Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: The Murderer's Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman


I was absolutely thrilled when I saw this title available on Netgalley and got accepted to review it! There are very few male authors that I read. I'm not sure why, I just seem to have a clear preference for women authors. However, Jonathan Kellerman is one of the rare exceptions! I've been a huge fan of his Alex Delaware series for probably close to 15 years now and have read most of his standalones as well. 

Anyway, I do want to state upfront that there is nothing cozy about this book. This is a fast paced, psychological thriller and does contain elements that people may find disturbing. But if you can handle it, it's well worth it!

Grace Blades had an extremely difficult childhood. Luckily, her situation turned out well in the end and she is now a highly successful psychologist. One night, she has a random sexual encounter with a man at an upscale bar. She does not intend to ever see him again, but is surprised and a bit shaken when she realizes the next day that he is her new patient. He is shocked as well, but doesn't want to talk with anyone but her. However, he doesn't really end up talking at all. He gets nervous and ultimately bolts, but he does hint that a member of his family may be a murderer. 

Grace does not hear from him after that, but a few days later gets a call from a detective. The man has turned up dead. He had given a false name to Grace, and neither she nor the cops even know who he is, let alone what his story is or which member of his family he was afraid of. She ends up realizing that he was in fact someone from her past, a past she does not want anyone to find out about and/or expose. 

I don't want to give any spoilers, so I'll just say that this sets her on a course to solve the mystery of who he is, who he was afraid of, and who killed him. It is a heck of a ride filled with lots of suspense and danger. Jonathan Kellerman truly is a master of the psychological thriller. This book is extremely fast paced, from beginning to end, and all of the clues are very carefully placed throughout. Not only that, but everything is connected absolutely perfectly, down to the most minute details, which is highly impressive! The ending, while a bit abrupt, is also highly satisfying. I hope to see Grace Blades again. 

I absolutely loved this book and would definitely give it 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone! To learn more about the author and/or his books, you can visit his website.  You can find The Murderer's Daughter is available at multiple venues, including Amazon and B&N.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: Killer Run by Lynn Cahoon (Tourist Trap Mystery #5)


Killer Run is the 5th book in the Tourist Trap mysteries. I have not read any of the previous books and I can say that this book can easily function as a standalone with no issues. One of the reasons it can function so well as a standalone is the fact that the book focuses more on details about the characters and locations than it does the actual mystery. 

The main character, Jill, is the owner of a Coffee & Book store and has agreed to sponsor a 5k race. Naturally, during the race a body is discovered. The plot definitely has promise and the characters and setting are enjoyable to read about, just not to the extent that they overshadow the mystery.  For a book that's not horribly long (under 200 pages) I'd expect the author to really get into the "meat" of the mystery within the first 25 pages, at most. Unfortunately, the mystery does not really get going until around 40 pages, maybe even closer to 50.  

Then once it does get going, it's pretty predictable and there are still a whole lot of unrelated things going on in the characters' lives that have nothing to do with the mystery. I don't mind a couple of subplots here and there, but I really don't need in depth detail about vacation plans, Jill's boyfriend's ex-girlfriends, and really unrelated things that don't add to the mystery in any way. If it was the first book in the series, I'd expect a bit more detail and getting to know the characters' personalities. But by the 5th book there should not be this amount of "fluff." 

I give this book a 3 out of 5 and would say if you're looking for a great mystery, you should probably look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a light, easy read about the lives and goings on of a bunch of characters and the place they live, you may very well really enjoy this book. 

For more information about the author and/or her books, you can visit the author's website. Killer Run is available on Amazon and B&N in eBook, Paperback, and Audio-book formats.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith (Caprice De Luca Mystery #4)

Drape Expectations (Caprice De Luca Mystery, #4) 

I received a review copy of this book through Netgalley. I have not read any of the previous books in this series, but this book stands quite well on its own and I didn't feel I was missing anything by not having read the previous books. 

Caprice De Luca is a home stager and became friends with Rock-star Ace Richland when she staged his house. He asks Caprice to stage his girlfriend Alanna's house and even though Alanna rubs Caprice the wrong way, she agrees. Naturally, during this process Alanna ends up murdered. Ace is one of the prime suspects so Caprice vows to solve the murder so that she can clear her friends name. 

This was a great read. Caprice had a very well defined personality and is a very strong female character. It was also enjoyable to read about her family and friends and there were a few subplots going on throughout the book as well. There was also more than one mystery to solve. 

There were plenty of suspects and plenty of red herrings. However, there weren't that many clues about the person that actually was the murderer until just before it was revealed that they were the murderer. There was basically one major clue which was easy to figure out and then just a few pages later it's confirmed who the murderer is. I would have loved to have had a few more clues about the murderer sprinkled throughout so that it would be doable to figure it out a bit earlier on, and that final clue could have been a little less obvious also. Other than that, it was a really good book! 

One thing I really liked was that there are multiple pets in this book and a few of the characters, including Caprice, are major animal lovers. It was very heart warming to read about Caprice's interactions with her animals. Also the book was well edited and had some tasty sounding recipes in the back too, which is always a nice bonus. 

I give this book 4 stars and would definitely read this series and/or this author again. For more information about the author and/or the books, you can check out her website. You can find Drape Expectations for sale on Amazon, B&N, and iTunes, in both eBook and paperback formats.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: Who is Mr. Plutin by Rebecca Strong

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the cover, but I'm very glad that I didn't judge a book by its cover in this case, as the writing is really good! This book is very fast paced, which I love! I was literally hooked from page one, which happens very, very rarely for me. Right off the bat the main character, Vika, wakes up and discovers she's in a place she's never seen before and, even worse, is suddenly wearing a wedding ring.

She quickly finds out that she is no longer in New York, where she grew up and went to bed last night, she's in Russia, married, and pregnant! Her parents look similar to the parents she remembers, but their personalities couldn't be more different and she has no memory at all of her husband or her friends.

She spends the rest of the book trying to figure out what the heck is going on and gets more than she bargained for. Amidst a web of deception and lies, she truly has no clue who she can or can't trust and almost everyone in her life is hiding something. This was a great read and I could hardly put it down from the first page to the last! There were massive amounts of mystery, suspense, and humor and I loved it all.

There were a few (minor) downsides though. First, this book is in definite need of editing. There were numerous typos and grammatical errors throughout; the most cringe-worthy being where waste was used where it should have been waist. Granted, I did receive a copy through Netgalley, so I am going to assume (hope) that this was not the final, edited version.

Secondly, there were a lot of really long, hard to pronounce Russian names and words. When I read I basically read aloud to myself in my head and it throws me off when there are a ton of words that I can't even begin to pronounce. Absolutely a very minor thing, but still, it threw me off my rhythm a bit. Lastly, it ended with a cliffhanger. I don't much care for cliffhangers, although I am very glad to know that this will not be a standalone book.

Without deducting anything for the typos, I'd give this book a 4.5. I'd never heard of the author before, but I'll be keeping a lookout for her in the future. If you'd like to learn more about the author and/or the book, you can visit Rebecca Strong's website. Who is Mr. Plutin is on sale at many retailers, including Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Smashwords.