Blood Oath – Linda Fairstein

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I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

Alex Cooper has returned to her office after a lengthy absence following a kidnapping. Ready to assure everyone that she is up to the task, she immediately finds herself involved in the past of a young woman, Lucy Jenner, who has a fascinating tale to tell. When she was 14, and a witness to a murder she was befriended, and then she claims raped, by the prosecutor of the case. A man that is now running for District Attorney for New York City.

Meanwhile, a friend and colleague of Alex’s collapses on a city sidewalk in convulsions and is rushed to the ER where she is deemed critically ill. Then she is mysteriously transferred out of the ICU to another facility, and no one seems to have any information.

Alex gently coaxes the entire story out of a reluctant Lucy, who claims she and ‘Jake’ shared a blood oath not to tell, and a scar to prove it, and begins to suspect that Zach is a predator, and has been for a long time. She and partner Mike Chapman begin to investigate her story, its timeline, and the DA wanna-be, Zachary ‘Jake’ Palmer.

Meanwhile, they are able to find the mysterious hospital where Francie has been taken and are stunned to learn that she was thought to have been poisoned by a toxic nerve agent. Alex has also inadvertently learned that her friend was pregnant. Holding her unconscious friends’ hand one night, Alex discovers a scar on Francie’s hand, much like that of Lucy.

Determined to keep Lucy safe, she and Alex go into hiding. But someone has learned what she knows and will do anything to silence the opposition…

This was one of the best of the Fairstein novels that I’ve read! It captured my attention from page one, and I could not flip the pages fast enough. Alex’s sassy attitude and the glimpse into the behind-the-scene’s courtroom drama, along with all the intrigue and suspense you’d expect from a crime drama, make this book a winner!!

Stone Cold Heart – Laura Griffin (5*****)

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I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

A soon-to-be bridal party is out on the town for bar hopping, when Grace’s ID gets denied at the door by a bouncer. She opts to meet the rest of the girls at the hotel and starts heading that way. An Uber driver stops and offers her a ride, she accepts with reluctance…and disappears.

Meanwhile Delphi Center anthropologist Dr. Sara Lockhart is attending a wedding nearby, when she receives a call from Detective Nolan Hess, asking for her assistance in assessing some bones found by some hikers in a nearby park. Sensing urgency, she immediately heads to the scene, where she readily identifies the bones as human. But something else at the scene startles her….

As she and Detective Hess work to identify the young hiker, they learn of a missing teen, named Grace. When the bones found are NOT those of a hiker that went missing several months ago, they begin to suspect a serial killer. As they work to tie the cases together, and fight the attraction they feel for one another, the killer is closer than anyone thinks…but will they find him before he claims his next victim???

A fabulous new Delphi Center novel from Laura Griffin! As per usual with this author, I was hooked from the very first page and stayed up half of the night to read it straight through! Un-put-downable!! Be sure your afternoon is free before you open this book!!

Unforgettable You – Brenda Novak

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I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

Jada Brooks & Maddox Richardson were a sweet teen-aged couple, when the events of a weekend party shattered their lives and separated them forever. Unbeknownst to either of them at the time, Jada was pregnant.

Now, 13 years later, Jada and 12-year-old Maya have returned home to Silver Springs, California after a divorce, and the death of her father. Home primarily to assist her mother with running the family business, and to help with her handicapped brother Atticus, Jada was assured that Maddox was no longer in town. But at a farmer’s market one weekend, she spots Maddox in the crowd…

Maddox Richardson lost the love of his life, and his brother Tobias to prison on that fateful night so long ago. Now 13 years later, he has returned home to Silver Springs after accepting a position as principal to a school for troubled youths. Not wanting to cause further heartbreak to the girl he once loved, he returned with the understanding that Jada was married and living elsewhere. But at that same farmers market – he spots Jada…

As both Maddox & Jada struggle with old feelings, and attempt to stay out of each other’s way, Maya is searching for information on her father, who was reportedly deceased in an accident before she was born. The spitting image of her father, Jada fears it’s only a matter of time before Maddox learns the truth. Can Maddox and Jada leave the past behind, and find their way back to one another??

I just love every word that Brenda Novak writes, and cannot get enough of her! Whether it’s the darker Talbot series, or a sweet read such as this, I’ve never read a Novak novel that I didn’t adore! Read this in a day because I just couldn’t put it down! And I LOVED the reference to Dr. Talbot! Bonus is, there’ll be more to come in Silver Springs, CA! I already cannot wait for the next book!!

The Perfect Alibi – Phillip Margolin (5**)

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I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

Robin Lockwood, attorney for Barrister, Berman & Lockwood is coming into the office to start her day when she’s met by Maxine & Randi Stark, a mother and daughter who wish to sue the daughter Randi’s rapist.

As Robin sits with Randi to obtain information, a story emerges of a young woman who goes to a frat party and dances with the young man in question, before she is led into a bedroom, where the alleged rape occurs, the tail end of which is discovered by Randi’s friend, Annie Roche. When Annie finds Blaine Hastings on top of her Randi, with her friend yelling ‘get off me’, she screams, causing the rapist to flee. Annie then took her friend to the hospital where DNA evidence irrefutably links Blaine to the crime, and he’s arrested. Despite his denials, and after an angry outburst in court, he is convicted – and he threatens his lawyer as he’s lead out of the courtroom.

Then, shortly thereafter, another young woman is raped, and inexplicably a rape kit also finds DNA that is linked to Blaine. But Blaine remains in jail and couldn’t possibly have committed this act. Blaine’s new lawyer then petitions the court for his release until the error can be explained, and Robyn’s team searches for an explanation. Meanwhile, a freed Blaine goes missing, and his victim, Randi, fears for her safety.

Then, an attorney is found dead in his office, and another is missing – from the firm that represented Blaine in his initial rape case. Are they connected? Or is there something else going on entirely?

I really love a good legal thriller and this one has all the elements I’ve come to expect – a compelling case, a likeable attorney, and enough mystery and intrigue that make putting it down next to impossible until the final page is turned! A fabulous new must-read from Phillip Margolin!!

Silent Suspect – Kerry Wilkinson (5 *****)

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I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

Coming right off the heels of Wilkinson’s last book, Detective Inspector Jessica Daniel is back, and resuming the search for her housemate Bex, still missing after the events of the last novel. Jessica receives a phone call one night from a phone box, and the caller says one word, Jess’s name, and the line goes dead. Jess is certain that it is Bex’s voice, and she traces the call to a phone box in nearby Blackpool.

Upon arriving in town, Jessica surveys the phone box, and finds a missing persons picture, that looks very similar to Bex. She calls the number on the photo, and connects with Peter, the missing girl’s brother. They agree to meet, spend some time walking around town and talking, then head their separate ways. When Jess awakens the next morning, it’s to DCI Ashley Fordham’s knock on her hotel room door. Peter has been found dead, she was the last to see him alive, and there’s fresh blood on her car. But whose?

While Jess pleads her innocence, the police are appropriately skeptic, and she launches her own investigation. She connects with another young woman at Peter’s workplace, who then mysteriously disappears as well. Coincidence? Or is someone setting Jessica up for a murder charge.

Not knowing who to turn to, Jessica calls her old friend Andrew, who comes to her aid. Now being sought by the Blackpool police, Jess narrowly misses capture, and in a race against time she and Andrew work to unmask the real killers – and discover a human trafficking operation in the process…

Another fabulous read from Kerry Wilkinson. I discovered her books completely by accident on Netgalley.com, and I am hooked!! I cannot wait to read the remainder of this series!! Completely un-put-downable!! Make this your next read!!

TheGuy Who Died Twice – Lisa Gardner

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I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.
I have long been a fan of Lisa Gardner and the DD Warren series, so I was ecstatic to see this new book – I was quite surprised to see it was a novella – I had been hoping for a full length DD Warren special, but this who-dun-it, was still a lot of fun to read!

It starts off when a man stops by the police station to report his own murder, because he was convinced he was dead. Despite DD and the other Detectives explaining to him that he was very much alive, he remained insistent that this was not the case. After a bit of research, he was released into the care of his family. Then a couple of hours later, they receive a call from the patient’s wife, as her husband has been found dead in bed – with a knife in his back.

A man of family wealth, the victim had been ensconsed in a large home with several caretakers also on the premises, including the chef, the manservant, the gardener, the maid, the driver, and the doctor, along with the victim’s wife. As DD interviews each individual, each story is the same, the victim was generous, respected and loved by his staff. But some inconsistencies come to light…and DD must use her wits to determine who the killer really is…

A quick read from a fabulous author!! Highly recommend!! I can’t wait for more short stories (and long) in the DD Warren series!!

Hide And Seek – Mary Burton

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I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

It’s November in the town of Deep River, VA, and a group of men are preparing to tear down an old barn. As they work, a piece of the loft breaks, and a backpack comes spilling out of an old chute, accompanied by some bones, which they quickly realize are human.

Sheriff Mike Nevada is called to the scene. A retired FBI agent, he pursued the elected sheriff’s position as a protest against some mismanagement of evidence, never expecting to win. And now, they may be closer to solving a 15-year-old mystery – the disappearance of then teenager Tobi Turner, who was last seen in 2004.

Meanwhile, FBI Special Agent Macy Crow, returning to active duty after a hit and run accident that had almost took her life, is hoping to be assigned to an elite violent crimes squad. When interviewing with the team leader, he offers her a chance to join his team – but first she is sent to Deep Water, VA to assist Sheriff Nevada in the Tobi Turner investigation. And she’s also intrigued by another teen who went missing about the same time, who by all accounts, ran away.

As Macy & Nevada work the case, it becomes increasingly clear that they are searching for a serial rapist turned murderer. As the investigation heats up, a new body is found, and VICAP identifies several other related cases. Was this the work of a stranger passing through – or is the perpetrator close by and planning to kill again??

This is the second book by Mary Burton that I’ve read recently, and I have LOVED them both. Great characters, great chemistry, and a great storyline that will keep you reading well into the night. I could not put this one down!! Awesome characters! I hope Macy & Nevada stick around for a while. I’d love to see a series!!