One for Sorrow by Helen Fields (#7 – Luc Callanach)

 

One for Sorrow (D.I. Callanach #7)

 

One for Sorrow by Helen Fields

 Published:  March 3, 2022 by Avon Books

 

Previous Book in the Series:  #6 – Perfect Kill

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I absolutely love this series, and this author.  She is so talented, and isn’t afraid to get gritty (maybe a bit of a warning).

 

One for Sorrow by Helen Fields is the 7th 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, her friend Natasha, and he 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)

A bomber is targeting the city, and seems to be concentrating his attacks so that most of the victims are law enforcement or first responders.  Each time a bomb is detonated, there are more deaths.

Ava feels that she is responsible for all the lives lost.  Between Natasha’s cancer, and the death of another dear friend, Ava is struggling.  Then a member of her team is struck down.

It becomes evident that every time they are called out, they are putting their lives on the line.

In a side story, a young woman named Quinn meets an abusive man.

 

My Opinions:

These books are amazing.  They must be read in order,  so you can truly appreciate the backstory of each character.   Speaking of characters…I love the banter between Ava and Natasha…true friends!

The plots are great, and this one just grabbed me from the beginning, and did not let go.  It is definitely the best of the series!   As always, it has graphic details, and is a little gruesome, and Helen Fields does gruesome really well.

The book is about stalking, and about revenge.  It is also about love, and loss, and the grieving process.  In some ways the book is rather depressing.  The fact that stalking is such a hard crime to prove, and the results can be devastating to many people.  (Okay, this particular case of stalking may have been blown up just a little in this book — pun intended).  So, yes, depressing, and I ended up feeling compassion for so many.  I was surprised at the characters we lost in this book.   It was an emotional ride!

The story is told from two angles.  One is the bombings, and one is about a young woman who falls for an abusive man.  It takes a long time for the two story lines to mesh….and then not quite as I expected.  Great twist!

Interesting that profiler Dr. Connie Woolwine from The Shadow Man makes an appearance in this book.  I like when authors throw in a character from another book/series.

On a side note, I still haven’t figured out why these are “Luc’s” books, when Ava is often more involved than he is.

Again, I think this was the best so far, and of course, I highly recommend this series!

Read: March, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from One for Sorrow:

“One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret soon to be told.” — Note that this quote was not actually in the book, but I just love it! (Kat)

“Stalking cases were almost never satisfactorily resolved. They were hard to prove, hard to investigate, one person’s word against another’s. They rarely went to court, and even less often resulted in a conviction. Women were left to put up with it or run.” — This is just sad (Kat)

 

HF.jpgAbout 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 David now move between the Americas and Europe with their three children.

*** Photo taken from her website

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4541579576

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan (#2 – Quinn and Costa)

Tell No Lies (Quinn & Costa #2)
Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan

Publishing: March 30, 2021 by Harlequin – MIRA

 

 

Just a Few Words:  I enjoyed the first….and I’m already behind in the series 😒

 

Previous Book in the Series: #1 – The Third to Die

 

Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan is the second in the Detectives Quinn and Costa Series.

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)

Under Assistant Director Tony Greer,  Special Agent Mathias Costa runs the new Mobile Response Team at the FBI. The goal is to travel to locations which have minimal law enforcement and offer their assistance. The team consists of Matt, analyst Ryder Kim, former Navy SEAL Michael Harris, forensic specialist Jim Esteban, and Zack Heller, a white-collar crimes expert.  LA Police Detective Kara Quinn has been an undercover cop for 12 years, and since she is cannot return to LA at the moment, she is on loan to the FBI, and assigned to Matt’s team.  Kara and Matt have a “thing” going on.

 

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

Emma, an environmentalist in Arizona,  is determined to find out what is killing the birds in the area, so she convinces her boyfriend to hike with her.  At the end of the day, without accomplishing much, she takes one last look, leaving her boyfriend at the top of the trail.  When Billy realizes that there are wild boars and cougars in the area, and that they are next to an area where illegal immigrants cross, Billy decides to go after her.  But by the time he gets to her, she is almost dead.  She’d been hit on the head with a rock.  She dies before they even reach the hospital.

Matt and his team are there to investigate both Emma’s death, and the possible link to a copper refinery in the area.  Could something from the mine be polluting the water?

Kara has been working undercover as a bartender in the town, getting to know the locals, the staff at the mine, and keeping her eyes peeled for strangers.  She is also trying to get close to the son of the mine owner.

As the team gathers more information, it starts to look like there may be more to Emma’s death than originally thought.  Soon they think that slag from the mine is not being disposed of properly.  Then there appears to be both gun and child trafficking at the nearby border that may also play a role in what is happening in this small town.  Bodies start piling up.

 

My Opinions:

This book, although a little long, was really good.

I loved Matt and his team, as all of the characters have gained depth in this second book.  Kara is growing on me, but she’s still not sitting right with me.  Although I was not fond of the romance angle between Kara and Mat in the first book, it sort of added another dimension in this one, so I’m going to say I am okay with it.

The plot was quite good, and there was definitely a lot going on, but everything was quite straight forward.  Again, there was enough action and suspense that kept me interested from the start.  There were no major surprises or twists.  It was just a good overall, rather complex, story.

I definitely recommend this series.

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars !!!

 

Read: May, 2022

 

About The Author:  Allison Brennan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Allison Brennan believes that life is too short to be bored, so she had five children and writes three books a year. Fear No Evil won the Daphne du Maurier Award. She lives in California. 

*** Photo Credit by Brittan Dodd

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4490080948

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Six Graves by Angela Marsons (#16 – Kim Stone)

 

Six Graves (DI Kim Stone #16)

 

Six Graves by Angela Marsons 

Publishing: May 12, 2022by Bookouture

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  Absolutely LOVE this series. Even this late in the series, the author keeps each book fresh and interesting.  The protagonist is amazing.  

Previous Book in the Series: #15 – Stolen Ones

 

Six Graves by Angela Marsons is the 16th in the Detective Kim Stone Police Procedural 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)

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 home for the criminally insane. 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)

Kim has a bodyguard, and unfortunately it is Leanne King.  Their history together was not pleasant.  But her boss insists that until Symes is caught,  Leanne will be by her side day and night.  Kim had saved two children from Symes’s torture, and he lost the sight in his eye due to Kim’s apprehension.  He has now escaped prison, and has serious plans for retribution…against Kim.  Her entire team may be in jeopardy.

Kim and the team visit the sight of an apparent murder-suicide.  It looks like Helen Dayne had shot her husband and her two teenage children.  But questions arise.  Yes, Helen was depressed, but enough to kill her kids?  As well, they were about to foster another child.  Helen and her husband had two older children, who both adamantly refuse to believe their mother would kill anyone.  She may not have been perfect, but she wasn’t a killer.  But there seems to have been more to Helen than meets the eye.  This case starts to remind Kim of her own childhood.

Meanwhile, Kim’s own mother dying from cancer, and it will probably be only days before she succumbs.

Between the new case, her mother’s soon-to-be demise, and an escaped convict out for her blood, Kim may not be able to handle it all.

 

My Opinions:  

I continue to deduct ½ of a star for these really outdated, unappealing covers. 

The book was about family, and foster care, and choices.  It is also about obsession and revenge.

There were some really good twists in this book. There were really a couple of story-lines, and every bit held me captive.  I had an idea as to the identity of the killer, but I was WRONG !!! — I actually love when that happens, because it proves that the author is not so predictable, and Angela Marsons can really throw a curve ball.  Meanwhile the Syme’s case, sort of ended as I had anticipated, but it was definitely touch and go for a bit.  

The characters continue to enthrall.  I loved the tension between Penn and Bryant, and between Kim and Leeanne.   They feel like a true family of co-workers.  Not always in sync, but still there for one another.    

The pace was good, and it was one of those, can’t put it down books. 

Can’t wait to see where Angela Marsons takes us next!

 

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars !!!

Read: April, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from Six Graves:      

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.

*** Photo taken from GooodReads

Check her out: 

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4664860024

  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.          

 

 

 

 

 

A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer (#3 – Kate Young)

A Cut for a Cut (Detective Kate Young #2)

 

A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer 

Publishing:  March 15, 2022 by Thomas and Mercer

 

Previous Book in the Series: #2 – A Cut for a Cut

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I really enjoy reading books by this author, and this series is somewhat interesting.

 

A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer is the third n the Detective Kate Young 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.

 

Series Background:  (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)

DI Kate Young witnessed the aftermath of a massive shooting on a train.  She saw her husband’s body. He was a journalist, hot on the trail of corruption.  Her boss is DCI William Case, and his boss is Superintendent John Dickson.  She is sure that Dickson is corrupt,  responsible for the death of her husband.  She also no longer trusts Case.  She is fairly certain that Jamie was placed on her team to spy on her.  Kate’s other team members are DS Morgan Meredith and DS Emma Donaldson.

 

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

The body of a young man is found on the platform of a train station.  He had been shot in the forehead with a  captive bolt pistol.  More bodies start turning up, and the team can’t seem to find anything that links them.

Samuel,  a profiler joins them to try and help the team figure out who is killing random people.  As things progress, Kate feels that the perpetrator may be on a similar path to her own, although their reasons may be different.

Kate is still trying to find evidence that Superintendent John Dickson is corrupt, but everyone that could help is either dead or missing.  Without help, she can’t go much further.  She no longer hears the voice of her dead husband, so it looks like Chris has moved on too.  It’s been a year, but Kate can’t move forward.

 

My Opinions:   

Although I am somewhat annoyed with some of the actions that Kate is taking, I still like her.  She is a strong character, and a good police detective.  Emma and Morgan are also class acts.  These characters are all growing on me.  It was interesting to learn a little more about Emma’s background.

The story is told from different perspectives, one of them being the killer.  I really like this approach, especially since the book dealt with mental illness.

The topic of grief, and how it can be handled so differently between people, is explored extensively.  Kate, Emma, and the killer are all handling their grief differently.

However, I am not a fan of books about corruption in the police force, and thus far it has been an an on-going story-line in the series.  Thankfully, the current murder mystery is really good and is taking up some of Kate’s time.

As well, the book ended in a bit of a cliff hanger, which I’m not fond of.  Actually, I’m not sure I liked the ending at all.

All that being said, the actual crimes that are being investigated are very good, and I certainly can’t complain about the writing, so I will be reading the next in line…

Read: March, 2022

 

 

Carol Wyer

About the Author:  Carol Wyer is a British author who has taught English and French.  She started out writing childrens books, moved on to humor, and now is writing crime thrillers.  She has a number of best-selling series including DI Robyn Carter,  Detective Natalie Ward, and now DI Kate Young.

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4605616862

 

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.

 

 

 

Dark Stars edited by John F.D. Taff

 

Dark Stars: New Tales of Darkest Horror

 

Dark Stars edited by John F.D. Taff

Publishing: May 10, 2022 by Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  First, I was offered a widget from the publisher.  Then, the book looked good.  Sometimes reading short stories is a great filler for me, especially after reading a long book.  As well, an anthology of horror stories will offer me the chance of finding new authors.

 

Dark Stars, edited by John F.D. Taff, is a collection of short horror stories.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire (and in particular Jordan Hanley),  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:

As always, I will review each story individually.  Note that there is a forward by Josh Malerman which was quite interesting (if a little long).  Then there is an introduction from John Taff, who brought all these stories together.  An afterword is written by Ramsey Campbell, and some notes on each story from the point of view of each author.  There were actual stories in between all of that….

Here we go….

The Attentionist by Caroline Kepnes  …. Sisters, one needing constant attention from boys, and one with a stalker.  The sister aspect was rather funny at times.  I loved it.   5 stars.

A Life in Nightmares by Ramsey Campbell  … A childhood nightmare follows a young boy throughout his life, and his nightmares.  I think that was what it was about — hated it, but it could be because I just didn’t get it.  1 star

Papa Eye by Priya Sharma … A physician re-locates to a remote island, where some of the traditions from long ago prevail. Loved it!  5 stars

Volcano by Livia Llewellyn … Not even sure I understood this one (maybe a black hole?)….but it was creepy as hell, and I enjoyed it.  4 stars

All the Things He Called Memories by Stephen Graham Jones  … A couple, stuck inside during a pandemic, decide to amuse themselves by telling the other of their worst fear.  The wife, a scientist may be conducting an experiment. Her upholsterer husband seems to be the target.  This was wonderfully spooky.  I loved it!  5 stars

Trinity River’s Blues by Chesya Burke (American) … A young woman who can see and talk to ghosts, invites one too many into here life.  I loved the fact that her best friend was a dead country and western star.  Great story!  5 stars

The Familiar’s Assistant by Alma Katsu (American) … A young man who has had a rather rough life goes looking for a vampire.  Great premise and story!  5 stars

Swim in the Blood of a Curious Dream by Joh F.D. Taff … A man and his 5 year old son are heading to Illinois after the death of his wife.  But she still wants to share custody.  WOW…that was good… 5 stars

The Sanguintalist by Gemma Files … A magician takes in and talks to the blood of the recently deceased to discover what killed the victim…and tries to vindicate them.  Interesting (if a liittle long)… 4 stars

Mrs. Addison’s Nest by Josh Malerman …  Four friends relive the day they served detention in high school, where they meet Mrs. Addison.  Interesting, but missing something…. 3 stars

Challawa by Usman T.  Malik … A journalist and her husband are invited to India to see his brother’s new project.  A  visit to the old cremation grounds has both the guide and the journalist sharing ghost stories.  This was just okay.  3 stars

Enough for Hunger and Enough for Hate by John Langan (American) … A sister wants to avenge her brother’s death.  A tale of the Wendigo.  The story was good, just too long, and paragraphs that went on forever… 3 stars

 

As I read each story, I continued to be amazed that there were so many that I was giving 5 stars.  Definitely more hits than duds.  Seldom in a collection do I find that many outstanding tales.  Yes, I had heard of some of the authors, but not all, so that was great — I now have a few more authors to follow.

 

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars !!!

 

Read:  March 2022

 

About the Editor:  John F.D. Taff  is an American author.  He has won multiple Bram Stoker Awards  with more than 30 years experience, and more than 100 short stories and seven novels in print.

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 Check him out:

 I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4707648993

 

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

 

 

 

Face the Night by Alan Lastufka

 

Face the Night

 

Face the Night by Alan Lastufka

Publishing:  March 8, 2022 by Shortwave Media

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  It looked interesting, and it’s a debut novel.

 

Face the Night by Alan Lastufka is a supernatural mystery novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Shortwave Media 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)

Addie has been raising her son Dylan on her own, but her father, the Mayor of Cellar Ohio is trying to taken him from her.  Even when Dylan’s biological father tries to step up, the judge disregards him.  Addie is given 30 days to get a full-time job.

She is somewhat successful in attaining a job with the police department as a sketch artist, using her skills as a tattoo artist as background. 

Unfortunately, Addie has been having nightmares for years, and suddenly, the only face she can draw, is the one from her nightmares.   He even seems to be attacking her during the day.  If she can’t solve this problem, she will lose her job, and thereby lose custody of her son.

 

My Opinions:   

This was good, just not great.  I may be in the minority here.  I enjoyed it, but it also annoyed me.  The writing was okay, and the plot interesting, but it was missing something.

Some of the elements were a little much.  Addie’s behaviour toward child rearing and job-finding left a lot to be desired, as did her decision to bring her child’s deadbeat drug and alcohol addicted father into the picture to try to win custody of her child.  So it was difficult to truly like her.  Her father was over-the-top.  I really liked Hinkley.  I think an explanation as to why Addie could see ghosts would have been nice….yet others could see and feel him too, so, maybe not.

Anyway, I will be watching for this author’s next novel.

Read: March, 2022

 

 

About The Author: Alan Lastufka is an author, songwriter, and co-founder of DFTBA Records.  He lives in Oregon.

Check him out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4604053355

 

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 Darkness in the Light by Daniel Kalla

The Darkness in the Light: A Thriller

 

The Darkness in the Light by Daniel Kalla

Publishing:  May 3, 2022 by Simon and Shuster

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  Well, the author is Canadian.  But that’s not all.  He’s really talented, and I’ve enjoyed a number of his other books, so he is becoming one of my go-to authors.  I don’t usually read medical thrillers, but this author writes compelling characters.

 

The Darkness in the Light by Daniel Kalla  is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Simon and Shuster 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)

Dr. David Spears  is a psychiatrist, working out of Anchorage Alaska.  A number of his patients are actually in the Arctic, and he “sees” them via video chat.  One of his patients up there, Brianna, just committed suicide, and he feels guilty for missing the warning signs.  A friend of hers, Amka, who is also his patient,  is taking it hard, and David decides it is time for him to visit the remote community to check up on her.

David has had his own issues.  His wife took his daughter, and they are living in Seattle, so visits are tough, and when his anticipated father/daughter trip gets cancelled on top of the recent suicides, David’s own depression gets amped up.  He has been on a fairly new anti-depressant called Ketopram, which he swears saved his life.  But now he is having doubts.  A few of his patients that are on this drug have committed suicide lately, and he starts to wonder if it may not be the wonder drug he had anticipated.  His own friend/psychiatrist has invested heavily into this drug, and David can’t convince him there is a problem.

Upon visiting the remote arctic town, David and Taylor Holmes (the town’s social worker)  take up the hunt for Amka, who is now missing.  David’s fear that Amka’s use of Ketopram may send her over the edge.  Taylor, on the other hand, thinks her disappearance could be down to her drug-dealing boyfriend and his connections.    But there are a lot of connections, and the investigation will prove treacherous.

 

My Opinions:   

Okay, about 1/2 way through the book was a MAJOR twist.  I certainly did not see that one coming!  The author took a giant leap, and I followed.  I actually think the book got even better after that jump.

The book looks into pharmaceuticals, both legal and illegal. Other topics include mental health issues,  suicide and abuse.  So, overall, pretty dark, sensitive topics.  The author handled them all with grace.  The plot was good, as was the pace.

The characters were all really well developed, and you either loved them or hated them,  but they seemed “real”.

It was a really good, fast read, and it kept my attention from start to finish.  What more can I ask?

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars !!!

 

Read:  April, 2022

 

Daniel KallaAbout The Author: Daniel Kalla is a Canadian author, still living in his home-town of Vancouver, BC.  He spends some days, some nights, working as an ER Doctor at a major BC hospital.  Then he writes.  He is the proud father of two girls and a poorly behaved but lovable mutt, Milo.

*** Photo Taken from GoodReads

 

Check him out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4695358907

 

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 Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon

 

The Children on the Hill

 

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon

Publishing:  April 26, 2022 by Simon and Schuster Canada

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I have really enjoyed other books by this author (particularly The Drowning Kind).

 

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon  is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Simon and Schuster 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)

Vi and Eric grew up in Vermont with their gran, psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hildreth.  Gran ran The Hillside Inn, a hospital noted for their unique and compassionate work with the mentally ill.  Gran often brought patients home to live with them for a night, or a week, or so.  She felt that a “home” environment was beneficial to their recovery.

Then one day, Gran brings home Iris, a girl who doesn’t speak, and when she does, she remembers nothing, not even her name. Gran says no one is to know she is living with them.  Vi is determined to find out everything she can about Iris…who she starts to think of as her sister.

Vi and Eric invite Iris to join their “Monster Club”, where they are documenting all sorts of monsters and ways to banish or kill them.  Vi does the writing, and Eric draws their pictures.  Iris can help.  They discover that monsters are closer than they think.

Forty years have past, and 53 year old Lizzy Shelley is still chasing monsters.  She and her brother changed their names, but some things never change. Lizzy is the host of a really popular podcast, and is travelling the country searching for monsters.  She has a fully customized van, and she’s been searching for Sasquatches, vampires, werewolves, etc.

But the monster Lizzy is really after is her sister.

 

My Opinions:

This was great.  The story is told in different timelines and different perspectives,  including blurbs from the “Monster Book” that the children were writing, and an article written by a journalist.  Then  there is “Lizzie’s” story of her hunt for her sister/monster.

The plot was so well thought out, and the whole thing was really well written.  The characters were deep, and the topic of eugenics was rather disturbing.  The overall creepiness of the mental hospital was really well done.

The pace was good. The suspense continued to build, and when the twist came, I was stunned.  Absolutely loved it, and if that wasn’t enough, the ending was!  It was a very atmospheric novel, with evil and monsters everywhere.

McMahon is an amazing writer, and I definitely recommend this one.

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars !!!

 

Read:  April, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from The Children on the Hill:

“I don’t believe places can be haunted.  Only people, and not in a supernatural way.  People are only haunted by their pasts.”

“We belong dead.”

 

 

Jennifer McMahonAbout The Author: Jennifer McMahon is an American author of suspense novels.  She lives in Vermont with her partner and daughter, in an old Victorian that some neighbors call The Addams Family house.  She loves exploring the Vermont woods, and haunted places.

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4658689953

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 Shadow People by Graham Masterton (#3 – Pardoe and Patel)

The Shadow People

 

The Shadow People by Graham Masterton

Published:  March 1, 2022  by Head of Zeus

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:   I’m always in the mood for horror!  Note that I just realized that this was part of a series, of which I had read the first.  I will hold off publishing this until I have read the second  (yes, I am a little anal).

 

Previous Book in the Series: #2 – The Children God Forgot

Heads Up:  There are quite a few gruesome scenes in this including body dismemberment and cannibalism.  Didn’t bother me, but….

 

The Shadow People by Graham Masterton is the third in the Detectives Pardoe and Patel supernatural/horror series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Head of Zeus, 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)

DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel are called in when there are strange circumstances regarding a case.  They are becoming used to the supernatural aspects of their jobs.  Jerry has a bit of a crush on Jamila, mind you he seems to have a crush on most females.  He has a young daughter, and an ex-wife.

 

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

At first glance, the abandoned carpet factory appeared to be housing the homeless.  At second glance, it looked like it was the scene of a massacre, with body parts  left in shopping carts, and burned corpses.

A tunnel is discovered in the basement, with strange markings on the wall, and more bodies.  An officer  who is sent to investigate is brutally killed, and another is taken.

Two young boys are kidnapped from a scout camp, where their mother left them to try to get over the death of their father.  They are not the only missing people.

DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel are called in to hunt down a cult.  They have worked together on other bizarre cases and this appears to be another.   It looks like there are cannibals in London.  Some kind of religious cult who worship the devil.

 

My Opinions:   

First, I love the cover.

Part way through the book, I realized I had encountered these characters before, and on further research, discovered that this is actually the third book with Pardoe and Patel.  I am now grouping them together into a series (in order of publication), although it doesn’t look like the books actually have to be read in order at this point.  They can all be read as stand-alone novels.  Needless to say, me being me….I have to go back and read book 2…quickly.  (I’ve now done that!)

Okay, this book.  WOW…this one is not for the faint of heart.  This had more gore than anything I have read in a while.  Not to be read while eating dinner…..

But it was good.  The first part was a little slow, but it certainly picked up.  As unbelievable as the plot was, it definitely kept my interest.  When you read horror and supernatural, you can’t expect to have it based on facts, but the author tried to provide a reasonable explanation.  The whole thing was captivating….if a little gross.

Masterton has a graphic imagination, which he shares with all of us.   I will continue to read these books!

 

Read: December, 2021

 

Graham MastertonAbout The Author: Graham Masterton (1946 – ) was born in Edinburgh.  His first novel was written 30 years later, and he hasn’t stopped. Before that, he was writing for magazines (including Penthouse) and continues to publish in various magazines to this day. He has written over 100 novels. He currently lives in Ireland with his wife. 

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

Check him out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4200908532

 

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.

 

 

 

 

She Lied, She Died by Carissa Ann Lynch

 

She Lied She Died

 

She Lied, She Died by Carissa Ann Lynch

Publishing:  April 26, 2022 by One More Chapter (Harper Collins)

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I have read a couple of her books, and really enjoyed them!

 

She Lied, She Died by Carissa Ann Lynch is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher One More Chapter (Harper Collins)  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)

When Natalie Breyas was 9, the dead body of 14 year old Jenny Juliott showed up on their farm.  Another teenager, Chrissy Cornwall confessed to the crime, and has spent the last 30 years behind bars.

Natalie has never forgotten the night of that murder, and has often questioned how this could have happened.  There have been plenty of rumours over the years, but it seemed to all boil down to a fight between the two girls over a boy.

Natalie has had her own problems since that night. A few years after the body was found, her mom left for greener pastures,  then later her dad had a heart attack and died, and 10 years ago, her brother Jack committed suicide.  Natalie found him.  She came home to the farm after that, feeling guilty about Jack being alone, and her own depression would not let her leave.  She always dreamed of being a writer, but has never published.

Now, Chrissy is out of prison, and proclaiming her innocence.  She wants Natalie to tell her story.  Natalie isn’t sure what to believe.  Did Chrissy lie when she confessed to the murder, and if so why?  Or is she lying now?

 

My Opinions:   

This was quite good.  It is a short, fast read.  Note that it is much shorter than anticipated, because the last number of chapters are actually the start of another book — I hate when they do that, as I figure I still have quite a ways to go in the book, and suddenly it’s done!

That being said, the actual story was well plotted out, and although I had an idea as to the identity of Jenny’s murderer early on, there were other twists that I had not seen coming.  WOW!

The writing is very good, the pace fast, and the characters captivating.  An entertaining, fast read.

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars !!!

 

Read: April, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from She Lied, She Died:

“That when bad girls lie, good girls die.”

“Lies.  People told them for so many reasons – to protect others to protect themselves … to protect their reputation.”

 

Carissa Ann LynchAbout The Author:  Carissa Ann Lynch is an American author.  She lives in Indiana with her husband and children.  She has a background in psychology.

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

Check her out:  

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4686652004

 

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.