Citizen K-9: A K Team Novel by David Rosenfelt – #Audiobook Review – #AnimalFiction

Citizen K-9 by David Rosenfelt

Citizen K-9 - banner 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Paterson Police Department has created a cold case division, and they want to hire the private investigators known as the K Team to look into the crimes. After all, Corey Douglas and his K-9 partner, German shepherd Simon Garfunkel, recently retired from the force. Plus, another K Team member, Laurie Collins, used to be a cop as well.

Their first cold case hits home for the K Team. A decade ago, at Laurie’s 10th high school reunion, two of their friends simply…vanished. At the time Laurie had just left the force, and Corey was in a different department, so they had no choice but to watch from the sidelines. With no leads, the case went cold.

As the team starts to delve deeper into the events leading up to that night – reopening old wounds along the way – the pieces start to come together. But someone wants to stop them from uncovering the truth behind the disappearance, by any means necessary. 

In Citizen K-9, best-selling author David Rosenfelt masterfully blends mystery with dogs and humor to create an investigative team that listeners will be rooting for book after book. 

My Review:

Yes, this is a spin-off of one of my favorite series, Andy Carpenter, so I was a bit wary of anything that didn’t include the wise-ass attorney. However, I tried the K-Team because a number of the characters that are included in the Andy Carpenter series are featured in this one except Andy Carpenter is exchanged for retired cop Corey Douglas and Carpenter’s dogs for Simon Garfunkel, also a retired (canine) cop. (With me so far?)

But it is not Andy Carpenter by any other name.

Citizen K-9 by David RosenfeltCorey works with Laurie, also a retired cop (seriously, is there anyone left on the Paterson NJ police force?), and Laurie also happens to be Andy’s wife. AH HA, you say! Yes, a little nepotism, but this series gets a whole lot more serious.

The K Team works with the Paterson NJ police using their consultant funds to work on cold cases. Perfect. And this cold case involves two former classmates of Laurie’s, both disappearing after a high school reunion almost ten years ago.

As you can see, I haven’t lost a mystery with several dogs, as now there is one very serious German Shepherd and a favorite of the precinct. I have though lost the snarky, sarcastic wise-cracking Andy Carpenter, but I must say, Corey is growing on me despite his quirky personality. And, he may have a steady girl now—enter a budding romance.

This is not the Andy Carpenter series with one new character (minus the courtroom scenes), although you may wish to go back to Book 1 just to get the intro to Corey. I really enjoy Fred Berman’s voice as Corey, he does a great job, and Rosenfelt manages to work Carpenter in for free (cameo) legal appearances. These are complex mysteries with easy, fast, and engaging plots.

I read Book 2 February 2021, Animal Instinct, and thoroughly enjoyed it, found that it built well on the foundation set in this new series. While the concept borrows from the author’s successful characters of the Andy Carpenter series, these first three K-9s are engaging and entertaining and can be read as standalones. This one is just released and I urge you to check it out.

I received a complimentary review copy of this audiobook from the publisher and NetGalley. Thank you, thank you! These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Private Investigator Mysteries
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B094DWV1FH
Listening Length: 5 hrs 53 mins
Narrator: Fred Berman
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): Citizen K-9 [Amazon]
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David Rosenfelt - authorThe Author: David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. “Open And Shut” was his first novel; “First Degree,” his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.

[Goodreads] I am a novelist with 27 dogs.

I have gotten to this dubious position with absolutely no planning, and at no stage in my life could I have predicted it. But here I am.

My childhood was relentlessly normal. The middle of three brothers, loving parents, a middle-class home in Paterson, New Jersey. We played sports, studied sporadically. laughed around the dinner table, and generally had a good time. By comparison, “Ozzie and Harriet’s” clan seemed bizarre.

I graduated NYU, then decided to go into the movie business. I was stunningly brilliant at a job interview with my uncle, who was President of United Artists, and was immediately hired. It set me off on a climb up the executive ladder, culminating in my becoming President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures. The movie landscape is filled with the movies I buried; for every “Rambo”, “The Natural” and “Rocky”, there are countless disasters.

I did manage to find the time to marry and have two children, both of whom are doing very well, and fortunately neither have inherited my eccentricities.

A number of years ago, I left the movie marketing business, to the sustained applause of hundreds of disgruntled producers and directors. I decided to try my hand at writing. I wrote and sold a bunch of feature films, none of which ever came close to being actually filmed, and then a bunch of TV movies, some of which actually made it to the small screen. It’s safe to say that their impact on the American cultural scene has been minimal.

About fourteen years ago, my wife and I started the Tara Foundation, named in honor of the greatest Golden Retriever the world has ever known. We rescued almost 4,000 dogs, many of them Goldens, and found them loving homes. Our own home quickly became a sanctuary for those dogs that we rescued that were too old or sickly to be wanted by others. They surround me as I write this. It’s total lunacy, but it works, and they are a happy, safe group.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/davidr…
http://www.davidrosenfelt.com

Fred Berman - narratorThe Narrator: Fred Berman Hundreds of commercials, promos, and video games; over 200 audiobooks and counting; 4 time winner of the Audie Award; 11 time winner of the Audiofile Earphone Award.

 

 

 

©2022 V Williams V WilliamsTis a lucky day! four leaf clover

A Deception Most Deadly (A Cassie Gwynne Mystery Book 1 by Genevieve Essig –#BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Meet Cassie Gwynne: bookworm, cat lover, reluctant heiress… and determined detective?

Deception Most Deadly by Genevieve EssigFlorida, 1883. Cassie Gwynne is looking for a fresh start when she steps off the steamship at Fernandina harbor for the first time. She’s trying hard to be a proper lady, for once. She’s styled her unruly hair, shined her boots, and even purchased a whole new fashionable (or at least fashionably priced) wardrobe. However, she’s certain finding a body is not very ladylike behavior…

While out exploring the beautiful island with her Aunt Flora, Cassie stumbles across the body of Peanut Runkles, town grump and her aunt’s neighbor, lying at the foot of the harbor pilots’ lookout tower. To make matters worse, because Peanut and Flora have been quarreling for years over everything from Flora’s eccentric ideas to her pet pig’s fondness for Peanut’s vegetable patch, Flora is immediately arrested for murder.

Desperate to save the only family she has left, Cassie vows to prove Flora’s innocence and untangle the mystery herself, no matter how much the surly local sheriff disapproves. Cassie’s brilliant mind and nose for a clue lead her on an investigation that takes her all around the island, and even earns her a valiant furry friend in Esy the kitten.

But how does the mysterious ledger Cassie finds hidden in a secret drawer in Peanut’s desk connect to the crime? Cassie is determined to dig up the truth, but can she catch the killer before her time on the island comes to a deadly end?

This warm and witty cozy mystery will transport you to the island city of Fernandina and introduce you to a feisty heroine far before her time! Perfect for fans of Verity Bright, T E Kinsey and Deanna Raybourn.

My Review:

I usually enjoy historical cozy mysteries and was hooked by the cover and the blurb that sounded like it might be a bit different. Cassie Gwynne is an heiress (lucky her) and has discovered upon her dad’s death an aunt she never knew existed. So off she goes, to Fernandina, an island city to hook up with the only family she has left.

First, her aunt Flora is highly unusual in that she is an independent perfume entrepreneur who is an animal lover. It’s her pig that first lands her in the pokey when he goes rooting around the neighbor’s garden. Peanut Runkles is the pending victim and though no love is lost to anyone in the town, all points turn to Cassie’s aunt. Right away, you know she’s innocent—right?

A few things I enjoyed: (1) The sense of humor

“So, long as he’s paying, I’m pouring.”

(2) The animals – dogs, birds, cats, including one particular kitten, and, of course, the pig.

Deception Most Deadly by Genevieve EssigOkay, sorry. Two things I enjoyed. What I did not so much:

(1) The length of the narrative. Shouldn’t a cozy be only two-thirds this long? This is one long cozy mystery made longer because I could not get into it.

(2) The characters. So many. Support characters everywhere. A book that requires a chart to keep track of them and what the connection was. Then again, I didn’t care for most of them, including Cassie, so that point goes moot. Clearly, I must have slept through the connection to the heartthrob—or how could she have already known him? This is new territory for her.

(3) Historical questions: LOTS of gum chewing. (Where was she buying all this gum and what was in it?) Wearing a (French?) twist in her hair? Really? In 1883? Other little details that I questioned were common (or at all) in that time period.

(4) Cassie found the body fairly quickly and then due to the ineptness of the local police took another two-thirds of the book to really start making headway while it was Cassie who provided all the clues. And also the twists—not the hair kind.

Some descriptive scenes at the beginning and heavy dialogue dispensing some innocuous minutiae (clothing choices, blah, blah, blah) and the sense of humor is not sufficient to spur page-turning. Sorry, but this obviously is not a book for me. I battled my way through, started skip-reading pages, and still the mystery was no further along. At that point, neither did I care.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Two-point Five Stars Two and one-half Stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Culinary Mystery, Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery
Publisher: Bookouture
ASIN: B09M7LM6HS
Print Length: 343 pages
Publication Date: January 14, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s): A Deception Most Deadly

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble

Genevieve Essig - authorThe Author: Genevieve Essig was born in Florida but, after many years of school and other shenanigans in the northeast and midwest United States, she now calls New Orleans home. When she’s not writing historical mysteries or getting lost down research rabbit holes, she spends her time practicing law, shooting pool, performing opera and musical theater, ogling old buildings, acting for film and television, futzing with inventions that address highly specific and possibly only-annoying-to-her problems, traveling, ranting at bartenders about the evils of straws, riding horses, and petting strange cats. If you have suggestions for additional hobbies or are interested her books, please visit her website (genevieveessig.com) or connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@essigauthor).

©2021 V Williams

Christmas bough

 

All the Best Quotes by Rufus & Friends in the Road to Key West Series by Michael Reisig – #BookReview – #fictionanthologies

Rosepoint Publishing: 5 stars

Book Blurb:

All the Best Quotes by Rufus & Friends by Michael ReisigBest-selling author Michael Reisig has probably produced more profound, profane, and proverbial quotes than nearly any other writer in his class, and the following effort here, is really a wonderful, definitive collection of … Reisig… and his thirteen-book “Road to Key West” series. For the price of an order of french fries you can buy a ebook view of island life here — a few hours of Caribbean island-hopping insight in the form of clever quotes by the remarkable Rufus the Rastaman, as well as those from a gathering of other great authors, adventurers, and entertainers. All of which will make you nod your head with understanding or laugh out loud in pleasure, with nearly every page… As you walk along The Road To Key West…
As Rufus would say: Sometimes you’re the wind, and sometimes you’re the sails…
Cool Runnings, mon

My Review:

Yes! At last, one of my favorite authors has gathered a collection of favorite quotes finally answering requests from fans of the Road to Key West Series (and a number of others besides), including one from Stanley McShane (my grandfather).

All the Best Quotes by Rufus & Friends by Michael ReisigJust when you needed some humor in your life, these memorable (often touching) quotes bring a chuckle to your lips along with several LOL moments from some of your favorite characters of his popular series including Rufus, Crazy Eddie, Will, Kansas, Travis, and Cody, as well as others (including one from Paulo Coelho—I kid you not). Of his richly drawn characters, I love Rufus—always an enigmatic, engaging, and often mysterious individual armed with an appropriate saying (if not a timely prediction). But Crazy Eddie? He’s just plain lovably crazy.

“Remember, you’re not dead until someone can touch your eyeballs and they don’t flinch. Until then, you got a fighting chance.” –Crazy Eddie

“If you’re smoking after sex, you’re doing it way too fast.” –Will Bell

“Coincidence is the Grand Messenger’s way of reminding us how small the ship of life is, and that destiny sometimes has a sense of humor…” –Rufus

If you’ve never read a Michael Reisig book, whether in this series or one of his standalones, you owe it to yourself to get this little book, a great preface to his novels. It’s a wonderful collage of quotes and sayings, unforgettable moments in the novels that vicariously quench your adventurous spirit. The little pictures of the characters are endearing. Immerse yourself in the (often times philosophical) prose, his obvious love of animals, and the pure excitement of life through many heart-pounding exploits.

I was thrilled to receive a complimentary review copy of this book from Mr. Reisig that in no way influenced this review. (Visit any of my Road to Key West adventure reviews by searching this blog for Michael Reisig.)  The ebook is a bargain, but I’d suggest the print book with the graphics might make a delightful Christmas gift. A reading delight for men; a guffaw or three for women. These are my honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Fiction Anthologies, Satire Fiction, Literary Anthologies & Collections
Publisher: Clear Creek Press
ASIN: B09M99718T
Print Length: 171 pages
Publication Date: November 18, 2021
Source: Author request 

Title Link(s): All the Best Quotes by Rufus & Friends in the Road to Key West Series [Amazon]

Just released!

Michael Reisig - authorThe Author: Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 20 years. He is a former Caribbean adventurer turned newspaper editor, award-winning columnist, and best-selling novelist.

After high school and college in Florida, he relocated to the Florida Keys. He established a commercial diving business, got his pilot’s license, and traveled extensively throughout the southern hemisphere, diving, treasure hunting, and adventuring.

Reisig claims he has been thrown out of more countries in the Caribbean Basin that most people ever visit, and he admits that a great many of the situations and the characters in his novels are authentic – but nothing makes a great read like experience…

He now lives in the mountains of Arkansas, where he hunts and fishes, and writes, but he still escapes to the Caribbean for an occasional adventure.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Under Pressure (An FBI K-9 Novel Book 6) by Sara Driscoll –#BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Under Pressure by Sara DriscollFBI handler Meg Jennings and her K-9 partner, Hawk, are drawn into a case that involves a fortune in uncut gems, and an enemy whose power and ruthlessness know no bounds . . .

Diamonds are no one’s best friend when the jewels in question are smuggled conflict gems.  Meg Jennings and her Labrador, Hawk, have undertaken many search-and-rescue missions, but this case has an unusual twist. A Philadelphia syndicate is importing diamonds from war-torn African nations and selling them with fake certificates to Stateside dealers. Agent Finn Pierce of the Organized Crime Program is embedded with the syndicate, but being caught with a wire or tracking device would mean instant execution. If Meg, her partner Brian Foster, and their dogs can track Pierce to a deal location, they can break the smuggling chain while maintaining Pierce’s cover.

With the syndicate monitoring every move, it’s a risky operation with more players than Meg and Brian first assumed—on both sides of the law. And when one of their own gets caught in the line of fire, the team embarks on a desperate rescue mission, knowing that mere seconds are all that separate life and death . . .

My Review:

Yes, I do love this series and thrilled to snag Book 6, Under Pressure. Each novel is unique but getting into the storyline with Meg Jennings and her black lab, Hawk, always brings a smile to my face as I get to greet an impressive, independent old friend once again and live vicariously the choreographed work between handler and K9. The support characters, including her sister Cara, are all smart, young professionals.

Under Pressure by Sara DriscollIn this well-plotted narrative, Meg and Hawk as well as their handler partner Brian and his K9 are asked to work outside their usual Search and Rescue team when they are requested to work a cross-division collaboration involving a Philadelphia syndicate. They’ve implanted an agent into the mob, but are having problems with logistics and timing without blowing his cover. They are hoping the dogs will be able to track the players responsible for the buys of conflict diamonds hitting the local market. (Each of the chapters provide a lesson in diamond jargon—fascinating tidbits of info.)

I love how the authors strike a perfect balance between the lives of the main characters and their service animals with that of the current operation. Their lives become immersive, real.

The operation is not wholly successful at first—trial and error. Timing is key. But Meg is made and she is attacked shortly thereafter. Maybe there is something more than the mob here and they’ll have to track the source. Then an unofficial member of their team goes missing.

The novel never flags, slows down, no sags in the middle. There are action packed scenes, the dogs are in the thick of it, and the tension ramps up as further discoveries are made and pieces come together.

The conclusion, gritty and gripping, is satisfying. 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!

I’ve read Storm Rising (Book 3), No Man’s Land (Book 4), and most recently Leave No Trace (Book 5), and loved them all. Really, you can begin with Book 6, as this is a series you don’t have to start at the beginning, each can function as a standalone. I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author(s) and Kensington Books (thank you!) through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts. Currently on pre-order—go ahead and get on the list!

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Animal Mysteries, Police Procedurals, Crime Thrillers
Publisher: Kensington Books
ASIN: B08Y65J3CG
Print Length: 267 pages
Publication Date: November 30, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Jen J Danna - author
Jen J Danna – author
Sara Driscoll - author(s)
Sara Driscoll – author(s)

The Authors: Sara Driscoll is the pen name of Jen J. Danna and Ann Vanderlaan, authors of the Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries. Jen is an infectious disease researcher at a cutting edge Canadian university near Toronto, but loves to spend her free time writing the thrilling and mysterious. Ann lives in central Texas

Ann Vanderlaan - author
Ann Vanderlaan

with five rescued pit bulls, including Kane, now a certified therapy dog. She also trains with Kane for competitive nose work. You can follow the latest news on the FBI K-9 Mysteries at saradriscollauthor.com.

 

 

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Songbird (Jax Diamond Mysteries Book 1) by Gail Meath –#BookReview – #historicalmysteries

Book Blurb:

Songbird by Gail MeathMeet Jax Diamond, a sharp, sophisticated, skilled, no-nonsense private detective. Or is he? Glued to his side is his canine partner, Ace, a fierce and unrelenting German Shepherd whose mere presence terrorizes criminals into submission. Well, maybe not.

But the two of them are a whole lot smarter than they look. And they have their hands full when a playwright’s death is declared natural causes, and his new manuscript worth a million bucks is missing.

Laura Graystone, a beautiful rising Broadway star, is dragged into the heart of their investigation, and she’s none too happy about it. Especially when danger first strikes, and she needs to rely on her own ingenuity to save their hides.

Join Jax, Laura and Ace on a fun yet deadly ride during the Roaring Twenties that takes twists and turns, and a race against time to find the real murderer before he/she/they stop them permanently.

My Review:

I was absolutely taken by this gorgeous book cover and I love the period of the twenties. Women were just beginning to break out, jazz, blues, and the Charleston were the rage, prohibition in 1920 caused the rise of “speakeasies” (illegal taverns). A very colorful time in American history. And, of course, I enjoy historical fiction.

Songbird by Gail MeathLaura Graystone is the songbird, rising quickly in the musical theatre. She has the opportunity of filling the limelight when the production’s leading lady is mysteriously murdered.

Jax Diamond (what a perfect name!) is the PI, former detective, who is sure that the death of a playwright who has written a musical especially with her talent and voice in mind dies with what looks like natural causes. Not.

The first book in the series, we are gradually introduced to their backgrounds and the twenties atmosphere of New York. Jax has a formidable looking GSD he named Ace and the dog figures prominently in the storyline (which, of course, I also enjoy). Jax is multi-talented and mysterious—not revealing all about himself.

The author has tried to keep the authentic feeling of the period with both the speech (vernacular), and the sights and sounds of the prohibition era, including historic Coney Island. There are subtle sub-plots and twists and turns that keeps the reader pursuing justice.

There is a romance between the two with a cautious exploration of their relationship. Jax, however, lost his usual cool persona when there was a perceived threat to Laura, which seemed an over reaction to the situation.

The copy I received from NetGalley seemed to be an uncorrected proof as there were so many edit misses it sometimes slowed the read to visually correct either missing words, punctuation, or words used incorrectly. Otherwise, I found the storyline interesting, well-plotted and fast-paced, the characters well on their way to development, and the conclusion fitting.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mysteries, Cozy Animal Mystery
ASIN: B09HMRCVCL
Print Length: 212 pages
Publication Date: November 11, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Indie Bookstore

Gail Meath - author The Author: Award-winning author Gail Meath writes historical romance novels that will whisk you away to another time and place in history where you will meet fascinating characters, both fictional and real, who will capture your heart and soul. Meath loves writing about little or unknown people, places and events in history, rather than relying on the typical stories and settings.

The subgenres of her books vary from action-packed westerns, plot twisting murder mysteries and biographies of powerful women who defied the strict rules of society fighting for the freedom of their countries. Her romances may exclude steamy sexual scenes, yet the intensity between heroine and hero will satisfy your deepest fantasies.

Outside of writing, she spends loads of time with her husband, children and grandchildren. http://www.gailmeath.com

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Enjoy Your Weekend!

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz and Kirsten Kairos (Narrator) – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

Book Blurb:

With each of his number-one New York Times best-sellers, Dean Koontz has displayed an unparalleled ability to entertain and enlighten listeners with novels that capture the essence of our times, even as they bring us to the edge of our seats. Now he delivers a heart-gripping tour de force he’s been waiting years to write – at once a love story, a thrilling adventure, and a masterwork of suspense that redefines the boundaries of primal fear and of enduring devotion.

Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the Southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. Among dog lovers, she’s a legend for the risks she’ll take to save an animal from abuse. Among her friends, Amy’s heedless devotion is often cause for concern. To widower Brian McCarthy, whose commitment she can’t allow herself to return, Amy’s behavior is far more puzzling and hides a shattering secret.

No one is surprised when Amy risks her life to save Nickie, nor when she takes the female golden into her home. The bond between Amy and Nickie is immediate and uncanny. Even her two other goldens, Fred and Ethel, recognize Nickie as special, a natural alpha. But the instant joy Nickie brings is shadowed by a series of eerie incidents: An ominous stranger. A mysterious home invasion. And the unmistakable sense that someone is watching Amy’s every move, and that, whoever it is, he’s not alone.

Someone has come back to turn Amy into the desperate, hunted creature she’s always been there to save. But now there’s no one to save Amy and those she loves.

From its breathtaking opening scene to its shocking climax, The Darkest Evening of the Year is Dean Koontz at his finest. 

My Review:

When I first told my son I was reading a book by Dean Koontz, he said, “but Koontz is a horror writer, mom.” I explained to him that I was reading his new Jane Hawk series (including The Night Window, the fifth and final in the series) and that it was more action thriller, techno thriller. Indeed, I read the whole series, and another suspense standalone, The Good Guy. To be honest, I hadn’t read a horror book by him as I don’t read horror books.

The Darkest Evening of the YearThe one filament common to most of his books is that little edge of the supernatural and this one is no exception. That said, this one is a surprise for me but of course I was drawn to the dog on the cover with promise that it might include a canine in the storyline. It does.

Amy is apparently wealthy. She spends her time in the rescue of golden retrievers and she’s developed quite the rep—and certainly the mastery in rescue of the animals in some of the most dire situations. This time Amy rescues Nickie. Her boyfriend is horrified by the circumstances, but she successfully manages the retrieval of the dog. She has no idea she is part of a dark plan, but she does share some of her feelings regarding Nickie to her boyfriend, Brian. (Is it possible Nickie has been here before?)

What starts as eerie incidents escalate into a darker and darker chain of events that introduces Hope. POV’s switch to the head of Hope as she coyly manages her mother, something the ten year old Down’s syndrome daughter has learned to deal with. 

The antagonist charges head long into some of the cruelest, most despicable scenes of a mother imagined. The worst kind of depraved person a human can be posed against the most innocent, decent. Good versus evil personified.

While Amy separately deals with demons, they plan their perverse scheme, and it’s revealed there is more to Hope than conceived of. Indeed, if at first your heart broke for her, it just as quickly rose in pride for her astute management of the situation.

Nickie, the golden, did indeed prove herself a stout-hearted canine, more than just a beautiful companion.

Scratching my head. This is one devil of a narrative. Stomach-churning scenes at odds with triumph. My problem is the conclusion. Both the main characters as well as support barrel into the climax in one swooping, crashing plot crunch. And then it ends just as quickly. You can turn another page if you want, but the story ended. Just like that.

I’m a Koontz fan. Not a horror story fan. Most of my positive experience with this writer is the subtle, descriptive way he delivers the prose, so beautiful you can almost (almost!) forget the horrific circumstances. It’s hypnotic. And I’m compelled to look for the next Dean Koontz book.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Suspense Thrillers
Publisher:  Random House Audio
ASIN: B0010BA81O
Listening Length: 9 hrs 9 mins
Narrator: Kirsten Kairos
Publication Date: November 27, 2007
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Darkest Evening of the Year [Amazon]

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

Dean Koontz - authorThe Author: Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

The Narrator: Kristen Kairos is a New York/LA-based voice-over technician, singer, songwriter, and percussionist who has toured worldwide and recorded with a variety of artists including Julio Iglesias, INXS, and David Lee Roth. While her speaking voice can be heard on numerous radio and television commercials, as well as character voices for animation and narration for audio books, she is currently singing, writing, arranging, and playing percussion with individual musicians and bands in the New York area.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

When The Skies Cry: Heartwarming Dog Fiction (Books for Dog Lovers Book 2) by Steve N Lee –#BookReview – Pet Dogs

Happy Release Day!

Are you ready to get into the mind and reasoning of a dog?

Book Blurb:

When the Skies Cry by Steve N LeeSometimes, the one you’re saving is really saving you.

Harley loses everything when his master dies — his home, his best friend, his reason for living. Day after day, he trudges the streets, trembling from the biting cold, whimpering from the gnawing hunger.

Across town, Rachel has an alimony hearing looming and a make-or-break deadline hurtling toward her, yet they aren’t her biggest worries — her autistic son has withdrawn so far into his own private world, he barely acknowledges she even exists.

Luckily, the magic of life is in the surprises no one ever sees coming…

My Review:

When The Skies Cry is the second in the Dog Lovers book series and you’ll be glad to know the author does not resort to anthropomorphics in his descriptions of Harley. No, the POV from Harley is probably just what the canine might actually be thinking, rather than the emotions and thoughts we attribute to them.

When the Skies Cry by Steve N LeeThis story revolves around Rachel and her son Wesley who is on the extreme side of the autism spectrum. Too much for the father, Rachel is struggling with Wes on her own, including home schooling. It isn’t until Harley comes into their lives, however, that there is a dramatic change in Wes—for the good. And any change in Wes is an improvement.

Rachel is blessed with having Izzy as a friend/tenant who is immediately drawn to Harley as well but first the fear is trying to have a dog and then the fear is losing him. Meanwhile, Harley appears to have found his “new purpose.” He likes to work after all and he is very, very smart and very well trained for his former owner’s service needs.

The storyline marks Wes’s remarkable improvements at the same time tragedy strikes. I had to chuckle at one point when a brief reference to Kai from Book 1 surfaces in the narrative. There is the confusion by Harley to the changes in the household and how he puzzles through the appropriate response to solve the problem as he has interpreted it.

I was a bit surprised by the twist in the conclusion—not wholly on board with the way it was wrapped up—but in the meantime an immersive story with engaging characters. A sweet novel once again championing the bond between man (or woman) and the canine species who has been learning how to perceive and handle their humans for a long time now. They learned how to communicate. Now it’s up to us to figure out what they are saying. I really enjoyed As the Stars Fall (Book 1) and was happy to add to my “Books for Dog Lovers” list. You will too. Recommended and available now at your favorite retailer. 

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Pet Dogs, British Contemporary Literature, British & Irish Literary Fiction
Publisher: Blue Zoo
ASIN: B08MBF9NHM
Print Length: 474 pages
Publication Date: October 22, 2021 (Today!)
Source: Direct author connection 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Steve N Lee - authorThe Author: Steve N Lee has three passions: anti-heroes, animals, and travel. To date, he’s visited 60 countries and has adopted five homeless cats, but he’s yet to prowl the streets in the dead of night to beat up bad guys (though he still daydreams about doing so, but who doesn’t?).

In pursuit of adventure, he’s cage-dived with great white sharks, sparred with a monk at a Shaolin temple, and explored exotic locales such as Machu Picchu, Pompeii, and the Great Wall of China.

Fortunately, his passions fuel his fiction. He loves to pepper his action-packed thrillers with the exotic places he’s explored and the unusual encounters he’s experienced, while his dog stories glow with the love and companionship that will warm the heart of any animal lover.

He lives in the North of England with his partner, Ania, the great-granddaughter of the 1924 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and two stray black cats who visited their garden one day and liked it so much, they moved into the house. Luckily, they graciously allowed Steve and Ania to carry on living there, even allowing Steve to continue paying the mortgage to give him a sense of purpose. If you don’t read Steve’s books, the cats will not be happy — they like their house so need Steve to keep paying for it!

http://stevenleebooks.com/

©2021 V Williams V Williams

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