Sunday, October 25, 2015

Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

Book: Broken Promise: A Thriller

Author: Linwood Barclay

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: David Harwood, suffering from the death of his wife and the loss of a job, is at his wit's end when he receives a call from his mother. A new mother in town has been stabbed to death and his cousin is the prime suspect in the case. 

Marla, who suffered the loss of her own baby at birth, has her own demons. She has not recovered from the loss and is now claiming that the dead woman's baby was left on her doorstep by an angel. 

The secrets of Promise Falls, NY are much deeper and deadlier than anyone imagined. 

Can David prove his cousin's innocence or was she going to get a baby by any means necessary?

My rating: 4 Stars

My opinion: A new series from Linwood Barclay. While most of his series are based on a main character, it seems as though this one is based on a town. It should be interesting to see how it pans out. 

I absolutely loved the twists and turns in this book. It reminded me of some of Chevy Stevens' early works and what I loved most about Barclay's earlier works. 

Source: Publisher for review

Would I recommend? : Yes. 

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: First in series (Promise Falls)

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

Book: The Zig Zag Girl

Author: Elly Griffiths

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Brighton, 1950, a woman's body shows up cut up into 3 pieces. When police identify her, she is the Zig Zag Girl for magician, Max Mephisto. It must be determined why such an unusual method (based on her act) was chosen to kill her. When more bodies show up, it is up to DI Edgar Stephens to find out who is targeting a group of magicians who performed together in WWII.

My rating: 5 Stars

My opinion: Another engrossing read and start to a brand new series from author Elly Griffiths. This book took off so quickly that I found I finished reading it without putting it down. 

Like her Ruth Galloway series, characters were well developed with an attention to detail. I loved the twists and turns that stood out from even the Ruth books. This was a really unique book, particularly to this author who normally writes in a modern period. 

Source: Publisher for Review

Would I recommend? : Of course! Already have.

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: First in series

The Color of Justice by Ace Collins

Book: The Color of Justice

Author: Ace Collins

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: 60's Southern lawyer, Coop Lindsey, can't stand bigotry and when a black teen is accused of raping and murdering a white girl, he stands up to defend him no matter what it costs. When he and the young man he defended disappear, questions are left unanswered.

Fifty years later, Coop's grandson, a lawyer himself, is bound and determined to find out the answers to those questions.

My rating: 3 Stars

My opinion: I must say that I have mixed feelings about this book. I thought the first half set in the 60's started off strongly and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I moved into the more modern day setting, the writing became weaker and the story less enjoyable. I found characters to be weaker than expected given the story line. I must say that it had the feeling that the author got tired of writing the story so just threw the rest of the book together.

Source: Publisher for review

Would I recommend? : Yes

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand alone

The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway #7) by Elly Griffiths

Book: The Ghost Fields

Author: Elly Griffiths

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: The Blackstocks have some 'splainin' to do when a downed WWII bomber is found buried on their property during a construction project. When it turns out the skeleton can't be from the 40's, they have even more explaining to do.

Can Ruth and Nelson unravel the mystery before becoming the next set of skeletal remains and just who is the new potential love interest with an eye for Ruth? 

My rating: As usual, 5 stars!

My opinion: Another winner in the Ruth Galloway series. It always amazes me that Ms. Griffiths is able to keep this series fresh for readers and The Ghost Fields was no different. Nice twists partnered with inviting, unique characters and the English countryside as the setting, what could be better?

The one thing I always recommend with this series is to read in it order. Ms. Griffiths is one of the most character driven novelists that I have read. This storyline builds on many of the relationships established in previous novels. 

Source: Publisher for review

Would I recommend? : More times than I can count. Elly Griffiths is on my top 5 UK mystery writer recommendation list. I have yet to have someone come back to me and ask what I was thinking when recommending this dynamic author. 

Stand Alone or Part of a Series:  Ruth Galloway #7

Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd

Book: Mist of Midnight: A Novel (Daughters of Hampshire #1)

Author: Sandra Byrd

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Rebecca Ravenshaw returns from a tragic stay in India that included the deaths of both her parents and brother to find out that an imposter has stolen her identity. The imposter long since died, but has left a path of destruction in her path. 

At the mercy of Captain Luke Whitfield, who received the balance of the inheritance, as well as the manor of Rebecca's father, she finds herself falling in love with him while in his care. 

Does the Captain return Rebecca's love or just want to hang onto the inheritance?

My rating: 2 Stars and I am being generous. 

My opinion: OK... I will admit it. I am not a fan of Harlequin style romances. Gotta say that I am a closet lover of Gothic style romances though. Throw out a comparison to Bronte and I am intrigued. 

The book failed miserably and was more of a Harlequin style of romance book than any comparison to Bronte. Publishers Weekly should be ashamed of themselves. 

Characters were flat and story line was more than predictable. The only thing missing was the headless, bodice focused cover. 

Highly disappointed. 

Source:Publisher for review

Would I recommend? : For those liking the Harlequin style romances.

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: First in series

Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

Book: Dead to Me 

Author: Mary McCoy

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Annie decides to leave her family with a warning to her sister Alice. "Don't believe anything they say." were the last words that Alice would hear her sister say. 

Several years later, the next time Alice sees her sister, she is beaten down and in a coma in a hospital bed. Who put Annie into that coma? Is Alice next? 

Alice finds that the glitter of the golden age of Hollywood isn't that glitzy. 

My rating: 2 Stars

My opinion: I have to say that I was really disappointed by this novel. The premise and setting for it was awesome and very rare for YA literature, but the author failed to pull it off. 

Characters fell flat and were uninteresting even though it was set in the 1940's. Furthermore, what should have the unique slang language during that period of time was non-existent. I could have been reading a book set in modern days. 

I was hoping to have a book that read like a noir movie set during that period of time and it just didn't occur. 

Source: Publisher for review

Would I recommend? : No

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand alone

The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

Book: The Romanov Sisters

Author: Helen Rappaport

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: A detailed history of the Romanov dynasty pre-Nicholas and Alexandra to the deaths during the revolution. 

My rating: 4 Stars

My opinion: While I found this book fascinating and well researched, I found that it was overwritten and too detailed oriented. This tended to weigh the book down and make it a much slower read than what I was expecting. 

Due to the high level of content needed, I found that I could only absorb reading about 5 percent per day on my Kindle. This made it really difficult to get through the book and I found myself picking up other books instead due to the time commitment versus a fictional read. 

Still worth the read and would be excellent for anyone doing any research on this subject. 

Source: Publisher for review

Would I recommend? : Yes

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone