Book Review –  Mares Nest by Larry Darter

Book Review – Mares Nest by Larry Darter

Book Review –

Mares Nest (A T.J. O’Sullivan Novel)

by Larry Darter

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Rodney Strong
Fiction Author
C.J. Shane
Fiction Author 

 


Book Review by Rodney Strong User Sign Up

Fun and Easy to Read

T.J O’Sullivan is an LA private investigator hired for a missing person case in Hawaii. As soon as she arrives things take a dramatic turn and suddenly she finds herself in a race to get a kidnapping victim back, as well as the ransom, all while fending off the lecherous advances of her client.

Darter has an easy writing style that suits the fast paced nature of thrillers.  This was a short book compared to others, and the first three quarters of the book flew past in no time at all.  The author has a good grasp of action sequences, and although the characters were a little cliched, they were well written and T.J in particular is a good mix of physically and mentally tough.

The author has given T.J a New Zealand background, and as a New Zealander myself it was fun to see the colloquialisms mixed throughout the book.  However there were instances where it jarred and didn’t fit with my image of the character.

There was a lull in the book in patches where the author seemed to be setting things up for future books rather than focusing on the story at hand, which was a little distracting, but overall I enjoyed the read.


The Reviewer is the Author of “Troy’s Possibilities” and “Murder in Paint

 


Book Review by C.J. Shane User Sign Up

 A Fast-Paced and Exciting Ride!

Hold on tight!  Larry Darter’s new series starring private investigator T.J. O’Sullivan is a fast-paced and exciting ride with plenty of twists and turns along the way!  T.J. is smart, tough, cheeky, highly skilled, and very self-confident. She’s definitely a gal to be reckoned with.

We first met T.J. when she helped Los Angeles PI Ben Malone on a case in Cold Comfort. Now Malone has sent her off on her own to Hawaii to try to find the missing daughter of a wealthy client. Immediately T.J. finds that the case is far more complicated than first described.  Mare’s Nest is an idiom that refers to a deliberate hoax and that’s exactly what T.J. stumbles upon. Danger abounds, especially when T.J. discovers that she’s been set up to take the fall for murder.

Actually I liked T.J. as a character a lot and I do hope author Darter will continue to bring us more T.J. Sullivan suspense thrillers. I especially liked the friendship she develops with a pilot named Jackie (every woman needs a real friend!) as well as a more romantic relationship with a police detective.

One issue that must be addressed: how much detail do we need to know about a protagonist in a suspense-thriller? We don’t want so much that the momentum is slowed down. But we don’t want so little information about the protagonist that the reader is left frustrated rather than intrigued. I would have been happy to have learned more about T.J.: why she ended up in L.A. instead of her native New Zealand, where she learned all those skills, and most of all, not just what she does, but also what she thinks and feels about the life she lives. Maybe future installments of the T.J. O’Sullivan series will fill in her picture.


The Reviewer is the Author of “Desert Jade

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Book Review –  The Carnival Keepers  by Amber Gulley

Book Review – The Carnival Keepers by Amber Gulley

Book Review –

The Carnival Keepers

by Amber Gulley

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Rodney Strong
Fiction Author
 

 


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A Solid Book With a Promise of Something Special

The Carnival Keepers by Amber Gulley follows the misadventures of James over the course of one day, as he seeks to complete a series of random bets made with his friend.  At least they seem random to James, but just like the carnival that has set up next to the river, there is more than meets the eye in this story.

This was a tricky book to read.  Early on in the story a character is brutally murdered by an unseen creature and things looked like they were heading down one path, only to take strange and unexpected turns along the way.  This isn’t a bad thing, but it means The Carnival Keepers is a book you need to focus on when reading, as it cuts between sets of characters, and between first and third person POV, quite a bit.

There were some very well written passages in the book, especially the action sequences, where the author lets things flow and everything moves along at a cracking pace.  It’s the other parts where the story fell down for me.  It was a little like death by adjective in places, with it not uncommon to find sentences containing three or four of them.  The over abundance of descriptions serves to slow the story down.  The second concern I had with the story is that there never seemed to be a clear idea of where it was going.  It ducked and weaved so much it was difficult to see where the author was going, which is a shame because the premise and the early stages of the story held such promise.

As I said Gulley writes extremely well in places and I will be interested to look at some of her other work to see what evolves, but for me this was a solid book with a hint of what could have been special.


The Reviewer is the Author of “Troy’s Possibilities” and “Murder in Paint

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free book Giveaway : Mare’s Nest (A T.J. O’Sullivan Novel)  by Larry Darter

free book Giveaway : Mare’s Nest (A T.J. O’Sullivan Novel) by Larry Darter

free book Giveaway : Mare’s Nest (A T.J. O’Sullivan Novel)

by Larry Darter

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  • 20 eBook(s) for reviews (7 given, 13 remaining)
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– ends 19th June 2018
Genre:

 thriller

Blurb:

From the author of the Malone Mystery series comes a smart, sassy, sexy new P.I., T. J. O’Sullivan. A Los Angeles transplant from New Zealand, T. J. has the accent and the attitude to go with it.

When Los Angeles P.I. T. J. O’Sullivan is sent to Honolulu by her boss to track down a client’s missing daughter, it seems like a simple missing person case. O’Sullivan is excited by the prospect of mixing a little business with some pleasure on the beaches of Waikiki. But the case turns out to be anything but routine. In fact, it becomes a regular mare’s nest of extortion, betrayal, and murder.

Only after arriving in Hawaii does T. J. learn from the client his daughter didn’t actually go missing. Instead, she has been abducted and is being held for ransom. To make matters worse, while T. J. tries to get a lead on the daughter, she has to fend off the sexual advances of her predatory client. The client gets murdered, and T. J. gets framed. Now she must solve at least one murder to prove her own innocence, resolve a criminal conspiracy involving her dead client’s own family, and save herself from the clutches of some serious bad guys.

Author’s Message:

This is the first book in a new series featuring T. J. O’Sullivan, who previously was a supporting character in Cold Comfort, the third novel in the Malone Mysteries series. If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat detective thrillers featuring a woman sleuth as the strong female protagonist, you’ll love Mare’s Nest. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 

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Book Review – Bridgers : A Parable by Angie Thompson

Book Review – Bridgers : A Parable by Angie Thompson

book review –

Book Review – Bridgers : A Parable

by Angie Thompson

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2 Bloggers Review

 
Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
 Dale E Lehman
Thriller Author

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Fish Sticks And Joan Of Arc

Bridgers: A Parable by Angie Thompson – wow, wow, wow! What a powerful contemporary telling of The Good Samaritan. Bridgers is an amazing read, packed full of Godly truths.

God came for everyone. God loves everyone. Who are we to judge when we should be loving?

Just as in the Biblical story, people walk on by with excuses for not helping. “I needed to get to church.”

A young man, rough to look at but with the seed of the love of God planted in his heart, lives out the love of God. He prays “begging a God you’re not even sure exists” to help him.

The novel urges us to be the change we want to see. We need to be the ones bridging the gap. We need to not just talk the talk but walk the walk. The novel asks “where would Jesus be?” He would be with the people who need Him most and need to hear about Him. Jesus asks us to do the same. “Don’t ever underestimate what God is doing through a willing vessel.”

Too many of us spend too much time on our appearances. We end up looking good without necessarily being good.

Bridgers: A Parable is just such a powerful read. Read it in tandem with the parable of The Good Samaritan in the Bible. Our God is a great big God who loves everyone. I will leave you with my favourite quote:

“He is stronger… than addiction… than fear… than any chain the enemy can use to bind us.”

I received this book from The Book Gobbler for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 

Reviewed by Dale E. Lehman

A Smart and Funny Retelling of the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Upscale Woodbridge is separated from its neighbor and polar opposite Graveside by a river crossed by a single bridge. The social divide between the communities is alive and well at the local high school, which serves students from both sides of the river. There, teenagers from Graveside call the those from Woodbridge “bridgers,” while Woodbridge students just call their Graveside counterparts deadbeats. Fear and suspicion keep the two groups from mixing except under the most acrimonious circumstances.

One evening, track team member Brett Martens is running on the wrong side of the bridge when he’s attacked by a group of gang members and left for dead. Enter DaVonte Jones, a student from Graveside, who finds him and, knowing nothing of religion except that God cares for all people, goes to extraordinary lengths to get Brett to the hospital. This simple but heroic act of kindness sets off a chain of events destined to bring DaVonte into a fuller knowledge of God and to transform relationships in the two communities.

“Bridgers” is a smart and sometimes funny retelling of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Aimed at a YA audience, it carries a strong, overtly Christian message, but because the focus is on universal principles, it can be appreciated by people of all religions. The tale unfolds through the eyes of a wonderfully drawn cast of characters, primarily young people but with a few key adults helping them along. The somewhat unusual device of telling DaVonte’s parts in first person and the rest in third works beautifully. My last real experience reading YA fiction was when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, but nothing here is dumbed down, so everything ticked along for me. You don’t want to put this book down, and it’s short enough that you may not have to. Five stars for story, five stars for writing, and five stars overall. Brava, Ms. Thompson!


The Reviewer is the Author of “The Fibonacci Murders” ,”True Death” and “Ice on the Bay

This review will feature in his blog www.DaleELehman.com

 


 
Thriller Book Review – Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

Thriller Book Review – Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

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Book Review – Do Not Ask

by Elaine Williams Crockett

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2 Blogger Reviews

Dianne James Book Blogger
 Joni Dee
Thriller Author, BookGobbler Admin
 Dianne James 
Blogger & Reader
 Jordan Armstrong
BookGobbler Reader
Shrabastee Chakraborty
BookGobbler Reader

 


 

Book Review by Joni Dee User Sign Up

A Good Thriller Which Will Make You Bite Your Nails.

“Do Not Ask” by Elaine Williams Crockett is the second book featuring Judge Warren Alexander, a former FBI agent who is now a Supreme Court Justice. Let me start by saying that this novel can be read as a standalone, and I felt no need to read the former book “Do Not Assume” in order to understand what’s going on, which was a very good start, ‘in my book’.

I have been searching for a good political related thriller, and I must first state that despite its problems, “Do Not Ask” has a fresh take on things, ditching the norm of an investigating agent/officer/spy. I found this refreshing, and I even learned to embrace the changeovers between the omnipotent narrator and Alexander’s own perspective, narrated by himself.

 

Justice Warren Alexander is being asked to help investigate the disappearance (and possible murder) of the president’s twin daughters, who had a casual affair with his promiscuous skirt-chaser son-in-law and old college buddy – Davis Rideout. At the same time, his legal aid Lilly had disappeared, all evidence pointing at Justice A himself. The entire plot revolves around Davis’ riverside country estate-mansion “Blackhall” which is engulfed in mystery due to the suicide of Josephine Rideout, sometime in the 19th century.

I can go on with the plot, but the novel takes you through many characters, the author dispersing so many misleading clues from one to the other, that anything above my brief intro will spoil it. Once you accepted that Justice A does things in an unorthodox way, insisting on being both an FBI agent, a defence attorney and a judge (I seriously doubt anyone would risk his prestigious justice position/reputation like him) – then you really grow fond of him.
As stated above, Ms. Crockett does well to shift the suspicion from one character to the other, and up until the end – you would suspect someone else, who may or may not be the eventual culprit. I normally get this right from the first few chapter, so hat’s off and great job!

 

The novel is not without flaws, which for me – meant it could have been a real smash otherwise. These start to emerge around half way through, and comprise from small problems with details, characters which supposedly play a big role but aren’t deep enough and then this plot-line is neglected (such as the role of The National Adviser to the president), too much information on late-introduced character (such as an art collector, who should have been introduced much sooner).

In more than one occasions it seemed like new material is introduce to fit the author’s ultimate conclusion, rather than introduce these sooner and let us – the readers – have a crack at solving the case ourselves.

 

Despite these issues, I was biting my nails as I wanted to see who is the culprit, so I must say Ms. Crockett did a very good job as a suspense author. At the end of the day, a novel – especially a  thriller – is measured by whether the reader enjoyed it or not, and I full-mouthed say that I enjoyed it. It made me want to read the previous Judge Alexander novel.


The reviewer is the author of “And the Wolf Shall Dwell“, a political-spy thriller.

Dianne James Book Blogger Reviewed by Dianne James User Sign Up

I Loved It! It Kept Me on the Edge of My Seat…

The President’s twin daughters disappear sparking an FBI investigation. Supreme Court Justice Warren Alexander, a former FBI agent, gets involved in the investigation and when his law clerk also disappears, he is convinced the two cases are connected.
The three bodies are all found at Blackhall, the family estate of his son in law, Davis Rideout.

This story has it all; sex, politics, blackmail and murder. It’s a twisty legal thriller, an intriguing murder investigation, and in the background, the dark family history surrounding Blackhall.

It is a gripping tale that will definitely grab you right at the start and hold you enthralled till the end. The characters are well developed and the plot is cleverly constructed, providing plenty of unexpected surprises. The author’s writing style is straight forward and unemotional, totally appropriate to the story, and the scientific details of DNA are clearly explained so as to be understandable even to my unscientific brain.

I loved it! It kept me on the edge of my seat and the journey to the truth excited me every step of the way. It’s a great read in every sense and I highly recommend it.


Originally posted on “Once Upon a Place” Blog
Dianne is running the book review blog Novel Experiences

 

Book Review by Jordan Armstrong User Sign Up

I Absolutely Loved This Book.

“Do Not Ask” is a fast paced crime/legal thriller that I just couldn’t seem to put down! The numerous twists and turns kept you guessing right to the very end. The detail in the entire book really helped to immerse the reader into the story.

 

As this is the second book, it was not necessary to read the one that proceeds it (although I can’t wait to read ‘Do Not Assume’). The characters were well developed and the back story from the first book was mentioned in enough detail to keep the reader informed without ruining the first book. The plot of the story flowed well, and was very realistic.

 

This was my first book by Elaine Williams Crockett, but it definitely will not be the last; bring on ‘Do Not Assume’! Thanks again for the book!


 

  Book Review by Shrabastee Chakraborty
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A Gripping Tale with Layers after Layers of Mystery

“Do Not Ask’ by Elaine Williams Crockett is the second book of the series featuring Justice Warren Alexander. However, the reader does not need to read the first book in order to enjoy the second one. And enjoyable it is, indeed!
The President’s twin daughters are missing. Are they innocent victims of a hideous crime, or is there more to them than meets the eye? The plot thickens when Justice Alexander’s law clerk goes missing, too. Are the two crimes linked? Is there a serial killer on the loose? The FBI incriminates the old caretaker of Blackhall Manor, where all three bodies are eventually found. Is the owner of the manor – who is also the philandering ex-roommate-cum-son-in-law of the Justice – involved in some way? Then why do all evidences point to the Justice himself as the prime suspect for the murder of his law clerk?

 

What if all the theories are wrong, and a vengeful spirit from the past is actually behind the crimes, as the Justice’s daughter believes?
All these questions are answered as the plot gradually builds up to reach the climax. Several twists in the plot prove that everything is not as simple as it apparently seems. The moment we think we have got it, yet another mystery unravels and stumps us. The pace steadily uphill, the story never dull, once I started the book, I felt compelled to finish.

 

The character portrayals are beautiful. The President’s anguish over his lost daughters; the protagonist’s concern for his own daughter’s well-being and safety; the caretaker’s sense of loyalty; the son-in-law’s love for the caretaker, who was also his childhood refuge- are a few of the instances which show us the brighter sides of human nature and relations. On the other hand, dark undertones in the characters of outwardly distinguished persons are revealed as the mysteries gradually unfold.

 

Abduction, murders, extramarital affairs, devious schemes, betrayals, suspense, a tinge of supernatural- this book has got the entire package and should be a ‘must read’ for all thriller-lovers.


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Book Review – No More Heroes by Roo I. MacLeod

Book Review – No More Heroes by Roo I. MacLeod

Book Review –

No More Heroes

by Roo I. MacLeod

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

 

Rodney Strong
Fiction Author
 

 


Book Review by Rodney Strong

Difficult to get into but picks up the pace nicely…

No More Hereos is a dystopian thriller set in some unknown time where society is governed by the Man, and various factions fight against each other. In the middle of all this is Ben, the protagonist who really just wants to keep his head down and drift through life. He’s run away from the draft, not interested in fighting in the Man’s war, and now dodges the Army, amongst others. His life is drinking and smoking and hanging out with friends. Until one day an old friend shows up asking him to deliver a bag to his mother for him. Before Ben can answer chaos erupts and the friend is killed and the bag disappears. The only trouble is alot of people seem to think Ben still has the bag. And thus the plot develops.

I liked the character of Ben. At first he seems a little one dimensional, but as the book goes on we begin to see different deeps to his personality. Likewise some of the secondary characters are well formed and in varying stages of likeability (You’re not supposed to like them all, which means the author has done their job right).

The plot does wear thin in spots and there are some scenes that seem to be there for padding, not really adding to the main story, but the description of the action is done well, and there’s plenty of it.

I did find the first 40-50 pages difficult to get into though. There was a lot of overwriting in the beginning, with almost wall to wall adjectives for a bit. However the author settled into their work nicely, and the story really started to flow.

I would read more work from this author, and the ending of the book sets up a sequel, so it will be interesting to see where Ben goes next.


The Reviewer is the Author of “Troy’s Possibilities” and “Murder in Paint