THE GOOD COP by PETER STEINER

The Good Cop

In a world of growing nationalism, a quiet few are determined to resist. This gripping historical mystery explores the darkest days of the early 20th century. 

Peter Steiner has given us a work of Historical Fiction with a lot of truth in the mix.

WWI has been lost. Germany is in chaos and the new government isn’t anything to brag about. Everyone is in some way corrupted. Detective Willi Geismeier has a front-row seat to the rise of Adolph Hitler.

You have Fascism and Communism and violence everywhere. This is a country that needs a leader desperately. Unfortunately, that leader comes in the shape of Adolph Hitler. Everything is politicized and investigations of crimes become impossible.

We also have the viewpoints of Maximillian and his wife, Sophie, a reporter. Together they will fight to stay alive, knowing that things are not going to end well for many.

This was a historical fiction story with a whole lot of truth behind it. It moved fast and I really enjoyed seeing Munich in the 1920s through the eyes of those who were there. Good plot, good characters, and a fast pace. Well Done!

NetGalley Reviews/ Severn House  September 3rd, 2019

 

 

The BeeKeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

The unforgettable love story of a mother blinded by loss and her husband who insists on their survival as they undertake the Syrian refugee trail to Europe.

A beautiful and haunting tale of Syria and the families who lost so much and fought so hard to stay in their home country, only to be driven out by war.

This is the story of Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife, Afra, who is an artist. They live in the city of Aleppo and their life is a good one. Until war comes. In a bomb strike their lives change forever. They change forever. Afra has seen such horrors, she is now blind. But with the aid of Nuri’s cousin, they escape. 

It is a long and hard journey they must now go on. Now they are refugees. Looked down on and taken advantage of. Nuri is suffering from PTSD and only wants to find a place to raise his bees and be safe. They can never go back. All they have is memories of a home that will never be theirs again.

This is a story of human strength and compassion. A real story of the horrors of war in
Syria and the real people who are dying and suffering for a reason we don’t really understand. Nuri and Afra may never see Syria again, but can they find their way back to each other?

This is a book you need to read. It’s not pretty and it’s very sad, but it’s honest and I cried and was very grateful to have read it.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ August 27th, 2019 by Ballantine Books

 

The Undertaker’s Assistant by Amanda Skenandore

The Undertaker's Assistant

“The dead can’t hurt you. Only the living can.” 

Effie Jones, once a slave, escaped a place she can not even remember as a child.
Found outside of a Union camp and taken in as a ward for an army surgeon. The Captain and his wife taught her to read and write, also how to forget her past and how to embalm bodies.

Effie’s feelings are buried so deep she appears cold and unfeeling. Leaving Indiana and returning to the last place she remembers, New Orleans, she quickly finds employment in the Re-Construction Era, 11 years after the Civil War, with an undertaker who needs her. He is a tortured drunk and Effie does all the work.

Effie maintains a distance from the other ladies at the boarding house. Not interested in anything but work and saving money. A chance meeting with a creole young lady has her learning to be comfortable with society and going to political meetings.

Things around the South are very volatile between the races and not a lot has changed for the better. After a confrontation, Effie begins to have flashes of painful memories of a holding pen and other slaves. She decides to find out who she is and where she came from.

This was a hard book to read. Not a part of our past I am proud of but these stories need to be told. I can’t imagine not knowing something as basic as your own last name. The trials and heartbreak Effie went through only made her stronger.

An exceptionally well-told tale!

NetGalley/July 30th, 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

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IN ALEXA’S SHOES by ROCHELLE ALEXANDRA *Blog Tour*

In Alexa's Shoes

In the Fall of 1940, Alexa and her mother were taken by the Nazi’s. Stacked like cordwood in cattle cars on a train. Most would die and the rest would labor. If you were a pretty blue-eyed blonde, you could end up as the slave of a Gestapo head. If you were lucky you didn’t get beaten every day.

I enjoyed reading a first-hand account of Alexa and her family.

This is a true story told by her granddaughter. The story and what happened to her is a solid story. It’s true. At only 13, she must grow up very fast and learn to survive.

The writing was monotone. I didn’t feel any emotion behind the characters. A lot of it could benefit from more editing. I didn’t feel her fear or any emotion. It is a true story and one with a horrific topic and that felt as if there should have been some emotion in it. I didn’t feel any fear or horror or anything.

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TRUTH WORTH TELLING by SCOTT PELLEY

Truth Worth Telling

An inspiring memoir from the front lines of history by award-winning 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley.

Don’t ask the meaning of life. Life is asking, what’s the meaning of you?

Journalist, Scott Pelley, is someone I have always respected. And counted on to give us the news and the story behind the news. The Truth.
Scott gives us true accounts of people changed forever by the events like The World Trade Center bombing, 9/11, fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq.
I found his telling of his own and others experiences on 9/11 to be difficult to read. The book is raw and unforgettable. Pelley has a writing style that is equal to his reporting style and that made this both a heartbreaking read and a profound one.
Free Speech and what it means for the people. Why it is the most important thing at all times and especially at this moment in history. A Free Press is part of the checks and balances that we must have in a democracy.
For readers who believe values matter and truth is worth telling, Pelley writes, “I have written this book for you.”  Scott Pelley
NetGalley/ Harlequin Hanover May 21, 2019

PRAY FOR THE GIRL by JOSEPH SOUZA

Pray for the Girl

Fawn Grove, Maine is a small town full of small-minded people. It’s been a long time since Lucy Abbott has come back to her hometown and some things have changed and some are fighting change.

The refugees who have settled here are not wanted. There is so much tension you could cut it with a knife. Everyone seems to be prejudiced and duplicitous. Kids, adults, no one is being honest.

After suffering in Afghanistan, Lucy is hiding her identity from everyone but her immediate family. No one in town recognizes her. After what happened to her over there she is having trouble just leaving her room.

She can’t let go of the crimes happening in her own town. An Afghani girl buried up to her neck and stoned. A boy with his throat slit and an Islamic symbol left behind. Who is behind all of this hate and violence?

Well let me tell you this, the second half of the book there is a huge WOW! And the Wows just keep coming after that. The teenagers, including her own niece are absolutely despicable and you will have to read it to see just how bad they are.

One ending I did not see coming!

NetGalley/  April 30th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

 

 

 

 

SAY NOTHING: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions.

The horrific conflict known as The Troubles is introduced to us beginning in 1972, when Jean McConville, 38 and a mother of ten children was abducted from her home in front of her children and neighbors, never to be seen again, until years later when bones found on a beach turned out to be hers.

Everyone knew it was the IRA, but no one was speaking out. Fear and Paranoia were rampant and no one was safe. Family members turned on each other. Neighbors turned a blind eye and some, like Dolours Price, were carrying on the family tradition of violence and proud of it.

This was a bitter conflict that I once thought was over Catholic vs. Protestants but that was only a small part of the story. Everyone wanted peace, but when it came, it was shaky at best.

This is one of the best books I have read on the Irish Conflicts. Turning loved ones against each other and so many deaths and in the end, who was right? Was it all worth it?

I don’t know but reading this account I fully intend to find out more.

Very Well Done!

Netgalley/ February 26th 2019 by Doubleday Books

THE MILITARY WIFE by LAURA TRENTHAM

The Military Wife (A Heart of a Hero, #1)

A Heart of a Hero Novel

Harper Lee Wilcox has only loved one man. Noah Wilcox, a Navy SEAL and the father of her son, Ben. It’s been 5 years since his death and  she is ready for a new challenge. She also wants answers. She doesn’t want the standard military version, she wants to know everything.

While visiting with another SEAL wife, also her best friend, Allison, she finds out that the man who showed up at her door after Noah’s death with a certificate of bravery and $100,000.00 is Bennett, Noah’s best friend in the Navy who was there when he died. But he isn’t talking. He’s fighting his own demons and trying to keep a promise he made to Noah. And soon they are falling in love.

I really enjoyed the telling of the lives of military wives. How much they give up to follow their husbands career, having to give up their own. It doesn’t matter how many degrees you have when prospective employers won’t hire you because you will probably not be in one place very long. And I loved Harper’s idea of a business that could be an ideal fit for the wives who want something more than volunteering.

PTSD is in the forefront here also. While I believe this was a Romance book, it was nicely balanced by real life issues and fears and how to cope with something you don’t even understand.

Netgalley/ February 5th 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin