The Promise(Elvis Cole #16, Joe Pike #5, Scott James and Maggie #2) by Robert Crais

Book Description:

Published: November 10, 2015

Format: Audio

Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are joined by Suspect heroes LAPD K-9 Officer Scott James and his German shepherd, Maggie, in the new heart-stopping thriller from #1 New York Times-bestselling author Robert Crais.

Loyalty, commitment, and the fight for justice have always driven Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. If they make a promise, they keep it. Even if it could get them killed.

When Elvis Cole is secretly hired to find a grief-stricken mother, he’s led to an ordinary house on a rainy night in Echo Park. Only the house isn’t ordinary, and the people hiding inside are a desperate fugitive and a murderous criminal with his own dangerous secrets.

As helicopters swirl overhead, Scott and Maggie track the fugitive to this same house, coming face-to-face with Mr. Rollins, a killer who leaves behind a brutally murdered body and enough explosives to destroy the neighborhood. Scott is now the only person who can identify him, but Mr. Rollins has a rule: Never leave a witness alive.

For all of them, the night is only beginning.

Sworn to secrecy by his client, Elvis finds himself targeted by the police even as Mr. Rollins targets Maggie and Scott. As Mr. Rollins closes in for the kill, Elvis and Joe join forces with Scott and Maggie to follow a trail of lies where no one is who they claim — and the very woman they promised to save might get them all killed.

Review –

“Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole is joined by K-9 cop Scott James and his battle-scarred German shepherd, Maggie, in the search for a woman out to avenge the killing of her son in a suicide bombing in Nigeria.

The woman, Amy Breslyn, is a chemical production engineer working for the government who disappeared with $460,000 in company money and a newly purchased gun. Cole is directed to a bungalow in Echo Park, where James encounters him after a man is beaten to death inside, surrounded by a stash of munitions and explosives. We learn that Amy has infiltrated the arms-dealing culture hoping to get close to people who know the identity of her son’s murderers. Persecuted by the LAPD, Cole and his taciturn partner, Joe Pike, slowly unravel bad information and false identities—helped by James reluctantly at first, since he’s not sure Cole isn’t dirty, and then wholeheartedly after attempts on the lives of both the K-9 officer and his Afghanistan-traumatized dog (introduced in the 2013 stand-alone Suspect). After 20 novels, Crais remains one of crime fiction’s smartest and most effortless plotters. The story unfolds with supreme ease, energized by the enigmatic presence of mercenary Jon Stone. James’ undying love for Maggie can be a bit much, as can Crais’ decision to narrate a nightmare sequence from the dog’s point of view. But the book speeds along at an agreeable clip, lifted by the author’s command of the setting, and those military canines do deserve their plaudits.

Not Crais’ deepest or thorniest mystery but another solid outing with a host of involving characters.”(taken from KirkusReviews) because I couldn’t have said it better.

Fantastic read!!

Death of a Liar (Hamish MacBeth #30) by M.C Beaton

Book Description:

Published: February 3, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is alarmed to receive a report from a woman in the small village of Cronish in the Scottish Highlands. She has been brutally attacked and the criminal is on the loose. But upon further investigation, Hamish discovers that she was lying about the crime. So when the same woman calls him back about an intruder, he simply marvels at her compulsion to lie. This time, though, she is telling the truth. Her body is found in her home and Hamish must sort through all of her lies to solve the crime.

Review –

For anyone who hasn’t read or listened to at least one of the Hamish MacBeth series, here is a bit about the likable character.

He lives in Lochdubh’s police station and keeps some sheep and chickens and grows some vegetables. He is occasionally guilty of poaching a salmon, sometimes for himself, but often as a gift or bribe for others.

Hamish has a reputation for laziness. He loves the town of Lochdubh (meaning ‘black lake’ (loch) in Gaelic and pronounced Lokh-DOO) and is content and at peace with his life and lacks ambition. Of great concern to Hamish and his fellow villagers is the threat of possible closure of Lochdubh’s police station,something his superior and archenemy, Chief Inspector Blair, would like to see. Hamish avoids promotion, occasionally even deliberately destroying attempts to give him recognition for his accomplishments. His position as “local bobby,” sees him sometimes left out of official investigations and he must often work outside official channels, as the detectives from neighbouring Strathbane CID do not appreciate his help. Despite this, it is Hamish’s natural “Highland curiosity” and local knowledge and intuition that combine to solve crimes.

All that being said, this book did not hold my interest and I found myself wishing the book would hurry up and be over. There was nothing different from this book to differentiate it from all the others.I like all the characters but I hope the author can come up with more timely and “edge of the seat” plots.

 

Under His Kilt (Under the Kilt #1) by Melissa Blue

Book Description:

Published: December 4, 2013

Format: Free Digital Book

Jocelyn Pearson is determined to spend her last month as a twenty-something doing everything she’s too busy or scared to try. Her imagination runs wild and then fixates on Ian Baird. He’ll be working at the Langston Museum for a short stint as a consulting curator. He’s Scottish. He believes sex is fun to be had. He’s the perfect choice for a fling. She only has to get him break his rule about sleeping with co-workers. Seducing a man was on her bucket list…

Ian is no one’s fool and knows exactly what Jocelyn wants—him. If she didn’t work for the Langston Museum, he’d be more than happy to oblige any and every fantasy she desired, but she’s the curator. She’s sweet, inexperienced and well liked by everyone including the museum owner and director. Ian can’t risk losing such an important contact for his consulting business. Not even when everything within in him craves a taste of her.

When Jocelyn sets her sights on him, there’s no way Ian can deny her. They agree their affair will end in thirty days. No emotions, no entanglements, just sex. The closer the end date looms, they start to question if it’s possible to walk away. They’ll either have to come to terms of what they’ve become or stick to their original agreement.

Review –

Highly enjoyable with plenty of sexy times between engaging  consenting adults.

Killer Instinct by Joseph Finder

Book Description:

Published: May 16, 2006

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Jason Steadman is a thirty-year-old sales executive living in Boston and working for a electronics giant, a competitor to Sony and Panasonic. He’s a witty, charismatic guy who’s well liked at the office, but he lacks the “killer instinct” necessary to move up the corporate ladder. To the chagrin of his ambitious wife, it looks as if his career has hit a ceiling. Jason’s been sidelined.
But all that will change one evening when Jason meets Kurt Semko, a former Special Forces officer just back from Iraq. Looking for a decent pitcher for the company softball team, Jason gets Kurt, who was once drafted by the majors, a job in Corporate Security. Soon, good things start to happen for Jason – and bad things start to happen to Jason’s rivals. His career suddenly takes off. He’s an overnight success
Only too late does Jason discover that his friend Kurt has been secretly paving his path to the top by the most “efficient” – and ruthless – means available. After all, Kurt says, “Business is war, right?”
But when Jason tries to put a stop to it, he finds that his new best friend has become the most dangerous enemy imaginable. And now it’s far more than just his career that lies in the balance.

Review –

OMG!

Once I started listening to this book I found it almost impossible to stop. 

Everything would have been fine if Jason Steadman hadn’t driven his Acura off the road while he was on the cell phone with wife Kate, and if Kate hadn’t been so anxious for him to get ahead at Entronics, where as district sales manager he sells plasma TVs.

Thanks to Kate’s urging, he applies for a promotion to a management position. And thanks to his new acquaintance, tow-truck-driver Kurt Semko, he has the secret weapon to make his rise unstoppable. At first Jason thinks he’s just putting a ringer on the Entronics softball team (Kurt is one mean pitcher who nearly turned pro). Then he thinks he’s just doing Kurt a favor when he urges the Entronics security chief to hire him despite his dishonorable discharge from Special Forces. Then he thinks he’s just a lucky guy as his career takes off like a rocket.

Jason’s competitors for the management job miss crucial sales appointments. Their computers go down at the worst possible moments. Important prospects who’ve refused Jason’s sales pitches are suddenly queuing up to sign on the dotted line. His success is crowned by new cars, a better address, even a fancy pram for the baby he and Kate thought they’d never have.

Jason suspects his new friend is ruthlessly assisting in his advancement, forcing a confrontation that endangers Jason, his wife, and their unborn child. The ending had me on the edge of my seat!!!!!

Although the plot never suffers, a few reviewers called it more predictable and less intricately conceived than those of Finder’s other books. Despite this criticism, Killer Instinct shows that “political thrillers and spy novels are tame compared to what goes on in the cubicles and offices” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel).

Fantastic!!!!

Five Stars.

The Hypnotist (Joona Linna #1) by Lars Kepler

Book Description:

Published: June 21, 2011

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the murders. The killer is still at large, and there’s only one surviving witness—the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes wanted this boy to die: he’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes.

It’s the sort of work that Bark has sworn he would never do again—ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.

An international sensation, The Hypnotist is set to appear in thirty-seven countries, and it has landed at the top of bestseller lists wherever it’s been published—in France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark. Now it’s America’s turn. Combining the addictive power of the Stieg Larsson trilogy with the storytelling drive of The Silence of the Lambs, this adrenaline-drenched thriller is spellbinding from its very first page.

Review –

The novel opens with a horrific crime: A father, mother and their 5-year-old daughter are butchered. The couple’s son, 15-year-old Josef, survives but has been stabbed hundreds of times and is unconscious. He may be able to identify the attacker and thus save other lives, so police summon a hypnotist in the hope that he can communicate with the boy despite his being in a coma.

Erik Maria Bark, the psychiatrist/hypnotist, is a man of many sorrows. He vowed 10 years earlier to give up hypnotism because of a tragedy that is not at first explained. He’s addicted to painkillers, his marriage is falling apart and his 14-year-old son has a blood disease that requires constant treatment. Even worse travails lie ahead once Bark breaks his vow and uses hypnosis to communicate with the survivor of the massacre.

In one of the first of the novel’s many surprises, Josef confesses under hypnosis to killing his family. Of course, the subconscious mind works in strange ways, and the confession may not be true. The boy then escapes from the hospital and may or may not be involved in the next horror, when Bark’s ailing son is kidnapped.

Bark teams up with a detective named Joona Linna to find both youths, one perhaps a mass murderer, the other possibly in the clutches of someone who hates his father. Suspects in the kidnapping include a group of violent criminals whom Bark had treated with hypnosis therapy and who were not always grateful for his efforts. 

The deftly plotted story barrels along in more than a hundred short, swift scenes; it moves about as fast as a 500-page novel can. In one scene, Bark’s wife and her father are about to enter the basement of a house where her son may be held by his kidnapper.  As the woman and her father descend into the darkness — with the reader shrieking “No, no, stop, you fools!” — the beam of their flashlight falls upon “the glass of a framed movie poster.” I take that poster to be homage to Thomas Harris’s landmark thriller, Silence of the Lambs,which as both book and movie was another memorable blending of evil and suspense.

I won’t tell you the ending but it’s worth the reading.

Great on the edge of your seat foreign crime drama. Loved it!

 

There’s Something In A Sunday (A Sharon McCone Mystery#8) by Marcia Muller

Book Description:

Published: December 18, 2011

Format: Audio/OverDrive

It’s a cold Sunday in San Francisco. Sharon McCone’s alone on a routine surveillance job, following a man named Frank Wilkonson through the city’s lush horticultural hot spots to the serene foothills of the Diablos. But when she returns to find her kindly old client in a pool of blood, nothing she’s learned explains it. The search for answers takes her from Wilkonson’s sullen brood on Burning Oak Ranch, to the eccentric havoc of a household in the Haight, to Golden Gate Park and the desperate digs of the homeless. Unraveling the threads that link a homeless man, a pair of prominent activists, a wayward rancher, and a mysterious missing beauty, Sharon is plunged into the depths of domestic mayhem… entering a realm where dreams shatter and marriage leads to bloody murder.

Review –

This was free and available on OverDrive but I wish now that I hadn’t wasted by time.

The story was convoluted and boring and the narrator left a lot to be desired . I’m sorry if you’re a fan of this series but I will never read or listen to another one.

 

Vexed (Iron Bulls #4) by Phoenyx Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: April 4, 2016

Format: E-Book

Falling in love will only leave you vexed.

Recent high school graduate, Athena Vale might seem bubbly and uncomplicated, but she has big plans and even bigger dreams, she’s only ever shared with her best friend, Karina. Athena’s strict upbringing has left her curious about taking a walk on the wild side—just once. And she knows exactly who she wants to go wild with.

President of the Iron Bulls MC, Reed “Romeo” Crownover has no shortage of women willing to entertain him. But these days, there’s only one girl on his mind —Athena. When she shows up at his clubhouse on the night of her eighteenth birthday, he decides it’s time to work her out of his system.

But one night turns into two, two turns into three, and soon the no-strings fun turns into something more passionate than either of them expected. An intense romance neither of them have ever experienced or knew they wanted.

She’s half his age.

He doesn’t fit in her world.

She’s leaving for Los Angeles to start a new life in a few days.

Their connection was vexed from the start.

Vexed is the fourth novella in the Iron Bulls MC series. Although Romeo and Athena make brief appearances in the first three books, Vexed can be read as a stand-alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Review –

I am loving the Iron Bulls MC books with their hot ass bikers, dirty mouths and off the charts sexy scenes and Vexed did not disappoint!

This is Athena and Romeo’s story and if you like a bit of taboo in your story with the whole older guy / younger girl theme then you’ll love this book! Romeo just happens to be the President of the Iron Bulls MC and is a total bad ass and Athena is a spitfire who just graduated high school and together you get a crazy love story that runs hot and heavy.

In the previous books in this series come  to the conclusion that Romeo is a rude disgusting pig well let’s just say that the author definitely throws you for a loop on that one . ROMEO IS STILL THE BADASS, SEXY AS SIN GUY WE MET IN THE PREVIOUS STORIES….BUT UNDERNEATH HE IS SO MUCH MORE….THERE BEHIND THE SEXY BODY LIES A HEART. HE TRIES TO KEEP IT HIDDEN, UNTIL HE FINALLY GETS HIS HANDS ON ATHENA!!! PURE INNOCENT YOUNGER THAN HIM ATHENA.

Athena! I loved her! She’s so smart, sassy, sweet, and clueless! I love how she’s determined to reach her goals and won’t let a man stand in her way. When she realizes she’s not prepared for the career she wants, she takes a step back and regroups.
The way the two of them come together with mutual love and respect, was beautiful! I liked that when both characters made a mistake, they owned up to it and tried to fix it. Very refreshing!

I also liked that this story was so much different than the previous stories (Karina and Dante’s). I often find that series books have a theme when it comes to their couples and often become predictable but with Athena and Romeo’s story (other than the age thing), I found their relationship totally different and fresh and was nothing like that of Dante and Karina’s. 

Great read.

Entwined (Iron Bulls MC #3) by Phoenyx Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: February 2, 2016

Format: E-Book

In Entwined, the third book in the Iron Bulls MC series, shocking secrets and desires are revealed. Can Dante and Karina’s passionate bond survive or will they be torn apart?

Review –

Not much of a blurb on this one and it’s a bit misleading.

Karina and Dante’s relationship keeps getting stronger and he’s trying to get her half sister’s info from Tucker, Karina’s father. He says the half sister doesn’t know anything about Karina and that’s she’s “wild child” and could be a bad influence of her. Dante doesn’t seem too concerned which alerts me to BIG TROUBLE ahead.

Dante wants to push Karina’s boundaries so enlisted Luck to introduce her to bondage. She likes it but they don’t get far because she enters subspace so fast that she couldn’t vocalize her safe word if she needed to.

Tucker missed Karin’s high school graduation and it affects her more than she thought. Also, Athena turns eighteen that day so Romeo is chomping at the bit to get his hands on her.

No cliffhanger this time. Just an anticipated meeting with Kadence, the half-sister. But Dante remembers Tucker’s warning about her wildness and her mother’s involvement with a rival MC and decides that when the meeting happens it will be on his turf so he can keep Karina safe.

Great read.

Disconnect (Iron Bulls MC #2) by Phoenyx Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: August, 2015

Format: E-Book

Karina
Love and hate aren’t that far apart. Once I loved Logan.
Now he’s kidnapped me, and he’s determined to tell me secrets I don’t want to know.

Dante
Once I get my baby girl back, Logan’s going to ground. I just have to find the disloyal bastard first.Then it’s time to admit that what Karina and I have is more than sex.

What secrets is Logan hiding? Why does he risk his life to abduct an old girlfriend from Dante, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Iron Bulls MC? Who’s telling the truth? Who’s lying?
Who can Karina Trust?

In Disconnect, the second book in the thrilling Iron Bulls Motorcycle Club series, shocking secrets are exposed. Lives are forever changed.

Can the passionate bond of two fucked-up people survive the whirlwind trying to tear them apart?

Review –

We are thrown into the Iron Bulls MC lifestyle and the story pickups with Dante searching for Karina who was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, Logan/Hemi. He tells her that her father is the one who made him break up with her and but doesn’t know whether to believe him.  Dante manages to rescue her and Logan gets away.
Dante and Karina’s relationship progresses and stronger feelings are developed. Even with the age difference they work. What began as revenge on her ex-boyfriend changed Karina’s life. Dante is the enforcer for the MC and allowing someone to matter doesn’t factor into his lifestyle, but Karina gets under his skin and all he can think about is his “little girl.” Growing up by herself, Karina depended on her intelligence to survive and graduating high school to attend college is important to her, but so is Dante.
Karina finds out that she has a half-sister due to an affair her Dad had with her mother while on one of his long haul jobs. Her half-sister is part of his “real’ family.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters and learning more about them. They play an important role and you begin to picture the various storylines the author is weaving. Hopefully, we will learn more about Romeo and Luck in books to come.

Box 21 (Grens and Sundkvist #2) by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

Book Description:

Published: April 1, 2010

Format: Audio

Three years ago, Lydia and Alena were two hopeful girls from Lithuania. Now they are sex slaves, lured to Sweden with the promise of better jobs and then trapped in a Stockholm brothel, forced to repay their “debt.” Suddenly they are given an unexpected chance at freedom, and with it the opportunity to take revenge on their enslavers and reclaim the lives and dignity they once had. What will happen now that the tables are turned and the victims fight back?
In this masterful thriller, the celebrated team of Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström delve into the seedy underbelly of Stockholm. There we meet Lydia and Alena as they embark on a desperate plan to expose their captor and demand justice; police officers Sundkvist and Grens, on the trail of both Lydia’s enslavers and Jochum Lang, a notorious mob enforcer; and Hilding Oldéus, a junkie on what might be his last—and most destructive—bender. At the Söder Hospital, their destinies begin to converge in unexpected and explosive ways.
Box 21 is a Scandinavian thriller of the highest order: a mind-blowing psychological drama written with powerful intensity. When it was published in Sweden, Solo called it “suspenseful, gripping, and intelligently written . . . Almost impossible to put down,” while SVT exclaimed: “Forget crime literature; this is, simply put, great literature!”
Review –
When a severely wounded woman is brought to a hospital in Stockholm, doctors are horrified to learn that her injuries are the result of a brutal whipping. She is Lydia, a victim of human-trafficking, a young girl from Lithuania sold by her boyfriend and now trapped in a Stockholm brothel, forced to repay her “debt” by serving twelve different men every day.  In the same hospital, police officer Sven Sundkvist and senior officer Ewert Grens are chasing a lead that may just expose a notorious mafia boss, a dangerous man Grens hates with a vengeance because of the connection to the death of his wife. Two stories of passionate reprisal twist together, ending in a dramatic climax,two bullet-riddled bodies and a room full of hostages in the hospital’s basement.  Ewert Grans discovers the truth about Lydia and his best friend, Bankt, who is also on the police force. He destroys evidence to save his widow from learning the horrible things he has done. Sven, finds out that his boss has covered up things and destroyed evidence to protect his friends reputation. But in the cold light of day, will Sven protect the senior officer he so admires, even from his own corruption? 
You’ll have to read the book to find out and there is also a HUGE twist at the very end that left my mouth wide open.
The only other book I have read/listened to in this series is Cell 8 which is number three. I loved it but wished I had read or listened to this one first because it would have given me a better insight into the characters of Grens and Sundkvist and their dynamic.
Fantastic book.
Five stars!