Deep in the Forest: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 5) by Lynda McDaniel –#BookReview – @wordwardrobe

Book Blurb:

Deep in the Forest by Lynda McDanielHampshire, England, 2006: I should’ve known not to visit Nigel Steadman; trouble followed him closer than his shadow. But I’d finally made it all the way to Dublin, and it seemed a shame not to hop across the Irish Sea to see my old friend. Besides, he’d always said for me to come stay with him in London.

It wasn’t till I called from Dublin that I learned he’d moved to the New Forest in the south of England. Goodbye London before I ever met you—and hello heartache. That’s where Nigel roped me into doing some undercover work checking out the Ownbey gang he was trying to trick into telling the truth. But as you can imagine, things didn’t go the way we’d planned. Gunslingers, kidnappers, and thieves highjacked my vacation and turned it into a nightmare.

So here I am in a makeshift jail, and it feels like I’ll never see Fiona and the boys again. And if the bad guys have their way, I won’t. Even when my best friend Della Kincaid flies over to help, she can’t do much. I’m in so deep, she doesn’t know where to look for me. Time to pray. ~Abit Bradshaw

You’ll love this suspenseful mystery because who hasn’t tried to do the right thing—only to have it all go all wrong?

My Review:

Each of these series entries works well as a standalone and are unique but I have to say taking Abit Bradshaw and wife Fiona to Ireland is definitely a radical departure from their usual setting in the Appalachians.

Deep in the Forest by Lynda McDanielFiona is from Ireland and this was a grand chance to visit family. A chance also for Abit to get to London to see his old friend Nigel. He is envisioning the sightseeing until he discovers that Nigel is no longer in London—he relocated to New Forest. Nigel may best be a friend from afar as it doesn’t take long before he coerces Abit into doing a little “spying” for him. He’s always got something going on that could be considered dodgy—or even more—and this one appears to involve Nigel’s “gang” as well. Also, there is another gang which may prove downright dangerous and better left alone.

Abit, who got the childhood nickname from his dad who thought him “a bit slow” has, however, become quite the independent, strong, and actually musically talented adult as well as husband and father. I get the feeling Nigel takes advantage of him and wondered again how their friendship got past the first caper.

As always, Ms McDaniel completely immerses the reader into the locality, the local population vernacular, foods, and way of life. And in this particular narrative, it’s the local colorful characters, both good and bad, that take center stage rather than the overwhelming gorgeous atmosphere of the majestic mountains back home.

The POV switches between Abit and Della, his oldest friend and mentor—the lady who bought the little country store his dad owned back in Laurel Hills, North Carolina. Della is investigating her own drama at the store when she gets the word Abit is missing. I always enjoy references to the talent with his mandolin and Bluegrass music and Abit does get to show off some talents here as well.

I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Bluegrass music in Book 4, Murder Ballad Blues. I have read several of this author’s works and am definitely a fan. These are engaging characters, stunning atmospherics, clean, down home stories without gore, and unique page-turning mysteries.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my honest thoughts. I thoroughly enjoy the author’s sense of humor and prose, and I’m always left looking forward to the next novel.

Rosepoint Publishing recommended

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Religious Mysteries, Heist Crime, Women’s Detective Fiction
Publisher: Lynda McDaniel Books
ASIN: B09HR7SMDJ
Print Length: 254 pages
Publication Date: October 3, 2021
Source: Direct author connection 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Lynda McDaniel - authorThe Author: [Lynda McDaniel] I love writing page-turners—both fiction and nonfiction. And I love helping others to do the same, living into their dreams of writing books. I believe my success comes down to a respect for my readers and clients. I know I’m easily bored, so I work hard to engage and inspire my readers.

After all, we’re all busy these days, and I want to deliver value–whether that’s a gripping mystery filled with memorable characters or books on writing that give you the tools to write your own fiction and nonfiction. Both make me happy.

I got my start as a writer in the most unlikely place—a town of 200 people in the mountains of North Carolina. But living there changed my life in so many positive ways. Decades later, I realized that everything I value today, I was introduced to there. My Appalachian Mountain Mysteries–“A Life for a Life,” “The Roads to Damascus,” “Welcome the Little Children”–pay homage to the people of Appalachia who taught me so much. And to Mollie the Wonder Dog, who plays a role in both “The Roads to Damascus” (aka Millie) and in “Welcome the Little Children (as Millie and Mollie).

To keep up to date with Abit, Della, and the gang (and receive a free novelette that pulls back the curtain on Abit’s and Della’s lives before they met in Laurel Falls), head over to http://www.LyndaMcDanielBooks.com. No spam, no pestering, just the free novelette, a 12-part serialized preview of my upcoming Book Four (via my blog), and special offers/updates.

Over the years, I’ve written more than 1,200 articles for major magazines, hundreds of newsletters and blogs. I’m proudest of the 18 books I’ve written. My nonfiction books include “Words at Work,” which I wrote straight from my heart, a much-needed response to all the questions and concerns people have about writing today. (It won top honors from the National Best Books Awards.) I’ve also written two Amazon Bestselling Books: “How Not to Sound Stupid When You Write” and “Write Your Book Now!” (with Virginia McCullough).

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but I’ve lived all over this country—from the Midwest to the Deep South to Appalachia to the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest. Whew! I finally settled in Santa Rosa, California, a place that reflects the values I learned while living in the mountains of North Carolina, all those years ago.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

YouTube attribution: Stuche51

Ravens In The Rain: A Noir Love Story by Christie Santo and Jeff Santo –#BookReview – Hard-Boiled Mystery

Book Blurb:

Ravens in the Rain by Christie Santo and Jeff SantoRavens In The Rain centers around Pru and Carney, she’s a woman with a past, and he’s a man with no future. Down on luck and down on love, they meet over a game of chance at an off-strip Vegas casino, and Carney wonders if Pru’s sparkle is what he needs to lift him from his darkness. He doesn’t even mind that she swiped a hundred-dollar bill from an old cowboy. It excites him.

While Pru, disillusioned by her sparkle, is now accustomed to the cynical disposition of vagabond life. She’s not looking for a one-night stand; she’s looking for survival and sizing Carney up as a comfortable solution, for the moment. When she finds out who he really is, she’ll ante up for the game of her life.

This romantic noir is a turbulent flight; like dating in the 21st century, it’s dangerous and daring.

My Review:

Carney McMorris is a down on his luck ex-child star of a successful actor parent. His life was carefully choreographed through the teen acne that scarred him for life and all but ended his career. He stayed in the Hollywood scene, however, writing or directing when he had the opportunity, living on the legacy left by his dad. Now he has cigar-stomping cronies that he meets regularly at the bar, but these guys could hardly be classified as friends.

Prudencia (Pru) Romiti was abandoned early, surviving by her wits and cashing in on a beauty and sex appeal that opened doors. Largely living out of her car, sleeping on a couch provided by chance, she’s found staying mysterious keeps her fairly safe.

Ravens in the Rain by Christie Santo and Jeff SantoAs luck would have it, they meet by chance at a craps table in Vegas. She survives by avoidance and disappears but he can’t get her out of his mind and she later manages to arrange another “chance” meeting. There is a significant age gap as well as social status, life experiences, and histories, but Carney is intrigued enough by her “dangerous” persona that he joins the games she employs.

When he takes her on a motorcycle ride, an accident results in a serious leg injury and he takes her into his home to insure she is nursed back to health.

The basic plot is a good one although the story is written strongly by tell not show. She likes to play games, which become tiresome, and although grateful for the care and the roof over her head and food, remains enigmatic. His infatuation seems to hinge on her desirability (broken leg or not) and her puzzling background, fed by tiny bits and pieces. (He must know more.) The narrative begins dark and doesn’t stray from the noir vibe.

His life intrudes more darkly on their tale than hers resulting in a death implied by her hand. Could be or not—she is not exactly beyond stealing and her history hints at a deadly side.

It’s a debut novel. I had a problem with a couple plot holes, need for additional editing, and my inability to engage with any of the characters. Both so suspicious of each other, it’s difficult to see a continuing relationship especially in view of the seriousness of the possible murder. A motorcycle accident as described would have whacked the bike so hard there is no way the driver could not have lost control (destroyed the fiberglass bag and her leg but still allowed him to pull over safely? Nah—takes less than that to knock a bike out from under you.)

A good effort in the noir vane and captured an essence of the Hollywood underbelly not usually dissected but pushed the relationship disbelief a bit far. The characters come off strong, not wholly likeable, and was surprised by the conclusion. Interesting first effort, though I’d recommend additional eyes on the manuscript.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher and these are my honest thoughts.

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Noir Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mysteries
Publisher: Santo Films
ISBN: 109836967XASIN: B09GHH49V5 (Audiobook)
Publisher: BookBaby

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B095HYQ3YM (Kindle edition)

Print Length: 248 pages
Publication Date: September 22, 2021
Source: Author request
Title Link: Ravens in the Rain [Amazon]
 

Christie Santo- authorThe Authors: Christie Santo has published short stories and poetry and has freelanced as a ghostwriter. She received her BA in creative writing from California State University Long Beach and has over a decade of independent filmmaking experience in writing, editing, producing, and acting. Ravens In The Rain: A Noir Love Story is her debut novel. She lives in Burbank with her husband and two Boston Terrier dogs.

 

Jeff Santo - authorJeff Santo is a screenwriter/director and has over 25 years of indie filmmaking experience. He’s a member of both the WGA and DGA and Ravens In The Rain is Jeff’s debut novel. He lives in Burbank, California, with his wife, Christie, and their two Boston Terriers.

 

 

 

©2021 V Williams V Williams

September Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Hello October!

Yes, the house closed the third week of September and they are moved and into their new home still crammed with boxes. I haven’t seen it yet but we are due to see it this weekend. She is loving it and very excited to start her new adventure and create memories in that lovely area of Illinois.

Frosty Dancer our Bichon Frise In the meantime, the tension and stress apparently hit the CE with more stress than he shows and was attacked with a horrendous case of shingles. In pain for days and no help from the local doc, we finally resorted to the emergency room who diagnosed him. However, with Covid19 still rampant in all it’s forms, have we had one call back from our doctor despite numerous calls for pain relief? Nope. Nada. Zip. We’re talking nerve pain which is not easily quelled and after three weeks, he’s still down. Even Frosty, our Bichon, got sick. I think that’s taking canine-human sympathy too far, and she’s been back and forth to her doctor. At least she is doing better.

Still resorting to shortcuts, not doing as much social media, and difficulty reading, but still managed fourteen book reviews for September. As usual from NetGalley and author requests, as well as audiobooks from my library. (My review links listed below.)

Regardless of the Consequences by L D Lauritzen The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula Darnell Crossing Lines by Adrienne Giordano False Witness by Karin Slaughter Keep Me Close by Jane Holland Traveller Probo by Rob Shackleford Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael Reisig The Silent Witness by Carolyn Arnold Fatal Solutions by Becky Clark Look Twice by Eva Hudson Mind Trap by Matt Cost The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (audiobook)
Regardless of the Consequences by L D Lauritzen (a CE review)
Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula Darnell
Crossing Lines by Adrienne Giordano (a CE review)
False Witness by Karin Slaughter (audiobook)
Keep Me Close by Jane Holland (a CE review)
Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael Reisig
The Silent Witness by Carolyn Arnold (a CE review)
Fatal Solutions by Becky Clark
Traveller Probo by Rob Shackleford (three parts)
Look Twice by Ingrid Skyberg (a CE review)
Mind Trap by Matt Cost (a CE review)
The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander
The Guest List by Lucy Foley (audiobook)

Eventually I expect to catch up my reading challenges! You can check out my challenges progress (however far behind it is) by clicking on my Reading Challenges page. However, I have achieved my Reading Challenge goal for Historical Reading Fiction (10) and the Audiobook challenge (30). I feel I have also achieved the NetGalley challenge (75), but I’ll have to catch it up to confirm. And, I’m on track for hitting the Goodreads challenge of 175 at 140. Now, I’m looking at setting up a goal next year for the 500 reviews badge on NetGalley.

I’m still struggling with the widgets and the update of the most dynamic of them, finally getting an answer from one of the engineers that steered me right into doing a block widget. Seems there is no way I can continue to do classic widgets and if the widgets look like a fifth grader did it, perhaps you’ll understand. Wait! A fifth grader would probably have done better. But at least I’ve made a little progress and no, I still don’t like the block editor.

Apologies for the erratic postings, the possible edit errors I’ve missed. September has been difficult. Still, I do so appreciate my new followers and thank you again to all my active followers. I hope you and yours are doing well!

©2021 V Williams – Happy and safe autumn!

Autumn at Rosepoint Pub

Mind Trap (A Clay Wolfe/Port Essex Mystery Book 2) by Matt Cost – #BookReview – #privateinvestigatormysteries

Book Blurb:

Mind Trap by Matt Cost“You say your daughter is missing?” Clay Wolfe asked. The man in front of him was slightly disheveled. Red eyes. Fear creased his features.

What is the End Game?
It was as close to ecstasy as the woman had ever been in her life. It was enlightenment. She was no longer Martha Abbott. She was a warrior of Marduk engaged in a war of purity.

What is going to happen on Leap Day?
“We have allowed sin to fill our homes, and it is our divine labor to cleanse that filth from our streets.” Marduk’s voice boomed through the cavernous temple.

Something evil is lurking in the streets of Port Essex. A missing girl. Violent attacks. It is up to Clay Wolfe, his partner Baylee Baker, and a colorful assortment of friends to get to the bottom of these odious occurrences before it is too late.

His Review:

Could a splinter group plan to poison an entire community? Twelve disciples are involved in an attempt to control civilization. Their leader is a man considered the “Chosen One” who was a pre-Messiah nearly two centuries before Christ. He had four women who were helping him and were designated as whores of the group.

Mind Trap by Matt CostMarduk is the self-proclaimed savior whose group will enter into the end times and he will shepherd them into heaven. He has engaged seventy-two disciples to assist in this evolution. His followers have elevated him to demi-god status and follow him blindly in whatever goal he sets.

Mr. Abbott is a confirmed wife beater. He engages Clay Wolfe, a private detective, to find his teenage daughter. The beating and mistreatment of his wife is well documented. His daughter is in hiding to avoid her father. He really never divorced his wife but just went off with another woman.

Marduk is grooming Mrs. Abbott to become one of his high priestesses. The transformation of Mrs. Abbott is dramatic. She shaves her hair and uses wigs, loses around thirty pounds and becomes attractive and self-assured. The end game is to make a very profound statement regarding the perceived degradation of society. They know their rights under the constitution and inform the police that they have no right to stop them or even arrest them. They simply walk past the police and go about their business.

The goal is to make a very powerful political statement. Like David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, they will commit group suicide to enter heaven. They are the ones who will determine the end times. A town of 16,000+ individuals are on their path to heaven.

CE WilliamsMatt Cost writes a very convincing tale of debauched demi-gods. It is sad that this event has actually occurred in our past. The mistreatment of a wife and cruelty by a mean husband leads the woman to find fulfillment and appreciation elsewhere and splinters the family. It’s a sad commentary, well written, engaging and realistic. Currently on pre-order. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

This reviewer also reviewed the first novel in this new series, Wolfe Trap, in June and greatly enjoyed it. We’ve also read his Mainely Mystery series as well. Each one grows in intensity, strength of narrative, and character. We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author 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: Small Town & Rural Fiction, Private Investigator Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher: Encircle Publications
ASIN: B09H3X6RBR
Print Length: 313 pages
Publication Date: October 6, 2021
Source: Direct author request
Title Link: Mind 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 V Williams

False Witness: A Novel by Karin Slaughter – #Audiobook Review – #legalthriller

False Witness by Karin Slaughter

Book Blurb:

AN ORDINARY LIFE…

Leigh Collier has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She’s an up-and-coming defense attorney at a prestigious law firm in Atlanta, would do anything for her sixteen-year-old daughter Maddy, and is managing to successfully coparent through a pandemic after an amicable separation from her husband Walter.

HIDES A DEVASTATING PAST…

But Leigh’s ordinary life masks a childhood no one should have to endure … a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and ultimately destroyed by a brutal act of violence.

BUT NOW THE PAST IS CATCHING UP…

On a Sunday night at her daughter’s school play, she gets a call from one of the firm’s partners who wants Leigh to come on board to defend a wealthy man accused of multiple counts of rape. Though wary of the case, it becomes apparent she doesn’t have much choice if she wants to keep her job. They’re scheduled to go to trial in one week. When she meets the accused face-to-face, she realizes that it’s no coincidence that he’s specifically asked for her to represent him. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he may know what happened over twenty years ago, and why Leigh has spent two decades avoiding her past.  

AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

Suddenly she has a lot more to lose than this case. The only person who can help is her younger, estranged sister Callie—the last person Leigh would ever want to drag into this after all they’ve been through. But with the life-shattering truth in danger of being revealed, she has no choice…

My Review:

Another author for whom I’ve seen tons of books, reviews, and accolades, I bit when I saw the massive selection of books, both ebooks and audiobooks listed at my favorite local library.  I’ll never understand why an author would pack what might otherwise be viewed as a well plotted, fast-paced five star contender with language that would make even a sailor blush. And this one was so blatantly graphic, violent, and brutal, I almost gave up on it several times.

False Witness by Karin SlaughterThe narrative crawled like a centipede up the back of my neck, raising hairs, and would not be swatted away.

The main character, Leigh, a defense attorney, may not be the most sympathetic character over that of her younger sister, Callie. Callie becomes a heroin addict following a catastrophic accident. A child gymnast and cheerleader, the resulting broken neck left her with unrelenting pain. Further, she was babysitting a boy whose father began abusing her. Callie finds herself in a life and death struggle with the father and ends up killing him. She calls her older sister and together they deal with it—the body, the scene, and the money which pays for Leigh’s college.

Neither of the two can escape the lingering trauma and Leigh is left with crushing guilt over the resulting spiral of her sister. It’s all her fault. All her fault! She’d given the babysitting job to her sister burying her experience with the boy’s father.

Now 20 years later, Leigh finds herself defending Andrew in a horrific rape case. Turns out, Andrew is Trevor, the son of the man they disposed of. He is now a very wealthy sexual predator, a vicious psychopath, a 33 year old following the path of dear ole dad.

The author has developed her characters so well, a reader might very well feel the skin crawl at the connection between he and Leigh. His delight in manipulating the trial, his hold over Leigh’s sixteen year old daughter. He drips with power, impunity, entitlement. He’s cold, calculating.

The novel also includes the contemporary atmosphere of the impact of the Covid pandemic while examining each piece of the puzzle, the exploitation, the cold disengagement of the accused. Juxtaposed against the court drama is the struggle of Callie, the desperation of Leigh, and the limitations of normal public function due to the virus.

The book examines some horrifically disturbing issues: drug addiction, rape, sexual deviation, domestic violence, and murder.

There are few emotional connections here, the two sisters kept at arm’s length by an extremely abusive background. One likeable character in the vet where Callie routinely returns to care for animals. One sister damaged psychologically and physically for life, one going the other way into intellectually unemotional detachment, driven together again for a shared solution. A story that does not, can not have, a happy ending.

I can honestly admit my old-fashioned mind was grossed out on more than one occasion and the language was abominable. While the story might be engrossing, the level of mayhem coupled with the language was over the top for me. This is probably my first and last book by this author. Have you the same experience or dulled by the constant hammering of the theme and language?

Book Details:

Genre: Legal Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers, Suspense
Publisher:  Blackstone Publishing
ASIN: B09239CX27
Listening Length: 18 hrs 39 mins
Narrator: Kathleen Early
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: False Witness [Amazon]

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

Karin Slaughter - authorThe Author: Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 21 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NYT bestselling stand-alone novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and PIECES OF HER. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta. Her stand-alone novel PIECES OF HER is in development with Netflix, starring Toni Collette, and the Grant County and Will Trent series are in development for television.

http://www.karinslaughter.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKarinSlaughter/

Instagram http://www.instagram.com/karinslaughterauthor/

Twitter @SlaughterKarin

Kathleen Early - narrator, actressThe Narrator:  Kathleen Early was born on October 31, 1973 in Irving, Texas, USA. She is an actress, known for Across the Universe (2007), Trip in a Summer Dress (2004) and Grey’s Anatomy (2005).

 

 

 

 

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Crossing Lines: A Spellbinding CIA Romantic Suspense Thriller by Adrienne Giordano – #BookReview – #domesticthrillers – #tuesdaybookblog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

 Book Blurb:

CIA operative Elizabeth Aiken is on her own. After a rescue operation in Venezuela goes south and her cover is blown, Elizabeth barely escapes the country with her life. Set adrift by the Agency and with a price on her head, she seeks out the only person who can help her disappear.

Viper.

Crossing Lines by Adrienne GiordanoUnfortunately, the devastatingly attractive former operative wants nothing to do with her or the cartel-backed Venezuelan president who wants her dead. Worse still, if Elizabeth’s not careful, she’ll end up losing her heart instead of watching her back…and there’s no room for mistakes with assassins hot on her trail.

Helping her could destroy everything he’s worked for.

  • Former Marine-turned-CIA operative.
  • Current bar owner.
  • All-around badass.

Shane “Viper” Quinn has spent years constructing the perfect cover, and he’s not about to sacrifice it for a woman he barely knows. Even if she is strong and beautiful and makes him long for sultry nights that could destroy his carefully crafted life.
Still, Shane is forced to fight his growing attraction to the fearsome ex-agent while keeping her in one piece. Elizabeth’s enemies are now his enemies—and they aren’t going to stop until everyone who stands against them is eliminated. Will having the deadly Viper by her side be enough to save her?

His Review:

Killing, even in self-defense, is not always an acceptable activity. When the father of the victim is the president of a South American country, running and anonymity is the only answer. Elizabeth Aiken has changed her name and gone underground. A world class assassin is on her trail with a large bounty for her demise. Once made, an operative is no longer useful and the CIA has left her on her own!

Crossing Lines by Adrienne GiordanoShane Quinn is an ex-CIA operative in basically the same position. He started a business in Chicago and is staying below the radar to survive. He takes a liking to Elizabeth and decides to help her. She is a small but hardly diminutive woman who has spent her life in self-supporting roles. Her dark eyes captivate this blue-eyed hunk of a man. Yes, he tries to shake her, but desperation keeps her around like a dirty shirt on a camping trip.

The South American dictator knew his son was a psychopathic killer and enjoyed torturing his captives, but is that any reason to kill him? One of his life’s goals is to capture this bitch and inflict a slow and painful death and running can only get an ex- agent so far. The paychecks are no longer coming from the government and Liz is on her own. Surely it is only a matter of time before her painful death will be gratifyingly completed.

The author builds a budding romance between Shane and Liz. Thrown together by the desperate need of the young woman and her Sir Galahad, this story is very entertaining and brisk. Shane tries every trick in the book to conceal Liz’s whereabouts and save her from a painful death. His background and history make this a very dangerous endeavor. Can he save her, be her knight in shining armor, and keep her alive?CE Williams

This well-developed story is very entertaining and will keep you on the edge of your seat–-or sofa. There are no dragging chapters and I feel this author will become one of your favorites as well. 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.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Political Thrillers & Suspense, Women’s Adventure Fiction
Publisher: ALG Publishing
ASIN: B099X99MXY
Print Length: 376 pages
Publication Date: To be released September 14, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Crossing Lines [Amazon] 
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Adrienne Giordano - authorThe Author: Adrienne Giordano is a USA Today bestselling author of over thirty romantic suspense and mystery novels. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her ultimate supporter of a husband, sports-obsessed son and Elliot, a snuggle-happy rescue. Having grown up near the ocean, Adrienne enjoys paddleboarding, a nice float in a kayak and lounging on the beach with a good book. For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com.

 

©CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz – #Audiobook Review – #suspense #TBT

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

Book Blurb:

Timothy Carrier is an ordinary guy who enjoys a beer after work. But tonight is no ordinary night. Instead, Tim will face a terrifying decision: Help or run. For the jittery stranger sitting beside him at the bar has mistaken Tim for someone else—and passes him a manila envelope stuffed with cash and the photo of a pretty woman. “Ten thousand. The rest when she’s gone.”

Now everything Tim thinks he knows—even about himself—will be challenged. For Tim Carrier is the one man who can save an innocent life and stop a killer as relentless as evil incarnate. But first he must discover resources within himself that will transform his idea of who he is and what it takes to be the good guy.

My Review:

From the prolific pen of Dean Koontz came The Good Guy, published in 2007. I’ve read a number of his books, mostly of the Jane Hawk series, which I enjoyed. So, it was time I sampled some of his other books while trying to avoid the hardcore horror that my son attributed to him. This one is billed as suspense.

The Good Guy by Dean KoontzIn this standalone, Timothy Carrier (our good guy) is approached by a man who mistakes him for the hired killer he was to meet, handing him an envelope with $10k and leaves. When the real killer arrives and mistakes Tim for the client, Tim tries to cancel the contract, offering half the money back to drop it.

Oh, wait…I think I’ve heard this one!

Tim, being stuck and checking out the target, decides he’ll warn the unsuspecting woman and together try to figure out why the impending hit. (Cue the violins.) She’s clueless why someone would want to kill her. She’s a simple woman, albeit a bit unusual in her tastes, and they’re both single with baggage and unhappy histories. (I think I can see where this is going.)

Koontz is nothing if not adept at developing his characters carefully, a nuance at a time, right down to nervous tics and tells. Tim is a simple mason—but good at his job. Linda harbors secrets and I’m thinking, “run, Forest, run!.” But no, they are ducking and outwitting the antagonist who is one very nasty guy, free of any moral compass, and so far hasn’t hesitated to knock off those who block his way or just generally piss him off. Krait also has a history,

But you don’t want to know…

Krait anticipates their moves and positions himself very well. He really hates the thought he may be losing cred with his employers and the tension ramps up.

As usual, Koontz kicks in his own macabre sense of humor bestowing it mostly on Krait and the sense of the man rises the hair on the back of the reader’s neck. Some tender scenes with Tim and Linda, natural dialogue, Tim rising to his white knight position, Linda to distressed damsel.

The narrator used a soft sell voice on the antagonist adding to the creepy factor. He is truly going over the deep end trying to save his face on this one and his handlers are cueing in.

The conclusion actually arrives with more of a whimper not a bang but Koontz has one more little surprise for you. If you like suspense thrillers, you’d probably like this, and I’d recommend the audiobook. Do you read Dean Koontz? Did you enjoy his Jane Hawk series? What is your favorite Koontz book? Strangely, I don’t see that many five stars on his books in Goodreads. Well, anyway, I like the pictures of his dogs.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Suspense Thrilllers
Publisher:  Random House Audio
ASIN: B000R34YQ6
Listening Length: 9 hrs 18 mins
Narrator: Richard Ferrone
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Good Guy [Amazon]
 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4 stars

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

Richard Ferrone - narratorThe Narrator:  Richard Ferrone is a former lawyer who became an actor in the 1970s. He has appeared on Broadway and in theaters across the country. His television appearances include ”Law & Order,” “Against the Law,” “Guiding Light,” and “One Life to Live.“ He became an immediate favorite of audiobook fans more than 20 years ago with his first audiobook, “The Stranglers” by Loren D. Estleman, and since then he has recorded the works of many bestselling authors including Dean Koontz, Dashiell Hammett, and myself! Although he has recorded books in nearly every genre, from romances to children’s stories to self-help books, he is best known for his mystery and thriller recordings, especially those of John Sandford’s “Prey” novels and the Tim LaHaye/Jerry Jenkins “Left Behind” series. He is an Audie Award winner and is married to actor Cynthia Darlow.

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