It's a Mad Mad World

It's a Mad Mad World

- A blog which contains just about anything related to books - 

 

 

Some new books that I've gotten lately!

Some bought and some for free! :)

 

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

 

This year Booklikes have been, well, to be honest, a bit problematic and I have been pretty non-active here. Hopefully, next year the site will work better and I will be more active. :)

 

The Top 15 Books of 2016
 
My Top 10 books of 2016 quickly turned into top 15 instead of 10 when I started to go through the books I've read. It could just as easily have been top 20, but I had to draw a line somewhere. The books are in no particular order because that would just mean hours of agony and indecision. So, on to the books: 
 
 

From New York Times bestselling author and famed former Manhattan prosecutor Linda Fairstein comes a chilling new Alexandra Cooper novel, Entombed, in which Alex matches wits with the master of detective fiction himself-Edgar Allan Poe...

 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 

Sometimes I wish that she’d just leave me in peace . . .

Psychologist Evi is worried about one of her patients – a woman who is convinced her little girl is still alive. Two years after the fire that burnt their house down.

Meanwhile, the new vicar in town is feeling strangely unwelcome. Disturbing events seem designed to scare him away.

And a young boy keeps seeing a strange, solitary girl playing in the churchyard. Who is she and what is she trying to tell him?

READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
Media calls him "The Birthday boy" because he kidnappers girls just before they turn thirteen and then he sends pictures of them home to their families showing how he slowly tortures them to death. Every year they get a new card. 5 years ago Detective Constable Ash Henderson's daughter Rebecca was kidnapped. One year later get a card, but he keeps that a secret for his colleagues and because if they would know would he not be able to stay on the investigation...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
From the bestselling author of Girl in Translation, a novel about a young woman torn between her family duties in Chinatown and her escape into the world of ballroom dancing...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 



West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter...

 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
Mary Russell is used to dark secrets—her own, and those of her famous partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes. Trust is a thing slowly given, but over the course of a decade together, the two have forged an indissoluble bond...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.

But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade...

 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 

Lorena "Hick" Hickok is assigned to cover Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1932 political campaign. This is the start of a love story that would last for years, despite long periods of separations and the fact that Eleanor Roosevelt was to become The First Lady of United States. But, this love story could not last. Madame, that Hick so lovingly called Eleanor could never become someone anonymous again, even after FDR death.
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
In her storied career as a Texas Ranger, Caitlin has confronted all manner of villains, but nothing that’s prepared her for the terrorist group ISIS’s pursuit of a devastating weapon on Lone Star State soil. The land in question lies on an Indian reservation where a drilling operation steeped in mystery and controversy is about to commence under the auspices of shadowy billionaire Cray Rawls...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates...
 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 
Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked...

READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 


Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family, she's rumored to have inherited a vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë's literary estate; diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that's never been shown outside of the family.,,

 
READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
 

The dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 


A five-year-old boy from a remote farm on the plains of Skåne disappear late one summer evening in 1983. The only trail after him is a shoe in the tall corn fields. 

Although the whole neighborhood gets involved in the search do they not find him, and rumors and suspicions spread quickly. And, the clumsy criminal investigation is, in the end, closed down when they can't find the boy, and the grief and uncertainty get the boy's family to slowly fall apart.


READ MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE
 
Thoughts and honorable mentions:
 


The hardest part was I found other really great books while making this list. But, I decided when I made this list that I would not change since it would only make everything messy. And, soon I would be up in Top 25 instead of top 15...;)

But, I would like to mention some really great books that I read during 2016 that I found to be brilliant: Dead Man Walking by Simon R. Green, Arrowood by Laura McHugh, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, Melody Bittersweet and The Girls' Ghostbusting Agency by Kitty French and Redemption Road by John Hart...Honestly I could go on and list all my 5-star books, but instead just check out my Goodreads page!

Review
3 Stars
Night Watch by Iris Johansen

Born blind, Kendra Michaels spent the first twenty years of her life living in the darkness. Then, thanks to a revolutionary medical procedure developed by England’s Night Watch Project, she was given the gift of sight. Her highly-developed senses (honed during her years in the dark), combined with her new found vision, have made her a remarkable investigator, sought after by law-enforcement agencies all over the country. But her newest case finds her uncovering a deadly truth about the shadowy organization that has given her so much.

Kendra is surprised when she is visited by Dr. Charles Waldridge, the researcher who gave her sight. But all is not well with the brilliant surgeon; he’s troubled by something he can’t discuss with Kendra. When Waldridge disappears that very night, Kendra is on the case, recruiting government agent-for-hire Adam Lynch to join her on a trail that leads to the snow-packed California mountains. There they make a gruesome discovery: the corpse of one of Dr. Waldridge’s associates, brutally murdered in the freezing snow. But it’s only the first casualty in a white-knuckle confrontation with a deadly enemy who will push Kendra to the limits of her abilities. Soon she must fight for her very survival as she tries to stop the killing… and unearth the deadly secret of Night Watch.

 
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Night Watch is book four in the Kendra Michaels series, and this is the first book I have read from the series. However, I have read several other Iris Johansen books from her Eve Duncan series. So, I was looking forward to reading Night Watch to see of I would fancy the series as much as I love the Eve Duncan series.

Kendra Michaels is an interesting character, she was born blind, but got her sight back nine years prior to this book thanks to an operation. And, she's a bit like Sherlock Holmes when it comes to noticing things, thanks to her years of focusing on other senses than sight when she was blind and then when she got her sight back did she unlike the rest of us that's used to it, train herself to see "everything". So, she makes a hell of an investigator.    
 

The story in this book started off interesting with Kendra being visited by Charles Waldridge the doctor who gave her the sight back. However, she can feel that something is wrong that he's not telling her everything. And, when he goes missing is she determent to find him. She even calls in an old friend Adam Lynch to help her find him.

The book is interesting, I like Kendra, and I liked Jessie a private detective that she meets in the book and I really liked Waldridge and I was worried that he would end up dead. It's interesting how you can care for a character that hardly in the book. However, there was something that just didn't work for me or rather a person, and that was Lynch, he feels like a carbon copy of Quinn from the Eve Duncan series, and I'm not even always that fond of Quinn so having a Quinn copy in this book just felt, well not that interesting. I think the whole, "I'm a badass guy, and a walking one person army kind of dude" just doesn't always work for me. And, when they started to do the whole "will they, or won't they dance" in the book did I feel my interest in the story cooled down. Seriously, I was thinking through the book that there are several interesting guys in this book, and she goes for the typical one? It just ruined the book a little bit for me.

Now, I don't say that the book was totally bad, I liked the story, but I felt I lost focus whenever Lynch showed up. Kendra is a smart cookie, and I liked reading about her past with Waldridge and her Sherlock Holmes tendency amused me. So, the book was in a way good, and in a way...less good than I had hoped it would be. I think that fans of this series will like this book, especially if they are fond of the idea of Kendra and Lynch together. Also, it was an easy book to get into so any newbies would probably enjoy the book as well.

I want to thank the S:t Martins Press for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Review
4 Stars
The Lost Ones by Ben Cheetham

Some secrets are better left undiscovered.

When a nine-year-old girl goes missing in Harwood Forest, the search for her brings back memories of an unsolved double murder some forty years earlier. Could the key to Erin Jackson’s disappearance lie in the bloody fate of Elijah and Joanna Ingham, bludgeoned to death while their young daughters slept? Were the Inghams really the victims of opportunistic burglars—or a more sinister fate?

The woods are combed for signs of the child, but Erin’s brother, Jake, mounts his own investigation, uncovering evidence that puts the Inghams’ daughters—vanished Rachel and ‘crazy’ Mary—in the frame. Meanwhile, Erin’s father suspects that the ragtag army of eco-warriors besieging his quarry development may have something to hide.

As devastating secrets and betrayals are revealed, the Jackson family is brought to a breaking point. But time is running out. Erin is still missing and Jake’s unorthodox enquiries have left him dangerously exposed. They must find Erin and lay the past to rest—before they become its latest victims.

 
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The Lost Ones instantly caught my eyes with its wonderful cover and I thought the description of the book sounded very exciting. And, luckily, the book proved to be a real gem. I had never read anything by Ben Cheetham before I read this book, but now I must add his name to the list of authors to keep an eye out for.

The story is engrossing, a young girl goes missing, and since her father has a lot of enemies is there plenty of suspects. The town has once before been through an ordeal. Forty years before, Elijah and Joanna Ingham was brutally murdered in their house only their daughters survived. But, surely this murder of Elijah and Joanna Ingham couldn't have anything to do with the missing girl?

The Lost Ones is intense and heartbreaking to read. Little Erin is missing, and her parents are desperate to have her back, but has someone taken her or is she just lost? As the hours pass the situation becomes more and more desperate and secrets are revealed. The book is very good and I must admit that I was a bit surprised by the ending. I liked how Cheetham really demonstrated throughout story how devastating this is for the family and the toll it takes on them. You know from the beginning that Erin's mom has a secret, but what is she hiding? The murder at the Ingham house forty years ago, and the legend that the place is haunted gave the story an extras feeling of darkness.

 
I want to thank Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!  
Review
5 Stars
A Song for the Dying by Stuart MacBride (SWE/ENG)
A Song for the Dying - Stuart MacBride

SWEDISH REVIEW


Åtta år har gått sedan den brutala mördaren satte skräck i Oldcastles befolkning. Fyra kvinnor kidnappades, lemlästades och lämnades att dö – alla med plastdockor insydda i sina magar. Sedan, utan någon förklaring, upphörde morden tvärt.

Då var det ​kriminalinspektör Ash Henderson som höll i utredningen. Nu är hans familj splittrad, karriären i spillror och han riskerar att få tillbringa resten av sitt liv i fängelse. Men när ytterligare en kvinna hittas död ser Ash äntligen en chans till återupprättelse. En chans att bli fri. En chans att hämnas.

En sång för de döda är andra boken om Ash Henderson. Den första, Hälsning från de döda, kom ut 2015.

 

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Om det är en bok som jag har väntat på att få läsa i några månader så är det En sång för de döda. Jag läste första boken i serien i våras och älskade den. Tja, på det sätt som jag gillar att läsa brutala, hemska berättelser med fantastiska karaktärer. Jag hoppades att denna bok skulle vara lika bra som den föregående och speciellt hoppades jag på att Alice skulle vara med i denna bok också. Jag fullständigt älskade henne i den första boken. Hon var ljusstrålen i en annars mörk och dyster berättelse. Jag är glad att kunna säga att hon har även en stor roll i denna bok och att hon är lika knepig som i första boken. Ash är givetvis också tillbaka, men han är fortfarande i fängelse även om han har blivit frikänd från mordanklagelsen. Dock har Mrs. Kerrigan fixat så han är kvar där tills hon säger något annat. Men så fixas Ash ut från fängelset tack vare höga chefer som vill att han ska hjälpa till att fånga en mördare som han misslyckades med att fånga för åtta år sedan, en mördare som nu är tillbaka. Och visst, han hjälper gärna till med det, men hans huvudsakliga mål är att döda Mrs. Kerrigan, gärna väldigt sakta...

En sång för de döda är precis lika bra som den första boken i serien. Ash Henderson och Alice McDonald är tillbaka och arbetar för att stoppa Insidern, men Ash är också väldigt sugen på att stoppa Mrs. Kerrigan för gott. Men varken Insider fallet eller Mrs. Kerrigan bortgång kommer att bli enkla utmaningar. En sång för de döda är en bok där jag inte ville att berättelsen skulle ta slut, men på samma sätt så ville jag få reda på vad som skulle hända härnäst. Det var väldigt svårt att lägga ifrån sig boken då berättelsen hade några intressanta vändningar mellan varven. Jag var lite oroad att MacBride hade valt den mest logiska kandidaten för att vara bokens mördare, men jag hade inte alls behövt oro mig då MacBride hade helt andra planer än att göra det enkelt för Ash (och läsaren). Jag älskade slutet, det var väldigt tillfredsställande och det var skönt att det inte slutade med en cliffhanger som föregående boken gjorde. Men jag hoppas verkligen att detta inte är den sista Ash och Alice boken. Jag vill ha flera!

Tack till HarperCollins Nordic för recensionexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

  

He’s back...

Eight years ago, ‘The Inside Man’ murdered four women and left three more in critical condition—all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside.

And then the killer just... disappeared.

Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation, but a lot can change in eight years. His family has been destroyed, his career is in tatters, and one of Oldcastle’s most vicious criminals is making sure he spends the rest of his life in prison.

Now a nurse has turned up dead on a patch of waste ground, a plastic doll buried beneath her skin, and it looks as if Ash might finally get a shot at redemption. At earning his freedom.

At revenge.

 
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If there is one book that I've been waiting to read this year is it A Song for the Dying. I read the first book in the series this spring and I loved it. In the way, I love reading a brutal, horrifying story with great characters. I hoped that this book would be just as good and I really hoped that Alice would be back in this book. I loved her in the first book, she was the one thing that made a pretty dark and depressing story a bit brighter. And, I'm happy to say that she is in this book just as quirky as in the previous book. As for Ash himself, well, he is in prison, though, he has been cleared of the murder charge, but Mrs. Kerrigan is the one that has fixed it so that he will stay there until she says otherwise. However, now the powers to be has managed to get him out, to help with the investigation of a killer that he failed to catch eight years ago that is now back. And, sure he will do that, but his main plan is to kill Mrs. Kerrigan, preferably very slow... 
 
This book was just as good as the first book in the series. Ash Henderson and Alice McDonald are back together working and yes Ash wants to get the Insider caught, but he is also quite eager to kill Mrs. Kerrigan. However, neither catching the Insider or killing Mrs. Kerrigan will turn out to be so easy. A Song for the Dying is the kind of book when one just doesn't want the story to finish at the same time you want to know what will happen next. And, it was pretty hard to put the book down when I started to read it. There were some interesting twists to the story, I was a bit worried when it looked like MacBride had picked the most logical candidate to be the killer. However, it made sure to twist the story around. I loved the ending. It's the kind of ending that felt very satisfying, not the cliffhanger kind of ending that the last book had. However, I do hope this is not the last Ash and Alice book. I want more!

Thanks to HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!
Cover Crush: Gwendolen by Diana Souhami

 

 Erin over at Flashlight Commentary is the one that came up with the cover crush idea and I loved it so much that I decided that every Thursday would I post a cover that I really love. 
 

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This week's Cover Crush is Gwendolen by Diana Souhami. I find the cover delightful and it's just the kind that makes me curious to read what the book is all about. I like how Gwendolen is the sole person on the cover and I love how she stands there ready to shot that arrow.It's just so striking and intruging! 

 
 
 
 
Description:

In an astonishing unsent love letter, a 19th-century Englishwoman looks back at her formative years, when she fell in love with one man but married another

Gwendolen Harleth, an exceptionally beautiful upper-class Englishwoman, is gambling boldly at a resort when she catches the eye of a handsome, pensive gentleman. His gaze unnerves her, and she loses her winnings. The next day, she learns that her widowed mother and younger sisters, for whom she is financially responsible, have lost their family's fortune. As a young woman in the 1860s with only her looks to serve her, Gwendolen's options are few, so when Henleigh Grandcourt, a wealthy aristocrat, proposes to her, she accepts, despite her discovery of an alarming secret about his past.

This novel is Gwendolen's passionate later-life letter to the handsome man who caught her eye at the gambling tables-the man she did not marry-and reveals what happened across the brutal and transformative years of her early twenties, after she married Grandcourt. That Gwendolen is also the heroine of George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda (and is writing to Deronda) will intrigue and delight legions of Eliot fans, but debut novelist and award-winning biographer Souhami has brilliantly and movingly breathed fresh life into a classic story in ways that will appeal to readers entirely unfamiliar with Eliot's fictions.

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Check out this week's cover crushes over at my friend's blogs:

Review
5 Stars
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (SWE/ENG)
The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena
SWEDISH REVIEW
 

Anne och Marco Conti är ett par som tycks ha allt: ett kärleksfullt förhållande, ett vackert hem och en underbar bebis, Cora.

Nu säger deras granne att hon inte vill ha med deras sex månader gamla dotter på sin middagsbjudning. Inget personligt, hon står bara inte ut med gråten. Marco säger att det är okej. De bor ju trots allt bara i huset bredvid. De kommer att ha babyalarmet med sig och turas om att gå hem en gång i halvtimmen.

När Anne tittade till Cora för bara en stund sedan sov barnet djupt. Men nu, efter att hon rusat upp för trapporna i deras dödligt tysta hus, besannas hennes djupaste rädsla. Cora är borta!

Anne och Marco har aldrig tidigare behövt ringa polisen. Men nu är polisen i deras hem, i deras liv. Och vem vet vad de kommer att upptäcka där?

 
På andra sidan väggen är en psykologisk thriller som håller läsaren i ett järngrepp fram till sista sidan. En roman om svek, manipulation och dubbelspel – och om vad människor är kapabla till när de pressas till bristningsgränsen.

 
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Wow, vilken bok. Jag måste erkänna att jag inte trodde att boken skulle fängsla mig så mycket att jag i slutändan skulle ge den en 5:a. Jag hoppas att den den skulle vara underhållande, men jag trodde aldrig att den skulle vara så underhållande att den skulle vara svår at lägga ifrån sig på kvällen. En riktig blandvändare med andra ord! Jag svär, om jag inte hade haft jobb dagen efter jag började läsa boken så skulle jag nog läst klart den troligtvis samma kväll. 
 
Vad jag verkligen älskade med boken var känslan av att alla dolde något, och det visade sig vara korrekt. Även när händelser avslöjades som kanske inte alls var så överraskande så kände jag aldrig att det var för lätt, utan det var snarare så att jag hade en misstanke och när den visade sig vara rätt så var det med belåtenhet jag insåg att jag hade gissat rätt. Självklart var det händelser som jag absolut inte hade räknat med. Som det briljanta slutet. Wow!
 
Jag vill inte avslöja något av handlingen, men jag måste bara få säga att jag är verkligen imponerad över hur mänskliga karaktärerna i boken är. Lapena har verkligen lyckats med att skapa karaktärer som jag kunde känna sympati för (tja de flesta människor, de fanns några vidriga som jag inte gillade speciellt mycket eller kände sympati för). Genom att karaktärerna blev så levande så kändes handlingen verkligen levande. Jag drog in i berättelsen och sedan släppte den inte taget om mig.
 
På andra sidan väggen var en fantastisk läsupplevelse. Shari Lapena är ett namn jag bara måste lägga på minnet och jag ser fram emot att läsa framtida böcker av henne!
 
Tack till Modernista och Louise Bäckelin Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!
 
ENGLISH REVIEW
 
 
You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

 
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Wow, what a book. I have to admit that I did not think I would love it as much as I did. I was hoping to be entertained, but I never thought that I would find it so engrossing that it would be hard to put it down. I swear, if I hadn't had work the day after I started the book would I probably have read most of the book that evening that I started it.

What I really loved about the book was the sense that everyone is hiding something, and sure they did and even when things were revealed that perhaps was not so surprising did I never feel that it was too easy, it was more of a getting right when you are getting suspicious about something. Of course, there were events that I didn't expect at all. Like the brilliant ending. Wow.

I don't want to give the story away, all I want to say that I'm very impressed how Lapena managed to make the characters so real that I really could feel for them (well most of the people, some I did not like because they were quite frankly awful human beings). By making the characters feel alive did this story come alive. I was pulled into the story and it didn't let go for a minute.

The Couple Next Door was a fantastic reading experience. Shari Lapena is definitely a name that I need to keep track of for future books!


Thanks to Modernista and Louise Bäckelin Förlag for the review copy!

Image
image

I ordered my own Harley a while back from wish.com! 

 

And, it arrived today! :D

Review
5 Stars
Blog Tour: Strong Cold Dead by Jon Land
Strong Cold Dead: A Caitlin Strong Novel (Caitlin Strong Novels) - Jon Land

Strong Cold Dead

by Jon Land

on Tour October 2016

Synopsis:

In her storied career as a Texas Ranger, Caitlin has confronted all manner of villains, but nothing that’s prepared her for the terrorist group ISIS’s pursuit of a devastating weapon on Lone Star State soil. The land in question lies on an Indian reservation where a drilling operation steeped in mystery and controversy is about to commence under the auspices of shadowy billionaire Cray Rawls.

But Rawls is only one of Caitlin’s problems. Her surrogate son Dylan, the oldest boy of her reformed outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters, has joined the tribe to protest Rawls’ desecration of the sacred Indian lands. The same desecration that has unearthed an ancient evil Caitlin’s own great-great-grandfather fought nearly 150 years before. There’s also a twisted genius who’s uncovered the true nature of that evil, a young man with whom Caitlin shares a past now poised to deliver Armageddon from Texas’ canyonlands.

To save millions from a horrible fate at the hands of ISIS, Caitlin and Cort Wesley must sort through a web of death and deceit as tangled as the blood-soaked grounds of the reservation that hold a deadly secret. A secret that’s the source of a battle rooted in the past and now destined to determine the shape of the future.


Book Details:
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0765335131 (ISBN13: 9780765335135)
Series: Caitlin Strong Novel #8


Get Your Copy of Strong Cold Dead by Jon Land on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or add it to your list at Goodreads
 
Review
 
Strong Cold Dead is the first book Caitlin Strong book I have read, but I'm pretty sure it will not be my last. I'm actually quite sure about that since the first thing I did after finishing this book was ordering the first book. Lucky me that have seven unread Caitlin Strong books to read.
 
So, what was it that got me so enthralled that I just had to buy myself the first book? When it comes to book so are some so good that I feel right from the start that this is a 5-star book. And, this one felt like that. And, not for a moment did I waver from that thought. Strong Cold Dead has several fascinated characters, and of course, Caitlin is one of them, but also just loved to read Caitlin's great-great-grandfather Steeldust Jack Strong's POV in the book, who like Caitlin was a Texas Ranger. I was fascinated with the mystery of what it was on the Indian reservation that was so special and what secret the people living there are hiding from the outside world. And, to top it all, suddenly we have ISIS also involved in the story. There is a lot of jumping between characters, but that never really bothered me and this is one book were both parallel storylines (the one in the present and the one 150 years before) were equally interesting to read. The addition of a mystery from the 1930s added some extra intrigue to the story. 
 
Strong Cold Dead was a fantastic book, well-written, and I've taken to my heart both Caitlin and Steeldust Jack Strong. They are so well-developed and fascinating that I just can't wait to read more about them. There is a lot of action, but also some very poignant moments. In short, this book has all the ingredients I love, humor, action, mystery, and tragedy. And, I wish to God that I had the first book right now! I'm even tempted to order book two in the series, I'm hooked!
 
I want to thank Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! 
 
Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1
East San Antonio, Texas
“Nobody goes beyond this point, ma’am,” the tall, burly San Antonio policeman, outfitted in full riot gear, told Caitlin Strong.
“That include Texas Rangers . . .” She hesitated long enough to read the name plate over his badge. “. . . Officer Salazar?”
“That’s Sergeant Salazar, Ranger. And the answer is, yes, it includes everyone. Especially Texas Rangers.”
“Well, Sergeant, maybe we wouldn’t need to be here if a couple of your patrolmen hadn’t gunned down a ten-year-old boy.”
Salazar looked at Caitlin, scowling as he backed away from her Explorer. A few blocks beyond the checkpoint, a grayish mist seemed to hover in the air, residue of the tear gas she expected would be unleashed again soon. That is, unless the youthful crowd currently packed into the small commercial district at the near end of Hackberry Avenue dispersed, which they were showing no signs of doing. The third night of trouble had brought the National Guard to the scene in full battle attire that included M4 rifles and flak jackets. Caitlin could see more floodlights had been brought in to keep the street bathed in day-glow brightness, casting a strange hue in the air that reminded her of movie kliegs, as if this were a scene concocted from fiction rather than one that had arisen out of random tragedy.
Sergeant Salazar came right up to her open window, close enough for Caitlin to smell spearmint on his breath, as he worked a wad of gum from one side of his mouth to the other. “Those patrolmen found themselves in the crossfire of a gunfight between a neighborhood watch leader and gang bangers he thought were robbing a convenience store where most pay with their EFD cards. The clerk who chased them down the street just wanted to return the change they’d left on the counter for their ice cream, but the watch leader, Alfonzo Martinez, saw the scene otherwise and ordered the bangers to stop and put their hands in the air.”
Neighborhood watch leader Martinez, a lifelong resident of J Street who’d managed to steer clear of violence all his life, started firing his heirloom Springfield 1911 model .45 as soon as the gang bangers yanked pistols from the droopy waistbands of their trousers. The only thing his shots hit was a passing San Antonio police car, the uniformed officers inside mistaking the fire as the gang bangers’ and opened up on them so indiscriminately that the lone victim of their fire was a ten-year-old boy who’d emerged from the same convenience store.
It was almost dawn before everything got sorted out and the investigative team comprised of San Antonio and Highway Patrol detectives thought they’d managed to get control of the situation. Then relatively peaceful protests by day gave way to an eruption of violence at night, spearheaded by rival gangs who abandoned their turf wars to join forces against an enemy both of them loathed. Violence and looting reined, only to get worse by the second night when eight officers ended up hospitalized, one from what was later identified as a bullet instead of a rock. And now the third night found the National Guard on the scene in force and armored police vehicles from as far away as Houston barricading the streets to basically shut off the neighborhoods of East San Antonio’s northern periphery from the rest of the city.
“You’re still here, Ranger,” Sergeant Salazar noted.
“Just considering my options.”
“Only option you have is turn your vehicle around and leave the area, ma’am. You’re not needed or welcome here.”
“On whose orders exactly?” Caitlin wondered.
“Mine,” a female voice boomed, a moment before Caitlin heard a loud pop!, like a shotgun blast, crackle through the air.
CHAPTER 2
East San Antonio, Texas
A few blocks beyond the checkpoint, one of the spotlights fizzled and died, victim of a well-thrown rock more likely than a bullet. Caitlin was out of her Explorer by then, hand instinctively straying to her holstered SIG Sauer P-225 in anticipation of more shots to follow. “Get back in your vehicle, Ranger,” said Consuelo Alonzo, deputy chief of the San Antonio police department, as she strode forward, red-faced from the exertion of rushing to the scene from the police line upon learning of Caitlin’s arrival.
“You got a problem with getting some more back-up?” Caitlin asked her.
“I do when it comes from you.”
“Why don’t you catch your breath and hear me out?”
“Because there’s nothing you have to say that can possibly interest me right now. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re sitting on a powder keg one spark away from blowing San Antonio to hell. We don’t need you providing that spark, Ranger. No way.”
Instead of settling down, Alonzo’s agitation continued to increase. Her face had grown redder, her words emerging through breaths becoming more and more rapid. She had risen quickly through the ranks of the department, becoming the youngest woman ever to make captain three years prior to her recent promotion to deputy chief. And she had been rumored to be in line for the job of Public Safety Commissioner that came with a plush Austin office and a job that would place her, among other things, as chief overseer of the Texas Rangers. Alonzo no doubt relished that particular perk of a job certain to be hers, until the death of a Chinese diplomat, exacerbated by Caitlin’s solving the murder while Alonzo was dealing with more politically oriented ramifications, led to her being passed over.
Alonzo had overcome an appearance often referred to as “masculine” by even her supporters and much worse than that by her detractors, who seemed to put no stock in the fact that she was happily raising three young children with her husband who was a professional boxing referee. This was Texas, after all, where a woman needed to work twice as hard, and be twice as good, in a profession ruggedly and stubbornly perceived to be for men only. Caitlin and Alonzo had had their differences over the years, but had mostly maintained a mutual respect defined by their professionalism, and the sense that their own squabbles only further emboldened those who sought their demise.
At least until Alonzo cast Caitlin with all the blame for her losing out on a job that was likely never going to be hers now. Since then, she’d used her position as deputy chief to wage subtle war on the Rangers’ San Antonio-based Company F whenever possible, seizing upon any bureaucratic conflict or jurisdictional dispute she could in a hapless attempt to make Caitlin’s life miserable.
Alonzo ran a hand through her spiky hair. She was heavyset and had once set the woman’s record for the bench press in her weight class. She’d also done some boxing and was reputed to be the best target shooter with a pistol in the entire department. But Caitlin had beaten her three times running when they’d gone up against each other in state-sponsored contests, winning the overall title in two of those instead of just the woman’s division. She’d stop entering after her most recent victory, figuring the last thing she needed was to draw more attention to herself than her exploits already had.
“You’re not moving, Ranger,” Alonzo told her.
Caitlin gestured toward a figure pressed tight against the waist-high concrete barrier erected to close off the street to unauthorized vehicles. “See that woman there? That’s the mother of the boy who was killed by the fire of those SAPD officers. She’s the one who called me, asked me to see what I could do about the violence being done in her boy’s name. She doesn’t want the city to burn on his account. She wants this resolved peacefully.”
“And you think I don’t?”
“No, ma’am. It’s question about how you’re going about things.”
“And how’s that?” Alonso asked, not sounding as if she was really interested in Caitlin’s answer. “We got a full-scale riot brewing back there. What exactly do you think you can do about it that we can’t?”
“I’ve got an idea or two.”
“Care to share them?”
“Ever hear of Diego Ramon Alcantara?”
“Can’t say that I have.”
“He goes by the nickname ‘Diablo.’ Leader of a gang running drugs for a Mexican cartel that sees the riots as their opportunity to solidify their hold on the business throughout the state. And Diablo Alcantara has united the city’s normally warring gangs toward that purpose on the cartel’s behalf. I take him off the board, all this goes away.”
Alonzo shook her head, her expression a mix of resentment and disbelief. “You alone?”
“That’s right. Just give me a chance. What have you got to lose, Deputy Chief?”
“How about this city?”
Caitlin turned her gaze in the direction of the rioting. “Seems to me it’s already lost. Thing at this point is to get it back.” Alonzo’s lower lip crawled over her upper one, puckering her cheeks until she blew out some breath that hit Caitlin like a blast wave from a just opened oven. “We’ve got five hundred personnel on scene who haven’t been able to manage that.”
“Would it really hurt to listen to what I’ve got to say?”
“It hurts me standing here right now instead of commanding the front line. The governor just approved an assault. We move inside the next hour, if the crowd doesn’t disperse as ordered.”
“Just give me a chance.”
This time Alonzo finished her chuckle. “You know the saying ‘stone cold dead,’ Ranger?”
“I do.”
“Maybe you haven’t heard that among Texas law enforcement types it’s called ‘strong cold dead’ now.”
Caitlin smiled slightly. “Is that a fact?”
Alonzo was left shaking her head. “Tell me, when you look in the mirror, how big’s the army that looks back?”
“Well, you know how the saying goes, Deputy Chief,” Caitlin said, backpedaling toward her SUV. “’One riot, one Ranger.’”
CHAPTER 3
East San Antonio, Texas
Caitlin skulked about the outskirts of the neighborhoods just outside the riot zone. Through windows not boarded up or covered in grates, she spied more than one family following the simmering violence just a few blocks away on their televisions while huddled against a wall.
According to the information she’d obtained from a trio of informants, “Diablo” Alcantara was running the show from his sister’s home near J Street two blocks from the brewing riot’s front lines. The cartels had trained Alcantara well, taught him the tricks of their own trade to inspire everyday people to turn to violence to the point that it came to define them. A road a person was often too far down by the time he found himself on it at all. So it was here in East San Antonio, where closing the schools for the day had turned hundreds of teenagers into virtual anarchists, looting and destroying for its own sake. Right now Caitlin could still smell the smoke from a Laundromat that had burned to the ground when local firefighters and their trucks were chased back by crowds hurling bottles and rocks. Three had been hospitalized and one of the engines had been abandoned at the head of the street where it too had been set ablaze.
The Laundromat had chemicals and detergents stored in a back room that turned the air noxious for a time, the strange combination of lavender soap powder mixing with the corrosive bleaches to form the perfect metaphor for the city of San Antonio. Watching those white curtains of mist wafting through the flames to chase the rioters away more effectively than any efforts the authorities had mounted, though, had given Caitlin the idea to which Deputy Chief Alonzo had refused to listen.
Holding her position against a house in view of the main drag, Caitlin checked her watch, then the sky, and finally her cell phone to make sure she had a strong signal. Since word was the gangs were communicating via text message, there was talk of shutting down the grid, lasting until nobody could figure out a way to do it quickly—something she was glad for now.
Above the fire smoke and tear gas residue staining the air in patches, the night sky was clear and she made out a bevy of news choppers with navigation lights flashing like the stars millions of miles beyond them. Creeping closer to J Street and the home of Diablo Alcantara’s sister, Caitlin froze just beyond the spray of a streetlight showcasing a block packed with gang members proudly and openly displaying their colors. Amid the gang bangers unified in this unholy alliance, she spotted a stocky figure more bulk than muscle holding court near the rear. Diablo Alcantara had gotten into a knife fight while in high school and ended up losing an eye to a slice that split the left side of his face right down the middle. Even in pictures, it was hard to look at the jagged scar and translucent orb visible through the narrow slit Alcantara had for a socket without feeling a flutter in her stomach from the sight.
Caitlin knew the stocky figure was Alcantara the moment he turned enough toward the streetlight for its spray to reflect off the marble-like thing wedged into his skull in place of an eye. She counted fifty bangers in the vicinity armed with assault rifles and submachine guns no intelligence report had made mention of, meaning such firepower must’ve only just reached the scene courtesy the cartels.
The bangers, under Diablo Alcantara’s leadership, looked ready to launch their assault that would push the rioting from this neighborhood into the city proper, intent on turning San Antonio into Juarez. Caitlin’s plan hadn’t accounted for going up against heavy weaponry, but the reality made its implementation all the more necessary. Giving the matter no further consideration, she lifted the cell phone closer and pressed out three words in a text message:
COME ON IN
Caitlin figured she had three, maybe four minutes to wait, spending the first of them following the gang members’ antics in preparation for what was to come. Some of them wore military-grade flak jackets, in odd counterpoint to the pungent scent of marijuana smoke gradually claiming the air. She watched beer bottles drained and smashed, a few stray shots fired into the air to cheering by the most chemically altered in the bunch.
Caitlin checked her watch one last time before she stepped out from the darkness onto the street, light glinting off her badge and holstered pistol in plain view, as she continued toward the center of the block.
“I’m a Texas Ranger,” she called out to the gang members, whose gazes fixed on her in disbelief. “All of you, stay right where you are.”

Author Bio:

Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of 38 novels, including eight titles in the critically acclaimed Caitlin Strong series: Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break, Strong Vengeance, Strong Rain Falling (winner of the 2014 International Book Award and 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery-Suspense), Strong Darkness (winner of the 2014 USA Books Best Book Award and the 2015 International Book Award for Thriller and Strong Light of Day which won the 2016 International Book Award for Best Thriller-Adventure, the 2015 Books and Author Award for Best Mystery Thriller, and the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Mystery.

The latest title in the series is Strong Cold Dead, to be published on October 4 and about which Strand Magazine said is “certain to rank Land among a handful of our most talented thriller authors of this decade.” Land has also teamed with multiple New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham on a new sci-fi series, the first of which, The Rising, will be published by Forge in January of 2017. He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

Catch Up with Jon on his website and on Twitter & Facebook

Tour Participants:


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land to celebrate the release of his 8th Caitlin Strong thriller, Strong Cold Dead. There will be 5 winners of one (1) autographed copy of Strong Cold Dead by Jon Land. This giveaway is limited to US & Canadian residents only. The giveaway begins on September 28th and runs through November 3rd, 2016.
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Review
4 Stars
The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
The Obsidian Chamber (Agent Pendergast series) - Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child

A TRAGIC DISAPPEARANCE

After a harrowing, otherworldly confrontation on the shores of Exmouth, Massachussetts, Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is missing, presumed dead.


A SHOCKING RETURN


Sick with grief, Pendergast's ward, Constance, retreats to her chambers beneath the family mansion at 891 Riverside Drive--only to be taken captive by a shadowy figure from the past.

AN INTERNATIONAL MANHUNT


Proctor, Pendergast's longtime bodyguard, springs to action, chasing Constance's kidnapper through cities, across oceans, and into wastelands unknown.

BUT IN A WORLD OF BLACK AND WHITE, NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS

And by the time Proctor discovers the truth, a terrifying engine has stirred-and it may already be too late.
 
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I read the first Pendergast book Relic a couple of years ago and since then I have this been a favorite series of mine. It has been an interesting journey where I have learned more about Aloysius Pendergast and his family as the books progress and now here we are at book 16.

Pendergast is missing after the harrowing ending in the last book, and no one knows if he is alive or dead. For Constance, his ward is this a traumatizing experience and she has decided to retreat to the world she is so familiar with, the chambers below the Pendergast mansion. However, and an old enemy has returned, someone that she knows very well. But, Constance will soon learn that not everything is as it seems.

As with most books in this series was The Obsidian Chamber a pure joy to read. I miss the time when I had several Pendergast books to read, but in a way is it also nice to get a new one every year. This book felt more like a Constance book than an Aloysius Pendergast book. Of course, he is not totally missing from the book, but much of the story is about Constance. It's actually a bit tricky to write this review without spoiling too much of the story, like for instance who is back. So, I will just write some general thoughts about the book.

Constance is an intersecting character, not my personal favorite, but her backstory is truly intriguing and her first introduction to the series was spectacular. I do find myself not overfond with her growing attraction to Aloysius. I just can't seem to enjoy that idea. I must prefer her just being his ward. She has a central role in this book, and I did enjoy her part in this book. I was a bit surprised by her action in this book, how docile she seemed. However, everything got explained nicely towards the end of the book.

I was a bit worried that it would end with a cliffhanger, and yes, there was a kind of cliffhanger, but still the story felt ended at the moment. It's the kind of ending that felt satisfying and not frustrating. The previous books end was way more frustrating than this.

Finally, I hope that Corrie is in the next book. She has not had a prominent role since White Fire book 13 and I loved that book and I adore her.
 

I want to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

 

The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (US/Canada)

 

Review
4 Stars
End of Watch by Stephen King (SWE/ENG)
End of Watch: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) - Stephen King

SWEDISH REVIEW


Mercedesmördaren är tillbaka

För sju år sedan körde den ökände "Mercedesmördaren" Brady Hartsfield rakt in i en folkmassa. Åtta människor dog och långt fler fick men för livet. Den pensionerade kriminalpolisen Bill Hodges har inte kunnat lägga vansinnesdådet bakom sig, och när han nås av den oroande nyheten att en efter en av de överlevande efter Mercedesmassakern försökt ta sina liv under mystiska omständigheter, inser han att mardrömmen är långt ifrån över.

Hodges blir allt mer övertygad om att Brady Hartsfield har ett finger med i spelet i det som börjar likna en självmordsepidemi. Men hur kan det vara möjligt, när Hartsfield som är dömd till psykiatrisk vård, sitter i rullstol och knappt kan prata? Vad döljer sig bakom Mercedesmördarens tomma blick?

Sista vakten avslutar Stephen Kings hyllade thrillertrilogi om Bill Hodges och hans ständiga medhjälpare Holly och Jerome. Den första boken i serien, Mr Mercedes, tilldelades 2015 års Edgar Award för bästa spänningsroman. 

 
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Innan jag recenserar denna bok vill jag bara säga att det har varit en intressant trilogi att läsa. det har inte varit min favorit trilogi för att vara ärlig, men ändå har den varit tillfredsställande. Mr. Mercedes, den första boken i series, var för mig den svagaste. Jag föll varken för story eller dess karaktärer. Men, Den som finner, uppföljaren funkade mycket bättre, även om stora delen av boken kändes som att läsa en bok som inte alls var del av denna serie. Slutligen har vi Sista vakten, och i och med denna bok så fann jag mig äntligen fängslade medan jag läste. 

I Den som finner får vi en titt in i Bradys liv efter att han stoppades i boken Mr. Mercedes, men i Sista vakten får vi äntligen den fulla berättelsen och äntligen en slutlig konfrontation mellan Brady och Bill Hodges. Men hur, undrar du säkert? Brady är ju hjärnskadad och kan knappt gå och prata. Låt oss säga att han fann en väg och eftersom detta är en King roman så är inte allting rationellt. Och det är en av orsakerna till att jag verkligen gillade boken. Sammansmältningen av thriller och paranormalt, Jag bara älskar det. 

Sista vakten är mycket bra och jag är överraskad över hur mycket jag gillade boken med tanke på att jag inte var jätteimponerad över de föregående böckerna. Men, trilogin blev helt klart bättre och bättre med varje bok och den slutade starkt. Jag gillade verkligen att King inte lät allting sluta helt lyckligt, det passade bra att avrunda serien på den sättet som hade gjorde. I slutändan kom jag att gilla Bill, Holly och Jerome väldigt mycket, vilket jag inte trodde jag skulle göra efter att ha läst Mr. Mercedes.
 
 
Tack till Albert Bonniers Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW
 
Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, who delivered the blow to Hartsfield's head that put him on the brain injury ward. Brady also remembers that. When Bill and Holly are called to a murder-suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put not only their lives at risk, but those of Hodges’s friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Because Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Bill Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the supernatural suspense that has been his trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and up-all-night entertainment.


**********

Before I start to review this book, do I want to say that this has been a very interesting trilogy to read. Not, my favorite trilogy, to be honest, but still a nice one. Mr. Mercedes, the first book in the series did not sit well with me. To be honest, the story and its characters were not my cup of tea. However, Finders Keepers, the sequel turned out to be much better, even though it felt for much time while reading the book like it was not part of this series. Then, we have End of Watch, the final book. Here, I finally found myself quite engrossed with the story.

In Finders Keepers, we get some glimpse of Brady's life after he was stopped in Mr. Mercedes. and, in End of Watch, we really pick up the story and finally get to see Brady and Bill Hodges confront each other. But, how can that be you wonder? Brady is brain damaged and can hardly move and talk. Well, let's say he discovers a way. And, as this is a King novel is not everything rational. And, that's what I love about this book. The blend of thriller and paranormal. And, that's probably one of the reason for me liking the book so much.

End of Watch was frankly quite good and it surprised me how much I liked it since I did not love the previous two books that much. For me, this trilogy just got better and better and it ended with a bang. I love the fact that King didn't let it all end totally happy, it felt like a good ending. I even came to really enjoy Bill, Holly, and Jerome very much in this book, which I didn't think I would when I read Mr. Mercedes.


Thanks to Albert Bonniers Förlag for the review copy!

Review
4 Stars
A Cotswold Christmas by Kate Hewitt Weekend Blitz

Welcome to Wychwood-on-Lea… a not-too-quaint village where frosty evenings, welcoming fires, and second chances will make this a Christmas you’ll never forget.

Anna Vere has escaped to the Cotswolds for Christmas to try to heal from her broken engagement and, far worse, her broken dreams. When her reserved room at a bed & breakfast is flooded, she takes up the offer of camping out in Willoughby Close, the converted stables of the nearby manor house… and is taken under the wing of sexy local carpenter Colin Heath.

What starts out as merely helping a neighbor in need turns into far more as Colin and Anna share a surprisingly intense and emotional connection, weaving their own Christmas magic as they spend the holiday together. But Anna has a secret she’s scared to reveal, something that could destroy the fragile bond they’ve just created, and Colin knows she’s only in England for a short time. Can these two sudden soul mates risk their hearts for a love that has yet to be tried and tested?

Get swept away by this poignant and heartwarming story, set in beautiful Wychwood-on-Lea, in the English Cotswolds. And look forward to four more books set in Willoughby Close, where everyday miracles and happily-ever-afters are guaranteed.

 
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I don't read much contemporary romance. Heck, I don't read much romance at all. But, I wanted to participate in this book blitz, and then I saw that I also had agreed to read the book. But, since it's just 168 page long did I don't see it a big problem. I was more concern over how I would feel about the story. But, strangely and happily this novella worked for me. 
 
I have a feeling I have a weakness for books with a winter/Christmas theme. Just set the story around Christmas and I'm sold. Also, the story felt refreshing, sure this is a romance book, but the issues the characters faced felt real. Anna's secret did feel like a new angle, not overdone too much and I found it to be an interesting problem, both in her life and her budding romance with Colin. Colin also has some issues, he has a tendency to not be able to finish things he has committed to. And, perhaps that will also make it hard for him to dare to take the step to commit to a relationship. Especially one that has some distance problem. 
 
I was charmed. Completely and utterly charmed by this book and I look forward to reading more books set in Willoughby Close.
 
I want to thank Jenny in Neverland for providing a free copy for an honest review! 
 
Links: 

 

About Kate Hewitt: 
 
Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 40 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series. 
 
She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots. 
 
Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

Blog: http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk/ 
Website: http://www.kate-hewitt.com/ 
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katehewitt1
 
 
Review
3.5 Stars
Three Weeks Dead: A DC Sally Poynter Novella by Rebecca Bradley

How far would you go if someone took your wife?

Especially, if you buried her a week ago.

When Jason Wells is faced with this scenario, he is confronted with the prospect of committing a crime that will have far-reaching consequences.

Can young DC Sally Poynter get through to him before he crosses that line, or does a desperate husband prove to be the case she won’t ever forget?

A prequel novella, set before Shallow Waters, the first in the DI Hannah Robbins series.

 

 

**********
 
I was lucky to get this short novella from the author to read. I have not read Shallow Waters the first book in the series and that Three Weeks Dead is a prequel to. But, I found no problems getting into the story.

In Three Weeks Dead, we get two POV. We have Jason Wells the husband to the kidnapped dead wife and then we have DC Sally Poynter, a young and inexperienced policewoman. Both are faced with troubles of them own, Jason with the moral dilemma of doing the right thing, not giving in to the kidnappers, but still wanting the body of his wife back. And, Sally is young, trying to balance marriage life with being a police and at the same time hoping to not doing anything wrong with the case.

For me was Three Weeks Dead an interesting book because I don't think I have ever read a book where the dead body is used as a bargaining chip. It was quite interesting to follow Jason as he wrestles with himself about not giving in to the kidnapper's demand. I mean it's easy to sit here and judge telling Jason mentally that she's just a dead body, she's not there anymore. But, for him, that's still his wife's body, a woman she loved. As for Sally, I have to admit that here newbie attitude was a bit grating for me, but I do like that Sally towards the end started to feel a bit more mature. However, here problems with a fellow male colleague in the book annoyed me, sure I can understand that some clashes occur, but it's not a long story, and I felt sometimes that it took a bit too large part of the story. It's not especially new in police books to have a male police hating a female police so it could be that I was just tired of an old cliché. It will be interesting to read Shallow Waters to see how I will feel about the situations.       
 
Also, as much as I enjoyed the story was it pretty short and I often feel that short stories are like a synopsis of a book. Give it more flesh, more story, and you will have a great book. I felt it reading this one, the idea was great, and I would have loved reading a full-length book. As a novella was it not bad, but you only scratch the surface when it comes to the characters. I always want more!
 
I want to thank the author for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! 
Cover Crush: Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck
Erin over at Flashlight Commentary is the one that came up with the cover crush idea and I loved it so much that I decided that every Thursday would I post a cover that I really love. 

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Call me Zelda's Cover is actually an old favorite of mine and I really need to buy myself a copy of this book. For some reason, I just think that this cover suits a book about Zelda Fitzgerald. For me has she always been a very odd and delightful person, and this cover with just a pic of Zelda's feet and Scott beside her feels perfect. It's on my wishlist on Amazon, perhaps I will buy it to myself as a Birthday present this month.
 
 
 
Description:

Everything in the ward seemed different now, and I no longer felt its calming presence. The Fitzgeralds stirred something in me that had been dormant for a long time, and I was not prepared to face it....

From New York to Paris, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald reigned as king and queen of the Jazz Age, seeming to float on champagne bubbles above the mundane cares of the world. But to those who truly knew them, the endless parties were only a distraction from their inner turmoil, and from a love that united them with a scorching intensity.

When Zelda is committed to a Baltimore psychiatric clinic in 1932, vacillating between lucidity and madness in her struggle to forge an identity separate from her husband, the famous writer, she finds a sympathetic friend in her nurse, Anna Howard. Held captive by her own tragic past, Anna is increasingly drawn into the Fitzgeralds’ tumultuous relationship. As she becomes privy to Zelda’s most intimate confessions, written in a secret memoir meant only for her, Anna begins to wonder which Fitzgerald is the true genius. But in taking ever greater emotional risks to save Zelda, Anna may end up paying a far higher price than she intended....
 
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Check out this week's cover crushes over at my friend's blogs:

Review
4 Stars
The Abandoned Heart: A Bliss House Novel by Laura Benedict
The Abandoned Heart: A Bliss House Novel - Laura Benedict

There is no bliss to be found in Bliss House.

In Old Gate, Virginia, stands a grand house built by Randolph Bliss, a charming New York carpetbagger who, in 1878, shook off dire warnings to build his home elsewhere. For the ground beneath Bliss House is tainted with the kind of tragedy that curses generations, seeping through the foundation and sowing madness in its wake. His first and second wives, and his young Japanese mistress, Kiku, bear witness to Randolph’s growing insanity with stories of his cruel manipulations and their desperate struggles to find happiness for themselves and their children.

Their desire to live and love and even take revenge also fills the house, triumphing even over death. Spanning half a century, The Abandoned Heart is the prequel to Charlotte’s Story and Bliss House, forming a trilogy of southern Gothic novels in which one haunted house begets haunted lives that echo over centuries. A haunting so powerful that even Bliss House’s destruction cannot kill it.

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To say that I've been eagerly awaiting to read this book is an understatement. I have read and loved the previous two books in this series and I have been waiting for what it feels like a long time for this book to be released.

You don't have to have read the previous two books in this series since the stories in these books take place after this book. To be honest, now I feel like re-reading those two books since I have the back-story to everything that is wrong with the Bliss house. The Abandoned Heart retells the building of Bliss house and how even before the house was built it was a place cursed. And, now Randolph Bliss moves his family there and it doesn't take a long time until tragedy strike.

I liked this book however, I do feel that the previous books stories were a bit more interesting and thrilling to read. This one felt like more an explanation to everything with less thrilling parts. Still, it's an awfully good book. I came to like Kiku very much and was really moved by her tragic story. There was a moment towards the end of the book when I was really taken back when something I had not expected was revealed in a letter. This is the kind of book that I don't want to reveal too much of what's going on instead I want to say that it's like the previous two books well-written and engrossing to read.  

The Bliss House series is a marvelous trilogy and I recommend it warmly if you like books about haunted houses.

I want to thank Pegasus Books for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! 

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