Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben

Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben

Book Blurb:

In Darkest Fear, Myron Bolitar faces the most emotionally shattering case of his career. And it all begins when Myron’s ex-girlfriend tells him he is a father – of a dying 13-year-old boy….

Myron’s sports agency is struggling. Now more than ever, Myron needs to keep his eye on the ball, sign up some big-name clients, and turn away from the amateur detective work that is taking precious time away from the agency.  

But life is not going according to plan. Myron’s father, recently recovered from a heart attack, is facing his own mortality – and forcing Myron to face it, too. Then comes another surprise. Emily Downing, Myron’s college sweetheart, reappears in his life with devastating news: Her 13-year-old son, Jeremy, is gravely ill and can be saved only by a bone-marrow transplant – from a donor who has vanished without a trace. And before Myron can absorb this revelation, Emily hits him with an even bigger shocker: Jeremy is Myron’s son, conceived the night before Emily’s wedding to another man.

Staggered by the news, Myron plunges into a search for the missing donor. But for Myron, finding the only person in the world who can save a boy’s life means cracking open a mystery as dark as it is heartbreaking – a mystery that involves a broken family, a brutal kidnapping spree, and a cat-and-mouse game between an ambitious reporter and the FBI. 

Somewhere in the sordid mess is the man who once signed his name to a bone-marrow donor’s registry, then disappeared. And as doubts emerge about Jeremy’s true paternity, a child vanishes, igniting a chain reaction of truth and revelation that will change everyone’s life forever.

At once a riveting mystery and a spellbinding journey into the secrets that haunt families, lovers, and friends, Darkest Fear proves once again that Harlan Coben is a master storyteller like no other – and one of the most original talents in suspense fiction today. 

My Review:

Whoa, another series into Book 7 but my first. Yes, I’ve done it again and this is a series in which growth and change continue so this should probably not be read as a standalone, although it does sneak in some backstory.

Myron Bolitar has a struggling sports agency, so this series usually has a totally different focus.  He does, however, do some amateur detective work but that’s not the reason Emily Downing comes calling.

Darkest Fear by Harlan CobenEmily is a former college sweetheart. She informs him that her thirteen-year-old son is seriously ill and will die unless she can track down the possible donor, already identified, but missing. She’s frantic. Oh, and by the way, Myron is the father.

Apparently falling to pattern but with a much darker vibe than in previous series entries, Myron begins the search that quickly becomes complicated and you know will get more so.

There is a very rich, powerful family and it doesn’t take long before even the FBI is involved. Myron has quite the sarcastic wit and sense of humor, not tempered in the least by sidekick Win. To add to the mix, a new romantic interest in his life, which, of course, you gotta have in any detective series.

The storyline is hampered somewhat by a slow and convoluted start. Depending on how quick or how deep I’m hooked and also my multi-tasking, I’m apt to listen with half an ear if not thoroughly engaged. This one takes quite a while, introducing characters, then twists and turns and can switch from serious to wisecracking in the blink of an eye.

There are a few of the old tropes thrown in for good measure along with quotables:

“His blond locks had been parted with the precision of old ladies dividing up a lunch check.”

Now that’s funny! I must admit to enjoying some witty barbs. If you’re a Coben fan, you’ll no doubt enjoy this dark departure from the usual in the series—or not—but the sense of humor is still there.

I previously listened to Tell No One, not part of this series, and really enjoyed it. A copy of this audiobook was supplied also by my favorite well-stocked local library, this one narrated by Jonathan Marosz. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Mysteries, Suspense, Suspense Thrillers
Publisher: Random House Audio
ASIN: B000OYAJBC
Listening Length: 7 hrs 40 mins
Narrator: Jonathan Marosz
Publication Date: April 21, 2006
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Darkest Fear [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four Stars 4 stars

 

Harlan Coben - authorThe Author: With over 70 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times author of thirty one novels including RUN AWAY, FOOL ME ONCE, TELL NO ONE, NO SECOND CHANCE and the renowned Myron Bolitar series. His books are published in 43 languages around the globe.

Harlan is the creator and executive producer for the Netflix television dramas SAFE starring Michael C. Hall, Audrey Fleurot and Amanda Abbington, and THE FIVE starring Tom Cullen and OT Fagbenle. He is currently filming THE STRANGER, based on his novel, for Netflix starring Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran, Jennifer Saunders and Stephen Rea. Harlan was also showrunner and executive producer for two French TV mini-series, UNE CHANCE DE TROP (NO SECOND CHANCE) with Alexandra Lamy and JUST UN REGARD (JUST ONE LOOK) with Virginie Ledoyen. KEINE ZWEIT CHANCE, also based on Harlan’s novel, aired in Germany on Sat1.

Harlan’s novel TELL NO ONE (NE LE DIS A PERSONNE) was turned into the renowned French film, directed by Guillaume Canet and starring Francois Cluzet. The movie was the top box office foreign-language film of the year in USA, won the Lumiere (French Golden Globe) for best picture and was nominated for nine Cesars (French Oscar) and won four, including best actor, best director and best music. The movie with subtitles is now available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and DVD/Blu-Ray.

Winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – international bestselling author Harlan Coben’s critically-acclaimed novels have been called “ingenious” (New York Times), “poignant and insightful” (Los Angeles Times), “consistently entertaining” (Houston Chronicle), “superb” (Chicago Tribune) and “must reading” (Philadelphia Inquirer).

[truncated—please see the author page for his full bio]

Harlan was born in Newark, New Jersey. He still lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, a pediatrician, and their four children.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

Dark Sky (A Joe Pickett Novel Book 21) by C J Box – #Audiobook Review – #crimefiction

Dark Sky by C J Box

Dark Sky by C J Box

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett must accompany a Silicon Valley CEO on a hunting trip – but soon learns that he himself may be the hunted – in the thrilling new novel from number-one New York Times best-selling author C. J. Box.

When the governor of Wyoming gives Joe Pickett the thankless task of taking a tech baron on an elk hunting trip, Joe reluctantly treks into the wilderness with his high-profile charge. But as they venture into the woods, a man-hunter is hot on their heels, driven by a desire for revenge. Finding himself without a weapon, a horse, or a way to communicate, Joe must rely on his wits and his knowledge of the outdoors to protect himself and his companion. 

Meanwhile, Joe’s closest friend, Nate Romanowski, and his own daughter Sheridan learn of the threat to Joe’s life and follow him into the woods. In a stunning final showdown, the three of them come up against the worst that nature – and man – have to offer. 

My Review:

Yes, not my first Joe Pickett. This entry to the series has Pickett accompanying a bigwig Silicon Valley CEO on an elk hunting trip. The man has decided he must do the thing himself, not ever having hiked a trail that wasn’t a flat concrete path through a park, much less the Bitterroots. These mountains are serious; elevation, dense, full of wildlife, and treacherous. It’s beyond me how someone without hunting experience is even allowed a gun, much less something powerful enough to bring down a bull elk.

A social media event, the governor has given Pickett the assignment as “Steve2” is trying to decide on a location for a major extension into Wyoming. The gov wants the deal.

Dark Sky by C J BoxSounding suspiciously familiar, I ventured into the book because I like the series, the characters, and the stunning, majestic, and rustic location. But, yes, I think I’ve read this plot before, maybe at Book 21 there are no new plot ideas.

Still, Steve2 is exactly what you’d expect of a clueless (and fabulously rich) Silicon Valley media baron and the various characters surrounding him on this quest are exactly the clueless people you’d NOT want to be accompanying anyone.

You won’t read a Picket series novel without Nate Romanowski running at least a sub-plot and he does so here, providing his shoot first, ask questions later style of justice.

Predictably, it’s one disaster after the other, dodging the bad guys, confronting dangerously severe early winter weather, and experiencing more than the average savage death of bit players. But Joe is, after all a game warden, and experienced in these here mountains. He does, fortunately, have a budding and forceful Joe Pickett Jr in his youngest daughter and she’s coming fast to help save dead old dad.

The well-plotted and fast-paced narrative races to the conclusion in a flurry of Western blood and guts. But hey, in the meantime, it’s been an engaging and entertaining novel, one that the narrator enhanced in the telling this time. I listened to Long Range last year and could have happily exchanged Chandler for the lady who narrated The Bitterroots (another series also by the same author).

Still, I’ll be looking to listen to Book 22, released in March this year (coincidence? I think not), Shadows Reel. No, you don’t have to worry about starting with Book 1. 

Quote from Walter Kirn

I obtained a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stock library.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.  
ASIN: B08F2SLBZN
Listening Length: 9 hrs 31 mins
Narrator: David Chandler
Publication Date: March 02, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Dark Sky [Amazon] 

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing: Four stars 4 stars

C J Box - authorThe Author: C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over twenty-two novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award (twice), the Western Heritage Award for Literature, and 2017 Spur Award for Best Contemporary Western. The novels have been translated into 27 languages. Open Season, Blue Heaven, Nowhere To Run, and The Highway have been optioned for film and television. Millions of copies of his novels have been sold in the U.S. alone.

Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. In 2008, Box was awarded the “BIG WYO” Award from the state tourism industry. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and is currently serving on the Wyoming Tourism Board. He lives in Wyoming.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James – #Audiobook Review – Supernational Thrillers

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James


The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Sun Down Motel.

In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect – a rich, eccentric 23-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases – a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

My Review:

Shea Collins is a single medical receptionist who still lives quietly with the trauma of surviving a kidnap attempt when she was young when Beth Greer comes in for an appointment. Shea hosts a true crime website in 2017 as a hobby and clearly remembers the case, dubbed the Lady Killer murders from 1977. She requests an interview for her blog and to her amazement, the interview is granted.

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St JamesBeth, wealthy and living alone quite eccentrically, lives in her wealthy family home, both parents gone for years. She was acquitted of the murder of two men. Beth has no one but her lawyer and after all these years agrees to meet with Shea—in her home.

Beth is a fascinating character and the complete opposite of Shea. Shea quickly realizes there is something really wrong with the mansion Beth lives in. There are strange manifestations during her visits that unsettle her but the deeper she delves into Beth’s history, the more she comes to believe in her innocence, seeing her a victim of her circumstances as well.

The suspense weaves in a paranormal atmosphere through the well-described Victorian filled with the furnishings of people long gone. The meetings as well as the mansion ooze atmosphere, described so well you can smell the decay. Shea as a main character is engaging, but not so much as Beth. A cat is introduced by the name of Winston Purrchill and quickly becomes my favorite character—love the name!

The well-plotted narrative sweeps the reader into a satisfying conclusion, including the little twists, and perhaps a surprise you hadn’t expected. Entertaining and gripping, one of those novels hard to put down—but not in the dark.

I listened to The Sun Down Motel in 2020 and the audiobook left me wondering what the hype was about. Definitely the delivery, I suppose, though noted the two timelines (again) was split, this one also in 2017. There would be a lot of argument as to whether or not this novel was better than that one. For me, however, particularly in both cases, listening to audiobooks—my vote goes to this one. The author knows how to raise the hair on the back of your neck and make sure you’ve locked your doors before reading. This one has my recommendation.

Have you read both? What is your thoughts on this one? Agree with me?

Book Details:

Genre: Supernatural Thrillers, Suspense
Publisher:  Penguin Audio
ASIN: B098YCW26K
Listening Length: 10 hrs 44 mins
Narrator: Brittany PressleyKirsten PotterRobert Petkoff
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Book of Cold Cases [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four Stars 4 stars

 

The Author: Simone St. James is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel and The Broken Girls. Her debut novel, The Haunting of Maddy Clare, won two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada.

Simone spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives just outside of Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled rescue cat.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

happy thursday!

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne - banner

A Reading Ireland Month book 4 leaf clover w leprechan

“Ambition is putting a ladder to the sky.”
—American proverb

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for fame. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent—but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.

Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.

Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall. . . .

Sweeping across the late twentieth century, A Ladder to the Sky is a fascinating portrait of a relentlessly immoral man, a tour de force of storytelling, and the next great novel from an acclaimed literary virtuoso.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

My Review:

Maurice Swift—to what ends will this brilliantly manipulative character go to cement his life’s goal—that of a successful literary author?

OMG, did this one fairly bury me in amazing characters; fascinating, narcissistic, bold, secure and begins naively enough with the introduction to aging author Erich Ackermann. Erich is inexplicably attracted to young Maurice who exudes fan adoration in Erich’s books. So when Erich invites him to act as his assistant on a book tour, Maurice jumps at the chance. Erich falls heavily for young Maurice and it doesn’t help that Maurice is exceedingly attractive and aware of his sexual appeal.

Maurice, who would LOVE to write the next prize-winning literary novel but doesn’t have a clue how to come up with his own original story is, unfortunately, willing to do anything. Then Erich entrusts him with his most shameful haunting secrets and there’s Maurice’s story. It’s dark and deliciously deadly. It ultimately destroys Erich when it comes out but Maurice basks in the success. He can neatly and effectively avoid any guilt. It is, of course, Erich’s disgraceful act during the war that leads to the public outcry against him.

But while Maurice as despot is the main character, there comes a succession of deeply emotive characters, gripping, engaging. The well-developed part of Maurice’s wife; easy to love, sweet unsophisticated, and trusting, her POV comes to the forefront—for a short while.

Remember that old saying, “When the Gods want to punish us, they answer our prayers.” [Oscar Wilde]

Maurice always wanted to have a child of his own. In the meantime, there is a series of name-dropping that includes Gore (Vidal) whose conversations lead to some very witty, insightful glances into the cut-throat world of the literary (…that hack Swift). Dog eat dog. How far is Maurice willing to go to succeed, to be the one with the next bestseller. His bestseller or not?

A Ladder to the Sky by John BoyneAt each turn, the plot goes from benign to cancerous, bland to black, and soon this reader is turning pages over jaw-dropping twists you wouldn’t have believed, was it not for the continued fleshing of the moral character of Maurice. Is he capable of this? Oh yes, he is. And it’s becoming frightening.

Maurice is a master at rationalization—he can always see where the fault lay in the other—himself as the innocent who merely provided the catalyst to the story—made it better. Why shouldn’t he reap the reward?

And then the end, when you think it’s caught up with him? The irony? The last laugh is on you, fellow reader. It’s a gotcha!

Now, have you ever wondered what the words are under the title? I know what it is. Have you read this book? Want to discuss it or are you curious what it says under the title? Ask me in the comments.

One last thought: The narrators did a superlative job on this audiobook, most especially that inebriate voice. So realistic. This novel still resonates with me and will for some time. I’ll look for more books from this author.

Book Details:

Genre: LGBTQ, Psychological Fiction, Psychological Thrillers
Publisher: Random House Audio
ASIN: B07FW4C8BC
Listening Length: 11 hrs 32 mins
Narrators: Richard E. GrantRichard CorderyNina SosanyaLaurence Kennedy
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: A Ladder to the Sky [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

 

John Boyne - authorThe Author: John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. The winner of three Irish Book Awards, he is the author of thirteen novels for adults, six for younger readers and a collection of short stories. The international bestseller The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was made into a Miramax feature film and has sold more than eleven million copies worldwide. His novels are published in over fifty languages. He lives in Dublin. http://www.johnboyne.com.

 

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

Hope Island (Coffin Cove Mysteries Book 3) by Jackie Elliott – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Hope Island by Jackie Elliott

Book Blurb:

Andrea “Andi” Silvers is starting to feel like this tiny fishing village of Coffin Cove, on the Vancouver coast, just might be home. She’s living with Hephzibah and sort of dating Harry. Her job at the Gazette is going well. Things are looking up.

Hope Island by Jackie ElliottThen the body of a young woman is found on nearby Hope Island, where Hephzibah and Harry’s mother moved to when they were children.

Andi sets out to get the scoop on the story. She wants to be the one to identify the body and to find out what happened.

Meanwhile, Inspector Vega is on holiday in the Yukon, and finds himself caught up in a murder investigation there. A woman has been killed and her husband clinging to life in hospital.

It soon becomes clear that there’s a link to Coffin Cove. The man grew up there and left after his first wife disappeared.

Could the body found at Hope Island be his missing wife?

The stakes ramp up when Harry and Hephzibah’s dad is discovered murdered on his boat.

Did he know something he shouldn’t? The deeper Andi digs, the more dirt she uncovers. But are any of them ready for the truth?

Discover a web of murder and mystery laced with humour and a thread of romance in this fast-paced whodunnit set on the gorgeous coast of Western Canada.

My Review:

Andi Silvers has settled in Coffin Cove and is working on the local paper as a reporter. Then some remains are found at a demolished cottage in the picturesque little settlement in Northern Canada, obviously forty or fifty years old.

Hope Island by Jackie ElliottDigging for info on the remains, old secrets begin to rise to the surface, and certain more powerful people would prefer the secrets stay just that—secret.

Given that this is my first in the series and this is Book 3, I seem to be missing a little backstory. I was busy sorting out main characters with the support characters when more were added, including PC Beth Stanton. (New to the story and new to the team?) Inspector Vega is supposed to be taking a break, but that isn’t working out well for him. The switch to the Yukon characters was a bit disorienting.

I’m not sure why I struggled with this novel. Perhaps an inability to engage with the protagonist, the confusion of multiple characters, or a switch of locations. The investigation continued but didn’t seem to make much headway and as the plot swung into the conclusion became more brutal to the point of gratuitous violence and disbelief. I couldn’t buy survival of that last horrific scene.

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 Stars three stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Noir Crime, Serial Killers, Serial Killer Thrillers
Publisher: Joffe Books
ASIN: B09VCPJ4Y9
Print Length: 318 pages
Publication Date: April 7, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Hope Island [Amazon]

The Author:

Jackie Elliott - author
Jackie Elliott

[No bio info evident.]

©V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Spencer Quinn – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Spencer Quinn

Book Blurb:

The fourth entry in the irresistible New York Times best-selling mystery series featuring canine narrator Chet and his human companion Bernie, “the coolest human/pooch duo this side of Wallace and Gromit” (Kirkus Reviews).

Combining suspense and intrigue with a wonderfully humorous take on the link between man and beast, Spencer Quinn’s exceptional mystery series has captured widespread praise since its New York Times best-selling debut, Dog on It. The Dog Who Knew Too Much marks the duo’s triumphant return in a tale that’s full of surprises.

Bernie is invited to give the keynote speech at the Great Western Private Eye Convention, but it’s Chet that the bigshot P.I. in charge has secret plans for. Meanwhile, Chet and Bernie are hired to find a kid who has gone missing from a wilderness camp in the high country. The boy’s mother thinks the boy’s father – her ex – has snatched the boy, but Chet makes a find that sends the case in a new and dangerous direction. As if that weren’t enough, matters get complicated at home when a stray puppy that looks suspiciously like Chet shows up. Affairs of the heart collide with a job that’s never been tougher, requiring our two intrepid sleuths to depend on each other as never before. The Dog Who Knew Too Much is classic Spencer Quinn, offering page-turning entertainment that’s not just for dog-lovers. 

My Review:

When Bark to the Future releases in August 2022, there will be thirteen books in this series. This is the fourth book and does just fine as a standalone. I could as easily have come in on Book 12—and would have liked to! I’ve found a new doggy protagonist to love—Chet. It’s just plain clean, good canine fun and I suspect made even more so by the narrator for this audiobook.

The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Spencer QuinnThe POV is the dog. He’s easily distracted, but he loves his human, PI Bernie. Chet is about a hundred-pound dog, not to be trifled with, and a strong part of the Little Detective Agency. He’s also a love bug and approves of Bernie’s girl, Susie, who is quickly becoming a serious part of the pack.

Bernie has been engaged to protect her son during parent’s weekend in the summer camp high in the mountains against her ex but quickly discovers he has wandered away from camp and is missing.

Since it’s the dog narrating the story, it sometimes splits between his activities and thoughts and the mystery or what is going on behind the scenes with Bernie. If you’ve ever watched your dog, you can almost see their thoughts when you produce their favorite ball or treat. “Ball, ball, yes! Throw the ball!” “Treat, treat, I don’t care which one, can I have it now?” The dog, however, does have quite the human vocabulary tucked into his brain which he often recognizes but not in context, causing confusion. I love it—and the dialogue makes a lot of sense, pushing anthropomorphism. “…His brain and my rose: plenty of perps now wearing orange jumpsuits can tell you about that combo.” Just be aware that with Bernie, the dialogue can turn blue.

The canine perspective when he grapples with weighty subjects like the cute collie or the smell of the squirrel that distracts him lightens the darker aspects of the mystery, murder, theft, drugs, and crooked law enforcement.

Nice balance between the lightheartedness provided by the dog and the serious business of the mystery. It’s well-paced and the characters are great, very entertaining story.

Everything is settled in the conclusion and life and Book 5 was forthcoming. The perps earn a well-deserved bite in the butt and Bernie and Susie got to work together, Chet gets his treats and a pat on the head. Personally, I’ll be looking for another, but closer to the newer one. 

Book Details:

Genre: Private Investigator Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher: Recorded Books
ASIN: B005LEV0P4
Listening Length: 10 hrs 18 mins
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Dog Who Knew Too Much [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

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

Spencer Quinn - authorThe Author: Spencer Quinn lives on Cape Cod with his dog, Audrey. He is currently working on the next Chet and Bernie novel. (Spencer Quinn is a pseudonym of author Peter Abrahams.)

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

The Doomsday Medallion: A VanOps Thriller by Avanti Centrae – #BookReview – #Technothrillers

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Doomsday Medallion by Avanti CentraeAikido black belt Maddy Marshall is celebrating the completion of her black ops training when news of a military takeover in the South China Sea shocks the world because it was predicted by a sixteen-year-old French student. When intel chatter spells danger to Avril, the young seer, VanOps Director Bowman assigns Marshall and her twin brother, Will Argones, to protect the girl.

Emotions between the siblings are running hot due to their aunt’s recent stroke, which has reminded them of the childhood accident that scarred both his chin and her heart. Tensions ratchet higher when they arrive at Avril’s home to find the instant social media star has been kidnapped, leaving them with only clenched fists and cryptic clues that lead to a formula encoded on an etched-bronze medallion.

While Taiwan fears an invasion that will set off an apocalyptic chain of events, Marshall and Argones race through medieval French towns, Italian cathedrals, and ancient Greek temples attempting to find Avril before their enemies use the girl to discover the Holy Grail of military intelligence. If the team fails, they won’t need a crystal ball to know millions of innocent souls will be destined to join Nostradamus in the afterlife.

The Doomsday Medallion is an electrifying, globe-trotting thriller that delves into humankind’s timeless fascination with prophecy and illuminates the mesmerizing and dangerous potential of a weaponized oracle.

Fans of Dan Brown, Steve Berry, and James Rollins will get an adrenaline rush turning the pages of this standalone thriller.

His Review:

Countries have looked for centuries for ways to predict the future. Nostradamus was a world-class prognosticator who encoded many predictions that have proven to be true. Major world powers caught wind of a walnut box left to his offspring that may hold some predictions having world affecting results. A mad scramble has begun to find the box and utilize its’ potential.

The Doomsday Medallion by Avanti CentraeAvril is just sixteen and has been told about the box by her grandparents. Her mother was tragically lost when she was born. She made a prediction that China would attack and take control of a small island near Taiwan. This has happened and now and the major world powers want to know how she could have known! A couple of operatives are sent from the Lake Tahoe, California region to find and protect the young girl. Of course, the U.S. has a vital interest in discovering how she is able to make predictions and utilize her talents. China also sent a very skilled team to capture her and bring her back to the homeland.

Avanti Centrae is very adept at keeping and building suspense throughout her story. Young Avril, like most teenage girls, values her independence and does not wish to be controlled by any foreign power. At her age, her major fault is that she feels competent enough to do everything on her own. She ditches the people sent to protect her and rushes headlong into a foreign powers’ clutches.

Can Avril be found in time or will she disappear into the dark world of espionage and be forever lost to the world as she knows it? Ruthless bounty hunters from a number of countries confound the situation.

CE WilliamsThis saga is very entertaining and will keep most readers flipping pages of the well-plotted, fast-paced technothriller. 5 stars – CE Williams

My first book by the author and we enjoyed as a standalone. We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Occult Suspense, Technothrillers, Psychic Suspense
Publisher: Thunder Creek Press
ASIN: B09H1VHL5X
Print Length: 378 pages
Publication Date: March 8, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Doomsday Medallion [Amazon] 
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Avanti Centrae - authorThe Author: International multi-award-winning and Amazon #1 bestselling author who blends intrigue, history, science, and mystery into pulse-pounding action thrillers.

http://www.avanticentrae.com – First six chapters FREE!

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Avanti Centrae is the author of the international multi-award-winning VANOPS thriller series. An instant Barnes and Noble Nook bestseller, THE LOST POWER took home a genre grand prize ribbon at the Chanticleer International Book Awards, a bronze medal at the Wishing Shelf Awards, and an Honorable Mention at the Hollywood Book Festival. SOLSTICE SHADOWS won a bronze at the competitive Readers’ Favorite Awards, the Global Thrillers Genre Grand Prize at the most recent Chanticleer Awards, and was a #1 Amazon bestseller in both the U.S and Canada. Her father served as a U.S. marine corporal in Okinawa, gathering military intelligence during the first decade after the Korean War. Her work has been compared to that of James Rollins, Steve Berry, Dan Brown, and Clive Cussler but has a voice all its own. She resides in Northern California with her family and German Shepherds.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

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