Monday, November 30, 2015

Angels Sing to Rest by Chrinda Jones (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Detective Sergeant Olivia Gates returns from a two month suspension, to find her team has gained a new member, her ex-husband has been released from prison, and a 10 year old street kid has been murdered on her patch of South Dallas.

Her ex she thinks she can deal with, even when he drags their young son into the mix. The murdered boy with the crushed chest, isn't so easily handled and weighs heavily on her as more street kids are killed with an unimaginable sadistic flare and no discernible motive.

If the continuing body count wasn't stressful enough, Olivia's falling out with long time friend and colleague, Doctor Will Green, threatens any hope Olivia had for more than a friendship with the good doctor.

Drugs, gaming, prostitution and sadistic murders lead Gates and her team on a trek through the seamy underbelly of living rough on the streets of downtown Dallas."

My Thoughts:

This has been a really great year for me in regards to finding new mystery authors to follow and after finishing this book I have another author to add to this list.  One of the things that I loved most about this book was how dark and gritty it really was.  From the very beginning of the book, Olivia gets thrown into an investigation where she discovers more questions than answers and the trail of bodies keep on coming.  This book became intense in a short amount of time as Olivia struggles to balance her investigation with her newly developing relationship with Dr. Will Green while also dealing with her disturbed ex-husband.  I found that all of this combined into one of those fast paced reads that I didn't want to set down.  The violence and killings in this book really gave it a darker feel which wasn't at all what I had been expecting.  I liked it though and felt like it fit in perfectly with the setting which focused on street life in Dallas.

Although this is the second book in this series, I had no problems jumping right into the story.  There were pieces of what happened before to Olivia that I know I was missing (for example the reason behind her suspension-see above summary) but overall it didn't detract from my reading experience at all.  And I really appreciated that the relationship between Olivia and Will was something that the author seemed to be taking her time exploring.  Will's character was very fascinating to me as there seem to be multiple issues that he is dealing with that I as the reader don't know about.  Were some of those things included in the first book?  Maybe, but for me it gave his character a slightly mysterious air that left me wanting to know more.  I really liked the relationship that is starting to develop between Olivia and him so I hope that this continues with the next book in the series.  The ending itself was very intense although I will admit that there was a certain part of it that felt unfinished.  We didn't quite get the closure that I was expecting (and I won't say more than that) so I do hope that we learn more in the next book.  Still what a great read and a series that I can't wait to read more of!

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and am eager to read more in this series.  I will definitely be going back to the first book sooner rather than later just so I can see how everything started.  It will have to tide me over until I can get my hands on the next book!  Those readers who enjoyed dark mysteries and police procedurals should give this series a try!  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great read that kept me turning pages late into the night!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book as part of a PICT book tour.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

On My Wishlist (Radar Books) #17

On My Wishlist is my way of sharing all of the books that I cannot wait to get my hands upon and read. These are a mixture of books that are about to be released along with some older titles that I really want to read as well. (All summaries are from Goodreads).

I feel like I basically want to read ALL of the books ALL of the time.  We are getting close to the end of the year and there are still just so many books that I want to read that I haven't read yet.  Why then am I still off searching for even more great books that I want to try?  It is an addiction.....a bookish addiction.  I suppose it could be worse so really I'm not going to complain but instead share all of the recent books that I've added to my TBR list recently.  And just be warned that this isn't all of them but instead the ones I want to read the most right now.  Ha!

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

"For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him."

This is a long standing series that has been on my radar for awhile now but all of a sudden is just calling my name.  There was another blogger that read the entire series within a year which makes me want to read this first book even more.  I might just have to make this happen ASAP!

Hidden by Emma Kavanagh


A gunman is stalking the wards of a local hospital. He's unidentified and dangerous, and has to be located. Urgently.

Police Firearms Officer Aden McCarthy is tasked with tracking him down. Still troubled by the shooting of a schoolboy, Aden is determined to make amends by finding the gunman—before it's too late.


To psychologist Imogen, hospital should be a place of healing and safety—both for her, and her young niece who's been recently admitted. She's heard about the gunman, but he has little to do with her. Or has he?

As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be. But he's there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks...

As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be. But he's there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks..."

I basically added this one as soon as I read the summary because I love a good thriller.  This sounds SO. GOOD.  So, so good and I want to read it so badly.  I'm not even sure if this one is available in the U.S. so I might be waiting a bit.  But I can tell you that I will be ordering a copy at some point because like I said before...must read!

Kill Without Mercy by Alexandra Ivy

"Rafe Vargas is only in Newton, Iowa, to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist for ARES Security, he's eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet, he can't just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…

There’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried."

New romantic suspense series?  Sign me up!  I actually have a copy of this one for my kindle thanks to NetGalley and it is all that I can do to not start this one right now!  I have very high hopes for this one which means that I will be reading it as soon as possible!

 Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield

"Awakening in a bleak landscape as scarred as her body, Cass Dollar vaguely recalls surviving something terrible. Having no idea how many weeks have passed, she slowly realizes the horrifying truth: Ruthie has vanished.
And with her, nearly all of civilization.
Where once-lush hills carried cars and commerce, the roads today see only cannibalistic Beaters -- people turned hungry for human flesh by a government experiment gone wrong.
In a broken, barren California, Cass will undergo a harrowing quest to get Ruthie back. Few people trust an outsider, let alone a woman who became a zombie and somehow turned back, but she finds help from an enigmatic outlaw, Smoke. Smoke is her savior, and her safety.
For the Beaters are out there.
And the humans grip at survival with their trigger fingers. Especially when they learn that she and Ruthie have become the most feared, and desired, of weapons in a brave new world…."

I actually have had a copy of this one on my shelves for awhile now but lately it has really been calling my name.  Apparently I am in the mood for a good zombie book and this one sounds like it will fit the bill.  (This is also me trying to ward off yet another reread of Mira Grant's Newsflesh' trilogy which is oh so good but will suck me in/make me useless for about a week).  I'm planning on reading this one sooner rather than later.

I have quite the mix of books this week but that is actually pretty typical for me.  I can never seem to settle on just one genre for too long and mixing it up keeps me from too many of those nasty reading slumps.  I just can't decide which of these I want to read the most.  What books are you chomping at the bit to read?  Let me know- I might want to add it to the TBR list as well :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Flipped For Murder by Maddie Day (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"In this freshly baked series, author Maddie Day lifts the lid on a small town in southern Indiana, where a newcomer is cooking up a new start--until a murderer muddles the recipe...

Nursing a broken heart, Robbie Jordan is trading in her life on the West Coast for the rolling hills of southern Indiana. After paying a visit to her Aunt Adele, she fell in love with the tiny town of South Lick. And when she spots a For Sale sign on a rundown country store, she decides to snap it up and put her skills as a cook and a carpenter to use. Everyone in town shows up for the grand re-opening of Pans ‘n Pancakes, but when the mayor's disagreeable assistant is found dead, Robbie realizes that not all press is good press. With all eyes on her, she'll have to summon her puzzle-solving skills to clear her name, unscramble the town's darkest secrets, and track down a cold-blooded killer--before she's the next to die..."

My Thoughts:

I've read more cozy mysteries this year compared to years past and books like this are the reason why.  I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons but one of the best things about this book for me was the setting.  I love small town books like this where they are described in such a way that it makes me want to go visit for myself.  The author brought this town and her characters to life for me and I loved the book all the more because of it.  I wanted to have the chance to eat at Robbie's restaurant and try some of those delicious breakfasts that she makes.  What is it with me reading all of these mysteries with cooking themes?  It sure does make me want to brush up on my own cooking skills as they are pretty lackluster in comparison.  I was constantly hungry while reading this one which makes me laugh while saying that but really it is the truth!  I have a sweet spot when it comes to breakfast foods so this was my kind of cooking.

I also really enjoyed the characters and especially enjoyed Robbie's Aunt Adele.  She just had that bit of spunk to her that I couldn't help but appreciate.  I wasn't quite behind Robbie's love interest but that was only due to there seemed to be something missing with their chemistry.  I just couldn't quite root for them like I expected to which leaves me curious as to how I will feel after reading the second book.  The mystery itself was done nicely with some good twists and turns.  There weren't that many suspects in my opinion but I still found myself guessing until close to the end of the book.  It was just overall a fun read that I couldn't help but enjoy.

All in all, I find myself very eager to continue on with this series and see what kind of trouble Robbie finds herself in next.  There was a sneak peek of the first chapter in book two at the end of this one and it left me itching to get my hands on it.  The setting and characters really brought this book to life for me and made my reading experience that much more enjoyable.  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great beginning to this new cozy mystery series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher from NetGalley. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thankfully Reading 2015

I have a long weekend coming up and I'm planning on spending a portion of it reading to my heart's content.  I currently have eight books left to meet my goal of eighty books read for the year.  I'm pretty sure that it is doable but to ensure that I'm hoping to spend all of this upcoming week reading whenever possible.  Will all I be doing is reading?  Heck no!  For me Thanksgiving is family time so I will be spending a good portion just relaxing and enjoying my family.  But since I have a five days off in a row, I can't help but hope that I am able to fit in lots of reading as well.  Therefore I am joining in on Thankfully Reading Weekend hosted by Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves.  Here in her own words is what this reading event is all about:

"There are no rules to the weekend, we’re simply hoping to devote a good amount of time to reading, and perhaps meeting some of our reading challenges and goals for the year. We thought it’d be fun if we cheered each other on a bit. If you think you can join in, grab the button  and add your sign up post to the link-up below. If you don’t have a blog, you can sign up the comments or sign up using a link to your Twitter account or Faceboook page!"

I love it!  I'm hoping to finish at least two books this coming week (and yes I am starting early and reading ALL week long - or as much as I can manage anyways).   Anything more than that will just be an added bonus.  Here are the two books that I am currently reading and hoping to finish during this time:

I haven't started either of these yet but will be starting Angels Sing to Rest later today.  They both sound really great so I'm eager to get started.  If I manage to finish both of these then there is no shortage of books that I can choose from either off of my own shelves or on my kindle.  I'm so excited I might just have to get started now. 

Are you participating this weekend in Thankfully Reading?  If you are let me know so I can cheer you on while we read together! 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer genius niece Lucy. But how can it be? It’s clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago.

As Scarpetta watches she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece, whom she has loved and raised like a daughter. That film clip and then others sent soon after raise dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn. She doesn’t know whom she can tell – not her FBI husband Benton Wesley or her investigative partner Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.

In this new novel, Cornwell launches these unforgettable characters on an intensely psychological odyssey that includes the mysterious death of a Hollywood mogul’s daughter, aircraft wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in the back of a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta’s entire world and everyone she loves. The diabolical presence behind what unfolds seems obvious - but strangely, not to the FBI. Certainly that’s the message they send when they raid Lucy’s estate and begin building a case that could send her to prison for the rest of her life."

My Thoughts:

Wow!  I have no words for this book other than just wow!  This book took my high expectations (after reading and loving Flesh and Blood earlier this year) and shattered them!  It was seriously that good and I basically had a bookish hangover for two days after finishing this one.  Depraved Heart will easily make my top reads list for this year just based off of the reading experience alone!  It was one wild ride and I found that I flew through the pages of this chunky novel with ease.  I don't even feel like I am doing justice to sharing just how good this book is yet.  

One of the things that made this book stand out for me so much was the paranoid feeling that it gave me.  I cannot even begin to explain how unsettled this book made me feel while reading it.  The author does an amazing job of giving hints of different things but not really giving anything away so that the entire time I was reading this one I felt uncertain.  Uncertain as to what was happening, uncertain as to who was telling the truth and definitely uncertain of who Kay Scarpetta could actually trust.  It gave me the same feeling as when I read a novel with an unreliable narrator, except that this time it wasn't that I couldn't trust the narrator but instead I couldn't trust everything/anything that was happening.  There always seemed to be a secret or reason behind the things that were happening that Scarpetta had to figure out on her own.  Key main characters that I've come to trust from reading previous books even had me questioning their motivations and actions.  It was a heart pounding reading experience and I couldn't get enough!  Without giving too much away I thought that the ending was well done although I sure do wish that I had my hands on the next book right now!  I'm hoping to ease the wait by catching up with the rest of this series since I seem to be reading them all completely out of order now.  

Overall I cannot even seem to coherently put into words how good this book really was!  I couldn't put this one down and flew through the pages.  Even when I would stop reading it, I found myself still thinking about it and trying to figure out what was really happening.  I need more books just like this in my life because this was a reading experience that I won't be forgetting about anytime soon!  I am completely hooked on this series and cannot wait to read more.  Highly recommended with the warning that you won't be able to get anything done while reading this one.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

Bottom Line:  A five star read for me.  Enough said!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book blog tour.