Book Review – The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Book Review – The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Book Review –

The Munich Girl

by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

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 Joni Dee
Thriller Author, BookGobbler Admin

 


 

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Some Stones Are Best Left Unturned

As I’m sitting in front of the laptop trying to review “The Munich Girl”, an historical fiction / romance  novel by Phyllis Edgerly Ring, my mind stutters. How does one sum-up an emotional roller-coaster ride, which not only sees the highs and lows of its protagonist’s story but of WWII, Adolf Hitler and Eva Brown.

Anna is anything but a confident woman. She is normally full of self -doubt, and does her best to attend to her husband’s needs and demands, serving as both his academic editor, and housewife, while helping him to cost-effectively run his late father’s WWII magazine.
All this is about to change, as Anna discovers a link between her late mother Peggy (who’s half German) and Eva Brown, the notorious tyrant’s mistress. A simple article which Anna sets upon to write for the magazine spirals into a quest after her mother’s old life in Germany during the war, when an old manuscript that Peggy had written resurfaces.
Oh, and there’s Hannes. The mysterious German who pops into her life and seems to be on top everything, especially when she needs him the most. This is a story within a story within a story, that will take us on a journey to Eva Brown’s life story.

I am rather ambiguous about “The Munich Girl”. Let’s start with the one undoubtful thing: Ms. Ring’s writing is superb. It is fluent, descriptive and accurate. The fact that some of the dialogues are in German (and translated) does not hurt the above, and in fact that is hardly noticed. Great job by the author on that front.

The fact that Anna discovers a manuscript is okay, however Anna’s time-line is not continuous. It’s divided to before/after a significant event, and I have found myself struggling at times to understand whether this is the “pre-event” Anna or not.

While the story itself is very compelling, and has twists and turns, some plot milestones were a bit too “convenient” for me. Without giving away any spoilers: While the Peggy/Eva Brown manuscript was fascinating, I found Anna’s story hard to believe, especially her husband’s fate, who is probably the most underdeveloped character in the book.

In a complete contrast, all the other characters were extremely developed and complex, which brings to my ultimate issue with “The Munich Girl”:
The novel gives a voice to Eva Brown, portraying her in a complex psychological light, and at times as kind and compassionate. Personally, whether Ms. Brown was like that or not, I find it hard to cope with novels which romanticize, to any extent, Nazi Germany and its key figures. Sure, there were good Germans at the time, yet I think their contribution to the German history is negligible compared to the atrocities done by the German state and its accomplices.
Whether Eva Brown was among them or not, is irrelevant, she has made her historical choice by being the lover of a mad mass murderer, and standing by his side (and if she indeed prevented his order to execute the POWs in Germany as this novel claims, it was too little too late).

I had a similar issue with “Alone in Berlin” by Hans Fallada, but while “Alone in Berlin” handles the lives of everyday people, I found that Ms. Ring – perhaps unintentionally – had made the Hitler-Brown relationship to a touching love affair. A stone that I thought would have been best left unturned.

The novel gets 4/5 stars, I did enjoy reading it, although as I mentioned it has some complications. I’ll let you be the moral judges of the historical events.


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

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Book Review – The Mother of All Things  by Gabriel Blake

Book Review – The Mother of All Things by Gabriel Blake

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Book Review –

The Mother of All Things

by Gabriel Blake

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Rodney Strong
Fiction Author
 Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic

 


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Blake Has Done a Superb Job, for a First Book

The return home was supposed to be a fresh start for Elaine, after the abduction and murder of her child years earlier, and the subsequent break up of her marriage. She moves back into the family home and throws herself into rebuilding both the house, and her life.  But going back is never easy, and Elaine finds herself facing demons, both past and present, in a fight for her very sanity.

The Mother of All Things is a very well written book, with complex and detailed characters, a plot that twists and turns enough to maintain interest all the way through, and an interesting ending. Blake has done a superb job for a first book. Elaine in particular is a character that readers grow to know, and yet feel like there is always something we don’t know about her. This is a tricky thing to do, yet the author does a great job with it.

This was almost a 5 star review, but the one thing that tripped me up, and this may just be a personal taste thing, was POV.  Elaine is the main character, yet the author constantly uses an omnipotent POV, rapidly switching between characters on the same page, and sometimes in the same paragraph.  I can understand that there are sometimes things the author wants readers to know to progress the story, but there was often too much of it, and not all of it seemed necessary for plot.  There was also alot of bloodshed at the end of the book, again not all of it seemed necessary for character or plot development.

However, that point aside, this was an excellent read, and I look forward to seeing what Mr Blake does next.

4 out of 5 stars


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

 

Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Telling The Story

The Mother Of All Things by Gabriel Blake is a contemporary psychological horror suspense that completely drew me in. I have never read this genre before but was totally absorbed in the action.

The novel has the reader questioning, what is real? What is imagined? Who is telling the truth? And who is lying? There seems to be a fine line between reality and imagination. There were times when I believed the action was real, only to find I was wrong – or was I?

A mother’s love knows no bounds. What lengths would you go to to protect your children?

The mind is a powerful tool. It can be manipulated. It can be shut down but watch out when the doors are unlocked. “Other doors began to open in her mind.”

Loss consumes. You cannot just ‘get over it.’ Some losses are just too painful. “I can’t stop the hurt.”

There are crimes and mysteries to solve. As the body count rises, the reader is even more mystified as to who the perpetrator is. I suspected just about everyone.

The characters are well drawn. The lead character took up residence in my head. I ‘lived’ the action through her.

Gabriel Blake imagined a very well thought out plot-line with twists and turns that kept the action alive and me on tenterhooks. There were definitely jaw dropping moments. An excellent novel that would translate well into a movie.

A word of caution- this novel does contain language and scenes some readers may not like. I found there was too much detail in the bedroom scenes so I skipped over them. It did not detract from the story though.

On a lighter note – locations are important. Imagine my surprise, having grown up in Solihull, to see ‘Aldersbrook Road, Solihull’ mentioned. I went to Alderbrook School and my parents used to park the car in Alderbrook Road to drop me off or pick up. I could easily imagine the leafy suburb and the huge houses. Thank you Gabriel Blake for bringing a wow moment to me.

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


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 

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Free eBook Giveaway : Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) The Resurrection Trinity  by Pete Planisek

Free eBook Giveaway : Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) The Resurrection Trinity by Pete Planisek

Free eBook Giveaway : Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) The Resurrection Trinity

by Pete Planisek

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Genre:

Horror, Action/Adventure, Science Fiction, Romance, Thriller/Mystery

Blurb:

Ten years after the loss of his entire family to madness and death, Ernest Frankenstein finds himself compelled to return to the city of his birth, Geneva, in order to discover if his elder brother, Victor, might still be alive. Only Victor can provide the answers to questions, which have long plagued Ernest. The quest for answers will force Ernest to confront demons, both internal and external, from his past, which refuse to be at peace and which ultimately will endanger both he and his new family. Hunted across Europe their only hope may lie with a French spy, Ernest’s childhood friend, and a mysterious gypsy girl whose people believe that Ernest will lead humanity to its salvation or final destruction.

Frankenstein A Life Beyond by Pete Planisek is a direct sequel to Mary Shelley’s iconic story, Frankenstein, which examined Victor Frankenstein’s quest to both create and kill an unnamed creature that ultimately destroys all but one member of the Frankenstein family, Victor’s brother, Ernest.  Frankenstein A Life Beyond explores many of the issues left open by the original while establishing new characters and mysteries.

 

Message from the author:

This novel has been written so that you can follow the plot and characters even if you have never read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Book 2 of this series, Frankenstein Soul’s Echo (Book 2 of 3) The Resurrection Trinity, is also currently available in hardcover and as an ebook.

 

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Free eBook Giveaway :  The Mother of all Things  by Gabriel Blake

Free eBook Giveaway :  The Mother of all Things by Gabriel Blake

Free eBook Giveaway :  The Mother of all Things

by Gabriel Blake

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Genre:

Drama, Horror, Thriller / Mystery

Blurb:

It was supposed to be a new beginning for Elaine Davis. Returning to her childhood home in North Yorkshire, she hopes to move on from a devastating past and rebuild her life with the help of her mother and children. Sometimes though, new beginnings in familiar surroundings can come with the stirrings of memories long forgotten. As Elaine’s mind begins to unravel, discoveries of deceit and betrayal reveal themselves and circumstances spiral beyond her control.
Elaine must fight to hold on to her sanity; unless of course, she has already lost it?
The Mother Of All Things is the outstanding debut psychological thriller from author Gabriel Blake. A fast-paced and thrilling read as we find ourselves immersed in the anguished and confused mind of Elaine Davis as she struggles with grief, mental health, reality, and a past she doesn’t remember.

The Mother Of All Things is the outstanding debut psychological thriller from author Gabriel Blake. A fast-paced and thrilling read as we find ourselves immersed in the anguished and confused

Message from the author:

 I sit here in my chair, lost in a mind that knows no boundaries. I seek new adventures, places to visit, and can become anything I want. Nothing can hold me back. I can see into distant or not so distant worlds through the minds of others. Read a book my friends and you can too.
Thank you all for reading this, and of course, if you read my stories and enjoy them, know that it means the absolute world to me.
Reviews are a writers friend and the readers that write them have seen into our souls.

 

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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 

 


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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

 


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 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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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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– 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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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 
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 Jordan Armstrong
BookGobbler Reader
Shrabastee Chakraborty
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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

 

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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 : Murder in Paint by Rodney Strong

Book Review : Murder in Paint by Rodney Strong

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Book Review – Murder in Paint

by Rodney Strong

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3 Blogger Reviews

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 Joni Dee
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Thoroughly Enjoyable Art-Elemented Thriller!

Murder in Paint is the second novel by Rodney Strong, who’s a Wellington, NZ based author. I’ve read Rodney’s debut “Troy’s Possibilities” which was an unorthodox fiction novel, and stood first in line to read “Murder in Paint”, which is Strong’s attempt of a thriller. I was not disappointed.

As a thriller author myself I always enjoy exploring other sub-genres, with an extra attraction to either political or art, the latter being a rare find. I’ve approached this novel cautiously, as like Strong’s previous novel, there is a dominant element of supernatural, and I’m not normally into such things. In this case, the anti-hero protagonist, Oliver Atkinson, reluctantly “picks up” a “hitchhiker” in the cemetery – a spirit called Violet Tumbleton – who becomes a constant presence in his head. It kind of reminded me of “Defender” by G X Todd, which is a rather unknown newish novel about an apocalyptic world where people get the “gift” of self-aware beings, voices, stuck in their heads.

Urged by the long dead Violet to find the con-woman who “stole” her name, Oliver, is sucked into a whirlpool of art-theft and a murder investigation. Fake Violet, aka Amanda, cons and steals for a living, but after a painting she sold had gone missing, and the art dealer found dead, she is picked up by the police. She then names Oliver, who she randomly met, as her partner. Oliver, who’s a stay-at-home-dad that quit his 9-5 job in pursuit of a career as an author (probably loosely based on Mr Strong, who has done the same) is anything but the cunning partner you’d want on a task like this. With the police breathing done his neck, a hired-thug called Victor who believes Oliver knows where the painting is, Amanda’s shenanigans and Violet in his head, Oliver is forced to take control of his life again.

Let me just start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. The supernatural element has completely slipped off my mind, and the interaction between Oliver and Violet seemed so natural that I nearly forgot to mention she’s a spirit of a long-dead woman in my review! Oliver is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and his suburban life is thrown into a mess, which he doesn’t know how to approach, left alone solve. His reliance on a con-artist is both believable and aggravating, I really wanted to shout to the pages “snap out of it mate!”, but it’s also part of his charm. A character I could very well identify with, as it seems like my life has the same kids-induced mess, as his.

Strong’s writing is accurate, without being rigid, the book flows, and I found myself waiting for my work commutes, in order to get on with it. The art plot, as the main drive behind the mystery was great, and Strong has done such a great job making it plausible, that I actually opened Google to search for the artists he mentions, disappointed to find they weren’t real.
If I must point out a flaw, is that the resolution was a bit expected, nor was the climax too nail-biting, however – it was not disappointing. There were also a couple of opportunities where it seemed neither Oliver nor Strong knew how the former will get out of a situation he had gotten himself into, and the latter spared us the dialogue which got him out of it. It wasn’t common but it stuck out. Also, I’d expected a few more questions from Oliver about the afterlife (!) – not necessarily answers.

All in all a great thriller, I really liked it, 4.5 stars is the proper score. Looking forward to the next one, in what appears to be the start of a series.


 

Book Review by Rodney Strong User Sign Up

An unexpected Hitchhiker Leads to a Murder

I read Rodney Strong’s debut novel, Troy’s Possibilities, last year and absolutely loved it! Now Strong is back with his new novel Murder in Paint. I’m a murder mystery gal at heart and I jumped at the chance to read it and see how Strong moved into a new genre.

Oliver is an aspiring writing. He spends his days researching and typing out his new, take-the-world-by-storm novel. Just kidding. . . He spends most of his time doing laundry, cleaning up after his two kids, and making sure he gets them to their various activities somewhat on time. And there’s no time for writing his book.

Oliver has been floating through life as a stay at home husband/dad. But circumstances take an unexpected turn when he picks up a hitchhiker at the cemetery.

Violet Tumbleton has been dead for a long time, but she has now returned. Someone has stolen Violet’s name and she wants it back. There’s only one problem, she’s a voice inside Oliver’s head.

Oliver and Violet team up to find who the fake Violet is. But in their discovery, they become entangled with an art thief, a murder, and there’s still more danger coming.

One of the things I love about Strong’s main characters is that they are so raw. Oliver is absolutely believable and relatable. Everything he does and thinks is what a real person would do. His life isn’t perfect, actually it’s complete chaos with two little cyclones running around. He’s the charming, stay-at-home-husband next door.

I have two elements I do want to address: the murder itself and Oliver’s wife Jennifer. The murder does not take a main role in the story until much later. I honestly forgot there was a murder in the story for a while. Jennifer’s reaction to the whole situation is unbelievable to me. There is a murder on the loose, her family (including two children) is being threatened, and the reaction is very underplayed.

The story itself is quite similar to the Stephanie Plum series: there’s action, bad guys, and enough humor that will keep you chuckling for the rest of the afternoon. It’s a great beach read or a ‘sunny afternoon’ read. And the ending had me bursting out laughing! I can’t wait to see what the next book has in store!

Murder in Paint by Rodney Strong receives 3.5 stars.


The reviewer is a book blogger, originally posted on Britanny’s Pages

Dianne James Book Blogger Reviewed by Dianne James User Sign Up

What a delightfully entertaining book!

Oliver Atkinson has given up his job to write a book, whilst also taking on the role of house husband. His life appears to be full, looking after his two young children and doing the daily chores, but not enough writing is getting done.
After making a family visit to the cemetery to visit his mother’s grave, Oliver inadvertently picks up a spirit. Violet’s spirit needs his help and whilst he first thinks he is perhaps going mad, he eventually accepts her as she unknowingly leads him into a tangled web of art theft and murder, where he becomes involved with a con artist using Violet’s name.

I loved, loved, loved this book even though the supernatural aspect would normally not be my thing. The plot was tangled enough to keep me well interested and the characters wonderfully developed and diverse.

Strong has an easy writing style filled with humour and occasional irreverence, which made me…an Antipodean…feel right at home.
I love a good mystery and this was not in any way a disappointment. The ending was almost totally unexpected and the epilogue made me laugh out loud.
A truly, truly, delightful book you can get your teeth into. Highly recommended. I can’t wait to read Strong’s next one.


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

 

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free book Giveaway : Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

free book Giveaway : Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

free book Giveaway : Do Not Ask

by Elaine Williams Crockett

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Genre:

 thriller

Blurb:

The President’s beautiful twin daughters disappear during a visit to a mysterious country estate known as Blackhall … a United States Supreme Court law clerk vanishes from her Georgetown apartment. Why are all these Washington, DC, women disappearing?

Supreme Court Justice Warren Alexander is determined to find out when he discovers a link between the missing women and his son-in-law, a notorious playboy and the owner of Blackhall. And when the President’s daughters are found dead on the Blackhall estate, and the DNA is a one-in-a-trillion match, the FBI is certain the right person is locked up.

But the killing isn’t over. While Justice Alexander desperately tries to exonerate an innocent man, the killer is targeting yet another woman. Alexander soon discovers that Blackhall is an estate with a secret. A centuries-old murder must be solved before the killer can ever be found. Before Alexander’s daughter is the next to die.

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Book Review – Veiled by Cyana Gaffney

Book Review – Veiled by Cyana Gaffney

Book Review – Veiled

by Cyana Gaffney

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

1 Bloggers Review

Dianne James Book Blogger
Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
 Dianne James 
Blogger & Reader 

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson User Sign Up

You Go Before Me

Veiled by Cyana Gaffney is an absolutely cracking contemporary Christian suspense that draws the reader in from the start.

The opening immediately presents the reader with questions. “If only she could go back and make different choices.” I was hooked. What different choices were needed? What had she done?

The novel is cleverly constructed with the timeline fluctuating and the character focus changing. I clung on to the action with trepidation and anticipation. The ending was brilliant and has set me up for book two. Let me assure readers though, the ending did wrap up my questions but whetted my appetite for what is to come.

Guilt weighs us down. Consequences of actions have far reaching effects. “She lost herself that day… and God whom she had not spoken to since.” Life will either draw us towards God or push Him away. “I just don’t believe anymore.” If we are wise, we will cling to God.

Though we may move from God, He is faithful to us, awaiting our return. His silence has nothing to do with Him not speaking and everything to do with us not listening. We need to draw near to God and hear His whisper.

The novel is mainly set in Saudi. Here the customs and way of life is very different. There were some hard to read (but realistic) scenes due to corruption and cruelty. Trust is the focus of the novel. People let us down. Regimes cannot be trusted. God is faithful. If we put our trust in Him, our feet will always have a firm foundation no matter what life throws at us.

Veiled was a powerful if disturbing novel. It was realistic and opened my eyes to the plight of women. It was an incredible story that tugged at my heart and played with my emotions. I can highly recommend it.

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


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 

Dianne James Book Blogger Reviewed by Dianne James User Sign Up

A story of pain & fear; capitulation & inner strength;  love & rediscovery of faith

“Veiled” is the story of a young woman’s trip to Saudi Arabia, which goes to hell in a hand basket from the moment she lands. Hailey is arrested by the religious police when she lands in Riyadh and is taken on a journey of horror and fear from that moment on. No spoilers here though.

I stepped out of my comfort zone in reading this Christian Inspirational novel, but I was seduced by the blurb and I was not disappointed at all. This is an excellent suspense novel, filled with emotion and fear, and takes you on a journey that will both amaze and horrify you.

I really enjoyed this book. At first I wasn’t overly enamoured with the main character, but as she gained inner strength and determination, it was hard not to be right there with her. Your pulse will race as the suspense builds…over and over.

It is a story of pain and fear of the unknown; of capitulation and inner strength, but it is also a story of love of humanity, and rediscovery of faith.

Though this book may horrify many readers as they uncover this very different culture, the story is told with a good measure of sensitivity and understanding. The suspense is palpable and the outcome not really certain until the end where it leaves you on a cliffhanger.

Will I read the next book? You betcha!


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