Final Betrayal – Patricia Gibney

cover159957-medium

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

This book opens as a young man is released from prison after a 10-year sentence for robbery and assault that culminated in the man’s death from a stroke. Gone, never to be found were the monetary contents of his safe. Finally free, Conor Dowling heads home where is elderly, decrepit mother lives in filth, and makes contact with his old friend Tony.

Detective Inspector Lottie Parker is getting ready to move into a new home, and her best friend and colleague Detective Sergeant Mark Boyd is assisting with the move. Meanwhile, two young girls are out on the town for some clubbing, but neither one of them makes it home. The girls are found dead several hours later with Lottie & Mark being tasked with the investigation.

Lottie’s half-sister Bernie remains institutionalized after a brutal murder spree and manages to manipulate another sibling to arrange a day pass for her. She immediately disables her sibling, escapes from his supervision, and begins to stalk Lottie and her family.

As the investigation continues, Conor’s name comes up as a potential suspect in the missing girl’s murder, and one of them had testified against him in the trial that landed him in prison. But his alibi is solid. Then, two more girls disappear…and soon, Lottie’s girls are missing as well…

This was a good book – the storylines, seeming random, kept me on my toes as I tried to ascertain who was responsible for what…I did not find any of the characters particularly likable, (Lottie needs more depth, I think) , but I suspect as I read the others in the series I’ll gain a lot more insight into who they are and what makes them tick. I absolutely believe this series would be best read in order – as a standalone, I had to make a lot of inferences as to the past events that lead to this installment – Bernie & Leo for example.

All in all, a good book, kept me turning the pages, and I was strangely disappointed that Conor wasn’t the ‘good boy done wrong’ that I thought he was… I will definitely be looking to read the remainder of this series!

Buried Deep – T. R. Regan

cover160100-medium-2

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

Private Investigator Jessie Cole is back and this time she is tasked to find two women – one who walked out of her home thirty years ago, never to be seen again, thought to have been killed by her husband, and a second young woman who left a traumatic home as a teenager, and stands to inherit her grandmothers estate if she can be located. Jessie delegates one case to her quirky assistant Zee, while she begins the search for the long missing heiress.

Meanwhile, Jessie’s friend and local reporter Ben Morrison continues his struggle to remember who he was before a car accident took his memory from him years ago. Now married and with a young daughter, he sees and hears glimpses into the past that make him apprehensive of what he doesn’t remember, and yet desperately wanting to know…

And lastly, a young couple has been kidnapped and forced into an underground box of sorts by an unknown captor, and it will take all of their resourcefulness to gain their freedom. As time elapses they learn some surprising things about one another…
Jessie, Dee, Ben & Jess’s boyfriend Colin work to bring each case to fruition, they do so with surprising and not necessarily happy results, and the murder of a local child molester has Ben searching deep inside himself in fear of what he might find…

Another fabulous read from T. R. Ragan! I loved the interval character development of both Zee and Ben, as well as Colin’s sixth sense regarding Ben. I anxiously await the next in the series as we learn more about Zee and about who Ben really is…or was…

Great read!! Great series!!

Saving Meghan – D.J. Palmer

cover149954-medium

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

Meghan Gerard is your typical teenager – with some disturbing medical symptoms. Mostly neuromuscular complaints – fatigue, migraine headaches, syncopal episodes – but no one can diagnose her. Meghan is the only child of Becky and Carl, and Becky will do anything – ANYTHING to keep her daughter safe and get her the care she needs.

Becky, in her younger years, lived with a very manipulative mother, named Cora. Adding to the stress is the fact that Cora is dying of cancer, and she’s 3000 miles away, leaving Becky torn between returning home to make amends, or remaining in New England with her ailing daughter.

Throughout all this is Carl, left on the back burner, and not quite convinced that Meghan is as sick as Becky thinks – at times he wonders if she’s faking things. Meanwhile Becky feels as if her husband isn’t as concerned as he should be, which causes some strain between them. And Meghan is keeping a secret of her own, straining her relationship with her parents as well.

Then, Meghan comes under the care of Drs Zach Fisher and Amanda Nash. Dr. Fisher has some suspicions about Meghan’s symptoms, but as Meghans symptoms escalate, testing comes back negative, and concern is raised over the possibility of Munchausen by proxy. Protective services become involved and Meghan is removed from Becky’s care. But Becky will do whatever it takes to get her back.

Told from the different perspectives of the varying characters, Saving Meghan is a fast paced, head -scratching, difficult-to-put-down page turner that’ll keep you up well into the night trying to guess the ending of this book…and you’ll be wrong…. A fabulous read from D.J. Palmer that will remain in your thoughts long after the last page is turned!!

The Bones She Buried – Lisa Regan

cover159964-medium

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

Detective Josie Quinn is frantically attempting to bake a dessert in hopes of impressing boyfriend Noah Fraley’s mother, but all attempts are in the rash as Noah arrives to pick her up for their evening. Fretting about arriving empty handed, they arrive at the house only to find the front door ajar, the home ransacked, and no signs of Colette, Noah’s mom. As they search the house, they spot her outside on the ground by the garden, with no pulse to be found.
Starting CPR, Josie quickly realizes that Colette’s death was no accident – her mouth and throat are packed with soil from the garden.

Devastated by the turn of events, Noah withdraws, while Josie goes into ‘cop’ mode – determined to find justice for Colette – but who would want her dead, and why? And what were they looking for inside the home? Her own search of the home yields a clue – a small bag containing three strange objects; a belt buckle, an arrowhead & a flash drive, labelled Brant.

As Josie and fellow Detective Gretchen Palmer identify the recipient of the flash drive, they discover that he had his brother disappeared under questionable circumstances. Then the Brant brothers surviving sibling is killed, and her home razed…but what is it that the killer trying to hide?? As Josie frantically searches for answers, a killer will do anything to keep secrets hidden – and he’s much closer than anyone imagines…

Another great read by Lisa Regan featuring Detective Josie Quinn, and as usual, it was hard to put this book down! The storyline hooked me from the start and kept me reading well into the night! A fabulous, ‘lighter ’series to get your ‘mystery’ on…looking forward to many more Josei stories from Ms. Regan.

The A List – J.A. Jance (5**)

cover155513-medium

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.
Years ago, Ali Reynolds was approached by a woman who was desperately seeking answers. Her son, conceived via an infertility clinic with the aid of a sperm donor, is critically ill, and needs a kidney transplant. The infertility clinic has no answers, as it claims old records were destroyed by a disgruntled former employee. So, Alexandra Munsey turned to the press – and to Ali for help, which resulted in a regional scandal, and a respected physician going to prison for murder.

Still imprisoned years later with no hope of parole, Dr. Edward Gilchrist has nothing but time on his hands, and only his wealthy, aging mother Hannah to visit him. He crafts a crude tattoo on his arm with initials of those responsible for his downfall – his ‘annihilation’ list. But money and fame have their place, and Edward is invited to share the lunch table of a connected crime Lord, who can make things happen on the outside, for a price……and Ali Reynolds is on that list…

I have been a fan of J.A. Jance for years and I’ve read every book that she has written! For those who are fans of ANY of her series, this book will not disappoint! Told in increments of past and present, you’re quickly pulled into the story, and won’t want to put the book down!! (And long live Frigg, the AI – love him!!) A must read from a great author!!

The Last Second – Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison

cover154500-medium

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

Nicholas Drummond & Michaela Caine are back, as they become embroiled in a case that may result in the Earths destruction…

Astronaut Nevaeh Patel, formerly of NASA, is now the CEO and President of Galactus, a private company that has excelled in flawless launches into space. Grounded by NASA after experts disbelieved her story of extraterrestrial contact while on the International Space Station, Nevaeh has one goal – to either return to space, or to provide an opportunity for the Numen, a highly intelligent species that saved her from drifting off into space on a spacewalk, to descend to Earth. Is she truly in touch with other life? Or suffering from a psychiatric break??

It’s launch day at The Guiana Space Center, and the Galactus 5 rocket is on the pad and in its countdown. Unbeknownst to anyone, the payload, a satellite, has been loaded with plutonium, and Nevaeh has altered its trajectory. When the satellite doesn’t respond to ground control, it is presumed lost, due to a faulty system.

Meanwhile, Galactus owner Jean-Pierre Broussard is out on his yacht, the Griffon, in the Strait of Sumatra, where he has discovered the remains of the Flor de la Mer, a ship that sunk in these very waters over 500 years ago and was rumored to be carrying the Holy Grail. As the object of his search is brought to the deck and revealed, a traitor is drugging the evening meal, and the item is very quickly stolen, before a ballistic missile is fired that strikes the ship and her sleeping crew. Amongst the crew is Grant Thornton, friend of Nicholas & Mike, now missing and presumed dead with the disappearance of the Griffon from radar.

As Nicholas & Mike search desperately for the Griffon and their friend, the clock is ticking on Nevaeh’s plan to detonate a nuclear bomb in space. But can they put the pieces of the puzzle together in time?? A heart-pounding new thriller from the ‘Brit in the FBI’ series. This one will keep you up well into the night!! Great read!!

Blood Oath – Linda Fairstein

cover155264-medium

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!!