Month: May 2019

Review of ‘Iron Curtain Killers’

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When the Soviet Union was founded in 1922, its founders described it as a ‘socialist paradise’, free of the decadent western crimes, which, like everything else Stalin and his ilk did, was a big lie. Russia and the Soviet Union have, for instance, had serial killers since even before there was a Soviet Union, and the police there struggle to find and capture them just as much as their counterparts in the West, often under the yoke of official denial of their existence.

Iron Curtain Killers by Michael Newton and RJ Parker is a detailed account of 26 serial murder cases ranging from 1960 to the 21st century, including one case that remains unsolved to this day. This book is not for the squeamish, but it shines new light on a region that was for long under the shadow of the Iron Curtain.

I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Ike and Kay’

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Ambulance driver, Kay Summersby, is assigned to drive two-star general, Dwight Eisenhower, in 1942, in the run-up to the invasion of the European continent. The relationship soon becomes more than professional and threatens to up-end both of their lives.

Ike and Kay by James MacManus is a fictionalized account of the true wartime relationship of the American supreme commander and his British driver, a story that made headlines at the time. MacManus has penned an account that rings true and adds new depth to a little-remembered anecdote of the period.

A captivating read. I received a free review copy of this book, and I give it four stars.

Review of ‘The Myth of Love’

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If you’re a fan of 1940s style pulp fiction you’ll like The Myth of Love. If you’re the type who like reading about Eastern mythic stories, you’ll be into The Myth of Love. Despite being a bit discombobulated by some of the formatting issues in the book, I was sucked into the story, only stopping when it got so late I had to quit and get some shut-eye.

The Myth of Love by Randy Neiderman is a fusion of noir mystery and eastern mythology that follows the adventures of two gods who sacrifice their immortality to experience human love. Reincarnated as an alcoholic PI and a Russian dominatrix, Jimmy and Sasha (One and the Second in their pantheon of gods) must find each other and fall in love in order to fulfill the Myth. Their quest sets off a conflict between opposing forces in the pantheon, with one side trying to kill them in order to restore the status quo in the universe and the other making the supreme sacrifice in order to protect them.

One thing I can say with absolute certainty is, regardless of your genre preference, once you start reading this book, you won’t be able to stop until you see how it ends.

I give it four stars.

Review of ‘The Orange Curtain’

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People are being killed in an affluent high-rise known as the Orange Curtain. Homicide Detective Max Cusini finds a perplexing situation—his main suspects don’t match the description of the killer or killers, and when a murder takes place that doesn’t match the M.O. of the first killings, he finds himself looking down a rabbit hole, and his life—and sanity—at risk.

The Orange Curtain by Chris D. Dodson is an interesting mystery, marred only by an overabundance of typos and generally choppy pacing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. I made my way through it, despite the typos, and sadly can only give it three and a half stars.

Review of ‘Just Different Devils’

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A sassy, irreverent Texan, Hetta Coffey lives on the edge of legality on a boat in Mexico. When she’s offered a mysterious charter, she talks her best friend Jan into coming along for the ride. The two soon find themselves face to face with Hetta’s bete noir, Nacho, a man for whom she has conflicting feelings. He’s up to something, but they can’t figure out what. Oh, and there are missing mariners, oysters full of pearls, a murderous giant squid, an amorous dolphin, and a sexy kilt-wearing Scot making Hetta’s life even more complicated than it normally is.

Just Different Devils by Jinx Schwartz is funny, provided you can laugh when dismembered corpses are being described in gruesome detail. Well, maybe not so much detail, but what is described is gruesome. And, did I mention that while you fight to keep from spewing your lunch, you’ll be laughing your hind end off? You will, I promise. Hetta is my kind of hero, heroine, or whatever the proper term is. She lives life to the fullest, takes no prisoners, and makes no apologies. Yay, Hetta!

Loved this book, and I’m willing to bet that, unless you’re brain dead and totally without a funny bone, you will too.

I give it four and a half stars.