Publisher: St. Martin's Press

#BookReview Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak @Brenda_Novak

#BookReview Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak @Brenda_Novak Title: Her Darkest Nightmare

Author: Brenda Novak

Series: The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles #1

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 30, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 407

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

First in an electrifying new series from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak

THE HUNT FOR A SERIAL KILLER
Evelyn Talbot knows that a psychopath can look perfectly normal. She was only sixteen when her own boyfriend Jasper imprisoned and tortured her—and left her for dead. Now an eminent psychiatrist who specializes in the criminal mind, Evelyn is the force behind Hanover House, a maximum-security facility located in a small Alaskan town. Her job puts her at odds with Sergeant Amarok, who is convinced that Hanover is a threat to his community…even as his attraction to beautiful Evelyn threatens to tear his world apart. 

BEGINS WITH AN ESCAPE FROM HER PAST
Then, just as the bitter Alaskan winter cuts both town and prison off from the outside world, the mutilated body of a local woman turns up. For Amarok, this is the final proof he needs: Hanover has to go. Evelyn, though, has reason to fear that the crime is a personal message to her—the first sign that the killer who haunts her dreams has found her again. . .and that the life she has so carefully rebuilt will never be the same…


Review:

Gripping, suspenseful, and highly absorbing!

This is a disturbingly creepy story about the makings and minds of serial killers and the abuse and corruption found in the system designed to incarcerate and rehabilitate them. It is definitely an intriguing roller coaster ride of lies, jealousy, secrets, corruption, emotional trauma, greed, and degradation. 

The writing is fluid, and smooth. The plot is well developed, intelligent, and interesting. The characters are multilayered, determined, and strong. And the storyline is a complex mix of murder, mayhem, sexual attraction, and romantic liaisons.

Overall, I think this was a really great, easy read. And I especially liked the “real-life” serial killer quotes at the beginning of each chapter which I felt was a nice touch and added an eery authenticity to the story as a whole.

This is the first book in, The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next novel in the series, Hello Again, to find out if Evelyn’s own demons will finally be put to rest.

This story is due to be published on August 30, 2016.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Brenda Novak

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak's career as a bestselling author--she caught her day-care provider drugging her children with cough syrup to get them to sleep all day. That was when Brenda decided she needed to quit her job as a loan officer and help make a living from home.

"When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book," Brenda says. But she sold that book, and the rest is history. Her novels have made the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and won many awards, including five Rita nominations, the Book Buyer's Best, the Book Seller's Best and the National Reader's Choice Award.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are proud parents of five children--three girls and two boys. When she's not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually raising funds for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). So far, Brenda has raised $2.6 million. Please visit http://www.brendanovakforthecure.org to see how you can help.

#BookReview Damaged by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline

#BookReview Damaged by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline Title: Damaged

Author: Lisa Scottoline

Series: Rosato & DiNunzio #4

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 16, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 405

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

From the New York Times bestselling author comes the much-anticipated fourth book in the Rosato & DiNunzio thriller series.

Damaged finds Mary DiNunzio, partner at the all-female law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio, embroiled in one of her most heartbreaking cases yet. Suing the Philadelphia school district to get help for a middle school boy with emotional issues, Mary ends up becoming the guardian ad litem of her minor client. As she goes up against Nick Machiavelli, her opposing counsel and the dark prince of South Philly lawyers who will use any means necessary to defeat her, she becomes more and more invested in the case—and puts everything, including her engagement to her longtime boyfriend, on the line.


Review:

Intriguing, suspenseful, and entertaining!

This story begins with a seemingly simple case of a special needs child who has fallen through the cracks, and quickly evolves into a highly complex story involving an in-depth look into the educational requirements of those suffering from dyslexia, the rights and legalities surrounding foster care, abuse, corruption, and, ultimately, murder.

The writing is well done. The characters are determined, intelligent, and empathetic. And the plot, as well as the numerous subplots, are multi-layered, compelling, and captivating.

Overall, this was an enjoyable story, and even though it is the fourth book in the Rosato & DiNunzio series, it can definitely be read as a standalone novel.

 

This book is due to be published on August 16, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is The New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 30 novels, including her #1 bestselling, AFTER ANNA. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Chick Wit” which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective. These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in a New York Times bestselling series of humorous memoirs including their most recent, I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But The Pool. Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America. Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction." Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

#BookReview Landline by Rainbow Rowell

#BookReview Landline by Rainbow Rowell Title: Landline

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jul. 8, 2014

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 310

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?


Review:

Heartwarming, interesting, and thought-provoking.

For me what resonated throughout this novel is the idea that a successful marriage does not occur just from finding the right mate, but rather from being the right mate.

The main character, Georgie, in the beginning is quite self indulged, overworked, and oblivious. She takes a lot for granted and forgets to appreciate all she has. And throughout the story as the plot develops, she undergoes a form of introspection to recognize what is truly important in life and that some things are worth fighting for.

The story is well written. And the plot uses a past/present style to give insight and depth into the relationship between the characters and also to highlight their individual drives, wants and motivations.

Overall, it is an engaging, easy read, that is certainly a nice way to spend an afternoon

 

#BookReview Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline

#BookReview Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline Title: Most Wanted

Author: Lisa Scottoline

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Apr. 12, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 438

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 6.5/10

Lisa Scottoline delivers another searing, powerful blockbuster novel that explores hot-button issues within the framework of an intricately plotted thriller. When a woman and her husband, desperate for a baby, find themselves unable to conceive, they decide to take further steps. Since it is the husband who is infertile, the heroine decides to use a donor. And all seems to be well. Three months pass and she is happily pregnant. But a shocking revelation occurs when she discovers that a man arrested for a series of brutal murders is her donor – the biological father of the child she is carrying. Delving deeper to uncover the truth, the heroine must face her worst fears, and confront a terrifying truth. Most Wanted is sure to be Lisa Scottoline’s most discussed, bestselling novel yet.


Review:

I really don’t like to give bad reviews, as I can only imagine how hard it is to be a writer and how much effort goes into every book they write. However, saying that, I was little disappointed in this one.

This story has a great premise, a little suspense, a bit of mystery, and some interesting moral and ethical dilemmas.

Overall though, I found the plot slow and slightly unrealistic, and the characterization seemed somewhat flat and unbelievable.

I have read several really good Lisa Scottoline books in the past, such as Every Fifteen Minutes, and I look forward to reading her next release, but this one wasn’t one of her best.

 

 

About Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is The New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 30 novels, including her #1 bestselling, AFTER ANNA. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Chick Wit” which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective. These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in a New York Times bestselling series of humorous memoirs including their most recent, I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But The Pool. Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America. Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction." Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

#BookReview Shadow Play by Iris Johansen

#BookReview Shadow Play by Iris Johansen Title: Shadow Play

Author: Iris Johansen

Series: Eve Duncan #19

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Sep. 29, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 332

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 6.5/10

An explosive new Eve Duncan thriller from the New York Times #1 bestselling author

Eve Duncan is the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands. When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a nine-year-old girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his intensity and investment in the case puzzle her. But when the ghost of the girl begins communicating with her, Eve finds herself wrapped up in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and help the little girl find peace. Except that the killer is still out there, and he knows Eve is on the case. And he won’t rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated… 


Review:

Unfortunately, this book didn’t really work for me.

I have read many of the other Eve Duncan books in the series, this is book #19, and really enjoyed them, but this one was a little disappointing.

The plot wasn’t that suspenseful. There was a supernatural element that seemed to make the story disjointed at times. And even though some of the usual characters were back, Eve and Joe, the other supporting characters were unrealistic and flat.

I usually like Iris Johansen’s work so I will definitely give her next book a try, but unless you are a die-hard fan of the Eve Duncan series, I’d give this one a miss.

 

About Iris Johansen

Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success.

She lives in Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.

#BookReview Trauma by Michael Palmer & Daniel Palmer

#BookReview Trauma by Michael Palmer & Daniel Palmer Title: Trauma

Author: Michael Palmer, Michael Palmer, Daniel Palmer

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 12, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 370

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

Dr. Carrie Bryant’s is a much-admired neurosurgical resident at an esteemed Boston hospital. But when her first unsupervised brain surgery goes horribly wrong, she loses her confidence-and, after another fateful misstep, Carrie decides to quit her residency and move back home. Her new life’s purpose: To help her combat-vet brother, Adam, recover from a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder.

At first, the experimental program at the VA Medical Center-one that could forever cure the ravages of PTSD-seems like best option for Adam. But Carrie has her doubts when one of her patients goes missing…and then another. Carrie turns to local investigative reporter David Hoffman for help in getting answers. But the VA organization is determined to keep its secrets-at all costs. As Carrie and David descend into a labyrinth of murder and corruption, the price Carrie could pay for asking the wrong questions is her own life…


Review:

What do you get when a father, Michael Palmer, and a son, Daniel Palmer, write a book together? You get a really good, suspenseful, medical thriller.

This book takes a really in-depth look at PTSD in military veterans and the impact it has on not only their own lives, but the lives of the people who surround them.

As in most cases where there are millions of people affected, in one way or another, and billions spent on rehabilitation and treatments, the level of corruption and greed is unfathomable.

This book was very interesting and really well written. The plot developed nicely with some good twists and turns. And in a scary sort of way, the story did not seem that far from reality.

For those of you who may not know, the famous medical thriller writer, Michael Palmer, actually passed away during the early development stage of this story and his son, Daniel Palmer, took his ideas and created this finished product. It would seem that Daniel Palmer may now have a very successful career writing medical thrillers.

This was a really good book, and I would definitely recommend it.

 

 

About Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer, M.D., 1942-2013, was the author of Political Suicide, Oath of Office, A Heartbeat Away, The Last Surgeon, The Second Opinion, The First Patient, The Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages.

He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals, spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine, and served as an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s physician health program.

About Daniel Palmer

Daniel Palmer is the author of four critically-acclaimed suspense novels. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer. A recording artist, accomplished blues harmonica player, and lifelong Red Sox fan, Daniel lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children where he is currently at work on his next novel.

#BookReview Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons @drkellyparsons

#BookReview Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons @drkellyparsons Title: Doing Harm

Author: Kelly Parsons

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 4, 2014

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

“It’s amazing that there are so many different ways to die in a hospital that have nothing to do with being sick…”

Steve Mitchell, happily married with a wife and two kids, is in line for a coveted position at Boston’s University Hospital when his world goes awry. His over-reaching ambition causes him to  botch a major surgery, and another of his patients mysteriously dies. Steve’s nightmare goes from bad to worse when he learns that the mysterious death was no accident but the act of a sociopath.  A sociopath he knows and who has information that could destroy Steve’s career and marriage.  A sociopath for whom killing is more than a means to an end: it’s a game.  Because he is under a cloud of suspicion and has no evidence, he knows that any accusations he makes won’t be believed. So he must struggle to turn the tables, even as the killer skillfully blocks his every move. Detailing the politics of hospitals, the hierarchy among doctors and the life and death decisions that are made by flawed human beings, Doing Harm marks the debut of a major fiction career.


Review:

I thought this was a great medical thriller.

The writing was incredibly detailed and descriptive.

The characters are intelligent, chilling, and egotistical. And the plot is intense, action-packed and suspenseful with twists and turns that will kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. 

I really enjoyed this book and definitely look forward to picking up the next Kelly Parsons book.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

About Kelly Parsons

KELLY PARSONS is a surgeon and professor at the University of California, San Diego. He lives with his family in Southern California.

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