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Prior Bad Acts (Kovac and Liska #3) by Tami Hoag

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Prior Bad ActsAnother very interesting book by Tami Hoag. A mother is found murdered in the worst possible way and two children are also found hanging from a ceiling beam in the basement of a home. They were found by a man seeking refuge from a tremendous storm that was inundating the area.

The story then moves to a courtroom fifteen months later where Judge Carey Moore decides that she will not pass sentence on Karl Dahl, a drifter who was apprehended near the scene and arrested primarily because of prior bad acts even though none of them were extremely bad.

When Moore decides that she will not sentence him, many in and out of the courtroom are up in arms. The prosecuting attorney basically condemns her for not doing her duty. One particular police Detective, Stan Dempsey, really gets upset because he feels Moore has done this too often in the past and has not allowed good police work to be rewarded by stiff sentencing of criminals. Read the rest of this entry »

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The President is MissingTwo celebrated folks collaborating on a story about the possibility of a worldwide internet attack. In this lengthy tale President Duncan, the president of the United States, is faced with a possible cyber terror attack that will shut down not only the United States electronic systems in total but also do harm to several allied countries as well.

However President Duncan who is a highly decorated former soldier and as he has basically been contacted directly by one of the terrorists he decides to work through this pretty much by himself. He does not allow hardly anyone and especially the press know anything about the supposed attack. He handpicks six of his closest advisers and several high tech folks to work with him on figuring out how to do this work. Read the rest of this entry »

The Ridge by John Rector

Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

Megan began to wonder if she was losing her mind. Is everything real or just part of her imagination? Can she trust anyone is this town?

Megan and her husband Tyler move to Chicago where he has accepted a job at the Institute, a research center and must remain there at least for a year.

Megan is not very happy with the move and the strange neighborhood. She believes that one of the neighbors, Rachel Addison, is trying to steal her husband. When Megan confronts Rachel everything goes awry. There was a terrible accident and Megan believes Rachel is dead. When she tells Tyler what happened, he goes to Rachel’s house only to find her alive and well. Is Megan losing her mind? Read the rest of this entry »

Knife Creek (Mike Bowditch Mysteries) by Paul Doiron

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Knife CreekA very good crime story written by a new writer (to me) who has done an excellent job putting together this one.

Mike Bowditch, a Maine game warden who seems to always be a bit ahead of where his supervisors think he should be, gets off on a tangent. Though he is out trying to clear out some feral hogs who have decided to take up residence in his district, Mike discovers a reason to do some investigating.

What he finds is a dead baby in a shallow grave that appears to even have been partially at least nibbled at by the hogs. He notes that the baby is covered with a pink Red Sox shirt and immediately calls in his findings and forgets about the hogs. The first state patrol officer who comes to the scene is a young woman who had previously worked with Bowditch as a game warden. Pretty much against the wishes of their superiors these two decide to see what they can find out. When nothing else appears evident they split up and go about their other chores. Read the rest of this entry »

The Last Mrs. Parrish: A Novel by Liv Constantine

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Last Mrs. ParrishAt some time in your past, you probably have looked at a celebrity and imagined yourself as that celebrity. After awhile, most of us realize that no matter how hard we try, we just cannot become that person. Even with a makeover and dieting, it just will not work. You won’t become that person.

Amber Pattinson obsesses over Daphne Parrish. She sees Daphne as perfect. To Amber, Daphne is who she wants to become. The beautiful, blond socialite and philanthropist exists with designer clothes including jewelry, travels extensively in their private jet and has a nanny For her two supposedly perfect daughters. She even has a charismatically handsome husband who happens to own his real-estate company. Of course, the family lives in their elegant homes, complete with servants and everything a woman could buy or desire.

Amber can only find one imperfection in Daphne. Daphne’s sister passed away twenty-years ago from cystic fibrosis. In her honor, she created a charity for those suffering from the disease. However, she still misses her sister. Read the rest of this entry »

The Brethren by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The BrethrenThis is a really interesting story that basically has several stories going on at the same time. The Brethren are a group of three ex-judges who are currently serving time in a minimum federal security prison or camp which is meant for criminals who have committed nonviolent crimes basically against society. They have to be guarded and watched but it is a very low security atmosphere. One of the three had been convicted for tax evasion, one was a justice of the peace who was jailed for embezzling bingo profits, and one had killed two hikers in Yellowstone while he was driving drunk. They basically had jurisdiction over the other inmates in the prison camp as long as it was a crime dealing only with other prisoners.

But there status did allow them to have privileges such as mail in and out without anyone checking it. They were also allowed visits unhampered by their attorney who in fact became their errand boy as they used him in the scheme which they put together. He was happy with the overall arrangement because one of the three judges was a knowledgeable sports gambler and he was always giving the errand boy tips on games to bet with very good odds of winning. Read the rest of this entry »

After the Monsoon: An Ernst Grip Novel by Robert Karjel

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

After the MonsoonAfter the Monsoon is an engrossing, intense, and suspenseful multi-layered thriller set in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa. From the tension-filled opening chapter, to the escalating conflict, and the palpable sense of dread sustained throughout the story, readers will be kept on the edge of their seats until the final page. The tale includes a number of illegal activities, such as piracy, terrorism, money laundering, torture, and espionage. Readers get a close look into the inner workings of organizations in charge of preventing these nefarious activities.

Imagine your life changing dramatically in the blink of an eye. This is exactly what happens to a Swedish family sailing around the world when their boat is hijacked by Somalia pirates in the Indian Ocean. The family is held hostage on a remote island, and the pirates demand payment for their release. Living conditions are deplorable, and the family’s bad situation worsens when their son runs low on his antiseizure medication. How long can they survive their inhumane treatment? Will the ransom be paid? Is there any chance of rescue? Read the rest of this entry »

The October List by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The October ListI am a Deaver fan and read almost all of his books BUT this one is so completely different I am not sure what comes next. The story is a good one and I am sure if he had written it in the right order it still would be a top seller. I’m sure this is is a best seller for him but it is weird!

The first chapter is actually Chapter 36 and is the ending of the book! Yes, you read that correctly. Chapter 1 is actually at the back of the book and though it is the last chapter it is actually the beginning of the story!

In essence it is a story about a lady, Gabriela McNamara, (as she is known part of the time but uses aliases also) who is an undercover cop and at the same time she works as an undercover person for a big time criminal. Now the reader won’t know all of this right away as some of it comes out at the ending (or in Chapter 1 if you will at the end of the book). Read the rest of this entry »

The Victim’s Club (Kindle Single) by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Victim's ClubA different approach in some ways. Deaver has written this book as a Novella and it is very interesting though short.

Jon Avery is a detective working in Monroe County Sheriff’s office and is given a case to help out on as the primary detective is away for a few days. Avery begins his work when the state calls with some info the other detective had requested on one of her cases. It turns out that a burner phone was used to photograph a professor from the local college. The pictures showed the lady lying on a bench and pretty much undressed but also appeared to be asleep.

Avery knew of the college and that it was well known for its sports programs as well as quite a bit of partying. In discussing the event the other detective had found that Rose Taylor, the professor, had been at a party where she had one glass of wine and had started the second when she really felt wiped out so she had laid down on the bench. When she came to she noticed how her clothes were all messed up but instead of reporting to the police or anyone at the party she headed home. Read the rest of this entry »

The 17th Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The 17th SuspectI have to assume the title The 17th Suspect refers to this book’s place in a series of books by Patterson. Probably the 17th Women’s Murder Club novel since I know he has written a batch of them (usually with help and often with Maxine Patterson). There is nothing in this story about a bunch of murder suspects but there is lots of good reading.

It is two stories (kind of usual for the Murder Club series) in one of which Yuki Castellano, the Assistant District Attorney, is involved with attempting to find a woman guilty of (a) first raping a man while holding him captive and (b) of attempting to find her also guilty of shooting the same man in the leg.

The second story involving the second member of the Murder Club is about San Francisco Police Sergeant Lindsay Boxer as she not only is battling to find who is shooting vagrants and street people but also battling her own physical condition which appears to be deteriorating rapidly.

Both stories are well worth the reader’s attention as they unfold quickly and show how the in-side portion of the criminal justice system works but also shows how the “on the street” portion of the system plays out.

Yuki fought hard to get her case into Criminal Court and worked even harder to figure out what actually went on as two co-workers entwined themselves in not only sexual adventures but then it appears one of them took it even further. The female player supposedly tied up the male participant and raped him (while he unbeknownst to her recorded it all on tape.) He claims she raped him though they had been having sex for some time together willingly on both behalves. Read the rest of this entry »