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A raging wildfire. A massive blackout. A wealthy man shot to death in his palatial hilltop home
The protagonist of this story, Clay Edison, is a deputy coroner. Caring for the dead, he speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. He prides himself on an unflinching commitment to the truth. Even when it gets him into trouble.
The Burning, set in the San Francisco Bay Area during one of the state’s terrible wildfires, is Book #4 in the Clay Edison series by Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman.
A murder scene becomes personal for this deputy coroner when he discovers a link to his brother, Luke, while investigating the crime scene.
Luke is fresh out of prison and struggling to stay on the straight and narrow. But when Clay calls Luke to find out why his lovingly restored vintage Camaro is in the murdered man's garage, he discovers his brother is missing.
While trying to find his brother before anyone else can, Clay is forced to do his job, as well as cope with a wildfire and a massive blackout occurring in his northern California area. Is his brother a killer or a victim? And, where is he?
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Jonathan Kellerman is the well-known author of the Alex Delaware Series (36 books to date) and is married to author Faye Kellerman (known in particular for her 29 mystery novels in her "Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus" series. Now, Jonathan is joined by their son, Jesse, a writer in his own right. To date, Jonathan & Jesse have co-authored 5 books, including four in the Clay Edison series.
The Kellermans are an amazing family of writers of mystery thrillers.
The Burning is a real page-turner – a harrowing collision of family, revenge, and murder.
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The Bone Box by Faye Kellerman – a Decker//Lazarus Novel
*The Burning – a book review written by Wednesday Elf
A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller by Harlan Coben
A high school girl who was relentlessly bullied, disappears. No one seems to take it seriously, but a classmate is worried. When Matthew asks his grandmother (the well-known television criminal attorney, Hester Crimstein) for help in finding her, Hester asks Wilde to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.
Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past, not even that of his name. But his unique tracking abilities and knowledge of the woods give him an advantage in looking for Naomi.
To do this, Wilde must also go back into the community where he has never fit in and confront the powerful whose wealth and fame protect them even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions. Wilde must uncover these secrets before it is too late.
"The Boy from the Woods is as much an action as a psychological thriller, as much a riveting read as a superb character study in which Coben challenges himself by taking his story outside his suburban comfort zone. A must-read for any mystery or thriller fan."―Providence Journal
"The crafty Coben knows how to weave a compelling story with intriguing characters, and Wilde is one of his best . . . The narrative veers into such unexpected directions that even a true thriller aficionado will not see the multiple surprises the ending delivers." ―Associated Press
"There may be no other thriller writer alive today who has mastered that fundamental trick of the genre. When you start a new Coben novel, or just pick one up and read the jacket copy, you know that nothing will unfold as it seems. You can be assured that surprises will keep appearing until the final page."―BookTrib
|Available on Amazon|
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*Book Review of The Boy From the Woods written by
Ocean Prey is a Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers Novel.
The Virgil Flowers Series
The main character of the series, Virgil Flowers, is described as tall, lean, late thirties, three times divorced, with long hair. He often wears t-shirts featuring rock bands. Virgil works at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). He is good friends with Lucas Davenport and is frequently mentioned in various 'Prey' novels.
The Lucas Davenport 'Prey' Series
Davenport has been a police officer, a Minneapolis detective and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator. In later books, including Ocean Prey, he now works for the U.S. Marshall's Office. Lucas is tall with black hair, gray at the temples, blue eyes, and dark complexion.
Although each character has been mentioned occasionally in each other's series (as they are friends), this is the first book where they are featured working together on the same case.
Fan-favorite heroes Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers join forces on a deadly maritime case
An off-duty Coast Guardsman, fishing with his family, spots a snazzy craft with extra horsepower picking up a surfaced diver who was apparently alone without a boat in the middle of the ocean. This doesn't make sense. The Coast Guardsman calls in this suspicious behavior. The three Guardsmen who come out to investigate are shot and killed.
Since they are federal officers killed on the job, the FBI investigates. When the case stalls out, the FBI calls in the U.S. Marshall's office in the form of Lucas Davenport and his team.
When the case turns lethal, Davenport brings in a detective whose biggest asset is having a fundamentally criminal mind: Virgil Flowers.
Working undercover posing as a deep sea diver, with Davenport and the FBI supporting him in the background, Virgil infiltrates the group of notorious drug runners operating off the coast of Miami. They want the men responsible for the deaths of the Coast Guardsmen, but also the head of the organization which has been bringing in tons of illegal drugs in an unusual way. The main goal is to shut down the entire operation once and for all.
Ocean Prey brings us an outstanding and exciting story starring Sandford's two favorite characters, Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers. This may be a suspenseful mystery story, but it is also filled with humor of the type frequently used by police personnel to lesson the tension. The jokes and wisecracks among the characters made me smile often, and actually laugh out loud in two places. A very enjoyable read.
Ocean Prey Book Review written by
For the first time, we get the true inside story of Win. Myron Bolitar is not featured in this book, except for a few references about the two of them together. Instead, for the first time, this book gives us the background on the Win we have known and loved throughout the Bolitar series.
Windsor Horne Lockwood III (Win) is an extremely wealthy man with impeccable taste and a personal approach to justice that too often lands him on the wrong side of the law.
When the FBI takes Win to a murder scene in the upper West Side apartment of a recluse, Win doesn't know why. Then he sees two objects there, a stolen Vermeer painting and a suitcase bearing the initials WHL3 - his initials.
Win is baffled how his family heirlooms came to be in a dead man's apartment. All he knows is that they were stolen from Lockwood Manor over twenty years ago when his Uncle was murdered and his cousin Patricia was kidnapped. Even though Patricia escaped her captors, they were never apprehended, the murder of her father was never solved, and the stolen items were never recovered.
Now the FBI reveals that the murder victim in the apartment was also the mastermind behind a notorious act of domestic terrorism. Win must figure out the connection between the two cases.
|WIN by Harlan Coben|
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*Book Review of WIN by Harlan Coben written by
Neon Prey, a mystery suspense thriller in John Sandford's Lucus Davenport series.
Lucus Davenport is a former Minneapolis homicide detective and later worked as an investigator with the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension. He is now with the U.S. Marshall's Service. In Neon Prey he is given the assignment of finding a small-time criminal (Clayton Deese) who skipped out on bail after being arrested.
Deese worked as a muscle-for-hire for a loan-shark. The Marshalls are looking for him mainly because they think he might be their best chance to bring down his boss and the whole illegal loan-sharking operation.
Lucus and his team, Rae and Bob, track Deese to his home in rural Louisiana where they discover he has disappeared. When they check out a dirt path behind Deese's cabin, they find a jungle full of graves. Now Deese is no longer a simple crook who beats people up for his loan-shark boss; he is a serial killer who has been operating for years without notice.
Tracking a serial killer instead of just a low-level criminal who skipped bail, the Marshall's office teams up with the FBI. The search takes them to Los Angeles where Deese has a brother who may be harboring him. It is soon discovered that the brother is also a crook and has a gang of thieves who rob wealthy people in home invasions. A Los Angeles police detective is extremely anxious to catch up with the brother and his gang. Deese and his brother are finally located in L.A., but a planned swat team attack fails to catch all of the gang members. Deese and his brother, along with two other gang members, manage to escape.
Through evidence found in the quarry's house, they figure out the four remaining criminals have gone to Las Vegas.
Now, not only are Lucus Davenport, Bob and Rae from the U.S. Marshall's Office looking for them, but also the FBI, the L.A. Detective and the Las Vegas police.
Except - the quarry is ruthless and – as Davenport will come to find – full of surprises.
|Available on Amazon|
by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen
In 2012, she began a new series with a new character, Kendra Michaels, who has keen senses from being blind for 20 years. Kendra now uses those exceptional senses as a consultant to the FBI and local authorities to solve difficult cases. What makes this series different from her other novels is it is written in conjunction with Iris Johansen's son Roy.
Roy Johansen is an author in his own right, having published three mystery novels prior to collaborating with his mother on, to date, eight Kendra Michaels books.
This is a book review of Iris and Roy Johansen's latest Kendra Michaels book, Blink of an Eye.
|Blink of an Eye|
Kendra was blind for her first 20 years of life, until a revolutionary surgical procedure allowed her to regain her sight. Her powers of observation became honed during her years in the dark, allowing her to detect what other investigators don't.
When Delilah (Dee) Winter, one of the hottest pop stars in today's music world, is kidnapped in the middle of a show at the Hollywood Bowl, authorities cannot figure out how it is done. Dr. Kendra Michaels agrees to lead the race to rescue the young singer before time runs out.
Kendra is joined by Jessie Mercado, her long-time friend and the singer's former bodyguard who knows Delilah well. As they close in on the hideout location of the kidnappers, casualties mount up. Desperate for leads to where Dee is being held, Kendra also joins forces with Department of Justice Special Agent Adam Lynch with whom she has had a personal relationship. His special skills aid in the search for Dee Winter.
But, as the true purpose of the kidnappers become clear, the trio uncover a plot they never could have imagined – leading to a showdown they won't soon forget.
Even though Blink of an Eye is Book #8 in the Kendra Michaels series, it reads easily as a stand-alone story, so it doesn't really matter in which order you read any of the books in the series. Starting with Book #8 works just fine as an introduction to this fast-paced thriller series.
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Blink of an Eye book review written by
|A Book Review|
I think just about everyone enjoys a mystery, but we don't always desire to see the explicit crime scenes. The Darrow Mystery series from Hallmark provides mysteries without including sights that haunt us in our nightmares.
In 2019, I reviewed the Darrow & Darrow Hallmark series. At that time, the episode, Witness to Murder, had not yet been released. Therefore, I am reviewing it separately today.
Darrow & Darrow is a law firm originally started by Claire Darrow's parents. When Claire's father died, her mother took a position with a different law firm in New York. However, Joanna Darrow has now returned to Darrow & Darrow to work alongside her daughter.
In Witness to Murder, Miles Strasberg is the appointed prosecutor and Claire is the defense attorney in the case. Even though they have toyed with the idea of dating, they agree to set aside any romantic interest until the trial is over. With Mile's ex-girlfriend investigating the case and working closely with Miles, Claire finds herself questioning if Miles had ulterior motives for suggesting they place their personal relationship on hold.
When Cassie Piper shows up at Darrow & Darrow begging for help, Claire and Joanna are not certain they want to take Cassie's case. After all, Cassie was responsible for Joanna being fired from the New York law firm and Joanna has no desire to run to her rescue now that she needs legal representation.
Cassie maintains that Joanna's law firm would be the best defense law firm for her since Joanna worked with Brian Herriman, the man accusing Cassie of insider trading.
Joanna is still debating whether to take Cassie's case when Brian Herriman contacts her and requests a meeting. She can't resist the opportunity to see her former employer pleading for her assistance. What she doesn't expect is to be a witness to murder herself and the number one suspect is Cassie Piper.
If you are a Hallmark fan, or enjoy a cozy mystery with a touch of romance, then I am sure you will also love this movie!
Perhaps it is nothing, but what if it isn't? Sharon Lemke finds herself wondering if her imagination is merely running wild. Soon, though, when Niki, an eighteen-year-old who has recently aged out of the foster care system comes to live with her, Sharon's concerns become shared.
As it has been said, it takes one to know one, and Niki knows plenty about what it means to be endangered. The clues are pinging Niki's internal radar system. She isn't willing to leave things to chance if there is a child who may be at risk.
Though Sharon has followed proper channels (notifying the appropriate social services authorities about the unusual circumstance next door), bureaucratic wheels often turn much too slowly for those fearing the worst.
Niki and Sharon decide to take matters into their own hands. Can they pull off a clandestine investigation without endangering themselves or others? Is there something sinister at play here? What will happen if they are caught in the act of spying on neighbors who may not be what they outwardly appear to be?
For me, an exceptional book is one that makes me care. I was all in shortly after being introduced to Sharon, Niki, Mia, Jacob, and Griswold. There was so much to love about the redemptive moments. Of course, there are individuals you will likely despise. Every powerful story needs that counterbalance.
I came away from this read thinking about the people who pay attention when they feel something isn't right. Not only that, I reflected on the difference between those who act on their intuition and those who do not. This story drove home for me the necessity of being a noticer who actually does something for the lost and the unseen individuals of the world.
I highly recommend The Moonlight Child by Karen McQuestion.
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