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Blood Relations by Edward Cohen and Kathy Cohen

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Blood RelationsA twisted legal thriller which satisfies with as much grit as it does with intrigue, Blood Relations by co-authors Kathy Cohen and Edward Cohen keeps you rapt and wound tight till its shocking ending.

Absolutely worth the read, this legal thriller brings readers to the hot and steamy locale of New Orleans, where behind the closed doors of the selective Cameron and Munger law firm, things turn out to be just as hot and even steamier. And when young Kyle Cameron accidentally discovers his father’s infidelitous relationship with sexy femme fatale co-worker, lawyer Laura Niles, he aims to entice his father’s love interest away. However, things take a turn for the horrific when Laura Niles is found murdered and Jake –Kyle’s father–winds up in the center of a circumstantial whirlwind of evidence that could destroy his career, marriage and even his life. Facing jail or execution, Jake has no choice but to trust his ne’er-do-well son and lawyer, Kyle, trying the case that would make or break him. Read the rest of this entry »

Let These Bones Live Again (A Christopher Worthy/Father Fortis Mystery) (Volume 3) by David Carlson

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Let These Bones Live AgainAllyson Worthy is a criminology student is finally checking off a major item on her bucket list: visiting the city of Venice, Italy. She’s obtained an internship with the Venice police to help catalog non-violent crimes against foreigners. However, when she gets there, her assignment changes to one of investigating some mysterious deaths. Simultaneously, family friend Father Nicholas Fortis has been asked by the Vatican to help investigate the theft of relics from Venetian churches. Neither one knows that their two separate investigations will soon collide. Read the rest of this entry »

House of Rose (A Magic City Story Book 1) by T.J. Thorne

Reviewed by Ed Kelly

House of RoseHouse of Rose is a genre–bending novel–part police procedural, part romance, part mystery, and part witch/magic story. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep storylines straight, but for those who like multi dimensional tales, this book fits the bill.

As the plot is complicated, the characters seem less so, except for the main character, Rose. Rose is a new graduate of the Birmingham, Alabama Police Academy, a rookie cop. She has a lonely past: she was orphaned by the violent death of her entire family, mother, father, and sister. She alone escapes the deadly fire, which we come to find out was arson. Rose was placed in an orphanage and adopted by a loving family, but it was not her family.

While she is good looking, Rose does nothing to enhance her beauty; she constantly wears jeans and tee shirts to deflect attention from herself. She’s standoffish, not social, has no friends, and has little interest in men, at least up to the present time. Rose is a definite loner. Sometimes it is difficult to appreciate Rose as she treats people roughly, because of her lack of social grace and skill. Read the rest of this entry »

The Frame-Up (The Golden Arrow Mysteries) by Meghan Scott Molin

Reviewed by Ed Kelly

The Frame-UpFor readers of Stephanie Plum, the character of MG (Michael-Grace), is the perfect sister. But MG is light years from Steph in geekhood, she is the queen of nerdiness, bar none. This novel is not just for geeks and nerds, it’s also for those of us who nothing about them and their culture. Given the strength of MG’s character and by seeing everything through her eyes, MG will guide us through all the curves and tunnels of this alien world. Granted you’ll have to google a few items (Assassin’s Creed, Jigglypuff, for example), but you’ll grow to trust MG as your guide.

Who is MG? She’s a law school dropout, against her parent’s wishes. MG rebelled even further from her parents (and everyone else from the non-nerd world) and became a comic story writer, comic book illustrator, and a costume designer. Her hair has been many colors: blue, violet, green, orange, and other colors as well. Her love for the nerd culture has been her life as can be seen in the following bio bit: “The comic book store I worked in when I turned sixteen was the first places that had ever felt like home. . . .I loved the stack of adventures waiting to be read and the conversation about Falcon and Swish I had with customers. . . .” And she’s managed to work in that world for ten years successfully. Read the rest of this entry »

Holy Ghost (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford

Holy GhostWheatfield, Minnesota is hardly the place that you would expect a very interesting murder mystery to be written about. But that is exactly where John Sandford put Virgil Flowers to solve his next case. Seems as though someone has decided to shoot a long range rife at folks and in so doing several people have been wounded as they stood around the town center watching an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Some folks are not happy with the arrival of the apparition but others believe not only is it a good sign for their religion but it also is giving the town a boost as far as tourism, etc.

Once Virgil gets to town he gets pretty well introduced to all the main players in the town. Seems as though two guys, Skinner and Holland, own the most important place called Skinner & Holland, Eats & Souvenirs. Holland is also the mayor and though Skinner is just seventeen it appears he is an important person in the town (and with the ladies) mainly because of his intelligence which is extremely high. Read the rest of this entry »

The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Midnight LineJack Reacher, the former West Pointer and retired MP Major, Is off on another of his journeys. Since retiring from the service Reacher and his toothbrush have traveled all over the United States and he isn’t done yet. Yes that is right about his toothbrush. That is all he carries with him. He has no mechanical means of transportation like an automobile, no suitcase because he carries no clothes, and no, not even a telephone. It is just him and his toothbrush. Oh I almost forgot. He does carry a wallet so he can go to a bank on occasion and get a few dollars to spend. But other than that nothing!

He basically travels by use of his feet or a bus or his thumb. He normally walks or hitchhikes wherever he goes. And he does travel both north and south across the United States. This time after he left Milwaukee by bus he had gotten off at a rest stop and was just walking around when he passed a pawn shop. In the window was a class ring from West Point Class 2005. He was especially caught by the size because it was very small. When the proprietor at first declines to give him immediate information as to who left the ring, Reacher abruptly tells the bus driver to go on as he is going to dig deeper into this anomaly. Read the rest of this entry »

Fractured by Karin Slaughter

Reviewed by Allen Hott

FracturedQuite a story that illustrates not only how cops work but also how criminal minds work while they are plotting some of the terrible crimes that they perpetrate.

It begins with the Campano family being pretty well torn apart when the mother comes upon a crime scene and sees what she believes to be her daughter, Emma, in a horrible condition with a young man hovering over the girl. The mother, with tremendous force powered by her feelings for her daughter, overtakes the man and stabs him to death.

When the police come on the scene they find that the girl was not her daughter and the man was not the assailant! It turns out that the young man was a boyfriend of her daughter. He had earlier come into the house looking for the daughter, his girlfriend. Read the rest of this entry »

Game Piece by Alan Brenham

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Game PieceGame Piece is a gripping and heart-pounding thriller, which keeps readers glued to the pages right through to a spine-chilling conclusion. Short chapters give a fast-moving rhythm to the story line and add more excitement to this crime thriller without it feeling choppy or fragmented.

Barry Marshall, a police detective in Temple, Texas, is a self-described workaholic. When Marshall checks out an anonymous lead involving one of his open cases, he discovers a gruesome murder scene. This is only the beginning of a string of murders committed by a killer who appears to have a personal vendetta against Marshall for some inscrutable reason. The two men engage in a deadly cat-and-mouse game. As the game progresses, the stakes escalate for Barry with an unanticipated effect on his career and family. Can Barry end the perpetrator’s reign of terror before his convoluted scheme succeeds?

Trepidation and conflict have been ramped up by Alan Brenham’s excellent handling of not only the multiple points of view but also the transitions between point of view characters. The majority of the story is told from Barry’s viewpoint. However, the third-person point of view provides an added dimension to the story allowing readers to understand the thoughts and motivations of other characters who play an important role. Read the rest of this entry »

River Bodies by Karen Katchur

Reviewed by Vickie Dailey

River BodiesWhile this is considered a thriller – it has great elements but misses the mark. While crimes were committed, why were they committed? How can an entire town be oblivious to what is going on. There were a lot of allusions to a cover-up but no reason as to why. Read the rest of this entry »

The Christmas Scorpion: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Kindle Version)

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Christmas ScorpionA very different approach this time by Lee Child as he puts Jack Reacher, everybody’s favorite, in a short story! Much of the concept is typical however as Reacher is heading south (as usual) to be warm for the winter. Strangely enough though, it doesn’t work out that way as the small south California town gets hit with a tremendous snow storm. And that storm forces Reacher to finally seek shelter in a very lonely bar/restaurant where only the owner and two other couples are staying…..also trying to stay warm and out of the snow.

And this is where Child starts building his story. It seems one of the couples explain to Reacher that they are Royal Military Police and they were on their way to the nearby military base (where Reacher had been stationed at one time as a Military Policeman). They were part of a group that not only included a very higher-up in English politics but some other very important people from the United States. The snowstorm had torn up their automobile caravan leaving them far behind the others in the group.

They ask Reacher to use his knowledge and possible contacts at the base to get them assistance and find out if the others in their group had arrived. Right after this discussion started the gentleman from the other couple came over and asked if they could please be considered part of the group so that they could somehow get out of the storm. Read the rest of this entry »