📚My September 2017 Book Reviews

Here are my 2017 September Book Reviews


The Back RoadThe Back Road by Rachel Abbott

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon PageAuthor Website

It was a good read. Grips you throughout the whole story. Pacing was a little slow, but the story did move along well.

In a quiet country village, secrets abound.

When a young girl, Abbie Campbell, is knocked over and left for dead on the back road of the village of Little Melham, waves of shock ripple through the small community and a chain of events, which threatens to expose long-kept secrets, is triggered.

For Ellie Saunders, the truth about that night puts both her marriage and the safety of her children in jeopardy–she has to protect her family, no matter what the cost. And Ellie isn’t the only one with something to hide. She and her sister Leo believe they have put their troubled childhood behind them, but Leo’s quest for the truth reveals a terrible secret that has lain hidden for years.

Ellie’s neighbour, former detective Tom Douglas, has escaped to Little Melham in search of a quiet life, but finds himself drawn into the web of deceit as his every instinct tells him that what happened to young Abbie was far more than a tragic accident.

In this gripping novel, the peaceful English countryside belies the horrible truths that lurk beneath the trimmed hedgerows, behind the closed doors of smart sitting rooms and within unspoken conversations.

Cold Land: A Mystery ThrillerCold Land: A Mystery Thriller by John Oakes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

It was intriguing. Got a little weird toward the end, which then made sense by the end.

Jake Adler arrives in Minnesota from Texas to land a job at state law enforcement agency and reunite with his estranged wife and kids. The agency has fallen on hard times and jumps at the chance to have a Texas Ranger in its ranks. Jake soon realizes the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is staffed with a collection of undesirables dumped from other state and local agencies, but he has no choice but to help chase down leads on a fraud investigation.

An investigation that turns up a freshly murdered corpse.

Partnering out of necessity with one of the BCA’s odd ducks, Jake doggedly pursues answers in the stabbing death of a local fraudster. His search for truth takes him into rural Minnesota where nothing he encounters is as it first seems. After navigating newly released convicts, illicit affairs and a secretive family pretending to be Native Americans, Jake gets closer to the murderer than he even realizes.
After infiltrating a heist teeming with potential suspects, Jake fits the pieces of the puzzle together. But just as he identifies the killer, one last under cover role has his mental state unraveling before his eyes.

I Am Watching YouI Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Amazon Page  Author Website

At the end of the book, Driscoll tells us this was originally started out as a simple idea, then moved onto becoming a short story. I feel making it into a bigger story did it in. There are some elements and POV characters that detracted from the overall story. They really didn’t add anything. Never got attached to any of the characters. Story drags through the middle of the book. I was ok with the switching from first to third person. It didn’t bother me. However the switch from character to character for each chapter made the pacing weak. Could have been a great book. Felt like it was shooting for element of The Girl On The Train.

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.

Moral Defense (Samantha Brinkman, #2)Moral Defense by Marcia Clark

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon PageAuthor Website

Decided to check this out after reading the first book. I enjoyed it. Felt is moved slower than the first book. Of course different legal cases move at different speeds. Also found some scenes that needed some more editing.

For defense attorney Samantha Brinkman, it’s not about guilt or innocence—it’s about making sure her clients walk. But the case of Cassie Sonnenberg touches a raw nerve in Sam that makes it painfully personal.

A savage attack in a suburban home has left a father and son fatally stabbed, and a mother clinging to life. And Cassie, the family’s adopted teenage daughter, is accused of the bloody crime. It’s a tabloid-ready case that has the nation in an uproar—and Sam facing her biggest challenge. But when she learns the murders were sparked by years of sexual abuse, she doubles down to get Cassie exonerated.

Yet, even as Sam probes the secret past of a seemingly happy family, the dark memories of her own tormented life threaten to consume her. And as Cassie’s story keeps twisting at every turn, in troubling new directions, Sam must fight all the harder to separate dangerous lies from the terrifying truth.

Tamarack County (Cork O'Connor, #13)Tamarack County by William Kent Krueger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Corks kids sure have grown up. Another good continuation of the series. Enjoyed it!

As a blizzard swells just days before Christmas, the car belonging to the wife of a retired local judge is discovered abandoned on a rural road in Tamarack County. After days of fruitless effort, the search-and-rescue team has little hope that she’ll be found alive, if at all. Cork O’Connor, former sheriff and now private investigator, is part of that team.

Early on, Cork notices small things about the woman’s disappearance that disturb him. But when the beloved pet dog of a friend is brutally killed and beheaded, he begins to see a startling pattern in these and other recent dark occurrences in the area. After his own son comes close to peril, Cork understands that someone is spinning a deadly web in Tamarack County. At the center is a murder more than twenty years old, for which an innocent man may have been convicted. Cork remembers the case only too well. He was the deputy in charge of the investigation that sent the man to prison.

With the darkest days of the year at hand, the storms of winter continue to isolate Tamarack County. Somewhere behind the blind of all that darkness and drifting snow, a vengeful force is at work. And Cork has only hours to stop it before his family and his friends pay the ultimate price for the sins of others.

With complex plot twists, rich characters, and a vivid setting, Tamarack County is a relentlessly fast-paced novel that will chill, thrill, and shock you.

Windigo Island (Cork O'Connor, #14)Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Cork seems to becoming colder and colder. The Story line was good.

When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of a deadly mythical beast, the Windigo, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu. Such stories have been told by the Ojibwe people for generations, but they don’t explain how the girl and her friend, Mariah Arceneaux, disappeared a year ago. At the request of the Arceneaux family, private investigator Cork O’Connor takes on the case.

But on the Bad Bluff reservation, nobody’s talking. Still, Cork puts enough information together to find a possible trail. He learns that the old port city of Duluth is a modern-day center for sex trafficking of vulnerable women, many of whom are young Native Americans. As the investigation deepens, so does the danger.

Yet Cork holds tight to his higher purpose—his vow to find Mariah, an innocent fifteen-year-old girl whose family is desperate to get her back. With only the barest hope of saving her from men whose darkness rivals that of the legendary Windigo, Cork prepares for an epic battle that will determine whether it will be fear, or love, that truly conquers all.

Dead Shot (Cal Murphy, #1)Dead Shot by Jack Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Was thrilling and fast paced. Could be silly and head scratching at times.

Working as a journalist at a small weekly paper in rural Idaho, Cal Murphy begins losing his big city dreams of writing for a metro paper before his passion is reignited after three high school star athletes are found dead in a 24-hour period. As he and fellow photographer Kelly Mendoza attempt to make sense of bizarre circumstances that led to the teens’ deaths, Cal makes a chilling discovery, uncovering a vast conspiracy that grows darker with every twist and turn. With a mastermind determined to silence Cal and Kelly for good, the young reporters ultimately must decide if their lives are worth the risk to reveal the truth. (Previously published as “Cross Hairs”)

The Body DepartedThe Body Departed by J.R. Rain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Good story! Really liked the characters. It could have been longer, because of the characters!

Two years ago, a man broke into James Blakely’s apartment and shot him in his sleep. Twelve times, killing him instantly. Dead and confused, James discovers he has a choice: he can move on into the afterlife, or he can stay behind. Unfortunately, since James has done some very bad things, moving on into the afterlife can only mean one thing: the fires of Hell. Or so he thinks. Forgoing eternal damnation, James instead chooses to haunt his old apartment building.

Now James’s days are mostly spent visiting his daughter and ex-wife, welcoming new neighbors, and talking to those who can see the dead. It’s a simple, peaceful life, but with each passing day, James discovers something more and more alarming: memories of his former life—and even his own identity—begin slipping away. Faced with the prospect that he is rapidly deteriorating into a state of nothingness, James sets out to save his eternal soul. With the help of his daughter and a world-class medium, his journey to peace and forgiveness will not be an easy one, especially for a ghost who still wishes to be a father—and who fears he is destined for a fiery Hell as punishment for sins he cannot remember. Now, as James begins to uncover the devastating secret that connects his soul to earth, he will discover that even in death life has a few surprises.


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