Book Reviews

A Journal of SinA Journal of Sin by Darryl Donaghue

Rating 4/5 – An excellent read. I really liked it.

SynopsisA village, isolated by a severe storm, and a young officer, alone and out of her depth. A troubled priest is brutally murdered, leaving behind a journal of the resident’s confessional secrets; secrets certain people would prefer he took to the grave.

As word spreads, the pressure rises as the eyes of the town watch her every move. With no forensic team, no support and a savage killer hiding in a turbulent town, is PC Sarah Gladstone up to the task?

Review – I had the pleasure of reading A Journal of Sin, and as a lover of the genre was immediately taken aback by how descriptive and intriguing the story is. I was enveloped into the book by the first chapter. This is a debut book from Darryl Donaghue and i can say with eagerness that I am awaiting a sequel. A Journal of Sin has an intricate plot, exceptional eye for detail, and a host of well developed characters. Donaghue dots clues throughout the story, so the reader can easily solve the crime, or be manipulated away from the real killer. A brilliant adaptation.

The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again!

The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again! by Catharina Ingelmain-Sundberg

Rating 2/5This Book is okay.

SynopsisThe little old lady is back! This time, Martha Andersson and her friends – the League of Pensioners – have left behind their dreary care home in Stockholm and are enjoying the bright lights of Las Vegas.

This is their opportunity for a new lease of life and they plan to make the most of it. But before long, they are up to their old tricks and with ingenious tactics, a pair of false teeth and a wheelchair each, they plot to outwit the security system at one of the casinos. As their antics become more and more daring, Martha and her friends head back to Sweden full of ideas for more money making schemes. However, they aren’t the only ones planning on stealing bucket loads of cash and soon find themselves pitted against a gang of dangerous criminals.

Can the group of elderly friends work together to outsmart the younger robbers and get away with their biggest heist yet? Or will this job be a step too far for The League of Pensioners?

Review – The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again is a sequel for the League of Pensioners. isn’t the usual genre of books i read, however i did enjoy it at times. I did find that the story dragged a little at times, and it was very predictable. Additionally i did not like one of the main characters, purely due to her attitudes. It is an amusing book, with some translation errors, but aside from that. If you are looking for something a bit different, try reading this book. The book is filled with challenges, humerous antics and strange goings on for people aged North of 50.

Huntress Moon (Huntress/FBI Thrillers, #1)

Huntress Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

Rating 1/5 – Did not like it. Would not recommend.

Synopsis: FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization in San Francisco when he witnesses an undercover member of his team killed right in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can’t believe is coincidental. His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young woman who appears to have been present at each scene of a years-long string of “accidents” and murders, and who may well be that most rare of killers: a female serial.

Roarke’s hunt for her takes him across three states…while in a small coastal town, a young father and his five-year old son, both wounded from a recent divorce, encounter a lost and compelling young woman on the beach and strike up an unlikely friendship without realizing how deadly she may be. As Roarke uncovers the shocking truth of her background, he realizes she is on a mission of her own, and must race to capture her before more blood is she.

Review: I did not enjoy Huntress Moon as much as i had anticipated i would. The story was very stop, start and i found myself bored a large portion of the time. I found it difficult to relate to the characters especially Special Agent Rourke. I found him pigheaded. My specific dislike of this character came from his interaction with the character Sebastian (the father of Jason); at the time of Jason’s abduction, Rourke seemingly blamed Sebastian for what had happened. I got the feeling that Rourke had in his mind that he could have done a better job. Additionally i didn’t like how he spoke to the father in a very vulnerable and complicated time. Blaming a victim will get you nowhere. His relationship with Epps is not one of quid pro quo. The continuous use of “boss” when Epps is referring to Rourke made me uncomfortable. It was unnecessary and gave Rourke an arrogant air of superiority on a variety of levels. The story is very predictable and stale. Similarly the ‘killer’ is also very predictable and a simplistic pattern is formed very early on in the book. The parts that were ‘action packed’ were cut short, with very little detail, or experimentation on the topics. The depiction of the traumatized 5 years old i felt was too little and more should have been spent on this part of the story as it gave an interesting backbone to the killer and her motives. An interesting aspect was the relationship between the ‘killer’ and Sebastian, and how easily it formed. I would have liked more information about how Cara knew her specific targets were ‘bad’. A significant amount of detail in the book, and a high level of research was evident in the fields of criminal justice, criminology etc to which i applaud. I have unfortunately given Huntress Moon a 1/5 stars due to the lack of suspense, thrill and the predictability of the story and characters. Additionally my rating also encompasses the lack of appeal to the characters, their lack of relatability and heart that you usually feel towards the unsung heroes of a story.

 

18 Seconds George D Shuman18 Seconds by George D. Shuman

Rating: 1/5 – Did not like it. Would not recommend

Synopsis: Sherry Moore, a beautiful, blind psychic, has the extraordinary ability to ‘see’ the last eighteen seconds of a murder victim’s life by touching the corpse. She uses her gift to help others solve mysteries only she can tap into. Serial killer Earl Sykes never got caught for his vicious murders. Instead, it was a deadly auto accident that landed him in prison. Now, years later, he is free and hungry for revenge. Setting his sights on Lieutenant Kelly O’Shaunisy, the daughter of his captor, he returns to his seaside hometown of Wildwood, New Jersey — and to his gruesome, murderous ways.When Lieutenant O’Shaunisy begins to investigate the disappearance of young women from desolate areas of the boardwalk, she encounters frustrating dead-end clues and more deaths. Her desperation leads her to accept Sherry’s help, but not without consequences. Together, the two women set out to discover the identity of the killer and become entangled in a dangerous web that could cost them their lives. With two memorable heroines, pulse-pounding suspense, and twists that will keep readers guessing until the last pages, “18 Seconds” introduces a powerful writing talent to the suspense scene.

Review: I was actually really disappointed with this book. The book was well written, it was specific to the various details of police procedure, crime scene etiquette and investigatory process, which I did find very informative and helpful. From the first page however I felt the story fell flat, with a tedious and predictable web of ‘interconnecting’ stories. There were no specifics about the actual story which I felt could have given the book a bit more of an edge. 18 Seconds made detectives look like bumbling fools, who don’t follow leads, have more going on in their personal lives, and therefore can’t concentrate on the job at hand. Additionally, I found the amount of ‘useless’ characters to be a bit much. The main character, I presumed, was going to be Sherry Moore, the blind psychic that has helped many people find peace, put people behind bars and filled in the last few seconds on someones waning life, but there were few instances that Sherry was actually the topic of conversation. Instead the lead lieutenant in the story took the proverbial spotlight, which I disliked as the portrayal of O’Shaunghnessy’s character was whiny; too emotionally involved in her own world to focus on her job, and had the predictable feeling of ‘a woman in a man’s world’. I found this book quite stale. The ‘action packed’ parts of the book were too few, and then even when they were occurring they were cut off at the knees. I did not connect with any of the characters, which is unusual and therefore I found it hard to develop a relationship with them, their situations and their lives. 18 Seconds by George D Shuman is not a book I would recommend to other readers.

retributionRetribution by Jilliane Hoffman

Rating: 5/5 – Brilliant!

Synopsis: C.J. Townsend is a brilliant prosecutor known for keeping her cool even when trying the most horrific cases. The latest: an accused serial killer who savors cruelty and considers murder an art. But this case is different. C.J. recognizes the suspect. She knows what he’s capable of. After all these years, she still has the nightmares to prove it. Now she’s walking the fine line between justice and revenge. Even C.J. isn’t prepared for where it will take her.

Review: A graphic serial killer thriller that left me on the edge of my seat and hiding under the covers at night. I think i stopped once to catch my breath but this book is UNPUTDOWNABLE and creates vivid images in your head. Some of them so real i was sure that i could feel the killers breath on the nape of my neck. Jilliane Hoffman recreates fear with her first novel Retribution. The characters really come to life on the page. You become more and more invest in their stories with each paragraph. You delve deeper and deeper into your own psyche with each turn of the page. Several times i thought to myself, “What would i do?” Retribution is a terrifying novel Jilliane Hoffman captures the intensity of rape and torture with the added fragility of the characters and how incidents like this effect not only the individual but also the family, friends and life in general. Retribution, fast paced and highly intriguing. A must read for anyone who loves thrillers.

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