May 25, 2015

Review: Moving Day by Jonathan Stone



Product Description:
Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke—they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago.When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps and dodging Nazi soldiers. Now, the seventy-two-year-old Peke—who survived, came to America, and succeeded—must summon his original grit and determination to track down the thieves, retrieve his things, and restore the life he made for himself.Peke and his wife, Rose, trace the path of the thieves’ truck across America, to the wilds of Montana, and to an ultimate, chilling confrontation with not only the thieves but also with Peke’s brutal, unresolved past.

My Thoughts:

Based on how much I loved The Teller by Jonathan Stone I have to say that I was a bit disappointed by Moving Day. There was some suspense but I was expecting more thrills. Stone gave us plenty of intrigue at the beginning by sprinkling in little teasers about Peke's past but not enough to sustain any action. 

When Peke goes on the hunt to get his belongings back it's just kind of a ho-hum adventure. I wanted so much more but really what can I expect from a 72 year old protagonist? The ending came through just a bit more but overall I was more disappointed than satisfied. 


I do however have to give credit where it's due. The writing is very well done and flows nicely. The characters come alive on the pages but I just wish they did more. 


My Recommendation:

I recommend this as a library read for when you want slower paced thrills.


May 9, 2015

Review: Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge


Product Description:
Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.

It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Inspector Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.

Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense....


My Thoughts:
The creep factor is super high with this one! It really reminds me of how creeped out I was by The Book of Matthew by Thomas White. That one stayed with me for a long time afterwards and I feel like Eeny Meeny will also. I just keep thinking about what I would do if I was in the same situation as the victims in this book. Who I imagined myself with definitely made a difference in what I thought the outcome would be. (That's terrible, I know!)

Helen Grace is broken on the inside but not one ounce of it shows on the outside. She's a strong leader that has to make tough choices and the ending just breaks my heart for her.  I'm so glad that this is the start of a new series because I would love to see how her character develops with everything that unfolded in Eeny Meeny.

My only frustration with this one was who the serial killer turned out to be and how the case was resolved. It made me say, "Really?" but ultimately didn't take away from how much I loved this book. I just wish it would have ended differently.

My Recommendation: 
I recommend this one for anyone who loves suspense thrillers and intensely creepy books.

April 27, 2015

Review: Game On by Gabra Zackman


Product Description:
Part caper, part romantic comedy, this hilariously entertaining book in the Bod Squad series features a sassy and sexy undercover operative, Susannah “Legs” Carter, and her Ocean’s Eleven–style team of private investigators.

From Washington, DC, to Paris, Legs is tailing Charles Oakley Palmer III, a white-collar criminal she’s determined to bring to justice. But will romance or betrayal blossom along the way? Find out in the first in a sizzling new series about a team of highly skilled investigators who go undercover to catch criminals—while juggling romance, world travel, and danger around every corner.

My Thoughts:

As I first started reading Game on I was really irritated by the cheesiness and improbability of the story but as the "plot thickened" it was so over the top I couldn't help but find myself enjoying it more and more.

Legs gets herself into trouble over a man and struggles to fight her way out. She enlists the help of her team and a long-time personal friend to figure it all out. I hope that the next book in the series focuses on my two favorite characters Bod Squad team members, Lisa Bee and Jackson.

A little intrigue, a little sex and plenty of high-tech gadgets. It was James Bond meets Stephanie Plum. Actually I was reminded of the Fox and O'Hare Series series by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg and am looking forward to the next installment. 

My Recommendation: 

Recommended for anyone who loves romantic comedies. 

April 25, 2015

Review: L.A. Rotten by Jeff Klima


Product Description:
As an expert crime-scene cleaner, Tom Tanner charges big money to carve out bullets, mop up fluids, disinfect walls, and dispose of whatever’s left of whomever was unlucky enough to require his services. For a handsome young ex-con determined to stay out of trouble, it’s practically a dream job—until he discovers a grisly pattern to his work: a string of gruesome murders at a cheap motel chain, always in Room 236.
 
While prying into a serial killer’s nasty scheme, Tom finds himself with a sharp-witted strip-bar waitress plastered to his side—and his conscience. Even more surprising, the killer starts prying into his life, luring Tom into a twisted friendship. As Tom struggles against his adversary’s wicked whims, risking the lives of the few people he holds dear, bodies pile up everywhere he turns. With a psychopath calling the shots, Tom has little choice but to clean house once and for all.`


My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved L. A. Rotten. It is now my #1 read for 2015. Tom Tanner was one of those characters that stay with you long after you finish the book. He was a broken, tragic mess yet still managed to become a lovable character in the end. He kind of reminded me of Dexter who is another one of my favorites. Along with his sidekick Ivy, they managed to track down a serial killer that the cops didn't even know existed. 

Even better than reading this is the fact that L. A. Rotten is the first in the new Tom Tanner Mystery series. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend L. A. Rotten to anyone who loves crime noir.

April 18, 2015

Review Arivaca: Guardians of the Light by John Poulsen


Product Description:
Jesse Ballard’s life is filled with misfortune. His parents are dead, he’s been convicted of a crime, and a dark secret torments his soul. But when he’s incarcerated on a ranch for troubled teens he discovers his troubles have just begun. A Supreme Power has literally hijacked his life, bringing him to the ranch to make him the guardian of a powerful relic that was hidden away 2600 years ago when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed.
Given superhuman powers, Jesse is suddenly thrust into a strange and perilous world of supernal treasures, killers and demons—battling the dark forces who desperately seek the sacred artifact. Thinking he’s on a one man mission, Jesse is shocked to learn that Cedar Lane, a girl who seriously despises him, has spiritual gifts essential for keeping the relic safe. Without her help, he’s in jeopardy of losing not just the relic, but his life.
My Thoughts:
The action in Arivaca started out from almost the very first page but once Jesse was sent to the boy's ranch it all came to a screeching halt and I struggled to continue reading. The religious relic part of the story is what kept me going and thankfully towards the last third of the book, the action picked up again.

Another reason I didn't get sucked in were the characters. With her poor attitude, initially it was really hard for me to like Cedar and Jesse wasn't very appealing either. He was too bland for my liking and there wasn't anything to make me feel invested in what happened to Jesse until the very end. The only characters I really liked were a couple of the boys in Jesse's posse and the ranch hand, Paco. The added some much needed lightness to the story earning a good chuckle here and there.

Overall I did like the way the book came together in the end and thought the cliff hanger ending was well done but not enough for me to want to read the next installment in the series.

My Recommendation:
Recommended for teens.