Monthly Archives: December 2013

Sorrow Wood by Raymond L. Atkins

Sorrow WoodReviewed by Allen Hott

Without a doubt, Raymond Atkins is one of the best Southern novelists of today or perhaps of any day. He writes with a true knowledge of the south and all of its quirks, mannerisms, and unique residents. Sorrow Wood is a combination love story and murder mystery. A fantastic story of southerners and how they think and live.

Wendell Blackmon is the sheriff in Sand Valley, Alabama and Reva Blackmon, his wife, is the probate judge of the municipality. Together they uphold the law, justice, and they control the few miscreants that reside in the area. Most of their work centers around two true country boys who get arrested and have to face the judge on a pretty regular basis. Nothing major. Usually just some petty thing like dog fighting or having too much to drink.

The Game by Tom Wood

The GameReviewed by Dianne Woodman

Victor is a professional assassin who analyzes in minute detail every situation in which he finds himself. In The Game, he is contracted to kill one of his peers, Felix Kooi. After Victor fulfills the contract, Janice Muir, who works for the CIA, hires him to impersonate Kooi. Victor flies to Budapest, Hungary, and is met by a woman named Francesca Leone at the airport. She drives Victor to an industrial site where he meets with a man named Robert Leeson. Leeson asks Victor to kill Francesca. Victor refuses, and the meeting ends.

Shortly afterwards, Leeson hires Victor for a job, but refuses to divulge any information about it. Victor travels to Italy and is driven by Francesca to an old farmhouse where he is introduced to team members Dietrich, Jaeger, and Coughlin. An uneasy alliance is formed between all of the men, except for Victor and Dietrich. While Victor and Leeson are dining at a restaurant, a group of Georgian mobsters attack them. Meanwhile, the tension between Victor and Dietrich continues to build and escalates into violence.

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough

MayhemReviewed by Teri Davis

Most people have heard about the legendary serial killer of the late 1800s in London, Jack the Ripper. Part of his fame was due to his letters to the media, However at the same time and also in London and during this same time in the mid-1880s another serial killer was active who also preyed on women who were on the streets.

His manner was different from the notorious Jack the Ripper. Known to Scotland Yard as The Torso Killer, he dismembered his victims after killing them and tossed the remains into the Thames. He did keep one souvenir of his victims, their heads.

Dr. Thomas Bond, as police surgeon, begins to investigates these killings. He is one of the first to notice that there are two separate killers even though both are brutal. With the usage of opium, he begins to make connections to the identity of the killer that seems to elude the police.

Shadow of the Alchemist: A Medieval Noir (Crispin Guest Medieval Noir) by Jeri Westerson

Shadow of the AlchemistReviewed by Teri Davis

According to Shakespeare, Richard II was a memorable and fickle ruler of England. That was part of the reason that eventually he was deposed. While he ruled, those he did not favor, were frequently executed. Fortunately for Crispin Guest, he only lost his riches, land, and life of privilege. However, how does someone who has only lived the noble life adjust to living on the streets?

Crispin Guest discover that he possesses a natural gift of being a tracker. He logically views the evidence of a crime that leads him to the culprit. Basically, a tracker is a private investigator for hire during the Middle Ages. Frequently, this places him in opposition to the local law enforcement being the Sheriffs.

Living a hand to mouth existence is difficult with always being on the edge of survival. Due to the brutal circumstances of life, Crispin also as a young apprentice who previously had been an orphaned and survived by thieving. Jack Tucker feels fortunate to be able to learn from the legendary tracker, Crispin Guest.

Nicholas Flamel, famed alchemist, hires Crispin to rescue his missing wife who has been kidnapped. However, the ransom is the famed Philosopher’s Stone, the legendary stone created from lead and turned to gold and immortality. Does the stone really work? Does Flamel have the knowledge of immortality? This is “Shadow of the Alchemist” by Jeri Westerson.

Holiday Royale by Christine Rimmer

Holiday RoyaleReviewed by Jane Squires

Lucy asks Prince Dami an unusual request – one he didn’t want to grant. Yet the more time Dami spends with Lucy, he begins to fall for her. So he grants her wish.

Sometimes like Dami, it takes men time to realize they truly have found true love. Not just a fling but one whom they want to spend the rest of their life with.

A Wanted Man by Lee Child

A Wanted ManReviewed by Allen Hott

First a killing in a bunker and, coincidentally, shortly thereafter Jack Reacher gets picked up as he tries to hitchhike to Virginia. Jack Reacher is one of Lee Child’s favorite characters. Reacher is a former Army veteran who picked up all sorts of tricks and methods of doing things while serving in Special Forces. Perhaps his greatest achievement is his ability to travel all over the country without any luggage. It seems that wherever he lands (for his next adventure) is where he picks up new clean clothes and other essentials like tooth brushes, etc. Never seems to work.

Reacher does manage to get involved in some interesting adventures and most of them not only involve espionage and other governmental activities but they also always involve him becoming a one man wrecking crew against that story’s bad guys.

The Tenth Circle by Jon Land

The Tenth Circle Reviewed by Russell Ilg

The stranger retrieved the phone and handed it back to McCracken. “My advice: keep this handy in case you need to call 9-1-1.”

“I am 9-1-1,” McCracken told him.

I’m not sure there’s ever been in a line in a modern thriller that better encapsulates the spirit of a book and enduring series hero than that from Jon Land’s latest mind-number The Tenth Circle. In the second installment of their resurrection, after last year’s bestselling Pandora’s Temple, Blaine McCracken and his equally bigger-than-life sidekick Johnny Wareagle are on the trail of a crazed preacher with eyes on unleashing a biblical-level Apocalypse. The Reverend Jeremiah Rule has a weapon in his possession rooted in not just the past, but in two of the greatest historical mysteries of all time, posing the question what if the mass disappearance of the Roanoke Colony and ghost ship the Mary Celeste were connected?

Malicious by James Raven

MaliciousReviewed by Danita Dyess

Malicious” by James Raven is an apt title for a sadistic game of sex, money and manipulation. Orchestrated by an unscrupulous computer hacker aka the Master Slave, unsuspecting victims perform libidinous acts in the privacy of their homes but viewed through their Web cams. Hellbent on grossing $2 million from his sex slaves, this fiend will prey on women’s fears to reach his goal. And that’s when the blackmailing begins.

But Robyn Tate is an unlikely victim. She’s a 33-year-old divorced mother and police detective with the Houston Police Department. She’s also a porn addict mired in the psychopath’s untraceable IT schemes. Furthermore, Charlotte Slater, an attractive and wealthy sex addict was also caught in the Slave Master’s trap. Now, she’s a corpse. Tate found her body in a nearby park.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's LibraryReviewed by Teri Davis

“A library doesn’t need windows, Andrew. We have books, which are windows into world we never even dreamed possible.”

In every family, each person usually thrives best with their individual abilities. For Kyle Keeley, being the youngest in a family with three boys can be a challenge. His oldest brother is gifted athletically, the other brother is the smart one. What gift does that leave for Kyle? He is the game master of board games.

Fortunately Kyle lives in a town with the world’s most famous game maker resides. Since the town has been without a library, Mr. Lemoncello has funded a new library for the town. Their town has been without a library for Kyle’s entire life. To celebrate, his school is sponsoring an essay contest for the privilege of being one of the first twelve twelve-year olds to compete in a game while locked inside the new library.

The Invention of Clay McKenzie by Ed Teja and J. Reid Beckett

The Invention of Clay McKenzieReviewed by Teri Davis

In the book business today, it is difficult for an unknown author who writes well to become successful. Besides having the skills to be an excellent writer, the authors of today need to be charismatic with the media to become a celebrity in order to make those best selling charts with every published book. The total package is needed for success.

Stephanie Masters works as a junior editor for Icon, a large and successful publishing firm. However, advancement is this competitive business is a matter of luck and capitalizing on any and every advantage.

Stephanie has found the opportunity of a lifetime. In the multitude of submissions to Icon, one manuscript is exceptional. She is aware that if she takes this through the ordinary procedures, this manuscript will probably not be the best seller. This could be her big break of a lifetime.