Book Review: Nothing to Lose by Victoria Selman

Nothing to Lose by Victoria Selman

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Nothing to Lose
Author: Victoria Selman
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: May 23, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.19

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
He’s looking for his next victim. She looks just like his last.

Primrose Hill, London. Offender Profiler Ziba MacKenzie arrives at the scene of a gruesome murder with a disturbing sense of déjà vu. Nine days earlier, another woman’s body was found: same location, same MO, same physical appearance. For the police, it’s clear a new serial killer is on the loose. But for Ziba, it’s even more sinister—because the victims look just like her.

Ziba has been the focus of a killer’s interest before, and knows that if she gets too close again this case could be her last. Still, she’s not one to play by the rules—especially when her secret investigation into her husband’s murder begins to attract unwanted attention.

With someone watching her every step, can Ziba uncover what connects the two victims before she becomes one herself?


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
The second book in the Ziba MacKenzie series by Victoria Selman. Ziba is a profiler who works on gruesome murder cases. Her latest case involves the murder of two women who bear a striking resemblance to Ziba, making her a potential target. In addition to this case, Ziba is secretly investigating her husband’s murder, which was never solved.

The first book in this series is Blood for Blood (my review here). In the first book, Ziba wasn’t all that interesting to me, but I enjoyed her character more in this book. Maybe I was more in the mood for this type of read, or maybe this one is just a better book. Could go either way. Anyway, I recommend reading Blood for Blood first, but Nothing To Lose can be read as a standalone.

This story is told over a series of days as Ziba works to discover who is behind two gruesome murders. To complicate matters, Ziba seems to be a target herself, adding an extra layer of suspense. While the women’s murders presents an interesting and twisty case, I also enjoyed Ziba’s investigation into her husband’s death.

A highly entertaining read for fans of crime fiction. Fast-paced, suspenseful, and exciting.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: A Beautiful Corpse
Author: Christi Daugherty
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publish Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 5.0 / Community 4.35

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
From Christi Daugherty, author of The Echo Killing, comes another pulse-pounding suspenseful thriller featuring crime reporter Harper McClain.

For a woman, being killed by someone who claims to love her is the most ordinary murder of all.

With its antebellum houses and ancient oak trees draped in a veil of Spanish moss, Savannah’s graceful downtown is famous around the world. When a woman is killed in the heart of that affluent district, the shock is felt throughout the city. But for crime reporter Harper McClain, this story is personal. The corpse has a familiar face.

Only twenty-four years old, Naomi Scott was just getting started. A law student, tending bar to make ends meet, she wanted to change the world. Instead, her life ended in the dead of night at the hands of an unseen gunman. There are no witnesses to the crime. The police have three suspects: Scott’s boyfriend, who has a criminal past he claims he’s put behind him, her boss, who stalked another young bartender two years ago, and the district attorney’s son, who Naomi dated until their relationship ended in acrimony. All three men claim to love her. Could one of them be her killer?

With the whole city demanding answers, Harper unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy. But the pressures on her go beyond the murder. The newspaper is facing more layoffs. Her boss fears both their jobs are on the line. And Harper begins to realize that someone is watching her every move. Someone familiar and very dangerous.

Someone who told her to run before it’s too late…


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
Crime reporter Harper McClain is back in the second book in this suspenseful series. A local woman is killed late at night in Savannah’s tourist district. There are no witnesses to the crime, but the police have three suspects. Harper digs deep to discover who is behind the murder.

Harper is back, and after the events in the first book, her relationship with the Savannah police department is suffering. Since she is a crime reporter, this makes her job a little more challenging. Using the few connections she still has, along with her smarts and determination, Harper works to discover the killer in a local murder. This death has hit a little close to home since Harper knew the victim. Being close to the crime both helps and hinders her work as a crime reporter.

The local murder isn’t the only mystery in Harper’s life. It seems someone is watching her. This storyline started in the previous book, but it goes much further in this one. Add in work place drama and a little romance, and this makes for a gripping read.

I loved the first book in this series, The Echo Killing, so I was looking forward to reading this one. I’m happy to say, this continues to be an engaging and thrilling series. I recommend picking up the first book in this series before reading this one.

Compelling characters. Complex and entertaining story. Atmospheric setting. A perfect choice for fans of mystery thrillers.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Smash and Grab by Joe Albanese

Smash and Grab by Joe Albanese

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Smash and Grab
Author: Joe Albanese
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Publish Date: February 28, 2018
Genre: Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.50

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Wick was a normal young man, passing his days at a part-time job and wasting his nights with friends and booze. That was until someone smashed a brick to the side of his head and knocked Wick’s life upside down. The culprit, Kenny, a young man in a dire situation, has only one goal: to get the job done, no matter who gets in his way.


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
A novella about two young men, Wick and Kenny, and their shady group of friends and acquaintances.

This is a quick read at 52 pages. A clever story with crime, drugs, and enough twists to keep it interesting.

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

Book Review: The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Last Woman in the Forest
Author: Diane Les Becquets
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.84

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves….

Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. When they’re separated on another assignment, she’s shattered to learn of his tragic death. Before long, Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.

Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move….


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
Marian learns about four unsolved murders, and wonders if her recently deceased boyfriend, Tate, could have been involved with them. She finds it difficult to reconcile the man she loved with him also being a murderer. She wants to keep her questioning private, and involves a retired profiler to help her learn more about the unsolved cases.

Told from Marian’s point of view, the story alternates between past and present. The past is about her work in wildlife research and her relationship with Tate. In the present day timeline, she questions everything she knew about Tate. Marian loved Tate, but she is faced with inconsistencies between what he told her and what she learns after his death.

The wilderness is a large part of this story. Personally, I loved that aspect of this novel. As someone with a background in environmental research, I enjoy stories that highlight outdoors and research. The research Marian is involved with uses rescued dogs to track and monitor wildlife populations. The setting is the wilderness of Montana and Canada.

This is a character-driven mystery. Intriguing, atmospheric, and complex. Good for fans of mysteries and thrillers.

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

Book Review: Blood for Blood by Victoria Selman

Blood for Blood by Victoria Selman

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Blood for Blood
Author: Victoria Selman
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: February 1, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.85

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Ziba Mackenzie profiles killers. Now one is profiling her.

Rush hour, London. A packed commuter train is torn apart in a collision. Picking through the carnage, ex-special forces profiler Ziba MacKenzie helps a dying woman who passes on a cryptic message: He did it. You have to tell someone.

When a corpse is found bearing the gruesome signature of a serial killer dormant for twenty-five years, Ziba is pulled into the hunt for the perpetrator. As the body count rises it becomes clear he’s on a new spree. But what’s brought the London Lacerator back after such a long hiatus? And does his sudden return have anything to do with the woman on the train?

Ziba scrambles to profile the killer in the hope of predicting his next move. But time is running out. And the closer she gets to uncovering his identity, the closer he gets to destroying hers.


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
The first book in a new crime series by debut author Victoria Selman. Ziba MacKenzie is a profiler, and her latest case involves a serial killer who is back after a long hiatus.

A fast-paced crime mystery with a strong female lead. I usually enjoy books with strong female protagonists, but Ziba was kind of annoying. She seemed a bit of a know-it-all, and the weird phrases she uses threw me off. Additionally, I would have liked more backstory about Ziba. I’m guessing that as the series continues, more about Ziba will be revealed.

The mystery was interesting though. The story switched between two points of view – Ziba and the killer. The writing was solid and there were enough twists to keep it interesting.

I enjoy fast-paced mysteries and thrillers, so I’ll probably continue with this series. Hopefully, I start to like Ziba more.

This book was my pick for Amazon’s First Reads in January 2019.

Book Review: The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler

The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Killer Collective
Author: Barry Eisler
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: February 1, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.24

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
A fast-paced, page-turning novel of betrayal, vengeance, and depraved secrets in high places from the New York Times bestselling author of the John Rain and Livia Lone series.

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.


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

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.

This book 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.

This book was my pick for Amazon’s First Reads in January 2019.

Book Review: Death in Shangri-La by Yigal Zur

Death in Shangri-La by Yigal Zur

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Death in Shangri-La
Author: Yigal Zur
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publish Date: August 7, 2018
Genre: Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.95

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Ex-Israeli operative turned private investigator, Dotan Naor — to settle a bet — agrees to locate the missing son of former acquaintance, now ruthless Israeli arms merchant, Willy Mizrachi. Willy, who does not hesitate to sell killing machines to the most heinous players in the world, is desperate to find his only son, Itiel, who has headed to an ashram in the Himalayas.

The Himalayas are also host to groups of young Israelis who have completed their mandatory military service—a sort of rite of passage. Now, those innocent kids are being hunted down by violent terrorists.

India and the disputed Kashmir region between India and Pakistan is familiar territory to Dotan, as he searches for Itiel and for the source of these heinous attacks on Israeli youth.

Unwilling to leave this quest in the hands of Dotan, Willy also travels to India, where he is murdered in Delhi, triggering international repercussions capable of ripping the world apart at one of its most dangerous flashpoints.

Nothing is as it seems in this region of the world. Betrayal reigns everywhere.

But love, in its purest form, does manage to shine through in this story of brutal international corruption.


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
Dotan Naor is a former Israeli agent turned private investigator. Willy, an arms dealer and an acquaintance of Dotan, is found dead in India. Dotan travels to India with an Israeli agent to investigate Willy’s death.

Death in Shangri-La is the first book in a new series. The main character, Dotan, is a bit of an unknown. He seems like a smart, spiritual, and dedicated individual, so it’ll be interesting to see where this series goes.

An action thriller with some mystery and romance. While the setting and plot were entertaining, I wasn’t a fan of the characters – they were not as well-developed as I would have liked. Still, a quick and entertaining read.

I won a digital copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.

Book Review: Fireside Chat with a Grammar Nazi Serial Killer by Ryan Suvaal

Fireside Chat with a Grammar Nazi Serial Killer by Ryan Suvaal

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Fireside Chat with a Grammar Nazi Serial Killer
Author: Ryan Suvaal
Publisher: Self-Published
Publish Date: January 14, 2019
Genre: Crime Fiction
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.00 / Community 3.91

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Seventeen gruesome murders were reported across the United States, within a span of six months. Ohio, Minnesota, Arkansas and several other states were hit. There was one clear connection among victims, they were all book authors. While media was decorating the murders with sensationalist stories, and law enforcement was playing catch-up, the homicidal maniac remained elusive and secretive. Things got very interesting, however, when one day she decided to appear on an internet talk show for an honest fireside chat. Her reason for being on this show was not a quest for fame, but something much more disturbing.


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
A short story about a serial killer. The fireside chat takes place on the darknet, on a show that interviews some of society’s worst people. The latest chat features an interview with a serial killer who targets authors. The killer has murdered seventeen authors for the atrocious and cavalier grammar mistakes in their books. The killer has been dubbed the Grammar Nazi Serial Killer, and believes she has valid reasons for committing the murders.

A clever and twisted short story. The killings are violent and gruesome. The reasons for the killings are hilarious. If you like dark humor and serial killer stories, then this one is for you.

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: She Lies in Wait
Author: Gytha Lodge
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: January 8, 2019
Genre: Crime Fiction
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.88

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
A group of teens go camping, and one of them goes missing. Thirty years later, the missing girl’s remains are found. The investigation looks into what happened that night in the woods.

Told with alternating timelines – the night the teens gathered in the woods to camp and the investigation thirty years later. I enjoy the alternating timelines, especially when there is such a big difference in time. Aurora is the missing girl, and the past is told from her point of view. The present is from the investigation side. This worked well. It made it more intriguing to guess who of the teens were telling the truth and who was trying to hide something.

This is a straightforward police procedural. A girl goes missing, stays missing for years, then her body is discovered. The police investigate to find who killed her and why. I enjoy these types of books, but this one did fall a little flat. I didn’t really connect to the characters, so that held something back for me. It’s a good read though, and one I would recommend to fans of British crime fiction.

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer

Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Last Lullaby
Author: Carol Wyer
Publisher: Bookouture
Publish Date: December 7, 2018
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.49

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Charlotte’s baby is safe. But is she?

When the body of mother Charlotte Brannon is discovered by her husband Adam, in their bedroom, Detective Natalie Ward is first on the scene. The killer has left a chilling calling card: The word ‘Why?’ written on the wall in blood.

As Natalie begins to delve deeper into the couple’s lives, she discovers that Adam has a dark past he’s been hiding and she’s sure that the Brannon’s teenage babysitter Inge has secrets of her own.

Then another mother is murdered on her doorstep in front of her young son, the word ‘why’ scrawled on the wall next to her.

All the key suspects have alibis and with her own marriage hanging by a thread, Natalie is struggling to stay focused on cracking her toughest case yet.

When a young woman and her baby disappear, a member of Natalie’s own team is put in terrible danger. Can Natalie stop this twisted serial killer and save one of her own before more families are torn apart forever?


Buy from Amazon
Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
A woman’s husband finds her dead body in their home. Detective Natalie Ward is on the scene, and soon begins questioning everyone in the murdered woman’s life. The woman, her husband, and everyone connected to them seems to be keeping secrets. When a second woman’s body is discovered, and connected to the first crime, the field of suspects starts to narrow. Meanwhile, Natalie’s home life with her husband and kids is deteriorating, especially as she spends more time working.

This is the second book in the Detective Natalie Ward series by Carol Wyer. I have read the first book in the series, The Birthday, but this one could be read as a standalone novel. The crime in this novel is completely separate from the crime in the first book, but there are continuing story arcs involving Natalie’s family and work life. For my review of The Birthday, click here.

Well developed and intriguing characters. Dark and gripping story. The mystery is complex enough that it is not obvious who is behind the murder. I love when a story keeps me guessing. Overall, a great read for fans of crime thrillers.

I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.