Cold Dark Places – Kylie Brant

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

Little Eryn Pullman was only a child when her uncle found her beside her mother’s dead body, bloody knife at her side. Placed in an intensive inpatient psych hospital, Eryn grew up known as a murderer, but with no memory of the incident. Now, as a young adult, Eryn is being released into her Uncle’s care, no longer considered a danger to others…but people remember…

Cady Maddix is a Deputy Federal Marshall, who’s returned home to North Carolina to help care for her ailing mother. She’s fresh off the capture of a wanted felon, when she’s awakened from sleep by a phone call. A child molester and murderer has escaped from a nearby prison, and she’s needed for the assembling task force. Cady has her own childhood demons as well.

Ryder Talbot is the County Sheriff for Haywood County, and is also a member of the law enforcement team assembled to track Samuel Aldeen. He and Cady team up as they attempt to catch a killer, who remains in the area, and seems to stay just a step ahead of law enforcement. But what is Aldeen after? And why?

A top-notch mystery novel that’s grabs you on the first page and doesn’t let go! The characters are intriguing, complex and likeable, and Cady is the perfect rough and tough female cop!! I loved this book, and I Can’t wait for more of Cady and Ryder! Grab this book and settle in for a long read! You won’t be disappointed!!

The Dreamers -Karen Thompson Walker

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I was fortunate to receive this advance reader copy of the book from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

Mei is a freshman, who is still settling in to college life at the school nestled in the small California town of Santa Lora. Introverted, Mei is dismayed at the friendships that have formed without her and doesn’t have much of a relationship with her roommate Kara. That is why, when Kara falls ill, Mei thinks nothing of her sleeping in – not until she arrives back at the dorm to find Kara still asleep, and unarousable. Thus begins the ‘sleeping sickness’ as it becomes known to outsiders.
A few days later, the sleeping sickness takes another victim, and another. Soon the kids find themselves quarantined in their dorm, while the other kids are whisked away, out of Santa Lora. Meanwhile, the number of victims multiplies, and the CDC becomes actively involved. Remaining unarousable, the victim’s arrear to be dreaming… The town becomes isolated with military personnel manning the borders while physicians search for the cause and the cure.

As the afflicted increase in numbers and the rest of the world watches the news in fear, one of the victims awakens, talking of dreams he had that a fire would release the rest of the victims from sleep. Some remember dreams of things past, while others of things presumed to be future, and others no dreams at all. Others still have experiences that makes them question all that they are…

While this book was not quite what I expected, I loved it, and it is a story that resonates long after the final page is turned. Full of rich writing, and philosophical questions, it makes one wonder about the fine line between dreams and reality…

A Merciful Fate – Kendra Elliot

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I received this advance reader copy of the book from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

A fabulous new book in the Mercy Fitzpatrick series.

Mercy Kilpatrick & Truman Dalys’ lives had just settled down again, when rescued teen, Ollie, stumbles upon a shack deep in the woods with human remains in it, with the appearance of an old murder. As they await ID of the body, old money bags are found at the scene, and Mercy wonders if somehow Ollie has inadvertently discovered a clue in a long unsolved armored car robbery many years ago. One of the robbers had been caught and sentenced to prison, but the others had long escaped and were never seen again….till now.

Meanwhile, two long time residents of Eagles Nest are dealing with issues of their own. Sandy Foster, owner of the local bed and breakfast, has had several episodes of vandalism to her property – the latest a broken window to a clients car, and school teacher Bree Ingram has founse several spray painted ‘x’s on her horses stalls and her truck. Neither woman has any idea as to who may be targeting them.

As Mercy and Truman re-open a long gone cold case, they request help from the now retired agent who had once led the investigation. Meanwhile, Mercy visits the presumed ringleader of the robbery in prison, and comes back with more questions than answers. As the investigation ensues, a young reporter is killed…leading Mercy and Truman deeper into the past, and ultimately to the present, where nothing will ever be the same.

I loved this book, and I absolutely love the Mercy Kilpatrick series. A great series for any mystery lover, with likeable characters, fast paced storytelling, and enough intrigue to keep you reading well into the night!!

Storm Rising – Sara Driscoll

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

Meg Jennings is a retired cop, and now a member of the FBI’s Human Scent Evidence Team, along with her beloved canine, Hawk, a black lab. She is preparing for deployment to Virginia Beach to search for survivors after a deadly hurricane ravaged the eastern seaboard, causing devastating flooding in it’s wake. Her firefighter/paramedic boyfriend Todd Webb will also be making the journey to assist local departments there.

As the searches commence, it quickly becomes apparent that survivors are few and far between. Traveling between assignments, Meg & Webb happen upon a submerged van in a river. When they stop to investigate, they find two young girls, both deceased, and both restrained so they couldn’t escape. A missing restraint gives them hope that there are survivors, and Hawk catches a scent, leading Meg to Mary and Emma.

As they work on getting the girls to safety, a harrowing story emerges, and the FBI assembles a team – including Meg & Hawk – to catch the men that were holding the girl’s captive. As the investigation heats up, it becomes readily apparent that this human trafficking group is bigger than they ever expected. Can Meg, Hawk and the rest of the team take them down??

An engrossing, exciting, action-packed read! I loved the characters, the story, and especially Hawk the dog!! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the Meg Jennings’ series!!

The Orchid Girls – Lesley Sanderson

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

Molly, Grace and Charlene were three teen-aged friends, who, by all reports, were inseparable. One day, in 2002, allegedly after an argument, they separated, and one of the girls was never seen alive again. The missing girl was eventually found deceased, but no killer was ever brought to justice.

Flash forward to present day, Grace Sutherland is awakened by her cell phone, and the caller sounds very familiar. But that was another life for Grace, and she hangs up the phone after muttering ‘wrong number’. Wife to an aspiring politician, Grace is on the cusp of her own success, as a nutritionist made famous via Instagram and an impending book release.

Molly, the other surviving member of the teenaged threesome, is a bad alcoholic, who has decided to reach out to Grace after all these years. After the loss of Charlene, the girls were prevented from seeing one another by their parents, and Molly remains distraught that Grace had not once answered any of her letters. After all this time she wants answers – what really happened that day, and what happened to their love for one another??

As the story progresses it’s told in both past and present tense, with journal entries for each of the girls filling in the backstory a bit at a time. Much of the story is fairly predictable, at least you’ll think it is….but the ending was quite unexpected.

A great, suspenseful read from a promising new author! I look forward to more from Ms. Sanderson!!

Past Tense – Lee Child

Past Tense – Lee Child

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.
I have never read a Reacher book that I didn’t like, and this awesome new adventure is no exception!

Jack Reacher is presently in Maine, and it looking to head to southern California for the winter, via hitchhiking or whatever means he comes across. As he accepts a ride from a nice individual heading to Boston, he notices a sign along the way for Laconia, New Hampshire. Family lore says his father was from there, and Jack decides to head that way to see what he can learn about his little known paternal family.

Meanwhile, Shorty Fleck and Patty Sundstrom have left their hometown in Canada and are on the road to Florida in search of an idyllic life on the beach. Their old Honda is over-heating and they stop at a small out of the way hotel in Laconia, New Hampshire. The proprietors are welcoming, and the two are given a newly refurbished room. But the next morning, their car won’t start, and the phones are dead. There’s no cell service. And then strange things start to happen…

As with every novel by Lee Child, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN! The Jack Reacher character just drags me in every time. Part wandering vagabond, part old military cop, and part ruthless avenging angel for the greater good, Reacher is unique, intriguing, and just plain awesome. A must-read for Reacher fans everywhere, and a fabulous first introduction to readers who haven’t yet met Jack!

Coming November 5th!!

Lost Lake – Emily Littlejohn (4*)

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

Gemma Monroe is a detective with the Cedar Valley PD, whom, after a rough night with her teething infant daughter, is up on Lost Lake, where a young woman, Sari Chesney, has gone missing from her camping group. She, along with partner Finn Nowlin have been tasked with finding the missing woman.

Shortly thereafter, Sari’s boss at the Cedar Lake History Museum, Elizabeth, is found murdered inside the museum after an event, and after a famous artifact, a diary, has gone missing. With no obvious leads, and no suspects for either case, Gemma and Finn have their work cut out for them.

Meanwhile, there’s a leak at the police department. Someone is funneling information to a local reporter, which is compromising the case. The police chief tasks Gemma with finding and stopping the leak, causing Gemma to take a hard look at the people she works with – even her own partner.

As the search continues for Sari, and for Elizabeth Starbucks killer, Gemma begins to suspect that all is not as it seems with Sari’s friends and Mrs. Starbuck’s sons. As they dig deeper, a suspect comes to the forefront, but he quickly sets his sights on Gemma…

I very much enjoyed this mystery by Emily Littlejohn, and I hope to see Gemma and Finn continue as a series. Filled with intrigue, personal strife in the detective’s lives, and the perfect mix of’ who-dun-it’, Ms. Littlejohn has herself a winner, and I look forward to reading more!!