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.

Blog Tour | Review | Welcome Back, Jack by Liam Sweeny

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Click on the banner to see the complete tour schedule. πŸ˜€

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for the book β€œWelcome Back, Jack” by Liam Sweeny, hosted by Sage’s Blog Tours.

Let’s get on with the review, shall we? πŸ™‚Β 


JackCov2

 

Title: Welcome Back, Jack ( A Jack LeClere Thriller, Book 1)
Author: Liam Sweeny
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publishing date: 29th July , 2013
Published by: American Apocrypha
Pages: 302

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 


 

Summary:

When Jack was six years old, his parents were brutally slain by a serial killer. The policeΒ later found drifter Clyde Colsen driving a stolen car, his clothes soaked in blood. He was
tried, convicted and executed. Jack grew up knowing that they got the guy.

Now, Jack, a decorated homicide detective in New Rhodes, arrives at the third crime scene of the β€œSouth End Killer” murders and finds his name. He will soon find out something else:

Thirty years ago, they got the wrong guy. And now the right guy’s come back to pay JackΒ and New Rhodes his bloody respects. As Jack struggles to stay on the case, his cat-and-mouse with the killer makes him wonder if he’s the cat or the mouse. His family, and everyone in his life is fair game. As the killer escalates and threatens the entire city, Jack has a question he must answer in his desperation; can he stop the monster without becoming one?


My Take:

I like a good summary. I summary that actually summarizes the story of the book instead of being just a selling pitch, and this surely does it’s job. πŸ™‚

Mystery is something that I have always enjoyed. This was a good one, a really good one. πŸ˜‰

The opening crime scene is so disturbing, horifying, and disgusting that it makes you wonder what kind of a sick person can do that. You want to shake that man out of whatever trance he is in. Most serial killers can’t be shook out of the trance because it is who they are or rather who they have become. The people who kill without remorse are the most dangerous kind because there’s nothing to hold them back not even their own conscience.

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Jack is dealing with exactly the kind of serial killer.

Jack and his best buddy, Gamble, who is also his partner, do most of the researches to catch the killer. Gamble is good with the laptop, he digs up all the information they can use. Jack has a supportive life while Gamble’s wife wants him to quit and work for some computer firm.

After they find out or rather guess how the killer might have killed without being seen. Jack investigates the crime scene and that is when he realizes that this person is who killed his parents 30 years ago.

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The killer goes on length to make sure that Jack stays on the case when the police department, which is actually the FBI, local police, Special Agents and… (well, I am never good with remembering technicalities. πŸ˜› You get my point though :P) working together, who don’t want him to stay because of the case being too personal to Jack. When Jack finally goes back to homicide, the killer drops his usual rituals and hits close to home. He shoots 2 people, one of which is jack’s close friend and this comes in as a case for the homicide and Jack is again dragged back.

The good side of the nightmare that Jack faced at the age of six was his family, friends, and job. The sweet couple who adopted him, his wife who was the daughter of the detective working on his parent’s case, his understanding son, his job, and the people associated with it. All this are in danger, as the killer wants to ruin Jack completely, to maybe finish the task he couldn’t 30 years ago.

This is a quite good cat-mouse chase. The ending is as thought through as the whole book. All in all it really is a good read. πŸ™‚


 

Why would I pick it up?

A good mystery, a sick killer, and a supportive family for the main protagonist. Well, sounds like a plan. πŸ˜‰


 

Author’s Bio:

LiamLiam Sweeny has worn many hats in his life. In addition to being a writer for ten years, he has been an artist, musician, grassroots campaign staffer and spent four years in disaster response, both in leadership and in the field.

It was in the field in New Orleans that Sweeny got his start as a writer. Hurricane Katrina, and his role in the relief effort, fueled his early writing, where he began in sci-fi/fantasy before transitioning into crime, mystery and noir.

As a crime writer, Sweeny’s work has appeared in many publications, such as Thuglit, All Due Respect, Near to the Knuckle, Shotgun Honey and others. You can find out more at http://www.liamsweeny.com

Meet the author: |Β WebsiteΒ |Β FacebookΒ |Β GoodreadsΒ |Β TwitterΒ |

Get the book on: |Amazon|Β 

 

 

ARC Review | Pane and Suffering (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #1) by Cheryl Hollon

Pane and Suffering

 

Title: Pane and Suffering (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #1)
Author: Cheryl Hollon
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Crafts & Hobbies
Publishing date: 29th September , 2015
Published by: Kensington
Pages: 320

My Rating: 4/5 stars Β 

*ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

To solve her father’s murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer’s carefully constructed faΓ§ade. . .

After Savannah’s father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs–including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father’s trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.

As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn’t suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it’s up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father’s apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .


 

My Take:

Mystery with a chance to learn something new, why not? πŸ˜€

This book is very well-written and the way the mystery is solved is more interesting than the mystery itself. Savannah, who comes back to Florida when her father dies of heart attack, and finds his dad’s partner to be dead with a heart attack too after her father’s funeral, becomes suspicious of foul play. She finds a letter addresed to her by her dad. This is where the stuff gets interesting. I had a subject last year that dealt with Computer Security and learnt about the different encryption methods. I loved the ciphers very much and when this book started showing interest in ciphers too, I couldn’t put the book down. πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

I was aware of the first cipher that was used in the beginning of the book but not the last one at the almost end. (I might google it later, to learn it properly. πŸ˜› ) Puzzles have always had my undivided attention. The answers to the mystery to deaths was a puzzle that Savannah’s dad hid with puzzles and geocaching. (Another new concept learnt. πŸ˜€ Well, I wasn’t aware of this earlier. πŸ˜› )

I present you with the wikipedia explanation- πŸ˜›

Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiveror mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world.

A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook (with a pen or pencil). The geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, such as toys or trinkets, usually of more sentimental worth than financial. Geocaching shares many aspects withΒ benchmarking, trigpointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, letterboxing, and waymarking.

There is so much well explained information on working with glass, it blends well with the story and doesn’t look forced at all. It also provides with relevant information at the end of the book to understand the terms better. That was good. πŸ˜€ (Ahh… the things you learn while reading. πŸ™‚ )

So, on with the book. I loved the simplicity of the characters. There was Officer Boulli who made we want to smack him right across the face to help him realize that he was an idiot. The other characters shared the sentiments- πŸ˜›

Screenshot_2015-09-30-20-59-19-1

Screenshot_2015-09-30-20-59-38-1

 

 

Here’s what Savannah was thinking when Officer Boulli asked her to describe things in her own words. I totally agree with her. πŸ˜›

Screenshot_2015-09-30-20-59-29-1

The list of suspects was clear to Savannah. It had to be one of the two people who were too eager to buy Webb’s Glass Shop. Frank- who used to work at Webb’s and now owned his own business and Smythe- who was there to buy the properties so that his company could demolish the area and have new build-ups. When Jacob, her dad’s apprentice was arrested, she knew she had to something to prove that he was innocent.The answer however was nothing she ever expected.

Finally when the mystery was solved, Savannah brushed off Frank and Smythe and decided to stay back home in Florida with her new friends and the glass shop. πŸ™‚

Screenshot_2015-09-30-21-00-19-1

Finally, if any of you guys read the book then I would like to get my doubt cleared. Savannah had only talked to Officer Parker, who was assigned to work on Savannah’s case and was Officer Boulli’s senior, over the phone. So, how did Savannah recognize that it was Detective Parker who came to save her when she was practically seeing him for the first time? (Did I miss something? :/ )Screenshot_2015-09-30-21-00-09-1


 

Why would I pick it up?

It’s a cool puzzle mystery. If you are interested in solving puzzles then this might be the book for you. πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

ARC Review | Scrapbook of the Dead by Mollie Cox Bryan

Scrapbook of the Dead

 

 

Title: Scrapbook of the Dead
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Craft & Hobbies
Publishing date: 29th September, 2015
Published by: Kensington
Pages: 304

My Rating: 4/5 stars Β 

*ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Halloween means spooky scrapbooks for the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop, but what’s been happening around town is truly frightening. First a dead woman is found in the freezer at Pamela’s Pie Palace, and the next day a second woman is found murdered by the river. Reporter Annie Chamovitz learns the victims were sisters and is certain their deaths are linked. Most bizarre of all, both women were found clutching scrapbook pages.

As their Saturday night crop quickly becomes an opportunity to puzzle out the murders, the ladies begin to wonder if Pamela is hiding more than her secret recipes for delicious pies–or if the crimes are related to the startling discovery that there are gangs in Cumberland Creek. As All Hallows Eve approaches, the crafty croppers must cut and paste the clues to unmask a deadly killer.

Includes tips and a glossary of terms for the modern scrapbooker!


 

My Take:

Screenshot_2015-09-29-00-40-14-1

This quoted paragraph is from almost the end of the book but I would like to begin my review with it. πŸ˜€ Scrapbooker’s group sounds so amazing. This makes me feel sad because if I ever suggested anything like this to any of the people I know they would just laugh in my face. It will be seen as a useless task- waste of time and waste of money. They would rather facebook stalk their crushes and exes than do something creative. πŸ˜› I will make it a point to find people who would be interested in this. πŸ˜€ This book has piqued my interest! πŸ˜€

The small town life seems so good, interactive, and peaceful. I would love to move temporarily to a small town to see if it is as good as my books depict. (People go from small town to big city and I am deciding on the opposite, great! πŸ˜› )

There were a lot of characters to keep up with but they added to the story just fine. πŸ˜€ As I got into the book I had no problem remembering them although I had to mentally relate them to each other. πŸ˜› There was some interesting set of characters. They make me want to read the rest of the books in the Cumberland Creek series.

The mystery was spot-on. It kept you guessing till the very end. Perfect suspects with good motives yet you couldn’t pin down even one of them but I got odd vibes from the killer from the time that person was introduced in the book.

I loved the simplicity of the book. The writing style was simple and hooking. The story flew by and the mystery kept your mind working. The interesting thing is all the information this book has, at the end of the book, on Scrapbooking.

Screenshot_2015-09-29-00-40-05-1

How well said this is!

 

Screenshot_2015-09-29-00-39-56-1

Screenshot_2015-09-29-00-39-45-1

Now, don’t we all hate math, I surely do. πŸ˜›
But that’s a great way of seeing it. πŸ˜›

 

I totally recommend reading this fast paced mystery. πŸ˜€


Why would I pick it up?

A fast-paced mystery with a wide assortment of characters with a cool hobby group? Yes please! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

ARC Review | White Horse in Winter by Franci McMohan

white horse in winter

 

Title: White Horse In Winter
Author: Franci McMahon
Genre: LGBTQIA, Mystery & Thrillers
Publishing date: 14th September , 2015
Published by: Bold Strokes Books, Inc
Pages: 240

My Rating: 4/5 stars Β 

 

 

*ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Montana rancher, Becky Miles (who decidedly drops the Becky part) is drawn into the snake pit of internalized homophobia when she travels to Vermont to find out if her gal, Jane Scott still loves her. Jane’s life is enmeshed by old guilt and compassion for Georgia, whose horse training business is tarnished by a tragic death in her barn. Miles has little patience for Georgia, a closeted lesbian who is desperate to pass among the upper crust of the horse show world. Neither Jane nor Miles has any idea, at first, just how desperate Georgia is to pass in the straight world.


 

My Take:

Before we get on with my take on this book. Let’s take a minute to appreciate the cover. Oh boy! The cover is spot on. ❀ The cover was the reason I decided to read it in the first place. (Yes, I am guilty. πŸ˜› ) All the white, the horse, the snow. ❀ The title and the cover are a match made in heaven. ❀ (Okay, back to normal. πŸ˜› )

Screenshot_2015-09-18-11-00-29-1

I enjoyed this book despite the rating I gave. To be honest, I love mystery but when other aspects of the book are ignored then I kind of get confused on what to rate the book. Should I give it a 4 star because it is a mystery book and that part was definitely good or should I not because the base, that is, Jane’s and Mile’s relationship that kickstarts the story didn’t appeal to me much.

But then, It’s the package that makes the deal, isn’t it? I didn’t read the book to separate awesome moments from not so awesome ones instead I read it for the sheer joy of reading it.

This book isn’t the find the culprit types. Here, we knew who the culprit was from the middle of the book. The problem here was pinning her to the crime and making her confess. According to me, the most difficult type of criminal is the one who in his/her mind did the right thing. The people who suffer from a psychological problem. There’s nothing more dangerous than human brain.

The culprit in this book is homophobic. Her homophobia makes her commit crimes as she thinks it is the only way to keep her life and pass off as straight.
Screenshot_2015-09-18-10-59-33-1
Screenshot_2015-09-18-11-00-09-2

Screenshot_2015-09-18-10-59-46-1

Our fears usually get the best of us. What’s important is to realize our fears and get a hold of them before they destroy you. Life this line says: “School in your feeling, girl. Don’t ever let them get the upper hand.”

The end was so unexpected. I could’ve never imagined one of them to die in the end. It was going so smooth one minute and when they thought they had the culprit pinned, the wheels turned.

Screenshot_2015-09-18-10-59-18-1Apart from the mystery there is so much to learn about horses.
Just like horses, terrified humans don’t make much sense either. When we are afraid we too tend to look for comfort in others.

As for the title goes. It is a perfect sum-up of the story. Which the author explains herself. Lies can hide till the circumstances allow them to, but in the end the truth comes out.Screenshot_2015-09-18-11-00-09-1


 

Why would I pick it up?

It is a perfect way to understand how our fears can turn us into the world of crime and destroy our lives as well as other’s too. Apart from the intelligence, it is a fast read to enjoy in between your work or before bed. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

ARC Review | Uneasy In New Orleans by Carol Carson

Uneasy in New Orleans

 

 

Title: Uneasy in New Orleans
Author: Carol Carson
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance
Publishing date: 1st September, 2015
My Rating: 2/5 stars (On second-thoughts, maybe 2.5)Β 

 

 

*ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

FINNIGAN JONES HAS A PASSION FOR COOKING AND A PENCHANT FOR TROUBLE
Dead bodies aren’t on Finn’s New Orleans walking tour of cemeteries and haunted houses. Ditto disappearing bodies. Now she has to explain to Detective Jack Boyle how her missing corpse has turned up in the Mississippi putting her smack-dab in the middle of a murder investigation.
Unfortunately, another of Finn’s odd jobs is taking questionable photos for Jack’s PI brother, Tommy. After she snaps shots of a dubious pair of lovebirds, they stalk her, then kidnap her. Now Finn’s dealing with two lunatics intent on killing her. Or driving her crazy. She’s not sure which.
Because lunatics and smokin’-hot brothers aren’t enough trouble, she’s gossiping, yes gossiping, with a chef ghost at culinary school, cat-sitting her aunt’s six felines and attempting to corral her wayward teenage sister.
All Finn wants is to survive school and become the best chef in the world but…
FINN’S LIFE IS ABOUT TO GET EVEN MORE COMPLICATED


My Take:

Umm… where do I start? I really wanted to like this book so much. The title somewhat had me intrigued from the time I got this book and was eager to read it. It stood out to me but it didn’t exactly stand up to my expectations. After finishing the book, I think the logical explanation might be because it ended up with a promise of a further series. The mystery remains unsolved or wait, was it solved? Uh-uh I can’t even determine that.

The book started out interesting. I always wanted to read a mystery novel where the main female protagonist is not from the FBI or CBI or Police or is a detective or a journalist or someone who has anything to do with the law enforcement and this book gave me a promise of that. Finn is a simple tour guide who is taking a culinary class secretly. She intends of keeping it a secret because she wants to prove that she is capable of something.

Here, comes the police and detective connections, the Boyle brothers, Jack Boyle being a detective and Tommy Boyle being a PI. Β She grew up with them and works part time with Tommy as a photographer was his firm which Jack had no idea of until all the mess happened.

Finn spots a dead body while on one of her tours, which starts the hay-fire in her life. She has to explain to Jack that she wasn’t wrong this time like she had been the other times when she claimed that she saw a body. Somebody had a habit of calling wolf. Quite naturally, Jack doesn’t believe her because the body’s disappeared but then he investigates the place after Finn mentions her being attacked when she went to check the body out.

Now she has to explain to Detective Jack Boyle how her missing corpse has turned up in the Mississippi putting her smack-dab in the middle of a murder investigation.

This part of the synopsis is half true, like, what I just said but that doesn’t throw her smack-dab in the middle of a murder investigation like the synopsis suggests. She is nowhere involved with the investigation. In fact I felt like the investigation part or the mystery solving part wasn’t the priority, the focus was completely on Finn rather than the mystery which is not what I root for in books under Mystery and Thriller category. As far as Romance is concerned, there is NO romance, unless you count the number of times her mind drifts back to her sex-less life as romance. Finn is attracted to every man- both the Boyle brothers are on her list, strangers and even the seventeen year old neighbor next door. She has to keep reminding herself that the boy is just 17 and she is 25.Β There’s a little jealous side to Jack almost towards the end but that is more mysterious than the mystery itself.

Her sister, Debbie, comes into picture which only adds up to the sex talk in the book. There are no graphic scenes to go by, just jokes related to sex and they are one too many. Her aunt Gert is always cruising to find love and Finn cat-sits Gert’s six cats while Gert is away, and her elder sister, Emmy, is mysteriously holidaying, nobody exactly knows where and shows up at the end to give the next book something more to discuss about.

The only character who was actually providing the book with humor was Tommy, though Finn’s mom, Gert and her sister Debbie add their little jokes but you can only have this much of jokes on people’s sex life in a mystery book.Β The book is trying to be everything- family drama, funny, mysterious, romantic and what not but just NOPE!Β 

I felt like the book tried too hard to be interesting but ended up just not being it. It is the type of book where you skip the middle and still don’t miss anything. There was so much happening that there was nothing happening.

The writing was okay, I thought things were sometimes described more than it was necessary, like, here’s an example-

Screenshot_2015-09-01-23-09-19-1

This would have been funny or okay depending on the situation but sometimes only one line is enough to tell what a character feels about something that isn’t that important to the story.

Finn sees a body, she is attacked, said Β body disappears, she is chased by lunatics, kidnapped by them, streetcars stops “because” of her, she is held up by FBI, she almost destroys her career and many more things that would give the complete story away so I am keeping myself from mentioning it.

After I sat down to write the review did I realize that it’s actually a start in a series. The name goes by- A Big Easy Mystery (Book #1) Umm…

The start was good but then the story kind of dragged, I think there was no need for a series, this book could have solved the mystery and it would have made the book great. Nevertheless, I am going to read the sequel when it comes out because the mystery isn’t solved, wait, is it? God!


Β Why would I pick it up?

Because I would like to know what the further books have to offer, if the mystery is more fast paced or not.

Get the book at: ||Β AmazonΒ ||Β Barnes & NoblesΒ ||