Dreaming of Flight – Catherine Ryan Hyde

This novel is a bit different from those I typically read, but there’s just something so refreshing and heartwarming about Catherine Ryan Hyde’s storytelling, I just cannot pass her up. This latest gem is no exception!

Stewie Little is a young, empathic 11-year-old boy who resides with his older sister Stacey and his handicapped older brother Theo. Still reeling from the death of his grandmother, “Gam”, he devotes himself to her flock of chickens, and sells the eggs they produce to their neighbors.  On this particular day, he has a couple dozen left over in his wagon, so he continues to a home a little farther up the road, where he happens upon Marilyn, a brash, irascible old woman, who reminds him strangely of his grandmother. He makes the sale and promises to return next week with more eggs. 

Marilyn has her own quirks. She resides with a young single mother, gaining free room and board in exchange for childcare. As the reader quickly learns, Marilyn has memory issues and is fearful that the police are going to find her any day now. From day to day, the reader sees evidence of her dementia – her inability to remember things, like Stewie’s name – and her fear of being caught, but like most with early dementia, she covers it well. 

In spite of these challenges, both Marilyn & Stewie find a little something in one another that neither knew they needed. Inspired by this little boy, Marilyn purchases a copy of the book, Stuart Little, so Stewie can read about his namesake. Shortly thereafter, she realizes that Stewie is unable to read. Angered over the school system seemingly failing this boy, Marilyn goes into town for a word with the principal, passing herself off as his grandmother. Then the police do come…with Stewie witnessing Marilyn’s arrest. 

As Stewie struggles to understand the nuances of right and wrong, he begins to understand that people can do wrong things without being ‘bad’, and that people can deeply hurt the ones they love without ever meaning to. He also learns of the power of love, loss, grieving and acceptance, as well as the importance of moving on, and in doing so teaches the reader a thing or two as well. 

A wonderful story, from a wonderful writer – will give you all the feels!! 

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

Silent Little Angels – Jennifer Chase

Many years ago, while attending a summer camp named Eagle’s Ridge, Katie Scott’s young friend Jenny disappeared one afternoon, never to be seen again. It was later determined that Jenny’s father was her killer.  Now, Katie is suddenly immersed in the sadness of that time, as she and her partner Sean McGaven are summoned to the property one more – a woman’s body has been found floating beneath a dock at the lake’s edge with a missing left arm – and there’s concern for explosives on the property. Retired K9 Cisco’s expertise is requested. 

When Katie and Cisco arrive at the scene, she is promptly assailed with memories of the past, and the dread that comes with the reminders of Jenny’s death.  As she & Sean search the campgrounds, Cisco alerts, seconds before Katie falls into a camouflaged pit, where she discovers another female body, this one is missing her left foot.  The next day, a third body is found, again female, and this time her kidneys are missing. Then, a newspaper article is found at the scene – with Katie’s name circled…

As the bodies are identified via forensics, Katie is stunned when she realizes that they were all camp counselors at Eagle’s Ridge in years past. Why did one of them leave the job she loved so abruptly? As Katie researches the camps past, she learns of a young child who was severely injured on a hike years ago.  Are the killings related? As Katie and Sean search for answers, the killer sets his sights on a new victim…Katie…

I love this series!! Katie is a strong, impetuous, investigator, who still struggles with PTSD from her time in the military. With the help of her explosive sniffing partner Cisco, and her partner Sean, they make a formidable cold case investigative team!  I thoroughly enjoy these characters and each new novel is like a visit from a very dear friend!!  (The novel name is a bit puzzling to me though – Silent Little Angels implies child victims to me – but whatever!) Loved this book, love this series and I can’t wait for this trio’s next adventure! 

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

Girl On The Run – Carolyn Arnold

Madison Knight is a Detective from the fictional city of Stiles, somewhere near the US/Canadian border. This morning, she is somewhat impatiently awaiting her turn for coffee in a long line, when a woman comes running by yelling, “He’s got a gun!” Madison immediately goes to surveil the area and quickly learns that three women have been shot, two of them fatally, at a coffee kiosk within the Liberty train station. As she attempts to glean information from eyewitnesses, she learns some information that piques her interest – a young woman with a backpack had just been by just before the shooting with a hooded figure that seemed to be following her. 

After they clear the scene, Madison and her partner Terry Grant head out to do death notifications. At the first victim’s home, Madison sees a picture of the woman as a bride and is stunned by the resemblance to a high-school friend who disappeared mysteriously years ago.  She asks the victim’s husband a few pointed questions, which further support her belief that the dead woman is indeed her former friend. But why was she living under an assumed name? Was she possibly the target of the shooter? 

As the investigation continues, it soon becomes apparent that this was no random shooting. The young girl with the backpack is nowhere to be found, and Madison fears her life is in danger.  The suspicion of drug running through Liberty Station is high, and circumstances lead Madison to suspect Russian Mafia involvement. (This seems like a stretch if you’re a new reader to this series, but Madison has tangled with them recently, reportedly narrowly escaping death.) But is the Mafia involved in the shooting – or was there a secondary crime in play – and if so why? Finally, was the second shooting victim really Madison’s long-lost friend? 

This was my first read in the Madison Knight series, and I very much enjoyed it. Madison is your ubiquitous strong female protagonist, although she borders on being a bully at times, so I’m not quite sure I like her yet. Her partner tries to keep her in check, but she’s like a bull in a china shop when she thinks she’s right – which it appears she usually is! With a bit of searching, I’ve learned that this is the 10th in the series for Madison Knight, and this author also writes two other series as well.  Sounds like I have lots of catching up to do! Great read!!

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

Watch Her Disappear – Lisa Regan

It’s prom night in Denton, Pennsylvania, and Josie Quinn and her team are gearing up for the usual post-prom exploits to start. But before the shenanigans can even begin, the body of a teen aged girl, dressed for prom, is found dead in the back of the high school. As Josie, Noah and the team secure the scene and question the prom-goers, no one knows who the girl is – and no one who bought tickets for entry is missing. 

When the medical examiner gets her on the table, she discovers a single stab wound to the girl’s inner thigh, which severed the femoral artery.  She also finds a lock of hair missing and some superficial incisions, but nothing to indicate who the teen is or why she appeared at the prom when she did. No surrounding schools have a missing prom attendee either…yet Josie is sure the girl looks familiar, somehow. They finally identify her – she had been reported missing 4 months ago. 

Chief Chitwood is unusually terse through the beginning stages of the investigation. Shortly after they identify the teen, he pulls Josie aside, insisting she come with him, but saying little more. When they arrive at his home, he tells Josie the story of his sister, Kelsey – who disappeared in similar circumstances only to be found dead – over 25 years ago. The case has haunted him for all this time, and this new death has opened the old wounds of losing Kelsey – and there are similarities that can’t be ignored – the girls were all found dead on their 16th birthday.  

Josie takes this new information back to the team with the suspicion that whoever they’re looking for has possibly been killing for a very long time. A visit with Chitwood’s father, a corrupt cop back in the day, yields little information, but his old partner is able to add some insight into the old investigation, although he had his own difficulties under Chitwood Sr’s command.  

Josie and her team rush to put the pieces together, both past and present, as another missing teen’s birthday looms near…but can they find the key to break this case wide open before another teen turns up dead? 

I’ve said it before – and I’ll say it again, and again I’m sure – I just cannot get enough of Josie Quinn!!  I was riveted from the start, devoured the book in one sitting, and now anxiously await the next adventure! And just as importantly – if you read as voraciously as I do – Lisa Regan gets these books out in record time! I never have too long a wait for a new novel to appear.  Love, love, LOVE this series!!  

Available from your favorite bookseller on April 12th!

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