The Gossip – Nancy Bush

MacKenzie ‘Mac’ Laughlin is a former police officer, who left the small River Glenn police force due to her mother’s cancer diagnosis and the constant, unwanted, advances from her boss, the Police Chief. Still drifting along, trying to decide where she wants her life to go, she finds herself intrigued when an acquaintance, Bibi, asks for her assistance in locating a missing friend. Rayne has been missing for a week, and while she’s been trying to dodge a rent payment, this disappearance is uncharacteristic for her. Bibi knows that Rayne was secretively seeing someone, and suspects that Rayne’s ex, a bad boy named Seth, may be responsible. 

While on an initial stakeout of Seth, Mac runs into Jesse James Taft, a local PI, who also appears to be watching Seth. When Mac asks questions, Taft is evasive, but the two exchange numbers, meet for an impromptu dinner, and soon enter a partnership of sorts to assist one another.  Jesse is well into discovering a drug running operation, and Mac’s assistance is invaluable. 

Meanwhile, the killer, identified as Chas, decides that Bibi too, has to go. Fearful of that Rayne might have revealed about him, he ambushes her in her garage, beating her severely, before devising a way to make it look accidental. As the investigation into the deaths of the two friends continues, Chas sets his sights on some other potential victims – one of whom is Mac…

The premise of this book is good – a beleaguered teen who grows up exacting revenge on his tormentors, and in the spur of the moment, a killer is born. I struggled with a lot of the introductions and dialogue as characters were introduced – it didn’t flow all that well for me and at times I had a bit of trouble following the story and which character went where – the assisted living versus the fitness place, etc. I very much enjoyed the characters of Mac and Jesse and hope to see them together in future endeavors as they are quite likeable.

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

The Keepers – Jeffrey B. Burton

Mason Reed is a K9 handler who teaches his dogs to sniff out human remains. He has a small crew of talented animals, but golden retriever Vira is a standout – she alone can detect and remember the scent of a killer – a talent that very few people are privy to. Officer Kippy Gimm is one of those people, and she’s summoned Mace & Vira to the scene of a brutal murder, where a well-known musician has been found dead in his kitchen. As Vira walks the scene under the pretense to look for drugs, when Mace & Vira catch a quick glimpse of the body, they see evidence of a brutal assault. Ushered off the scene, he can only hope Vira was able to catch a scent. 

Later, when a search for missing Special Prosecution Bureau member Peter Feist culminates in his body being found in a nearby park, the victim of a brutal killing, Vira alerts Mason to the killer almost immediately during a chance meeting, opening up a big can of worms, as Vira has just implicated one of the cities’ highest-ranking officials in the murder. Vira’s behavior has also set the killer’s sights on Mason…

Mason, Kippy & Kippy’s partner “Wabs” regroup with this newfound knowledge, to decide how to best proceed. When a meeting with a city official goes goes unexpectedly awry, Mason & Kippy find themselves framed for a number of crimes and fleeing for their very lives with the dogs. In an effort to find the information that got Peter Feist killed, they head to his mountain cabin in hopes of finding some incriminating info. But someone else is heading that way as well. Can Mason & Kippy find what they need to put the killer away? Or will the killer find them first??

This was a great read! It was a bit slow to start for me, but once I had a feel for the characters, and things started happening, the book moved at dizzying speed, in an edge-of-your-seat cat and mouse game between Mason & the killer whom Vira inadvertantly identifies.  I like the character development I see in Mason, and I am elated to see that Kippy is going to give him a chance. The dogs, particularly Vira, are front line characters in their own right, and I will be anxious to ‘see’ them again as well. If you love dogs, and enjoy the Ryder Creed, Mercy Carr and/or Meg Jennings K9 series, you’ll love Mason Reid as well! 

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

Dead by Dawn – Paul Doiron

This book takes off like a runaway train, and all you can do is hold on for dear life as you frantically turn the pages to figure out who Mike has angered so badly! Additionally, for me, having spent several years living in the beautiful state of Maine, this series is always like a visit home for me as I read of places that I’ve visited and grown to love. 

Maine State Game Warden Mike Bowditch is driving down a dark stretch of isolated road when he drives over a homemade ‘spike strip’ which promptly flattens his tires and sends him careening over an embankment into the icy Kennebec River. Completely submerged in ice cold water, Mike somehow manages to escape the vehicle, freeing his canine companion as he does so, before the vehicle sinks beneath the ice. Fighting to get safely to land, Mike must now find a way to warm himself, before frostbite and hypothermia become irreversible.  As he works to save himself, he notices headlights and a flashlight in the distance where his Jeep left the roadway and realizes that someone has returned to be sure the trap had worked. 

Several hours beforehand, Mike had paid a visit to a family who had written to him personally to express their dissatisfaction over the Warden’s Service handling of a relative’s death, presumably in an accident, while duck hunting along the same river. While the case was long considered an accidental death and closed, the story piques Mike’s interest enough to follow up on some interviews of witnesses at the time. One such person was the deceased’s alleged lover, who Mike suspects may be behind the situation he finds himself in now. But Mike is only half right…

Told in back-and-forth snippets from Mike’s present situation to the preceding events of the same day which landed him here, this book was literally impossible for me to put down! I was sucked in from the first page and read it straight through! A fantastic read, and for those of you not familiar with this series, it is a perfect start! I can’t say enough about it!! 

Available on June 29th 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!!

One Little Lie – Christopher Greyson

Kate Gardner is a newly single mother, in a new town, trying to cope with a sudden divorce, and the angst of seeing her ex-husband Scott flaunt his new relationship, while she tries to pick up the pieces, keep her sanity and maintain an air of normalcy for her children.  While at her son’s soccer game, Kate sends a drone into the air on a test flight, only to have it fall, striking her in the head and knocking her to the ground. Mortified, she keeps silent as bystanders search for the drone’s owner, with her son asking to keep it, in hopes of finding the owner on video. 

The next morning, two police officers arrive, prepared to investigate the incident. Embarrassed about her lie of omission, Kate keeps quiet about the drone’s origin while they question her about yesterday’s events. As they review footage from the drone’s flight, it quickly becomes apparent that someone has been taking an unusual interest in Kate. An unrecognizable male figure in a blue cap is seen lurking in much of the footage captured.  From that point on, things just seem to escalate, and Kate fears she’s losing her mind…

First, Scott informs her that he wants custody of the children, then her vehicle is vandalized, and she loses her job. A trip to school to pick up her children leads to humiliation and the knowledge that someone is out to destroy her…but who? The stalker, or someone much closer to home? As tensions mount, Kate discovers that she has two unexpected allies – and she’ll need every bit of their help to unravel the lies and deception that surround her…

This is my second novel by Christopher Greyson, and I read it straight through in a single sitting – I just couldn’t put it down! The storyline grabs you from the start and the hits just keep on coming as the pages turn. The characters provoked a lot of emotion – some you just loved to hate, and while I has guessed at who the protagonist was, I was still stunned at as I read the last few pages. Was happy to see a nod to my other favorite Greyson character in there as well!  A riveting read, great for the beach, or a stormy day, cause you won’t want to put it down!! 

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