Month: May 2018

Review of ‘Puzzle of Death’

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On the eve of the untimely demise of an unpleasant, puzzle-loving scientist, envelopes containing puzzle pieces, and a challenge to locate a missing chemical formula and ten million dollars he’s taken from his bank and hidden somewhere are sent to a number of people. But, then, the letter recipients begin to turn up dead, killed by an unknown assailant, or assailants. One of the recipients is Jake Wade, a PI with a checkered record and a propensity to hit back at anyone threatening him.

The action starts with a bang, literally, as a bullying football player is dispatched, and just keeps getting louder and bloodier with each turn of the page, and throughout, Wade is right in the thick of things, trying to find the missing loot, stay one step ahead of whoever is trying to kill him, and investigating the killings, including the one he’s responsible for.

Sound confusing? It is, but in a nice way. Puzzle of Death by Donahue B. Silvis is an action story with so many twists, turns, red herrings, and counterplots, you almost need to keep a chart to keep from losing your place. An anti-hero main character with almost as many flaws as the bad guys—and gals—he’s chasing, that you’ll nonetheless cheer for. A tantalizing story, marred only by the author’s tendency in places to mix past and present tense in the same sentence—I can forgive him for that, I suppose, but hope he’ll take it to heart and not do it in future offerings.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book. I found it a bit choppy in places; not unusual for a first novel, and not a fatal flaw. I give it three and a half stars for effort.

Readers of this blog who would like to enter a raffle for a chance at winning a free copy of the book are invited to go to:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e23ee71d1130/

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Review of ‘Eden’

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Those who have power don’t want to give it up and are often reluctant to share it. Those who don’t have power want it and will often go to extremes to acquire it. When the balance of power begins to shift against those who hold power, bad things can happen.

 

When the male-female balance begins to shift drastically in favor of females, the men in power begin taking drastic and deadly steps to redress the situation. Eden by G.C. Julien and Ash S-J is a different kind of post-apocalyptic novel. The cataclysmic event is not a meteor strike, rising ocean levels, or a nuclear war, but a shift in the birth rate giving women a vast numerical advantage. This leads to all-out gender warfare and the creation of single-gender enclaves at war with each other for survival. Through character shifts and flashbacks the authors show us a dark world that, given the current state of affairs globally, is not an impossible scenario to imagine.

 

In the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation, the actions of a few free-thinking and courageous individuals offer the only glimmer of hope. It is on that hope that the fate of the world rests. A chillingly realistic look at a world that one prays will never come to be. It sucks you in to a whirlpool of action, human angst, violence, and hope, and spits you out at the end breathless.

 

I  received a complimentary copy of this book for review. Without hesitation, I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Read Better Faster’

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If you’re like most people, you were taught to read every word in a sentence or paragraph. While this might be useful when reading instructions, for most other written material, it makes reading a chore. Buck up, though, because Debbie Drum’s Read Better Faster will help you learn techniques to boost your reading speed, and your retention of what you read as well.

This insightful little book takes you step by step through methods for learning a new way to take in the written word. You’re likely to find that as you read it, your reading speed is increasing—provided you take her advice.

A must-have book for anyone who is required to read a lot, and a really nice literary acquisition for anyone who loves to read.

I received a free copy of this book. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Origin of Legends and the Secrets of the North’

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Brothers Baldr and Thor lived relatively happy lives as orphans after their parents drowned in a frozen lake. But, their world was torn asunder when they noticed strange green lights flashing on a mountain top near their sleepy little town. With their friends, they set out to solve the mystery of the flashing lights but are soon in too deep as they must contend with the freezing arctic weather and an ancient power. In order to survive, they must solve the secret of what lives within the mountain.

Origins of Legends and the Secrets of the North by Adison Runberg is a thrilling tale of adventure, mystery, and magic, that follows the brothers, their friends, Sophia and Nala, and a loyal canine they encounter along the way, as they penetrate ancient secrets and uncover the basis of legends that had been, until that time, only stories.

An interesting story that offers an unusual take on the Nordic legends, and a worthwhile read for a cold spring day.

I received a free copy of this book.  I give it three and a half stars.

Review of ‘Lost Hope’

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After concluding a messy battle with a slimy beast, and completing the assigned retrieval, Arthur ‘The Hat’ Salzman, and his sidekick, the homicidal housewife, Vicky, go to get their payment. But, their client, ‘Juice’, has decided that he wants some ‘excitement’ in his life. After summoning the Hangman, and ordering him to kill his mother, Martha, Juice hooks up with Arthur and Vicky, and gets them started on a dangerous escapade that threatens not only their lives, but the lives of their loved ones.

Lost Hope by Al K. Line is book number six in the Wildcat Wizard series, and, just like the first five, has a generous helping of matricide, monstercide, and just about every other form of offing bad guys. Whipped back and forth between his normal plane of existence and a few unimaginable other worlds, Arthur decides that his only way out is to send Juice and his minions to their final rest. But, his plans are complicated by the appearance of an old nemesis with an agenda of his own.

If this book doesn’t get your juices flowing, you, my friend, are juiceless. This is without a doubt, the best book of this series, and I can’t wait to see what The Hat gets up to next.

I received a free copy of this book, and I give it five stars. It shines in the universe of paranormal adventure books.

Review of ‘Murder in Notting Hill’

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Two women are murdered, in the same manner, within an hour of each other. One, a wealthy white socialite in upscale Holland Park, the other, a black cleaning woman in the crime-riddled, working class neighborhood of Notting Hill. DCI Isaac Cook knows the two crimes are connected, but is pressed to determine how. He and his team have to deal with the area’s street gangs, the bizarre secrets of the upper crust, and the byzantine maneuvering of London’s police hierarchy, as bodies begin to accumulate.

Murder in Notting Hill by Phillip Strang brings DCI Cook and his team back with a vengeance, as the erstwhile homicide investigator navigates the murky waters of gang warfare, class conflict, and the intrigues within the police bureaucracy. The action moves at a frenetic pace, as Cook and his crew engage in a multi-front struggle to bring the guilty to justice—regardless of their station or class.

This book is, like the first five in this series, a real page-turner, mixing police procedure with insightful looks into the personal lives of the protagonists. I received a free copy of this book, and I give it a solid four stars.