#BookReview Close to Home by Cara Hunter

Holy. Moly!

Close to Home by Cara Hunter is one wildly epic ride that mystery and thriller lovers will absolutely be OBSESSED with! I sure was!

Eight-year-old Daisy Mason suddenly vanishes during her parents party. When the investigation about her disappearance begins, things seem fishy. The family is strange, there’s no clear leads and something just isn’t right… There were tons of guests at this backyard barbecue – friends, family, school mates. Could one of them taken Daisy? The police force won’t stop until they locate this youngling.

For my first point, I did NOT see this ending coming. There was an inkling there, but I was never fully convinced of which way this story was going to go. Cara set this story up so wonderfully that there was never a dull moment and my inner Detective was constantly at work.

I also really appreciated how Cara slowly unwound the story behind this dysfunctional family. They aren’t what they appear to be, and slowly but surely we see what’s truly going on behind the scenes. Because of this, my theories about what happened were constantly being molded and changed, which was really fun! Throw in the fast-paced nature, the epic Tweets and News Reports and the character dynamics presented and you’ve got one amazing book.

My biggest negative about this book was that there was no chapters. This book was continuous which led to me being unsure of where to stop. There are breaks in the story, but I like having a full stop at a chapter. This doesn’t affect the story at all, it’s more of a personal pet peeve.

Another note: This book features child pornography, child kidnapping and abuse, and potential child murder. It’s not for the light-hearted. Reader beware!

I can honestly say I’m surprised this book doesn’t have more ratings, reviews and people talking about it. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time! This book needs to get in the hands of readers because Cara Hunter is marvelously talented! Cat and mouse tales like these are just splendid.

Overall, DI Adam Fawley should be among the top mystery books out there. I’m not kidding – it was one of the best I’ve read in a very long time, and I read a fair about of thriller, suspense and mystery books. I’d highly recommend this! 110% recommendation! I haven’t had this much fun in a mystery in a very long time.

Five out of five stars.

I received an ARC version of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

If you love mystery, thrills and suspense, check out some other books recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio
#BookReview The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes
#TopBooksList Briar’s Crime, Mystery & Thriller Reads

 

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#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 Hart & Soul #1: Kill The Story by Jahnna N. Malcolm

Oh man! I got so excited when I hit the jackpot and found a lot of books from my childhood at a local book sale. I found the first four books in this series and scooped them up instantly. I remember always wanting to read these from the library but I always maxed out the number of books I could have out. I never actually ended up reading this series even though my heart was set on them. So, fast forward many, many years and I finally get to experience the books that all of the ‘popular’ kids were reading.

This book was so pleasant and clearly written back in the eighties and nineties. AND I LOVED IT. It’s so nostalgic for me, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much.

Amanda Hart is a writer (and the editor-in-chief for her school’s newspaper). She is going to release a series of stories about the sororities present in her city and someone is NOT happy. They are going after her with vicious notes and threats. When Amanda and her team call upon a courier service, along comes Mick Soul with his handy dandy bicycle. He gets attacked when trying to deliver a copy of their story, and suddenly Hart and Soul wind up working on the mystery together. Mick enrolls in her high school to help figure out who is threatening her… because what else is a bicycle courier supposed to do in his spare time? School? Pfft, no!

It’s a “will they, won’t they” sort of duo – like Bones and Booth, Ross and Rachel, Jane and Rafael, etc. Hart and Mick have so much chemistry for a middle grade (almost YA) novel that it’s unbelievable. Seriously, I just need to finish the series to know if they end up together because they are super flirty in this book!

There’s a good cast of characters filling up the typical high school tropes: Jason the nerd who wants his story in the paper, Pepper the best friend, Josh the tech geek, Whitney the mean girl, and so on.

My one big flaw is as followed: you can kind of figure out what’s going to happen by the end but it’s not really hinted at. I love when mystery books leave you little hints here and there, but there’s not much until the end. I had a pretty good inkling of what would happen based off reading way to many mystery books and watching too many mystery shows, but I wanted to work my way through this mystery with Hart and Soul. It doesn’t ruin the story by any means, but I’m a picky reader like that.

Side note, this is my FAVOURITE line in the whole book:
“What a slime!”

Seriously, that’s a Briar insult from my childhood. Score +1 for that gem!

Overall, this book is cute and fun! I love a good throw back and I’m so glad I found this book. I will 100% be continuing this series, especially since I have the next three books on my shelf. Hopefully I managed to score the rest of the series! This book is an absolute delight and I 100% recommend it either for middle grader/YA readers or some of you as old as me who want a childhood nostalgia trip.

Three out of five stars!

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble

If you love middle grade novels, check out some other fantastic books featured on my blog:
#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

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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

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#BookReview Blood Rain by Rajeev Singh

Blood Rain by Rajeev Singh is another dip into erotic horror that will steal the spotlight.

Erotic horror is one of those criss-cross genres. It’s creepy yet sexual (as the name implies) but hits in such a strange way. I don’t know whether to be scared, horrified or shocked.

A group of five get isolated on an island with sexually charged, exotic women, all being affected by a blood rain. Danger and horror await the crew as they try to traverse through the jungle and come out unscathed. Among the group, emotions are high and terror is higher.

There’s lots of women having sex with inanimate objects in this story. It’s very strange and is connected to horror, but the characters also find it oddly erotic. Add in blood rain, scary tales and an adventure, and you’ve got one wild ride (pun intended, thank you very much).

I will give Rajeev a virtual high five for his prose. His story telling ability and his word choice will make chocolate melt in your mouth. Seriously, he’s got a way with his words. The first chapter alone had me curious and interested in the story.

If you’re looking for something a little different, a little niche, totally R rated, and some truly insane erotic horror then you need to grab this book. Rajeev is such a talented writer and writes this niche market really well.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you to Rajeev Singh for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you’re looking for more by Rajeev Singh, click the links below:
Goodreads – Rajeev Singh
Briar’s Review’s #BookReview The Erotic Muse by Rajeev Singh
Goodreads – The Erotic Muse
Amazon.ca – The Erotic Muse
Amazon.com – The Erotic Muse
Books2Read : Books2Read – The Erotic Muse

 

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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

 

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#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio

Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio is a unique read that dives into the corruption of the opioid epidemic.

Through the eyes of an attorney, we see the world falling apart due to the extreme decisions about wildly corrosive medication. The opioid epidemic is a truly interesting topic to talk about in a book. Everyone knows about it yet it is somehow a very touchy topic. Almost everyone I know is aware of someone who suffers from addictions, normally due to opioids. Having a book address these issues and dive into such a sensitive topic was truly intriguing.

All Jake wants is for someone to pay for the loss of his brother, and he goes to extreme lengths to reach this goal. This book takes a unique look at the problem, through the legal side of things. The book moves fast, it has twists and turns to keep you hooked and it really makes you think. When you sue big pharma companies, life isn’t going to be easy for you. The dynamics that go on behind the scenes is wild and scary and thrilling.

I will admit that this is not my typical go to book. I like reaching out and taking chances with books that don’t fit into my normal romance, YA and children’s novel explorations. This book was a real treat! I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would if I liked this genre. I can only imagine a fan of crime thrillers getting their hands on this book because they will be totally enchanted by it. Mike has a fulfilling writing style that really makes you think.

My biggest highlight of the book was the term “Zombieland”. My city has an opioid problem and it does indeed feel like you are in Zombieland if you come across certain individuals. It’s scary, and everyone has had the same idea as Jake. If only someone would go after the big pharma companies that don’t try to help the problem. But that’s ethics and greed for you. Ethics doesn’t always win.

Overall, this book felt very real, really intense and totally brutal. It’s thrilling and addicting and deals with real problems. I truly respect Mike Papantonio for writing this book. It’s a real gem!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

Find more books by Mike Papantonio on Goodreads.

 

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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!

 

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

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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.

 

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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.