Posted in reviews

The Girl Who Can Cook by Mike Wehner Review

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

What begins as a tale of revenge soon turns into a search for life and the hidden nature of those we care about most in author Mike Wehner’s “The Girl Who Can Cook”. 

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The Synopsis 

She killed my best friend.

Shame on me.

She lied and said it was self-defense.

Shame on me.

She wrote a book about it.

Shame on you.

It’s been three years since chef Erin shot her boyfriend, John, five times during a domestic dispute. Two years since she was found not guilty on murder charges by way of self-defense. And one year since she opened Essen, a German restaurant in San Francisco’s East Bay. You can read all about it in her memoir; there’s a copy on the front seat of the car parked in front of Essen. The man in the driver’s seat was John’s best friend, Alex, a former engineer. He’s abandoned his career to take justice into his own hands, what he doesn’t know is that soon he’ll be inside, using those hands to peel carrots for the girl who can cook. 

The Review

The novel starts out swinging and doesn’t slow down from there. The protagonist, Alex, is a man beset by anger and fury after his best friend is killed, and the woman responsible not only gets away from it in his eyes but makes money off of it through a tell-all book. The path of vengeance is explored heavily here, as far too often vengeance blinds us to the truth. That also plays into the other narrative here, which is what we do when confronted with a harsh truth about those we care about. Far too often those we trust and love harbor dark secrets about themselves and who they truly are, and it doesn’t come to light until it is too late. 

The author achieved a perfect balance of character development and action within this narrative. A commentary on our modern obsession with true crime-style storytelling, the author highlights the pain of loss and the lengths those who have lost someone will go to see justice done when the law fails them. The use of food and recipes throughout the narrative brought a creative and lightheartedness to the novel, making this a truly entertaining and memorable read.

The Verdict

Emotionally-driven, at times humorous and always action-packed, this evenly-paced novel “The Girl Who Can Cook” by Mike Wehner is a must-read. The exploration of the thin line between revenge and justice is a marvelous thing to see in this narrative, and the twists and turns the reader endures all the way to the book’s end make this a remarkable and fun read. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Mike is a novelist, illustrator and fine artist. When he isn’t writing he’s drawing and painting. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana with one small wife and two large dogs.

https://www.instagram.com/wehnermike/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MikeWehnerArt

Posted in reviews

The Coast-to-Coast Murders by James Patterson and J.D. Barker Review

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

An FBI agent and a local detective must work together when evidence of a long-hidden serial killer emerges, even when the suspect has no memory of his accused crimes, in authors James Patterson and J.D. Barker’s “The Coast-to-Coast Murders”.

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The Synopsis

A detective and FBI agent join forces on what seems like an open-and-shut case — but a new rash of killings sends them on a pulse-pounding race against time in this intense thriller.

Michael and Megan Fitzgerald are siblings who share a terrifying past. Both adopted, and now grown — Michael is a long-haul truck driver, Megan a college student majoring in psychology — they trust each other before anyone else. They’ve had to. Their parents are public intellectuals, an Ivy League clinical psychologist and a renowned psychiatrist, and they brought up their adopted children in a rarefied, experimental environment. It sheltered them from the world’s harsh realities, but it also forced secrets upon them, secrets they keep at all costs.

In Los Angeles, Detective Garrett Dobbs and FBI Agent Jessica Gimble have joined forces to work a murder that seems like a dead cinch. Their chief suspect is quickly identified and apprehended –but then there’s another killing just like the one they’ve been investigating. And another. And not just in Los Angeles — the spree spreads across the country. The Fitzgerald family comes to the investigators’ attention, but Dobbs and Gimble are at a loss — if one of the four is involved, which Fitzgerald might it be?

From coastal California to upstate New York, Dobbs and Gimble race against time and across state lines to stop an ingenious and deeply deranged killer — one whose dark and twisted appetites put them outside the range of logic or experience.

The Review

The action begins immediately as readers are thrust into a shocking turn of events. Michael is introduced and is immediately thrust into a position of a suspect as a dead woman is found in his home, only he doesn’t know her. However, evidence begins piling up that he had some sort of life with this mystery woman, and soon he finds himself hunted by the law. The twists and turns that take the reader into the heart of this mystery are truly entertaining, as are the multiple POVs that the authors introduce. Michael’s sister Megan is one of the most peculiar and fascinating characters, as her narrative to the police via a written document portrays the damaging and harsh environment these two siblings were raised in. 

The suspense as readers are constantly torn between who the killer truly makes this book stand out. The shift from a complex homicide investigation into a manhunt for a notorious serial killer as the mystery of Michael’s identity and memories comes into play keeps readers invested, and while this is a lengthy read, the twists and turns make this story feel fresh and unique throughout the entirety of the novel. 

The Verdict

A must-read novel, authors J.D. Barker and James Patterson have created a masterpiece thriller with “The Coast-to-Coast Murders”. The characters are memorable and the action intense, and by the book’s end readers will be both pleased and shocked at the final reveal of it all. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of this book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

Official US Site

Official UK Site

JIMMY Patterson Books

ReadKiddoRead

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author and most trusted storyteller. He has created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today, with his Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Private, NYPD Red, Daniel X, Maximum Ride, and Middle School series. He has sold over 380 million books worldwide and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. In addition to writing the thriller novels for which he is best known, among them The President Is Missing with President Bill Clinton, Patterson also writes fiction for young readers of all ages, including the Max Einstein series, produced in partnership with the Albert Einstein Estate. He is also the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on the New York Times adult and children’s bestseller lists.

The son of an insurance salesman and a schoolteacher, Patterson grew up in Newburgh, New York, and began casually writing at the age of nineteen. In 1969, he graduated from Manhattan College. He was given a full-ride scholarship to Vanderbilt University’s graduate program in English. He left Vanderbilt before getting his PhD due to complications involving the Vietnam War.

Instead, he moved to New York to become a junior copywriter for the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, eventually becoming CEO of its North American company.

In 1976, while still working for J. Walter Thompson, Patterson published his first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, with Little, Brown and Company. After being turned down by thirty-one publishers, it won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Patterson’s 1993 novel, Along Came a Spider, his first book to feature Alex Cross, was also his first New York Times bestseller in fiction.

In 2001, Morgan Freeman starred as Alex Cross in a film adaptation of Along Came a Spider, and Tyler Perry also played the character in the 2012 film Alex Cross. A film adaptation of Patterson’s middle-grade novel Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life was released in theaters in October 2016.

James Patterson has donated more than one million books to students, focusing on some of the most under-resourced schools and youth programs in the country. To date, he has donated $7.25 million to school and classroom libraries throughout the United States, and $2.1 million to independent bookstores and employees.

Patterson has recently donated over $35 million to his and his wife’s alma maters—the University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt University, and Manhattan College—and he has established over four hundred Teacher and Writer Education Scholarships at twenty-one colleges and universities throughout the country. Patterson has also donated more than one million books to U.S. soldiers at home and overseas.

In May 2015, Patterson launched a children’s book imprint at Little, Brown—JIMMY Patterson—that is unwaveringly focused on one goal: turning kids into lifelong readers. This imprint also provides resources, strategies, and programs to serve teachers, parents, librarians, and booksellers. Patterson invests proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives.

Patterson also founded ReadKiddoRead.com, a website designed to help parents, teachers, and librarians ignite a new generation’s excitement for reading. Awarded the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize and the American Library Association’s Great Websites for Kids, the site features thoughtful book reviews from a variety of genres and age ranges, a large and lively Facebook community, and contributions from other authors.

J.D. Barker is the New York Times and international best-selling author of numerous novels, including DRACUL and THE FOURTH MONKEY. His latest, SHE HAS A BROKEN THING WHERE HER HEART SHOULD BE, released March 31. He is currently collaborating with James Patterson. His books have been translated into two dozen languages, sold in more than 150 countries, and optioned for both film and television. Barker resides in coastal New Hampshire with his wife, Dayna, and their daughter, Ember.

A note from J.D.

As a child I was always told the dark could not hurt me, that the shadows creeping in the corners of my room were nothing more than just that, shadows. The sounds nothing more than the settling of our old home, creaking as it found comfort in the earth only to move again when it became restless, if ever so slightly. I would never sleep without closing the closet door, oh no; the door had to be shut tight. The darkness lurking inside needed to be held at bay, the whispers silenced. Rest would only come after I checked under the bed at least twice and quickly wrapped myself in the safety of the sheets (which no monster could penetrate), pulling them tight over my head.

I would never go down to the basement.

Never.

I had seen enough movies to know better, I had read enough stories to know what happens to little boys who wandered off into dark, dismal places alone. And there were stories, so many stories.

Reading was my sanctuary, a place where I could disappear for hours at a time, lost in the pages of a good book. It didn’t take long before I felt the urge to create my own.

I first began to write as a child, spinning tales of ghosts and gremlins, mystical places and people. For most of us, that’s where it begins—as children we have such wonderful imaginations, some of us have simply found it hard to grow up. I’ve spent countless hours trying to explain to friends and family why I enjoy it, why I would rather lock myself in a quiet little room and put pen to paper for hours at a time than throw around a baseball or simply watch television. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to do just that, sometimes I wish for it, but even then the need to write is always there in the back of my mind, the characters are impatiently tapping their feet, waiting their turn, wanting to be heard. I wake in the middle of the night and reach for the pad beside my bed, sometimes scrawling page after page of their words, their lives. Then they’re quiet, if only for a little while. To stop would mean madness, or even worse—the calm, numbing sanity I see in others as they slip through the day without purpose. They don’t know what it’s like, they don’t understand. Something as simple as a pencil can open the door to a new world, can create life or experience death. Writing can take you to places you’ve never been, introduce you to people you’ve never met, take you back to when you first saw those shadows in your room, when you first heard the sounds mumbling ever so softly from your closet, and it can show you what uttered them. It can scare the hell out of you, and that’s when you know it’s good.

jd

Posted in reviews

Splurge Dealers & Banshee Addicts by Douglass Goodman Review

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

A futuristic sci-if thriller explores the power of addiction as a plot to control the world by a powerful threat behind the scenes forces humanity and a secret society to join forces, with two special agents caught in the middle in author Douglass Goodman’s “Splurge Dealers & Banshee Addicts”.

The Synopsis

This book is about addiction and its future. The future is not bright. Here are your two choices for our society’s ultimate fate. Will the rampant addiction be to a new drug (Splurge) that gets us high on rationality? Or would you rather have what’s behind door number two, an addiction to an internet of emotional sharing (Banshees)? I should also mention that this latter addiction is part of a conspiracy to control the world. Are you on the side of Splurge Dealers or Banshee Addicts? Those are the choices of our hero, Hunter, a drug-enhanced agent for the DCIA and his new partner, Sammi, who has her own dark secret.

An imaginative, narrative exploration of addiction. It has the high stakes, deadly suspense and hidden conspiracies of a thriller. The what-ifs of science fiction. The gut-emotional impact of horror. Plenty of outrageous sex and lots of humor. It’s fun, taut, thrilling, but more importantly it gives you characters and dilemmas to think and talk about addiction, its consequences and its possible futures.

The first step is to admit you’re powerless. You can’t help yourself. You must read this book.

The Review

An exhilarating story that teeters between a sci-fi adventure and an action thriller, Douglass Goodman delivers a wonderful book that readers can get easily invested in. The analysis of addiction as a whole and the commentary on how so many people will end up substituting one addiction for another was felt heavily throughout this narrative and brought depth to the sci-fi genre.

The multiple POVs throughout the novel was refreshing, giving readers a chance to explore multiple facets of this futuristic universe the author has created. The dialogue shifts evenly between outrageous humor and inner dialogue to thought provoking conversations where readers have to see what is truly more important: emotions or rational thinking, especially in this narrative where a powerful force is set to weaponize emotions through technological addiction. Can one survive without the other?

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, evenly paced and powerful story that felt like it would have been home in a great late 70’s, early 80’s sci-fi film. This is a must read novel and a great way to kick off 2021. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/splurge-dealers-banshee-addicts-douglas-goodman

https://amzn.to/35ioqgS

Posted in reviews

The Child Wore Pearls by Morgan Matthews Review

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

A young woman contemplating life beyond her father’s jewelry store and struggling with self-confidence issues and a strained relationship with her mother finds not only a new friendship in an older woman, but a trail of secrets that could upend her whole life in author Morgan Matthews’ thriller, “The Child Wore Pearls”.

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The Synopsis

June Randolph and her father make the perfect team at their small, family-owned jewelry store. While the pair have always maintained a close relationship, the dynamic she shares with her mother has proven much more challenging throughout the years. Now at seventeen years old, June has found herself contemplating life beyond working at her father’s shop. 

Though it isn’t until she is befriended by a ritzy, older customer that June begins to come out of her shell. The woman’s kindness and infectious energy are a welcome addition to her young life the summer before her senior year of high school. However, secrets from her mother’s past begin to threaten June’s newfound happiness – calling into question all that she has ever known. Confronted with the often-perverse intentions of the human heart, the teen must uncover the truth which has been concealed by years of deceit.

The Review

A truly magnificent thriller, author Morgan Matthews has crafted a fantastic story that will shock and amaze readers. Not only does the author create a great cast of characters that have richly developed storylines in a short period of time, but the narrative itself takes readers through twists and turns that will take readers by surprise. 

The author’s tone and the writing style did a great job of utilizing imagery to paint a picture of each scene in the reader’s mind. This story soon begins to feel like it should be adapted into a limited series on Netflix, as the story ramps up with shocking twists that keep the plot thickening more and more. June is a well-rounded protagonist, right on the cusp of adulthood and dealing with personal struggles that readers can relate to while introducing a tense and dangerous new set of problems that could drastically change her life forever.

The Verdict

A brilliantly written, entertaining, and thrilling novel, author Morgan Matthews’ “The Child Wore Pearls” is a must-read novel. The shocking final chapters reveal a tangled web of lies and deceit no one will see coming, and as relationships are tested and new dangers unfold, June will have to learn who she really is in time to uncover the true mystery at the heart of this tale. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of this fantastic thriller today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Sign up for Morgan’s NEWSLETTER below for all the latest on promos and upcoming releases!

Morgan Matthews is a wife, mother, photographer, lifestyle blogger, and fiction writer. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, as well as a Master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.

Posted in Interviews

Author Interview with Craig DiLouie

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’d dreamed of being a writer ever since I was very young. Growing up in rural New Jersey, I discovered fiction as a fantastic way to be somebody else and have adventures. After a while, I not only wanted to escape into these incredible worlds, I wanted to create my own for others to enjoy. I produced my first novel back in the 1990s, which never saw the light of day. After lucking out with publication with a small press in 2001, I kept at it until I wrote a zombie novel on a lark before zombies got big, and the rest is history. The success of my zombie fiction got me an agent, which got me into Big 5 publishers like Simon & Schuster and Hachette. I also self-publish series of short, pulpy WW2 actioners, which are a lot of fun and are very popular. It’s been a very long and hard but ultimately gratifying and humbling journey.

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What inspired you to write your book?

The Children of Red Peak is about a group of people who grew up in and survived the horrific last days of an apocalyptic religious group that transforms into a cult. Years later, they reunite to confront their past and the entity that appeared the final night.

I love stories that turn tropes on their head or examine their consequences, and this novel does both, examining a cult from the inside in the past timeline, where the major characters are children, and then showing the pain of surviving a horrific mass death, where it’s now 15 years later. As a psychological thriller with cosmic horror elements, the novel is really about the trauma of survival and how belief can produce a great amount of moral goodness but also madness and evil, with a slippery slope in between.

The original inspiration came from a reading of Genesis, where God tells Abraham to bind his son Isaac on a remote mountain and sacrifice him as a burnt offering. Abraham does it, only to be stopped at the last moment. And I thought, what if that story were told from Isaac’s point of view?

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Thematically, it’s about a number of things—family, faith, memory, belonging—but the the overriding theme is that madness and belief are two sides of the same coin, and we have a tendency to think of our relationship with the divine as being on terms we can control and that favor us. Interestingly—and disturbingly—some of the cosmic horror element in the book is really about that cosmic horror being found in conventional religion, which is treated with utmost respect in the book but also questioned by taking its claims seriously. A significant message in the book is that wherever there is chaos and emptiness, humanity’s hunger for meaning will eventually ascribe that chaos and emptiness with meaning and a story.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve always loved speculative fiction—horror, sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian, apocalyptic, you name it—because it lets you take ordinary people and challenge them with extraordinary circumstances. You push somebody to the limit, you really find out what they’re made of, and that revelation also says something about human instinct, which is real, and human morality, which is the story we tell ourselves about who we are and want to be. In The Children of Red Peak, there is a cosmic horror element, but the real horror is in good people doing evil because they believe it is a path to paradise.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I’d ask one of the characters who possibly ascended where they went and what it was like when they got there. I poured my own yearning for meaning and knowledge of any type of existence after death into the story’s aching soul.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Probably Facebook. No reason for that other than I’m just more comfortable with it. I don’t like creating a persona, which is what you’re supposed to do as a writer to get people to like you as an author distinct from liking your work, but I’ve never been into that. On Facebook, I decided to just be myself, and I value the relationships I have there because they’re real, or at least as real as you can get on the Internet.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Be as prolific as possible, pursue every path to publication with what you do produce, and hope for that X factor in publishing to go your way and create a hit that will lead to more opportunities. The X factor might be described simply as having the right book at the right place at the right time, and there’s unfortunately no way to predict that. Note that success is not an either/or thing, it’s a ladder with dozens of runs, and that there is no objective definition for success anyway. In my view, if you poured your heart out to write a story, you’re a writer and you’re a success, only now you’re ready to challenge yourself to climb the next rung of the ladder.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’ve been very happy producing these “dime novel” WW2 action series, and I love the model so much I’m looking to produce two such series in 2021, one dealing carrier aviation in the near future, the other dealing with carrier aviation during WW2. At the same time, I’m talking to Hachette to see if I can get some fresh and interesting novel concepts percolating.

Thanks for having me as a guest, Anthony!

(It Was My Pleasure Craig! Thank you for sharing your wonderful book with us.)

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About the Author

Craig DiLouie is an author of popular thriller, apocalyptic/horror, and sci-fi/fantasy fiction.

In hundreds of reviews, Craig’s novels have been praised for their strong characters, action, and gritty realism. Each book promises an exciting experience with people you’ll care about in a world that feels real.

These works have been nominated for major literary awards such as the Bram Stoker Award and Audie Award, translated into multiple languages, and optioned for film. He is a member of the HWA, International Thriller Writers, and IFWA.

http://craigdilouie.com/

Posted in reviews

Dead of Winter Break (Cassandra Sato #3) by Kelly Brakenhoff Review

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

A woman working on a college campus in Nebraska finds her first Christmas in the area facing uncertain danger as a killer begins targeting her in author Kelly Brakenhoff’s “Dead of Winter Break”, the third book in the Cassandra Sato series.

The Synopsis

It’s beginning to look a lot like murder . . .

And Cassandra is knee deep in . . .

Suspects.

Her boss is dead, and the police are calling it burglary gone wrong. But when the killer comes after her, it’s going to take more than a pair of furry boots to keep the smart, witty Morton College administrator, Cassandra Sato, out of the deep. . .

Snow.

Her first Christmas in Nebraska could be her last unless her friends help unravel the mystery and housebreak her dog.

Buy now for a fast-paced, holiday themed whodunit.

The Review

A perfect whodunnit story just in time for the holiday season. The author does an amazing job of setting the pace early on in this story, crafting equal time for humor and a look inside of college campus life while also adding a deep air of mystery and dread with the murder of the protagonist’s former boss. While I had not read the first two books in the series thus far, I found Cassandra Sato to be a strong protagonist who had shown through looks into previous adventures and in this novel alone some serious growth as a character.

In any good mystery, atmosphere and mystery are two of the most crucial components. The author does a wonderful job of including both in this novel, as the story expertly crafts the shocking mystery of who killed Cassandra’s formally retired boss and infuses the setting of this small Nebraskan town naturally into the story itself. Cassandra’s wit and humor pair well with the narrative as well, creating a protagonist who readers can easily identify with and root for all at once.

The Verdict

A fun, exciting, and engaging mystery read, this is the perfect book to cozy up with next to open fire and a nice cup of tea. Author Kelly Brakenhoff’s “Dead of Winter Break” is the perfect next chapter in the Cassandra Sato series, and does an excellent job of showcasing why the mystery genre is one that will never truly tire out, as the author manages to keep the pace and tone of the novel fresh and exciting all the way throughout the novel. Be sure to grab your copy of this amazing winter read today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

KELLY BRAKENHOFF is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends.

Kelly writes the Cassandra Sato Mystery series including DEATH BY DISSERTATION, a 2020 RONE Award Mystery Finalist, DEAD WEEK, “a diverting whodunit,” (Publishers Weekly), and DEAD OF WINTER BREAK, a holiday themed cozy new for 2020!

NEVER MIND, and FARTS MAKE NOISE are her children’s picture books featuring Duke the Deaf Dog and illustrated by her sister, Theresa Murray. The Duke books have quickly become popular with children, parents, and educators for promoting inclusive conversations about children with differences.

The mother of four young adults and a hunting dog, Kelly and her husband call Nebraska home.

https://kellybrakenhoff.com/

https://www.instagram.com/kellybrak/

https://www.facebook.com/kellybrakenhoffauthor

https://twitter.com/inBrakenVille

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/173374245X/ref=x_gr_w_bb_glide_sin?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_glide_sin-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=173374245X&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Posted in reviews

Hourglass by Daniel James Review

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

An artist and his recently murdered best friend find themselves thrown into a dangerous and chaotic world filled with ghosts, demons, magic and horror in author Daniel James’s novel, “Hourglass”. 

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The Synopsis

Clyde Williams just wanted to draw comic books. Life and death have other plans.

Brooklyn-born artist Clyde Williams has spent his life obsessing over comic books and chasing his big dream to one day break into the industry as a hot new artist. But chasing the dream isn’t easy. It’s tiring, dispiriting work.

And that was before the ghost of his recently murdered best friend and roommate, Kev Carpenter, showed up at their apartment. Shocked and confused, the pair have been trying to establish some sense of their old status quo, of normality, but normality left town and isn’t coming back.

Instead, they get a knock at their front door. Rose Hadfield, agent of Hourglass, has some understanding of what it’s like to commune with the dead, living with the ghosts of her former military unit, and offers them the choice to educate themselves and train their abilities, or remain under Hourglass’ scrutiny in the name of public safety.

Clyde’s long-held distrust of all things military and federal, has him prepared to decline Rose’s offer. Kev, however, has other ideas. Being restless and detached from the world, he sees this as his only real option. A purpose. Wracked with sympathy for his best friend’s plight, Clyde accepts Rose’s offer on one condition: upon completion of his training, he will remain a civilian. A fair compromise.

Unbeknownst to Clyde and Kev, their acceptance of Rose’s offer has catapulted them on a collision course with an ex-KGB officer turned necromantic monk, and the ancient, wealthy, and morally dubious Cairnwood Society. Clyde and Kev will soon learn that death is only the beginning.

The Review

A fun, action-fueled horror adventure like no other, author Daniel James introduces readers to thrilling new mythology and world. The author does a great job balancing character development and relationships with the intense supernatural/government action-thriller themes the novel produced. 

The bond between protagonists Clyde and Kev was the major backbone of this novel, having given readers two characters to follow into the fray with two very different perspectives or circumstances. The action was equally as entertaining as the more intimate and personal moments between the characters and the government agents they found themselves paired up with. Clyde’s transformation throughout the story was particularly interesting, as the man who dreamt of being a comic book artist found himself asking whether he had what it took to become a hero himself.

The Verdict

Fun, engaging, and out of this world entertaining, author Daniel James’s “Hourglass” is a must-read horror adventure. If Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stargate SG-1 were to meet, it would become Hourglass. With a powerful and twist ending that leaves open the possibility for more books in a series, one can only hope readers will one day delve into the action-fueled world of Clyde and Kev once more. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Daniel James is the recipient of a Kirkus Reviews (starred review) for his action-packed urban fantasy novel, Hourglass, and the Literary Titan Gold Book award for his vengeance-fueled crime novel, Pigs.

An author of horror, fantasy, and fast-paced thrillers, he first began writing as a hobby to distract himself from the mundanity of completing his dissertation at Liverpool Hope University. When not writing, he loves reading genre fiction novels and comic books, watching movies, and listening to music (he also used to play bass in a few local rock bands).

Posted in reviews

Rats in a Maze by Peter Bailey Review

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

A simple case turns Detective Ray Fisher’s life upside down, revealing shadowy organizations and making him question is sanity in author Peter Bailey’s “Rats in a Maze”. 

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The Synopsis

What does it mean when you start remembering things that never happened and your dreams are haunted by the most beautiful woman in the world?

NYPD Detective Ray Fisher thought it meant he was going mad, but there was enough of the Detective left to see that the weirdness had started after he’d investigated a car that had been driven into the river. It was a trivial case but it opened his eyes to a shadowy elite who used people like pawns.

Ray thought he had all the answers until the NYPD suspended him and he realised that the only thing worse than the elite was the vast government Conspiracy concealing it

Chased by black clad kill teams through the city, Ray has to escape with the most unlikely person in the world on a road trip like no other where he discovers that the only way to be truly free is to leave his humanity behind.

Rats in a maze, a roller coaster thrill ride leading to a shattering conclusion where the fate of the world is literally in the hands of children.

The Review

A fantastic blend of police procedural and thriller with a twist of dystopian suspense, Rats in a Maze is a fantastic read. The author expertly weaves a complex and layered story with a fully fleshed out cast of characters that capture the reader’s attention and engage with them emotionally. 

Protagonist and Detective Ray Fisher is a truly interesting character. Driving this journey full of twists and turns, the character’s arc is exceptional to read, from his tragic backstory and loss to the growing mystery this case brings him and the evolution he undergoes as the story goes on. Add to this the author’s fantastic world-building and the lore they crafted for this tale, and readers will be hard pressed not to be entertained as they fall deeper and deeper into this novel’s web. 

The Verdict

An evenly-paced, action-packed and exciting read, author Peter Bailey’s “Rats in a Maze” is a must-read thriller of 2020. A larger than life story that hits all the great notes of a good suspense and mystery read and adds a bit of dystopian vibes, readers won’t want to miss the shocking conclusion to this amazing read. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Peter lives in England with his long-suffering wife. His first story was a fictionalized account of a disastrous trip to Las Vegas with a dental abscess. Since then, he has written a vampire story (without any actual vampires) and about a perfectly ordinary day at the office that will last for eternity. Rats In A Maze is his third book, kindly published by Moonshine Cove, in September 2020

https://peter-bailey-books.com/

Posted in reviews

The First To Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan Review

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

The line between revenge and justice blurs as several people get intertwined with a plot involving Big Pharma and the lack of ethics involved in the industry in author Hank Phillippi Ryan’s “The First To Lie”.

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The Synopsis

What happens when an undercover reporter gets in too deep? And when a practiced liar has to face off with her own truth—how does she choose her true reality?

Who will be the first to lie?

Bestselling and award-winning author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling suspense novel that will leave you breathless.

The Review

What a truly thought-provoking and engaging thriller! The cat and mouse storyline from these multiple points of view really keep the reader guessing as to who is the cat and who is the mouse in this web of lies and deceit. The multiple viewpoints each help to unravel the larger conspiracy and mystery surrounding this major Pharma company and how their actions led to a domino effect like no other. 

The many paths the plot takes readers on are gripping in their own right, but the moment these paths finally start to converge readers will be shocked and amazed when identities are revealed and truths are laid bare. The author does a great job of developing an intricate plot that challenges the reader to think and uncover little clues as the story progresses to see who the true “villain” of this tale is, and whether or not true justice exists in this world.

The Verdict

A brilliant thriller that fans of the genre will not be able to put down, author Hank Phillippi Ryan’s “The First to Lie” is a masterful deep-dive into the suspenseful world of lies and conspiracies. An evenly paced narrative and characters that readers will both love and love to hate, the complex morality of each character and the twist and turns of the story will keep readers invested entirely. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of eleven award winning novels of suspense. National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her newest thriller, THE FIRST TO LIE, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, calling it “Stellar.”

Her earlier psychological thriller, THE MURDER LIST, received a *starred review from Library Journal–which called it: Masterly plotted, riveting and a must read. It’s now an Agatha, Anthony, Macavity and Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee, a number one legal thriller on Amazon, and a USA Today Bestseller.

Her first psychological standalone, TRUST ME (now in paperback) , is an Agatha Award nominee, and was named BEST of 2018 by the New York Post, Real Simple Magazine, BookBub, Crime Reads, and PopSugar. Mary Kubica says: “Dazzling!” and Lisa Gardner says “Mesmerizing!”

The Booklist *starred review says “…it’s a knockout. First-rate psychological suspense.”

Her thriller SAY NO MORE, is a Library Journal BEST OF 2016. And this just in: it’s a nominee for the AGATHA AWARD and the MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD! And now, breaking news, it is also a DAPHNE AWARD nominee! Associated Press calls it “stellar” and Publishers Weekly calls it “thrilling” “unflinching” and “gratifying.”

Her 2015 book, WHAT YOU SEE, is a Library Journal BEST of 2015, an ANTHONY and AGATHA Award nominee, and a Top Pick!, dubbed “exceptional suspense.” It received a starred review from Library Journal which says: “Readers will find themselves racing to the finish!”

Her 2014 book, TRUTH BE TOLD, won the AGATHA Award for best mystery, and is a Library Journal Best of 2014. It received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, which says, “Drop everything and binge read!”

THE WRONG GIRL won the Agatha Award and the Daphne Award, and is a seven-week Boston Globe bestseller and Anthony Award nominee.

THE OTHER WOMAN won the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was listed as a Best Book of 2012 by the Kansas City Star, the Sacramento Bee, Suspense Magazine, and The Boston Globe, won the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was the only novel nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, Shamus and Daphne awards for Best Novel of 2012.

Her first four mysteries, beginning with the Agatha Award-winning PRIME TIME, feature Charlotte McNally, a Boston television reporter. FACE TIME was a BookSense Notable Book, and AIR TIME and DRIVE TIME were both Anthony and Agatha Award nominees for best novel of 2009 and 2010. They are now available in all new editions.

Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston’s WHDH-TV. In addition to 37 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank’s won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism.

Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in refunds and restitution for victims and consumers. She’s been a radio reporter, a legislative aide in the United States Senate and an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine, working with Hunter S. Thompson, Richard Avedon and Richard Goodwin.

Hank is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as president of national Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and Career Authors.

Learn more about Hank at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com, on Twitter @HankPRyan, on Instagram @hankpryan and on Facebook at HankPhillippiRyanAuthor.