The Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman–#BookReview – #psychologicalthriller

Rosepoint Rating: Five stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Perfect Ending by Rob KaufmanParalyzed by writer’s block, Scott Atwood’s career is over, and so, he’s decided, is his life. He just has to figure out the perfect ending befitting a popular, award-winning thriller-suspense author who always gives his fans a mind-blowing finale.

But just as Scott resolves to jump in front of a train, he conceives the ideal plot for his next bestseller — a writer of psychological thrillers who decides to wreak havoc in other people’s lives in order to help him come up with ideas for his next book.

Looking for inspiration, he exposes his neighbor’s affair with devastating and far-reaching repercussions, and his plan soon begins to spiral wildly out of control. But what is fiction? And what is reality? The lines blur in this twisted and masterful Hitchcockian thriller with the perfect ending. The question is… to what?

My Review:

Wow! I love it when I stumble on a psychological thriller totally unique in concept, twisty plot, amazing characters and then delivers on an equally delicious conclusion catching the reader in a stunning twist you’ll never see coming.

You think you get a good concept of the plot by the Prologue. You are sooo having the wool pulled over your eyes and then you get into the story.

The Perfect Ending by Rob KaufmanThen you are introduced to Scott Atwood, a famous award-winning author. He’s just short of loathsome. This is the main character? I didn’t like him from the beginning. He’s hit the wall with the famous writer’s block for months. His agent, his publisher is breathing down his neck. He’s promised them another bestseller and can’t figure out anything to write about and is missing deadlines. He needs something spectacular. What to do?

One last ditch effort: he’ll take his laptop to the train station.
Write his next book or jump in front of a train.

Perfect ending in view of those thrillers he’s written. Nothing mundane for him!

Then he sees something that sparks an idea. It’s brilliant! He’s thrilled. And with a little encouragement, a slight push, he can force the story from his neighbors and watch them as they literally unfold his new bestselling thriller in front of him.

This storyline fires the imagination from the get-go. Hook, line, and you must finish the book. Can he really create this much misery? This much havoc? His neighbors all have stories and he paints them in full color realism. My heart ached for Brad, weeped for Joel. They are so well-fleshed. You believe it all.

It’s dark, delightfully deceiving, and emotionally wringing. The author tweaks his main character with just a slight amount of humor and moral justification. It’s so wrong. Twisted mystery, suspense. I released more than one audible groan…omg. This one is a must read!

I received a complimentary review ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts. I loved this one. It’s short but powerful and highly recommended.

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Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Thrillers, Suspense Thrillers

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097LVL54P

Print Length: 238 pages
Publication Date: June 19, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble 

 

Rob Kaufman - authorThe Author: Rob‘s Psychology degree has helped him create characters with whom people can relate, while at the same time bringing them on a journey from which most would crumble. Making sure he keeps his readers in suspense from the very start, Rob’s three books have made him a 5-star contender in the psychological thriller genre. His fourth book, “The Perfect Ending” will be released in July of 2021.

Catch Rob at http://AuthorRobKaufman.com/.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

His & Hers: A Novel by Alice Feeney – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

His and Hers by Alice Feeney

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

There are two sides to every story: yours and mine, ours and theirs, his and hers. Which means someone is always lying.

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

His & Hers is a twisty, smart psychological thriller. A gripping tale of suspense, told by expertly drawn narrators that will keep listeners guessing until the very end. 

My Review:

OMG, does this grip and hang on or what? Related in three POVs, Anna Andrews is the “her.” She’s been a fixture on the BBC news as a lunchtime anchor, always dreaming of her next big break. The old anchor returned, however, beloved, well-known, and still under contract after maternity leave and Anna is unceremoniously returned to the position of news correspondent.  Oh groan.

His and Hers by Alice FeeneyJack Harper is the “his” working on the police force in Blackdown. He was called to investigate a body found in the woods and is shocked to see it is someone he knows—and knows very well, btw. But he keeps that part to himself.

And then there is the perp, the killer, whose dialogue is skewed by a voice changer. Very creepy and creepy enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

Insult to injury, now Anna is asked to cover the murder in the little town of Blackdown and no, she doesn’t want to go—she grew up there, not particularly happily. Of course, she, too, recognizes the victim.

Once in, the listener doesn’t get a bathroom break. You must listen to the next chapter, whether it is her or him—or that other one.

“There are always two sides to every story, yours and mine, ours and theirs, his and her. I always prefer my own.”

Fast paced, well-plotted, creepy narrative spiced with hometown-childhood secrets, adult secrets. Twists and turns leave the listener spinning. No getting a breath now—are you figuring it out? The tension ramps up another notch.

Jack came off as highly engaging, approachable. Anna not so much—she’s narcissistic and scheming. Her career is her life. She just wants back in the anchor spot and she can detach her emotions from the scene.

This novel-audiobook totally envelopes the listener, sinister, gripping, full of suspense. And, oh yeah, that one last gotcha at the end? Brilliant! Storytelling genius. You don’t want to miss this one!

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Police Procedurals Mysteries
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B07TFLWV4H
Listening Length: 10 hrs 39 mins
Narrators: Richard ArmitageStephanie Racine
Publication Date: July 28, 2020
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: His and Hers [Amazon]

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Alice Feeney - authorThe Author: Alice Feeney is a New York Times bestselling author and journalist. Her debut novel, Sometimes I Lie, was an international bestseller, has been translated into over twenty languages, and is being made into a TV series by Warner Bros. starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. His & Hers is also being adapted for screen by Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films. Alice was a BBC Journalist for fifteen years, and now lives in the British countryside with her family. Rock Paper Scissors is her fourth novel and is being made into a TV series for Netflix by the producer of The Crown. It will be published around the world in 2021.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Man On Fire (A Rake Ozenna Thriller Book 3) by Humphrey Hawksley – #BookReview – #politicalthriller

Book Blurb:

Man On Fire by Humphrey HawksleyA tense firefight on the Russian-American border heralds the start of a terrifying high-stakes mission for special forces agent Major Rake Ozenna in this gripping espionage thriller.

Instructed to guide in a speed boat crossing from Russia in the Bering Strait, special forces Major Rake Ozenna watches in horror as the operation culminates in a fatal firefight – and the loss of vital intelligence of a deadly new weapon. A weapon of unimaginable power. A weapon that, if it were unleashed, would cripple civilization as we know it. But who sabotaged the mission? Who possesses the weapon – and what is their ultimate goal?

Rake’s search takes him to the remote outpost of Uelen on the Russian coast – and the discovery that he is up against a formidable enemy from his past. As world leaders gather in Bonn for the signing of the new European security treaty, Rake enters a desperate race against time to prevent a catastrophe beyond imagining.

His Review:

The border between Russia and the United States is only 2.4 miles! The time difference is 21 hours. Rake Ozena is attempting to get a young lady back from Big Diomede Island to Little Diomede Island. A Russian sharp shooter wounds the young lady upon her arrival at Rake’s boat. It makes no sense because the transfer was government authorized!

Man On Fire by Humphrey HawksleyThis blatant break in protocol has both sides mystified. The murder was ordered by a rogue minor official somewhere in the Kremlin. The young woman dies without awakening and the mystery deepens. What vital information was she carrying? Rake and the U.S. Government want to know! Who deserves retaliation for this murder?

Little Diomede Island was a former base utilized by the Soviet Union during the cold war. Radioactive residue is found in the old facility that is not readily identifiable. Neither the Russians nor the Americans can figure out what the compound was used for! The usual finger pointing ensues while Rake and his Russian counterpart try to figure out the truth.

A new weapon seems to be one possibility! Without verification from either the Russians or the Americans, the plot thickens. What was the purpose of the radio-active material and why was it in such a remote location? The two sides work closely together to identify the use of the material. The overall result was a finely written tale of international intrigue and suspense. The conclusion was frightening and enlightening. CE Williams

I recommend this book to anyone interested in international diplomacy. The policy of “classified information” muddies the waters and spices up the story. Enjoy! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

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

Book Details:

Genre: Political Thrillers & Suspense, Terrorism Thrillers
Publisher: Severn House
ASIN: B094MNK997
Print Length: 258 pages
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Man On Fire [Amazon] 
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Humphrey Hawksley - author
Photo from Goodreads author profile

The Author: Humphrey Hawksley’s brand-new international thriller series begins in paperback in October 2019 with MAN ON ICE a knuckle-whitening drama set on the remote and wild US-Russian border. In early, 2020 comes the nail-biting MAN ON EDGE set on the Norway-Russian border followed in 2021 by MAN ON FIRE whose location is yet to disclosed. Rake Ozenna, a native of Little Diomede island in Alaska is the series hero. Each thriller includes trauma surgeon, Dr Carrie Walker, American intelligence contractor, Harry Lucas, and his ex-wife, British businesswoman and diplomat, Stephanie Lucas.

Humphrey’s thrillers have been widely praised. Steve Berry describes ‘authentic settings, non-stop action’ from MAN ON ICE. Lee Child speaks of SECURITY BREACH as ‘high stakes, high octane’ and Alan Furst as a ‘hard-driving, a good taut thriller’ — right back to the first future history thriller DRAGON STRIKE: THE MILLENNIUM WAR which Steve Coonts hailed as ‘ominous and insightful.’

His recent non-fiction ASIAN WATERS: THE STRUGGLE OVER THE INDO_PACIFIC AND THE CHALLENGE TO AMERICAN POWER a has been acclaimed on every continent by those at the heart of global decision-making, such as Indian cabinet minister, Hardeep Puri; the last governor of Hong Kong Baron Lord Patten of Barnes; and Dr Wu Shicun, President of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies. China’s rise is a fast developing story, and Humphrey is currently working on an updated edition which is due out in June 2020.

Humphrey’s work as a BBC foreign correspondent has taken him all over the world with postings in Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, Delhi and Colombo. He has contributed to ABC, National Public Radio and other networks in the United States and global publication of his work includes the Financial Times, New York Times, Yale Global, Nikkei Asian Review and others.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Destroyer Angel: An Anna Pigeon Novel (Anna Pigeon Mysteries Book 18) by Nevada Barr – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr

Book Blurb:

Anna Pigeon, a ranger for the U.S. Park Services, sets off on vacation – an autumn canoe trip into the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. With Anna is her friend Heath, a paraplegic; Heath’s 15-year-old daughter, Elizabeth; Leah, a wealthy designer of outdoor equipment; and her daughter, Katie, who is 13. For Heath and Leah, this is a shakedown cruise to test a new cutting-edge line of camping equipment. The equipment, designed by Leah, will make camping and canoeing more accessible to disabled outdoorsmen. On their second night out, Anna goes off on her own for a solo evening float on the Fox River.

When she comes back, she finds that four thugs, armed with rifles, pistols, and knives, have taken the two women and their teenaged daughters captive. With limited resources and no access to the outside world, Anna has only two days to rescue them before her friends are either killed or flown out of the country, in Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr.

My Review:

No, wait!

Did I get a different Anna Pigeon?

I started reading this series because I really enjoyed the protagonist, a US Park Services ranger, a woman, and the different parks where the particular novel was sited. A different park every entry to the series and so much to learn—that and the narrator, Barbara Rosenblat who adds her slightly gravelly voice with such marvelous inflection in both the situation and the reflection of the situation. Well, anyway, I’ve listened to four, and particularly enjoyed Deep South and Hunting Season. They heavily featured Anna Pigeon.

Destroyer Angel by Nevada BarrThis one…well, this one features friends, acquaintances, who on a vacation trip into the Minnesota wilderness to enjoy nature, test equipment, and try out a handicap prototype are taken hostage when Anna is away from camp on a quick and quiet little canoe outing of her own. In the camp when the ladies are overtaken by four nasty gangsters is also their older dog, Wiley, who is left for dead when the men move the women out.

We’re talking two women (one of whom is a paraplegic) and two teenagers. Of course they are out of cell phone range. They are headed out to rendezvous with the baddy who hired these guys. So, much of the focus is on the ladies, their struggles, and the men. Meanwhile, Anna discovers Wiley is not dead and manages to stabilize him, stalks the hostages and their captures and without weapons takes on the task of disabling the men while rescuing the women. Wow…different.

Or not. The characters are pretty much stereotypes—wealthy Leah and her estranged and sullen daughter Katie, the paraplegic and her daughter Elizabeth. The bad guys, dangerously bad—and stupid, btw.

Anna takes on the dog, having hearts to heart with Wiley while he’s recuperating enough to provide a sounding board for Anna’s whispered thoughts, although he doesn’t provide many thoughts in return.

While there is essentially no mystery, there is tension and the tension ramps up with each chapter. The toll on Anna is serious, but she manages to power through, the ladies manage heroically, the bad guys are just seriously raunchy.

The reason for the whole kidnap seemed a bit weak to me, not wholly believable, but the little zinger at the end was delicious. So, yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed. As the series has nineteen books, I am now counting back down. Oh yeah, I’m hooked.

Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedural Mysteries, Women Sleuth Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher:  Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B00IIUW9EE
Listening Length: 11 hrs 37 mins
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat
Publication Date: April 1, 2014Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Destroyer Angel [Amazon]

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

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

 

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

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

©2021 V Williams

Wolfe Trap (A Clay Wolfe/Port Essex Mystery by Matt Cost – #BookReview – #privateinvestigator #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Wolfe Trap by Matt CostWhat evil lurks in Port Essex, Maine?
Clay Wolfe is a former Boston homicide detective who has left the police department to return home to Maine to care for his elderly grandfather and open a private detective agency. Haunted by being orphaned at an early age, and jaded by the corruption of the big city, Clay is happy to hit pause and investigate minor crimes.

“I want you to find the person who sold the drugs that killed my grandbaby.” 
When he is hired to find out who sold the drugs that killed a six-month-old baby girl, he has no idea of the evil that he is going to uncover in the underbelly of his hometown.

Wolfe Trap is a thrilling ride set in a small Maine town with rich characters and shocking plot twists that will keep the reader rapt until the final pages.

His Review:

Could a quiet New England port be a conduit for drugs into the Eastern United States? Clay Wolfe, a former Boston detective, has formed his own company as a private detective in his home town of Port Essex, Maine. The main industry in the quiet fishing village is a large fleet of lobster boats.

Wolfe Trap by Matt CostMatt Cost has developed a very believable and vulnerable character in Clay Wolfe. Like most heroes in detective novels, he is neither diminutive nor timid. His office manager is also a very interesting character. Each of them is coming out of bad or abusive relationships and are a bit tentative about making long term commitments. Clay has a well-deserved tom cat reputation. His office manager, Bailee Baker had to resort to violence to escape a brutal marriage.

Attempting to get to the bottom of the source of drugs coming into New England, Clay is interviewing a local lobsterman. Suddenly three bullets end the life of the man who was not able to answer Clays’ questions quick enough. A very well-trained assassin had a tight grouping of projectiles in the man’s chest. Thus begins a quest for the killer.

CE WilliamsThe atmospheric descriptions of the story along with the well-developed characters kept me turning pages to get to the climax. It is a fast paced read; enjoy this page-turner. 5 stars – CE Williams

[Note: Not our first experience with this author, having read three in the Mainely Mystery series, including Mainely PowerMainely Fear, and Mainely Money. This begins a new, very promising series. Currently on pre-order.]

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: Small Town & Rural Fiction, Private Investigator Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher: Encircle Publications LLC

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1645991695
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1645991694

ASIN: B08WRZ8RRV
Print Length: 263 pages
Publication Date: June 23, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Wolfe Trap [Amazon]
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Matt Cost - authorThe Author: Matt Cost was a history major at Trinity College. He owned a mystery bookstore, a video store, and a gym, before serving a ten-year sentence as a junior high school teacher. In 2014 he was released and began writing. And that’s what he does. He writes histories and mysteries.

“Love in a Time of Hate” is the third historical by Cost. “Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War; At Every Hazard”, was published in 2015, in which Emmett Collins grows into manhood during the Civil War. “I am Cuba; Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution” was published in 2020. It was recently awarded the silver award for historical fiction from Kops-Fetherling.

Cost has also published the Mainely Mystery series including “Mainely Power” (the MHC Read ME fiction book of the year), “Mainely Fear”, and “Mainely Money”. The fourth book in the series, “Mainely Angst”, will be published in January of 2022.

He has begun the Clay Wolfe/Port Essex Trap series with “Wolfe Trap”. “Mind Trap” will be published in October of 2021 and “Mouse Trap” in the spring of 2022.

Cost now lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife, Harper. There are four grown children: Brittany, Pearson, Miranda, and Ryan. A chocolate Lab and a basset hound round out the mix. He now spends his days at the computer, writing.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

The Memory Stones: Forgiveness is a Journey in Time by Lewis Pennington – #BookReview – #timetravelfiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Memory Stones by Lewis PenningtonWhen Mase Winslow, the heir to a Civil War-era plantation is forced to almost kill his best friend, a slave named Spoon, he unconsciously brings about the demise of his beloved home. As guilt and remorse overtake him, he seeks atonement through death on the battlefield. With the help of an ordinary-looking stone given to him by Spoon’s mother, he is transported through time. When he realizes he can redeem himself by altering his actions, he suddenly has hope. The reality-bending journey that ensues takes him to present-day New York City and then back to Civil War-era South Carolina, requiring him to navigate a myriad of desperate challenges. With more than a century of guilt weighing him down, he battles himself, Yankee troops, nature’s elements, and a nemesis that follows him through time. Set against an ominous ticking clock counting toward a deadly showdown that could cost him the love of his life, all odds are stacked against him.

His Review:

The U.S. Civil War was the most brutal event in U.S. history. Sometimes brother fought brother on either side of the conflict. Lewis Pennington has taken this conflict into a dramatic story of love and survival. The Winslow plantation, better known as Willow Creek Plantation, is unique in the treatment of its’ slaves where they are treated more as family and friends.

The Memory Stones by Lewis PenningtonMase Winslow’s father, Braxton Winslow, is struck with a debilitating degenerative paralysis that leaves him unable to carry on management of the plantation. This occurs at the time the civil war is beginning. Mase has joined but does not want to leave because of his fathers’ failing health. His best friend is nicknamed Spoon. Often times, Spoon is heard entertaining groups with his ability to play tunes with two silver spoons. He is beloved by all who know him.

Mase’s sister Annabelle was raped just prior to his reporting for duty with the Confederate army and the prime suspect is Spoon. The penalty was to be death, but Mase does not have the heart to kill his best friend and whips Spoon to within an inch of his life. But he can’t handle the guilt.

Trauma amnesia is the result and Paul cannot recall the incident.

Paul Talbert has a passion for writing and works for a large New York newspaper. However, the editor of the newspaper relentlessly pushes him on deadlines. His co-worker, Zoey Antonelli, struggles to keep him on task and away from the bottle that helps to allay his lack of memory of his childhood. His early life is a ghostly memory and he does not understand why, so he goes back to Beaufort County, South Carolina to try and recover some of his memories. The memory of a beautiful old antebellum colonial mansion is actually a broken-down shopping mall. Could his recollection be so far from accurate?

Memory stones are a portal to different dimensions and times. The user need only squeeze the stone and is transported to another place and time. Memories and identities are not taken intact from one time to the other though.

CE WilliamsThis tale is wonderful adventure into the musings we all have; “if we could turn back time?” The characters are engaging, endearing, and feel real. I suggest anyone who has daydreamed about going into the past or future enjoy this ride authored by Lewis Pennington. 5 stars – CE Williams

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my unbiased opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Time Travel Fiction, Time Travel Science Fiction, Suspense
Publisher: Silver Lining Publishing
ASIN: B08W3Q2M87
Print Length: 391 pages
Publication Date: February 22, 2021
Source: Author request
Title Link: The Memory Stones [Amazon] 
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Lewis Pennington - authorThe Author: Lewis Pennington graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina with a degree in Graphic Design and Marketing. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he began his career with the now-defunct Science Fiction Magazine Omni Magazine. After decades of navigating through the corporate marketing maze, he is now focusing on his next chapter in life–providing readers with inspirational fiction. Lewis and his family live in Asheville, North Carolina.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

Vicious Circle (A Joe Pickett Novel Book 17) by C J Box – #Audiobook Review #crimethriller #TBT

Vicious Circle by C J Box

Book Blurb:

The plane circled in the dark. Joe Pickett could just make out down below a figure in the snow and timber, and then three other figures closing in. There was nothing he could do about it. And Joe knew that he might be their next target.

The Cates family had always been a bad lot. Game warden Joe Pickett had been able to strike a fierce blow against them when the life of his daughter April had been endangered, but he’d always wondered if there’d be a day of reckoning. He’s not wondering any longer. Joe knows they’re coming after him and his family now. He has his friend Nate by his side, but will that be enough this time? All he can do is prepare…and wait for them to make the first move.

My Review:

Hmm, this being my fourth book by CJ Box, three in the Joe Pickett series, I’m thinking I’ll swerve back to the Highway Quartet series.

No, I’ll not give up the author for the let down experienced by listening to Vicious Circle. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t hate it—but neither did I love it.

It’s the general atmospheric storytelling that compels me to gravitate to the western world of Wyoming and Montana. While I did get some of that western color, I had a problem with the characters—and I’m still struggling somewhat with the narrator.

Vicious Circle by C J BoxJoe Pickett is a Wyoming game warden who is coming up against an old local family with whom he’s crossed paths before. And not happily. Now they’re coming back for him.

Guess I’m getting tired of the vengeance theme. The backwoods family, nasty, with little concern for other than their perceived retribution begins a cat and mouse game to the end putting both Pickett, his family, and Nate Romanowski at risk. (Nate is the experienced falconer who’s played a prominent part in other episodes of the series.)

A smaller plot underlying the Cate family retribution is the poaching of animals by a group who has succeeded in evading discovery. Interesting local lore as well as game animal stats are woven into the narrative adding to that wild west mystique. Usually, poachers are after trophy animals, but the twist here is that the animals are standard wildlife. (They are not, however, being wasted as meat portions are being harvested.)

I did enjoy Wolf Pack and Long Range, perhaps less so than The Bitterroots, but I’ll be trying the Highway Quartet series again—maybe it’s time to go back to a female protagonist.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher:  Recorded Books
ASIN: B06WRT9FSR
Print Length: 377 pages
Listening Length: 10 hrs 20 mins
Narrator: David Chandler
Publication Date: March 21, 2017
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Vicious Circle [Amazon]

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five 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

The Narrator:  David Chandler was born on February 3, 1950 in Danbury, Connecticut, USA as David Suehsdorf. He is an actor and writer, known for Hide and Seek (2005), Law & Order (1990) and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd (1987). He is married to Janet Elizabeth Muir. They have two children.

©2021 V Williams –