Thursday, October 25, 2018

Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwell (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner and consulting pathologist for the federal law enforcement agency ATF, is called out to a farmhouse in Virginia which has been destroyed by fire. In the ruins of the house she finds a body which tells a story of a violent and grisly murder.

The fire has come at the same time as another even more incendiary horror: Carrie Grethen, a killer who nearly destroyed the lives of Scarpetta and those closest to her, has escaped from a forensic psychiatric hospital. Her whereabouts is unknown, but her ultimate destination is not, for Carrie has begun to communicate with Scarpetta, conveying her deadly - if cryptic - plans for revenge."

My Thoughts:

I don't usually review books that are part of long standing series for various reasons but the main one being that it is so hard!  It's so hard to not share spoilers both intentionally and unintentionally.  If you haven't read this book or the earlier/later books in this series and intend to (which you should as I'm a huge fan of this series overall), go ahead and move right along and skip reading this post.  I'm giving you the FULL warning here that I intend to spoil the heck out of this book because I have so many feelings and need to get them all out.  Okay, I've given the spoiler warning so let's move on to my thoughts on this book!

As I've been reading the earlier books in this series, I've gotten many comments on how this series kind of gets off track at some point causing many readers to stop reading.  I WOULD NOT be surprised if it was because or starting with this book.  Although I didn't love the first book, Postmortem,  I did enjoy it enough to continue and have really loved many of the first eight books in this series.  Looking back at Goodreads shows that I rated at least two of them five star reads (and honestly I don't even think I rated or reviewed the others due to not always sharing my thoughts about books that are part of a series).  I started off really loving this book!  It was just as compelling, suspenseful, and eerie as many of those other books were which is why I have loved them so much.  Cornwell is amazing in my opinion at leaving the reader guessing throughout most of the book which makes it hard to stop reading.  I was trucking along with this book when the author completely pulled the rug out on me.  Benton dies in this book?!?!  What in the world?  What made it even more confusing for me as the reader is that I've read two later books in this series - it's what got me started on reading this series from the beginning in the first place.  And Kay is married to him in those books so he is very much alive.  Knowing that made reading the last half of this book so confusing.  I kept waiting for Kay to find him - to realize that he was alive - thinking that this was all Carrie's doing - only to find that was not the case at all.  This book even ends with the scattering of Benton's ashes.  By the time I finished this book I was annoyed.  Annoyed because not only does this book end with Benton apparently dead but also Carrie Grethen is too - and she is ALSO alive in later books.  Seriously?!?  I'm trying to understand why the author would even make this decision with Benton's character but then also to do it with another major character?  I'm at a loss here folks.  So what do you think I did?  I went and read the summaries for the next books in this series to figure out when Benton comes back because he obviously does. And then I read reviews of this book to see if others would spoil what happens/how in the heck Cornwell believably or unbelievably brings Benton back to life.  Color me severely annoyed to find that not only does she bring him back but that both Marino and Lucy were in on it the entire time.  You've got to fucking be kidding me here (pardon the language but c'mon).  I just don't get it, I really don't.  If she wanted to kill Benton's character off for whatever reasons, she should have stuck with that decision.  Not go back and change your mind which is REALLY how this feels to me/comes across and then write him back in what sounds like a laughable manner.  I literally do not know how I'm going to read the next couple of books.  Part of this is my fault - I read those later books first so when reading this one I knew that it couldn't possibly be the truth when it all went down.  But really, even if I hadn't read the books in the order I did I can almost guarantee how cheated I would have felt when I got to whatever book that he returns in.  The ending of this book was so emotional and heartbreaking that I just cannot begin to understand her decisions afterwards with those next books.  Bleh.  This book would have been a 4 1/2 star read for me but I don't even know how to rate it now.  

The question remains - will I continue on with this series?  The answer at this point is yes but not any time soon.  I read this one a couple of weeks ago and I still get heated when I think about it.  I'm going to give myself a bit of a break and work on other books from my never-ending TBR list.  I'll go back and we will see how it all plays out.  The positive side of all of this is that I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the books get better (or more like what I enjoyed in these earlier reads).  So I have that to look forward to which helps make me want to keep reading.  And I must admit to still being very curious.  Where does she go from here?  Is this what actually turned off other readers from this series or is there something else?  I don't know at this point because I definitely didn't see this coming so who knows what else I can expect.  So there's my convoluted thoughts on this book.  I really liked it until I didn't.  For the series as a whole I can definitely recommend books one through eight.  It's super important to read them in order as events that happen in one become important in others - that kind of thing.  But they really are so good and that's why this book was so hard for me to stomach by the end.  If you've read this series and this book - what were your thoughts?  I would love to discuss this one with other readers!!

Bottom Line:  I don't even know what to say here - I'm a bit bitter overall with this one is the best way to put it.

Disclosure:  I checked this one out from my local library.  Thoughts are my own.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hidden by Rebecca Zanetti (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Hide. That’s all Pippa can do to escape the terror chasing her. But now that she’s off the grid in a safe house, she finds plenty of interesting things to watch through the window. Like her new neighbor, with his startling green eyes, killer smile, and sexy bad-boy tattoo . . .

Run. Malcolm West is fleeing the hell he unleashed in his last assignment as an undercover cop. A backwoods bungalow sounds like the perfect place to start over. Until he discovers he’s been set up . . .

Fight. Someone’s gone to a lot of trouble to bring them together. No matter how much he resents that, and his own driving needs, Malcolm will have to dig deep and let loose the banished killer inside himself, or Pippa’s fears could come true faster than the flip of a bolt in a lock . . ."

My Thoughts:

Funny story with this book:  I started reading it unintentionally at my son's football game.  To be fair this was the varsity game which he only usually dresses for but doesn't usually play in (he starts on both offense and defense for JV but that's neither here nor there).  Our varsity team was getting stomped so I decided to download a book to my phone during a break in the game.  Which turned into me almost missing my son FINALLY going in because shortly after I was sucked into the book and not paying attention to the game any longer.  Luckily my youngest announced that his brother was in the game so we didn't miss it.  It's a mark of how readable and compelling I found this book that I was even able to read during a loud football game.  I have to admit I was instantly sucked in!  This is my second book by this author and both reads (two separate series) were books that I just could not stop reading.  The thing that made this book so compelling for me was that the two main characters were both hiding major secrets from each other while also beginning a relationship.  A relationship that may or may not have survived if the other found out about the other's secrets.  It's a twisty read like that and as much as I wanted each of the characters to be honest with the other one already, I also found that I couldn't put this book down because of the tension created from those secrets.  I also really enjoyed the humorous moments that the author included in this book.  Malcolm's new work team is filled with amazing secondary characters that I'm looking forward to each getting their own book.  I'm especially a fan of the quirky German Shepard names Roscoe - some of his funnier moments where the perfect break from all of the seriousness and tension that filled the pages of this book.  I found that the pages of this book just flew on by - so fast that before I knew it I was at the end and was reading as fast as I could to see how it would all turn out.  It turned out to be a very enjoyable read for me that I'm glad I picked up!

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book and am looking forward to reading more books featuring these characters.  I love a good romantic suspense but don't always find authors that do it well.  This author does romantic suspense well though and has me adding the rest of her books to my TBR list (it's out of control anyways so why not).  And the good news is that I have lots of her other books waiting for me to catch up on while I wait for the second book in this series to release.  Always a good thing in my opinion!  I don't have much else to say as I really don't want to give anything away with this book.  It was a very enjoyable read that I think other romance readers will enjoy.  If you are a fan of romantic suspense and you're not reading this author - I feel like you missing out.  I certainly was!  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  An edgy and compelling read that left me unable to stop reading!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.  Thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"No other festival compares to Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington. The whole town is buzzing with excitement over this year’s activities and eagerly awaiting Nitro’s latest offering Cherrywizen, made with locally sourced cherries. But local brewmaster Sloan Krause is tapped out. Between trying to manage the pub, her pending divorce with Mac, and her mounting feelings for Garrett, she’s fermenting in internal turmoil.

To complicate matters, dreamy movie star Mitchell Morgan and his production crew have arrived in the village to film during the authentic Bavarian brewfest. Mitchell has his eye on Sloan and a taste for Nitro’s Cherrywizen. Sloan escapes his advances for good when she finds Mitchell slumped over the bar. Is this a case of one pint too many, or has Mitchell been murdered by microbrew?"

My Thoughts:

Last year I read and enjoyed the first book in this series, Death on Tap, so I jumped at the opportunity to read this book!  Let's be honest - this book has been on my TBR list since I finished the last page of the first book.  There is just something about Ellie Alexander's cozy mysteries that I can't get enough of.  And while this is completely different from her Bakeshop series, it has enough of the same characteristics that I love from that series to make this one a real winner for me as well.  She has a real knack for creating characters that feel real and complex.  In both of her series, the main character is struggling with something major going on with their life that just comes across the pages as so real.  In this book, Sloan is still trying to deal with her new "normal" after finding her husband cheating on her.  She's working on figuring out what she wants in her life and how she moves on from here.  That struggle to figure out what she wants in life next and how she is getting to get there just comes across so perfectly.  Add in that a mystery to solve with lots of great secondary characters and you have a winner.  What makes this book a four star read for me though is the added mystery of Sloan's past.  In this book, we get the chance to see Sloan search a bit more into her unknown past searching for the reasons why she was placed into foster care which was just hinted about in book one.  I'm so intrigued by this storyline that I cannot wait to get my hands on book three!  I really found this to be a compelling read, and I breezed through the pages on my kindle.  It's going to be a long wait for that next book, that's for sure!

Here's why I think that you should read this series in general (there's only two books so I definitely think it is worth it to start with the first book):  it's the perfect palate cleanser because it just feels so fresh and original!  Been reading a bunch of mysteries and dark thrillers?  This series will break that up perfectly with a more light hearted mystery.  Need a different type of cozy that isn't focused on food or books? (I'm horribly generalizing there but you get the idea).  Read a mystery that talks about beer and the different kinds to make you want to try a few different types of beers yourself.  LOL!  It sounds funny when you put it like that but it really was the perfect change of pace for me.  With great characters and questions that keep you wondering long after the book is finished.....well I couldn't ask for more to be honest.  This is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors and for good reason.  I can highly recommend!

Bottom Line:  I loved this book just as much as the first book!  

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.  Thoughts are my own.