A Bad Day for Sunshine – Darynda Jones

I have to preface this review by saying that this book was amazing! I initially received it as an advanced read offering from the publisher and downloaded it without a second thought and promptly forgot about it– hence my super late review.  As I cruised through the pages today, completely unable to put it down, I could only shake my head in disbelief that it had gotten by me for so long…I laughed, I cried, turned pages as fast as I could, and when finished, I immediately hit up Amazon, hoping desperately that the second book had already been released – but alas, I have a few more months to wait! Darn it!! 

Sunshine Vicram has returned to her hometown to begin her new job as elected Sheriff of Del Sol, New Mexico. Interestingly enough, she never applied for such a job, and has no idea how her parents not only engineered her application for the position and ran her campaign,  let alone ensuring her victory. But none-the-less, she has returned to her roots, with her 14-year-old daughter Aurora, in tow and is preparing for her first day on the job. 

Del Sol is a quirky little town, with an elderly flasher named Doug, an ongoing feud over a rooster named Puff Daddy and a woman who bakes muffins that foretell calamity and inspire dread whenever a fresh batch appears at the station.  But Del Sol hasn’t always been this calm… Years ago, as a teenager, Sunshine was the victim of a kidnapping for ransom, and was inexplicably dropped off injured (and unbeknownst at the time pregnant), with no recollection of her ordeal, or the weeks preceding it and no clues as to her abductor.  

Del Sol is also home to the Ravinders’, a bootlegging, moonshine making family that have been the bane of Sunshine’s existence since Hailey Ravinder tried to stab her with a pencil when she was three and stole her bicycle years later. Levi, Hailey’s brother, has always been a source of trepidation for Sunshine as well, even as she still can’t quite shake her teenaged crush on him.

Summer’s first day at the office starts off with a big batch of muffins, an accident, and the reports of a missing teen, which immediately brings Sunshine back into the cloudy memories of her abduction. Shortly thereafter, she receives a letter from the missing teen herself, thanking Sunshine for her daughters’ friendship if she’s killed –which details a premonition that she’s had as a child of her abduction. Determined to find her alive, and to learn the circumstances of her own fate all those years ago, Sunshine and her deputies begin to investigate. 

Meanwhile Auri’s first day of school has been anything but mundane. Her new friend Sybil seems to have blown her off after promising to show her the ropes, and a recent party with a confiscated keg, has earned Auri the nickname ‘narc’, even though she didn’t say a word. Added to that, she’s earned the ire of a classmate, who seems out to get her. To make things worse, she’s assigned a project with the quietest kid in class, Cruz, whom she can’t quite figure out. 

And so begins the adventures of Sunshine and Aurora and as they settle into their lives in Del Sol, New Mexico, where nothing is quite as it seems and yet the danger is quite real – and closer to them than they could possibly realize..

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

Deep Into The Dark – P.J. Tracy

Sam Easton is a former soldier, who still struggles with PTSD from his last tour in Afghanistan, where his entire team was wiped out by an IED. Miraculously (or not) he survived, but with extensive injuries to one side of his face, that remain, along with the frequent nightmares. He sees his therapist weekly and works as a barback in one of many of L.A.’s establishments. His wife finally left three months ago, and Sam is still trying to put his life back together.  He works with a young woman, Melody Traeger, who battles her own demons. A former band member of Poke, with the stage name ‘RoxyCodone’, she has put her past and her drug addiction behind her as she struggles to gain a sense of normalcy. When Melody is assaulted by her boyfriend, Sam looks out for her and offers her a place to stay. 

Margaret “Maggie” Nolan is one of LAPD’s Homicide Detectives, and she and partner Al Crawford have just caught a case – a young woman who has been brutally killed and left for dead in a hotel room, a suspected victim of the ‘Miracle Mile Killer’.  A task force has been formed; headed by fellow Detective Remy Beaudreau, who is determined to catch the killer, despite very few leads thus far. Maggie’s brother was also a war casualty, and she still struggles with his loss. 

When Melody returns to her apartment, she finds someone has left her roses after climbing through a window – she assumes it’s Ryan trying to make amends, but he denies being the sender.  Mel also notices a Jeep out in the street – she’s fairly certain she’s seen that Jeep before and wonders if she’s being followed. Fearful of the possibility of an unknown visitor, she looks to Sam for assistance. Then, her boyfriend Ryan is found dead, with another murder soon following in its wake, and Sam quickly comes under suspicion. 

As Maggie and her team hunt for a killer, Sam and Mel take refuge, as they try to protect themselves from an unseen, yet relentless enemy. But he may be even closer than they think, as Sam also learns that some nightmares do come true…

I have long been a fan of P. J. Tracy’s Monkeewrench series, so I was super excited to see that a new series was in the works! Initially a mother daughter writing team, Tracy Lambrecht has taken a firm grip on the reins after her mother’s death, writing a gripping, page-turning, action packed thriller – with a true-to-life exploration of PTSD through Sam’s eyes – amidst murder and mayhem in the seedy background of the City of Angels. I can’t say enough! A great read, with all the promise of a fabulous series to come! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!