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review 2018-02-14 04:45
Review: Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell
Silent Victim - Caroline Mitchell

Published by: Thomas & Mercer (1st March 2018)

 

ISBN: 978-1503948983

 

Source: Netgalley 

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis: 

Emma’s darkest secrets are buried in the past. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long.

 

Emma is a loving wife, a devoted mother…and an involuntary killer. For years she’s been hiding the dead body of the teacher who seduced her as a teen.It’s a secret that might have stayed buried if only her life had been less perfect. A promotion for Emma’s husband, Alex, means they can finally move to a bigger home with their young son. But with a buyer lined up for their old house, Emma can’t leave without destroying every last trace of her final revenge…

 

Returning to the shallow grave in the garden, she finds it empty. The body is gone.

Panicked, Emma confesses to her husband. But this is only the beginning. Soon, Alex will discover things about her he’ll wish he’d learned sooner. And others he’ll long to forget.

 

Review:

Ooh, I do love to get well and truly stuck into a book by Caroline Mitchell...which is precisely what I've done with Silent Victim as it's now a little past 4 in the morning and I've been reading solidly for the last several hours! I simply couldn't go to sleep until I got to the end of the book and found out what happened! 

 

I've been a fan of the author since her first book, and thoroughly enjoy both her crime/police procedural novels and psychological thrillers. Regardless of genre, Caroline nails the plot, drawing you in with ease and making it look effortless. Her clever attention to detail, combined with an intelligent style of writing weave the intricate details together exquisitely. 

 

There are such complex characters in this deliciously dark tale! Emma is wonderful. Luke...what can I possibly say? Alex, Theresa and Josh all support well. I can't give any more details without any spoilers! Just when you think you have worked a character out... it all gets turned on its head. Masterful Mitchell at her best!

 

Silent Victim is a fast-paced, on the edge of your seat, biting your nails kinda book. It's dark, shocking, a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns that has you clinging on for dear life! Brilliant! 

 

Thanks to Caroline Mitchell, Thomas & Mercer and Netgalley for the advanced readers copy.

 

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text 2018-02-06 13:35
February Kindle Firsts aka free ARC for prime members aka now Amazon First Reads
Bone Music (The Burning Girl Series Book 1) - Christopher Rice
White Rose, Black Forest - Eoin Dempsey
Neighborly: A Novel - Ellie Monago
Tough Tug - Margaret Read MacDonald,Rob McClurkan
Go: A Coming of Age Novel - Kazuki Kaneshiro,Takami Nieda
Silent Victim - Caroline Mitchell

See https://www.amazon.com/firstreads to get one free if a prime member.  Yes, still all Amazon imprints.

 

Source: www.amazon.com/firstreads
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review 2017-12-29 23:07
Review: Sculpting Amanda by Julie Sanford
Sculpting Amanda: nobody is born a victim , but they can be made one. - Julie Lynn Sanford

Self-published  (29th January 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-1520487168

 

Source:  author provided review copy

 

Rating: 3*

 

Synopsis: 

Meet Amanda Wake, starting her new job. Her only requirement is to earn enough money to buy a coveted mobile phone. Seventeen and fresh from school, she dreams of a Mills and Boon love story developing between her and her new boss. Meet Mathew Mason, A successful businessman, and Amanda’s new employer. What Amanda doesn’t know is that Mathew has aspirations too. He has an unhealthy and immoral obsession with Amanda. The job was created so that he could have better access to her. Set over the course of sixteen years we follow their journey. Amanda’s life is plagued with many unfortunate twists and turns unbeknownst to her all due to Mathew’s intervention. A dark and disturbing suspense thriller that will have the reader screaming out for a book buddy just so they can discuss the plot. Not for the faint hearted, read Sculpting Amanda if you dare.

 

Review:

The description of this book is accurate.  It's the story of Matthew's complete obsession with Amanda, to the point that he creates a job for her, organises certain things to happen and orchestrates turns of events that are at times more than a little far-fetched...but it is a work of fiction after all, so anything can happen! 

 

There are several sexual scenes in the book that make for uncomfortable reading. I obviously cannot say why without giving any of the plot away, but I will say that I consider this book unsuitable for younger readers under the age of 14. These scenes are crucial to the story, however. 

 

At the beginning of the book, Amanda is a very naïve seventeen year old but Matthew is more mysterious. We aren't given any real sense of background on either main character, but I don't feel it's really needed here as we learn all we need to during the sixteen years over which the book is set. 

 

One main point I'd like to pick up on is the poor attention to detail throughout this book. The whole book, particularly the ending, feels very rushed, as though it's not been read through after being written. The spelling, grammar and punctuation is appalling. I realise not everyone can afford to have their work professionally proofread and edited, but all computers have a spellchecker! If this had been addressed, the book would feel so much more polished. It would also be easier to read, and the reviews would be so much better. 

 

Having said that, there are some really good points here. The story grabbed my attention, I wondered what was going to happen next, and I didn't quite foresee that ending...not entirely! I'd be interested to read the author's next book at some point, and I'll definitely remember Sculpting Amanda!

 

Special thanks to Julie Sanford for providing an advanced review copy.  This is my honest review. 

 

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review 2017-11-15 07:29
The Unclaimed Victim
The Unclaimed Victim - D. M. Pulley

By:  D.M. Pulley 

ISBN: 1542046432

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer 

Publication Date:  11/14/2017

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  4 Stars (ARC) 

 

D. M. Pulley returns following The Buried Book and The Dead Key with her latest historical fiction THE UNCLAIMED VICTIM—a blending of fact and fiction, history, a gruesome unsolved murder mystery, with dual timelines and dark hidden secrets.

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” – Fredrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good, and Evil, 1886

Pulley is a pro at digging up the dark secrets of the past and blending with the present while intertwining her own fascinating "what if" shocking conclusion.

Cleveland, Ohio. In 1999 a man is found, Alfred Ray Wiley. The daughter Kris recalls the argument with her father. He wanted her to move back home. He did not like her wasting her time with starving artists. 

A tattoo. Dark secrets. Her father’s obsession with the Torso Killer. The library books. and the Search for a Psychopathic Killer. 

The Torso Killer got his name by cutting off his victims’ heads, arms, and legs. What did her father have to do with this horrible stuff? 

Thirteen bodies from 1934-1938, victims of the serial killer dubbed as the “Torso Killer, and the “Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run.” 

In the past, 1938 during the Great Depression. A madman terrorizing the city. 

Ethel Harding, a prostitute. The monstrous Harmony Mission. She was desperate. A horrible mistake. Her mother had thrown her out onto the street. 

 




A religious cult. Brutal slayings. White supremacist. Crime group. Unsolved murders. The casualties of the Depression littered the banks with starving children and battered women. Bodies found in the river. 

From 1935 to 1938, bodies were dumped in the area known as Kingsbury Run, a creek bed that runs from East 90th Street and Kinsman Road to the Cuyahoga River. 

The victims included seven men and five women. Most were hobos and prostitutes, people living on the edge at a time when Cleveland was hard hit by the Great Depression. Many weren't missed for months.

Pulley takes a real shocking story and adds her own unique spin. It's her second book that shines a light on Cleveland's notorious past; the first, 2015's "The Dead Key," was a thriller set in the old Cleveland Trust Tower.

From 1930’s Ethel and 1990’s Kris – how are the two cases linked? 

As with Pulley’s other two books, they are well-researched blending mystery, intrigue, and history. 

Creepy and haunting, based on the most gruesome crime spree in Cleveland history, making headlines across the nation--and still haunting the streets of Cleveland. The killer who was never caught.

For fans of historical mysteries with a twist of Gothic. Also, fans of Aimee Austin (Sylvie Fox)’s Casey Cort Legal series - set in Cleveland will enjoy (have read them all). Always interesting for readers located in the South to visit the shocking secrets of the Midwest. Found myself doing additional research to learn more. 

The author includes additional research for those interested in this era. View Video with the author. 

Looking forward to seeing what's next. 

A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/10/02/The-Unclaimed-Victim
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review 2017-08-13 15:38
Book Review: Assassin's Victim
Luc Bertrand: Assassin's Victim (Deadly ... Luc Bertrand: Assassin's Victim (Deadly Studies Book 1) - A. F. Grappin

*I received this book from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Luc loves playing lacrosse but wishes he was taller and bigger. Maybe he'll have a growing spurt. Luc is then offered a chance to study with great players if he joins the Knights Templar, a place that the recruiter claims Luc's father works. A wedge of distrust starts between Luc and his parents, and Luc finds himself doing things he's never done before. Will Luc see the truth of the Templar before he's drawn in?

This book is Luc forming into the person he becomes. He's young, 15 years old, and given an opportunity in something that could help him in what he loves - lacrosse. But he learns it's a lie, to get to him. When his family life is destroyed, he vows to find the people who did this.

This is a short, quick read. The story felt like a prequel to me in a way because it starts at the beginning, telling us what happens in Luc's life. With doing this it's a slower read at the start. We get to see Luc in his life with an offer to help make it more. After I finished the book, I read the notes from the author and found out that this is the back story for a character in another series. So, it is sort of a prequel view into the characters life. I'm thinking now that I'm past this introduction, the remaining novella stories will move faster.

This book is of a Young Adult nature, as Luc is 15 years old. There are things that kids face - bullying, desire to be better at something, and more. Yet, there is a big fight that's deadly. We don't get the gory details but we do know the bodies are dead. And sadly there is a terrible event in Luc's life that's hard for Luc to digest mentally. I can't blame the kid.

I noticed that most of the book is Luc's thoughts and view of things. We get some interaction but most isn't. This fits with the feel of Luc and where he is in his mind after what he lives through. Like he's on the outside looking in which moves time by quickly.

Luc has interactions with Templars. The interactions grow in intensity each time Luc meets them. They are a great deal different than they originally lead on.

By the end of the story, Luc is ready to move into the next stage of his life. This leads us into the next novella story of Luc.

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