Posted in Lists

Thursday Musings: The DNF Graveyard

 

I’ve had a really great streak going lately – the last several books I have read have all been great. I’ve really been on quite a roll.

Which got me thinking about books that I didn’t mesh with – specifically ones that I wasn’t able to finish. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t make them “bad,” they just weren’t for me. Usually, if I only get a couple chapters into a book and realize it’s not for me, I don’t post a review. I don’t feel I can truly review a book having only read maybe two or three chapters.

So for the first time, I’m admitting which books I couldn’t finish – at least the first time I picked them up (See more on that below).

  1. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin: After hearing all the hype about the TV series, I was really curious about the books, because that’s how I think. But I couldn’t get more than 100 pages in. Even though I knew it was a fantasy/epic/drama, it was just SO MUCH of all of that. I couldn’t stomach it, I guess for the same reasons I don’t like soap operas. Oh well.
  2. The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff: I have always been fascinated by the Salem witch trials, and have even visited Salem, Mass. But I couldn’t get into this book, which blended reality and legend and lots and lots of small details. I couldn’t follow it at all.
  3. One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell: I got about halfway through this book before letting it just drift off and finally putting it away. I just couldn’t really sympathize with others the characters here. But maybe that’s because they were just so different from me. Or the fact that I never liked “Sex and the City.” *shrugs*
  4. The Girl with the Dragin Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: Ok, so the first time I picked this book up in an airport bookstore, I let the Swedish names trip me up. I couldn’t focus on the Tory because I was distract d by the hard to pronounce names and places. But then, maybe 2 years or so later, I decided to give it another try. And I DEVOURED the entire series. I absolutely loved it. Which goes to show you: never give up on a book totally. You may change your mind.

What books have you never been able to finish? Or do you think I should give one of these another chance? Let me know!

Posted in Reviews

The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards

The Lucky OnesThe Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As I’ve said before, when I see that Mark Edwards has a new book out, I know to clear my schedule for the next few days. No ones better at crafting a chilling, eerie thriller that will stay with you for weeks afterward.

“The Lucky Ones” is no different.

It’s Edwards’ take on a police procedural, and it is a great twisty ride that you won’t be able to put down until the last page – which is a good thing because it doesn’t all finish up until then.

The book follows two people: Detective Imogen Evans who is chasing a serial killer who just claimed his third victim, and Ben, a single dad who is struggling in the wake of his separation from his wife. The two will cross paths as they both realize they are in the crosshairs of the most dangerous criminal to shake up their sleepy English town.

I don’t want to give away too many plot details because it’s fun to see everything unfold. Edwards has a talent for creating unique stories that will both fascinate and scare you. And this guy – “The Viper” as he’s known in the book – is very creepy indeed. There’s a feeling of something being “off” throughout the entire novel, casting a dark, suspenseful shadow over the book, which is delicious as it grows and grows.

At certain points, I thought I knew where things were headed, but the ending proved me wrong. It’s really all in the details here, and putting them together is how you can figure out this puzzle.

I still think my favorite Edwards novel is “Follow You Home,” but “The Lucky Ones” is certainly a great addition to anyone’s library.

Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Extras, New releases

Cover Reveals: Thrillers coming soon!

Last week, we got two new sneak peaks at some upcoming books – both are thrillers due out within the next year and have stunning covers:

Beautiful Liars

(So far I only have the British release details – so keep your eyes peeled for American release details!)

Seventeen years ago Martha said goodbye to best friend Juliet on a moonlit London towpath.
The next morning Juliet’s bike was found abandoned at the waterside.
She was never seen again.

Nearly two decades later Martha is a TV celebrity, preparing to host a new crime show… and the first case will be that of missing student Juliet Sherman. After all these years Martha must reach out to old friends and try to piece together the final moments of Juliet’s life.

But what happens when your perfect friends turn out to be perfect strangers…?

The Good Sister

Release date is set for Aug. 16!

There are two sides to every secret.

She is staring back at me with exactly my expression – a mixture of wonder, bewilderment and horror. It’s like looking in a dark, cracked mirror.


‘Who are you?’ she whispers.

When her beloved father dies, Josie is devastated to uncover a secret life he has led with another family: a half-sister, Valentina, born in the same week, in the same hospital. They look so physically alike they could be mistaken for twins. But the similarities end there.

As an unlikely bond begins to form between them, Josie finds herself drawn into Valentina’s complex world; a world where Josie no longer has to be the good girl her father raised her to be. Could the same reckless, self-destructive streak that runs through Valentina’s blood, be running through her own?

Could Josie be capable of more than she had ever imagined? Could she be capable of murder? One of them is.

A tense and claustrophobic read that will keep you turning pages into the night. Perfect for fans of Louise Jensen, Claire Douglas and Sue Fortin.

Both are headed straight for my TBR pile!

Posted in Reviews

The Mayfly by James Hazel

The MayflyThe Mayfly by James Hazel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First things first: This book was FANTASTIC. If you’re a mystery/thriller fan, you need to check this book out. OK, now on to the details.

I don’t want to give too much away because the reveals are great, and you’re going to want to stay up late reading.

The book follows Charlie Priest, a former cop turned lawyer with his own issues. But despite his flaws, he’s a fantastic investigator, who is attacked by a strange man one night in his home. The next day, the man is dead – killed brutally – and the victim’s family wants to hire Priest to figure out what happened. The answers lie deep in history, from the horrors of Buchenwald in 1945 and a remote farm post-war, all leading to to the present day. Priest must fight to figure out what is going on as the body count rises.

The elements of the book are blended really well, creating an atmosphere that just screams “thriller.” This book combines dark history, creepy families and just enough gore to make you want to sleep with one eye open. Figuring out how all the pieces fit together is a great challenge and I did not figure it out before the ending.

The scenario presented in the book is just real enough to really scare you, which also adds to the fun. The characters are fantastic; well written and flawed, but with enough character to like them. I think this is the start of a new series, and I’m ecstatic to see them again.

Overall, I throughly enjoyed this book. It is one of my top reads so far this year.

Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

Posted in New releases

Release Day Blitz: Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell

Here’s a new release that looks great: a dark thriller with a beautiful cover. Can’t wait to read it, and I’m excited to be able to introduce it to you on its release date!

Dark Harvest ebook cover

Dark Harvest
By Chris Patchell
Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Becky Kincaid ventures out in the middle of a snowstorm to buy a car seat for her unborn baby and never makes it home. When a second pregnant woman disappears, Marissa Rooney and the team at the Holt Foundation fear a sinister motive lurks behind the crimes.
 
Lead investigator, Seth Crawford, desperately searches for the thread that binds the two cases together, knowing that if he fails, another woman will soon be gone. While Seth searches for clues, a madman has Marissa in his sights and she carries a secret that could tear her whole world apart.
 
Can Seth stop the killer before he reaps his… Dark Harvest

Author PhotoAbout the Author

Chris Patchell is the bestselling author of In the Dark and the Indie Reader Discovery Award winning novel Deadly Lies. Having recently given up her career in tech to pursue her passion for writing full-time, Chris resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family and two neurotic Yorkies. To learn more about Chris and her book, visit www.chrispatchell.com/. Join her on Facebook for book giveaways and more fun murder mysteries at www.facebook.com/authorchrispatchell.

 

ON AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Harvest-Holt-Foundation-Story-ebook/dp/B06XK11GY4/

Posted in Author Q&As

Author Q&A: Justin W.M. Roberts

34122259I’m thrilled to be able to talk with another author about work and their craft. Justin W.M. Roberts, author of the action-packed “The Policewoman,” took some time to share his thoughts on his characters and his experiences as a writer.

– Where did the idea for this novel come from?

Drug trafficking is a problem faced by every country. It’s big business and it’s a matter of time drug cartels will try to take over a country.

 

– This novel not only had action, but a lot of emotion too – laughter, romance, etc. How did you balance that in your writing?

Well, the life a real police officer is not one action sequence to the next. In fact, 99% of it is boring. This book is art imitating the life of a police officer, albeit an extraordinary life.

– Why did you choose a female protagonist? 

Good question! This book is more of a military action thriller than a crime fiction novel. Since there aren’t any female officers in the UK’s Special Air Service, I need the main protagonist to be a female so there can be a romance element in the book.

– What authors do you enjoy reading in your spare time?

I enjoy reading Tom Clancy, JK Rowling, Andy McNab, and Chris Ryan

– What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Just write! Send your work to a lot of people so they can send their feedback.

– What are you working on next?

The Policewoman is book one of a series. I’m currently writing the sequel.


About the Author

Justin W.M. Roberts was born in London, son of a British Army General, and grew up in Hong Kong, Germany, and England. After graduating from Hull university with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Psychology, he continued traveling and living Europe, Africa, and Asia.

He currently lives in Indonesia where he is an analyst of political affairs and an active promoter of secular humanism.

Authors of military thrillers are welcome to PM him (on Goodreads) for book reviews.

Posted in Reviews

The Policewoman by Justin W.M. Roberts

SThe PolicewomanThe Policewoman by Justin W.M. Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5, rounded up to 4 stars.

Readers looking for a nonstop thrill ride through the underworld of narcoterrorism need look no further than “The Policewoman.” The book is not only an action-packed ride, but based on current events involving drug cartels and powerful drug kingpins, feels relevant; like it could indeed be the future.

This book is set in 2026, when the world’s most elite police units help take down brutal drug lords, who run the supply and distribution of the world’s drug supply. Sarah, the main character, is enlisted to help elite United Kingdom and Irish forces take down an Irish drug cartel, which has set up its largest factory in Sarah’s native Indonesia. Sarah, a bit of a “Wonder Woman” herself, must help bring down these criminals, who are as brutal and sadistic as they are efficient. Along the way, Sarah must fight for her own life, as well as the lives of those she loves.

This book has a great premise – it’s like a Mission Impossible movie in novel form. The suspense comes from whether or not the lead characters can survive their mission: the enemy is incredibly ruthless and cruel, employing a psychopathic killer to take vengeance on those who stand in their way. And the scenes with this killer do not hold back – he’s a pretty terrifying character.

The book also features some very good, developed characters – they quote movies and joke around, as well as fall in love. I wasn’t necessarily expecting to laugh or get the feels from what appears to be a tough-guy action novel. I was very pleasantly surprised.

The only drawback of the novel is that some of the descriptions and background information can get tedious, but with some polishing, the author could cut down the novel’s length and make the book a little tighter and take it from “good” to “great.”

But the story at its core is really enthralling and will delight military/action fans. I enjoyed the great locations and characters very much.

I’m excited to see what is next for this author.

View all my reviews