Home (Myron Bolitar #11) by Harlan Coben

Book Description:

Published: September 20, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns home.

A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?

Harlan Coben delivers a thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

Review –

There is something very special about reuniting with a cast of characters you haven’t read about for some time. Myron Bolitar and Windsor Horne Lockwood III, (Win) are two of my favourite characters in all of fiction,(next to Harry Bosch) and we haven’t seen them (besides brief appearances in Coben’s YA Mickey Bolitar trilogy) since 2011’s Live Wire. That is a very long time to wait.

Home brings these characters back, alongside the classic cast: Esperanza; Big Cyndi, Myron’s parents. Heck, even the kids wh0 starred in Coben’s YA series play a vital role in proceedings, and it’s great to be reunited with Mickey, Ema and Spoon. Their presence adds a cool continuity to things. So, sure; this book is for the fans. The readers, like me, who clamour each and every year for a new Myron novel. But there’s plenty here for “non-Myron” fans to enjoy. If indeed there even are such people out there.

There’s a big mystery here, and there are surprising twists (unleashed rather late in proceedings, admittedly, but no less effectively than in other novels) but it’s the emotion of the characters that really lifts Home above the rank and file. The heart and soul of this novel are the twin families coping with the loss of a child, and the extremes parents go to in order to protect them.

Ultimately, it’s just great to be back with Myron and the gang. The novel’s ending is possibly conclusive – – with a real lump-in-the-throat moment –(with 28 minutes left tears formed in my eyes and at 19 minutes left they started to fall) – so who knows when we’ll see these characters again? In many respects, I wish I’d taken my time with the novel and truly savoured it. Instead, I smashed through it in almost one sitting. That’s the true evidence of Coben’s class: his books are so gripping, you can’t put them down or turn them off.

Five stars *****

 

Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder #1) by Linda Castillo

Book Description:

Published: June 23, 2009

Format: Audio/OverDrive

When a serial killer strikes bucolic Painters Mill, Ohio, the killer’s signature -—Roman numerals ritualistically carved into each victim’s abdomen- —matches the MO of four unsolved murders from 16 years earlier. Police chief Kate Burkholder, who’s reluctant to dredge up the past, must keep secret that she knows why the old murders stopped. Not satisfied with the case’s progress, local politicos set up a multijurisdictional task force to assist, including a law-enforcement agent battling his own demons. The added scrutiny and the rising body count threaten to push the chief over the edge. Adept at creating characters with depth and nuance, Castillo smoothly integrates their backstories into a well-paced plot that illuminates the divide between the Amish and English worlds.

Review –

Since I enjoyed number eight, Among the Wicked, in this series – I decided to go back and start from the beginning and I’m so glad I did.

In this first book in the series we learn more background on Kate’s reason for leaving the Amish life and her estrangement from her siblings. We also meet her love interest-to-be, John Tomasetti for the first time and learn more of his back story. Both were tormented with a serious past yet they were drawn together during the hunt for the serial killer. 

We also learn the lengths to which people will go to cover up ugly things in their lives and the affect in has on all around them.

I enjoyed this book more than number eight so I will continue with the series.

A great read.

 

Deliver (Deliver #1) by Pam Godwin

Book Description:

Published: February 26, 2014

Format: E-Book

 

His name was Joshua Carter. Now it’s whatever she wants it to be.
She is a Deliverer.
She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price.
As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold.
Delivering is all she knows.
The one thing she can’t deliver is a captive from slavery.
Until him.
And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her…from herself.

Content warning: Graphic sex, violence, and psychological abuse. Age 18+ only.

Review –

If you’re a fan of dark romance, Deliver is definitely a book you should add to your list!!

It’s dangerous, suspenseful, very dark,  erotic, and at it’s heart, it’s a love story. I’m not going to lie though, it definitely made me uncomfortable at times but that’s kind of what you should expect from a darker romance so again, in every way, this book delivered.

Please pay attention to the content warning on the blurb though. This book is not for the faint of heart but underneath everything, it was the story of what happens when good people are put into terrible situations. It shows their true colors in the face of dangerous and sometimes deadly situations. In this case, it was about one man’s care for a woman who had stolen him from his life, violated him, subjugated him to cruelty and despite it all, he was still determined to save her from a life not that different from his new one.

When reading you thinka story about  human trafficking for sex BUT it was so much  more. There is a giant twist and it changes everything.  I didn’t think Josh and Liv had a chance in Hell but believe it or not there is a HEA. That shows what a good author Pam Godwin is. She was able to pull hope from chaos.

Very good read but very very dark. Reader BEWARE.

 

Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8) by Linda Castillo

Book Description:

Published: July 12,2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by the sheriff’s department in rural, upstate New York to assist on a developing situation that involves a reclusive Amish settlement and the death of a young girl. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and “English” communities, the sheriff asks Kate to travel to New York, pose as an Amish woman, and infiltrate the community.

Kate’s long time love interest, State Agent John Tomasetti, is dead set against her taking on such an unorthodox assignment, knowing she’ll have limited communication – and even less in the way of backup. But Kate can’t turn her back, especially when the rumor mill boils with disturbing accounts of children in danger. She travels to New York where she’s briefed and assumes her new identity as a lone widow seeking a new life.

Kate infiltrates the community and goes deep under cover. In the coming days, she unearths a world built on secrets, a series of shocking crimes, and herself, alone… trapped in a fight for her life.

Review –

This is another new author for me and although this book was number eight in the series; it works well as a stand-alone.

Since I haven’t read or listened to any of the earlier books I’m not sure what tragic event happened in Kate’s life while she was a young Amish girl, but I can guess. Her past has caused her to become the strong woman she is and few books feature strong women a main characters.

The plot was weak in places and dragged a bit here and there but on the whole I enjoyed it and plan to find others in the series.

UnRaveled by K. Bromberg

Book Description:

Published: May 18,2014

Format: E-Book

One night.
One mistake.
Filled with fear.
Sated by pleasure.
Robbed of control.
Blindfolded and bound.
Shamed she liked it.
Doomed to want it.
Limits tested.
Boundaries pushed.
Desire awakened.
Inhibition unleashed.
An identity unraveled.
Lives changed forever.

Review –

OMG!!!!!

This book is so HOT!

Lily and Anderson are supposed to be spending their 15th wedding anniversary in Italy but Anderson puts work first and stays behind. Lily isn’t happy in their marriage. They are in a sexual rut. Anderson refuses to try anything new or the least bit kinky.

She’s having a drink in a bar and notices a very handsome man staring at her and she can’t help but stare back. The bartender places a drink in front of her from the sexy gentleman and she drinks it (of course).

On leaving the bar and walking back to her hotel she realizes she is very drunk, but NEVER does it enter her mind that she might have been drugged.

The handsome man speaks to her in an alley and tells her “you are mine” and she blacks out and awakens naked, blindfolded and gagged with her wrists restrained as well as her ankles.

The handsome man tells her is going to use and abuse her in ways that her husband would never dream of.

Lilly is appalled that she is turned on my the dirty talk coming out of this man’s mouth but SHE IS.

Everything he does to her, breath play, hot wax, ice, leather gloves, (you’ll have to read the book to find out how the handsome man used those in a sexual way) anal play etc. are the things she has fantasized about doing with her husband.

After awhile r=she realizes there is another man in the room. He is called Marco by the handsome man and he just watches. At least that’s what he does for a while. Soon the handsome man tells her that Marco has been the one calling the shots. After that things get real KINKY. There is DP and sex in other asunder positions all night and into the wee hours of the morning until she is finally begging them to stop because having just one more orgasm is going to kill her.

She wakes up a few hours later in HER hotel room and because she is so sore she had barely move, she remembers what took place the night before and she is ashamed.

So, to make a long story short – Her husband, Anderson, calls her that morning to see how she is and of course she is feeling horribly guilty for being abducted, having sex with strange men and enjoying it. She tells him she is coming home early and flies home. Once there she is a total mess and debates telling him all about it but decided not to.

She does tell him the she loves him so much but that spicing up their sex life would make things even better.  He agrees and goes to shower and his phone rings.  She answers and it’s the hotel where she stayed in Italy and they have the bracelet she lost. She finds out the man was calling for MARCO so now she knows that her husband was MARCO, the other man in the room calling all the shorts, and  had given her the fantasy of a lifetime as an anniversary present and she knows in her heart they are going to be just fine from here on out.

Fantastically sexy read.    FIVE STARS *****

9539075

 

 

C758484C9C9106E2B09FB2547B1149C8

21943866

The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedstrom #1) by Camilla Lackberg

Book Description:

Published: June 15, 2010

Format: Audio/Audible

Returning to her hometown of Fjallbacka after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice-cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life.

Erica conceives a book about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their own shared past. While her interest grows into an obsession, local detective Patrik Hedstrom is following his own suspicions about the case. But it is only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about a small town with a deeply disturbing past.

Review –

This is the second book from this author that I have listened to and I loved it. The first one was The Stonecutter, and I listened to it over a year ago and it was number three in the series. This was number one and we meet up with the main characters of Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck. He is a police detective and she is a writer and most of the action takes place in the small fishing village of Fjallbacka, Sweden.

Erica’s childhood friend, Alex, is found murdered in a bathtub with both wrists slit. Alex and her family moved away when she was around ten and she was never the same outgoing little girl. Soon after Alex’s murder, a  close friend of hers is found hanging in his home. Can these two murders connected?

There are many twists and turns in this foreign crime fiction  and we learn about the horrible things done to Alex as a child by someone who should have been a protector and why she and Anders were close.

The murderer is someone I never expected, which always makes a  book even better.

Right along with the murder investigation we see the chemistry between Patrik and Erica evolve into more. Although they knew each other in school, over twenty years ago, Erica had no idea the depth of feelings that brewed between them.

Great read and a great who-dun-it.  Looking forward to finding more in the series.

C758484C9C9106E2B09FB2547B1149C8

7058405

Cell 8 (Grens & Sundkvist #3) by Anders Rosalind and Borge Hellstrom

Book Description :

Published: January 3, 2012

Format: Audio

Detective Superintendent Ewert Grens of THREE SECONDS returns in a riveting mystery that centers on perhaps the most controversial subject in the modern criminal justice system: the death penalty.
In Ohio, seventeen-year-old John Meyer Frey rots on Death Row for the brutal murder of his girlfriend. The victim’s father hungers for revenge, while a prison guard is torn by compassion for the young man. When Frey unexpectedly dies of heart disease before he either receives his just punishment or achieves redemption, the wheels of justice grind to a halt.

Six years later, on a ferry between Finland and Sweden, a singer named John Schwarz viciously attacks a drunken lout harassing a woman, leaving the man in a coma. The Stockholm police arrest Schwarz for aggravated assault, but when Grens learns that the assailant has been living in Sweden under a false identity, he begins to suspect that something darker and more complex underlies the incident. Following his intuition, Grens launches an investigation that spans from Sweden to the United States and reveals a startling connection between the Frey and Schwarz cases.

Featuring a multilayered plot with a killer twist, CELL 8 takes readers on a gripping, page-turning journey that explores the devastating repercussions of the death penalty as well as the fallout from the conflicting desires for public justice and private retribution.

Review –

This was a first time listen to this author’s work and I loved it. I will definitely  be trying to find the others in the series.

This is a heart-wrenching story of a man named John who was seventeen when he was convicted of murdering his sixteen year old girlfriend although he claims he didn’t do it.  Several years go by and now  he sits waiting for his day to be executed.

One of the main prison guards feels compassion for the young man and believes in his innocence and so with several others they fake the man’s death (really cool the way they did it) and send him on his way to Sweden with a fake identify. There he lives peacefully, marrying and having a son, until one night on his job he kicks a man in the face and almost kills him. He is arrested and little by little they find out that he is none other than a convict from Ohio who everyone thought was dead. 

This is where things become political and finally he is extradited to the United States and put to death. THEN there is a GIANT surprise twist and we find out the identity of the real killer and what was put into motion all those years ago come to fruition. 

Fantastic book.

Five stars *****

C758484C9C9106E2B09FB2547B1149C8

11080460

 

The Girl In The Ice (DCI Erika Foster #1) by Robert Bryndza

Book Description:

Published: February 12, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

Review –

I was excited  to discover and enjoy an author I hadn’t read before! Loved the character, and although she has her flaws, she is a strong woman with principles.  The  plot was fantastic with enough suspense and twists to keep my interest.

Right from the beginning you feel you can guess some of the twists, but also  feel the frustration of DCI Foster trying to find the vital clues. Lots of build up and the ending definitely  does not disappoint. 

I am so looking forward to the rest of the series!

C758484C9C9106E2B09FB2547B1149C8

28721136

With You (Torn Asunder #0.5) by Nashoda Rose

Book Description:

Published: December 20, 2013

Format: Free Digital Book/Second Reading

Sculpt is an illegal fighter.

He’s also the lead singer of a local rock band.

No one knows his real name.

And from the moment I met him, he made me forget mine.

In order to convince Sculpt to give me self-defense lessons, I had to follow his one rule—no complaining or he’d walk. I didn’t think it would be a problem. I could handle a few bruises. What I hadn’t anticipated was landing on my back with Sculpt on top of me and my entire body burning up for him.

I tried to ignore it.

I failed of course. And having a hot, tattooed badass on top of me week after week, acting completely immune to what he was doing to my body—it was frustrating as hell, so I broke his rule—I complained.

Then he kissed me.

Author’s Note: This novella is Sculpt and Emily’s beginning and how they met. It is an extra and not required to be read before “Torn from You”. Their story and what happens to them is the novel “Torn from You”.

Review –

I first read this book in January 2014 and loved it then and now that I have read more erotic romances/contemporary romances and have a better understanding as to what makes up a great ER/CR I love it even more.

Sculpt, whose real name is Logan, is an MMA fighter and a member of the rock band, Torn Asunder. Emily wants to learn some self-defense moves and choose Sculpt to be her teacher. For five weeks he teaches her what she needs to know and doesn’t make a sexual move on her, but then he does and everything changes.

Emily has never had a boy/man pay attention to her as Sculpt does or treat her the way he does. She gave him her virginity and he tells her he love her and that she belongs to him and the next thing she knows she’s kidnapped and being tortured and sexually humiliated in a dirty basement. END

Hows that for a CLIFFHANGER ?

In the next book, Torn From You, we find out that Sculpt/Logan is working for a human trafficking/sex slave ring in Mexico and it’s his job to break and train the women as submissives so they can be put on the auction block. Raul, the boss, allows Sculpt to keep Emily as long as he wins MMA fights. Emily can’t wrap her head around the fact that he used her the long time and now is responsible for her torture and sexual abuse.

The series is well worth reading and though the mood is very dark and things look seemingly inescapable Logan and Emily do get their HEA at the end.

This is a great ER/CR series.

C758484C9C9106E2B09FB2547B1149C8

18812737

 

 

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

Book Description:

Published: July 26, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate.

Review –

At first I didn’t know if I could into this book because it was about gymnasts , but it was sooo much more than that!

Megan Abbott’s novel You Will Know Me takes readers deep into the obsessive, highly structured world of young female gymnasts and the families who help push these athletes to victory. It’s a masterful tale that’s both suspenseful and an eerily accurate portrait of the way teenage and parental cliques operate.

The book’s central characters, Katie and Eric Knox, have overextended themselves emotionally and financially to support their fifteen-year-old daughter, Devon. Ever since Devon was three and began excelling at Tiny Tumblerz, gymnastics has been “the mighty spine of everything for them.” Even the arrival of Drew, Devon’s younger brother, didn’t displace her from the spotlight. Now, Devon is on the brink of possible Olympic greatness, under the expert tutelage of Coach Teddy, “the gymnast whisperer,” who presides over BelStars gym, which has become the Knoxes’ little corner of the universe. The gym’s “booster parties” constitute the extent of their social life; the other girls’ parents are their only friends. Or, “sort of” friends. Because Devon, after all, is the sun and the other girls merely her satellites.

One fateful night, however, that solar system threatens to collapse when a handsome young man named Ryan who works at BelStars is found dead, a victim of an apparent hit-and-run. Perhaps, some suggest, Ryan should have known better. It wasn’t smart to walk alone on a dark country road; it also wasn’t smart to be the lone young man amid a crowd of adolescent female gymnasts, whose natural sexual desires could be sublimated for only so long into soaring vaults and sweaty floor exercises.

This is where the book turns into a “who-dun-it” because the author leads you to believe that several people could have killed Ryan. But why? Each person has their reasons and although I went back and forth on who the killer was, I was pleasantly surprised and ending OMG!!!!!!

To find out who killer Ryan and why you’ll have to read or listen to the book. I highly recommend it.

C758484C9C9106E2B09FB2547B1149C8

 

 

25251757