The Girl with No Name by Lisa Regan (#2 Josie Quinn)

The Girl With No Name (Detective Josie Quinn, #2)

The Girl with no Name by Lisa Regan

 Published: April 19, 2018 by Bookouture

 4stars

 

Previous Book in the Series:  Vanishing Girls

The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan is the 2nd in the Josie Quinn Detective 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.

Series Background:
Josie Quinn was made Chief of Police in Denton, Pennsylvania after solving a large case which resulted in the kidnapping, torture and deaths of many young girls in the area. Some of the perpetrators were on the police force, including her ex, Ray, who died during the take-down. Although Ray and Josie had both moved on with other people, Ray had never signed the divorce papers. Josie took his death hard. She has been re-building the police force.

My Synopsis:
Josie’s fiancé has been hiding something, ever since his friend Brady and his wife were part of a murder-suicide. Luke just hasn’t been the same. When he goes missing and Josie finds a woman living in his house, she needs some answers. When she is called to the house of Ray’s girlfriend on another call, she finds that Misty had been beaten badly, and it looks like she had just given birth. But where is the baby, and who is the father? There are a lot of potential fathers, for Misty was notoriously promiscuous.

Further investigation just makes things more confusing. Now the woman from Luke’s house has disappeared as well, and everything seems to tie back to Brady, and to Eric Dunn, a casino mogul who is trying to get the okay to build a casino in the area. The mayor is putting on the pressure to solve this case (and to avoid mentioning that her own husband may have been the father of Misty’s baby). As well, the town billionaire gets involved with a reward for information about the baby.

Before this case is solved, Josie will have to face some uncomfortable truths.

My Opinions:
I didn’t particularly like Josie Quinn in the first novel, but she has grown on me. Her personal life still sucks, and she seems to have hung on to her first husband a little too much. I think there is a lot we still don’t know about her, but the author is revealing a little more in each book. We really felt the different emotions that Josie went through in this book, we felt her passion, her strengths, her pain, her worries. I love Lieutenant Fraley (he’d pair up nicely with Josie – just saying). Regan has surrounded Josie with a good support team. It works.

The whole plot was really good, with a lot of twists, and when things started opening up, I was surprised – pleasantly. Regan writes really well.  It is action-packed and has a really fast pace.

Looking forward to the next in the series!

Read: April 2018

Favorite Quotes from The Girl With No Name:

Josie hated that old double standard: a promiscuous man was virile, but a promiscuous woman was a slut.”

“The place smelled of cigarettes, stale beer, and need.”

 

Lisa  ReganAbout the Author: Lisa Regan is an American novelist with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.   Her website says she has worn many hats, including: author, paralegal, former martial arts instructor, former certified nursing assistant, former bookstore manager. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

 

 

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Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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 Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

 Published: April 17 2018 by Atria Books

4stars

 

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell is a mystery/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.

My Synopsis:
It’s been ten years since Ellie Mack disappeared at the age of 15. Her mother, Laurel, has not really moved on with her life. Her marriage ended, and her relationship with her remaining son and daughter is rather strained. Ellie had been her golden girl. When the bones of her daughter are found, her ex-husband hopes she may finally be able to let go. Perhaps. When Laurel meets Floyd, it feels like she has known him all her life. He sweeps her off her feet. When she meets his 9-year old daughter Poppy, Laurel is literally floored. She reminds her so much of Ellie, she can hardly contain herself.

As Laurel gets more involved with Floyd, Poppy, and his other daughter SJ, she also starts reaching out to her own family. Things are looking good. But there is something lurking in the background that doesn’t feel quite right. Laurel starts questioning both Floyd and Poppy about her birth mother, and realizes she may have known this woman herself.

My Opinions:
The story is told in multiple time-lines with multiple points of view, and yet Lisa Jewell managed to keep things moving perfectly, with no confusion. She is a very talented writer.  Even though the ending was fairly predictable,  the story kept you interested.  And although I was still hoping for a bigger twist at the end, the overall suspense was good, because it was rather unsettling and disturbing all the way through.

It was definitely worth the read!

 

Read: April 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Then She Was Gone:

“Ellie’s mum always said that May was like the Friday night of summer: all the good times lying ahead of you, bright and shiny and waiting to be lived.”

“She understands that not everything is conversational fodder, not everything is for sharing.”

“I mean,” says Blue, “that a man who can’t love but desperately needs to be loved is a dangerous thing indeed.”

 

Lisa Jewell

About the Author:  Lisa Jewell (1968 – )wa s 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.

Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza (#6 Erika Foster)

Deadly Secrets (Detective Erika Foster, #6)

Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza

 Published: April 13, 2018 by Bookouture

5Stars

 

Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza is the 6th in the Detective Erika Foster series.

Robert Bryndza has done it again! This one sucks you right in with a rather creepy beginning to an amazing ending I didn’t see coming!

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.

My Synopsis:
Erika has been having a rough time. She is just off another rough case, and although she is supposed to have Christmas day off, she can’t just drive past an active crime scene. What she finds is the body of a beautiful young woman dead in her own front yard, half buried and frozen in snow, with multiple stab wounds. A few more feet and she would have made it home safe and sound. As Erika looks around, she spies a young man in a tree, taking pictures. She gives chase, heels and all. His pictures, as well as a video on the young man’s phone will bring shock waves. As the case develops, she finds this young woman is not all she seems. She has many admirers, and more than one enemy. As well, a man wearing a gas mask is terrorizing both men and women in the area. Now Erika seems to have found a link between this man and her dead body.

On a personal level, Erika has not dealt with her break-up with Peterson well, and now he is back at work, and has a secret of his own. She will also have to confront her past, deal with her aging father-in-law, and face her own age limitations. Erika will have to delegate this case so that she can handle a personal crisis. This delegation will leave one of her own in danger.

My Opinions:
Robert Bryndza has created a cast of characters that you can relate to. They may be great investigators, but they have everyday problems, and they don’t always handle them correctly. This makes them human, and endears the reader to them. The characters grow with every book, and the reader sees their depth. We get to see Erika’s more fragile side, and even a bit of a melt-down in a coffee-shop – which I thought was great, since all of us would have loved to do what she did!

There is a lot of action in this book, and the pace is fast. It was really hard to put down.

The plot takes a giant leap at the end that I did not see coming. I loved it.

Read: April 2018

Previous Book in this Series: Cold Blood
Robert BryndzaAbout the Author:  Robert Bryndza (1979 – ) is the British author of the best-selling Erika Foster series.  His books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 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.  

 

 

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Originally Published: 1934

4stars

 

 

Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie is a mystery novel starring Hercule Poirot.

My Synopsis: 
It is very convenient that world-renowned Belgian Detective Hercule Poirot is on the train when a man is stabbed to death in his berth, behind his locked door. The train has hit a snow drift and the occupants, including the killer/killers cannot run. It is up to Poirot to investigate the crime, the suspects, and come to his conclusions before the passengers have a chance to disembark at the next station. 

My Opinions: 
I was a child when I first read Agatha Christie novels (right after Nancy Drew), but I must say I am enjoying them even more now. I can now appreciate the writing as well as the story (and the French phrases in the Poirot books do not throw me as much). For those mystery buffs who haven’t yet read anything by the Queen of Crime, just jump in. Don’t worry that this is supposedly the 10th in the Poirot series. They are all easily stand-alone books. Although I’ve never been a big fan of Poirot, this book does highlight Christie’s talents as a writer. She weaves the characters in and out of the crime with such dexterity, that the reader is left questioning each person’s credibility. Until the very end, when Poirot is at his finest. 

It is said that Christie got the idea for this story from the kidnapping of the Lindburgh baby (which had yet to be solved when this book was published).  As well, she incorporated features of the real Orient Express in the book.

I have never watched any of the television or movie adaptations of this book, but I can see that happening in the near future.

A classic who-dun-it !!!!

 

Re-Read: April 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Murder on the Orient Express:

“The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”

“But I know human nature, my friend, and I tell you that, suddenly confronted with the possibility of being tried for murder, the most innocent person will lose his head and do the most absurd things.”

“But does everybody on this train tell lies?”

 

Christie on ChristieAbout the Author:  Born in Torquay in 1890-1976, Agatha Christie became, and remains, the best-selling novelist of all time.  Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest-running play – The Mousetrap

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo (#6 Harry Hole)

The Redeemer (Harry Hole, #6)

 The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo

 Originally Published: 2005

4stars

 

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo is the 6th in the Harry Hole Norwegian detective series

Background:
Harry is a superb detective, who seldom follows the rules. He is also a recovering alcoholic who doesn’t always follow those rules either. Harry is responsible for shutting down a big gun smuggling ring, with one of the main players being a fellow police officer, who is now dead. This has had some repercussions in both his work, and unfortunately in his love life, since his girlfriend’s son had been kidnapped to dissuade Harry from pursuing his inquiry.

My Synopsis: 
A paid assassin, known as The Little Redeemer, is going to kill his last target, and then retire. When he kills the Salvation Army man, he realizes he may have killed the wrong brother, and he must stick around til he gets the job done. Meanwhile, Harry is on his trail. However, this man has a face whose facial expressions and muscles change so much, that he is hard to recognize. Even Beate can’t quite get a handle on him. 

A number of stories involving members of the Salvation Army are in play, entwining with one another to add suspense. Between junkies, high-ranking officials and real estate deals, Serbian mothers, and a sadistic rapist, the mix has Harry leaping from one to the next before tying most of these cases up. 

Harry also has a new boss, who may be a little more than expected. Moeller has left, but Harry is worried about him. Something isn’t right. 

Harry has his work cut out for him in this one, and not all of his team will survive.

My Opinions: 
The main theme in this book is Redemption. The assassin, the Salvation Army, and Harry…all redeemers in their own way. Although a lot is going on, Nesbo ties things together nicely, and I was not confused. Even when the story went back to the childhood years of the assassin, and of a young girl being raped, things went forward nicely. We learn a lot about the Salvation Army in Norway, and that was really interesting (and relevant). I’m learning not to worry about name (city and person) pronunciation, and find I am enjoying the books much more without that worry. Nesbo is a talented writer with great plots, lots of twists, and even when the books are translated to English, nothing is lost.

A good read, and the best one so far!

Read: March 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from The Redeemer:

Behind him, on the embankment, lay two destroyed Serbian tanks with smoke belching out of the open hatches. Bobo had dragged him down into the trench and shouted in triumph: ‘To us a little redeemer is born!'”

“‘But it’s not quite like that, is it? You’ve discovered that guilt is not as black and white as you thought when you decided to become a policeman and redeem humankind from evil. As a rule there’s little evil but a lot of human frailty.”

“‘I think you have to find something about yourself that you like in order to survive.”

 

Jo Nesbø

About the Author:  Jo Nesbo (1960 – ) (pronounced “you nesbaugh”)  is a Norwegian author.   When is dreams of being a soccer star were dashed by an injury, he entered the military, then he entered the world of finance, then formed several bands.  Then he started writing.  He has never stopped.  Apparently he still rock climbs.

 

Stranded by Alex Kava (#11 Maggie O’Dell)

Stranded (Maggie O'Dell, #11)

Stranded by Alex Kava

 Published: July 2013

5Stars

 

Stranded by Alex Kava is the 11th in the FBI Agent Maggie O’Dell series.

My Synopsis:
Maggie and Tully are on the FBI’s Highway Serial Killings Initiative, and have been tracking a serial killer that has been targeting people at rest stops along the Interstate. He seems to have no preferences, as male, female, singles and couples have been killed. The team get side-tracked when called to investigate a farm where bones have been unearthed during construction, and realize that this farm backs onto a rest stop. Perhaps they aren’t side-tracked at all. More bodies are found with the help of Ryder Creed and his K-9 cadaver dog.

Meanwhile AD Kunze has recruited Gwen to this team, and has scheduled her to meet a convicted arsonist who seems to know a lot about the serial killer that Maggie and Tully are tracking. Unfortunately, the last time Gwen interviewed a prisoner, she almost died. She’s not happy with this arrangement. By the end of the book, Gwen will have new worries.

Maggie will realize how some of the victims felt when she is asked the unthinkable. How far are you willing to go to survive?

My Opinions:
I love this series. I also love the Ryder Creed series, and how he was introduced in this book. Although I don’t particularly like the romantic interests which are thrown at Maggie in these books, they don’t usually affect the story line too much, so I am okay. In each book, Kava gets deeper into the characters, and the reader feels more of a connection to them. They grow and change, make mistakes, move on…all of which keeps them human. The short chapters and lots of action keeps the pace moving along, and the book is a fast read. I had a particularly difficult time putting this one down (and it’s the second time I’ve read it). 

As always, loved it!

Re-Read: March 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Stranded:

“Fight or flight. Good or evil. Rarely was life that black and white. Most people learned to live in the gray areas.”

“Trust was such a delicate thing, so fragile, not easily earned and harder to repair.”

 

Alex Kava

About the Author:  Alex Kava  (June 1960 –  ) is the NY Times best-selling author of this Maggie O’Dell Series.  She  has also written a new Ryder Creed series, as well as stand-alone novels.  Before devoting her time to writing, she held a variety of jobs, mostly in marketing and advertising.  She started her own graphic design company, designing food packages and logos for various national companies.   Kava currently divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida.  She has a pack of Westies (or more likely, they have her.)

 

Find You In the Dark by Nathan Ripley

Find You In The Dark

Find You In the Dark by Nathan Ripley

Published: 2018

3stars

 

Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publishers, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis: 
Martin Reese has a secret that his wife and daughter know nothing about. His wealth has allowed him to retire early, and he spends his spare time on a treasure hunt of sorts. He hunts for the dead bodies of murdered victims. He hopes to find the missing body of his sister-in-law at some point. By purchasing police records from a rather unscrupulous police officer, Martin has been rather successful in his searches. When he finds a body, after many photographs and documenting every nuance for himself, he re-buries it, and leaves a computer-generated message for the police as to the location of said remains. He emphasizes that the police should have been put in a little more effort. To Detective Sandra Whittal, these phone messages have been a taunt that she could do without. She has a good track record, and she is intent on getting this man she calls “The Finder”. Others may think he is doing the families a service by giving them back their loved one to bury, but Sandra wonders if perhaps he may start killing next.

Meanwhile, Reese may have overstepped. He thinks he has discovered the 20-year-old remains of his sister-in-law, but when he opens the grave, he finds the body a current case, and of a current murderer….who is now hunting him. The “Ragman” as he calls himself, is not happy that Reese is finding his kills. This killer has been working with others in the past to create his own little path of destruction, and he needs a new partner. Perhaps Reese could fill that vacancy.

In order for Reese to keep ahead of both the police and the murderer, and to keep his family safe, he may have to up his game.

My Opinions: 
Although the premise of the book is great, I felt it moved a little slowly. As well, I didn’t connect with the main characters. Martin seemed a little wishy-washy, his wife a bit**, and the detective arrogant and unprofessional. I rather liked the daughter and the serial killer. Told from the perspectives of Martin, the Detective, and the Ragman, everything moved smoothly. It is an easy read. It just somehow missed the punch it needed. I kept waiting, and although the ending was fair, overall it just lagged.

This was not a bad for a debut novel!  Again, the actual plot was really good, and it read well, but perhaps this one just wasn’t for me.  Guess they can’t all be.  

 

Read: March 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Find You in the Dark:

Even her skeleton looked Canadian, I thought, feeling mercifully out of touch with my immediate reality as I took her in for the first time.”  (Note to self…I don’t even know what that means!)

 

Nathan RipleyAbout the Author:  Nathan Ripley is the pseudonym of Canadian author Naben Ruthnum.  He lives in Toronto.

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons (#7 Kim Stone)

Broken Bones (D.I. Kim Stone, #7)

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons

 Published: November 2017 by Bookouture

5Stars

 

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons is the 7th in the Detective Kim Stone Series.

Another captivating tale by this brilliant author!

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.

My Synopsis:
Kim and Bryant are investigating the death of a prostitute, when they realize this may not have been the first, and then there are more. As they look deeper into the sex trade, it is soon evident that there is much more going on than sex. Kim runs into two old friends, one she grew up with and one who tried to kill her. She wants to protect them both, but won’t succeed.

Meanwhile, Stacey and Dawson are trying to find the parents of a baby boy that was dropped off at the precinct. They determine the baby is probably Romanian, which leads them to a suspicious factory where immigrants seem to be working and living under someone’s thumb. When a Romanian man is found dead by the canal, the team wonders if there is more to this than they have been seeing.

My Opinions:
Not sure what more I can say about Angela Marsons. Her characters get deeper with every book, her writing is brilliant, and her plots are always interesting. Once again, Marsons has created a storyline that grabs your attention right from the beginning, and she keeps it right to the end. Although the subject is a little dark, Marsons handles it well. She tells an intriguing tale that makes you cringe, and really think about human exploitation. The overall theme of this book seems to be slavery of one kind or another. The slavery of prostitution and what leads some women to the trade. The slavery of immigrants trying to escape another country. The sale of humans that still exists today is truly horrific.

Wonderful book!

Read: March 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Broken Bones:

“Hollytree was the place you were sent if Hell was having a spring clean.” 

“Young girls are just too eager to grow up these days. Youth should be enjoyed not escaped…”

 

Angela Marsons

About 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, a Labrador and a “potty-mouthed” grey parrot.

Cold Heart by Stephen Edger (#3 Kate Matthews)

Cold Heart (Detective Kate Matthews, #3)

Cold Heart by Stephen Edger

 Published: March 12, 2018 by Bookouture

4stars

 

Cold Heart by Stephen Edger is the 3rd in the Detective Kate Matthews series.

Okay, I am suddenly a Kate Matthews fan. Really good book!

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.

My Synopsis: 
When a 15-year old girl goes missing, Kate pursues the case as a run-away. Others assume she is dead, but Kate insists she is going to bring Daisy back alive. However, when a foot is found in the girls school, along with a wall full of blood, Kate finds herself imagining the worst. When another body piece is sent to her, things get even more confusing. 

Kate finds herself investigating Daisy’s teacher, her boyfriend, a missing prostitute, a missing sous chef, until things finally start making sense. Or do they?

Meanwhile, the daughter of Kate’s boss has decided to make Kate her ally, when she confesses that she is pregnant and is afraid to tell her dad. 

My Opinions: 
Edger surprised me. I was leery about reading this. I actually put it off. In the first two books, I had developed an intense dislike for Kate Matthews. Her ego knew no bounds, her lack of respect for her boss, her co-workers, and her own child, had me fuming. Not so in this one. She has suddenly got it together. She led her team professionally, and accepted their ideas, and let them get involved. This was a really good book, an easy read, and a great plot with enough twists that it kept you guessing. It was hard to put down.

I can now honestly state that I am looking forward to the next book in the series. 

Read: March 2018

 

About the Author:  Stephen Edger is a British crime and thriller author. He works in the financial industry, and has a law degree.  In addition to this, he has a wife, 2 children, and 2 Westies.  Not sure where he found time to write over a dozen novels

 

Next to Die by T.J. Brearton

Next to Die by T.J. Brearton

Next to Die by T.J. Brearton

 Published: February 16th 2018, by Bookouture

4stars

 

Next to Die by T.J. Brearton is a mystery. This is a stand-alone novel, although apparently some of the characters and locales are featured in some of his other books.

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.

My Synopsis:
When a caseworker from Social Services is brutally attacked in her car outside the office one evening, Bobbi Noelle fears that she may have been the intended target. After all, Harriet was covering for her that evening, and their vehicles were similar. Now Bobbi is living in fear that whoever killed Harriet will be coming after her. But when the police discover another case worker has been missing for months and is presumed dead, things get more confusing.

NY State Investigator Mike Nelson and Lake Haven Detective Lena Overton are working tirelessly to solve this murder. They are trying to find Bobbi’s ex-boyfriend to determine whether he is to blame. But they are also looking into the cases that the two workers had in common. Theories abound. Perhaps the perpetrator is a disgruntled family member of a child who was removed from their care, or someone who has a grudge against Harriet, or Bobbi’s ex. There are a lot of pieces of the puzzle missing, and a lot of information they can’t easily access. When they stumble onto a drug ring, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

My Opinions:
There seems to be an overall theme of people getting second chances in their life, and what they do with them. Bobbi is trying to start over, so is Mike. Then there are parents who had their children taken from them, and trying to get them back. There are children who grew up in foster care trying to start new lives. Second chances aren’t always ideal, but sometimes it is the decisions made that determine the outcome.

There is a lot going on in this book, and there are areas where a little more detail would have been good. I’d like a little more background on the detectives, and Bobbi’s past could have been explored a little more. However, the pace was great, there is a lot of action, and it’s a really fast read.

I kept waffling between 3.5 and 4 stars.

This is the second book I’ve read by this author, and I definitely recommend his work.

 

Read: March 2018

 

About the Author:  TJ Brearton is an American author whose books have been in the Top 100 for the Amazon Kindle.    He lives in the Adirondacks with his wife and three children where he writes full time, but his list of previous jobs include construction, bartending and cleaning the moss off tombstones.