who must face up to the lie she told.

Purchase Links

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US


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#AudioReview “The Girl That Vanished: The Emma Griffin FBI Mysteries Book 2” by A.J. Rivers

Author: A.J. Rivers

Narrator: Claire Duncan

Length: 5 hours and 48 minutes

Series: Emma Griffin FBI, Book 2

Publisher: Altered Path

Released: Sep. 16, 2020

Genre: Thriller

Ring…Ring…One call from her past was all it took to change everything.A ten-year-old girl has vanished on her way home from camp.And things took a turn for the worse when another child, a child that Emma knows, goes missing.Disappearances, death, and tragedies has followed Emma Griffin throughout her childhood.Her obsession with finding out the truth behind her past was what led her to join the FBI.It’s been months since the horror of Feather Nest.After the shocking revelation of the last case, FBI agent Emma Griffin decides to take a much-needed vacation.But a phone call from Sheriff Sam Johnson, a man from her past, completely derails her plans.A young girl has disappeared, and another child has gone missing.With the number count slowly climbing.Emma must now put her plans on hold, go back to her hometown and face some ghosts from her past.When a mysterious package appears on her birthday.Emma can’t shake the feeling that someone is monitoring her every movement.Someone is getting too close for comfort.The question is who?In the close-knit town of Sherwood, the truth is never as it seems.

A.J. Rivers loves all things mystery and thriller. Growing up in a sleepy small town, A.J. spent her days enthralled in crime solving novels and movies. She started creating stories at a young age to escape and create adventures for herself. As a child she dreamed of solving crimes and becoming a crime fighter. She dreamed of being as great as her favorite crime solving character Sherlock Holmes. While in college she realized that leading a crime fighting life might be more gruesome than she could stomach. She decided that the best course of action would be to fuse her love of writing with her love of thrilling mysteries together. She finds inspiration from researching true crimes and is passionate about writing suspenseful novels with crazy twists. Twists that you’ll never see coming. The inspiration for her first novel came when she read a news article about a missing young woman in a small town that was never found. Her question on who, what, and why brought her to her journal to discovering the dark twisted story behind the disappearance and to seek justice for the victim through her writing. Her thriller novels have elements of mystery, suspense, and romance. When she’s not absorbed in a novel or working on her next thriller mystery, her favorite past time is spent with her husky. She finds great inspiration while going on hikes with her dog.

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Narrator Bio

Claire Duncan is a multi-award winning actress living in NYC. She has performed Off-Broadway, regionally, and in national tours, and appeared in the Drama Desk nominated revival of The Threepenny Opera. She has played the lead in a dozen films, and received a Best Actress Award for her work as Rosetta in the dark comedy Rosetta’s Blues, which debuted at Cannes. As a singer, she had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and toured the country as a travel host with Visit The USA. Claire’s broad career has shaped her into an exceptional and flexible voice artist. You can hear her on Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, in hundreds of national commercials, and in over thirty audiobooks. “Claire Duncan was a dynamo” – New York Stage Review “Simply side-splitting… a terrific comedic actress” – Show Business Weekly Proud member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA.

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Review

The horrors of Feathered Nest, Virginia left Emma Griffin with a feather in her cap for a job well done… and in department-ordered counseling.

Jake’s deception and betrayal have only added to the inner trauma Emma carries from her past. She’d probably be farther along in counseling… and recovery if she’d stopped trying to slam doors her therapist opens. But that’s Emma.

Vacation plans made to avoid her birthday get waylaid first by a party planned by Bellamy and Eric, then by a call from her past. Emma tries not to think about the young girl missing from summer camp in Sherwood, the closest thing to a hometown she has.  But when a second child goes missing, she can’t refuse a personal request for help from Sherwood’s sheriff. Emma just wished he wasn’t also the man she walked away from years ago, Sam Johnson.

There’s no shortage of suspects in Sherwood and Emma and Sam race to identify a kidnapper who becomes a killer when the body of the first child taken is found… and another child disappears.

As the case intensifies, so does Emma’s anxiety. Just being back in her hometown is unsettling and distracting. Staying in the family home where her mother was murdered, and which was the last place she saw her father brings back memories that clash with her recent assignment in Feathered Nest. A mysterious birthday gift and anonymous calls from Feathered Nest prove someone is watching her, but who and why?

While not at the top of her game, Emma Griffin is still a sharp investigator. I give her credit for knowing she is her own worst enemy and forgive her for the self-indulgent pity party and repeated flashes of arrogance because she rises to the occasion and faces down old fears to unmask a killer motivated by arrogance and selfishness.

Though wonky in a few places that left me with questions, I enjoyed The Girl That Vanished. AJ Rivers delivers another well-written, fast-paced work of suspense with excellent narration.

Enjoy!

I volunteered to review this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by A.J. Rivers. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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#BookReview “Derailed” by Mary Keliikoa

Derailed by Mary Keliikoa Banner

on Tour September 1-30, 2020

4/5 Stars

After losing her mother at a young age, only child, Kelly Pruett, grew up with her father, Roger, and his private investigation agency. Though he always promised to train her, Kelly did little more than run the office and serve subpoenas. Years later, still working with her father and devastated by her husband’s affair, a newly divorced Kelly returns to her childhood home. Her dreams of training with her dad are dashed when he dies suddenly. Kelly struggles to take care of her home and the eight-year-old deaf daughter she has partial custody of.

Kelly gets her first real investigating job when Georgette Hanson shows up at her office. Unsatisfied with the police findings of accidental death, Georgette is convinced her daughter, Brooke, did not stumble onto train tracks while drunk and get hit by a commuter train. She knows Brooke was murdered and believes the one lone witness was involved.

Hesitant to take a case already closed by police, Kelly does because in the letter her father left her, he asked if “Georgette Hanson” were to ever come to Kelly for help, she would do so without question.

Channeling the father she adored, Kelly moves through the investigation that could borrow its name from the old Franken book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. No one is upfront and honest with her. Even the most sincere hold back and/or distort the truth. Kelly believes Brooke was murdered and she knows who did it, but new folks with motives keep popping up.

It doesn’t help that she gets distracted by Jeff, the overprotective ex who wants to reconcile, his mother, Arlene, who thinks Kelly’s work is too dangerous, and Kyle, her contact in the police department, a sexy young cop she’s daydreaming about more and more. The attempts on her life also don’t make her job easier… and they don’t stop her.

Kelly Pruett is a good character, determined to live life on her own terms. While I respected her, I didn’t care for her much in the beginning because I wasn’t convinced she knew what her terms were. The only genuine feeling I got from her was her devotion to her daughter. Everything else felt forced, especially her intention to keep the investigation agency going. She idolized Roger Pruett and seemed to want to keep the business going as a tribute to him rather than a profession she wanted. The Brooke Hanson case will help her find her way, as well as bring revelations about her father that dim the glowing image she’s held of him.

Derailed is a well-written mystery with sleight-of-hand plot twists that lead to a killer who committed the perfect crime(s)… until Kelly Pruett got involved.

Enjoy!


Synopsis:

Derailed by Mary Keliikoa

When a single mom of a deaf daughter inherits her father’s PI business and aims to prove that a young woman’s death by train wasn’t an accident, she finds herself on a crash course with her complicated family and a killer determined to keep the truth hidden.


Tour Participants:

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GIVEAWAY:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Mary Keliikoa. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on September 1, 2020 and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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#BookReview “Life for Life” by JK Franko

on Tour August 1 – September 30, 2020

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5/5 Stars!

I was ready for confessions, courtroom drama, and clean-up in book three of the Talion series.

Silly me!

JK Franko adds new characters, more murders, and a sneaky plot twist that made me sit up and grin! I re-read the scene three times, shaking my head. I was prepared for something, but nothing even close to what actually happened! Well-played, Mr. Franko! Kudos!

As the police work to build a case against Roy Cruise, karma hangs around the story’s periphery, ready to jump in with a gotcha… and boy, howdy!

The story’s narrator, the therapist who treats Roy and Susie, is more present in book three, and just as messed up as everyone else. There are no good people in this story. Some are simply more desperate than others. It makes me wonder if a young girl had lived instead of died at summer camp thirty-plus years ago, how different these lives would be. Or would they?

In Additional Content after the story, the author says he’s working on BOOK FOUR, so even though loose ends are tied and there is some form of closure, the Talion series is far from over.

Franko does a superb job with character development and powerful personalities leap from the pages. (That trial judge! Whew!)

For me, Life for Life is the best of the series so far because the consequences of prior actions hit hardest with a ripple effect. I recommend this read but strongly suggest reading the books in series order or the relevance of a guy named Slipknot, an empty syringe, and a penis nailed to a front door will be lost on you!

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

What would YOU do if someone threatened your family?

Roy Cruise and his pregnant wife Susie barely survived an assassination attempt in their own home. The police now have them under surveillance. Meanwhile, Kristy Wise is a loose cannon—she knows too much and is trying to “set things right.”

What goes around comes around. And in this case, Roy and Susie may have pushed things too far. There are too many dead bodies. Too many foes plotting against them.

Roy and Susie must outwit the police and neutralize their enemies once and for all. If not, their days of retribution may end behind bars… or six feet under.

Life for Life is Book Three of the Talion crime thriller series which begins with the Eye for Eye Trilogy.

Eye for Eye

Tooth for Tooth

Life for Life

If you like smart, fast-paced thrillers with unexpected twists, then you’ll love J.K. Franko.

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Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal

Published by: Talion Publishing

Publication Date: July 31st, 2020

Number of Pages: 396

ISBN:978-1-9993188-2-6

Series: Talion Series, #3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

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Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

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Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be Six (6) winners for this tour. Two (2) winners will each receive a $10. Amazon GC. Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (Print ~ US and Canada Only) and Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (eBook). The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020 and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours