Thursday, July 25, 2019

Review: Lies


T.M. Logan

Joe Lynch is on his way home when his four-year-old son, William, spots the car that belongs to his mother, Mel. Joe decides to follow Mel and surprise her. Only Joe is the one who is surprised to find her going to a hotel to meet a man they both know. Are they having an affair? When the man in question disappears, the police began to suspect that Joe might be involved. As the lie his wife told threatens to rip the family apart and destroy everything they've worked for Joe is determined to find this man, but that only pulls him deeper and deeper into a mystery that he can't solve. On top of it all, the lies keep on coming leaving Joe unsure who to trust.

I was immediately drawn into the story and the lives of the characters, which made this one wildly entertaining. Not only was the pacing and tension spot on in this book, but there were some great twists and turns as well as an ending I hadn't anticipated. If you are like me you will not be able to put this one down, it's that entertaining. This is an author I definitely want to read again.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Review: Too Close

Too Close

Too Close
Natalie Daniels

Emma Robinson is a forensic psychiatrist with a new case. Connie, her institutionalized patient, is suffering from amnesia. Emma must decide if Connie is fit to stand trial for a crime she committed but can't remember. And why can't she remember anything? Did her relationship with her best friend Ness leave her vulnerable and ready to snap? Were Connie and Ness too close to each other or is Emma the one getting too close to Connie as she tries to unravel the events that led to Connie's break down?
Too Close is a well written psychological drama with its share of twists and turns. And although I liked the story, I was somehow unable to develop real feelings for the characters. I'm not sure why this was the case because all the events that led to the dilemma of the main characters are laid out for the reader as the story unfolds. Nevertheless, it felt as if they were all too distant, which meant that I didn't have as much empathy for them as I would have liked. I did, however, think the second half of the story had a better pace and more tension, which made it worthwhile reading.

Thanks to Harper Collins for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Review: Heart of Barkness

Heart of Barkness (Chet and Bernie Mystery, #9)

Heart of Barkness
Spencer Quinn

Private Investigator Bernie Little is the owner of Little Detective Agency where he investigates cases with his partner, his dog Chet. In Heart of Barkness, Bernie and Chet set out to help Lotty Pilgrim, a musician who has fallen on hard times. When her manager/boyfriend Clint is killed, Lotty is arrested for the crime. Bernie is convinced that she didn't do it, but when she decides to confess to the crime, Bernie knows that he and Chet will have to delve deep into her past to find out who killed Clint and why.

This was my first time reading a Chet and Bernie mystery. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I didn't realize at first that the story would be told from Chet's point of view. Initially, I wasn't sure this was going to be a book for me, but the more I read, the more entertaining it was. By the end, I rather enjoyed and appreciated Chet's unique point of view. Seeing things from the dog's perspective was not only entertaining it highlighted areas that would have otherwise been missed, making this a very engaging story. Frankly, it was unlike anything I've read lately. I would, therefore, be open to reading another Chet and Bernie adventure.

Thanks to Forge Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Review: American Pop

American Pop

American Pop
Snowden Wright

American Pop follows the fortunes of the Forster family. A family who built an empire on the back of Pan Cola in Panola County, Mississippi. By looking back and forth at the different generations of the family, rise and fall from power and the decline of their fortunes, the author weaves a tale of southern intrigue. I especially liked the fact that he was able to bring the story right up to the end of the dynasty where a long lost member of the clan gets the chance to look back on what the previous members did and how they suffered a decline of fortunes both in terms of business and family.

Snowden Wright has a talent for capturing the essence of the south, it positively oozes off every page, like Spanish moss blowing in the wind. He is skilled at blending fact and fiction in a way that keeps readers glued to the page and invested in the story. Plus, his descriptions of people and places leave no doubt about his skill as an accomplished writer.

Thanks to William Morrow for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Review: My Pagan Ancestor Zuri

My Pagan Ancestor Zuri: A Parallel Journey: Christchurch to Stonehenge

My Pagan Ancestor Zuri
Ken West

By imagining how our ancestors lived back in the Neolithic period, the author follows the life of Zuri, a woman who leaves her hunting-gathering tribe to enter a farming community. Contrasting this ancient way of life is the author's current one in a city not so far from the famous site of Stonehenge, in Christchurch, England which makes for interesting reading. This book made me think about how our ancestors might have lived and how they adapted to the environment around them. I didn't know that much about the environment in Dorset before reading this, but it was interesting to learn that the coastal and riverine environment was likely what lead neolithic people to the site, much as it has led current residents who enjoy the climate and scenery. Of course, we can imagine that Zuri had more to do than enjoy the view. Life must have been hard for early man, who may have lived no longer than thirty years. And it is a pity that we know so little about them.

Who knows how much knowledge these people accumulated and transmitted to others in the area. By imagining how Zuri approached rituals, mythology, and everyday events, Mr. West makes the reader think more about early life in Dorset. For example, these people likely had a diet rich in marine life and later with the adaptation of farming practices, more primary forms of grains where included. This is in striking contrast to our overly processed diets of today. Plus, West suggests their diets might not have been as bland as we might imagine. It is also fascinating to think about the differences in things as simple as our eyesight. Until Mr. West pointed it out, I hadn't considered that those early humans may have been able to see more than us because they lived purely by the light of the sun and moon and spent much more time outdoors in total darkness than we ever do today.

Overall, this was a well written book, and more interesting than I had anticipated, making me think a lot about how our ancestors might have lived.

Thanks to Chronos Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.