The Texas Job by Reavis Z Wortham – #BookReview – Small Town & Rural Fiction

Book Blurb:

The Texas Job by Reavis Z WorthamTexas Ranger Tom Bell is simply tracking a fugitive killer in 1931 when he rides into Kilgore, a hastily erected shanty town crawling with rough and desperate men—oil drillers who’ve come by the thousands in search of work. The sheriff of the boomtown is overwhelmed and offers no help, nor are any of the roughnecks inclined to assist the young Ranger in his search for the wanted man.

In fact, it soon becomes apparent that the lawman’s presence has irritated the wrong people, and when two failed attempts are made on his life, Bell knows he’s getting closer to finding out who is responsible for cheating and murdering local landowners to access the rich oil fields flowing beneath their farms. When they ambush him for a third time, they make the fatal mistake of killing someone close to him and leaving the Ranger alive.

Armed with his trademark 1911 Colt .45 and the Browning automatic he liberated from a gangster’s corpse, Tom Bell cuts a swath of devastation through the heart of East Texas in search of the consortium behind the lethal land-grab scheme. 

His Review:

Early 20th Century east Texas was a wide-open territory. Texas Ranger Tom Bell has a very dangerous job. The mob has infiltrated the area because of quick riches from the discovery of oil. A forest of oil rigs blight the once open range and forest lands. Where money flows, greed and corruption closely follow. One of the get-rich schemes was to marry the ladies who owned the land and then kill them to inherit the land and the wealth stream.

The Texas Job by Reavis Z WorthamThe mob has no compassion for people, their problems, or their needs. Take whatever you can and if someone dies in the process, oh well! Author Wortham weaves a very interesting tale of bravado and heroism against wanton killing and conniving. I found his tale engaging and entertaining. His writing style harkens back to western authors of old. The characters who became Texas Rangers were smart and cared for the people of east Texas.

The weapons and attack methodology were reminiscent of WW I war tactics. The mob sent in large groups of killers with the instructions to “take care of the problem.” Ranger Tom Bell is one of those “problems.” Six men are sent down from Hot Springs, Arkansas to accomplish the goal. Their problem was a lack of understanding the abilities of Tom Bell.

Segregation was rampant in Texas at that time. The African American youth were considered slightly less valuable than cattle. African American women were considered ignorant and were generally ignored. Therefore, Tom has a ready source of intelligence because the criminals gave them little consideration. The Black population, however, knew everything that was going on and appreciated being treated fairly.

CE WilliamsEnjoy this tale from a gifted writer. Set aside time because you will not want to put the book down. 4.5 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. Current on pre-order.

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

Book Details:

Genre: Small Town & Rural Fiction, Murder
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
ASIN: B096L96MP1
Print Length: 272 pages
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s):  The Texas Job [Amazon] 
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Kobo

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Reavis Z Wortham - authorThe Author: As a boy, award-winning writer, Reavis Z. Wortham hunted and fished the river bottoms near Chicota, Texas, the inspiration for the fictional setting for The Rock Hole and The Red River Mystery Series. He was born in Paris, Texas, but lived in Dallas. “We grew up in the city and went to school there, but every Friday evening my parents put us in the car and made the 120-mile drive to Chicota, where we truly lived at my grandparents’ place in the country until Sunday evening, when we came back to the city. Our real home was that little scratch farm in Lamar County.”

 [Amazon bio Truncated…]

Reavis also penned Doreen’s 24 HR Eat Gas Now Café. More than 2,500 newspaper and magazine articles bear the byline of this award-winning Texas writer. The Rock Hole was a finalist in the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award presented by the Independent Book Publishers Association, is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Writers’ League of Texas, International Association of Crime Writers (North American Branch), and International Thriller Writers.

He lives with his wife, Shana, in northeast Texas.

(Reavis Z. Wortham retired in 2011 and now works harder than before as the author of the critically acclaimed Red River historical mystery series. Kirkus Reviews listed his first novel, The Rock Hole, as one of their Top 12 Mysteries of 2011. True West Magazine included Dark Places as one of 2015’s Top 12 Modern Westerns. The Providence Journal writes, “This year’s Unraveled is a hidden gem of a book that reads like Craig Johnson’s Longmire on steroids.” Wortham’s new high octane contemporary thriller from Kensington Publishing, Hawke’s Prey, featuring Texas Ranger Sonny Hawke was released in June, 2017. [Goodreads])

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

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Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi Vohra – #BookReview – Coming of Age Fiction

Book Blurb:

Raghav is an ordinary seven-year-old growing up on the ‘good’ side of Colaba in Bombay. His is a safe, protected world and he is kept well away from the ‘other’, darker side of Colaba, which nevertheless, holds a deep fascination for him with its colorful, busy alleys bustling with activity, people and mystery – the ‘real’ world as far he is concerned.

Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi VohrBut life has other plans and Raghav’s entire world comes crashing down one day. In the space of a few crucial hours, his childish innocence is ripped away brutally, and he also loses the one person who may have made his world right again – his mother. That fateful day alters the course of his life and the ‘other’ side is the only place he can escape his now truly miserable home life and his bitter father who he resents more and more each day. He never tells even his closest friends about the horrific abuse he suffered the day his mother died, the day a fierce, burning anger took root in his very soul.

Now, 20 years later, all his peers and friends are settling down into jobs and the business of growing up. But Raghav is still trapped between his now suffocating relationship with his father, his own inability to find a job and make a life for himself and the painful memories of his childhood ordeal that still haunt him. And this is when he meets Rani one day, an orphan beggar girl who knows life on the streets of Mumbai, but not in the way Raghav does. He wants to ‘save’ Rani from the beggar mafia and give her a chance at a better life. His strong need to stand up for something, to truly help someone is fueled by the recent Nirbhaya gang rape case in New Delhi, that evokes painful memories of his own past trauma.

Set in Bombay in 1992 and Mumbai in 2012, and inspired by true events, Diary of an Angry Young Man is a coming-of-age urban drama that explores the complex layers of humanity. And the city that engenders them. [Goodreads]

His Review:

Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi VohraGrowing up in India might as well have been on another planet. Now in 2012, Raghav is a little old to be living at home with his sister and father. Father is angry at him because he does not have a job even though he has a university degree! Raghav’s days are spent messing around with four friends.

Economic status is very important. Raghav is not among the poorest but he certainly seems to be borderline. He stays away from home all day because he does not want to be continually harassed by his father. The problem is that he has no motivation to do anything but hang out with his companions.

This story is very enlightening regarding life in India. The inter-relationships have some parallels to my own childhood. There is an establishing of hierarchy as in most societies and there are bullies and have-nots. The worst situation is that of orphans and street people.

CE WilliamsRaghav has a very big problem though and one which he’ll tackle for himself as much as the other. He is worried about a young girl and her employment as a street beggar. Her plight brings back bitter memories of his own shattered childhood. His compassion opposes those who exploit other people. Rather than beg for their own benefit, they must beg so that a street thug can get rich while they have a bare subsistence life. The book points out a general lack of compassion as well as abuse and poverty; many of the same desperate conditions experienced elsewhere as well as redemption. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book following a request from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

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

Book Details:

Genre: Coming of Age Fiction, Crime Fiction
ASIN: B09CQ1QRVN
Print Length: 174 pages
Publication Date: August 15, 2021
Source: Direct author request
Title Link: Diary of an Angry Young Man [Amazon]

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Rishi Vohra - authorThe Author: A Green MBA and Wine Specialist, Rishi Vohra has authored three novels, ‘I am M-M-Mumbai,’ ‘HiFi in Bollywood’ and ‘Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai.’ His short story, The Mysterious Couple, was featured in Sudha Murty’s anthology – Something Happened on the Way to Heaven, and another short story, Kaala Baba, in Neil D’Silva’s urban horror anthology – City of Screams. His other short stories include The Saas-Bahu Conflict which was published in the HBB Horror Microfiction Anthology and In Your Eyes in Tell Me Your Story’s LGBTQ anthology Pride, Not Prejudice : Decriminalising Love.

To get in touch with him or for more information, please visit http://www.rishivohra.com.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Head Shot (The Marko Zorn Series Book 2) by Otho Eskin – #BookReview – #policeprocedural

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Most Elusive Assassin in the World Versus D.C. Homicide Detective Marko Zorn

Head Shot by Otho EskinWashington, D.C. homicide detective Marko Zorn is investigating the murder of an actress—an old love—when he is assigned to protect the visiting prime minister of Montenegro, the beautiful Nina Voychek.

Political enemies are planning her assassination—this, he knows—but now it’s apparent that he, too, is a target. As he foils the initial attempts on his life, he pulls out all stops—deploying his sometimes nefarious resources—to hunt whoever is targeting him and prevent an international tragedy on American soil.

Decoded messages, Supermax prisoner interviews, mafia lawyers, and an ancient Black Mountain curse swirl among the icons of D.C. Marko and his young partner, Lucy, face down what may be multiple assassins with diverging agendas. Or are they facing one assassin—the deadliest and most elusive on the international stage?

Perfect for fans of David Baldacci and Daniel Silva

His Review:

Marko Zorn is not a popular Washington Metropolitan police detective. This novel starts out with a rifle bullet barely missing him as he bends down to pick up his newspaper. His abrasive attitude and demeanor have caused most people to keep him at arms-length. His superiors put him on details that keep him out of the office and away from his fellow officers.

Head Shot by Otho EskinWhen a popular actress from Montenegro is sent death threats, he and his partner Lucy are assigned to protect the lady. The ambassador of Montenegro is not happy but bows to pressure from both the U.S. government and the government of Montenegro. Nina Voychek is involved in a stage presentation whose main actress is killed during a performance. Zorn is chosen as a bodyguard during Nina’s time in America.  Having recently been a target, Zorn would prefer to be on the down-low. Instead, he is a bodyguard to a theatre group who would prefer he disappear.

Otho Eskin has written a realistic-designed hero in Marko Zorn. He is not the usual tall and dark James Bond type but rather overweight and short. His reputation among law enforcement has been tarnished by service in Chicago. It became endearing to engage with a hero that is less than perfect. His investigations are at time bumbling–bringing to mind Columbo. However, his successful record speaks for itself.

CE WilliamsThe climax is intriguing and very innovative. I particularly appreciated the outcome because of the continual pressure placed upon Ms. Voychek by her country’s ambassador and entourage. I suggest anyone who desires a good escapist tale buy the book. 5 stars – CE Williams

Book 2 but can be read as a standalone. 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: Espionage Thrillers, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
ASIN: B08S4646SJ
Print Length: 305 pages
Publication Date: December 14, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Head Shot [Amazon] 
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Otho Eskin - authorThe Author: Otho Eskin published his first thriller, The Reflecting Pool, to great reviews and book club interest in 2020. It was selected as an Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller and Suspense. The Reflecting Pool follows Marko Zorn- a Washington D.C. homicide detective who has a strong ethical compass but refuses to play by the rules. The sequel, Head Shot, also featuring Marko Zorn will be released in December, 2021.

Before he turned to writing fiction, Otho Eskin served in the U.S. Army and in the United States Foreign Service in Washington and in Syria, Yugoslavia, Iceland and Berlin (then the capital of the German Democratic Republic) as a lawyer and diplomat. He was Vice-Chairman of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, participated in the negotiations on the International Space Station, was principal U.S. negotiator of several international agreements on seabed mining and was the U.S. representative to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He speaks French, German, and Serbo-Croatian. He was a frequent speaker at conferences and has testified before the U.S. Congress and commissions.

Otho’s career in the Foreign Service unknowingly prepared him for thriller writing later in life as he witnessed political corruption at every strata of society. While stationed in East Berlin during the cold war, the East German intelligence service (Stasi) operating on behalf of their Soviet masters, published a book entitled “Who’s who in CIA (correct title), translated into several languages and with wide distribution. This propaganda effort listed Otho and was intended to claim that he was a U.S. spy. (He was not). This was part of East German and ultimately Soviet, disinformation campaign to make the work of U.S. Foreign Service officers serving abroad more difficult.

Otho Eskin has also written plays including: Act of God, Murder as a Fine Art, Duet, Julie, Final Analysis, Season in Hell, among others, which have been professionally produced in Washington, New York and in Europe.

Otho is married to writer Therese Keane and lives in Washington, D.C.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Talk: A woman’s search for purpose, treasure, and her Ojibwe heritage by Greg W Peterson – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Talk by Greg PetersonTalk is the story of Addie Young, a single woman with no known relatives. Her father dies leaving a letter of apology for his failures along with a second letter, cryptic and nonsensical—written by a civil war-era outlaw. The letter may provide directions for finding buried gold. Addie sets out to the small town of Talk, Minnesota, where she meets Jack Larson; together they start out to decode the ‘letter’. In the process, they discover Addie’s intriguing connection to an assortment of early American outlaws and a surprising ancestral relationship with the Ojibwe Nation of American Indians.

His Review:

Minnesota was a very wild area at the end of the 19th and early 20th century. Jesse James and Cole Younger terrorized the area with train and bank robberies. Talk is a story of a young woman whose ancestors came from this area and is descended from the Ojibwe people. Greg Peterson has woven an endearing tale of honesty and family heritage wrapped around a treasure hunt.

Talk by Greg PetersonA classic love story starts with a car skidding off the roadway on a sharp turn. People watch out for each other and their properties in small rural America. The chance meeting of the two is well engineered and the caution in developing the romance is a welcome change from the normal fall in bed on the first date tryst.

The hints to find the treasure are hidden in an overgrown hundred acres not cultivated in nearly eighty years. Also, the discovery of the heroine, Addie’s, roots are engaging and endearing. Not all of the Younger offspring follow the path of their parental examples. Generations later there is much to be discovered.

An old family bible gives some of the information on the roots and family history. I recall wondering about some of my own families’ history as I read Addies’ quest. People often wonder about their ancestors and it was easy to identify with the young lady and her journey.

CE Williams, first review of the year
First book of the year for CE Williams, Talk by Greg Peterson

I’ve previously read both the author’s debut novel, Newgate’s Knocker as well as his sophomore release, Lie If You Can, and can recommend both. I recommend this novel to anyone who can identify with family mysteries, the heritage and history they would like to find. 5 stars – CE Williams

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

Book Details:

Genre: Native American Literature, Cultural Heritage Fiction
Publisher: Independently published
ISBN13: ‎979-8785975835
ASIN: B09NRBTPDD
Print Length: 259 pages
Publication Date: December 16, 2021
Source: Author request
Title Link: Talk [Amazon]

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Greg Peterson - authorThe Author: Greg Peterson is a prior naval aviator, commercial airline pilot, and air traffic control specialist. He holds nearly every fixed-wing flight certificate available and is a certified ground and instrument instructor. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, USA.

Although Mr. Peterson has been published in a number of professional magazines. Newgate’s Knocker is his first full-length novel. The story is fictional, however, you may find it interesting that the historical background of the main character, Mac Macintyre is based on Mr. Peterson’s real life, and most of the aviation sequences are also taken from his flying experiences.

Mr. Peterson recently completed his second novel, Lie If You Can. A medical mystery that follows a young college professor on her search to find the person who brutally attacked her. She awakes in a hospital with little memory of the event and soon she begins to experience an unusual brain related anomaly—one which manifests in a new ability to determine a person’s truthfulness. Her condition is believably explained by an actual scientific condition known as Dual Processing. Julie develops a romantic relationship with her doctor and together they search for her attacker.

Greg Peterson is certified in seven different categories by the International Code Council and has owned and operated a professional residential home inspection company since 1999. His home inspection report supplement provides a comprehensive explanation of many common concerns reported in most home inspections. His home inspection supplement, Your Home Inspected-An Addendum For Residential Home Inspection Reports, can be purchased in Kindle, paperback or CD  form. He can be contacted by email at: gregpeterson@comcast.net

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

December Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Hello January 2022!

We had a lovely quiet Christmas day the CE and I, enjoying a small lobster tail and baked potato for dinner. (I’m well and truly tired of turkey and ham! Thinking we’ll do a repeat for New Year’s eve.) We stopped going out years ago (for NYE) and with the Covid continuing to mutate, snow and ice, no problem enjoying our cozy home and TV. That large screen provides front row seats to watch the ball drop in New York and the fireworks over Lake Michigan from Chicago. Works for us!

December always brings extra shopping and home time with decorating and packing, trips to the post office, and food planning and prep. Still, we managed fifteen book reviews for December, most from NetGalley, three audiobooks from my lovely local library. That CE is a reading machine!

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney Last to Know by Brandy Heineman Fletcher and the Blue Star by John Drake Elinor by Shanno McNear Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty Targeted by Stephen Hunter The Great Witch of Brittany by Louisa Morgan  The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain Rohm Around the Dial by Micheal Maxwell Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea City of the Dead by Jonathan Kellerman

The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly Jane Darrowfield and the Mad Woman Next Door by Barbara Ross Deception Most Deadly by Genevieve Essig Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney (audiobook)
Fletcher and the Blue Star by John Drake (a CE review)
Last to Know by Brandy Heineman (a CE review)
Elinor by Shanno McNear (a CE review)
Targeted by Stephen Hunter (a CE review)
The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain
Rohm Around the Dial by Micheal Maxwell (a CE review)
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (audiobook)
Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea (a CE review)
The Great Witch of Brittany by Louisa Morgan
The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly (a CE review)
Jane Darrowfield and the Mad Woman Next Door by Barbara Ross
City of the Dead by Jonathan Kellerman (a CE review)
A Deception Most Deadly by Genevieve Essig
Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain (audiobook)

Good News! My reading challenges have all been updated! I made and exceeded all of my goals. You can check out the challenges page by clicking the Reading Challenges page. Thinking I’ll bump everything up except the Goodreads Challenge next year.

I’m currently at 408 NetGalley reviews and updated my widget graphic to 400. I’m holding pretty steady at 96-97% feedback ratio and try not to get too crazy with looking for new books, but with so many new books being uploaded for the new year, it’s tough. I’ll update the sidebar graphic again at 420. How are you doing with your challenges?

Then, more good news! Perhaps you remember that in February 2020 I’d found and tried attending two local book clubs meeting in the afternoon, the Third Monday Book Club and Fiction Addiction, the latter of which made more sense. In my area. Closer. But just starting and stopped immediately due to the first Covid shutdown.

Well, the library is trying again having reinvented the book club and now calling it As the Page Turns Book Club AND it will be online. Strictly a digital bookclub and they picked The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller for the first selection. (Yes, it’s an Amazon #1 best seller in classic American literature, published August 2012.)

Also, the moderator issued instructions for receiving the ebook through Freading. Whaaa?? (Are you familiar with this digital book download library?) Try as I might, that was simply going to be a no-go and I gave up in frustration. So I jumped into my handy-dandy and ever available Overdrive (also Libby). Sure enough, the book was listed in both ebook and audiobook formats (on a wait list). Guess which one I chose?! Hmmm, well, this will be interesting. Wish me luck!

Have you read any of the books listed above? Encouraged to look into one you missed? I hope so!

Thank you for joining my community if you are new and thank you again to my established followers.

©2021 V Williams

My Twelve Favorite Books of 2021 – Month by Month

My Twelve Book Picks of 2021

So many great books this year, always a major challenge to whittle them down to ten. 

Therefore, I thought I’d try for one favorite per month. The CE tends to be generous, so I schooled him again on his favs.

Many five-star rated books and new authors competing with favorites. As always, a wide range of genres covers fiction in categories from action adventures and cozy mysteries to family drama, historical, suspense, and thrillers as well as several non-fiction biographical books in both ebooks and audiobooks.

Listed by month this time, thinking next year I’m going to note my No. 1 pick in the monthly recaps, hopefully making a year-end wrap-up easier. Links on titles and pics are to my full review that will also provide sale info.

Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle LewisJanDead Cat, Run by Annabelle Lewis – Such a pleasant surprise, this book. Mythology, yes, but still the ancient oft-repeated story of good versus evil. Each of the characters are powerful, engaging, emotive. “I’ll see you again, my friend, in the next life. And then, heed my words, dead cat. Run.”

The Wise Ass by Tom McCaffreytFebThe Wise Ass by Tom McCaffreyThis tale covers all the bases: humor, family, love, suspense, thriller, and the supernatural—somehow interwoven in a natural, almost believable way. Well-plotted, well-paced, and highly entertaining. The pulse-pounding climax alone is worth the price of the book, but don’t skip the rest, it’s just way too much fun. “Sorry, Sir! The Irish are fighting amongst themselves and the Lions refuse to come out.”

Search for Her by Rick MofinaMarSearch for Her by Rick Mofina – Rick Mofina begins a tale of a frantic search and a number of plot twists. As you read his tale you feel fairly certain that you know who the culprit is. This narrative would be a very good read for anyone studying criminal justice. [A CE review.]

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle CosimanoAprFinlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano – [Audiobook] Is a mystery, contract killer supposed to be funny? Yes! This one’s a hoot! I really liked Nick and Julian—great, possible romantic interests—and Vero is a keeper…Loved the backfires of the plans, the twists, the dialogue, and the way the narrator delivered the well-paced plot.

Key West Dead by Mark NolanMayKey West Dead by Mark Nolan – Mark Nolan builds a great deal of tension in this narrative. Note: This is Book 6 of the Jake Wolfe series and how many have we read? ALL OF THEM. The duo of Jake and Cody are engaging, intelligent, fast, cunning, and capable, but tender and hot at the same time! [A CE review.]

Dog Eat Dog by David RosenfeltJunDog Eat Dog by David Rosenfelt – Rosenfelt has created an attorney who, having the benefit of a substantial inheritance, has quit, or tried to several times. (He runs a dog rescue called the Tara Foundation. He loves dogs.) Andy’s self-deprecating sense [of humor] bounces between that and confirmation of his brilliance. I always love it when they get to the courtroom—there are teachable moments, intelligent and full of fancy footwork, maneuvering, not to mention some memorable acting scenes.

The Perfect Ending by Rob KaufmanJulThe Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman – This storyline fires the imagination from the get-go. 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!

The Harp and the Rose by Jean GraingerAugThe Harp and the Rose by Jean Grainger – Amazing how the author develops characters sure to mirror those of the time, fleshing them out, making them real, sympathetic. The stories are heart felt, she is passionate about her Irish history and the love of her home in Cork shines through the prose. The novel is compelling, strongly engaging, and hard to put down as the pace never waivers.

Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael ReisigSepGamblers, Fools, and Fate by Michael Reisig – I’ve read most of Reisig’s novels and enjoyed each and every one. The characters are richly drawn, infused with charm and wit while the dialogue is fresh and natural in the wild adventures you’ve come to expect in a Reisig novel. As always, a delightful escapade, one that fills my head with sights and sounds, heart-pounding exploits, the intelligence of animals, and the themes of love and life.

Daughter of the Morning Star by Craig JohnsonOctDaughter of the Morning Star by Craig Johnson – Okay, a couple things: In most Longmire novels, there is a lot of Native American involvement, the Bear usually featured prominently, and the author tends to include a lot of info about reservation life as well as supernatural or mystical stories handed down through the families by the separate tribes as to their beliefs, spiritually driven. And this one is no different. [Audiobook]

Under Pressure by Sara DriscollNovUnder Pressure by Sara Driscoll – There is more than one theme here, the bond between the handler and their canine, the amazing intelligence of a service K9, and that a family can be comprised not just of blood relatives but those closely bonded by circumstance. The novel is an easy one to fly through—you don’t want to put it down!

The Last House on the Street by Diane ChamberlainDecThe Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain – The 1965 accounts are electric, pervasive, and lead the frank, mind-blowing plot. The descriptions of the window-dominated house clashes wildly with the dark, invasive moss-covered forest surrounding it. Gradually, the two main characters stories merge, peeling away minute reveals, building tension, heartbreak, fear. The storytelling is immersive, impactful, tragic. It’s a tough read…“I wasn’t just moving from one town to another. I was moving from one world to another…”

No, not all the monthly favorites were five stars but still resonated and many five-star reads didn’t make the list—though as with every bookblogger—I tend to read my favorite authors and demure making them favorites all the time. Just know that in addition to those listed above, you can’t go wrong with an Amanda Hughes (Bold Women Series), Margaret Mizushima (Timber Creek K-9 Series), or Nevada Barr  (Anna Pigeon Series) or standalones.

Do any of these grab your interest? Read it already? Disagree with my review? I’d love to know and welcome your comments.

©2021 V Williams

Christmas bough

Look Twice (Ingrid Skyberg Book 8) by Eva Hudson – #BookReview – Women’s Detective Fiction

Book Blurb:

Look Twice by Eva HudsonA double agent. A double cross. This time, Ingrid is in double trouble.

When Special Agent Ingrid Skyberg discovers an undeveloped roll of film left behind by her predecessor in the FBI, she isn’t sure what to make of the strange photos he took. A map of Scotland, an out-of-print book, a rare bird, a cluster of Post-It notes, an office party… do these images have something to do with crimes he committed as a Russian double agent known as ‘Skylark’?

Ingrid starts digging and becomes convinced that – far from being a traitor – her predecessor was just another victim of the mysterious Skylark who has killed many times to protect his identity. When a case file she has been using is suddenly deleted from the system, Ingrid knows that Skylark is now watching her… and the race is on to find him before she becomes his next victim.

Look Twice is a high-octane spy thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, flipping the pages to find out if Ingrid can survive her most ruthless opponent yet. 

His Review:

Running for your life with a friend is brutal. Outrunning you best friend is survival. Ingrid had only been a teenager when she and her best friend were running from a killer. She had outrun her friend Megan and now Megan is dead. Guilt still lingers after twenty years. She had only seen a face in the dark and couldn’t identify the killer.

Look Twice by Ava HudsonAndy Scott is on trial for killing a number of young women. Could he be the killer? Her mother, Svetlana, is convinced she should know the killer’s face, even after twenty years! He was the potential candidate for Prime Minister and now is on trial for twelve murders. Svetlana calls at the most inopportune times during investigations. An ignored call is a personal affront from a bad daughter.

Being a successful and efficient FBI agent requires a strong support team. The team goes up and down from your position. Ingrid is very well organized but keeps having her effective assistants transferred from her. Administering her position requires her to keep a constant eye on her support staff. Zeke, her newest assistant, is enduring yet another epileptic seizure. Triggers for epileptic seizure can be something as simple as a faulty electrical connection.

An envelope of old photographs found in the ceiling is a clue to the killer. They refer to a person named Skylark! Who is this unidentified Skylark? The hunt for the identity of Skylark takes many twists and turns. Meanwhile, Svetlana gets more irritated by her daughter’s lack of attention to her phone calls. Can the case against Andy Scott be fully investigated in spite of Ingrid’s distractions?

CE WilliamsAn entertaining novel that will keep you guessing at every turn. 4.5 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.

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

Book Details:

Genre: Women’s Detective Fiction, International Mystery & Crime, Espionage Thrillers
ASIN: B099NXP3NQ
Print Length: 375 pages
Publication Date: September 6, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Look Twice [Amazon]

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Eva Hudson - authorThe Author: Eva Hudson was born and grew up on a south London council estate. Before she started writing full time, she worked as a local government officer, singer, dotcom entrepreneur, portrait artist, project manager, graphic designer, web designer and content editor.

In 2011, her first novel – The Loyal Servant – won the inaugural Lucy Cavendish fiction prize from Cambridge University. She published the first of her chart-topping Ingrid Skyberg Thrillers in 2013 and never looked back.

ABOUT INGRID SKYBERG

One of the toughest Special Agents ever to come out of Quantico Ingrid Skyberg is tenacious, resourceful, virtually indestructible and just a tiny bit out of control. Assigned to the US embassy in London, Ingrid is on the case when an American citizen gets into trouble… or winds up dead… or is accused of a crime they didn’t commit. Whether she needs to wear combat fatigues or a cocktail dress, Ingrid Skyberg always gets the job done.

She’s a strong female protagonist, perfect for fans of action-packed thrillers with a twist.

[NOTE: Eva Hudson died in 2015 of cancer. Her books, this protagonist, this series is being continued by Jo Monroe. Please see her sweet, emotional testimonial at EVA HUDSON.]

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

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