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

a family of strangers by EMILIE RICHARDS

A Family of Strangers

Emotional, Suspenseful, Domestic Drama, and Murder!  Who are these people that Ryan Gracey thought were family?

Ryan has always been told she was a change of life baby. Born prematurely when her mother went to Mexico on a trip and was all of a sudden pregnant. When she came home she had a baby and Ryans older sister was off to college.

In Ryan’s mind, her older sister, Wendy, can do no wrong. She is the perfect daughter, wife, mother and career woman. In Ryan’s mind. But all of that comes into question when in the same week her father has a heart attack, her sister calls begging her to go watch her two little girls and she’ll be home at some point. What? As Ryan drops her own life to go and help her mother and sister, she is finding some strange things at her sister’s home.  Where is Wendy? Who is Wendy?

Could Wendy be the perfect liar as well?  Ryan intends to use her crime podcast contacts to find out the truth. Where is her sister? Heck, who is her sister? It seems as if everyone has a different opinion and when the truth comes to light, it’s explosive!

Well Done!

NetGalley/Mira  June 25th, 2019 by MIRA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just One Bite by Jack Heath *BLOG TOUR WITH EXCERPT* OUT JUNE 4th!

Just One Bite

If Dexter and Hannibal Lector had a love child it would be Timothy Blake.

We first met Blake in Hangman. He was working with the FBI and really liked Thistle, his handler. Attracted to her but afraid he may end up eating her, Blake left the job and ended up working for a crime boss disposing of bodies. The perfect job for him, right?

This one begins with Blake waiting impatiently in the middle of nowhere for a body drop off. Only things go wrong quickly and Blake ends up being called in again by Thistle and the FBI to track down a missing man. Blake is more than ready to help. Especially as the man is currently awaiting dethawing in his freezer.

But then another man goes missing. And on and on and on.

It seems there is a serial killer on the loose! As he and Thistle work together to find the killer, his actual boss is getting a bit uncomfortable with him working with the FBI and Blake may be the next body found. And as Thistle begins to thaw a bit toward him, she also has the best shot at discovering what he does and who he is.

This is some gruesome reading! And I will be reading the next one just as fast!

NetGalley/ Harlequin Hanover June 04,2019

CHAPTER ONE

 

What has a neck but no head?

 

If Charlie Warner wants you dead, first she steals your shoes.

Not in person. She has people all over Houston.

One of them is James Tyrrell, a pudgy guy with Coke-bottle glasses and scar tissue on his arm where the number 88 used to be. A coded white-supremacist tattoo—H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. The 88 means Heil Hitler. “I’m no Nazi,” I heard him say once. “But if you want to survive Huntsville prison, you gotta pick a team.”

Tyrrell will open your front door with a police-issue lock-release gun and go to your bedroom wearing latex gloves and a hairnet. He’ll steal your most expensive pair of shoes. Usually black, always shiny—the kind you might wear to a funeral. He’ll take some socks, too, but won’t touch anything else on his way out.

Two more guys will drive a white van with stolen plates to wherever it is you work. Their names are Jordan Francis and Theo Sariklis. They both have thick necks, square jaws, and crew cuts. It took me a while to tell them apart. Sariklis is the one with the drooping eyelid and the Ramones shirt. He’s been working for Warner longer than me. Francis is new—just moved here from San Jose, California. He’s the one who cracks jokes. Even in winter, he wears a wife-beater to show off his biceps. He might go to the gym after killing you.

Francis will park the van next to the driver’s side of your car. Sariklis will open the sliding door on the side of the van and wait.

You’ll walk out of the office and approach your car. When you go to open the door, Francis will grab you and drag you into the van. It takes seconds. He’s had plenty of practice—in San Jose he worked for one of the Sureño gangs. You won’t even have time to scream before Francis shuts the van door.

You’ll know who they work for. Warner doesn’t target bystanders. They’re here because you stole from her, or lied to her, or informed on her. Or maybe you didn’t pay your tab at one of her businesses. An underground casino, a bordello, a drug den.

They’ll ask you questions. The first few are a test; they already know the answers. If you lie, Francis will hold you down, while Sariklis forces a water bottle into your mouth and pinches your nose shut so it feels like drowning. They do it like that because they’re still in the parking lot. There aren’t many quiet ways to torture someone.

Just when it feels like you’re gonna die, Sariklis will take the bottle out. You’ll throw up. Then Sariklis will ask you some more questions. The real ones. Whatever Warner needs to know. Who have you told? What are their names? Where do they live? Show us the messages.

The final question is always about the PIN for your bank account. You’ll answer that one gladly. You’ll think it means they only want money. You’ll think they’re going to let you go.

After you give them your PIN, Sariklis will stick the bottle back in your mouth. This time he won’t let up. He’ll drown you, right there in the parking lot. Three minutes until your heart gives up, four until brain death.

Francis will stay in the van with your body while Sariklis takes your car, your phone and your wallet to an ATM. He’ll withdraw as much as he can, then drive to a secluded stretch of beach in Galveston.

There he’ll meet Tyrrell, who has your shoes. Sariklis will place your shoes side by side on the sand, your wallet and keys tucked inside like frightened mice. Tyrrell will do a factory reset on your phone, switch it off and hurl it into the sea. They’ll abandon your car on the side of the road, within sight of the gray ocean, and take Tyrrell’s car back to Warner’s office to give her the cash.

I’ve only been to Warner’s office once, and I had a bag on my head for the whole journey. But I was memorizing the turns, and counting the seconds. Afterward, I got them to drop me off someplace else, and I memorized that journey, too. Later I looked at a map and narrowed it down to four city blocks near Market Square Park.

They usually take you on a Friday. If you live alone, you may not be reported missing until Monday. The police will find your car and shoes around Wednesday. Some of them will say you drowned accidentally while swimming. Others will suggest that it was suicide. The shoes are too classy for a normal swim, they’ll say, and there’s no towel. Plus, your bathing suit is still at your home.

Because of the ATM withdrawal, still, others will say that you faked your death. You did have some powerful enemies, after all. Your missing phone lends credence to this theory. But anyone who suspects Warner will be smart enough not to say so.

All this is assuming you’re one of the lucky ones, and Warner doesn’t want the credit for your death. Sometimes she kills someone to send a message. No stolen shoes, no water bottle. The body turns up in dozens of pieces, each removed from a living person.

Once upon a time, Warner’s men would have just thrown your body into the ocean. The water in your lungs would make sense on the autopsy report. But the bruising around your lips and wrists, plus the damage to your gums, might raise some eyebrows. Now they have a better way.

While Sariklis and Tyrrell bring the cash to Warner’s office, Francis will take the van onto State Highway 12, alone. Your body will be in the back under a sheet, slowly going cold. Francis will drive through the dark, watching the buildings disappear and the trees get taller and taller.

Then he’ll see a beat-up Toyota Corolla parked on the shoulder, miles from anywhere. He’ll pull over. Despite what he’s seen and done, he’ll shudder before he gets out of the car.

Then he’ll slide open the van door, and give your body to me.

 

 

 

We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn is back in another masterful tale. 

A bit of a different take on the well-known tale of a family of four living in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959 and their brutal murders.  Two men were convicted and executed for the crime. Perry Smith and Dick Hickok.  If it sounds familiar, it should. The investigation and outcome became a best seller for Truman Capote as In Cold Blood.

There has always been controversy over Capote’s story of the events. In this telling the author asks us to think about another family murdered in much the same way, and what if there really was the third killer out there? These men have told so many lies, it’s hard to believe what is and isn’t true. The killers are long dead when this arrives at Brigid and Carlo’s door.

A brutal killer has been released from prison. It’s been 30 years and DNA evidence is now on the scene and cold cases are being looked at again and saved DNA is being put in the system. The only thing on this killer’s mind is finding out if it is true that one of the dead killers ratted him out in his final confession to a priest. A priest who Carlo knew well and who unbeknownst to Carlo has given him a letter written by one of the killers before his execution.

Carlo and Brigid may not know they have the confession but our killer is sure of it and sets out to take out anyone in his way to avoid going back to prison. There is no statute of limitations on murder.

Brigid and Carlo are really well-written characters. Brigid, a kick ass and take no names former FBI agent and Carlo, a former priest, who chose love. They are so interesting and they make a great team.

A good series!

NetGalley/: June 4th 2019 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A MAP OF THE DARK by KAREN ELLIS

A Map of the Dark (The Searchers #1)

The first in a series, A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis, introduces us to FBI Agent Elsa Myers. Elsa is a complex character with a dark past and a lot of secrets.

Right now her father is dying and she is by his side when she receives a call for help from New York City. She has been asked for personally because of her track record finding missing people.

Ruby, a teenager, has gone missing. With a lot of misdirection from friends hiding their own secrets, the case is becoming more difficult and putting her own family in danger as well.

Working with Detective Lex Cole is proving difficult. Elsa is a very private person and Lex is trying to find a crack inside that hard shell she has put in place to protect herself. But for this case, she is going to have to face the darkness of the past and find these girls before it’s too late.

A new police procedural thriller series is always a welcome gift. While we didn’t get a lot of Elsa’s past and how she became an agent, it’s a series and since I’m now reading the second one, I can tell you it just gets better!

Well Done!

Netgalley/ January 2nd 2018 by Mulholland Books

 

 

LOST LAKE by EMILY LITTLEJOHN

Lost Lake (Detective Gemma Monroe, #3)

Detective Gemma Monroe #3

An enthralling, atmospheric new novel from the author of acclaimed debut Inherit the Bones, featuring Colorado police officer Gemma Monroe.

Lost Lake. A beautiful hidden gem close to the small town of Cedar Valley, Colorado. The history of the lake and the history of the town are closely linked. A beautiful place, popular with campers and hikers in the summer. In the winter it’s a very different and unsettling place.

It’s early spring now and Detective Gemma Monroe has responded to a missing person report at the lake.

Two couples have camped overnight and in the morning one of the girls is missing. Sari Chesney is also the assistant curator at the town’s museum and now she and the founding fathers diary are missing. Are the two connected?

When the bodies begin to pile up Gemma isn’t sure who to believe. It seems the tiny town is bursting with secrets and even someone in the department is leaking info to the local paper.

With so many different mysteries to solve, will our Gemma pull through in the end or will this one be the end of her?

I am a fan of the series and this was a really good one with murder, supernatural vibes, and a great group of suspicious characters!

Well Done!

 

Netgalley/November 6th 2018 by Minotaur Books

THE SAVAGE SHORE by DAVID HEWSON

The Savage Shore

A Nick Costa Italian Mystery

Detective Nic Costa finds himself a stranger in a strange land when he’s sent to infiltrate the mob in a remote part of southern Italy. 

Nic Costa is one of my favorite detectives. Now he has been sent undercover to the Calabrian coast to pose as a long-lost family member of the ‘Ndrangheta, or the Mob. One of the biggest leaders wants to retire. He wants to flip and give them an even bigger fish, The Butcher of Palermo.

While his team impatiently waits Nic jumps in and becomes a mobster. The team is suspicious of the entire operation and each other. Some things just aren’t adding up and when the time comes to carry out their plan will they be walking into an ambush?

The descriptions of the country are so detailed and beautiful I wanted to go there myself. And even though you think you know what’s going on, in the end you don’t.

I can’t wait for the next Nic Costa book. So happy to have read this one that kept me captivated. It was like the Mafia meets the Illuminati!

Well Done!

Netgalley/ November 01, 2018 Severn House/Creme de la Creme