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text 2018-07-06 00:40
Finished it!
Sacrifice Fly - Tim O'Mara

Raymond Donne wasn't always a schoolteacher. Not only did he patrol the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as one of New York's Finest, but being the nephew of the chief of detectives, he was expected to go on to bigger things. At least he was until the accident that destroyed his knees. Unable to do the job the way he wanted, he became a teacher in the same neighborhood, and did everything he could to put the force behind him and come to terms with the change.

 

Then Frankie Rivas, a student in Ray's class and a baseball phenom, stops showing up to school. With Frankie in danger of failing and missing out on a scholarship, Ray goes looking for him, only to find Frankie's father bludgeoned to death in their apartment. Frankie and his younger sister are gone, possibly on the run. But did Frankie really kill his father? Ray can't believe it. But then who did, and where are Frankie and his sister? Ray doesn't know, but if he's going to have any chance of bringing them home safely, he's going to have to return to the life, the people, and the demons he walked out on all those years ago.

 

I really enjoyed this one. Basically, if you like Sara Paretsky and Dennis Lehane, you'll like this one. An excellent mystery with a dogged protagonist who thinks the police aren't doing enough to solve the case. Plenty of sports, dive bars, and a setting so well written you feel as if you are there.

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review 2018-06-19 14:06
Justice Howard's Voodoo Conjure and Sacrifice by Justice Howard, Writings by Voodoo Queen Bloody Mary
Justice Howard's Voodoo: Conjure and Sacrifice - Justice Howard

Have you ever wanted to know more about Voodoo? I mean the real Voodoo, not the Hollywood version? This book takes you on a journey so to speak through the world of Voodoo and its practitioners. Hollywood usually gives Voodoo a bad name, when in actuality it is a religion. It is thought to be the oldest religion. Voodoo was born in Ancient Africa and came across the world during the Slave trading days.  

 

This book is also not just a journey through the written word. The book is filled with photo's. Yes some have full frontal female nudity, some have severed animal heads, and snakes lots of snakes. The nudity is not done in a Playboy manor, it is beauty, it is Voodoo. 

 

There is so much to learn from this book about Voodoo. Justice Howard has done an amazing job along with Bloody Mary, a Voodoo Queen in New Orleans. Between the stories, legends, explanations, and pictures you get the true meaning of Voodoo. This book is a basic version of Voodoo but it gives you enough to know the true meaning of this religion.

 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review 2018-04-04 10:48
The Sacrifice Box
The Sacrifice Box - Martin Stewart

[I received a copy of this book through Netgalley.]

The blurb for this book immediately reminded me of some of the horror books I’d read in the early 90s—mostly Stephen King paperbacks my mother gave me, so this ‘80s + horror + kids’ combination is one I’ve known in quite a while, even though I haven’t read such books in at least a decade or more. I suppose watching Stranger Things also put me back in the mood for those, and so here I was, getting into ‘The Sacrifice Box’.

As far as horror stories go, a lot of the usual ingredients are here. Strange happenings. Kids who find they have to gather to stop something evil from happening (and they can’t tell their parents, because they’d just sound crazy). School life with its teachers, sports kids, and bullies and picking on a couple of the main characters, but all things considered, those pale compared to the real threat. A mysterious item with mysterious rules to follow, rules that get, of course, broken—madness ensues. Dead animals coming back to life to attack people. Noises at night. A tiny town on an isolated island. The Halley comet looming over it all, like a bad omen.

All in all, I liked the setting itself, although at times it ‘tried a little too hard’, so to speak. However, where the book lacked a lot was the characters. The main point of view is Sep’s, interspersed with chapters viewed through the eyes of a couple of minor characters, like Mario, the vet doubling as chippy owner, in whose restaurant Sep works; or Thom and Aileen, two older people who also opened the box and made sacrifices back in 1941 when the war was raging (the story’s set in the UK, by the way—it’s not always very clear, as the atmosphere feels very ‘US-like’). The problem is that, as far as the other four kids are concerned, I didn’t get more than superficial impressions about them. For instance, Lamb is the hockey player, lives on a farm with her father, and lost her mother when she was a kid, yet apart from that and from her anger at whoever broke the rules of the box, I never really ‘saw’ her, who she was, how she really felt, her fears, and so on; and in such a horror-driven story, with such a concept of a box into which a band of children placed items loaded with both good and bad emotions, childhood fears, hopes and feelings would’ve been a necessary element to play on for all the characters, not just one.

I also didn’t see the point to the bully. At first, I expected him to play more of a part—perhaps the kind of character who ends up completely crazy, starts muttering about having to ‘kill the evil’, grabs a rifle, becomes an impediment to the kids’ efforts to restore the order (it’s a bit cliché, but it’d have its place in such a plot). And then… It just petered out. In the same way, I would've appreciated more of a conclusion regarding the events and the box itself: the epilogue doesn't shed light on all the things that should've followed (how did the parents react, what about all the dead people, how were events explained officially, etc.). Here, too, some plot ends were left dangling.

Conclusion: A fast read, and rather entertaining in a superficial way; but the novel kept feeling like an attempt to surf on the “Stranger Things” wave, and didn't live up to the kind of books/stories it tried to be an homage to.

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review 2018-03-26 17:16
Midwinter Sacrifice / Mons Kallentoft
Midwinter Sacrifice - Mons Kallentoft

The snow covered all the tracks, as the killer knew it would. But it couldn't hide the victim, the man who now hung naked from a lonely tree on a frozen plain.

Malin Fors is first on the scene. A thirty-one-year-old single mother, Malin is the most talented and ambitious detective on the Linkoping police force, but also the most unpredictable. She must lead the investigation while keeping her fractured life on the rails.

No one knows the identity of the dead man. Or perhaps no one ever wanted to know. When all the voices of the investigation have fallen silent, Malin can rely only on herself and her own instincts. And as she follows in the frigid wake of the killer, Malin begins to discover just how far the people in this small town are willing to go to keep their secrets buried.

 

Probably actually a 3.5 star book for me. It’s getting much harder to fool me, now that I’ve read a fair number of Nordic mysteries and I really treasure the books that do manage to pull the wool over my eyes. Midwinter Sacrifice managed to keep me guessing until the last chapters, when it just kind of stuttered to the end.

I liked Malin Fors, the female detective main character. I could appreciate her ambition and determination to solve a case. There was a little too much emphasis on her “feminine intuition” for me, since I think both men & women use their intuition and that police officers especially rely on it, no matter which gender they are.

I also like Malin’s daughter, Tove. Unlike so many detectives in mystery fiction, Malin lives with her daughter and tries to be a decent mother. Malin’s struggles to decide what is reasonable as a parent makes her very real to me.

Although I probably won’t hurry on to the next book, I can certainly imagine that I will get to it eventually to see what the Swedish detective investigates next.

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review 2018-01-31 20:23
Ardere series Book 2
Mirror Sacrifice: A YA Paranormal Novel: (The Ardere Series Book 2) (Volume 2) - Margo Ryerkerk

Mirror Sacrifice hits the ground running with Sierra and Gavin traveling to London. Sierra has her work cut out for her with finding her place and training and on top of that, there's some jealousy over Gavin's ex. In the meantime, Gavin has to work with his ex to figure out what the Culpatus is up to and who is behind it. The story is fast paced and full of surprises. I was impressed with Sierra's growth in this one. She's learning to assert herself and stand up for what's best for her. I'm still undecided about the direction of the romance, so I'll wait to see what's next on that front. This is a continuing story, so I would recommend reading Fluidus Rising first. We do get some of the first book's questions answered, and while there is a main ongoing story, the conclusion is more open-ended than cliffhanger, leading into what's next for our heroine.

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