Crimson Death (Anita Blake,Vampire Hunter #25) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Book Description:

Published: October 11, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Review –

After I read Serpentine (#26) I realized that I hadn’t read #25, Crimson Death, so I looked on OverDrive and it was available so I borrowed it and drove right in.  Having read Serpentine, I knew that some VERY bad things were going to happen.

In Crimson Death vampires aren’t supposed be living in Ireland, but it seems something strange is going on across the ocean with dead bodies turning up with tiny holes in their necks. Even worse, whatever is going on isn’t good for Anita’s vampire servant, Damian. He’s suffering badly with night terrors and sweating blood, leading Anita to suspect that his old master could be responsible. Determined to learn the truth, she teams up with Edward in Ireland to hunt down those causing trouble before any more bodies turn up.

Ever since book #10 of this series, Narcissus in Chains, which I may have re-read soon, I’ve been getting more and more annoyed by the relationships Anita has with her men. There are just too many for me to handle,(and keep track  of) and quite frankly, I think Ms. Hamilton is beginning to focus too much on Anita’s relationships and not nearly enough on the investigation side of things when it comes to her job in hunting rogue vampires and shape-shifters or raising zombies.

However, in saying that, every time I read one of Ms. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books, I find myself totally captivated by what Anita needs to do to ensure the safety of humans and those supernatural that are doing the right thing. With this book, readers are taken on quite the adventure with Anita heading to Ireland, and although it takes quite a few chapters for her to get there – since those that are already hunting the rogue vampires (besides Edward) seem reluctant to accept her help – I could not stop listening once she starts investigating.

The dialogue was intense due to the investigation; what happens to Anita and her triumvirate in Nathaniel and Damian; what is happening to Damian with his nightmares and blood sweats (which was a little spooky); what Anita needs to do to figure out who is breaking vampire rules and the ever burning questioning of whether her powers as a necromancer will work in Ireland. Moreover, I liked that Anita finally began to find peace with her triumvirate and worked hard to make it work because she needed Damian, if she was ever to survive what she faced.

I really liked the introduction of characters readers have never met until this book. The fae; the vampires and their animal to call that they were up against, and the people Edward was working with. Anita had to prove herself and faces some tough challenges from each of them. Can she work with Edward and the team he’s currently working with in Ireland? Will the Fae give her grief over her abilities or will they accept her help? The tough challenges Anita faces, especially towards the end of this book are hard, yet the way she overcomes them certainly proves she’s still one of the best vampire hunters.

Overall, this was a good (almost great) book with an ending that brought tears to my eyes because of what happens to one of Anita’s men and with her, yet she’s tough and proves it with how she uses her powers to take down her enemy. I would recommend Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton, if you enjoy strong heroines that hunt vampires but doesn’t have an easy time when it comes to relationships.

Loved it!

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The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

Book Description:

Published: May 19, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

The truth hurts…

Erin and Roisin were once friends until a fatal accident ruined both their lives. Now, Roisin has discovered a secret—one Erin has kept for over a decade—and she’s determined to make Erin pay for her lies.

Erin wants nothing to do with Roisin. She has a new life in London and no intention of going back home. Yet when her father is mysteriously and critically injured, Erin has no choice but to return and face Roisin—and her past. Erin knows if the secret of what she gave up got out, the consequences could be devastating.

When Roisin suddenly disappears, suspicion soon lands on Erin. She would do anything to protect her family, but just how far is she willing to go when time is running out…?

Review –

This is the story of Erin, partly written in first person and told over a dual timeline. Sixteen year old Erin is in love, pregnant and being told what is best for her by adults. They all make sense but she doesn’t want to hear it.

Present day, ten years later, Erin is living in London working at a beauty salon when she receives a blast from the past phone call from her old school friend, Roisin, in Ireland. The call is disturbing and unsettling for Erin and within hours she receives another urgent call from her sister, Fiona, informing her that their father is in intensive care with a serious head injury. From here Erin is forced back to Ireland to be with her family and knows she will also have to face the dreaded Roisin who she knows she will bump into in the small village they live in.

Sue Fortin writes beautifully and competently with unease and tense moments at each chapter ending. Her characters are realistic and visual with enough description to make them authentic without becoming mundane or boring. There is just the right amount of teasing romance to add to the suspense but without distracting from the gripping storyline. The text is rich and written with depth and meaning, and several times I thought I’d guessed what was coming, sometimes I did guess correctly but it didn’t spoil the outcome at all because there was twist and revelation, one on top of another. I found the book totally compelling and couldn’t put it down.

I would highly recommend it for anyone who likes psychological suspense.

My first five-star book of the year!

The Trespasser(Dublin Murder Squad #6) by Tana French

Book Description:

Published: October 4, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Antoinette Conway, the tough, abrasive detective from The Secret Place, is still on the Murder squad, but only just. She’s partnered up with Stephen Moran now, and that’s going well – but the rest of her working life isn’t. Antoinette doesn’t play well with others, and there’s a vicious running campaign in the squad to get rid of her. She and Stephen pull a case that at first looks like a slam-dunk lovers’ tiff, but gradually they realise there’s more going on: someone on their own squad is trying to push them towards the obvious solution, away from nagging questions. They have to work out whether this is just an escalation in the drive to get rid of her – or whether there’s something deeper and darker going on.

Review –

I don’t know if it was the narrator or the fact that this is number six in the series and I have only read the first one, but it just seemed to go on and on and I felt oppressed under the weight of it. Not until the last two chapters did I really enjoy it. 

While the premise is good and I did like the ending I was glad when it was over. That being said, I plan to find earlier books in the series and give them a try. I don’t like to give up on a good murder wh0-done it!

 

The Call (The Call #1)by Peadar O’Guilin

Book Description:

Published: August 30, 2016

Format: Free Digital Book/OverDrive

Imagine a world where you might disappear any minute, only to find yourself alone in a grey sickly land, with more horrors in it than you would ever wish to know about. And then you hear a horn and you know that whoever lives in this hell has got your scent and the hunt has already begun.

Could you survive the Call?

Review –

I have long been a fan of Karen Marie Moning and her Fever series, which deals with MacKayla (Mac) Lane and her battle against the world of the Fae, so when I ran across this book I knew I had to read it.

I’ve seen it described on YouTube as a horror novel and the video went on and on about how graphic and gruesome it was, but in reality it’s no worse than what young adults see on video games or read in some graphic novels. I found the violence and description of the Grey Land and the monstrous Faeries and their dress (made of human skin) added to the trepidation and edginess of the book.

Vanessa (Nessa) Doherty is a 14-year-old girl who attends Boyle Survival College, one of many in Ireland that serve only to teach its youth how to survive the Call of the Sídhe.

This intense, riveting tale is set in an Ireland that the Sídhe, Irish faeries, have cut off from the rest of the world, plotting to retake their former home through a grim war of attrition that involves kidnapping human teenagers. During the “Call,” teens disappear “for a little over three minutes, but in [the faeries’] world, the Grey Land, an entire day has passed, panic and pain in every second of it.” When the stolen teens reappear, they are usually dead and/or horribly mutated by magic. All Irish children attend special centers where they’re taught martial arts, the Sídhe language, and total ruthlessness. Nessa, already relegated to crutches due to polio (Ireland’s isolation means no imported vaccines—or anything else), seems unlikely to survive her Call, but has dedicated everything to doing so. The author follows several teens, including Nessa, over into the Grey Land, delivering blisteringly fast-paced and graphic descriptions of the tortures the children endure. This is a bleak, gripping story, one where only the most muted of happy endings is possible. 

There is a semi cliffhanger and the sequel, The Invasion, comes out in March of 2108. I can’t wait.

Five stars!!!!!

 

Buried in a Bog (County Cork #1) by Sheila Connolly

Book Description:

Published: February 5, 2013

Honoring the wish of her late grandmother, Maura Donovan visits the small Irish village where her Gran was born—though she never expected to get bogged down in a murder mystery. Nor had she planned to take a job in one of the local pubs, but she finds herself excited to get to know the people who knew her Gran.

In the pub, she’s swamped with drink orders as everyone in town gathers to talk about the recent discovery of a nearly one-hundred-year-old body in a nearby bog. When Maura realizes she may know something about the dead man—and that the body’s connected to another, more recent, death—she fears she’s about to become mired in a homicide investigation. After she discovers the death is connected to another from almost a century earlier, Maura has a sinking feeling she may really be getting in over her head…

Review –

Accidentally came across this gem while searching for something free to listen to on Overdrive and it’s a shame this was the only one of this series they had because it really is a good mystery while incorporating the sights and sounds of the Irish countryside.

It shows that no matter where you are in life circumstances can change in the blink of an eye and change your entire life.

A great read for any time and any one.

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Born In Shame (Born In Trilogy #3) by Nora Roberts

Book Description:

Published: 1996

A talented graphic artist, Shannon Bodine’s life revolved around her job at a prestigious New York advertising agency. But her world was turned upside down whe she learned the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon. Respecting her late mother’s last wish, Shannon reluctantly traveled to County Clare. There, her loneliness and shame melted away in the embrace of the family she never knew existed. And amid the lush Irish landscape steeped in mysticism and legend, she discovered the possibility of a love that was meant to be…

 

Review –

A wonderful conclusion to a romantic Irish series by Nora Roberts. No one can tell a tale the way she does. Fantastic read.

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Born In Ice (Born In Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts

Product Description:

Published:  October 1, 2013

Three modern sisters bound by the timeless beauty of Ireland…

When the harsh storms of winter descended upon western Ireland, the locals stayed indoors – and visitors stayed away. Brianna Concannon’s bed-and-breakfast became a cold and empty place. But that was fine with Brianna. She enjoyed the peace and quiet, even when the icy winds howled at her window.

But this year, cool, capable and thoroughly domestic Brianna is expecting an unusual guest – mystery writer Grayson Thane, from America. A restless wanderer with a painful past, he plans to spend the cold winter alone. But sometimes fate has a plan of its own.

Review –

I didn’t think this next installment of the Born In Trilogy  would be as good as the first, Born In Fire, but it was, if not better.

Grayson is so closed off and mysterious and Brianna is so cool, calm and collected that you’d never see them as a pair, but the old saying that “opposites attract” is true in their case. Their chemistry was anything but ice-like.

I love this series and have started on the third and final book in the series and I can’t wait to see the way the author, Nora Roberts, ties up all the loose ends.

A great read!

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Born In Fire (Born In Series #1) by Nora Roberts

Book Description

October 1, 1994
The eldest Concannon sister, Maggie, is a reclusive, stubborn and free-spirited glassmaker—with a heart worth winning.

Margaret Mary is a glass artist with an independent streak as fierce as her volatile temper. Hand-blowing glass is a difficult and exacting art, and while she may produce the delicate and the fragile, Maggie is a strong and opinionated woman, a Clare woman, with all the turbulence of that fascinating west country.

One man, Dublin gallery owner Rogan Sweeney, has seen the soul in Maggie’s art, and vows to help her build a career. When he comes to Maggie’s studio, her heart is inflamed by their fierce attraction—and her scarred past is slowly healed by love…

Review –
I am a sucker for a book with its setting in Ireland and even better when I have the audio book version and can listen to the narrator speak with an Ireland brogue, as was the case.
It’s a romance with fire and chemistry between Maggie and Rogan, and  with a bit of dysfunctional family thrown in. Nora Roberts is always a winner in the field of romance stories and she out did herself this time.   Loved it!!!!
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Taboo by Casey Hill

Book Description

January 27, 2011
Introducing CSI Reilly Steel…
The first forensic thriller in a police procedural crime fiction mystery series for fans of Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs and Karin Slaughter, or TV shows CSI and Criminal Minds.

Forensic investigator Reilly Steel, Quantico-trained and California-born and bred, imagined Dublin to be a far cry from bustling San Francisco, a sleepy backwater where she can lay past ghosts to rest and start anew.
She’s arrived in Ireland to drag the Garda forensics team into the 21st-century plus keep tabs on her Irish-born father who’s increasingly seeking solace in the bottle after a past tragedy.
But a brutal serial killer soon puts paid to that. A young man and woman are found dead in a hotel room, the gunshot wounds on their naked bodies suggesting a suicide pact. But as Reilly and the team dig deeper and more bodies are discovered, they soon realize that a twisted murderer is at work, one who seeks to upset society’s norms in the most sickening way imaginable…

Review –
This is a great ” who done it” for any murder mystery fan. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series.
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Now You See Her by Joy Fielding

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Book Description

Release date: January 31, 2012
New York Times bestselling author Joy Fielding tells an unforgettable story of a newly divorced woman attempting to heal her heartache, only to find herself on a desperate search for her daughter.Fifty-year-old Marcy Taggart’s life is in shambles. Two years ago, her twenty-one-year-old daughter, Devon, perished in a canoeing accident. Her body was never found in the icy waters of Georgian Bay, and as a result Marcy has never fully accepted her death. She continues to see the young woman’s face in crowds and has even stopped strangers on the street, certain she has finally discovered her long lost daughter.Now in Ireland, on what was originally intended to be a celebration of her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary—if, that is, her husband had not left her for another woman—Marcy yet again thinks she sees her daughter, casually strolling past her on the sidewalk. So begins Marcy’s desperate search to find Devon, to find herself, and to find the disturbing truth that might, in the end, be her only salvation.

Now You See Her vividly displays Fielding’s rare talent for creating the kind of tension, suspense, and compelling heroines readers crave. Riveting from start to finish, it’s one fans won’t want to miss.

Review –

I chose the audio version of this story because I found it for a good price and I knew right away that I have made a good decision.

The story takes place in Ireland and the narrator,Justine Eyer, had a delightful musical quality to her voice and her accent was beautiful l and she made the story come alive.

If you enjoy a good mystery, a thrilling turn of events and scenic descriptions of faraway lands I highly recommend this book in audio.