Book Review – Bad Rap by Robert Lalonde

Bad Rap: A Reeves & Blake Thriller by Robert Lalonde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Frank Reeves and Samantha Blake are hired by Raina Sanchez, the wife of rap star Bobby Sanchez a.k.a. Da Bess, who’s gone missing. Taking off on his own isn’t unusual but after ten days with no word, Raina is worried. Frank takes on the case, leaving Samantha to the research and interviews. Afterall, she’s not a private investigator yet, and last time they worked a big case, she almost got herself killed.

The missing persons cases soon turns into a murder mystery when Reeves finds Bobby’s body in a hotel room with his tongue cut out. Now Reeves has to find out who did it and why before the murder is pinned on someone else.

Bad Rap is the second book in the Reeves and Blake Thriller. Much like the first, there is plenty of intrigue and action throughout the story, though PI Reeves takes the lead in this novel. It’s well written and fast paced.

In the novel, Blake and Reeves are working on another case prior to being hired by Raina. There seems to be some loose ends to that part of the story though the case is mentioned in the epilogue. However, I feel like it might come up again in a subsequent book. I also felt like the ending was a bit rushed, in particular how Reeves came to the conclusion who the murderer was. Despite that, this is an enjoyable read, and I do recommend this book to mystery and thriller fans.

View all my reviews


Book Review – And Breathe by Leonora Meriel

And Breathe by Leonora Meriel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laeticia, Ivan, and Francis, three individuals unknown to each other, embark on a ten-day vipassana course in Thailand. Ten days of silent meditation to reflect on their lives and hopefully restore peace within themselves.

Leonora Meriel pens a different kind of story in, And Breathe. Each chapter is devoted to one character and invites the reader to get inside that particular character’s head as they work through the ten-days of meditation. Readers are taken on a guided tour of what the character is feeling as they focus on their breath and body. But it is when their mind wanders and they ruminate on their past does the reader learn what brought them to this silent retreat in the first place.

I enjoyed this well written and intelligent read. While there’s quite a bit of narration, the style works for this novel. There’s enough action within the character’s heads, as well as some outside, to move the story at a decent pace. And the ending was completely unsuspected.

View all my reviews

Book Review – Storm Dreamer by June V. Bourgo

Storm Dreamer by June V. Bourgo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The vivid nightmares that used to haunt Madie Hayes as a child have returned with a vengeance. But she’s determined to understand what they mean even if her stubbornness puts her in harms way.

Chelsea Grey is learning to trust again, and her rekindled relationship with her high-school sweetheart has moved to the next level. But an unexpected circumstance and her stubbornness threatens to alienate her from him at a time when she needs him most.

Storm Dreamer is the final book of The Crossing Trilogy. With new characters and old, this story did not disappoint. June V. Bourgo pens a wonderful story about two strong and independent women who find themselves in life-altering situations. Well written, this page turner leads to a satisfying ending.

While this book can definitely be read as a standalone, I recommend readers start with book 1 to get the full experience of this intriguing trilogy.

View all my reviews

Book Review – Heir of Ashes by Jins S. Bazzar

Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazzar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For a year, Roxanne Fausch has been in hiding. Moving from one place to another to keep the scientists who experimented on her preternatural abilities from finding her and locking her up again. As they draw close, Roxanne uses her abilities, ones she doesn’t fully understand, to fight them off. She has so many questions about her life. How could her mother have abandoned her at the facility? Why are they so interested in her powers? Who can she trust?

This is a fast past paranormal adventure story with a strong female protagonist and lots of surprises. Well written, the novel is action packed. Great world-building and strong characters make it an easy and fun read. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read paranormal novels.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews