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review 2016-07-30 23:05
The Juan Doe Murders, A Smokey Brandon Thriller by Noreen Ayres
The Juan Doe Murders: A Smokey Brandon Thriller - Noreen Ayres

The Juan Doe Murders, A Smokey Brandon Thriller by Noreen Ayres is a fascinating mystery-thriller. It kept my interest from beginning to end.

 

Samantha "Smokey" Brandon is an intriguing, well-developed protagonist. She's a former stipper from Las Vegas and is an ex-cop who is working as a forensics investigator. I gave it five stars.

 

She is compelled to solve the murder of "Little Crane", a young immigrant who was tortured and killed. She also believes a serial killer is at work. I added all of Noreen Ayres' books to my wishlist.

 

I received a complimentary copy from Brash Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Juan-Doe-Murders-Brandon-Thriller/dp/1941298249

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review 2016-06-23 08:00
A Bear in the Woods (Smokey Mountain Bears #1) - Toni Griffin

Felt a bit shallow... but I liked it. Maybe I'll continue the series. But I'm not very greedy for it.

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review 2015-07-17 14:18
An uplifting and entertaining romance novel
Smokey Mountain Prayer - angela pisaturo

Smokey Mountain Prayer is the latest romance from award-winning author Angela Pisaturo.

 

The story begins in Chicago with a farewell dinner for Dr. Margaret Kelly MacDougal who is returning home to Horseshoe Cove,Tennessee.

 

Having recently graduated from veterinary school, Maggie yearns to continue the successful veterinary practice of her deceased father, Dr. James MacDougal. However, she is received with strong resentment from the local farmers and Josh, her high-school sweetheart. The farmers of this secluded, Baptist-dominated country town are very traditional regarding family roles and are outraged about Maggie’s career choice. She finds herself in a bigger predicament once her conversion to Catholicism comes to light.

 

Maggie struggles to keep her animal clinic afloat amid financial hardship and the turmoil of World War II. During these difficult times she relies on the comfort and advice of her small circle of old-lady friends. Her faith keeps her strong as she attempts to follow in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of veterinarians.

 

As the story unfolds, a series of unfortunate events shows the residents of Horseshoe Cove that fanaticism, prejudice, and narrow-minded views disguised as traditions and values could affect a society and prevent its progress.

 

When contacted by the author to write a summary and review of the book, I was honored. For me, the summary was harder because I was restricted to 100—200 words. In writing it, I limited myself to highlighting only the important scenes in order to encourage the reader to buy this page-turner of a novel. I hope I achieved that goal.

 

I accepted the double challenge because I like Ms. Pisaturo's writing style. I knew what to expect, having enjoyed and reviewed her book, Treasures in Clay Vessels. Her romance novels are clean, well-researched, uplifting and entertaining while keeping the reader engaged throughout. In both novels, she tastefully relates the differences in religious views of her characters without bashing any.

 

I recommend Smokey Mountain Prayers to readers who are fond of romance novels with a twist.

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review 2015-06-26 08:59
3rd Smokey Brandon is beautifully done
The Juan Doe Murders: A Smokey Brandon Thriller - Noreen Ayres

“In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield.” - Douglas MacArthur

The battlefield. Blood and fear, hatred and death. But it isn’t only the battlefield where these things lie. Even here, in the arms of the supposed “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” the roar of the battlefield shrieks aloud – carrying blood and fear, hatred and death to the innocent, the child, the weak wishing only for food, shelter, a new life.

As a Forensic Specialist, Smokey Brandon knows all about the horrors visited on those who can’t protect themselves. The children, the immigrants, the women and men who are lost and hidden. And California’s newest serial killer is the latest to prey upon the hidden and the vulnerable. Of course, in Orange County the whole Ideal is ‘cover it up, because it couldn’t ever happen in our perfect little rich-man’s world”. But the horrific mutilation of the first victim sets all Smokey’s warning signals flaring. And as the bodies of Hispanics pile up, it is a race to find the perpetrator.

Ayres is brutally realistic in her portrayals of the crimes, the characters, and the attitudes that make up the undercurrents of a deeper story – the immigration, sometimes illegal, of Hispanics across the borders from Mexico to the US. You are dropped right in on the first scene from the beginning, no build-up, no easing in. Just a mutilated young girl, left to rot in a filthy bedroom, in a filthy house.

This was my first Smokey Brandon. Her third book, after “Carcass Trade” and “A World the Color of Salt”. I fully intend to go back and read the first two in order to “catch up” as it were. Smokey is a very well rounded character, even jumping in in what could be called ‘the middle of the tale’ and I enjoyed not only her, but the other characters as well. The forensics and police procedure is believable as is the character of OC. If you are interested in a good forensic/police procedure with solid characters and storyline, this is a series to put on your reading list.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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review 2015-04-18 16:25
The Juan Doe Murders: A Smokey Brandon Thriller - Noreen Ayres
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review. 3.5 stars.
I saw the title of the book and that is what caught my attention I didn't even read the blurb to this book and that is something that I normally don't do. I have to say after reading the blurb I know that Smokey is a female. For the longest time I kept wondering if Smokey was a male or female and though it wasn't a big thing it drove me crazy.
Now I see this book is part of series but it does good as a stand alone so it doesn't seem you miss anything from not reading the previous books. 
Smokey is a crime technician and now she is trying to put together the pieces of what connects all these people that seem to be possibly Hispanic. While she is trying to put the puzzle together she also is trying to help out her I believe boyfriend Joe's son David and what he is going through. 
David seems to be harboring a secret and when it finally comes out it seems what he knows can help solve who the victims of the crime are. 
There is some action not a lot, but the author was very detailed in telling us what was going on. Especially inside the ME's room. I learned some things that I never knew before such as one of them being lighting a paper towel to let the gas be released inside of  a body. That was very cool fact to add into the book.
Though the story line was good and I believe I will pick up more books from this author, the character Smokey was not one I connected with. Even though I think the job she has is freaking amazing she felt very flat for me. 
I also though the way she would talk to David about his problem that he had going on didn't feel real enough for me. It was like she didn't know what to say to him I suppose? When you read the book the dialogue between them two characters you may know what I mean.
There is some romance but nothing that takes away from the murders or crime solving of what is going on. Nothing is really too gruesome in the book being as there is not graphic detail of the murders but you do get an idea.
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