What Happened to the Bennetts by LISA SCOTTOLINE

Your family has been attacked, never again to be the same.
Now you have to choose between law…and justice.

The story:

The Bennett family is a typical suburban family. Dad, Jason, owns his own court-reporting business and does well. Mom, Lucinda, is a photographer. They have the required two children. A boy, Ethan, and a girl about to be sweet sixteen, Allison.

Coming home from a lacrosse game for Allison, the family is being followed way too closely on a dark road. When they try and speed up the vehicle slams them against the guardrail. Two men jump out with guns drawn, demanding the car. Jason willingly hands over the keys when suddenly their little dog jumps and one of the men shoots Allison. While Jason and the family are now in shock and trying to stop their daughter from bleeding out on the road, they hear another gunshot and watch in horror as one man kills the other, drops the gun, and leaves.

Finally, at the hospital with Allison in surgery, they are met by the FBI. This was not some random car-jacking incident. These men are organized crime members and the boss now believes Jason killed his boy. It’s witness protection for all of them now. Except for Allison.

As events unfold quickly, they realize they have no other choice but to go with the agents. Their entire lives were upended in one act of violence. But was it random? Jason is getting a strong feeling that not everyone knows everything.

As the family begins to go through their own private hell, Jason makes the decision to put their lives in their own hands. And after some shocking, and yes, I mean shocking, news, he goes rogue.

That is all I’m going to say about that. Scottoline has never heard of the shallow end of the pool. Nope, she throws you straight into the deep end and yells, “Swim!”. And that panicky, oh my gosh I’m going to die here, feeling begins on page one and ends on the final page.

If you have ever seen her in person you know this woman has more energy than anyone I know. It shows in her writing. The tension never lets up and after finishing the book I am now suspicious of everyone I know.

Always a pleasure to read this author.

xx Patricia





CITY OF THE DEAD by JONATHAN KELLERMAN

City of the Dead (Alex Delaware #37)

An Alex Delaware Novel #37

The past comes back to haunt psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis when they investigate a grisly double homicide and uncover an even more unspeakable motive in this riveting thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

Detective Milo Sturgis and psychologist Alex Delaware are back. In LA, the land of sunshine and beautiful people. But this morning the city is not very pretty. As they arrive at the scene of a young and naked man who has run into a moving van in the wee hours. The driver is distraught and it looks like the man just ran straight into the truck. Until they find the blood trail.

The trail leads them to a nearby house where they find a woman savagely murdered. And Alex has met her before. In a custody case. Cordelia was an influencer who pretended to be a psychologist in a bitter custody case. Looks like she is still getting by on that lie.

Investigations lead them to a horrible family background along with a sketchy past. Has someone from her past returned? And who is the naked man in the street? Questions that lead to more questions than answers.

This is one of my favorite series. You think you know but you do not! At all! Once again Kellerman has given us Alex at his best, trying to untangle a web of lies and truly horrible people in this psychological thriller.

NetGalley/February 8th, 2022 by Ballantine Books






THE DARK HOURS by MICHAEL CONNELLY

The Dark Hours (Renée Ballard, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #35)

Ballard and Bosch Novel

It’s New Year’s Eve and LAPD Detective Renee Ballard is sitting under an overpass waiting for the traditional rain of bullets at the stroke of midnight. Paired with another female officer on loan from the Hollywood sex crimes unit. They are trying to catch a duo of rapists before they strike again. Only Lisa seems more interested in her boyfriend.

At midnight someone is using the noise and confusion to murder a former gang member gone straight. Called out Renee goes to the scene. This isn’t a case of bullets raining down. This shot came from close up. And the bullet leads her to one of Bosch’s cases.

As they team up to find a killer, the killer is making plans for them.

Who doesn’t love Bosch? And Connelley kept it very real. With everything from Black Lives Matter to defunding the police and the pandemic as well. There is a lot of distrust of the police by the community and he gives us all of that. We get a lot of Ballard and she really won me over in this one.

Suspenseful and solid all the way!

NetGalley/November 9th, 2021 by Little, Brown and Company

THE FAMILY PLOT by MEGAN COLLINS

The Family Plot

Author of The Winter Sister and Behind The Red Door is back with another twisty, shocking thriller!

Twenty-six- year-old Dahlia Lighthouse is returning to her family home. A place she hasn’t been back to for years. Taking the ferry across to the island she was raised on with her twin brother Andy and much older siblings, Charlie and Tate. Their father has died and they are all coming home to bury him.

Not that they particularly want to. Raised in a mansion in the woods, the neighbors called it the Murder Mansion. Isolated and home-schooled, Dahlia is unable to get past the terrible things that happened here. Totally unprepared for life and afraid to live.

The mother is obsessed with true crime. The father goes along with it and the four children are brought up on the ABC murders instead of the alphabet. The house is filled with murder memorablilia. The town thinks they are insane. The police chief is suspicious and keeps hanging around. Everything about this place is creepy and just not right.

Dahlia spends all her time trying to find her twin brother who went missing on their sixteenth birthday. Dahlia knows he ran away because of their unnatural home life.

When they are all together there is just something not right with her sister or brother. What are they hiding?

As the handyman digs the grave for the father he is shocked, along with everyone else, to find the bones of Andy. With an ax. Every one of them handles this so differently. Dahlia knows someone killed him and she isn’t going to stop until she knows the truth.

I think you should find out the rest on your own. This was a disturbing story. My favorite kind. The mother was doing murder reenactments and the sister makes dioramas of the victims for Instagram. The brother, well he’s just nuts.

There were so many suspects in this. There is also a sub-plot going on as well. Also about murder. I stayed up way too late reading this. It was worth it!

NetGalley/ August 17, 2021 Atria




FAR GONE by DANIELLE GIRARD

Far Gone (Badlands Thriller, #2)

Badlands Thriller #2

From the USA Today, bestselling author of White Out comes a story of two heroines with shattered pasts and a town with blood on its hands.

This thriller is the second in the Badlands Series. In North Dakota, where Detective Kylie Milliard in their peaceful little town. Only she knows it’s not what it looks like.

Kylie hasn’t worked a homicide in a long time, but when a couple is shot in their own home, with a baby sleeping yards away, she’s back in business.

She has two bodies, but no baby. Just a smear of blood on the basket where the baby should be. So either the killer took the baby, or someone else was in the house.

The DNA on the blood smear is shocking. It’s not a killers blood. It’s not the baby’s blood. But it is a familial march to a crime that involved a local nurse at the hospital, Lily. Ten years ago she was held captive for over a year. Raped and traumatized. Part of her brain has blocked a lot of that time for her own sanity. But things are about to get dangerous for the detective and the nurse.

As for the poor girl on the run from a killer who knows she was there, Hannah, is one of the bravest characters I’ve seen. And Lily. That poor woman had the backbone of steel.

Everyone in this story had secrets. Some harmless and embarrassing, and some downright murderous. Everyone wants to know the truth, but there are some people determined to not let that happen.

This author is always on her game. I’m pretty sure I bit a fingernail off reading this one. Which I count as a really good tale!

NetGalley/ June 15th, 2021 by Thomas & Mercer



THE JIGSAW MAN by NADINE MATHESON *BLOG TOUR* @nadinematheson @HarlequinBooks

The Jigsaw Man

A serial killer and his copycat are locked in a violent game of cat and mouse. Can DI Anjelica Henley stop them before it’s too late?

DI Anjelica Henley is back on active duty with the SCU. She has no idea what she will face when called out to a crime scene.

By the river, dismembered body parts are washing up. While the crime has all of the marks of a serial killer she locked up not that long ago, she knows he is still in strict lockdown. Right?

The Jigsaw Killer. A total sociopath. No remorse, no second thoughts, just monstrous acts against people that would send the strongest of cops running.

When Anjelica can’t find answers she goes to the source. Peter Olivier. The Jigsaw Killer. Who also tried to kill her. He isn’t happy someone is copying his crimes. Not at all happy. Which is very scary for some people.

Horror at its finest! Hope to hear more about this!



A Sneak Peek:

Chapter Two

‘How long have we got until the tide comes in?’ Henley was facing the river watching the small waves crashing against the derelict pier. She checked her watch. Nearly two hours had passed since the first 999 call. 

‘I checked online, and high tide is at 9.55 a.m.’ Ramouter replied as he stepped around a half-submerged car tire, his eyes glazed with anxiety. ‘Low tide was at 3.15. Sunrise was at 6.32. A three-hour window for someone to dump whoever this is and hope that someone would find it before the tide comes in?’

‘Maybe,’ Henley acknowledged. ‘But for all we know it could have been dumped after sunrise or was dumped earlier upstream before being washed up here.’ She inspected the glass façade of the Borthwick Wharf, empty commercial spaces and work units that opened to the terrace and lacked security cameras. Henley doubted that the local council would have extended their own CCTV cameras to this part of the street. They had been neglecting this part of Deptford for as long as she could remember.

‘Has it been touched?’ Henley asked Anthony who had appeared at her side.

‘As far as I’m aware, it’s in situ. It wasn’t touched by the woman who found it. Matei, your builder, said that he hadn’t touched the legs but unhelpfully, it’s covered in his vomit. I had a quick look at the arms that were found downstream before I came here. From the looks of things, the treasure hunters may have prodded around a bit.’

‘There’s always one.’

The wind dropped and the air softly crackled with the electricity generated from the substation nearby.

‘We’re isolating the recovery of evidence to the direct path from the alleyway to the torso,’ said Anthony. ‘I doubt very much that whoever it was sat here and had a coffee afterwards.’

‘They may not have had a coffee, but if we go with Ramouter’s theory and the body parts have been dumped then whoever it was certainly knows the river,’ Henley replied. ‘We’ll let you get on. Ramouter and I are going to take a walk.’

‘Where are we going?’ asked Ramouter.

‘To meet Eastwood.’

‘And you want to walk it?’

Henley did her best to push aside her frustration when Ramouter pulled out his phone. ‘Google maps says that Greenwich pier is almost a mile away,’ he said.

‘Your body-part dumper isn’t the only one who knows the river,’ Anthony shouted out as Henley began to walk determinedly along the riverbank.

The gold scepters on the twin domed roofs of the Old Royal Naval College pierced the cloudless sky. The bare masts of the restored Cutty Sark completed the historical panoramic view that Greenwich was known for. It was a resplendent, whitewashed version of history that contrasted with the sewage that washed ashore. Henley stopped walking when she realized that she could no longer hear the sounds of Ramouter’s leather soles slipping on wet pebbles.

‘Where are you from?’ Henley asked, waiting for Ramouter to take off his jacket and loosen his tie. She moved closer towards the moss-covered river wall as the tide began to encroach.

‘Born in West Bromwich. Moved to Bradford when I was twelve.’ Ramouter tried to brush off the bits of mud that had stuck to his trousers, but they only smeared more. ‘Lots of moors, no rivers. Surely it would have been quicker in the car.’

‘This is quicker. Unless you fancy sitting in traffic for the next half hour while they raise the Creek Road Bridge.’

‘You know this area well?’

Henley ignored the question. She didn’t see the point in telling him that she could have walked this path with her eyes closed. That this small part of South-East London was ingrained in her. ‘Whoever dumped the torso would have taken this route. It doesn’t make any sense to come down here, go back up to the street level and then drive up to Watergate Street. Out of sight, below street level. Lighting would have been minimal.’

‘Body parts are heavy though,’ Ramouter tried to quicken his step to catch up with Henley. ‘The human head weighs at least eight pounds.’

‘I know.’ Henley pulled out her mobile phone, which had started to ring. She saw who it was and ignored the call.

‘Head, torso, arms, legs. That’s at least six individual body parts.’

‘I know that also. So, tell me, what point are you making?’ Henley waited for Ramouter to reach her before maneuvering him towards the river wall as though she was chaperoning a child.

‘I’m just saying that that’s a lot of dead weight to be carrying around at three in morning.’ Ramouter paused and placed his hand against the wall, trying to catch his breath.

Henley didn’t openly express her agreement. She fished out a black hair band from her jacket pocket and pulled her thick black curls into a ponytail. She had forgotten how much energy it took to walk across the gradient slope of the riverbank. Worse, she felt mentally unprepared for the job ahead, with a trainee struggling behind her who had no idea this was her first time as senior investigator in almost a year.

‘It’s a bit grim, isn’t it?’ DC Roxanne Eastwood shouted out as Henley finally reached the first crime scene. ‘Morning, Ramouter. Not a bad gig for your first day.’

Henley had always thought that Eastwood actually looked and carried herself like a detective. Now, Eastwood was poised on the riverbank, the sleeves of her jacket rolled up with her notebook in her hand. She had come prepared for the river and was wearing a pair of jeans and trainers that had seen better days.

‘Morning, Eastie. How does it feel to be out of the office?’ Henley asked, her eyes drifting to a crime scene investigator who was putting an arm into a black bag.

‘I should be asking you that,’ said Eastwood, with a look of concern.

Henley silently appreciated the empathy and placed her hand on Eastwood’s shoulder.

‘But since you asked, it’s bloody terrible. I think I’ve got sunburn.’ Eastwood rubbed a hand over her reddening forehead. ‘Forensics are going to be wrapping up in a bit. Not that there’s much for them to do. Bag it and tag it.’

‘Where’s Mr Thomas?’

‘Ah, our illustrious treasure hunter. Last time I saw him he was heading towards the shops. Said that he needed to get some water for his dog.’ Eastwood shook her head, obviously not believing a word of it. ‘I’ve got an officer keeping an eye on him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d already uploaded pictures of his find onto Instagram.’

‘I want him taken back to the station. Ramouter can take another statement from him.’ Henley said it purposely so that Ramouter would sense she was in control. ‘If he’s like most mudlarkers, he would have been out here first thing this morning waiting for the tide to go out. Where exactly were the arms found?’

‘Just over there.’ Eastwood pulled down her sunglasses and pointed towards the foamed waves created by a passing river bus. The tide had already come in where X had once marked the spot. A sense of urgency filled the air as the river regained its territory.

‘Did he say anything else?’

‘Only that he found the second arm about three feet away from the first.’

‘It’s a sick trail of breadcrumbs,’ said Henley.

‘You’re telling me and before you ask about CCTV, there’re loads of cameras—’

‘But none aimed at this part of the river.’

‘Exactly.’

Henley’s mobile phone began to ring. She pulled it out and answered. After a quick chat, she ended the call.

‘That was Dr Linh Choi. You wouldn’t have met her yet but she’s our go-to forensic pathologist. She’s just arrived,’ Henley explained to Ramouter. She wiped away the sweat from the back of her neck.

‘So, we’ve got two arms, both legs and a torso,’ said Ramouter. ‘Where’s the head?’

Good question. Henley thought of the places between the two locations. A primary school, two nurseries and an adventure playground among the flats and houses. The last thing she needed was to find a head in the kids’ sandpit.

‘Can I have a quick look?’ Henley asked the assistant from Anthony’s CSI team, who had just bagged up the arm and was scribbling in her notebook.

‘Sure.’ The assistant unzipped the bag and pushed the plastic apart.

‘Fuck,’ Henley said under her breath. Her heartbeat quickened, her stomach flipped.

‘Oh,’ said Ramouter as he peered over Henley’s shoulder. One arm was covered with gravel. Slivers of seaweed criss-crossed old scars. The second arm. Slender wrist, the ring finger slightly longer than the index, broken fingernails. Black skin. Henley could hear Pellacia’s words from earlier ringing in her ears.

‘Too early to say if it belongs to the same victim or if it’s more than just one.’

‘Call DSI Pellacia,’ Henley told Ramouter. ‘Tell him that we’ve got two possible murder victims.’

NetGalley/ March 16th, 2021 by Hanover Square Press





THE BLACK CAGE by JACK FREDRICKSON

The Black Cage

A MILO RIGGS MYSTERY

Crime reporter Milo Rigg must uncover a brutal serial killer to restore his battered reputation in this first in a gripping new mystery series.

Milo has lost a job and a wife in too short of a time. He is a man with demons and nightmares of arms behind a black cage reaching out to him. The nightmares leave him shaken and frustrated.

His career dropped when he exposed the botched up investigation into the murder of three boys near Chicago. He pushed hard and ended up alienating the police and the press, who demoted him to the local rag.

Now more bodies are appearing and this time Milo isn’t going to blow it. He wants justice for these children and hopefully, redemption for himself.

This was an edge of your seat book! I changed my mind on who every other page! A great pace and characters so despicable I was hoping quite a few would be chopped.

This is the beginning of a new series and I want them all. Now. A great introduction to Severn House if you haven’t given their writers a chance.

NetGalley/  February 4th, 2020 by Severn House Publishers

 

Congratulations on Release Day!

Quite a few really good books coming out today! The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters is one of those.

thedeadgirlsclub

deadgirls2

deadgirlsclub1

Remember Bloody Mary? Yep, it’s like that, but more!

shatterthenight

Another dark and scary read, Shatter the Night by Emily Littlejohn

releasegoldenhour

The beautifully written The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

Check out Goodreads Winners for this year. Once again, I am rather disappointed.

Yesterday the postman brought this:

lovelettering

I had already finished the Kindle ARC from Kensington and was pleased to have a hard copy.

Books and Tea make a wonderful gift for anyone. Even my nephew loves tea and reading. I love that boy!

Enjoy your day and stay warm!

xx P

 

 

Lisa Ungers The Stranger Inside

The Stranger Inside

“Justice is not for this plane. Punishment, yes. Consequences, yes.”

Three 12-year-olds go into the woods. Only one comes out. And she will never be the same.

Rain, Tess, and Hank were best friends. Cutting through the woods was what they did. Until the day they weren’t alone and lives would be forever changed.

The points of view were alternated. And I thought they all had valid viewpoints. Remember Dexter? We watched as Rain lived her seemingly normal life. Having put her past trauma in a box with no key. But when another man is killed after being acquitted of his wife’s’ murder, alarm bells go off. Is there someone out there delivering a bit of karmic justice?

Finding the truth will put her in more danger, which she knows, but she can’ t stop. She has to know. And when the memories come back will she be able to handle it?

This was the best kind of thriller. You know just enough to think you have it and then Wham, you know nothing! And it made me think for a long time. What is justice? What is Karma? Do some people simply not deserve to live?

Well Done Ms. Unger, as usual!

NetGalley/ September 17th, 2019 by Park Row

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMERTIME AND THE READING IS EASY!

Summer is in full swing here. Lots of sun, sand, and water. And of course, a good book!

Some of my favorite reads this summer have been:

31 of the Best Books of 2018 Oh, what a twisty puzzle this thriller was!

  Mean Girls meets the PTA

  This is an outstanding novel about freedom, racism, and family.

   Another one that tugged at my heartstrings and made me cry!

What is everyone looking forward to reading? At the moment I am reading Campusland by Scott Johnson.

Have a good one! We are under a severe heat warning. I’ll be in the pool!

xx P