NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk #4) by Dean Koontz

Do YOU know Jane Hawk? Rogue FBI agent intent on saving the world from the Techno Arcadians? If not, you've missed out on one of the most entertaining thriller series available for your reading pleasure.

This is book #4. Under NO circumstances should you read this until you have read 1-3. This is not any kind of standalone, plus you'll be missing the amazing backstory and the incredible details that continue to make these episodes so compelling.

Nanotechnology is real, but the Techno Arcadians have taken the science to a whole new level. This group of powerful men and women seek to enslave or destroy anyone who doesn't share their vision of revolution in order to create their version of Utopia. Jane Hawk is on the run, ferreting out some of those rich egomaniacs, all the while trying to save her son, Jack, whom she has hidden because he is her Achilles heel. They get Jack, they get her.

The action is nonstop, and Dean Koontz, like no other author, loves description, metaphor, simile, and $25.00 words! I am in love with this series and with Jane Hawk. If you're in the mood to step into a world that may become real in the not-so-distant future, you will inhale these books as I have. Definitely my most anticipated read of summer in 2018, I can honestly say that it was just as good as I hoped. More information, more gore, more unique characters, more "adjusted" people and more of Jane Hawk's evasion tactics. This, folks, is pure entertainment! Don't miss it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Books for approving me to read and review this e-book ARC. I was happy to see a preview of #5 at the end of this, and cannot wait until I get to read it. Do we dare hope for a conclusion to this saga at that point, or will Koontz torture me further?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Her Mother's Grave (Det. Josie Quinn #3) by Lisa Regan

The sins of a mother...

After the bones of a young woman, Belinda Rose, are found in a trailer park where she grew up, Josie Quinn is set to perhaps finally know the truth of her past. She had a childhood filled with loneliness and abuse, an evil mother, and many instances of trauma that have left her mistrustful, insecure, and haunted. With each discovery during the ensuing investigation, Detective Josie  Quinn and her team find one unsettling revelation after another. Complicated by questions that seemingly can't be answered, by hidden files and secrets that have bound the perpetrators, the case causes Josie to examine her memories and go back to that hated time of her life. Supported by her colleagues, Josie finds that the discovery of the bones is just the tip of the iceberg.

This series featuring Denton Police Chief Josie Quinn is simply one of the best out there! This is the third book, and if you consider reading it, I'd recommend starting at the beginning. I love police procedurals featuring strong female protagonists and, though Josie is as damaged as the rest of the ones typically appearing in genre fiction these days, there is something about her character that I find compelling and relatable. She's loyal, loves deeply and sincerely, and is painfully honest. As the series develops, with each new book, her personality becomes more defined and the characters of her colleagues and friends are also evolving -- becoming people you want to know better. The writing is excellent and the pace is fast, so this is a book you hate to put down. I can't wait to see what happens to Josie next, so come on, Lisa Regan -- get cracking on #4! Great mystery and suspense.

Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for this e-book ARC to read and review.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Fifth to Die (4MK#2) by J.D. Barker

"You can't play God without being acquainted with the devil"

Anson Bishop is surely trying to be both. Detective Sam Porter knows Bishop well as he continues to follow the grisly clues that Bishop leaves in his wake...dead people. Beware -- this second book in the 4MK (Four Monkey Killer) series ends on a cliffhanger that will have you screaming for more!

Excellent writing, compelling action, complex plot, and intriguing characters make this a suspense thriller and police procedural that you won't want to miss. The story line is extremely complicated, so pay attention, and definitely, you MUST have read the first book before attempting this one.

Dead girls, dead parents -- what scheme has Bishop got going this time? He's changed his MO and signature a bit and Porter can't stand down from pursuing him even after he's put on suspension and the FBI has taken over the hunt for Bishop. Porter risks everything as he tries to find Bishop and stop his madness even as the victim count mounts. Bishop is an extremely brilliant psychopath whose strategy can't be anticipated. Can Porter trust anyone or does Bishop's network extend beyond the reach of any kind of justice. NO SPOILERS.  Highly recommended if you like thriller chiller killer novels!

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the e-book ARC to read and review. PLEASE, J.D. Barker, hurry with #3!

Monday, June 25, 2018

I Never Lie by Jody Sabral

Are you in the mood to read a book from the point of view of a thoroughly unlikeable alcoholic who spends most of her days in a haze in the grip of her addiction? Alex South is meant to be a crime reporter, but unfortunately she's got a bad rap because she can't stay sober. Given (not sure how in the world she managed to get the job) the chance to report on a serial killer in the neighborhood close to where she lives, Alex discovers that she knows all the women who are dead.

I'm not sure exactly how to classify this book. It's not a detective mystery, it's not a psychological thriller (unless you count the fact that Alex is delusional about herself), and it's not crime fiction. The prose centers mainly on Alex promising herself to detox and then proceeding to drink away. How she manages to actually do any on air reporting defies belief. She's not even remotely a "functional alcoholic" because she misses work, passes out, and has blackouts. I couldn't stand her character. It was obvious where this was going and I won't spoil it in case someone who reads it doesn't guess right off. How she could even manage to look presentable to go to work is beyond my ability to buy as well. The woman drank almost non-stop. I guess you could say I don't have any empathy for Alex and you'd be right. There wasn't much to get from this novel and I was disappointed with the pace and the revelations. The "pull it all together" epilogue at the end made me want to throw my Kindle AND Alex across the room!

I do thank NetGalley and Canelo for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. I really don't like reading books with unreliable, nearly psycho narrators who have major issues, so I need to be more careful when reading the blurbs and selecting the titles.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Nobody's Child (#3 King and Lane) by Victoria Jenkins

"Monsters come in all shapes and forms...sometimes there is no explanation for evil."

Arson and murder with no end to the list of possible suspects and the lingering question of how they are all related. It seems the perpetrator is attacking the vulnerable. The case is complicated and it's been very hard to get a real feel for any motive behind these senseless killings. I had my "ah-ha" moment just a bit before the revelations, but this was very cleverly written and I enjoyed the pace and details of the investigation.

Excellent police procedural featuring Detective Inspector Alex King and Detective Constable Chloe Lane working out of the area around the Rhondda valleys. Although this is the third in the series, this is the first one I have read -- much to my chagrin. I'm sorry to have missed the first two and hope to correct that at some point. I would love to know more about the main characters on the police team and all the backstory.

Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for this e-book ARC to read and review. Note that this book was initially titled COUNTING THE DEAD.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Date by Louise Jensen

"Memories can be dangerous and not just for the person affected."

Lies, secrets, betrayal, and duplicity are at the heart of this psychological drama. The main character, Alison (Ali) Taylor goes on a blind date and wakes with no memory of the previous evening and, furthermore, her injuries have resulted in an incurable, rare condition that will forever prevent her from being able to recognize faces -- prosopagnosia. The events that occur after "the date" are only slightly more plausible because of that unusual disorder and it is what propels the plot. It's hard to really understand anything that happens to you if you can't tell WHO the people are when they appear in front of you. So -- the gist is that something bad happened that night and now someone is after Ali but she can't remember a thing, has amnesia, on top of the prosopagnosia.

The narrative is told in Ali's voice and moves along quickly despite the reader having to suck up a huge dose of disbelief and buy into her condition. She is constantly crying and emotional and histrionic as things go from bad to worse. I couldn't really identify with her character, and there were many other players in this convoluted story. Events from Ali's past are connected to the current torment and the savvy reader catches on quite quickly that the people in her life may not be what they seem. I'm sure that the climax and revelation was meant to be a shocking twist, but I have read far too many of this type of book to be surprised. Despite all these issues, I did enjoy the pace and the clinical information about the prosopagnosia.

The author writes a letter to the reader at the end of the book explaining that she had seen a documentary on the condition and kept wanting to write a story where the main character had it. Although I didn't care for Ali, I can see how the struggle to "do" life would be so much harder for a person who can't tell friends and family from strangers.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this e-book ARC to read and review. I've read several other books by this author and will continue to follow her.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

 Oh, 'mommy dearest'.

The family Fitzsimons lives in a beautiful old mansion in Dublin. Andrew, the father, is a respected judge and Lydia enjoys being the lady of the manor. Though beset by fertility issues, they do manage to have a son, Laurence. Unfortunately, Lydia wants another child and urges Andrew to impregnate a local girl, Annie Doyle, so they can have her baby. Things go wrong as they often do, and Annie ends up dead. Covering up her murder isn't so hard, but living with it is...

This was a slow-burner of a psychological thriller and I'm glad that I stuck with it though tempted to give up several times. NO SPOILERS but you will have to just get into it all yourself at your own pace and stick in until the ultimate shocker of a conclusion. I think you'll end up seeing it worth your while.

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher Simon & Schuster for the e-book ARC to read and review.