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review 2017-04-15 04:42
CELEBRATE EASTER WITH THE RABBIT MAN, AND DUNCAN RALSTON!

cover, where the monsters live, duncan ralston

How far would you go for revenge?

Synopsis:

When a six-year-old girl is abused and left for dead by a pedophile known only as the “Rabbit Man” due to the claw marks left on her body, police follow every lead but reach only dead ends.

Hungry for justice, her grieving father abandons wife and child on a harrowing journey deep undercover into Miami’s sex offender colony under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. His purpose is simple: to find the “Rabbit Man” among them, and put him in the ground.

Months later, with no one to trust and the pedophiles he lives among growing suspicious of his actions, he learns nothing is simple where the monsters live.

 

Hoppy Easter! Come see what I put in your basket...

WHERE THE MONSTERS LIVE is NOT an extreme horror story, but I still want you to have a little ‘heads up’ before you start reading.

The story is not super graphic in an icky way, but it's emotionally graphic. WTML will sucker punch you right in the feels. It's a disturbing story, and the 'uncomfort' level rises drastically if you have a child of your own.
I didn’t notice just HOW 'emotionally graphic' it was until The Dark Defender woke up to ask me what was wrong, and I had tears streaming down my cheeks.

 

At one point I thought I knew exactly how this story was going to end (we’ll talk about that once you finish reading). That wouldn’t have made it a suck story – but I am happy that WTML didn’t go for the ‘ironic twist’, and I’m very satisfied with how it’s wrapped up – there could be a little wiggle room JIC case the story isn’t done with us yet.

 

Full review posted HERE - come join in on the discussion of WTML!

Source: beckisbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/celebrate-easter-with-the-rabbit-man-and-duncan-ralston
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review 2016-10-14 05:08
Untouchable
Untouchable: A chillingly dark psychological thriller - Sibel Hodge

By: Sibel Hodge
ASIN: B01GHALZ8M
Publisher: Wonder Woman
Publication Date: 7/18/2016 
Format: e-book 
My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

A special thank you to Wonder Women Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Talented author, Sibel Hodge returns following the suspenseful Where the Memories Lie (2015), with the highly-charged, psychological thriller, UNTOUCHABLE .

A highly emotional book of child abuse, murder, torture, and rape. The hi-profile, officials, influential men- the rich and powerful misuse their authority in unspeakable ways. The sadistic. A child abuse ring.

Well-researched, inspired by true allegations involving deep-rooted historical, institutional, and international child abuse allegations, including murder and pedophiles.

The Big House “There is something so very dreadful, so satanic in tormenting those who have never harmed us, and who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power, who have weapons neither of offense nor defense, that none but very hardened persons can endure the thought of it.”— Cardinal John Henry Newman

Compelling, dark, and chilling.

Maya and boyfriend Jamie are approaching their second anniversary. Jamie does not show. They had been looking forward to a pleasant evening to celebrate. Instead, Maya is greeted by the police, delivering the devastating news. He has hanged himself in the nearby woods near Tyttenhanger.

How? Why? Maya is shocked, full of horror since he is not the type to commit suicide. After all, they had just discussed their evening plans that morning. Surely someone has made a mistake. Did someone steal his wallet?

His parents had died years ago and he had no family. Had she missed the signs? She was looking forward to an anniversary surprise. She knows he loved her. Now he is dead.

The author takes us back to Jamie. The real story. Not the childhood he had made up. The lying. The relationships. His mistrust. Hard to handle emotions. Damaged. He craved love and closeness, but pushed it away, never staying with a woman more than a few months. He was a loner. He did not need anyone. Or so he thought until Maya came into his life.

With her the attraction was instant. She was so full of life. Energetic, bubbly. She brought him back to life again. He fell in love. He wanted to confide in her but he couldn’t handle the thought she would leave him. He had imagined her looking at him with disgust and revulsion and he knew he could never tell her.

He thought he was safe from the past. Safe with his new life with Maya. His job. His home. However, he was invaded and he was no longer safe.

He saw it on the news. The memories had hit like the powerful force. Now a children’s minister, in charge of protecting the vulnerable and innocent, keeping them safe, looking after their welfare. Nothing was more abhorrent or unjust. The evil excuse for a man. He prayed on the weak. A Member of Parliament.

The dark memories of a terrified boy. He could not stay silent any longer. He would record everything to get it straight in his head. He was now a man who had fought to survive. He was going to finally tell his story.

From Maya's investigation into the death of Jamie. To make sense of everything that has happened to the man she loved. Something wasn’t right. Maya was determined to find out what it was that led Jamie to his death.

The life of Jamie is slowly unraveled from six years old, a family gone. A Children’s Home, social workers. Alone and scared, grieving. Neglected, forgotten children. He could not trust anyone. He was trapped, and no one to talk to or nowhere to run.

His life was a prison. The only thing he had done wrong was to be born. Control, evil. No one would stop them. They were untouchable. The degrading acts. The screams unheard. Drugs, rape, abuse. The killing. The parties. Torture. Authorities. No one could be trusted. Political power.

Maya finds a list of names. What did it all mean? He did not love her enough to stay? What was he mixed up in and what secrets had he been hiding?

Her suspicion grows and her personal investigation leads her to a children’s home called “The Big House” where child sex abuse is commonplace. Maya wants to reveal the truth, but the people involved want to keep it a secret. She had recalled this name and his horrible dreams.

Whatever Jamie had been doing before he died had got him killed. Murdered. Why a murder made to look like a suicide? The same kind of person who would make a child disappear.A diary.

Someone had a very important secret to hide. Whatever secret Jamie had been hiding would be buried with him, unless she can figure it out. A letter from Mitchell, a name she had not heard from Jamie. Can she open this can of worms? She could be putting herself in danger.

Who had gone great lengths to kill Jamie and cover up things James could expose. Jamie had lied about his past. He had hidden the truth because he could not bear to speak of it.

She would have loved him anyway, despite it all. She was angry. People had stolen Jamie’s childhood and his life to shut him up. His death could not: "be for nothing". She had to expose them. Justice. Revenge. (Loved her tenacity)!

"My silence is not weakness but the beginning of my revenge." - Author Unknown

From the physical and mental effects on survivors, the quashed investigations, inquiries, cover-ups, and lack of prosecutions, insanely light sentencing, and a low number of convictions for offenders – mind-blowing devastating, and heartbreaking. The truth is revealed. The author exposes all the dirty evil.

I love Whistle-blower stories! Something thrilling about uncovering corruption of any kind.

Hodge raises awareness of child abuse, by putting it out there versus staying silent, “making child abuse taboo takes the power away from survivors and gives it to the perpetrators.” Silence and denial make the vulnerable even more voiceless.

She is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects which need to be addressed and brought front and center. With a blending of fact and fiction, a chilling psychological suspense thriller of secrets and abuse. An amazing storyteller!

Be sure and add Sibel's upcoming book, Duplicity, coming Dec. 27, 2016. Definitely on my list!

 

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/08/19/Untouchable
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review 2016-03-13 11:16
Repeat Offender: Sin City's Most Prolific Criminal and the Cop Who Caught Him - Bradley Nickell,Warren Jamison

Millions in stolen property, revolting sex crimes and murder-for-hire were all in the mix for a Las Vegas police detective as he toiled to take Sin City's most prolific criminal off the streets for good.

Las Vegas Police Detective Bradley Nickell brings you the inside scoop on the investigation of the most prolific repeat offender Las Vegas has ever known.

 

 

I remember seeing this on my tv so it made British news so when This book popped up on my twitter feed I had to read it. What struck me about this case was how so blatant the crimes were. I mean you couldn't make this stuff up! Reading the book gave me a sense of the dedicated length's the author and his team went to to bring the case to justice. I know by watching American crime shows and reading crime books America doesn't bring all the dark evidence like us British do. We British have a thing for every dark, grimy detail in crimes and I felt the author didn't place the full case of abuse that Daimon Monroe had done. I totally understand if the author did this in respect of the victims, but it would of been interesting to learn just how dark the case really was. If you're also interested in reading about this case, you can find it for free in kindle unlimited Here.

 

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review 2015-12-31 08:16
The Guest House
The Guest Room: A Novel - Chris Bohjalian

By:  Chris Bohjalian

ISBN: 9780385538909

Publisher:  Doubleday Books

Publication Date: 1/5/2016

Format: Other 

My Rating: 5 Stars +  

 

A special thank you to Doubleday Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Chris Bohjalian delivers another gripping page-turner suspense, THE GUEST ROOM -- a mix of crime, psycho, and mystery thriller. From moral consequences to the raising of awareness of the exploitation of our teens across the world, in an all “too realistic” and timely story-- a series of violent events which could happen to any American family today.

When a suburban family crosses with a deadly remorseless human trafficking and sexual slavery ring--innocent people are caught in the cross fires. Life and family relationships, as they know it will never be the same, after one night of destruction-- a simple bachelor party spirals out of control. Violence enters a safe home.

Told from the POV’s of three well developed characters:

• Richard Chapman-- the good upstanding prosperous husband, investment banker, and loving father.
• Kristin Chapman-Richard’s wife, a remarkable woman, a history teacher, and a mother of their nine-year-old daughter, Melissa.
• Lastly, Alexander (Nevart)—a young Armenian woman taken against her will at age fifteen; held captive all these years. Brought to America, now nineteen-year old sex slave, held by the underworld of dangerous Russian gangsters. (a sad emotional back story)

Richard and Kristin have a good and prosperous life in the burbs. They have an upscale home, status, art, and material possessions. A good marriage with a nine -year-old daughter, Melissa who has the best of the best. She is guarded from life’s ugliness. Richard is an upstanding citizen, and partner at an investment firm.

Richard’s younger brother —Philip, has no morals (total jerk). He works in the hotel business and some of this friends, mainly Spencer - bad news. He is getting married and Richard is his best man. Spencer has taken care arranging the strippers for his party.

Richard decides to host the bachelor party at his home. He thinks it will be a safer cleaner night, (right)? with the guys at his home, versus a club, so he can control things. Kristin his wife, knows there will be the possibility of a stripper; however, she thinks a dance or two, drinking, and then the guys will go home—guys do this all the time. Harmless?

Kristin and Melissa are staying overnight in Manhattan with her mom and they plan to go home the following day, and by then Richard will have the house back, in order.

Unfortunately, Richard's well laid plan spirals out of control. A nightmare. Who could have imagined?

Two strippers show up at the party with two Russian bodyguards. Richard thinks they will help keep things under control. However, things sexually get out of control, things go too far, the girls are young, and the next thing he knows there is a blood bath all over his living room---two murdered Russians, stabbing, gunshot, and the two girls take off. All their lives are in danger -- his house is now a murder crime scene.

In reality, the two 19-year-olds from Armenia, abducted as teenagers, held captive as sex slaves in Russia throughout their adolescence, and then brought to New York City where the captors know their value as sexual assets will soar. They are held hostage. They now have escaped; however, you do not just escape from these dangerous men. They own you.

Soon Richard’s marriage is strained, his life is in shambles; his daughter does not respect him, his wife does not trust him. The community, his business, his clients …. all in ruin. The kids at school are talking bad about her family. The scandal, the shame, and the disgrace. Sex, crime, drunkenness, murder. Now sex trafficking. How could this have happened? Even though he confides in his wife, can his wife really trust him and what really went on in the guest room? Did he have sex or did he want to? To further complicate, someone has a video and blackmailing begins.

Richard is haunted by this girl who got away. What is her story? Her sad eyes. He thinks of his own innocent daughter. These girls were not ordinary strippers. How can he help? Why can’t the girls escape these evil men?

Wow, this is one fine novel! Movie-worthy. A master storyteller, Bohjalian delves into the relationships of family, love, betrayal, forgiveness and redemption. Intense. You cannot put it down. You come to care about the three main characters. You sympathize with their circumstances. Not only do you want a husband like Richard, you want to be his wife, Kristin. Your heart goes out to Alexandra’s complex story -- you want her to escape and get the help she needs.

Unfortunately, it is all too real today --around us everywhere, masked in many ways with numerous disguises. These girls did not willingly sign up for this life. They were innocent children.

There are many parallels: Good versus Evil

• Barbie’s: The innocence of the young girl, Alexandra with her Barbie dolls, similar to Richard’s own daughter’s Barbie dolls. How Melissa’s room with Barbie’s were tainted with the ugliness. How Alexandra came to attain these dolls. Her parents, grandmother.
• Dancing: Her dreams of dancing as a young girl just like Melissa. How dancing led her grandmother to put her in the care of this madman.
• The Guest Room: While Richard is in the guest room of his own home, being sexually tempted by this mysterious young woman, his wife is in the guest room of her mother’s Manhattan apartment, when she receives the call about the double murder at their home, now a crime scene.
• Bachelor: Also the American dream references of the show, The Bachelor. The fairy tale --compared to the ugliness of realistic Phillip’s bachelor party and the girls' horrific situation.

The author does an outstanding job with the sex-trafficking topics, his in-depth research--prominent among our everyday lives. How the two connect -- an innocent family—a sex trafficking ring. Good versus evil. How these men use their vulnerabilities to their advantage; and reel them in, not knowing they cannot trust them or escape. Some are so young, as Alexandra, she thinks this is a family friend.

Sex Trafficking
I recently read another series; recommend: Sylvie Fox (Casey Cort Series-Attorney), Under Color of Law and In Plain Sight.(Legal/political thriller) which ties in the sex trafficking. Both authors demonstrate how young girls get pulled in, how they prey upon the weak, and most girls are so young and naïve they have no clue what is happening until it is too late --they cannot escape.

Whereas with THE GUEST ROOM, the girls were brought to America by Russians, and given a more upscale glamorous accommodation and wealthy men clients (black/whites). In Plain Sight, you get the down and dirty in the US. Young poor abducted teens in bad abusive families already. they are befriended by older teen boys or early twenties and treat them like a girlfriend, or an older brother. They hang out at parks or malls and seek out their prey--they are nice and buy them food. They are girls who will not be missed by traditional families. They keep them coming back until they earn their trust, then it starts. They are turned over to their bosses. What I found interesting is with both books, these rings are masked as businessmen, cops, and politicians.

Next thing the girls know; they are locked in a room with a lineup of men. They have no way to escape. Most of the time, their mom’s boyfriends, step fathers, or step brothers are molesting them and have been raping them for years and no one believes them. They are escaping one hell and into something worse, out of desperation. Most of the time, as in this book, their clients are cops, so they do not know who to trust. They turn to alcohol, drugs, or suicide to dull the pain. Lives are destroyed. If they do escape, who will believe them, or can they get out alive.

Interesting, both use hotels or motels as their home base, until the cops get on their trail and then they put them in containers or pods--and lock them in with no electricity until they come to get them for their next John. Their clients are abusive and violent-low end thugs. Some even set them up in their homes and use another business to hide behind.

The Guest Room is one of my Top Books of 2016—My hope is more authors will join fight against sex trafficking --address these issues, to raise the awareness of human trafficking and sexual slavery, even fiction as well as non-fiction. A wake- up call to parents and teens, as well.

Would urge you to visit the author’s website to learn the inspiration behind the book, and for more detailed information about sexual exploitation around the world. The figures are alarming.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!The-Guest-Room/cmoa/566b51e70cf2f7de56e4d4e9
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review 2014-12-19 05:02
Drawn
Drawn - James Hankins

By James Hankins

ASIN: B00EV218MW

Publisher: Audible, Inc.

Publication Date: 10/18/2013 

Format:  Audio

My Rating:  5 Stars 

 

DRAWN, another winner by Hankins!

A suspenseful thriller, connecting four strangers—driven by different, mysterious forces crossing over to the supernatural.

An artist, an agoraphobic, a widower, and a runaway must face the unknown, to solve their own mysteries and save the life of an innocent boy. They share a single shared destiny, while a life hangs in the balance.

Alice, a New York artist, unhappily married – finds solace and comfort in her painting. However, she has been seeing a mysterious little boy and she is drawn to him and feels he needs her to protect him.

Boone is partially blind, a disfigured agoraphobic who has severe panic attacks and never leaves his house; however, now a force is urging him to get out now.

Nathan, is a widower, who has nightmares about his son Jeremy, who served in Afghanistan; however, his body has never been found and he is driven to find him.

Miguel is a runaway, suffering from abuse and trying to survive on the streets and meets two wackos, leading him down a wrongful and dangerous path – he desperately tries to escape when he realizes things are not as they appear.

DRAWN definitely draws you into this riveting and suspenseful (INTENSE) saga. I listened to the audiobook and it captured me at “hello”; mysterious, intriguing, and eerie. Some scenes had me holding my breath, especially the scenes with Miguel and Boone. You could feel the panic, the terror, and the raw emotion (award-winning).

I also enjoyed the multi-voices, narrated by Gabrielle De Cuir, Paul Boehmer, Christian Rummel, Vikas Adam, Stefan Rudnicki; very fitting for the respective characters to add the level of intensity and mystery, for an engaging performance.

As Alice follows the force pulling her to follow the little boy, Boone is forced out of his apartment, meeting Alice, a kind and soothing presence. Miguel is on the run from a predator (two of them) with a bag of money, and Nathan is driven by a force he thinks may be his son. When these troubled souls collide-priceless as each is a kindred spirit and fate intersects.

I typically am not wild about paranormal or supernatural; however, I enjoy James Hankins' books, and decided to try DRAWN. I was not disappointed and was pulled in from the beginning, gripping me until the end. (good versus evil) .

After reading Brothers and Bones, Drawn, Jack of Spades and the upcoming Shady Cross, coming Feb, 2015—ALL TOP SHELF.

Hankins crosses many genres; each book is unique and different. Highly recommend them all--an author to follow. As always, enjoy how James informs his readers the inspiration behind the book; adding a personal touch and quite fascinating.

DRAWN was nicely done, very mysterious and intriguing; keeping the suspense high, heart-pounding, page-turner, with exceptional character development, connecting all the players for an explosive and satisfying ending. What a wild imagination!

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1110746467
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