Monday, May 20, 2019

Spine-tingling Suspense...

"Shadows were seeping out of the trees like spilled molasses, coiling through the grass and sweeping up their trunks. The deathly quiet was broken by the hum of incoherent murmurings. dozens of whispered voices swirled around him as the shadows continued their steady march towards the driveway and his only means of escape .... He sucked air audibly through his teeth as the shadows took on the shape and form of people, an eerie queue of obsidian men and women without faces. He was going to die."

The book:  Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea

The setting:  a log cabin in Shida, Alaska, a remote village where the native Alaskans know more than they're willing to say.

The main characters:  JOHN BACKMAN, a widower, lottery winner, and paranormal hunter who lives to investigate strange phenomenom. JESSICA, John's precocious and fearless six-year-old daughter who's the first to see a ghost at the log cabin. EVE, John's sister-in-law, and her young son, LIAM. And JUDAS GRAVES, an outsider in Shida who loves to read, smoke pot, and who experienced the terror residing in the log cabin firsthand. He's the reason John's come to Alaska with his family. Then there's the rest of the town, who really don't want John and his family there.

The end result:  a creepy and entertaining supernatural mystery with murderous shadows, ghosts, buried secrets, suspense, evil, terror, revenge, love, sacrifice, and death.  Do I recommend it? Absolutely!

Happy Reading!

For more Hunter Shea reads and reviews, check out Barb's review of Antarctic Ice Beasts, and watch for her upcoming review of Shea's newest novel, Ghost Mine. She's also posted a great interview with Hunter Shea about his books, which everyone should go and read. And then go read a Hunter Shea book for yourself!

Like one of these:
The Dover Demon
Megalodon in Paradise
They Rise

Friday, May 17, 2019

Bookish suspense...

A Merciful Secret by Kendra Elliot is the third Mercy Kilpatrick mystery, and I think it's my favorite so far. Mercy is an FBI agent working out of Bend, Oregon. Her boyfriend, Truman Daly, is the sheriff of Eagle's Nest, the small Oregon town where Mercy grew up. And they're such a great team! I love Mercy's prepper past, and how well she and Truman work together when they're solving a case.

Their case this time involves a judge in Portland, and an old woman living miles away in a cabin in the woods. They have nothing in common except how they were murdered. Mercy literally gets dragged into the case by the old woman's granddaughter, Morrigan. The twist? The grandmother and her daughter, Salome, are apparently witches. Is that why they were killed? And how are they connected to the murdered judge? It's a mystery...and one Mercy and Truman are determined to solve before anyone else dies.

I love the way Elliot spins a story and how she builds suspense in her novels. And I love her characters--even the secondary ones like Mercy's blind sister, Rose, and her hipster FBI partner, Eddie. This is definitely my new favorite mystery series. Intrigued? Check out her previous books, A Merciful Death and A Merciful Truth, first. You won't be sorry.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Haiku reviews...

In Her Sights by Katie Ruggle 

When Molly needs help,
rival bounty hunter John
comes to her rescue.

Romantic suspense .... 336 pages .... 4.5/5 stars.
(How could I resist a book about five bounty-hunting sisters? Plus, Rachel's review made it sound so good I had to check it out. I'm so glad I did.)

A Merciful Truth (Mercy Kilpatrick mystery #2) by Kendra Elliot

Arson and murder
force Truman and Mercy to
track down a killer

Great suspense/mystery .... 307 pages ... 5/5 stars.  
(I love this series!!)

Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

Boarding school can be murder!
Anne is determined to find
her roommate's killer.

Very entertaining YA mystery .... 310 pages .... 4/5 stars.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

From the F Shelf...

Author:  Nicci French
Title:  Blue Monday

I was scanning the F shelf at my library looking for my next Alphabet read among the Folletts and the Faulkners, but nothing really grabbed my attention until I spotted the row of Nicci French mysteries. These are books I've been aware of for years, but never read...until now. And it turned out to be another moment of library serendipity.

Blue Monday is the first book about psychotherapist Frieda Klein--an imperfect and complex character who likes to walk the streets of London alone at night, who refuses to buy a cell phone because she doesn't want people to be able to get in touch with her every hour of the day, and who doesn't like opening up to others. I liked getting to know her. And the mystery? It's a good one. It revolves around one of her clients, a missing child, and a disturbing coincidence.
"Friday," she said. ... Alan Dekker had dreamed of a son with red hair. Red-haired Matthew Faraday had vanished. Eerie, but meaningless ... She couldn't help pondering it, though.
Despite some reservations, Frieda finds herself getting involved in the police investigation, working with Detective Chief Inspector Malcolm Karlsson (who I also liked). As Frieda delves deeper into the mystery, she runs into some unexpected twists. (Though I saw a few of them coming.)

All in all, I'm glad Blue Monday was sitting on the F shelf when I was at the library, and that I finally gave this series a try. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Gotta love a little free library!

I found this one close to my own neighborhood.
Isn't it cute?

Next time I go by I'll have to check out a book.

And maybe leave one of my own in exchange.

(Found any Little Free Libraries near you?)

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Woman 99 by Greer Macallister

A Gilded Age historical fiction novel
First line:  "Goldengrove devoured my sister every time I closed my eyes."

When Charlotte's parents have her older sister, Phoebe, committed to Goldengrove Asylum, Charlotte decides to channel her inner Nellie Bly and get committed to the asylum herself in order to rescue her sister. Only she doesn't tell anyone her plans. And it only dawns on her once she's locked up in the asylum as just another anonymous indigent 'madwoman' that it might not be so easy to find Phoebe, or to get back out.
"I'd planned to find Phoebe, then inform the doctors that we were both sane, there had been a mistake, and we were leaving....I would save my sister the way she had saved me. But I could see now that what I'd imagined was only one of many, many possibilities and far from the likeliest one. Like Nellie Bly, I'd found it relatively simple to get in; how hard would it prove, I now wondered, to get out?"
I didn't like this one as much as I thought I would when I first started reading it. Probably because I found Charlotte's voice, as well as many of her actions, frustrating. She never would have succeeded in her quest to rescue her sister without the help of the other women in the asylum. I mean, who decides to get herself thrown in an asylum without a good plan of how to get back out? But maybe Macallister's main point was to show how unfairly women were treated back then, and how easy it was for the men around them to deem them mad and have them locked away for the rest of their lives. She certainly does an excellent job of portraying life in the asylum! Charlotte's personal life, and romantic drama, were less interesting to me. And I thought it all wrapped up a bit too neatly at the end. But the things that bugged me about this one might not bug you. And there were things I liked about it. So if you're interested in this time period, or in the stories of the women who were put in these asylums, definitely give it a try.

Happy Reading! 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Two worth reading...

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

What this book offers:  Impressive galaxy-building with lots of futuristic tech, exotic alien races, and a complicated history of how they all came together. It's a well-written and entertaining space adventure, very character-driven, that revolves around a pieced-together spaceship called the Wayfarer, and her truly unique crew. Chambers went into a lot of detail about everything and everyone, and sometimes I felt like all that detail slowed the story down and made it feel a bit long. But overall, I liked this one. And I'm very interested in seeing where she takes her crew next.

Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano

What's good about this one:  It's one intense, crazy ride right from the start. Rachel goes missing for two weeks, but when she comes back, she can't remember the last year. Everything from her friends to her hair has changed, and she doesn't know why. And she doesn't know who kidnapped her, or how she got away. There are some really good plot twists in this one as Rachel uncovers the truth about her past and her new friends...ones I did not see coming. This YA mystery is suspenseful, fast-paced and fun.

Happy Reading!