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review 2019-01-18 00:50
Not perfect
Justice League/Power Rangers - Tom Taylor,Stephen Byrne,Carolin Hidalgo

Almost, but not quite perfect.  I'm not sure why, but as fun as this is, I wouldn't absolutely prioritize a sequel, so I'm giving it four stars.   And this is a lot of fun: almost everything is tied up nicely, except that way that they left open a sequel.   

 

I didn't realize this would be a Zedd/Braniac team-up, but that just made it all that much better.   So many robots!   So much love!

 

The characters were spot on, the reason for the crossover was more plausible than many comic book plots I've read, and I ended up simply loving this.   The interplay between the two teams made me laugh, and it balanced them teaming up with the action quite nicely. 

 

Two of my biggest issue were the stylization of the art which I wasn't crazy about, although I didn't think it was bad by any means.   It wasn't a technical issue; it was about me not getting along with the style.   

 

And of course, I'd jump on any sequel that included Red Tornado, and I found myself wondering why this crossover didn't use their robot member: the Power Rangers and evil doers had robots, so I thought it was a nice way to slip Tornado in there, and they didn't.   Missed chance.  

 

I'm not sure that's worth knocking down one star for anyone else, but it was for me.

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review 2019-01-17 22:17
Book Blitz: Hot Justice by Lynn Raye Harris with Giveaway
Hot Justice
Lynn Raye Harris
(Hostile Operations Team #14)

Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She’s searching for justice. He’s searching for peace.

What they need is each other. They just don’t know it yet…

Dean “Wolf” Garner is the kind of guy who loves hard and leaves fast. From the moment he rescues reporter Haylee Jamison in the Guatemalan jungle, he can’t stop thinking about the dark-haired beauty. His life is too complicated for romantic entanglements though–and not even a woman like Haylee can convince him otherwise.

Haylee wasn’t supposed to be in the drug cartel’s compound, but she was captured while on a mission of her own: find the trail of fake opioids entering the US and halt the operation. Back home in DC, Haylee can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous military operator who rocked her world for one steamy night before leaving. But when she uncovers a conspiracy and finds herself in danger, there’s only one man she trusts to keep her safe.

It’s easy for Wolf to risk his life to protect Haylee and give her the justice she desires. The hard part is taking a chance and admitting what’s in his heart before it’s too late.

Before he loses the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

“Lynn Raye Harris is the undisputed Queen of Military Romance because her Hostile Operations Team series just keeps getting better and better.” ~ Diane B.

 
EXCERPT:
 
Mexico-Guatamala Border
 
Dean “Wolf” Garner waited for the jump command. He was standing nut-to-butt with his teammates, all of them suited up and ready to go. This was a HAHO jump where they’d fall out of the aircraft one behind the other, open chutes about fifteen seconds in and then coast for forty miles to the landing zone. Cade “Saint” Rogers was team lead and he’d be first out the door. Wolf was second. Echo Squad would stack up behind the leader while they were airborne and follow Saint’s lead as he guided them using GPS and landmarks.
 
The C-130 Hercules doors were open and they’d switched over to oxygen bottles. HAHO jumps were hell on the body, whether from the minus-zero wind temps, the lack of oxygen and threat of hypoxia, or the incredible snap of the harness when the chute deployed. It was a necessary evil when trying to sneak up on the enemy, though.
 
They were currently at T-minus two. The PT had cleared them all to jump and the jumpmaster was about to give the signal.
 
“You bastards stick with me,” Saint said into their earpieces. “Let’s go get those hostages and get the fuck out.”
 
Seconds later, Wolf was free falling into the sky behind Saint. Wolf deployed his chute, grunting as the harness snapped him hard against the restraints. Jesus. He was carrying a hundred pounds of gear and weaponry, which made the experience even more fun.
 
He sighted in on Saint and lined up. The rest of the team followed, everyone checking in, and then they were gliding under canopy toward the LZ.
 
The sun perched in the sky behind them, sinking quickly toward the horizon. Everything below was bathed in golden light that faded into darkness the father east Wolf looked. It was a beautiful sight and he never took it for granted.
 
The terrain here was mountainous and green and a river cut through the landscape, marking the border. This was the area where the Mexican cartels got their rocket-propelled grenades and grenade launchers as well as other military-grade equipment they used as they fought each other for territory. It’d be fine if all they did was kill each other, but unfortunately civilians often got caught in the crossfire.
 
Sometimes those civilians were American, and sometimes they were held for ransom. Like now. A group of dentists and opticians on a mission to provide services to an impoverished village had been swept up in the raid and HOT had been tasked with getting them out.
 
It took twenty minutes, but the team touched down and shrugged out of their chutes. They buried them, along with the special jumpsuits and oxygen canisters. Then they slung their M4 rifles across their chests and started the trek toward the camp where the cartel was holding the hostages.
 
HOT had pictures of the camp from drone photography and they knew the layout and the approximate number of people who guarded it. Echo Squad wasn’t just there to extract hostages—they were also there to take out the cartel members who were in the camp. At last count, that had been twenty.
 
Wolf didn’t feel sorry for the men. They were rough, evil, nasty men who terrorized innocent civilians. They killed indiscriminately, and they left messages in the form of headless bodies dangling from bridges and trees.
 
No, Wolf had no problem with killing them. It took Echo another forty minutes to reach the camp. It was dark by then, and the cartel men were drinking. The hostages were nowhere to be seen, but HOT knew they were being held in a rough concrete structure in the center of the camp. Ten men and women from somewhere in Alabama, on a church mission to help the poor. They were no doubt terrified and probably dehydrated and hungry.
 
“Like we planned it,” Saint said into their earpieces. The team split up and fanned out around the camp. Wolf and Noah “Easy” Cross slipped silently toward their target. They waited for the signal, then glided toward the men they’d marked. A quick slip of the knife and two cartel members would never harm anyone again.
 
A man emerged from the building where the hostages were, dragging a woman with him. She was small and dark-haired and she fought mightily. Wolf stiffened as the man thrust her against the side of the building and dropped his mouth to her neck. She wrenched her head to the side and tried to hit him but he caught her wrist and pinned her to the wall.
 
Wolf signaled Easy that this one was his. Easy nodded, lifting his rifle to provide covering fire if necessary as Wolf crossed the distance. The cartel members were falling quickly as his teammates took them out. Soon, Echo would converge on the building.
 
The woman was fighting hard when Wolf slipped up behind the man. Before Wolf could grab him, the man grunted and stumbled backward. His hands dropped to his crotch and Wolf nearly laughed. Smart girl. Brave girl.
 
He yanked the man back and stabbed him in the kidney, dropping him to the ground. The woman’s dark eyes widened. She was wearing a stained white button-down shirt that had been torn open and jeans with tennis shoes. Her black hair was wild and her skin was golden, and his heart thumped once before he clamped down on the reaction.
 
“You’re American?” she asked in a soft southern accent. “You’ve come to rescue us?”
 
“Yes,” he told her, turning to place her behind him as he scanned the camp for any stragglers. Someone shouted in the distance and a shot rang out.
 
“Got him,” Jax “Gem” Stone said in Wolf’s ear. “Fucker.”
 
“Status,” Saint ordered.
 
“All clear,” Malcolm “Mal” McCoy replied. The rest of Echo Squad followed suit.
 
“Let’s get the hostages,” Saint said.
 
Wolf turned back to the girl, knowing that Easy had his back and that his teammates were converging on the building to extract the hostages. “You okay?” he asked, dropping his gaze over her body, back up to her eyes. Dark, fiery eyes. Angry eyes.
 
She lifted her chin as she pulled her shirt together. “Yes. Fine.”
 
“What’s your name?”
 
“What’s yours?” she shot back.
 
Wolf grinned. “Wolf.”
 
She blinked. “Is that really your name?”
 
“No, but I like it better than my real name. Which is Dean, by the way.”
 
“Dean.” She paused for a moment. Then she thrust out her hand. “I’m Haylee. Pleased to meet you.”
 
He took her hand. A sizzle of something electric rolled through him. “You always so polite in dangerous situations?”
 
She grinned, and his heart thumped again. “I don’t know. This is my first kidnapping.”

 
Author Bio:
Lynn Raye Harris is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the HOSTILE OPERATIONS TEAM SERIES of military romances as well as 20 books for Harlequin Presents. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former-military husband, two crazy cats, and one spoiled American Saddlebred horse. Lynn's books have been called "exceptional and emotional," "intense," and "sizzling." Lynn's books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

 
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review 2019-01-15 22:13
Mystery, police procedural, and an in-depth look at the US judicial system. A great read.
Justice Gone - N. Lombardi Jr.

I am reviewing this book as a member of Rosie’s book review team and thank her, NetGalley,  and Roundfire for providing me an ARC copy of this novel, ahead of its publication, that I freely chose to review.

This is not an easy book to categorise, and it could fit into a number of classifications, but it goes beyond the standard examples many of the readers of some of those genres are used to come across. When I heard about this book, my interest was piqued by several elements: the book features as one of its main characters a female therapist who has specialised in counselling war vets (many of them suffering from PTSD), and as a psychiatrist (and I did work with military personnel, although not from the US) I’m always intrigued by the literary portrayals of psychologists and psychiatrists and of mental health difficulties. There is a mystery/thriller element, and because I’m an eager reader (and writer) of those genres, I’m always keen to explore new authors and approaches. The novel also promised a close look at the US judicial system, and having studied criminology and the British Criminal Justice system, that aspect of the book was also intriguing. Could the novel deliver in so many levels?

Dr. Tessa Thorpe is an interesting character, and it seems that the author is planning to develop a series of novels around her. She is described as insightful and compassionate, with strong beliefs (anti-war), morals, and a trauma of her own. She is not the perfect professional, and at times her trauma affects her behaviour to a point that I thought would have got her into trouble if she were working in a different environment. We are not given full details of what has happened to her before, but the hints we get through the novel (where other characters in possession of that information refer to it) give us a fair idea. She is much better at dealing with others and understanding what moves them to act as they do than she is at dealing with her own issues, but that is a fairly realistic aspect of the book (although considering how insistent she is in getting others to talk about their difficulties, it is surprising none of the colleagues take her to task). What I was not totally convinced about was the fact that at some point she decides to support the vet going to trial accused of murder, and she leaves her practice and patients unattended for weeks. As she works in a private clinic and we only meet one of her patients, we don’t have sufficient information of her day-to-day tasks, and it’s quite possible that this is not a problem, but it felt counterintuitive to me. Tessa plays an central part in the plot in more ways than one, because although she is an expert in some aspects, she is totally new to what happens in other parts of the novel, like court procedures, and at those points she works as a stand-in for the readers, asking for clarifications and being walked through the process in detail.

The mystery and thriller elements, as I said, are dealt with differently to in many other books. The novel starts at an earlier point than many of the books that give advice to writers would recommend. It does not start in the middle of the action, or the crime (what the real crime is here is one of the main questions). We get the background to the events, down to the phone call to the police about a homeless man, which gets the ball rolling at the very beginning of the book. The police, who have been fed the wrong information, end up beating the man, a war-vet, to death. This causes a huge uproar, and we hear about the way the authorities try to sweep it all under the carpet, then the apparent revenge killing of the three policemen, the chase of a suspect, the hair-raising moment when he gives himself up (with some help from the doctor and others), and then we move onto the court case. There are moments where the book leans towards the police procedural, and we get plenty of details about the physical evidence, the investigation and those involved, we witness interrogations, we are privileged to information even the police don’t have, we get red herrings, and dead ends. The ending… there is a twist at the end, and although some might suspect it is coming, I was so involved in the court case at that point that I had almost forgotten that we did not know who the guilty party was.

I think this is one of the books I’ve read in recent times that best manages to bring to life a US court case, without sparing too many details and at the same time making it gripping. I will confess that the defense attorney, Nathaniel Bodine, is my favourite character, one of those lawyers who will happily cross the line for their client, and he seems, at times, a much better psychologist (and manipulator) than the doctor is. The judicial process is realistically reflected and at times it reads as if it were a detailed film or TV script, with good directions and fantastic dialogue.

And, we also follow the deliberations of the jury, in a few chapters that made me think of Twelve Angry Men, a play I remember watching many years back, although in this case we have a more diverse jury (not twelve men and not all Caucasian) and a more complex case. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the novel as well, and I could clearly see the interaction between the sequestered jury in my mind’s eye. (It would make a great film or series, as I have already suggested).

The story is told in the third person by an omniscient narrator that at times shows us the events from the point of view of one of the characters, mostly from Tessa’s perspective, but at times from others, like her co-workers or members of the police force. At some points, the story is told from an external and fairly objective perspective (like the jury deliberations); although at times we glimpse the personal opinions of that unknown narrator. I know readers dislike “head-hopping”, but I was never in any doubt about whose point of view I was reading, and the alternating perspective helped get a more rounded view of events and characters. Although the style of writing is factual and to the point (some of the descriptions reminded me of police reports, in their matter-of-factness), that does not mean the book fails to produce an emotional reaction on the reader. Quite the opposite. Rather than emphasising the drama by using over-the-top prose, the author lets the facts and the characters’ actions talk for themselves, and that is much more effective, in my opinion.  

I recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a mystery/thriller/police procedural novel which does not obey by the rules and is keen to engage readers in controversy and debates that go beyond a standard genre novel. (The author explains he was inspired to write this book by an incident not dissimilar to the death of the veteran at the hands of the cops at the beginning of the novel). The novel goes into more detail than most readers keen on those genres will be used to, and also follows the events from the very beginning to the very end. This is not a novel only interested in thrilling readers by highlighting the action scenes and ignoring the rest. Readers who always feel there are aspects of a story missing or underdeveloped will love this book, and also those who like complex characters (plenty of grey areas here) and a story that lives beyond the page. I also see book clubs enjoying a great discussion after reading this book, as there is much to debate and ponder. An accomplished novel and the first of a series that we should keep a close eye on.

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review 2018-11-23 15:13
Review: A Sort of Justice by P.E. Sibley
A Sort of Justice (A Mark Praed Novel) - P.E. Sibley

A Sort of Justice by P.E. Sibley is the first book in the A Commonwealth Counter Terrorism Task Force series. Mark Praed is called by the Commonwealth Intelligence Service to tackle certain assignments, and this time he's partnered with Alexandra Lansing. Can they put aside their differences and work together to bring in Jonathan Reul, who is suspected of selling arms from The Groves?

This story has potential, but I felt it missed the mark.

I felt the characters needed a bit more fleshing out. The characters felt very stereotypical, and the bickering between the two main characters became a bit monotonous. I felt the story got lost in the two main characters' differences rather than the plot.

Overall, I feel this book could have been executed better. It has the potential to be a good read with more character development and a little added mystery.

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review 2018-11-11 19:35
Uncertain Justice: Canadian Women and Capital Punishment, 1754-1953 - F. Murray Greenwood,Beverley Boissery

This is a quite interesting book. In general, the book is in chronological order though it does start with a modern case. The authors are looking at how Canadian justice treated women for about two hundred years. Various cases are studied in depth. The particular reason I brought this book was that I was looking at the story of La Corriveau, and this presents a very good historical context on that case.

It does help to have some basic historical knowledge of Canada, but outside of that, it is an easy enough read for the non-criminal justice major.

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