Book Review

A book review is a summary of my thoughts, feelings, and impression of a book.

#BookReview
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

#BookReview Child 44 by Tom Rob SmithTitle: Child 44

Author: Tom Rob Smith

Series: Leo Demidov #1

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on March 31, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

In a country ruled by fear, no one is innocent.

Stalin’s Soviet Union is an official paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law, but when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State’s obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer–and a country where “crime” doesn’t exist.


Review:

I really liked this book.

It was dark. It was gritty. At times it was downright disturbing. But this book is a great mystery.

Smith uses this novel to take us deep into the historical and political nightmare of Stalin’s Russia to catch a killer. And with incredible imagery delves into the hardships and cruelty endured by the people of that time.

It is an intriguing, interesting, well written story with lots of twists and turns. Don’t miss it. It’s hard to put down.

 

#BookReview
The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich

#BookReview The Total Package by Stephanie EvanovichTitle: The Total Package

Author: Stephanie Evanovich

Published by: William Morrow on March 15, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 256

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties and The Sweet Spot is back with a funny, sweet, and sizzling novel about the game of love, in which a hot quarterback must figure out how to score big with a beautiful and talented media analyst after a heartbreaking fumble.

Star quarterback, first-round draft-pick, and heartthrob Tyson Palmer has made a name for himself with his spectacular moves. When the head coach of the Austin Mavericks refuses to let him waste his million-dollar arm, Tyson makes a Hail Mary pass at redemption and succeeds with everyone . . . except Dani, whose negative comments about his performance draw high ratings and spectacular notices of her own.

Dani can’t forgive Tyson’s transgressions or forget the sizzling history the two of them shared in college, a passionate love Tyson casually threw away. And even more infuriating, he doesn’t realize that the bombshell with huge ratings is the cute girl whose heart he once broke.

But can a woman trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other? And what will happen when Tyson—riding high now that he’s revived his career—realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani? Can he make some spectacular moves to get past her defenses—or will she sideline him for good?


Review:

After having read Stephanie Evanovich’s other two books and enjoyed them, I was really looking forward to reading this one and it didn’t disappoint.

This story is a second-chance, comeback story, complete with humour and romance with a football backdrop.

The plot moves nicely, the characters are likeable, and the story is heartwarming, fun, and interesting.

I liked it and would definitely recommend it. I think it would be a great beach read.

 

#BookReview
14th Deadly Sin
by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

#BookReview 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine PaetroTitle: 14th Deadly Sin

Author: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

Series: Women's Murder Club #14

Published by: Little Brown and Company on May 4, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Detective Lindsay Boxer and her three best friends are back and recovering from the events that pushed them all to the edge.

After her near-death experience, Yuki is seeing her life from a new perspective and is considering a change in her law career. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy has healed from her gunshot wound and has published a book on the infamous serial killers she helped to bring down. Lindsay is just happy that the gang are all still in one piece.

But a new terror is sweeping the streets of San Francisco. A gang dressed as cops are ransacking the city, and leaving a string of dead bodies in their wake. Lindsay is on the case to track them down and needs to discover whether these killers could actually be police officers. Maybe even cops she already knows…


Review:

I liked this book.

It was an easy read, flowed nicely and was entertaining.

Is the plot somewhat weaker than some of the other WMC books? Maybe. After all it is book #14 in the series.

Saying that, however, I still think it’s worth the read.

 

#BookReview
Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna Lindsey

#BookReview Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna LindseyTitle: Wildfire In His Arms

Author: Johanna Lindsey

Series: Callahan-Warren #2

Published by: Pocket Books on February 23, 2016

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey’s passionate new tale about a gunfighter running from his past who finds his future when he escorts a beautiful outlaw to her hanging. Featuring one of Lindsey’s most intriguing heroes: the dangerous and mysterious Degan Grant from One Heart to Win.

With his work in Montana completed now that the Callahan-Warren feud has ended in marriage rather than bloodshed, Degan Grant sets out for California because it is far away from the home he wants to forget—until the US Marshal who saved his life calls in a favor. All Degan has to do is apprehend three outlaws on the marshal’s list and turn them over to the law. Easy enough, he figures, for a man no one wants to tangle with.

But then a bold young woman crosses his path. Maxine grew up so pretty and attracted so much unwanted attention in her Texas hometown that events spiraled out of control. She will try anything to escape the handsome, enigmatic gunfighter who intends to turn her over to a corrupt sheriff who will hang her instead of putting her on trial.

Saddled with a sassy, spirited young woman who insists she is innocent, Degan must hunt down a vicious killer and keep an old enemy at bay. But forced into intimate proximity with his beguiling prisoner, he finds his desire sparking into a wildfire of passion, and he can no longer deny that it is time for them to risk confronting their pasts so he can have a chance at a future with her in his arms forever.


Review:

This is a fun, easy read.

If you like the wild west, gunslingers, bounty hunters, horses and romance, this book is for you.

Well written and entertaining.

 

#BookReview
Memory Man by David Baldacci
@davidbaldacci

#BookReview Memory Man by David Baldacci @davidbaldacciTitle: Memory Man

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Amos Decker #1

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on April 21, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Amos Decker’s life changed forever–twice.

The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything.

The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.

His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.

But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Review:

I really enjoyed this book.

I am probably a little biased as David Baldacci is one of my favourite authors, and this book didn’t disappoint.

In Memory Man we are introduced to some new characters, Decker, Jamison, and Bogart and an entirely new series.

This novel is well written, intriguing, suspenseful, thought provoking, intelligent and interesting,

From the beginning you are hooked and even though this is a stand-alone novel, the ending only leaves you wanting more.

What more can I say. If you like mystery/suspense novels you will like this book.

Now I just have to patiently wait for the next book in the series, The Last Mile, to get my next Amos Decker fix.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on David Baldacci, visit his website at: davidbaldacci.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @davidbaldacci

 

#BookReview
The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys

#BookReview The Evening Chorus by Helen HumphreysTitle: The Evening Chorus

Author: Helen Humphreys

Published by: HarperCollins Publishers on February 3, 2015

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Downed during his first mission, James Hunter is taken captive as a German POW. To bide the time, he studies a nest of redstarts at the edge of camp. Some prisoners plot escape; some are shot. And then, one day, James is called to the Kommandant’s office. 

Meanwhile, back home, James’s new wife, Rose, is on her own, free in a way she has never known. Then, James’s sister, Enid, loses everything during the Blitz and must seek shelter with Rose. In a cottage near Ashdown forest, the two women jealously guard secrets, but form a surprising friendship. Each of these characters will find unexpected freedom amid war’s privations and discover confinements that come with peace.


Review:

This is a touching story about three characters trying to survive and find their way amongst the unpredictability of war.

The imagery is beautiful and the power of nature and the solace one can find within it is clearly depicted.

This is a quiet, understated book that is elegantly written and definitely worth a read.

 

#BookReview
The Collector by Nora Roberts

#BookReview The Collector by Nora RobertsTitle: The Collector

Author: Nora Roberts

Published by: Berkley on March 3, 2015

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 528

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together—and could tear them apart . . .

When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one. . . .

Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her. But their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession. . . .


Review:

As we all know, Nora Roberts is the go-to author when you’re looking for a nice, easy, fluffy romance book.

I love her books. Sure they’re predictable, but they’re like comfort food. And I have to say she didn’t disappoint with this one.

There were a couple of things I really liked about this book. One, it was a stand-alone book. So all the characters and drama were wrapped up in this one book. And two, it had quite a bit more mystery and suspense in this book compared to some of her others, which made the story a little bit more meaty.

What else can I say. It’s Nora and it’s a good one.

 

#BookReview
Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

#BookReview Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma HealeyTitle: Elizabeth Is Missing

Author: Emma Healey

Published by: Vintage Canada on June 2, 2015

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In this darkly riveting debut novel—a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also a heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging—an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.

Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, who she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger.

But no one will listen to Maud—not her frustrated daughter, Helen, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth and save her beloved friend.

This singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present. But the clues she discovers seem only to lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II.

As vivid memories of a tragedy that occurred more fifty years ago come flooding back, Maud discovers new momentum in her search for her friend. Could the mystery of Sukey’s disappearance hold the key to finding Elizabeth?


Review:

This was an interesting book for me.

On the one hand, I feel the author did a really good job narrating the story from the perspective of an elderly woman suffering from dementia and all the disjointed thoughts, actions and images that come along with that. A task I am confident is not an easy one. 

On the other hand, there were times that I was frustrated and confused with the overall flow. 

Saying that, I think the story shows a true reflection of the affects dementia has not only on the suffers but also on their caregivers.

I would say this book is good, not great, but definitely unique.

 

#BookReview
I Was Here by Gayle Forman

#BookReview I Was Here by Gayle FormanTitle: I Was Here

Author: Gayle Forman

Published by: Viking Juvenile on January 27, 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 270

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Cody and Meg were inseparable.

Two Peas in a pod.

Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything – so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben Allister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open – until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.


Review:

This book deals with the very serious subject matter of teen suicide and the affects that it has on those left behind, such as parents, friends, acquaintances.

The book is narrated by “Cody”, the best friend, and the plot involves her struggle to grieve and to rid herself of guilt, while at the same time trying to uncover the “why” of it all.

The story is written in a very real way. There is no gloss or glamour. The characters are flawed and must endure other hardships than just the main plot.

All in all, although the story is about a dark issue, I think the author does well to show the importance of hope and self forgiveness by the end of the story.

I think this is definitely worth a read, especially for all those young adults out there.

 

#BookReview
Compulsion by Allison Brennan
@Allison_Brennan

#BookReview Compulsion by Allison Brennan @Allison_BrennanTitle: Compulsion

Author: Allison Brennan

Series: Max Revere #2

Published by: Minotaur Books on February 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Investigative reporter Maxine Revere has a theory: that the five New York City murders for which Adam Bachman is being tried are just part of his killing spree. In probing the disappearance of a retired couple who vanished the prior summer, Max uncovers striking similarities to Bachman’s MO and develops a theory that Bachman wasn’t working alone.

Max wins a coveted pre-trial interview with the killer, whose disarming composure in the face of her questions is combined with uncomfortable knowledge of Max’s own past. She leaves the room convinced, but unable to prove, that Bachman knows exactly what happened to the missing couple. The D.A. wants nothing to jeopardize his case against Bachman and refuses to consider Max’s theory. With no physical evidence, Max has to rely on her own wits and investigative prowess to dig deep into Bachman’s past. The picture that Max puts together is far darker and more deadly than she ever imagined.

As Max gets closer to the truth, she doesn’t realize that she’s walking down a road that has been paved just for her. That every step she takes brings her one step closer to a brilliant, methodical sociopath who has been waiting for her to make just one small mistake.

And when she does, he’ll be there waiting.

Max Revere returns in another gripping, pulse-pounding thriller from New York Times bestseller Allison Brennan.

Compulsion is a gripping, pulse-pounding thriller that readers will not want to put down.”-Crimespree magazine


Review:

Allison Brennan has written numerous books and once again has produced a great mystery that’s full of suspense and intrigue. This story is the second book in the Max Revere series.

As in the first novel in the series, Notorious, the characters are complex and interesting and are further evolved throughout this story.

The plot is action-packed, well written, with numerous twists and turns and sub-plots that intermingle to leave you guessing till the end.

This was another great read and I highly recommend it.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Allison Brennan, visit her website at: allisonbrennan.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @Allison_Brennan

 

 

About Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels and many short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children.

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