Book Review – Finding Joy by Laurie Woodward

Finding Joy by Laurie Woodward

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Bullied by her step-father and the kids at school, the peace-loving, hippie wannabe Joy Chappelle escapes her reality by getting high. When she attends a concert on her own far from home, her fantastic adventure turns into a frightening nightmare.

I enjoyed this coming-of-age story by Laurie Woodward. It is well written with good mix of characters to love and hate. I felt sorry for Joy and despised those who treated her like dirt. It was easy to get lost in the story and root for this teenaged underdog, hoping she’d come out stronger for all her tribulations.

This was a good story, but I did find the ending abrupt, and I wanted more. It feels like Joy’s story is to be continued, and I hope so. Because I’d like to know what happens next.




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Book Review Life of Evil by Robert Lalonde

Life of Evil by Robert Lalonde

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Samantha Blake has taken a job working for Private Investigator Frank Reeves. Though an office assistant, Sam dreams to be an investigator herself one day. And while most of the investigative work revolves around surveillance, Sam is happy her boss is giving her training in the field. But Sam will soon find herself caught up in something bigger and more dangerous than surveillance. When a serial killer decides to leave “trophies” of his victims at the office, Sam and Frank find themselves hunting a killer and hoping they’ll catch him before he kills again.

This is the second novel I’ve read by Robert Lalonde and it did not disappoint. Great descriptions made it easy to imagine the scenes depicted. Sam and Frank are well developed characters, with Sam’s abilities pleasantly surprising me. The antagonist in this novel is pure evil. The story had good pacing and had a satisfying ending.

Looking forward to reading more of the Reeves and Blake Novels.




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Black Rose by Pete Adams

Black Rose: A Midsummer Night’s Chutzpah by Pete Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Set in the 1960s in the East end of London, the rivalry between the Larkins and the Saints has been going on for decades. As these two crime families try to one-up each other, Chaz Larkin finds himself in the middle. Growing up with poor eyesight and a club foot, has made him the target of bullies not only from the Saints but even within his own family. All he wants is out, but will someone save him, or will he have to take matters into his own hands?

I really enjoyed this novel by Pete Adams, and I have to say, I learned a few new words too. The story is a combination of wit and seriousness. The action never stops and there are twists you won’t see coming.

I look forward to reading more in this series.




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Book Review – Shattered Lives by Sarah Stuart

Shattered Lives: A DCI Gerald Croft Thriller by Sarah Stuart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ralph Thyme has just found out he has an older sister, Olivia, who was adopted at birth. He hires a private investigator to track her down but not because he wants to have a relationship with her but because he wants to kill her. Afterall Olivia stands to inherit half of their grandmother’s fortune, and Ralph wants it all to himself. After killing the wrong Olivia, Ralph develops a taste for murder and rape.

Detective Croft has a mystery to solve as murdered and mutilated bodies lead him on the hunt to catch a serial killer. But will he discover who is behind these gruesome killings and will Ralph Thyme find and kill his sister?

Sarah Stuart pens an interesting tale in Shattered Lives. I enjoyed this book and with every murder, hoped Ralph Thyme would soon be caught. He is despicable, though there are a couple of other characters who, while they didn’t commit murder, were just as heinous. The author did a fine job sketching out these evil characters.

I did find that it’s not the sort of story where you want your mind to wander for even a second, especially during dialogue. There are no dialogue tags which sometimes lead me to rereading a sentence or two in order to understand who was speaking, which ultimately slowed the pace. I also found the use of single quotation marks to indicate dialogue difficult to spot, as it seemed to blend in with the text at times, and I really had to pay attention.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers, give this one a try. But be aware that this story does include detailed descriptions of murder and rape and also deals with the trauma of pedophilia, and may be triggering for some readers.




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Book Review – Duplicity by Jo Wilde

Duplicity by Jo Wilde

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Anna has left her abusive boyfriend in Texas and moved in with her older brother, Jeff, a doctor in New Orleans. He’ll take care of her and get her back on her feet, even if it means agreeing to see a therapist and going back to school. Jeff isn’t going to support her forever, and she wants to pay him back for everything he’s done. And then there’s Jeff’s friend, Ethan, who’s also a doctor. He’s charming, sweet and sexy, the only problem is Anna’s brother doesn’t want her to get involved with him, though Anna doesn’t think it would ever happen anyway. She’s too plain and uneducated. But as Anna eases into a fresh start, something strange is going on. Is there anyone she can trust? And worst of all can she trust her own eyes?

This book hooked me on the first page, and I found it difficult to put down. Even I didn’t know who Anna could trust. Turning the page was like turning a corner, you just never knew who might be lurking, friend or foe.

Duplicity is fast-paced and easy to read psychological thriller, with just enough detail to set the scenes. Great dialogue captures the individual personalities of the characters. I particularly enjoyed reading Franny’s dialogue, a minor yet fun character.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers, this is a good one.




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Book Review – Extreme Prejudice by Gordon Bickerstaff

Extreme Prejudice by Gordon Bickerstaff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Gordon Bickerstaff has done it again with this latest installment of The Lambeth Group Thrillers. This time the Lambeth Group, headed by Zoe Tampsin, is charged with the task of stopping suicide bombers. With the help of an informant, Zoe and her team track down the bombers, but something is amiss. Can Zoe trust the informant or is something else going on?

I’ve only read the last two books of the Lambeth Group Thrillers but will happily add the others to my TBR list. Bickerstaff’s great writing and attention to detail makes it easy to envision the scenes he depicts, and the characters are well written.

Extreme Prejudice is a thrilling story full of action, deception, and surprises. Spy thrillers aren’t a genre I read very often, but this author is making me a fan.





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Book Review – 133 Hours by Zach Abrams

133 Hours by Zach Abrams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Dazed and Confused, Briony makes her way through Glasgow Central Station and heads to work. Nothing makes sense. She soon learns she’s been missing for the last five and a half days, and worse she has no recollections of where she’s been or what’s happened.

Author Zach Abrams weaves quite a tale in this psychological thriller, and I enjoyed every minute of it. And while I had my suspicions as to whom the culprit might be, the reasons behind it all was a mystery. There are a few twists, and this page turner quite literally had me stunned with a jaw dropping revelation in the last chapters of the book.

This novel has all the mystery, gaslighting, and jealousy that great psychological thrillers should have. Don’t miss out on 133 Hours.




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Book Review – The Secret of Berry Brae Circle by E. M. McIntyre

The Secret of Berry Brae Circle by E.M. McIntyre

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The adventure continues when Abby, Rory, and Finlay return to her time after finding her mother and escaping the caves. When they go home, they find that Abby’s father is now missing and they are the only ones that can save him.

I enjoyed reading this second book of the trilogy. The characters are endearing and it’s fun to see Rory, a medieval teenager, learn about Abby’s present-day world. This is a great read for a YA audience (or anyone who likes to read YA). The story is well written and full of adventure with some interesting characters and twists. The world building is also well done, and I can easily picture the scenes in the book.

I look forward to reading the final book in the trilogy and to discovering the rest of the mystery surrounding Abby.




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A Second Chance to Get it Right by Ronald Bagliere

A Second Chance To Get It Right by Ronald Bagliere

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Alan wakes up in bed beside a woman–his wife. Funny thing is, he remembers dating her in college many years ago and that’s it. Now they’re married and have a six-year-old son, another mystery. To top it all off, he no longer looks like the 60-year-old man he remembers being. In fact, he’s a much younger version of himself. Can he learn from the mistakes of his past in this strange and altered reality?

A Second Chance to Get it Right is the fifth novel I’ve read by Author Ronald Bagliere. I truly enjoyed this story of Alan who is somehow getting a second chance at making the people he loves a priority. This tale runs the gamut of emotions. It’s funny, clever, tender and an overall joy to read. Bagliere knows how to take his readers on an intriguing journey and immerse them into his novels. A Second Chance to Get it Right is a satisfying read from beginning to end.



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Pheobe: The Flagstaff Reunion by Susan Wuthrich

PHOEBE The Flagstaff Reunion by Susan Wüthrich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Bullied most of her life, no one seemed to even notice, or care, when 16-year-old Pheobe disappeared after a party in 1966. But almost 20 years later, she has caught everyone’s attention when she shows up at their high school reunion. And while it seems Pheobe is out for revenge, the truth will soon be revealed.

This is the first book I’ve read from Author Susan Wüthrich, and it did not disappoint. The story caught my attention in the first chapter. While it takes place within two different time periods, it was easy to follow. Well-crafted, Wüthrich brings her characters to life in this intriguing mystery.




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