Review | The Guardian Stones by Eric Reed

The Guardian Stones

 

Title:Β The Guardian Stones
Author:Β Eric Reed
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publishing date: 5th January, 2016
Pages: 260

My Rating: 2/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

941 Britain: Children are vanishing from the village. Is it the powers of an ancient stone circle at work, or a modern predator? In mid-1941, children evacuated to the remote Shropshire village of Noddweir to escape the Blitz begin to vanish. It was not uncommon for city children faced with rural rigors to run away. But when retired American professor Edwin Carpenter, pursuing his study of standing stones, visits the village and discovers bloody clothing in the forest, it is clear there is a more sinister explanation. The village constable is away on military duty so the investigation falls to his daughter Grace. Some villagers see the hand of German infiltrators bent on terror. The superstitious, mindful of the prehistoric stone circle gazing down on Noddweir, are convinced malevolent supernatural powers are at work. And Edwin, determined to help Grace find whatever predator is in play, runs into widespread resentment over America’s refusal to enter the war. This atmospheric mystery will appeal to readers of Rennie Airth, Maureen Jennings, and both Ann Cleeves and Ann Granger.


My Take:

The premise of this book is very interesting. I liked the historical aspect of the book and the setting was interesting. The descriptive parts were well written. πŸ˜€

The main characters are likable, the supporting characters are well thought out too. All part of the plan. πŸ˜‰ What I didn’t like about the character introductions was the attention to details. I kept getting confused about how old a certain character was and that kept me from fully paying attention.

The mystery isn’t much of a mystery, it’s still there but not as much as I would have liked. It had a horror aspect and can be categorized into horror. Some scenes had this chilling air leading to the end and those were the interesting reading bits. πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

This was an okay read for me. It wasn’t gripping enough to hold my attention, my attention kept wandering from the book. I put down the book many times and picked it back up because I still wanted to know how it ended. It was a good thing that it keeps you intrigued for the end so that you can’t put it down. πŸ˜›


Why would I pick it up?

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For an interest evoking read. πŸ˜€

Review | Dark Turns by Cate Holahan

Dark Turns

 

Title:Β Dark Turns
Author:Β Cate Holahan
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publishing date: 10th November, 2015
Pages: 336

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Nia Washington is an incredibly talented ballerina. She fought her way up from the streets and was nearing the pinnacle of her profession when an injury and a broken heart derailed her career. Taking a temporary job at an elite boarding school was supposed to give her time to nurse both body and soul. It was supposed to be a safe place to launch a triumphant comeback. It is anything but.

Shortly after she arrives at the beautiful lakeside campus, she discovers the body of a murdered student, and her life takes a truly dark turn. It’s not long before she is drawn into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with a ruthless killer. And Nia isn’t the only target. She must use all of her street smarts to protect her dancers, save a wrongfully accused student, and rescue the man she loves.

A stunning and suspenseful tale of passion and betrayal, Cate Holahan’s Dark Turns will take readers deep into the mind of a murderer and the woman who must put an end to the killing.


My Take:

This is a gripping read. I was always interested in Ballet, not as something to learn but as something to watch. I always wondered how painful dancing on your toes would be so never dreamed of being a ballet dancer yet was enticed by how graceful the dancers looked.

Screenshot_2017-06-13-14-00-53-1Having the touch of ballet actually drew me to the book. The cover and synopsis already had my attention but the ballet aspect made me grab the book. I would have read it anyways. I love mystery and thrillers. ❀ πŸ˜›

 

Screenshot_2017-06-13-14-03-56-1A nice touch, actually a smart move, was naming the chapters after ballet moves and starting the chapters with instructions of the said moves and the moves resonating with the chapters was quiet clever. πŸ˜€

The author created such interesting characters, it’s hard not to love them. Aubrey is such a well written character, she was the best character in the book, despite all the evilness, she is an enjoyable character. Nia is a bit naive, being a dancer herself she ought to know the competition between dancers, the power struggle but she doesn’t seem to.Screenshot_2017-06-13-14-02-45-1

This book seems to have a lot going on- career ending injury, murder, pedophilia, betrayal, deception, jealousy, love, hate, you name it. None of them seemed forced and made the story what it is. It was a quick read for me, I read it in one sitting because the book didn’t bore me even once. ❀

Though a bit predictable, this was a very interesting read. The mystery isn’t that much of a mystery, the suspense didn’t hold up till the end, nothing shocking but a decent read. If you are looking for something challenging then this might not be the book for you otherwise you are sure to enjoy a light mystery read. πŸ˜‰ Β It had its unique elements and those bode well with the story making it more likable. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


Why would I pick it up?

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For a fast paced, interesting read.

Review | Tumbled Graves by Brenda Chapman

Tumbled Graves (Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery, #3)

Title:Β Tumbled Graves
Series: Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery (Book 3)
Author:Β Brenda Chapman
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Dundurn Press

Publishing date: 27th February, 2016
Pages: 376

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

A missing child. A dead mother. Kala Stonechild is about to discover what one betrayal can lead to.

When Adele Delaney and her daughter, Violet, go missing, Jacques Rouleau is called upon to investigate. However, struggling with the impending death of his ill ex-wife, he sends Kala Stonechild and Paul Gundersund instead. Stonechild has been trying to adapt to life as her young cousin Dawn’s guardian, and even though Gundersund has offered support, Stonechild is at risk of losing custody.

On the second day of the investigation, Adele’s body turns up, dumped on the shoulder of the highway with no sign of her daughter. Her husband, Ivo, denies any involvement with either his wife’s death of their child’s disappearance, but not everyone is convinced. As the investigation unfolds, Stonechild learns that Adele was once entangled with a Montreal biker gang and heads to Quebec to investigate further.

As Stonechild and Gundersund juggle personal troubles and a complicated, dangerous case, they find themselves piecing together a chain of disasters leading back to a single betrayal.


My Take:

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I love reading books where not only the main plot is interesting but the sub plots are very much as interesting. The main story line is the mystery related to the victims but the personal lives of the officers who are actually our main characters are as well explored as the main plot. Our main characters have problems of their own and they deal with it while solving the murder mystery.

This was a roller-coaster ride from the start to the end. I read it in one sitting because it was so good that I couldn’t put it down. It will pull you right in from the start and you will start rooting for the characters and cheer them to succeed in both professional and personal lives.

Reading this book, I want to read the remaining books in the series and fangirl about them. πŸ˜› The characters are well-written. You can see Kala’s growth throughout the book, she has a problematic personal life but that is not what defines her. The suspense surrounding the mystery is well maintained till the very end. The book is fast paced and you will probably sail right through. πŸ˜‰

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This is one of those books that I have too much to say yet nothing to say. I don’t know how to explain how well this is written so all I will say is GO READ THIS BOOK! ❀

 


Why would I pick it up?

Related imageFor the wonderful story, mystery, and writing. ❀ ❀

Review | Bradstreet Gate by Robin Kirman

Bradstreet Gate

Title: Bradstreet Gate
Author: Robin Kirman
Genre: General Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Crown

Publishing date: 7th July, 2015
Pages: 320

My Rating: 2/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

A tour de force debut about a campus murder for readers of Donna Tartt, Meg Wolitzer, and Jeffrey Eugenides

Georgia, Charlie and Alice each arrive at Harvard with hopeful visions of what the future will hold. But when, just before graduation, a classmate is found murdered on campus, they find themselves facing a cruel and unanticipated new reality. Moreover, a charismatic professor who has loomed large in their lives is suspected of the crime. Though his guilt or innocence remains uncertain, the unsettling questions raised by the case force the three friends to take a deeper look at their tangled relationship. Their bond has been defined by the secrets they’ve kept from one anotherβ€”Charlie’s love and Alice’s envy, Georgia’s mysterious affairβ€”and over the course of the next decade, as they grapple with the challenges of adulthood and witness the unraveling of a teacher’s once-charmed life, they must reckon with their own deceits and shortcomings, each desperately in search of answers and the chance to be forgiven.

A relentless, incisive, and keenly intelligent novel about promise, disappointment, and the often tenuous bonds of friendship, Bradstreet Gate is the auspicious debut of a tremendously talented new writer.


My Take:

This book had so much potential but it wasn’t explored to that extent. The synopsis makes it sound much more interesting than it actually is. It deals with the aftermath of the mystery more than actually solving the mystery and I think the hype the murder gets in the synopsis builds for the disappointment of not getting answers in the book. This was a mystery worth solving. The synopsis doesn’t focus on the murder, yes, but the undertone of it comes off as the murder is the main focus, atleast to me.Screenshot_2017-06-12-15-30-50-1

The focus is on many characters, making the characters real and likable is a twisted affair. It can sometimes make the characters have no depth, that’s what I found the problem with the characters. Not all of them were bad but the majority didn’t stand out or have characteristics that would make it enjoyable to read. Unlikable and problematic characters can be enjoyable to read too but that wasn’t the case with this book.

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The mystery wasn’t the gripping kind, were you are on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next. I think this works better as a fiction than as a mystery. I felt like it was written that way and the mystery was the secondary part to the story and the characters’ growth was the primary.

The scenes leading to the answers to the mystery aren’t that well focused on and the general focus is on people than the circumstances, not even the relationships, just people as individuals, I guess. Which would’ve been fine by me if not for the intriguing promise of mystery-solving of having a murder that happened a decade ago.

The writing is good. The author really does write well, that’s what kept me reading. I think I might try another book by the author.


Why would I pick it up?

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For the interesting synopsis.

Review | Chasing Nathan by Jeanette Hubbard

Chasing Nathan

 

Title: Chasing Nathan
Author: Jeanette Hubbard
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Mystery &Thrillers
Publisher: Promontory Press

Publishing date: 7th June, 2016
Pages: 192

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Jeanette Hubbard’s humorous style of suspense writing has been compared to Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich. In this quirky follow-up novel, a chance encounter in a remote forest campground plunges plucky retiree Claudie O’Brien into a vortex of crime, kidnapping, and a marijuana hijacking. A pleasant dinner with Nathan, the gentleman at the next campsite, is disrupted by the arrival of a very loud and a very angry young man. The next morning both Nathan and the man are gone, but Claudie suspects something is not right. No one believes her when she tells them that Nathan might be in danger. It’s up to Claudie to connect the dots and find out why Nathan disappeared in the middle of the night.


My Take:

I started the book late at night deciding to read only 2 chapters before going to bed but I ended up reading THE WHOLE BOOK!

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The reason being the easy paced writing. Perfect for even when you are tired and sleepy. πŸ˜€ It being only 192 pages was helpful too. πŸ˜›

I don’t remember reading many novels where the main characters were in their senior years. So, this was a refreshing and fun read in that sense. I was a bit worried in the start because I wasn’t sure if I would like reading a senior point of view but I really did enjoy it. It was a bit slow in the start but then it just all got together and I couldn’t keep the book down.

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Both the main characters Claudie and Nathan somehow get involved in a dope deal gone wrong situation. Again their age kinda sets the tone for the book for me because all they wanted to do was have a nice time camping. They were too, until Hammer came up and parked near them at the campground. The thugs are not the brightest bulbs and their decisions are stupid and actions comical.

Nathan ends up being kidnapped. When Claudie finds him missing, she suspects foul play and sets out for help, not before taking in a poor canine and befriending him who in turn makes the thugs chase Claudie.

As the new characters were added the story kept on getting more and more interesting and the reading became more easier which is always a plus. πŸ˜€ As I read this book when I was sleepy I didn’t mark out anything to share with you guys but you can always read it and see for yourself, right?

This is surely a different plotline and I loved it for that. ❀ The short read and easy pace, good narrative, the touch of humor, growing feelings, the drama and mystery tied up the book in a nice, lovely bundle of read. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


Why would I pick it up?

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For a quick read with an unexpected character base and plotline. πŸ˜€

 

 

Review | Jacob the Jew vs. the Chinese blood by J.W.Durrah

Jacob the Jew vs. the Chinese Blood: Book One

Β 

Title: Jacob the Jew vs. the Chinese Blood
Author: J.W.Durrah
Series: Yes (Book one)

Genre: Crime, Thriller
Publisher:Β Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Publishing date: 11th Aug, 2015
Pages: 457

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

*Copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

When NYPD detective Jacob Jennings signs on for a three-year tour with the US Army’s Military Intelligence unit, he expects to be deployed to Vietnam like his father before him. Instead, Jennings finds himself working a complex undercover sting in cooperation with the Chinese police.

The drug, cherry berry is the hot new topic on the streets of Hong Kong, and while dealers and gang members insist the drug is real, no one seems to have seen it and it is not for sale there. All that’s known is it’s powerfully addictive, made in Hong Kong, and it causes horrifying physical side effects to certain users.

Infiltrating the Chinese Blood gang and posing as an American hustler, Jacob draws closer to the drug’s suspected creator, the high-ranking medical research scientist Dr. Wo Ling Cheung. Cheung’s association with Jerry Baofung, a much-feared sorcerer, is unclear to others but not to Jennings.

Having been raised by his grandmother teaching him the occult, Jacob is unwilling to dismiss Baofung’s power as superstitious fakery. Sorcery, Jacob believes is the obvious contribution Baofung would make to the creation of cherry berry.

Tracking this drug to its source, Jacob realizes he’s running out of time because Cheung plans to unleash it on the streets of New York where he is already catering the drug to a dangerous clientele with unusual tastes and compulsions.


My Take:

I will first start with the way the book felt… I don’t know why but I have always liked holding big books. It makes me feel like a grown up lady, de-stressing herself after a day of work. The page layout feels so good to me, though the font size is small and was affecting my poor eyes but I think if it was any bigger then the book would have been more bigger meaning I would’ve been intimidated by it’s size.

This is currently a busy time for me so I was anyways intimidated by it’s 457 pages stature. I kept it aside to read it for holidays. I’ve preparatory leave now, which apparently is for studying for my semester exams but, oh well! πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

The first line of the book was an interesting start.

Jacob Jenning’s grandparents, Elizabeth Bonaveau and Paul Jennings, were opposites.

At first I thought that might be their personality but then I felt that might be their race and I wasn’t wrong. The very next line stated what opposites stood for.

Paul was born in North Carolina on a farm in a poor black area. Elizabeth Bonveau was born in an exclusively white area in Slautir, Louisiana.

After some weeks, finding his evenings free, Paul enrolled in Elizabeth’s class to earn his high school diploma, thinking to perhaps improve his station in life. His kind, farm-boy nature was so beguiling in its innocence to Elizabeth that she fell in love with him almost immediately.

The words chose to make sentences are well thought. The story flowed effortlessly. The reading was easy and fast. I didn’t have to drag myself through it. It has been some time since I received this book so when I picked it up and read the title I doubted that I would like this book, then I read the summary and remembered why I agreed to review this book. I will tell you the reason in a bit. πŸ˜›

As an infant, Jacob Jennings was ill tempered, but his tantrums never upset his grandparents, Paul or Elizabeth, especially Elizabeth who realized that such temperament was a natural part of a child born with Jacob’s probable gifts. As years passed, Jacob replaced his tantrums with phases of “distancing himself” to show his displeasure with someone or something. But he soon proved himself to be a precocious but solitary child.

There’s just a passing mention of magic like it’s secondary to all the action happening, in the summary, but when you read the book, magic is a huge part of the book. The magic bits were very interesting to read about.

“I do understand, Grandma. I think that maybe I love magic so much that I am just sometimes too eager to continue learning.”

Jacob has to team up with Asian police authorities and students of sorcerer Yongli Baofung who are known as “Children of the Dark.” Jacob navigates their world with powers of his own. He grew up learning the art of Dark Magic which is what is there for him against the occult evil forces.

The element of love, ahh… now the story’s complete! πŸ˜›

There was no doubt that, albeit his first time, he was on the old well-traveled rote of love and he could hope was that…
… he was not walking it alone.

All in all, I liked the book. Here are some sneak-peak snippets. To be honest, there would have been a lot more but I totally forgot to mark passages because I was so into the story.

“Jake with Secrets not only one who got secrets.” She crossed her legs, lit a cigarette and blew the smoke directly into his face. “You know?” Again she blew more smoke in his face. “We can hide our secrets like American butterflies do.” She tried to blow more smoke at him, instead she choked on the next mouthful. Ginger was not a real smoker and he knew she only did it occasionally in order to appear sophisticated and even then she only knew how to puff the cigarette and blow out the smoke.

Why the summary appealed to me was because the book was all suspense and mystery in the summary regarding a new drug that ironically has a seemingly harmless name, Cherry Berry; involvement of black magic in the mix? Well, it did work out well! πŸ˜‰

Jacob was stunned. He picked up the packet and examined it.
“This is the cherry berry everyone is looking for?” He said it before he realized but now the terrible mistake was the elephant in the room.
Dr. Cheung grew a very broad smile and intertwined his fingers.
“Oh? I was not aware that anyone was seeking this product. And you say that everyone wants the cherry berry? How interesting.”
“Well, the word on the street is that the name is an enigma, something that people talk about but no one has any real knowledge of. It’s more like a legend, I imagine, than anything else.”

Why do authors always end good stories with cliffhangers? This surely has an interesting end. I couldn’t stop myself from sharing it but to still keep you guys interested I won’t write the name of whoever dies. πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

…*****’* ashes had burnt into flames… and something was rising from them.


Why would I pick it up?

Image result for dark magic reading

When you pick this book up, you are in for a ride. You’ll get more than you expected and the variation and the numerous elements of the book are a good touch. ❀