TV Netflix Series Pieces of Her vs #Audiobook Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter and Kathleen Early (Narrator) – #thriller

TV Netflix Pieces of Her vs Audiobook by Karin Slaughter

TV Netflix Series Pieces of Her vs Audiobook Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter 

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Intro

After having listened to the audiobook that I then learned would be a Netflix original, I patiently waited for this one to debut, which it did on Friday, March 4. Again, I’m flummoxed by the difference between the original story and the Netflix series.

So if it’s well-received as a book title or audiobook, did it also translate well to the small screen? If you’ve caught a few of my previous audiobooks versus Netflix series, you’ll note my continued bewilderment. Is this actually better? Or worse. A radical departure from the Virgin River while a faithful reproduction of Longmire. (And I really loved the characters on Longmire.)

As you’ve no doubt read or heard by now, Pieces of Her is the story of a daughter who is just discovering that her mother hasn’t always been the person she thought was her mom.

Pieces of Her the Netflix thriller was developed by Charlotte Stoudt and Lesli Linka Glatter. The director for all episodes (and there are eight in the first series) is Minkie Spiro who directed Downton Abbey and Better Call Saul and while I’ve not watched the former, a solid fan of the latter, so I was excited.

Netflix Series

Toni Collette - actressPieces of Her (in the co?) leading role is Toni Collette as Laura Oliver with Bella Heathcote as Andy Oliver (her daughter). There are a number of other actors, of course, my favorites being Omari Hardwick as Gordon Oliver and Gil Birmingham as Charlie Bass. There is a lineup of actors portraying Laura as a child and as an adolescent.

The series is adapted from the novel (same name) by Karin Slaughter who is also acting as a producer on the show.

Bella Heathcote - actressAndy (Andrea) is celebrating a 30s birthday out with her mother, Laura, in beautiful coastal Belle Isle when the quiet serene atmosphere suddenly turns tragic. While Andy freezes in horror, Laura springs to action in the protection of her daughter and is soon forced to make a deadly decision.

That split-second automatic reaction to the situation changes their lives immediately and forever.

Laura is hurt but following triage medical attention clams up and refuses to speak to anyone; not to the police, her ex (Gordan), or to Andy. To Andy, however, she barks quick instructions to speak to no one and leave. She is handed some money, a burner phone, and car keys but no explanation. YAY! So far, so good.

Well, but Andy hasn’t been doing so well with her life though; aimless, living off her mother’s generosity in her mother’s garage apartment. So I’m not sure how she can be trusted to follow the instructions.

And she doesn’t.

My Thoughts

But now, is it just me? Or did the Netflix version veer into it’s own interpretation? The constant flashbacks crippled somewhat the timeline from Laura’s childhood to the present situation, introduction of all the backstories, new characters and twists that spins wildly with 70s US history. Indeed, at times spun completely out of coherence, forcing the viewer to catch up and make connections in later scenes.

While Toni Collette (Laura) made a heroic effort at portraying a horrific history and her effort at escape, her wretched persona got a bit tiresome. Andy, what can I say about poor, dear Andy; not the brightest daughter ever to be delivered from a pseudo-protest child.

3 starsthree stars

Audiobook (Blurb)

The number-one international best-selling author returns with an electrifying novel of devastating secrets and hidden lives that probes the fraught relationship between daughters and mothers and the lengths we go to protect those we love.

Pieces of Her by Karin SlaughterWhat if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all? Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows Laura has spent nearly her whole life in the small beach town of Belle Isle, Georgia; she knows Laura’s never wanted anything more than to lead a quiet, normal life in this conventional community; she knows Laura’s a kind and beloved speech pathologist who helps others; she knows Laura’s never kept a secret in her life. Andrea knows that Laura is everything she isn’t – confident, settled, sure of herself. Feeling listless, with no direction, Andrea, unlike Laura, struggles to find her way.

But Andrea’s certainty is upended when a visit to the mall is shattered by an act of horrifying violence that reveals a completely different side of Laura – a cool woman who calmly faces down a murderer. It turns out that before Andrea’s mother was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly 30 years she’s been hiding from the woman she once was, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The assailant was a mentally troubled, teenaged scion of Georgia law enforcement royalty, and now the police want answers about what really happened in those terrifying moments at the mall. Though she’s being scrutinized at every level of the criminal justice system and her innocence is on the line, Laura refuses to speak to anyone, including her own daughter. She pushes Andrea away, insisting it’s time for her to stand alone and make a life for herself. To save her mother, Andrea embarks on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. Andrea knows that if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for her mother…or her.

Filled with intriguing turns, surprising revelations, and a compelling cast of characters, Pieces of Her is Slaughter’s most electrifying, provocative, and suspenseful novel yet.

My Thoughts

Okay, by now the well-plotted storyline has been laid out more than once. When Andy witnesses her mother in action, she is both stunned by her actions and also suffering from the disastrous circumstances that forced her mother’s reaction. She is not capable of applying what she knows about her mother with the person who so deftly ended the appalling scene. It’s shocking.

Pieces of Her by Karin SlaughterI was hooked by those opening scenes, narrated well by Kathleen Early. I quickly compared many of the headlines of the 70s to the circumstances dibbled out in little dabs, building the tension and whipping the listener from mother to daughter. As the old saying goes, make no conclusions until all the facts are disclosed, but mercy, that could be sooo slow sometimes.

Mainly told in Andy’s POV, there are the backstories, flashbacks revealing another tiny morsel of truth. Or was it the truth? Who can you trust?

The truth, the reveal, when it finally came, came as a knowing relief and combined several theories in the complex plot meant to throw the reader/listener off.

The setting is beautiful, the characters’ depths varied, most not wholly sympathic, the dialogue often blue. I listened to False Witness last year, my introduction to the author and her graphic writing style, but had to try one more. Perhaps I’ll try one in her signature series next time, rather than a standalone thriller.

4 stars  4 stars

Overall Impression

While I enjoyed the book, the tension, drama, and thrill of discovery, there were times when I lost all faith in Andy, finding her making questionable decisions more than once. I had too early formed an opinion of the circumstances, having lived through those years and headlines, and was shocked at the jaw-dropping reveal when it came. Still, I questioned some of Laura’s early handling of Andy and wondered how that might have been better.

The Netflix series, usually following their well-received formula, took a slightly different tack this time, throwing in Andy’s quick romantic interest (not unusual), but making a hash of the flashbacks. They generally work to create an equitable R-rated series, but missed building the tension this time like the book did.

This time my vote has to go to the author’s book—and it’s been out for some time–and can be found at your favorite retail outlet.

Book Details

Genre: Women Sleuth Mysteries, Police Procedural Mysteries
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio, Inc.
ASIN: B07CLKPDWL
Listening Length: 16 hrs 5 mins
Narrator: Kathleen Early
Audible Release: August 21, 2018
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Pieces of Her [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

 

Karin Slaughter - authorThe Author: Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 21 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NYT bestselling stand-alone novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and PIECES OF HER. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta. Her stand-alone novel PIECES OF HER is in development with Netflix, starring Toni Collette, and the Grant County and Will Trent series are in development for television.

http://www.karinslaughter.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKarinSlaughter/

Instagram http://www.instagram.com/karinslaughterauthor/

Twitter @SlaughterKarin

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

Info attributes, photos, and covers:
Netflixlife.com
Actress photos: Looper.com

 

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] 
Barnes and Noble
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

Rosepoint winter graphic

August Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Welcome September!

Rosepoint Reviews-August Recap

The hunt for a house for our daughter continued through July and after several offers and two failed home inspections exhausted the inventory in Missouri. The hunt for a home then progressed into Michigan. The available homes in the southern area of Michigan and slightly more temperate winters than the extremes of the Upper Penisula was very narrow and also quickly exhausted. Then, last week, the kids found a home in the southern area of Illinois.

Definitely NOT where I’d ever expected they would find the home that checked off most of their boxes. Still, it’s a cute little “dollhouse,” (real estate speak for LITTLE house) with some acreage, perfect for the two of them and their needs. The home just passed the home inspection with flying colors. Hopefully we’ll be in moving mode within weeks (even given the current crazy real estate climate which is apparently nationwide and now spreading into the rental market as well).

I’ve been trying to keep a somewhat regular posting review schedule, but social media and my graphics have suffered with little attention to either. Shamefully, I’ve resorted to shortcuts. 

We posted seventeen book reviews for August that included ARCs from NetGalley, author requests, and audiobooks from our local library.  

Funny Farm by Lauri Zaleski The long Call by Ann Cleeves Love in a Time of Hate by Matthew Langdon Cost The Ghost Camper's Tall Tales Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima The Good Guy by Dean Koontz Landscape of a Marriage by Gail Ward Olmsted Murder on Honky-Tonk Row The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly The Final Days of Abbot Montrose by Sven elvestad Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connolly The Sea Bandits by Amanda Hughes The Harp and the Rose by Jean Grainger Frigate by John Wingate The Necklace by Matt Witten Sometimes I lie by Alice Feeney Target Churchill by Warren Adler

Funny Farm by Laurie Zaleski
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves – audiobook
Love in a Time of Hate by Matthew Langdon Cost
The Ghost Campers Tall Tales by Elizabeth Pantley–Paranormal–blog tour
Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima
The Good Guy by Dean Koontz – audiobook
Landscape of a Marriage by Gail Ward Olmsted
Murder on Honky Tonk Row by Rita Morea
The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connelly
Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly – audiobook
Target Churchill by Warren Adler
The Final Days of Abbot Montrose by Sven Elvestad
The Sea Bandits by Amanda Hughes
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney – audiobook
The Harp and the Rose by Jean Grainger
Frigate by John Wingate
The Necklace by Matt Witten

Reading Challenges

I still haven’t been able to keep up with my challenges. At a 127 count on Goodreads, I am well ahead of the game on that one. And my Historical Challenge has been met, anything now is gravy. Don’t forget to check them out at #histficreadingchallenge. You can check out my challenges progress (however far behind it is) by clicking on my Reading Challenges page.

In the meantime, WordPress did another number on their free bloggers and suddenly I was unable to update any of my widgets. I have several dynamic widgets, the most active being #comingsoon and totally locked out of it, frantically wrote the “happiness engineers” a number of times before one of them finally realized what I was asking.

I don’t WANT to do block widgets but seems they are bound and determined to force the block editor. Finally, managed to get in and update the top widgit a couple days ago. Have you experienced the same problem? Finally succumbed to using blocks for everything? Am I the last holdout?

Welcome to my new followers and thank you again to all my active followers, I so appreciate your continued participation and hope this new wave of Covid and all it’s variants are not impacting you and yours.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

 

Land of Wolves: A Longmire Mystery (Walt Longmire Mysteries Book 15) by Craig Johnson – #Audiobook Review #TBT #westerns

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

Attempting to recover from his harrowing experiences in Mexico, in Land of Wolves Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is neck deep in the investigation of what could or could not be the suicidal hanging of a shepherd. With unsettling connections to a Basque family with a reputation for removing the legs of Absaroka County sheriffs, matters become even more complicated with the appearance of an oversize wolf in the Big Horn Mountains to which Walt finds himself feeling more and more empathetic.

My Review:

You all know I do love the Longmire series and while I’ve reviewed several here, have listened to many more and just enjoyed. I’m sure part of my interest lies in the narration by George Guidall, but you can’t go wrong with a Longmire episode. Also, having devoured the entire series offered on Netflix, I can now see in the minds’ eye these characters who were so well cast in the TV version.

While it’s nice to have some knowledge of the characters, you can start this series most anywhere as a standalone and quickly get up to speed. As mentioned above, I’ve listened to a number of these books, most recently Dry Bones and The Highwayman. The novels are all great, some even better, and George Guidall is consistently excellent.

Land of Wolves by Craig JohnsonWalt Longmire is back from a crushing, almost fatal, trip to Mexico to rescue his daughter Katie. He is still not back 100% physically or mentally when he discovers a sheepherder, hanging, which is labeled a suicide. Longmire is not so quick to agree and, as usual, the plot appears to go multi-level with the infusion of the wolf mystique and the age-old quarrel of ranchers, their livestock, and wolves. The Cheyenne Nation sets a spiritual aura surrounding the sighting of a lone wolf. But wolves have not been seen in Absaroka County for a very long time.

Johnson lays on the prose, waxing philosophical through Longmire, spiritually through Henry Standing Bear, Dog, and the flippant and vitriolic under-sheriff Victoria (Vic) and her unfiltered mouth. Love these characters. Longmire struggles mightily during the narrative, sometimes experiencing black-outs, periods of PTSD, as well as physical exhaustion.

The novel explores family, sacrifice, and strong atmospheric immersion into another way of life. It runs a little dark with the inner and outer struggles of Walt, but the occasional flashes of humor are splashed in irreverently as are Vic’s sexual innuendo. Well, who am I kidding? No innuendo about it. She can turn a four letter word fest into a pornographic hootenanny. So nice being back in Absaroka County, Wyoming, where the Red Pony Bar and Grill is a continuous soirée.

Book Details:

Genre: Native American Literature, Westerns
Publisher:  Recorded Books
ASIN: B07S6525LW
Print Length: 335 pages
Listening Length: 8 hrs 10 mins
Narrator: George Guidall
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Land of Wolves

Add to Goodreads

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

Craig Johnson - authorThe Author: Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix SNCF du Polar. His novella Spirit of Steamboat was the first One Book Wyoming selection. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population 25.

George Guidall - audiobook narratorThe Narrator: George Guidall is a prolific audiobook narrator and theatre actor. As of November 2014, he had recorded over 1,270 audiobooks, which was believed to be the record at the time. Wikipedia

©2021 V Williams

 

happy thursday!

Money Bear: A Nick Tanner Crime Thriller by Kerry K cox – #BookReview – #crimethriller

Rosepoint Rating: Five stars5 stars

“…the lowest branch on a big redwood is higher than the tallest branch of almost any other tree, in any other forest, on the planet?” 

Book Blurb:

Money Bear by Kerry K CoxWhen Redwoods Park Enforcement Ranger Kathleen Shepherd finds a third dead bear in the forest, its paws and gallbladder harvested, she contacts U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services for assistance. They send Nick Tanner, one of an elite cadre of undercover USFWS Special Agents.

Highly valued in Traditional Chinese Medicine, bear gallbladders fetch the type of money that attracts dangerous and desperate criminals. When the killing of bears escalates to a series of equally macabre human murders, Nick and Kathleen follow the clues that lead them into a lethal trap—all under the darkly surreal canopy of the world’s oldest known living organisms, the old-growth redwoods.

My Review:

Money Bear by Kerry K CoxOrick Enforcement Ranger Kathleen Shepherd gets in over her head when she finds the third bear killed for its gallbladder and paws. It’s obvious they have poachers harvesting bears for their valuable gallbladders used in TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine. Unfortunately, the killing has extended into human murders and Shepherd contacts the US Fish and Wildlife Service. They send Nick Tanner, a USFWS Special Agent.

Love the location of Northern California, the redwoods, the coast, such a gorgeous, uniquely wild area. The atmosphere is palpable; the well developed characters (both sides of the law) are engaging.

Gripping out of the gate, the author introduces information woven through the well-plotted narrative that is both fascinating and startling leading to the underbelly of Chinese medicine in Hollywood. The primary characters are super and I loved Tanner’s “kitty,” a blind bobcat he named Ray Charles. The prose is crafty, strongly masculine appropriate to the wild area of California, mules, wild animals. There is action, humor that lightens just a bit of the gravity, suspense, and an immersive storyline right to the conclusion. A great start to a new series and I’m looking forward to Book 2!

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Thrillers, Suspense
Publisher: Level Best Books
ASIN: B08WBXGHKT
Print Length: 323 pages
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Kerry K Cox - authorThe Author: [Kerry K Cox] When I was a kid, I didn’t want to be a policeman, or fireman, or astronaut, or major league third baseman. I wanted to be a forest ranger.

Okay, also a major league third baseman. Y’know, as a summer job.

But it turned out my inability to comprehend biochem made a career in wildlife management as realistic as my chances of starting for the Dodgers.

So, after four years at Oregon State University I declared myself graduated, and returned home to Southern California. There I taught swimming, karate, and pre-school while I sold articles to various magazines, wrote children’s shows for The Disney Channel, and eventually became a full-time writer.

And because one of my childhood dreams lives on, I now write novels focused on the dark underworld of wildlife trafficking, and work with various wildlife, marine mammal, and feral cat/kitten groups as a rescue volunteer along California’s Central Coast.

I’m still waiting on that call from the Dodgers.

I live by the ocean in Cambria, California with my wife and a clowder of cats.

©2021 V Williams – V Williams

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr – #Audiobook Review – #suspense – #TBT

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr

Book Blurb:

From the vivid opening vista, high in craggy mountains, to the final haunting glimpse of a moonlit canyon, Nevada Barr’s first mystery, Track of the Cat, instantly caught the attention of readers and reviewers. Its popularity gained it both an Agatha and an Anthony Award.

The young naturalist, Anna Pigeon, has moved to the Southwest wilderness to be a park ranger. There, her days are filled with the physical demands of working in the Guadalupe Mountains and the satisfaction of living in this splendid land. Her peace is shattered one morning, though, when she discovers the body of another ranger deep in Dog Canyon. How did the usually cautious woman die? Although at first the evidence indicates an attack by a mountain lion, Anna soon suspects that there are craftier predators afoot in the wild grasses.

Fast-paced suspense and sharply defined characters will immediately sweep you up in the force of this compelling mystery. By the end, you’ll be nodding in satisfaction at the final twist and anticipating the next book in the Anna Pigeon series. Narrator Barbara Rosenblat’s performance highlights Anna’s savvy courage and determination to catch her prey.

My Review:

Hoping you are sitting down, though not necessary to clutch your heart. Yes, this is Book 1, the beginning of the Anna Pigeon series. Okay, okay, settle down. I did decide to go back to Book 1—on purpose—to see how the whole thing started.

If I had to be honest, Anna Pigeon isn’t exactly a protagonist you’re gonna love. She can feel detached, above it all. She wears blinders and unless the narrative is following her philosophy, she’s not into it. The quintessential maverick, oh, so attractive on the “bad boys,” but not at all on an independent female. Why doesn’t she just conform?

Track of the Cat by Nevada BarrYes, I was attracted to this series because it takes place at various national parks across the US. Oh, I love the descriptions of the parks, winter or summer, the indigenous species, the topo, the uniqueness of the park and the people. Ranger Anna Pigeon detects that her fellow ranger was not killed by a mountain lion—a set up—with the lion taking the defenseless fall. Poor thing.

I’ve read several others in this series, the last being Boar Island. She really doesn’t change. Her sister is an interesting character, also extremely independent, a NY head shrinker. Dang! Those must have been some parents!!

This one is set in the Guadalupe Mountains Nat’l Park in West Texas, dry, hot, arid desert conditions. Just about monsoon season. I’ve been in similar unforgiving conditions .Even in good physical condition, a major challenge, but Ranger Pigeon finds herself in death defying conditions while investigating the circumstances around the death of a fellow female ranger.

As always, I particularly enjoy narrator Barbara Rosenblat’s narration putting you on the edge, hanging on by fingernails into the conclusion. I do enjoy these novels, particularly the autdiobooks and feel each can be read as a standalone.

Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuth Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher:  Recorded Books
ASIN: B0002T8XKS
Listening Length: 8 hrs 27 mins
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat
Publication Date: July 29, 2004
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Track of the Cat [Amazon] 

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4 stars

The Author: Nevada [BNevada Barr - authorarr] was born in the small western town of Yerington, Nevada and raised on a mountain airport in the Sierras. Both her parents were pilots and mechanics and her sister, Molly, continued the tradition by becoming a pilot for USAir.
Pushed out of the nest, Nevada fell into the theatre, receiving her BA in speech and drama and her MFA in Acting before making the pilgrimage to New York City, then Minneapolis, MN. For eighteen years she worked on stage, in commercials, industrial training films and did voice-overs for radio. During this time she became interested in the environmental movement and began working in the National Parks during the summers — Isle Royale in Michigan, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and then on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi.
Woven throughout these seemingly disparate careers was the written word. Nevada wrote and presented campfire stories, taught storytelling and was a travel writer and restaurant critic. Her first novel, Bitterweet was published in 1983. The Anna Pigeon series, featuring a female park ranger as the protagonist, started when she married her love of writing with her love of the wilderness, the summer she worked in west Texas. The first book, Track of the Cat, was brought to light in 1993 and won both the Agatha and Anthony awards for best first mystery. The series was well received and A Superior Death, loosely based on Nevada’s experiences as a boat patrol ranger on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, was published in 1994. In 1995 Ill Wind came out. It was set in Mesa Verde, Colorado where Nevada worked as a law enforcement ranger for two seasons.
The rest is, shall we say, HISTORY! Nevada’s books and accomplishments have become numerous and the presses continue to roll, so in the interest of NOT having to update this page, books, awards, status on the New York Times Best Seller List — and more — will be enumerated with the relevant books else where on this website.

Barbara Rosenblat - narratorThe Narrator:   Barbara Rosenblat has been narrating for more than 20 years, and even had the honor of performing the first book ever recorded at Audible in 1999.

She has also appeared on screen such as in the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black as Miss Rosa. Rosenblat was born in London, England and raised in New York City. Upon returning to the US, she read books to the blind for four years at the Library of Congress.[2] On Broadway she appeared in The Secret Garden and Talk Radio. Barbara Rosenblat has narrated more than 400 audiobooks.

©2021 V Williams –

Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle Lewis – a #BookReview – #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

You’re where you’re meant to be. Run if you can.

Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle LewisHigh school senior Jenny Gallagher’s psychic abilities have made life in her small New England town a rocky one. Her premonitions and déjà vu have given her a reputation, but not one she’s happy with. Tragedy is about to strike again however, and this time she oddly doesn’t see it coming. Is her gift betraying her? Now what’s happening?

Not far from Jenny, Wellesley Professor Maximus Dyer also has a gift. To his thinking, a painful and useless one. Able to see the past, his ability has brought him insight into the field of history, but other than that, he’s never known what to make of it. Overwhelmed by the physic shocks his unprotected hands receive through touch, he’s frustrated that his secrets have made any deeply real, human relationships literally beyond his grasp. But someone new enters his life who doesn’t trigger a vision. A dog?

Sidrah Keeling runs determinedly optimistic through her life trying hard not to ask the big questions. Her foresight, her ability to see glimpses of the future in her dreams, often drive her to follow a path she doesn’t understand, but she listens to them. Recognizing that the guardrails of security she’s erected around her doesn’t mean she’s in control, she reluctantly stays alert, waiting for answers, uncertain if she’ll ever find them.

Lurking deep in his sensory deprivation tank, Turner Black sees it all. Born out of the great chaos of time, he once again feels the forces of good gathering to move against him. Not in this life. This time, his darkness would reign supreme. The hunt for his antithesis would begin again now. He couldn’t wait to feel his opponent in destiny bleed.

My Review:

Yikes! I do some into some douzies! This one set an immediate hook and it was all over until read. I couldn’t find it on Amazon—would the genre be classified as a mystery? Thriller? Suspense? Paranormal? Paranormal mystery thriller. But it doesn’t end at mystical as there might be roots in Greek mythology. An introduction to sibyls—oracles and prophecies of a god.

Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle LewisSuch a pleasant surprise, this book. Mythology, yes, but still the ancient oft-repeated story of good versus evil. A teenager labeled odd and shunned throughout most of her early school years (learned the hard way not to foretell), and two thirty-somethings—a self-made woman cashing in (but sparingly—just sparingly) on her abilities to see the future; and the man, a history professor who wears gloves to ward off the histories of those he touches with his bare hands. (It’s the nineteen-year-old who is labeled “Destiny.”)

Those who believe there is no such thing as coincidence—don’t we have evidence of that phenomenon all the time. The odds so enormous you wonder if the gods aren’t playing with you. In this case, the three are put together carefully, one at a time, the chapters playing with the reader paralleling the timelines, drawing them together.

Each of the characters are powerful, engaging, emotive. Did I mention the Golden? Way too intuitive to be a normal canine—Bones—is a delightful character.

Together they seek to find the reason they are brought together. But as the forces of good gather strength, the evil one watches them and sees his chance to take them all down in a modern-day battle that will see his darkness, this time, win.

 “I’ll see you again, my friend, in the next life. And then, heed my words, dead cat. Run.”

The storyline just whips along, sweeping the reader with it, chapters trading advances into the well-plotted, fast-paced conclusion. No, I’m beginning to note just the tiniest hole in the evil one’s plan; Turner Black hasn’t reckoned with Bones—no ordinary dog—Black was busy trying to manipulate the humans. WHERE did that dog come from? I’m still clearing the dust from the conclusion—we were already stretching disbelief—but something there was just a bit too tidy.

This is just quirky enough to catch the imagination. (Some adult language.) FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest opinions. High entertaining and recommended.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Mystical, Crime Thriller, Suspense
ISBN: 9781734375
Publication Date: March 1, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 
Title Link: Dead Cat, Run [Amazon]

Annabelle Lewis - authorThe Author: Annabelle Lewis lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Regrettably? Perhaps. She still believes she’s a Texan even though the math no longer supports that. Nor her birthplace. Nor her residence. No offense, Minnesota. You’ve got your good points too, but only about six months of the year.

In her youth, Annabelle was a complete failure. Ask anyone who knew her. Any of her teachers and family would tell you this. High school graduation was a sad day for all when Annabelle walked proudly off the high school stage, her thoughts consumed with boys, beer, and after-parties, and later into the arms of her parents. Her father’s laughter and singular remark? “I didn’t think you’d make it. Get a job at the post office, they have a good retirement plan.”

A high bar and words to live by, but Annabelle wanted more. She needed to flunk out of college too. But damn, she sure did have a good time. Arrest records not-withstanding, it was a growth period for our girl. And if you look closely, you’ll see a bit of what was to come when she majored in criminal justice. Her lifelong aspiration was to become a judge. Hmm.

For better or worse, Annabelle didn’t graduate from college, but did find gainful employment and a fulfilling career. This path ended when she became a mom. Married to her wonderful George, who to this day can hardly remember an actual proposal, Annabelle finally became a mother. She didn’t have a clue how hard she would need to work to keep those self-imposed requirements of Downey-fresh, iron-pressed sheets, home baked meals, and mom-of-the year awards arriving. She composed a small self-affirmation song and made her children sing it to her for money. She was a very good mom.

After clearing the largest hurdles of motherhood and regrettably, begrudgingly, and not-without-tears, launching her children onto the world, she looked around and realized she had a lot to say. Picking up a laptop, she got to work.

Annabelle spends her days continuing to tackle the challenges of motherhood, for both her humans and canines. She also writes. And reads. And cleans. And cooks. And bakes. And cleans again. She also supports her husband, George, in an administrative capacity. Not necessarily in the home, but for their small business. She’s in charge of payroll and cuts George’s checks. This leads to no marital acrimony.

At the beginning, with the blank page staring at her and possibly in a hostile mood after being literally mauled by a dog and by the world in general, she had an idea. What if she could wield a force of good upon unsuspecting evil-doers? What if she had the resources to get the job done without dealing with committee and anyone else’s whiney-ass opinions?

It was gold. It took off. Annabelle sat down and began to write and couldn’t stop. To date, having written almost a million words in the Carrows Family Chronicles, several items have become quite clear. Annabelle had a lot to say. Annabelle really enjoys writing. And although she hates all things technology, she begrudgingly pounds her head on her desk daily as obstacles are put in her path. Almost a hero.

Since adopting the Carrows Family and becoming one with them in her mind, she has rebelled against all intrusion of real-world responsibilities. Her house is a mess, but she tries. Her family is fed, but more often than not, on takeout. She vows to shower every day, but no, it’s a vow she’ll never keep. Her friends are neglected, but not in her heart.

Leave her alone or you’ll end up in her blog. Annabelle Blogs is another communication vehicle she uses to not only rant at the world, but at her family. She regularly sets them up for failure when they forget to read her diatribes and report back their response in a timely manner. Shame on you, Annabelle. They’re good people and they have to live with you.

The Carrows are her second family. They are on the streets as we speak, deceptively and cleverly taking out the bad guy. And he doesn’t see them come. https://www.theannabellelewis.com

©2021 V Williams

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