Win the August ’18 bookshelf of signed thrillers!

August 1, 2018

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Welcome to the August bookshelf of signed thrillers! Lots of terrific books to win this month from bestsellers to debuts. More books may be added throughout the month, so check back often.

To enter, go to the Win Books page.

Best of luck!

PIECES OF HER by Karin Slaughter:  The daughter of a woman who has wanted nothing more than a quiet life in her small beachside home embarks on a desperate search for answers when she discovers the explosive truth about her mother’s true identity.

SPYMASTER by Brad Thor: When a secret organization begins attacking diplomats throughout Europe at the same time a foreign ally demands the identity of a highly placed covert asset, counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath works without his mentor to prevent an all-out war.

TAILSPIN by Sandra Brown: Hired to deliver a mysterious box to a fogbound Georgia town, daredevil pilot Rye Mallett is targeted by saboteurs and law enforcement before teaming up with an attractive but suspicious doctor to determine the box’s significance.

SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER by David Bell: When Michael Frazier’s ex-wife, Erica, shows up on his doorstep, saying her ten-year-old daughter is missing–and he is the father–Michael, despite his skepticism about being the father, follows the elusive trail of the child he has always wanted.

AN UNWANTED GUEST by Shari Lapena: Weathering a storm that has cut them off from the outside world, the guests at a Catskills skiing lodge panic as an unknown assailant starts killing them off one by one.

OUR HOUSE by Louise Candlish:  Arriving home to find strangers moving into the prized family home she agreed to share with her ex, Fiona endures a domino effect of horrors as she discovers that her children have gone missing amid terrible revelations.

SEE ALL THE STARS by Kit Frick:  We Were Liars meets Goodbye Days in this debut YA—part love story, part suspenseful thriller— that asks: What happened thento make Ellory so broken now?

SUFFER THE CHILDREN by Lisa Black:  Cleveland forensics expert Maggie Gardiner and her partner, Jack Renner, investigate after two young people turn up dead at a secure facility for juvenile offenders.

A DARK PATH by Robert E. Dunn:  Sheriff’s detective Katrina “Hurricane” Williams confronts deep-rooted hate and greed in the Missouri Ozarks in this riveting police procedural.

HOLLYWOOD ENDING by Kellye Garrett:  When publicist Lyla Davis is killed in what appears to be botched ATM robbery, actress-turned-private-investigator Dayna Anderson infiltrates Hollywood celebrity circles to ferret out the truth

WITHOUT FEAR by Col. David Hunt and R. J. Pineiro:  A team of CIA contractors chase down a tactical nuclear weapon discovered by the Taliban in Kandahar while Russian Spetsnaz and Israeli Mossad agents trigger chaos and confusion, in the second installment of the series following Without Mercy.

A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS by Linwood Barclay: Battling PTSD and depression after an accidental stumble into a murder scene, a college professor begins writing his novel on a vintage typewriter that he comes to believe is possessed and somehow linked to the crime he survived.

THE MOSCOW OFFENSIVE by Dale Brown: When the President of Russia secretly buys an air freight company to transport dangerous cargo to the United States, Brad McLanahan and the heroes of the Iron Wolf Squadron join forces with the new Alliance of Free Nations in Eastern Europe to stop the imminent attack.


You can win autographed copies of these books! If you are new to the site, each month I run a contest in conjunction with the International Thriller Writers organization. We put together a list of books from debut authors to bestsellers, so you can win some of your favorites and find some new favorites.

What makes this contest really special is that all of the books (except eBooks) are signed by the author! Books with multiple authors will be signed by at least one of the authors.

Penguin Random House books for giveaway were provided by the publisher. #PRHpartner

Don’t forget, if you subscribe to the newsletter or follow this blog, you get an extra entry into every contest you enter. Check out the Win Books page for more information on all these books and how to enter this month’s contest.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!


2020 by Kenneth Steven

August 13, 2018

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A very profound novel that paints a picture of the damage that can be done by the advent of the “True Believer” i.e., the individual following the herd rather than thinking on his or her own. While the book is set in the United Kingdom it can be true of problems found in any country today. Shown in the novel are the many factions vying for the attention of the masses and demanding that they be granted rights beyond what is just and correct. People are forced to bend over backwards to be seen as politically correct in order not to offend the many interest groups.

Consequently, the result is a nation that has become mired in political correctness at the expense of common sense. It is felt that the politicians in office are only serving themselves. Immigration policies have gotten out of hand and it is feared by many that the country is disunited with the distinct possibility of terrorism rife just waiting to explode in violence.

And than it does. A train going from Edinburgh to London is attacked by terrorists with hundreds killed by the bombers. The reaction by the public with many differing opinions about what should be done to forestall future terrorism allows a far right wing group called White Rose to form. An untried leader coming from White Rose indicates that he will be able to fix the problems of the nation. The population splinters even more than before with no firm direction being taken to attack the internal mess that characterizes the country. Opinions and demands for action rush out of the many groups that have formed making up a population that is frozen and unable to act.

It might be that 2020 could lead to a 1984 scenario with an embedded dictatorship but most probably it would lead to the exact opposite; a nation completely splintered with no real direction and unable to solve the real problems facing it. A very provocative opinion piece with a large amount of what is forecasted being the norm today.

8/18 Paul Lane

2020 by Kenneth Steven. Thomas & Mercer (June 14, 2018).  ISBN 978-1477805169. 270p.


THE MIDDLEMAN by Olen Steinhauer

August 11, 2018

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Steinhauer postulates a United States on the brink  of revolution due to the uncaring and selfish policies of our elected leaders. Consequently, in the early summer of 2017, four hundred people just disappear, leaving their worldly possessions behind them.  Where have they gone to and what is the reason for the disappearance? When heard from the group styles itself the Massive Brigade and they believe that necessary change is not coming fast enough to really bring the country to again be prepared to take care of the cultural needs as well as those necessities vital for life such as food and shelter for the population.

FBI Special Agent Rachel Proulx has been following the sprouting of left wing political groups for several years and is very familiar with Martin Bishop who is the charismatic leader of the Massive Brigade. But Rachel has her work cut out for her in getting her peers and supervisors at the FBI to take thedissidents seriously. She digs into the workings and leadership of the Massive Brigade and what she discovers, including murder shocks the country and sends a wake up call to the Administration as well as the leadership of the FBI.

Character development leaves something to be desired and I felt that the emphasis on a lot of conversation does detract somewhat from what is a great idea and worthy of an Olen Steinhauer novel.

8/18 Paul Lane

THE MIDDLEMAN by Olen Steinhauer. Minotaur Books (August 7, 2018).  ISBN 978-1250036179. 368p.


COOPER’S CHARM by Lori Foster

August 10, 2018

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From the publisher:

One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…

Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.

Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…


This is a two-fer, two romances for the price of one. I don’t always like that but Foster does a really good job developing all the characters and their stories. The main romance is Phoenix and Cooper, and her sister’s is secondary but still good. Good sex, too, for both of them, so if you don’t like the details, skip this steamy read.

The characters are really well developed, and damaged enough to be interesting. I cared enough about them to keep wondering about them after I turned the last page. I loved the setting, too. Something about these types of settings, campgrounds, I find very interesting. Maybe because it’s a bit out of my comfort zone? That said, I am going camping in December so I hope I’m not disappointed with the campground I’ll be at!

Foster is a really good storyteller and I highly recommend any of her books, and this is a good place to start if you haven’t read her. I loved it.

8/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

COOPER’S CHARM by Lori Foster. HQN; Original edition (July 31, 2018).  ISBN 978-1335017529. 352p.

Kindle


DEATH IN SHANGRI-LA by Yigal Zur

August 9, 2018

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A novel originally written in Hebrew and than becoming the first of Zur’s books to be translated into English. The background for the story is one of the most exotic settings possible. The action takes place in India, several cities and a wild frontier near Pakistan. Descriptions are tendered by an author that through his own travels and adventures has seen these areas and witnessed the events described that play out as background.

Dotan Naor, an ex-Israeli Operator turned private investigator, takes up a bet he has made with an acquaintance of his who is privately a ruthless individual selling Israeli made weaponry to any buyer that can pay for them. Willy Mizrachi bets that in one year from the date he meets with Dotan he will have his son returning to work for him with a wife and child in tow. Like many ex-Israeli soldiers, his son decides to travel to the Himalayas in India in order to “find himself”. Dotan takes the bet but than finds himself forced to go after Willy who has taken the initiative to go after his son himself.

The makings of a great story and the descriptions of cities in India, their overcrowding, poverty, filth and total corruption coupled with the fascinating views of a part of the Indian subcontinent that includes Tibet and borders with Pakistan and China are unfortunately not enough to make up for a rambling style of writing. The characters not at all fleshed out move from scene to scene listlessly making for a novel that leaves the reader trying to keep up with what’s going on and who is where. The fact that Zur has published other books featuring Dotan Naor might mean that it is the fault of the translation of this novel that causes the problem, but with that “Death in Shangri-La” does not live up to the promise of the exotic setting and events that are not touched upon outside of Israel and India.

8/18 Paul Lane

DEATH IN SHANGRI-LA by Yigal Zur. Oceanview Publishing; Sew edition (August 7, 2018).  ISBN 978-1608092994. 272p.


SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR TO FALL, now in paperback!

August 8, 2018

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A Collection of Outlander Fiction

As regular readers know, Diana Gabaldon is on the shortlist of my favorite writers. SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR TO FALL is a collection of the novellas that have previously been published as Kindle Singles and such, now collected in this anthology and now out in paperback. I have not read the Lord John Grey stories as I read the first of that mystery series and it wasn’t for me. But I have read the Outlander novellas and they are fabulous!

SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL begins with “The Custom of the Army,” and Lord John Grey being shocked by an electric eel and ends at the Battle of Quebec. Then comes “The Space Between,” where it is revealed that the Comte St. Germain is not dead, Master Raymond appears, and a widowed young wine dealer escorts a would-be novice to a convent in Paris. In “A Plague of Zombies,” Lord John unexpectedly becomes military governor of Jamaica when the original governor is gnawed by what probably wasn’t a giant rat.

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” is the moving story of Roger MacKenzie’s parents during World War II. In “Virgins,” Jamie Fraser, aged nineteen, and Ian Murray, aged twenty, become mercenaries in France, no matter that neither has yet bedded a lass or killed a man. But they’re trying… “A Fugitive Green” is the story of Lord John’s elder brother, Hal, and a seventeen-year-old rare book dealer with a sideline in theft, forgery, and blackmail. And finally, in “Besieged,” Lord John learns that his mother is in Havana—and that the British Navy is on their way to lay siege to the city.

Filling in mesmerizing chapters in the lives of characters that readers have followed over the course of thousands of pages, Gabaldon’s genius is on full display throughout this must-have collection.

Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels—Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood—as well as the related Lord John Grey books Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; two works of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion, Volumes 1 and 2; the Outlander graphic novel The Exile; and The Official Outlander Coloring Book. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.


The Wedding from Hell Part 2: The Reception

August 7, 2018

Welcome to The Wedding from Hell Part 2: The Reception!

A free downloadable e-book! If you haven’t read J.R. Ward yet, now is your chance.

Available: August 7, 2018

Gallery Books | E-book Original

ISBN: 9781982105372 | Free

The Wedding from Hell, Part 2: The Rehearsal Dinner is the exciting second adventure in J.R. Ward’s three-part ebook serialization: The Wedding From Hell. This exclusive prequel to her upcoming standalone suspense, Consumed (available in Fall 2018) takes us back to the night steamy arson investigator Anne Ashburn and ‘bad boy’ firefighter Danny Maguire will never forget.

About the Book:

The Wedding From Hell, Part 2: The Reception: As the wedding from hell continues, Anne and Danny find themselves walking the delicate balance between professional distance and explosive attraction. Will the desire they feel last through the night and change their lives? Or are they doomed to part after one night of passion?

About the Author:

J.R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.

Purchase Link: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Wedding-from-Hell-Part-2-The-Reception/J-R-Ward/9781982105372

 

Video from J.R. Ward:

 

Excerpt:

 

Saturday, October 31

T minus 2 hours ’til blastoff

St. Mary’s Cathedral, New Brunswick, Massachusetts

 

Anne Ashburn had never had veil envy, as they called it. As a young girl, she had never pictured herself walking down an aisle in a white dress, ready to be rescued by a knight-in-shining-armor groom who was going to take charge and take care of her for the rest of her life.

Nope. Anne had wanted to fight fires like her father and then her brother. Even though she no longer respected the former, and had a strained relationship with the latter, she’d wanted to pull on turnouts and strap an air tank to her back and breathe canned air as she ran into open flames dragging hundreds of pounds of charged line with her. She’d wanted to rescue grandmothers, and children, and people who had succumbed to smoke inhalation. She’d been ready to cut open crumpled cars and drag broken bodies out of wreckage at the sides of highways. She’d been determined that the extremes of cold winter nights, hot summer days, physical exhaustion, and mental fatigue would never keep her from doing her job.

So, yup, the old fashioned Mrs. degree had never held any fascination for her. There was no way in hell she was going to be like her mother, living a derivative, nineteen-fifties version of life, nothing but a pretty blow-up doll that was expected to cook, clean, and cut the yapping.

On that note, as she pulled into St. Mary’s parking lot and looked up at the great cathedral’s stained glass windows and lofty spires, she decided it made sense that not only was she not the bride, she wasn’t even a bridesmaid.

Like the rest of the crew down at the 499 firehouse, she was a groomsmen in the impending nuptials of Robert “Moose” Miller and Deandra—what the hell was her last name anyway? Cox. That was it.

Anne was thinking groomsmen was a role she might as well get used to. Not that Duff, Emilio, Deshaun, or any of the other men she worked with were settling down anytime soon.

Especially not Dannyboy Maguire.

Right on cue, a Ford truck entered the parking lot, the late afternoon sun flashing across its windshield.

As Anne’s heart kicked in her chest, she was tempted to hustle in the side door of the church—but she had never been one to run from a challenge.

Danny was more than just a challenge, though.

And okay, fine. So maybe she had already run out of his way at least once: Last night, at the rehearsal dinner, she’d positively bolted after he’d made that speech of his.

I never believed in love . . . I thought it was just a word, a title folks gave to daydreams and misconceptions about destiny, a lie folks told to themselves to make them feel solid in this imperfect, unreliable, and mean-ass world.

Now I know it can happen between two people. And it doesn’t have to make sense because it’s not about logic. And it doesn’t have to have good timing because forever is like infinity, without beginning or end. And it doesn’t have to be defined because truth is like faith—it just is.

So, let’s toast to love.

He’d looked at her while he’d spoken. He had been talking . . . to her . . . in that slow, deep voice.

Everybody else had toasted Moose and Deandra. But Anne had known it hadn’t been about them. Danny, ever the ladies man, king of the one-night stand, he who shalt never be tied down . . . seemed to be suggesting not just that he’d had a change of heart.

But that he might have given his own to Anne.

Unless she was misreading everything? Then again, they had kissed the night before that. In her living room. While riding an adrenaline high after they’d saved a life in an alleyway.

And lips-to-lips had been better than good, the rare circumstance when reality had improved on a fantasy. After two years of attraction and sizzle and unacknowledged heat, that which had been pushed under the rug was exposed now. And there was no going back.

Especially as she felt the same way.

So hell yeah she had bolted out of that restaurant. The second she had been able to get up from her chair, she had hit the exit and left Danny without a ride home.

He’d called two hours later. He’d been in a bar, probably

Timeout where the crew always went, the noise in the background loud and raucous.

She had not answered. He had left a short message, but not called again.

Anne just wasn’t sure what to do. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. There were plenty of things she wanted to do to him, with him, on him—all of which were naked and erotic and not necessarily only horizontal.

Refocusing, she watched Danny’s truck pass by. From behind the wheel, he looked over at her.

She waited for him to find a space and get out, and as he walked across to her, she tried—tried—not to go sixteen-year-old girl at the sight of him in a tuxedo.

#epicfail

He was very tall, over six feet five, and he was built hard and muscular, his shoulders so wide, his chest so broad, his waist the point of the inverted triangle of his torso. His jet-black hair was still damp, and what sunlight there was in the mostly cloudy sky flashed blue in its depths. He was freshly shaven—his cologne reaching her nose even before he stopped in front of her—and his eyes were that brilliant blue that had always arrested her. Irish eyes.

But they were not smiling.

For a man who was rarely serious, he looked positively grim, and she frowned.

“You okay?” Stupid question. “I mean—”

“Yeah, no. I’m fine.”

Standard answer for firefighters when they were in pain. And she wondered if it had to do with that speech of his, and what she could have sworn he had been telling her.

His eyes shifted off to the side and then his mouth got thinner.

“And here’s the blushing bride.”

A stretch limo entered the parking area and made a fat turn toward the back door of the cathedral. When it stopped, its driver got out and went to the rear door.

Seven all-in-pink, spray-tanned, body-glittered, and blond-streaked women got out one by one, a clown car of bridesmaids who were such carbon copies of each other, it was like they had been ordered out of a catalogue.

And then the white dress emerged.

Deandra, Moose’s intended, had her blond-streaked hair—natch—piled up on her head in an organized, sculpted waterfall of curls. Her veil was a gossamer fall over her tiny waist and her big skirt, and the shimmer of crystals across the bodice and down the front and sides of the gown made her look like a princess.

Provided you didn’t catch her expression.

She was sour as an old woman with gout and shingles. In spite of the fact that she was supposedly marrying her true love, she looked downright nasty as she snapped at the driver, glared at her maid of honor, and yanked her skirting up to march into the back of the church.

“Wow,” Anne muttered. “That’s a happy bride.”

“Whatever. They’re on their own with this dumbass idea.”

“Did you happen to talk to Moose last night?” she blurted.

“As in out of this? Or would that be considered tacky given it was less than twenty-four hours before the priest hit the altar with them.”

Danny rolled his eyes. “He’s bound and determined to ball-and-chain himself. Personally, I’d be running in the opposite direction.”

And then there was silence between them. Tension coiled up quick, and as Anne’s temples started to pound, she decided it was going to be a long night, just not for the reasons she’d assumed at the beginning of the weekend.


GOOD LUCK WITH THAT by Kristan Higgins

August 7, 2018

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I love Kristan Higgins, but I didn’t love this book. It is a bit of a departure for her, tackling a pretty serious subject, the plight and discrimination that fat women face in this country.  I admire her for tackling such a tough subject, but I missed her usual humor for sure. Or maybe I didn’t like it that much because it hits a bit close to home for me.

Emerson is one of those women who is so obese that she can barely get out of bed. She has a cousin who is her caretaker, and a boyfriend who brings her food. When she dies, she leaves a letter for her two best friends, Georgia and Marley.

They all met in fat camp as teenagers and remained friends over the years. Georgia and Marley share a house in New York and haven’t seen Emerson in years, so they are shocked at how large she had become and at her death. She leaves them a list that they all made together when they were in fat camp, and asks her friends to complete the list. This is a “when we are thin” list – tuck in a shirt, get a piggy back ride, eat dessert in public, and so forth.

The women tackle the list and learn a lot about themselves in the process. We are never told Georgia and Marley’s actual weight, just the body issues each of them faces. There is romance, too, but that wasn’t enough to save this book for me. I’m really curious as to what other people think of it.

3/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT by Kristan Higgins.  Berkley (August 7, 2018).  ISBN 978-0451489395. 480p.

Kindle


THE SIMPLE WILD by K.A. Tucker

August 6, 2018

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From the publisher:

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago.

It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.


I am a sucker any book set in Alaska and this was a good one. Set in the fictional town of Bangor in Western Alaska, this is a good look at the life in a small, rural town. The characters are only there for summer so we don’t learn much about winter but we do learn about $10 boxes of cereal and the importance of relying on your neighbors and friends. They all lean on one another to get through life. And I liked learning about the business of owning a business in rural Alaska, it was different for sure.

It is, perhaps, a somewhat idyllic view of what is undoubtedly a very hard life, but this is a love story so why not. The characters are interesting and brought to life really well. The relationships between Calla and her family members, Calla and Jonah, and Jonah and her father all ring true. Watching Calla follow in her mother’s footsteps was heart-wrenching at times but the happily ever after does make it all worthwhile.  All in all, a most enjoyable read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge. She is the bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series and the novels He Will Be My RuinUntil It Fades, and Keep Her Safe. She currently resides in a quaint town outside Toronto with her husband and two beautiful girls.

THE SIMPLE WILD by K.A. Tucker. Atria Books Paperback, August 7, 2018. ISBN: 9781501133435. 400 pp.

Kindle

FIND K.A. TUCKER ONLINE:

Website: https://www.katuckerbooks.com/

Twitter: @kathleenatucker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimberly.stuart.10

Instagram: @katucker_


BLOODY SUNDAY by Ben Coes

August 5, 2018

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A Dewey Andreas Novel, Book 8

There is one thing absolutely sure about any book featuring Dewey Andreas – there will be action galore! Since Ben Coes first introduced Dewey as an employee of an ocean-going drill rig, his character has grown in stature and the violence that he interacts with along with his increasing importance to the U.S. government. Bloody Sunday finds Dewey reeling from previous adventures narrated in prior books. He is getting ready to retire from the CIA and just relax. Obviously this is not a possibility for Dewey – his country needs him and fast.

North Korea has successfully developed nuclear bombs but not the long range missiles necessary to deliver them to their arch enemy – the United States. But of course where there is a will there is always a way and so it is that a trade has been planned between the North Koreans and another mad regime in Iran.

The Iranians will exchange two missiles for nuclear triggers and fissionable material to help them develop their own anti west weaponry. But both of these evil doers have not reckoned on Dewey Andreas being called up by the president of the United States to break up the scheme.

Present with the CIA is a brilliant British agent on loan to aid in inter-agency relations. It is a young lady who is quite pretty and trying to get over the murder of her husband. It is thought that her husband was killed in error in place of her. Jenna Hartford, the exchange agent has come up with a scheme to inject a poison into the person of the high level North Korean officer that will be handling the trade between Iran and his country. An antidote would be hidden somewhere in the city of Pyongyang the capital of North Korea to deliver to the officer injected once he delivers the secret plans for the firing of the missiles to the U.S. Obviously Dewey is the ideal man to handle the tasks of both breaking up the trade,and injecting the poison.

Action involves the first set of problems complicated by Dewey injecting himself with a tiny quantity of the poison and than having only 24 hours to go after the antidote. The events are machine gun fast and calculated to keep the reader drawn to the book with no inclination to put it down. Of course the novel leaves us with the ingredients for the next book featuring Dewey Andreas and the possibility of a romance while involved with the events he faces.

6/18 Paul Lane

BLOODY SUNDAY by Ben Coes. St. Martin’s Press (July 31, 2018).  ISBN 978-1250140760. 400p.


GRACE VALLEY TRILOGY by Robyn Carr

August 5, 2018

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This is the second series I’ve read by this author and she has become a favorite. These books – Deep in the Valley, Just Over the Mountain, and Down By the River combine to create a world that I loved spending time in.

Grace Valley is a small town filled with warm, likable characters, and the books center around the town doctor, June Hudson. June’s grandparents basically founded the town and her dad was the town doctor before he retired, leaving June to take over. Her Aunt Myrna, an eccentric but very successful novelist, built the clinic where June works.

Myrna raised her baby brother and didn’t marry until late in life. Her husband, a traveling salesman, disappeared and the townsfolk speculate that Myrna, whose novels usually center around a wife killing her cheating husband in myriad and gruesome ways, is writing what she knows. And she encourages those rumors.

A lecherous preacher, a gas station owner who’d rather fish than work, a cafe owner who gives away free meals on a regular basis, June’s best friend, the sheriff, and her godmother are the other major players in the story along with many more. Carr brings them to life, lovable quirks and all. Then there are the others, the poor, the abused, and the criminal that round out this tiny town. The way these characters interact and take care of each other is inspiring. Makes me want to live in a small town, although I suspect towns like Grace Valley are strictly fiction.

One night, two men come into June’s clinic, ordering her to remove a bullet from one of the men. The other man is holding a gun on her, but as she starts her work, he faints, sending the gun skittering across the room. June suspects that the faint was faked, and it turns out she was right. She’s also very attracted to the gunman, leaving her to think he is not at all what he seems and she is right about that as well. That’s where the story begins and it meanders beautifully through all three books and completely sucked me in. I read all three books in a weekend.

This is women’s fiction with a touch of romance and a lovely read. If you are looking for an escape, I highly recommend this trilogy. I loved it and I’m truly going to miss these characters.

8/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

The Grace Valley Trilogy by Robyn Carr. MIRA (August 1, 2017). ASIN: B071YCRFTV. 662 p.