Book Review

A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: A Good Day for Chardonnay

Author: Darynda Jones

Publisher: St, Martin’s Press

Publish Date: July 27, 2021

Genre: Crime Fiction

Series: Sunshine Vicram #2

My Rating: 5/5

A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones

BOOK BLURB

Running a small-town police force in the mountains of New Mexico should be a smooth, carefree kind of job. Sadly, full-time Sheriff—and even fuller-time coffee guzzler—Sunshine Vicram, didn’t get that memo.

All Sunshine really wants is one easy-going day. You know, the kind that starts with coffee and a donut (or three) and ends with take-out pizza and a glass of chardonnay (or seven). Turns out, that’s about as easy as switching to decaf. (What kind of people do that? And who hurt them?)

Before she can say iced mocha latte, Sunny’s got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. All evidence points to a local distiller, a dangerous bad boy named Levi Ravinder, but Sun knows he’s not the villain of her story. Still, perhaps beneath it all, he possesses the keys to her disappearance. At the very least, beneath it all, he possesses a serious set of abs. She’s seen it. Once. Accidentally.

Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and an irascible raccoon that just doesn’t know when to quit, Sunny’s life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.

Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

A Good Day for Chardonnay is the second book in the Sunshine Vicram series. Sunshine is the sheriff in a small New Mexico town. Sunshine has her hands full in this one. For one, her daughter, Auri, is hunting a serial killer. Also, there is new evidence in the mystery of Sunshine’s kidnapping when she was younger.

This is the second book in the series, and I definitely recommend starting with the first book, A Bad Day for Sunshine. Both books are clever and exciting reads.

A Good Day for Chardonnay has a great cast of quirky characters, a desert town setting, a little romance, and a gripping mystery. A fantastic novel for fans of mystery thrillers with strong female protagonists and sarcastic humor.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Sunshine Vicram series:
  1. A Bad Day for Sunshine
  2. A Good Day for Chardonnay
Book Review

Black Coral by Andrew Mayne [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Black Coral

Author: Andrew Mayne

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: February 16, 2021

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Underwater Investigation Unit #2

My Rating: 4/5

Black Coral by Andrew Mayne

BOOK BLURB

For a police diver in Florida, solving a cold-case mystery brings a serial killer out of hiding in a deep, dark thriller by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Naturalist.

Sloan McPherson and the Underwater Investigation Unit have discovered a van at the bottom of a murky Florida pond. Sealed inside the watery tomb are the bodies of four teenagers who disappeared thirty years ago after leaving a rock concert. To authorities, it looks like a tragic accident. To Sloan, it looks like murder. Every piece of evidence is starting to connect to a string of cold case vanishings throughout Florida. Clue by clue, Sloan navigates the warm, dark waters where natural predators feed, knowing that the most dangerous one is still above the surface—nesting and dormant.

But when a fresh young kill is found in the Everglades, Sloan fears that her investigation has reawakened a monster. How can she catch someone who’s a genius at hiding in plain sight? By acting as prey. The dangerous gambit is working—only too well. She’s being lured into a deception of the madman’s own design. Has Sloan set a trap for a serial killer? Or has he set one for her?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Black Coral is the second book in the mystery series Underwater Investigation Unit. I enjoyed the first book, The Girl Beneath the Sea, so I was looking forward to reading the latest addition to the series. This continues to be a great series. Black Coral can be read as a standalone, but I recommend starting with the first book.

In Black Coral, the Underwater Investigation Unit is called to the scene of a van at the bottom of a pond. This discovery leads to a suspenseful hunt for a serial killer. A well written story with interesting characters. I especially enjoy Sloan, as she continues to be a strong and complex character.

Exciting and intriguing mystery. A great read for fans of crime thrillers.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Underwater Investigation Unit series:

  1. The Girl Beneath the Sea
  2. Black Coral
Book Review

The Other Mothers by M.M. Chouinard [Book Review]

The Other Mothers by M.M. Chouinard

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Other Mothers

Author: M.M. Chouinard

Publisher: Bookouture

Publish Date: January 20, 2021

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Detective Jo Fournier #4

My Rating: 4/5

The Other Mothers by M.M. Chouinard

BOOK BLURB

It’s a crisp spring morning when the small-town community around Briar Ridge Elementary School is shattered by devastating news. Bright and shy five-year-old Nicole has disappeared at recess.

Nicole’s mother, Gia, is lost in her grief. On the same day her baby girl vanished, Gia found out she was pregnant with the sister Nicole had begged for. Gia is also devastated that her best friend Karen was supervising the playground when Nicole was taken. And when Nicole’s body is discovered, Gia can’t help but ask: why didn’t Karen protect her little girl?

Someone knows what happened in school that day and is keeping the truth secret. Gia’s been hiding a part of herself for years and it’s eating her apart. And Karen is definitely lying—but what is more important than finding the killer of her best friend’s daughter?

As Gia and Karen struggle with their guilt, a teacher at Briar Ridge dies in what looks like a tragic accident. But with two deaths in such a short time, one of the parents is lying. In this school, where soccer moms flock to the gates with cookies for teachers, someone is willing to kill to keep a secret. The only question is who.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The Other Mothers is the latest book in the Detective Jo Fournier series by M.M. Chouinard. In this novel, Jo’s investigation involves a local elementary school. A child goes missing at recess, and is later found dead. Of course, Jo is determined to find who killed the child.

This is a fantastic crime series. I love mystery series with strong female characters. Jo is smart, dedicated, and tough, but she’s also got flaws, making her relatable. Her personal story is interwoven into the mystery story, making for a more enjoyable novel. In fact, all of the characters are well developed and interesting.

This is the fourth novel in the series, and I recommend reading this series in order. However, The Other Mothers can be read as a standalone novel.

The Other Mothers is a complex and intriguing mystery. With a compelling story and entertaining twists, this novel is sure to thrill fans of crime fiction.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Detective Jo Fournier series:
  1. The Dancing Girls
  2. Taken to the Grave
  3. Her Daughter’s Cry
  4. The Other Mothers
Book Review

Bending the Paw by Diane Kelly [Book Review]

Bending the Paw by Diane Kelly

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BOOK INFO

Title: Bending the Paw

Author: Diane Kelly

Publisher: St. Martin

Publish Date: October 27, 2020

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Paw Enforcement #9

My Rating: 4/5

Bending the Paw by Diane Kelly

BOOK BLURB

Make way for the long paw of the law as police officer Megan Luz and her K-9 partner Brigit investigate a baffling new mystery in Bending the Paw, by Diane Kelly.

A MURDER WITHOUT A BODY IS LIKE A DOG WITHOUT A BONE

A bloodbath is a shocking new challenge for Megan and Brigit when Detective Audrey Jackson calls them to the scene of what could only be a brutal murder. But the one thing the nightmarish scene is missing is a victim. The frantic homeowner’s husband is gone, seemingly without a trace—and so is the money he was holding. Has a vicious killer committed what might just be the perfect crime?

Meanwhile, it’s hailing cats and dogs all over Fort Worth, and roofing contractors have descended on the city in droves. With plenty of damage and continuing storms, work delays are building up like so much runoff, but Megan is suspicious that one roofer may be a scam artist. Determined to leash every lawbreaker she and her K-9 partner find, Megan is building a case for prosecution, all while Brigit has her nose to the ground for a murderer…


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Bending the Paw is the ninth book in the Paw Enforcement series by Diane Kelly. Officer Megan and her K-9 partner Brigit investigate a possible murder. The crime scene contains more blood than a person could survive losing, but there is no body.

Told using multiple points of view, including Megan and Brigit. Megan is likable, hardworking, and quick witted. Brigit is a delightful dog with amusing viewpoints.

Bending the Paw is part of a series, but it can be read as a standalone. That said, I recommend reading the books in order to better understand the characters. Reviews for book 6 (Enforcing the Paw) and book 8 (Paw of the Jungle) can be found on this blog. I’ve read all of the books in the series, and it’s a enjoyable lighter mystery series.

A fun mystery. An enjoyable addition to the series. Humorous, cozy, and entertaining.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Paw Enforcement Series:
  1. Paw Enforcement
  2. Paw and Order
  3. Laying Down the Paw
  4. Against the Paw
  5. Above the Paw
  6. Enforcing the Paw
  7. The Long Paw of the Law
  8. Paw of the Jungle
  9. Bending the Paw
Book Review

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones [Book Review]

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

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BOOK INFO

Title: A Bad Day for Sunshine

Author: Darynda Jones

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publish Date: April 7, 2020

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Sunshine Vicram #1

My Rating: 4/5

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

BOOK BLURB

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, strong cups of coffee—and, now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff—thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her—and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter’s new school, plus and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.

But even clouds have their silver linings. This one’s got Levi, Sunshine’s sexy, almost-old-flame, and a fiery-hot US Marshal. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol’s normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger. Can Sunshine face the call of duty—and find the kidnapper who’s terrorizing her beloved hometown—without falling head over high heels in love…or worse?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Sunshine Vicram is the new sheriff in Del Sol, New Mexico. She’s returned to her hometown as the new sheriff, in a campaign her parents orchestrated, without her knowledge. Sunshine won though, and her first day on the job is a doozy. A teenage girl goes missing, and everyone is curious about why Sunshine left her hometown so suddenly years earlier.

A Bad Day for Sunshine is the first book in a new series by Darynda Jones. I’ve enjoyed Jones’s Charley Davidson series, so I was excited to see she had a new book available. Happy to report that this was a funny, clever, and exciting read.

A lot of the novel is setting up the characters, and each one is well developed and interesting. Sunshine and her daughter, Aurora, move to Del Sol for Sunshine’s new job as sheriff. Sunshine is working with her best friend from childhood, Quincy. He’s now a deputy and helps keep Sunshine informed about what’s happening. Another character in Sunshine’s life is Levi Ravinder, an old crush, and the son of the local crime family. Aurora is a teenager and starts school at the local high school.

As for the mystery, Sunshine and her deputies look for a missing girl. They also have a few other things happening in town, so the sheriff’s office stays busy. While a lot is happening in Sunshine’s professional life, her personal life is a mystery too.

Fantastic start to a new series. A fun cast of characters, a small desert town full of quirky locals, and an exciting mystery.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Sunshine Vicram series:
  1. A Bad Day for Sunshine
  2. A Good Day for Chardonnay
Book Review

Paw of the Jungle by Diane Kelly [Book Review]

Paw of the Jungle by Diane Kelly

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Paw of the Jungle

Author: Diane Kelly

Publisher: St. Martin

Publish Date: November 26, 2019

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Paw Enforcement #8

My Rating: 4/5

Paw of the Jungle by Diane Kelly

BOOK BLURB

Police officer Megan Luz and her K-9 partner in crime, Brigit, are on all fours as they try to solve their latest Lone Star mystery.

AT THE ZOO
The weather is beautiful, work is slow, and her canine colleague could use a walk. What better day for Megan to take Brigit to the Fort Worth Zoo, where they can let loose and witness the law and order of nature unfold? But what begins as a fun field trip turns serious when a pair of rare hyacinth macaws named Fabiana and Fernando goes missing. Is the new custodian, a gentle soul who happens to be an ex-convict, to blame? Or is something far more sinister afoot?

AND ON THE HUNT
The birds are worth thousands of dollars, and the list of people on the premises who might have stolen them is long. Soon other animals start disappearing. . .and Megan and Brigit have their hands and paws full of suspects. But when a rare black rhino is taken from the zoo, presumably for its black-market-friendly horn, time is of the essence. Can Megan and Brigit find out who’s behind the mystery—before they too become prey?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The eighth book in the Paw Enforcement series by Diane Kelly. Officer Megan and her K-9 partner Brigit investigate missing animals from the zoo. In addition to the main crime of finding who stole the animals, Megan is also working a case involving missing jewelry. Plus, her firefighter boyfriend Seth is working with a new paramedic. An attractive woman who causes Megan to worry about her relationship with Seth.

Told using multiple points of view – Megan, Brigit, and the guilty party. Megan is a likable character. She’s hardworking, sensible, and quick witted. Brigit is a delightful dog, and I enjoy her amusing viewpoints. It’s great to read how Megan and Brigit work the case, but also nice to get the viewpoint from the one committing the crimes.

A fun, humorous, and entertaining mystery. An enjoyable addition to the series, and I look forward to reading more books about Megan and Brigit.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Paw Enforcement Series:
  1. Paw Enforcement
  2. Paw and Order
  3. Laying Down the Paw
  4. Against the Paw
  5. Above the Paw
  6. Enforcing the Paw
  7. The Long Paw of the Law
  8. Paw of the Jungle
  9. Bending the Paw
Book Review

Enforcing the Paw by Diane Kelly [Book Review]

Enforcing the Paw by Diane Kelly

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Enforcing the Paw

Author: Diane Kelly

Publisher: St. Martin

Publish Date: June 27, 2017

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Paw Enforcement #6

My Rating: 4/5

Enforcing the Paw by Diane Kelly

BOOK BLURB

When a case of he-said/she-said turns criminal, it’s up to Megan Luz and her devoted K-9 to dig for the truth…

A TAIL OF TWO LOVERS
When relationships go south, some people just can’t—or won’t—let go. When Fort Worth Police Officer Megan Luz and her pawed partner Brigit investigate a series of stalking incidents involving a couple who recently broke up, their detective powers are put to the test. Is this a case of a controlling creep who refuses to accept rejection—or one about a woman scorned whose fury has been unleashed?

WHO END UP IN THE DOGHOUSE…
As hostilities escalate between the former lovers, the situation goes from romantically dysfunctional to downright dangerous. He insists his former flame has become a crazy ex-girlfriend intent on vengeance. She alleges that he is a master of manipulation and lays blame entirely at his feet. Who’s the culprit and who’s the victim? Can Megan and Brigit sniff out the truth. . .before somebody ends up dead?

Enforcing the Paw is part of Diane Kelly’s fun and smart Paw Enforcement series.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Enforcing the Paw is the sixth book in the Paw Enforcement series by Diane Kelly. Officer Megan Luz and her K-9 partner Brigit investigate a stalking case. The case involves a former couple. He’s claiming his ex-girlfriend is stalking him. She claims he’s manipulating things, and he’s the stalker.

Told with multiple points of view – Megan, Brigit, and the guilty party. I enjoy the humorous parts involving Brigit’s viewpoint. The mystery is entertaining, and Megan has to do a little work to discover what is really going on with the former couple and their problems.

A delightful mystery. Likable characters in a fun story. This is an entertaining series, and I look forward to reading more of these books.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Paw Enforcement Series:
  1. Paw Enforcement
  2. Paw and Order
  3. Laying Down the Paw
  4. Against the Paw
  5. Above the Paw
  6. Enforcing the Paw
  7. The Long Paw of the Law
  8. Paw of the Jungle
  9. Bending the Paw
Book Review

Passport to Death by Yigal Zur [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Passport to Death

Author: Yigal Zur

Publisher: Oceanview

Publish Date: November 5, 2019

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Dotan Naor Thriller #2

My Rating: 4/5

Passport to Death by Yigal Zur

BOOK BLURB

In a world of shadows, it is easy to get lost

Dotan Naor, an Israeli private investigator, ousted from Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—goes to Thailand to find Sigal Bardon, a beautiful young girl from a wealthy Israeli family. Sigal has disappeared in Bangkok—completely.

Dotan has connections in Thailand and he’s familiar with Bangkok’s dark side—the narrow alleys with bars and hookers, trenches of stagnant water, hotel rooms with illicit activity. This is where he intends to start his search. But when the passport of the missing Israeli girl ends up in his hands during his first taxi ride in the city, he’s suspicious that someone is playing him. But who? And why?

As Dotan searches for Sigal, police corruption blocks his every path while he delves deeper. Every lead he pursues draws him closer and closer to a black hole in his “own” past—one intertwined with his pursuit of Sigal—one that leads him to Reuven—and the haunting failure that led to the dismissal of both of them from Shin Bet. The wound between Dotan and Reuven is raw and deep, but Dotan realizes it must be healed in order to save Sigal.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Passport to Death is the second book in the Dotan Naor series by Yigal Zur. Dotan Naor is a former Israeli agent turned private investigator. In this book, Dotan travels to Thailand to locate a missing young woman.

A captivating mystery involving the dark side of Bangkok. Dotan’s investigation into the missing woman takes some turns and becomes more complex than he expected. Dotan is an interesting character, and more things from his past are revealed in this novel.

An enjoyable read with intriguing characters and a vivid setting. Dark, gritty, and fast-paced.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Dotan Naor Thriller series:
  1. Death in Shangri-La
  2. Passport to Death
Book Review

No Good Deed by James Swain [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: No Good Deed

Author: James Swain

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: August 20, 2019

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Lancaster & Daniels #2

My Rating: 4/5

No Good Deed by James Swain

BOOK BLURB

A human-trafficking case hits dangerously close to home in a heart-racing thriller by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The King Tides.

A disturbing missing-person case reunites ex-Navy SEAL Jon Lancaster and FBI Agent Beth Daniels. Skye is just one of a dozen young women who have disappeared from Florida without a trace. Beth can do more than just imagine their fear. She was a victim herself—a trauma that’s strengthened her fight for justice.

Then Lancaster uncovers a scrap of evidence, and the mystery begins to unravel. But the lead comes with a personal sting: the involvement of his estranged brother, Logan, an ex-con recruited into the shepherding of human trade. The only way for Logan to shed his demons is to come clean. For Lancaster and Daniels, that means being drawn, secret by secret, into a dangerous underground world.

With time running out, three damaged pasts will collide; more secrets will spill; and Lancaster, Daniels, and Logan will have to fight to save themselves first if they ever hope to find the girls alive.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The second book in the Lancaster & Daniels series by James Swain. Jon Lancaster specializes in missing persons investigations. He is a ex-SEAL and ex-cop who volunteers with Team Adam in addition to working private jobs. Beth Daniels is a FBI agent who works missing persons investigations.

In No Good Deed, Lancaster and Daniels work an investigation to find missing women. Lancaster and Daniels have some personal issues with one another, but they have to put their personal lives on the back burner and work together to find the women. The investigation involves gangs and human-trafficking.

The characters are stereotypical, but I still found it an entertaining read. Lancaster is especially annoying since he seems to know everything and be perfect in every way. His only flaw is a medical condition that makes him appear out of shape. Of course, he’s not out of shape, he’s the most fit and toughest guy around.

This is the second book in the series, but it can be read as a standalone. I do recommend reading the first book, The King Tides to better understand Lancaster and Daniels characters and relationship. Personally, I found this book to be slightly more entertaining than the first one. In both, the actions and events taking place are a bit unbelievable, but they still make for quick and entertaining reads. Action-packed and exciting.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Lancaster & Daniels series:
  1. The King Tides
  2. No Good Deed
  3. Bad News Travels
Book Review

Cold Woods by Karen Katchur [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Cold Woods

Author: Karen Katchur

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: August 13, 2019

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Northampton County #2

My Rating: 4/5

Cold Woods by Karen Katchur

BOOK BLURB

Buried bones of the past rise to the surface in this chilling mystery from the bestselling author of River Bodies.

When the long-buried bones of a man turn up in the middle of December, Pennsylvania homicide detective Parker Reed knows he’s in for a cold case.

Trisha and her friends were teenagers when Trisha’s stepdad went missing. Now, thirty years later, his remains have been found in the mountains. The women have always known there was more to his disappearance than meets the eye, and they must confront their grim past. Secrets can stay secret a long time in the lonely Appalachian foothills—but not forever.

When Parker and his partner identify the remains, their investigation leads them to Trisha’s childhood home. But the deeper Parker digs into the crime, the more he realizes that the truth isn’t always simple. In fact, it’s so complicated that even Trisha and her friends don’t fully understand what really happened in those cold woods.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Detective Parker Reed has a new partner, Geena Brassard, and they are working a cold case. Remains are found on a mountain, and they go back to a missing person case from 30 years earlier. As Parker and Geena investigate, they are led to Trisha and her friends. The remains belong to Trisha’s stepfather, Lester, and it seems he was not an upstanding citizen. Trisha and her friends were teenagers 30 years ago, and Trisha has not kept in contact with them since she left after high school.

Cold Woods is told with two timelines – past and present. The past timeline follows Trisha and her friends, Carlyn and Dannie. Trisha’s stepfather is abusive and she escapes her home life by hanging out with her friends. The three girls live on the same street and have been friends for years. After Lester goes missing, Trisha becomes distant from her friends and leaves town without telling them. The present timeline is when Lester’s remains are found, and Trisha and her friends are brought into the case. Trisha has returned to town to get away from her husband, and to attend the funeral of Dannie’s mother. The girls, now grown women with very different lives, reconnect.

The mystery of what happened 30 years ago is slowly revealed. Since Lester was such an unlikable guy, there are plenty of suspects as to who killed him. It’s a difficult case for the detectives to work. The more they learn about Lester, the less they like him, but it’s also their job to find who killed him. An interesting and complex case.

Cold Woods is the second book in the Northampton County series. This book can be read as a standalone.

A suspenseful mystery. I enjoyed this book more than the first in the series, and look forward to reading more by Karen Katchur. Dark, gripping, and complex.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Northampton County series:
  1. River Bodies
  2. Cold Woods
  3. Spring Girls
Book Review

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger [Book Review]

The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Girls Like Us

Author: Cristina Alger

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Publish Date: July 2, 2019

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger

BOOK BLURB

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Banker’s Wife, worlds collide when an FBI agent investigates a string of grisly murders on Long Island that raises the impossible question: What happens when the primary suspect is your father?

FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn’t been home in ten years. Nell and her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, have never had much of a relationship. And Suffolk County will always be awash in memories of her mother, Marisol, who was murdered when Nell was just seven.

When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns to the house she grew up in so that she can spread her father’s ashes and close his estate. At the behest of her father’s partner, Detective Lee Davis, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect–and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks. Plagued by doubts about her mother’s murder–and her own role in exonerating her father in that case–Nell can’t help but ask questions about who killed Ria Ruiz and Adriana Marques and why. But she may not like the answers she finds–not just about those she loves, but about herself.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

FBI Agent Nell Flynn returns to her hometown after her father’s death. The two of them had a strained relationship, ever since her mother’s murder years earlier. Her father was a homicide detective, and Nell gets involved with a case he was working at the time of his death.

An intriguing mystery featuring a trustworthy female protagonist. Nell is smart, courageous, and independent. She also has a vulnerable side under her tough exterior. When she returns to her hometown, she starts to doubt things about her father. To understand her father and what was happening in his life, she gets involved with a local case of two murdered girls. The case is much more complex than she anticipated.

Interesting characters in a fast-paced mystery. Great for fans of crime fiction with a strong female lead. Also, I enjoyed that this was a standalone novel. It seems so many police procedurals fall into series. Addictive, intense, and suspenseful.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Christina Alger:
  1. The Banker’s Wife
  2. Girls Like Us
Book Review

The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Killer Collective

Author: Barry Eisler

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: February 1, 2019

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: John Rain #10, Livia Lone #2.5, Ben Treven #4

My Rating: 4/5

The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler

BOOK BLURB

When a joint FBI–Seattle Police investigation of an international child pornography ring gets too close to certain powerful people, sex-crimes detective Livia Lone becomes the target of a hit that barely goes awry—a hit that had been offered to John Rain, a retired specialist in “natural causes.”

Suspecting the FBI itself was behind the attack, Livia reaches out to former Marine sniper Dox. Together, they assemble an ad hoc group to identify and neutralize the threat. There’s Rain. Rain’s estranged lover, Mossad agent and honeytrap specialist Delilah. And black ops soldiers Ben Treven and Daniel Larison, along with their former commander, SpecOps legend Colonel Scot “Hort” Horton.

Moving from Japan to Seattle to DC to Paris, the group fights a series of interlocking conspiracies, each edging closer and closer to the highest levels of the US government.

With uncertain loyalties, conflicting agendas, and smoldering romantic entanglements, these operators will have a hard time forming a team. But in a match as uneven as this one, a collective of killers might be even better.


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MY REVIEW

John Rain is a hitman offered a job targeting three individuals. He turns down the job, but is swept up in the action when one of the targets, Livia Lone, survives the attempted hit. Not only is John involved, but so are various others with connections to Rain and Livia.

Told using alternating points of view, this novel has a lot of characters and multiple storylines. Even though there was a lot going on, it was easy to follow and everything was wrapped up by the end.

The Killer Collective is part of a series. Actually, it’s part of multiple series by Barry Eisler. I didn’t realize that when I picked it as my First Reads book this month, but, fortunately, it was easily read as a standalone. This is book 10 in the John Rain series, book 3 in the Livia Lone series, and book 4 in the Ben Treven series. John Rain is a “retired” hitman. Livia Lone is a sex crimes detective. Ben Treven is a black ops soldier. I’m sure readers of these series get more from the book than I did, since they would already be familiar with the backstories of the characters. Still, I found it to be a good, fast-paced read. I may look into the earlier books in these series.

This thriller involves multiple government agencies. From Seattle PD to the FBI to the Secret Service. A fast-paced thriller with sex crimes, black ops, and multiple bad guys. Intriguing, complex, and exciting.

Books in the John Rain series:
  1. A Clean Kill in Tokyo
  2. A Lonely Resurrection
  3. Winner Take All
  4. Redemption Games
  5. Extremis
  6. The Killer Ascendant
  7. The Detachment
  8. Graveyard of Memories
  9. Zero Sum
  10. The Killer Collective
  11. The Chaos Kind

Books in the Livia Lone series:

  1. Livia Lone
  2. The Night Trade
  3. The Killer Collective
  4. All the Devils
  5. The Chaos Kind

Books in the Ben Treven series:

  1. Fault Line
  2. Inside Out
  3. The Detachment
  4. The Killer Collective