Book Review: The Sleepover by Carol Wyer

The Sleepover by Carol Wyer

BOOK INFO
Title: The Sleepover
Author: Carol Wyer
Publisher: Bookouture
Publish Date: September 5, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Series: Detective Natalie Ward #4
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.73

BOOK BLURB
via Amazon:
She said she’d gone to a sleepover. But she never made it. Someone must know why…

When Detective Natalie Ward is called to the home of fourteen-year-old Roxy Curtis she can’t help but empathise with Roxy’s distraught mother Cathy. Roxy hasn’t come home, last seen heading next door for a sleepover with her best friend Ellie. As the mother of two teenagers herself, Natalie knows that this is every parent’s worst nightmare.

But when Roxy’s body is found in the basement of a beautiful Victorian mansion on the other side of town, Natalie’s darkest fears are confirmed. What was Roxy doing there? The people who knew her best should know – but Cathy seems evasive, and Ellie refuses to talk. Natalie is determined to find out what secrets they are keeping…

Then Roxy’s mother Cathy disappears.

When her body is found two days later, Natalie is forced to face the fact that Roxy’s loved ones are in real danger. Things take a more sinister turn when Ellie vanishes, her mobile phone switched off. Is Ellie hiding something about the night Roxy died that could put her in terrible danger? And can Natalie work it out before another innocent life is taken?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will keep you flying through the pages long into the night. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.


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MY REVIEW
The fourth book in the Detective Natalie Ward series by Carol Wyer. In The Sleepover, Natalie and her team investigate the mysterious death of Roxy, a fourteen-year-old girl. Roxy’s remains were found in the burned home of two brothers, who seem to have no connection to Roxy. The team questions everyone in Roxy’s life, and it seems everyone is keeping secrets.

The mystery is intriguing and not easy to figure out. I love a crime novel that keeps me guessing as to who is behind the crime, and this one delivers on that. The characters are complex and captivating. I enjoy how this series blends the personal and professional lives of Natalie and her team. It makes the characters more real.

This book could be read as a standalone, but I recommend starting with book 1, The Birthday. The crime that the team investigates is different for each book, but the personal dramas in the team members lives continues.

A fantastic crime series. I highly recommend this series to fans of police procedurals. Gritty, complex, and compelling.

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


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 Review: Treacherous Strand by Andrea Carter

Treacherous Strand by Andrea Carter

BOOK INFO
Title: Treacherous Strand
Author: Andrea Carter
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publish Date: September 3, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Series: Inishowen Mysteries #2
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.04

BOOK BLURB
via Amazon:
Perfect for mystery readers who enjoy character driven mysteries, with a strong female protagonist and a powerful sense of place

A woman’s body washes up on a remote beach on the Inishowen Peninsula. Partially clothed, with a strange tattoo on her thigh, she is identified as Marguerite Etienne, a French woman who has been living in the area. Solicitor Ben (Benedicta) O’Keeffe is consumed by guilt: for the second time in her life Ben has failed someone who needed her, with tragic consequences. When local sergeant Tom Molloy dismisses Marguerite’s death as the suicide of a disturbed and lonely woman, Ben cannot let it lie. Ben uncovers Marguerite’s strange past as a member of a French doomsday cult, which she escaped twenty years previously, but not without leaving her baby daughter behind. Disturbed by what appears to be chilling local indifference to Marguerite’s death, Ben pieces together the last few weeks of the French woman’s life in Inishowen. What she discovers causes her to question the fragile nature of her own position in the area, and she finds herself crossing boundaries—both personal and professional—to unearth local secrets long buried.

Treacherous Strand is the second in a series of mysteries set in the fictional town of Glendara on the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal with amateur sleuth, solicitor Ben O’Keeffe. These atmospheric and immersive mysteries are being adapted as elevision series to be filmed in Inishowen.


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MY REVIEW
Treacherous Strand is the second book in the Inishowen Mysteries series by Andrea Carter. Ben (Benedicta) O’Keeffe is back with another mystery in the small town of Glendara. When Marguerite, one of Ben’s clients, ends up dead, Ben believes the death to be suspicious. The more Ben uncovers about Marguerite’s life, the more she believes Marguerite was killed.

An atmospheric amateur sleuth story. Ben is an attorney living in a small Irish town. It is a very close-knit community, where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Ben moved to the town several years earlier, and is still considered an outsider. She doesn’t know the family histories and the stories from the town’s past. She’s learning though. With her work and occasional sleuthing, she’s picked up a lot of info about some of the locals.

I recommend reading the first book in this series, Death at Whitewater Church, before this one. While the mystery and some of the characters are new, the recurring characters have a history that progresses between books.

This book reads almost like a cozy mystery – small town, quirky characters, and an amateur sleuth. There is a little romance thrown in, but the story focuses more on the mystery than Ben’s love life. An enjoyable read for fans of cozies with atmospheric settings.

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


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 Review: No Good Deed by James Swain

No Good Deed by James Swain

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: No Good Deed
Author: James Swain
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: August 20, 2019
Genre: Mystery
Series: Lancaster & Daniels #2
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.43

BOOK BLURB
via Amazon:
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.


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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 free advance digital copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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 Review: Cold Woods by Karen Katchur

Cold Woods by Karen Katchur


BOOK INFO

Title: Cold Woods
Author: Karen Katchur
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: August 13, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Series: Northampton County #2
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.25


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.


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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.

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.

This is the second book in the Northampton County series. This book can be read as a standalone. My review for the first book, River Bodies can be found here.

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 free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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 Review: Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger

BOOK INFO
Title: Girls Like Us
Author: Cristina Alger
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publish Date: July 2, 2019
Genre: Mystery
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.99

BOOK BLURB
via Amazon:
From the celebrated and 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 brutally 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.

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger
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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 free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


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 Review: The Dare by Carol Wyer

The Dare by Carol Wyer

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 Dare
Author: Carol Wyer
Publisher: Bookouture
Publish Date: April 25, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.65

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Jane’s daughter is a good girl. But what is she hiding?

When thirteen-year-old Savannah Hopkins doesn’t come straight home from school as she always does, her mother Jane immediately raises the alarm. With her blonde ponytail and red school jumper, someone must have spotted Savannah.

Detective Natalie Ward is determined to help the distraught mother – her own daughter is the same age as Savannah. But before Natalie and her team can get started, their worst fears are confirmed when the teenager’s broken body is found in nearby shrubland.

Evidence points towards a local recluse, but just as Natalie closes the net around him, one of Savannah’s friends, Harriet, is reported missing. Harriet might look grown up and sophisticated but she is only fourteen…

As Natalie delves into the lives of both girls, she soon discovers a sinister video on both their phones, daring the girls to disappear from their families for 48 hours. She’s sure this is the key to the case, but before she can act, Harriet’s body is found discarded on a roadside.

Natalie’s superiors don’t have to put any extra pressure on Natalie. Devastated, she and her team work without sleep, watching that video over and over. But just as she thinks they’re getting close, the person Natalie loves more than anything goes missing.

Natalie is no stranger to loss. She is terrified and the clock is ticking. Can she push through her fear to catch this depraved killer, before her loved one becomes the next victim?


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MY REVIEW
The third book in the Detective Natalie Ward series by Carol Wyer. In The Dare, Natalie and her team investigate a case involving missing girls. The police work to find the first missing girl, and soon learn they are too late to save her. Another girl goes missing, and the race is on to find who is behind the terrible crimes.

This is a crime mystery series, but it interweaves some of the investigators personal stories. In this book, Natalie’s marriage is strained and she feels disconnected from her two teen children. Since Natalie has a young teen daughter, she feels more of a personal connection to this case. The mystery is good, and the addition of more personal details makes Natalie a stronger character.

A great series for fans of police procedurals. The Dare is a good book in this series, though I did enjoy the first two books a little more than this one. This is a series I look forward to reading, and I can’t wait for the next book. A complex and gripping page-turner.

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

Book Review: Catch Your Death by Kierney Scott

Catch Your Death by Kierney Scott

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: Catch Your Death
Author: Kierney Scott
Publisher: Bookouture
Publish Date: April 15, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.92

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
The scene played over and over in his mind. He only had one choice left. He had to die.

Behind the high and imposing gates of a prestigious college, five students have taken their lives. All of them friends, all of them good kids, all of them dead within months of each other. When FBI Agent Jess Bishop is called in to investigate, what she discovers will make her just as vulnerable as the students she’s trying to protect.

As Jess begins to unravel the secrets behind the deaths, she uncovers something much more sinister at the school and she is determined to find out who is at the centre of it.

Though her team think they’re closing in on the ringleader, Jess becomes convinced they’re going after the wrong person, forcing her to investigate on her own. Desperate to stop any more deaths, she risks everything by putting herself in the firing line. But just how far would she go to save the lives of those around her?


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MY REVIEW
The third book in the Detective Jess Bishop series by Kierney Scott. In this latest book, FBI Agent Jess Bishop investigates a series of apparent suicides at a prestigious boarding school.

While the case Jess investigates is a standalone story, I recommend reading the previous books in the series to better understand the backstory of Jess and the other characters. Jess is a troubled FBI agent with a past she would rather others not know about. She is smart, independent, headstrong, and good a solving difficult cases.

In this book, Jess ends up investigating a series of deaths that have a connection to a coworker. While Jess is the main character, there are other interesting characters on her investigative team. Each of the characters has a distinct personality. I’ve read the previous two books, and find with each book that the characters become better developed. I would like to learn more about some of them, and as the series continues, I expect for this to happen.

An action-packed mystery. Good for fans of crime thrillers. Suspenseful, intriguing, and complex.

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

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: March 26, 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?


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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…


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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.


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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.