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review 2018-02-13 15:23
Down the River unto the Sea - Walter Mosley

 

 

New York Detective First Class Joe Oliver was a good and fair cop who played by the book.  A family man who loved his wife and his daughter, Aja-Denise.  However, Joe had one weakness that he could never shake; the opposite sex.  His infidelity caused the downfall of his career as detective and landed him in Rikers.  After being released from a place which broke his spirit he begins to heal.  He opens a private detective agency and his daughter is helping him run it.  However, when he gets involve with two new cases, the fair and good cop who once played by the rules has a new set of rules.

 

I enjoyed the relationship between Joe and his daughter.  She helped pull him out some dark moments when he thought about the injustice and brutality he suffered while in prison.  She brought him pure happiness and helped in his healing.  

 

Although the two plots in the story were strong, I felt they were competing against each other to see who will win at capturing my attention.  There were too many characters to try and keep up with.  I found myself having to go back and read a section again to understand the reason behind that character.

 

The recipe for a great mystery was included with the police corruption, unsavory characters and graphic violence.  Even with all these components, there was a lull in the story that was hard to overcome.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Mulholland Books for the arc for my honest review.

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-02-09 12:11
loving this series!
Salvation - Sloane Kennedy

When I listen to a book, I try really REALLY hard to write a bit about the book then a separate bit about the narration. However! Part of the reason I am enjoying these Protectors stories is the narration by Joel Leslie! So I cannot split them! I'm not a fan of READING first person books and I make no apologies for that but LISTENING to them is becoming a firm favourite! Joel Leslie put so much emotion, feeling so much of the character's very soul into his work, and by god you feel for these guys, you really do! I have no doubt, no doubt at all, hat I WILL be listening to the others books as they come out in audio. I don't want to switch to reading, I might not enjoy them so much! 5 stars for the book 5 stars for the narration. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

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review 2018-02-06 15:15
cannot split the book from the narration
Salvation - Sloane Kennedy
When I listen to a book, I try really REALLY hard to write a bit about the book then a separate bit about the narration. However! Part of the reason I am enjoying these Protectors stories is the narration by Joel Leslie! So I cannot split them! I'm not a fan of READING first person books and I make no apologies for that but LISTENING to them is becoming a firm favourite! Joel Leslie put so much emotion, feeling so much of the character's very soul into his work, and by god you feel for these guys, you really do! I have no doubt, no doubt at all, hat I WILL be listening to the others books as they come out in audio. I don't want to switch to reading, I might not enjoy them so much! 5 stars for the book 5 stars for the narration. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2018-02-06 14:07
loved this one!
When the Devil Wants In - Cate Ashwood,J... When the Devil Wants In - Cate Ashwood,J.H. Knight
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. When faced with a murder charge, John has to choose between his freedom, and his heart. You know how sometimes, you read a blurb for a book, and your mind writes the plot out and its all wrapped up in a nice pink bow?? And then you read the BOOK, and your version is so very wrong but you have no idea why?? This book totally surprised me, and I cannot put my finger on WHY it did! I loved it!! John is hiding in plain sight, driving 90 minutes to get his hook ups. Matt moves to Magnolia Ridge from San Fransisco, out and proud. But Matt knows he needs to reign it in. A hook up between the guys has both of them shocked and wanting more, so much more. A shocking discovery causes John to question what he really wants. I loved both these guys. John, so far in the closet he's in the next room, and Matt who just knows when to say what about his sexuality. They both have their say, so we get every little bit that these guys feel, together and apart. I loved that Matt took to John's closed off-ness quickly, and without question. The murder has you crying for John, it really does. And I was WAY off base with whodunnit, let me tell ya!! Did NOT see that one coming! I really love being proven wrong. And I need to say something about that gorgeous cover. When I saw the cover FIRST, I thought its pretty, it nice, but somehow it doesn't fit. I had the blurb before I saw the cover. And I couldn't put my finger on WHY it didn't fit, still can't, truth be told, but that's what I felt, and ya'll know I gotta tell you what I'm feeling. And I'm reading the book, my brain is registering that they are in Magnolia Ridge, that there are magnolia blossom on the cover, I swear I knew that, but still it did not make any sense WHY they were on the cover! Then! One word, one single word was all it took, and my brain exploded! Light bulb moment does not quite cover what went through my brain at that point! It was like a nuclear bomb going off, and that cover makes TOTAL sense now! Totally the right cover for THIS book. Is there another book after this?? I feel with what John did for Matt's birthday, and the subsequent scenes kinda left me wanting more of a certain fellow! Anyways, loved the book, loved the cover and read it in one single sitting, so... 5 full stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2018-02-03 20:25
Weird murders, a London setting, a ticking clock, and a morally ambiguous hero.
Ragdoll: A Novel - Daniel H Cole

Thanks to NetGalley and to Trapeze for offering me an ARC copy of this novel that I freely chose to review.

This novel had passed me by (my to be read list is getting longer and longer) when it was first published, but I have been reading quite a number of thrillers recently, saw this book mentioned, and remembered I had yet to read it.

The ARC copy I read includes a funny introduction by the author, which sets the tone for what is to come quite well, although I did not see it in the look inside feature at the front of the published e-book version. The novel is a hard thriller but with a considerable amount of dark humour thrown in (a very British version of it as well). The initial premise is gripping. We have a brief prologue that introduces us to a past case and a deranged detective, and then we discover that four years later he’s back at work, and he has to investigate a very bizarre case. The ragdoll of the title is the name given to the macabre discovery of a body composed of the parts of six different victims. Not happy with that, the killer also releases a list of names of people and the dates when he intends to kill them. And the said detective (Wolf) is the last one on the list. The methods the killer employs are also very imaginative, and there is plenty of violence (and pretty extreme at that).

This thriller, set in London, follows the format of a police procedural novel, but as some reviewers have noted, it does require a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. The fact that somebody who was as disturbed as Wolf, and who very seriously assaulted a suspect in front of a whole courtroom, is allowed to go back to work, stretches the imagination. The way the team works, that seems confused and disorganised, also will surprise those who appreciate the attention to detail and authenticity. As a psychiatrist who has worked in the UK, I didn’t find the portrayal of the mental health secure unit where Wolf had spent time very realistic either (although one could query the fact that he was not well at the time, and other than a brief visit by one of the members of the team, we don’t have any objective accounts of it), and one hopes that news agencies will not be like the one depicted in the novel either (Wolf’s ex-wife works for a TV news station and becomes involved in the case also). But, if we accept the premises of the novel, and forget about how likely it is that this could happen in the real world, it is difficult to fault the book for its imagination, pace, energy, and for the way it grabs and keeps the reader’s attention.

This novel keeps taking us back to the past, and at some points it felt as if it should have been the second novel in the series, as it is evident that what happened four years earlier has a lot to do with the current events, and the way the narration is structured, around the previous case, is one of the strong points, in my opinion. It is as if the whole department had been affected by what happened to Wolf and it has become something of a dysfunctional family. Although there are things that seem far-fetched, on the other hand, the general feeling of pressure, desperation, media attention, cover-ups… felt very real. I have mentioned dark humour, and there is a very cynical undercurrent permeating the whole book, which suits it well and, perhaps, will be easier to appreciate by those who live in or are familiar with the UK, its politics, and its current social situation. I felt as if it was almost a caricature of the truth. Exaggerated and taken to the extreme but easily recognisable nonetheless.

Although it is not a psychologically complex story (and many of the characters play to stereotype: the older detective who is about to be retired, the young rookie who’s just been transferred from a different section and is a stickler for details and rules, the young attractive female detective who looks up to the lead investigator but whose feelings are unclear…), there is plenty of action and many twists and turns, characters, locations, and the ticking clock makes it a rather tense and intense read that will keep most readers guessing. There are a large number of characters, and although we get to know the members of the New Scotland Yard team fairly well over the novel (although quite a few of them keep secrets and are contradictory at best), victims, witnesses, characters from the personal lives of the detectives… all are given a bit of space, and it is important to pay attention not to get lost, especially because of the way the story is narrated.  The story is told in the third person but from quite a number of characters’ points of view, not always the main characters either, and although I did not find it difficult to follow and it is a good way to keep the intrigue (by switching points of view and giving us snippets of information only some characters have access to), it means readers should not miss a beat.

Notwithstanding the dark and sharp sense of humour, there are some introspective moments, guilty feelings, and characters wrestle with the morality of the situation, although I do not think it breaks new ground or is the most successful attempt at delving into such issues. At some point, the novel seems about to enter into paranormal territory, and it did remind me of Jekyll and Hyde, as there comes a moment when you have to wonder what it takes to make somebody step over the fine line between fighting a monster and becoming the monster. I don’t want to go into too much detail to avoid any spoilers, but let’s say that good and bad are not ultimately such clear-cut concepts as we would like to believe.

This is a very enjoyable page-turner, especially recommended for those who like a tense and gripping read and are not put off by some over-the-top characterisations and some stretching of the truth, and who don’t mind graphic violence and dark humour. And if you enjoy a London setting, even better.  

 

 

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