Tag: #bookreview

“A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman

“A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman

Clay Edison is a deputy coroner whose last case earned him a suspension. But things are going great with his girlfriend and he’s back at work. Then that middle of the night call comes. There’s been a shooting in an East Bay neighborhood and there are multiple victims, including a Jane Doe. Clay decides to take on identifying Jane, which will turn out to be quite a project. While this is going on, his brother is released from prison and shows up for Thanksgiving with a big surprise.

I think this series is a great collaboration from the Kellermans. In the beginning I wasn’t quite sure what to think about Clay but he quickly grew on me. I loved how the story was not limited to the investigation but brought in the challenges of Clay’s personal life as well. My favorite character though, may well be Clay’s girlfriend. She is so supportive but at the same time has a way of keeping him rooted in reality. I like that this story has a real life feel to it. That being said, the story is full of twists and mysteries and action enough to satisfy any mystery lover. The fact that this story is set in California is just a bonus for me. Definitely check this series out.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

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“A Georgian Heroine” by Joanne Major & Sarah Murden

“A Georgian Heroine” by Joanne Major & Sarah Murden

The Intriguing Life of Rachel Charlotte Williams Biggs

It’s easy to think of the Georgian period as all fancy dress and good manners … until you read this book. Rachel Charlotte Williams Biggs has barely reached adulthood when she is stalked, kidnapped, raped and held captive for 2 years by a man who claims to love her. But there is still a whole life to be lived where she will work as a spy for the government, be held captive by the French, and never have the opportunity to be with the man she has always loved.

With little to go on, the authors have crafted the story of Rachel Bigg’s life. It seems at times that the universe is set against her but she is nothing if not persistent and capable of pulling herself up from her adversity time and time again. I found this story very intriguing and written in a style that kept me wanting to know what happened next. If you’re looking for something a little different in the way of biography, then check this one out. I definitely recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“The Lovers” by John Connolly – Audiobook

“The Lovers” by John Connolly – Audiobook

Narrated by George Guidall

Listening to this story was like a chocolate truffle melting on the tongue. This story is the most personal of the books so far in that the mystery Charlie is trying to unravel is that of his father’s suicide. This incident, obviously, had a huge impact on Charlie’s life and at this point in time he has lost his PI’s license and been working as a bartender. He decides to take a week off and travel to New York to try and determine once and for all what drove his father to take his own life. In the process, he opens up a hornet’s nest of secrets. He comes in contact with former colleagues of his father, revisits his own former home in the city and has a heart-to-heart with the rabbi who was there when Charlie was born.

I really enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about Charlie Parker’s life and family. Who could have imagined all of the supernatural events that surrounded Charlie’s birth? Only the mind of John Connolly. I have to also give high praise to the narrator for his excellent reading of this story. He really kept my attention throughout. This series continues to thrill and boggle my mind, and I highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morgan – Audiobook

“The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morgan – Audiobook

Narrated by Caroline Lee

I just loved, loved, loved this story. I have not read the book but the narration her was so compelling that it felt like I was being read a beautiful, dreamy, bedtime story. The story starts in London with a young woman who lives in poverty with her brother after their mother dies. Then she loses her brother and the uncle she’s never known finds her and takes her into his manor home to be a companion for his sickly daughter. The two girls form an intense bond that continues until one of them gets married. Meantime, the reader is also hearing the story of Nell in Australia. Nell was found as an orphan on a ship that came from Britain. No one seems to be looking for her and the man who found her takes her into his family and raises her as one of his own. Years pass and Nell has raised her own daughter and granddaughter and when she dies she leaves everything to her granddaughter, including a cottage in England. Why did she buy a cottage in Britain? And just where did she come from? Nell’s granddaughter sets out to answer these questions.

This is a sweeping story covering 4 generations of women and secrets galore. I am just in awe of Kate Morgan and her ability to create really rich and unique characters in her stories. I also admire the complexity of her plots. In this book, the story moves back and forth between the past and the present, which in an audiobook can be a little confusing for me until I get a feel for the narrator’s voicing of the different characters. That being said, Ms. Lee did a superb job with this book. I enjoyed the narration as much as the story itself. One of my favorite things about this book is the way the ocean was used as kind of an anchor for each of the characters. And let me talk a little bit about the garden. The garden belongs to the cottage owned by Nell. I place she visited once and never saw again. The cottage and garden have been unoccupied for decades when Nell’s granddaughter finds it and sets about bringing it back to life. The garden is a place full of secrets and possibilities. This is a rich and compelling story with a top-of-the-line narration. Get a copy today.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson

“One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson

A young man has fallen out of a carnival ride to his death in the city of Flaxborough. DI Purbright and Sgt. Love are charged with the investigation. While busy with this, the wife of the local dog food manufacturer’s manager goes missing. But her husband thinks she just setting him up to look bad during the divorce proceedings. And then, Miss Teatime is asked for assistance by an old friend who’s in a bit of a muddle with a job he was hired to do by the dog food people and know wants to get out of. When Miss Teatime discovers that dogs have been disappearing from the local shelter you have to wonder what’s to become of Flaxborough. Will Purbright and Love be able to untangle all these knots? You’ll have to get yourself a copy of the book and find out.

You all know how much I have been enjoying this series and this one is no exception. I found this story a little bit different in that much of the story is told from the perspective of those perpetrating the crimes, rather than all from the investigator’s standpoint. The story starts with the riders in the carnival ride shortly before the fall and left me feeling a little off balance right from the start. The drama increase from there and the kidnapping plot gets underway. In the end, Purbright brings the investigation to a mostly satisfying conclusion and Flaxborough returns to its quirky self once again. I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“Queens of Georgian Britain” by Catherine Curzon

“Queens of Georgian Britain” by Catherine Curzon

Back in January I reviewed “Kings of Georgian Britain” by this author and now it’s time to talk about the Queens. This book is organized chronologically with four section, each describing the life and relationships of the queens. Act I starts with Sophia Dorothea, then we have Queen Caroline, Queen Charlotte and another Queen Caroline to end the Georgian era. Each of these women have unique stories that the author narrates expertly. The reader has a chance to become familiar with their personalities, their strengths and their weaknesses. Some of them were loved, while others were despised and rejected. Sophia’s story is one of disappointment and heartache, while the other 3 enjoyed great popularity, at least with the people if not their husbands. One thing is very clear and that is that you can’t pigeonhole these women, they are complex and intriguing.

Having now read a second book by this author, she has become a favorite. The writing style is clear and engaging. There is no heaviness and she uses lots of subsections which I like because sometimes you only have 5 or 10 minutes to read. It seems clear to me that she really enjoys her subject and has done copious amounts of research. After reading this book, I would say that these women have become real people in my mind, not just pictures in a history text. I highly recommend both this book and the companion book about the kings if you want to get a better understanding of the period of the Georgians. Well done!

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“American Nations” by Colin Woodard

“American Nations” by Colin Woodard

A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

Narrated by Walter Dixon

If you ask a resident of America what it means to be an American, they will always have an answer. But what that answer is will depend on where you are in America. What Colin Woodard set out to do in this book is reveal the eleven distinct cultures that exist in North America and delineate how the differences have affected the development of the United States and continue to influence our politics going forward. If there is one thing that I could explain to the rest of the world it’s that America is different in every state, county, city and town. This is why when driving in Minnesota the speed limit is 70, but when you cross the border into North Dakota it goes up to 75. The rules and cultures that influence them change from region to region and if you understand this you can begin to see why American politics are so complicated.

If I could I would make this book required reading (or listening) in every school and give a copy to every immigrant. Colin Woodard has done a fantastic job, in my opinion, of explaining the origins of these cultures and delineating their differences in beliefs and influence on the national stage. I learned so much about the history of the United States that explained so much. I listened to this book through Audible and the narration was top-notch. Walter Dixon did a great job with this project and while this book doesn’t have different characters, per se, there are many places where historic figures are quoted and he did a great job of differentiating this material with his voice. I think this is an excellent book in every aspect, content, organization and narration, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a greater understanding of America.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“No Cure for the Dead” by Christine Trent

“No Cure for the Dead” by Christine Trent

We all know Florence Nightingale and her contributions to the nursing profession, but was she also a detective? In “No Cure for the Dead”, Christine Trent presents Florence as just that. She has recently been appointed as director of a hospital for women in London. One week into her new job she finds one of her nurses hanging from the ceiling in the hospital’s library. The board of directors start to think that hiring her was a mistake, the police seem to think it’s a case of suicide, but when more strange things start to happen in the hospital Florence is convinced there is more to this story. With the help of her companion she begins an investigation of her own. Will she be able to uncover the culprit before more people are hurt?

This one really surprised me with its suspense and charm. “No Cure for the Dead” is the first in a new series from the author and I’d say it’s off to a great start. I really loved the Florence character that the author created and the personality felt true to life. I could see Florence Nightingale doing this investigation. In addition, there is a whole host of other fun characters from the daft old lady patient to the young boy who does odd jobs for the hospital, they were all believable and fit in with the story and the setting. The investigation has a lot of unexpected twists which makes it a very engaging mystery. I found that the author’s descriptions of London at the time really drew me into the story. Basically, I loved this story and can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Reapers” by John Connolly

“The Reapers” by John Connolly

Narrated by George Guidall

Circumstances have changed for Charlie Parker since he lost his PI’s license. Meanwhile, Angel and Louis are faced with a potentially fatal decision. Someone is coming after them by targeting their business interests and the people that they care about. Tracking down the person behind it all brings Louis back in contact with a key figure from his past and puts them all in danger. Louis and Angel are out-numbered and out-maneuvered until a faithful friend contacts Charlie to come to the rescue. The question is, who will still be standing when the smoke clears away?

Book 7 in the Charlie Parker series is different from the previous books in that the story focuses on Louis and Angel more than on Charlie. In this one we get to learn a lot about Louis and Angel’s history and their relationship with each other. We meet some of the characters at the periphery of their lives, like the mechanic that Louis saved from ruin and who is infinitely loyal in return. I really enjoyed the opportunity to understand these two pivotal characters better. I did however miss Charlie as he really doesn’t show up until the middle of the book, but I liked the role reversal here where Charlie is the back-up man instead of the lead. The story itself is one you really have to pay attention to as these guys have lived very complicated lives. I think the change of focus in this book really shows the creativity of the author and his skill at developing multiple characters simultaneously.  Finally, George Guidall, as narrator, has once again delivered a stellar performance.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins – Audiobook

“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins – Audiobook

Narrated by Laura Aikman, Imogen Church, Daniel Weyman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred

From the author of “The Girl on the Train” comes another page turner of a mystery. Lena is 15 and her single mother has just been found dead in The Drowning Pool. This pool has seen several suicides in its history and everyone assumes that this is another in the line of women who have killed themselves by jumping in. Lena is convinced that her mother did not commit suicide and the policewoman Erin, recently transferred from London, also finds the idea of suicide to be questionable. As Erin begins to look into the case she finds herself uncovering all kinds of dark secrets that the townspeople are hiding.

This rural community is a treasure trove of psychological angst. It seems that everybody has a secretand some of them are barely contained. And I was so drawn into this story that I listened to the whole book, 11 ½ hours, in just 2 days. The structure of the story is similar to her first book in that it is told by several different people, sometimes in the present and sometimes in the past. I found this format a little challenging in the beginning because there is not much to indicate the transition from one character to another, except the change in voice. I found myself a couple of times getting distracted and missing the transition but was able to quickly get back on track. That being said I thought all the narrators were great. Their interpretation of the characters was excellent. The story itself is full of twists that kept me guessing till the end. There is some physical action in the story but the suspense really comes from the psychological aspects of the story. A couple of these people are really messed up and none of them seem to have truly functional relationships. Lena’s teenage angst mixed with the trauma of losing her mother is just perfectly written. Overall, I found this to be a riveting story with exceptional characters and a really top-notch narration. Don’t miss out on this one, whether in print or audio.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Audible   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website