Book Review: Red Agenda, by Cameron Poe

Red Agenda, by Cameron Poe

Red Agenda by Cameron Poe
Published by BookBaby on April 16, 2018
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, action, thriller
Format & Length: paperback, 434
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Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

The most sought after commodity in the world is power, and when money is no object, power is up for grabs. Desiring autonomy, one small nation develops an unlikely plan to procure a nuclear-powered submarine. If all goes as intended, the Middle East will destabilize and the OPEC Alliance will crumble. Yet as money might buy power, there’s no guarantee that it buys loyalty. So when the submarine breaks the ocean surface it doesn’t travel to the Middle East, it sails for Russia, in an attempt to return the nation to its Soviet roots. Alerted to the possibility of the theft of a Russian sub, the CIA must foil the plan for acquisition without alarming the rest of the world. A step behind and suffering from department infighting, the CIA watches in disbelief as the single most powerful weapon in the world rises from the ocean floor. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that the commander of the vessel has no intention of honoring his contract. Scrambling to prevent a world-wide disaster, CIA operatives in coordination with the US Navy launch a daring and risky plan to quietly thwart a rogue submarine captain before he can obliterate Moscow and take control of the country. Those who volunteer for this mission risk their lives. Those who don’t risk the safety of the entire world.

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Book Review: Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Published by Minotaur Books on June 12, 2018
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 320
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

“Jar of Hearts grabs you by the throat! The perfect blend of riveting characters, chilling details, and gasping twists in this standout thriller will keep you frantically reading until the explosive end.” – Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Right Behind You

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

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Mini reviews: Nonfiction – Hunger, by Roxane Gay & The Fact of a Body, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Mini reviews: Nonfiction

Happy Friday! Who else is ready for the weekend?

I’m excited to bring a new series of posts to you today in the form of mini reviews! These will include two to three books that are within the same genre or run along similar veins, and briefly sum up my thoughts on each book in just a short paragraph. It’s likely these will tend to be nonfiction books, but there may be some fiction sprinkled in as well. I hope to post at least one set of mini reviews each month, but it will just depend on how busy life is at the time and how many books I wind up reading.

Today I’ll be reviewing a couple of memoirs: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay; and The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. I listened to both of these on audiobook a few months back and was struck by the similarities despite the difference in their tone and content. Ready to see the reviews?

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Book Review: The House Swap, by Rebecca Fleet

The House Swap, by Rebecca Fleet

The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on May 22, 2018 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense
Format & Length: e-book, 320
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Be careful who you let in . . .

When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap–from their city flat to a townhouse in a leafy, upscale London suburb–they jump at the chance for a week away from home, their son, and the tensions that have pushed their marriage to the brink.

As the couple settles in, the old problems that permeate their marriage–his unhealthy behaviors, her indiscretions–start bubbling to the surface. But while they attempt to mend their relationship, their neighbor, an intense young woman, is showing a little too much interest in their activities.

Meanwhile, Caroline slowly begins to uncover some signs of life in the stark house–signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music might seem innocent to anyone else–but to her they are clues. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone who knows her, someone who knows the secrets she’s desperate to forget…

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Book Review: The Good Twin, by Marti Green

The Good Twin, by Marti Green

The Good Twin by Marti Green
Published by Thomas & Mercer on May 15, 2018 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense
Format & Length: e-book, 272
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

In Marti Green’s twisting novel of psychological suspense, twin sisters become engaged in a dangerous deception…

Mallory Holcolm is an unfulfilled waitress and aspiring artist living in a Queens boardinghouse when she learns something astonishing about her past: she has an identical twin sister named Charly she never knew existed.

Charly is a Princeton graduate, a respected gallery owner, and an heiress married to her handsome college sweetheart, Ben. Charly got everything she ever wanted. Everything Mallory wanted, too. And now it might be easier than Mallory ever imagined. Because Ben has reasons of his own for wanting to help her.

It begins with his startling proposal. All Mallory has to do is say yes.

But as their devious plan falls into place, piece by piece, Mallory learns more about her sister and herself than she ever meant to—a discovery that comes with an unexpected twist. A chilling deception is about to become a dangerous double cross. And it’s going to change the rules of Ben and Mallory’s game to the very end.

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Book Review: Workman’s Complication, by Rich Leder

Workman's Complication, by Rich Leder

Workman’s Complication by Rich Leder
Published by Rich Leder on September 7, 2014
Series: McCall & Company, #1
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, crime, mystery
Format & Length: e-book, 371
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Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Way Off Broadway Actress.
Murdered Private Eye Father.
New Day Job.

Off-off-off-off Broadway actress Kate McCall inherits her father’s New York private investigation business after he’s a whole lot of murdered in a life insurance company elevator.

A concrete-carrying, ballroom-dancing construction mule says he fell off the scaffolding and can never work—or dance—again, and then sues the contractor for a whole lot of money.

Kate assembles the eccentric tenants of her brownstone and her histrionic acting troupe to help her crack the cases, and they stir up a whole lot of trouble.

But not as much trouble as Kate, who sticks her nose in the middle of the multi-million-dollar life-insurance scam her father was investigating and gets a whole lot of arrested for murdering a medical examiner.

Will Kate bust the insurance scam, prove who really killed the examiner—and her father—and get out of jail in time to pull off the ballroom sting of the decade? She might, but it’s going to be a whole lot of hilarious.

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Book Review: It, by Stephen King

It, by Stephen King

It by Stephen King
Published by Scribner on July 1, 2017 (first published 1986)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, horror
Format & Length: hardcover, 1,156
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Soon to be a major motion picture—Stephen King’s terrifying, classic #1 New York Times bestseller, “a landmark in American literature” (Chicago Sun-Times)—about seven adults who return to their hometown to confront a nightmare they had first stumbled on as teenagers…an evil without a name: It.

Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.

Readers of Stephen King know that Derry, Maine, is a place with a deep, dark hold on the author. It reappears in many of his books, including Bag of BonesHearts in Atlantis, and 11/22/63. But it all starts with It.

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Like This? Try That! Indie Edition #1

Like this? Try that! Indie Edition

For this edition of Like this? Try that! I want to focus on some books that are independently published. To clarify, I am going to be talking about anything that is not published by one of the major publishing companies. So these will run the range from books that are self-published to those published by small presses. Today I have three indie book series to recommend based on popular book series in a range of genres.

Ready to see them?

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April Reading Recap

April Reading Recap

April was a whirlwind! Between starting out with snowstorms, tons of social obligations, and all the reading, it went by in such a blur I can barely even remember what happened. I did enjoy reading a nice variety of genres, from science fiction and fantasy to contemporary. And I’m still working on finishing IT (*insert sigh here*), but I’m so close to completing it and can’t wait to move on.

Let’s see the list now, shall we?

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Review: The Dragon’s Glare, by T.J. & M.L. Wolf

The Dragon's Glare, by T.J. & M.L. Wolf

The Dragon’s Glare by T.J. & M.L. Wolf
Published by CreateSpace on December 23, 2017
Series: The Survival Trilogy, #2
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, science fiction, suspense
Format & Length: paperback, 346
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at Amazon

In 2019, three years after recovery of a powerful Hopi artifact from a mystery cave in Arizona, Una Waters finds herself on special assignment from D.C. to Chinatown in New York City. Unexplained acts of violence, including a cyber breach at the NYPD threaten to disrupt the lives of immigrants, forcing military intervention from General Ashcroft, now with U.S. Cyber Security. When newshound and compadre Jack Howser arrives to investigate a reported UFO sighting, Una begins to realize an episode of “missing time” at the Chinese New Year’s parade may hold the answers. Finally, an out-of-this-world encounter confirms Una’s childhood beliefs in Sky People, hinting that our future lies in accepting the fact that we are not alone.

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