Last Breath (Good Daughter #0.5) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: July 11. 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Protecting someone always comes at a cost.

At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home – and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.

Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.

But honour-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: How far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?

Review –

The book opens as Charlie is at a career women speaking event with the Girl Scouts. It seems like most of the girls don’t care that she’s there. She’s also not feeling well. Suddenly, she knows she’s about to be sick and bolts for the bathroom. It’s there that one of the girls decides to talk with her. As the girl, Florabama Faulkner (Flora) starts to talk about her life, Charlie feels a kinship with her. At first, Flora is hesitant to say what she really wants to say, but finally blurts it out….“I want to be emancipated”

Flora tells Charlie about everything that’s going on. Charlie feels for this seemingly fragile, young, and lonely girl. (I knew right there that Flora was TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE) She wants to help her. People like Flora Faulkner are one of the main reasons Charlie chose to move back to Pikerville, instead of working at some hotshot firm in some big city.

But not everything is what it seems. Normally as a defense lawyer, she knows more about her clients, their friends, and family etc. than they know about themselves. But this time, Charlie isn’t sure just what she’s gotten involved in.

From there, she does some investigating into her grandparents, in an effort to try and understand how to get Flora out of there… however, nothing is ever that simple, not even in a short story. What thrills me with this story is that Karin Slaughter has accomplished a satisfying OMG moment, which is only one amazing part of this short story, and more importantly to me, highlights the strengths of her characters.

As far as prequels go, it’s an effective one into Charlie, into her past and where she now. It’s also insight into how her past affects her choices and her thinking with regards to her clients — which can be prove dangerous in her line of work. 

It is not necessary to read this prior to reading The Good Daughter, but is does give you more insight into the character of Charlie Quinn.

 

 

 

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The Bone Farm (Jane Hawk #0.5) by Dean Koontz

Book Description:

Published: April 25, 2018

Format: Audio/Audible

An audio original novella featuring bestselling author Dean Koontz’s compelling new heroine, Jane Hawk. From the case files of the former FBI agent before she became the nation’s most wanted fugitive – The Bone Farm details a desperate man-hunt for a serial killer before he murders again.

Katherine Haskell, a young college co-ed is on her way back to school, but she never makes it there. Instead, she becomes the latest prey of the rapist and murderer dubbed by the tabloids the “Mother Hater.” He is a twisted soul who kidnaps young girls for pleasure then discards them.

Katherine is missing, but she’s not yet dead. FBI agents Jane Hawk and her partner Gary Burkett must descend into the hell of this killer’s mind to solve the case before it is too late. The question is – will they both get out alive?

Review –

I have not read any of the Jane Hawk series by Dean Koontz (one of my favorite authors), so this novella was the perfect choice to get to know the female protagonist.

This is a prequel to the Jane Hawk series. One does not need to read any of the Jane Hawk novels to understand the events in this short story. In this one, Jane and her partner are investigating a serial killer case where the killer is named the “Mother Hater”.

We get Jane in the present and we also get the past and see how the serial killer comes to be. I have always liked this kind of storytelling as it seems like it is two different stories. Plot held my interest even though it was a the predictable side and it is a quick listen.

The Bone Farm was a suspenseful and intriguing story filled with twists and turns and the narrator was quite good. Plot held my interest even though it was a the predictable side.

Cupcakes and Ink (Clipped Wings #0.5) by Helena Hunting

Book Description:

Published: February 3, 2014

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Tenley Page is looking for a new start: a new city, a new apartment, a new life. Her plan is to keep to herself and stay focused. But leaving her past behind and starting over isn’t as easy as she thought. And neither is maintaining her solitude. As Tenley settles into her new surroundings, she finds herself drawn to Inked Armor, the tattoo studio across the street. But it’s the gorgeous, dark-haired tattoo artist who captures her interest. There’s something about his severe beauty that captivates her—and not just in her waking hours.

Covered in the ink he inscribes on other people’s skin, Hayden Stryker has made a career out of being a tattooist. He’s got his own business and a tight circle of friends. As far as he’s concerned, that’s all he needs. At least until his aunt, who owns the antiques and used book store across from his tattoo studio, hires a new employee. At first his intrigue is based on physical appeal; hot chick equals something nice to look at. But as he begins to catch glimpses of the fiery personality under the fragile, feminine exterior, his fascination with Tenley grows. Annoyed by his inability to control his fixation, Hayden decides the best way to cure him of the new obsession is to get to know the girl under her skittish façade.

But like the ink he wears as armor, Tenley has the ability to get under his skin and stay there.

Review –

Cupcakes and Ink is a very short (caught me off guard) introduction to the characters of the Clipped Wings series.

Here you’ll meet a smart and sensible heroine named Tenley who is looking for a fresh new start in Chicago. As she is waiting on starting her Masters degree and is in the process of settling down, she finds the tattoo artist across the street to be very attractive, yet she knows that she shouldn’t do anything to tempt him. He has danger written all over him.

Hayden is the kind of man who everybody wants a piece of. Sexy and smart, he possesses the lethal combination that will have reader’s swooning by the end of it. Though the author gives just a taste of his appeal, I’m sure in the full length book, readers will get an up close and personal sense of his steaminess.

Though this is listed as a prequel novella, I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to read this before Clipped Wings,but it does give you a narrow look into their psyches and makeup.

I look forward to reading the others in the series.

 

Tough Love (Stripped #0.5) by Skye Warren

Book Description:

Published: March 6, 2015

A prequel about the sacrifices we make for love…I sneak out of my room every night. My father’s guards don’t see me.No one sees me, except him.

He’s the son of a foot soldier. My father is his boss. The boss. I shouldn’t even know Giovanni. And I definitely shouldn’t kiss him. Our relationship is doomed to fail, but that won’t stop me from being with him.

Not every girl wants to be a princess. I just want to be free.

Review –
This is a very short (40 pages) prequel to LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE and tells the story of Clara and they reason she had to escape her father’s compound and go into hiding.
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The Last Dead Girl (David Loogan #3) by Harry Dolan

Book Description

January 9, 2014
David Loogan’s dark past is revealed in this prequel to Bad Things Happen—the critically acclaimed mystery that Stephen King called a “great fucking book.”On a rainy night in April, a chance encounter on a lonely road draws David into a romance with Jana Fletcher, a beautiful young law student. Jana is an enigma: living in a run-down apartment and sporting a bruise on her cheek that she refuses to explain. David would like to know her secrets, but he lets them lie—until it’s too late.
When Jana is brutally murdered, the police consider David a prime suspect. But as he sets out to uncover the truth about Jana, he begins to realize he’s treading a very dangerous path—and that her killer is watching every move he makes.
Review –
This is the first book that I have read by this author and is a “prequel” to his other books but since I had no knowledge of his other works this was a total surprise for me.
It is a murder mystery written with a Noir feel to it. There are  many flashbacks but they are not in any order and were confusing at times but because the plot was so mesmerizing I  didn’t let that hinder my five-star rating of the book. There are twists and turns that you don’t see coming and that is always a plus in a good mystery.  If you are fond of Noir and great murder mysteries – put this one on the top of your “to be read” list. I had the audio version and had to make myself take breaks or I would have listened to it straight through and it was almost thirteen hours long!
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The Neighbor by Dean Koontz

Book Description

 June 3, 2014
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLEREvery city has its wonders and mysteries. For the Pomerantz family, the most disturbing mystery at the moment is the identity and the intentions of their new neighbor, in this eBook original short story—a prequel to The City, the gripping and moving new novel by Dean Koontz.

The year is 1967. Malcolm Pomerantz is twelve, geeky and socially awkward, while his seriously bright sister, Amalia, is spirited and beautiful. Each is the other’s best friend, united by a boundless interest in the world beyond their dysfunctional parents’ unhappy home. But even the troubled Pomerantz household will seem to be a haven compared to the house next door, after an enigmatic and very secretive new neighbor takes up residence in the darkest hours of the night.

Review –
This was a good scary ghost story which will tie into The City  that came out earlier this month. It’s very short and a fast read, so if you’re a fan of Dean Koontz and plan to read The City, be sure to read The Neighbor  first so you’ll have a bit of background information.
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Gauntlet: An All Hallow’s Eve Prequel Short Story by Carolyn McCray

Product Description:

Published October 7, 2012

The Gauntlet is an  action packed 8,500+ word prequel short story to the bestselling Mystery/Horror novel All Hallow’s Eve…

Detectives Paxton Prover and Ruth Matte have one hell of a first day as
partners. They’ve entered a gauntlet of horror they may never escape.

Review –

This short story is about horrific murders committed by horrific people and is a prequel to All Hallow’s Eve (which I am reading now).  The chemistry of the two law enforcement partners is comical and all business but I’m betting that will change as the series continues.