All the Devils Are Here: A Novel: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Book 16 by Louise Penny – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

The 16th novel by #1 bestselling author Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light

On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.

When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.

It sends them deep into the secrets Armand’s godfather has kept for decades.

A gruesome discovery in Stephen’s Paris apartment makes it clear the secrets are more rancid, the danger far greater and more imminent, than they realized.

Soon the whole family is caught up in a web of lies and deceit. In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past. His own family.

For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide.

My Review:

I know I was supposed to love this book but truthfully had a difficult time keeping an ear on my cell phone earbud and/or my little portable speaker. Goodness. I was so lost!

My fault, obviously, for trying (once again) to jump into a beloved series at Book 16 no less where the reader was supposed to know who all the players were and why.

All the Devils Are Here by Louise PennyGamache and his wife, Reine-Marie is supposed to be in Paris to celebrate the birth of a grandchild—and visit with the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache’s godfather.  Certainly out of their Three Pines, Quebec element, but seems no problem as they search Paris high and low for the person who plowed into his godfather, Stephen Horowitz following their dinner. Intensionally.

The plot seemed all over the board from priceless art to corporate crimes, getting deeper and deeper into rare earth minerals. Meanwhile, Horowitz comes under scrutiny for his possible WWII activities. Wayyy too much going on for this device to work for me. Would it please just settle on one, or even two, main plot points?

Gamache routinely bounces all his theories off his wife, who manages to insert some calming sense into each, after a man is found murdered in Stephen’s Paris apartment.

I greatly enjoyed the narrator, managing voices and French pronunciations with ease, sliding effortlessly over the Paris street names, restaurants, foods, and attractions. The author includes some harrowing tidbits and facts about the fanatical post WWII Paris atmosphere that unsettles—lost in some of the more horrific stories and pictures of the time. (I still marvel that there are any monuments left standing and weep over the loss of Notre Dame in the fire of April 2019. I will never forget our singing experience there and am amazed at their restoration progress.)

Of the immediate family characters, including Daniel their son, I most enjoyed Reine-Marie as being authentic. At Book 16, I’m quite sure I’ve missed the all-important development of Armand but coming into a city not of his domain and taking on the investigation seemed a bit sleuthish, especially given the extent of this plot. He has no authority; how much latitude would he be allowed by the Paris authorities?

Thinking I’ll try another Louise Penny book, but not sure it will be Book 17 of this series. Any of you die-hard Canadian author readers read this series? Did you also have a problem with this narrative?

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Detective Mysteries, International Mystery & Crime
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B0842XLN7Z
Listening Length: 13 hrs 59 mins
Narrator: Robert Bathurst
Publication Date: Sept 1, 2020
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: All the Devils Are Here [Amazon]

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

Louise Penny - authorThe Author: LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times) and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.

Robert Bathhurst - narratorThe Narrator: Robert Guy Bathurst (born 22 February 1957) is an English actor. Bathurst was born in Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1957. In 1959 his family moved to Ballybrack, Dublin, Ireland and Bathurst attended school in Killiney, later enrolled in an Irish boarding school. He is married to Victoria Threlfall and they have four daughters. [Wikipedia]

 

 

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Keep Me Close: An utterly gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist by Jane Holland – #BookReview – #medicalthrillers

Book Blurb:

Someone is hurting the most vulnerable person in your life, but they can’t tell you who it is. What would you do?

Keep Me Close by Jane HollandWhen shy publisher Kate Kinley finds mysterious bruises on her mother’s arms she assumes the worst. Suffering with early onset dementia, her mother insists that nothing is wrong; it was just a clumsy accident. But was it an accident, or has her mother’s illness made her forget what really happened?

In desperate need of someone she can trust, her isolation and paranoia grow as the closest people in her life become key suspects.

With each heart-stopping revelation, Kate begins to realise that the perpetrator is no longer interested in inflicting bruises; they want blood.

Keep Me Close is a compelling story of gross immorality, a cautionary tale of how easily wicked people can take advantage of the vulnerable elderly people in your life.

His Review:

Caring for a parent with dementia is never easy. Kate has had a number of people taking care of her mother who is rapidly deteriorating. Mysterious bruising and other problems indicate someone is mistreating her. Who would do such a thing to an elderly frail woman?

Keep Me Close by Jane HollandAfter her longtime care giver disappears, Kate is pleased to find Ruby. She is the perfect answer and is given a room in the house to help compensate for the many hours she spends with Kates’ mom. Signs of abuse point to Kate and letters appear under her door claiming she is a terrible person and unworthy.

Kate desperately works to keep her mother at home and under loving care and protection. Her job as a publishing editor is continually at risk because of a uncaring employer and a punk writer. She is assigned to correct the proof for the writer and finds many problems. Conflicts arise as her mother gets worse and her boss threatens to fire her.

Logan is a handsome suitor and Kate allows herself to date two years after her husband’s suicide. She is very tenuous and careful in allowing any relationships because of the loss of not only a husband but her father as well. A solicitor clouds the care issue because he is “her mothers’” solicitor and not hers. This relationship clouds the overall tension and Kate’s good intensions.

The main character is portrayed as a very tenuous personality whose relationships are always under scrutiny by her boss. He is a true self-centered narcissist who does not like women. His response to most of them is smiling wickedness. One would like to accidentally run over him in a dark alley.

CE WilliamsI enjoyed the novel but got a little tired of Kate’s inability to stand up for herself. She also tends to procrastinate in reporting events that scare and concern her. The police are a day or two behind each event. Rather than report the abuse of her mother to the police she hesitates because she feels that they will think she is the perpetrator. Wallowing in self doubt and letting others push her around got a bit tiresome and allowed some interest to wane. 4 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.

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

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Vigilante Justice Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers
Publisher: Lume Books
ASIN: B096W81Y6Q
Print Length: 326 pages
Publication Date: September 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Keep Me Close [Amazon]
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Jane Holland - authorThe Author: Jane Holland is a Gregory Award-winning poet and bestselling novelist (Twitter @janeholland1). Her psychological thriller GIRL NUMBER ONE hit #1 in the UK Kindle store in 2015 and 2018. Latest novel: KEEP ME CLOSE. Her debut novel KISSING THE PINK was inspired by the Women’s Pro Snooker circuit, where Jane was once a champion player ranked 24th in the world before being banned for life for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’. Since turning from sport to writing, she’s published dozens of novels with major publishing houses under various pseudonyms, including: Betty Walker (Avon Books: World War II saga series ‘The Cornish Girls’) Beth Good (contemporary romcoms), Victoria Lamb (historical fiction and YA fantasy), Elizabeth Moss (historical romance), Hannah Coates (feel-good doggy fiction), and JJ Holland (action thrillers featuring disillusioned peer Aubrey Savage).

She also writes practical writing manuals such as Writing Prompts for Thriller Writers, along with a sister book for Romance Writers, and other non-fiction books, including a new ‘Dreams Journal’ for complex dream interpretation.

Photograph credit: Anand Chhabra

©2021 V Williams – V Williams

The Sea Bandits (Bold Women of the 17th Century Series Book 2) by Amanda Hughes–#BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating:  Five Stars 5 stars

“Boo hags are creatures that feed off the breath of human beings.” 

Book Blurb:

The Sea Bandits by Amanda HughesFor readers who like history with a bit of a love story.

The West Indies 1680-it is a world of violence, greed, and anarchy. Swept into this whirlwind of treachery are two disparate characters: Mercedes Zamora, a former Spanish aristocrat, and Abraxas Kaphiri, a ruthless Egyptian pirate. She is clever and seductive. He is dangerous and powerful. Together they hatch a plan to terrorize the high seas seeking vengeance and plunder. Their enemies call them The Sea Bandits, and they reign supreme as the most hated and feared corsairs in the West Indies and the Barbary Coast. But everything changes when they clash with a malicious nobleman who knows too much. His relentless pursuit threatens to destroy not only their operation but everything they love.
Join Amanda Hughes as she sweeps you back to the days when buccaneers and adventurers ruled the waves, and larger-than-life legends were born.

My Review:

There is a reason Amanda Hughes is one of my favorite authors, she consistently delivers a delicious tale laced with adventure, well-researched tidbits, and a touch of romance.

This novel begins in the year 1677 in Cusco, Peru and develops protagonist Mercedes Zamora as the spoiled offspring of landed aristocrats. She is expected to marry well and a wedding is arranged between she and Felipe Ortiz y Gasset. Felipe, however, is a spoiled monied son with few boundaries and quickly loses his ardour when she becomes pregnant.

The wedding dowry arrangement between families chill considerably when badly managed finances fail resulting in the loss of their home. Felipe (and his family) determines he will move the family to San Juan Bautista and Mercedes finds herself in a new land, new home, no husband, and no way to provide for herself and her twin boys.

The Sea Bandits by Amanda HughesMercedes hasn’t been totally out of the business loop, however. She is smart and has gained sufficient insight to proceed into a shipping business. She has a small, efficient, and loyal team. Then she meets Abraxas Kaphiri, widely known as a Egyptian pirate. Abraxas, much like Jack Sparrow, isn’t all bad, however. In fact, hmm, he actually has some admirable qualities (and he’s easy on the eyes).

I loved the dance between Mercedes and Abraxas that eventually leads to banding together against a common enemy.

The storyline never falters or slows in this well-paced and plotted novel. It’s swash-buckling adventure coupled with Barbary Coast tales of treasures, cargo, rum, and the daily struggle of life in the late 1690’s.

This is Book 2 of the 17th Century series. I also read Book 1, The Firefly Witch. No problem where you come in to each series, whether 17th, 18th, 19th, or 20th Centuries, each is a standalone and can be read in any order. I’ve read at least two books in each century, including the most recent, Vagabond Wind, The House of Five Fortunes, Beneath a Blazing Sky, and The Image Seeker.  If you like strong, trail-blazing womens stories, you’ll greatly enjoy these gripping novels, all different and unique. These are all highly recommended. The Sea Bandits just released and is available now. (Loved it.)

His Review:

The cross-breeding between the Inca and Spanish resulted in beautiful copper skinned offspring. Mercedes Zamora y Huaman de Ortiz was just such a woman. Marriages were often arranged in the 1600’s and the participants often had very little choice in the matter. Class hierarchies were common and inter-marriages between the social stratus were uncommon.

At fourteen, Mercedes is married to Felipe, an eighteen-year-old. The early months were amorous until pregnancy occurred. Then Felipe left for greener pastures and Mercedes was to raise their twin boys.  Her position as an aristocrat in Cusco, Peru left few opportunities for the young mother. Once pregnant her husband had no interest in staying around or visiting her bed. (It was against Catholic doctrine to have sex while pregnant.)

Senora Mercedes Ortiz had to avoid relations with Felipe after the birth of their children. He was also a very poor businessman and had lost a large portion of their lands. As a result, he was moving the family to San Juan Bautista. Mercedes was leaving her home and everything she knew and suddenly Felipe Ortiz was nowhere to be found.

Mercedes is tasked with managing the household and plantation and it becomes a full-time job. She begins running a shipping warehouse and import-export business but additional lands are taken away by a conniving relative.

Mercedes starts Zamora Enterprises and begins a new stage in her life. She sends her sons to Spain for a more formal education and meets Abraxas Kaphiri. This reputed pirate leads her life in a whole new direction.

Amanda Hughes has created a delightful tale of intrigue and danger in a love story between a pirate and a “she-merchant”. You will find it hard to put down. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are our honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Caribbean and Latin American Fiction, Sea Stories, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lillis and Jaymes
ASIN: B09BKHCNLF
Print Length: 253 pages
Publication Date: Just Released! August 19, 2021
Source: Author contact 
Title Link: The Sea Bandits

Amanda Hughes - authorThe Author: Bestselling and award-winning author, Amanda Hughes is a “Walter Mitty”, spending more time in heroic daydreams than the real world. At last, she found an outlet writing adventures about bold women through the centuries. Well known for her genre-busting books, she is the winner of the Gems National Medal for Writing, featured in USA Today and is nominated for the 2017 Minnesota Book Award. Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and when she isn’t off tilting windmills, she lives and writes in Minnesota. Don’t miss these page-turning novels for readers who like historical fiction with a just bit of a love story. All of her books are stand-alone and can be read in any order.

The Bold Women of the 17th Century: The Firefly Witch Book 1

The Bold Women Series of the 18th Century: Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry Book 1 The Pride of the King Book 2 The Sword of the Banshee Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 19th Century: The Grand Masquerade Book 1 Vagabond Wind Book 2 The House of Five Fortunes Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 20th Century: The Looking Glass Goddess Book 1

Interested in her new books or a free novelette? Go to http://www.amandahughesauthor.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams The CE and I

Two Kinds of Truth: Harry Bosch Book 20 by Michael Connelly – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connolly

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

Harry Bosch searches for the truth in the new thriller from NYT best-selling author Michael Connelly.

Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drugstore where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town’s three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse.

Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch’s LAPD days comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues aren’t keen to protect his reputation. He must fend for himself in clearing his name and keeping a clever killer in prison.

The two unrelated cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.

My Review:

OMG, I continue to bumble through review-land with well-known authors of major talent and superior best-selling series. Such as, for instance…the Bosch series. (The who?) Coming out from under a rock last year, I tripped over The Law of Innocence. That particular novel was from The Lincoln Lawyer series where the protagonist is Mickey Haller, LA attorney of fame and fortune. Uh, I get it! He is the half-brother of Harry Bosch of the Bosch series and comes with a considerable team behind him. My first, albeit arms-length intro to the Bosch series.

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael ConnollyTHIS one is a Bosch of the San Fernando Police Department, now working cold cases. The cold case is one that occurred during his stint with the LAPD and is looking to get ugly, accusing him of framing his convicted perp. Get’m off the streets, say I! And it looks like that was his intention as well.

The novel opens with the cold-blooded execution of a pharmacist and his recently graduated son, made to look like a robbery. Not. But it does lead to the nasty world of pill-poppers and their suppliers.

Bosch has a new partner here in Bella Lourdes, an old LAPD partner Lucia Soto, as well as his daughter Maddie, the latter of whom apparently often plays a rather prominent part in his stories. These are strong female figures, not thrown in for pretty, or vacuous parts. They wield some power. Nice.

Bosch goes undercover into the underbelly of the drug world to solve the latter murder and manages to survive, although there were certainly some hairy moments. In the former scenario, he employs Mickey to defend him and here is where Mickey shines—those courtroom shenanigans. Playing the judge, playing the opposition, even playing his defendent. But is he good? Oh yeah…that’s why he gets the big bucks!

So, have I begun to come to the dark side? Grudgingly, yeah. Let’s not declare convert quite yet, but I’ve become fascinated enough that looking at it closer realized it is an Amazon Prime series. Are you kidding me?

 

 

And I must say, apparently good enough this is the seventh season. BUT. (Isn’t there always?) It will change. And Harry will no longer be a cop. Then what you say? You’ll have to discover for yourself. Are you a Bosch fan? Do you watch the Prime series? I haven’t. But I will be looking for more audiobooks in this series. Oh, and yes, I also started his new series using a female protagonist, Renee Ballard as a new LA detective, The Late Show. Did you read, listen to that one?

Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedural, Crime Fiction, Suspense
Publisher:  Hachette Audio
ASIN: B071FJF4S4
Listening Length: 9 hrs 55 mins
Narrator: Titus Welliver
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Two Kinds of Truth [Amazon]
 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Michael Connelly - authorThe Author: Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of over thirty novels and one work of nonfiction. With over eighty million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into forty-five foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today. A former newspaper reporter who worked the crime beat at the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Connelly has won numerous awards for his journalism and his fiction. His very first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his #1 bestselling novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, hit theaters worldwide starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. His most recent New York Times bestsellers include The Law Of Innocence, Fair Warning, The Night Fire, Dark Sacred Night, Two Kinds Of Truth, and The Late Show. Michael is the executive producer of Bosch, an Amazon Studios original drama series based on his bestselling character Harry Bosch, starring Titus Welliver and streaming on Amazon Prime. He is also the executive producer of the documentary films, “Sound Of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story’ and ‘Tales Of the American.’ He spends his time in California and Florida.

Titus Welliver-actor-narrator
Titus Welliver–Compliments of Wikipedia–thank you!

The Narrator:  Titus B. Welliver is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayals of the Man in Black in Lost, Silas Adams in Deadwood, Jimmy O’Phelan in Sons of Anarchy, and the title role in the television series Bosch. Wikipedia Born: March 12, 1962 (age 59 years), New Haven, CT.

 

 

 

 

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly – A Lincoln Lawyer Novel – An #Audiobook Review – #legalthrillers – (Mickey Haller #6)

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly

Book Blurb:

Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller must defend himself against murder charges in the heartstopping new thriller from number one New York Times best-selling author Michael Connelly.

Defense attorney Mickey Haller is pulled over by police, who find the body of a client in the trunk of his Lincoln. Haller is charged with murder and can’t make the exorbitant $5 million bail slapped on him by a vindictive judge. 

Mickey elects to defend himself and must strategize and build his defense from his jail cell in the Twin Towers Correctional Center in downtown Los Angeles, all the while looking over his shoulder – as an officer of the court he is an instant target. 

Mickey knows he’s been framed. Now, with the help of his trusted team, he has to figure out who has plotted to destroy his life and why. Then he has to go before a judge and jury and prove his innocence.

In his highest stakes case yet, Mickey Haller fights for his life and shows why he is “a worthy colleague of Atticus Finch…in the front of the pack in the legal thriller game” (Los Angeles Times).

My Review:

Uh…ok. This is me, being at a loss for words. It happens.

This is an author I’ve heard or read about for some time and noting the audiobook available thought finally I’d have the opportunity to discover what the fuss was about. Maybe I picked the wrong one.

The Law of Innocence by Michael ConnellyI do enjoy legal thrillers and this had no small amount of legal battle both in and out of the courtroom. The maneuvering, crafting, and animosity between legal teams and judges eye-opening and about as fair as I’ve long thought it to be.

In this entry to the series, Mickey Haller is picked up after leaving a celebration with his defense team. The body in the trunk of his Lincoln means he won’t make it home that night or many nights that follow. He’s charged with murder—yeah—he didn’t do it.

He’s an attorney of no small reputation and he’ll defend himself, but it would appear the prosecutor has an air-tight case. (Come on—did that really make sense? Not to me.) Still he has a considerable team behind him, including his half-brother Harry Bosch of the Bosch series fame (of whom I’m also ignorant), Cisco, Jennifer (who splits half-way into it), Lorna and Maggie. My first venture into a Connelly book.

Of course, he’s in lock up, which means he really needs to watch his back and procure “protection.” How to prepare for trial in lock-up? And I must admit that if I were on the jury, I’d take an instant dislike to him—at least then I wouldn’t have to be there long. I found him arrogant and narcissistic. A people user. (Kindle was fun for awhile, but Maggie is the real deal.) The speedy trial thing—big debate. The plot gets ever more complex the deeper they get into the investigation. If he’s to be declared innocent—they’ll have to find the one who is guilty. But that doesn’t happen.

“…to prove true innocence, the guilty man must be found and exposed to the world…”

So, if it’s obvious he was framed, who is behind it? Guess we’ll never know. I also had a few other problems. The motive is pretty thin.  A successful and well to do attorney killing for a $75k legal debt then driving around in the car in which he dumped the body? Not buying it.

What in the world was with the prosecutor? Always dripping animosity.

And all that work, all that investigation, taking two steps forward and one back, then one forward and two back—no head way. Even when he was trying to thank those who wanted to help, he came off as insincere.

The narrative in first person started following the CoVid flight into the country and then Connelly got all political, naming names with his opinions—wha??? And the Feds got involved and suddenly they are willing to drop the charges and the whole thing goes bye-bye. Huh? Did I miss something? What just happened?

The courtroom scenes? Yeah, I do love me some good courtroom drama. It’s that little courtroom dance I’ve alluded to previously thinking of Richard Gere in “Chicago.” And most of those scenes kept me engaged. It’s entertaining when it isn’t annoying. Otherwise, if you can point out a Connelly book that better exemplifies the author or this series, I’ll hear your recommendations. Have you read/listened to this one?

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly

Book Details:

Genre: City Life Fiction, Urban Fiction, Legal Thrillers
Publisher:  Little, Brown & Company
ASIN: B088KQXXDL
Print Length: 433 pages

  • ASIN : B0852ZXJSD

Listening Length: 12 hrs 27 mins
Narrator: Peter Giles
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Law of Innocence [Amazon]

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Michael Connelly - authorThe Author: Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of over thirty novels and one work of nonfiction. With over eighty million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into forty foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today. A former newspaper reporter who worked the crime beat at the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Connelly has won numerous awards for his journalism and his fiction. His very first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his #1 bestselling novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, hit theaters worldwide starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. His most recent New York Times bestsellers include Fair Warning, The Night Fire, Dark Sacred Night, The Late Show, Two Kinds Of Truth, The Late Show, The Wrong Side Of Goodbye, The Crossing, The Burning Room, The Gods of Guilt, The Black Box, and The Drop. Michael is the executive producer of BOSCH, an Amazon Studios original drama series based on his bestselling character Harry Bosch, starring Titus Welliver and streaming on Amazon Prime. He is also the executive producer of the documentary films, SOUND OF REDEMPTION: The Frank Morgan Story and Tales Of the American. He spends his time in California and Florida.

The Narrator: Peter Giles is an actor and voice-over artist originally from Vancouver, Canada. His credits as an actor include The Life & Times of Tim, Portlandia, and Man Seeking Woman. Jack McEvoy is at the end of the line as a crime reporter.

©2020 V Williams V Williams-Christmas hat

The German Client: A Bacci Pagano Investigation #6 by Bruno Morchio – a #BookReview – International Mystery & Crime

Bestselling Italian author Bruno Morchio releases his debut for English readers. 

Book Blurb:

The German ClientPrivate investigator Bacci Pagano can’t resist taking the bait when his new client dangles a check with too many zeros. He should have known that where there’s bait, there’s always a hook. 

In a hospital corridor, private investigator Bacci Pagano is keeping watch over Jasmìne Kilamba. If she lives, her testimony will shatter a  notorious human trafficking ring. Seemingly out of nowhere, he is approached by an elderly German named Kurt Hessen who is searching for his Italian half-brother. Despite his better judgment, Pagano accepts the job.  So many things, good and evil, happened when the Nazis occupied Genoa in 1944, what did it matter now? But it matters very much to someone and Pagano finds himself plunged into a world of old secrets and new lies in this wartime thriller where the bill for the sins of the past has come due . . . with interest. 

Originally published in Italian as Rossoamaro, The German Client elegantly intertwines a wartime thriller about Nazi-occupied Genoa with the gritty realism of Pagano’s current investigation in what La Repubblica called “a masterful tale.”

Nominated for a National Book Award, The German Client spent five weeks on the Corriere della Sera best seller list and won the Azzeccagarbugli Prize for Best Mystery. 

His Review:

A WWII mystery wrapped up in a modern-day saga. Italy is in the latter days of the war and has been demoted from a German Ally to an occupied country with the Germans refusing to withdraw. Italy and its’ people are forced to assist the Third Reich in any way they can. The characters are well developed and the collaborators are feared and hated by the average populace. Check-points are manned with German military who have very itchy trigger fingers.

The German client by Bruno MarchioKurt Hessen is a late war baby who is suffering from a terminal disease. He is looking for a brother he did not know he had. Detective Pagano is hired by Kurt to find this long-lost brother. Apparently, there is a sizable family inheritance that should go to the only surviving son of Mr. Hessen. Should the brother not be found, the money will go back to the state.

The author skillfully weaves the story through two time periods. It is masterfully done and I found myself appreciating the drama between a young Italian girl and an older German officer. Weaving the nearly 65 year split between the end of the war and current day adds to the mystery. The topper is the fact that the last name of the young girl is not known to the detective. Detective Pagano refuses the assignment outright but the dying man is insistent. He grudgingly takes on the task.

A real eye-opener is the continued mistrust of the protagonists and the former members of the resistance. In 1944 the war for Italy was coming to an end. The Germans were not going to retreat quietly. Secrets of the resistance and the partisans are raw wounds that carry forth to this day. Because of the animosity there is no real assistance from the population to help solve the mystery. Every bit of information is dragged out from those that remember. Many simply refuse to discuss the case or the time period.

The ending is a surprise that I did not see coming! The flow of the story reminds me of a taffy pull. Just when you think you have an inkling of an outcome the author skillfully changes direction. The ending is totally unexpected. The destruction of cities and industries by the Allied bombing made me sympathetic to the plight of the Italians.

CE WilliamsThe only quibble I had was the continuous use of places existing during WWII with no map or way to identify the locality.  I suggest that anyone with a desire to learn history and feel the pain of war on the civilian population read this book. It is emotive and you will not be disappointed. Thanks to Chiara from Kazabo Publishing for my complementary copy. These are my honest and unbiased opinions. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Book Details:

Genre: International Mystery & Crime, War Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Kazabo Publishing

  • ASIN : B082LZL7WG

Print Length: 204 pages
Publication Date: February 17, 2020
Source: Publisher request
Title Links: The German Client [Amazon]

Also find the book at these locations:

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Add to Goodreads Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Bruno Marchio - authorThe Author: Bacci Pagano, “the noir detective with the heart of gold,” is Bruno’s signature creation. Bacci is an Italian institution. Featured in over 15 novels, Vanity Fair called Pagano, “one of Italy’s most beloved characters.” In the words of one major Italian newspaper, “Bacci Pagano is a fixture in the Italian imagination. One grows fond of Bacci. After reading a few of these novels, you find you can no longer do without him.”

Bruno Morchio lives in Genoa, Italy, where he worked as a psychologist. He has won two literary prizes for the mystery genre, the Azzeccagarbugli and the Lomellina in Giallo Prizes, and was a finalist for the Bancarella, the Scerbanenco and the Romiti Prizes.

FACEBOOKhttps://www.facebook.com/bruno.morchio

AUTHOR WEBSITEwww.brunomorchio.com

©2020 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

The Image Seeker by Amanda Hughes – a #BookReview #bestselling author

Five Stars Five stars

The Image Seeker by Amanda HughesTitle: The Image Seeker (Bold Women of the 20th Century Book 2) by Amanda Hughes

Genre: US Historical Fiction, Cultural Heritage Fiction

  • ASIN: B07SQ5GGDQ

Print Length: 328 pages

Publication Date: HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY-June 20, 2019!

Source: Author request

Title Link: The Image Seeker

Book Blurb:

The Dust Bowl 1936-Battered and near death, Billie Bassett gazes up at the stars from the door of a boxcar wondering if she can go on. Yet, in spite of the violence and privation riding the rails, she endures and becomes one of the finest photojournalists in the nation.
From humble beginnings in an Indian boarding school in Minnesota to high society in New York City, Billie experiences it all. Her pioneering camera work attracts the attention of a group of elite New York journalists who catapult Billie to fame and fortune, but it comes at a price. Her talents are required in the war effort, and she must travel undercover, deep into Nazi Germany as a courier. By her side is the charismatic and acclaimed journalist, Max Rothman, Billie’s harshest critic and dearest friend. But Max does not reveal to her his own clandestine and dangerous agenda.
The Image Seeker is a tale of lost youth, strength, and rebirth set in one of our country’s most tragic eras, The Great Depression and in the cauldron of hatred that was Nazi Germany.

My Review:

The Image Seeker by Amanda HughesRest assured, you need look no further than author Amanda Hughes for an authentic, historically accurate, and poignant historical fiction novel. They consistently touch all the right buttons!

The female protagonists in the Bold Women series do not try to project a super-hero feminist. They are vulnerable but persevering, subtle but daring, quiet but strong, using their native intelligence and quick-witted response to the given situation. I love that they could also be you–or me. This is the second in the Twentieth Century series, but each of these books can be read as a standalone.

Billie Bassett is separated from her family in Minnesota at age 5 and sent to an Indian boarding school to integrate her into (white) society. Not allowed to speak her native language, she is fed, sheltered, and educated–until a tragic occurrence forces her decision to escape. She has been lucky in that during several summers she was welcomed into a German farm family exchanging domestic help for another kind of education. And something else–love and support. It is through the encouragement and generosity of this couple she will further her new and growing interest in photography.

The storyline grips from the first page, grabs your attention, and does not let go. Much of what I thought I knew of this period in our history is opened up, laid out, examined in intensity I’d yet to visualize. Billie is instructed in the ways of life on the rails–teaching her the signs and symbols of hobo communication, the “jungles,” protection, hunger. It’s an amazing lesson and combined with the languages she’s learned by immersion, invaluable.

But there are always forks in the road and each that the talented Billie has boldly chosen or fought for has led inexorably to the path that would lead to achievement, independence, even a wealth of sorts–dollars no less than those of connections. The connections lead to a dangerous mission for her country at the 1936 Games of the XI Olympiad in Berlin, witnessing the rise of Nazi Germany, and while she steadfastly refuses romance in her life, it finds her, unbidden.

The well-plotted narrative builds upon itself, leading you to cringe more than once over what will happen next, and scared that you think you might know. Dialogue is natural and the storyline easy to follow, though trust me that there will be a few unexpected twists along the way. The conclusion is carefully drawn pulling in threads after a harrowing escape, smoothing out the ripples, allowing the adrenaline to settle back down.

I received the ebook download from the author for a read and review and the review is my own and independent opinion. I’m a big fan of this award-winning and bestselling author. (Read my interview with Amanda here.) I thoroughly enjoyed The Image Seeker and found SOO many parallels in my life–as well as I’m quite sure you might as well. (My paternal grandmother born on a Chippewa reservation and maternal grandmother in Minnesota.) The Depression generation suffered through some horrible deprivation and saw many of those ingrained habits handed down to succeeding generations. (Save everything! Rugs out of old nylons–oh yeah.) Many rode the rails and we have a legacy of country/folk music to prove it. Trains have always held a fascination hard to deny–the power of the behemoths–and the legacy they spin. So many stories. Whether or not you are a historical fiction buff, you’ll love this fascinating narrative. Highly recommended!

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Amanda Hughes authorThe Author: Bestselling and award-winning author, Amanda Hughes is a “Walter Mitty”, spending more time in heroic daydreams than the real world. At last, she found an outlet writing adventures about bold women through the centuries. Well known for her genre-busting books, she is the winner of the Gems National Medal for Writing, featured in USA Today and is nominated for the 2017 Minnesota Book Award. Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and when she isn’t off tilting windmills, she lives and writes in Minnesota. Don’t miss these page-turning novels for readers who like historical fiction with a just bit of a love story. All of her books are stand-alone and can be read in any order.

The Bold Women of the 17th Century: The Firefly Witch Book 1

The Bold Women Series of the 18th Century: Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry Book 1 The Pride of the King Book 2 The Sword of the Banshee Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 19th Century: The Grand Masquerade Book 1 Vagabond Wind Book 2 The House of Five Fortunes Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 20th Century: The Looking Glass Goddess Book 1

Interested in her new books or a free novelette? Go to http://www.amandahughesauthor.com

©2019 V Williams Blog author