Review: Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

Publisher: DoubleDay

Publishing Date: January 2018

ISBN: 9780385542494

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 4.3/5

Publishers Description:  When two young sisters disappear from a strip mall parking lot in a small Pennsylvania town, their devastated mother hires an enigmatic bounty hunter, Alice Vega, to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched thin by budget cuts and the growing OxyContin and meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help to find the girls, and she will not be denied. 

Review: A real solid read in terms of character development and storyline progression. Vega is one trippin’ complex bounty hunter that keeps you entranced with her unexpected actions. Coupled with Max, Nell and all the weirdo’s, entertainment value is high indeed.  I stayed up late for two nights getting into it, and I am hopeful that another will follow……SOON!

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Review: Nail’s Crossing by Chris Lackey

Publisher: Blackstone

Publishing Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9781470814076

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 3.4/5

Publishers Description: In a remote corner of the Chickasaw Nation, tribal Lighthorse policeman Bill Maytubby and county deputy Hannah Bond discover the buzzard-ravaged body of Majesty Tate, a young drifter with a blank past. They comb Oklahoma’s rock prairie, river bottoms, and hard-bitten small towns for traces of her last days.

Review: An entertaining read that has a unique style of delivery. Often abrupt in scene progression and dialogue, the story line was rendered in interesting fashion.  Maytubby was a great character that brought an intense procedural mien to the fore. The world building was pretty good in that you would never want to live under that areas intense heat and 1,000 yard stares. 

If you’re expecting a Tony Hillerman type mystery, forget it. This is more police procedural than mystery where the bit players are impacted by happenstance and the bad guys are known. The ultimate bad person is an unexpected event  in that they were never a relevant part of the story.

I really enjoyed the style of writing but this could have used a big dose of “whodunit”.

Review: Church of Spilled Blood by Jesse Miles

Publisher: N/A

Publishing Date: August 2016

ISBN: B01LA5IZ96

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 3.5/5

Publishers Description: Drawn into a web of deceit and maniacal revenge, Salvo finds himself in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Now he’s a fish-out-of-water–an L.A. private eye in a strange land.

Review: Jack’s back and this time he’s banging ballerinas and facing down the Russian mob.

The scant reviews that currently exist are mixed but mostly favorable. This is noir at it’s finest where the narrative is detailed and the detecting, procedurally obdurate. I liked Jack although the supporting cast was rather one- dimensional. There is good movement throughout the novel and the storyline is interesting, especially the Russian segment. I had a good time reading this, and in the end, that’s what matters.

Review: Look both Ways by Carol Perry

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Publisher: Kensington

Publishing Date: October 2015

ISBN: 9781617733734

Genre: Fantasy/Mystery

Rating: 2.4/5

Publisher Description: When Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had as a child on the WICH-TV show, Shopping Salem, she rushes to the antiques shop and buys the piece. Just like the beloved bureau she lost in a fire, this one has secret compartments.

Review: Not being a sexist pig when I say: “This is a book for chicks”. It edges upon the Nora Roberts school of writing where every daily detail of life is iterated. I am sure I care, somewhere in an alternate universe, about how my bedroom is decorated and that my frumpy Aunt is making me an English muffin with homemade jam. If I ever need to properly discern the value of flatware and a choice between Franciscan dinnerware or Majolica, I might open this novel as a reference guide. Should I entertain a lady, I will be sure to have Egyptian cotton sheets and soft subtle lighting at the ready. One day, God forbid, I will have a stupid cat that has human mannerisms. Should my sense of anthropomorphic behavior override common sense, I will continue to talk to all of my friends about the need for a cat door with such gravity that anyone within shitting distance will fall over themselves to install it for me. 

“So how does this get two stars?”, you ask. The author chose some restraint in Lee’s infatuation with hunky cop guy. She’s fairly independent yet not very bright when it comes to obvious clues. She wants a simple life but just happens to be well off. Which means she can afford to be simplistic. She has a fiery temperament that matches her hair yet allows people around her to manipulate. 

I guess the only mystery here is how dumbass can find her butt in a dark room. The clues as well as the plot are obvious as are the sinister people and their designs. The infusion of a cat familiar is supposed to lend some validity to Lee’s gifts by making her more speshul. Only she comes off vague, spoiled, temperamental and skittish. 

 

 

Review: The Red Mohawk by Anonymous

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Publisher: Black Shadow

Publishing Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9780993257704

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 4.7/5

Publisher Description: Everything seems peaceful in the small town of B Movie Hell until a mysterious serial killer in a skull mask topped with a red mohawk shows up and starts butchering the locals. Government agents Jack Munson and Milena Fonseca are sent to track down and eliminate the masked psychopath. But as they soon discover, the residents of B Movie Hell don’t want their help. This is a town like no other, and the locals have many dark secrets…. 

Review: Jack Munson aint drunk, he’s just drinkin’. (Chorus) “But you’re so high!!”. Amongst this dysfunctional denial lies the cunning and skill of a CIA type spook who makes problems vanish and boy do they have a problem in the form of a maniacal serial killing machine. I really can’t say too much about the story line as it is fairly entrenched from start to finish. The characters are memorable and are built along with the fast pace. The world building is superb.

Wow, what a fun ride. That town had it comin’…….

 

 

Review: The Morgenstern Project by David Khara

cover60655-medium Publisher: Le French Publishing Date: April 2015 ISBN: 9781939474353  Genre: Mystery/Thriller Rating: 3.1/5 Publisher Description: When you kill a legend, it becomes inspiration, and you can’t kill inspiration. Jeremy Corbin and Jacqueline Walls lead a calm life in a New Jersey suburb, when one day everything changes. Eytan Morgenstern returns to save them, and this improbably team must take on the Consortium, leading them on an epic journey from London to Tel-Aviv, from the Polish forests to Manhattan high-rises, from the shameful past to the threatening future. 

Review: This was a pretty good read. Eytan Morgenstern was a good character. An experimental tool of the Nazis, he eventually escapes and exacts revenge upon those that tortured him.  Jackie and Jeremy are major fails within the story line. Jackie is of course hot (and can take out special forces cyborgs with her martial skills) while Jeremy is the model father with no faults other than being jealous of all the men that want to bang his wife. They drag the movement down while towing around a baby. I can’t seem to recall James Bond burping a baby or jumping from a rooftop with a baby in a sling. They dragged the story down from 4 stars to 3. The novel could use some intense editing due to the plethora of spelling and grammatical errors, but that may be due to the translation from French to English. Still, and entertaining read.    

Review: Old Earth by Gary Grossman

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Publisher: Diversion

Publishing Date: March 2015

ISBN: 9781626816336 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 2.5/5

Publisher Description:In the summer of 1601, Galileo Galilei made a startling discovery in the mountains of Eastern Italy that, if made public, could shatter faith in religion, bring down governments and lead to worldwide turmoil.

Review: For some reason the characters were rendered a little flat for me. Not sure if it was all the hot Phd.’s running around or Dr. Smugly Douchebag aka Quinn McCauley , breaker of hearts, womanizer, throwing arm of a God, Yale professor (not tenured) by way of Harvard, Boston Red Sox draftee, that put me off. Usually the movement is a great vehicle to develop characters, and to be honest, Quinn did develop out of his juvenile narcissistic tendencies. The characters were rendered a little flat due to the uninteresting story line and constant halt in the movement.

So the Mighty Quinn and his hot and filthy rich GF Dr. Katrina Alpert, by way of Cambridge, dig around and find a wall that isn’t a wall and this secret society that wants to protect this “secret” by destroying the entrances to these places all around the world since the 1600’s. Turns out that all the killing to keep these places secret is based on a principle idea that society is not ready for THE TRUTH and if known, would rip it to shreds with billions of lives lost in the process. Um kay.

This reads like a Dan Brown novel went to the methadone clinic and while puking in the gutter had a revelatory recipe that included; Dr. Paleo Super Pants, Dr. Girl Friend, Galileo (Leonardo was busy that day) and the Catholic church (because genuflecting is not exclusive).  While the writing is pretty good, there is nothing that is new. It follows a standard Dan Brown recipe with a kind of twist at the end, that while faintly interesting, does not summon the latent conspiracy theorist that resides within. The premise that some super secret would rip society asunder is, well, weak.  

Read it if you’re riding in coach to Hawaii with a fussy lady in the seat next to you that smells of perfumed talcum powder and baked beans.