In The Clearing (Tracy Crosswhite: Book 3) by Robert Dugoni


Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Date of publication: May 17th, 2016

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Suspense, Contemporary, Detective, Adult

Series: Tracy Crosswhite Series

The Academy—Book 0.25

Third Watch—Book 0.5

My Sister’s Grave—Book 1

Her Final Breath—Book 2

In the Clearing—Book 3

The Trapped Girl—Book 4

Close to Home—Book 5

A Steep Price—Book 6

A Cold Trail—Book 7

In Her Tracks—Book 8

The Last Line—Book 8.5

What She Found—Book 9

Purchase Links: Amazon |Audible

Goodreads synopsis:

Detective Tracy Crosswhite has a skill, and a soft spot, for tackling unsolved crimes. Having lost her own sister to murder at a young age, Tracy has dedicated her career to bringing justice and closure to the families and friends of victims of crime.

So when Jenny, a former police academy classmate, and protégé, asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl forty years earlier, Tracy agrees. Following up on evidence Jenny’s detective father collected when he was the investigating deputy, Tracy probes one small town’s memory and finds dark, well-concealed secrets hidden within the community’s fabric. Can Tracy uphold the promise she’s made to the dead girl’s family and deliver the truth of what happened to their daughter? Or will she become the next victim?

My review:

Want a book that you can devour in one sitting? Then read In The Clearing. I was glued to this book and couldn’t put it down.

The storyline and sub storyline was fantastic. The author did a great job alternating between the cold case and the one that Tracy was working on. He did a fantastic job going between past and present and between different personas. That is something that I have issues with when reading books like this and the author nailed it. Also, the way he brought both cases together, in the end, was chilling. I actually got goosebumps from reading it.

I did figure out who killed Kimi about halfway through the book. It wasn’t like the author was hiding it. There were enough red herrings and what seemed like dead ends that when it was revealed, I was shocked. But there is a major twist that I didn’t see coming.

What surprised me the most about this book is that even though it is part of a series, you could read it alone. I do not read books out-of-order because sometimes characters intertwine from one book to another. Not this one. What goes on in the previous books stays in the previous books.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman


Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date of publication: Feburary 9th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary, Magical Realism, Coming of Age, New York

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible |Apple Books |WorldCat

Goodreads synopsis:

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

My review:

I cried reading this book. Me, who is unemotional as a rock, cried while reading this book. The heartbreak that is portrayed is mind-numbing. But what rose from the ashes….well that was something special.

The writing was fantastic. I love a story where it draws you in and makes you feel for the character and this one does. I felt for Shelby. She was broken and she managed to piece herself together. Not perfect but perfect for her right then.

The ending wasn’t what I was expecting but it went well with the book.

First Mission Paris: In the City of Lights by Leone R. Giuliani



Date of publication: March 22, 2016

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

When the news about a stolen list of Europol’s crucial undercover agents hits the global black market, the agency’s top man Enrico Moretti is sent to Paris to retrieve the list, minimize the damage and capture the traitor. Cliché? Maybe… But this young Italian isn’t James Bond – he doesn’t know much about fighting, chasing, or killing. But he knows something about seducing. And gambling. And drinking. And being a former police negotiator, most of all: storytelling. So when he gets a proper cover story, unlimited amount of money to spend in the City of Lights, and teams up with a beautiful but dangerous black-haired girl and tough guys from Balkan’s underground, his lifetime mission can begin…

If you consider the world of super-spy heroes too fictional and deep foreign policy studies too boring, but you do love mystery, thriller, and suspense, you’ll read this novel in one night – with a sip of wine and a midnight saxophone. Just let this vagabond show you around – let him be your travel guide, maybe a whole new Paris will emerge. And who knows, if you end up improving your poker strategy, learn something useful about practical police psychology or increase your ability to talk your way out of trouble when necessary, you won’t blame him for that.

My review:

This book reminded me of a James Bond novel. Except Enrico Moretti wasn’t James Bond. Well, he wasn’t anything but a playboy.

I did enjoy reading this book. The whole spy storyline was fascinating to me. I grew up on James Bond and every time I read a spy novel, Sean Connery’s face comes to mind. Haha.

It was a very fast-paced book with twists and turns around every page. I did like that Enrico was a player/horndog. I did like that he got served by The Black Cat. But, he got the job done and in grand fashion.

The ending of the book was great. The twist that was there I didn’t see coming (and I am good at figuring them out).

Predators of Eden (Horizon Alpha: Book 1) by D.W. Vogel


Publisher: Future House Publishing

Date of Publication: May 19, 2016

Genre: Science Fiction, Dinosaurs, Adventure, Young Adult, Space Opera, Action, Thriller

Series: Horizon Alpha

High Wire—Book 0.5

Predators of Eden—Book 1

Transport Seventeen—Book 2

Homecoming—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible |B&N |Kobo |Google Play

Goodreads synopsis:

We never would have come here if we’d known.

Two hundred years ago, the great Ark Horizon Alpha escaped a doomed Earth and went searching for a new home. The passengers landed on Teu Ceti e expecting paradise, but instead, they discovered a planet stuck in its own version of the cretaceous period. The humans’ one defense against the dinosaurs ravaging the planet is an electric fence, built from the remains of the shuttles that brought them there.

But Eden’s base has only days of power left.

With most of the adult men dead, rookie soldier Caleb Wilde and his unit of teenage boys leave the electric fences of Eden in search of a reactor core lost deep in the jungle.

The last remnant of the human race waits behind the electric fence for their return. The dinosaurs wait, too–for the electricity to die and the feast to begin.

My review:

This book was fantastic!!! I don’t like sci-fi with dinosaurs in the book. The one book that I read that used them as antagonists went WAY overboard. It killed my enthusiasm for reading any books of the same.

Well, I am happy to say that this book has righted the wrongs of the other book. From the beginning, when Caleb tells about what happened to Earth, the 2 centuries of traveling throughout space and the accident that fragmented the population of the spaceship onto the new planet (Teu Ceti), and the frightening discovery that the new settlers made, drew me right into the story.

The author makes you feel the excitement and dread of Caleb going on his first mission. Then the terror of the crash and the exhaustion of trekking cross-country to Eden base and losing unit members to the dinosaurs. I actually had nightmares about the descriptions of the T Rex and the other dinosaurs.

I will say that I loved the 2 twists in the story. One, I should have seen coming from a mile away, I am good at guessing things like that, but I didn’t. The other one, near the end of the book, well, to be honest, it made me want to cry. Very poignant.

Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie (Jake Wolfe: Book 1) by Mark Nolan



Date of publication: January 1, 2016

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Crime, Suspense

Series: Jake Wolfe

Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie—Book 1

Vigilante Assassin—Book 2

Killer Lawyer—Book 3

San Diego Dead—Book 4

Deadly Weapon—Book 5

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

A mysterious killer who calls himself The Artist is assassinating wealthy lawyers in San Francisco. When war veteran Jake Wolfe accidentally takes his picture during a murder, The Artist adds Jake to his kill list and he becomes a target in a deadly game of cat and mouse that only one of them can survive. How far would you go to protect your loved ones from a killer? Jake wants to leave his secret, violent past life behind him. But the reluctant, flawed hero can’t ignore his duty and his personal moral compass.

This gripping thriller is full of suspense, plot twists, and surprises. It features a cast of interesting characters, including several strong-willed women, two wise-cracking San Francisco Police Homicide Inspectors, one highly intelligent dog, and a philosophical killer who shares Jake’s admiration for Van Gogh paintings but still plans to kill him anyway. As Jake gets closer to unraveling a merciless conspiracy, his life gets turned upside down, and the danger level increases, adding to the growing suspense. This entertaining page-turner starts out as a murder mystery and then shifts gears into a high-speed action thriller that takes you on a roller-coaster ride to the riveting ending. A good read for those who enjoy mysteries, suspense, action and adventure, vigilante justice, unique characters, witty dialogue, and a little romance too. On sale in over a dozen countries around the world. Be the first among your friends to read it.

Fans of Kindle Unlimited will be happy to know that this book was recently among the top 50 most popular titles in Kindle Unlimited, and named as a Kindle Unlimited All-Star.

My review:

I couldn’t put this book down. Right from the beginning, it had me hooked. It had everything in it and then some!!! It is definitely a page turner!!!

I liked Jake Wolfe’s character. When I started reading the book, he was portrayed as a mild-mannered photojournalist. Then the author started adding layers to him and what he added was fantastic. Jake’s character went from ho-hum to an action star over the whole book. Plus, he got the girls. He got more action in one night than a normal action hero.

The one aspect that I liked was that he was a military dog handler in the most recent war. The author did a great job not only portraying a military dog but the handler. I had never heard of the Alpha Roll until I read this book (click on the link or google it. From what I have brought up, it is controversial).

I like that the author did his best to humanize The Artist. He is bipolar (no giveaways here, it is mentioned the first time we meet him) and not on medication. He does have a moral compass. It is skewed though. But then again, aren’t all peoples’ moral compasses skewed to some extent?

Beat (Beat: Book 1) by Jared Garrett


Publisher: Future House Publishing

Date of publication: June 14th, 2015

Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Thriller, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: Beat

Beat—Book 1

Keepers—Book 1.5

Push—Book 2 (review here)

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Better safe than sorry. Better calm than dead.

Nik Granjer hates the Bug. It was the Bug that destroyed the world when it wiped out more than ninety percent of humanity a hundred years ago.

Even now, the Bug kills anyone whose heart rate goes over 140 beats per minute. That’s why the Prime Administrator gave everyone the Papas—digital wrist monitors that put people to sleep when their heart rate gets too high. The Papas saved humankind.

But one night on the border of New Frisko, Nik tampers with his Papa and discovers a dreadful secret: the Bug might not be there after all. When his experiment takes a terrible turn, a brutal enforcement squad from the city forces Nik into hiding.

On the run and searching for allies, Nik’s only hope is to discover the truth about the Prime Administrator’s regime and the origins of the Bug. If he doesn’t, humankind may never break free from the conspiracy holding it in its grip.

My Review:

This was a great book. A combination of sci-fi/dystopia/YA, it had enough action in it to keep you reading. You didn’t know what was going to happen from chapter to chapter and it did make my heart rate go up with the action.

This book takes place 100 years after a biochemical attack wiped out 90 percent of the world’s population. The survivors called it the Bug and it could kill you if your heart rate went over 140. To help the survivors watch their heart rate, a digital wrist monitor was developed. The Papa puts the survivors asleep when their heart rates get too high.

Then you meet Nik Granjer and his friends. They like to “Push” their heart rates to the limit because, well they are 15/16 years old and kids that age like to push limits and buck the system. Nik has also figured out how to bypass getting his nightly Knockout from his Papa.

I will say that I enjoyed Nik’s character. I was once a 15/16-year-old who liked to push limits and he came off to me as realistic.

I also enjoyed the alternative spellings (Nik, Tek, Pol….etc). It added the right flair of different to the book and kept my attention!!

I will say that there is a huge twist that I didn’t see coming. Like 100% huge and I was taken aback by it (like Nik was) and a little shocked. Actually, a lot shocked.

The story itself was fascinating and very well written. If I had to picture a dystopian society, New Frisko would be it. Oh, and it takes me a minute to realize what city it was supposed to be.

Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat: Book 1) by Zoe Kalo


Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Date of publication: June 15th, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Demons, Egypt, Shapeshifters, Magic

Series: Cult of the Cat

Korian and Lucy: A Cult of the Cat Short Story—Book 0.5

Korian and Lucy A Cult of the Cat Short Story—Book 0.6

Daughter of the Sun—Book 1

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Goodreads synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self and a horrifying destiny.

My review:

This was a different book but I enjoyed reading it. I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I enjoy reading YA books. I have read some good books from that genre. Anyways, back to the subject.

This is a different book. Egyptian mythology is used in the book. Which is great. The author did a fantastic job explaining the different gods/goddesses. I can count on one hand how many books I liked that used Egyptian mythology as a major plotline and this book is one of them.

Of course, being the first book of a series, it left more questions than answers. I didn’t like that the grandmother dies after Trinity arrives on the island. It left so many unanswered questions and I will admit, I got frustrated.

The book did lag a little for a couple of chapters but then picked up the pace for the explosive ending. There are hints in the book about who the villain was but I picked it up early and to be honest, wasn’t very surprising. Still, the ending was a shock.

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