Monday, October 17, 2016

Random Acts

Title: Random Acts
Author: R. A. Jance
Published: August 9th 2016 by Witness Impulse
Format: eBook; Pgs 112
Genre: Police Procedural
Series: Ali Reynolds #11.5; Joanna Brady #16.6

I was surprised that this was billed as both a Joanna Brady and Ali Reynolds novella since Ali plays such a small and insignificant part. Even Joanna had mentioned that it was strange how Ali had reached out to her when they barely knew each other.

Yet, reach out is exactly what Ali did when Joanna’s mother and stepfather are in a devastating accident and Ali, with High Noon Enterprises is there to run surveillance, that is after she questions who is going to pay for it, to capture the person that is responsible.

I guess J. A. Jance was trying to grab a larger audience by including Ali Reynolds, but there really was no benefit to that series with this novella.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Sinner

Title: The Sinner
Author: Amanda Stevens
Published: September 27th 2016 by Mira
Format: eBook, Paperback, 384 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Graveyard Queen #5

‘The Sinner’ was clearly worth the wait. It took me a couple of chapters to find the cadence that is very much an Amanda Stevens book, but once there, I could not put it down.

Book number five in the Graveyard Queen Series has Amelia Gray back doing what she loves. The restoration of graveyards is backbreaking work, but it a field that she has been drawn to. Maybe it is the history or maybe it is the unbound energy left behind by the dead, either way, she has taken a commission to restore the Seven Gates Cemetery in Ascension, South Carolina. What she did not expect was the discovery of a mortsafe and for that matter, a newly deceased young woman found trapped within. Mortsafes have a history dating back to an era when the wealthy could protect their recently deceased from grave robbers, but that is not the case here, there is something much darker occurring and once again Amelia is drawn into a murkier world, this one of transmigrated souls.

There are many layers and paths that have you not sure as to which way to turn. You will find yourself as untrusting as Amelia and just when you think that she has found peace, and you can catch your breath, you too are taken on the next turn of this rocky upheaval. Like me, you may have a struggle with the beginning of this book, but once you get to the midway point, it is a quick and scary ride to the end.

Monday, October 10, 2016

An Obvious Fact

Title: An Obvious Face
Author: Craig Johnson
Published: September 13th 2016 by Viking
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Genre: Police Procedural
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Group Viking for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Walt Longmire #12

Is Walt Longmire the Sherlock Homes of the west? I never really thought about it that way, but when you get to the section of this book where he describes abductive and deductive reasoning, you cannot help but to draw a parallel.

Walt and Henry Standing Bear arrive in Hulett, Wyoming, a town that is hosting 500 bikers for an annual rally so Henry can compete in the Jackpine Gypsie Hill Climb an event that he won years ago and would like another chance at. What he did not expect was to come face to face with Lola. Yes, that Lola, the one that he named his ’59 Thunderbird after, the person that he considers poison. What he was not prepared for was her son, Bodaway Torres. A young man that may or may not be his child and who is barely holding onto life in the ICU.

It is clear from the beginning that Bodaway’s crash was no accident and now the ATF is making their presence known. Since Bodaway’s motorcycle was not large enough to be carrying drugs, Walt is sure that it is the “F” part of that acronym that has everyone’s attention. The picture is not adding up until he finds a small plastic cube that had been hidden away and suddenly a clearer image is forming.

When an ATF agent is found with a bullet in his chest and a secretive bunker is discovered in the hills, Walt cannot let things slide. So with the help of Vic, Henry and a 250-lb ham loving dog, plus a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle to help them get into the trickier spots, you can image that thing will be whipped into shape quickly.

For the first half of this book, I was genuinely disappointed and wondered what was going on. I have loved Craig Johnson’s book, but this one seems to be starting slow and just staying there. Then you hit the middle of the book and every time you think that you have it figured out something worse comes along and complicates it even further.

Friday, October 7, 2016


Title: Vanish
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Published: August 29th 2006 by Ballantine Books
Format: Paperback, 401 pages
Genre: Police Procedural
Series: Rizzoli and Isles #5

Boston Medical Examiner Maura Isles is used to hearing her building making noises at night when everyone else is gone, what she did not expect was to find a corpse alive. Calling for an ambulance, this unknown woman is rushed to the hospital and thus begins a far-reaching investigation that has the reader not knowing for sure who the good guys and bad guys are.

Jane Rizzoli cannot be too far from both the crazy and the dangerous so during courtroom testimony a very pregnant and overdue Jane tackles a defendant thus conveniently breaking her water and necessitating her own trip to the emergency room.

Thus, the two stories converge.

Turns out the not quite dead woman, Olena, is now holding people in the emergency room hostage so she can tell her story of government contractors enslaving and murdering her friends. During the negotiations, Rizzoli’s husband FBI agent Gabriel Dean enters the picture. Turns out that the hostage takers will only speak with one person, a local writer that they had contact with in the past. This does not sit well with those in charge, but Gabriel does whatever it takes to keep Jane safe.

In an overkill maneuver, everyone but Jane and Gabriel are dead and when the federal agents swoop in and remove all the evidence, something does not feel right to these two well-trained agents. Within days of giving birth, Jane and her husband are on the trail of the real reason the federal government wanted Olena dead.

As I said, telling the good guys from the bad is a bit twisty and that will keep the reader engaged. The books are nothing like the television series and interplay between Rizzoli and Isles is minimal. There are parts that are unrealistic, but this is fiction and you have to give the writer some leeway. Overall, the further that I get into this series, the more that I am enjoying it.