The Silent Witness: (Detective Amanda Steele Book 3) by Carolyn Arnold – #BookReview – #noircrime

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

It’s 4 a.m. when her mom shakes her awake. “Get up baby, we’re going to play hide and seek.” The little girl presses back into the dark space, holding her breath as she hears the shots ring out. She knows she’s next…

The Silent Witness by Carolyn ArnoldWhen the bodies of a local family are discovered on a quiet street in the small town of Dumfries, Virginia, Detective Amanda Steele takes charge of the case. Brett and Angela Parker were shot three times each, leaving no hope of survival, and their tidy suburban home has been ransacked. But there is no sign of their beloved six-year-old, Zoe.

Zoe is the same age as Amanda’s daughter was when she died, and Amanda can’t bear the thought of another little girl in danger. She’s organizing a search for the child, when she notices something strange about the ottoman at the foot of the Parkers’ bed. She opens it to find Zoe, mute and traumatized, but alive.

With Zoe completely uncommunicative, Amanda must find another way to untangle what destroyed this seemingly perfect family. It’s clear that the killer is searching for something the Parkers had, and until she has this monster behind bars, Amanda fears that he may return for Zoe. When she learns that Brett Parker cut short the family’s recent lakeside vacation, she wonders why. What happened at that lake house, and did it ultimately get them killed?

Amanda heads out to Lake Chesdin on the feeling it might be key to the case, and when she finds a cell phone in the murky waters next to the Parker cabin, she knows she’s made a breakthrough. But then terrible news reaches her from Dumfries; Zoe has been taken from her school playground.

Someone wants to silence the Parker family for good, can Amanda catch them before the little girl she’s desperate to protect pays the price?

His Review:

Brett, Angela and their daughter were in the wrong place at a bad time. How could their first family vacation turn out so wrong? Brett loved to take pictures but the pictures he took that fateful morning should not have happened. Frantically he had the women in his life hide in their master bedroom.

The Silent Witness by Carolyn ArnoldAmanda Steele is a first-rate detective who loves her job. One of the down sides of the job is investigating horrific crimes. Her working relationship with her office is basically great except for her boss. For some unknown reason her boss seems to hate her and puts her down every chance she gets

Investigating the murder scene Amanda notes they are a young couple with a child nearly the age of her own. The couple is killed by apparent professionals and the little girl is nowhere to be found. Was she staying with relatives or had she been away for a weekend with a friend? The child named Zoe is found in a storage ottoman in the dead couples’ bedroom.

The killings had occurred quickly and efficiently, but why? Thankfully her mothers’ last act was to hide the child in the ottoman. Terrified she did not make a sound and stayed totally still. The killers had overlooked her. Can Amanda keep the child safe while investigating the crime?

Ms. Arnold builds a strong case for methodical investigative tactics. Her heroine is hobbled by the responsibility to keep young Zoe safe while investigating the deaths. She is aggravated by the fact that the papers in their zeal to report sensational crimes mentioned that the child was the only one to escape the massacre.

This tale develops at a fast clip and I found it hard to put the book down. The total lack of compassion or sympathy toward the two victims and their daughter raised a deep wish for revenge against the killers. How can someone kill a young mother in the same room as their daughter with no worries about the future of the child?

Amanda had lost her own daughter in a tragic accident in which she also lost her husband! She is torn between placing the child in Child Protective Service and possibly adopting her. Zoe is her daughter’s age.

CE WilliamsThe book is compelling and I applaud the author for her skill in story telling. 5 stars – CE Williams

Certainly not the first book reviewed for this author. I also enjoyed a few of the last, including Book 1 of this series, The Little Grave. 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: Noir Crime, Serial Killers, Organized Crime Thrillers
Publisher: Bookouture
ASIN: B09236T3JF
Print Length: 324 pages
Publication Date: September 24, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Silent Witness [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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Carolyn Arnold - authorThe Author: CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has many published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Past Deeds (Brandon Fisher FBI series Book 8) by Carolyn Arnold – a #BookReview

Book Blurb:

Past Deeds by Carolyn ArnoldThe sun was just coming up, and the sniper’s hands were sweaty as she looked through the rifle’s scope to the streets eight stories below and point eight miles away. In mere minutes, the target would be dead.

A prosecuting attorney is murdered in a sniping that takes place in Arlington, Virginia, less than fifteen minutes from Washington. FBI Agent Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit are called in to investigate the threat level and to determine if the lawyer was targeted. The FBI hadn’t anticipated previous victims stretching from coast to coast.

The team splits up across the country, but more than jet lag is getting to Brandon. As their profile on the shooter takes shape, their one theory on motive strikes too close to home and has him battling with regret over a past decision. He comes to discover some choices not only haunt us but can have long- and far-reaching repercussions we couldn’t even begin to imagine. Will Brandon be able to set aside his personal issues for long enough to stop a serial killing spree before there’s another victim?

Past Deeds is a gripping psychological crime thriller that will have you flipping the pages as you try to put the clues together faster than the FBI. To stand a chance, you’ll need to unravel the psyche of a killer. This mystery will also make you think and reflect—and you just might wonder if any past decisions you’ve made are stalking you, ready to strike.

My Review:

Special Agent Brandon Fisher and new member Kelly Marsh up from the Miami PD, and Paige Dawson, join Special Agent in Charge Jack Harper of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) to investigation the sniper shooting of a prominent prosecutor. There are several POVs; Fisher is first person. Brandon is paired with Paige, which brings back painful memories of their short-lived liaison while Brandon was still married. Jack pairs with Kelly and makes sure he’s constantly on her for speaking up or volunteering any opinions. He’s over-the-top rude, cryptic, and short on directions for a newbie, preferring instead just to throw her in the water to see if she can swim with the sharks.

Past Deeds by Carolyn ArnoldThe case proceeds with tiny new crumbs leading to a possible lead and the agents split after they bring in Nadia, the technie, who discovers there were three other identical deaths spread over the US. What follows is SOP for police procedural, interviews, and making connections.

Brandon Fisher and Paige seem to be reverting to he-said/she said to settle the feelings between each other. Jack is just nasty. Kelly fills the insecure newbie role, second-guessing each of her actions and eventually being reticent to promote any new scenario.

My problem was the shifting of POVs, at times leaving me wondering who was speaking, or even what gender the person was. They didn’t feel like a “unit,” more a disjointed group muddling through personal dilemmas. Seems like they would put forth a theory and then rediscover the same possible theory several pages later.

The antagonist is ex-military, obviously suffering PTSD, but loaded with an additional “trigger” mechanism forcing the mission. The conclusion was contrived and a grievous error given the information they had on the unsub. (In the military, they would call it a “CF.)

I did enjoy a couple quotes, “Not his monkeys, not his circus…” and “‘Fortuna favet fortibus!’ Fortune favors the strong.”

My second experience with this author, the first with this series. While there was an interesting storyline, I couldn’t get into the characters and perhaps I’m just not the right person for this author. There are, however, many others who enjoy the writing style–you might be one.

Book Details:

Genre: Serial Killers, Hard-Boiled Mysteries
Publisher: Hibbert and Stiles Publishing Inc

  • ISBN-10:1988353971
  • ISBN-13:978-1988353975
  • ASIN: B07YNWNYT9

Print Length: 378 pages
Publication Date: Feb 18, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Past Deeds (Amazon link) 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Three point Five of Five Stars 3.5-stars

Carolyn Arnold - authorThe Author: CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series–Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures–and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

©2020 V Williams V Williams

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh – a Book Review

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn ArnoldTitle: The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh (Matthew Connor Adventure series-Book 2)

Genre: Currently #1342 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Men’s Adventure

Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Publication Date: To be released April 17, 2018

Source: Request from Senior Book Publicist, Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Title and Cover: The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh – Beautiful cover holds promise

“In Egypt’s Western Desert lies the tomb of an unnamed pharaoh that hides a secret so powerful, it could destroy the world as we know it.”

This is the second in the new series with protagonist archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor. He’s very successful at finding legends long thought forgotten or lost. Flirting with a power from the Emerald Tablets that promises knowledge of the universe, he MUST accept a former colleague’s invitation in the search. She has stumbled upon an Egyptian hieroglyphic map that is sure to lead them to a pharaoh’s tomb and the Emerald Tablets. Matthew’s only demand for acceptance is that his best friends (romantic interest) Robyn Garcia and Cal Myers accompany the team. Of course, it isn’t long before they realize that recovering the tablets won’t be easy and they are no longer the only ones looking for the tablets. Continue reading “The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh – a Book Review”