Stay Hidden – Paul Doiron

Stay Hidden – Paul Doiron

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

Mike Bowditch is a member of the Maine Warden Service and has been recently promoted to investigator in the Bangor office. While the majority of the team is out investigating a hunting accident, Mike fields a call for yet another hunting mishap – a young woman has reportedly been shot dead on a remote Maine island, and the hunter is in custody. When Mike arrives to investigate the shooting, he learns that the alleged shooter denies the incident, but admits to finding her on the ground, leaving the investigation wide open for Mike. Was it really a hunting accident? Or something much more sinister?

Anyone who’s ever spent time in rural Maine knows how secretive and protective of another that Mainers can be. As Mike attempts to get to the bottom of the incident, he finds himself thwarted at every turn – even by the island’s constable himself. Then, out of the blue, the victim’s sister arrives, stunning the islanders with her resemblance to her sister – and she starts looking for her own answers…

I very much enjoyed this book, the characters, and the multi-dimensional aspect of their lives. Mike Bowditch is a strong, solid character and I look forward to seeing him in future novels spent quite a few years living in central Maine, so reading of places I was familiar with made this book extra special for me. A fabulous read, and a must for mystery/crime/thriller fans!!

Feared – Lisa Scottoline

Feared – Lisa Scottoline

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

Bennie, Mary & Judy are back as the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm finds themselves under fire…

A warm celebration of Mary’s impending motherhood is being celebrated within the walls of the law offices, when a messenger arrives with packages for each of the female members of the team. As the courier departs he tells them that they’ve been served. In the midst of preparing for an anti-trust trial, the team is astounded to discover that they are being sued for reverse sex discrimination. Additionally, they learn that the suit is being brought against them by Mary’s nemesis, Nick Machiavelli, and that comments made by their lone male attorney, John Foxman, may be partially to blame.

Shortly thereafter, John Foxman leaves the firm and the group is subjected to a plethora of bad press, interviews, and news write ups designed to discredit the agency. As Bennie and her team prepare to fight back, they hire their own attorney – and begin their own investigation. But then, a death occurs – and Bennie’s own team becomes suspect…

As always, a fabulous read by Lisa Scottoline! Full of the characters, legalese and prose you’ve come to love, this book does not disappoint!! I couldn’t put it down!!

Justice For Jessica – Alretha Thomas

Justice For Jessica – Alretha Thomas

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

Stacey and Jessica are best friends and have been since high school. Although Jessica has married up and now lives a lavish lifestyle, she appears to remain true to her early friendship. Stacey oftens spends overnights with Jessica when her husband is away, and as this book opens, Stacey awakens and finds her best friend dead in her bed in the guest room.

Rachel Storme is a homicide detective for the local police department. On a leave of absence of her choosing after a killer was allowed free due to compromised evidence, Rachel isn’t sure if she wants to return to police work. Then a quick favor for a colleague sucks her right in to Jessica’s murder investigation – just like that, Detective Storme is back.

As with any murder, there are the obvious suspects and like most novels, the killer ends up being someone you don’t suspect. The story line was good, but some of the dialogue just didn’t fit – the relationship between Rachel and Stacey for example. Also, and I know I was reading an uncorrected proof, there is once scene where Stacey calls 9-1-1- to report something, but when she hangs up, she says goodbye to Rachel. Not how it works at all. In any event, it was a good storyline, the author just needs a bit more insider knowledge of how investigations work.

A Vast And Gracious Tide – Lisa Carter

A Vast And Gracious Tide – Lisa Carter

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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

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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

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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

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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!!