Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long (#1 A.L. McKittridge)

Ten Days Gone (A.L. McKittridge #1)

Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long

 Publishing: February 18, 2020 by Harlequin/MIRA

4stars

 

 

Just a Few Words: Great start to a new detective series. 

 

Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long is the first the Detective A.L. McKittridge series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Harlequin/MIRA, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  

Series Information:

A.L. McKittridge is a Detective with the Bayfield Wisconsin Police Department.  He is divorced, and his teenage daughter Traci is his life.  His sister is an alcoholic.  His partner, Rena Morgan has been married to Gabe for three years, and desperately wants a child.  They have a new boss in Christian Faster, and the verdict is still out.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Every ten days, the nude body of a woman is found in her kitchen, clothes neatly folded beside her.  She has been smothered with the pillow from her bed.  No trace evidence from the perpetrator is left behind.  Not even the pillow.

So the detectives know when the killer will strike next.  The hard part is finding him, and preventing the next woman’s death.  When they finally get a lead, they also discover the identity of the next potential target.  Their best chance of finding the killer will be by protecting this target….but they can’t find her either.

Meanwhile, A.L. is having problems with his 16-year old daughter, and Rena is starting to question the fidelity of her husband.

 

My Opinions:  

This is going to be a really good series.  Both the main characters are likable, strong, and determined police officers.  Their personal lives were also interesting.

The plot was good, and although I did guess some of the motive,  I did not see all of the twists that developed.  The book was well-paced and a fast read.  It was written from both A.L. and Rena’s points of view, which kept everything flowing smoothly.

Although we still don’t know what A.L. stands for, I’m hoping that maybe the next book will shed some light on that.

If you are in need of a new series, you might want to give this one a go.  It may have lacked a little “punch”, but overall, it was a good solid mystery.

 

Read: February, 2020

 

Favorite Quote from Ten Days Gone:

“Midnight regrets,” Rena said. That’s what she called it when worries kept her from sleeping. “Woulda, shoulda, coulda. “

 

Beverly Long

 

About The Author: Beverly Long is an American author, born in Illinois, with an MBA.  But her love of writing took over, and she started producing novels in 2005, mostly romantic suspense.  Check out her website at www.beverlylong.com

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3080392497

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Kill by Helen Fields (#6 – Luc Callanach)

Perfect Kill (D.I. Callanach, #6)

Perfect Kill by Helen Fields

 Published:  February 6, 2020 by Avon Books

4stars

 

 

Previous Book in the Series:  #5 – Perfect Crime

 

Perfect Kill by Helen Fields is the 6th in the Detective Luc Callanach series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Avon Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
DI Luc Callanach is half French and half Scottish, living most of his life in France, and working for Interpol. A false rape allegation made by co-worker Astrid Borde, had him leave France, his job, his friends, his mother. He headed to Edinburgh to take command of a homicide team.  He has adjusted to the change, making friends with a colleague, newly appointed DCI Ava Taylor, and finds an unlikely friend in a journalist.  He may never be close with DS Lively. Other team members are DS Max Tripp, DC Janet Monroe and DI Pax Graham.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Luc has been in France for three months, as Scottish liaison officer to Interpol, tracking human traffickers.

Ava has her hands full in Scotland as bodies start to pile up, and a second young man has been reported missing.

It soon becomes evident that these young men may be headed to France, and young women from France are being sent to Scotland as sex slaves.  So why are healthy young men being abducted, and are the two cases that Luc and Ava are working actually related?

Meanwhile, Ava’s long-time friend Natasha is having some issues.

 

My Opinions:

I absolutely love this series.  I truly recommend you read these in order, where you will get a good background of the relationships.  Helen Fields is not afraid to provide vivid details of crimes, so as always, be warned that you will read some gruesome stuff.  She also isn’t afraid to show compassion, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.  Again, this book dealt with a rather tough subject, but it was handled quite well.

The writing is excellent, and the plot, twists and all, kept me turning those pages.

I truly recommend you read these in order, where you will get a good background of the relationships.  I like the characters, even the on again/off again romance between Luc and Ava.  Everything feels real, because most of them are flawed, insecure, and yet determined individuals.  I found myself liking DS Lively in this book, which was quite the surprise for me!

Read: February, 2020

 

Favorite Quotes from Perfect Kill :

‘I’m so glad we’ve always been friends. Mainly because as an enemy you’re terrifying.’

“Ava sat in an unmarked van with a French drone operator whose grasp of English was limited to song lyrics, which was fair enough given that her French was entirely menu-based.”

 

perfect-death-helen-fields-book-review-aAbout The Author: Helen Fields is a British author, who started out practicing family and criminal law, spending years working with the police, CPS, Social Services, etc.  She then moved on to being a script writer and producer and co-owns a media company.  She is now devoting a lot of time to writing. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.  Check out her website at www.helenfields.com

*** photo taken from her website

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3007704379

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knock Knock by Chris Merritt   (#1 Lockhart & Green)

Knock Knock (Detectives Lockhart and Green Book #1)

Knock Knock by Chris Merritt

 Publishing: March 17, 2020 by Bookouture

4stars

 

 

 

Just a Few Words:  Looks like a great new series taking shape!

 

Knock Knock by Chris Merritt is the first in the new Detectives Lockhart & Green series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

 Series Background:   

DI Dan Lockhart is a detective in the Major Investigation Team (the Murder Squad).  He is still trying to come to terms with his wife’s disappearance 10 years ago.  He has been seeing Psychologist Dr. Lexi Green, who is still trying to get over the loss of her brother.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

When the dead body of a woman is found in her home, Dan is called in, and for the first time, made Senior Investigative Officer (SIO) of the case.  One look at the body, and Dan is sure that this is not the first kill by this perpetrator.  He is sure that he has a serial killer on his hands.  The cable ties, the injury to the ring finger, the metal ball in the victim’s throat….he’s seen it before.  His boss disagrees.  Now Dan just has to link this rather wealthy woman to the sex worker who was tortured in an identical manner.  Dan calls in Lexi to see if she can help.

When Lexi’s profile is dismissed by both Dan and his colleagues as being psychobabble, she only digs in her heels, especially when another woman’s body is found.  Determined to prove her point, Lexi creates a fake “man” to access the websites where she is sure the killer is lurking.  She puts herself in terrible danger.

 

My Opinions:  

This was a great start to a new series.  This is the first book I have read by this author, but I found his writing to be very clear, and concise.   Even though the book is fairly long, it was a fast read, mostly due to the non-stop action.  Things moved along very well.

I love the fact that both main characters are trying to come to terms with a loss.  Both Lexi and Dan are strong characters, and both are likable.  Their relationship is building slowly, as they learn to trust each other.  The dynamic is good.

The books main theme is misogyny….an ingrained hatred of women.  The author tried to explain different reasons for this, but I’m not sure he was successful (could be just my female perspective shining through here).  It looks like he did a lot of research into these chat-rooms, etc, and that just scares me….

The plot was well-developed, and there were plenty of suspects to go around, which is a little scary when you think of the theme.

Anyway, I definitely enjoyed the direction this new series is headed, and I’m looking forward to more! 

Read: March, 2020

 

Favorite Quotes from Knock, Knock:

 “That was the world of the incel: so-called involuntary celibates…..it basically started out in the nineties as an online lonely-hearts club…..The movement got taken over pretty quickly by guys who believed the empowerment of women had come at personal cost to them”

“There’s like a whole anti-feminist thing going on with some websites. Misogynist chatrooms, forums.”

 

 

 

Chris MerrittAbout The Author: Dr. Chris Merritt is a British author.  He is both an author of crime fiction, and a clinical psychologist. He as written academic papers and blogs on psychology, mental health, technology and parkour (free-running).  In his spare time is likes climbing and playing basketball.  Check out his website at https://www.cjmerritt.co.uk/

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3178855121

 

 

 

 

 

Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening by Matt Mattus

Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening: A Field-tested Guide to Growing Rare, Fascinating Annuals and Biennials

Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening by Matt Mattus

 Publishing: March 10, 2020 by Quarto Publishing – Cool Springs Press

5Stars

 

 

Just a Few Words:  I want this one in hard-cover!  What a beautiful book…

 

Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening by Matt Mattus is a comprehensive guide to planting and growing both annual and biannual flowers.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Quarto Publishing – Cool Springs Press, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

 My Synopsis and Opinions:   

This was quite informative.  It contains tips on growing both annuals and biennials.  The plants which are discussed contain both common, native, and some special plants.  It helps to know that the author has grown every plant that is discussed, so his knowledge is based on his own experiences.

It contains information about starting seeds (and where to get them), soil, sowing, hardening off, to transplanting, and even forcing winter blooms.

There is a great section on spring flowers which included common favorites like crocuses and tulips, irises and lilacs.  There was a whole section on primroses.  I even learned that the giant allium is actually an ornamental onion.  Then, it went on to summer and fall and even winter blooms (which is where we moved indoors).

I found most of the flowers to be familiar which I found refreshing.  Often there are so many exotic plants in these books.  If you can’t find them to plant them, the information is not much use.  This book was great!

The photographs are beautiful.   All flower-gardeners would love this one…

 

Read: March, 2020
 

About The Author: Matt Mattus is an American horticulturist, living in Massachusetts.  He also has a book out regarding vegetable gardening. He authors an award winning gardening blog Growing with Plants.  His gardens, greenhouse and plant collections have been featured in both lifestyle publication like Martha Stewart Living and Better Homes and Gardens as well as in many plant society journals.  Before turning to plants, Matt spent 28 years at Hasbro Toys, as a visual designer in their secret Innovations Lab.

 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3219642840

 

 

 

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

 Publishing: February 4, 2020 by Penguin Random House Canada

3stars

 

 

Just a Few Words:  First…a definition.  Djinn (jinni/genie) is a certain type of spirit in Islam, similar to an angel. Many Muslims believe that a djinn can take the form of an animal or a human. 

 

 Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara is a fiction novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Penguin Random House Canada, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Nine-year old Jai lives at the end of the Purple Metro line with his family.  It is crowded, it is dirty, and it is a slum, but he and his best friends Pari and Faiz don’t seem to mind that their homes are one room shacks, and they have to walk a bit to get to the toilets, or to an area where they can bring back fresh water.  This is their life.  But Jai watches a little television, and dreams of being a detective.

When Bahadur, a classmate from school goes missing, the dreaded police are called by his worried mother, and things become tense in the neighborhood.  Although everyone pays the police for protection, they know that their homes could be bull-dozed if too much attention is drawn to the area.

Jai decides to find Bahadur himself, with Pari and Faiz as his assistants.  After all, Jai believes himself superior to his friends and he is a dedicated television “Police Patrol” fan, so he knows best.  Mind you, Pari is very well-read and brighter than most, and Faiz actually has two jobs, so they may be of some help.

When more children go missing from the area, Jai and his friends increase their efforts to find them.

 

My Opinions: 

I must admit to having a hard time getting into this one.  It was annoying to have to stop reading to look up unfamiliar words…and there were a lot of unfamiliar words.  Having a dictionary at the back of the book is useless if you are using an e-reader.

The book’s setting of a slum in India and the mixture of people who inhabit it was quite interesting.  It centered on missing children, corrupt police officials, and day-to-day living that sometimes echoed our own (school uniforms, working parents, family struggles), and sometimes displayed more things characteristics of the slum (poor sanitation, over-crowding, child labour).  It also showed that even in the slum, there is a hierarchy, and bigotry abounds.  Overall, it was sometimes an uncomfortable read.

Told from the perspective of a 9-year old boy, his voice often amused me, but sometimes amazed me.  He alternated between being a typical child who is easily distracted, to being a child with wonderful insights, often within a few minutes (although it was often Pari who had the insights).  The characters were well-rounded, and the fears of the parents shone through, as did the selfish attitude of the teenagers, and the naivety of the children.

Again, it was sometimes a hard read because of the topic.  Over-crowded slums, missing children, abusive relationships, political corruption, bigotry, indifference among the social classes.  Yet, the courage and determination of the children depicted in the story was a light in the darkness.

 

 

Read: February, 2020

 

Favorite Quotes from Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line:

 “Kids around here disappear all the time,” he says. “One day they’ll have too much glue and decide to try their luck somewhere else. Another day they’ll get hit by a rubbish truck and end up in a hospital. Some other morning, they’ll be picked up by the police and sent to a juvenile home. We don’t make a fuss about anybody vanishing.”

“Djinns aren’t real, but if they were, they would only steal children because we have the most delicious souls.”

“These two are always quarrelling like a husband and a wife who have been married for too long. But they can’t even get married when we grow up because Faiz is a Muslim. It’s too dangerous to marry a Muslim if you’re a Hindu. On the TV news, I have seen blood-red photos of people who were murdered because they married someone from a different religion or caste. Also, Faiz is shorter than Pari, so they wouldn’t make a good match anyway.”

 

Photo by Liz SeabrookAbout The Author: Deepa Anappara was born in Kerala, southern India, and worked as a journalist in India for eleven years.  She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where she is currently studying for a Creative-Critical Writing PhD on a CHASE doctoral fellowship.  Check out her website at www.deepa-anappara.com

*** Photo from her website, Credit to Liz Seabrook

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3169792845

 

 

 

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

The Other Mrs.
The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

Publishing: February 18, 2020 by Harlequin – Park Row

4stars

 

 

Just a Few Words:  First, I wish publishers would stop comparing books to The Good Girl.  It really doesn’t help.  A reader may set their expectations very high and then be sorely disappointed (and their review reflects it), or they may not read the book at all if The Good Girl was not appealing.  How does either of these scenarios help the author?

 

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Harlequin – Park Row, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis: (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Will Foust is a stay-at-home Dad to 14 year-old Otto and 7 year-old Tate.  He lectures at a university on occasion.  He seems like the perfect husband and father.  Well, if you don’t count his wandering eye, and….

Camille is obsessed with Will, and would do anything just to be by his side.

Mouse is a six-year old girl who lives with her Dad and her abusive “Fake Mom”.

Sadie is Wills’ wife, and is aware of his last affair.  When she found out, at the same time that Otto got suspended from school, Sadie had a bit of a break-down, and lost her job. The family needs a fresh start, so she agrees to move their family from Chicago to a small island off the coast of Maine when her husband inherits his sisters house.  They also inherit her 16-year old daughter, Imogen.

When the body of their neighbour, Morgan Baines, is found murdered, the entire island is shocked.  When the police start looking at her, Sadie is confused, and knows she will have to figure out who the murderer is before her family is torn apart.

But not all is as it first appears.  Someone is lying.

 

My Opinions:

Well, that was different.  The tale was a little convoluted, a little twisted, and quite good.  I do admit, however, that it took me a bit to get into.  I couldn’t quite relate to the characters at first, and it seemed slow-moving.  However, the slow pace definitely contributed to the build-up in suspense.

The story is told from different points of view, but it quickly becomes evident that we may have at least one unreliable narrator.  As the book progresses, we are still not sure what or who to believe.  The characters are all interesting, but I admit that my favorite was Mouse, and then Imogen.  I didn’t particularly like Sadie or Will.

Although I had initially identified the murderer, a major twist appeared that had me second-guessing myself — six or seven times.   That is the sign of a good mystery!

The book explored family dynamics as well as mental health issues.

Overall, a good read!

 

Read: February, 2020

Mary KubicaAbout The Author: Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of four novels. She is a former high school history teacher, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. Mary’s novels have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. Mary lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children. Check out her website at http://www.marykubica.com

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2944961932

 

 

 

Her Broken Wings by D.K. Hood (#8 –  Kane and Alton)

Her Broken Wings (Detectives Kane and Alton, #8)

Her Broken Wings by D.K. Hood

 Publishing: March 9, 2020 by Bookouture

4stars

 

 

Previous Book in the Series: #7 – Break the Silence

 

Her Broken Wings by D.K. Hood is the 8th in the Detectives Kane and Alton series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
Former DEA, Jenna Alton is now the Sheriff in Black Rock Falls, Montana.  Her past is a secret.  Deputy David Kane’s background is also a secret.  He was a Special Forces sharpshooter.  Then there is  Forensic Scientist Shane Wolfe, who is not only a Medical Examiner with amazing computer skills, he used to be Kane’s handler. So, with a few other deputies, Jenna has a good team to handle crime in the small Black Rock Falls town, which seems to have more murders than a small town should.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Lucas Robinson was shot while sleeping next to his wife.  He was the first of a series of strange murders that are happening in Black Rock Falls.  Things escalate, and on Wolfe’s recommendation, they call in FBI Agents Jo Blake and Ty Carter.  Jo is sure that the perpetrator is a serial killer that has evaded the FBI for a few years.

Meanwhile,  Atohi’s cousin has returned to the reservation, and he is not the man he once was.  Brad Kelly left the reservation when he was 18.  Upon finding out that his father was dead, Brad’s memory of the abuse his family suffered returned, so he came back.  He remembers the night that his mother and brother were murdered by his father, and he alone made it to the reserve.  He remembers that the police did nothing.  He is quick to anger, and insists that their bodies be located and given a proper burial, but he has little respect for the police, or anyone else.

As the body count rises, Jenna is thankful for the extra assistance.

 

My Opinions:  

I like the addition of the FBI agents, and hope they return in future books.

The plot was interesting and dealt with both mental health issues and physical abuse.  The author handled these topics well.  There was a lot of action, which resulted in a quick read.  As well, the identity of the perpetrator was a surprise, so that was good.

I have the same problems with all of the books in the series.  The first is the romantic relationship between Jenna and Dave, which often lacks professionalism.  The second was a little less pronounced in this book, which is the fact that Jenna often plays second fiddle to Dave.  In this one, she was more of a leader.  However, again Jenna was “amazed by his knowledge”.  Comments like that continue to exasperate me.

So, even though I have some issues with the characters, the plots always make up for it, and I will continue to be entertained by this series.

On another note.  The title “her broken wings” seems like an after-thought at the end of the story.  It’s a good name for a shelter,  but I don’t feel it was tied in sufficiently to the story.

 

Read: March, 2020

 

About The Author: D.K. Hood was born in London England, but now lives in Australia.  She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, but for 20 years she was an All Breeds International Cat Judge.  She now writes full-time.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3172772656

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams of Fire by Christian Cura (#1 – Kara Hartman)

Dreams of Fire (#1)

Dreams of Fire by Christian Cura (#1 – Kara Hartman)

Publishing: Dec 2019 by Kindle Direct Publishing

3stars

 

 

Dreams of Fire by Christian Cura is a fantasy novel, and the first in the Kara Hartman series.

First, let me thank the author for approaching me, and for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Magic is commonplace, and both the mystics and the non-magical people mingle.

In the Canadian wilderness stands a prison, run by Warden John Hartman.  The prison is designed for the protection of non-magical people.  Within its walls are rogue magicians being kept in check by a glowing crimson tower which distinguishes their powers.  The Enforcers, who wear a bracelet that allows them to retain their magic, guard the inmates with their lives.  Part of the prison is a training center for new recruits.

One of these recruits is a young woman named Saba Quereshi, whose reasons for being there are her own.

Among the prisoners is Charlotte Grey,  who has vowed vengeance upon the woman who put her there.  Her one-time best friend, and the Warden’s sister, Kara Hartman.

Kara, a successful young artist,  rarely uses her magic after tragically losing her younger brother.  She even hides her magic from her co-workers.  When she meets Selene, a demon-hunter, she falls in love.  But Kara’s past is about to rear its ugly head, and put everyone she loves in jeopardy.

 

My Opinions:  

This is a debut novel, and the author will definitely be on my “watch” list.  This  is a story of love, and loss, and vengeance.  The overall premise of the book was very good.

Now, I am all about love, in real life….but not in my books.  I had nothing against the lesbian romance in this book, but I am not a romance reader period, so I could have done without it. The romance angle took up about half of the book, and that was a little much for me.  Perhaps that is why I felt the first half of the book dragged.   As well, sometimes the dialogue was a little stilted, and sometimes the descriptions for a little too lengthy, and I found myself skimming, which is never good.

All that being said….it was a very good plot, a really interesting story, and the characters were all well-designed.  Half way in, the author finally got to the real story, and from there on, it was quite good.  There was a lot of action, and the book left off at a good spot, allowing the reader to envision what comes next. I do plan on reading the next one!

On a side note, I love the cover.

 

Read: February, 2020

 

Favorite Quote from Dreams of Fire:

 “I will burn you alive and reduce everything and everyone you love to ashes!”

 

About The Author: Christian Cura has always had a passion for drawing.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Visual Technology.   His favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and Robert Jordan. When he is not writing, Christian can be found getting beaten up at his MMA gym.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3041826448

 

 

 

 

 

Up-Coming Reviews for March, 2020

 

My Up-Coming Reviews

WOW, three months into the year already.  It’s going to be a month of reading rather diverse books.  The books shown below are a sample….and be warned.  I have read them all, but didn’t like them all.   Anyway, I’ll be sure to throw in a few different genres, and both stand-alones and books within a series.  As always, some will be old, some will be new, but hopefully you will find something that interests you.  There should be something for everyone.  If you find something you like, feel free to comment, follow, and forward to friends.  And don’t forget….  #keepreading

 

Dreams of Fire (#1)

Dreams of Fire by Christan Cura – Published December 2019

The first in a new paranormal series, where a young artist tries to hide her magical powers, but an old enemy returns to wreak havoc.

Christian Cura is an American author.

 

 

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deep Anappara – Pub. Feb 2020

Jai is 9, and lives in a slum in India.  When a boy in his school disappears, he and his friends are determined to find him, as the police seem to be doing nothing. He won’t be the first or last to disappear.

Deepa Anappara is originally from Southern India.

 

 

Perfect Kill (D.I. Callanach, #6)Perfect Kill by Helen Fields – Published February 2020

The 6th in the Luc Callanach Detective series has Luc back in France working on a human trafficking case and Ava in Scotland with bodies piling up and a missing young man.  Looks like the cases are actually related.

Helen Fields is a British author.

 

 

Ten Days Gone (A.L. McKittridge #1)

Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long – Published February 2020

First in a new police procedural based in Wisconsin.  Every 10 days, the nude body of a woman is found on her kitchen floor, strangled with her own pillow, clothes neatly folded beside her.  A.L. McKittredge and his partner Rena Morgan have 9 days to find the killer.

Beverly Long is an American author.

 

 

The Chill

The Chill by Scott Carson – Published February 2020

Many years ago, the Chilewaukee Reservoir was created to provide water to New York.  The town of Galesburg was flooded to do this.  Many of its residents swore revenge.  Most are dead now, but that doesn’t matter.

Scott Carson is an American author…and a pseudonym.

 

 

If you don’t see anything here you like, check out my blog….these are just a sampling of the books I’ll be reviewing in March.  I’d love to hear/see your comments.

 

 

 

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza (#1 – Kate Marshall)  

Nine Elms (Kate Marshall, #1)

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza (#1 – Kate Marshall)

 Published: December 1, 2019 by Thomas & Mercer

4stars

 

 

Just a Few Words:  Excellent start to a new series by one of my favorite authors!

 

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza is the 1st in the Kate Marshall series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Kate Marshall has been lecturing in criminology at a small university for six years.  The scars on her body are still there, but they have healed.  Other scars may never heal.  15 years ago, when she was a plain-clothes detective, she unmasked the Nine Elms serial killer (otherwise known as The Cannibal), but paid the price.   Her career, her reputation, her friends, and almost her life.  Her greatest triumph….and yet her downfall.  For a while she lost everything, including her son and her sobriety.   But she has been piecing her life back together, and that of her family.

When a couple approaches her to see if she would try to find out what happened to their daughter, she insisted she was no longer with the police, and could do nothing.  But Kate felt sorry for them, and since they felt that their daughter may have been one of The Cannibal’s earliest victims, Kate promised she would look into it.

While Kate and Tristan Harper (her teaching assistant) are looking into the disappearance of this missing girl, a copycat killer emerges….mimicking every detail of The Cannibal’s crimes.  It is difficult, however, to convince the police that the recent murders are connected, to each other, and to the original serial killer.  But the real problem lies in the fact that The Cannibal’s fifth victim was to be Kate.  What about the copycat?

 

My Opinions:  

I totally enjoyed this first book in the new series.  I was a little nervous going into it, because I am a HUGE fan of the Detective Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza, and I wasn’t sure what to do with brand new characters.  I should not have worried.

I was sucked in from the first few pages.  The writing is smooth, the plot was compelling, and the characters wonderful.  Already, Kate has depth.  She is a strong woman who has overcome so much, but still has a ways to go.  Her past will always be with her, and she must learn to deal with it on a daily basis.

The book really looked at relationships between parents and their children, and the nature/nurture issue.  The story was told from various perspectives, including that of the serial killer and his mother, which was a rather strange relationship to explore.  As well,  the copy-cat killer got his say, and we learned about his relationship with his parents.  Then there is Kate, where we saw a mother’s fears for her child.  Kate has a few extra fears to deal with, and I think this will continue in future books.

Overall, it was a really good entertaining read, and although I want more Erika Foster, I now want more Kate Marshall too.  Are you listening Robert Bryndza???

 

Read: February, 2020

 

 

Favorite Quotes from Nine Elms:

“Nature versus nurture. Are serial killers born or made?   And to answer your question … I want to, no, I have to believe it’s the latter.”

 

 

Robert BryndzaAbout The Author:  Robert Bryndza (1979 – ) is the British author of the best-selling Erika Foster series as well as a romantic comedy series.  His books have sold over 3 million copies and have been translated into 28 languages.  He has also published a series of romantic comedy novels.  He has lived in the US and Canada, but currently lives in Slovakia with his husband Ján.  Check out his website at www.robertbryndza.com

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3070096125