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Drone

Drone: An Eli Quinn Mystery by Robert Roy Britt

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Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising by William Burke

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The Five Paths to Happiness

The Five Paths to Happiness: The Keys to Living a Happy Life According to Your Personality by Javier Ramon Brito

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When the Dragon Roars

When the Dragon Roars by Nesly Clerge

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World Saver

World Saver by Neal Goldstein

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My Best Friend and Loyal Companion

My Best Friend and Loyal Companion
by Nancy Eaton

About six months ago, I had to have my Shih Tzu euthanized. She was very ill and did not want to eat. No one wants their beloved pet to suffer. I was devastated. Today, I am still not over the hurt I feel over her loss. When I tried to More »

Drone: An Eli Quinn Mystery by Robert Roy Britt

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

DroneImmediately absorbing and thoroughly entertaining, Robert Roy Britt’s Drone, the second book in his Eli Quinn detective series, capably resumes the series with the hard-boiled but well-intentioned private detective this time looking to solve a bold attempted murder of a public official.

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This was an entertaining narrative from the beginning, with Eli Quinn, private eye, officially opening his detective agency in the town of Pleasant, Arizona. Pleasant is a small town with seemingly not much going on. But across Arizona a growing population of illegal immigrants become targets of the Sheriff Horace Otto and other unhappy folks. Consequently, morality is thrown aside when the sheriff promotes a program to round up illegal immigrants and an evil element festers in the background.

Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising by William Burke

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

Voodoo ChildAround the globe and then landing in a small Caribbean island, this story traverses the world and more.

The action starts on the small island of Isle De Fantomas. It moves to the deserts of the Middle East and then back again. The plot is an interesting mix of horror, mystery and voodoo. The most intriguing part of this to this reviewer is the author’s respect for a small religion, voodoo, in this case.

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Yes, there are demons, devils, voodoo priestesses and hordes of the undead. They fill the pages and bring out a very mixed bag of horror and yet detailed practice of a little known religion. There are soldiers, military and mercenary troops and wickedly charming scientists and others not nearly so charming.

The Five Paths to Happiness: The Keys to Living a Happy Life According to Your Personality by Javier Ramon Brito

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

The Five Paths to HappinessThe search for happiness is a central theme in our life paths; it seems to be the goal of mankind. Although many view it as a destination some, like Javier Ramon Brito, are here to remind us that it is in fact all about the road. In his book, The Five Paths to Happiness, he describes several means of materializing such an elusive concept.

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Unlike other self-help books which usually put forward a single universal solution, this one presents five ways, adding a layer of complexity to the approach. The author combines different disciplines and thought systems based on a common denominator (the number five) to outline his personal system. From psychology he takes the character structures, the five elements that govern everything (ether, air, fire, water, earth) from Eastern philosophy, also studying the interaction of these elements with the human body from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine.

When The Dragon Roars (The Starks Trilogy Book 2) by Nesly Clerge

Reviewed by Veronica Alvarado

When the Dragon RoarsBrimming with twists, turns, and non-stop drama, When The Dragon Roars by Nesly Clerge is a thriller ideal for any fan of prison-noir.

When The Dragon Roars opens with the protagonist, Frederick Stark, a.k.a The Dragon, at the nadir of his life. Having been betrayed by his ex-wife Kayla, a life one fraught with opportunities is now exceedingly limited. He is in jail, serving an extended sentence for placing the man who cuckholded him in a coma. But Starks is not one to let life get him down that easily—using the acumen that he had acquired as a CEO, he boldly, yet subtly, begins an attempt at ascension of the prison hierarchy. But things start to look hairy when the prison COs suspect him of the two inside job murderers—which he did have a heavy hand in executing.

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World Saver by Neal Goldstein

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

World SaverMeet Cy “LUVTR41N” Orbick, a teen hooked on the World Saver computer game, and the hero of talented author Neal Goldstein’s debut sci-fi novel. Cy’s father died while flight testing a plane in New Mexico, and his mother remarried her late husband’s best friend—Captain Trent, who happened to be manning the radar when Cy’s dad’s plane crashed. Cy aspires to solve the puzzle clues of the World Saver game, and to get hired at World Saver headquarters. Little does he realize his gaming chops will be put to use helping to save real worlds.

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Landline: A Novel by Rainbow Rowellli

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Landline“Georgie. You cannot be jealous of Dawn- that’s like the sun being jealous of a lightbulb.”

Wow! You mean the former girlfriend is a lightbulb, and I am the sun to you?

Relationships are usually complicated, in particular between a husband and a wife. It takes a rare talent to capture a glimpse of the inner workings of any marriage through the eyes of the masterful author, Rainbow Rowell who neither glamorizes or simplifies the reality of being married.

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Georgie McCool has one of those difficult choices in life where whatever she chooses will cause her to have regrets. There is no right here, just the logical solution even if it is at the expense of her family.

Georgie along with her longtime friends, Seth and Scotty, have been together since college. The three have learned how to capitalize their relationships into writing successful comedy shows.

Their dream is just around the corner with their idea of a new show being possible. Finally, a network executive is looking at their prospective dream, Passing Time.

Naturally, Georgie needs to take the leap and devote her next few days to writing.

But…

It is a week before Christmas, Georgie, Neal and their two daughters have plane tickets to Omaha to share the holidays with her in-laws. Logically, Georgie needs to stay in Los Angeles to write forcing her to miss Christmas with the family, her husband, and their daughters.

How will her husband react to this choice? Will this be the beginning of their separation?

Landline is a masterful narrative revealing Georgie’s thoughts, insecurities in a real-life situation. After many years of marriage, many people value those rare romantic memories of the past while secretly dreaming that they happen again. They don’t. Over many years, all relationships evolve due to work situations, children, stress, money, and numerous other challenges. Does that mean that your marriage is over?

Added to that, Georgie possesses guilt that her husband, Neal, gave up his career dream so that she could pursue hers. Is it Neal’s turn for his chance to dream?

Rainbow Rowell is a best-selling author who resides in Omaha with her family. Her previous novels are Fangirl, Eleanor and Park, and Attachments.

Landline is a unique glimpse into personal relationships between co-workers, siblings, parents, in-laws, children, spouses, and even former girlfriends without being a romance novel and surprisingly, being utterly fascinating. How Rowell weaves this tale is astonishing.

Landline is one book that you never want to put down while you are reading and continue to mull over long after you complete the last page.
What can anyone learn from reading this novel? The answer is to discover what holds a family together and what breaks them. Could this be what some call love? Read Landline for the answer.

Die Again: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Die AgainEnjoy traveling? This one by Gerritsen has a bit of that intertwined with mystery, killings, and wild animal safaris. Die Again is a very interesting read as Rizzoli & Isles, the detective/medical examiner team, get involved in a somewhat different crime scene.

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Beginning on a safari in Africa the story weaves back and forth between there and Boston. Also there are some years between some of the happenings that make it that much more involved and interesting. Rizzoli & Isles were not on the safari!

The Couple Next Door: A Novel by Shari Lapena

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Couple Next DoorSo many of my favorite authors were recommending this book by a first time published author I decided to give it a shot. Wow, that was a good move. She has written one of the best mysteries that I have read in some time.

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It all starts with a couple who are having dinner at their neighbor’s house which abuts their own. Anne who is in fact the lead in the story has had a bit too much to drink but she is not too concerned about that but she is concerned about other things.

Her husband, Marco, is with her and Anne does feel that Cynthia, the neighbor is getting overly friendly with Marco. However she keeps that to herself as she is more concerned about the fact that she and Marco have left their eight month old daughter Cora alone in her crib. Marco has told her there is nothing to worry about as they have the monitor on right next to her crib so that if she cries or anything they will go immediately to her side. Also they take turns watching her every half hour to further instill the feeling of safety.

However after she finally convinces Marco to leave and they return home they find that the crib is empty! The front door is slightly ajar but there appears to be nothing else unusual in the house. They immediately call the police and basically that is where the story really begins to gather momentum.

The detective in charge of the investigation feels that there is something definitely wrong with the whole setup but he cannot put his finger on it. As he begins digging deeper and deeper he finds some unusual things in Anne’s life. He also feels that Marco is keeping things to himself and not fully talking about their situation.

Also about this time Anne’s mother and step-father that have been exceedingly generous to Anne and Marco come into the picture.
They have plenty of money that belongs to the mother and they want to put out the word that a generous reward will be given to anyone who comes forward with any information about the abduction.

Anne appears about ready to have a nervous breakdown while Marco works hard to keep her steady while he also worries about his floundering business and his father-in-law’s demeanor toward him.

The detective works harder and harder while Marco, Anne, and the parents fret about the missing baby and whether or not she is alive and if she is well.

More and more pieces come together and then pull apart as Lapena intricately weaves this mysterious tale. It is truly a great read and especially a “can’t put it down” type of book. Give this one a try!

The Innocents (A Quinn Colson Novel) by Ace Atkins

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The InnocentsPretty interesting book about Quinn Colson (one of Atkins’ favorites) and the problems in Jericho, Mississippi. A word of warning however to possible readers….there is a ton and a half of profanity!

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Don’t understand all of it but realize that there is a certain group of people, seems like especially in the poorer areas of the south that can only converse when they use foul language. I’m sure the same occurs in the North but regardless it is still overemphasized I believe by some authors. Not really necessary for the story line so I guess it must be either for word count or frustration on the author’s part.

The group that I assume make up The Innocents are all of the characters. It has to be a play on words or something as there surely are no innocents in this story.

Black Rain by Matthew B.J. Delaney (Book Excerpt)


Black RainThe black unmarked rolled up on the park side of Fifth Avenue, directly across from the Livingston townhouse crime scene. The front curb was still crowded with marked police cars, and uniformed cops milled around with their hats on, playing on their syncs and waiting for somebody to let them go home. Crime scene pulses sectioned off the townhouse, while on the far sidewalk a crowd of people in costume stood together, some of them crying.

Detective Charles Arden sipped cherry meltwater. Arden was a big man, wide across the chest, but now growing soft, a former athlete past his prime. His body spread across the center line of the car, encroaching on the passenger seat where his partner, Detective Dwayne Sanders, sat. Sanders had a runner’s build, tall and slim, the kind of perfect mannequin frame that made even off-the-rack suits look perfectly tailored. He watched NY1 on his sync: the New York Braves had overrun Los Angeles in the invasion of Normandy, the crushers had expired three Synthate rebels in the Brooklyn conurb, and tomorrow’s rain would be six percent acidic.

Arden studied the containment dome that covered the lower portion of Central Park, which had become a tangled mass of overgrown vegetation. Eight years had passed since the dome’s construction by the genetic conglomerate Genico, and the covered area was still too radioactive for habitation. Too expensive and dangerous to ever fully decon, the dome kept the contaminants in place and turned the most expensive real estate on the planet into an overgrown wilderness.

Ahead of them, news trucks lined the block. Sanders flipped off his sync. “Ever get this much coverage in the Synthate Zone?”

“Kidding me. Synthate gets expired, just roll the body up and call the crushers.”

Sanders nodded toward a fat man in a musketeer outfit. “Recognize him?”

“That would be Senator Livingston. Pulled him out of enough midtown pleasure parlors to know.” Arden pointed out another man dressed Gordon Gekko–style with slicked hair and suspenders. He stood away from the crowd, a massive security-model Synthate behind him. “And that’s Harold Lieberman. Number two guy at Genico.”

“How do you know that?”

“Genico built half the Synthates in the Zone. You get to know who owns them. Doesn’t look like he was at the party, though,” Arden said. “Must have come after.”

“Wonder why.”

Senator Livingston’s residence took up the entire corner of the block. Two emergency service trucks had erected light towers at the edge of the park while crime scene units unpacked gear from the back of their vans.

The interior foyer of the townhouse featured pink-and-white marbled floors and columns amid fluxglass 3Deeing Venetian carnival scenes. Detective Rojas, assigned to the Crime Scene Unit, waited for them in front of an oil painting, some sort of large castle with a lightning bolt overhead.

“That painting would look great in your living room,” Arden said.

“It would really complement my da Vinci.”

“Someone’s been studying their art history.” Arden and Sanders both shook hands with Rojas.

“What do we got?”

“Three dead naturals.” Rojas led them toward a waiting elevator. “Two were a married couple, both hacked up, name of Reynolds. The third was security. Guy named Greeley.”

“Sounds pleasant.”

The elevator carried them upward. Arden’s sync chimed a reminder that it was time for his daughter to take her meds. He would call his nanny, Pisces Flyer, when he was done here.

“Some sort of costume party going on at the time,” Rojas continued. “Like a hide-and-seek sort of thing. Around forty guests. Some security people. And maybe fifteen or so maids, chefs, etc., all Synthates. So far they’ve been a little hesitant to talk to us. But their bioprints are all pretty calm. Oceans. Rainbows. Shit like that. I think we can eliminate them as suspects.”

“Maybe. Lot of Synthates learning to control their bioprints, though,” Arden said.

“I say we just pin it on a Synthate and call it case closed.” Sanders looked bored.

“Grab one of the usual suspects.” For many in the squad, that had been an easy way to close open cases. Grab a Synthate with a record and pin whatever had gone down on him or her. The department wanted homicides solved, and Synthates couldn’t defend themselves. You just had to pick one up, call the crushers, and throw some evidence around. Worked out for everyone. Except, of course, in high-profile cases. When the public inconveniently demanded the real killers be brought to justice.

The elevator doors opened to a floor crowded with more uniforms. The trio walked down a long hallway that ended in a luxurious private library. The room had twenty-foot-high ceilings, a gilded fireplace on one wall, and a chandelier the size of Arden’s kitchen table. Windows looked down on Central Park, the abandoned zoo visible through the dome, rusting and overgrown.

A gorgeous brunette natural in a tight calfskin dress with a feather in her hair sat crying in the corner of the room, being comforted by a man in a tricornered hat and breeches.

“Who’s she?” Arden asked.

Sanders snapped his fingers and pointed at the girl. “Pocahontas next to Napoleon.”

Rojas shook his head. “No, no, no. You’re way off. It’s Sacagawea and Thomas Jefferson.”

“No, I meant, who is she? What’s she doing here?”

“Oh,” Rojas responded. “Synthate found the bodies initially. But these two were the first naturals afterward. She and Betty Boop were hiding in the study next door. Thomas Jefferson is—”

“Napoleon,” Sanders interrupted.

“Whoever.” Rojas looked annoyed. “That’s her husband. He was in the billiard room at the time.”

“See anything?”

“Aside from the two dead bodies? Nah, she didn’t see anything.”

Arden studied the room. Opposite a wall with a grandfather clock, broken glass lined the floor. A smaller room was also visible, recessed from the library.

“Looks like our two victims were in some sort of concealed back bedroom. Apparently there was a mirror with one-way glass on the bedroom side. It opened with a remote.” Rojas raised his eyebrows. “Whatever that was about. Anyway, the two victims were found inside there. Some shell casings. Looks like some shots were fired. No weapon recovered, though. Help yourself.”

The Evidence Collection Team, or ECT, was already on scene. One of the officers crouched down as he placed a yellow marker over what appeared to be a shell casing on the floor.

“I suggest it was Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the revolver,” Sanders said as they stepped over the broken glass and into the once-hidden bedroom. The bed’s comforter was pulled back and bloodied red. The body of a man in surgical scrubs lay sprawled face-down on the floor. On the bed was a woman dressed as an angel.

“Detectives Arden and Sanders,” Rojas said. “Meet Dr. and Mrs. Reynolds.”

“Doctor?”

“Yeah, Dr. Reynolds. Had a Genico lab identification card in his pocket.”

“What’d he do over there?”

Rojas grimaced and looked at his shoes.

“What?” Arden asked. “What’s with the glum look?”

“Synthate design work. He was also in charge of the Black Rain program.”

“Oh.” Arden exhaled, then scuffed the ground with his shoe. “Well, I guess this guy won’t be coming up with a cure anytime soon.”

Excerpted from BLACK RAIN © Copyright 2016 by Matthew B.J. Delaney. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

About Black Rain (47North, September 2016)

In a darkly warped near future, lucrative disease cures are brokered on Wall Street’s Genetic Stock Exchange. And the hottest consumer products are artificially synthesized humans that serve as everything from domestic slaves to combatants in savage gladiatorial games. For Jack Saxton, the young heir to genetic design powerhouse Genico Inc., these Synthates are just a fact of life…until the murder of a high-profile genetic scientist leads a pair of seasoned NYPD detectives to Genico’s door.

As a small band of Synthate rebels steps up its attack on the status quo, Jack encounters a pleasure-parlor girl who opens his eyes to their cause. When he dares to sympathize with the rebels, Jack is hunted down and arrested for the murder. Sentenced to die in the brutal games on Bloomberg Island, Jack will be forced to fight—for his life, for the future of all Synthates, and for a chance to uncover the mind-bending secret buried in his past.

About the Author

    delaneyMatthew B.J. Delaney published his first novel, Jinn, in 2003. Winner of the International Horror Guild Award, the novel was optioned for film by Touchstone Pictures, was featured as People magazine’s Page-Turner of the Week, and received a Publishers Weekly Starred Review.

    Delaney received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College and a master’s in public administration from Harvard. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, he left a career in finance and moved from Boston to New York City to join the New York City Police Department. He has been a member of the NYPD for twelve years and has been assigned to precincts throughout Manhattan and the Bronx as well as within police headquarters and the Intelligence Division. He is currently a decorated Special Operations Lieutenant serving in a Brooklyn violent crime suppression unit. He continues to write in his spare time.