The way I see it

"Girl Eight", by Melinda Woodhall

"Girl Eight" - Melinda Woodhall

Mercy Harbor Thriller book #2

I discovered this author not too long ago with “River Girls” book #1 in this series I found it so riveting that I couldn’t pass reading the 2nd installment and now I confess that I have an eye on book #3.

Eden Winthrop and detective Nessa Ainsley are the main characters in this series. In this latest our two players are recovering from the tragic events that occurred in the previous book. Trying to keep the vulnerable residents at Mercy House safe is not an easy task, so when one of the girls goes missing they discover that a serial killer may be lurking in the shadows. Not giving a second thought and determined to stop him at any cost they go all out and right into danger. 7 girls have already gone missing and now presumed dead. Has the killer set his mind on Girl Eight? Seems so…..

“Girl Eight” is definitely a page-turner, very suspenseful and one that it is hard to figure who is really behind the murders/kidnappings. As Eden pursuits the killer Leo Steele, a recurring character, investigates his mother’s death… The cases collide and as the events unfold the link between the two cases becomes clear but before we go any further I am warning you…. we are giving a very twisty ride to follow. What a story.

As for the characterization, we have a multitude of secondary players: investigators, officers of the law, doctors, some good guys and some not so good, all are drawn with a skillful hand to push forward this thrilling mystery. This story is tightly written, is action packed and moves at a steady pace. I was so into this story I had the hardness of time putting this book aside. Saying more will spoil the enjoyment so I say no more.

As the character development progresses with each installment, I suggest reading this series in order. But if you start here, you will definitely want to read “River Girl”, the first novel…

I received a copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Opinions expressed are my own.

"Her Last Summer"by Melinda Woodhall

"Her Last Summer" - Melinda Woodhall

Veronica Lee Thriller book #1

As a fan of the Mercy Harbor Thriller Series I definitely didn’t want to miss reading “Her Last Summer” the first book in the exciting spin-off series set in the small Florida town of Willow Bay.

I appreciated to see that some of my favourite characters took center stage in this new story. After reading 4 books in the Mercy Harbor series they have become dear to me. Although the story brought back known players the story has its own spin, is fresh and exciting. Ms. Woodhall writes an intriguing premise and has a knack to twirl suspense to keep us flipping pages.

It starts when a well-known author is found dead in her hotel room…is it suicide or murder….chief of Police Nessa and her team are scrambling to find out and Veronica, the reporter, to get her scoop. Of course, the villain or villains play a cat and mouse game with everyone…and what a chase we are into when several women are killed by the same method and everyone suspect a serial killer may be on the loose…who will be next…. many players come into play, some we know and some appear for the first time and all are entangled in a web of mystery, suspense and betrayal. As the plot moves at a steady pace there is a great deal of tension. I was so engaged in the action I lost track of time and had to be brought to reality and back to my daily chores….

This kind of story is just up my alley: one that never misses a beat, gives us intriguing and suspenseful action and a satisfying wrap up…oh yah also a mushy ending… one could not like this story?

I received a free digital copy of this crime fiction. This is a voluntarily review, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

"A Dubious Rock", by Gerald J. Kubicki

"A Dubious Rock" - Gerald J. Kubicki

A Colton Banyon Mystery book # 33

All books in the “Dubious” series are an action adventure blended with today’s world issue. In this latest, the topic centers on Rock Nodules. Although part of a series, “A Dubious Rock” can be read on its own.

Mr. Kubicki follows his usual pattern: fast-paced, lots of action, over the top storyline that holds us captive from the opening words to the last and a bunch of loveable and not so loveable characters with some very villain ones to shoot at. Yes, we have a lot of killing, no fear; the scenes are not too descriptive. The story moves along at a good pace and is smoothly said with a clean language. No cuss words from anyone. Mr. Kubicki through the time has mellowed his style when it concerns his female characters. At the beginning they were ridiculously depicted now they are simply badass and very entertaining…

Colton Banyon and his team are called in Long Beach California to solve a mystery: identify a young woman who has been murdered and the enigma behind those strange rocks found at the bottom of her boat. As the case moves on, Colton discovers a huge conspiracy involving many bigwigs…...and the fun begins…enjoy.

"The Book of Lost Names", by Kristin Harmel

"The Book of Lost Names" - Kristin Harmel

This latest chronicles the story of a skilled forger who risks her life to help hundreds of Jewish children escape the Nazis during World War 11. This unforgettable historical novel is inspired by an astonishing true story. “The Book of Lost Names” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of evil. This is the story of Eva Traube, her story transitions between 2005 in Florida and France 1940 where the life of a young Polish-French changed for ever.

The dual time line is easy to follow, it is smoothly done. Mostly set during the war, of course there is a great deal about the French Resistance and the incredible important role the forgers had to play in order to save thousands of lives. We follow Eva’s journey into a world of inner working of networks and into Eva’s personal sacrifice. We also have a love story of two people which time is not on their side.

The writing is touching and much care is brought to each character making this one of the most engaging stories I have read in some time. Who to trust and who not to trust were on everyone’s mind and the author highlights the struggles Eva suffered to find the right balance. There is a lot to this story, so much humanity in the words, so much pain…In Eva`s clandestine group we will meet other forgers, a priest, a bookstore keeper, her landlady and her mother who plays an important role. These good people are just a drop of good people doing dangerous activities under the nose of the Nazis.….many of them will be betrayed and will never be seen again…

The author tells us although her story is based on true historical facts she took liberty to change place, names and modified events to give her more freedom to transport us into a heart-warming story that would stay with us after the closing page….This page-turner surely did for me. This is one novel I had a very hard time to put down. Well-done.

I receive the ARC from the publisher Simon & Schuster Canada via Netgalleys for my unbiased and voluntary opinion.

"The Heart of a Hero", by Susan May Warren

"The Heart of a Hero" - Susan May Warren

Global Search and Rescue book # 2

This sequel to “Way of the Brave” continues the story of Jake Silver, a former Navy Seal working for a global search and rescue organisation, and Aria Sinclair, a surgeon who takes care of children with heart conditions. Jake had rescued her on Mount Denali in book #1. In this second edition, Aria heads to Florida to speak at a medical conference when a misdirected text is received by Jake. He immediately assumes Aria is in trouble and needs rescuing…He heads to Florida even if Hurricane Lucy is raging…..and the fun begins….or the nightmare….

In a background of a devastation scenario, this soft romance story is packed with emotions and deep feelings. Jack is a broken hero that carries a lot of baggage but he has a heart of gold. Aria is so prone to natural disaster and again has taken immense risks…. how many problems these two can get into…you wouldn’t believe it. Pages after pages of trouble….and we are deed into a drama filled with twists hard to imagine. One would say this story is a mixture of faith, suspense and action, maybe a buddy romance….

“The Heart of a Hero” does not let the two protagonists take a break, one problem after the other crosses their paths. These two are so well- defined they simply grab your heart and you soon forget they simply characters. Jake and Aria are not the only ones playing a particular role, Jake’s Navy body Ham and wife Signe have an interesting second chapter in their lives recounted, hopefully we will learn more in the future. Too many open questions not to be resolved…..We have other captivating characters that helped propel the story forward and added a human side to this gripping story.

This story is clean, no sex and no bad language and also has religion connotations. If you don’t mind reading a Christian adventure story you will enjoy this book. It left me with mixed feelings…..but curious for book #3

I received a copy from the Publisher Revell via First Reviewer Program for my thoughts

"Cold Heart", by Sean-Paul Thomas

"Cold Heart" - Sean-Paul Thomas

If you like a main character to be a villain instead of a hero read “Cold Heart”. Estelle Munroe nicknamed “Cold Heart” is an assassin serving a mysterious individual with powers to control whatever he wants in the shadows. But after a successful mission Estelle discovers that her sister Gayle drowned while swimming in the Clyde in Glasgow. Gayle was scared of water and to Estelle her death was totally out of character, more than questionable and even impossible. She had to find out what happened to her sister even defying he superiors orders to stay put….but at what price…..what a thrilling read.

In a third person’s point of view, the story flips between Estelle’s past and the present as she navigates through the mystery of her sister’s death. The methods of this ruthless assassin determined to find the truth are brutal and at time even unnecessary but are definitely effective. Estelle is certainly very hateful, uncaring and heartless human being. The author gave her a very interesting and difficult persona: at first you start hating her and cannot see anything qualifying her actions but slowly you are pulled in and rooting for her success in avenging her sister’s death. Estelle is a seriously kick-ass female protagonist and is well-defined character. I love her.

This novel is filled with violence and is very graphic. It offers several twists along the way and provides quite a roller coaster ride till the end. The wonderfully exciting and engrossing plot is well-written and crafted. This is one story where the author takes us into the dark side of the human psyche and into the world of brutal killings….

“Cold Heart” is attention grabbing…I loved it…well-done

"January River", by Bernard Jan

January River - Bernard Cornwell

“January River is a heartwarming story you should not pass. A simple tale of a boy growing up in the picturesque little town of Greenfield till many years later he is invited to come to New York.

If you think this story may be boring…....think again. The beautiful landscape of words and emotions will grab you and won’t let you put the book down till you reach the conclusion. The words flow smoothly through the page and highlight how passionate the author’s is about his subject. The narrative is descriptive and endearing and focusses on the life‘s up and down, a life study of sorts. We travel with Ethan on his journey from child to adult through a series of joys and sadness. The loss of a close friend and of his beloved dog will leave you heartbroken. This is an emotional roller-coaster ride of emotions. No doubt, “January River” is an exceptionally well-written book in tone and content, much care is taken to sentences as much as it is for the plot. The characters populating the story are darlings, especially Ethan.

“All rivers carry their secrets, but not every river keeps its secret forever.”

What a compelling story told by a true master. Thank you Mr. Jan for this wonderful story I thoroughly enjoyed .

"In Control", by John W. Mefford

IN Control (An Ivy Nash Thriller, Book 5) (Redemption Thriller Series) (Volume 11) - John W. Mefford

Redemption Thriller #11

Ivy Nash Thriller # 5

As in many series to get a better understanding of the chain of events surrounding the protagonist past, it is always preferable to follow the reading order but since each book features a different story there is no trouble to start here, “In Control” works pretty well as a stand-alone.

I like this one the best and by far. The story is more exciting and thrilling read than the previous books in this series. It opens with what appears to be a kidnapping and as the story develops from a steady pace into a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping tempo when Ivy discovers there is more to the case than she thought. Things get even more complicated when she finds herself embroiled in another case involving her best friend. At first, the two threads appear unrelated but as Ivy digs deeper this is not what it turns out to be. Either is going to cause Ivy a few headaches……

Mr. Mefford did it again with his great storyline that kept me on my toes from start to finish, with the well-developed characters playing excellent roles in this multiple plot twists adventure, with the way he has intertwined his two stories and most of all how he pulled me into an international drug trafficking ring, professional hit and one cover-up after another.

This book is full of suspense and hard to put down.

"Break In", by John W. Mefford

Break IN (An Ivy Nash Thriller, Book 4) (Redemption Thriller Series 10) - John W. Mefford

Ivy Nash thriller #4

Redemption Thriller # 10

Ivy Nash dedicated her life to rid the world of those who prey on children, which is why she started an organisation called ECHO. Their mission is to protect vulnerable children, especially the ones in the foster home system.

In book #4, this strong woman is called upon to search for a missing boy by his grandfather. No sooner does she rescue the boy, his brother goes missing as well. Strange coincidence….and a nightmarish outcome….

Oh boy, this series is getting darker and a little crazier as it moves on. Again we are on the edge of our seat, biting nails, watching over our shoulder along with Ivy waiting for the predator to strike again. Despite all of her life experience nothing has prepared her for the “fun house” and the terror unlike any other…. Ivy ends up in the greatest danger of all, in the clutches of a master criminal.

This story is very descriptive and a roller-coaster ride through crime after crime. The large cast of nefarious characters are mostly in disguise so you can’t know who they really are till the author’s gives us mini bites of information. This story is rife with deceit and deception and is told with confidence. But, (always a but) I lost interest along the way; the author’s obsession with the many torture methods was over the top, too many gory details for my stomach. For this reason “Break In” is by far not my favourite story.

Hopefully book #5 will be less farfetched…….

"Scare Me" by Richard Jay Parker

Scare Me - Richard Jay Parker

I am amazed how some authors have such twisted imagination to pen gory, creepy thrillers that slowly draw its readers deep into a fictional world and leave them speechless because passing time with them is such a thrill…yes this one is that good

“When did you last Google yourself”. Aren’t you a bit curious?

This is the story of a wealthy businessman, Will Frost, who after being woken up in the middle of the night by a mysterious caller goes online to find a site in his name showing photos inside his home along with six other houses he has never seen before. A murder was committed in the first house and then he is told his daughter has been kidnapped and to save her he needed to visit each of the houses before the police shows up. Given tidbits of information Will is then on a wild chase around the world and founds himself running the deserted streets and smack into violence and murder… it scary…maybe…maybe not…

What a read. This psychological thriller has kept my full attention throughout. This story is so full of tension and intrigue I simple had to push on to see what would happen next. There is so much action and so many unexpected twists and turns to keep us on our toes, I had little chance to get off. It is such a very hard story to put down. Vividly said, the images described are imprinted in my mind. I definitely wouldn’t want to be in Will shoes.

Mr. Parker’s background as a TV script writer shines in this story and shows how skilled he is in portraying action and his characters’ emotion with the right words. Ok, I admit this story is far-fetched borders implausible but it makes for a very entertaining read. I love how the suspense exceeds the last words….Maybe a sequel….hope so..

I received “Scare Me” as a complimentary book from Lume Books with no obligations to write a review.

"Escape from Auschwitz", by Andrey Pogozhev

Escape from Auschwitz - Andrey Pogozhev

Memoirs of the Holocaust are very hard to read, reliving the horrors and sharing them with us has to be mentally agonizing.

This well-written memoir is absolutely heartbreaking and totally incomprehensible. In detail, Mr. Pogozhev recounts his years as an internee in Auschwitz- Birkenau, what he says is beyond imaginable. How this Russian man was able to survive was beyond extraordinary, with all the will power and a lot of luck he with other inmates managed to fool the Nazi and escape…not an easy task.

I have read many books and never get tired to read how those not selected to the gas chamber managed to survive and how strong they were to be able to accomplish the tasks imposed on them and keep their sanity…although some couldn’t and committed suicide. Day after day of cruelty simply hard to believe human can do this to another human. “Escape from Auschwitz” is an incredible graphic account of survival. Although the title is deceiving since most of the narrative covers the atrocities behind the barbwire fence, the last few chapters recounts the escape and the aftermath and finally in the last chapter we read a very touching witness testimony given by Mr. Pogozhev at the trial.

This is the first time I read a memoir through the eyes of a Russian POW. His account is similar to those I read before. Very moving as they are all….

This book is not enjoyable by its content but is a must read.

My thanks to the author for reliving this nightmare, to Pen & Sword for publishing the memoirs and NetGalleys for the opportunity to read this heart- wrenching account.

"Zero Dark", by Ty Patterson

"Zero Dark" - Ty Patterson
Zeb Carter book #6

As in all the books in this series fans know that they will be into an explosive read from start to finish, “Zero Dark” is no exception. This thriller is action packed, a little over the top but it is one of those captivating and enjoyable read hard to put down…of course if you don’t take what is happening too seriously…

In this latest installment, influential intelligence heads of three nations, Iran, China, and Russia come together in a plot to take out the U.S. President on the anniversary of 9/11 in NYC and Zeb Carter with his team in their N.Y city office. What follows is never ending suspense with as many twists and turns we can swallow. Take a breather, we need to, so many unexpected events come our ways. It is really hard to believe what we read but it surely makes for a very exciting read. What an imagination Mr. Patterson has. As we follow Zeb and his group on their hunt to thwart the plans of the foreign kill teams, they in turn, place all their attention on their goal…kill the president and Carter.

All the climatic scenes are played out intensely throughout the streets of N.Y.: gunfire, fights, explosions, you name it we have it. We have new characters in the foreign operatives and recurring ones in Meaghan and Beth with cameo appearance from the guys. All players are well-dawn and have terrific roles. Of course this story is fast paced and easy to read; no vulgar language, no sex scenes or mushy romance just action, action and more action. But, yes a but, this is the first time I come across editing omissions: such typos, missing words in any of Mr. Patterson’s books I have read in the past I presume since my version is an ARC the final version has been refined….

In my books this is another winner for the fans and for Mr. Patterson


"Girls Who Lie", by Melinda Woodhall

"Girls Who Lie" - Melinda Woodhall
Mercy Harbor Thriller book #4

“Girls Who Lie” is another excellent story that can be read on its own even if it is part of a series we have enough background information to fit right in and not wonder if we missed something. This series is definitely gripping and highly addictive.

Who Will Be the Next Girl to Die?

A brutal killer stalks the women of Willow Bay and when a young reporter uncovers disturbing clues to the killer’s identity she becomes one of his subjects….more women are being attacked: some hiding in their home, others taking refuge at Mercy Harbor (Eden Winthrop shelter) and some never made it home. The women in this town are scared stiff and urge Detective Nessa Ainsley to track down the sadistic “Willow Bay Stalker” before he strikes again. The hunt is on…and be prepare to flip pages rapidly…high intensity throughout.

Once more Melinda Woodhall brought us a very suspenseful ride from the opening pages we are kept guessing trying to discover who the killer may be. We have multiple “whodunits” to pick from but are attention is slowly directed towards a dating app. Who is lurking and may be luring these women…. The author pulls one red herring after the other to derail us and to keep us engrossed all through. Indeed I was totally in left field with my choice and had the wrong killer all along….a sure sign the author knows how to pen an exciting mystery.

As well as new players we have our beloved recurring characters to captivate us and wedding bells to wrap up everything beautifully. Awe.

Awesome story

I received a free digital copy of this crime fiction. This is a voluntarily review, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.


"Ice on the Grapeline", by R.E. Donald

Ice on the Grapevine - R.E. Donald

Hunter Rayne Highway Mystery book #2

“Ice on the Grapeline” is a tense murder mystery featuring a tough-minded ex-homicide detective turned eighteen-wheel truck driver. Hunter Rayne will do his best to try to find the truth and see that justice is done.

Rayne is persuaded by his irascible dispatcher, Elspeth Watson, to help clear two fellow truck drivers who are arrested for murder. The frozen body of a man was discovered in their trailer while they were crossing borders between Canada and the USA .Dispatched to the scene and put in charge of the investigation is a rookie detective from L.A. that is very eager to score a win….Rayne butts head with more than one officer of the law…… on both side of the borders. Of course, from then on is a good and suspenseful mystery to keep us flipping pages to see what will come next.

This is a traditional “whodunits” story with a complex plots, multiple suspects and a surprise ending. In realistic subplots that mesh beautifully both the crime and the victim we have recurring characters we came to love in the past. The writing style reflects the deep knowledge of the trucking world the author was once part of and Ms. Donald has penned a solid and captivating storyline with many plot twists for our pleasure. Some may notice the lack of logical break between some threads, I agree this can be annoying to some but simply take a pause and move on. (Editing errors happen). All through till we turn the final page, the tempo keeps a steady pace and never wavers.

I enjoyed passing time with “Ice on the Grapeline” and I am looking forward to book #3 “Sea to Sky”

"The Tumor", by John Grisham

THE TUMOR A Non-Legal Thriller - John Grisham
This book is a pitch to promote the potential impact of focused ultrasound: today’s medical story could become tomorrow’s lifesaving reality.

A free book although small 67 pages from John Grisham I couldn’t resist although I admit to have skipped the synopsis and the size of the book after all Grisham’s books are excellent…non.

We have in this story two scenarios:

The first starts with a fictional Paul receiving a diagnosis of a lethal brain tumour and the painful battle he and his family go through till his death.

Spring ahead 10 years in the second story is on focused ultrasound technology and its potential to change lives. Paul undergoes the treatment and his life is spared for many years.

This is not a thriller but rather a pamphlet and a promotion for a foundation looking into focused ultrasound. Great cause but advertising is advertising….


"Children to a Degree", by Horst Christian

Children To A Degree - Growing Up Under the Third Reich - Horst Christian

Growing Up Under Third Reich book #1

“Children to a Degree”, a prequel to “Loyal to a Degree”, is based on a true story, its 191 pages recounts how young boys by the time they were old enough to start school were fed a steady diet of propaganda under the Third Reich and often encouraged to turn on family, friends and neighbours.

The author has created a captivating fiction taken from his experiences while living in Germany during the 30’sand 40’s. His simple prose and dialogue are very down to earth and tell us what happened to boys during that time. Where he excels is in the strong descriptions of events he gives us. His soft words are so effective that we can easily have the feeling being transported in time and place.

Following Karl and Howard, two young boys, is an fascinating journey where we also see the roles of men and women in the Third Reich, the draconian system imposed on the population, the disappearance into camps, the punishment on those who stepped the wrong way, I will not elaborate further since many books recount this terrible time. I had many opportunities to question myself: why was this allowed to happen.

This novel is more than an interesting insight into the indoctrination of the children in Germany during the war years, it also highlights how scared the parents were and how strongly they wanted to protect their children by submitting to the regime desire. (Actually they had little choice).

This is definitely a story said from the heart.