A Stranger On The Beach – Michele Campbell

cover158477-medium

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

All I can say about this one is WHOA… I was sucked in with in the first page or two, and stayed up well into the night because I just could not put it down!
Caroline Stark and her husband Jason are a high society couple, and Caroline is putting the finishing touches on the sleek new home they just built on some beachfront property. Alone for the time being, Carolina is working on plans for their upcoming housewarming party, when she notices a young man standing on the beach, staring at the house, like he was casing it for a robbery. Later, after a run down the beach, she again finds him on the beach, admiring the house. She walks up to him, he complements the home, they exchange names, and he waves and walks off.

Aiden Callahan is a local bartender, and an out-of-town couple have purchased his grandfather’s old beachfront property and have erected what looks like a mansion to him. Reminiscing often of his childhood days on that beach, he visits often, and there he meets Caroline. He also is fortunate to be hired to tend the outdoor bar at her housewarming party, where he finds her fascinating.

In a sudden and unexpected twist, Caroline’s marriage comes unglued at the seams, and she finds solace in vodka at The Red Anchor. Aiden is tending bar that night, and in her drunken, angry state, she takes him home for a one-night stand – and Aiden decides he loves her. Meanwhile, Caroline decides to fight for her marriage, and she and her husband attempt to reconcile. She explains this to Aiden, but desperate to become a part of her life, he begins to exhibit possessive, angry and stalking behavior. And that’s just the beginning…

Told from the perspectives of both Caroline & Aiden, this novel grabs hold of you and won’t let go. As the stories begin to diverge in each character’s telling, you can’t help but wonder… just who is telling the truth?

Filled with edge of your seat suspense, I could not turn the pages fast enough to see where this was going to go! A great read, but once you pick it up, be sure you have time to read it from cover to cover, because you won’t be able to put it down…. Awesome read!!

Buried – Ellison Cooper

cover161362-medium

FBI Agent and neuroscientist Sayer Altair is a week away from the end of her medical leave when she receives a call from her director, asking her to investigate a burial site that was inadvertently found deep in Shenandoah National Park, in the town of Rockfish Gap. With the FBI under congressional scrutiny after a serial killer was found in its midst, agents are spread thin, leaving Director Holt no choice but to activate Sayer early.

Off duty FBI & K-9 Agent Maxwell Cho was out walking his cadaver dog Kona in the park, when the dog unexpectedly alerted for remains nearby. Approaching the area, Max fell, literally, into an underground cavern with the skeletal remains of several individuals, prompting the mobilization of an investigative team.
Rockfish Gap’s sheriff, Kyle Nelson, also responds to the scene, and it becomes readily apparent that there’s bad blood between him and Max. Seventeen years ago, Kyle’s sister Cricket approached Max with a plea to help her disappear, and she’s never been seen or heard from again, leading Kyle to wonder if Cricket is one of the victims.

As the investigation begins, it becomes apparent very quickly that someone didn’t want those bodies found…and as the team struggles with identifications, they begin to receive some conflicting DNA data, leaving Sayer and her team mystified. But a killer is watching and waiting and soon another woman goes missing…

As they race to identify their killer, Sayer gets some unwanted help from a very unusual source – who just may have his own agenda for Sayer…
On my goodness, this was so good, and it kept me reading well into the night, and ever changing my mind as to who the protagonist was! A great read!! I cannot wait to read more of Sayer’s adventures in the hopefully very near future!

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

The Seekers – Heather Graham

cover164888-medium-2

The FBI’s elite Krewe of Hunters returns in yet another paranormal adventure!
Joe Dunhill, former Savannah Detective, is the newest member of the Krewe of Hunters. After having a bit of unexpected paranormal help in solving his last case, and seeking to put his new talent to use, he is tagging along with agent Dallas Wicker as they investigate their latest case.

Keri Wolf is a writer who researches historical crimes and then documents her findings. She has been invited to witness and document the exploration into an old building in York, Philadelphia where a mass murderer reportedly lived and killed his prey. The historical story includes the death of a young woman at the hands of the innkeeper, and her father, so deranged from grief, then killed him and massacred the other inn inhabitants, with restless ghosts still haunting the Inn. Along with the new owner, Carl Brentwood, and the “Truth Seekers’, a crew of paranormal investigators, they also plan to try to validate the haunting.

Shortly after Keri’s arrival, a woman is found dead in the basement of the old inn, her body splayed out on an altar of sorts, covered in blood. She also sees another figure, a woman in white, staring at the body with tears running down her face… before she disappears. The York County Police investigate, led by the abrasive Detective Catrina Billings. When the body is identified as an FBI agent, the Krewe of Hunters is called in to oversee the investigation.

As Keri, Carl & the Krewe join forces and share information, they seek answers as to why an FBI agent from NY has become the latest victim of violent crime in PA and begin to suspect a link in their cases somehow. Meanwhile a pair of old ghosts recognize their intent to set the past right, and do their best to steer Keri & Joe in the right direction…

Filled with rich history of the area, likeable characters, mystery, paranormal suspense and a touch of romance, this book will hit the spot for paranormal suspense fans everywhere! Great read!!

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

Expire – Danielle Girard

cover165677-medium

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

At the close of the last book of the series, San Francisco Medical Examiner, Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman was drugged and tossed into the back of a non-descript white van, while rendering aid to her neighbor.

Now, she’s awake and has found herself tethered by a plastic collar and chain in a home that appears to be in a remote location. Although she has long escaped an abusive marriage and gone forward with her life, she has always known that she would encounter her ex-husband again, and presumes he is the one who has taken her.

Hal Harris, San Francisco homicide cop and Anna’s lover meanwhile, is searching frantically. He too believes that Spencer is responsible for Anna’s kidnapping – but how can he be, when he’s hundreds of miles away, and meeting with his clients daily?

As Anna explores her prison, hoping to find some way out of her predicament, Spencer is plotting. His ultimate plan is so smuggle Anna out of the country, to a remote land where she’ll be forced to live as his wife…and prisoner.

The story progresses from each character’s viewpoints, as we watch Anna explore her situation, and we watch Hal as he attempts to hide his frustration at the roadblocks in his way. We watch Anna’s mother, as she slowly comes to realize that Spencer isn’t the ‘wonderful’ son-in-law she has always thought him to be, and we see her become an unlikely hero in the search for her daughter. And we see Anna, fierce in her desire to protect a secret, and to find her way back to Hal.

Even though we know, logically, that Anna should persevere, as she is at the center of this series, it’s hard not to lose hope, as the clock ticks and the past moves ever closer…

I found this novel quite suspenseful and found myself on the edge of my seat numerous times as I cheered with and feared for Anna & Hal. While certainly enjoyable as a standalone (and maybe the outcome is less certain to those who don’t know the characters) I highly recommend reading in the series order! Outstanding!!

The Liar’s House – Carla Kovach

cover166145-medium

Detective Inspector Gina Harte returns once more in her 4th novel. (And here’s a fervent prayer for many more!).

Still trying to get over her brief affair w/ DCI Briggs, Gina has taken to Tinder to meet some men. She’s trying to coax her latest date, Rex, out of her bed and home, when she receives a call – a young woman has been found murdered, sometime after leaving a party at a neighbor’s home, with signs of violence to her head. As the investigative team starts their work, they learn that the party involved couples swapping their partners for sex, and that Jade’s encounter was observed by an older neighbor, who seems to have a penchant for observing his younger female neighbors. They also learn that Jade’s encounter was a bit rough, and upon trying to locate her partner that evening, they learn he has disappeared. Gina also learns that one of the party-goers is none other than her ex brother-in-law, which complicates her ability to lead the investigation.

Nearby, an older woman, Diane, finds a birthday card that’s been slid beneath her doorway. Presuming it’s for someone else, she opens it and finds its for her friend Samantha – who disappeared with no warning over 7 years ago. Enclosed in the envelope, she also finds a fingernail, painted with the shade of polish that Sam always wore. Frightened, she calls the police. Gina responds to that call and takes the items for forensic evaluation. When forensics links the two separate cases together, the investigation shifts into high gear.

Meanwhile, Rex, Gina’s Tinder date, doesn’t seem to want to take no for an answer…. And then another woman disappears…

This was a great read!! Love to see these characters grow, and the appearance of the brother-in-law rocks Gina’s world and allows us to see her vulnerability. Full of all the action and suspense you’ve come to expect from Gina Harte, this book will keep you up all night, and leave you wanting for more!! Definitely worth the read and the lost sleep!! Highly recommend!!

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

Her Deadly Secrets – Laura Griffin

cover162895-medium

Kira Vance is a private investigator, who works for fellow investigator Ollie Kovac. Having secured some info on a high-profile case that may help the defense, she’s enroute to Atty Brock Logan’s home, where a pre-trial meeting is ongoing, to drop off the file…information that may help clear Logan’s client, a respected physician accused of killing his wife. As she arrives and settles into the informal meeting, the doorbell rings – Ollie, expecting a food delivery – goes to answer, only to be shot point blank in the chest. In the ensuing mayhem, Kira dodges a bullet by diving behind furniture, and the killer is gone before anyone can react.

With Ollie dead, and Brock wounded, Kira is determined to find the person who killed her mentor. Assumed to be an attack related to the ongoing case, Logan’s firm hires bodyguards from Wolfe Security, and Logan hires Kira to replace Ollie. Kira’s bodyguard is Jeremy, a former military special forces soldier, who takes his job seriously. Too seriously, to Kira’s thinking…

As Kira investigates Ollie’s death, a visit to his office reveals little as they discover someone has been there before them. The office has been ransacked and little is salvageable. Kira does find a notebook with surveillance notes, but written in Ollie’s shorthand, they make little sense. As she and Jeremy attempt to identify the subject of Ollies interest, and his killer, neither can deny the growing attraction between them…

A solid storyline and two strong-willed leading characters, along with drama, suspense, sexual tension and hearty supporting characters make this book impossible to put down! Laura Griffin is an author whose work I will pick up immediately, without needing to read the back cover, as I know I’m always in for a great read!!!

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

Almost Midnight – Paul Doiron

cover161359-medium

Years ago, Maine State Warden Mike Bowditch was forced to provide testimony that landed his best friend, Billy Cronk, in prison. Now he receives a message from Billy’s wife, stating that Billy desperately needs to see him. Billy is asking him to investigate the background of a new prison guard, telling Mike that it’s a matter of life and death. Mike is reluctant to do so, and Billy ends the conversation telling his friend not to come back. Feeling a bit guilty, Mike does a cursory search on the prison guard, finding little information on her and heads back to the prison, only to learn that Billy is now in the hospital after being stabbed by another inmate. Upon arrival, he learns that Billy saved the life of the guard he had asked Mike to research and is in surgery. As Mike begins to learn of the events leading up to the stabbing, he feels that something is off with the situation.

Meanwhile, he receives an early AM call from an old Warden friend, Gary Pulsifer, who calls to tell Mike that Shadow, a wolf-dog hybrid that he’d had as a pup, has been mortally injured. Shadow had escaped confinement as a pup and has been running free in the woods of Maine for years. The vet fully anticipates Shadow’s death is imminent and gives Mike the crossbow that she removed from his body, Mike wants answers, and is hopeful that he can track the female wolf Shadow’s been seen with, to ensure her safety.

As Mike attempts to locate Shadow’s shooter, he meets resistance at every turn. He also manages to get on the bad side of the town terror, Gorman Peaslee, who wants nothing but revenge. Then Billy, who is awaiting a pardon from the governor, suddenly escapes prison, and Mike knows that there’s only one reason why – because his family is in danger…. As Mike rushes to protect the Cronk family, he puts himself right in the crosshairs of a dangerous gang that will stop at nothing to silence Billy – and Mike…

This is my second book in the Bowditch series, and I am hooked! I love Mike’s character and having spent some time in Central Maine, I love re-visiting that time in my life with all the familiar landmarks! Mike is a bit of a backwoods Lucas Davenport, mixed with a little Jack Reacher! Great read! You will NOT be disappointed!!

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