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text 2017-06-25 03:38
Deadly Spirits
Deadly Spirits (A Mac McClellan Mystery) - E. Michael Helms

Mac McClellan is a war veteran and practicing Private Investigator. He has recently been dragged along to do some investigating with the Palmetto Paranormal Society with his girlfriend Kate. When two subsequent paranormal investigations end with the mysterious death of two investigators, Mac knows something is up; these are more than unfortunate accidents. After he is officially hired to investigate one of the deaths, Mac begins to notice several things that aren't sitting right in town: a previous insurance fraud case that is continuously being harassed, generous donations to a local college from people who do not have the money to give, a separate PI that is tailing him, a ghostly recording that has gone missing, several more near-deaths and a woman in the Paranormal Society who isn't who she says she is. Now, it's up to Mac to piece the clues together before more people die and to decide whether the forces at play are of the normal or paranormal variety.

This book immediately starts with action and really does not stop until the end. After reading the first few pages, I realized that this book was part of a series, however; I was filled in pretty quickly and I didn't feel like I really needed the rest of the books in order to understand everything. It might have been helpful to understand a little more about Mac's history, but that's about it. I was really impressed with the layers of mystery and was wondering to the end about how they all fit together. I also really enjoyed the incorporation of the paranormal; the investigative techniques were really interesting and Mac's skepticism provided a nice contrast. Mac's character was intriguing as well, at first he seemed very typical and one dimensional, but as the story progressed, I learned more of his true character and really enjoyed his interaction with people and especially his dog. Overall, this seems like a great mystery series and I would love to read more of Mac!

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2017-06-24 21:13
Confessional (A Blake Harte Mystery, #2)
Confessional - John A. Ashley,Robert Innes

As I said on my DNF review of the first book in this series, Untouchable, there are good bones here. I feel like this author has a lot of potential but just isn't getting any kind of guidance at all. He clearly doesn't have an editor. Some of the grammatical issues from the first book are improved on - mostly - but many others remain. Many of the character interactions are more or less well done, though the author could use a better grasp on basic human psychology to avoid cliche pitfalls. There wasn't much to the mystery. It's formulaic and predictable. I had the whodunit pegged from the second they showed up on page, and I even had the murder method more or less figured out from the get-go.

I figured foxglove/digitalis sprinkled on the communion wafers; murderer went with hemlock in the communion wine.

(spoiler show)

The ending was filled with all the bad cliches; I was cringing, y'all. I couldn't get up the energy to even be remotely concerned about the welfare of the characters. It was obvious what was going to happen and it was just boring.

 

So yeah, there are good bones here, and if this author can find himself an editor or two who really know what they're doing, I can see him writing some great stories. But as of now, with one DNF and one 2.5 star read, I won't be bothering with any more from this writer.

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text 2017-06-24 19:42
Reading progress update: I've read 355 out of 355 pages.
Betrayal in Death - J.D. Robb
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review 2017-06-24 16:44
Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts
Carolina Moon - Nora Roberts

On that fateful night so long ago, when eight-year-old Hope Lavelle died, Victoria "Tory" Bodeen should've been with her. But her father had beaten her because of her particular gift, Tory stayed at home, and someone raped and killed her best friend.
No one knew who did it, the town suspected a drifter, and the killer remained unpunished, as life went on...

Yet Tory hasn't been able to forget her friend or what's been done to her. They were blood sisters, connected by an unbreakable bond, and she feels it's time to finally put the past, and Hope to rest, by finding her killer. And the best place to start is back in her home town...


I watched the movie based on this book, and I must say it didn't to it justice. At all. Not in story, not in characterization, not in suspense.

This book is proof of what Nora Roberts does best. Expertly crafted story with wonderful characters. You have your prickly heroine, a deceptively laid-back hero, and a great supporting cast with the, as far as NR stories set in the South, requisite bitchy matriarch, and the "crazy" relative, usually and aunt.
But the cast itself isn't enough, one has to connect them all together, some in friendship, some in blood, some in reluctant alliances, passing acquaintances, and of course, romance.

This book has two of those, the main one between the prickly heroine and the deceptively laid-back hero, and the second between the hero's seemingly flighty sister, determined to defy mama at all cost, and the hero's best friend and the heroine's cousin, the town veterinarian who's been pining after his love-interest for years before she finally saw reason.
Strangely, I must confess I was more invested in the secondary romance than the main one, mostly because of the heroine's issues and prickliness (justified, I might add) not really doing the main romance any favors. I liked the hero well enough, and the heroine as well, I just didn't like them that much together. It felt a little forced, fatalistic, even.

There was one relationship Tory was in that I liked. And that was the slow-building friendship between her and her childhood best friend's twin sister, Faith. It was lovely seeing these two independent, closed-off women, both with their own inner scars and issues, circling each other, slowly forming the strong bonds of friendship, until becoming a unit toward the end.
The story came full circle in that particular moment.

Speaking of full-circle, I'm glad the villain got what they deserved in the one spot where it all became, but the finale felt a bit rushed. It felt rather anticlimactic compared to the buildup with its suspense and lurking danger.

Still, a very solid story, with a nice plot, good characters, a smidgen of "paranormal", and some wonderfully suspenseful moments.

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review 2017-06-24 16:26
Six Stories
Six Stories: A Thriller - Matt Wesolowski

Six Stories is a really great mystery. Admittedly, the actual mystery hasn´t been anything special and I had a hunch about the ending. Based on the story alone I wouldn´t have given this book such a high rating.

 

 

The reason why this book worked so wonderfully is the style in which it is written. The book is told by means of a podcast, which delves into the death of a 15 year old teenage boy twenty years prior to the airing of the podcast. Each chapter (podcast-episode) focuses on a person, whose has been with the victim on the time of his death and Matt Wesolowski slowly reveals the depths of teenage group dynamic throughout his novel.

 

The narration of the mystery kept me glued to the pages, desperate to know what would happen next. And the ambigious ending has been great and suited the tone of the novel perfectly.

 

Free friday read #1

Page count: 225 pages

Money earned: $6.00

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