Guilty Minds (Nick Heller #3( by Joseph Finder

Book Description:

Published: June 7, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

The chief justice of the Supreme Court is about to be defamed by a powerful gossip website called Slander Sheet, which specializes in dirt on celebs and politicians. Their top reporter has written an exposé claiming that he had liaisons with an escort, a young woman willing to appear on video and tell the world her salacious yet convincing tale. But the chief justice is not without formidable allies, and his greatest supporter is determined to stop the story in its tracks.
     
Nick Heller is a private spy—a private intelligence operative based in Boston, hired by lawyers, politicians, and even foreign governments. Known as both a maverick and a dedicated, high-powered investigator, he’s called to Washington, DC, to help out in this delicate, potentially explosive situation.
  
Nick has just forty-eight hours to prove the story about the chief justice is baseless. But when the call girl is found murdered, the case takes an unexpected and dangerous turn, and Nick resolves to find the true mastermind behind the Slander Sheet story before anyone else falls victim to the maelstrom of political scandal and ruined reputations predicated upon one carefully concealed secret.   

Review –

In his third time out, Heller is tasked with his biggest challenge yet–discrediting a news report that claims Chief Justice Jeremiah Claflin has been sleeping with an expensive, upscale prostitute.

The website running the “hit piece” article is called Slander Sheet, which is a step below Gawker (who knew that was even possible!) and TMZ. You know, the kind of site that everyone checks out on a near-daily basis but will never admit to.

Heller is called in to meet with a Washington legend who marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr., and has golfed with every president since Lyndon B. Johnson–and who also happens to be close friends with Chief Justice Jeremiah Claflin. He’s told about the article that Slander Sheet is set to run, then hired to discredit the call girl’s testimony. 

Short on time, Heller gets right to work but soon discovers that the story itself may just be the tip of the iceberg. An even bigger conspiracy is hidden deep within Slander Sheet‘s report, one that nobody–not even Nick Heller–could have possibly seen coming. From there Finder takes the reader speeding down a path of twists and turns, with nonstop action and suspense along the way.

Guilty Minds is a blistering tale of deceit, corruption, and power–and Finder dazzles by delivering a story that seems all too possible in today’s world. To say the pacing is fast would be like saying Brad Pitt is just a “good looking” guy. The book starts off like a drag race and doesn’t slow down for even a second. If you love thrillers, then clear your schedule and strap in… you’re in for one hell of a ride! 

Fantastic read!

 

 

Cell 8 (Grens & Sundkvist #3) by Anders Rosalind and Borge Hellstrom

Book Description :

Published: January 3, 2012

Format: Audio

Detective Superintendent Ewert Grens of THREE SECONDS returns in a riveting mystery that centers on perhaps the most controversial subject in the modern criminal justice system: the death penalty.
In Ohio, seventeen-year-old John Meyer Frey rots on Death Row for the brutal murder of his girlfriend. The victim’s father hungers for revenge, while a prison guard is torn by compassion for the young man. When Frey unexpectedly dies of heart disease before he either receives his just punishment or achieves redemption, the wheels of justice grind to a halt.

Six years later, on a ferry between Finland and Sweden, a singer named John Schwarz viciously attacks a drunken lout harassing a woman, leaving the man in a coma. The Stockholm police arrest Schwarz for aggravated assault, but when Grens learns that the assailant has been living in Sweden under a false identity, he begins to suspect that something darker and more complex underlies the incident. Following his intuition, Grens launches an investigation that spans from Sweden to the United States and reveals a startling connection between the Frey and Schwarz cases.

Featuring a multilayered plot with a killer twist, CELL 8 takes readers on a gripping, page-turning journey that explores the devastating repercussions of the death penalty as well as the fallout from the conflicting desires for public justice and private retribution.

Review –

This was a first time listen to this author’s work and I loved it. I will definitely  be trying to find the others in the series.

This is a heart-wrenching story of a man named John who was seventeen when he was convicted of murdering his sixteen year old girlfriend although he claims he didn’t do it.  Several years go by and now  he sits waiting for his day to be executed.

One of the main prison guards feels compassion for the young man and believes in his innocence and so with several others they fake the man’s death (really cool the way they did it) and send him on his way to Sweden with a fake identify. There he lives peacefully, marrying and having a son, until one night on his job he kicks a man in the face and almost kills him. He is arrested and little by little they find out that he is none other than a convict from Ohio who everyone thought was dead. 

This is where things become political and finally he is extradited to the United States and put to death. THEN there is a GIANT surprise twist and we find out the identity of the real killer and what was put into motion all those years ago come to fruition. 

Fantastic book.

Five stars *****

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The Bullet by Mary Louise Kelly

Book Description:

Published: March 17, 2015

Caroline Cashion, a professor of French literature at Georgetown University, is stunned when an MRI reveals that she has a bullet lodged near the base of her skull. It makes no sense: she has never been shot. She has no entry wound. No scar. When she confronts her parents, they initially profess bewilderment. Then, over the course of one awful evening, she learns the truth: she was adopted when she was three years old, after her real parents were murdered in cold blood. Caroline had been there the night of the attack, and she was hit by a single gunshot to the neck. Buried too deep among vital nerves and blood vessels, the surgeons had left it, and stitched up the traumatized little girl with the bullet still inside.

That was thirty-four years ago.

Now, Caroline returns to her hometown to learn whatever she can about who her parents were and why they died. Along the way she meets a cop who worked the case, who reveals that even after all these years, the police do not have enough evidence to nail their suspect. The killer is still at large. Caroline is in danger: the bullet in her neck could identify the murderer, and he’ll do anything to keep it out of the police hands. Now Caroline will have to decide: run for her life, or stay and fight?

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

WOW !!!!

I never imagined that this book would end the way it did when I started listening to it a few days ago. I love it when an author can pull the wool over my eyes and surprise me!

This book had me hooked right away and I couldn’t listen to it fast enough.

Not only did 37-year-old Caroline discover she had a bullet lodged in her neck next to her spine but also  that she had been adopted at the age of three because her birth parents had been murdered and that the bullet that killed her mother was the one that was taking up space in her body.

I can’t begin  to imagine how she felt, but the author does an excellent job exquisitely describing all her thoughts, good and bad as the story progresses. Does she get the bullet removed, will it help with her wrist pain, should she go to Atlanta to learn about the birth parents, should she turn the bullet over to the Atlanta PD so it can be used as evidence to find the killer? All of these questions, along with more, go through Caroline’s mind as she tries to live her normal life, but with so much changing, does she still want her normal life?

There is a twist that I never saw coming and it changes everything and gets the adrenaline flying even higher. It just goes to show that we never know what we are capable of doing or do we?

Read or listen to this book and find out – you will not be disappointed.

Five stars *****

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The Last Good Girl (Anna Curtis #5) by Allison Leotta

Book Description:

Published: May 3, 2016

Emily, a freshman at a Michigan university, has gone missing. She was last seen leaving a bar near Sigma Pi, the prestigious and secretive fraternity known on campus as “the rape factory.” The main suspect is Dylan Brooks, the son of one of the most powerful politicians in the state. But so far the only clues are pieced-together surveillance footage of Emma leaving the bar that night…and Dylan running down the street after her.

Anna Curtis is on the case when she discovers the video diary Emma kept over her first few months at college, exposing the history she had with Dylan—and accusing him of rape before she disappeared.

Emily’s disappearance gets media attention and support from Title IX activists across the country, but Anna’s investigation hits a wall. Now Anna is looking for something, anything she can use to find Emily alive. But without a body or any physical evidence, she’s under threat from people who tell her to think hard before she ruins the name of an “innocent young man.” Inspired by real-life stories, The Last Good Girl shines a light on campus rape and the powerful emotional dynamics that affect the families of the men and women on both sides.

Review –

Although the subject matter is very important and definitely “ripped from the headlines”, I found the story tedious to read.  This is the first in the Anna Curtis series that I’ve read and it’s number five and maybe that’s the problem. I wasn’t invested in the characters and really couldn’t feel any chemistry between any of them. So, for me it was just okay.

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The Forgotten Man (Elvis Cole #10) by Robert Crais

Book Description:

Published: January 31, 2006

Review –

 

Elvis Cole is back…

With his acclaimed bestsellers, Hostage (a New York TimesNotable Book) and Demolition Angel, Robert Crais drew raves for his unstoppable pacing, edgy characterizations, and cinematic prose. Now, in The Last Detective, Crais returns to his signature character, Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole, in a masterful page-turner that probes the meaning of family and the burdens of the past.

Los Angeles, 3:58 A.M.: Elvis Cole receives the phone call he’s been waiting for since childhood. Responding to a gunshot, the LAPD has found an injured man in an alleyway. He has told the officer on the scene that he is looking for his son, Elvis Cole. Minutes later, the man is dead.

Haunted throughout his life by a lack of knowledge about his father, Elvis turns to the one person who can help him navigate the minefield of his past – his longtime partner and confidant, Joe Pike. Together with hard-edged LAPD detective Carol Starkey (who is harboring her own growing feelings for Cole), they launch a feverish search for the dead man’s identity. Elvis, meanwhile, struggles between wanting to believe he’s found his father at last and allowing his suspicions to hold him back. With each long-buried clue they unearth, a frightening picture begins to emerge about who the dead man might have been – and the terrible secret he’s been guarding.

At the same time, Elvis has no way of knowing he has awakened a sleeping monster. The further he goes in his investigation, the closer he draws to a merciless killer who is violently connected to the unidentified man’s past. This psychopath believes Cole is hunting him, and he goes on the attack to find Elvis before Elvis can find him.

Review –

The Elvis Cole Series  is another one of my favorites because Cole is so down to earth and doesn’t let things get to him TOO much and his partner, Joe Pike, wears sunglasses most of the time, even at night and hardly says a word and is all muscle. Together they privately investigate and solve crimes and the books are fast paced and the characters well-defined.

If you’re looking for a new mystery/crime fiction series to start-I recommend giving Elvis Cole a try.

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Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Book Description:

Published: July 6, 2010

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Still Missing interweaves the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfold through sessions with her psychiatrist, with a second narrative following the events after her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

Still Missing is a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted novel.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

Once I started listening to this book I found it almost impossible to stop because after reading the blurb I knew what was coming and felt edgy waiting for it to happen.

It starts out so innocently, a young realtor doing her job showing a house on a slow day, packing up her things when a van pulls up and a man with a very friendly smile asks if he can see the house. Annie, tired and ready to get home, almost says “no”, but gives in and that one decision would change her life FOREVER.

She’s kidnapped and taken to a remote cabin, hours away from her home town. There she is raped repeatedly and put on strict schedules, when and what she can eat, when she can pee, when she can bathe,what to wear etc. There is no way out of the cabin and every cabinet and door is locked. She gets pregnant, gives birth (basically all on her own) to a daughter, who the “freak”(that’s what Annie calls her kidnapper) names after his mother. In her mind and heart, Annie gives her another name, which we find out at the end.

It goes without saying that the “freak” is seriously unstable and we find out he was sexually abused as a child and that he has killed before and gotten away with it. He’s not happy that the baby is a girl and gets very upset when she cries and won’t quiet down. In his mind she is showing him disrespect. The baby catches and severe cold and he refuses to admit she’s sick and the baby dies while in his care. He takes her away and Annie never finds out what he did with her. The baby had lived one month.

There is a turning point and a surprise twist  in the story and I won’t say what they are  (you’ll have to read the book) but they are doozies and change the direction of the whole story.

Although the story does not end with a HEA, in my mind I added one last  chapter and gave Annie at least the HOPE of a future with happiness made possible for her. She deserved it.

Fantastic book!!!

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