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review 2019-01-23 18:22
One Sentence Review – Wings of Mayhem by Sue Coletta @SueColetta1
Wings of Mayhem (The Mayhem Series Book 1) - Sue Coletta

I have read several books by Sue Coletta and she gave me Wings of Mayhem just because. I love serial killers…well, books about serial killers….and Sue kept me enthralled in the first book of The Mayhem Series.

 

Let’s take a look, shall we?

 

Starting out with a fabulous cover by Elle Rossi of EJD Designs, is always a good sign.

 

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

 

Wings of Mayhem (The Mayhem Series Book 1)

Amazon / Goodreads

 

MY ONE SENTENCE REVIEW

 

A cat burglar, a cop, and a serial killer meet up in this brutal tale of love, loss and revenge that held me spellbound until the end.

 

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars
 

GOODREADS BLURB

 

Shawnee Daniels — cybercrimes specialist by day, cat burglar by night — ignites the hellfire fury of a serial killer when she unknowingly steals his trophy box.

A SERIAL KILLER STALKS THE STREETS…

Cat burglar Shawnee Daniels always believed her “fearlessness rules” mantra would keep her on top and out of jail. When she hacks a confiscated hard drive at the Revere P.D., she focuses on a white-collar criminal accused of embezzlement. To teach him a lesson and recoup the funds she breaks into his massive contemporary in Bear Clave Estates. Jack has even more secrets, deadly secrets, secrets worth killing over.

A CAT BURGLAR PICKS THE WRONG HOUSE TO ROB…

Shawnee thinks she made it out clean until a deadly package arrives at her door soon after. He’s found her. As a glowing eagle taunts her Skype screen, Jack tells her she stole his precious trophy box — and he wants it back!

THEIR LIVES COLLIDE…

When her “helpful” best friend convinces her to date charismatic Detective Levaughn Samuels, her two worlds threaten to implode. Ordinarily Shawnee keeps a firm line between her professions, but dating Levaughn might help her get this psycho off her tail.

AND NOW, NO ONE IS SAFE…

In this lightning-fast-paced psychological thriller of secrets and lies, Shawnee juggles being stalked by a serial killer, dating the lead detective on the case, and tap dancing around her librarian best friend.

If she doesn’t find the trophy box, the killer’s coming for her. If she doesn’t expose her secrets and lies, more will die. And if she does, she could lose her freedom and everyone she holds dear.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Jackson, Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter thrillers, crime fiction with an edge, or psychological thrillers, mystery, and suspense, then Wings of Mayhem is for you.

Praise for Sue Coletta’s novels…

“The heart-stopping descriptions are so jarringly real that there are several scenes I will never forget.” ~ Eliza Cross, Award Winning Author

“Sue Coletta isn’t going to spare you the gory details or an honest look behind the crime scene tape. She’s a well versed author in all things crime who indelicately dumps you into the middle of a life which has been disrupted, disturbed, and marred by the evil acts of a solitary man.” ~ Beaux Cooper, Author and Amazon Reviewer

“Sue Coletta’s writing style is bold. It’s riveting.”

 

MY REVIEWS FOR SUE COLETTA

 

  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
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Source: www.fundinmental.com/one-sentence-review-wings-of-mayhem-by-sue-coletta-suecoletta1
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review 2019-01-23 13:07
Be prepared for flights of fancy, magical experiences and wonderful locations.
Secret Sky (The Gift Legacy Book 1) - Stuart McLean

I was sent an ARC copy of this novel, which I freely chose to review.

I had been aware of The Gift Legacy series and its author for a while, and felt curious about it, but as happens sometimes when I discover a series with several books published already, I never seemed to find the time to catch up on it, and the collection kept growing. When I heard that the series was being relaunched with new covers and titles, I grabbed the opportunity to finally start reading it. And I’m pleased I did.

It is a bit difficult to talk about this novel without revealing too much of what happens, but from the description, you can probably guess some important aspects of it. Emelynn, or Em, as she is known, is the protagonist and first-person narrator of the book. We meet her at an inflection point in her life. She’s finished her studies and has decided that it is time to tackle her “gift”. Her dreams and memories give us a good understanding of the background to her situation and how she came to be in possession of her gift, at least to the extent she understands it. After all, she was a young girl and she was never given much information about what had happened to her. We also learn about her personal life, the death of her father, the move to Toronto, her mother’s taking refuge in her work, and Em’s difficulties fitting in, partly (mostly) caused by her gift. Although she found ways to deal with the disruption to her life caused by the gift, from a practical perspective, she had never been able to have a “normal” life, and that had made her decide to go back to the cottage where her family lived when she was a child, as it was more remote, it had always felt like a refuge and a safe-place to her, and it would give her the breathing space to experiment.

Her plan works although not in the way she intended, and she gets into contact with people who can guide her and teach her to tame her gift, although this is not at first evident to her. Having grown up hiding things and never trusting anyone, she finds it difficult to trust these strangers whose agendas she does not fully understand, and who seem to keep some things under wraps. Despite her initial reluctance, Em discovers a new world, a new group of people she finally belongs to, and a level of skill and power she had never suspected. But things don’t run smoothly: there are threats, mysterious forces at work, and missions that have to be accomplished. And of course, romance and love don’t always mix well with such complications.

I know first-person-narrations are a bit like marmite for readers: some love them and others don’t. In this particular case, Em’s narration is perfect for the story. Although she has a gift (or power, although at times it feel like a curse to her), she does not understand it, and readers have the privilege of experiencing with her the thrill of discovery, the fear of the unknown, her suspicions of the motives of the new people that come into her life, and we also learn about her and what makes her tick. In contrast to many books with a paranormal aspect where characters discover a power or an ability they knew nothing about, Em doesn’t just wake up one day and is somebody completely different, proficient at her ability, and a total kick-ass hero. She has doubts, she hesitates, she does not always want to push the boundaries, she gets tired and sleeps in, she feels pain, she gets hungry, she lacks in self-confidence and doubts herself, she makes mistakes and misjudges people, she feels bad for not phoning her mother… In sum, she is a pretty normal human being, sometimes low and sometimes happy, with a good sense of humour and of observation, and it is easy to empathise with her, even if we might not have much in common with her.

She is also a young woman with zero love experience, and she seems to fall in love easily, perhaps because she had been trying so hard and for so long to block those kinds of feelings. There are sex scenes in the book, and although they are not the most explicit I’ve ever read, they are explicit and this is not a sweet and clean romance. I am not fond of sex scenes, although at least her first time is not totally unrealistic, as it often happens in romances, but yes, I won’t talk too much about that.

The book also has elements of mystery and thriller, and they are worked well into the story. We have several intriguing events going on at the same time: first, there is the attempt at trying to find information about the person who passed the gift to Em (this is far from resolved is this book, but we learn some things); there is the search for a woman who has gone missing that takes up centre stage, especially towards the end of the book, and brings in action scenes and an interesting twist (that I had suspected all along, but it’s a twist nonetheless); and there is also a mystery involving Em and her house, which is seemingly resolved in the novel but has left me wondering. As pertains to this genre of books, there are red herrings, plenty of clues thrown in, information and misinformation, although the book has so many other things going on that I am not sure it will work for people who are looking for a straightforward mystery or thriller. The pace of the book ebbs and flows, with some pretty contemplative moments and some pretty fast ones (when the action kicks in), and there are lengthy and beautiful descriptions of locations, and especially of experiences, that I particularly enjoyed, turning this book into something more than a page-turning by-the-numbers thriller.

There is a paranormal element in the book, but this is not high-fantasy where you need to read pages and pages to gain an understanding of a new world order. This is the world we all know (especially Canadians), and although the lyrical way in which some of the descriptions are written and some of the remote locations give it a timeless quality, the story takes place in contemporary times. We are familiar with the world and the social order portrayed in the book, and we get to know about groups of individuals who are seemingly “normal” but share something “extra”, the “gift” of the title, and it seems this legacy can have as many variants as individuals possess it. Although there are fantasy and paranormal aspects to the novel, I felt they were particularly well integrated into the plot and did not require an extreme grade of suspension of disbelief, and I don’t think you need to be an enthusiast of fantasy or paranormal books to enjoy this series.

This is a book I’d recommend to people who enjoy credible characters, a touch of the paranormal, mysteries that go beyond who-done-it, and who don’t mind a story that builds up slowly and takes readers on flights of fancy through magical experiences and wonderful locations. Oh, and who don’t mind a touch of sex. I’ve become very fond of Em and many of the other characters in the book (Avery is a favourite as well), and I hope to learn how her gift develops further in the future.

 

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review 2019-01-21 17:04
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney

Content warning: this book contains multiple instances of sexual assault, a couple of which are on-page.

This story is told in chapters set in three different time periods: Amber's present, Amber's recent past, and childhood diary entries. Amber wakes up on December 26th to discover that she is in a coma, unable to move or speak but occasionally able to hear what's going on around her. She has no memory of what happened but is convinced her husband had something to do with it. For whatever reason, he no longer loves her, although he seems to be doing a good job of pretending to be a devoted husband whenever he visits her at the hospital.

Just a few days prior, Amber was limping along in her job as an assistant at a radio show. She's been given an ultimatum: either figure out how to get the voice of the show, Madeline, to like her, or she'll no longer have a job come January 1st. Amber decides to take a different route. Through carefully planted social media posts, anonymous notes, and a few other efforts, she'll convince Madeline that she's about to be let go instead. While Amber is doing all of this, her personal life is in shambles. Her husband is behaving secretively and may be having an affair with Claire, her more beloved younger sister who lives right next door. This makes meeting up with Edward, an ex-boyfriend, more appealing than it maybe should be.

Meanwhile, diary entries written 25 years ago unravel the childhood secrets that continue to rule Amber's life.

A few weeks ago, my local book club voted on their next read. This is the book I voted for, although it isn't the book that was ultimately chosen. I decided I wanted to read it anyway. I basically gobbled it up, which is saying something considering how slowly I've been reading lately.

The more I read, the more horrible many of the characters seemed. Amber was consumed by jealousy. Later, I added "selfish" and "astonishingly lacking in empathy" to the list, although I did eventually come to feel sorry for her, at least until the very end. Claire, Amber's sister, was potentially a snake, depending on how much of what was going on was in Amber's head and how much was real. Paul, Amber's husband, seemed to only be interested in her in the most shallow of ways, although, again, everything depended on how much was real and how much was just in Amber's head. She wore different masks depending on who she was speaking to, and I found it difficult to believe that Paul had ever really loved her, since he likely didn't even really know her, not the real her.

From the very beginning, readers knew to expect that Amber would be an unreliable narrator. As she said at the start: "Sometimes I lie." I kept my eyes open for clues and was able to catch a few. I figured out, for example, how one detail mentioned in the diary could be true even as the existence of another character indicated that it had to be false. However, I only guessed part of what was going on. I've since realized that there was a great big clue that I'd missed. Could I have figured out what was going on sooner? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Although I disliked most of the characters, I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to find out how all the pieces fit together. I didn't get anxious about the characters' fates because, well, I didn't like them very much. One of the big twists near the end forced me to grapple with shifting perceptions of them, but then the ending happened.

While I agree that something needed to be done - a character shouldn't be able to win happiness that way - the very last sentence annoyed me. It seemed like the sort of thing you'd find in a slasher movie, a bit too much for this sort of book. It would have been more effective and believable to show that the character's own paranoia, doubts, and fears would one day eat them up and keep them from ever enjoying their happy new life.

I was originally going to say that one particular character's actions near the end didn't make much sense considering they'd been a follower most of their life, but I realized their actions did make sense...if, as it turned out, they were just as warped as another one of the characters, only in a different way. There's one line that I think was supposed to indicate that that was indeed the case.

All in all, this was a riveting read, even though it stumbled a bit in the end.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-01-21 02:46
It Takes a Thief
Rogue - Mark T. Sullivan

Rogue is a diverting book that has an unconventional hero. Robin Monarch is a thief who worked for the CIA a short while. He has a complicated past that he's running away from but continues to shape his present. This one's recommended to readers who like globe-trotting adventure and political espionage. It kept me on the edge of my seat plenty of times, but I did get the impression that Robin often wasn't the smartest guy in the room. I don't mind heroes who don't have all the answers, but I feel like he made it easy for the bad guys a little too often. I could see the double cross in this book coming 10 miles in advance. Plus, I think Monarch has wretched taste in women, and it continually gets him in trouble. I couldn't stand Lacey. Ugh. I feel like this book is aiming more towards the James Bond kind of spy thriller than a more straightforward action series. If that's what you're looking for, then you'll like this.

The action scenes were pretty good, and like I said, it did have some good suspenseful moments, but it's not up there overall for me as read. More on the average side. I know my opinions are biased because I was also listening to the Orphan X books, and that's about my favorite thriller series right now. On its own, this is a good read, but it doesn't compare to that series at all.

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review 2019-01-21 00:22
Widowmaker by Paul Doiron
Widowmaker: A Novel (Mike Bowditch Mysteries) - Paul Doiron

I think Paul Doiron has it down now.  This is his 7th book of his Mike Bowditch Series and now each book is getting better and better.  It appears Mike is growing up at the age of 28.

 

The book starts with a Mike Bowditch pulling over a suspicious woman that keeps asking Mike to take him back to his residence so they can talk.  Naturally, this being a book and also the curiosity of what she might want wins MIke over to the idea of taking her home, but Mike is very cautious. The woman explains that her son is a young man that just got out of prison on a couple of crimes of a sexual nature after being caught being 18 and sleeping with his underage girlfriend from an affluent family. She also tells Mike that her son and mike are step-brothers. Queue the soap opera organ music. She asks Warden Mike Bowditch too help find his long lost brother, which Mike reluctantly does.

 

The book follows Mike going to the area that the woman, Amber Langston lives and the resort she works at, named Widowmaker.  Between a near death arrest, he has to make at the beginning to this book and a near-death experience his girlfriend Stacey has, the book follows Mike through his investigation of his missing brother.

 

I still suggest that Paul Doiron's Mike Bowditch series is worth the read.  The past couple of books are books hard to put down.

 

Widowmaker by Paul Doiron

Mike Bowditch series book #7.

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