Category Archives: Thriller and Suspense

Book Review: ‘Girl Watching You’ by J.A. Schneider

Title: Girl Watching You

Published: 27th June 2019

Author: J.A. Schneider

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JASchneiderAuthor

Twitter: @JoyceSchneider1

 

Blurb:

Out of work actress Ava Beck, reduced to working in a West Village flower shop, starts to watch handsome, womanizing hedge funder Peter Greer, who lives near. He likes to romance his girlfriends with flowers.

Ava notices bruises on his troubled-looking date named Chloe. Concerned, she follows them after work to Chloe’s studio, second floor in the rear of a brownstone. She hears them arguing, climbs up the fire escape just as Greer angrily sees her…. and plunges into a world of stunning twists, murder and madness worse than any she could have imagined…

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A mystery or thriller. What a thriller ride you are taken on.

Joyce sure knows how to write a great thriller book. A few red herrings thrown in for good measure – some too obvious to be true and others subtle – but you will still be thinking ‘what the hell!’ when the big reveal takes place.

Ava is an out of work actress working in a florist until she can get back into the business. Her career has got a roadblock preventing people from hiring her. The roadblock in question is the man she thinks killed her sister – no accident as far as she is concerned. Confronting him in a rage wasn’t the best move after he was found innocent and now all she can do is hope for a win in her civil case suit against him. She just needs to find some more evidence or someone who has been prevented from speaking perhaps? With all this going on you can imagine that sleep has been hard to come by. Her way of coping is a little strange, the whole climbing fire escapes and looking out for people kind of strange. Once was enough to make her feel something other than numbness when she helped someone she knew but this next time she wished she had done something more than just look in and run away. Given that the person who’s flat it was ended up murdered that very night.

The only reason she went to look through the window was fear that the woman was in some kind of danger. She spotted her earlier at the flower shop with her partner, along with bruises on her wrists. She viewed the man as a predator and wanted to make sure she was ok after seeing them leave. A quick look later that night was all she wanted to do to satisfy her curiosity. After spotting a row in the making, and also getting spotted by the man himself, she got out of there fast. It’s not until the next day where she finds out the women was murdered. Thinking she witnessed the murder, or the lead up to it, she makes it her mission to get to the truth. She couldn’t save her sister but she wants to give justice to someone. After meeting the man, Peter, though and finding out more about him she starts to question everything she first thought. Could she be wrong by missing a link between this and another murder? If so then the real killer is out there watching. If it’s not him then she needs to keep looking before she ends up being a new target.

Red herrings time right from the start. One minute you think it could be one person then get a vibe from someone else until the final reveal. Can you guess the correct killer? They may have done this more than once and be linked closer than you first thought.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘McCall & Company: Emboozlement’ by Rich Leder

Title: McCall & Company: Emboozlement

Published: 8th September 2017

Publisher: Laugh Riot Press

Author: Rich Leder

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorRichardLeder

 

Synopsis:

ONE SLIPPERY SPORTS BAR EMBEZZLER
TWO DEAD DECADENT DIVORCE LAWYERS
MCCALL & COMPANY ON THE CASE

PI Kate McCall was warned to stay home, stay put, and stay out of NYPD business. But someone is killing Lowry Lowe lawyers, and Kate is sure her father’s murderer is pulling the trigger. At the same time, former Major League relief pitcher Steve “Blue” Stark wants her to catch the crook embezzling big bucks from his West Side sports bar.

Kate can’t help but get in the game.

The problem is the killer is cluing her in before murdering each lawyer and she’s falling for Blue as fast as he’s becoming her prime suspect.

Can Kate and her crackpot crew catch her father’s killer before all the lawyers are dead? And will she find real love with dreamboat Blue? Or will she have to lock him up for stealing his own money?

If she comes through the kidnappings, she might beat the odds.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book over 400 pages. This might be the third book in the series but I didn’t feel too lost with who everyone was as it felt like a story in its own right.

So Kate took over her father Jimmy’s PI business after he was murdered. Just a bit of a difference from her day job of being an actor. She now has to do double the work with the cases sent over. Detective Lew Logan however isn’t always keen on her taking cases. Mainly when the investigation leads to her father’s case, which he wants her to stay out of for her own safety. The thing is that she knows she getting close to figuring out who the killer is, mainly due to the fact said killer has tried to kill her twice. Will she catch them before her time is up?

Now with being an actor and part of D-Cup drama productions she has others at her disposal to help her out with cases. The fact that they, along with herself, are good with disguises and accents makes it so much better to get close to clients to figure things out. Also good to play multiple players within the same game.

First case is with Blue who owns a bar and wants her to go undercover to figure out who is stealing from him. He thinks he knows who but needs to find proof. Could they be looking in the wrong direction? Always follow the money. If in doubt torture by show tune is one way to get information. The second case is not as safe as her father’s killer likes to torment her but texting her clues to figure out about his next target. This time it’s a partner at Lowry Lowe law firm. Two married couples with a lot of tension between them. Who would benefit most for one to be taken out? Can she figure out the target before it’s too late?

It’s time to go undercover for two cases. With killer and embezzlement cases coming together quickly the need for creating characters grows. One role down and onto the next when the answers they find don’t lead them to where they want to go. Let’s see which one she cracks first and if she gets caught out in her ruses. Getting close to Blue in the meantime isn’t too much of a hardship as passion soon starts to follow.

Logan is always wanting Kate as far from his case as possible but she ends up there anyway. Interesting dynamic between them. She infuriates him, always on his shit list but seem to work well together when the time comes and she has clues needed to fill in the blanks. She’s not stepping away from the case for personal reasons but also because the killer won’t let her. Aside from the fact he texts her in advance to see if she can figure out the clues fast enough as part of his game. He also wants her dead. She is very much an amateur still trying to find her feet in the PI world. Thrown in at the deep end with a killer after her.

An interesting read where you were trying to figure out the clues at the same time as Kate. Sharp witty dialogue in places but I did find it a bit long and ended up flicking through a few pages where no dialogue was happening. Interesting to see what other cappers Kate can get herself into, as I’m sure she will find trouble and chaos, sometimes in a funny way, no matter what she does. Actor by day, sleuth PI by night, with a killer on her tail. What could happen next is anyones guess.

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘The Teenage Spy’ by Naila

Title: The Teenage Spy

Published: 1st April 2017

Publisher: Notion Press

Author: Naila

 

Synopsis:

Everybody loves to dream. They dream of becoming what they want. One such extraordinary dream was that of William Dunk. A teenager, living in North Bellwood, William Dunk aspires to become a spy. Growing up among spy novels and movies, he consequently loses his interest in his medical studies that his father Richard Dunk, a well Known businessman, had pushed him to do. His obsession for becoming a spy results in his expulsion from high school. His father loses his calm and banishes him from his mansion. William moves to South Bellwood and finds a best friend in his neighbor. The two embark on a mission to fulfill William’s dream. But is it really easy to go through after what one wants they get? After all, Bigger the aims, bigger the risks!

 

Review:

An interesting novella that follows William while he tries to make his childhood dream of becoming a spy a reality – let’s see how that goes.

William wants to be a spy so tends to explain things in a way that you would by breaking down information with a case. It’s just a shame that his school and father have no interest in him being one, thinking it is just a passing phase that he just won’t leave behind. After being expelled from school, and then subsequently thrown out of the house by his father, he goes to live in his late grandma’s old empty house. This sees him soon makes friends with Ryan, and after telling him his dream of being a detective and/or spy, they soon try to locate an agency where he can work and hone in his skills.

After what seems like a wasted day going round so many places and finding squat they hold out everything on the last place on the list. Seems this place is a hit and luckily comes with a dorm – good job too with William’s serious lack of funds. It seems Mr. Wood, the head of agency, thought he came across as someone to watch so sets Mr. Dancey the task of training him. William just has to make it through the first stage of training before he is admitted into the U.M.A – Undercover Missions Agency, which is the real deal with spy agencies.

Training begins with tests along the way to see if he has what it takes to be a true agent. With how much he wants it you know he will fly through. Cases soon pile up but when they get a bit too close to home things get dicey.

The SF agency is the darker side of the agency world where people pay them to do their dirty work. One person on the payroll is a doctor who hypnotizes his patients to do the deeds for them. Win-win as nothing comes back to them. When a few UMA agents fall foal and commit murders William steps up to try to figure things out and take them all down. Can he save the day or will he get caught in the crossfire’s?

Interesting starting point but I think it needed a bit more work done to it to make it a cleaner read. It kept jumping between present and past tense and at times it seemed like a word or two was missing or needed taking out from the sentence for it to make sense. Not much of a twist but more just flowing through from one case to the next. There may be a bit of danger along the way but it’s nothing he can’t handle.

2 for edit and 3 for story out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘The Ghostwriters’ by Mickey J. Corrigan

Title: The Ghostwriters

Published: 2nd September 2016

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Author: Mickey J. Corrigan

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5828647.Mickey_J_Corrigan

 

Synopsis:

She’s funny, cynical, and kinda crazy, but she knows how to tell a story.

A struggling writer living in Manhattan, Jacy McMasters is the first to admit she’s a terrific liar and a screw-up. Then the ghost of the famous novelist JD Balinger asks her to “channel” a follow-up to his classic coming of age book, The Watcher in the Sky. Along with her new boyfriend, a bear of a man who has no patience for mind games, the ghost in Jacy’s head forces her to confront a lifetime of secrets—dark secrets. Secrets she’s been keeping from herself.

 

Review:

So our girl Jacy has kind of hit rock bottom in a drunken wasteland of despair. While on another drunken night out she gets a helping hand by a friendly older guy called JD. It seems he has a proposition for her. A way to get her out of the rut she has found herself in and try to make something of her life. He wants her to help him write the sequel to his first worldwide hit. He just so happens to be the author of her all time favourite book. She is to ghostwrite the book for JD, as he can’t do it himself. You see well, he’s dead, so is contacting her through his spirit self. Seems her drunken stupor opened a way for her to connect with those on the other side. Now Jacy is either going to have to believe the ghost in front of her or she’s got to think of herself as crazy and having a mental break. It wouldn’t be the first time but this feels different and she really does want help. Wanting it and getting it are two different things and at the beginning it doesn’t take long before she falls back on old habits. Namely getting drunk and letting her ex Austin use her for only one thing. Talk about being an utter dick! You are glad when she sees the light but not everything is rosy for her.

To create the story she needs to fully embrace JD and let him write through her. They might clash on lots of things but he is trying to get her to see that she does have something to say. She has a lot of material to work with – the crazy antics of her family being top of the list. He just needs her to embrace it to see it.

Not quite over her drunken ways though she ends up meeting a nice guy while out, Firth. I say when out but she remembers nothing of the night, just the morning after at his place. He seems to think he knows her somehow and whenever they meet again suggests that he wants her to open up like she did before. He doesn’t want games, he wants the real thing and he thinks that might be her. Only problem is she holds too much back for fear the pain will take over. Everyone has always tried to control her so she pushes back and rebels – drinking and sleeping around being the main players. But with Firth it’s different. He’s nice and that’s something she isn’t used to. He understands she is writing a book with someone but doesn’t know the whole ghost part. Trust me its not going to go down well when she starts talking about it. I liked that when he had a cat that needed help he thought of her, as every writer should have a cat by their side – or you know on their laps, over their arms so they can’t write – when typing away at a computer. The story is coming along but her life seems to take a turn. Family troubles are key but what are they really? A health spa retreat to help or could it hinder when you need some alone time? Can she find her way back to who she was or try to be a better version of herself? The self those close to her saw in her potential.

Loved the back and forth antics between JD and Jacy. They seemed to click in a weird way, which was fun. The twist can be seen fairly soon but its still interesting to see how everything comes full circle. Connection with Firth was real and only when she let him in did she get what she truly wanted. Does grip you quite quickly with the style of writing and story itself. Once I started I couldn’t seem to put it down so it’s well worth a look. A ghost writer helping her ghostwrite a masterpiece to help her move on. Helps others too.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Blitz and Book Review: ‘The Wolfe Experiment’ by R.W. Adams

Title: The Wolfe Experiment

Genre: Thriller

Published: 23rd March 2017

Author: R.W. Adams

 

Synopsis:

What if, as a child, you could move the world with your mind? Think of the possibilities. But what if you couldn’t control it, and buildings toppled in your sleep? Think of the consequences.

Ethan and Tilly Wolfe are special. It’s a cruel, devastating kind of special that causes death and destruction in equal measure. Nobody is safe. Not even those who love them.

Ethan is the older sibling, his telekinetic gift powerful but controllable. But Tilly is young, emotionally fragile and unable to stop the physical and mental damage she unleashes on other people with barely a thought.

And all it takes is a thought.

Pursued by the military, shunned by the authorities and running for their lives, this is the story of a medical experiment gone hideously wrong, and the lives of the two children trying to put it right.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon: UK / US / CA / AU

About the Author:

RW Adams had the good fortune to be born in 1978 to a teacher and an editor in a house full of books.

Having graduated in philosophy he realised nobody would pay him to philosophise, so he ended up having to settle for the excitement and glamour of a public sector IT career, which, despite what anybody might tell you, is as exciting as it sounds.

When not working or spending time with his wife and two daughters, he alternates between reading, writing and arguing with people about important things, unimportant things, and everything in-between.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A mystery or thriller. Intriguing right from the start with the way the story leads you and how Ethan and Tilly cope, or in this case don’t cope, with the skills that are growing inside them. Good mix of present day and past events that slowly create the thriller ride you are being taken on.

Ethan’s parents always told him that he needed to protect his sister and above all else keep their secret safe. Ethan and his sister Tilly are special. They have gifts and think that their parents are trying to help find a cure for them but when they die in a car crash it stops there and they don’t know what way to turn. Ethan is older and seems to be able to control his gift but Tilly is so much younger and her emotions take over making it harder to control. Even more when she is asleep and nightmares take hold, which can end up causing accidents without meaning to. After becoming orphans they start to bounce around foster care, homes and back again. They never stay somewhere for long as events and accidents seem to arise around them. Their social worker Sarah seems to easily find a connection with them and they trust her but only to a point, not enough to tell their secret, well not yet anyway. With more incidents occurring closer together they seem to catch the attention of the people their parents were going to work for.

Their parents it seemed were doing experiments on children to help with curing bipolar. The same ones they appeared to be doing on their own children from a young age. This research was what the MoD wanted them to expand on. Seems there were side effects with some of the trials they had children take part in and they thought that these side effects might be able to be used as a weapon. With the telekinetic abilities that the Wolfe children start show, whether they are completely aware of them or not, they pose to be useful to the MoD. They need to be contained and looked into but with being children and in care it needs to be done legally, well to a point.

The main people after them when it becomes clear they have some telekinetic abilities are Dr. Lewis and his superior the Colonel. When the Wolfe children get taken to the facility the tests start and only get more frustrating. Dr. Lewis and his team want to see whether they have abilities, if the parents really did try the meds on them, but they don’t play ball. Seems they needed to push the right buttons to get the reaction they want but the moment its done Ethan knows he needs to get Tilly to safety away from them. They wanted a show of what these children could do and they sure get it when a hole gets blasted through a wall. Escape was the easy bit but surviving is another thing entirely.

Still such young ages living on the streets was never going to be easy. Friends are hard to come by and also dangerous to keep as their safety is always at the front of their minds. With triggers for incidents coming quicker with buildings moving in Tilly’s sleep the trackers close in faster. The Colonel wants the situation to be handled and quickly without a major incident taking place but it seems that the methods Dr. Lewis uses aren’t the best. With these children’s gifts emotions are key and if Tilly gets scared and starts to cry you kind of need to run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. Though with how strong she is even that might not help. Dangers are coming in from many angles and they don’t know which way to turn. The story comes full circle ending in the place it began but it seems they should have been more careful of what they say in front of Ethan. His trigger was always going to be Tilly, he was going to do anything to protect her and once he really tap’s into his gifts he’s the one they need to watch out for.

Kind of leaves the story on a bit of a cliff hanger as you are not 100% clear on what happens with the children. I mean you sort of know what awaits them but with Ethan’s gift on full charge you just don’t know what he would have been capable of. Also a bit of an open end with the epilogue with where the story might go from there and what they really think these children might be capable of. They want them as weapons but when so you have test subjects so young you can’t be sure you can control them. Emotions are key and this thriller puts you through a lot of them.

Good style of writing that hooks you from the start. Suspenseful and thriller ride you are taken on from the very start. The Wolfe children were created but only just coming to realize it. If the can control themselves they can live normal lives but with being seen as weapons they can’t run far without others on their tales. They need to stay one step ahead if they want to get out alive.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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