Chasing Darkness (Elvis Cole #11) by Robert Crais

Book Description

July 1, 2008
Private Investigator Elvis Cole learns that LA fires bring more than heat, they bring his old friend Joe Pike and the past. Cole’s fight to clear his name brings murder and corruption terrifyingly close to home.

It’s fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. When police and fire department personnel rush door to door in a frenzied evacuation effort, they discover the week-old corpse of an apparent suicide. But the gunshot victim is less gruesome than what they find in his lap: a photo album of seven brutally murdered young women—one per year, for seven years. And when the suicide victim is identified as a former suspect in one of the murders, the news turns Elvis Cole’s world upside down.

Three years earlier Lionel Byrd was brought to trial for the murder of a female prostitute named Yvonne Bennett. A taped confession coerced by the police inspired a prominent defense attorney to take Byrd’s case, and Elvis Cole was hired to investigate. It was Cole’s eleventh-hour discovery of an exculpatory videotape that allowed Lionel Byrd to walk free. Elvis was hailed as a hero.

But the discovery of the death album in Byrd’s lap now brands Elvis as an unwitting accomplice to murder. Captured in photographs that could only have been taken by the murderer, Yvonne Bennett was the fifth of the seven victims—two more young women were murdered after Lionel Byrd walked free. So Elvis can’t help but wonder—did he, Elvis Cole, cost two more young women their lives?

Shut out of the investigation by a special LAPD task force determined to close the case, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike desperately fight to uncover the truth about Lionel Byrd and his nightmare album of death—a truth hidden by lies, politics, and corruption in a world where nothing is what it seems to be.

Review –

Although I haven’t read many of the Elvis Cole Series, and none in order, I love the Elvis cCole  and his side-kick, Joe Pike. These stories are fast paced with action around every corner and never a dull minute.
If you love a good “who-done-it” please try this series
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The Private School Murders (Confessions #2) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Book Description

October 7, 2013
In the sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Confessions of a Murder Suspect, James Patterson keeps the confessions coming breathlessly as Tandy Angel delves deeper into her own tumultuous history-and proves that she can rise above the sordid Angel legacy.

Wealthy young women are being murdered on Manhattan’s exclusive Upper West Side, and the police aren’t looking for answers in the right places. Enter Tandy Angel. The first case she cracked was the mystery of her parents’ deaths. Now, while she’s working to exonerate her brother of his glamorous girlfriend’s homicide, she’s driven to get involved in the West Side murder spree.

One of the recent victims was a student at Tandy’s own elite school. She has a hunch it may be the work of a serial killer, but the NYPD isn’t listening to her…and Tandy can’t ignore the disturbing fact that she perfectly fits the profile of the killer’s targets. Can she untangle the mysteries in time? Or will she be the next victim?

Review –
This installment of the Confessions series takes up shortly after the end of the last one.  Matthew is still in jail for the murder of his girlfriend, the Angel kids have a new guardian with new rules, girls going to private schools are being murdered and dangerous and poisonous animals and spiders are being found in the Dakota and especially the Angle’s apartment. Along with all this chaos they will probably have to leave the only home they have ever known. It’s a fast read and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon or evening. I will definite read the next one, which takes place in Paris.
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Mayhem in Christmas River(Christmas River Cozy Mysteries #2)by Meg Muldoon

Book Description

May 6, 2013
It’s July in Christmas River, and the temperature isn’t the only thing flaring out of control.
After a fire destroys her best friend’s ornament shop, pie baker extraordinaire Cinnamon Peters soon discovers that the blaze was no accident.
Just days before the annual Christmas River in July Parade and Play, it becomes clear that a maniac is roaming the tourist-packed streets of Christmas River.
And he’s got a flair for the dramatic.
Will Cinnamon and her sheriff’s deputy boyfriend find out who’s behind the blaze before the rest of the town goes up in flames?
Mayhem abounds in this smoldering sequel to Murder in Christmas River.

Review –
Not great literature, but it’s a COZY mystery, after all, and with that in mind, it’s pretty good. (I’m sure this is punctuated wrong, but…)
It was a fast easy  read and made a cold evening go by with pleasure.
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Alpha by Jasinda Wilder

Book Description

April 29, 2014
The first time it happened, it seemed like an impossible miracle. Bills were piling up, adding up to more money than I could ever make. Mom’s hospital bills. My baby brother’s tuition. My tuition. Rent. Electricity. All of it on my shoulders. And I had just lost my job. There was no hope, no money in my account, no work to be found. And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, I found an envelope in the mail. No return address. My name on the front, my address. Inside was a check, made out to me, in the amount of ten thousand dollars. Enough to pay the bills and leave me some left over to live on until I found a job. Enough to let me focus on classes. There was no name on the check, just “VRI Inc.,” and a post office box address for somewhere in the city. No hint of identity or reason for the check or anything. No mention of repayment, interest, nothing…except a single word, on the notes line: “You.” Just those three letters.If you receive a mysterious check, for enough money to erase all your worries, would you cash it?

I did.

The next month, I received another check, again from VRI Incorporated. It too contained a single word: “belong.”A third check, the next month. This time, two words. Four letters. “To me.”

The checks kept coming. The notes stopped. Ten thousand dollars, every month. A girl gets used to that, real quick. It let me pay the bills without going into debt. Let me keep my baby brother in school and Mom’s hospice care paid for. How do you turn down what seems like free money, when you’re desperate? You don’t. I didn’t.

And then, after a year, there was a knock on my door. A sleek black limousine sat on the curb in front of my house. A driver stood in front of me, and he spoke six words: “It’s time to pay your debt.”

Would you have gotten in?

I did.

It turns out $120,000 doesn’t come free.
Review –
Although there is a story here, it plays second fiddle to the SEX. It was very graphic and abundant. so if you are easily offended by bad language and sex DO NOT read this book. I would say it’s as HOT as Fifty Shades of Grey. I had the audio version of the book and I had to be careful not to listen to it when other people were around. I will not read the other books in this series.
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The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Book Description

January 20, 2011
Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Here, books are a passion (there is no problem a library card can’t solve) and TV is something other people watch. Their father-a professor of Shakespeare who speaks almost exclusively in verse-named them after the Bard’s heroines. It’s a lot to live up to.

The sisters have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast-living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected; and now, faced with their parents’ frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them…

Review –
I found this audio book on sale or else I probably wouldn’t have chosen to listen to or read it.
It was just OKAY. There was nothing special about it and it was very predictable and boring.
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Pink House

Undivided (Unwind Series #4) by Neal Shusterman

Book Description

October 14, 2014 
Teens control the fate of America in the fourth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology by Neal Shusterman.

Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future.

But more trouble is brewing. Starkey’s group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they’ll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad—which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.

Review –
This book was an incredible finale to the Unwind series.  Shusterman’s dystopian world is so realistic it will send chills through your body. The characters are all sympathetic, fleshed out characters, even the minor ones. Feelings of all kinds came to me near the end. I cried, cheered and was just in awe.  I think this series has been overlooked but it is one of the best out there. Make a New Year’s Resolution to read this series, you won’t be disappointed.
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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Book Description

April 25, 2009
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details.

Was the voice she heard her brother’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?

They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

She begins to realize that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.

Review –

This book was a real page turner and I had to force myself to periodically put it down when my eyes would start to blur.

The character depictions are so real they jump off the page and although it’s dark and gruesome in parts the unpredictability will keep you guessing to the end.

It is fantastic and I gave it 5 stars *****

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