Wednesday, December 30, 2015

On the Black: Africa by Theo Cage

Ok, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I have read a couple of the author's books but I am not too keen on military type novels. Honestly, I was addicted from the beginning and now I want to read the first book in this series (?). The action is realistic and is well paced with more sedate sections of the book so the anticipation builds like crazy. I am impressed by how Theo Cage tackles the difficult subjects of government and individual corruption, child labor, extremist religious behavior among other topics. I get the sense he did a lot of research before writing this novel. The book is definitely readable, enjoyable, and (very important to me ) has characters that you learn to like and want to know more about. If you like military action novels......heck even if you don't then try this novel. I want to thank the author for allowing me to read this incredible book!

Five out of Five

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Man in the Monster: An Intimate Portrait of a Serial Killer by Martha Elliott

This is a very hard book to review because it is a very complex and emotional account of a friendship that developed between a journalist and a convicted serial killer. Martha Elliott was originally drawn to the case of Michael Ross because of his request to be executed so that the families of his victims would not have to suffer through another trial.
By the time she first interviewed Michael Ross, he had been taking medication to reduce his violent thoughts and fantasies so she met the man behind the monster. While she did develop a friendship with him over many years she never did forget the horrific crimes he committed. She is very good at conveying her feelings and dilemma as she tried to get to the bottom of why he did what he did and the reason why he wanted the death penalty. She also shows much sympathy for the families who lost their loved ones and is clear in that if he had done that to one of her children she would want to kill him.
What is clear from this book is that there needs to be a review of the legal system especially when the death penalty is involved and also the possibility of mental illness. It is also clear that serial killers cannot be put into one neat little box. The reason someone becomes a serial killer may be different than someone else. There are no neat answers here. The book has given me food for thought (I am undecided on the death penalty) and I never expected anyone to be able to develop a friendship with someone who could commit this type of crime (my own prejudice I had to face). All in all, I think anyone who is for/against/undecided on the death penalty should read this book. You can see both sides of this issue and the issue of how we deal with serial killers. I am still not sure how to feel about the ending of this book but then perhaps for such a serious topic that is fitting. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.

Four out of Five Stars

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Prince of Nightmares by John McNee

This book was definitely not what I expected at all. I thought it would be the usual haunted hotel novel but it has a new twist to it. Ballador Country House Hotel is not your typical hotel because it offers something no other hotel can offer: guaranteed nightmares.
Before she committed suicide, Victor Teversham's wife made a reservation for him at the hotel. Victor comes face to face with powerful supernatural forces and he finds himself the target.
I would love to read a prequel ( I don't want to give anything away) on the "history" of the hotel. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.

Four out of Five Stars

Saturday, December 19, 2015

After the Crash by Michel Bussi

What happens if one baby is the only survivor of a plane crash. The problem is that there were two babies so which baby survived? That is the crux of this wonderful mystery thriller. 
The writing is so involved and intricate and there are so many twists and turns that I kept staying up late at night because I could not put the book down. 
No one is as they seem to be and any assumption you make usually turns out to be wrong as you go on reading.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.

Four out of Five Stars

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hell bound by Andrew P. Weston

I received this book from the publishers via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.
I have to admit when I first started this book I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. A book about hell?....and the Reaper?.....a mystery to be solved? How on earth is the author going to pull this one off? Well, he managed it with flying colors with well written prose and much dry humor. 
The world he created is incredible and to be honest I was reading a bit at a time to make the book last longer.
The main character, Daemon Grim is "honored" with the task of being Satan's Reaper who gathers very bad souls from both Earth and Hell. After one particular gathering of very bad souls from earth, the Reaper returns to find out that one of the souls he was supposed to gather is missing. What follows is absolutely brilliant and hilarious at times. Something is afoot and it is up to the Reaper and assorted damned souls to track down an apparent conspiracy. I couldn't stop laughing at discovering some of the characters in this novel including the one and only Frederic Chopin, and Thomas Neil Cream as well as some famous mob bosses of the past.
I absolutely hated Satan's decision on the Reaper and Strawberry but then he IS Satan after all lol. Highly recommended.

Five out of Five Stars

True Crime Boxed Set: True Crime by Evil Killers Collection: Historical Serial Killers and Murderers by Jack Rosewood with an extra American History bonus by Dwayne Walker

I received a copy of this book from the author (thank you!) through LibraryThing for free in exchange for an honest review.
I have always been interested in true crime and the criminals who commit them (what makes them the way they are) and have read many true crime novels. I found this one to be well researched which is impressive considering the fact that the author discusses more than one serial killer. He also takes the time to discuss current theories on why and how these murderers become the way they are.
He also leaves a special bonus which may not appeal to those who only want to read about serial killers. It is a book by another author called "St. Clair's Defeat: The Indians Massacre of the American Army". It is written by Dwayne Walker. Everyone knows about Custer's Last Stand but this massacre seems to have been forgotten. I found it a very interesting and informative account.
All in all, I found this book to be a fast but informative read with special treats offered inside with other books.

Four out of Five Stars

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Northwoods by Bill Schweigart

Ok....I admit it. I am completely addicted to this series (I hope it is a continuing series)! This book is a second installment to Bill Schweigart's first book "The Beast of Barcroft" with the same premise and the same main characters: a group of diverse individuals investigate cases that seem out of the norm eg cryptozoological creatures (think X Files). 
There is so much information and lore about mythological creatures and a lot of blood and gore. What makes the book a winner for me is the way the author slowly draws out the personality and pasts of the main characters. It makes a nice balance between learning about these brave characters who I am coming to care for, and also the main story which is blood curdling horror. I also enjoyed how the author managed to introduce us to a new main character who I am looking forward to getting to know in future books. I was offered to read this book for free from the publishers (thank you!) via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Highly recommended!

Five out of Five Stars

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Colony by F.G. Cottam

This book was ok but didn't "do it" for me. There are others who I know will love it. The premise is great: a group of diverse individuals are sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance approximately 200 years ago of a colony of settlers on New Hope Island. I was distracted by too much time taken up developing the main characters who I still could not connect to, and also the constant switch from past to present with no warning. At times, I had to put the book down and leave it for awhile. I finished it mainly because I was intrigued by the story line. The book is very promising and I just wish that there could be a slight re write to make the book flow more easily.

Three out of Five Stars