Darkness Take My Hand (Kenzie and Gennaro #2) by Dennis Leanne

Book Description:

Published: July 12, 1996

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro’s latest client is a prominent Boston psychiatrist running scared from a vengeful Irish mob. The private investigators know something about cold-blooded retribution. Born and bred on the mean streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they’ve seen the darkness that lives in the hearts of the unfortunate. But an evil for which even they are unprepared is about to strike as secrets long-dormant erupt, setting off a chain of violent murders that will stain everything–including the truth.

Review –

The above blurb does little to prepare the reader or the listener for what lays ahead. Lehane’s latest is an explosive story that is at once gut-wrenchingly violent and achingly melancholy.

Having not read or listened to the first book in this series, I knew nothing about the bond between Patrick and Angie but it doesn’t take long to pick up on the sexual chemistry and tension between them.

Patrick Kenzie and Angie Dimassi have known each other since they were six-year-olds running wild on the playgrounds of South Boston. As grown-ups, they’re partners in a detective agency, and the dangerous spots they’ve encountered together have strengthened the old bonds. Angie is coming out of an unhappy marriage, and Patrick is happily in love, when a series of brutal murders intrude. As Angie and Patrick try to find out what kind of human being could perform such horrifying acts of rape, mutilation, torture, and dismemberment, they soon find that the killer’s motive is disturbingly rooted in their own distant past. The two work frantically with the Boston cops, the FBI, the local Mafia, and folks from the old neighborhood to unearth the killer. The culminating showdown is unpredictable and unforgettable with the greatest horrors being those closest to home. Every character will be forever affected by the outcome of this book. This book is dark, edgy,  and horribly violent so if you are squeamish, don’t read it. Otherwise, I highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to reading the rest in the series including the first one which I have in my quench’s now.

Five stars *****

Vanished (Nick Heller #1) by Joseph Finder

Book Description:

Published: August 18, 2009

Format: Audio/Library Book

Lauren Heller and her husband, Roger, are out to dinner one night when they’re brutally attacked. Twenty-four hours later, Lauren awakes in the hospital to find that her husband has vanished without a trace. The only one who has any chance of finding him is his brother, Nick, a high-powered investigator with a private intelligence firm.

Nick Heller is tough, smart, and stubborn. Trained in the Special Forces, he specializes in digging up secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. He and his brother have been estranged ever since the imprisonment of their notorious billionaire father. But Nick will do anything to protect Lauren and her son. He never backs down. Even if it means taking on the most lethal enemies he’s ever had to face.

Plunged headlong into a desperate chase, Nick begins making shocking discoveries about his brother’s life — and about the giant defense contractor he works for. Now, in order to keep Lauren and her teenage son alive, Nick must take on a powerful and deadly conspiracy that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets.

Review –

Vanished starts off at a run and picks up speed as the mystery starts to unfold and by the end, your head is spinning.

The action is fast paced, the mood, mostly somber but there is humor thrown in here and there by Nick Heller(thank heavens). It was a bit too convoluted for me but a good read none the less.

Does Nick figure out the mystery? Does he find Roger? What happens to Lauren and Gabe? Who is the librarian?

You will just have to read Vanished to find out.

 

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

Book Description:

Published: February 11,2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.

He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

Review –

In two words, this book was SUPER CREEPY!!!!

Jack has a horribly violent past and he lives to satisfy his predilection , which is to psychologically terrorize and break women and sometimes physically hurt them.

Grace is mature beyond her years and the sole guardian of the sister, Millie, who has Down’s Syndrome. They meet Jack in the park and he ingratiates himself into their lives. To Grace he is the perfect man and she agrees to marry him. Millie is to be her bridesmaid, but on the way to wedding site Jack pushes Millie down a flight of stairs, unbeknownst to Grace. The wedding proceeds and they fly to Thailand for the honeymoon. Jack hasn’t been very sexually attentive in their relationship but Grace has chalked this up to his busy lawyer status . Jack has NEVER lost a case, the irony being that he defends battered women.

Jack disappears on their wedding night and when he does reappear he explains to Grace exactly what her life will be like. She will have no phone, no passport, no money and she will do as he says or else Millie will suffer. He locks her out on the terrace for hours at a time while he goes off and feeds her only when he feels like it.

Arriving at their new home Grace sees that it is everything they had discussed prior to the wedding but try to escape and each time a privilege is taken away until finally she is kept in black pajamas  in a small plain room with bars on the one small window. She can have no books or newspapers, no television, no writing implements , nothing to offer distraction and stimulation. 

When Millie turns eighteen the plan is for her to come live with them so Grace has to get free before that happens.

THAT is all I’m going to tell you, except to say that this book is told from Grace’s POV in Past and Present modes.

Does she get free from the clutches of her crazy, murderous psycho of a husband?  You will have to read or listen to this book for yourself. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and flipping pages or listening from beginning to end inn one sitting. (I almost did.)

Fantastic debut novel. Can’t wait to see what this author brings us next.

Five stars *****

 

The Last Mile (Amos Decker #2) by David Baldacci

Book Description:

Published: April 26, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution–for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier–when he’s granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.

Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars’s case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men’s families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.

The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars–guilty or not–a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?

But when a member of Decker’s team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger–and more sinister–than just one convicted criminal’s life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed.

Review –

Decker is unlike any of Baldacci’s other characters, made unique by an extremely rare neurological condition called hyperthymesia–the result of a crushing helmet-to-helmet hit on the football field, which makes it impossible for Amos to forget anything.

While the idea of being able to vividly remember everything sounds awesome at first, in Decker’s case it’s also a curse.

Nearly twenty years after his NFL career ended, Decker, now a police detective, returned home to find his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law brutally murdered. Unable to forget even the smallest of details from that night, he’s haunted and tortured by the loss of his family every single day. Those events take place in Baldacci’s previous novel, Memory Man, which came out last year–but also play a role in this year’s The Last Mile.

Because of the similarities  in their lives, Amos convinces the FBI team to take on Marvin’s case and the investigation seems straightforward enough until one of the team members turns up missing as a result of their poking around. Soon things begin to unravel as Decker races to answer a series of questions, including who might want to help free Melvin Mars, and why. 

The action is fast and furious but it is so much more than a good action thriller. It sheds light on racism, a father-son relationship and capital punishment.

Both Mars and Decker are substantive, solid characters. Although their football dreams were shattered in their youth by their respective tragedies, they hold their heads high and forge ahead.

I loved it and can’t wait for the next installment, The Fix, due to be released April 18th and I hope in future books the author reunites Amos and Melvin. They became friends in this book and it would be a shame not to team them up again!

The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: July 14, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A body is discovered in an empty Atlanta warehouse. It’s the body of an ex-cop, and from the moment Special Agent Will Trent walks in he knows this could be the most devastating case of his career. Bloody footprints leading away from the scene reveal that another victim – a woman – has left the scene and vanished into thin air. And, worst of all, the warehouse belongs to the city’s biggest, most politically connected, most high-profile athlete – a local hero protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers. A local hero Will has spent the last six months investigating on a brutal rape charge.

But for Will – and also for Dr Sara Linton, the GBI’s newest medical examiner – the case is about to get even worse. Because an unexpected discovery at the scene reveals a personal link to Will’s troubled past. The consequences will wreak havoc on his life and the lives of those he loves, those he works with, and those he pursues.

But Sara’s scene-of-the-crime diagnosis is that they only have a few hours to find the missing woman before she bleeds out . . .

Review –

There is nobody, and I do mean nobody, who writes the kind of books Karin Slaughter does. Her novels are heavily plotted with twists and turns we never expect and never predict. She creates characters readers love to love, and love to hate. She writes about real people, not some glossy type of imagined characters. With her brand of talent she makes the reader feel enriched after having finished her stories. Slaughter’s latest novel,The Kept Woman,  is saturated with all of these elements which makes it one of her most engrossing thrillers yet.

I’ve read all of the Will Trent series(this is number eight) so I know that background and all the characters very well, but the author does give a hint of background for the characters that it also could be read as a standalone.

The story line is full of high tension, nerve-wracking situations, relentless investigations and an ending you don’t anticipate. For these and other reasons you really need to check out this book. You will definitely not regret it.

I always try to read a Karin Slaughter novel in January and so I’m extremely glad I slipped this one in before the end of the month. Now, I can’t wait for the next book !

 

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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!

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The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Book Description:

Published: April 12, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

Review –

I’ll start off first saying that this book may be too much for readers who have a difficult time with stories of abuse, physical and emotional, as well as murder/serial killers. Naomi’s father was a monster. Plain and simple. And as this was told from multiple POVs, there are parts later on where we see things from a killer’s mindset which was not pretty. But it was definitely relevant to the story and helped to see just how twisted the individual was.

“The characters, both main and secondary, I thought, were great. Brave Naomi had been through so, so very much and I liked that she was still working on her issues regarding her traumatic past. Because of that, she didn’t want to get close to Xander. I liked him as well and thought he might seem a bit *too* good to be true, but I got such a kick out of his easy way of teasing Naomi, getting her to smile. I thought their connection rang true as well, starting off with physical attraction and evolving into much more. And I would be remiss not to mention Naomi’s uncles Seth and Harry. I absolutely adored them and how they supported Naomi and Mason throughout their lives.

What I really liked overall about The Obsession was how Roberts was able to take what could have been a dark and very heavy story and basically added in contemporary romance to lighten the overall tone. There were some great lighthearted moments between Naomi and Xander, with their quick-witted bantering as they got to know each other. Plus Naomi’s dog Tag was like comic relief in several scenes. (One involving a Cone of Shame which was hilarious and realistic to a dog owner!)” taken from harlequinjunkie.com 

Fantastic Read!

 

 

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The Pocket Wife by Susan H. Crawford

Book Description:

Published: March 17, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep—in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind—or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her… or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? A story of marriage, murder and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge.

Review –

I don’t have any personal experience with bipolar disorder, so I can’t say whether or not Crawford does a fair job of presenting what a person who suffers from it is feeling. She does spend a lot of time exploring Dana’s mental illness, however. Dana reflects about her first manic episode, when she was in college. She felt invincible, forgoing sleep and food, convinced she had tuned in to some larger power. When her boyfriend found her perched on top of their building, convinced she could fly, she was admitted to Bellevue.

Dana is aware of her illness and knows that her judgement will be skewed. She can feel herself getting worse and knows she only has a short time before she needs to get help to regulate. But the mania also makes her feel sharper and smarter, and she’s desperate to find Celia’s killer–even if it’s her–before that evaporates.

Dana was the last person to see Celia alive, or so she thinks and what Celia told her and showed her made her mad enough to kill her, but did she?

The grainy picture Celia showed her from her phone was of Peter and his “tart”, who Dana thought  was his secretary, but pulled that out when she met her.  So, who was he now seeing?

Dana discovers that Peter had an affair with Celia, dumped her and now had another woman he was bedding. Did Peter kill her to keep her from telling Dana, not knowing she already had?

So many questions and Dana has no answers but she knows she is a prime suspect and she must prove her innocence before she has a mental break.

Sadly, the break comes first.

Adding balance, half the text is told from the point of view of Jack Moss, the detective assigned to Celia’s case. We get to view Dana’s world from an outsider looking in, and it kept the novel from feeling too dreamy or detached.

Detective Jack Moss’s second marriage has ended and he has a soft spot for Dana because he saw her twenty years ago when she was first admitted to Bellevue. He is a kind man, with a son from a first marriage who he doesn’t really know and now he is a new grandfather. I liked his character very much.

The killer was a surprise to me and I love that fact and I thought the ending was perfect.

If you like suspenseful thriller be sure and pick up this one or add it to your TBR list.

Five stars !

*I love the name of this book and you find out what exactly it means early on.(another reason to read it)

 


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Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

Book Description:

Published: May 17, 2016

Format: Audio

New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica returns with an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession.

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

Review –

I am a big fan of psychological thrillers and found myself really enjoying this book. Some parts are completely over the top and, at times, even downright silly, but you expect that stuff going into it. Obviously, these stories aren’t happening in real life–and if they are, well, Heaven help us !

Kubica’s style is fresh and unique, staying true to her strength–which is dialing up the suspense until it reaches the boiling point. While I found some of the characters a bit too quirky and Alex was a bit too Norman Bates-like. I thought they were all tied up nicely at the end.

I did want to pull my hair out where character of Ben, whom Quinn had a huge crush on, was concerned. He was oblivious to her calling him at all times of the night and leaving notes on his desk at work but the author did give us a glimmer of hope for them at the end too.

If you’re looking for a story to suck you in and get your heart pumping, Don’t You Cry would be a worthy pick to meet all of your suspense-loving, thrill-seeking needs!

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