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KILLING SECRETS: A Nan Vining Mystery ~Dianne Emley

Monday, August 10th, 2015

A “Who Dun It?” murder mystery, which is well written and has an interesting female detective to follow around and figure out the perpetrator of the crime.  This is the 3rd book in a series about this detective and the background from the previous stories is quite good so the book can stand alone.

KILLING SECRETS has a sharp edge to the writing and although there is plenty of description, there is a precision to the writing that moves the story along and gets the reader hooked early.   Also Detective Nan Vining’s sixteen-year-old daughter Emily is very significant, as she discovers the body of her teacher and another student from her school in the story and that keeps the parental interests quite tuned in.

I chose to read KILLING SECRETS on a brutally hot day and it was a good escape from the heat.  Not the least bit flowery and fluffy, the book held my attention and kept me relating to the problems.   It held a nice twist in the plot, which brought resolution and some good chase moments and pursuit tension.   I felt like I had had an afternoon off from the heat and the pressures of the day.

I am certain a number of my readers will enjoy this book, but I do not have a great deal to say about it as it was a good read and with it’s concise writing any more reveal here could totally mess with the reader’s enjoyment of the story and I just so dislike reviews which ruin the story and plot.   Detective Nan gets the crime solved, her daughter is safe and the tough guys are arrested and put away.

The author lives in Central California and has written a great many stories and been published in many places and countries.  She has a husband, and editor, publisher, writing group, and has received lots of great support and critical acclaim for her words.  She is “ a pretty good cook and a terrible golfer.”

TLC Book Tours sent me a advanced copy for review and wow it was a fun read and Thank you for KILLING SECRETS.


Ryder: Bird of Prey
The Dead Key
In Doubt 

MY SISTER’S GRAVE: A Legal Thriller ~Robert Dugoni

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

“’There is nothing so dangerous as a maxim’. –C.J.May   Some Rules of Evidence: Reasonable Doubt in Civil and Criminal Cases (1876)” (Location 49% of uncorrected proof)

The most important part of MY SISTER’S GRAVE for me was the story about how a disappearance and murder affects a family and a whole community.  The relationship between sisters and the after affects upon the remaining child, are examined from a different perspective and demonstrate that manipulations do not produce the loving truth or freedom from danger.  Those secrets drive a good story and often produce an even scarier scenario – the melodramatic conclusion of the story just kept me glued to the very last drop in the bucket.

I do not have a book cover for this book, so I will share MY SISTER’S GRAVE description from Amazon:
Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House—a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder—is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade Mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past—and open the door to deadly danger.

TLC Booktours   sent me an unproofed, uncorrected e-copy of this book for review.  I appreciated the read very much and enjoyed reading MY SISTER’S GRAVE

Here is the Author’s Biography from Amazon:

“Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed and New York Times–bestselling author of the David Sloane series: The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm, Murder One, and The Conviction. Murder One was a finalist for the Harper Lee Award for literary excellence. Dugoni is also the author of the bestselling standalone novel Damage Control, and his nonfiction exposé, The Cyanide Canary, was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year selection. Dugoni’s books have been likened to Scott Turow and Nelson DeMille, and he has been hailed as “the undisputed king of the legal thriller” by The Providence Journal.”

The final copy of the book has just been released and the words of praise are mounting up for this suspenseful book – just like the snow in the North Cascades on the final pages. It takes place in a fictional town in Washington State and it is always fun to know the territories and the qualities of the communities being described and experienced.

I had a bit of trouble with the story at the beginning, whereas THE FIXER took place in Washington State, it was highlighting sexual abuse particularly of foster children and our incredible Children’s Justice Center and responsibilities.  I felt this story was confusing at the start (maybe because of the spelling errors with an unproofed copy) but I could not find the life flow – the value – within the story except by the attacking the victim behavior, which was very unenlightened and protective of the sexual perpetrator.  Tracy, the family survivor, was under nearly constant attack and threat for her life, her work, and even her community. She is a scientist and needs to know and search for true answers.  I just had to stop for half a day and take a deep breath; I had to be angry about the abuse heaped on our President, upon myself, the constant jibs and jabs at the lead character and the profound loneliness of trying to survive in that environment and stay true to the self and values.   There was an element where all the female victims were to blame for their tragedy, which became overwhelming.  I had to drag myself back to reading this book and finally cheer the truth creating a real freedom and release – a moment of loving sex also benefited this tale – oh! To be believed and supported.

 Robert Dugoni Online

The Fixer
The Condor Song
The Highest Tide
The Contractors 

SUPREME JUSTICE: A Thriller ~Max Allan Collins

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

“I have a hundred cases in mind, Agent Rogers, a hundred rulings.  Take Rove v. Wade.  Before it was overturned, nearly a dozen murders were tied to that decision, as well as two dozen some attempted murders and hundreds of death threats.  The thing is, not one of these very real attacks was perpetrated against any of the justices voting in favor of what was once called a pro-choice stance.”

“’In fact,” Reeder put in, “no Supreme Court justice had ever been assassinated before this week.’”  (Unproofed copy of book – Chapter 12)

SUPREME JUSTICE is a powerful fast read about the Supreme Court of the USA and the first assassination of a conservative judge.  The book takes place just after the second President, who is Democratic and black, has been elected.  The country is attempting to balance after a President padded the Supreme Court with 6 conservative judges and so many human rights and laws had been changed.  A citizen can be fired or incarcerated for speaking against a politician or the country.  Roe v. Wade has been overturned, only the very rich and the extremely conservative folks can afford services that they need.  Women are particularly at risk.

It is rather exciting to read this book and get a glimpse at how folks might be handling all these restrictions.  Of course, there are no search warrants necessary and nearly everyone has a gun and feels free to use it.  The murder takes place and a former Secret Service agent, who has been fired because he took a bullet for the previous conservative President, and then stated that he disagreed with nearly everything that President stood for and had accomplished.  He was worried about the future of the country and so was fired and now ran a security systems company for businesses.  He was put on the task force for the FBI and instructed with figuring out the crime master.

Max Allan Collins has written many books and the number of awards took up a whole page in small print.   He also writes books with his wife under her name Barbara Allan, and with his co-plotter/researcher Matt Clemens.  His characters include Nathan Heller and Mike Hammer and his comic credits are Dick Tracy, Batman, Ms. Tree and on TV – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.  Do you know Tom Hank’s Road to Perdition?

The writing was smooth as silk and refreshing in speed and delivery.  The language was not insulting and it was precise.    It took me over half the book to figure it out and that made my imagination work wonders also.  It was also amazing to be reading this book as the Supreme Court justices allowed religious single owned companies to remove women’s reproductive rights from the Affordable Healthcare Act. Feelings were running high with the justices in so much focus.

The format of the book was wonderful too.  Because it was an unproofed copy I do not know if the quotes started or ended a chapter, but they were poignant and telling.  I find so often quotes do not add to the story, but these quotes so pinpointed the problem inherent in the Supreme Court – the justices are there for life and they cannot often retire when the court is unbalanced.  The public cannot get rid of a justice or make changes when a President has stacked the deck?

tlc logo TLC online book tours  sent me a copy of SUPREME JUSTICE for review and I so enjoyed this book and the pace.  I read it in one sitting because I just could not put it down.   I have certainly changed my mind about thrillers and mysteries in the last 5 years, and yet they still need to be well written and a timely read – Wow!

Max Allan Collins on Facebook

A Magnificent Crime
The Fixer
The Garden Plot 
The Condors Song