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review 2017-04-20 03:05
Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr
Dead on Ice - Lauren Carr

I first met Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates in Lauren's book Shades of Murder. I really liked the character int at book so decided I had to check out Book and series to see how much I liked them as the main characters. I am so glad I did. I like them just as much as Mac Faraday and Archie if nt more. I really love Cameron's attitude. She is great. I am sure I am going t love the rest of the series as much I have this book. I will also have to get a hold to the Joshua Thornton series so I get a better look at his past. 

 

Yep I am a huge fan of Lauren Carr's I have read or listened to several of her books. I cannot get enough. I love her writing style and the twists and turns she tosses in all through the book. I feel like I am investigating cases along with Detectives. Every time I think I have it figured out a new clue is dropped and makes me rethink my assumptions. 

 

Dead On Ice is the 1st book in the Lover's in Crime Series. Joshua's Uncle passes away in a freak accident. While checking on his Uncle after no one has seen him for a few day not only do they find his body but they also find out he is a hoarder. While family and friends are helping to clean out the house a bomb is spotted in the basement. Everyone barely gets clear when the house blows up. 

 

Cameron and Joshua set out to find out who and why the house was bombed they run across an old freezer in the basement. They are surprised to find the mummified remains of a woman. Once the body is ID'd they find out the woman in the freezer was a Porn Star in the 80's, but more then that she was the main suspect in a murder of a teenage girl she wen to school with. They are all left with more question then answers. 

 

They have to figure out who killed Angie, the teenager. Who killed Cheryl aka Cherry Pickens the porn star. Who put Cherry's Body in the freezer. And the big question is WHY?

 

Put your seat belt on for this one and maybe take a Dramamine. This book is in high speed with tons of twists and turns. 

 

I did listen to the Audiobook. Mike Alger is the narrator. I have listened to a few of the books he has narrated and love the expressiveness of his voice. He does a great job of letting you hear all the emotions in the story. I really enjoy listening to him. 

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review 2017-04-18 22:52
Shades of Murder (Mac Faraday Mystery #3) by Lauren Carr
Shades of Murder - Lauren Carr

Shades of Murder is book 3 in Lauren Carr's Mac Faraday Series. Each book in the series can be read as a stand alone. I am a huge fan of Lauren and have read or listened to several of her books. She is amazing. I love the characters n her book especially Gnarley. Gnarley is a huge German Shepherd and brings lots of humor to the series. This is one of my favorite books so far. All of hr books come with puzzles but this one wasn't a 500 piece puzzle it was a 1000 piece one. I really love playing detective along wit Mac while reading her books. 

 

This book features the regular cast of characters as well as a few new ones. In this book a surprise package arrives at Mac's door. It is a the painting by a woman who's murder 7 years ago was never solved. The note with the painting says that it was to go to Robin, Mac's real mother or if she had passed away to her heir. The arrival of the painting has Mac reopening the cold case. 

 

Meanwhile in Pittsburg PA, a convicted murderer has contacted former JAG Lawyer Joshua Thornton to look into the only case he was not convicted of 8 years ago. There was one woman that was never proven he killed mainly because he dd not kill her. Joshua finds Cameron Gates who had worked on the case. Even though the powers that be does not want the case reopened Joshua and Cameron set out to solve the case. 

 

Now comes the twists and turns. How can one woman be killed twice and so far apart in time and mileage. Joshua and Cameron follow their clues which brings them to Mac and his case. Now they need to work together to put the pieces of the puzzle together and solve the murders. 

 

This is also not the first book I have listened to by Mike Alger. I really like listening to him. He does a great job with his voices. His energy in the story is a great. He grabs you with the feeling he puts into his reading.

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review 2017-04-16 17:21
Kill and Run by Lauren Carr
Kill and Run (A Thorny Rose Mystery Book 1) - Lauren Carr

Set in modern day Washington D.C., a serial killer has just taken out five women. As Murphy Thornton digs into it, more possible victims are discovered as the pattern becomes clear. He will need the help of his stepmom Cameron Gates to untangle this mess!

While there were plenty of things I liked about this book, I often felt that I needed two maps – one for the family tree of all the relatives involved in this story and the second for all the different military and state police groups involved. Basically, I could tell that our main characters had to be very careful of stepping on toes no matter what they did.

Now that I have that little criticism out of the way, here’s the good stuff. I really liked how deep this mystery went. There were plenty of people involved and the events span years. Now there’s a young girl, Izzy, in danger. She was a real treat, being the animal lover that she is. I was on the edge of my seat sometimes hoping things would work out ok for her.

There’s a little romance here as there are a few couples involved in solving the crime. Murphy, who is working with the NCIS, and his wife Jessica Faraday are newlyweds and still figuring out some of their longer term goals. Incidentally, Jessica is related to the main Faradays in Carr’s other mystery series – The Mac Faraday Mysteries.

Cameron Gates, a police detective, lost her first husband to a hit and run many years ago. She since has remarried to Joshua Thornton (a JAG lawyer), Murphy’s dad. As that hit and run is revisited, Cameron and Joshua are drawn into this mystery as well. Cameron and Joshua have their own mystery series that I am sorely tempted to check out – Lovers in Crime Mysteries.

With this talented cast, we need equally devious and dedicated criminals to make a good story and Carr doesn’t disappoint there. A string of rapes is soon connected to certain men rising in the military. Now some of those women are dead. There’s a killer on the loose who is also a sexual predator. It was pretty intense towards the end complete with car chases.

I liked that not every thing came out all rosy. The true villains at the hear of it got most of what they deserved but the good guys didn’t get all they asked for. I like how that reflects life sometimes. With yet another generation of this tangled family setting up for a love match, I had the distinct feeling the author was prepping us for another spinoff mystery series. Hooray!

I received a free copy of this book via iRead Book Tours.

The Narration: C. J. McAllister did an OK job. The narration started off pretty bland but got better throughout the book. At first, the narrator sounded a bit bored but later on he seems to get into the story and the narration picks up. Also, from the voice acting I thought Murphy was much older and then his dad Joshua is brought into the story and Joshua’s voice sounded about the same or younger to me. The ladies voices were distinct and a somewhat feminine. He did do a really good job with young Izzy.

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review 2017-04-16 16:37
A Fine Year for Murder by Lauren Carr
A Fine Year for Murder - Lauren Carr

Note: While this is Book 2 in the series, it works just fine as a stand alone.

Jessica Faraday is still having nightmares and unfortunately she’s acting out in her sleep and striking her new husband, Murphy Thornton. She needs answers as to why she does this. When their journalist friend Dallas Walker calls with some interesting news about the Pine Bridge Massacre, which occurred over a decade ago, Jessica starts to wonder if maybe she’s suppressed a memory from that night when her family was visiting the area. Now Murphy and Jessica return to Jessica’s family winery to hunt for clues. What they find stirs up Jessica’s memories.

I liked this book more than I did Book 1, Kill and Run. There were fewer family members to get mixed up and not much jurisdictional squabbling to keep straight. I was able to focus on getting to know Murphy and Jessica. In Book 1, Murphy had a definite role while Jessica was a minor character. Here, we get to meet her family and learn some history of the area as well. While I did feel that Jessica spent an inordinate amount of time frozen, crying, or freaking out, she eventually is able to struggle free of that and actually do something. She ends on a strong, healthy note by the end of this book.

The mystery is layered, which I loved. There are layers of motive from back then when a family was murdered. Then a few more layers have been added on over the years as blackmail and cover-ups come into play. I also liked this little side mystery involving some minor characters in the story.

Now about Murphy. He’s a Phantom, which is some sort of military special ops super secret silliness. This was brought up in Book 1 but didn’t really factor in, so I could ignore it. Now it gets more play here and I’m on the fence about it. He’s a trained, killing weapon, so you better not startle him… or drop hot tea on his pants. That seemed a little overdone to me. On the other hand, he’s a really great guy to have around in a pinch. I did like the straw trick.

Jessica’s recovered memories are sprinkled throughout the tale and sometimes they act as a deus ex machina to move the plot along. Not all the time, since the duo (and eventually Dallas as well) continue to find other clues. Jessica’s recovered memories were sometimes used well and sometimes I felt they were a little too convenient for the plot. Still, I was kept entertained by the uncovering of not only the previous crime but also of subsequent crimes.

What I really liked about this book is that it brought up some things about spousal abuse, like assumptions other people make. Jessica is having these horrible nightmares and she unknowingly acts out in her sleep, injuring Murphy more than once. In turn, he occasionally acts back without wanting to hurt her but just to stop her from seriously damaging him.  In short, they both have marks but people only react to Jessica’s injuries (which I think is very realistic) without asking for details or checking Murphy for injuries. I liked how the story incorporated this nuance of culture.

I received a free copy of this book via iRead Book Tours.

The Narration: C. J. McAllister did a better job with this book. I was luke warm on his performance for Book 1 but I feel he really improved for this book. He definitely sounded engaged and his female voices were better. Though his voice for Jessica often sounded like he was talking with tight pursed lips, especially during the romantic scenes – and that put an odd image in my head. That could just be me. I liked his big Texan accent for Dallas.

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review 2017-04-14 19:11
Old Lives Die Hard by Lauren Carr
Old Loves Die Hard - Lauren Carr

Mac Faraday is back. His ex wife shows up drunk saying she wants to get back together. Mac Takes her to the inn and checks her in to sleep it off. The next morning he shows up to meet her for breakfast and finds not only her but her estranged lover,  who she left Mac for, both murdered in Mac's private suite.  

 

Once sort of  being cleared as being a suspect he has to help his 1/2 brother the Police Chief solve the murders. The strange part of the whole thing is the lover has shown up with a handful of files from Mac's old murder cases. Mac needs to arrest the killer so his Kids can have closure and also to figure out why McGuire was digging around in his old cases. 

 

I am  huge fan of Lauren Carr. I have read several of her books. I love all of the twists and turns in the books. The books are always pretty fast moving but they also drag you in as well as make you feel like a detective. I usually have a list of my own suspects, but am usually wrong when I pinpoint the killer, with all of the twists. I love how there is a touch of humor, a touch of light romance, and no real strong language. 

 

I also like that that with the Mac Faraday books, you do not have to read them in order to follow the story line. Each book can be read as stand alone. I have read the last few books of this series already so am back tracking with this book. But it could be the next book in the series instead of being the 2nd book. 

 

I did listen the audio book. I was quite happy with James C Lewis' narration. his voice is very expressive. He makes you hear what the characters are feeling. I really like that in narrator. He also does a great job with changing his voice for each character. 

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