Swamp Story by Dave Barry – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times bestselling author and actual Florida Man Dave Barry returns with a Florida caper full of oddballs and more twists and turns than a snake slithering away from a gator.

Swamp Story by Dave BarryJesse Braddock is trapped in a tiny cabin deep in the Everglades with her infant daughter and her ex-boyfriend, a wannabe reality TV star who turned out to be a lot prettier on the outside than on the inside. Broke and desperate for a way out, Jesse stumbles across a long-lost treasure, which could solve all her problems—if she can figure out how to keep it. The problem is, some very bad men are also looking for the treasure, and they know Jesse has it.

Meanwhile, Ken Bortle of Bortle Brothers Bait and Beer has hatched a scheme to lure tourists to his failing store by making viral videos of the “Everglades Melon Monster.” The Monster is in fact an unemployed alcoholic newspaperman named Phil wearing a Dora the Explorer costume head. Incredibly, this plan actually works, inspiring a horde of TikTokers to swarm into the swamp in search of the monster at the same time villains are on the hunt for Jesse’s treasure. Amid this mayhem, a presidential hopeful arrives in the Everglades to start his campaign. Needless to say, it does not go as planned. In fact, nothing in this story goes as planned. This is, after all, Florida.

My Review:

What a breath of fresh air and a major hoot to boot! I love it when I can get my hands on a Dave Barry book. So much fun you can’t put it down. I also knew this one had to be shared with the CE, so his review is below.

SOOO much to write about, it’d be easy to give away too much, but by the blurb you already know it is about Jesse Braddock and her treasure discovery. She is living in a tiny Everglades cabin with egocentric Slater, a pretty boy who is the father to her infant daughter Willa. Not bad enough she is stuck here with Slater, but now he’s taken in a cohort, Kark, also not large on brains or abilities.

Meanwhile, Ken Bortle of Bortle Brothers Bait and Beer is busy hatching another hair-brained scheme to lure tourists to the long-since failed business he inherited with his brother, Brad. Only Dave Barry could develop these misfit characters as they concoct yet another fantastic idea to make their millions. The idea is so stupid, so idiotic, that it’s sure to get shut down immediately by their buddy Stu but it seems Stu likes the idea. Ken is going to attract tourists by making a video of the “Everglades Melon Monster” and they already have someone in mind to play the melon monster.

Swamp Story by Dave BarryNow it gets even more complicated: There are the bad guys out in the swamp looking for treasure and even worse guys looking for Jesse who found it. Hey, it’s Florida, the Everglades, the swamp, wild boars, alligators. Barry knows how to heap on the absurd with satirical bits of side-splitting observations, LOL analogies, and dialogue dead on to the character; the characters so real you want to either give them a hug or kick some behind. It quickly goes from crazy to wild and dangerous and hilariously tongue-in-cheek.

“That’s Buddy,” said Skeeter. “He’s my emotional support boar.”

This is a book loaded with twists, unique atmospherics, and an outrageously imaginative plot. Engaging, entertaining, and totally recommended. LOVED IT! 5 stars

His Review:

Dumb and Dumber meet the Three Stooges in this slapstick adventure in the Florida Everglades. A struggling business; Bortle Brothers Bait and Beer is trying to drive business to their store. They devise a plan to create a viral video of a “swamp monster.”

Dave Barry is a classic writer who weaves average intellect with personal avarice and jealousy. Between enjoying various illegal substances and devising a script for their story, Ken’s prime motivator is cash flow. Almost losing the store, Ken and his cohorts decide there needs to be a swamp monster that is being investigated by them. The dialogue between these individuals is absolutely hilarious as well as idiotic. A few bucks is all that it takes to motivate the participants.

The plot thickens when a young beauty stumbles across some Civil War gold hidden in Everglades National Park. She is trying to dump the father of her child who turns out to be a real dirtbag. He has already blown through her inheritance and left her nearly barefoot and penniless.

Brad is another character. He is unable to put together a coherent thought when Jesse is around and has fallen head over heels for her. He helps with her daughter while she tries to get the treasure. She is not sure who she can trust.

The video goes viral with the first installment of the search for the swamp monster. I kept laughing as I waded through the antics of the head of the Department of the Interior, the local news agencies, and the instigators. Read and laugh along with this hilarious tale. 5 stars – CE Williams

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from #Simon&Schuster and the author through @NetGalley that in no way influenced either review. These are our honest thoughts.

Definitely a #nottobemissed novel releasing next year, currently on pre-order, and our recommendation for a book that is engaging and humorously entertaining.

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Book Details:

Genre: Dark Humor, General Humorous Fiction, Humorous Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ASIN: B0BHTPVBCY
Print Length: 320 pages
Publication Date: May 2, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Dave Barry - authorThe Author: The New York Times has pronounced Dave Barry “the funniest man in America.” But of course that could have been on a slow news day when there wasn’t much else fit to print. True, his bestselling collections of columns are legendary, but it is his wholly original books that reveal him as an American icon. Dave Barry Slept Here was his version of American history. Dave Barry Does Japan was a contribution to international peace and understanding from which Japan has not yet fully recovered. Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys is among the best-read volumes in rehab centers and prisons. Raised in a suburb of New York, educated in a suburb of Philadelphia, he lives now in a suburb of Miami. He is not, as he often puts it so poetically, making this up.

Dave’s most recent books are “Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland,” and “Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog.” His next book, “A Field Guide To The Jewish People,” which he co-wrote with his friends Adam Mansbach and Alan Zweibel, will be published September 24. Dave is not Jewish, but Adam and Alan are, so it’s kosher.

©2022  The CE and I

The Trackers by Charles Frazier – #BookReview – #historicalfiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Cold Mountain and Varina, a stunning new novel that paints a vivid portrait of life in the Great Depression

Hurtling past the downtrodden communities of Depression-era America, painter Val Welch travels westward to the rural town of Dawes, Wyoming. Through a stroke of luck, he’s landed a New Deal assignment to create a mural representing the region for their new Post Office.

The Trackers by Charles FrazierA wealthy art lover named John Long and his wife Eve have agreed to host Val at their sprawling ranch. Rumors and intrigue surround the couple: Eve left behind an itinerant life riding the rails and singing in a western swing band. Long holds shady political aspirations, but was once a WWI sniper—and his right hand is a mysterious elder cowboy, a vestige of the violent old west. Val quickly finds himself entranced by their lives.

One day, Eve flees home with a valuable painting in tow, and Long recruits Val to hit the road with a mission of tracking her down. Journeying from ramshackle Hoovervilles to San Francisco nightclubs to the swamps of Florida, Val’s search for Eve narrows, and he soon turns up secrets that could spark formidable changes for all of them.

In The Trackers, singular American writer Charles Frazier conjures up the lives of everyday people during an extraordinary period of history that bears uncanny resemblance to our own. With the keen perceptions of humanity and transcendent storytelling that have made him beloved for decades, Frazier has created a powerful and timeless new classic.

His Review:

Being the oldest child and beautiful is not always a blessing. Eve is forced out of the house in her teens when her family has too many mouths to feed and no money during the depression. The early nineteen-thirties were a very difficult time for everyone in America.

The Trackers by Charles FrazierEve got her degree in survival in the camps of the depression population and rode the rails from place to place to find work. She picked fruit in all areas of the United States until she met Mr. Long. They were soon married but she still sang in local honky-tonks and was admired by many. With her marriage, Eve was no longer struggling and moving with the seasons and the railroads.

Valentine Montgomery Welsh is hired to paint a mural in the local post office. He is introduced to the Longs and offered free rent in one of their ranch-hand cottages. Everything is going well and the mural is nearly finished when the straw boss of the ranch corners Val and asks him where Eve is. Thus follows the major adventure of the book.

Val covers all four corners of the state looking for Eve to bring her home to Mr. Long. The country is fairly lawless during the thirties and tracking a runaway is fraught with danger. Some people are happy to help Val in his search, while others would just as soon dispatch him. One of these characters is Faro who is very big and very mean. He and Val attain a truce while they scour the country looking for the missing Mrs. Eve Long.

CE WilliamsThis story is entertaining and irresistible! I was engaged both by the plot and also the ruthlessly depicted characters. Enjoy! 5 stars – CE Williams 

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. Currently on pre-order.

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Book Details:

Genre: US Historical Fiction, Historical Literary Fiction, Small Town & Rural Fiction
Publisher: Ecco
ASIN: B0B6JSJQLH
Print Length: 320 pages
Publication Date: April 11, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Trackers [Amazon]

 

Charles Frazier - authorThe Author: Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and is the award-winning author of bestselling novels COLD MOUNTAIN, THIRTEEN MOONS, NIGHTWOODS, and VARINA. His latest novel, THE TRACKERS, will be released April 11, 2023 from Ecco and is available for preorder now.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams

Rosepoint Recommended-5 Stars

Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

“…Presbyterian church, where some folks go to get right with the Lord and others go to be seen going.”

Book Blurb:

From Jeannette Walls, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle, comes a riveting new novel about an indomitable young woman in Virginia during Prohibition.

Most folk thought Sallie Kincaid was a nobody who’d amount to nothing. Sallie had other plans.

Hang the Moon by Jeannette WallsSallie Kincaid is the daughter of the biggest man in a small town, the charismatic Duke Kincaid. Born at the turn of the 20th century into a life of comfort and privilege, Sallie remembers little about her mother who died in a violent argument with the Duke. By the time she is just eight years old, the Duke has remarried and had a son, Eddie. While Sallie is her father’s daughter, sharp-witted and resourceful, Eddie is his mother’s son, timid and cerebral. When Sallie tries to teach young Eddie to be more like their father, her daredevil coaching leads to an accident, and Sallie is cast out.

Nine years later, she returns, determined to reclaim her place in the family. That’s a lot more complicated than Sallie expected, and she enters a world of conflict and lawlessness. Sallie confronts the secrets and scandals that hide in the shadows of the Big House, navigates the factions in the family and town, and finally comes into her own as a bold, sometimes reckless bootlegger.

You will fall in love with Sallie Kincaid, a feisty and fearless, terrified and damaged young woman who refuses to be corralled.

My Review:

The 20s was such a tumultuous time in our country, flappers and Prohibition playing a major role until the Depression hit. Sallie Kincaid is the daughter of a wealthy land and business owner. He doesn’t just rule the home roost but the rural Virginia county folk as well.

Sallie Kincaid lost her mother when she was very young and was quickly sent away by her step-mother to live with a destitute aunt after an accident involving her little half-brother. The existence was hand to mouth during which time she did what she could to help her aunt buy food including scrubbing soiled sheets. When at last she is allowed to return to the family home nine years later following her step-mother’s death, she is blown over by the opulence, the size, and the enormity of the Kincaid holdings.

It’s not a bed of roses for Sallie, however, when additional family members make it clear she is there to help care for her brother. Unfortunately, given Sallie’s proclivities and her natural forthright habits and strong opinions, she appears to be more comfortable in an enforcer/collection position than that of nurturing. Through a series of unforeseen tragedies, she is suddenly thrust into the position of heading the Holdings.

The Holdings of course are driven by the illegal sale of spirits and who does a better job at making whiskey than these mountain people with their stills? But the mountain people have a stranglehold on their grudges as well as their illegal activities. (You’ve heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys?)

Hang the Moon by Jeannette WallsThe novel tackles a number of issues from complicated family secrets and the woman’s position in the family to moral and religious passion, bootlegging, and gang wars. Sallie is a strong female protagonist. I applauded her triumphs and understood her attitude but hoped it would soften. It didn’t. It’s a complex and classic study of a culture peculiar to the area. I hoped for a better conclusion and was disappointed.

Nonetheless, the narrative is engaging and highly entertaining, the voice authentic not just to the time but to the geographical area. I loved hearing a few of those words I heard as a child—fun words like hifalutin. You just don’t hear those descriptive, clean words anymore. A couple of my favorite quotes:

“…the whiskey makers were always the heroes and the revenuers were always the villains.”

“…folks call it firewater, mule kick, tangle leg, ruckus juice, rise-n-shine, hooch, preacher’s lye, and panther piss…”

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. Currently on pre-order.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Biographical Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Publisher: Scribner
ISBN-10: ‎ 1501117297
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1501117299
ASIN: B0B3Y5Q75C
Print Length: 368 pages
Publication Date: March 28, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Jeannette Walls - authorThe Author: Jeannette Walls was born in Phoenix, Arizona and grew up in the American Southwest and Welch, West Virginia. She graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York for twenty-five years, writing for New York Magazine, Esquire, and MSNBC. Her memoir, The Glass Castle, has been a New York Times bestseller for more than eight years, has been translated into more than thirty languages and was made into a film starring Brie Larson. She is also the author of the best-selling novels The Silver Star and Half Broke Horses, which was named one of the ten best books of 2009 by the editors of the New York Times Book Review. Her new novel, Hang the Moon, will be published by Scribner in March 2023. Walls lives in central Virginia with her husband, the writer John Taylor.

©2022 V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Devil’s Way (Kate Marshall Book 4) by Robert Bryndza – #BookReview – #privateinvestigatormysteries

Book Blurb:

Kate Marshall’s investigation into a young boy’s disappearance sends her down an unexpectedly twisted path in a riveting thriller by multi-million bestselling author, Robert Bryndza.

Devil's Way by Robert BryndzaWhen Private Investigator Kate Marshall is rushed to hospital after being pulled into a riptide current in the sea, the near-death experience leaves her shaken. During her recovery, she befriends Jean, an elderly lady on the same ward. Jean tells the harrowing story of how her three-year-old grandson, Charlie, went missing eleven years ago during a camping trip on Dartmoor.

By the time Kate is well enough to go home, she’s agreed to take on the case, but when Kate and her trusty sidekick Tristan start to look at the events of that fateful night, they discover that Jean has a dark past that could have put Charlie in jeopardy.

Was Charlie abducted? Or did he fall into Devil’s Way? A rushing river that vanishes into a gorge close to where they were camping.

When Kate and Tristan discover that a social worker who flagged concerns about Jean and her daughter was found brutally murdered shortly after Charlie vanished, it makes them question everything they thought they knew about the family…

Filled with twists and turns, Devil’s Way is the fourth Kate Marshall novel and the most gripping and satisfying yet!

His Review:

Three-year-old Charlie disappeared from a tent in Dartmour Nat’l Park just after three o’clock in the morning. His mother, Jean, had just stepped out for a cigarette and Charlie was quietly sleeping in the tent. Searching everywhere resulted in no clues. Could he have wandered through high grass to the ravine called Devils Tor’? Jean is frantic to find him.

Devil's Way by Robert BryndzaThe local constabulary and a myriad of volunteer searchers can find no trace of the boy. If the boy wandered into the ravine he would have surely drowned. After an exhaustive search of the area, the search was called off. Jean is without her dear son and beside herself.

Eleven years later Jean is still sick at heart over the failure to find her boy. She feels the police gave up the search far too soon and nobody was intent on continuing the quest. Charlie had simply fallen off the face of the earth. How could this have happened in the time it took to smoke a cigarette?

Jean pays a fledgling detective agency a retainer and explains the entire story. Kate Marshall, a former detective with the police department and her associate Tristen Harper are assigned the task of finding out what happened to Charlie. The trail is past cold and the clues meager. Can they find the missing boy?

The author writes an engaging tale of the loss of an only child. Ineptitude by the local police department added to the mother’s frustration. This story points out the frustration that anyone who has a child go missing would face. The private detectives, however, having few cases can devote the necessary time to give it a full investigation as well as resources they can tap.

CE WilliamsI read and greatly enjoyed Darkness Falls last November. Although this narrative is compelling, it tends to redundancy and slows the pace somewhat. 4 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Private Investigator Mysteries, Serial Killer Thrillers
Publisher: Raven Street Publishing
ASIN: B0B5FNBHF9
Print Length: 346 pages
Publication Date: January 12, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Devil’s Way [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble

 

Robert Bryndza - authorThe Author: Robert Bryndza is an international bestselling author, best known for his page-turning crime and thriller novels, which have sold over five million copies.

His crime debut, The Girl in the Ice was released in February 2016, introducing Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster. Within five months it sold one million copies, reaching number one in the Amazon UK, USA and Australian charts. To date, The Girl in the Ice has sold over 1.5 million copies in the English language and has been sold into translation in 29 countries. It was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller (2016), the Grand prix des lectrices de Elle in France (2018), and it won two reader voted awards, The Thrillzone Awards best debut thriller in The Netherlands (2018) and The Dead Good Papercut Award for best page turner at the Harrogate Crime Festival (2016).

Robert has released a further five novels in the Erika Foster series, The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood and Deadly Secrets, all of which have been global bestsellers, and in 2017 Last Breath was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Mystery and Thriller. Fatal Witness, the seventh Erika Foster novel, has just been published.

Most recently, Robert created a new crime thriller series based around the central character Kate Marshall, a police officer turned private detective. The first book, Nine Elms, was an Amazon USA #1 bestseller and an Amazon UK top five bestseller, and the series has been sold into translation in 18 countries. The second book in the series is the global bestselling, Shadow Sands and the third book, Darkness Falls.

Robert was born in Lowestoft, on the east coast of England. He studied at Aberystwyth University, and the Guildford School of Acting, and was an actor for several years, but didn’t find success until he took a play he’d written to the Edinburgh Festival. This led to the decision to change career and start writing. He self-published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels, before switching to writing crime. Robert lives with his husband in Slovakia, and is lucky enough to write full-time.

You can find out more about Robert and his books at http://www.robertbryndza.com

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams

Enjoy Your Sunday!

The Sandcastle Hurricane by Carolyn Brown – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Family, wounded hearts, and a Texas bed-and-breakfast are in need of repair in New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown’s inviting novel about down-home comfort and second chances.

The Sandcastle Hurricane by Carolyn BrownCousins Tabby and Ellie Mae are due for a change. Running their aunt’s beachfront bed-and-breakfast in Sandcastle, Texas, is just the thing to shake things up…though their lives spin out of control in more ways than one when a hurricane barrels into the coastline. It’s a miracle it didn’t carry them off to Kansas. Not so lucky are the assisted-living center and a small eclectic group of local folks who take shelter with the cousins.

Two estranged sisters, rowdy as a circus, need a referee for a battle that goes back decades. And a pair of veterans, best friends for years, hash out bittersweet old times. There’s also handyman Alex LaSalle and his business partner, Ricky, experts at repairing the hurricane’s damage—and at making Tabby’s and Ellie Mae’s hearts beat a little faster.

As unpredictable, crowded, and stormy as it gets, the Sandcastle B and B is still the perfect harbor for healing past wounds, finding romance, and making up for lost time. Add in Tabby’s homemade pecan pie, and the Texas shore feels like a little slice of paradise.

My Review:

Ah, a novel of damaged souls bound together in the face of nature’s forceful notice that there are worse things out there. Time to count the blessings and coincidentally this is the perfect time of year to do that.

The Sandcastle Hurricane by Carolyn BrownCousins Tabby and Ellie May have had their full share of tragedy and the timing is right for their Aunt Charlotte to sign over her beachfront B&B to her nieces and split for drier pastures. Heaven knows they have ideas on what to do with the property which will require some updating but the relocation for both of them to the south is a great time for them to band together, start over, and do it.

Unfortunately, they barely unpack their bags before they are notified of an impending hurricane and dear ole auntie calls to tell them he’s sending Alex to them with four assisted living persons who could not be evacuated—no place to go.

Well, at least Alex and his partner Ricky can provide some eye candy as well as a built-in repair crew after the hurricane.

Hurricane Delilah is taking her old sweet time decimating the formerly peaceful village and it appears their elderly guests will be forced to stay until everyone is bosom buddies. The two old sisters are like a couple vipers while the two old veterans swap war stories. The cousins manage to make it work without B&B experience or electricity and discover the group is a family in itself.

Nothing like a feel good Hallmark type novel to set a reader up for the upcoming holiday season. Not as syrupy sweet as Hallmark, as there might be some objectionable language and implied sexual activity, but it is a lesson in coming together for the common good. There are themes of kindness, loss, grief, and recovery. Fresh starts are a good thing, families are a good thing, pets are a good thing, and so are romances but these are just too convenient to be very realistic.

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 Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Small Town & Rural Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Women’s Romance Fiction
Publisher: Montlake
ISBN: ‎ 1542038383
ASIN: B09S37L4Q7
Print Length: 315 pages
Publication Date: November 8, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble

Carolyn Brown - authorThe Author: Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly and #1 Amazon and #1 Washington Post bestselling author. She is the author of more than 100 novels and several novellas. She’s a recipient of the Bookseller’s Best Award, Montlake Romance’s prestigious Montlake Diamond Award, and also a three-time recipient of the National Reader’s Choice Award. Brown has been published for more than 20 years, and her books have been translated 21 foreign languages.

When she’s not writing, she likes to plot new stories in her backyard with her tom cat, Boots Randolph Terminator Outlaw, who protects the yard from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, locusts, and spiders.

Visit her at http://www.carolynbrownbooks.com.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

The Nature of Secrets (Finley O’Sullivan Book 2) by Debra Webb – #BookReview – #womensleuths

Book Blurb:

From USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb comes a thrilling installment in the Finley O’Sullivan series about a well-connected woman who stands accused of her husband’s murder. She’s innocent—unless Finley proves otherwise.

The Nature of Secrets by Debra WebbLegal investigator Finley O’Sullivan has had a difficult year in the wake of her husband’s murder. But in her line of work, there’s no time to grieve. Her job is to protect the firm’s clients and defend their innocence through grueling investigative work.

Ellen Winthrop is a force to be reckoned with in the financial world. In a male-dominated industry, she shattered the glass ceiling by empowering and promoting women. But now her husband is dead, killed in the Winthrop family home—and she stands accused of his murder.

Finley, as the investigator at the firm Ellen Winthrop hired to defend her, has a clear objective: prove that Ellen didn’t do it. But the deeper Finley digs into the Winthrops’ marriage, the more she starts to doubt Ellen’s story. The uncomfortable truth is that Ellen Winthrop may in fact have killed her husband.

And he might not have been the first.

His Review:

Working as an assistant detective for the police department was not the career Finley O’Sullivan envisioned for her life. Leaving the department and organizing a private detective firm seemed to be the answer to her problems. She and another of the detectives went into private investigations.

The Nature of Secrets by Debra WebbThis book had so many murders and unnatural deaths that I almost lost track! Finley cannot maintain a lasting relationship. She keeps choosing losers that wind up being killed! I began to feel like she has become a black widow and men should run, not walk, away from her.

CE WilliamsI prefer more mystery in my mysteries! I felt sorry for any man that decided to go out with the attractive Finley because it put a hit on their lives. I finished the book and applaud the writer for doing the same. Fans of the author will no doubt enjoy the addition to her series. My expectation in a mystery novel, however, is to try to determine who the killer is rather than compile a body count. 3.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuths, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
ASIN: B0B3M9TNB8
Print Length: 351 pages
Publication Date: March 14, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link:  The Nature of Secrets [Amazon]

 

Debra Webb - authorThe Author: DEBRA WEBB is the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of more than 160 novels, including reader favorites the Shades of Death, the Faces of Evil, and the Colby Agency. She is the recipient of the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense as well as numerous Reviewers Choice Awards. In 2012 Debra was honored as the first recipient of the esteemed L. A. Banks Warrior Woman Award for her courage, strength, and grace in the face of adversity. Recently Debra was awarded the distinguished Centennial Award for having achieved publication of her 100th novel. With this award Debra joined the ranks of a handful of authors like Nora Roberts and Carole Mortimer.

With more than four million books in print in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood when, at the age of nine, her mother bought her an old typewriter in a tag sale. Born in Alabama, Debra grew up on a farm. She spent every available hour exploring the world around her and creating her stories. She wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the Commanding General of the US Army in Berlin behind the Iron Curtain and a five-year stint in NASA’s Shuttle Program that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has expanded her work into some of the darkest places the human psyche dares to go.

Visit Debra at http://www.debrawebb.com.

©2022 – CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Enjoy Your Sunday

 

What Have We Done by Alex Finlay – #BookReview – #suspense

Book Blurb:

A stay-at-home mom with a past.
A has-been rock star with a habit.
A reality TV producer with a debt.
Three disparate lives.
One deadly secret.

What Have We Done by Alex FinlayTwenty-five years ago, Jenna, Donnie, and Nico were the best of friends, having forged a bond through the abuse and neglect they endured as residents of Savior House, a group home for parentless teens. When the home was shut down—after the disappearance of several kids—the three were split up.

Though the trauma of their childhood has never left them, each went on to live accomplished—if troubled—lives. They haven’t seen one another since they were teens but now are reunited for a single haunting reason: someone is trying to kill them.

To survive, the group will have to revisit the nightmares of their childhoods and confront their shared past—a past that holds the secret to why someone wants them dead.

It’s a reunion none of them asked for . . . or wanted. But it may be the only way to save all their lives.

What Have We Done is both an edge-of-your-seat thriller and a gut-wrenching coming-of-age story. And it cements Alex Finlay as one of the new leading voices in thrillers today.

His Review:

Savior House is a foster home for orphans or wards of the court but has a consistent problem with young women going missing. The experience at the home is abusive and their disappearance is explained as them being disillusioned or disaffected and simply running away. The town authorities simply want the problem swept under the rug.

What Have We Done by Alex FinlayThe POV of Jenna, Nico and Donnie are three of five who do not feel this is an acceptable answer to the problem. The five banded together to “bury” a secret and go their separate ways when the group home is shut down. Twenty-five years later something begins to happen to the members of their group. When the surviving trio attempt to investigate, strange things happen to them as well!

Sisters, separated soon after birth, meet in their twenties and cannot believe they are identical twins. Neither are endowed with a moral compass but will figure prominently in the investigation.

The three main characters are all damaged, one fighting addiction problems, and none are wholly engaging or empathetic. There are twists and turns and the pace tends to ebb and flow while keeping sufficient interest to find out the who and why.

The individuals shared a desperate history as the backstories of each are explored. Something happened that someone doesn’t want exposed—even now.

CE WilliamsThis book is entertaining and well-written but I found the subject matter disturbing. The overall tale is engaging and entertaining. Enjoy! 4 stars – CE Williams

I read The Night Shift earlier this year and found it an engaging manipulation of the plot and suspenseful, just a bit stronger with well-developed characters.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. Currently on pre-order to be released March 7, 2023.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Action Fiction, Suspense, Suspense Thrillers
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ASIN: B09Y46CVQW
Print Length: 368 pages
Publication Date: March 7, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: What Have We Done [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

 

Alex Finlay - authorThe Author: Alex Finlay is the author of the 2021 breakout novel, EVERY LAST FEAR, and one of 2022’s most-anticipated thrillers, THE NIGHT SHIFT. His work has been an Indie Next pick, a LibraryReads selection, an Amazon Editor’s Best Thriller, as well as a CNN, Newsweek, E!, BuzzFeed, Business Week, Goodreads, Parade, PopSugar, Scribd, and Reader’s Digest best or most anticipated thrillers of the year. Alex’s novels have been translated into seventeen languages, and EVERY LAST FEAR is in development for a major television series. Learn more at https://alexfinlaybooks.com/

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

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