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text 2018-05-23 01:03
A gripping read and hard to put down.....
Fire Lover: A True Story - Joseph Wambaugh

Like yesterday I remember the trial of John Leonard Orr as it was heavily covered in the Los Angeles Times at the beginning of the new century. It was truly unbelievable. John Leonard Orr was an arson investigator for the Glendale Fire Department at the time of his arrest. Turns out that this very arson investigator was, in fact, the CAUSE of a huge series of fire that started wherever he happened to be. And who better to tell the story than Joseph Wambaugh, whose writing style is perfect for this particular true crime story.

 

And like a lot of us looking back on an incident with 20/20 hindsight, you can't help but feel the old cliche of "Why in hell didn't anyone catch on to this guy sooner? How was that possible?" Wambaugh shows you with his top-notch writing style how it was possible. Though I knew how the story would turn out, it was amazing the amount of suspense this book generated. It's been a while since I read a true-life crime story, but glad I happened upon this book. I really recommend it.

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review 2018-04-09 23:25
The Sea Beast Takes a Lover
The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories - Michael Andreasen

The content of the stories in The Sea Beast Takes A Lover by Michael Andreasen ranges from the bizarre to the more bizarre. Looking below the surface of the stories though, common themes do emerge. Each story seems to find its anchor in a character's need to be loved. In these completely unrealistic, often disturbing stories, the author manages to capture this very human emotion. It is this intensity that keeps me reading.

 

 

Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

Source: www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/04/the-sea-beast-takes-lover.html
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review 2018-04-04 00:00
The Sheikh's Determined Lover (Zahkim Sheikhs Series Book 2)
The Sheikh's Determined Lover (Zahkim Sheikhs Series Book 2) - Leslie North Love brought Christine to a foreign land, will it also convince her to stay? On a mission to find the truth and save the father she loves, Christine goes the distant to find proof of a legendary people and help finish his work. As a stranger in a foreign land, she finds more than she ever dreamed of when she meets Arif. He holds the key to her future, if he can unlock the door to her heart. Love is the driving force behind The Sheikh's Determined Lover. Will it win out in the end? Leslie North pulls at the heartstrings even as she tempts the senses.
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review 2018-03-27 18:29
Darcy as an amateur detective, secrets, lies, and a peep into crime detection in the Regency period.
Lover's Knot: A Mysterious Pride & Prejudice Variation - Jenetta James

I am writing this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you are looking for reviews, do check here) and was provided an ARC copy of this novel that I freely chose to review.

I have recently read and reviewed several books that take place in Jane Austen’s universe, from sequels to versions transplanted to modern times. One of them was The Elizabeth Papers by Jenetta James (you can read my review here), the author of this book. I was so impressed I could not resist getting an ARC copy of this book before its publication.

This is a more straightforward (and shorter) story, although it shares with the other the element of mystery, although, in this case, the story is not a domestic mystery but a police procedural of sorts (the police as we know it now did not exist at the time). Readers familiar with Pride and Prejudice will walk right into familiar territory when reading this story. We pick up the story when Bingley has moved into the area where the Bennetts live, with Darcy as his guest, and Jane Bennett is staying at the Bingley’s due to her illness, and her sister Elizabeth is looking after her. Rather than what happens in the original story, here we have a murder, and a bit later, another one (this one of a character we know, but I won’t give anything away). There are many familiar elements but interspersed with those, we have the investigation of the murders and the secrets behind it. As the description states, this is a variation on the story, as all the original elements are there, and the characters remain true to the original, but new events come into play and disrupt the action.

The story is told by Darcy in the first person and the present tense, and that makes readers feel they share his thoughts and his detecting process. This is quite different from the original novel, and it is one of the attractions of this variation, as rather than judging Darcy by his actions and having to second-guess him most of the time (let’s face it, he is the prototype of the strong and quiet man), we are privy to his thoughts and understand his motives and feelings. In this story, he becomes involved in the investigation, and that means it also fit into the genre of amateur detective fiction. In his case, though, he is not an old hand at this, eager to participate and imposing on the official team, but rather he is recruited by the magistrate investigating the case, Mr. Allwood, a fabulous character. Contrary to expectations, Darcy is not an immediate success at detecting as he is somewhat marred by his belief in appearances and his prejudices, but he is motivated to discover what happened to ensure Elizabeth is safe and goes out of his way to follow clues. The case helps him discover things about himself and about the society he lives in that make him change his outlook on life.

The case is intriguing. There are plenty of red herrings, devious characters, and, of course, there is romance. As I mentioned, Mr. Allwood is a great character. This magistrate doggedly pursues the investigation, not concerned about who might be discomfited by his methods, and making no distinctions according to social classes. People underestimate him at their peril, and I hope he might reappear again in later books (or get his own). I particularly enjoyed the mock paper by a Professor acknowledging the role of Allwood in the creation of the Metropolitan Police. A nice touch and a good way of providing more information on a star character that is not part of the original novel. Having studied Criminology, I only wish that many of the papers I had to read were written in such an engaging manner.

I am aware there are other mystery novels set up in the Pride and Prejudice universe (although I have not read them, so I can’t compare), although not at this particular juncture of the story (as this affords quite a different twist to the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth). I enjoyed Darcy’s point of view, having access to his thoughts and getting to see a more human and less stiff version of the character (he still has his pride, of course), although as this book is very short, some of the changes of heart in the main characters feel somewhat rushed (and, personally, the process by which both of them end up changing their opinions and the way they feel about each other is one of my favourite parts in the original, but that does not detract from the writer’s skill). The scenes that take place in London and the friendship that grows between Georgiana and Elizabeth are among my favourite parts in this story.

The writing style is perfectly in sync with the original and it flows well. The mystery elements are well worked into the story, and they respect the nature of a criminal investigation of the time. In keeping with the proceedings, and with the role Darcy plays, there is a certain degree of telling and not showing, especially when it comes to tying loose ends, but that is also typical of the genre. Although the mystery elements would work in their own right, even without knowledge of the original novel, I think the ideal readers are those familiar with Austen’s work.

An interesting variation on Pride and Prejudice that offers a new perspective on their favourite characters for fans of Austen. And for fans of mystery/crime books, an intriguing insight into crime detection prior to the establishment of the Metropolitan Police in England.

 

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review 2018-03-08 10:24
Unforgivable Lover (Warriors of Lemuria #5) by Rosalie Redd
Unforgivable Lover (Warriors of Lemuria Book 5) - Rosalie Redd
Unforgivable Lover is the last book in the Warriors of Lemuria series, and in this one we get Gaetan's story. He has been a prominent character throughout this series, and I have been waiting with bated breath for his story to come out. I wasn't disappointed! Although Gaetan is incredibly hard on himself and doesn't see his own redeeming features, he is quick to help others. In this case, Nikki. He may blame himself for getting her mixed up in the whole situation, but he doesn't shirk from helping her adjust either.
 
This is an incredibly fast-paced book. As it is the final one, there are a lot of loose ends that need tying up. It is for this reason that I am only giving this one four-stars. In the general 'tidy-up', I felt as though part of Gaetan's story was lost within the maelstrom of the rest. It was pretty much instantaneous for him and Nikki, and I would have liked more from both of them. On the whole, this was an excellent way to finish the series. I was dismayed, fatalistic, overjoyed, and fearful whilst reading this book. It certainly engaged my emotions, which is all I want from a book. Just the one niggle for me.
 
As I would expect from a Rosalie Redd story, there were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow. The characters continue to delight, whether you like them or not. The pace is face, the transitions from one scene to the next are very smooth. I have no hesitation in recommending the series, or this book.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/unforgivableloverwarriorsoflemuria5byrosalieredd
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