The Scopas Factor by Vincent Panettiere Review

A simple cloth becomes the vocal point for an international mystery involving war crimes, art theft and murder in author Vincent Panettiere’s The Scopas Factor.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A simple cloth becomes the vocal point for an international mystery involving war crimes, art theft and murder in author Vincent Panettiere’s The Scopas Factor. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

A Hmong “story cloth,” a Revolutionary War battle flag, forged Picassos and a Russian drug dealer—finding the link between these disparate elements is the challenge Mike Hegan faces in The Scopas Factor, the latest mystery from Vincent Panettiere.

After his last investigation ends tragically, Detective Mike Hegan returns to Chicago from St. Kitts, hoping to put everything behind him. But his girlfriend, Diana, has other plans, and although he has no interest in the job opportunity she presents him—in a small northern California town, no less—he wants to please her. Upon his arrival in Weedley, he’s caught up in a kidnapping and two murders. A visit to Diana’s family in San Francisco only serves to deepen the mystery, as her father might be the link to a gang of antiquities thieves that might have something to do with the crimes in Weedley. And when Diana’s father disappears, Hegan takes off for Antibes in southern France, where he discovers that the mystery has only just begun.

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The Review

A whirlwind adventure that explores the horrors of war and the ways in which criminals profit from other’s misery, the story is the third highly acclaimed novel from author Vincent Panettiere. The novel is very character driven, taking readers through the mystery by showcasing everyone involved in great detail, from Detective Heagan and his investigation into the mystery, to the woman who’s mother left a legacy behind that she hopes will reveal the truth, and an art forger who finds himself caught in the midst of a bloody battle. 

The author does a fantastic job of commanding the story fully into the mystery genre. The action of the narrative plays out in a very creative and cinematic way, creating instant images in the readers imagination as they follow the adventure piece by piece. The way the author stretches out the mystery is perfect as well, taking readers in one direction and then completely dropping the floor out from under them, taking the adventure into an entirely unexpected direction. 

The Verdict

This is a wonderful novel, filled to the brim with action, suspense and romance as one lone detective becomes embroiled in a larger than life international mystery. Who can you trust when everyone seems to be connected? And with a feeling of dread hanging over the detective after the loss of his last two relationships, can he find happiness in a new relationship, or are the dangers of the case too overwhelming for his relationship to survive? Find out in this incredible roller coaster mystery by picking up your copy of The Scopas Factor by Vincent Panettiere today!

Rating: 10/10

www.vincentpanettiere.com

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About the Author

Many times imagination develops through loneliness. Left in solitude and quiet the creative process emerges later, dormant until activated by circumstances or maturity.

Vincent was the only boy in a family of six children. Many times he was left to himself and his imagination. As he got older, he started writing short stories.

Vincent tells about the time he submitted a short story to “one of those magazines at the supermarket checkout counters”. He showed this story to his high school English teacher who then became convinced that the teenager was having trouble at home. He wasn’t, but this story earned him his first acknowledgement as a writer – as well as his first rejection slip.

He began his career as a sports reporter for the UPI wire service. While in graduate school at Boston University, he wrote sports for The Boston Herald, a daily newspaper.

Several years later after having reviewed his screenplay submissions a story editor at Columbia Pictures encouraged Vincent to move to the West Coast and keep writing. He wrote and sold several screenplays which – “in the byzantine world of motion pictures” – went unproduced.

It was time for a career change. Panettiere struck out on his own becoming a licensed literary agent representing writers and directors in TV and Film. During this time he became frustrated with the entertainment financing system, and began searching for outside financing for his clients. Some of his experiences are chronicled in his book, The Internet Financing Illusion.

Whether as a literary agent or executive at CBS or Twentieth Century Fox, Panettiere continued to search for ideas and stories to feed his imagination. For him, the seed of a story starts nudging his mind, forming characters and situations. His characters lead the story, and often surprise him with unforeseen twists.

The Scopas Factoris Panettiere’s third novel. His other novels are A Woman to Blameand the award-winning and critically acclaimed These Thy Gifts, which earned 5 stars from Readers’ Favorite,  second place in Literary and  Contemporary Fiction from CIPA, as well as the Reviewers’ Choice Award in General Fiction Novels. He is also the author of The Internet Financing Illusiona nonfiction account of the dark side of the internet.

For Vincent, writing brings several joys. He looks forward to reading the pages he has written a day later. Many times he can’t remember writing the pages. “This is my favorite part of the creation process. Something inside takes over. Something that I know I can rely on indefinitely.”

Most importantly, he says, the best part of the writing process is “having written – having defeated the tyranny of the blank page.”

Vincent Panettiere currently resides on the West Coast.

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The Steps by Iveta Redliha REVIEW

An attempt to create the perfect family leads to secrets and tragedies in Iveta Redliha’s novel, The Steps. The Latvian author, (along with a beautiful translation from translator Karina Loza), builds a haunting world in which two decades collide and a haunted past could lead to a bloody future. Here is the official synopsis:

“Shivers ran down Reyna’s spine. For a moment she thought his last words were meant as a threat. The stranger’s look had been so sharp and penetrating, horrifying and exciting at the same time. She embraced herself and shuddered once again. This time it was due to the pungent wind that was becoming stronger as the evening grew closer. For a while she stood there watching Lucas walk away, then finally looked away.”

Bradbury is a gorgeous property that stands amidst dark secrets. One fine day a young reckless woman Leonora, driven by desire for easy money that a rich couple would offer their surrogate mother, comes to live at the mansion, unsuspecting of the paths this seemingly carefree life and lust for money will bring to.
Meanwhile, Reyna’s steady life is turned upside down the moment her mother dies in suspicious circumstances and leaves her an unknown property and dark secrets from her turbulent past. Around that time handsome yet secretive Lucas comes into Reyna’s life. At the end the truth about the young man and the horrors of his past that haunt him, not allowing him to give in to his feelings, serves a final blow to Reyna.

Iveta Redliha (b. 1977) is a Latvian writer. With great passion she unravels in writing destinies of people of different walks of life, and their entangled feelings. “The Steps” was born out of the writer’s imagination and built on inspiration from gothic love and detective novels.

This Gothic Thriller is extremely unique and delivers a chilling story. The characters are flawed, human and sometimes terrifying. The story of a young woman’s mission of greed becomes a horrifying family drama, while another woman meets a mysterious man and learns he may have a dark side he is hiding from her. Telling the tale of a powerful family ruled by money and influence, and those that get ensnared in their power struggles and selfish desires is something we’ve seen play out time and again, and yet it’s given a breath of fresh air from author Iveta Redliha.

The writing is exceptional, delivering a spine-chilling account of two worlds colliding in messy and unexpected ways. It was a fast paced read with
lots of twists and turns, and while there are a few spots where you can see where the grammar didn’t match up with the translation, overall the
book was greatly translated for the English speaking audience, delivering a powerful literary experience that is wholly unique and fun.

Overall this was a fantastic read. The atmospheric nature of the Gothic genre blends perfectly with the mystery of the thriller genre in Iveta
Redliha’s The Steps, and if you haven’t yet I highly recommend you pick up your copies today!

Rating: 8/10

Dead by Morning (Ritual of the Night #1) by Kayla Krantz

Death wears a beautiful face in the spine-chilling thriller Dead by Morning, the first in the Ritual of the Night series written by author
Kayla Krantz. Here is the synopsis:

Obsession is deadly. No one learns that better than Luna Ketz, a pessimistic high school senior. She wishes more than anything to graduate but
things don’t always go as planned. Luna quickly finds herself trapped in a web of lies and murders, spun by the least suspected person in her
hometown. It’s not long before she realizes she’s being targeted by the person she despises most in the world. When Luna figures out who is
behind the killings, things make a turn for the bizarre when she is contacted by a friend she has not heard from in years. It is then Luna
realizes she is very much in danger, but although she can avoid the killer in reality, she cannot avoid him in her dreams.

There’s something about nightmare killers that is especially troubling. Like a Nightmare on Elm Street before it, Dead by Morning plays on the
fear that a lot of people have, and that is that our dreams will somehow follow us into our waking world. The book was well written and
progressed at a steady pace. The characters and the events of the book were quite shocking, and watching main character Luna struggle with what
might be the worst parents in the world, students and friends who have fallen under a killer’s charming facade, and a killer who’s obsession
begins to tear her world apart was both intriguing and heart-pounding to read.

Overall, Dead by Morning was a fantastic read and a great start to an amazing series that promises a wealth of world-building mystery. The
interactions between Luna and the killer throughout the book are chilling to read and I think both teenagers struggling through high school
and adults who enjoy a good mystery and horror story will enjoy this novel. Everyone should pick up a copy of Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz
today!

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins Review:

Not since reading Gone Girl have I read such an addictive narrative surrounding a murder-mystery and a roster of characters that all hold possible
motives for being the killer. That’s what you’ll feel when you begin reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. The thriller showcases a
complicated story involving three women, each tied to one another in unexpected ways.

Rachel rides the same train every day. She passes the same stretch of homes day and night, and she always watches a young couple, whom she’s
fantasized about and created this perfect relationship in her head, one which mirrors the one she recently had before it collapsed before her
eyes. However, one day she witnesses something shocking for a brief minute while on the train, and what she sees propels her into a whirlwind
investigation that will have the police questioning her reliability. When this wields no results, she’ll immerse herself into the lives of
everyone involved, and she will discover not everything is what she thought it was as the mystery grows.

Getting to witness the story from multiple perspectives, from the view of the missing woman and a young housewife to Rachel herself, makes this
one of the most interesting reads in the thriller genre. Everyone is a suspect at one point or another, and the complicated history that Rachel
takes with her into the investigation makes it a tantalizing tale. This is a mystery that everyone will be clamoring to solve, so be sure to pick
up your copies of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins today!

Don’t Say a Word (Strangers Series)  by Jennifer Jaynes Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review.
Many thanks!

Before I get into how amazing a story this book is, I feel I must make to notes at the beginning of this review. First of all, I love the work
of author Jennifer Jaynes and thought this was a fantastic book. Secondly, as I’m sensitive to how people can be triggered by reading certain
storylines, I feel I must say that if you find you are susceptible to being triggered by storylines involving mental health and plots involving
cutting, then be warned that this book delves into both these topics wholly. The book doesn’t use these topics haphazardly or force them into
the story without precedent, but I wanted to put that warning out there before anyone decided to read this book. Now that that’s done, let’s get
into the review.

This is the third book in the Strangers series by Jennifer Jaynes, and yet Don’t Say a Word can easily work as a stand-alone novel, doing a
phenomenal job of integrating the events of the first two books as a backstory in the character of Allie Callahan, a single mother who’s haunted
by her past, with both her mother and brother suffering from mental illnesses and made them into serial killers. Now with her son Sammy to keep
her focused, she finds herself with a fragile form of happiness living with her son and adoptive mother in East Texas. However, her world will be
put to the test when 12-year old twins Zoe and Carrie arrive on her doorstep, traumatized by the murders of their mother and father. When mysterious
phone calls and a rising body count come to light, and the girls remain troubled by what they witnessed, Allie must face her fears as she hopes
she won’t succumb to insanity and loose her happiness once and for all.

The book has a phenomenal mystery that does a wonderful job of delving deep into the true nature of mental health, and sheds the misconceptions
that mental disease equals bad or evil, which is something that has been distastefully used in popular media in recent years. The twisted thriller
explores some great themes, from family and genetic disposition to self-worth and motherhood. Fans of the series will enjoy getting this new
glimpse at protagonist Allie, while newcomers will enjoy the heart-pounding adventure as the truth behind the murders of the girl’s parents comes
to light slowly. This is a must-read novel that has phenomenal and real character development, and makes this writer excited to see more from
author Jennifer Jaynes in the future! Be sure to pick up your copies of Don’t Say a Word today!

The Killing of Mummy’s Boy by Joan Ellis Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review.
Many thanks!

A fresh new take on the thriller genre takes form in The Killing of Mummy’s Boy, an incredible novel written by Joan Ellis. Written to feel like
a classic, 1970’s era murder/mystery British film, the novel follows Sandra, a young woman who’s son Carl is in the Witness Protection Programme.
Aboard a train, she meets a stranger, who’s past is steeped in murder. Unknown to her at the time, she reports a missing card on the phone and
gives out her personal information for Ben, the murderer she meets on the train, to hear. With her son on the run after helping put local
gangster Lee Elliot behind bars for murder, Sandra finds herself alone and afraid as this mysterious murderer now knows her address, and so much
more. Soon she is in a hair-raising, high-stakes game of life and death as someone begins breaking into her home, and she begins to cross paths
with Ben in several unexpected ways.

The artful way this book is written gives tribute to the rich culture of England, from the streets of London to the isolated countryside. The
internal struggle of Sandra is heart-pounding and emotional as well, allowing the reader to empathize and feel the pain she suffers as the story
progresses. What really sets this story apart from others is the great attention to detail, whether it’s through the settings of the story to the
chaotic character exchanges or the twists and turns in the story itself. The Killing of Mummy’s Boy is a phenomenal hit thriller for author
Joan Ellis, and the exploration of moral integrity, right and wrong and the true meaning of family are expertly explored throughout the novel.
Pick up your copy of The Killing of Mummy’s Boy by Joan Ellis today!

Never Smile At Strangers (Grand Trespass #1) by Jennifer Jaynes Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review.
Many thanks!

There is nothing more I as both an author and a reader enjoy more than a compelling first entrance into a riveting thriller series. That’s
exactly what I got when I read the first book in the Grand Trespass series by author Jennifer Jaynes, titled “Never Smile At Strangers”, and the
title says it all as this over 300-page novel takes readers on a heart-pounding journey to discover a chilling truth that runs deep into the
town of Grand Trespass.

This novel takes readers into the lives of several citizens of the town of Grand Trespass, Louisiana, as a young girl suddenly goes missing. Soon
a desperate search is underway, but when more of the townspeople begin to go missing, the citizens begin to question one another, realizing that
they may not know those closest to them as well as they previously thought. Meanwhile an unhinged, demented serial killer is living among them,
and his deep-seated fear and obsession of women is more complicated four years after his mother’s death, in which he has had to take care of
his disturbed sister.

The twists and turns in this novel made it such an intriguing read. The characters were compelling and fully developed while the plot took so
many fascinating paths that it made the final reveal all the more captivating. What was really fascinating was the heavy emphasis on both the
cultural aspects of a small Southern town mixed with the deep psychological issues most people face, from the anxiety and depression that comes
from loss to the more violent and scary tendencies of a killer’s mind. Broaching the subject of mental health is also a great way to get a
conversation started, and made the book that much more enticing. It’s no wonder this book made the USA Today bestseller list, and has made
this a must read series for me. Make sure to check out Never Smile At Strangers (Grand Trespass #1) by Jennifer Jaynes today!