Saturday, December 15, 2012

Book Review: Murder Takes Time, by Giacomo Giammatteo


Title: Murder Takes Time
Author: Giacomo Giammatteo
Genre: Thriller
                                                  Format: Kindle
 

Dead man was found. Shot once in the head, once in the chest. All bones were broken. Dead rat was found at the scene of the murder.

This is the second murder. Another man was found dead, a little earlier, killed the same way. Work of a serial killer?

Detective Frankie Donovan is working on the case. Something about these murders "sucks". Something about these murders is very familiar. Something that brings back his memories to the time when he was a child. When three children, Nicky, Frankie and Tony were best friends. When friendship and honor were the most important thing in the world. Tony Sannullo now works for the Mafia, and Nicky has just come out of prison. Niccolo Fusco, otherwise known as "Nicky the Rat".

When DNA from the Frankie is found at the crime scene, he realizes that he is right. That someone from the past is taking revenge on him for something. But for what?

Frankie Donovan lives alone. His best friends are two neighborhood children whose parents do not care about them, so they practically live on street. Sometimes they find their shelter in Frankie’s home who cares for them as his own children.

Murder Takes Time is beautifully woven story. Story for three friends, three kids, for friendship and honor, for the family. Story of injustice and revenge. The author beautifully inserted detective story in the story of the growth of three best friends. Takes you through the investigation of the brutal murders, and goes back into the past describing the adventures of three small rascals. What’s the link, read it yourself. There are moments when you wonder what is the right justice, what is moral and what is not. Do some people deserve to die? This novel left me speechless. Great story.

My opinion: 5 / 5

 

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Sand Bluff Murders - C.M.Albrecht


Title: The Sand Bluff Murders
Author: C.M.Albrecht
Genre: Mystery, thriller
Format: PDF
Publishing Date: coming soon

Police officer Jonas McCleary had just become detective in small town Sand Bluff. His third day on the job and he got his first big case. A murder. In Sand Bluff, a small sleepy town where nothing ever happens and everyone knows everyone. The night patrol found a corpse in the alley back of the local bar. No one knew the victim. Wasn’t one of the locals. But everyone remembers the last murder in town twenty years ago, when one man killed his wife. Is there possible connection? As the investigation goes on, more dead bodies appear. Sand Bluff's hottie Twyla was found dead. Murdered. What is going on here? Detective McCleary has a tough job to do.

Reading mysteries and solving crimes is my favorite thing to do. Agatha Christie is my choice number one. If you love Agatha Christie, you will love this story. The author did a great job here. The story is written in first person. The plot is settled in a small town where the level of criminal is zero. And suddenly, there is a dead body and the cause of death definitely is not natural. And you start to wonder who done it.

I know, the main character is not Hercules Poirot, but he is an interesting person with a very noticeable hat. That’s something. I enjoyed the story when he talked about how did he become police officer. He is not just solving crimes, he is also looking for Miss Right. Some of the supportive characters are very funny and interesting. Police officer Ackers has never seen a dead body before. In a place where everybody knows everybody, there are people with not so ordinary life stories and hobbies. That just spices up the whole story. And the mystery around the murder is twisting and twisting. With every page you step on a trail that might be true, or not. 

I loved the story. Until the end I was wondering who has done it. The mystery was very well plotted. I loved the characters. So if love mysteries and whodunit stories, this is the right reading for you.


My opinion: 5 / 5


C.M.Albrecht is a former investigator, who decided to turn some of his experiences into crime and mystery novels. To learn more, visit:

www.cmalbrecht.com
www.writewordsinc.com., Cambridge Books
www.cmalbrecht.wordpress.com


Friday, August 3, 2012

Review:Life in Death - Harlow Drake plus KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY




Title: Life in Death
Author: Harlow Drake
Genre: thriller, mystery
Format: kindle


A young girl is found murdered. A foster child, and no one noticed that she was missing, no one cared. Foster parents called the social service, but the note got lost, and the social worker never received the message. The note was found after the murder.

Detectives Cobb and Nicolet are trying to solve the case. Social worker Kari Marchant is one of the suspects. When her ex-lover was found dead with her letter in his pocket, she became main suspect. Detective Nicolet feel attraction for the beautiful social worker. But is she a nice young woman or cold-blooded killer?

There is a religious sect in town. People get together and some strange things are going on. People are missing. Children are missing.

I love thrillers, this one was good. When I started, I thought that this was going to be great read. First of all, it was too short. Solid crime novel needs more. It has a great start, very intriguing case to solve. The idea for the plot was amazing. I liked some parts of the story. Some of the scenes were really creepy and well described, suitable for a good thriller. The story includes foster care system and religious sect. Those two society problems were well incorporated in the story. But developing the story wasn’t twisted enough. Some parts of the story were moving too fast, I couldn’t follow. Additional stories could be more developed. And I predicted who the real killer was. The stories where I can do that, are not mysterious enough. Only one of the characters was well described, all others were a little bit more than just mentioned.

It’s a promising start for a debut author. It’s quick and easy read. But, good and solid thriller needs a little bit more than a great idea. 

My opinion: 3 / 5




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Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie


Title: The Secret Adversary
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: mystery
Format: PDF
Published: 1922

This was my first Agatha Christie book from the Tommy and Tuppence series. I’ve read most of the Miss Marple and Poirot series, but somehow I didn’t know about Tommy and Tuppence. It is one of her earliest books, published in 1922. The plot is set in 1919 in Britain. Young couple, two friends from childhood, Tommy Beresford and Prudence “Tuppence” Cowley formed “The Young Adventurers, Ltd.” to earn some money. Their first case, to find Jane Finn, young lady last seen on a sinking boat with top secret papers given to her by an unknown man. Also, there is Mr. Brown, a mysterious identity, who is believed that is responsible for Jane Finn missing and international espionage, a mysterious person who wants that papers so badly. But who is Mr. Brown?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Take Five - Renee Pawlish


Title: Take Five
Author: Renee Pawlish
Genre: crime, mystery, short stories
Published: October, 2011
Format: Kindle


Five mystery tales set in Colorado.
Sarah Spillman, a sassy Denver police detective.
Reed Ferguson, a witty private eye with a love of film noir and Humphrey Bogart.
Kay, a computer nerd with revenge on her mind.



When I finished reading this book, I thought, this collection of mystery tales can be easily turned into a tv show. Sarah Spillman is a detective. She has the leading role in three out of five stories. Wherever she goes, crime is after her. New cases are always there, even when she goes on vacation.  Reed Ferguson is a private investigator  who has a case of a stolen valuable baseball card. Kay has a colleague who always finds a way to disrespect her.  Three great characters, five great stories.  All of them are well written, making you think who dunnit. Just one of the stories seemed unfinished to me. Some of the supporting characters are  funny, some weird, but that is just making the story very entertaining. It's a quick read, very enjoyable. I'm giving four stars just because I wanted the stories to be a little bit longer, to enjoy more reading them. 

My opinion: 4 /5






Friday, May 25, 2012

Taken - Tony Talbot


Title: Taken
Author: Tony Talbot
Genre: Mystery, drama
Published: January, 2011
Format: Paperback


This is a story for a boy living wealthy life on a Greek island. Amon Russo lives in a huge villa. His parents are very rich, he doesn't have to go to school, there are tutors for him at home. But that is just the surface.

Under the surface, it's a whole different story. Amon doesn't have any friends. He is not allowed to have friends. His eyes are in different colors, so he is wearing contact lenses. People of the island are afraid of him. According to the local legend, having different color of the eyes is bad luck, he must have something demonic in himself. His parent are weird. Everything has to be so "perfect".

Until one day Amon starts to see cracks in his life. 

He spent his entire life on a Greek island, but he wasn't allowed to learn Greek. The channels on TV in English are off.  No one can see him without his contact lenses. People around his father start to disappear.

His parent are hiding him. Why? And from what?

What is really going on around here?

The story was full of twists. There were turn-overs on every page. There was drama and tension until the last page. You never know what is truth, and what is lie. I was expecting more dramatic end, but that was it. Somehow, it looked unfinished, but that was just my opinion. There were some questions for me left unanswered. I didn't find the answer of the most important one: "Why?" Why his parents did that to him? There was no love. They didn't love him. Why was he taken in the first place, after all?  

What I liked were the vivid descriptions of the island. Olive trees, sea, beach, synonyms  for a perfect life.  Also, I liked the way the feelings of the boy were described. Sixteen-years-old falling in love for the first time, his sexual awakening, it was well written. Overall, I liked the story. 

My opinion: 3 / 5





Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie



Title : The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre:Crime, mystery
Format: Kindle



Excerpt:

I heard Mrs. Inglethorp call "Cynthia" impatiently, and the girl started and ran back to the house. At the same moment, a man stepped out from the shadow of a tree and walked slowly in the same direction. He looked about forty, very dark with a melancholy clean-shaven face. Some violent emotion seemed to be mastering him. He looked up at my window as he passed, and I recognized him, though he had changed much in the fifteen years that had elapsed since we last met. It was John's younger brother, Lawrence Cavendish. I wondered what it was that had brought that singular expression to his face.

Then I dismissed him from my mind, and returned to the contemplation of my own affairs.

The evening passed pleasantly enough; and I dreamed that night of that enigmatical woman, Mary Cavendish.

The next morning dawned bright and sunny, and I was full of the anticipation of a...


My thoughts:


This is the very first Agatha Christie novel. I've seen most of the movies based on AC's books and read most of the books. All books that I've read were translated, this was the first one in original english language. English is not my first language and AC's style was a little bit difficult for me to understand. It took me more time to finish this book, but it was worth. 

Hercules Poirot is my favorite book character. Poison, mystery, murder, my gray cells were working :)) 

The whole story was narrated by Poirot's friend Hastings. Hastings was invited to spend sometime at the house of Styles, and in the same time the belgian detective visits the mistress of Styles, an old lady who helped many Belgians during the war. The old lady recently married a younger man and nobody is happy for that. When the mistress of Styles was found dead in her bed, poisoned, everyone assumed that her younger husband did it, because of her money. And then Poirot steps up on the scene. His gray cell work all the time. Was the old lady poisoned accidentally, or was it on purpose? Was the husband the culprit? Who did it? 

Christie's favorite review of this, her first book, was from the Pharmaceutical Journal, which praised, "this detective story for dealing with poisons in a knowledgeable way, and not with the nonsense about untraceable substances that so often happens. Miss Agatha Christie knows her job." It was adapted for television with David Suchet as Poirot in 1990.

Agatha Christie is my favorite crime writer. I always enjoy reading her books. That's why I recently joined "The Agatha Christie Book Club" co-hosted by book blogs "Books, Biscuits and Tea" and "Kindle and Me". This book is part of the reading for May.


My opinion: 4 /5






Saturday, May 5, 2012

Love You More - Lisa Gardner


Title: Love You More
Author: Lisa Gardner
Genre: crime, thriller
Published: 2011
Translated in Macedonian: 2012
Format: Paperback

FROM BACK COVER:

WHO DO YOU LOVE?
 
One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?
 
AND HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO . . . 
 
As the homicide investigation ratchets into a frantic statewide search for a missing child, D. D. Warren must partner with former lover Bobby Dodge to break through the blue wall of police brotherhood, seeking to understand the inner workings of a trooper’s mind while also unearthing family secrets. Would a trained police officer truly shoot her own husband? And would a mother harm her own child?
 
. . . TO SAVE HER?
 
For Tessa Leoni, the worst has not yet happened. She is walking a tightrope, with nowhere to turn, no one to trust, as the clock ticks down to a terrifying deadline. She has one goal in sight, and she will use every ounce of her training, every trick at her disposal, to do what must be done. No sacrifice is too great, no action unthinkable. A mother knows who she loves. And all others will be made to pay.
 
Love you more . . .


MY REVIEW:

This was my first book from Lisa Gardner, but sure won't be the last. It took me two days to read it, I could't stop reading until finish it. 

This is a story for unconditional mother's love. Tessa Leoni has many skeletons in her closet, she made many mistakes in her past, but the only thing that is pure and innocent in her life is her daughter. She would do anything for her, she would give her own life just to save her. The story seen through Tessa Leoni's eyes was full of emotions and memories. You can feel the connection between a mother and child, you can feel the struggles of a mother and a wife taking care for her family. 

The story seen through detective D.D. Warren's eyes, takes another level. It supposed to be an open-and-shut case:wife killed her husband who was beating her. But there is one question unanswered: where is their daughter? Did the stepfather killed her and that's why he died, or did the mother kill her own child? Is the little girl dead or alive? If she was alive, who kidnapped her? Time is ticking away.

The story was very well narrated. The two main characters were well described. Page after page, you discover more and more for everyone of them. Turnovers are there on every corner, page after page. I would recommend this book for everyone. Story full of emotions, mystery and unconditional love.

My opinion: 4/5




Monday, April 23, 2012

Black Oil, Red Blood - Diane Castle


Title: Black Oil, Red Blood
Author: Diane Castle
Genre: Thriller
Published: February, 2012
Format: Kindle





Chloe Taylor was a successful lawyer. Until she found out that her fiancĂ© (also very rich and successful lawyer) was cheating on her. So she left. She moved to a small town named Kettle, Texas. Now, she still wears her expensive clothes, but in a lack of  money, she eats Ramen every day.

The life in Kettle is not ordinary after all. Big Oil Industry giant PetroPlex is the mayor company in town. Almost entire population works there. Many of the people that work in the oil company are getting sick. Cancer is on the top of the illnesses. Chloe tries to prove that the cancer here is not accident or bad luck. It is caused by the pollution. The pollution that no one wants to admit.

The problems start when Chloe’s expert witness dies in suspicious circumstances. His files are missing, and no one from the attorneys doesn’t want to help her. The only person who wants justice is the local sheriff, but he doesn’t trust her. And the oil company hires her ex-fiancĂ© for the case. What can be worse?

I couldn’t put my kindle down until I finished this book. Very serious subject was chosen for the plot. Cancer and the pollution are part of our modern-day life. Factories employ people, but also many of them do not care about the environment. On one side they help people, on the other side they hurt people. There were many turnovers in the story,  politics, murders, corruption. The characters were very well plotted. I loved the character of Chloe. She loves justice, she cares about people. There were also some very funny moments, but I won’t reveal more. If you love action, mystery, and political thrillers, and a little bit humor in it, than this is a story just for you.  

My opinion: 5 / 5

      




Saturday, March 24, 2012

Invisible (Ivy Malone Mysteries #1) - Lorena McCourtney


Title: Invisible (Ivy Malone Mysteries #1)
Author: Lorena McCourtney
Genre: Mystery
Published: August 1st, 2004
Format: Kindle


Ivy Malone is not an ordinary senior citizen. She is LOL (Little Old Lady). After couple of little incidents, she realizes that she is invisible. Not really invisible, just that people wouldn't notice her in same way they would notice a beautiful young woman. When her best friend dies, and the woman who lives with her disappears, and after that found murdered, Ivy takes the things in her own hands. Who will ever suspect in a little old lady? Someone is vandalizing the graveyards. Ivy is there every night to catch the vandals (or just to write the registration plate).

I own this book just because it was free on Amazon.com. I didn't expect to be funny and entertaining that much. Mysteries are my favorite genre. And there were many funny moment and situations in the book. This LOL is very adorable. She lost her son and her husband, but she never lost her sense for humor and justice. She is not afraid to sit in her Thunderbird and drive all over the country to get what she wants. Very often her mind says "yes", but her body says "no". She always finds the way to push that "yes".

When I was a child, there was a tv show Super Gran, about a grandmother with super powers. Ivy Malone reminds me of Super Gran. She doesn't have super powers, but in her mind she can do whatever she wants. And she does. 

My opinion: 4 / 5