Shoeless Child (Detective Kerri Blasco #4) by J.A. Schneider-a review

SHOELESS CHILD (Detective Kerri Blasco #4) by J.A. Schneider-a review

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 24, 2018

A little boy has seen a horrific murder but is too traumatized to speak. Detective Kerri Blasco struggles to connect with him…

Charlie Sparkes peeks out to see his mother and another young woman brutally shot. Hysterical, the brave child bolts into the cold November night for help. He screams and cries, only to fall into more trauma.

Homicide Detective Kerri Blasco is called to the murder scene. One woman lies dead next to the blood soaked rug where Rachel Sparkes was seriously wounded. With little memory of the attack, she has been taken to the hospital – but where is her child? He too, Kerri discovers, now lies in a hospital bed, mute and traumatized in a fetal position, refusing even food and water.

Charlie must have seen what happened. Kerri’s heart aches for this piteous little boy and she struggles to help him; struggles, too to find the monster who did this horrible crime. “It’s your kind of case,” Sergeant Alex Brand, Kerri’s boss and partner tells her, stepping up police urgency when another innocent is shot, and then another.

Kerri Blasco finds herself more emotionally obsessed with this case than with any other, despite clear and onrushing danger to herself…

•••••••••

REVIEW: Shoeless Child begins with an unprovoked attack on two young women, leaving one dead and one in the hospital. The only witness is a little boy, Charlie, who was able to get away from the attacker and find help.

Detective Kerri Blasco, along with her partner, Alex, make the scene and it doesn’t take her long to surmise that the little boy must have seen the attacker. When they head to the hospital, they find the surviving victim, along with her very traumatized little boy. Kerri finds herself getting emotionally involved in helping little Charlie come out of his shell and vows to figure out exactly what happened. What follows is a suspenseful read that will keep you turning the pages until the final twist is revealed and leaves you floored……..

Shoeless Child is another nicely written story by J.A. Schneider. I love Kerri Blasco and her partner, Alex. Kerri’s character is very relatable. She has a bit of a horrific past herself, which humanizes her and makes her a three dimensional character. Alex, who is also her boyfriend, is the perfect partner for her. The secondary characters are well written and play off of each other beautifully. In typical Schneider style, there are lots of twists and turns, and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you realize you don’t. I have to be honest though. I’m really funny about how children are handled in the stories I read. What happened to Charlie when he ran for help left my jaw on the floor. The last two paragraphs of the first chapter made me close my iPad and walk away. It wasn’t anything horribly graphic, but, in my humble opinion, was just too much and didn’t add anything to the story, other than more unnecessary trauma to a little boy. I thought about it for a day or two, picked my iPad back up and gave it another go. I’m glad I did. I really liked the story overall. I like Schneider’s style, and as I said before, I love Kerri’s character. If you’re a fan of suspense filled whodunits, you will never go wrong with one of Schneider’s tales. Well done, J.A. Schneider.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Fear Dreams
Her Last Breath
Watching You

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Vickie M

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Promise Not To Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz – Review & Giveaway

Promise Not To Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
A painter of fiery, nightmarish visions throws herself into the sea—but she leaves her secrets behind . . .

Seattle gallery owner Virginia Troy has spent years battling the demons that stem from her childhood time in a cult and the night a fire burned through the compound, killing her mother. And now one of her artists has taken her own life, but not before sending Virginia a last picture: a painting that makes Virginia doubt everything about the so-called suicide—and her own past.

Like Virginia, private investigator Cabot Sutter was one of the children in the cult who survived that fire… and only he can help her now. As they struggle to unravel the clues in the painting, it becomes clear that someone thinks Virginia knows more than she does and that she must be stopped. Thrown into an inferno of desire and deception, Virginia and Cabot draw ever closer to the mystery of their shared memories—and the shocking fate of the one man who still wields the power to destroy everything they hold dear.

 

Review:

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz is a mystery thriller that is actually part of a trilogy (Cutter, Sutton & Salinas).  Promise Not to Tell is a story that covers over 20 years, which started with fire that killed most of the members of cult, with only 8 children, who were locked in a barn, having been saved by a policeman.

The story begins with a woman who was member of the cult who survived the massacre, living on island.  She has nightmares, and paints her visions, which have become very real.  When she sees an evil person from the past, she knows she must take matters into her own hands.

Virginia Troy, our heroine, is a gallery owner and one of the children who survived all those years ago; her mother also died in the fire set by the cult leader, Quinton Zane.  When Virginia discovers her artist client supposedly committed suicide, decides she must investigate the truth about that woman’s death, especially after viewing all the dark paintings she saved.  She goes to an investigation firm co-owned by Anson Salinas, a former police officer and the man who rescued the children all those years ago.

Cabot Sutter, our hero, private investigator in the firm, with his brother Max, who are also survivors of the rescued children; with Anson having adopted them when he saved them.  Cabot will take the case, since the firm has continued to quietly investigate any information on the cult leader who disappeared all those years ago. Together they view the paintings, and after looking at the villain images on the paintings, they know she was trying to leave them a clue.  The mystery: Was Quinton Zane, the evil villain, still alive?

What follows is an intense, complex mystery that will put both Virginia and Cabot in dangerous situations, as they delve closer to the truth with so many secrets discovered, with twists and turns all along the way.  I could not put the book down, so not to miss anything.  As soon as you thought you knew what was happening, new clues arose, and new suspects came to the forefront.  As we raced to the climax, there were so many surprises that changed the game. 

Virginia and Cabot were great heroes, both strong and independent. It was nice to watch their slow build romance, and I really liked them together, as they made a great team.  Krentz  always creates excellent characters in her books, and once again she gives us a wonderful couple, great  secondary characters, and evil villains. If you enjoy mystery thrillers, suspense, surprising twists and turns, then you need to read Promise Not to Tell.   Even if you have not read the first book, you can read this book very well as a standalone.  Once again, Jayne Ann Krentz has given us a wonderfully written story that keeps us engrossed from start to finish.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

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The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn – a Review

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn – a Review

 

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Description:
What did she see?

It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

 

 

Review:

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn is a psychological thriller.  The story focuses on our heroine, Anna Fox, who lives alone in a 5 story house in a nice neighborhood.   Anna suffers from agoraphobia, and has not left her house in 10 months.  What is agoraphobia?  It is the fear of being outside, with panic attacks if they leave the house.

Anna spends her days drinking wine;  watching her neighbors through a camera;  goes to various internet chat sites to talk to other people with their own problems (she is a psychologist, though she can’t help herself); watches old movies, and talks to her husband and daughter on the phone daily.

One day, one of those neighbors, saw Anna through the window and came to visit her.  The neighbor, Jane Russell, just moved in, and Anna was able to enjoy the conversation.  A second visit also introduced her to the woman’s son, Ethan.  A few days later, Anna heard a scream, and when she looked through her camera, she sees Jane pressing her hand to her bloodied chest and falling.   Anna calls the police, and even tries to leave the house to help Jane.  The detectives come to interview her, as there is no body, and the family, including the wife, are all there healthy.  They question her sanity, especially since she drinks a lot,mixing it with her pills.   What did Anna see? Was it real or was she having hallucinations?

I do not want to give any spoilers, as in any psychological thrillers, and The Woman in the Window is no different, there are many surprising twists and turns.  What follows is an intense and exciting storyline that follows Anna, as she continues to try to find the truth, even if she thinks maybe they are right and she is seeing things.   I will say that the story in the first half of the book was a bit slow, as we got to meet the main characters, as well as learn more about Anna.  The second half of the book was very good, that I was unable to put the book down,  especially with a couple of shocking revelations that I did not see coming and threw me for a loop. Though she was severely mentally challenged with her phobia, I wasn’t totally crazy about Anna early on, even if she seemed very normal chatting and helping others on the internet; but later on I did like her better, especially after learning more secrets. 

The Woman in the Window was a tense dark thriller that other than the slow start, it was very well written by A.J. Finn.  I do recommend you to read this book, especially if you enjoy psychological thrillers.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Ever The Brave by Erin Summerill – a Review

Ever The Brave by Erin Summerill – a Review

 

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Description:
Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.
After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she’d like to, and now he’s insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.
 

 

Review:

Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill is the 2nd book in her Clash of Kingdoms series.  I enjoyed the first book in this series, but Ever the Brave was even better.   This is a fantasy novel in a world with two factions (Malem & Shaerdan ) that are at war with each other.  Malem, which is now fully ruled by King Aodren, who in the last book, was saved by Britta, our heroine and a Channeler .  A powerful Channeler & Spiriter is magically controlling other Channelers to help overtake Aodren.

Britta, our wonderful heroine, has a connection to Aodren, since she used her Channeler magic to save his life in the last book.  Cohen, is the man Britta loves since childhood, and who is now the Bounty Hunter for King Aodren.  Britta keeps the secret that her connection to Cohen has been replaced.   Before she saved Aodren, she did not like him, and with the connection, Britta will discover more about the man who is King.  The villians (Jamison and Pheia) are still around, and determined to kill the King.  With Cohen on assignment, Britta helps prevent another attack, and together with Aodren, they escape to find help, as the traitors have overtaken the castle.  They will develop a strong friendship that will test the bonds between Cohen and Britta.  Who will she eventually pick? 

Cohen and his team that are trying to find the dangerous powerful Channeler, who has kidnapped the girls, is also attacked, killing some of his men.  He will get help from a friend. Lirra is also a Channlier, and she needed Cohen’s help to find the missing girls.  When Cohen is injured, she will be the one to bring him to a safe place, and work with him to help the King and Britta. 

What follows is a very exciting adventure that will find them all on the run, badly injured and even some dead. Britta is a tough smart and great heroine. She will begin to learn from others how to use her abilities and try to stop the powerful enemies, at a cost that could take her own life.

There was so much going on; you had to keep reading to not miss a thing, and to say too much more would be spoilers.   Will Aodren survive the revolution by an evil enemy, and remain King?  Will Britta survive?  Who will Britta choose ….Cohen or Aodren?

I have said this before; the key to a successful series is to have good characters that you care about.   In Ever the Brave, we have some really good characters;  Britta, a wonderful heroine; Aodren, who I became crazy about as we got deeper and deeper into the story; Leif, Finn, Gillian & Lirra; I also liked Cohen a bit more closer to the end.  Summerill also gives us some evil villains that added to the story line.

Ever the Brave was a very exciting, tense, fast paced story line; well written by Summerrill, with great characters and many surprises along the way.  The ending did feel like the finale, however I understand there will be another book, which I will be reading.  So should you.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Year One by Nora Roberts – a Review

Year One by Nora Roberts – a Review

 

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Description:
It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

 

 

Review:

Year One by Nora Roberts is the 1st book in her new Chronicles of the One trilogy. I am a big fan of Nora Roberts/JD Robb, and I absolutely have love every one of her trilogies.  Year One is a post apocalyptic dystopian, with a bit of fantasy, and a totally different type of storyline book for Nora, but there are some similarities.  Year One begins with a family on vacation, a hunting that kills something more than a bird, and the start of a lethal virus (The Doom) that will destroy most of the world. In a short period, 80% of the world’s population will die, leaving the survivors that are immune to the virus.

We meet along the way, three sets of characters, who will travel to find others in a world that is deep in devastation, desperation and darkness.  In a new beginning, we will always find the dark (evil) and the light (good), that will divide and separate all. Magic (witches, elves, etc) will also arise, causing another division among those with newfound powers that are used for good, and those who are evil and want to hurt others, and the humans with no power at all, bent on destroying all magic, and those who have it.

Max and Lana is a married couple,  who have some magic ability that they continue to learn about, and they are good people.  Together they will leave New York to find a safe place to live and find others. Arlys and Fred (she is an elf) work at the radio station, and leave together, as word comes that they will be in danger.  Rachel and Jonah, both medical professionals, who also leave to find safety, along with Katie, who just gave birth to twins.  Along the way in this dark and doom, they will all eventually meet to start with about 300 others a land they call New Hope.  When Lana becomes pregnant, everyone is beginning to feel comfortable, with hope.

But just when the light shines beautifully, evil rears its ugly head; everything changes, and the last quarter of the book becomes centered on one person.  The ‘One’ who is destined to be the savior of this new world; who must stop the darkness that threatens to destroy them all.  This is where Roberts changes the game, and throws us for a loop, as she rarely ever does this in her other trilogies.  There are surprises, twists and deaths we never saw coming.  The only thing I worry about is that I want to know what happens to wonderful great characters we got to know during the majority of the book, but were not part of it in the last quarter. 

I am holding my breath to see where Nora will take us in the next book.  Bravo to Nora Roberts for giving us a fantastic start to a fabulous breathtaking, emotional, tense and exciting storyline.  I am hoping we do not have to wait too long for the next book, as I am already on pins and needles.  Year One proves that Nora Roberts can write anything at all, and give us a fantastic story. I strongly sugges that you  read Year One.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Wolf Hunger by Paige Tyler – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Wolf Hunger by Paige Tyler – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 

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Wolf Hunger
SWAT series – Book #7
by Paige Tyler
Release Date: December 5, 2017

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Description:
SHE’S ALL THE WOLF HE’LL EVER NEED…

When SWAT Officer Max Lowry meets Lana Mason, he falls fast and hard. He’s positive she’s The One. And Max’s favorite part? Lana’s a wolf shifter too, so they can skip the awkward reveal and head straight to the happily ever after. There’s just one problem: Lana doesn’t know that she’s a werewolf.

To make matters worse, hunters with intent to kill have tracked Lana to Dallas. Max has to figure out how to keep Lana safe, show her who and what she really is—and just how much she means to him.

 

Review:

Wolf Hunger by Paige Tyler is the 7th book in her wonderful SWAT (Special Wolf Alpha Team) series. As always with Tyler, she continues to give us exciting, fun, pulse pounding action, hot alpha werewolves and a great sexy couple. 

Max Lowry, one of the younger members of the SWAT  team and our hero, is in a bar with his friends when he scents another wolf.  He sees a beautiful woman, and knows she could be the ‘one’ (his mate).  
Lana Mason, our heroine, is the daughter of Deputy Chief Hal Mason, who does not want her anywhere near the men of the SWAT team. Lana and Max hit it off immediately, as their chemistry is off the wall hot, but Max senses that Lana has no idea that she is a werewolf, since she has never shifted. 

When Lana is informed that  her friend has been murdered, she notices others following her.  Lana manages to escape, and feels strange vibes happening to her body, including her ability to run abnormally fast;  however she brushes it off.  When Max is worried about Lana, he tries to explain to her what she is, and she becomes scared and leaves.  But when she is forced into another dangerous situation, Lana will learn the truth.

In Wolf Hunger, the storyline changes, with the Hunters (those trying to kill werewolves) coming full force into the picture and a war is on the horizon.  The Hunters have developed a chemical weapon that poisons and kills werewolves, putting all of our hero’s lives in danger.

What follows is an intense and exciting story, where Gabe (SWAT team leader) pulls everyone (including Lana) together for safety, and helping to find a cure for the poison.  As everything escalates, Lana will find herself right in the center of the battle, with the Hunters determined to kill her, as well as the other werewolves.  She will play a major part in helping her new friends survive. 

There is also a side story, where Max is in the middle of helping a family with a abusive husband/father.  Max as a teenager lived in that same type of environment, have lost a sister.  It was nice added element watching Max try to help.

The Wolf hunters will now play a major part in future story lines, and the pack is also now getting bigger, with betas and omegas joining them.  As we raced to the exciting suspenseful climax, we held our breaths as to who will survive.  Another great addition to this series, especially with this game changer.

 I love this series. It is always fun, exciting, sexy, with a fantastic group of characters that make up the SWAT team, and their eventual mates.  Paige Tyler does it so well, giving us the excitement in every story, as well as a sexy romance.  If you have not read this series, you should start it now with the first book.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

excerpt

 

“Speaking of award ceremonies,” she said to Max, “I didn’t see you on the stage getting a commendation, so I’m guessing you must be here to support someone who did?”

He nodded. “Yeah. Some of the members of my team got recognized today. How about you? Your boyfriend getting a commendation?”

Max thought he was being pretty damn smooth, but the smile tugging at Lana’s lips told him she saw right through his deception.

“Nope, no boyfriend,” she said. “Actually, it was my dad. Brandy took forever getting dressed. Then we got stuck in traffic. We barely made it here in time to see him get the award. I had to watch from the back of the auditorium.”

That explained why Max hadn’t picked up Lana’s luscious scent earlier. And while he was relieved she didn’t have a boyfriend, it made him wonder which of his fellow cops getting a commendation this afternoon could possibly have a daughter this smokin’ hot.

Max opened his mouth to ask her who her father was when another DPD officer walked by with a plate filled with a collection of various hors d’oeuvres. While Max wasn’t impressed with the selection of food, Lana looked at the appetizers longingly, even though she still had the ones her friend had given her. Maybe she wasn’t big on squash blossoms. He didn’t blame her.

“Would you like me to get you something else to eat?” he asked.

She glanced down at her plate, then shook her head. “Thanks, but unfortunately, the spinach puffs were the only thing remotely edible, which is probably why they’re all gone. I can’t believe they’re trying to pass this stuff off as food.”

He grinned. “I was just thinking the same thing a little while ago. I’m planning to head out as soon as this thing is over so I can get some real food.”

She leaned in close and gave him a conspiratorial wink. “Maybe we can slip out now while no one is looking. I can drop my car keys off with Brandy and we can disappear into the night. I’d just about kill for a slice of pizza.”

Any other time, Max would have been stoked to hear that. In his opinion, there wasn’t anything sexier than a woman who loved pizza. But right then, all he could think about was how his body was reacting to Lana’s nearness. Not only was his pulse racing, but his claws and fangs were dangerously close to coming out. He only hoped his eyes weren’t turning gold.

On the upside, at least he now knew for sure she was a werewolf. He could smell it in her pheromones. That was probably why they hit it off so well. Well, there was another reason, but he wasn’t about to go there—even if a little wolf voice in the back of his head whispered maybe he should.

Lana was telling him about an awesome pizza place that wasn’t too far away, wondering if he’d be interested in checking it out, but instead of answering her, he went in a completely different direction.

“It’s so cool finding another of our kind here,” he said. “I totally didn’t expect it.”

She didn’t seem to mind that he’d changed the subject, but she looked a bit confused. “Another of our kind? Are you a pescatarian, too?”

Max chuckled. That body and those looks combined with a wicked sense of humor? It was like she was made for him. A werewolf who didn’t eat meat? Now, that was epically funny.

Unless it was true, in which case it was a little strange.

Before he could say anything, Lana leaned over to look at something behind him, her lips curving into a smile. Max turned to see who she was looking at and was a little surprised to find Deputy Chief Hal Mason. The deputy chief was in charge of the police department’s specialized Tactical Division, which included the mounted police, canine unit, helicopter support, EOD, and SWAT. As a high-ranking officer in the department, Mason had to attend every award ceremony, but this time he’d been recognized for his commitment to developing his entire division, especially SWAT.

“Hey, Dad.” Lana stepped around Max to give Mason a hug. “I was looking for you and Mom earlier, but you were deep in conversation with some people and I didn’t want to interrupt.”

Max picked his jaw up from the floor and shoved it back into place. Lana was the deputy chief’s daughter?


 

 

 

About The Author

Paige_Tyler_

 

Paige Tyler is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them.

 

Find Paige Online:

Website: http://www.paigetylertheauthorextras.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaigeTylerAuthor/
Twitter: @PaigeTyler
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2300692.Paige_Tyler

 

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Countdown by Carey Baldwin – a Review

Countdown by Carey Baldwin – a Review

 

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Description:
Don’t believe everything you see.

Special Agent Atticus Spenser and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Caitlin Cassidy are in Tahiti enjoying a much-needed break from the FBI when they spot newlyweds taking fun photos on the beach. But as the groom carries his bride deeper into the waves, Spense is positive he sees a flash of terror cross her face. All his instincts scream that this woman is in danger. Yet moments later, it’s the groom who has nearly drowned… and the bride has vanished, leaving a bloody wedding dress floating in her wake.

The authorities aren’t sure who to believe—the groom, who insists his wife tried to murder him… or her twin, who claims her sister must have acted in self-defense. Intrigued, Spense and Caity agree to help investigate. But when they discover that the missing bride is the daughter of a notorious confidence man, they begin to suspect that all is not what it seems. Now they’ll need to separate victim from villain, fact from fiction, truth from lie, to determine if there’s really a killer on the loose… or if it’s all one big con.

 

 

Review:

Countdown is the final installment of the fabulous Cassidy and Spenser Thrillers series by the wonderful, Carey Baldwin. I have had the tremendous pleasure of reading, and reviewing, this incredible series since its introduction, and this finale is Carey Baldwin‘s swan song to Atticus and Caitlin. It’s never easy to say goodbye to characters, but the joy they’ve brought me far outweighs the sadness.

Our dynamic duo finally arrives in Tahiti, their long-desired, always-postponed escape from duty, but the purpose is of grand proportion now: Spense and Caity are getting married! This destination wedding comes with a timetable/plans to abide by…but when our H/H happen upon a frisky bride and groom taking their free spirit out to deep waters, and the unconventional dip devolves into a near drowning, Caity and Spense find themselves torn between private citizen status and FBI profilers yet again.

As focused on their big day as they intended to be, Caity and Spense simply can’t overlook attempted murder in their idealic island. Rose and Tommy Preston, newlyweds, have a checkered past that only research and discovery can make decipher. Now, if only the bride hadn’t gone “missing”, things could go a little easier for Caity and Spense! Throw in Rose’s twin sister, Lilly, who has a past of her own with good ole Tommy, and the plot thickens. But even in the midst of chaos and confusion, unearthing details that lead to major revelations, there are stolen moments between Caity and Spense that bring a sense of peace, of pause and perspective, that love truly is the end all. When Caity reaches out to touch Spense after a harrowing moment or when Spense lets his gaze linger on Caity…that’s the stuff. That gut reassurance of devotion. Carey Baldwin has developed a tender love story, woven lovingly throughout the series, between two strong characters who’ve become a formidable combination. Who’ve forged an unforgettable partnership.

Not only will you scrutinize the actions of the twin sisters and find yourself glued to Tommy’s seedy behavior, seriously questioning good choices all around, but Ms. Baldwin brings back beloved characters who shone in the background while supporting our H/H. “The moms” are darling and committed to the cause, but Spense’s relationship with Dutch Langhorne in particular is proof of not squandering love. It warmed my heart to know Spense has someone else to rely on.

What makes newlyweds turn and spitefully twist on each other? Lines of loyalty are crossed and Caity and Spense determine that not all is what it appears to be. As the race to prove innocence lapses, murderous consequences hang in the balance. It is suspenseful and dramatic. Be prepared for face-palming, “smh”-ing, and even high-fives for getting shi# done!

Countdown dragged Caity and Spense away from ticking off all the wedding details, but their commitment to one another never wavered. Caity and Spense are perfect together and cases seem only to enhance their uniqueconnection. I bid them a fond farewell for all they’ve meant to me. Soooo…how will you wow us next, Ms. Baldwin?

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for Review

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The Man in the Crooked Hat by Harry Dolan – Review & Giveaway

The Man in the Crooked Hat by Harry Dolan – Review & Giveaway

 

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The Man in the Crooked HatAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
One cryptic clue leads a desperate man into a labyrinthine puzzle of murder in the electrifying new novel from national bestselling author Harry Dolan.

There’s a killer, and he wears a crooked hat.

Private investigator Jack Pellum has spent two years searching for the man who he believes murdered his wife–a man he last saw wearing a peacoat and a fedora. Months of posting fliers and combing through crime records yield no leads. Then a local writer commits suicide, and he leaves a bewildering message that may be the first breadcrumb in a winding trail of unsolved murders . . .

Michael Underhill is a philosophical man preoccupied by what-ifs and could-have-beens, but his life is finally coming together. He has a sweet and beautiful girlfriend, and together they’re building their future home. Nothing will go wrong, not if Underhill has anything to say about it. The problem is, Underhill has a dark and secret past, and it’s coming back to haunt him.

 

 

Review:

The Man in the Crooked Hat by Harry Dolan is a standalone murder mystery.  Jack Pellum, an ex-cop, is our hero.  Two years ago, Jack’s wife was murdered, and he is obsessed with finding the murderer, which eventually cost him his job.  Even his detective friends try to get him to move on.  But Jack can’t rest, and uses every moment to put up flyers about a man with a crooked hat, which was his only clue to the killer. 

The main difference in this murder mystery is that we know from almost the beginning, who the murderer is.  Michael Underhill has finally found his life coming together.  He was a beautiful girlfriend, who loves him, and makes him happy; this is the life he wants badly, and he will let nothing change that.

After awhile, when Jack begins to weaken his resolve, he gets a message and meets someone else looking for the man with the crooked hat.  This will bring Jack to a small town, which will lead to various clues of previous murders that maybe related, even as far back as twenty years.  The mystery is chilling, as there are many twists that will reveal a cunning murderer, and several deaths that are remotely connected.  Jack being an experienced former detective, as well as driven by his wife’s death, is probably the only one who can possibly to tie the strange pieces together.

What follows is an exciting story and at times early on, a bit confusing. It was also an amazing in depth mystery, that involves  several crimes,  with various people, deaths that occur over the years, and those that  had no real relation to each other.  Slowly, with a POV of mostly Jack, but some with Mike Underhill, we learn the consequences that lead to Jack’s wife’s death, as well as some other recent deaths.  

I do not want to give spoilers, and this is a difficult review that telling too much more would ruin it for you.  The Man in the Crooked Hat was an excellent murder mystery that kept me turning the pages,  especially in the last half, which started to make more sense with each revelation.  If you enjoy murder mysteries, a flawed but great leading character, in depth storytelling, very good secondary characters, a conniving murderer, and many twists and turns along the way, I suggest you read Harry Dolan’s The Man in the Crooked Hat.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

giveaway

Harry Dolan’s publisher is graciously offering a hard copy of THE MAN IN THE CROOKED HAT to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Harry Dolan on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

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8. Giveaway open to USA only

9.. Giveaway runs from November 27 to December 1, 2017

 

 

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