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review 2017-12-08 18:29
Maniacal
Maniacal: A Detective Jade Monroe Crime Thriller Book 1 (Volume 1) - C.M. Sutter

Mostly, I only post reviews of books I strongly recommend - 4 stars at least. This partly because I do a lot of DNFing; if a story doesn't grab me pretty quickly, I tend to move on to the next book waiting impatiently in my two ever-growing TBR piles (the paper one and the digital one). Hey, life is short! 

 

With this one - Maniacal - it was touch and go for the first half of the book - a police procedural which was 90% police procedure. Then it began to liven up and I did, eventually, to my own surprise, actually finish the book and realise it was two o'clock in the morning. 

 

If you enjoy police procedurals, then this might be just your coffee and doughnut. If you don't, then give it a miss. Oh, and I did like Detective Sergeant Jade Monroe so perhaps I will return for more.

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review 2017-11-01 07:41
The Late Show
The Late Show - Michael Connelly

Renée Ballard #1

By:  Michael Connelly 

ISBN: 978-0316225984

Publisher: Little Brown & Co. 

Publication Date: 7/18/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Master storyteller, Michael Connelly returns following (Harry BoschThe Wrong Side of Good-Bye landing on my Top Books of 2016 with THE LATE SHOW. 

 

While reading Connelly’s latest, Two Kinds of Truth realized I had read and failed to post my review of THE LATE SHOW (Renee Ballard #1) —his 30th novel; where we meet his newest and tough detective, Renee Ballard in this top-notch gritty LA cop procedural crime thriller with a perfect balance of drama and suspense. 

A brilliant new series with an unstoppable new female detective. 

LAPD Renee Ballard, a strong-willed complex female detective had previously filed a sexual harassment complaint against her former boss, Lt. Robert Olivas. 

The outcome, she has been handed the night shift (a definite downgrade) in Hollywood known as the Late Show. This is her punishment. This definitely will not be good for her career. However, she will give it her all. 

Her relentless refusal to back down, prompted (demoted) the move to the late show, by Olivas and her partner, Ken Chastain, who witnessed the incident but did not support her.

She is a bit of a loner with a bohemian flair (almost homeless); loves nature, the beach, and her rescue dog, Lola. 

Like a “dog with a bone”, Ballard is handed three assignments and she is more than willing to dive in full force. 

One, an elderly woman with credit card fraud. Second a transgender prostitute, brutally beaten and left for dead, and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. She works around the clock. She is relentless. Five people dead. 

However, while dealing with the cases, against orders and her partner’s advice, they continue to pull her closer to her own past and demons.

Do we have a dirty cop in the midst? Career suicide?

Ballard may be the sole witness and with her own personal history with the department and her creditability would come under withering assault, as well.

Will she be able to prove her worth? ? Will she remain on the late show or be allowed to go back to the team? 

Wow, an avid fan (have read every book and watched every movie and series), Connelly a master at creating crime fiction, well-developed plot and complex forensics. A pro at creating intriguing sharp characters with staying power— like Bosch and Haller, hoping we will see more of Renee Ballard for the long haul. 

Ballad is mysterious yet tenacious. Looking forward to seeing more of her character. THE LATE SHOW is fast-paced and non-stop action with a smart, driven and tough leading lady. Hope we see #2 Renee Ballard in 2018. 

“It’s like the laws of physics—for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. If you go into darkness, the darkness goes into you. You then have to decide what to do with it. How to keep yourself safe from it. How to keep it from hollowing you out.” ― Michael Connelly, The Late Show

Bosch fans (I am at the top of the list), you cannot miss, TWO KINDS OF TRUTH. Currently listening to the audiobook. I love Titus Welliver (so sexy) on screen and as a narrator. I would follow him anywhere. Bosch is back in the middle of prescription drug abuse, murder, and uncover with a Medicare card. (Yes, I have recently been awarded one too). 

Haller and Bosh have proven themselves and looks like we have a new kick-ass female to add to the list. Renee Ballard—there is much more to uncover for the future. 

Connelly just keeps getting better (if that is even possible). Love the Amazon Prime series. One of the main reasons for continuing the Prime subscription.

 

 


 
South Florida fans "love you", Mr. Connelly. Keep them coming. Never stop writing or producing. One of the best crime writers of today. No one does it better.

A special thank you to Little Brown & Co. for an advanced reading copy. Also purchased the audiobook narrated by Katherine Moennig. 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/07/The-Late-Show
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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 2017-09-13 22:54
Giveaway – Detective Madison Knight Series by Carolyn Arnold @Carolyn_Arnold @GoddessFish
In the Line of Duty (Detective Madison Knight) - Carolyn Arnold

 

Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA  /  Goodreads

 

Because In The Line of Duty is front and center, I chose to review it first, but I do plan on continuing with the rest of the series.

 

MY REVIEW

 

In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold may not be the action packed, in your face suspense and danger that I love so much, but I do enjoy learning about the step by step procedures of a murder investigation, especially when it is one of their own…and the impact it has on the characters personal lives.

 

Carolyn Arnold has done her research, including the impact the media has on an investigation. I, too, think they dwell too much on the bad, never telling the whole story.

 

Madison is a detective with the Stiles Police Department and Troy, her boyfriend, is a member of their SWAT team. Their relationship takes a direct hit. Both of them were friends of the murdered officer, but Troy had grown up with him, been his best man and was the godfather of his children.

 

Troy’s nickname for Madison is Bulldog. She is tenacious, aggressive and determined, sometimes forgetting to eat and sleep. She’s like the energizer bunny, she doesn’t stop. Just the type of person you would want working your case, if you had one.

 

It takes a real knack to figure out who’s lying, who’s telling the truth, getting the information they need from uncooperative suspects and witnesses and Madison is like a dog with a bone, her mind putting the puzzle together, piece by piece.

 

I think their situation could actually be a benefit to their relationship if they could let the old baggage go, knock down some walls, and use the knowledge of the nature of the beast, their work, to overcome some of the bumps in the road sure to come their way.

 

Imagine if you were the other half and not a police officer…their late nights, not knowing where they are and what they are doing, and the danger, never knowing if the car they pull over will have a criminal that will blow them away rather than be taken.

 

I became invested in the characters, even the most peripheral, because they all had their place in the story. Some were good, some were bad, but they all have a ring of truth to them. The police kept their cool, when they could have gunned down the suspects and got away with it. The bad guys did what bad guys do, lie and muddle the investigation.

 

I do like some humor with my danger and Carolyn Arnold supplied it. Madison and her partner Terry are quite a team and I look forward to more adventures with them

 

In The Line Of Duty by Carolyn Arnold rings of truth and realism, the slow and steady investigation into the murder of one of their own. I loved following each thread of the mystery, unraveling it a strand at a time, veering this way and that, eliminating one thread only to find another.

 

I only figured it out right before she told and I LOVE IT! Carolyn Arnold had to break it down for me. That is so rare, that I can only bow down and say I’m not worthy.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

Enter the giveaway here.

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/giveaway-detective-madison-knight-series-by-carolyn-arnold-carolyn_arnold-goddessfish
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review 2017-09-01 14:46
great read
TERMINUS: A thrilling police procedural set in Scotland - Pete Brassett

The fifth book in the series and no less tension and suspense than the others. The detectives have a new case that involves a strange figure from Norway. Can the police finger this man before he commits further grave crimes?

Exciting and in parts funny. One to keep.

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