Published: April 1, 2010
Published: April 1, 2010
Casey knows the truth.
But it won’t set her free.
Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.
But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?
Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.
After finding best friend Brent Pace stabbed to death in his apartment, Casey Cox knows she will be the prime suspect and needs to make a decision quickly. Armed with thousands in cash that her father gave her for emergencies, she hops on a bus out of Shreveport, Louisiana, and becomes Grace Newland after purchasing the identity illegally.
Back in Shreveport, war-weary vet Dylan Roberts attends Brent’s funeral and is hired by a family friend in the police department to bring Casey home for questioning. As Dylan tries to determine Casey’s motive for murdering her friend, “Grace” is trying to establish a new life in Shady Grove, Georgia, thanks to Miss Lucy, an elderly woman she met on the bus. Sleuthing online from afar, Casey uncovers evidence that Brent had information pertaining to her father’s murder. Unsure who to trust as evidence begins to point to corrupt detectives, Casey digs into her family past to figure out what really happened to her father a decade before.
Dylan, just a few steps behind Casey, is skeptical of her involvement in Brent’s death. Will her questioning end up costing Casey her life, or will Dylan track her down in time to save them both? The author is masterly in navigating the suspenseful fugitive plot, using the alternation of Casey’s and Dylan’s chapters to ratchet up the tension. Crisp dialogue and unexpected twists make this compulsive reading, and a final chapter cliffhanger leaves things poised for a sequel.
I really enjoyed this story but the cliffhanger was a surprise because I didn’t know about the sequel. I plan on reading or listening to it as soon as I can find it.
Published: February 2, 2016
Psychologist sleuth Alex Delaware is surprised to get the call when well-known TV actress Zelda Chase turns up half-naked, half-mad in the LA’s rural Westside. He has little connection to the starlet, save a psychiatric evaluation he performed on her adopted son several years ago, a child who has since vanished without a trace and whom Zelda refuses to talk about. When the actress turns up dead a few weeks later without a scratch on her, Delaware calls in police lieutenant Milo Sturgis to help him crack the case—or at least the wall of silence surrounding it. When the body of a second actress turns up with the same mysterious cause of death, Delaware and Sturgis start to wonder—is this a copycat case or a coincidence? When they uncover the death of another actress, a star from another era who vanished decades ago, never to be found, they realize they’re facing one of their most baffling, mind-bending cases yet.
Kellerman offers up a slightly different Alex Delaware in this outing, a slightly obsessed one and the plot – thankfully – kept me guessing. I say – thankfully – because the last few have been a bit predictable.
This storyline is mostly an interesting one, although a tad convoluted . But the author also introduces a few threads, which all tie up in a fairly surprising way at the end; but I was kept guessing and keen to understand Zelda’s fate so was pulled into the unfolding story.
I’m hoping Kellerman keeps throwing a few curve balls at his lead characters as this was an improvement on its predecessor and a very enjoyable read/listen.
Published: September 13, 2016
In the first of a Montgomery Ink spin-off series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan, a broken man uncovers the truth of what it means to take a second chance with the most unexpected woman…
Graham Gallagher has seen it all. And when tragedy struck, lost it all. He’s been the backbone of his brothers, the one they all rely on in their lives and business. And when it comes to falling in love and creating a life, he knows what it’s like to have it all and watch it crumble. He’s done with looking for another person to warm his bed, but apparently he didn’t learn his lesson because the new piercer at Montgomery Ink tempts him like no other.
Blake Brennen may have been born a trust fund baby, but she’s created a whole new life for herself in the world of ink, piercings, and freedom. Only the ties she’d thought she’d cut long ago aren’t as severed as she’d believed. When she finds Graham constantly in her path, she knows from first glance that he’s the wrong kind of guy for her. Except that Blake excels at making the wrong choice and Graham might be the ultimate temptation for the bad girl she’d thought long-buried.
I have read the Montgomery Ink series so I was acquainted with the characters that showed up during this, the first of the Gallagher Brothers books.
Graham Gallagher and his brothers restore houses that are historical landmarks and other properties and he is a dark, brooding, grumpy man with a long beard, a piercing and ink.
Blake Brennen, who has been estranged from her parents since the birth of her daughter, Rowan, ten years ago, is the executor of her family’s estate so she is the contact person and she and Graham butt heads from the start.They’re both such strong personalities that they are like magnets bouncing off of each other but you know with just one turn they will connect in such away pulling them apart will be a near impossibility. But Blake has a history that haunts her, a history that changed her world, a history that sent her on the run for years, but now she’s back home and forced to face that history while keeping herself and her secrets close to the heart.
Blake works at Montgomery Ink and pierces as well as tattoos so she comes into contact with the Gallagher brothers almost every day because, Jake Gallagher is engaged to Maya Montgomery.
To make a long story short, Graham and his wife (now ex),Candace, lost a child and their marriage didn’t survive. Blake, got pregnant and the father became a drug addict and died and his parents have always blamed her and said they would have the baby taken away from her, so she moves often and tries to keep Rowan a secret.
Blake, discovers that Chris’s parents have found out where she lives and are taking her to court for full custody.
The Gallagher and the Montgomery’s band together and help Blake keep her daughter. There is drama but it all works out.
For a contemporary romance, this one had minimal sex, but it was well written and the chemistry between Graham and Blake was hot.
A great Summer Time read.
Published: July 26, 2016
In the summer of 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys her mother, who spends the rest of her life at the lake house, hoping in vain that her favorite daughter will walk out of the woods. Emily’s two older sisters stay, too, each keeping her own private, decades-long vigil for the lost child.
Sixty years later Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before she dies, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person to whom it might matter: her grandniece, Justine.
For Justine, the lake house offers a chance to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the stable home she never had. But it’s not the sanctuary she hoped for. The long Minnesota winter has begun. The house is cold and dilapidated, the frozen lake is silent and forbidding, and her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more than he’s telling about the summer of 1935.
Soon Justine’s troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily’s disappearance, her mother arrives with designs on her inheritance, and the man she left behind launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house steeped in the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.
The foundation of the story rests with the disappearance in 1935 of Emily, a six-year-old child, and the resulting destruction of a family unit when the child is not found. As the story opens, it is the end of the 20th century and Lucy, the last living member of the family, writes the story of the tragedy, set during the summer of 1935 at a remote area in northern Minnesota that is the gathering spot for summer and weekend vacations. Its residents arrive at the beginning of summer and leave with the onset of autumn. They are all known to one another, and their relationships ebb and flow.
Knowing that she is dying, Lucy feels compelled to explain the mystery of Emily’s disappearance as it unfolded that summer. She has made arrangements to leave the home and property that she and her older sister, Lilith, have lived in until the last of their family has died out, to a grandniece, Justine, who is Lilith’s granddaughter. Her journal story is written in the first person and immerses us into that long-ago summer.
With each alternating chapter, we follow Justine as she migrates from San Diego to Williamsburg, Minnesota, with her two daughters. The move is fraught with anguish as Justine leaves her live-in boyfriend, packs the few belongings she and the girls have, and sets out to learn about her inheritance. Her story is told in the third person.
Young is skilled at creating tension and conflict both in the journal (Lucy) chapters and in the Justine chapters.
Her characters are vivid and come to life as the story unfolds.
Justine’s mother, Maurie, is a hippy-style mother who disappears and then reappears every few years when her life falls apart and she needs financial support. When she learns that Justine has inherited the family summer home, she comes sniffing around searching for anything she can sell for profit. She is a woman older than she believes herself to be and her boisterous and flirtatious ways create pain and embarrassment for Justine.
Patrick, Justine’s boyfriend, is a manipulative man, set on controlling Justine’s life and that of her daughters. She left him with no indication where she was going, but she knew he would find her and come for her . . . and he does.
The characters in Lucy’s journal are equally complex in their relationships with one another. The two older daughters just emerging into their teens, Lilith and Lucy, are inseparable, while the younger child, Emily, is held close and pampered by their mother.
The parents are estranged: the father, a pharmacist in town, comes to the summer home on weekends with his religious bellowing; the mother expresses an overpowering attachment to Emily and a distance from her husband.
Matthew and Abe Miller are the sons of the man who owns the lodge in the vacation area where tourists come and reside for short periods of time. The boys are mixed race, part white, part Indian, and while the lodge is accepted as a gathering point for the summer residents, the fathers watch the boys with a careful eye. These two characters travel back and forth between the journal, as young men, and Justine’s story as old men.
In Lucy’s journal, Young expresses the angst of young boys and girls as they are entering adulthood and the dances they do around one another with varying degrees of results. She is equally good at reflecting the anger of Justine’s two young daughters who have been ripped away from the small amount of stability they had in San Diego, as they are relocated to a cold, northern, unforgiving environment in Minnesota.
Both stories travel a parallel path of pain with the summer of 1935 heading toward a tragic end and the winter of the end of the 20th century heading on a collision course of battered relationships.
Young drops hints throughout Lucy’s chapters as to what really happened to Emily that summer and in two thrilling scenes packed with tension at the end, she pitches several situations only hinted at earlier, but activities that nonetheless prove vital to the final result. She cleverly draws these parallel stories together as Justine resolves issues and takes her place as the strong protagonist she is meant to be.
Five stars! Fantastic read.
Published: September 15, 2003
Kenzie and Gennaro are private investigators in the blue-collar neighborhoods and ghettos of South Boston-they know it as only natives can. Working out of an old church belfry, Kenzie and Gennaro take on a seemingly simple assignment for a prominent politician: to uncover the whereabouts of Jenna Angeline, a black cleaning woman who has allegedly stolen confidential state documents.
Finding Jenna, however, is easy compared to staying alive once they’ve got her. The investigation escalates, implicating members of Jenna’s family and rival gang leaders while uncovering extortion, assassination, and child prostitution extending from bombed-out ghetto streets to the highest levels of government.
I was lucky enough to find the audio version of this, the first in the Kenzie and Gennaro series on OverDrive and it was fantastic.
A Drink Before The War is the story of Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, private investigators who have been hired by a politician to find some missing documents believed to have been stolen by a cleaning lady. Their job is to find the cleaning lady (who has gone missing), recover the documents and return them to the politician. Although it sounds like a pretty cut-and-dried case, things start getting complicated when the cleaning lady is located and she lets the PIs in on a secret that starts up one of the bloodiest gang wars that the Boston area has ever seen.
Before they know it, Patrick and Angie are right in the middle of the action, and both of the rival gangs want them dead. To complicate matters, Patrick is still trying to come to terms with the ghost of his abusive father, and Angie goes home every night to a husband who has a tendency to leave her with black eyes and bloody lips. Over the course of the novel, Patrick and Angie must find a way to defeat their personal demons while desperately searching for a way out of the death sentence they seem to be facing.
A Drink Before the War is a well-paced thriller that not only features an excellent and thought-provoking plot, but also interesting and deep characters. It’s no wonder that Lehane has gone on to write more novels featuring Patrick and Angie. They are certainly two of the best protagonists featured in a current mystery series.
Loved it and will continue to read this series.
Published: September 5, 2013
What happens when the one person you never expected suddenly happens to be the one you’ll fight the hardest to keep?
Colton stole my heart. He wasn’t supposed to, and I sure as hell didn’t want him to, but he crashed into my life, ignited feelings within me that I thought had died forever, and fueled a passion that I never knew could exist.
Rylee fell out of that damn storage closet and into my life. Now I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. She’s seen glimpses of the darkness within me, and yet she’s still here. Still fighting for me. She is without a doubt the saint, and I am most definitely the sinner.
How is it the one thing neither of us wanted—neither of us anticipated that fateful night—has us fighting so hard to keep?
He steals my breath, stops my heart, and brings me back to life again all in a split second of time. But how can I love a man who won’t let me in? Who continually pushes me away to prevent me from seeing the damaged secrets in his past? My heart has fallen, but patience and forgiveness can only go so far.
How can I desire a woman who unnerves me, defies me, and forces me to see that in the deep, black abyss of my soul there’s someone worthy of her love? A place and person I swore I’d never be again. Her selfless heart and sexy body deserve so much more than I’ll ever be capable of giving her. I know I can’t be what she needs, so why can’t I just let her go?
We are driven by need and fueled with desire, but is that enough for us to crash into love?
After book one, Driven, I had hopped that Rylee would have more of a back bone in this installment of the series, but alas, it was not to be.
She knows that Colton had something horrible happen to him as a child, more than being mistreated by his mother, but he won’t talk about it.If she pushes him too hard he just becomes sullen and treats her like dirt.
We, as readers, know that Colton was sexually abused by his mother’s “boyfriend” and was forced to say the words I LOVE YOU to his abuser during the act. That is why when Rylee says those words to him he bolts. It’s a trigger for him and takes him back to that horrible time in his life. He sincerely believes that Rylee will want no part of him because of what he did as a child, even though he was forced into it by the one person who was supposed to love him most of all, his mother. He wants and needs Rylee desperately but does things to sabotage their relationship.
Rylee finds Colton at his Palisades house (his infamous f*ck pad) with Tawny in a very compromising situation but never allows him to explain. Things go from back to worse and over the course of three weeks their relationship has been torn to shreds by both of them. Finally “Becks” tells them to figure it out or else because Colton has a race the next day and needs his head on straight. So, Colton convinces Rylee to listen and she finds out he did not sleep with Tawny but that she kissed him and he kissed her back and he gets very emotional with Rylee and tells her that he wants to try to continue their relationship and maybe make it into more. He even goes so far as to tell her “I race you” meaning that he loved her.
The next day the race starts off great but a crash occurs and there is so much smoke on the track that Colton is driving blind and his spotter can’t tell him what to do, so he ends up cartwheeling down the track and hitting a barricade and having his car disintegrate around him. He arrests twice on the way to the hospital and that’s THE END. (of course it is)
I have now started book three in the series, Crashed, and will report on it later.
Great series with plenty of action, drama, love, confrontations and an abundance of hot sex scenes. I highly recommend this series if you enjoy contemporary/erotic romances.
Published: October 14, 2014
College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same.
Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.
As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.
Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?
This book is like a tree with many branches – the story is the tree and the sub-story lines are the branches and it makes for a wonderful thoughtful tale of a young man used to taking on burdens beyond his years—none more dangerous than championing a dying old man convicted of a horrific crime.
What starts out as a college English assignment leads Joe and his stand-offish neighbor, Lila and his autistic brother, Jeremy discover that a man in prison for thirty years and recently put in a nursing home because he’s dying of cancer is not guilty of the crime which locked him away. They run into many obstacles but will not be deterred and eventually get the proof they need. Add in a drunk mother, losing his college fund and getting badly beaten by the killer and you have a very thought provoking novel. I loved it.
I really think you need to add it to your “to be read” list.
Published: November 8, 2011
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can’t say no when someone asks for help—even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive.
Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy’s are in jeopardy, too. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down.
This is the first book that I have read/listened to by Danish author, Lene Kaaberbol and translated by Agnete Friis and I loved it, BUT…
Nina seems to be cliché; she’s a typical damaged protagonist (seems to be suffering from manic depression) who had a childhood trauma and has been compensating ever since, distancing herself from her husband and children in order to save them from herself, while compulsively helping other “outsiders”. She always takes too much on instead of asking the authorities for help. Nevertheless, though there are some flaws in the book, it is a very good read, highlighting some of the social injustices that are all too familiar to us today from reading the newspapers and other crime novels.
I’m looking forward to finding more books by this author.
Published: January 12, 2010
The organized criminal gangs of the former Soviet Union are bound by what they call the thieves’ code. The first rule is this: A thief must forsake his mother, father, brothers, and sisters. He must have no family-no wife, no children. We are his family. If any of the rules are broken, it is punishable by death.
Frank Meyer had the American dream-until the day a professional crew invaded his home and murdered everyone inside. The only thing out of the ordinary about Meyer was that- before the family and the business and the normal life-a younger Frank Meyer had worked as a professional mercenary, with a man named Joe Pike.
The police think Meyer was hiding something very bad, but Pike does not. With the help of Cole, he sets out on a hunt of his own-an investigation that quickly entangles them both in a web of ancient grudges, blood ties, blackmail, vengeance, double crosses, and cutthroat criminality, and at the heart of it, an act so terrible even Pike and Cole have no way to measure it. Sometimes, the past is never dead. It’s not even past.
Since Robert Crais first introduced Elvis Cole and Joe Pike in 1987’s “The Monkey’s Raincoat,” readers have been treated to one of the best, albeit unlikely, partnerships in crime fiction. Yet it’s inherent in such pairings — whether it’s Holmes and Watson or Spenser and Hawk — that one character ends up in the shadow of the other. For Crais, that shadow role falls to Pike (few dare call him Joe), an enigmatic, Zen-like warrior who has been the sidekick to the wise cracking Cole for most of the series with the notable exception of 2007’s “The Watchman,” in which Pike had the lead. There, as he began in 1999’s “L.A. Requiem,” Crais revealed tantalizing bits of Pike’s back story and psychological underpinnings, enriching his writing and the series in the process.
Pike has the lead again in “The First Rule,” which takes readers on a multicultural guided tour of Los Angeles crime, from Westwood to Willowbrook, Marina del Rey to Lake View Terrace.
When Joe Pike’s good friend Frank Meyer is gunned down in cold blood, even the L. A. cops are worried about who’s gonna tell Joe Pike. Pike has a reputation that’s been well earned over the years. He wears red arrows tattooed on his biceps that point forward because Joe Pike doesn’t back up or back down. Ever.
I know a lot of people who haven’t read Crais’s books might read that last bit and go, yeah, right. But we fans know. Joe Pike,one of my favorite characters, might be cut from the same cloth as Batman and truly near superhero standards, but we just don’t care. We can’t get enough of this guy. If the world was truly the way it was supposed to be, guys like Joe Pike and Elvis Cole, World’s Greatest Detective, would exist.
I believe in them. It’s a choice I’m comfortable with.
The prose is stripped down, lean and hard and merciless — and different from an Elvis Cole novel. We view Pike more from the outside even when we’re in his point of view. Pike is a very private person, and I like the mystique he manages to keep even while on center stage.
This book might not be for everyone regarding the brutal nature of the crimes and the extremes Pike goes to, but the action is dead on and very representative of what these Eastern European crime syndicates do.
A great read that will keep you turning the page and wanting more when you come to the end.