Cardiff, by the Sea by Joyce Carol Oates

Cardiff, by the Sea: Four Novellas of Suspense

Cardiff, by the Sea by Joyce Carol Oates

Publishing: October 6, 2020 by Grove Atlantic (Mysterious Press)

 

 

Reason(s) I Chose to Read this Book:  I have always wanted to read something by this rather prolific author, and thought an anthology would be a great way….figuring shorter stories might be better in case I didn’t like her work.

 

Cardiff, by the Sea by Joyce Carol Oates is an anthology of four novellas.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Grove Atlantic (Mysterious 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:   

I will break my thoughts down into the four novellas.

Cardiff By the Sea – Clare was adopted when she was a toddler, and was never interested in anyone but her adoptive parents.  But a phone call from a lawyer in Cardiff Maine, changes all that.  Her “grandmother” has passed away, and she is the beneficiary of a house and some land.  She has aunts who want to get to know her.  Clare decides she wants to know them as well, but what she discovers about her past may not be what she had in mind.   I admit to struggling with the length and prose of this story, although the premise was sound.  It was a little boring. (2 stars)

Miao Dao – Mia  is a rather lonely  young girl who is adjusting to her parents divorce and her mother’s dating.  She adopts a feral cat who becomes rather protective.  This was a rather dark story, but I did enjoy the ending. (3 stars)

Phantomwise 1972 –  Alyce, a shy college student, gets pregnant but is unsure she should even tell the father, who is suddenly ignoring her.  An older professor thinks he has a solution to her problem.  Another rather dark tale with a rather surprising ending.  It was okay. (3 stars)

The Surviving Child – Elisabeth is almost 20 years younger than Alexander, but thrilled when the wealthy aristocrat asks her to marry him.  His first wife, a renowned poet, killed herself and her daughter 3 years ago.  Stefan, their son, was spared, and he is now 10. Elisabeth is living in the dead poet’s shadow, and struggling to understand both the boy and her husband, not to mention the woman who came before her.  This one I really enjoyed. (5 stars)

 

Overall, I enjoyed the plots of  all of these stories.  All of them feature a woman protagonist, and most have a dominant/abusive male figure.   They are all dark, depressing tales.  Although her prose is good, it took me a while to get into her writing style.  I will probably be in the minority as I know this author is very popular, and I know her literary prose is supposedly one of the best.  Perhaps I picked the wrong book to be introduced to her work.  I think I might try a full-length novel next time.

Read: October, 2020

 

Joyce Carol OatesAbout The Author: Joyce Carol Oates  (June 16, 1938 – ) is an American author who has published well over 50 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas.  Then there are all the short stories, poetry and some non-fiction. Her awards are numerous.  Pseudonyms … Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly.  You should really check out her website:  https://celestialtimepiece.com/

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3530357523

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

My Up-Coming Reviews For December, 2020….and Covid

 

My Up-Coming Reviews for December, 2020….and Covid

WOW, December.  It’s been a rough year.  COVID has affected all of us, world-wide.  I don’t know how the front-line workers have handled it so well.  They are true heroes.  To a lesser degree though, it has had an impact on everyone,  changing the way we go about our day-to-day lives.  Just as Thanksgiving was different, so too will be the Christmas season, and it must be if we honestly wish to slow down the spread of this virus.  However, I pray this turbulent time will make us stronger, kinder, and more appreciative of what and who we have in our lives.  This will pass, and we will be better because of it.

Meanwhile, I have found a great stress-reliever in books, and I know many of you have too.  December  showcases a favorite author or two, as well as a debut novelist.  Below is just a sample of what you will find on my blog.

Please, do your part to stay safe and end this pandemic.   Remember, picking up a book and staying at home will help everyone! 

So,  #KeepReading and #StaySafe.

Also, don’t forget….#washyourhands, #wearamask.  

 

One Of Us Is LyingOne of Us is Lying by Shalini Boland (Published April 2020)

Three women, friends since high school, are being tormented by someone.  Each is trying to overcome their problems without letting anyone else know, but it’s a small town, and rumors are already starting to fly.

Shalini Boland is a British author.

 

Murder Run

Murder Run by John Hunt (Published October, 2020)

Kyle thinks he is having a rough day.  He has no idea how his date ended up decapitated, and then there are all these other people chasing him.

John Hunt is a Canadian author.

 

 

Dark Falls (Detective Megan Carpenter, #3)

Dark Falls by Gregg Olsen (Publishing December, 2020)

The 3rd in the Detective Megan Carpenter series has Megan’s past coming back to haunt her, and if it becomes public knowledge of who she really is and what she has done,  Megan will have to run again.

Gregg Olsen is an American author.

 

 

Sin Eater

Sin Eater by Megan Campisi – Published April, 2020

Dark fantasy/Historical fiction.  May is 14 when she is caught stealing a loaf of bread.  Her punishment is to become a Sin Eater, one who hears the confessions at deathbeds.  No one else is allowed to speak to her.  When she realizes something is wrong in the palace, she is determined to find the truth.  A debut novel!

Megan Campisi is an American author.

 

If something appeals to you, please check out the full review on my blog, where you will find many other books, perhaps something that will peak your interest.  I’d appreciate your comments.

 

 

 

Mind Over Weight by Dr. Ian K. Smith

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Mind Over Weight by Dr. Ian K. Smith

Published: April 7, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

Reason(s) I Chose to Read this Book:  I have had a weight problem since I was a teenager, and I feel it is never too late to try to correct  problem.  I believe if a person finds one thing in a self-help book that sticks with them, it is a success.

 

Mind Over Weight by Dr. Ian K. Smith is a self-help book about weight-loss strategies.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher St. Martin’s 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 is touted as “A motivational guide to losing weight and maintaining success by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Clean & Lean.”

The book is broken down into chapters that endeavour to help the reader succeed in thinking about weight loss as a journey of the mind.  Chapters include information on unlocking your motivation, goal setting, finding the right plan, dealing with cravings, boosting your confidence and fixing your relationship with food.  All the chapters are jam-packed with information and  instructions for creating your own plan, step by step.    It is a very comprehensive plan to weight loss.

Note that there are questionnaires and action plans  in the book that do not lend themselves well to those of us who use an e-reader, but they worked fairly well on my computer, and I imagine a hard-copy of the book would be preferable.  Just remember to have pen & paper ready.

There is a great ending entitled Top 10 Thoughts to Live By, and it may be the best chapter of all. 

Overall, it was good, but I certainly did not find anything new in it.  It was a straight-forward book with plenty of tips, and it was organized quite well.  For someone starting out on this journey, it may be just what they need….and I wish them luck.

 

Read: November, 2020

 

Ian K. Smith

About The Author: Dr. Ian K. Smith, is a NY Times bestselling author of a number of diet books. He has appeared on a number of broadcasts, including The Oprah Show, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, etc., and written for various publications.   He is a graduate of Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago. 

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3142140822

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

Watch Her Vanish by Ellery Kane (#1 – Rockwell and Decker)

Watch Her Vanish (Rockwell and Decker #1)

Watch Her Vanish by Ellery Kane

Publishing: October 9, 2020 by Bookouture

 

 

Reason(s) I Chose to Read this Book:  It’s the start of a new series, and the book blurb appealed to me.  As well, this is a new author for me, so I’m excited.

 

Watch Her Vanish by Ellery A. Kane is the first in the Rockwell & Decker 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 Information:

Olivia Rockwell is a Criminal Psychologist working at Crescent Bay State Prison, in her hometown of Fog Harbor, California.  Her father is in another prison, serving a life sentence.  Detective Will Decker moved to Fog Harbor after his brother was convicted of shooting a woman, ending up in prison because Will turned him in.

 

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

Fog Harbor may have a serial killer on the loose, and women are dying.

 All evidence  points to Drake Devere, who is serving life without parole for murdering five women.  However, since the murders are occurring outside the prison, it seems unlikely that he is sneaking out at night to kill them.  But evidence is mounting.

Although Olivia is Drake’s psychologist, and she has been convinced of his innocence, she is starting to doubt her own thoughts.  When it appears that the Oaktown Boys, a white supremacist motorcycle gang, may be involved, Olivia is nervous.  Her father was part of that gang, and although her sister Emily is sure he is reformed, Olivia is not so sure.

Decker and his partner JB seem to disagree as to who the killer is, but at least they are starting to work together better.  As they dig deeper, and more women die, it becomes obvious that they are missing a piece or two of the puzzle.

Meanwhile, Decker and Olivia are getting closer than either of them expect.

 

My Opinions:   

This was a really good start to a new series.  The plot was good, and there were a lot of suspects.

I liked both the main characters, and it is easy to see that their background and family will continue to torment them in future books.  Often in these books we see flawed characters, but in this case it is more their families that are flawed.  JB grew on me, but that was about it.  I didn’t like any of the other characters, including Olivia’s sister, who I found very annoying,

Even with 400 pages, it was a fairly fast read, with a number of red herrings that sent the reader in some crazy directions.  I did suspect the perpetrator, but was not positive.

Although I’m not a romance reader, I actually didn’t mind the budding relationship between the two main characters.  

The only real problem I had with the book is that it ended with a cliff-hanger.  I think there are better ways for an author to ensure you read their next book wiithout resorting to this tactic.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the next in the series.

Read: October, 2020

 

About The Author: Ellery Kane is an American author, born in Texas, but living in California.  She is a forensic psychologist when she isn’t writing or working out at the gym.  Check out her website https://ellerykane.com/

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:   https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3490420485

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Promises in the Dark by D.K. Hood (#10 – Kane and Alton)

Promises in the Dark (Detectives Kane and Alton Book 10)

Promises in the Dark by D.K. Hood

Publishing: November 25th, 2020 by Bookouture

 

Previous Book in the Series: #9 – Her Shallow Grave

 

Reason I Chose to Read this Book:  Series Installment

 

Promises in the Dark by D.K. Hood is the 10th 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, and a bodyguard to the President.  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)

A young girl is kidnapped, and as she watches, her kidnapper blows up her house, with her parents and sister still inside.

Although it is outside of Jenna’s jurisdiction, FBI Agents Jo and Carter are investigating the bombing, and ask for Jenna’s assistance. Although the girl is found dead,  Jenna and Dave remain with the case.  This bomber has a direct link to Dave, and Jenna fears for her Deputy.

When another girl is taken, the trail leads to an underground network of caves just outside of town. 

 

My Opinions:  

I was pleased to again see Jo and Carter from the FBI, although I cannot warm up to Carter.  This book has not increased my love for him.  However, I love Jo.

It was interesting having a little more insight into Dave’s background.  I like the way the author shows the sensitive sides of most characters in addition to their strengths.

As always, there was a lot of action, and although I deduced the identity of the perpetrator early on, there were enough other suspects to keep me interested in their stories.  The plot was great, and I have to say that this was probably the best in this series so far.

I recommend reading the books in order, as backgrounds are important.  

 

Read: November, 2020

 

Favorite Quote from Promises in the Dark:

Dealing with an overprotective ex-sniper with more baggage than a freight train had been an experience but she’d never regretted one single day.”

 

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/3638196951

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

Ink by Jonathan Maberry

Ink

Ink by Jonathan Maberry

Publishing:  November 17, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

Reason(s) I Chose to Read this Book:  New author for me, and the plot looked good.

Ink by Jonathan Maberry is a supernatural/horror novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher St. Martin’s 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:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Pine Deep is a small town in Pennsylvania, much smaller since The Trouble, when over half of it’s population died, and a lot of others left on their own accord.  The remaining people just try to get on with their lives.   New people have been coming though.  There is a new community on the edge of town, called The Fringe,  where it is acceptable to be different, and they are doing okay.  There is, however, a new problem in Pine Deep.  People with tattoos are having them disappear, and along with the tattoos, they are losing their memories of the tattoo and all that it meant.  

Patty Cakes is a tattoo artist.  She has the face of her deceased daughter tattooed on the back of her hand.  She can’t figure out why this tattoo is beginning to fade.  Patty’s memories of her lost child are also fading.  She is losing her mind along with the loss of her most cherished tattoo.

Monk Addison, a friend of Patty’s, is a former US Seal who wishes his memories of war would fade.  He is now a bounty hunter, and his skin is covered in tattoos, some with the faces of the dead who haunt him day and night.  When one of these faces disappears, he is terrified.

Diana Agbala reads tarot cards. The flower tattoo on her arm is disappearing, and she can’t even remember why she had it done, but she knows she needs it.  Others are losing their tattoos as well, and for some of them,  losing their precious memories means they are losing their reason for living.  For some, memories are all they have.

Owen Minor has always been a little strange.  Even his mother disliked him.  He has flies tattooed on his body.  Those flies are coming to life.  He isn’t losing his tattoos, he is gaining memories, although not his own.  He is calling himself Lord of the Flies, and he is commanding his flies to action.

Mike Sweeney is the local policeman, and one of the first to realize there is a problem in Pine Deep.  Mike survived The Trouble, but now he may have to reveal what that did to him.  Together with his father, and a few others, they are going to confront whatever is happening to their town…..and stop it, or die trying.


My Opinions:   

Okay, this is a rather long book, and I found it slow moving.  Don’t get me wrong, it was captivating, just slow.  There are a lot of characters to keep track of, as well as their backgrounds, and most of it is important.  I never really thought about skimming, so the book is good….just a little slow.

As well, the background of Pine Deep is fed to us slowly.  We know that a number of years have passed since The Trouble, but it is a long, long, long time before we get to know what that consisted of.  We are given hints, but….

The characters are wonderful, deep, and interesting, and I felt I really knew them by the end.  Unfortunately, the same could be said for the villain, who I didn’t really want to know that well.  The town itself became a character, and had its own personality.   The plot was wild, and the suspense built (slowly at first), but when it burst, was great.  

I will never look at another fly in the same way again.

This is the first book I have read by this author, but it will not be the last.  I definitely recommend it.

Read: November, 2020

Favorite Quotes from Ink:

“Joy was such a fleeting thing. Guilt endured.”

“…this is Pine Deep.   It was the answer to anything. In no way a denial that something was weird. Hell, weird was the town’s most abundant crop. The question was always whether it would be good weird or bad weird.”

“Those kinds of memories are a measuring tape for the distance traveled. They remind us about what the world tried to make us and who we built ourselves to be.”

“If a tribe or village captures someone, an enemy—a real son of a bitch, or someone from an army who thinks rape is a perk of being a soldier—if the community is merciful they cut the prisoner’s head off or hang him. If they are not merciful, they gave him to the women.”

 

Jonathan MaberryAbout The Author: Jonathan Maberry is an American author.  He is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.  He and his wife currently live in California.   Check out his website at http://www.jonathanmaberry.com/

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:   https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3624132457

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Invisible Girl

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Publishing: October 13, 2020 by Atria Books

 

 

Reason(s) I Chose to Read this Book:  Lisa Jewell has  become one of my favorite authors.

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Atria 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.

 

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

Owen Pick is a geography teacher who gets suspended for misconduct against some of his female students.  He denies it.  Still a virgin in his thirties, he does not get along with his father, and is currently living with his aunt.  Owen finds solace on a website where a man name Bryn takes him under his wing.  Bryn is part of an incel group (involuntary celibate), and he wants Owen to help him in his war against  a world who is denying them the women they deserve.

Across the street from Owen, Cate (a physiotherapist),  and her husband Roan (a child psychologist), and their teenage daughter and son are waiting for their house to be finished so they can move out of the area.  There are secrets in this house.  They all find Owen a little creepy.

Then there is Saffyre, who was a patient of Roan’s for three years,  and feels he didn’t delve deep enough to get to her big secret.  However, Saffyre hasn’t given up on Roan, and has been following him.  Unfortunately, she’s finding out things she really didn’t want to know.

Meanwhile,  there is a sexual predator on the loose, and when Saffyre goes missing, everyone assumes the worst, and Owen is in for trouble.

 

My Opinions:

First, please note that I ended up loving this book.  But my feelings certainly didn’t start out that way.  I struggled with the pace and direction the book was taking at the beginning.  I found it slow and a little disjointed, as I didn’t understand the timeline.  However, once I finally got into it, the book was suddenly a fast read — mainly because I didn’t want to set it down.

The characters were interesting, most of them very flawed, and all gave me one reason or another to dislike them.  On the other hand, I felt sorry for a couple, and I loved Saffyre (who was also rather flawed).  The main characters were deep enough that I cared what happened to them.  That’s important in a book.

It is a rather dark read, with topics that include Incel, sexual and physical abuse, self-harm, infidelity, and mental health issues.  It is definitely a little creepy.  However, none of those things really bothered me, and the ending was definitely satisfying.  The twists kept me spinning, and the one thing that left us all hanging at the end was perfect!

Overall, despite the slow start, it was a good book!

Read: October, 2020

 

Favorite Quotes from Invisible Girl:

“ I felt like we were occupying the same territory, the same ground. We were both invisible, but we’d seen each other, like two foxes facing off in the muted streetlight. I thought, I do not want to hurt myself anymore because of what this person did to me. I thought, I want to hurt him.”

“My superpower was invisibility. There in the playground at school, or in the sixth-form common room, all eyes were on me, but at night I did not exist, I was the Invisible Girl. Invisibility was my favorite state of existence.”

 

Lisa JewellAbout The Author:  Lisa Jewell (1968 – ) was born and raised in north London, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of over a dozen novels.  Check out her website at www.lisajewellbooks.com

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3586632002

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons (#13 – Kim Stone)

Deadly Cry (D.I. Kim Stone #13)

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons (#13 – Kim Stone)

Publishing: November 13, 2020 by Bookouture

 

 

Previous Book in the Series: #12 – Killing Mind

 

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons is the 13th in the Detective Kim Stone series. Note that this was originally to be titled Death Score.

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)

Detective Kim Stone is tough. She has had to be. Her mother is responsible for Kim’s horrendous childhood, and as a result, currently resides in a psychiatric facility. But Kim has survived, and although her social skills are lacking, her heart is in the right place. Right now, her team consists of: Bryant, her right hand man, and the person who voices her concerns in a much more diplomatic way than Kim would every think of; Stacey, who can find required information in a seemingly bottomless computer system; and the newest member, Austen Penn, who replaced Kevin Dawson who was killed in the line of duty. 

 

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

A little girl is found in a shopping mall, no sign of her mother.   A few hours later, the mother is found in an abandoned building, her neck broken.   When another victim appears, and her child is missing, Kim will do anything to find the little boy.  As the bodies pile up, the killer sends Kim messages, asking to be stopped.  

In addition to the above-mentioned case, Stacey is also working a cold case from another precinct, in the hope that fresh eyes may help them catch a rapist.  Unfortunately, one of the  victims would never make a good witness, so her attacker has gone unpunished for her rape.

Austen is back at work after burying his mother.  Most people feel it is too soon, but he refuses to be side-lined.  He has to be strong for his brother.  Jasper, who has Downs Syndrome, is trying to be strong for his brother too.  This is not working.

Meanwhile, a celebrity “has-been”  is having a book signing for her new book detailing her scandalous affair.  Kim is part of a team which is responsible for her safety.  Kim is not impressed.

 

My Opinions:  

Again, I hate the covers for these books, and again, have deducted 1/2 of a star for this.  They look like a cover out of a 30’s spy novel.

I like how Marsons brings back characters from other books to participate in the plot.  Last book it was Tiffany, this time it is Allison.  The characters and their interactions are one of my favorite aspects of these books.  I also liked how much Stacey has grown in her role.

The plot, as always was captivating, and the short chapters kept me turning the pages.  The suspense continued to build, and I admit to being in the total dark as to the identity of the killer.  I loved it!  The book looked into siblings who are over-protective of the other, as well sibling rivalry, and what would happen if that rivalry continued in adult-hood.   I love the relationship between Penn and Jasper.

Read: November, 2020

 

Favorite Quote from Deadly Cry:

“‘Agreed,’ Keats said, in harmony with her for the second time. She considered asking for his rectal probe to take his temperature. Clearly, the man was unwell.”

 

 

Angela MarsonsAbout The Author: Angela Marsons (1968 – ) is a British author who discovered writing in Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.   Her books have now sold over 2 million copies worldwide.   She still lives in England with her partner, Julie. Check out her website: http://angelamarsons-books.com/

*** Photo taken from GooodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3570579908

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Their Silent Graves by Carla Kovach (#7 – Gina Harte)

Their Silent Graves

Their Silent Graves by Carla Kovach 

Publishing: September 17, 2020  by Bookouture

4stars

 

Reason I Chose to Read this Book:  I am greatly enjoying this series.

Previous Book in the Series: #6 – Her Last Mistake

 Their Silent Graves by Carla Kovach is the 7th in the Detective Gina Harte 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)

DI Gina Harte works homicides. Her team consists of: DS Jacob Driscoll, DC Harry O’Connor and DC Paula Wyre, with a lot of assistance from PC Smith, and now PC Kapoor. Gina is a stubborn lady, and a determined detective. She has had a rough life, which has led to an uneasy relationship with her daughter and grand-daughter.  It has also led to a lack of real friends, and an on-again/off-again relationship with her boss, DCI Chris Briggs. It is not common knowledge that her husband was abusive, and no one knows that she helped him fall to his death many years ago.

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

It is the Halloween season, and two teenage girls take a short-cut through a wooded area on the way to a party.  One of the girl trips, and from there the evening goes downhill.   Seeing a bell hanging from the tree above them, they follow the rope down to the ground, where they find a shallow grave, complete with coffin.

Detective Gina Harte and her team must first try to identify the body in this grave, and then try and figure out why someone would want to torture someone by burying them alive.

Meanwhile, Gina is receiving messages from the killer. This killer seems to know Gina, and know her past.  The past that Gina has kept secret for so long, the fact that her husband was abusive.  It almost feels like Terry is back and taunting her.

My Opinions:

I’ve really enjoyed this series, but I am getting a little tired of the main female character’s past coming back to haunt her, or interfere with her work, etc.  I am ready for a strong female character who isn’t carrying this big chip on her shoulder.  Okay, done ranting.

First, this could probably be read as a stand-alone novel, but I think you will understand Gina better if you start at the beginning.

I really think this is a good series, and although the plot was a little dark, it is Halloween, so it can be expected.  The plot, even if a little predictable, and the perpetrator obvious, was still good.  Kovach took a look at bullying, and how it can affect a person later in life.  It also looked at when bullying is taken to the extreme.  That was really interesting.

Anyway, bottom line, it was a good addition to the series and I will continue to follow Gina Harte!

Read: September, 2020

Carla Kovach

About The Author: Carla Kovach is a British Author. When not writing she’s busy, screenwriting, film producing and acting.

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

The Drowned Woman by C.J. Lyons (#2 Jericho and Wright)

The Drowned Woman: An absolutely unputdownable mystery and suspense thriller (Jericho and Wright Thrillers Book 2)

The Drowned Woman by C.J. Lyons

Publishing: November 10, 2020 by Bookouture

 

 

Previous Book in the Series: #1 – The Next Widow

 

Reason I Chose to Read this Book:  It’s the second in the series that I’m already reading.

 

The Drowned Woman by C.J. Lyons is the 2nd in the Jericho & Wright Crime 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 Information:  (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)

DS Luka Jericho has been in the Violent Crimes Unit in Pennsylvania for over 10 years, and fought to remain on the streets.  He doesn’t want a desk job. His team consists of  Ray Acevedo, Scott Kricheck and newcomer Naomi Harper.  He is now caring for his nephew Nate as well as his elderly father.  Dr. Leah Wright is the new  head of the Crisis Intervention Center, working closely with the police.  Her husband recently died, and she is looking after her daughter Emily with the help of her estranged mother Ruby.

 

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

An older woman lays at the bottom of an apartment staircase, her husband  reacting loudly and violently above.  Did she fall, did she jump, was she pushed?  The woman’s husband has a form of dementia, and could be responsible. 

While Leah is interviewing the neighbour, she discovers that Risa had hired Ian to look into an email stalker who she thinks may be a serial killer.  When Risa learned of Ian’s death, she thought it may have been the stalker that killed him, but Leah assured her that her husband’s murderer was not the person that has been sending Risa emails.  However, she did agree to send the information on the stalker to Luka to investigate.  Leah also agreed to look into Risa’s medical files to see if she can determine why she is in such ill health.

When Leah’s stalker insists that he killed Luka’s fiancee 17 years ago, his world will be torn apart.

Meanwhile, Leah is having issues raising her daughter without the help of a husband, while not trusting her mother to stick around.  Luka is having issues with his nephew as well, not to mention an 83-year old rather cantankerous father.

 

My Opinions:   

This is turning out to be a good series.  This second book is a fast-paced mystery with  an interesting plot. 

The book dealt with loss and grief, but it also showed that these can be overcome.  People can move on.  

The characters are getting deeper.  I particularly like Luka and Leah, but still don’t like either of the kids or Ruby. They are just annoying, and their stories just detract from the main plot.  I did guess the perpetrator early on, but there were enough other suspects that I sometimes wondered if I was correct.

Overall, it looks like I will stick with the series.

 

Read:  November, 2020

 

CJ Lyons

About The Author: C.J. Lyons is an American author, with over 40 books to her credit. Formerly a pediatric physician, she has written a number of medical suspense books and series.  Check out her website at: https://cjlyons.net/

 

*** Photo taken from Author’s website

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3631920244

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.