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review 2017-08-28 10:07
Russian Hill
Russian Hill - Ty Hutchinson

by Ty Hutchinson

 

Set in San Francisco, this is one of a series of stories about Abby Kane, a petite Chinese-American FBI agent who can look natural in Chinatown. In many ways it's like other crime dramas with a killer on the loose and the FBI following, but it is well written and shows an intimate knowledge of the culture and location that makes the story ring true.

 

Like most stories, it is the main character who makes the reader want to know what happens. She is easily likeable and watching how she handles the case and encounters with other law enforcement personnel keeps interest. While I'm not a big reader of crime drama, I enjoyed watching her work out subtle clues about the killer and how she tried to get inside their head.

 

There was one plot point that didn't make a lot of sense, but I don't want to give spoilers. Just an opportunity for a witness to provide vital information when he had nothing to lose and no reason to withhold it anymore.

 

Overall the story kept me interested and if I was more into reading crime drama, I would probably read more of this series. I may read at least one more as the setting in San Francisco is what attracted me in the first place.

 

The only niggle is that a few loose ends were left to entice the reader to buy two more books in the sequential series. I'm not going to bite as I feel I've gone as far as I want to with this storyline and as I said, crime drama isn't among my preferred genres. However, the writing is excellent and I have a soft spot for San Francisco, so I may well read one of the author's other books.

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review 2017-08-12 14:58
This one was difficult to rate...I just didn't love it like I wanted too. :'(
Till Death - Jennifer L. Armentrout,Sarah Naughton

Book Title:  Till Death

Author:  Jennifer L Armentrout

Narration:  Sarah Naughton

Series:  Stand-Alone

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Setting:  Virginia

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 


  

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  3.8/5

Main Characters:  3.8/5

Secondary Characters:  4/5

The Feels:  3/5

Addictiveness:  4/5

Theme or Tone:  3/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  3.8/5 Cliffhanger:  Nope

Total:  3.7/5 STARS

 

 

My Thoughts

 

 

While It's not favorite JLA, it was good, just not without some issues.  I was right about who did it…and while she had me thinking…maybe it's someone else, I always went back to…and…yeah.  Overall, now that I had some time to ruminate on it I realize, it hasn't left a lasting impression on me.  I think, Till Death is just lacking JLA's usual zest.

 

Will I read more from this Author  Absolutely…this less than stellar read from her, will not change my mind on that.

 

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review 2017-08-11 00:39
Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities
Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities - Daniel Golden

I received this book via LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review.

 

The openness of American colleges and universities for thought and research is seen by academics as the keystone to higher education.  However Daniel Golden writes in Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities this is seen as opportunities to recruit agents and cultivate operatives as well steal technological innovations both by our own intelligence agencies and those across the globe.

 

Golden divided his book into foreign and domestic intelligence agencies exploitation of American universities.  The first focused how foreign agencies, mainly the Chinese, have been exploiting American universities need of prestige and tuition money to gain partnerships between Chinese universities and their American counterparts resulting in an exchange of students and professors.  Yet the most important focus of Golden’s investigation was on how the openness and collaboration within American university labs opens up opportunities for individuals to funnel research, including those paid by the U.S. government and American companies, to their home country to be exploit by their own government or to patient and start up a business.  The second half was on the complicated relationship between American intelligence agencies and universities, some of who encourage a relationship and those that do not.  The aspect of conflict between secrecy and openness is seen throughout the latter half of the book with 9/11 playing a pivotal role in each side’s views.  Unlike the first half of the book, this section is seen over the course of 60 years compared to more near 2000 but in a way to show that past is prologue.

 

As an investigative journalist, Golden uses extensive research and a multitude of interviews in giving a full history and the scale of a front in the global spy game that many in the United States haven’t been aware of.   Unfortunately for Golden the timing of this book while on the one hand current and on the other potentially dated.  Nearly all his interviews take place no later than 2015, but since the election of Donald Trump with a seemingly nativist groundswell behind him and student demonstrations against conservative speakers might have begun a fundamental shift that could drastically change how both American and foreign intelligence services are seen on American universities especially as a post-9/11 “tolerance” on campus changes to hostility.

 

Even though the subject Daniel Golden has written about could be in the midst of a sudden sea change, Spy Schools is still a book to read in at least to understand an important part of the global spy game.  Although no up-to-date, the recent and long-term history is significant for anyone who is concerned about national security and foreign intervention in American affairs.

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quote 2017-08-05 05:27
“Zane’s good hand flashed out and smacked Ty upside the back of the head.

“Ow! What the hell?” Ty cried as he rubbed his head and huffed.

“You’re lucky I repress the Instakill for you,” he muttered.”
Cut & Run - Abigail Roux,Madeleine Urban

― Abigail Roux & Madeleine Urban, Cut & Run

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review 2017-07-21 05:39
Spark
A Dead Man's Pulse: Trident Security Omega Team Book 1 - Samantha A. Cole,Eve Arroyo

This is the start of the Trident Security Omega Team series.  It is advised to first read the Trident Security series in order to avoid spoilers.  If not, this book can be read as a standalone novel.

 

Logan AKA Cowboy is immediately attracted to Dakota.  She is not impressed with him when they first meet, as he assumes she needs his help - but she can take care of herself.  He meets her again later and the sparks fly all over the room.  Now he just hopes he can impress her enough that she gives him a chance.

 

Dakota is a police officer who is always trying to prove herself in a man's world.  With all the odds stacked against her, she wishes for greater things.  When it turns out a killer has her in his sights, she is going to need all the help she can get.

 

Amazing and riveting conclusion of the mystery killer from many books before in the previous series.  Introducing the new Omega Team series, where the members are new and very hot.  This story has so much heat and such a compelling mystery, the pages nearly singe the reader.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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