Evil Water by Inger Wolf
Genre: Crime Thriller
Rating: 4 stars - A Recommended Read.
When the decomposing bodies of two missing women are found buried in a pair of suitcases under a pile of stones, Detective Inspector Daniel Trokic quickly anticipates that this investigation is going to
be a tricky one and he is not wrong! With the discovery that both women were bled to death by leeches comes a whole heap of other considerations and complications. African Tribal Ceremonies, religious insanity and a rare species of flower are all quickly linked to the investigation but how are all these
different factors connected? When a third girl goes missing, Trokic knows he is working against the clock but where does he go next when all his leads appear to be a dead end?
I really liked this a lot and thought it a highly competent European crime thriller with lots of nice twists and turns in the plot. I found the writing style a little rough in places but this was no doubt due more to the fact that it has been translated from the Dutch language for a wider audience than in the actual writing itself. I liked the way that nothing is really properly resolved until the last pages and though there might be a few out there who might be able to piece all the clues together quicker than me, still I was pleased that I personally wasn’t able to guess the true culprit before they were revealed!
Hopefully this will be only the start of a series that will go on to become equal or rival to Wallander as I thought it was every bit as skill full and entertaining. Certainly I was able to warm to the characters and found the whole story very easy to get in to and involving. I knocked a star off my rating because I think it just missed out on total excellence but this is not a criticism, merely an observation and definitely
Wolf is an author that I would like to see more of in the future as I didn’t really think I got to know as much of Trokic and his team as I would have liked in this opening novel.
If you like good, competent crime thrillers with a tough, European edge, then this is for you. If you have never picked up any foreign language authors before and the thought of reading something
translated has always put you off, you should likewise give this a go. Much as with many foreign language movies, you will be missing out if you don’t give this a chance and that would be a crying shame as this is definitely worth picking up!
Taking the Highway by M.H.Mead
Genre: Science Fiction
TBR Reviewer: Mark
Rating: 4 stars - Recommended Read.
In future Detroit, there are rules about taking the Highway. One of these is the Minimum Passenger Requirement that sees drivers heavily fined for driving vehicles under capacity. This is where the Fourths come in. Essentially paid Hitchhikers, for a negotiable fee they will
ride in your car with you and fill the vacancy in your carpool, enabling you to take the Highway rather than driving the longer side streets. It has become a legitimate profession but is not without its risks. Because someone has begun killing Fourths...
This was a great Sci-fi novel that was an absolutely great read from start to finish! Set in a highly realistic and believable future only a stone's throw away from the present, the book is part of a larger series based in a future version of Detroit. The books can be read either in order or separately and feature some cross-over of characters and events but not enough to spoil or hinder your enjoyment. There is nothing here that is particularly ground-breaking but then there doesn’t need to be! This particular book in the series was both original, individual and creative and came as a refreshing change in a Genre that too often can feel overly swamped by depressing visions of a grim, dystopian future. What the authors set out here to achieve, and succeed in doing I might add, is to create an alternative vision; one that is still breath-taking but, at the same time, a bit more positive and believable set just a few years away from where we are now.
The story moves along quickly at a good pace and is populated with realistic and credible characters that the reader can readily associate with. It is a bit of an easy read but if you are looking for something light that is also lots of fun, you could certainly do a lot worse! As much a clever Crime thriller as it is Sci-fi, this novel highly impressed me and left me keen to read more by the same author. Taking The Highway comes highly recommended from me and M.H. Mead certainly looks like an author to watch out for in the future for enjoyable, uncomplicated, good quality Sci-fi!
Her Unlikely Bodyguard by Lorraine Nelson
Genre: romantic suspense
Length: novel (168 pgs.)
TBR Reviewer: Amanda
Rating: 4 Stars - Recommended Read.
Heat: 4 Handcuffs - An erotic Ride.
When Jemma Leigh Harding returns to her hometown after a ten year absence, she is doing more than coming to care for her cancer-stricken mother and father with diabetes. She is also healing an estrangement with them, introducing them to their grandson, and running from a stalker that has made her life miserable for six months. The last thing she expects is to be nearly run-down by her high school sweetheart on her first day home, breaking her ankle and allowing him to discover the truth about her return. Ted Garrity has also recently come back to
Sommerville after time in the Army, marrying, having a child and losing his wife to a land mine. Jemma Leigh awakens all his protective instincts when he hears about her stalker, and soon they are spending all their time together again.
This story has just the right amount of romance and suspense. The mystery of Jemma Leigh's stalker as well as that of her past are interesting, as is the reconciliation with Ted. I loved how the answers to Zach's questions came out and the development of all the family relationships that Jemma Leigh and Zach had been missing. The final revelation of the stalker was a shock as well. My only real quibble with the story is that the timeline was hard to follow - at times, it seemed that events were following one upon another, but then something would be mentioned that showed several days must have passed (how her ankle healed, for example). I found that slightly disconcerting, but the writing was well done and the story worth reading. Ted and Jemma Leigh made a great romantic couple and the various Mounties made great side characters, as did Stacey and the children and grandparents.
Giveaway: Comment below to enter. One winner will get Her Unlikely Bodyguard and another will get a book from our Prize List!
Trial & Terror by Adam Penenberg
Genre: Crime thriller
Rating: 5 Stars - A Must Read!
Summer Neuwirth is a Public Defense lawyer who puts her all into her work. So when she wins her first case, you would think she would be overjoyed. Except Summer knows her client was guilty and that he is starting to form an unhealthy obsession with her. As if that weren’t enough her mother has disappeared without a trace, her new client is being uncooperative as she becomes increasingly more likely to face Death Row and Summer herself is being haunted by shadows from her recent past when she was attacked and raped. As Summer tries hard to uncover the truth behind her latest case, events begin to spiral out of control and she soon finds her personal life quickly overlapping into her work as the two become firmly entangled. Meanwhile her former client simply refuses to leave her alone....
Every once in a while a truly great thriller comes along that holds your attention and blows you away. This was just such a book! Summer is an excellently devised character whose story
quickly pulls you in and before you know it, you are hooked! This is a book that is difficult to
talk about without giving anything away but suffice to say there are some great twists and turns here. The plot moves at a ferocious pace leading to a shockingly brilliant climax that even I didn’t see coming! At a time when thrillers have flooded the market and almost become ten a penny, it is refreshing to find something that stands out from the crowd and returns the
genre back to it’s roots! This really was a highly enjoyable read and one I would not hesitate to recommend!
GIVEAWAY: One winner will the Trial and Terror Ebook and another will get a book from our prize list! Comment below to enter.
Full Throttle by T.C. Archer
Genre - Suspense Romance
Length - Novel
TBR Reviewer - Daniella
Rating: 4 Stars - Recommended Read.
Heat: 3 handcuffs - Blush worthy.
This was a light read. It is set in the NASCAR racing world, and although I have only seen a few races on TV, the book never felt too technical. The races rather sucked me in and made my adrenaline pump. One of the main characters in this story is Gail “Jimmy” James, the first female head mechanic for Howards Motors and in NASCAR. She is very well qualified with a lot of good ideas, but when strange things start to happen, people around her start to question her experience. Then a threatening note appears in Jimmy´s locked tool box, the team realizes that it wasn´t about rookie mistakes, but that they have a saboteur among them.
I thought that Gail and Rex were interesting characters, both strong and independent but not without faults. One of Gail´s biggest problems is that she tends to punch first and ask later, especially with Rex. The mystery and the racing was a bigger part of the story than the romance, but I thought that the mystery part was really good and kept me guessing to the end. The story did get a bit confusing in the last half, and the romance bit felt a bit rushed and on the side.
The few sex scenes in this books didn´t do it for me, mostly due to the wording. I agree that you might want to use a few euphemisms, but in this book it felt like the author came up with as many euphemisms as possible to avoid naming any body parts by their real names. As a whole I liked this story and I think everyone can enjoy it, NASCAR fans or not.
Title: The mind-man by Peter Richmond
Genre: paranormal thriller
Rating: 1 Star
As a young boy growing up in a rural town in Australia, Adam is a bit of a misfit, constantly bullied by one of his peers. But when Adam dreams of his tormentor being killed in an accident, he is shocked to awake the next morning and discover it has come true. Decades later, a frustrated Police Sergeant across the water in America begins investigating
a series of seemingly unconnected mysterious deaths. The deaths themselves are not that mysterious, appearing to be simple accidents. What is strange is that the victims were all movers and shakers in big business and that just before they died, the same small Company bought up lots of their shares. Joined in his search for the truth by an eager, young reporter, he quickly discovers that sometimes the truth IS stranger than fiction....
This was a book whose premise intrigued me. Unfortunately dull, two-dimensional characters and a meandering plot did not exactly do this book any favors. The limits of disbelief were stretched to breaking point by a couple of apparently co-incidental events that
tested credibility and much of the dialogue between characters simply did not ring true. I am struggling to find something positive about this book as I hate writing negative reviews if I can help it but unfortunately in this particular case, the well is coming up dry.
What started off okay quickly became tiresome and the suggestion at the end of this book that a potential sequel is planned did very little to excite me I am afraid to say.
Unscripted (Duty Bound #1) by J.S. Marlo
Genre: romantic suspense
Length: novel (283 pgs.)
TBR Reviewer: Amanda
Rating: 5 Stars
Heat: 3 - Blush Worthy
When Riley Kendrick wins a scriptwriting contest, she has no idea of the turbulence ahead. From the first meeting with a member of the cast of Wild Rescue to meeting her co-writers, she is flung into office politics unparalleled by the stories they are writing. Blythe Huxley enjoys his job as an actor on Wild Rescue, but his wife's months in a coma have taken a toll on him personally. Meeting Riley when he is sent to pick her up from the airport adds a new dimension to his life, but strange things keep happening to both of them as their friendship grows.
I really enjoyed this love story - although both main characters are married when they meet, there is no impropriety or cheating, just two co-workers that become friends. It is only later, when both of them are free to do so, that the friendship deepens. The villain of the piece was well written as well - no two-dimensional characters here. I enjoyed both the mystery/suspense angle and the romance, which can be hard to balance but was well-done in this story. I
also enjoyed how well populated the book was - Riley's family, Blythe's sister and in-laws, and their various co-workers all added color and interest to their story. I also liked that this story had a little of everything - cowboys and horses, firefighters and cops, and actors/screenwriters. It neatly took lots of enjoyable professions and melded them into a great book. I look forward to where this series goes next.
Giveaway: 1 Ebook - Comment below to enter!
Silent Cymbals by Lynde Lakes
Genre - Romantic Suspence
Length - Novel
TBR Reviewer - Daniella
Rusti Collins, a kindergarten teacher, was separated from her identical twin when she was very young. They finally reconnect and although all of the love is still there, Rusti can´t help but wonder why her sister is so secretive and distant. It all unfolds when FBI undercover agent Marc Devaux, aka gangster Razor Jones, mistakes Rusti for her sister and passes her a jeweled box containing incriminating microfilm. When Rusti finds her sister murdered, she
suddenly has to trust Marc and his story, as they are relentlessly hunted by crime bosses, the cops and a killer who wants them dead at any price.
This was a good romantic mystery. It had an interesting plot and Rusti and Marc made an interesting team as they have to keep one step ahead of the killer, while trying to find out who is after them. There is an attraction between them, but they can´t really let go and trust. I liked that this book was more about the mystery with more romantic undertones then the attraction and sexual tension between the two main characters. The mystery was well thought out and I liked the twist in the end.
Although the plot line was clear enough, this still was a little hard for me to read because of the writing style. There was a lot of dialogue and it felt like a lot of things were spelled out and detailed that needn´t have been. I also felt that at times there was just too much going on, too much action and too much tragedy.
Title: The Fire of Thieves
Author: Chacelyn Pierce
TBR Reviewer: Shyla
Ms. Pierce answers what it would feel like to live the life of a secret agent minus the loyalty to the government which made it that much more fun! Caitlyn/Katie isn’t your average woman in a romance. Which I loved! This strong willed woman can handle a knife, gun, and a host of other equipment most of us will never lay eyes on. Why you ask, because she’s a black suit wearing, wall walking, thief. Didn’t see that coming did you! She embodies the definition of kicking ass and taking names er… items as it where.The thing about thieves is, eventually they want to retire and Caitlyn is no different.The thing holding her back is her long time partner and lover Jerrick, who’s having none of relocation plan.
Jerrick could care less about the ordinary life she’s built for herself as a curator of art exhibits or her plain Jane… well Jim in this case boyfriend Ethan. Sexy as sin, adventurous, and downright charismatic Jerrick could catch any woman’s eye. When you add that potent combination to the fact that he was Caitlyn’s first love he’s the obvious choice, right? Don’t count Ethan out or the appeal of a normal life. In the end the two have one last hurrah as thieves for Caitlyn to figure things out.
This story had so many twists and turns I thought I was on a rollercoaster! It kept me guessing, wanting more and impressed. Ms. Pierce has a brilliant, almost lyrical beauty to her words. She executed this well thought out plot to perfection and really stepped outside of the
box.We need more stories like this to shake up the romance genre. I look forward to reading more from her, and strongly recommend this read.
Title: To Russia with love by Celia Aubrey and Chris Almeida
Genre: Erotic thriller
Following on from the events in Countermeasures, Trevor and Cassandra Bauer are now married, have moved to Dublin and have opened a Data Retrieval business whilst still consulting part-time for the NSA. Trevor is still obsessed with discovering the truth behind his parents disappearance and when a chance comes up to accept a job in exchange for some lost notes of his fathers, he leaps at the opportunity that takes him and his new wife into the
heart of Russia and the arms of the Russian Mafia. As things begin to heat up, are he and Cassandra finally out of their depth?
This is the sequel to the excellent Countermeasures and features all of the characters who first appeared there, continuing their story as Trevor hunts for the truth. It is slightly longer than Countermeasures and is still a highly enjoyable and entertaining read! Once again, parts of the book are not for the faint-hearted as there are again some very explicitly described scenes of a highly sexual nature included in the plot, but this is very well written
and really pulls you into the story. It is great to see the continuation of Trevor and Cassandra’s story and to catch up with them several months along from the first book and I loved the idea of taking them both out of their comfort zone and throwing them to the wolves once more.
I was going to give this only four stars, not because of any deterioration in the quality of writing but simply because I didn’t think this was quite as gripping as Countermeasures or as fast-paced. As this book moves closer towards its explosive finale, the novel ups the ante and the level of tension lifting this back up to a five!
I am still not exactly sure who is this series is aimed at (is it marketed towards those who love Erotic Romance but yearn desperately for more plot or for readers of espionage, spy-type thrillers who crave much more explicit sexual content with their latest James Bond fix?). Tthat doesn’t really matter because what the authors set out to achieve here hits all the right buttons and does it well! This series is both thrilling and highly engaging at the same time.
I really loved this and thought it an excellent sequel. I can’t wait to catch up with the characters again and look forward to getting some more answers next time around but this is one book that I can highly recommend.....both as a stand-alone and as a follow-up to the brilliant Countermeasures. Miss this and you will be missing a treat!
To Russia With Love is a really good, cracking, cyber-thriller with extra added spice and more than a little heat!