A Vast And Gracious Tide – Lisa Carter

A Vast And Gracious Tide – Lisa Carter

cover140933-medium.png

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

McKenna Dockery is a young woman living the “Banker’s’ way of life in Tuckahoe, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Devastated by the death of her Navy fiancé three years ago, she assists her family in he running of the family business, the Skipjacks. She spends her off time visiting the nearby Island Yaupon, in search of sea glass and other treasures.

Caden Wallis is a war veteran, who was greviously injured on a mission in Afghanistan, that also killed members of his team. Physically recovered, but emotionally, still hopeless in his pain, he seeks to return a quilt that he was given during his recovery, before he takes his own life. The quilt, resembling ocean waves, was a source of solace for him, and he feels compelled to return it. Arriving on the late ferry to Hatteras Island, Caden sleeps on the beach for the night, and he and McKenna discover one another the next morning. McKenna immediately takes him under her wing, invites him for breakfast and shortly thereafter discovers that he has the quilt she had once crafted for her dead fiancé, Shawn.

Meanwhile, the drug trade appears to have come to the Outer Banks and McKenna’s father, Tuckahoe Chief of Police has his hands full. A body is found washed ashore, and Caden is the immediate suspect, and only McKenna can provide his alibi. As McKenna and Caden fight their attraction, the “Banker’s deal with more crime and a different man sets his sights on McKenna…

I originally chose this book to read because of the setting – the Outer Banks are one of my most favorite places on Earth. However, one chapter in and I could NOT put it down. The characters are so rich, and the dialogue so well crafter that one can’t help but fall in love with the characters as they fall in love with one another. Caden’s past also reflects much of what our homeless veterans have experienced, and helps to shed some light on this misunderstood population. All around a fabulous read, and one I highly recommend!! Have tissues on hand…

A Dark Path – Robert E. Dunn

A Dark Path – Robert E. Dunn

cover141655-medium

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

Katrina “Hurricane” Williams is a Detective in the backwoods of the Missouri Ozark mountains. As a military vet with both personal and professional scars, she has gained the nickname “hurricane” for her sometimes violent, “kick ass” type of policing. As this novel opens, Katrina is roused from sleep by a call indicating that a charred body has been found. As Katrina arrives to the scene and begins her investigation, the property owner drives up and attempts to throw them off the land. This is just the first time you’ll meet Johnson Rath.

As Katrina investigates the murder and learns the victims identity, the case quickly takes on racial undertones and becomes even more dangerous, with threats lurking around every corner. Then her absentee mother very suddenly re-appears in her life, but for uncertain reasons. As Hurricane works to solve the case, her past returns to haunt her with a vengeance, and she must battle those demons once again, as she fights to solve the case.

I LOVED this character! “Hurricane” almost reminds me of a female Jack Reacher, even if she’s not the proverbial loner. Great characters, great plot development, and relationships with uncertain endings that will have you waiting impatiently for the next installment in the series! Fabulous book!!

Mr. Nice Guy – Jennifer Miller & Jason Feifer

Mr. Nice Guy – Jennifer Miller, Jason Fiefer

cover140323-medium.png

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

Lucas Callahan is a young man, who, after the end of a relationship, opts to leave North Carolina and 2 years of law school behind him as he hopes to start anew and make it big as a journalist in New York City. Landing an entry level position as a fact-checker with a well known magazine, Empire, Lucas struggles to stand apart and be seen by his employer.

One night, while out at a bar, he meets a woman. Carmen is older, clearly sophisticated, and Lucas can’t believe his luck when she brings him home with her for the night. Early the next morning, he wakes first, and not quite knowing what to do, he quietly gathers his things up and leaves, leaving his lady friend undisturbed.

A week later, he hears a colleague reading a column from Empire magazine. In the column, a woman is describing her recent one-night stand. To his horror, Lucas realizes the column is about him. Embarrassed, angry and chagrined, Lucas keeps his identity a secret and decides to provide a rebuttal to the column with his own description of events, written by ‘Mr. Nice Guy’, setting the stage for an epic battle of the sexes in the big city.

I was surprised to find this book was a bit dry and at times hard to push through. And yet, when I was reading the stretches of book where Carmen’s and Mr. Nice Guy’s columns were dictated, I laughed out loud because they were hilarious! Overall, not a bad first attempt by the authors!

In The Darkest Hour – Anna Carlisle

In The Darkest Hour – Anna Carlisle

cover140058-medium

If you like Kay Scarpetta of Patricia Cornwell fame, you HAVE to give Anna Carlisle’s “Gin” Sullivan a try!!

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

Virginia “Gin” Sullivan is a pathologist with a specialty in disinterment and decomposition of remains, who on leave from her Chicago position as an ME, has returned home to Trumbull, Pennsylvania where she teaches, and consults for the local police departments. She is sharing a home with her boyfriend Jake, who’s mother is found dead of a drug overdose.

Distanced from his mother since infancy, Jake initially denies any issues stemming from her demise, until one night he drags home a teenager that he saw selling street drugs and accuses him of murder. While the teen is initially arrested, Jake realizes that he needs a break, and essentially ends his relationship with Gin and leaves town.

Then Gin is asked by Tucker Baxter, Trumbull’s police chief to attend the autopsy for Jake’s mother. And a remorseful teenaged drug dealer leads police to another body buried in the woods – but this body has been embalmed…leading Gin and Tuck into a search for a grave robber, as well as a killer…

I’ve not read anything from this series before, and I must confess, I thoroughly enjoyed it!! Gin Sullivan should rank right up there with Kay Scarpetta for all of you Cornwell fans, and is well worth the read!! I look forward to catching up on this series in it’s entirely and seeing more from Anna Carlisle! A fabulous find!!

Liar, Liar – Lisa Jackson

Liar, Liar – Lisa Jackson

cover139143-medium

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

Remmi Storm has spent half of her life looking for her mother. As a child, her mother DiDi made a living as an impersonator, often dressing like Marilyn Monroe and providing her talent in various shows in an effort to support her family, including infant twins, all the while grasping for fame that seemed to be just out of her reach. Then one of the twins disappears, with Didi coming home with a suitcase full of money in its place. Taking the second baby, Didi vows to right her wrong and disappears into the night – never to return. Remmi, at the age of 15, reports her disappearance to the police, and is ultimately sent to live with her aunt – but DiDi and the twins are never found.

Now, 20 years later, a book has been published – a tell-all book about DiDi Storm and her colorful life. Sightings of DiDi commence, and Remmi is present when a Marilyn Monroe impersonator plunges to her death from the 19th story of a high-rise hotel – but the victim is not DiDi herself – but who is she, and why is she impersonating DiDi? That’s what Remmi sets out to discover, with road blocks at every turn – the book author – unavailable, the publisher’s office – non-existent. The police – less than forthcoming as they pursue their own investigation. Is DiDi still alive, or is someone from the past hoping to profit on DiDi’s memory?

Then, seemingly out of the blue, an old high school crush comes back in to Remmi’s life. He too has questions about that last night that he wants answered, but for very different reasons. He and Remmi team up in an effort to discover what truly happened all of those years ago, and unwittingly put their own lives in peril to do so…

I truly enjoy anything that Lisa Jackson pens, and this book, perhaps not her best, was no exception. While I confess, I was hoping for a bit different ending, this book is filled with drama, action and plenty of twists and turns that will keep you reading late into the night!

Copycat – Hannah Jayne

Copycat – Hannah Jayne

cover135642-medium

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

Addie Gaines is your typical high school student, with one exception. She loves books and is particularly infatuated with the Gap Lake books – a series of young adult mystery/thrillers that have developed quite the cult following. Addie is so entranced, she’s created her own blog about the series, and has written some fan fiction as well, that rivals the authors storytelling. She lives and breathes the series, and her blog has 27,000 followers. She’s also president of author R.J Rosen’s fan club!

Out of the blue, Addie receives a message from the reclusive author himself, praising her devotion to the series and offering her a sneak peak into the newest book, and hinting that there will be surprises along the way. Shortly thereafter, a classmate winds up dead, in a manner straight out of the Gap Lake series. Coincidence? Or is it something much more sinister??

This was quite enjoyable for a young adult novel, and something I will pass on to my daughter to read next! Mild on forensics, but big on teenaged drama with school and boys – with just enough suspense to keep you turning the page. Where were these kinds of books when I was younger??!! Nancy Drew, this isn’t!! A great read for the ‘tween’ and teen who loves mysteries!!

Available in stores on July 3rd!

The Girl In The Ice – Robert Brynzda

The Girl In The Ice – Robert Brynzda

61x5463riML._SY346_

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

DCI Erika Foster makes her debut in this fabulous series by Robert Brynzda. Set in London, England, DCI Foster is returning to work after an incident on a drug raid left several members of her former team dead, including her husband Mark. Having been sidelined by grief and her own feelings of inadequacy, Foster is brought into another precinct to command a murder investigation.

A young girl has been found frozen in pond ice and has been determined to be the daughter of a prominent London family. Due to the family’s stature in the London community, the investigation is expected to be run low key, in deference to the family, a situation that Erika does NOT agree with. Almost immediately her actions are questioned by both the dead girls’ family, and her commander, s well as the former commanding DCI who relinquished the case to her unwillingly. Erica’s refusal to dismiss a sighting ultimately leads to her removal from the case, forcing her to continue the investigation on her own.

But investigate she does, and soon she finds a witness, who’s information helps build Erica’s theory and sends the investigation that much closer to home. Reinstated, Erica takes advantage of her superiors being out of town to pull of a stunning move – but will she catch her killer or become his next victim??!

This was my first encounter with DCI Foster, but it will not be my last. A feisty, get-er-done Detective, who’s not afraid to buck her superiors to get a job done, Erika is my kind of character! Since this writing, Mr. Brynzda has released several more DCI Foster mysteries, and I aim to read each and every one of them! Great series for mystery lovers!!