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review 2017-04-22 17:06
Dated Crime Fiction: "Sunset Express" by Robert Crais
Sunset Express - Robert Crais

Gosh, Robert Crais! I really want to like you, but after lots of books in and it still feels like gawky blind dating rather than true love.  I should be really digging these Crais novels, but I’m not. A smart-aleck gauntleting detective with a mean-as-hell friend is something that I can’t get enough of in other books. But something just isn’t coalescing here. From Crais first novel, I thought that Crais was doing a west coast version of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels and that feeling continues here. It isn’t Crais’ fault that I’m reading these over many years after he wrote them and that they seem dated in a lot of ways to me; having said this, there are still just too many clichés for me to overlook in this. Plus, Elvis is just such a dogged know-it-all that he tends to get on my nerves. Characters like Marlowe, Spenser or Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie can be wise asses and tough guys, but it feels like Cole can’t let the mildest thing go by without trying to act like a comic at karaoke night. What saves this book Cole’s quick jokes. So quick, he had me laughing like crazy a few pages in. That's pretty darn quick.

NB: According to BL/GR/LT this is my 400th/396th/394th book review. I believe BL is correct.

 

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review 2017-04-21 16:31
great follow up to the first book in this crime series
The Vixen's Scream - John Dean

A solid traditional British murder mystery with a contemporary edge by veteran author John Dean. The books is strong on the police work, which is closely observed, and the plot has quite a few twists and turns that will keep you guessing the identity of the killer.
Set in the Northern Pennines, this is a charming, atmospheric title that will appeal to a wide range of readers.

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review 2017-04-21 16:23
Killer thriller
Dead Hill - John Dean

When a man is found dead in a quarry in the Pennines, DCI Harris has every reason to expect foul play. But when the evidence sheds light on the policeman's own shady youth, who will remain loyal to him?

A well-told tale with a likeable but slightly flawed detective and a convincing murder squad.

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review 2017-04-17 06:59
The Weight of This World
The Weight of This World - David Joy

By: David Joy

ISBN: 9780399173110

Publisher: Penguin/Putnam

Publication Date: 3/7/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Talented storyteller, David Joy returns following his outstanding debut, Where All the Light Tends to Go to rural North Carolina mountains of Appalachia with another dark, gritty Southern noir THE WEIGHT OF THIS WORLD. From flawed and tortured souls, in search of light within the darkness.

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

In Sylva, NC Aiden McCall, at the young age of twelve, witnessed his dad murder his mother, then turn the gun on himself. A sight which would haunt him for the rest of his life. His worst fear was becoming his father one day.

Growing up in a group home he only had one friend, Thad Broom. Thad had his own past. Aiden had always believed that as time moved on the world would open up, that life would get easier rather than harder.

Hard led to harder. Life had a way of wearing a man down into nothing. The older he got the more complicated the world had become.

With enough money and a fresh start, Aiden and Thad could set things right. However, the housing bubble burst and jobs dried up. Thad was on deployment in Afghanistan when the construction business went to pot.

Those years Thad got to leave Aiden was jealous. But when Thad came back, Aiden was not sure who had it better or worse. If they could only leave the mountains. Aiden thought somewhere like Asheville, Hendersonville, or Atlanta for a fresh start. An opportunity for a better life.

April Trantham, Thad’s mother, had her own problems and past, starting from a young age. When the boys were in high school April inherited six acres and an old run down house and a single wide from the old man George had cancer.

April and Aiden find comfort in one another while Thad is away. Thad returns after a traumatic tour of duty in Afghanistan he is never the same, more damaged than when he left. The three of them want to escape their traumas; however, the weight of the world is heavy around them, and they cannot seem to escape.

. . . “There were so many horrible things they had buried inside themselves, all of the memories that had come to govern their lives. He found himself wishing that he could have been the one to bear it all. He wished that he could have taken all of the bad in this world and piled it onto himself so that he would have been the one to ever know that kind of suffering.”



From drugs, hatred, murder, crime and violence. Thad and Aiden’s drug dealer accidentally kills himself, leaving the two young men with drugs and cash; however, they cannot seem to pull themselves from the darkness. A drug- deal gone, bad.

. . . “Things weren’t okay. Everything wasn’t going to be all right. The world was entirely broken,”

Thad soon realizes that dying was a one-way ticket to judgment and it made no difference whether it came now or years down the road. He would be judged on his way to find redemption.

A mother who had not fully given herself to motherhood and her son, due to her own demons of pain and her innocence stolen. Aiden, trying to forget his haunted past. Did some people deserve to die? People had choices. These three may have more in common than they know.

As in his first book, David Joy skillfully balances the all-consuming brutality and darkness of his characters with the lyrical beauty of his writing. He captures the emotions, the setting, the culture; from crimes, dysfunction, hatred and poison, and struggles of the wounded human spirit, often with limited choices and repeating their own environment.

Told with compassion, from sadness to hope. Fans of gritty Southern noirs/literature and authors Ron Rash, Wiley Cash and John Hart will appreciate this skillfully written tale.

A special thank you to Penguin Putman and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (Also purchased audiobook)

JDCMustReadBooks

David Joy's books are always meant to be read, pondered, and listened to. MacLeod Andrews is a perfect narrator for THE WEIGHT OF THIS WORLD, as he was for Where All Light Tends to Go. Both 5 Stars.

A great Q&A with the Author: Smoky Mountain News
The weight of desire: David Joy releases second book

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/The-Weight-of-This-World
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review 2017-04-02 03:19
Repent At Leisure
Repent At Leisure - Peter Conway

Title: Repent at Leisure
Author: Stevie Turner
Publisher: Creativia
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four
Review:

"Repent at Leisure" by Stevie Turner

My Thoughts....

This read I must say left me on the edge of my seat with this psychological thriller read. There were so many of twist and turns the reader simply may not be able figure it out until the very end. I am simply not sure who I felt more sorrier for...Paul or Anita....definitely there was some help needed. What happens as someone comes up dead? What happens after Paul and Anita are married? Will she start regretting rushing into this marriage due to Paul's strange behavior shifts? Will he seek help? What will happen after Paul gets in touch with his brother Terry who lived in Australia? What secrets will come out from that visit to Australia? After they return back home what will happen next
between this couple. This is where I will stop and say you will have to pick up "Repent at Leisure" to get all of these questions answered and so much more. I will say I was left shaking my head and saying I didn't see that one coming. However, this author is noted for giving the reader surprises and that was one surprised ending for me.

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