Vortex: An FBI Thriller by Catherine Coulter (Book 25) – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

#1 Best Seller in Psychic Suspense

Book Blurb:

#1 New York Times bestselling Catherine Coulter returns with a brilliant new novel in her FBI thriller series, in which agents Sherlock and Savich find themselves dealing with very powerful figures from the past who could wreak havoc in the present.

Vortex by Catherine CoulterSeven years ago, Mia Briscoe was at a college frat rave with her best friend, Serena, when a fire broke out. Everyone was accounted for except Serena, who was never seen nor heard from again. Now an investigative journalist covering the political scene in New York City, Mia discovers old photos taken the night of Serena’s disappearance and begins to uncover a sinister string of events going all the way back to that disastrous party. Working with Sherlock, the secrets begin to unravel. But some very powerful—and very dangerous—people will do anything to keep them from learning the truth.

CIA Operative Olivia Hildebrandt is a team leader on a mission in Iran to exfiltrate a betrayed undercover operative. She’s nearly killed by an exploding grenade and saved by a team member. But by the time Olivia is released from Walter Reed Hospital, that team member and a critical flash drive he was carrying have disappeared. When Olivia is attacked on her first night home, Savich suspects that the strike is a direct result of the compromised mission and the missing team member and flash drive. But what intelligence was at stake and who betrayed them?

His Review:

A young gamer is killed by an accidental punch in the face by Snake, a master gamer. They had been having a great time but things got out of hand. Snake claims it was an accident and her death was not intentional. Wrapped in an old tarp she is being forever lost to her family and friends.

Vortex by Catherine CoulterMia and her friend Serena are on their way to a rave. Mia is miffed at Serena because she seems to want to forego the party. Mia is angry because the rules for men and women are entirely unfair. How did things get so messed up?

Fraternity brothers were offering a drink called a “Crazy Mary,” guaranteed to make even the most virginal woman put out. Serena begins to act strangely and then winds up missing. How could this be? She did not even want to come to this party.

Seven years later Mia still wonders what could have happened to Serena. She currently has a position as investigative reporter for Guardian Magazine. Her current assignment is a political candidate.

Alexander Talbot Harrington is a very rich society climber who does as he wishes with women. He is tall and handsome and has no problem having opportunities. He is running for the mayor of New York City. Most of the population feels he is a shoo-in for the job. His “wing man” is his social equal but lacking in self-confidence. He is a possible candidate for weakest link in the crime and investigation.

Ms. Coulter is a master story teller with multiple plots happening simultaneously. The result is a continuously intriguing tale which is difficult to put down. With three police agencies working to solve this and other crimes, the criminals are quickly in their cross-hairs. Alex and his wing-man feel they are smarter than anyone and will not be caught. The writer puts them into their proper place.

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Psychic Thrillers, Psychic Suspense, Historical Thrillers
Publisher: William Morrow
ASIN: B08N18WD7Q
Print Length: 400 pages
Publication Date: August 10, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Vortex [Amazon] 
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Kobo

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Catherine Couler - authorThe Author: Catherine Coulter is the New York Times bestselling author of 87 books. Her numerous historical romances established her as an icon in the genre and a must-read for readers world wide. Coulter’s readership has also grown exponentially with her hugely popular “unputdownable” FBI thriller series, starring the husband and wife team FBI agents Savich and Sherlock. Her FBI thrillers have expanded to include a new international thriller series — A Brit in the FBI — co-written with popular thriller writer JT Ellison. This six-book series has also captured a dedicated readership with high-stakes, fast-paced international cases involving new characters Nicholas and Mike. Coulter has also added a new novella series, starring Grayson Sherbrooke (from the Sherbrooke historical romance series), titled The Grayson Sherbrooke Otherworldly Adventures. Currently there are four novellas — the 5th installment will be released later this summer. (The Grayson books are available only in ebook.)

Upcoming new release! The 25th book in her FBI thriller series, VORTEX, will be released on August 10th, 2021. Coulter lives in northern California with her thriller cat Eli and her thriller husband. She enjoys hearing from readers and posts on her Facebook page daily. Please visit her at her website http://www.catherinecoulter.com for more information.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

This Much Huxley Knows: A Story of Innocence, Misunderstandings and Acceptance by Gail Aldwin – #BookReview – Friendship Fiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

This Much Huxley Knows by Gail AldwinI’m seven years old and I’ve never had a best mate. Trouble is, no one gets my jokes. And Breaks-it isn’t helping. Ha! You get it, don’t you? Brexit means everyone’s falling out and breaking up.

Huxley is growing up in the suburbs of London at a time of community tensions. To make matters worse, a gang of youths is targeting isolated residents. When Leonard, an elderly newcomer chats with Huxley, his parents are suspicious. But Huxley is lonely and thinks Leonard is too. Can they become friends?

Funny and compassionate, this contemporary novel for adults explores issues of belonging, friendship and what it means to trust. 

His Review:

Huxley is a very precocious young boy. His forté is understanding words by re-spelling them in his head. The fun in the story is his occasional misunderstanding of the meaning and the resultant chaos resulting from this error. His vocabulary is very advanced for his age group. However, in school he is often corrected by his teacher who recognizes his attempted faux pas, and he wonders why his jokes are curtailed.

This Much Huxley Knows by Gail AldwinHe has difficulty making friends. One of his friends is Leonard, a senior invalid in a wheelchair. Leonard understands his jokes and is often good for a small piece of chocolate. The adults in the school community take umbrage to his hanging around the school yard and giving candy to the children. Huxley cannot understand why he is restricted from seeing and visiting with Leonard.

The innocence of youth runs headlong into the wisdom of parents. He is told not to talk to Leonard or go near him. He is confounded by this directive and is hurt by his fathers’ lack of understanding about his friend. Many of the other parents, especially the fathers, take it upon themselves to correct the situation.

The story is replete with suspicion and innuendo. The ending is satisfied when the situation with Leonard is fully understood. Huxley is asked to curtail his visits with Leonard but still has the ability for an occasional visit. The author visits the situation from both the innocence of youth and the suspicion of the parents involved.

CE WilliamsThe manipulation of words by this young wordsmith make the reading fun and amusing. I highly recommend it. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: British Contemporary Literature, Friendship Fiction, Coming of Age Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ASIN: B0944Q8SGV
Print Length: 217 pages
Publication Date: July 8, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: This Much Huxley Knows [Amazon]
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Gail Aldwin - authorThe Author: Gail Aldwin is a British writer who has lived and worked in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and Spain. As well as novels, short fiction and poetry, Gail co-writes short plays and comedy sketches with 3-She, a collaborative group of three women writers. Their shows have been staged at theatres and arts centres in South West England. Follow Gail on social media – she loves to interact with readers and writers.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gailaldwin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gailaldwinwriter/
Blog: https://gailaldwin.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

The Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman–#BookReview – #psychologicalthriller

Rosepoint Rating: Five stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Perfect Ending by Rob KaufmanParalyzed by writer’s block, Scott Atwood’s career is over, and so, he’s decided, is his life. He just has to figure out the perfect ending befitting a popular, award-winning thriller-suspense author who always gives his fans a mind-blowing finale.

But just as Scott resolves to jump in front of a train, he conceives the ideal plot for his next bestseller — a writer of psychological thrillers who decides to wreak havoc in other people’s lives in order to help him come up with ideas for his next book.

Looking for inspiration, he exposes his neighbor’s affair with devastating and far-reaching repercussions, and his plan soon begins to spiral wildly out of control. But what is fiction? And what is reality? The lines blur in this twisted and masterful Hitchcockian thriller with the perfect ending. The question is… to what?

My Review:

Wow! I love it when I stumble on a psychological thriller totally unique in concept, twisty plot, amazing characters and then delivers on an equally delicious conclusion catching the reader in a stunning twist you’ll never see coming.

You think you get a good concept of the plot by the Prologue. You are sooo having the wool pulled over your eyes and then you get into the story.

The Perfect Ending by Rob KaufmanThen you are introduced to Scott Atwood, a famous award-winning author. He’s just short of loathsome. This is the main character? I didn’t like him from the beginning. He’s hit the wall with the famous writer’s block for months. His agent, his publisher is breathing down his neck. He’s promised them another bestseller and can’t figure out anything to write about and is missing deadlines. He needs something spectacular. What to do?

One last ditch effort: he’ll take his laptop to the train station.
Write his next book or jump in front of a train.

Perfect ending in view of those thrillers he’s written. Nothing mundane for him!

Then he sees something that sparks an idea. It’s brilliant! He’s thrilled. And with a little encouragement, a slight push, he can force the story from his neighbors and watch them as they literally unfold his new bestselling thriller in front of him.

This storyline fires the imagination from the get-go. Hook, line, and you must finish the book. Can he really create this much misery? This much havoc? His neighbors all have stories and he paints them in full color realism. My heart ached for Brad, weeped for Joel. They are so well-fleshed. You believe it all.

It’s dark, delightfully deceiving, and emotionally wringing. The author tweaks his main character with just a slight amount of humor and moral justification. It’s so wrong. Twisted mystery, suspense. I released more than one audible groan…omg. This one is a must read!

I received a complimentary review ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts. I loved this one. It’s short but powerful and highly recommended.

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Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Thrillers, Suspense Thrillers

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097LVL54P

Print Length: 238 pages
Publication Date: June 19, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble 

 

Rob Kaufman - authorThe Author: Rob‘s Psychology degree has helped him create characters with whom people can relate, while at the same time bringing them on a journey from which most would crumble. Making sure he keeps his readers in suspense from the very start, Rob’s three books have made him a 5-star contender in the psychological thriller genre. His fourth book, “The Perfect Ending” will be released in July of 2021.

Catch Rob at http://AuthorRobKaufman.com/.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Murder in Connemara (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 2) by Angela M Sanders –#BookReview – #tuesdaybookblog

I won this on a Goodreads Giveaway!  Murder in Connemara by Carlene O’ConnorThank you to the author and the publisher, Kensington Books!

Book Blurb:

Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'ConnorThe bestselling author of the Irish Village mysteries sets her new series in Galway County, where former New York interior designer Tara Meehan finds murder in the ruins.

Former New Yorker and interior designer Tara Meehan is eagerly anticipating the grand opening of her architectural salvage shop Renewals in her newly adopted home of Galway. She’s in the midst of preparations when heiress Veronica O’Farrell bursts in to announce she’s ready for some renewal of her own. To celebrate one year of sobriety, she’s invited seven people she wronged in her drinking days to historic Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in neighboring Connemara to make amends in style.

But perhaps one among them is not so eager to pardon her past misdeeds. Veronica is found lying in the ruins of manor house Clifden Castle with an antique Tara Brooch buried in her heart—the same brooch Tara Meehan admired in her shop the day before, posting a photo with the caption: #Killerbrooch. Now she’s a prime suspect, along with Veronica’s guests, all of whom had motives to stab the heiress. It’s up to Tara to pin down the guilty party.

My Review:

I really enjoy this atmospheric Irish Village Mystery series that manages to plunk the reader right into the middle of the countryside villages and people.

Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'ConnorTara Meehan moved back to her mother’s childhood home in Galway. She is very busy trying to get her salvage shop open, along with the warehouse, but is impatiently awaiting her permit. She is slowly becoming a part of the community as well as trying to progress in her relationship with Danny.

This entry to the series involves an heiress and her history. Veronica has not been a nice person, but she is now prepared to make amends, and dropping into Tara’s unofficial shop engaged her to help pick out the appropriate gifts for each on her list.

Unfortunately, Tara had discovered a body which is quickly tied to Veronica in death as well as life. The murder mystery introduces the reader to castles and intriguing support characters and touches off a treasure hunt for clues, along with twists.

Tara is a subtle but dogged protagonist after discovering her job did not end with the death of the heiress and now includes the discovery of the culprit. It’s a well-plotted and paced narrative and moves into the conclusion with a life or death struggle. I did suspect the perp, but not wholly the reason, which is revealed in the wrap up.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts. You may wish to begin with Book 1, but I read with no problem as a standalone. Currently on pre-order.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point five stars  4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

      • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBF7RJQ
      • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington Books
      • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 27, 2021
      • Print length ‏ : ‎ 283 pages
      • Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries

    Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

    Title Link(s):

    Amazon
    Barnes & Noble
    Kobo

    Carlene O'Connor - authorThe Author: Carlene O’Connor comes from a long line of Irish storytellers. Her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America during the Troubles, and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places across the pond she’s wandered, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork. Carlene currently divides her time between New York and the Emerald Isle.

    If you’ve missed this atmospheric series, now is the time to check them out. This novel currently on pre-order.

    ©2021 V Williams V Williams

Murder in Connemara (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 2) by Carlene O’Connor – #sundayselfie

#sundayselfie

Yes! I’m a winner! I recently won this beautiful book on Goodreads. Murder in Connemara by Carlene O’Connor. Thank you to the author and the publisher, Kensington Books!

Book Blurb

The bestselling author of the Irish Village mysteries sets her new series in Galway County, where former New York interior designer Tara Meehan finds murder in the ruins. 

Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'ConnorFormer New Yorker and interior designer Tara Meehan is eagerly anticipating the grand opening of her architectural salvage shop Renewals in her newly adopted home of Galway. She’s in the midst of preparations when heiress Veronica O’Farrell bursts in to announce she’s ready for some renewal of her own. To celebrate one year of sobriety, she’s invited seven people she wronged in her drinking days to historic Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in neighboring Connemara to make amends in style.

But perhaps one among them is not so eager to pardon her past misdeeds. Veronica is found lying in the ruins of manor house Clifden Castle with an antique Tara Brooch buried in her heart—the same brooch Tara Meehan admired in her shop the day before, posting a photo with the caption: #Killerbrooch. Now she’s a prime suspect, along with Veronica’s guests, all of whom had motives to stab the heiress. It’s up to Tara to pin down the guilty party . . .

AUTHOR LINKS

Website

Goodreads

About the Author

Carlene O'Connor - authorCarlene O’Connor comes from a long line of Irish storytellers. Her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America during the Troubles, and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places across the pond she’s wandered, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork. Carlene currently divides her time between New York and the Emerald Isle.

Book Details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBF7RJQ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington Books
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 27, 2021
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 283 pages
  • Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries

Buy Links

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

I haven’t read from Book 1 but enjoyed several others in the series, including Murder in an Irish Cottage, Murder in an Irish Pub, Murder in an Irish Bookshop, and Murder in an Irish Christmas and have enjoyed them all. If you’ve missed this atmospheric series, now is the time to check them out. This novel currently on pre-order. My review on Tuesday, July 20.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby – #Audiobook Review

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby

Book Blurb:

The death of a former presidential candidate in a fiery car crash at her Virginia vineyard has ties to a 30-year-old murder, as well as to Lucie Montgomery’s own near-fatal accident 10 years ago, as she searches for a killer who now may be stalking her.

When Jamison Vaughn – billionaire real estate mogul, Virginia vineyard owner, and unsuccessful US presidential candidate – drives his gold SUV into a stone pillar at the entrance to Montgomery Estate Vineyard, Lucie Montgomery is certain the crash was deliberate. But everyone else in Atoka, Virginia, is equally sure that Jamie must have lost control of his car on a rain-slicked country road. In spite of being saddled with massive campaign debts from the recent election, Jamie is seemingly the man with the perfect life. What possible reason could he have for committing suicide? Or was it murder?

Before long, Lucie uncovers a connection between Jamie and some of his old friends, an elite group of academics, and the brutal murder 30 years ago of a brilliant PhD student. Although a handyman is on death row for the crime, Lucie soon suspects someone else is guilty. But the investigation into the two deaths throws Lucie a curve ball when someone from her own past becomes involved, forcing her to confront old demons. Now the race to solve the mystery behind the two deaths becomes intensely personal as Lucie realizes someone wants her silenced – for good. 

My Review:

Book 8 in the Wine Country Mystery series, I reached back aways for this one. I’ve enjoyed the Wine Country series and the aura, mystique, and history of the Virginia vineyards and countryside. There is always more to learn about the craft of wine making.

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen CrosbyIn this installment, Lucie Montgomery witnesses a horrific accident at the same location she experienced the accident that resulted in her permanent disability. She tries to rescue billionaire and unsuccessful US presidential candidate Jamison Vaughn but was driven back by the flames. The accident—or was it an accident?—starts an investigation into his death that ultimately reaches back thirty years. Something he said to her before Jamie died—and she’s promised to deliver the message.

This particular entry became multi-layered, tying not only the former presidential candidate, but her own past. She has never forgiven her ex-boyfriend for the accident and her injuries and it still weighs heavily on her.

When she gets closer to the secrets held so long, people told her to back off. But she wouldn’t and didn’t and with the help of her fiancé Quinn, discovers the shocking truth. In so doing, she may have found, at long last, the way to ease her burden as well.

This entry just didn’t grab me as well of two previous reads, The Angels’ Share and Harvest of Secrets. I suspect because of the complexity involved in the plot, the normal share of history and wine making secrets devolved well into the background and concentrated instead on the mystery.

I’ve tended to jump around and borrowed whatever I could and each have been interesting though obviously I have my favorites. It’s a series I’ll continue reading or listening to.

Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Cozy Mysteries, Women Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio
ASIN: B0778Z14SP
Listening Length: 7 hrs 57 mins
Narrator: Christine Marshall
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Vineyard Victims [Amazon]

Rosepoint Publishing:  Three point Five of Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Ellen Crosby - authorThe Author: Ellen Crosby is the author of the Virginia wine country mysteries, two mysteries featuring international photojournalist Sophie Medina and MOSCOW NIGHTS, a standalone. THE FRENCH PARADOX, the 11th book in the wine country series will be out 1/29/21 in the UK, 4/6/21 in the US and 3/1/21 as an ebook. Before writing fiction, Crosby–who has lived in England, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the former Soviet Union–worked as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, an economist at the US Senate, and Moscow reporter for ABC Radio News. Visit her website at http://www.ellencrosby.com and follow her (very) occasionally on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks, sometimes on Twitter at @ellencrosby–but mostly on Instagram at ellencrosbyauthor. She also writes an erratic (but interesting) newsletter.

 

Christine Marshall - narratorThe Narrator:  Christine Marshall is an actress, director, and designer who makes her home in Maine. She is a member of the Mad Horse Theatre Company and the Maine State Ballet, works on many independent Maine theater projects and films, and appears regularly on local commercial television. As a narrator, she recently won her first Earphones Award from AudioFile magazine for her work on Dancer.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

His & Hers: A Novel by Alice Feeney – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

His and Hers by Alice Feeney

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

There are two sides to every story: yours and mine, ours and theirs, his and hers. Which means someone is always lying.

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

His & Hers is a twisty, smart psychological thriller. A gripping tale of suspense, told by expertly drawn narrators that will keep listeners guessing until the very end. 

My Review:

OMG, does this grip and hang on or what? Related in three POVs, Anna Andrews is the “her.” She’s been a fixture on the BBC news as a lunchtime anchor, always dreaming of her next big break. The old anchor returned, however, beloved, well-known, and still under contract after maternity leave and Anna is unceremoniously returned to the position of news correspondent.  Oh groan.

His and Hers by Alice FeeneyJack Harper is the “his” working on the police force in Blackdown. He was called to investigate a body found in the woods and is shocked to see it is someone he knows—and knows very well, btw. But he keeps that part to himself.

And then there is the perp, the killer, whose dialogue is skewed by a voice changer. Very creepy and creepy enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

Insult to injury, now Anna is asked to cover the murder in the little town of Blackdown and no, she doesn’t want to go—she grew up there, not particularly happily. Of course, she, too, recognizes the victim.

Once in, the listener doesn’t get a bathroom break. You must listen to the next chapter, whether it is her or him—or that other one.

“There are always two sides to every story, yours and mine, ours and theirs, his and her. I always prefer my own.”

Fast paced, well-plotted, creepy narrative spiced with hometown-childhood secrets, adult secrets. Twists and turns leave the listener spinning. No getting a breath now—are you figuring it out? The tension ramps up another notch.

Jack came off as highly engaging, approachable. Anna not so much—she’s narcissistic and scheming. Her career is her life. She just wants back in the anchor spot and she can detach her emotions from the scene.

This novel-audiobook totally envelopes the listener, sinister, gripping, full of suspense. And, oh yeah, that one last gotcha at the end? Brilliant! Storytelling genius. You don’t want to miss this one!

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Police Procedurals Mysteries
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B07TFLWV4H
Listening Length: 10 hrs 39 mins
Narrators: Richard ArmitageStephanie Racine
Publication Date: July 28, 2020
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: His and Hers [Amazon]

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Alice Feeney - authorThe Author: Alice Feeney is a New York Times bestselling author and journalist. Her debut novel, Sometimes I Lie, was an international bestseller, has been translated into over twenty languages, and is being made into a TV series by Warner Bros. starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. His & Hers is also being adapted for screen by Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films. Alice was a BBC Journalist for fifteen years, and now lives in the British countryside with her family. Rock Paper Scissors is her fourth novel and is being made into a TV series for Netflix by the producer of The Crown. It will be published around the world in 2021.

©2021 V Williams V Williams