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Second Watch (J. P. Beaumont Novels) by J.A. Jance

Second Watch Reviewed by Allen Hott

This lady can write (and has been doing so for a number of years and many books) and for some reason I have missed out on her endeavors. But no longer! Second Watch is a very intriguing story that moves along so fast that the reader doesn’t realize how quickly he has moved through it. Jance uses a lot of dialogue and narrator thought processes which are spelled out to move the story along.

J.P. Beaumont (Beau as he has been known for a long time) has just had his knees replaced and he is pretty much confined through much of the story. Strangely enough the main part of the storyline comes about because of dreams that he visualizes while under drugs for his surgery and the immediate time right after it.

He pictures a young girl standing by his bedside and can’t figure out who she is immediately. But she appears only to him, no one else sees her. On her second or third visit she talks to him and tells him she is Monica Wellington. She says that he promised her mother that he would find out who killed her and put her in a partially filled grease barrel. Read the rest of this entry »

The Ophelia Cut by John Lescroart

The Ophelia Cut Reviewed by Allen Hott

An interesting though somewhat cumbersome read. The Ophelia Cut begins with a hired assassin killing someone but then he is caught. However the killing is kind of involved because the cops are working on breaking up a large gang and this victim was one of the gang’s targets. Also since the assassin is a police officer (took up killing for the gang on the side) the authorities do not want to put him in jail nor do they want him around where the gang can find him. They plan to use him as a witness against the gang at a later time so they send him off under the witness protection plan with the idea of bringing him back later.

Tony (his new name) ends up in San Francisco where he becomes friends with first off a lawyer, who also owns a bar, and then with all of the friends of the lawyer. This group of friends including Dismas Hardy, the lawyer, was involved in a strange escapade of their own some years back and is afraid that the story of that will someday come out. The group is made up mainly of police type folks and lawyers. However one of the group, Moses McGuire (who is Hardy’s brother-in-law), is feeling very anxious over their problem from the past and since he is a recovering alcoholic the entire group are concerned that he will not only fall from the wagon but on the way down begin to tell the tale of their past. Read the rest of this entry »

Sleep No More by Jeff Gulvin

Sleep No More Reviewed by Gina Metz

Sleep No More introduces us to Detective Chief Inspector Aden Vanner. Vanner has been investigating a series of murders committed by a killer, known as The Watchman, for four years with no leads. When Vanner snaps and beats a prisoner he is suspended from the police force.

Superintendent Morrison of the Complaints Investigation Bureau begins an investigation of Vanner after the beating. A psychologist who has profiled the Watchman for the police believes the Watchman has a military background or is a police officer. Soon Morrison begins to believe that Vanner may be the Watchman since he seems to fit the profile and there are no other leads. Now it is up to Vanner to catch the Watchman in order to clear his own name. Read the rest of this entry »

Force of Nature (A Joe Pickett Novel) by C.J. Box

Force of NatureReviewed by Allen Hott

Don’t spill the beans! All of us have been told that for years. Well, in Force of Nature C. J. Box does exactly that! After several books telling about Joe Pickett, the Wyoming game warden/ranger and his friendship with Nate Romanowski, Mr. Box tells exactly what the story behind Nate is. Early on Nate moved into the area and became close friends with Joe but others always felt that Nate had a questionable background. He lived all alone out in the woods although he did show up with a girlfriend in one story. But she didn’t last very long as someone who appeared to be hunting for Nate shot and killed the lady by mistake. Other than that Nate kept everything to himself and Joe was always careful in what he told Nate and who he discussed Nate with during his travels around Wyoming.

Force of Nature begins with a fly-fisherman getting bumped by a drift boat as he fished a stream. The boat appeared empty until he pushed it to the side and saw three lifeless bodies and quite a bit of blood. He contacted authorities and reported the find.

Somewhere shortly before that occurred Nate, an accomplished falconer, had been working in the fields with one of his falcons. But he had been interrupted by a boat with three local men who began a conversation with him that turned into a very different situation. And after that happened Nate knowing what would come next began his departure not only to get away from the trouble here but to try and figure what he would do about what else was about to happen. Read the rest of this entry »

Stay Close by Harlan Coben

Stay Close Reviewed by Allen Hott

There is no doubt that Harlan Coben is one of the top suspense writers of our times and Stay Close is another of his really great books. He is able to take ordinary people in ordinary situations and then build a story that is full of intrigue and suspense. His characters are believable, his descriptions are right on, and the dialogue keeps the story moving at a great pace.

In this one a typical housewife with two kids and a husband has never really disclosed to anyone some of the happenings in her past. And as the story progresses the reader understands why and even agrees with Megan as she goes about her normal suburban life. But the problems begin when she begins to fixate on some happening long ago.

At the same time in Atlantic City there is a photographer who is barely eking out a living by shooting fake paparazzi type photos for rich kids to act out their dreams as celebrities. In truth Ray is a truly fine photographer who should be doing what he did in an earlier day. At one time he was a well-known and renowned photographer who traveled the world doing photos for international news organizations. His drinking and lifestyle have not really altered his expertise but he also seems to spend a lot of time reminiscing at least in his mind. Read the rest of this entry »

When the Past Haunts You (Harry Bronson Mysteries) by L. C. Hayden

Whenn the Past Haunts YouReviewed by Patricia Reid

It would be difficult to find a happier married couple than Harry and Carol Bronson. Harry is retired from the Dallas police department and enjoys traveling with Carol. Harry has been involved in a number of mysteries in spite of the fact that he is retired.

Carol Bronson would be the first to tell you that there are no secrets between her and Harry. However, Carol is going to find out that this statement is not entirely accurate. Harry has a huge secret that he has never discussed with his wife. This secret is a sister that he has pushed to the back of his mind and never mentioned her existence to his wife.

Lorraine, Harry’s sister, had a terrible fight with Harry’s parents. She immediately left home and Harry had no further contact with her until recently when she began calling him. Lorraine begs Harry to come to Pennsylvania and meet with her. Harry finally agrees and they meet in a state park that had been a location for good childhood memories for both brother and sister. However, before the two had a chance to reconnect Lorraine was shot and killed right in front of Harry and there was not one thing Harry could do to save her life. Read the rest of this entry »

Bleeding Through by Sandra Parshall (Review #2)

Bleeding Through by Sandra ParshallReviewed by Patricia Reid

Rachel and Deputy Chief Tom Bridger are living together and life has settled down into a satisfying routine, Rachel’s sister, Michelle, fears she is being stalked. Michelle hopes that her stay with Rachel and Tom will discourage the stalker. This is the first time that Michelle has visited and Rachel is on edge about the visit and Michelle meeting Tom. Rachel and Michelle also have past issues that they have never satisfactorily worked out. Michellel’s visit gives the two sisters the perfect opportunity to solve past issues and to grow closer.

Rachel and Tom are supervising a group of teenagers cleaning up litter on a Mason County, Virginia highway when they discover the body of a young woman wrapped in plastic. Sadly, the sister of the woman is one of the teenagers on the clean-up crew and the teenager sees the body before Rachel or Tom can pull her away. Read the rest of this entry »

Bonnie by Iris Johansen

Bonnie Reviewed by Allen Hott

Bonnie is quite a story. Not being a great believer in ghosts or the idea of seeing someone sit and talk with me after their death made it a bit hard to accept. However the book is so well written with a storyline that is moving throughout and actually right up to the final page.

Eve Duncan was completely wrapped up in her illegitimate baby .Eve worshiped Bonnie and spent as much time as possible with her daughter. So the tremendous shock to Eve’s system was easy to understand when Bonnie suddenly went missing while the two were in the park on a summer day.

Over the years Eve’s life went on but she never gave up on finding Bonnie’s body and her killer. She developed her skills through training and is accepted as one of the country’s best reconstruction artists. Because of her ability she has many friends in police work all over the country. Her long term relationship with Joe Quinn, a police detective has also kept her in touch with law enforcement.

One of her best friends is an FBI agent named Catherine Ling. Catherine is a top flight missing person’s investigator who comes into play helping Eve search for Bonnie. Not only Catherine and Joe are involved in the latest search but John Gallo, Bonnie’s father also comes into the picture. Gallo had been missing for some time. Gallo had gotten involved shortly after the Korean War with some Army Intelligence officers who used him to get some documents they were stealing. He had been arrested but then later escaped from a Korean prison loaded with many mental problems. Read the rest of this entry »

Say You’re Sorry by Michael Robotham

Say You're Sorry Reviewed by Patricia Reid

Say You’re Sorry is a gripping story of two young girls who became known to the public as the “Bingham Girls”. Bingham is a small English village and the girls had attended a local funfair the night of their disappearance. There are rumors that Piper Hadley and Tash McBain ran away. Although hundreds of people were searching for Piper and Tash it seemed as though the girls just vanished into thin air. Eventually the public eye moved on to other news.

Piper Hadley tells the girls’ side of the story. Piper reveals to the reader the horrors faced by the two girls, as they are held captive in an unknown location. The horrors suffered by the girls are so bad it is a wonder that they were able to hold onto their sanity. They are convinced that working together at least one of the girls can escape and bring help back for the one left behind.

Three years later, after a blizzard hits the town, a husband and wife are found murdered in a farmhouse. The farmhouse is where Tash McBain had lived at the time of her disappearance. Her family had moved away and the murder victims had no connection to Tash other than the fact that they lived in Tash’s former home. Read the rest of this entry »

Just Add Salt Book 2 (Hetta Coffey Series) Jinx Schwartz

Just Add Salt by Jinx SchwartzReviewed by Teri Davis

Some people seem to attract trouble like Hetta Coffey. It also might be that Hetta is the type of person who jumps into the water and then asks about its depth. Added to that, she can’t swim.

Living on a yacht definitely requires a different lifestyle. Since she no longer has a land-based house, all of her life encompasses her boat. Being the she is an engineer who is contracted to work in various places, her boat or house, goes wherever she is needed. With her love, Jenks, currently in the Middle East, Hetta takes off for Mexico with her best friend, Jan, and a mysterious, but conveniently cheap captain to pilot the boat.

The more Hetta discovers about her new temporary job, the more she questions whether this job is legal or ethical. A particular Japanese company wants to buy land in Baja to develop into a desalinization plant which also seems to be involved with some poaching of whales. Hetta’s job is to plan their supplies and needs to complete their project. Jan accompanies Hetta as a marine biologist who is really a companion and friend with no qualifications.

Just Add Salt is the second book in the Hetta Coffey series which now includes four novels. Just Add Water is the first book in this series which is wonderful with the character develop of Hetta and her friends. This second book in this series could be difficult to understand if someone does not have this background of the characters. Read the rest of this entry »