Unfinished Business – J.A. Jance

A fantastic new release from the Ali Reynolds series!!

Many years ago, after a fight with his girlfriend Emily, Mateo Vega is arrested for her murder after her body is found a few days later. Despite declaring his innocence, he is the only suspect identified by police. His public defender recommends a plea deal – a few years in prison, versus a potential life sentence.  With nowhere to turn and no money for a defense lawyer, Mateo accepts the plea deal. Now, 16 long years later, he is finally granted parole and released.  Determined to rebuild his life, he reaches out to one time employer Stu Ramey in hopes for a reference. Much to his surprise, Stu helps him land a job. 

Ali Reynolds is holding down the fort while B. Simpson is out of the country on business. One of their many ventures includes the office space rental in the High Noon business complex.  One such client, Harvey McClusky, a self-proclaimed real-estate consultant, has been a notorious slow payer of rent. Presented with yet another bounced check, Ali makes the decision to start eviction proceedings, unknowingly unleashing a very dangerous adversary.  

As Mateo settles into High Noon and his new position and Ali learns of his situation, she and the team become increasingly convinced that he is innocent of Emily Tarrant’s murder. Enlisting the help of JB Beaumont & The Last Chance organization, Ali works to get Mateo’s case re-opened.  Then, Cami mysteriously goes missing…

As Ali and the High Noon team race to find Cami, with the help of the Artificial Intelligence computer, ‘Frigg’, Cami is trying desperately to save herself.  Meanwhile, Ali unexpectedly learns that her father may be dealing with a major health crisis, which her mother has tried very hard to hide from the family. Then, when tragedy strikes, it is all Ali can do to hold on…

This was quite possibly my most favorite Ali Reynolds book yet! When JA Jance releases a book it’s like having old friends who have come to visit, and I have to hurry and catch up on their lives. Then, all too soon, the last page is turned, and they’re gone again, leaving you longing for the next installment of their lives. I loved that fact that JP Beaumont made a cameo in the series – was kind of hoping to see Sheriff Brady as well!!  If you love a great series, and haven’t discovered JA Jance yet, here’s your chance!  She definitely remains at the top of her game!! 

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

The Newcomer – Mary Kay Andrews

Letty Carnahan is on the run with nothing more than the clothes on her back after finding her sister Tanya dead and her young niece, Maya, alone in her sister’s townhouse, with Tanya’s warning burning in her mind. “If anything bad happens to me—it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”  Fleeing with nothing but the clothes on her back and some money in a jump bag that Tanya had stashed away, Letty heads south with her niece, leaving New York and her sister’s murderer behind. With no real plan as to where she’ll go, Letty opts on a small hotel that Tanya had circled in a magazine tucked in with the cash – a small motel on the coast of Florida. 

Arriving at the Murmuring Surf motel, Letty learns there’s no vacancy at the moment. With all of the long termers down for the winter, there’ll be nothing available anytime in the hear future either. But the motel owner Ava DeCurtis, sensing Letty’s distress, offers her a small efficiency, primarily used as a storeroom, if she’s willing to clean it out.  But Ava’s son is not so sure. A member of the local police force, Joe is a bit suspicious of Letty and her seeming arrival from nowhere.  

As Letty & Maya settle in, they start to meet some of the motel’s long term winter tenants, who are none-too-happy to have a small child wandering in their midst. Miss Ruth & Miss Billie are quick to let her know that that they’ve been hotel visitors for years and expect things a certain way, Mr. Jensen who likes to sneak his smokes right outside of Letty’s door, and a comical cast of other octogenarians who make Letty’s life interesting. Meanwhile, Joe is increasingly attracted to Letty, who remains fearful of being discovered. 

Back in New York, Evan’s investigator is getting ever closer to finding Letty & Maya. Can Letty count on Joe and his family to keep her safe? 

This was a sweet, nostalgic story, and most definitely a sit-by-the-pool, or day-at-the-beach kind of read! It also brought back many fond memories of a time long ago when my grandparents would bring me to The Florida Gulf Coast for the winter and we’d stay in a place much like the motel depicted here. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I know you will too!! 

No Going Back – TR Ragan

Sawyer Brooks returns in another thriller, and this story picks up on the heels of where the second book ended. 

For those unfamiliar with this series, Sawyer is a crime reporter for the ‘Sacramento Independent’ and in the last novel, she had just begun to investigate an attack and slaying of a man by a group of women vigilantes known as the ‘Black Wigs’.  This novel opens with a murder taking place, and a nearby security camera that catches a slender intruder leaving the house. An impromptu meeting with the deceased’s ex-wife leads her to believe that this man was not a victim of the Black Wigs, but if not them, then who?  A copycat killer?

The Black Wigs, with two attacks to their credit and another suspect individual missing, appear to be targeting rapists. A victim of incestual rape herself, Sawyer has been captivated by this case from the beginning. As she digs into the new victims’ background, she can find no evidence that he was ever accused of rape. But via an impromptu interview with his ex-wife, she learns that he was abandoned as a child and grew up in an orphanage that has since burned down. Intrigued by the possibility of a copycat, Sawyer begins to dig into his past, aided by her younger sister, Aria.

Meanwhile, a co-worker at the paper wants ‘in’ to Sawyer’s Black Wigs investigation after her niece and her friends are caught mimicking the actions of the Wigs and assault a teenaged boy.   Forming an uneasy alliance, Sawyer & Lexi begin to work together and share their resources. But unbeknownst to Sawyer, her sister Harper – code name Malice – is an active Black Wigs team member…and they have just selected their next trio of victims… 

As the bodies pile up, Sawyer & Lexi remain determined to find the answers – is this one group of killers? Or are there quite possibly two? 

If it’s even possible, this book was even better than the last! I adore Sawyer’s character, she’s feisty, she’s lovable and, like most of us, she’s flawed, and she struggles within her own present relationships as a result of her past. This can be easily read as a stand-alone novel, but if read as a series you get a full flavor for character development and the situations that have made each character who they are today.  Fabulous read and series from TR Ragan!! 

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!!

Risk Factor – Michael Brandman

Sheriff’s Deputy Buddy Steel is on a long vacation, contemplating life and what comes next, when he’s summarily summoned home by his father, after a bold robbery of his father’s home. Somehow, these thieves had managed to bypass an alarm system, gain access, and by all appearances, knew the exact layout of the house and where to strike. As Buddy attempts to familiarize himself with the robbery, he learns that there have been many other home invasions of a similar nature in Southern California. And no one seems to have any idea as to how the perpetrators are gaining access.  

Meanwhile, an old school friend comes to Buddy with a different problem. Andrew Snyder, owner of a financial services company, has just discovered all of his accounts have been hacked into and emptied in a cybercrime. Buddy hires Quinn Anthony to assist in that investigation, a young millennial computer wizard with a sharp wit and a disdain for the older generation. But Quinn quickly finds a trail and a possible link to the local branch of a well-known cartel. Then other local businesses are similarly drained, to a total sum in the millions. 

As the investigations into both crimes escalate, the home invaders remain just out of reach, but the danger heats up as Buddy & Quinn as they take on the cartel, and net their prey, while attempting to recover the missing millions. But the cartel strikes back, in a desperate move for revenge, putting Buddy in grave danger…

This was a great read! Full of suspense, snappy dialogue and laugh-out-loud moments, I picked it up yesterday afternoon and couldn’t put it down until the final page was turned! Buddy Steel and his exploits are quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Another great series to add to my ever growing list of favorites! 

Available today from your favorite bookseller!

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