#BookReview Fire on the Island by Timothy Jay Smith

Fire on the Island by Timothy Jay Smith is an addicting, fun and thrilling ride around a small Greek village.

In this thriller, an FBI agent finds his way to a Greek island where fires keep happening. He is investigating why they are happening and who could have caused him. Along the way, he comes across local islanders and business owners trying their best to succeed and living their lives. He meets himself a fancy man who he begins to fall for, and who might not be who he says he is. Many other islanders face the same fate: there’s a priest who isn’t so saintly, a family struggling to keep their business afloat, an Albanian waiter who has lots of drama going on, and his new lover’s sister is trying to get with every man no matter the relationships she ruins for them along the way.

This book is WILD. I was instantly stuck to it and truly intrigued about the ending. It took a bit for the entire story to piece itself together, but when it does it’s absolutely marvelous. I can easily say this is one of my top 2020 reads. I couldn’t put the book down!

There are some difficult topics in this book, like suicide and rape. Reader beware – this book doesn’t go too crazy into these topics, but they are still there. The mystery and romance is much more in the fore front.

On another note: This book is LGBT friendly! Huzzah!

Overall, this book was excellent! I’d highly recommend picking this book up if you love mystery and suspense with a dash of romance.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Timothy Jay Smith and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo
B&N

You can find Timothy Jay Smith on:
Goodreads Author Page
http://www.timothyjaysmith.com/
Twitter – @timothyjaysmith|

Tim on Santorini

Here’s another Timothy Jay Smith book recently featured on my blog:
The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith – Briar’s Reviews

Check out more mystery and suspense novels to fill up your TBR:
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio
#BookReview The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes
#BookReview A Woman of Valor by Gary Corbin

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#BookReview The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

To begin this review, I have to admit I’m a little biased. I have always enjoyed Kelley Armstrong’s books and doubly so because she’s Canadian (represent!!). My review will absolutely reflect that I thoroughly enjoy her writing style and I am always down for a reading ride in her books.

So, off to the races…

This book is unique and different. It’s not the typical Kelley Armstrong book I have come to expect, but I did enjoy going off the beaten path.

Riley is our lead, and the poor girl just witnessed a murder. She was just getting set up to babysit and suddenly masked men came in and murdered the parents of the little girl she was babysitting. She didn’t see it happen, she hid under the bed, but it was still brutal and horrible for her. She was even under the impression people made fun of her for hiding under the bed with the little girl, even though that’s what saved them both.

Riley’s parents decide she needs to take part in a little therapy retreat in an old warehouse (it has been renovated, but it’s still a warehouse with no windows… definitely not my ideal place to stay). When she gets there, she meets some new friends and comes across some old ones. Good old Max is there, a strange fellow who she has seen and briefly talked to before. He’s… different (you’ll find out why in the book, no shame in me ruining the “plot twist” that isn’t a plot twist for you). All of these kids have mental health issues – cutting, anxiety, PTSD, narcissistic personality disorder, etc.

Everything seems like it’s going to be a normal day at a therapy retreat… until it’s not. Masked intruders come in and say they are holding them hostage, and chaos ensues. Death, murder, lots of pain and psychological horror gets thrown at the kids until the amazing plot twist at the end.

So, what did I think?

You need to suspend your belief a LOT for this book, but it’s a psychological YA thriller so it should be expected. Being locked in a warehouse without windows? Creepy and seems illogical. Masked intruders – highly unlikely. Lots of fake outs – even crazier. A daughter of a police officer is as good as a SWAT team – hmmmm. Does that affect my view of the story? No. I was along the ride and was able to suspend my belief. This book wasn’t meant to be “realistic” in whole, it’s a thriller.

To be honest, this book was wild. I didn’t know what way this book was going to end. Once the plot twist was coming into view, I could totally sense it buuuuuut… it’s not what you think during the first couple of chapters in this book. I really liked that it wasn’t there from the beginning but you could connect the dots if you paid attention enough. Well played Kelley!

So you add in intensity and thrills, a fast paced writing style that leaves you hooked to every word and a character that isn’t the perfect Mary Sue/Mary Jane and you’ve got yourself a good one. But there’s more… Kelley throws in an interesting romance (because most YA these days has to have some sort of romance in it). At first I wasn’t sure about the romance since it seemed force, but by the end I was totally fangirling and loved every second of it. Somehow it works, even if it seems like a bad idea.

Other points: I have no idea if the mental health portions of this book are well represented. I have my own dabblings with OCPD but none of the mental health issues shown in this book. So, as always, buyer beware.

Overall, this book was one epic journey! I enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to someone wanting to jump into a more mature YA novel with psychological thrills.

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Indigo

 

Here’s some other YA novels you might enjoy if you like The Masked Truth:
#BookReview A Woman of Valor by Gary Corbin
#BookReview Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda
#BookReview Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steifvater

 

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#BookReview In Search of Valor by Gary Corbin

In Search of Valor by Gary Corbin is an excellent thriller following a female university student who wants to one day be a detective.

This is the prequel to A Woman of Valor, and goes into the university life of Val Dawes. During her first year studying criminology, Val meets Rhonda – a potential partner for their paper in Crim 101 with the wicked Professor Hirsch. The two discuss what paper they going to write together, and then decide to go pick up Rhonda’s daughter Jada. Unfortunately, for both of them, Jada is not there and has been abducted. Drama and thrills ensue as the local police department, detectives, Rhonda and Val try to figure out who could have taken Jada and why. Val gets to put her detective skills to work when she helps out the local department in this case.

I was hooked to this story! I truly enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down. There’s enough drama and action in such a fast paced manner that I barely noticed the time and pages flying away on me. It was just the perfect length and I felt that there didn’t need to be anymore to this book. It’s a great intro to Val’s past life, and sets it up beautifully for the next book.

Gary Corbin has an excellent writing style that makes reading easy and fast. The story moves flawlessly and I never once felt the need to put it down. He’s a master at this genre, in my humble opinion. I always love a good book by Gary Corbin! They never disappoint.

I would highly recommend picking up either book in this series. You don’t need to read one to know what’s going on in the other, but they do compliment each other well.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Gary Corbin who sent me this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Indigo
Kobo

Check out the sequel, A Woman of Valor,  on:
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Goodreads

Here’s some links about the author, Gary Corbin:
Goodreads
http://www.garycorbinwriting.com/
@GaryCorbin

Check out my other reviews of Gary’s books:
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Badge
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Bride by Gary Corbin
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin
#BookReview A Woman of Valor by Gary Corbin

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt

If you’re looking for a slow burn romance with action and suspense woven throughout, Tara Wyatt’s Chain Reaction is the book for you!

Why didn’t I read this book sooner? Romance, a Canadian author, and a sexy man on the cover are three awesome traits of this book that make it a must have in my collection. This book has it all – drama, suspense, thrills, romance and some incredibly sexy scenes. Zack is mega hot, Alexa is a Hollywood star looking for something different and they are a match made in heaven! It helps that they’ve been pining after each other in secret for the past year.

This Bodyguard series seems to be centered on, you guessed it, bodyguards protecting a woman and then falling in love with them. It’s kind of the damsel in distress narrative, but with a little more ‘umph’. The duo seem to fall in love way too quickly, but it’s a romance novel so it’s easy to suspend reality on that front. But, the falling in love fast story line makes this book feel passionate and sexy. While it won’t work for all readers, it sure worked for me!

I liked Tara’s writing style – it was fast enough to keep me hooked, it was descriptive enough to make me feel like I’d been whisked away from reality, and it was easy to read. I found myself binging the whole book because I felt for Zack and Alexa and needed to know how it ended. She also wrote Alexa, a character with obvious flaws, really well. I honestly wanted her to have the happy ending she deserves. Buuuuut… yep, a but, I would have loved to have seen her past fleshed out a bit more. She’s a really interesting character who I want to follow more of. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be getting anymore epic side stories about Alexa and Zack (at least… not yet!).

The plot itself is exciting and full of soap opera like turns. Alexa’s Dad is a bad guy, and there’s many more reveals to come. Alexa and Zack decide to ‘fake’ a relationship to not tip off any of the bad guys, but we all know how well that goes in romance novels.

On a side note: This book was easily read as a stand alone. I had no idea what happened in the past books, even though the novel hinted at them along the way, but that didn’t affect the quality of this book. As a reader, I was able to nod along and follow the plot without needing to search up the prequels. I absolutely want to read the two previous books now because this book was just so darn good!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I can easily recommend this to romance lovers who like a little action mixed in with their story.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Looki

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

 

Check out Tara Wyatt on:
http://www.tara-wyatt.com/
Twitter – @taradwyatt

 

Looking for more romance books? Check out some others you might enjoy!
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy
#BookReview The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#TopBooksList Briar’s Crime, Mystery & Thriller Reads

It’s that time again! I have created another master list of some epic reads that kept me busy throughout the past couple of years. This time around I decided to do a little crime, mystery, suspense and thrilling reads! I have a fondness for crime novels and suspense always get me hooked! This is only part one of this list since there are SO many good books out there. Let me know if you’ve read these novels, you’ve found a new book or if you have a recommendation for me! Now, time to get started!

 

1. The Darby Shaw Chronicles by Liberty Speidel
The Darby Shaw Chronicles are an excellent start to this suspenseful collection. Murder, mystery, thrills and suspense are all splashed across the pages of this NCIS/Bones inspired book. I highly recommend picking this book up if you want a bit of crime and mystery in your life, especially fictional! This series was a real joy and there’s even more books out that I haven’t picked up yet!
Goodreads – Darby Shaw
Amazon.ca – Darby Shaw #1-3
Amazon.com – Darby Shaw #1-3

 

2. Crime Seen by Kate Lines
This real life Patrol Offier and Profiler paints one epic picture of her life in this non-fiction book. If you loved Bones and Temperance Brennan, you’ll find this book so intriguing! I could barely put this book down – the realism, the insanity of real life crime and the beautiful prose all make for one great book. Kate Lines’s story is one to read! I’d definitely recommend it if you like non-fiction novels about crime.
Goodreads – Crime Seen
Amazon.ca – Crime Seen
Amazon.com – Crime Seen

 

3. The Trap by Melanie Raabe
This book was translated into English, so on top of being truly epic in English – it’s truly epic in other languages too! This book was a pinnacle read for me. This crazy, crime thriller reminded me of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s so compelling reading about a writer who had someone close to her murdered, and now she’s out for revenge. Yet, she’s a recluse… It’s a real gem and it sits on top of my FAVOURITE book pile. Seriously, it’s that good. Will Linda solve the murder of her little sister?! Read to find out!
Goodreads – The Trap
Amazon.ca – The Trap
Amazon.com – The Trap

 

4. The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin
I’m somewhat cheating with this book, because it’s honestly the whole series that had me hooked. Gary Corbin’s Mountain Man series is pure excellence! It’s thrilling and suspenseful but also lots of fun too! It’s not crazy seriously, but is epic all the same. Lehigh Carter has a dog, as the title suggests, but he gets himself into a thrilling situation full of crime, suspense and mystery. Add in a splash of romance, multiple pinches of humour and an epic trilogy and you’ve got yourself a real winner! Make sure you read all three books, because it’s absolutely worth it! The Mountain Man’s Badge and the Mountain Man’s Bride are also excellent!
Goodreads – The Mountain Man’s Dog
Amazon.ca – The Mountain Man’s Dog
Amazon.com – The Mountain Man’s Dog

 

5. Twisted Reasons by Geza Tetrallyay
This book is twisted, in a good way (of course!). This R rated series is full of insane crime, blood and gore, and intense scenes. It’s not for the light hearted! That being said, it’s a real treat if you love the more brutal side of crime and suspense in your books. Human Trafficking, Russians, crazy gangs and lots of action are all packed in this book. Be sure to pick up the sequels to finish this series off! It’s well worth the read!
Goodreads – Twisted Reasons
Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com
Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

 

6. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
No thrilling list is complete without a classic, so why not list THE classic? Murder on the Orient Express is a truly marvelous novel, and if you haven’t picked it up – are you crazy?! I read it because I watched the Johnny Depp movie, and I absolutely loved both! It’s a real crazy mystery where everything is connected and Agatha Christie drops lots of hints along the way. If you love piecing a story together as you go, pick this book up! It’s literary genius!
Goodreads – Murder on the Orient Express
Amazon.ca – Murder on the Orient Express
Amazon.com – Murder on the Orient Express

 

7. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is a dark spin on the typical crime novel. Dexter Morgan is a blood scene analyst, oh, and he’s a serial killer too! He kills only those who are bad, but he’s still a murderer. This book is really interesting to read, mostly because you’re seeing the other side of the story. You question Dexter’s morals yet you also agree with him as a reader, it’s a really mind boggling read. There’s also a television show (Dexter) but it’s not perfectly matched. Either way, I recommend both! It’s an R rated, wild ride! This book is also apart of a series, so if you want a new series to binge – read this!
Goodreads – Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Amazon.ca – Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Amazon.com – Darkly Dreaming Dexter

 

8. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
Kathy Reichs is one of my all time favourite authors. She crafts magnificent crime stories from an anthropologist’s point of view (it helps that she was/is one!). Temperance Brennan ended up getting her own television show (Bones), but they are not totally alike. The plot line and back stories are different, but the television show is loosely based on the books. It’s a great, giant series to hop into that is more PG-13 rated (due to the deaths, but not much else). It’s knowledgeable, well written and really cool! I am still working my way through this series, but eventually I will finish! It’s a real gem that I’d highly recommend.
Goodreads – Deja Dead
Amazon.ca – Deja Dead
Amazon.com – Deja Dead

 

9. If We Had Known by Elise Juska
This book isn’t necessarily a crime book, but a suspenseful thriller. A mass shooting occurs and everyone’s lives change. This book follows the characters through survival and aftermath, and it honestly gave me chills. It’s the type of book I needed to read despite the harsh content. It’s a PG-13 rated novel, but it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The tough material is taken on so well, but it might be a bit of a trigger for some individuals. If you want a unique book that takes on serious content, this book is for you.
Goodreads – If We Had Known
Amazon.ca – If We Had Known
Amazon.com – If We Had Known

 

10. And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee
International spies, out of retirement, political thriller, and great suspense – all of these can be used to describe the final book on my life! Joni Dee crafts an epic story that reminds me of James Bond, The Man from UNCLE and Mission Impossible. It’s a truly epic read that’s fast paced, full of spies and insanity, and totally thrilling. It’s a great standalone to add to your TBR if you want lots of thrills in a PG-13 setting.
Goodreads – And The Wolf Shall Dwell
Amazon.ca – And The Wolf Shall Dwell
Amazon.com – And The Wolf Shall Dwell
Amazon.co.uk – And The Wolf Shall Dwell

 

So, how’d you make out with that list? Some new books to add to the TBR? Some old favourites? Give me a shout out and let me know what you think! Did I miss any books? There will be a part 2 coming in the future, because MAN do I love a good thrill ride!

 

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#BookReview The Last Straw by Ed Duncan

The Last Straw by Ed Duncan is absolutely ridiculous! In a good way, of course.

Fear not fellow reader, you don’t need to read the first book in this series to understand what’s going on in this novel. But if you want to, I totally understand why!

I started this book with low expectations (I started it around exam time and life had been already a ball of stress) and man, did I have no idea what I was in for. This book was far better than I could have expected and was worth every second. I’m almost annoyed with myself for not expecting it to be good, because it was far better than just “good”.

This thriller novel is fast paced, easy to read and never has a dull moment. It’s not too long, it has a good selection of quality characters to follow and it ends on a good note. The ending makes you feel satisfied if you don’t want to continue the series, but it also lets you know another book could be on the way (and my goodness, there better be another book and it better get in my hands ASAP, you feel me?).

Rico, a sweet guy with a “Dexter” like complex, doesn’t want to murder a teenager. When another man tries to make the hit and misses (hitting another person instead), the plot gets moving into many twists and turns. Paul and Rico’s intertwining story keeps the reader engaged and anxiously waiting to see if the killer will get justice. Along the way, a few side plots keep it interesting too!

Rico and Jean were my favourite duo in the story, but Paul, Beverly, Evelyn and the rest of the crew also have really good material to work with. I really want to read more about the mischievous pair of Rico and Jean in whatever way Ed Duncan can give us, because they are just way more interesting than the regular thriller characters I read about.

If I had to give some negatives about this book, it would be that there is some R rated content. Murders, violence and potential rape are all apart of the pages of this book but they aren’t graphic. This might limit the audience though, if the reader has triggers or isn’t into the adult book scene.

This book gets two thumbs up from me. I honestly loved this book and I didn’t want to put it down. The book helped me get out of a reading slump and actually had me annoyed that it was over so soon! Ed Duncan has a real talent and I hope he continues this series. If anything, I hope more readers find this book because it’s excellent quality. I would absolutely read more books like this in the future if I could get my hands on it.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find this book on: Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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More information about The Last Straw from Book Publicity Services:

The Last Straw is a thrilling crime novel by Ed Duncan. It is the second book in his Pigeon Blood Red series.

 

Synopsis:

 

It started with a run-of-the-mill carjacking.  An inner-city kid with no priors and no experience with a gun fumbled the ball, and the driver ended up dead.

 

A teenage girl witnessed the whole thing, and now a target has been placed on her back. The carjacker’s father, a notorious crime boss, is willing to move heaven and earth to prevent her from testifying, even if that means hiring a hitman to kill her.

 

Richard “Rico” Sanders, the best in the business, was his first choice for the job.  But there was a problem. He was a “killer with a conscience” and a killer with a conscience doesn’t murder teenagers.  The crime boss reluctantly turns to someone who has no such qualms, John D’Angelo. There was bad blood between him and Rico, so knowing that Rico had passed on the job, he eagerly accepted it.

 

Rico and the girls lawyer, Paul Elliott, form an uneasy alliance to try and protect her from the hitman. As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.

 

Praise:

“This Chicago set thriller is a pacy read, written with an edge and style… For me, this is even better than the first in the Pigeon-Blood Red series and it does work well as a stand-alone… Ed Duncan’s series will sweep up fans as it goes along.” – Crime Thriller Hound

“The Last Straw is a Hugely Satisfying Crime Novel by Ed Duncan.” – Best Thrillers

“With danger looming in every chapter, The Last Straw is an action-packed and nerve-racking read. Duncan skillfully draws the reader into a complex web of characters… A few key twists within the storyline keep the reader intrigued in this fast-paced thriller…The Last Straw is an outstanding crime thriller…” – 5 Stars, Red City Review

ED DUNCAN The Last Straw

About the Author:

Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the third installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red series. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/

 

Readers can connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Photos from Kelsey at Book Publicity Services.

#BookReview Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib

Gun Kiss 2

Gun Kiss is a riveting read full of action, crime and suspense!

I’m not gonna lie, this book impressed me! I hadn’t picked up a really good crime novel in a while, so reading this book was a nice change in flow. Following Blake and Goldie was a unique thrill that was well worth the time.

Goldie is an actress and Blake is a writer/crime fighter/Ethan Hunt-esque man. When a drug lord tries to steal Goldie, Blake comes to the rescue! Of course, along the way there is some romance and suspense (because you can’t get two good looking people in a room and NOT expect them to hook up).

Along the way this ex-military hunk deals with lots of high energy level action. There are hit men after him, his girl is almost always getting abducted and he just can’t seem to catch a break. Even with their bodyguards around, there are constantly bullets flying their way. Throw in trafficking, insane Russians and a famous gun and you’ve got one wild ride!

This book walked a fine line between thriller and suspenseful crime novel. I think it mixed in just a perfect amount of romance and mystery to fulfill all of my wishes for the book. There is even some history thrown into the mix just to spice it up. If anything, I feel like this book would do better in a series than as a stand alone. There were moments that I wished the book would have been split up into numerous novels because there was so many great plot lines and opportunities to take. For me, that would be my only downfall of the novel – there was so much good content it could have been a couple of books.

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast-paced and fun thrill ride. It’s not a book for younger readers due to the blood shed, death, and R rated sequences sprinkled throughout the novel. I think an older teen would easily be able to pick this up (because, let’s be honest, most television now can be pretty gore-y).

Overall, this book is a smash hit in my opinion! It was fast enough to keep me hooked, it had just enough romance to make me sigh and the action felt like Mission Impossible styled fun!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author Khaled Talib.

 

You can locate this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Barnes and Nobles

Gun Kiss

Gun Kiss 3

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira

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Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira is a unique mix of suspense, thrills and fantasy!

This book surprised me with how fantastic it was – not often do I pick up a book with no reviews on Goodreads and it be absolutely magical in all the best ways! I feel like a really lucky reader who gets to yell “First!” in the comment section since I’ve found such a truly unique and addicting read!

Now, to the review:

This story is full of incredible descriptions that paint this story onto your eyes. The descriptions of the characters, their wardrobe, the food and the history of Portugal and it’s culture were just breathtaking! As someone with little experience or knowledge of the Portuguese culture, I felt like I connected and understood so much more from just this book! The portrayal of the culture and locations were respectful and made me feel like I truly dove into this world. Suzanne just has a way with words that makes you connect so well with the story and it’s characters. If anything, I’d suggest this book alone for the way Suzanne paints the narrative for the reader.

Some of the little quirks of this novel was the different aspects of the culture – burning ears means someone is gossiping about you, and black cats being good luck because they will absorb all of the evil. I really liked the little tidbits of information that were sprinkled around the plot development. I felt like those really enhanced this book up a notch on the review spectrum.

Now onto the plot! This book, at first glance, seems like a typical thriller set in an exotic land to the average fiction reader. But alas, good reader, this book mixes in so many genres in a truly unbelievable way that it should be in it’s own subgenre. First of all, our lead Talia is a journalist who is seeking out murderers of twin girls – check off that crime and thriller box on your checklist. Next, there’s a healthy helping of the black arts, a cult, some voodoo and omens to check off the fantasy or supernatural check box. There’s a teaspoon of romance (just barely a teaspoon), some murder and drama to mix all of the plot line together into an epic journey.

Talia goes off to Portugal with her boyfriend Jared and her friend Caryn after a family member dies. There’s a little romance and a little conflict that sends all three characters on their separate ways – Caryn chasing a man & Jared and Talia breaking up. Talia meets the super sexy Nuno and sets off on her journalistic adventure. The family drama left behind after the funeral ignites this journey for Talia, since she also wants to discover some of her family’s secrets. Once she goes off with Nuno though, her world unravels and the plot travels like a B&M roller coaster (lots of flips, turns and crazy speeds).

The plot itself sounds like a mess, but it’s just because this book is so hard to summarize! There is so much going on, but it all works so well together! Suzanne has crafted this excellent epic that I really loved! There’s so much drama and suspense throughout the book, I couldn’t even put it down!

If I’m tearing apart the speed of the novel, I felt like it was pretty even paced until 3/4ths through the book. Suddenly, it picks up speed and the action goes nuts! I really liked that aspect of it, because I do tend to get bored near the end if nothing exciting happens. Alongside that point, I feel that Suzanne made the story slowly unfold at a good pace. Each little important plot tidbit is thrown in to make the reader catch up to what is really happening, and I thought it was perfection! As I slowly began to piece together what was happening, a little tidbit was thrown in that made me go “Yes! I was right” and then the plot continued to bounce along.

But, dear reader, you may be asking if there were negatives – and of course there were! No book is ever perfect. Here’s my list.

1.For a journalist, Talia is really trusting of people! That does set of the plot, but to me she was a little too trusting…
2. Jared/Talia’s relationship was SO GOOD. I wanted more! This isn’t a bad part of the book because there wasn’t really room in the narrative to expand about their relationship and relationship issues, but I would have loved to see more of them! Their dynamic was so intriguing! Ugh!
3. The ending just seems to stop suddenly! Just like a snap of the fingers and it’s over! I really wanted to know what happened – who survives, who doesn’t, what was the point of the dreams/omens and what was a dream/omen, the fallout of all the action, etc. I liked this book to the point I wanted more (which is a rarity).
4. Evil villain explaining all the evil plans – it worked really well within this book, but I feel like it’s a cliche some readers might not like. Was it a negative for me? No, not at all! I actually liked it, but I know a lot of readers cringe at that thought so I threw it down here.

Overall, this book was really good! It really surprised me that more people aren’t picking it up because it is so good! It’s the perfect mix of action and suspense! I’d highly recommend it, especially if you love thrillers, mysteries and action!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from Suzanne Ferreira in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find out more about Suzanne Ferreira on:

Goodreads – Author Page

http://www.suzanneferreira.com/

Twitter – @sferreiradixon

Facebook – @sferreiradixon

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads – Cursed Vines

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles – Canadian Book Seller

 

If you enjoyed this review, leave me a comment below or give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay

#BookReview The Cuckoo House by Andre Harden

36429551

 

The Cuckoo House is a thrilling horror novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This book has everything you’d expect out of a creepy novel – an old house, a murder in that house, creepy old man, spiders, animals going missing, old wive’s tales, sex, objects moving, silence, a frustrated wife, bones, hot summer days, more murder, and a lot of suspense.

Andre’s writing made me feel Jane’s frustration. As a reader, I couldn’t help but develop strong feelings for this woman and want her to succeed in her goal. While it seems like a simple thing to do, connect reader’s with your characters, often time it isn’t. Good job on Andre’s part for being able to draw the reader in to his characters! That’s a feat all on it’s own!

Additionally, I could feel the suspense in certain chapters. As an avid reader of thrillers and horror, I knew something bad was coming. Andre was able to keep me hooked and anxiously waiting, then would surprise me with the lack of scares or abundance of them. That’s another bonus of this novel – Andre was able to play with my emotions in a way other horror novels haven’t been able too.

The reference to The Shining (“REDRUM”) is a nice touch, especially since I just finished the book and can actually understand the reference. I won’t lie, when I read the shining I was confused at first as to why RED RUM was a problem, but when you realize that’s MURDER spelled backwards, it makes a lot more sense!

The title relating to a comment in the book was another nice touch – it’s a fantastic reference that some readers wouldn’t understand. Having the title has a metaphor for the novel is a really nice touch, in my opinion. It always impresses me when the title has something to do with the novel instead of just be randomly generated.

Now for the ending….. it’s insanity! I want another book chronicling what happens after, but at the same time it was perfectly horrifying.

Side note: The old creepy man’s name is Jasper, which personally makes me giggle. There’s a poodle that lives down the street from me named Jasper, so all I could imagine was the poodle.

This book has one con for me, but it doesn’t take much away from the story. I would have liked more description – I’m a sucker for description, and when I do my own creative writing I tend to explain a LOT. I think if there would have been just a little bit more description instead of talking (or have the communication between characters have a bit more depth in word choice), this book would hit it out of the park and be up their with the best! That being said, Andre Harden’s writing style is excellent for this genre. Just because my reading style and his writing style aren’t perfectly matched, doesn’t mean that he isn’t fantastic. I think he’s extremely talented and the more he writes, the better he’ll get (just like with every other author). And this book is off to an incredibly strong start!

The book is definitely rated R for the horror. The sex isn’t erotic, there isn’t any scenes full of excessive gore, but the horror mixed with the sex might be a little too much for some readers. So, I’ll settle on the R rating, but just barely an R rating.

Overall, this book is an intense read! It’s packed full of horror and insanity, and it’s worth every page! Short but sweet!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Andre Harden in exchange for an honest review.

 

About The Cuckoo House:

After the violent death of its owners, a small house sits empty and forlorn until it is bought by a young couple looking for a new start.

Jane has had a series of miscarriages and wants only to concieve and start a family. Steve, a budding author, hopes to research the deaths of the previous inhabitants and write a thriller inspired by the events.

As the hot summer stretches out, their goals collide and Steve begins to suspect that an evil presence lurks in the house, turning their dreams toward its own dark purpose.

 

Check out this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36429551-the-cuckoo-house

Purchase this book on:

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – The Cuckoo House

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – The Cuckoo House

Find out more about Andre Harden on:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17242642.Andre_Harden

His Website: andreharden.com

 

If you read this review, use the hashtag #briarsreviews and give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

And comment below! What are you reading this week?

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview One Step Ahead by Denver Murphy

Cover FINAL One Step Ahead

This book  is a fascinating thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat!

I really liked this novel, especially since it was refreshing and exciting to read. At every twist and turn I was hooked and wanted more!

One of the best parts of this novels if the changing point of views. Switching back and forth between Brandt and Johnson with her fellow officers was an excellent way to show both sides of this crime story. I really love a good crime novel that lets you see into the bad guy’s point of view and understand his motives, rather than just showing the good guys’ point of view the entire novel.

Denver’s writing style really matched my reading style with this novel. I highly recommend everyone pick this novel up as soon as possible if you love a great crime drama with a large gallon of suspense and thriller mixed in.

If anything, the character development of Brandt was the most interesting part of this book. Seeing his background, his motives and his actions. The arc of his character was so addicting, even without all of the crime drama going on around him. He is a bit of a dark character, so if you’re light-hearted this story may not be for you! But, it’s so worth the read! This wild character is one of the best characters I’ve seen in quite a while in works of fiction!

I don’t have any cons for this novel, because it truly was an epic read. It kept me interested the entire time, the plot was intriguing, the characters had depth, and you will not see the ending coming!

Overall, I highly recommend this book! It’s a must read for all crime enthusiasts!

Five out of five stars!

I received a copy of this novel from the author Denver Murphy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out Gamekeeper Turned Poacher:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about Denver Murphy:

http://www.denvermurphy.com/

Give us both a shout out on Twitter! @DenverAuthor & @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.