Monday, April 3, 2017

It's Criminal!

Inspecting Crime

Meticulously detailed and realistic, Where There's a Will, is a terrific crime drama. Nate Stone is a dedicated inspector assigned to investigate a robbery at a festival. Could the fleeing robbers be guilty of a hit and run, as well? While questioning people about this crime, the daughter of an important businessman is kidnapped. Stone proves he and his team are up to the task as they are thrown into another investigation. AR Carver creates likable characters, from their habit of teasing a junior officer about his unfortunate name (Christian Gray) to the human side of Stone worrying about his sick grandmother. The book jumps to multiple points of view, but this adds to the kinetic movement of the plot. Police work can be long, boring, and tedious. Carver manages to make his policemen seem real and interesting enough to care about them, while they juggle cases in their busy world.

Hidden Crime

Piper Banion got the short straw in the lottery of life. Stuck with an abusive mother, who can find nothing redeemable in her hard-working, studious daughter, she manages to stay true to her own moral compass. Faced the knowledge her mother has done something horrible, she turns her in and her life changes direction. Piper becomes friends with the daughter of a wealthy couple. This propels her into the lap of luxury and perhaps the arms of her friend's handsome cousin. However, all is not what it seems and Piper will land in the middle of a serial killer's spree, leaving the reader to wonder if she will become the next victim. This is a book about choices and staying true to your sense of values. There are a few twists that make the book both interesting as well as a page turner.
Witness to Crime

My Life As I Knew It is a thriller about a young girl who witnesses the murder of her mother at the hands of her beloved stepfather. Her life spirals out of control with the aftermath of the murder and she decides to move to LA to be with her estranged father. In California, she struggles to build a new life, she meets friends and while she is haunted by her mother's murder, she finds security with her dad and contentment with a new boyfriend. The one thing she can't find is safety. Her stepfather has never been caught and the book is a slow build to a confrontation. The chilling conclusion was rapid as it was menacing. With a deft hand, she was able to distract me enough to wonder about motives of key characters and I wish that would have been played up some more.
Peri June captures Maggie's and her friends' personality's perfectly. She writes with a clear, crisp voice that kept me engaged with her characters.

Infamous Crime

A diary is found one hundred years after it was hidden by a group of four brothers. So begins the well-written and atmospheric mystery involving the infamous Jack the Ripper. The diary reveals the story of a young pathologist who suspects a colleague of being Jack the Ripper. The more he investigates, he realizes things are not what they seem an perhaps part of a much bigger picture he doesn't understand. Chilling and written in the style of the times, My Ripper Hunting Days will transport you to another time and the gripping story will keep you there.

Supernatural Crime
Girls For Spiders

One creepy read. Sisters Schyler and Mia are headed to their parent's isolated cabin to clean it out after the untimely death of their father. Schyler has many secrets. She's broken up with her strange spider-worshipping boyfriend. She has another secret that's eating at her too.
It all comes together in an explosion of horror and magic, nothing will be the same for the sisters.
Chilling and surreal this is a thinking book. What's real and what's fantasy? Is Schyler the real victim or is her sister part of her cunning agenda?

Poetry of Crime

Raw, and filled with pain Angel Chadwick writes from a bruised heart. Her evocative poems are short bursts of anger, a person victimized by things happening around her, the words ever so more meaningful because she is aware what is happening to her. Sometimes full of rage, other times, remorseful, the poems change from a slavish love to the outcry of an abused partner, both reflecting her comprehension that she is stuck, a prisoner to her feeling.
"I am Darkness and so is he
We are one in the same
Don't you see?"
She grows from victim to survivor with the wounds to show for it, with the poignant cry,"Should it hurt to love, to be loved?"
"Devout" is a brilliant observation about rejecting goodness, embracing the violence of darker side, knowing the pain will come rather than thinking things might be better in the light. Light, Chadwick states "Is the creeper It lies Weaves its spells Tells it's tale of healing..." Clearly, she feels safer with the reliability of the pain rather than the promise of peace, the disappointment when it fails to deliver. Darkness is "Faithful to the core I know it will hurt me, make me bleed more It has no qualms or scruples."
"The Quest" is filled with self-loathing, the hatred of being "Lost in the shadows with no place to run." Coupled with the brutal realization, "...I feel like I am obsessed to being in this life"
This was a brilliant collection, honest and pure, a reflection of different stages of life, of passion and pain, the words carefully weaving a spell on the reader, dragging them into the author's world.

Historical Crime
Davenport House

Mary Davenport is her father's favorite. Petted and indulged by him, she is beloved by everybody in the house except her mother and brother. She can't understand why her mother appears to resent her. Together the family lives a privileged lifestyle in their mansion Davenport house, surrounded by trusted servants and secrets.
Servants may seem to be invisible working to keep the great house running, however, they have a keen understanding of the dynamics of the family.
Tragedy strikes when Mary's father dies mysteriously making the upstairs life of the wealthy inhabitants collide with the downstairs servants, driving the family down a twisted path.
Simply written, Marie Silk draws a vivid picture of a different era, patiently recreating the glamor that hides a tarnished past. Mary may start the saga as a child but ends it as a woman. An entertaining read that's easy to spot the heroes from the villains. I read this book voluntarily. It was given to me by the author.

Tongue in Cheek Crime

Entertaining tongue in cheek story with all the elements of a good western, a dried up town, good townspeople, lawmen, s drifter with the ominous name of Bones Jones, a flashy talking con man type, and an army of undead zombies. Put the ingredients together and you have a bloody, bloody mess in the wild, wild west and a whole lotta fun.

Crime Family
The Medici: Power, Money, and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance

In depth book about the Medici's and their impact on the world. Author Paul Strathern demystifies each one of them, writing of each member of the illustrious family. Of Lorenzo her writes, "His sallow features were undeniably ugly, framed by lank centre-parted hair that fell to his shoulders; below his beetled brow his eyes were heavy-lidded, like his father's. He had an over-emphatic chin with a protruding lower lip, while his nose was broad and squashed, so much so that he literary had nor sense of smell-though this may have accounted for the precision with which he used his other senses, in aesthetic judgment and his poetry. HIs movements were clumsy, his figure tall and powerfully built, but ungainly; only his hands were long and delicate." In one paragraph, the author gives an insightful description more powerful than a portrait by a master. This is an insider's look at what made the family great, it's kin groomed and prepared through generations of education and preparation to reach the highest offices of the different kingdoms in the known world changing history forever.

South of the Border Crime

Not your everyday crime drama, Buried Ladies is diverse and thrilling, rich and exciting. Estella and Joan are neighbors and best friends. The action starts when Joan calls the police sure that Estella's been murdered by her husband. After all, there is blood on the rug and the body is missing. Joan knows something is wrong, and all the evidence points to her husband Jaime, an IT technician. Is she the victim of domestic crime, a pawn caught in the middle of the Mexican drug war, or has she become the latest statistic of women who are murdered by a serial killer? Hausman starts the book with a bang and never slows down, taking the reader on a wild zigzagging ride through dangerous territory. Just when you think you have the book figured out, she throws another surprise your way, making you read as quickly as you can to see where she's is going. Some of it is hard to read, there is rape and violence, but this is a crime drama filled with all the nefarious characters one associates with drug cartels, murder, and kidnapping.

Satisfying and different enough to tweak a reader's interests, Buried Ladies is crime drama at it's best.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

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