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review 2017-05-28 13:57
Highly original polished cyber thriller
Playing with Death - Doug Headline,Simon Scarrow,Linda Francis Lee

This is an edgy, pacy, futuristic and oh so very polished cyber thriller. At its centre is the author's idea of what life could be like beyond "Second Life" (virtual world for the sad and lonely geeks!) The skin suit:  a totally immersive online experience from software giants Wadesoft....."where the person wearing the suit can be made to feel the physical sensations of whatever software simulation the program is running...." Once the user enhances his body by wearing the skin he can enter the Streamplex where all his needs and wants can be realized in a virtual environment.

 

FBI agent Rose Blake has failed in her mission to capture and incarcerate  Shane Koenig, a killer who performs the most heinous deaths on this victims before uploading the video to his KKillKam site which is viewed by those who troll the shadowy side of the internet...the darknet. She has no time to dwell on past mistakes and must now use all her energy to investigate a suspected arson. However when a body is discovered Rose will commence a journey that will see her become engrossed in a world of online fantasy and video games, a world without rules or regulation and a world where she will encounter unexpected help in the form of project DIVA (an intelligence that can think for itself and make decisions) amidst "an orgy of virtual massacre and destruction."

 

Having not read Simon Scarrow's historical novels ( a mistake I plan to rectify) I was intrigued by his latest offering an almost futuristic crime thriller which goes beyond the virtual world giving a glimpse of what might be possible and how those possibilities create a frightening but not unreasonable scenario. I felt a  certain warmth towards agent Blake her love for her son Robbie and her worry about husband Jeff who held lustful thoughts for the lovely Pandora and when not reciprocated purchases his own skin suit, enters Streamplex there hoping to realize his dark inner self. This novel is filled with intelligent, perceptive thought and analysis, a compassionate hero and a deadly foe who will stop at nothing to damage and destroy. Will Shane Koenig by finally stopped? Will Rose successfully navigate the virtual world of Streamplex? Will Jeff be saved from his overworked labido? All will become clear in an exciting and very fulfilling conclusion that leaves open the possibility of further novels in the series. Thanks to netgalley for this gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

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review 2017-05-28 04:43
I Am Death
I Am Death (A Robert Hunter Thriller) - Chris Carter

Robert Hunter #7

By: Chris Carter

ISBN: 9781476765716

Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler 

Publication Date: 5/30/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

Mastermind Chris Carter returns following An Evil Mind with I AM DEATH –a terrifying, dark, intense, and twisted psychological crime thriller, featuring Robert Hunter front and center in a suspense cat-and-mouse "mind-blowing" chase.

For those who enjoy twisty, smart, edgy, intelligent, gruesome, and very dark psycho-thrillers!

Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD Robbery Homicide Division grew up as an only child to working class parents in an underprivileged neighborhood of South Los Angeles. His mother lost her battle with cancer when he was only seven and his father never remarried and had to take on two jobs to cope with the demands of raising a child.

He was different. He got bored easily and made his way quickly through school- At the age of twelve Hunter was given a scholarship to the Mirman School for Highly Gifted Children. Only the beginning, making his way to Stanford University. At nineteen he had graduated with a degree in psychology and at twenty-three received his Ph.D. in criminal behavior analysis and biopsychology.

For years the FBI had made attempts to recruit Hunter. Hunter would rather be a detective with the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division than join the most advanced serial killer—tracking force in the US, and even, the world. however, Hunter would rather be a detective with the local police force than join the most advanced serial-killer tracking task force in the USA. He had continued to decline every offer by Kennedy.

In other words, he is brilliant!

Hunter did not have a family and was not married. No kids. An insomniac. His partner of six years, Detective Carlos Garcia was also his best friend. They headed up a specialized group where all the homicides were overwhelming brutality and or sadism had been used by the perpetrator and tagged by the department as UV crimes.

A young woman about to start her second year of law school at Cal State was found by the LA airport and left in a position of a five-point human star. (A protection against evil)? A symbol that has been associated with evil and devil worshipping.

Nichole Wilson from Indiana and was abducted while babysitting for a wealthy couple. Grisly details. A tube of paper. Lacerations; no two the exact same size. Tortured. Violated. Whipped. Two different instruments. Like cutting brushstrokes onto a canvas. Blood inside the brain. A sadistic killer. A note from the killer in blood, I AM DEATH.

The killer had tortured her for almost six days. They had never come across a killer with this level of confidence.

Hunter knew this meant one thing. He did it for one reason. To let everyone know that this wouldn’t end here. A huge ego. Confident. Intelligent. Knowledgeable. Meticulous. He wanted the body found and the note.

Perpetrators who place their victims’ bodies in specific positions or shapes, with the intention of them being found that way are very particular about every detail.

The abduction, the torturing, the killing, the positioning and disposal of the body and the note. Tremendous detail. He wants them to know how good he is. Did the killer make the call?

Nichole Wilson was only the beginning.

From a flight attendant’s corpse to a kidnapped eleven-year-old boy renamed Squirm. A system that failed him. A serial killer. From taunting notes, photographs, to messages from a monster, a fast-paced action-fueled—terrifying sadistic game. A clue to a double meaning.

Gross, dark, gruesome, bloody, chilling, and brilliantly crafted. As always Chris Carter draws on his personal experience and a pro at creating the most heinous and intelligent of evil psychological crime thrillers. He knows monsters.

An unpredictable twist at the end wraps up another winner by Carter!

A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

 


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/03/I-Am-Death
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review 2017-05-27 17:19
Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
Death at Victoria Dock: A Phryne Fisher Mystery (Phryne Fisher Mysteries (Paperback)) (Paperback) - Common - By (author) Kerry Greenwood

Driving home late one night, Phryne Fisher is surprised when someone shoots out her windscreen. When she alights she finds a pretty young man with an anarchist tattoo dying on the tarmac just outside the dock gates. He bleeds to death in her arms, and all over her silk shirt.

Enraged by the loss of the clothing, the damage to her car, and this senseless waste of human life, Phryne promises to find out who is responsible. But she doesn't yet know how deeply into the mire she'll have to go: bank robbery, tattoo parlours, pubs, spiritualist halls, and anarchists.

Along this path, Phryne meets Peter, a scarred but delectable wharfie who begins to unfold the mystery of who would need a machine gun in Melbourne. But when someone kidnaps her cherished companion, Dot, Phryne will stop at nothing to retrieve her.


**********
 
I was introduced to the lovely Phryne Fisher book series by the TV series. However, I just must point out that, despite liking the books my heart has been captivated by the TV series and I deeply, very deeply miss Detective Inspector Jack Robinson in this book. Now, he doesn't have a prominent role in the book series that have in the TV series and that is regrettable. At least that's how I feel.
 
Now, how about this book? I did enjoy reading this cozy mystery series. I quite like Phryne Fisher and those around her; her adopted daughters Jane and Ruth, and Bert and Cec that are working for her. And of course Dot, her assistant, and friend. In this book, we are also introduced to Hugh Collins who is playing a large part in Dot's life in the TV series. It will be interesting to see the book's version of their relationship. I did feel that the book's story was familiar, it has probably been made into an episode, but I didn't mind it because it was quite entertaining to read the book. Although I found the missing young girl a bit more interesting to read about than the dead anarchist. Not, that the storyline was uninteresting. I was just more intrigued by the lost girl and the secret she knew. 
 
All and all, a nice interesting story and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books I have yet to read in this series!
 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
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text 2017-05-26 18:55
Friday Reads - Summer Holiday Weekend Part I
After the Storm: A Kate Burkholder Novel - Linda Castillo
Her Last Breath - Linda Castillo
Among the Wicked: A Kate Burkholder Novel - Linda Castillo
Death by Tiara (A Jaine Austen Mystery) - Laura Levine
Egg Drop Dead - Laura Childs
Purl Up and Die (A Knitting Mystery) - Maggie Sefton
Nothing but Trouble - Susan May Warren
Diary of an Accidental Wallflower - Jennifer McQuiston

I feel like it has been a long time since I did a Friday Reads post. I hope all my fellow US'ians have a safe holiday weekend. I hope my British neighbors have a safe bank holiday weekend. We got caught in a heat wave (in the 80s come afternoon time) so I broke out the kiddie pool; forecast states we have one more beautiful summer day, then the rain and lower temps are coming by the end of the weekend. I am spending most of my weekend with books and a long walk in the Thetford Forest with the family before the rain comes.

 

Here is what I hope to read over the weekend/the final week in May.

 

1. After the Storm by Linda Castillo

2. Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo 

3. Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo

      I picked these three books from the library. They're from the Kate Burkholder series (Amish police procedurals). I've wanted to try this series for a while now. These books are from later in the series.

 

4. Death by Tiara by Laura Levine

5. Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs

6. Purl Up and Die by Maggie Sefton

        Another bunch from the library, this time in really cute cozy mystery flavor. The first is from the Jaine Austen series, and the name of the series was enough for me to take it off the shelf. I tried one book from Laura Childs before (from that tea shop mystery series) and DNF'ed it, so I don't have much expectation for this one (from the Cackleberry Club series). The last one's titled just made me laugh.

 

7. Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren

           Borrowed this one from OverDrive because I kept getting recommended it (OD has the first three books in the series). I'm at the 62% mark and really liking it; PJ is not one of those perfect model of a Christian, but she is a Christian with good intentions and a good heart. The writing is different from a lot of Christian fiction without being profane. I am looking forward to book two and three.

 

8. Diary of an Accidental Wallflower by Jennifer McQuinston

          My BL-opoly pick which makes it a priority. New to me author, but I loved the interviews she did for the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books podcast - she talked about her work at the CDC in general and her work in Africa dealing with Ebola outbreak specifically....along with her weekend job writing historical romances.

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-05-26 17:51
Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie
Death in the Clouds - Agatha Christie

Series: Poirot # 12

 

This was a weird little mystery, partly because it's 1935 and Hercule Poirot is flying on an commercial airliner or aeroplane. It was also interesting to read about a commercial flight from back then and how the plane was arranged. I was initially a little confused because the diagram at the beginning referred to a "rear car" and I had a weird picture in my head of interlocking pieces of an airplane like a train and wasn't entirely sure I was correct about them being in a plane for a few pages. But they were.

 

A murder occurs during the flight when a woman is mysteriously killed by a poison dart that no one witnesses. Poirot is on the flight but too incommoded by air sickness to be paying much attention to anything, so he feels that he has to investigate afterwards to clear his name (some people on the inquiry jury apparently suspected him just because he was a foreigner).

 

I didn't see the end coming and I quite enjoyed the book, but the whole thing was just a little outrageous.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly square #29 - The Monorail since it "involves travel by air". At 253 pages, this gives me $3 for my bank, so my balance is now $95.

 

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