Category: Thriller

“Too Close to Breathe” by Olivia Kiernan

“Too Close to Breathe” by Olivia Kiernan

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan has just returned to duty after nearly being killed in pursuit of a case. Assistant Commissioner Jack Clancy has assigned her team to investigate a presumed suicide. The coroner has an “uneasy feeling” about this case, hence it being assigned to Frankie’s team, but Clancy is still not sure that Frankie is ready to be back on the job. With Detective Baz Harwood as her partner they quickly determine that this is in fact a murder but that’s when the hard part starts. As they delve into the lives of the victim and her husband they quickly uncover multiple affairs, Dark Web activity, and the underbelly of Dublin. But the circumstances of this case are also triggering flashbacks for Frankie and the danger may be all too real.

So let’s start with the plot. These people’s lives are more twisty than a snake but it really makes for a great story. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you trip over another clue and end up going in a different direction. Characters: Frankie Sheehan is a great character. She’s tough and persistent, as you would expect a detective to be, but she’s much more than that. I think the author did an especially good job with the flashback scenes because they gave you a sense of Frankie as a vulnerable person. I really enjoyed Detective Harwood also. He knows how to push Frankie’s button but he also takes it very seriously when he says he’s got her back. This is the author’s first novel and I think it’s a great debut, definitely worth the read.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author’s website

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Blog Tour Book Review: “Pendle Fire” by Paul Southern

Blog Tour Book Review: “Pendle Fire” by Paul Southern

John Malkin is an overworked social worker. His girlfriend has just become pregnant with their first child but the job stress is starting to come between them. One of John’s cases is Nathan, a young man who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Just as Nathan has landed himself in jail, again, John is asked to investigate two girls who have just reported having been raped by a local police officer. Both Nathan and one of the girls warn him that he is in danger and that a prophecy has named him as the “chosen” one. John knows nothing about this prophecy but strange things are happening and he is determined to get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile, Shaf, a Pakistani police officer in the local force, has rescued the two girls after they were attacked by strange men, but the girls lied and blamed him. His boss has suspended him pending an investigation, but later asks him to conduct a secret investigation for him. There are rumors of local gangs “grooming” girls, and race riots are breaking out all over the region. The police force is stretched to the breaking point and DC Ali thinks someone in the force is involved. All roads seem to lead to the “Hobbledy Man”, but who is he and what does he want?

I couldn’t wait to read this book because I had so enjoyed the author’s first book. I was not disappointed. The story is very intense with a lot of different things happening that seemingly have no connection except for the legend of the “Hobbledy Man”. The narration goes back and forth between John, who’s trying to help the kids, and Shaf, who is trying to clear his name. I really liked both of these characters. John is so well-intentioned but as his paranoia grows his actions become more and more erratic. Shaf is trying to be the kind of person that his father was, but soon finds his principles being tested at every turn. The plot line is many-layered but it all works together really well. There are some very graphic scenes of sex and violence which some readers may not like but they do work within the story. This book has elements of the supernatural, the presence of a very active cult, violent gangs, and issues of race relations. Some of the content is disturbing but overall I found this to be another excellent story from Paul Southern.

Alinefromabook’s rating:   4 stars!!

Happy Reading!4-star-rating

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

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“The White Road” by John Connolly – Audiobook

“The White Road” by John Connolly – Audiobook

Narrated by Paul Birchard

Book 4 of the Charlie Parker series

Another installment in the Charlie Parker series and my love for these books just continues to grow. Charlie has been contacted by his old friend Elliot Norton and asked to come to South Carolina to help clear a young man of a murder charge. After he arrives, he helps to transport the young man to a safe house, but just as Charlie starts to investigate the young man is murdered. Parker knows there is more to this than meets the eye. His investigation will take him back into the past of two families, one black and one white and uncover a horrifying crime. Meanwhile, back in Maine, Rev. Faulkner is trying to orchestrate his release from prison but Lewis and Angel have other plans.

This is another hit for me and bonus points because there are no spiders. I continue to love the whole cast of characters and I like that the characters’ stories carry over from one book to the next. Angel is still struggling to overcome the trauma Rev. Faulkner inflicted on him. We get to learn a little more about Lewis’s history, and the relationship between Charlie and Rachel continues to develop. As usual, John Connolly delivers a story that is twisty, filled with action, and full of surprises. The narration was top-notch and one of the best I’ve heard. Paul Birchard did an excellent job of differentiating the characters with subtle changes of accent and delivery, and his narration style really heightened the drama. I highly recommend this audiobook for both the story and the expert narration.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“The Sandman” by Lars Kepler

“The Sandman” by Lars Kepler

OMG! This book just blew me away! In “The Sandman”, the 4th installment in the Joona Linna series, a young man has appeared walking across a train bridge one night. But this young man disappeared as a 13 years ago along with his sister, and has been declared dead. Detective Inspector Joona Linna was on the original case and even though a suspect was arrested, prosecuted, and is still incarcerated, Joona had always believed there was an accomplice. Now he’s sure of it, and the hunt is on. Jurek Walter is securely imprisoned with no contact with the outside world, so why was Mikael released? And who released him? He claims his sister is still alive, but where is she being kept? Can Joona and his team unravel the clues before the girl’s time runs out?

This was my first time with DI Joona Linna but I don’t think it will be my last. The suspense is unbelievable. The storyline has lots of twists but it all comes together brilliantly for a totally unexpected ending. I thought the characters were great with a depth to them that made them feel real and relatable. The scenes in the mental hospital took my breath away. This book takes place in Sweden which was new for me and some of the names were a bit challenging but I got to learn about a different country so it balances out. Everything about this book is 5 star.

Alinefromabook’s rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble

Thank you to First to Read for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Look for Me” by Lisa Gardner

“Look for Me” by Lisa Gardner

A family massacred, one daughter and two dogs missing. Is this 9th installment in the series D.D. Warren once again has her hands full. And while she’s tracking down a killer, her husband and son are out adopting a dog of their own, which she’s not quite sure will be a welcome addition. Meanwhile, kidnapping survivor Flora Dane, has a connection to the missing girl and begins an investigation of her own, using her very secretive survivor support group to aid in the search. Roxanna is just trying to find a place to feel safe for a while. Unraveling this mystery will take them all into the dark side of the foster care system and reveal just how twisted a motive can be.

I loved this story, and while I’m usually a cat person, the dogs really add something special to the story. D.D. Warren is a very complicated police detective, but great at her job. She has some great leadership skills and I was very impressed by the way she kept the investigation organized when practically the entire Boston police force was involved in the search for the missing girl. She also has great people skills when she needs them. I felt sorry for Flora and the trauma she had been through, but at the same time I admired her resiliency and the way she was working to re-create her life into something that was meaningful to her. There’s also a whole host of supporting characters that are unique and add depth to the story. The plot here has a lot of twists and clues that don’t seem to fit together until the very end. I think mystery/thriller lovers will really enjoy this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“Watch Me” by Jody Gehrman

“Watch Me” by Jody Gehrman

A really disturbing story that you won’t be able to put down! Jody Gehrman puts the reader right inside the head of a stalker and his victim. Kate Youngblood is an author and English professor at a Midwestern college. Sam Grist is the star student in her workshop. He’s talented and charming in a sea of ordinary college students. Kate is recently divorced and her best friend is about to have her first child. She’s lonely and facing writer’s block while her agent breaths down her neck. Sam is like a breath of fresh air but with her bid for tenure under consideration, she knows better than to do more than be a mentor. Sam on the other hand, has more in mind…much more!

I will admit that it took me a while to get into this story. I didn’t like anything about Sam and felt like a voyeur reading his thoughts. Kate, on the other hand, I could really relate to. Having been through one myself, I totally understood the anxieties and doubts caused by her mid-life type crisis, and how flattered she felt by the attentions of her student. The story seemed to start out a little slow but the intensity builds gradually to the point of no return. I admit that I thought I knew how it would end and was taken completely by surprise. If you like to get inside the brain of the perpetrator, then you will love this book. I highly recommend.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“The Memory Detective” by T.S. Nichols

“The Memory Detective” by T.S. Nichols

“The Memory Detective” follows a police detective who solves crimes by having the memories of the victim transferred into his brain. Cole is the detective that the other detectives try to avoid getting partnered with. The scientists say that a person should have no more than 2 memory transfers, but Cole has had more than a dozen. He has become expert at pulling the crucial clues out of the victim’s memories and bringing murderers to justice. But this skill comes at a cost to his personal relationships. When the memories of an unidentified female victim are transferred into Cole’s brain, neither he nor his colleagues are prepared for the Pandora’s box that he is about to open.

I found the idea of memories being transferred from one person to another to be fascinating and the author did a great job of exploring how that would feel and affect the individual receiving the transfer. The story also has some great twists in it to keep you alert while you’re reading. My only problem with this book is the characters. I didn’t feel like I really connected with any of the characters. The premise of the story is great, the settings felt real and came alive with the author’s descriptions, and the narrative moved smoothly with a quick pace. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t feel the characters.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating 3.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |  Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble

“Darkness at the Edge of Town” by Jennifer Harlow

“Darkness at the Edge of Town” by Jennifer Harlow

Welcome to Book 2 in the Iris Ballard series! Iris is a forensic psychologist who previously worked for the FBI. Now she is an acclaimed author. While on a tour to promote her book, she is summoned back to her hometown in Pennsylvania because her brother has abandoned his life and joined a cult. Iris’s high-strung mother is fit to be tied and determined that Iris will get her brother back. To do this Iris must infiltrate the cult and try not to get killed in the process.

So, I have a little bit of an obsession with books about cults. I find the inner workings of these groups to be endlessly fascinating. This story is pure fiction, but takes the reader into the heart of the cult and exposes you to the tactics they use to gain followers. The main characters are a diverse group with some very complicated personalities. In particular, Iris’s family is highly dysfunctional and her mother can be scary at times. The story is about Iris trying to find and extricate her brother but at the same time she is working through some very intense personal emotions and relationships. The story itself moves at a quick pace and keeps the reader turning pages. My only issue with the book is the over use of the “F” word throughout and that’s why I’m giving it a lower rating. If that’s not a problem for you then you are in for a compelling psychological thriller.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 3 star rating  3 stars!

Happy Reading!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

Thank you to NetGalley and Alibi books for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Private” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro – Audiobook

“Private” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro – Audiobook

Narrated by Peter Hermann

Jack Morgan is a former military helicopter pilot, the son of a convict, the brother of an evil twin, and head of Private Investigations. Private is a top-notch investigative agency, catering to the rich and famous. Jack has a world-class support team which includes Del Rio, Justine, Sci, and others. Jack is hired to find out who killed the wife of his long-time friend, this death hits him hard because he had introduced them. At the same time, his uncle hires him to investigate possible game-fixing within the NFL. As if these two investigations aren’t enough, Justine is hot on the trail of what appears to be a team of serial killers who are stalking high school girls. This is the first book in the “Private” series.

Jack is a man who is haunted by his past but nevertheless I found that I liked him a lot. He’s terrible with relationships but he keeps trying and seems to learn from his mistakes. Justine is great as the strong, female character and her not so friendly relationship with Nora, the cop, is fun to watch. Tracking three separate storylines in one book can be challenging but in this case I found that it all flowed together nicely, with smooth transitions from one investigation to the next. Since I listened to the audiobook version of this story the narration quality was very important. I think the narrator did a good job but I did find my mind wandering a little bit at times. Overall, this is another good thriller from James Patterson. I enjoyed the story and characters.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

To order from Amazon US, click here.

To order from Amazon UK, click here.

To view on Goodreads, click here.

“The Broken Girls” by Simone St. James

“The Broken Girls” by Simone St. James

This book totally creeped me out! But in a delightful, beguiling way. The Amazon description of this story mentions that the school involved is rumored to be haunted; that is an understatement. Idlewild Hall is a school for girls that no one wants, and in 1950 one of them mysteriously disappears. In 1994 a young woman, daughter of a local celebrity, is found murdered on the playing field of the now abandoned school. In 2014, Fiona, that young woman’s sister, is now a journalist and after hearing that the school is to be restored, she can’t help but start her own investigation into the circumstances of her sister’s murder. As the restoration begins, a body is found in an old well on the property and Fiona now finds herself investigating two deaths. Fiona soon finds herself deep in the mystery of Idlewild Hall, but will she come out of it alive?

If you like paranormal or thrillers, you must read this book. I was so drawn into this story that I completely tuned out everything else. I love a book that can do that. The storyline is complex and twisty but it all flows really well and comes together brilliantly at the end. Fiona is a great character who’s a bit lost at the beginning but finds her way while working through her sister’s death. Her hunky boyfriend adds some romance and angst to the story, and has issues of his own to work through, but I enjoyed the relationship and the way he treated Fiona. There are a host of strong female characters woven into the story. The author has constructed the story so that it shifts back and forth between events in 1950 and the investigation in 2014 which in this case adds to the mystery. It seemed like every time Fiona was about to discover something the story would shift to 1950 and vice versa, so there is a constant sense of anticipation. Simone St. James is definitely going on my “I-want-more-from-this-author” list. You may live to regret it if you pass this one up!

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

To order from Amazon US, click here.

To view on Goodreads, click here.