Crime

Sorrow Bound: Review

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While Sorrow Bound by David Mark is the third book in a series, it certainly proves itself as a standalone book. This story had me hooked right from the get-go, with palpable characters, frantic plot, and marvelous storytelling.

The story follows Detective Aector McAvoy as he discovers the slain bodies of some young women. Originally attributing the killings to drug dealers, the police department quickly changes their minds as more details of the killings (and more killings) shed new light on the case. McAvoy sets out to stop the killer, all the while dealing with his own problems at home.

The characters in this book are absolutely tangible. I felt as if I was living right there with them, throughout the pages of the book. The love and loyalty that the characters expressed for each other was easily identifiable throughout the story. I felt as if the characters were all real people, people that I knew in real life. Throughout the story I enjoyed reading more about the lives of the characters because of how real they felt.

The plot of Sorrow Bound was fantastic. Fast moving and deep, the plot carried me away like a swift river, not letting me go until the final pages. There are plenty of plot twists throughout the book and many parts that will leave you guessing, glued to the pages until you find out what happened. This book definitely contains a masterfully woven plot.

Mark certainly understands how to write a good police procedural or thriller. There wasn’t a part of the story where I was confused or unsure as to what was going on as Mark smoothly conveyed information to the reader in a clear manner. I will definitely be looking for more works written by David Mark.

I would highly recommend this book for those looking for a good police procedural or thriller. I wouldn’t go with this book if you’re squeamish about dark and depressing topics, although it’s a highly good read.

The City: Review

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I was a little apprehensive when I first began reading this book. I’d read quite a few Koontz books prior to reading The City and the start of this book just didn’t feel like a typical Koontz story. After I got about a third of the way through the book however, that feeling changed greatly. The intrigue picked up and I found myself sucked into the story and the characters.

This story centers around a man, Jonah Kirk, as he recants some strange goings on that happened in his childhood. Johan Kirk’s childhood was tumultuous to say the least. Although able to find escape in piano and music, Kirk dealt with a disappointing father and rather sinister mystery involving some pretty shady people. Although at the beginning of the story I found myself wondering when the mystery and excitement would pick up, it quickly does, carrying the reader along on a journey through a few scary years in the life of a young boy.

The characters in this book are all dazzling. Even when I wasn’t able to relate to the characters (which didn’t happen often), I still found myself lapping up the descriptions of their everyday lives. All of the characters were realistic and spellbinding, reminding me of those people you encounter in everyday life that just seem magical for some reason.

The writing in this book wasn’t exactly typical Koontz writing style, but that doesn’t mean that the writing wasn’t enjoyable to read. The writing in this book seemed so much deeper and more elaborate than a typical Koontz novel, which just added to the spellbinding element of the story. I definitely enjoyed reading the writing in this book.

I would highly recommend this book for those interested in reading books featuring bewitching characters and a marvelous storyline. While it’s important to go into this expecting something a little different than the typical Koontz novel, this book still delivers a marvelous read that can be enjoyed by many.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

Don’t Breathe a Word: Review

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Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon is definitely one of the most engrossing and disturbing books that I have read in a long time. I was unable to put this book down until I had read every page, and when I was forced to take a break, the story haunted me- pulling me back into the pages. Don’t Breathe a Word combines horrible people and things that go bump in the night into a twisted story that will haunt the reader long after the story is over.

This book alternates perspectives between Lisa, a young girl who disappeared, 15 years ago and Pheobe, the girlfriend of Lisa’s sister, in the present day. The chapters from Lisa’s perspective gave the reader information on the actual events of the days leading up to Lisa’s disappearance and the chapter’s from Pheobe’s perspective revolve around Pheobe and Sam (Lisa’s brother) trying to figure out what actually happened to Lisa, as there are some strange occurrences that seem to imply that Lisa is still alive and back from “the world of fairies”.

The plot in this book keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, wondering what is going to happen next. The parallel story-lines of the past and present intermingle nicely, creating lots of tension to keep the reader turning the pages. The plot in this book also throws out tons of plot twists, especially at the end of the book, ones that the reader will definitely not be expecting.

The characters in this book are all fabulous. Each of the characters acts in a relatively realistic way and it’s easy to imagine the characters as real people. Most of the characters have had traumatic experiences in their lives so it is easy to justify all of their actions and it is easy to understand why the characters act the way they do. The fact that all of the main characters faced some sort of horror throughout their life makes this book that much more terrifying, from a real world perspective.

When I first began reading this book I was unsure about the writing style. The sentences were simple and not quite descriptive enough for my tastes, yet the story quickly sucked me in. Once I was glued to the story I found the writing to be polished and easy to read, definitely perfect for this type of book.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in a book that will haunt you long after you’ve finished the story or for anyone who is interested in books involving scary, mythological creatures and real world villains. I will definitely be reading more by this author.

Sting of the Drone: Review

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This book, while dealing with an important issue, is also a great, action-packed thriller. 

The plot of this book is really great. The story revolves around multiple sub-plots that all come together at the very end. This book kept me on the edge of my seat right up until the very end, waiting to see what would happen next.

This book deals with the issue of drones, although at times it is hard to tell whether the author is in support of drones or not.Sting of the Drone presents the issue from both sides, that of the people controlling the drones and that of the people living in the aftermath of drone attacks. This book, while not exactly changing my opinion on anything, definitely gave me something to think about and educated me better on the use of drones around the world.

The characters in this book were mediocre. While I don’t think the author set out to create outstanding characters, rather than inform the reader on an issue, I found myself not caring at all about the characters. While I did feel that the characters always seemed to act in a realistic manner (so props to the author on that one), I didn’t feel a connection with any of the characters, making this book feel more like a nonfiction read than a fiction read.

The writing in this book was pretty good. I found that once I picked the book up, I had a hard time putting it down, which for me is the mark of a good author. The author does a good job of writing technical information in a manner that the reader can understand and keeping the information exciting and relevant.

The one thing that I didn’t like about this book was the formatting. Each chapter, usually, takes place in a different location with a different set of characters (although they are all connected). While it was stated at the beginning of each chapter where the chapter took place in, I found that I had to flip back a few pages to occasionally remind myself where the chapter took place in. It took me about half the book before I really got in the habit of paying close attention to where the chapter took place in.

In the end, I would say this is a pretty good book that brings to the light a touchy subject. This is definitely a good book to read if you’re looking for a fiction book that will still teach you something about a current issue.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Cop Town: Review

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I struggled a little bit getting into this book but after the first couple of chapters, I found myself sucked wholly into the story.

The story itself was fantastic. The Atlanta police department is trying to track down a cop-killer while at the same time, the killer is tracking one of their cops. Cop Town is a fast-paced thriller full of twists and turns that will keep you glued to the pages until the very end. While the story is fast-paced, it’s also full of realistic details and lifelike scenarios that make the reader feel as if they’re living the story.

For the most part I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Most of the characters were realistic and enjoyable to read about. I found myself able to relate to many characters and to empathize with them if I was unable to relate exactly. Kate, especially, was a wonderful (female) character; strong and self-reliant, she sets a fantastic example for all literary characters everywhere. Maggie’s family, on the other hand, included the only characters in the entire story that really got on my nerves and I found myself disliking. All of the characters in Maggie’s family felt flat, unlike the lifelike characters found throughout the rest of the story. The reactions and actions of Maggie’s family felt fake and I found myself unable to really relate or empathize with the characters in her family.

The writing in this book was easy and enjoyable to read. I was a little flustered by the first chapter (or two) and assumed that I wouldn’t like the writing style but it turns out that I just didn’t like Maggie’s family and actually found the writing style a pleasure to read. After the chapter(s) about Maggie’s family are over, the writing and action really pick up and the story starts moving. The author does a fantastic job of describing everything, without being overly graphic at parts, definitely something I appreciate in a thriller author.

I would recommend this book to all looking for a solid thriller. This one has characters that will resonate within you while still containing a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat (and maybe make you scared to be home alone at night).

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

Fatal Enquiry: Review

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A novel reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, but with much more flavor, Fatal Enquiry is sure to give any mystery reader a thrill.

Set in Victorian London, Fatal Enquiry follows enquiry agents Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn as they set out to thwart arch nemesis Sebastian Nightwine before he can complete his evil scheme. The only problem is, Barker and Llewelyn are wanted men, framed for dastardly deeds by Nightwine himself, in his attempt to stop them from stopping him. Along the way Llewlyn and Barker meet up with some interesting characters and demonstrate remarkable detective enquiry skills. 

The plot of this book is remarkable. While showing some similarities to the Sherlock Holmes novels (mainly in setting), this book offers so much more in terms of action and an engaging plot. This book kept me on the edge of my seat wondering whether the Barker and Llewlyn would be able to get themselves out of whatever mess they found themselves in and be able to stop Nightwine in time. This book was full of action and kept me guessing until the very end; definitely a marvelous plot.

The characters themselves were very engaging. Llewlyn, especially, is a very dynamic character and I found myself interested in his life story (I will obviously have to read the first 6 books…). Llewlyn (and the other characters) were relatively easy to relate to, despite the fact that they were experiencing things I have never experienced.

Will Thomas writes in a style that is pleasant to read and easy to understand, making Fatal Enquiry a joy to read. Thomas writes simply, will still giving enough details and descriptions to avoid leaving the reader fumbling around in the dark. I found his writing style easy to just dive into and begin reading and then difficult to stop reading. 

Overall I truly enjoyed this book. I think that anyone who loved the Sherlock Holmes novels will find something that they enjoy about this book and anyone who is interested in mysteries (especially taking place in Victorian London) will greatly appreciate this story.

In The Dark: Review

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In The Dark by James Key is a modern whodunit mystery with intriguing characters, shocking plot twist, and engaging writing.

The plot of this book is really interesting. In The Dark follows Jimmy, a young private detective, as he works to solve the case of the Parkhurst family and their mysterious murder/stalker issues. As he works the case, Jimmy discovers many secrets about the Parkhurst company, as well as the Parkhurst family- exposing a wealthy family clad in sinister secrets.

I thought that the film noir references were a fascinating aspect of this book. I wish that the author had referenced specific things about film noir, or specific examples of film noir, rather than just a basic mentioning of film noir itself. But I did think that mentioning film noir set the mood of the story in a way that was easy for the reader to grasp and understand.

The characters in this novel were interesting. Dora Parkhurst had some interesting characteristics about her and was a fascinating character to read about. Although her actions, along with the actions of other characters, seemed fake or forced at times, for Dora, it was understandable why she would be socially awkward and why her actions would seem forced. I did not have as easy of a time excusing the other awkward characters. There were numerous times when the characters were talking or interacting with each other that I thought to myself, “real people don’t behave or speak in that manner”.

Another problem that I encountered in regards to the characters speaking with each other was the format of the conversation. At times I found myself confused as to who was speaking at what time. That might have just been a flaw in the formatting of the book I received, but when reading this book you’ll have to pay close attention as to who is speaking when as the author doesn’t make it extremely clear.

Despite the awkward characters and script of the characters, the writing in this story was surprisingly polished. Key writes in a manner that flows smoothly and consistently. His sentences circulate nicely within each other, no sentence seems too long or too short. The writing avoids becoming choppy, even when characters are speaking short sentences to each other. The author also does a nice job of describing places and events in a manner that is easy for the reader to visualize and follow. It was easy to visualize the places, the cars, or the events that were occurring while reading this novel.

In the end I would have to say, give this novel a shot. In The Darkis a fascinating read, with a disturbing ending. Although this book isn’t the best that I have ever read, due to the lacking characters, it was still a quick and enjoyable read for a Monday night. Definitely a book I would recommend for lovers of whodunit mysteries.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Wolf: Review

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This book took me a few chapters to get engrossed in, and I honestly wasn’t holding out much hope for the story. I’m glad that I decided to stick with the story because by the fourth or fifth chapter I was truly sucked into a fascinating read.

The story follows “The Wolf” or Vincent, a young man/criminal mastermind, who recently lost his wife and two daughters to a terrorist attack. Reeling from the aftermath of the killing, Vincent sets out for revenge, starting a war between all of the professional criminal organizations and all of the terrorist organizations.

This story thrilling, but also causes the reader to think a little bit about professional criminals and terrorists. I never really thought about the difference in criminal forms before reading this book, but while reading this story it really got me thinking. While I was thinking about the difference in criminal forms, though, I was still completely engrossed in the action of this book.

The action in this book is subtle and diabolical. The author takes the reader on a step-by-step journey of the war between the organizations. While the majority of the book, especially the beginning, takes place in “the boardroom” it’s easy to feel the tension as the action escalates to stopping bombs before they go off. The author did a breathtaking job of building up the conflict and leading the reader through the process, instead of just jumping right into the action.

The characters in this book were all unusually interesting. Vincent, as a mob boss yet still a loving father, was a very dynamic and engaging character. His pain over the loss of his wife and daughters was evident, yet he kept his head in the game in order to exact his revenge on the terrorists who destroyed his family. Jimmy, Vincent’s handicapped brother, was also another dynamic character. I did not expect Vincent to have a handicapped brother, especially one he routinely goes to for advice. Jimmy definitely added a new and refreshing dimension to the stereotypical criminal storyline.

The narrative shifts between first and third person do take a little bit of getting used to, but luckily there is a clear pattern. When the story is from Vincent’s perspective, the author uses first person to describe conversations and events that take place within that section. If the point of view is from any other character’s perspective, the author uses third person to describe the action. While normally not a fan of shifting narratives, I found that this style was very effective for this book. It allowed the reader to truly feel as if they were right there with Vincent, or that he was describing the details to them after the fact.

Regardless of the narrative shifts (even though I didn’t find them problematic), I was rather fond of this authors writing style. The author did a fantastic job of making me feel, while reading, that I was right there in the midst of the action. It’s a rare book that can truly make me <i>feel</i> the events, but this author put me right there.

Although this book does take a few chapters to get immersed into, it is definitely worth the read. The unique story, dynamic characters, and refreshing writing style make this book a joy to read. Definitely a book that I would recommend for any reader who is a fan of criminal thrillers. I will definitely be looking for more books written by this author in the future.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

House of Cards: Review

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I will start right out by saying that while I have seen advertisements for the show “House of Cards”, I have never actually seen the show. This is an honest review of the book, not a comparison between the book and the show. Now that is out of the way, let’s talk about the book.

I found this book to be extremely dull and uneventful. I definitely do not believe that this book should be classified as mystery/thriller, more like plain literary fiction.

The plot is slow from the start. While there are some interesting parts dealing in political sabotage, there isn’t much excitement throughout the entire story. The story is slow moving, dealing more in the interactions of characters than in any excitement or action. While I am normally a fan of strong character-driven plots, that style just didn’t work for this book.

The characters in this book were part of the reason why I felt that the character-driven plot didn’t work. All of the characters in this book seemed incredibly unlikable and difficult to relate to. Even the characters that it seemed like the reader was supposed to like, weren’t easy to like and were much easier to dislike. I found all the characters acted in an extremely superficial and fake manner, making them difficult to enjoy and believe in.

The writing in this book was also insufferable. The author writes in a manner that, while seemingly sophisticated, is confusing and challenging to follow. I had a hard time keeping everything straight in this book- who all the characters were, who had done what, etc. Normally I don’t have a problem following even the most confusing of story-lines, but this book posed a serious challenge to me. I also found that the author wasn’t very descriptive; he writes in a manner that is almost too straightforward and factual for a fiction book.

The final issue that I had with this book is the understanding of politics. I live in the United States and while I feel that I have a solid grasp on the way our political system works, the political system of England is another matter entirely. This book is completely about the government, so if you don’t have a solid political understanding, this book is a challenge to follow and read.

Honestly, I had been hoping that after reading this book I would want to watch and enjoy the show. In reality, after reading this book I will definitely not be watching the show for fear that it will be as bad as the book.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

Good as Gone: Review

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received this book through a giveaway on Goodreads. Although it took a while for this book to be delivered to me, once I got it I was very glad to have the opportunity to read it. This book was a fast-paced and thrilling read. I was hanging on the edge of my seat from the beginning of the book until almost the very end.

The book begins with the apprehension of Simon Fisk by the French police. His help is wanted to track down an abducted American girl, Lindsay Sorkin. Simon reluctantly agrees, but only because he doesn’t want another family to go through what him and his wife went through when their young daughter was kidnapped out of their home years ago. The story then follows Simon, and accomplices, as they race through Europe trying to catch the kidnappers and figure out why they kidnapped Lindsay in the first place.

The plot in this book is fantastic. Nonstop action, with enough background information thrown in to make the book seem real. There was actually a lot of information in this book, describing the things that Simon and co. were facing (whether it was corrupt law enforcement or child traffickers). I thought that the extra information really aided in keeping the plot realistic, I felt as if the extra information made it seem as if I were actually in the story.

The characters in this book are truly fantastic. Simon is an amazing main character; besides his relationship with Anna, I found that he behaved in a remarkably realistic manner. His relationship with Anna, though, seemed a little fake and unrealistic. I understand that there are a lot of people looking for a little romance in their thrillers, but I thought the book would have been better if the relationship between Anna and Simon hadn’t been romantic. I did like Anna as a character though, I thought that her law connections really aided in bringing a new vantage point to the story and that her personality was refreshing in the story.

The writing in this book was good. This author definitely has the art of writing a successful thriller down to a T. I was sucked right into the book and found myself floating along on the authors writing, not finding anything to critique about the writing itself.

The subject matter of this book was rough. This book touches on a lot of disturbing topics- child kidnapping and child pornography, most notably. I thought that the author did a really good job of writing about those topics in a realistic, yet not extremely graphic manner. The most disturbing part about the mentions of child pornography and child trafficking, rather than what was said, was what wasn’t said. I don’t even have children of my own and I found myself disturbed by the topic, this would definitely be an even more intense book to read if you have children of your own.

Overall, I found this book to be a really pleasing thriller to read. I was sucked right in to the story and found myself unable to put the book down until I had finished. I will definitely be looking into other books written by this author, especially if they include the main character, Simon.