#Mystery Book Review: “A Killer Closet” by Paula Paul

#Mystery Book Review: “A Killer Closet” by Paula Paul

Paula Paul has once again delivered a top-notch mystery for your reading pleasure! “A Killer Closet” takes place in the present day in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Irene Seligman is an assistant DA in New York who decides to return home to care for her mother, Adelle. Adelle has located a retail space for Irene and they are preparing for the grand opening of their clothing consignment shop. On the morning of the opening, Irene walks into her new store and finds a dead body in the storage closet. The she finds out that the dead woman is someone Adelle knows. What follows is a tricky little mystery that puts Irene and her mother in danger and uncovers some of Santa Fe’s dirty little secrets.

This book is a departure from the author’s Alexandra Gladstone series and introduces us to Irene Seligman for the first time. I liked Irene immediately. She’s made a huge life change by moving back to her childhood home and her relationship with her mother has never been a close one. Now she’s in the middle of a murder mystery and the police think she’s a suspect. With the help of a young man named Angel, Irene will need all her wits and legal skills to unravel this twisted knot. The author has created some unique characters to round out the story; everyone from a local farmer to a high-society, old-money wife to get to the bottom of this mystery. I think mystery lovers will really enjoy this one and I hope this is the beginning of a new series.

Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP!

Happy Reading!

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#Thriller Book Review: “IQ” by Joe Ide

#Thriller Book Review: “IQ” by Joe Ide

A must-read debut thriller! Joe Ide has knocked it out of the park.

Goodreads blurb:

A resident of one of LA’s toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores.
East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood’s high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can’t or won’t touch.

They call him IQ. He’s a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he’s forced to take on clients that can pay.

This time, it’s a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.

My thoughts:

I cannot find the words to say how much I enjoyed getting to know Isaiah. The mother in me wants to bring him home and shower him with good food and company. That being said, I was a little out of my element with the book as a whole because of its setting in the hood of LA. This story was so powerful that it brought it to life in my mind. The depths of despair that Isaiah crosses through, and his journey as he brings himself back up to life were very moving. And then, you have the killer dog, the conniving agent, the vicious ex-wife, and the rapper himself. The mystery is perfectly executed and the gradual revealing of what has brought the characters to this point is masterful. I LOVED this story and even found inspiration in it. Hats off to Joe Ide for sharing his marvelous story with us!

Alinefromabook’s rating: TWO THUMBS-UP!!

Happy Reading!

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Thank you to NetGalley and Mulholland Books for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Thriller Book Review: “The Surgeon” by Tess Gerritsen

Thriller Book Review: “The Surgeon” by Tess Gerritsen

Make sure you’re strapped in good before you read this book because it will take you for a wild ride. This is the first book in the Rizzoli and Isles series and it totally blew my mind. Dr. Catherine Cordell, having been brutally raped and narrowly escaping death two years before, is now in Boston and being stalked. Several women have been raped and killed in the same way Dr. Cordell was, but she had killed her attacker before he finished the job. Is this the work of a copycat or did her attacker have a partner the cops never knew about? Detective Thomas Moore is assigned the case along with a team that includes Rizzoli. The perpetrator has been dubbed The Surgeon because of the way he mutilates his victims. Will Moore and Rizzoli find him before he strikes again?

The story is thick with suspense and heart-stopping action which I loved. Moore is a seasoned detective full of sympathy for the victims. Rizzoli is angry and desperate to prove herself to the men on the team. The story is brilliantly crafted with twists and turns you won’t see coming. My only disappointment with this book is that Isles is not in the story. But that just means I’ll have to read the next book in the series. Mystery/Thriller fans should love this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating: TWO THUMBS-UP!!

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#Thriller Book Review: “A Time of Torment” by John Connolly

#Thriller Book Review: “A Time of Torment” by John Connolly

This is the latest book in the Charlie Parker series and I loved it. This is the first John Connolly that I’ve read and that made it a little confusing at first because I wasn’t familiar with the back story. Once I got into it though and became familiar with the characters, the story just took off like a shot for me. Charlie and his support crew, Angel and Louis, have been hired by Jerome Burnel, a convicted child pornographer who claims he was innocent. Before Charlie can get started on his case, Jerome disappears. The Cut is a reclusive community in West Virginia. They’ve been there for centuries and are shrouded in mystery. They are suspected of all kinds of illegal acts but law enforcement has never stood up to them, until Sheriff Henkel is elected. When Jerome is linked to the Cut, Charlie and Sheriff Henkel join forces to bring them to justice.

My impressions of this book are all good. I enjoyed how the tension of the story kept growing until the final confrontation. I found Charlie Parker to be a really likable character, in spite of the darker side of his personality. The mysterious community called the Cut was very intriguing and I appreciated how the author gradually reveals the group to the reader. All in all, I found the book to be a very gratifying read that really kept my brain engaged. Best of all, I’ve found a new favorite author. I can’t wait to go back to the beginning with Charlie Parker.

Alinefromabook’s rating: TWO THUMBS-UP!!

Happy Reading!

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Sci-Fi Book Review: “Paralysis Paradox” by Stewart Sanders

Sci-Fi Book Review: “Paralysis Paradox” by Stewart Sanders

This book has a very interesting plotline. Some form of intelligence is living 4 different lives, at 4 different periods in history, all at the same time. Every time he falls asleep, he wakes up in a different lifeline. The story is told from the perspective of the person the intelligence is occupying in each timeline. This book is first in a series and will leave you with some unanswered questions. I haven’t yet read the subsequent book but I assume there will be answers coming.

My favorite character in the story is the young teenage girl Vicky. I found her to be the easiest to relate too, in part I’m sure because her timeline is the most like the 21st century. I think the author did a really good job of developing all of the characters. At a certain point in the story, the four lives start to bleed into one another which added another layer of depth to the overall plot line. Overall, I found the story to be an enjoyable read and great beginning to what I hope will be an intriguing series.

Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP!

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Other Fiction Short-Story Review: “Golden Children” by Avi Lewis Wolfson

Other Fiction Short-Story Review: “Golden Children” by Avi Lewis Wolfson

This is a story about a teacher who is an abuser. The story starts with an incident between the teacher and a special needs student in his class. The reader then gets a view into his marriage where his true feelings towards these children are revealed. The author’s purpose in writing the story is to point out that this type of abuse occurs more often than we think but the children are often unable because of their challenges to report the incidents. That being said, I found the story to be engaging and I was curious throughout to see what the outcome would be. I didn’t particularly like the main character but I don’t think the author wanted him to be liked. There is some graphic violence so this would not be appropriate for younger readers.

Alinefromabook’s rating: NEUTRAL

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History Book Review: “Poison Panic” by Helen Barrell

History Book Review: “Poison Panic” by Helen Barrell

Welcome to what I like to think of as one of the quirky little corners of history. In the 1840’s, in the Essex region of England, there was a rash of deaths by poisoning that created panic in the local population. This was due in part to the easy access people had to poisons. Author Helen Barrell came upon this while researching her own family history. She has done a wonderful job of telling the stories of the prominent cases of the time. I found the book to be really engaging and an enjoyable read. She has researched the press coverage of these cases and also the government records of the people involved and what happened to them after their cases were resolved. One of the things I like about this kind of book is that it gives the background that led to some of the laws and cultural norms that exist in our society today. In this episode of British history, you can see the beginnings of our current regulation of drugs and chemicals. I think that readers who are interested in history will really enjoy this book.

Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP!

Happy Reading!

Thank you to Pen & Sword Publishing for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Available on Amazon US

 

Book Review: “The Sister” by Louise Jensen

Book Review: “The Sister” by Louise Jensen

If you’re in the mood for a really twisted psychological thriller, “The Sister” perfectly fits the bill. What starts out as a mistake turns into a plot to destroy. Grace is a gentle and loving pre-school teacher whose life was turned upside down by the recent death of her best friend Charlie. Depression consumes her for many months but now she is back at work and beginning to face life again. Charlie never knew who her father was and Grace wants to find the man to help her bring closure to her own grief. When she is contacted by Anna, who claims to be Charlie’s step-sister, they have an instant connection, so much so that Grace moves Anna into her home where she lives with her long-time boyfriend Dan. But Anna may not be all that she seems and Grace soon finds herself in mortal danger.

Grace is such a great character. I took me no time at all to relate to her and the tragedy she has faced. She so wants to close the circle of Charlie’s life that she gets swept away by Anna’s presence. But it’s her determination that will keep her pushing forward and enable her to see through the subterfuge. Anna, on the other hand, I was suspicious of from the first moment I met her. She’s that person that you’re not sure why but you just don’t feel right about them. Adding flavor to the drama is Charlie’s alcoholic mother Lexie who Grace just can’t abandon no matter how nasty she gets. I also really enjoyed the style of this author’s writing. It is well-crafted and keeps pulling you in, anxious to find out what happens next. “The Sister” is a great choice in the psychological thriller genre.

Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP!

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “Madame Presidentess” by Nicole Evelina

Book Review: “Madame Presidentess” by Nicole Evelina

It’s election season 2016 and as we look to the possibility of electing a female president for the first time, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to read this book, “Madame Presidentess”, about the first woman to run for president in this country. That’s right! Hilary Clinton is not the first woman to RUN for president. That honor belongs to Victoria Woodhull who was a candidate for election in 1872 as an independent. Mrs. Woodhull, sometimes referred to as “Queen Victoria” turns out to be a fascinating character. She did not have an idyllic childhood and certainly did not come from money, but she was passionate about rights for women and never let anybody tell her she couldn’t do something because of her gender. Victoria was the daughter of a con-man who was mean and abusive to his children, but she was determined to have something better. On her way to becoming a presidential candidate she was also the first woman to own a Wall Street brokerage firm. Her naysayers along the way were vicious in their attacks and more than one friend turned against her but she never stopped believing in her cause.

If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I occasionally enjoy exploring the lesser known corners of history. This book is no exception. I found the life of Victoria Woodhull to be fascinating and the author has done an excellent job in telling it. I have to say that I’ve never really given too much thought to the feminist movement before the 20th century and this book really opened my eyes to the work that was being done by women starting in the 2nd century of this country. Victoria Woodhull and her fellow suffragists didn’t get to see all the fruits of their labor during their lifetimes but I suspect that they look down with pride at what has been accomplished with the groundwork they laid. While the reader may not agree with everything she espoused (do any of us ever agree 100% with another person’s views), she is nevertheless a hero of the women’s movement in the United States and should be remembered as such. I highly recommend this book.

Alinefromabook’s rating: TWO THUMBS-UP!!

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Book Review: “Constant Guests” by Patricia Nedelea

Book Review: “Constant Guests” by Patricia Nedelea

Isa has just found out that her parents are not really her parents. Her birth mother has been in a coma for 20 years and has woken up, only to die just as Isa sees her for the first time. Then Isa is attacked in the hospital bathroom by an unknown assailant. When she discovers a picture hidden in her mother’s watch she can no longer resist the urge to find out everything she can about this mysterious woman. Her quest will take her all over Europe, to big cities and small towns, and put her life in danger. Along the way she will uncover deeply guarded secrets and her strength will be tested again and again.

This is a fast-paced book with lots of twists and turns. Isa and Mark are well developed characters, but Isa is not the most likeable person. She’s brash and harsh and doesn’t trust easily but as her story unfolds her personality begins to make sense. Mark, on the other hand, is very likeable. He defends Isa from the first moment he sees her and before the journey is over will put his life on the line for her. I think this book will appeal to young adults but history lovers may also enjoy this book because of the historical context of the story.

Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP!

Happy Reading!

Available on Amazon