Monday, February 19, 2018

This Fallen Prey

Title: This Fallen Prey
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Published: February 6th 2018 by Minotaur Books
Format: eBook, Hardcover, 368 pages
Genre: Suspense / Police Procedural
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Casey Duncan / Rockton #3

I will continue to say that the Casey Duncan series is underappreciated and deserves to have a larger following than it does. From the first chapter to the last of each book the reader has no idea where they are going. The stories turn back on themselves and since Kelley Armstrong has no qualms in killing off characters, in the end, you will have no idea who will be left standing and whom will make a sudden reappearance to throw your whole supposition off.

With enough money and the right contacts, a person can secrete themselves in Rockton, an untraceable and remote northern community designed as a sanctuary for victims to heal or to hide. With a three-person police force that is compelled to help, protect and to save, they are not prepared for what touches down on their airstrip. A bound and gagged Oliver Brady is dumped into their laps with a tidy sum and no other information. It is not until the gag comes off does the team realize that they are in trouble and there is no way to return their prisoner to the town down south where he belongs.

With an apparent poisoning and secured housing not available, Brady takes off into the forest filled with first settlers, hostiles, grizzlies, and apparently a sniper. The nagging question is – how did he get away? Does he have an ally within Rockton? A person that believes his farfetched story of being framed for his stepfather’s actions. Because Casey and Sheriff Dalton either are gluttons for punishment or have an unnatural need to protect people that do not deserve it, they trudge into the forest to rescue Brady from his own foolishness.

As I said, this story twists upon itself. Who exactly is the sniper aiming at since everyone in the search party is either shot at or killed and Armstrong slowly eliminates the possible leaving only the improbably and yet that doesn’t make much sense until it does. As Kelley Armstrong said,” It’s a puzzle of configuration, and each piece in it has two sides – guilt or innocence – and the meaning changes depending on which side I place up.” This is a perfect description of this book. “Two way of looking at everything, leading to two ways of investigating”.

By the end, your mind is swimming. This is a town where societally rules do not apply, but who needed to die? Did outside forces initiate this or did the town clean up a bad situation? Will Casey relent and let a top surgeon in to help one of their own if that means her own secrets can be revealed? Once again, I am not sure where Kelley Armstrong will go with Rockton, but this town and its inhabitants are nothing short of fascinating.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Case of the Deadly Doppelganger

Title: The Case of the Deadly Doppelganger
Author: Lucy Banks
Published: February 6th 2018 by Amberjack Publishing
Format: eBook, Paperback, 328 pages
Genre: Supernatural YA
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Dr Ribero's Agency of the Supernatural #2

After reading the first book in this series, “The Case of the Green-Dressed Ghost”, I was confused as to which genre this series belonged. I am glad to see that book two has slightly upped the game and though it is an easy read and in the upper reaches of young adult, I would no longer say that its audience is strictly YA.

Kester Lanner, and his talent as a door opener, is continuing to finding his way around his father’s agency and with funds almost non-existent, the group must take on a job with a rival agency to investigate why the seniors of Lyme Regis are dying peculiar deaths. Deaths that involve the victims crying out that they could see themselves right before they were “fetched”.

With four deaths in the last six months, Dr. Ribero’s agency must team with Larry Higgins, a sworn enemy, to solve this case of the “dopel meaning double and ganger meaning walker” before any more residents meet up with their spirit twin. It appears that the Ancient History Club should have just left things alone, yet they could not and because of this, their numbers are swiftly dwindling, leaving Dr. Ribero's Agency of the Supernatural to sort out this mess before the Ministry of the Supernatural shuts them down.

This series still wants to dip its toe in the “Harry Potter” realm with the School of Supernatural Further Education which reads more like an online university than Hogwarts, but the theory is the same where you can earn a BA in Spirit Intervention and Business Studies which according to his father will come in handy when Kester takes over the family, which really isn’t his family’s, business.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Beartown

Title: Beartown
Author: Fredrik Backman
Published: April 25th 2017 by Atria Books
Format: Hardcover, 418 pages
Genre: Fiction
Series: Beartown #1

I love how Fredrik Backman’s books can tie you to characters in a way that few authors can. How I can read this the same book twice in a row, ok maybe not the whole book just the last third so I can cement the ending in my mind, without feeling as if I am wasting my time or that I had missed something the first time around.

Imagine a town that takes on hockey the way Friday Night Lights took on football. Now picture the golden child of the team, and the town, accused of assault. Fredrik Backman exposes how a remote town will turn on one of its own to protect one of its own and where the pieces fall should not surprise anyone when those involved cannot see beyond its own lust for a championship.

Fredrik Backman throws all aspects of the human condition into this coming of age story. It is not just about the kids, the parents have their own parts in the failure and the judgments. They bicker and point fingers amongst themselves and it is no doubt why many of their children have ended up the way they have. There are the shining examples of good here, but they seem to be overshadowed by the evil that is prevailing when a title and bragging rights are on the line.

You will fall in love with the vulnerabilities of so many. You will audibly gasp “oh”, when certain realities are dawned, but for the most part, you will see every sports parent that you have ever met in one of the characters that Fredrik Backman lays bare. When I finished this book, I was not yet ready to let go of the town, its inhabitants, or its future so I was glad to see that there is a continuation of this story coming from Backman later this year. “Us Against You” will be released in June of 2018.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Perish

Title: Perish
Author: Lisa Black
Published: January 30th 2018 by Kensington
Format: eBook,320 pages
Genre: Police Procdural
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Gardiner and Renner #3

Lisa Black definitely does a deep dive into her subject, and to make it a little more interesting, throws a murder or three in, and then figures that she needs to tie everything up before her fans start to revolt. “Perish” is no different – only this time, it is in the financial world of home mortgages instead of the newspaper publishing world where her last set of bodies were found.

Ten years of crime scene work has given Maggie Gardener a unique view of the world. When called to process the body of Joanna Morehouse, her curiosity is piqued when she realizes that this woman is the CEO of Sterling Financial and has roughly $600m in her own personal bank account. Cleveland, Ohio is not usually a hot bed of murder yet each time a body shows up, her first thoughts go to Jack Renner, a homicide detective that holds Maggie’s secrets and in turn, she holds his. They are both walking a precarious tightrope that will result in each other’s demise.

Sterling Financial was a predatory lender with shady business practices. When homes are stolen and secret accounts are found, there is an endless stream of people, in both her office and the demonstrators at her front door that wanted Joanna dead. Yet there was something very personal in her killing and the deaths did not stop with her. Now three women in three days from Sterling are dead, all murdered the same way and all women have the same general appearance. Unfortunately, Maggie has the same look and Jack needs to get to her before the killer can strike again.

Lisa Black throws everything into the pot with this one and yet the ending comes up short. It reads as if the author was so determined to shine a bright light on the shenanigans of mortgage lenders that she had forgotten that there was a murderer at large and needed to hurry up and name a suspect that she had literally pulled out of thin air.