Review #1: Nothing to Lose. This is book two in the Ziba MacKenzie series.
Ziba’s a profiler helping out the cops in London. She’s called to the scene of a murder of a woman. There was apparently another woman killed there just over a week prior, and they both somehow look like Ziba.
She’s not one to freak out, but she’s a little unnerved.
She’s also secretly investigating her husband’s murder, and someone or multiple someones are starting to catch on. Ziba found a flash drive two years after her husband hid it. When she tries to talk to the cop investigating his murder, he acts super weird. She rightly (in my opinon) doesn’t turn it over to him and continues her investigation solo.
Ziba is working with a new group of cops this time, and her “boss” isn’t really into profiling. She (rudely, but deservedly) does the old profiler trick we see on TV where they mention true but super embarrassing stuff through profiling the person. I liked this book, and I like Ziba. I hope Ms. Selman continues on in the Ziba MacKenzie series! This one just came out in March of this year, so I think I have a while to wait. Three and a half or maybe four stars.
Review #2: Rapid Falls. Haha. I was just going through my notes for CBR 11 and I have this book as my “Travel” bingo square. This amuses me. The main characters travel back and forth from their homes to their childhood homes, and also to the waterfall. There is a bunch of travel though, so it counts!
I used the hashtag gaslighting for this book. There is a bunch of that going on throughout, and I won’t spoil who’s the giver and who’s the receiver.
The basics of this story are a tragic accident that hurt a family and separated two sisters. One of the sister’s boyfriends is dead, and the other sister is in jail for causing the accident. This is all over by the time we’re brought into the story. There are many flashbacks though that take us back to the time leading up to the accident. I knew something fishy was going on, but the actual sequence of events was surprising and worse than I thought.
There’s something for everyone in this book – young love, sister trauma, drunk driving leading to a tragic accident, small town, family drama, cheating scandals, and jail! What more could you ask for?
I really liked this book. It kept me in suspense the whole time I was reading it, and the character development was good. I’d give it four stars.
Review #3: The Killer Ascendant. This is book six in the John Rain universe.
Poor John. He’s been an assassin for so many years he didn’t think he could live any other way. His girlfriend Delilah (who’s been around in a few previous books) wants to help him get out of the life, and he’s trying. They live in Paris, and he’s got a new name.
However, his old nemesis Hilger resurfaces and kidnaps his (probably) only other true friend in the world Dox. John knows that Hilger will kill Dox if John doesn’t do what Hilger asks of him.
Of course John’s suspicious, and rightly so. He’s been hunted for years, and he can trust almost nobody.
John decides to help Dox, but that includes committing three murders for Hilger. John’s afraid that once he starts killing again he won’t be able to stop. Through it all Delilah is worried about him and offering help, but he’s mostly too stubborn to accept. She tries to tell him that he can change and he doesn’t have to be a killing machine. It takes until the very end of the book for him to figure it out on his own.
I really liked this book. I like John Rain the character, and I like Delilah and Dox too. John’s a scary assassin, but we get to see his inner thoughts and fears too in all of these books. It makes him seem more real. I’ll keep reading this series until it’s over! I’d give this 4 stars.
Review #4: A Killer’s Mind. This is book number one of the Zoe Bentley series. I’m using it for my bingo square “And So it Begins”.
We are introduced to Zoe in this first book. She’s a criminal profiler, but not a cop. She helps out whenever she’s asked, and she doesn’t really care if she’s welcome or not. Sometimes in this book and the next one I get the feeling Zoe might be on the autism spectrum, just from her intelligence and the way she interacts with people.
Zoe’s called in by the FBI once they find multiple women who have been murdered and embalmed. She has a partner in all of it, and they take a while to get in sync. Eventually though, they work together to find this super gross killer.
There’s also a side story that’s very interesting. It’s revealed that when Zoe was 14 she interacted with a serial killer. He’s been sending her little reminders off and on for decades. She gets it into her head that this guy is the current killer they’re looking for, but she’s just confused. Although he does surface again, and he’s definitely in the next book.
I obviously liked this book, because I went on and read the next in the series (below)! I’d give it 3.5 stars.
Review #5: In the Darkness. This is book number two in the Zoe Bentley series. This one is super creepy.
We join Zoe and her partner again for this story. The serial killer from Zoe’s childhood is menacing her sister, and it’s throwing Zoe off immensely. She has to leave town for another new disturbing case though. Someone is kidnapping girls and burying them alive. Oh, he’s also broadcasting it over the internet.
This killer’s methodical, tech savvy, and leaves nothing to chance. They try to save the first girl, get nowhere close to saving the second girl, and then outsmart the killer to save the third girl. Unfortunately the killer has his eyes on Zoe for his fourth victim.
We learn more about Zoe and her partner (Tatum) in this book. They work together, get into fights, and eventually make up. This book further confirmed my theory that Zoe’s on the spectrum. She just doesn’t seem to know how to talk to people, and doesn’t understand why they get upset.
Zoe’s sister is attacked by the childhood serial killer, and he’s almost caught, but he gets away again. Zoe has to go home to be with her sister, but some other issues come up. I like these characters, and I’d love to keep reading about them. Unfortunately this book just came out last month, and there isn’t even a new one on the horizon yet! I’d give this four stars because it was creepy and kept me (digitally) flipping the pages.
Review #6: Dark Sacred Night. This is book number two in the Renee Ballard series, and the first book in the combo Renee / Harry Bosch series. I’m adding this to my “Reading the TBR” bingo square. I was on the waitlist at the library for months for this one, so it sat on my To Be Read pile for a while!
I loved Renee Ballard as a character when I was introduced to her in the first book in this series (The Late Show). It was a random download from the library, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Like I said, I’ve been on the waitlist for a while for this one, because I went to my Overdrive app right after finishing the first book to see if there was a second one. Apparently there’s a whole Harry Bosch universe too, and his character has an Amazon show. We’ll see if I get into that.
Anyway, Renee’s at work on the overnight shift, and she sees Harry Bosch (who she doesn’t know at the time) nosing around another detective’s files. She confronts him and he leaves, but she figures out what he was looking for. They decide to team up on a cold case. They actually make a good team. They’re very different as investigators, but they compliment each other. I loved the way they interacted with each other throughout the book.
Bosch is fired, attacked, and all sorts of other things throughout this story. I’m hoping there’s more to come with these two, because I like both characters. I also like Renee’s dog, who is woefully underused! I’d give this 3.5-4 stars.
Review #7: Zero Day. Apparently Mr. Baldacci’s birthday is August 5th, 1960, so he will be fulfilling my “Birthday” bingo square! Thanks Dave!
I randomly picked this book up in the library (like in person, an actual book) a few months ago. I’m so young and hip that I generally only read e-books or listen to audiobooks now. BTW – all young and hip people talk about how young and hip they are! I have a hard time reading real books, especially hardcover ones because of when I read. I read my Kindle nearly every night before I go to bed, and I listen to books when I’m driving to and from work or going on a trip. It’s a rare occasion that I’ll sit down with a light on and read an actual book. Anyway, that’s the only reason it took me so long to read this book!
Somehow I randomly started at the beginning of a series too! This is book one of the John Puller series. He’s a war hero, and part of the Army’s criminal investigative division. So basically, he investigates crimes involving soldiers as victims or suspects. He has a super impressive history in the army, and his father does too. His bro is in jail for treason, but we don’t really find out why.
He’s called to rural West Virginia (like super rural) after a soldier and his family are brutally murdered. He finds a few other bodies along the way, and almost becomes one more than a few times. I really liked the stories, and I totally liked the characters. I’m going to try to randomly find more of the John Puller series! I’d give this 4 stars.
Review #8: The Whistler.
I downloaded this book from my library app, and I’ve been listening to it in my car. My carpool buddy and my schedule’s aren’t syncing up the past few weeks, so I’ve gotten a lot of alone time in the car!
This was another random pick. I knew a John Grisham novel probably wouldn’t suck though. The gist of the story surrounds a corrupt judge and mobster, and the people trying to take them down.
We meet two lawyers who work for the Bureau on Judicial Conduct (BJC), and they meet up with basically a confidential informant working through two more layers of confidentiality up to the guy who really has the goods.
He tells our lawyers that there’s a judge fixing cases for a mobster who’s skimming money from an Indian casino. There’s all sorts of murder and mayhem involved, and not all of the main characters make it out alive. I liked this book a bunch, and I’m giving it four stars.
AND FINALLY! REVIEW #9: Witness to a Trial. This is apparently a prequel to The Whistler, but I didn’t know it existed until I had already read The Whistler.
My fingers legitimately hurt from typing so much! I still have a few more to go too 🙁
This is a short story that details an important trial many years ago related to the events in The Whistler.
I read it on my Kindle, so it was interesting to see how some of the characters’ names are spelled, because I had only heard them previously.
I knew almost all of the characters from The Whistler, and I don’t think it really matters if you read this book second.
I liked it, but it was super short. I’d give it 3.5 stars.