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Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Black Widow by Daniel Silva

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

The Black WidowThe wayward son of Israeli intelligence, Gabriel Allon, returns in this fast-paced thriller that will keep you in suspense from beginning to end. He will soon leave behind the dangerous fieldwork to become the director of Israel’s foreign intelligence service, known simply as the Office. Gabriel, who apart from being the Office’s most legendary operative, is also one of the most skilled art restorers in the world.

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The fictitious action Silva concocts is eerily similar to real world events that occurred in recent times. A leader of ISIS, named Saladin, is wreaking havoc throughout Europe. Many espionage agencies are trying to identify him, but are unable to even with all of their state-of-the-art technology.

Cash Landing: A Novel by James Grippando

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Cash LandingThis is quite a story about how things can go wrong for even the bad guys when they pull off a supposed successful robbery of a huge amount of money. Grippando has concocted a believable story about the goings-on in the criminals’ minds and lives after they pull off the caper.

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Ruban Betancourt, who arrived on a raft from Cuba into the United States, has had a decent life but now with the economy in a deep recession he and his wife lose their business and also their home. Ruban still works in the restaurant that he used to own and his wife works two jobs to bring in needed money. Ruban is extremely mad at society for what has happened to him financially. On the advice of someone who knows how money is transferred from bank to bank via airlines Ruban devises a plan to get a goodly amount of cash.

Cross Justice (Alex Cross) by James Patterson

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Cross JusticeWow! Perhaps his best! James Patterson has always been writing great stories that it doesn’t seem possible that he just wrote his greatest but I think maybe he did. This is a tremendous book with an incredible ending. One that I doubt anyone figured out before reading the final chapters.

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Alex Cross, former FBI agent, now working along with his wife, Bree, is on a short sort of vacation trip back to Starksville, North Carolina where he was born. First trip back in many years and it is to see if he can be of help in solving a horrendous murder that his nephew is in jail for.

Westward: The Journey Of Adolf Nagel by Harry Simpson

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Westward:  The Journey of Adolf NagelComparable to the famous Louis L’ Amour western novels, Harry Simpson’s Westward: The Journey Of Adolf Nagel brings readers along on a wild and exciting jaunt through the old west.

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The novel starts out with a bang, literally, as seventeen year old Adolf Nagel is forced to go on the run to the untamed west, after thwarting the attempted rape of his beloved fiancé the beautiful Caroline. Accompanied by his long-time best friend, Oskar McGill, Adolf makes his way from Hocking County, Ohio into the vastness of the western frontier. Although great friends, Adolf and Oskar are polar opposites which makes for entertaining moments throughout the story.

Anya’s Lyric by Nikhil Kumar

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

Anya's LyricAnya’s Lyric is a compelling story of a developmentally disabled young girl’s life in India. As you read the book, you find yourself drawn into Anya’s world with its troubles, joys and triumphs. You will also meet other characters whose lives mix with each other’s in the book including Anya’s.

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From the very beginning, the reader is hooked with the opening sentence, “I was born because of one man’s inability to read”. This intriguing line makes one desire to keep on reading. Why was this girl born because of a man’s inability to read? What events will happen in Anya’s life? Once you begin to read, you meet all the characters whose lives cross with Anya’s. From the woman with the mole on her left cheek to the boy with the twisted leg, a slew of mesmerizing characters appear in Anya’s life. All of these characters will have an impact on Anya in both positive and negative ways leading her from a troublesome childhood to the triumphant young woman she becomes.

The Wanderer’s Last Journey (The Orfeo Saga Book 4) by Murray Lee Eiland Jr.

Reviewed by Veronica Alvarado

The Wanderer's Last JourneyIn The Wanderer’s Last Journey, the fourth volume of the young adult Orfeo Saga, Murray Lee Eiland, Jr., delivers an exciting, fast-paced historical fantasy that will no doubt please devoted fans of the series.

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The Wanderer’s Last Journey opens with a burst of action. Traders from a foreign land have arrived Linnaeus’s kingdom, where Orfeo and Clarice are currently residing. Soon a scuffle ensues, during which Orfeo is taken captive. In order to get Orfeo back, Clarice has no choice but to send for Daryush, the Kassite. She and Semria, Daryush’s wife, join Daryush on the quest when he arrives at court. Soon, Zurga joins the search as well. He first looks for clues first at home and then travels to Egypt. There, he learns that foreigners from across the sea have kidnapped Orfeo; he soon enlists a crew to go and rescue Orfeo.

Hmmm? – A Tale of Mysterious Murr-Derr and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

0991448065In the new uproariously slapstick comedy mystery, Plaster has his characters up to more shenanigans in small town Oklahoma. There is intrigue, mystery, subterfuge and more.

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Take small town Henryetta, OK, add an expanding cast of characters doing unusual, however, very common things in ways that complicate and add more slapstick to this tale. Confusion and miscommunication as well as assumption and pretty outrageous logic combine to keep the reader laughing from almost the first page. This tale starts getting interesting from the first pages. Henrietta hears from her mother, Wynona Sue, that she is smitten and her suitor is equally smitten with her. However, Mom, Wynona Sue, has to string it out with “Guess Who.” In thought reply, Henrietta describes her quintessential mother and her search for that “MAN.” That was a hard one that could take a whole day and then some Henrietta reckoned. Wynona Sue was inclined to fall in love with any and every man who gave her a tumble.” With this the adventure begins.

Culmination by Holly Smith

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

CulminationThe apocalypse is a rather popular subject when it comes to books and movies. The important thing is to offer a perspective with a tint of freshness to it. Culmination uses this theme as a backdrop to highlight human condition and how people could react in the most difficult of situations.

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While a young couple is enjoying the first moments together as newlyweds, their honeymoon drastically changes due to a total electrical blackout, which they will soon learn was a global phenomenon. But at least they are not alone, as they find more people with whom they soon become close friends. As it turns out, two of their new acquaintances are survivalists who have long prepared for the dawn of civilization. So, the group moves into a high-end cave, equipped with anything they need to survive in luxury. However, even if things should have ran smoothly, since everything was anticipated, it seems that one element was gravely overlooked, human nature, and the cost of this oversight is to be discovered in the pages of the book. Actually, Holly Smith offers a good example of a self fulfilling prophecy, if you believe that something will happen strong enough, you will mold your perception of reality in such a way as to see it realized.

Outfoxed: An Andy Carpenter Mystery (An Andy Carpenter Novel) by David Rosenfelt

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

OutfoxedOutfoxed, the fourteenth book in the Andy Carpenter series, has a little less dog and a lot more legal action than some of the previous books. That said, a Fox Terrier does get the entire story going, and of course Carpenter’s own dogs, Tara and Sebastian, still have “face time” in the book.

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Boomer, a Fox Terrier who is in the rescue shelter Andy runs, is one of the dogs used in the prisoner/dog training program. Boomer is paired with Brian Atkins, a client Andy inherited from a fellow lawyer and the pairing has been successful. That is until Brian uses Boomer to escape prison. The escape makes no sense to Andy given that Brian is up for parole and the odds of him getting it are fairly high. What is worse, Brian is now wanted for the murder of his wife as well as his former partner.

Blue Moon by Wendy Corsi Staub (Review #2)

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

Blue MoonWendy Corsi Staub is back with the second in her newest series located in Mundy’s Landing. In the second entry to the Mundy’s Landing series, the small town is getting ready for an annual celebration designed to bring in tourists. Called the Mundypalooza, it’s an odd sort of event, capitalizing on an unforgettable point of history in Mundy’s Landing. That event was a series of unsolved murders that occurred one hundred years ago and were never solved. Three young women were murdered and their bodies placed in three different homes in Mundy’s Landing to be discovered by the homes’ owners.

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