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review 2017-09-18 22:16
Lightning Men
Lightning Men: A Novel - Thomas Mullen

Darktown #2

By:  Thomas Mullen 

ISBN: 9781501138799

Publisher: Atria 

Publication Date: 9/12/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars + 

 

From the acclaimed author, Thomas Mullen who introduced readers to the hit, Darktown landing on my Top Books of 2016 —racial integration of Atlanta’s police department in 1948 — with an explosive multi-layered complex follow-up: LIGHTNING MEN. 

Racial violence and corruption continue in 1950’s Atlanta, with African-American police officers, Boggs and Smith. 

As they say in the South, these two find themselves in a "heap of trouble.” (Among others). 

“Hot Atlanta” is not just sizzling. It is blistering. Fiery. Tensions and emotions run high. Loyalties are tested between family and law. Color lines are threatened. Moral lines are blurred. 

The second in the Darktown series, Mullen uses his hard-boiled crime, cop procedural, to explore post-WWII racism in the South. 

The highly anticipated character-driven LIGHTNING MEN is much more than just a crime-fictional thriller. It is infused with critical historical details and timely controversial subjects we face today.

“Any candid observer of American racial history must acknowledge that racism is highly adaptable.” – Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow 

Highly-charged, Mullen turns up the intensity with characters facing moral, family, social issues and compromises. 

Tensions rise. From racial prejudice, moonshining, drugs, greed, conspiracy, Klansmen, fascist Columbians, white supremacist, corruption, bigotry, violence, Jim Crow laws, preachers, shootouts, paybacks, fear, power, and segregated neighborhoods.

In Darktown, we met rookies: Officer Lucius Boggs and his partner, Tommy Smith. 

From different backgrounds, their office was housed in the basement of the Negro YMCA, a makeshift precinct. They were not even allowed to arrest white men, nor allowed to drive a squad car. They could not patrol outside of the Negro neighborhoods that constituted their beat. No respect and little support. 

Only ten black officers patrolled those thousands of souls. A third of Atlanta were black, yet they were crowded into only a fifth of the land. 

Boggs and Smith had not taken bribes; however, with two years on the force, it appeared half of the white officers took bribes, so how long would the Negro officers resist? 

They were tiring of their powerlessness. The son of a preacher, Boggs was all too familiar with the fallibility of men, even men with power. 

Denny Rakestraw (white) is distrusted by his fellow officers for his suspected role in the disappearance of his former partner, Lionel Dunlow. 

Rakestraw is not a racist but finds it difficult to fit in with his fellow white cops and work with the ten black cops. Neither side, fully trusts him. 

Denny’s problems increase when his Klansman brother-in-law, Dale Simpkins, gets involved in a plot to stop the influx of African-Americans into his neighborhood, Hanford Park. 

Some cops are part of the Klan. Will they accuse one of the richest men in Atlanta of selling moonshine and marijuana?

Boggs had come to respect McInnis over the last two years. He had stuck up for his charges during a few disputes with white officers. How far can he go to protect them? 

Boggs (preacher’s son) is dating Julie with a young son, Sage. Soon to be married. His family opposes the relationship since she is not of their social status. She has a secret past. She is intimidated by their prestigious family. 

When a black man, Jeremiah is released from prison after five years, things get personal. Boggs life gets complicated when he learns the connection. 

Two years earlier, Boggs came close to resigning his position and had second thoughts after a near-death experience. Now, he is unsure again.

Too many mistakes that weighed heavily on his soul. He is sure there would be more guilt and an awkward relationship with his partner. Can he remain as a cop? 

Events will lead each character to major soul-searching. Smith had crossed another line as well. He was afraid. 


. . . The Armor. The façade victims’ families typically wore when they needed to protect themselves or the memory of their loved ones. Folks who wore The Armor sometimes had secrets to hide. 

The Armor was firmly in place as they parried the officer’s attempts to learn more about the deceased. They wore The Armor to keep the cops from learning things. The secrets. . . 

The Armor was worn by the innocent, who had nothing to hide but their dignity, and they were so deeply offended to be questioned by these employees of the corrupt City of Atlanta, these paid enforcers of Jim Crow, that they refused to play along. They may be innocent, hurt, or protective. 

. . . “And lines are only ideas people dream up, to govern what should be possible, to keep you from moving toward the forbidden.”


Three policemen struggle. Each has an agenda and react in different ways to protect. Loyalties are tested. Family versus law. 

Can they continue to work with one hand tied behind their packs without the proper support to do their jobs? Will the latest emotional events, their actions, and tensions make them second guess their current careers? Will they continue to serve and make Atlanta a better city, or is it a useless effort? 

After violence and a shootout, will Hanford Park be transformed? Will the lines between white and black be blurred after the postwar crowding, pushing blacks into areas formerly considered whites-only (without violence)? 

From racial politics and struggles of history, Mullen does not miss a beat! 

The complex emotions of each character are portrayed in depth, making the characters jump off the page. Others threaten lives. Others protect. Struggles both interior and exterior. 

Complications. Affairs interrupted. Old scores settled. Blood feuds magnified. Pride. Costs were high. Greed. 

Hard-boiled. Explosive. Riveting. Timely! 

Love this enthralling series and looking forward to seeing what is in store next for Smith and Boggs. 

When reading of Boggs at his dad’s house for dinner with Julie, reminds me strongly of Greenleaf (a favorite show) and their preacher/family dinners. Heaven forbid, their children do not follow their well-laid controlled plans. 

Movie-worthy! For those who enjoy good crime fiction, and historical fiction as Mullen meticulously traces the civil rights movement through his well-written crime stories and cop procedurals, that involve "real" characters you come to care about. 

Fans of TV mini-series: Underground, Greenleaf and Queen Sugar will enjoy this intense series as well as Michael Connley’s Harry Bosch and Greg Iles' Penn Cage series. 

In addition to the early digital reading copy (thank you) provided by NetGalley and Atria, I also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – for an award-winning performance. Just finished. 

Move this series to the top of your list. If you reside in the South, this is a “must read.” Especially for those of us who found (find) Atlanta our home for many years. Another Southern winner! 

JDCMustReadBooks

****
Due to post-Irma, residing in South Florida with water damages, power outage, cell towers, and loss of internet for nine consecutive days; no gas, grocery, or mail service – late posting my review on pub day. Let's hope Maria does not pay us a visit. 

Yay! Today we have internet restored, power, cell towers, and mail service! Back in business. Ordered the hardcover copies of both DARKTOWN and LIGHTNING MEN for my personal library. So excited, they are out for delivery today, from Amazon! (Love the covers) Looking forward to receiving my copies. (Now, I have to figure out how to get the author to autograph) my copies. 

Busy catching up with posting reviews and my blog. Thanks everyone for your patience.
 
 
 

City on the verge of a race riot in ‘Darktown’ sequel


Thomas Mullen’s new novel examines brotherly hate  

By Tray Butler - For the AJC

 
 
 
 
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/04/19/Lightning-Men
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review 2017-02-18 13:27
I See You
I See You - Clare Mackintosh

By:  Clare Mackintosh 

ISBN: 9781101988299

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date:  2/21/2017

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars 

 

Clare Mackintosh returns following her smashing debut and international bestseller, (2016) I Let You Go, landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016, with a strong follow-up. A clever, gritty, dark and twisty psychological thriller, I SEE YOU.

Someone is watching when you least expect.

FindTheOne.com is more than a dating site. An online matchmaking service for more than dating. Find the victim, and go for the kill.

A commute to work. A dreaded task. The Tube. However, someone has hacked into the system and they are watching the daily routines of women. A devious dangerous plan. Cyber Crime, coffee shops, CCTV, money laundering, greed, stalking, adverts, a killer, FindTheOne.com, an ax to grind, payback, and murder. Trust no one.

Middle-class Zoe Walker, a mother of two teens (Katie and Justin) -divorced, and dating a guy named Simon- must take the train to work. The only jobs worth taking were in zone one; the only affordable mortgages in zone four. She could only dream of working close enough to her home to walk.

On her morning commute, she is shocked to discover in the London Gazette a photo of herself in the personal ads. FindtheOne.com. What the heck? She is looking at herself. A forty-year-old woman. The woman in the advert is none other than herself. Soon other women’s photos appear, and they end in a crime.

We also are introduced to Kelly Swift, the detective who has been disgraced and back on the scene with the latest murders. Her departure four years earlier from British Transport Police’s Sexual offenses Unit had been rapid and uncomfortable. She had spent nine months off sick returning to what had been presented to her as a clean slate but was really a punishment posting.

She had thrown herself into her shift work, quickly becoming one of the most respected officers on the Neighborhood Policing Team, pretending to herself she was a uniform cop through and through when every day she yearned to be dealing with serious investigations again. Will she lose control again?

The Underground Crime soars with the investigation into crime on public transport after record increases in reported sexual offenses, violent assaults, and thefts. Terrifying enough to make you stop using the Tube altogether. Kelly is back on the case full force.

With sprinkles of spine-chilling words in italics, from the mystery person throughout the novel (the best parts). Told from three POV: Zoe, the mom; Kelly the determined police officer, and the creepy mystery person.

“I see you. But you don’t see me. You’re engrossed in your book; a paperback cover with a girl in a red dress. I can’t see the title but it doesn’t matter; they’re all the same. If it isn’t boy meets girl, it’s boy stalks girl. Boy kills the girl. The irony isn’t lost on me . . . You’re still reading. And I’m still watching.”

Zoe is worried for all the women and girls out there as well as her daughter and herself. She feels the danger. She cannot see it, but she can feel it.
She knows it is getting close.

“Routine is comforting to you. It’s familiar, reassuring. Routine makes you feel safe. Routine will kill you.”

"You never know where you might meet The One. A way of introductions between London’s commuters on FindTheOne.com. A matchmaker. A broker. A go-between. To give coincidence a head start. . ."

Soon the adverts are all-consuming for Zoe, and Kelly is determined to find the killer. They work together and believe the adverts are at the heart of the series of crime against women. What is the motive and who is stalking and preparing information on each woman? Who are the buyers/subscribers? These customers come from all walks of life.

Who are these men?

“They’re your friends. Father. Brother. Best Friend. Neighbor. Boss. The people you see every day; the people you travel to and from work with. You think you know them better than that. You’re wrong.”

The ruthless psychopath is more than a matchmaker. “Someone could be downloading your profile right now. . . A facilitator for desires hidden so deep inside they’re barely acknowledged. The chance to kill someone.”

From making notes of everything from hair color, body size, duration, availability, employment, routines, timing, locations, and a rating of easy, moderate, difficult. A cost. Chilling!

As Zoe and Kelly plan an attack, they are in danger as well as Katie. Any woman on the train could be the next victim. Once the photo appears, are they worth the amount someone is willing to pay to kill?

With a cast of characters, the author leaves you in suspense as you doubt everyone close to Zoe. Who is the sinister mastermind behind this elaborate cybercrime – a deadly scheme of cat and mouse?

Mackintosh spins an elaborate set up with the slow burning background of Zoe and her family as well as Kelly. Two interesting women. The suspense builds to a fast-paced heart-pounding climax, with an array of red herrings. Readers will be mindful of their own daily routines and possibly be looking over their shoulders, or mixing up their daily grind. I know, I will. Take a different route, a different time.

In our world of identity theft, technology, social media, and cyber-crimes, a horrifying fictional account, and yet a believable one which makes it even scarier.

I See You, would make a great movie. You never know who is watching. Are we ever safe? Highly entertaining, suspenseful, and innovative.

For me, the mystery secret person and the words in italics— "the icing on the cake." The twisty finale will leave you spinning. The secret is finally revealed. I was reminded of the final episode of Season One TV Series, Secrets and Lies. Deliciously evil!

Well crafted, Mackintosh once again uses her cop procedural expertise mixed with her fine-tuned writing abilities, to keep readers glued to the pages for a strong and gritty second installment. Highly recommend both books.

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for a complimentary reading copy, in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/04/I-See-You
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review 2016-11-11 17:02
Love You to Death
Love You to Death: An Absolutely Gripping Thriller With a Killer Twist (Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series Book 1) - Caroline Mitchell
Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series #1
ISBN: 9781786810847 
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date:  11/11/2016
Format: Other
My Rating: 5 stars  ++

 

A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Master crime thriller author, Caroline Mitchell “ups the ante” with her edgy and gritty new series: LOVE YOU TO DEATH,the first jaw-dropper Detective Ruby Preston debut, which will blow you away. OMG! A thriller like no other, ever. Mitchell’s best yet! Movie Worthy.

Merry Christmas Mummy. What if Santa doesn’t bring me what I want, Mummy? Now let me kill you for leaving me How far will a person go for love?

Set in London, this is a series you will be dying to read. I started at 2am and planned on reading for an hour or so. Trust me, there is NO way you can sleep once you start. Did not stop until I finished the last satisfying page. Non-stop action. Dark, gripping, heart-pounding. It was worth an entire sleepless night. Cannot wait to tell everyone about this book. Words cannot adequately describe the intensity. My heart is still not back to normal..

Caroline Mitchell shines. Brilliantly plotted, the antagonist Lucy is beyond evil, MENTAL, deranged, with demons unleashed in ways you cannot imagine. The author gives an award- winning performance. Each character is sculpted with the finest of instruments.

And this is not even the best part! Detective Ruby Preston is spectacular! Gritty, edgy, kick-ass, tough – absolutely love her! She is not beyond going around the law when needed, plus she has many flaws, a secret past, and a great heart. To further enhance your reading enjoyment, yes . . . there is plenty more.

The author adds a bad boy, Nathan Crosby (rich-gangster) on the wrong side of the law from a crime (abusive) family (even though he is the best of the bunch and a great heart-loved him) – on and off again boyfriend with a lots of history; a horrible mom, dad, and evil crime lord brother, Lenny.

To add more spice, there is another DI, romantic interest "sleeping with (off and on)." And let’s not forget Ruby’s mom, Joy which has dementia in a care facility, Oakwood; which also adds some flair for the dramatic and humor.

Ruby's past is about to catch up with her, which may destroy her career, her life, and anyone who gets in the way. Complicated. Hang on for the ride of your life. Buckle up, it is a rip-roaring roller coaster ride that never loses speed until the explosive conclusion.

A few tidbits. OK, "few" is not in my vocabulary. However, promise not to give away any spoilers, but man, there are some shockers, twists, and many surprises. Nothing about this novel is predictable. Had me, guessing to the very end.

Meet Lucy. Bad girl. Emily was not her mother. She was just like all the others. Nothing but a huge disappointment. She had another Mummy with a different surname, and soon she would be knocking on her door. Tomorrow she would begin again. And again. And again. She would do what it took to find her mother. Somebody worthy of her love. Was she cursed?

She does not want distractions of other family members. She enjoyed the hunt. It gave her a special kind of joy. But there was no time to waste, and tomorrow, she would get back to the serious task of finding her mother. She will eliminate anyone who gets in the way. Husbands and other family members, included. She scratches off the names. Emily, Monica, Anita . .

She knew she had been born to a strong, loving independent woman. Someone who would take her in and love her forever. They would go on shopping trips together, and when Christmas came, it would be the best day of all. She works her way down the list. Time was running out. Only a few months to Christmas and Lucy would not spend it alone! Soon Lucy would have her fairy-tale ending. Christmas Day!

Women who gave up their babies for adoption are being targeted. A serial killer. The door-knocker. Desperate letters to a mother. A death notification. A black-edged card.

Dearest Mother, “Yes, you read right. I’m your daughter. I’ve come to find you. I know that this will come as a shock to you, or perhaps you’ve always known that this day would come. That the daughter you gave away would come looking for answers. But there’s no need to worry. I don’t care about the past. I just want us to be a family. Writing this letter has not been easy, but I want us to be together. I hope this advance warning will make things easier when we meet. I’m so looking forward to being a part of your family again.” Lots of love, Lucy x

The door-knocker killer. She knocks on doors with the news she is the daughter they gave away and is invited in. The woman on the other side is now a victim, at the hands of a monster.

Would she ever really have a happy ever after? Was trying to recreate a happy ending a façade. It all revolved around a set up based on a movie, Lucy’s First Christmas. A twisted desperation to recreate an idyllic family scene. An old-fashioned heart-warming fairy tale, gone bad. She was playing it out.

Lucy is totally unpredictable and would react without warning. Will her victims give the right answers to her stupid game? If not. Watch out, you will be eliminated. Wait, if you do have the right answer, she still wants the joy of killing you.

Detective Ruby Preston is on the case. Now she is receiving letters RIP. No one knows her middle name which starts with an I, but only a select few in her past. Could it be her worst nightmare? Now she finds, herself risking her career for something in her past which has risen to the surface. Plus, who can she trust at work?

Ruby now has more problems and it is getting personal in more ways than one. A journalist has received a letter which could end her career.

Dear Helen: "Detective Ruby Preston (RIP) is sleeping with gangster Nathan Crosby and DI Jack Downers. Disgusting behavior from a MET police officer. The public needs to know." Lucy

Who in the heck is this gal Lucy? How does she know about her past and present?

Mix in Nathan (Ruby/ Nathan), Joy-Ruby’s mom with dementia, Goldie- a hooker prostitute, Cathy-a homeless girl, Lenny a crime lord (Nathan’s brother), The Crosbys (rich, powerful, corrupt family), women being held captive and murdered, a DI Downes-a love interest, and an entire team on the hunt for the killer, plus more twists and turns and shockers than you can count!

Plus with all Ruby’s flaws, she is struggling with her on and off relationship with Nathan. They are on both sides of the law which propose ongoing problems, but they can’t quite part ways. He has bought her a new flat, in a safe neighborhood (which she needs desperately on her salary), but she is afraid it comes with strings. She is unsure about her new relationship with DI Downes since they work together, which can get complicated. Plus she does like her booze.

A gripping psychological crime cop suspense thriller on steroids! My Top Thriller List for 2016. Hard to describe without giving away clues; however, if you think a mix of: Karin Slaughter/Lisa Gardner (crime-cop-female protagonist-gritty, edgy), Mark Edwards/Jennifer Hillier (sinister, horror, evil, suspense), Harlan Coben (non-stop action, twists) and Paul Cleave/Michael Robotham/Lindsay Barclay (crime, psychological suspense, humor) + Caroline’s own personal cop/crime expertise + writing talent = LOVE YOU TO DEATH.

Plot and character driven -coming from all sides. Everything you could possibly want from a crime thriller is here. Buy this book and move to the top of your reading list. Comes out today!! I am so thrilled about the Ruby Preston series, and cannot wait for the next installment to see what comes next.

I am enjoying how many of the authors today are taking their female leads (series) and kicking it up a notch (like Marcia Clark and Mitchell, among others), with more ballsy protagonists than their previous series, with secret pasts and often color outside the lines, with moral gray areas.

What amazes me is how the Mitchell can crank out so many books. Like LOVE YOU TO DEATH, and currently reading WITNESS, coming Dec 20, 2016 (loving it-Featured Weekend Read), and The Silent Twin (April 2016) – all in one year. Impressive!

My third in a row with the awesome publisher, Bookouture (great covers). The UK gals can sure write psychological crime thrillers, like no other!

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/02/Love-You-to-Death
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review 2016-11-07 22:35
Bronx Requiem
Bronx Requiem - John Clarkson
ISBN: 9781250047250
Publisher: St  Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
Publication Date: 11/8/2016 
Format:  Hardcover
My Rating: 5 Stars +++ 

Top Books of 2016

 

A special "big" thank you, to St. Martins' Press, Minotaur, and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. 5 Stars +++

Talented crime writer, John Clarkson returns following the sensational thriller, Among Thieves (2015) with my favorite tough guy, James Beck, (My hero) who runs a slick operation in Red Hook, Brooklyn- to give employment and a second chance to his fellow ex-cons . . .

BRONX REQUIEM —Multi-layered, non-stop action, suspense, twists, adrenaline-fueled; a true “murder mystery,” with an unstoppable inner circle, of unconventional friends, led by Beck; you most definitely, want him in your corner. "I LOVE these guys!"

Top 10 Books of 2016!

Hard-boiled crime fiction, "at its finest." If you could only read one thriller this year, this would be "the one."

James Beck met Packy Johnson (Paco) in prison.

They forged a friendship and an unbreakable bond. Packy Johnson had been incarcerated for most of his life and had earned his status as a respected, righteous con. Beck had never asked Packy why he had decided to help him along ago.

Packy never questioned him. How a man with no criminal record had killed a cop? In Clinton maximum-security prison, James Beck learned the meaning and value of a true friend.

Beck knew two things: He would never return to prison. And no person, or institutions or circumstances would ever stop him from being the man he wanted to be.

Presently, as the book opens, it is nine years later. Packy was being released, after a seventeen-year sentence. Plans were made. Walter (parole officer) had taken care of the arrangements. Beck was to pick up Packy at the bus station. He was one of them.

However, he does not show.

Later they find out he has hitchhiked when the bus broke down. Now, he is dead. How could this have happened?

Why now, less than a day out of prison, not far from his mother-in-law’s apartment, beaten to death and shot in the head? No robbery (money in his pocket with his ID). Left in a gutter, seventeen hours later in Northern Bronx. What went wrong?

Packy had lived 42 years, 32 of which had been spent in juvenile institutions, foster homes, or prisons. 80% of his life confined, focused on simply surviving. Now was the chance to finally experience life. They have to make this right and find the killer. Justice for their loyal friend.

Who shot Packy Johnson? What made him risk his parole hitchhiking into town, and then rush over to the housing project minutes after he arrives, ready to take on a whole crew?

At the same time, there is a girl named Amelia Johnson(street name, Princess) who is trying to escape the clutches of an evil monster, Derrick Watkins—a pimp. A low-echelon criminal like many of the young men in her neighborhood – the Bronx River Houses-who dealt in drugs, theft, and prostitution. She knew the game.

When he took her in to give her food, clothes, and a place to stay, Amelia knew she had entered into a dangerous game. But knowing the game did not make her able to win at it.

A sixteen-year-old, girl trying to escape first her mother’s boyfriend at the age of twelve. A father she never knew who should have protected her. A hopeless selfish "drug addict" mother who died and left her alone. A crazy grandmother; angry, volatile, and a nag—a poor foster system which failed her and now- prostitution, control, and abuse.

Packy’s daughter (she is hilarious). He has not seen since she was three years old.

Her unstable grandmother, Lorena Leon told her she was useless, finally forcing her to be in this inescapable situation before they would finally kill her. She has to find a way to escape the clutches of Derrick, Tyrell, Johnny Morris, Eddie, Jerome, Eric Juju Jackson, and Whitey Bondurant. Someone had sent for her. A criminal enterprise.

 

 



Detective John Palmer is on the (Paco Johnson) case with his partner, Raymond Ippolito. Ippolito was the senior detective, whereas Palmer had been a detective for a little over a year. Palmer saw this case an opportunity for advancement – he was overly ambitious. (what a dick).

It ran in the family since Palmer’s father, John Palmer senior had a reputation for being a hard-charger, a well- known lobbyist, lawyer, and political operator. A well know advocate for law enforcement and his influence extended to the NYPD, the Department of Corrections, NY Police, the Justice Department, and Homeland Security. (do you smell corruption?)

There was no drugs or burglary involved. This is a homicide. Murder. The parole officer assigned to the case was Walter Ferguson.

James Beck and his team, (Manny Guzman, Demarco Jones, Walter Ferguson) have their offices out of an old oak bar on the ground floor of the building at the far end of Red Hook, on the waterfront, providing a measure of safety and security for them.

It had taken them a year to renovate the place with the help of local workers and ex-cons. He had restored the ground floor bar, gutted the second and third floors to add bedrooms, bathrooms, storage rooms, workout space, with an open loft, divided into an office space, kitchen/dining, and seating area. (What a cool place, adding to the intrigue)!

Walter, a distinguished African American man as part of their group is devastated since he was responsible for Packy. Packy was one of them. They have to call in the "big gun" for help: Ciro Baldassare, the strongest of the crew.

Beck and his team, who operate out of his Red Hook saloon, set out to find who killed Packy. In the meantime, they are trying to help Amelia and Queenie (older madam) who work for pimp Derrick Watkins, one of the Bronx’s most vicious criminals.

A race against time, Beck and his gang, not only have to face some of the most violent gang leaders, now they have to go up against politics, corruption, and power; Detective John Palmer, the ambitious cop not above skirting the law, who has his own agenda. He wants to send a cop killer back to jail. Forever. Does he know who he is messing with?

Intense, suspense, gritty! Wow, having read Among Thievesenjoyed listening to the interview with Clarkson afterward, and his inspiration for the character, James Beck, and his inner circle continuing with Bronx Requiem (see below). Please, please let there be more....Loving this series!

Clarkson has created a unique, captivating series, with believable topics and flawed characters--inspired by our society. You root for them. These guys (brotherhood) know the ins and outs of crime.

Beck is a complex character. He has a heart of gold. A loyal friend. A hero, even though he is not a bully and can stand up to bullies. Intelligent and street smart. He is not impulsive. He carefully plans, looking at all options before he acts. A man with a past, and relies on his group of friends for support—and did I mention, what an awesome backdrop setting?

So vivid and realistic, I want to pull up a bar stool, have a drink, and better still feel the spine tingling action within these walls, spend the night, and have their yummy breakfast the following morning, and be a part of the well-laid plans, to take down the bad guys.

Meticulously written, a plot "out of this world", and well-developed characters. Mixed with lots of humor, action, and emotion. The good (bad guys) taking down the (really) bad guys; and helping the innocent in the process.

The strong bond between Packy and Beck, the inner circle, the loyalty of friends, and the added addition of Amelia (so good)--with the crew taking her under their wing, which was quite challenging after she was set on revenge; Amelia, Queenie, and Lorena brought a nice balance of female kick ass emotion and which sets the novel apart from the norm.

All the ingredients for a blockbuster movie hit. (keeping fingers crossed)

Not only did I LOVE the book, and was beyond excited to receive an early reading copy; I always pre-order the audiobook, as well. Peter Berkrot is my all time favorite narrator. He was exceptional in Among Thieves, and cannot wait until Nov 8 to listen to the highly anticipated performance of Bronx Requiem. (stunning cover)

A huge Clarkson, Beck, and Berkrot fan! This is "as good as it gets, folks." A hero you will not soon forget. Fans of true crime, hard-boiled fiction, mystery, and suspense thrillers will devour! Move over Lee Child, David Baldacci, and Michael Connelly.

From the Author:

 

"Around 2011, John became interested in the fact that the US incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. With 5% of the world’s population, we have 24% of the world’s prisoners. There are over 2 million people in prison and over 4 million on parole or probation.

How did this happen? What are all those people doing? How do they survive in and out of prison? Out of all this grew the idea of writing a crime novel with ex-cons as the heroes. The result: Among Thieves and Bronx Requiem."

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/07/02/Bronx-Requiem
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review 2016-09-25 16:52
The Twenty-Three
The Twenty-Three: A Promise Falls Novel (Promise Falls Trilogy) - Linwood Barclay

By: Linwood Barclay 

Promise Falls Trilogy #3

ISBN:  9780451472724

Publisher: Penguin Berkley

Publication Date:  11/1/2016 

Format: Other

My Rating:  5 Stars  

 

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

International bestselling author, Linwood Barclay takes readers back to the beginning Broken Promise Promise Falls Trilogy, #1 (2015).

"Best Cliffhanger Mystery Thriller Suspense Series," landing on my Top 30 Books of 2015—with highly anticipated THE TWENTY-THREE a spine-chilling thriller conclusion Promise Falls Trilogy #3. (or is it)? Everything comes full circle.

 



Promise Falls is an explosive series about the disturbing evil secrets of a quiet yet mysterious small town (turns out, not so quiet). Love the cover!

Set in a fictional upstate New York small town outside of Albany, called Promise Falls—a town slowly dying, with a number of the businesses closing, or recently closed, and the younger generation, forced to move on to larger cities with better opportunities.

Presently murder, and a whole lot more. A serial killer is targeting their town.

A multi-layered plot, with an array of intriguing and well-developed characters, and a town of scandalous secrets, lies, conspiracy, murder, possibly revenge, and a list of crimes-and the mysterious number, "twenty-three".

There is also a backstory of Olivia Fisher, (#1) a young woman with a bright future, killed years ago in a brutal murder. Her mother died of cancer recently, and the dad remaining - still grieving, and left to control the fiancé, who has turned into a raging alcoholic.

Final Assignment (Promise Falls Trilogy, #1.5) 2016
Far From True (Promise Falls Trilogy, #2) 2016

How do the dots connect? Who has a motive for harming the people of Promise Falls?" Who is Mr. Twenty-Three?

Saturday, Memorial Day weekend, May 23 and we all know what happens with the number 23. It spells HORROR for Promise Falls. The motive for harming the people, points to the number 23.

It had all started with the horrific murder of Rosemary Gaynor. However, it really went back to the original: Olivia Fisher’s death- the first. Then most recently Lorraine Plummer. What do college students and women being murdered have to do with the other happenings? A serial killer is on the loose once again with his signature mark.

And then there were some strange goings-on around town. Everything from dead squirrels, and a Ferris wheel coming to life all on its own to a college predator and a flaming bus. As if all that weren’t enough, the bombed drive-in, and now someone was poisoning the water.

People are dying and even the lines at 911 were busy. Someone is poisoning the town’s water supply and possibly a multiple murderer—a serial killer. One in the same, or multiple people with different agendas?

What is the missing link? Promise Falls was already on the edge about a possible terrorist attack after the drive-in. However now things were getting out of hand. The town’s water supply is being tainted. A fuel spill, chemicals, or was someone intentionally seeking to harm?

Everyone was drinking the tap water and getting sick, and dying. Causing nausea, headache, vomiting, severe drop in blood pressure. To seizure, cardiorespiratory arrest and Hypo tension. By the time it is over, the number of dead is over two hundred, including those fatalities for the elderly, who died before they could even get them to the hospital.

Who wants revenge?

In the meantime, Sam Worthington and Carl were missing. David Hartwell has to warn them about the water. Randall Finley, running for mayor is of course, trying to push his bottled water to gain attention for his campaign, while making more enemies and causing suspicions.

Who had a working knowledge of the town’s infrastructure?

Victims of crime the ones you do not hear about. What about relatives of perpetrators? The pain. Lives getting turned upside down and they are not responsible but get blamed. Shunned. How can they move on and start over? Who has a tormented past? A history of psychological abuse? Motive? Madness. Payback? An agenda. . .

Detective Barry Duckworth is front and center with #3. His detective work is brilliant; however, he may be in danger as he gets closer to the truth. Will he find the killer of the homicides and connect the dots, before it is too late, or will he die trying?

The sins of the past and present collide.

With an array of suspects, and clues --is there more than one killer, and how are they linked together? With more twists and turns than you can image, Barclay keeps readers glued to the pages of yet another riveting thriller. A mix of psychological, crime, cop procedures, forensics, mystery, suspense, wit, and humor----all rolled into one action-packed thriller!

Only Barclay, an pull out a shocker at 98% which is mind-blowing! One of my favorite authors. Just when you think, all the pieces of the puzzle are solved----BAM! Here comes another.

Read them all! For fans of Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Unger, Lisa Gardner, Gregg Hurwitz, and John Hart-this spine-chilling series is award-winning and "movie worthy!"

 



Let's see what Janet Evanovich can do for the "number 23" and favorite sleuth, Stephanie Plum in Turbo Twenty-Three(Nov 15) "a magical number" for November.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/03/17/The-TwentyThree
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