Book Review: Hidden Justice by Nolan King and David W. Wright

The bestselling authors of Yesterday’s GonePretty Killer, and No Justice bring you a brand new unforgettable thriller that blends mystery and suspense into pulse-pounding, revenge-seeking, fast-paced thriller action.

Frank Grimm is a retired detective who breaks into his neighbors’ homes searching for clues to find the man who murdered his daughter. What was once an unrelenting obsession in solving a crime has turned into something else — Frank breaking and entering, vicariously living through their lives, searching for a connection to anything.

One day he finds something waiting for him — a letter from a teenage girl who knows what he’s doing. It also says one other thing:

“Help, my father is raping me. Please kill him.”

Frank must decide how far he’ll go outside the law to save a child from a monster.

But his former ally, detective Mallory Black, is tracking his every move — she believes he escaped justice once, and she is not going to let it happen again.

Detective and ex-detective find themselves on a collision course as their lives are torn apart by their obsessions for delivering justice, no matter the costs.

Hidden Justice is a new stand-alone thriller novel written within the King & Wright world of No Justice. Start reading your favorite new vigilante thriller right now!  

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from Reedsy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Poor Frank Grimm lost both his wife and daughter and the only thing that kept him going was the need to find his daughter’s murderer. At first, he was sure it was a neighbor who had killed her so he started breaking into their homes to find a clue. Later, he broke into their homes because he liked to know what was going on in their lives since there was nothing going on in his except sorrow, grief, and guilt. I felt sorry for Frank and could understand that it was difficult for him to move on but his obsession with the neighbors, especially since he didn’t like them, was so unhealthy!

I enjoyed the other characters on Frank Grimm’s cul de sac. They were all quirky (annoying?) in their own way, and I could see why he didn’t particularly care to talk to them.

Mallory Black and her partner, Mike, were detectives who worked on the murder of Frank’s daughter. Mallory was positive that Frank was the murderer and even though he was officially cleared, she continued to investigate and was obsessed with catching him before he murdered another girl.

I did not like Mallory’s obsession with Frank because of how it affected her family. It was interesting how much alike she and Frank were, and Frank learned his lesson too late. He now realized how important dinner time should be for a family; hopefully, Mal could learn that before it was too late for her family. Even though she thought she put her family first, her job always came first. She wasn’t even concerned with her daughter’s anxiety. She just wanted to get back to work! And to her, her husband’s job had little value compared to hers.

Hidden Justice is a psychological thriller that I couldn’t put down after the first quarter of the book once Frank met his new neighbor Freya. She needed his help, and he was determined to help her no matter what. The ending was perfect. I now have a whole new series I want to read!

About the Authors

Nolon King writes psychological thrillers designed to have you on the edge of your seat. His stories are dark, twisty, and often decidedly close to home.

When not writing you will find Nolon drinking black coffee and observing humans in their natural habitats.

David Wright is a suspense thriller writer and co-author of the bestselling #1 horror and #1 sci-fi series, “Yesterday’s Gone.”

With co-author Sean Platt, he’s written the following series: “WhiteSpace,” “Available Darkness,” “Stonefall,” “Karma Police,” and the 47North series “Z2134” and the standalone novels “October’s Gone,” “Emily’s List,” “Crash,” and “Threshold,” along with countless “Dark Crossings” short stories.

With Nolon King, he is the co-author of the standalone suspense thriller “12” and the vigilante thriller series “No Justice.”

With Coraline Cole, he is the co-author of the dark fantasy series “ForNevermore.”

With Sawyer Black, he is the co-author of the horror series “Monstrous.”

He is the author of the non-fiction book, “Into the Darkness” which looks at how books and comics provided an escape from his youth and now he writes to offer that same escape to readers.

He is also one third of The Story Studio Podcast with authors Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant.

He currently lives on the east coast with his wife, his young son, and the world’s most poopingest cat.

When he’s not writing books, David can be found writing about the things he enjoys (TV shows, movies, books, video games, and going off on the occasional rant) at http://DavidwWright.com.

Book Review: Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

In one of the year’s most anticipated debut psychological thrillers, a family made infamous by a true crime documentary is found dead, leaving their surviving son to uncover the truth about their final days.

“They found the bodies on a Tuesday.” So begins this twisty and breathtaking novel that traces the fate of the Pine family, a thriller that will both leave you on the edge of your seat and move you to tears.

After a late night of partying, NYU student Matt Pine returns to his dorm room to devastating news: nearly his entire family—his mom, his dad, his little brother and sister—have been found dead from an apparent gas leak while vacationing in Mexico. The local police claim it was an accident, but the FBI and State Department seem far less certain—and they won’t tell Matt why.

The tragedy makes headlines everywhere because this isn’t the first time the Pine family has been thrust into the media spotlight. Matt’s older brother, Danny—currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his teenage girlfriend Charlotte—was the subject of a viral true crime documentary suggesting that Danny was wrongfully convicted. Though the country has rallied behind Danny, Matt holds a secret about his brother that he’s never told anyone: the night Charlotte was killed Matt saw something that makes him believe his brother is guilty of the crime.

When Matt returns to his small hometown to bury his parents and siblings, he’s faced with a hostile community that was villainized by the documentary, a frenzied media, and memories he’d hoped to leave behind forever. Now, as the deaths in Mexico appear increasingly suspicious and connected to Danny’s case, Matt must unearth the truth behind the crime that sent his brother to prison—putting his own life in peril—and forcing him to confront his every last fear.

Told through multiple points-of-view and alternating between past and present, Alex Finlay’s Every Last Fear is not only a page-turning thriller, it’s also a poignant story about a family managing heartbreak and tragedy, and living through a fame they never wanted. 

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Matt Pine could not catch a break. I felt so sorry for him because he lost his entire family. First, his older brother went to prison for murdering his girlfriend. Then, his family was obsessed with proving his innocence. Then, they all died in an accident or were they murdered?

I like how this book goes back before Matt’s family dying to explain the prior events. Especially helpful was that the chapters that were before their deaths were titled “Before.” Going between the past and the present wasn’t a problem, and it helped to understand what happened.

Matt was a good guy who had some amazing friends. They even all showed up for the funeral for his family. They were there for him but allowed him space as needed.

Every Last Fear is full of suspense and is hard to put down. I had to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to finish this one, so be prepared. There are also some twists. I definitely recommend Every Last Fear!

About the Author

Alex Finlay is the pseudonym of an author who lives in Washington, D.C. Born in the American South, Alex spent years traversing the globe, from a tropical island in the Pacific to a small village in the UK to a remote region in the Far East. But it was on a trip to Tulum, Mexico that Alex was inspired to write Every Last Fear.

Website * Facebook * Instagram

Book Review: If She Dies by Erik Therme

Nine months ago, Tess’s five-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. The driver, Brady Becker, was sentenced to two years in prison. It didn’t make Tess’s pain go away.

Brady also has a daughter: A twelve-year-old named Eve who walks to Chandler Middle School every day. Tess knows this because she’s been watching Eve for the last three weeks. It isn’t fair that Brady’s daughter gets to live, while Tess’s daughter does not.

When Eve goes missing, all eyes turn to Tess, who doesn’t have an alibi. But Tess isn’t guilty.

Or so she believes.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read Erik Therme‘s books and enjoy his writing style and the suspense in his books. I liked this book but it wasn’t my favorite. I think it’s because the loss of a child hits a little too close to home. We lost a grandbaby and if it had been because of someone like Brady, I can see my daughter-in-law dealing with her immense grief in the same way Tess does. I know everyone deals with grief in their own way, but Tess’s husband, Josh, isn’t able to give Tess what she needs. And they are both terrible at communication.

Tess following Eve might seem over the top and creepy, but she needs to channel her grief somewhere. The story was more about her grief and her failing marriage than the mystery of what happened to Eve. Tess is suspected when Eve goes missing, but could she have done it knowing the heartache she’d cause Eve’s mom?

I really liked the last quarter or so of If She Dies. A lot is resolved in Tess’s world, and there’s a big twist. This is a story of tragedy, grief, and suspense that I recommend to anyone who likes drama with a bit of suspense.

About the Author

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature. Join Erik’s mailing list to be notified of new releases and author giveaways: http://eepurl.com/cD1F8L

Website: http://www.eriktherme.com
Twitter: eriktherme

Book Review: Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

No one knows who she really is…

Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good girlfriend. But Hattie wants something more, something bigger, and ultimately something that turns out to be exceedingly dangerous. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death, the tragedy rips right through the fabric of her small-town community.

It soon comes to light that Hattie was engaged in a highly compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The question is: Did anyone else know? And to what lengths might they have gone to end it? Hattie’s boyfriend seems distraught over her death, but had he fallen so deeply in love with her that she had become an obsession? Or did Hattie’s impulsive, daredevil nature simply put her in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading her to a violent death at the hands of a stranger?

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

Amazon

My Review

After I read Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia, it was so good that I put this book on my Christmas list in 2019. Little did I know what a crazy year 2020 was going to be! I decided that I’m going to read the books I got that Christmas come hell or high water.

I was not disappointed! I stayed up until 3:00am finishing Everything You Want Me To Be last night (this morning). I had to see what was going to happen to these poor messed up people!

I don’t usually like when books skip around, but it worked in this book. After Hattie’s body is found murdered, it switches back and forth from the current investigation to what happened before Hattie’s murder. There are some twists, and there were several possible killers, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by the outcome, but it was a surprise!

Although the characters were well-developed, and I had to keep reading to find out what happened to them, I didn’t like them. Hattie is a good actress and acts as the person everyone wants her to be: the good student, the good daughter, the good friend, the good girlfriend…until she falls in love with the wrong person and decides it’s time to tell the truth and follow her dream. Hattie is innocent in some ways, but she’s manipulative and ends up only caring about what she wants. Her boyfriend is dumb as a rock, and she doesn’t care about him. She’s just using him. Peter Lund, her teacher, tries to do the right thing, and he’s tormented when he doesn’t.

I definitely recommend Everything You Want Me To Be but be warned. Once you get into it, you won’t be able to put it down!

About the Author

My name is Mindy Mejia and I’m a writer. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. My life doesn’t have symmetry, theme, symbolism, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I love the perfect words; I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them. I write because I believe in the reality of my fantasies, the truth in my fabrications. I’ve always had stories sneaking around my head, thrillers like THE DRAGON KEEPER and EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, and sometimes I inhabit those stories more than my own life. (Best not to mention that last part to my husband, kids, or boss).

Website https://www.MindyMejia.com
Twitter MejiaWrites

Book Review: A Caller’s Game by J.D. Barker

Release Date: February 22, 2021
Page Count: 445

From the Publisher –

“I’m going to offer you a choice.”

Controversial satellite radio talk show host, Jordan Briggs, has clawed her way to the top of the broadcast world. She doesn’t hold back, doesn’t spare feelings, and has no trouble sharing what’s on her mind. Her rigorous pursuit of success has come at a price, though. Her marriage is in ruins, she hasn’t spoken to her mother in years, and she’s distanced herself from all those close to her. If not for her young daughter, Charlotte, her personal life would be in complete shambles.

When a subdued man calls into the show and asks to play a game, she sees it as nothing more than a way to kick-start the morning, breathe life into the beginnings of drive-time for her listeners. Against her producer’s advice, she agrees, and unwittingly opens a door to the past.

Live on the air with an audience of millions, what starts out as a game quickly turns deadly—events long thought buried resurface and Jordan Briggs is forced to reconcile with one simple fact—All decisions have consequences. 

DIE HARD meets TALK RADIO in this heart-pounding, relentlessly fast-paced thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Fourth Monkey—master of suspense, J.D. Barker.

Obtain your copy

HARDCOVER
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Barnes & Noble
Bookshop.org
Books A Million
Indiebound
Powells
Hudson Booksellers

EBOOK
Amazon

AUDIOBOOK
Coming Soon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving an ARC from the author and Netgalley. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I am a big fan of J.D. Barker’s partly because I never know what to expect. A Caller’s Game didn’t disappoint. It is nonstop suspense followed by nonstop action. Die Hard meets Talk Radio is the perfect description of it. This would make a great movie which Die Hard fans would love. A lot of it is unbelievable but what action movie is nowadays?

Jordan Briggs is a talk show host who is brash and doesn’t care about much except advancing her career. The more listeners she has, the better, no matter the cost. She doesn’t appreciate anyone or care about their feelings. She does love her daughter, but unknowingly puts her career first. I didn’t like her at all.

Cole, on the other hand, is a good guy. He’s a cop who is having a really bad day. He’s caught in the middle of the chaos and will do anything including risking his own life to save others.

When Bernie calls into Jordan’s show and wants to play a game, the craziness begins. Bernie has had plenty of time to plan this game and although what he has in place is not realistic, it adds to the suspense big time. I didn’t know what was going to happen next, so I had to keep reading. In other words, don’t start this book unless you have time to finish it!

This isn’t my favorite J.D. Barker book, but The Fourth Monkey was one of my favorite books, and it’ll be hard to beat. A Caller’s Game is definitely a great read, though, especially if you like suspense and action!

About the Author

J.D. Barker (Jonathan Dylan Barker) is an international bestselling American author whose work has been broadly described as suspense thrillers, often incorporating elements of horror, crime, mystery, science fiction, and the supernatural.

Website: J.D. BARKER – Bestselling Author | Master of Suspense

Book Review & Giveaway: Eye for Eye Trilogy by J.K. Franko

If you like smart, fast-paced thrillers with unexpected twists, then you’ll love J.K. Franko’s Eye for Eye Trilogy!

“REALISTIC & CHILLING!” – Mystery Thriller Week

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal
Published by: Talion Publishing
Publication Date: October 5, 2020
Number of Pages:1050

Amazon & Goodreads

My Review

I chose to read this trilogy after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Eye for Eye Trilogy is fast-paced with surprises around every corner. It had many characters, and I can’t think of one that I liked, but each character was different in their own unique way. None of the main characters seemed to have a real problem with murder.

I thought having Roy and Susie’s therapist as the narrator of the books was ingenious. It did make sense, though, since they were both sociopaths so they’d seek understandably seek help.

This is a great trilogy that I especially enjoyed because I could read the books back to back. I did feel there was some superfluous text and occasionally just wanted the author to get to the point.

Eye for Eye

“NEW TWIST ON STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”
~ THE SUNDAY TIMES

Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.

My Review

Eye for an Eye was my favorite of the three books. I think it was because I didn’t know what to expect and there were so many surprises. Once I got into the book, it was difficult to put down. There was so much going on!

At first, I felt sorry for the couples, and I can’t imagine what I would be capable of if one of my children were raped or killed. As events unfolded, however, I was shocked not only because of the lack of remorse but the deception! Roy, Susie, and Deb had so many secrets from others and from each other.

If you only have time to read one of the books in this trilogy, this is the one I’d recommend.

The Trial of Joe Harlan Junior

A college Halloween party. A night of fun, dress-up, and laughter. But for Kristy Wise, it quickly became a night of horror.

Now, Joe Harlan Junior, entrepreneur and son of a prominent senator, is at risk of losing everything as he stands accused of a crime he insists he did not commit.

Yet the facts are undisputed: Kristy was drugged, and she did have sex with Joe.

But was it consensual?

Read the story. Listen to the testimony. Is everything that happens next justified?

YOU decide.

My Review

In my kindle version of the trilogy, this prequel popped up. It’s a court document (mostly) about Joe Harlan Jr.’s trial that was the subject of a lot of the first book, so it was a nice addition. It’s short but enlightening. I would have read it before the first book if I’d known it was there, but I think I got more out of it after having read book one first.

Tooth for Tooth

What would YOU do?

What would you do if you got away with murder? Would you stop there? Could you?

Susie and Roy thought that they committed the perfect crime.

Their planning was meticulous. Their execution flawless.

But, there is always a loose end, isn’t there? Always a singing bone.

Now, while enemies multiply and suspicions abound, their perfect world begins to crumble.

The hunters have become the hunted.

My Review

Book two started slower than the first book, but eventually it was very good. I made myself a note to be sure to mention that “these people are horrible.”

Those affected by the murders had more of role in this book. Deb and Tom’s daughter, Kristy, the girl who was raped, sought answers. Eventually, of course, she sought revenge. The parents of those murdered in book one also wanted answers. There were also many new characters and more crazy twists and, of course, more murders. There was so much going on! I was surprised that I could keep the characters and events straight in my mind, but I was so invested in the story that it was easy.

At the end of Tooth for Tooth I couldn’t imagine how much more craziness could happen to these people!

Life for Life

What would YOU do if someone threatened your family?

Roy Cruise and his pregnant wife Susie barely survived an assassination attempt in their own home. The police now have them under surveillance. Meanwhile, Kristy Wise is a loose cannon—she knows too much and is trying to “set things right.”

What goes around comes around. And in this case, Roy and Susie may have pushed things too far. There are too many dead bodies. Too many foes plotting against them.

Roy and Susie must outwit the police and neutralize their enemies once and for all. If not, their days of retribution may end behind bars… or six feet under.

My Review

Life for Life had some of the same craziness especially in the first third of the book. A lot of book three was a trial…yes, someone was finally caught. While some aspects of the trial were interesting and there was a surprise or two, there was a lot of testimony that repeated events from the first two books. As a result, although interesting, it wasn’t the page turner that the first two were.

The ending wasn’t what I expected, but there was a lot in the trilogy that wasn’t expected! I look forward to reading book four.

Continue reading

Book Review: What We Bury by Carolyn Arnold

She’s dying, and she knows it. If only she can stay alive long enough to leave one last message. As the rain beats against the metal roof, she uses her blood-soaked fingertip to scrawl on the floorboards… The letters GB.

Detective Madison Knight has been house hunting, but a call from her real estate agent has nothing to do with finding the perfect property. She’s found a woman’s body, stabbed multiple times. Madison arrives on scene and is presented with an unknown Jane Doe and two letters written in blood. There’s no murder weapon, and it seems Doe was attacked somewhere else.

As Madison works to find justice for the victim, Madison’s own life is put at risk. What she comes to discover is some people will go to extreme lengths to protect their secrets—even as far as murder. But will learning that lesson come too late for her?
 

GET YOUR COPY OF WHAT WE BURY NOW!

e-book
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Paperback – 4.25 x 7 inches
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Paperback – 5 x 8 inches
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Hardcover – 6.13 x 9.21 inches
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Paperback Large Print Edition – 6 x 9 inches
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Indie Bound | AbeBooks | Book Depository

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the tenth book in the Detective Madison Knight series but it’s the just the third one I’ve read. I read the eighth and ninth books, Power Struggle and Shades of Justice, and I’m already hooked. Even though this is the tenth book in the series, it does stand on its own. When things from the past come up, enough backstory is given so that the story is easy to follow.

Madison Knight gets a call from a realtor she knows about a body she found in a shed. It turns out to be a murder and Madison and her partner, Terry, are on the case. They initially have little information to go on, but through good detective work, they find leads, and when they think they’re close to finding a person of interest, everything goes crazy! I thought I had everything figured out but then I didn’t.

Madison also continues to look into the mafia and corrupt cops in Stiles. She’s doing it on her own and keeping it a secret from everyone, including her boyfriend, Troy. Every time she went out on her own or lied to Terry, I cringed. For a smart detective, Madison needs to learn to communicate before she loses her man.

What We Bury is a detective murder mystery with a lot of suspects, a few twists, an obsessed detective, and a touch of romance. What else can you ask for? I look forward to reading the next Madison Knight book. I have to know what happens next!

About the Author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website  Facebook  Twitter  Google+  Pinterest  Goodreads  Amazon Author Page

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE DETECTIVE MADISON KNIGHT SERIES

Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI,
Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club,
and Hawaii Five-O.

Book Review: The Dance by Mike Faricy

The Dance is a Novella in the highly entertaining Dev Haskell series. Dev, along with his golden retriever, Morton, are hired by a woman to investigate her former daughter-in-law, but all is not as it seems. Turns out there are trust fund issues and Dev begins to learn a lot more than he ever expected.

Goodreads

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this novella after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Dev Haskell is a P.I. who is currently down on his luck. He’s a womanizer but he behaves himself in The Dance. In fact, he does something so sweet that it brought tears to my eyes.

Dev also gets a case that his client (a woman he can’t stand) wants solved in three days. He does solve it but not quite with the results his client was hoping for. I love this guy!

This novella is short but still has a good story. There are a few unanswered questions, though, that I would have liked answered.

About the Author

I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, I still live there as well as in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve been a soldier, freelance journalist, tended bar, sold designer cakes, owned a painting and decorating company along with a number of other schemes and scams. If that doesn’t offend you I also play bagpipes with the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band. All my books stand alone, read them in whatever order you wish. They are filled with the sort of oddballs we are all curious about, but wisely, prefer to keep at a distance. None of my characters will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to take over the government. Rather, they inhabit a world just below the surface of polite society, characters with one foot on either side of the law. The circumstances they find themselves in are usually due to bad decisions, but bad decisions lead to interesting stories. They serve not so much as an example but as a warning to us all. Thanks for taking the time, happy reading.

Book Review: Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.

I read and reviewed this book in December 2019. The author requested that I repost it given the current social climate. I thought that was a good idea. It’s won five awards!

2019 NEW YORK CITY BIG BOOK AWARD
2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARD
NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD – Best legal thriller 2019
SILVER MEDAL 2019 READER’S FAVORITES AWARD
INDEPENDENT PRESS REWARD

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s not often that I cry at the beginning of a book but with all that is going on in our country right now, the beating of the vet really hit home. While I’m not one to believe all claims of police brutality, I do know it happens and this time, although fictional, was definitely such a case.

Tessa is a counselor for veterans, and she can’t help but care for the men she counsels. When a man she’s been counseling is killed by the police, she and his father seek justice, since the city is obviously going to try to sweep this under the rug. And when another man she counsels is arrested for killing cops, she has her work cut out for her.

I like Tessa although I never felt a real connection to her. It’s obvious that she cares about people and wants to do all she can to make things right. Most of the other characters are realistic and unique in their own way.

After the shocking beginning, I felt that it was slow going at times. Other times it was a page-turner. I found the ending a surprise, so it definitely has a good beginning and a good ending.

Justice Gone is a good legal thriller that I definitely recommend if you can handle the beginning with the beating that is described so well.

About the Author

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc.

http://www.plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone, was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.

Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Book Review: Secret Doors: The Challenge by Brian D. Meeks

What if a girl who lost everything met a boy who had nothing? How might it change their lives?

For Abby and Stevie it’s the start of their Thanksgiving break. Abby’s foster family has left her behind, locked in their home with nothing but TV dinners and the walls for company. She has a plan, though, and a friend in Stevie that will make the weekend an adventure.
There ‘s more in store than she could possibly imagine.

Life can be challenging, especially when you’re twelve. For Abby and Stevie, the true challenge waits behind a tiny door at the back of Mr. Kim’s store. When Stevie tries their secret knock (as a joke, because the door is only big enough for a mouse), they are magically taken to a strange place where a room full of kids await selection.

The Challenge, which has taken place all over the world, every year for the last thousand, is for a special group of children. It‘s a test of team work, cleverness, and willingness to trust. For Abby, Stevie and their new friends, it is much more because there are those behind the scenes who are not playing fair.

It will be a grand adventure that, if they survive, will change their lives forever.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Abby and Stevie quickly become good friends when she moves in with her foster family. Her life is hard because they don’t treat her well, and Stevie lives at an orphanage. Abby misses her parents, of course, but Stevie’s friendship and positive attitude help a lot.

One day they stumble on a tiny door and decide to give it a try. Not only do they make it through the door but they embark upon an adventure that will change their lives.

They’re not alone though. Their group also includes George, Jo, and Cindy, all of whom have their own special gifts. Even though the children come from completely different lifestyles, they learn to work together along the way. Is it possible that they’ve made new best friends? And will they make it through The Challenge? It doesn’t look good when they end up facing challenges they weren’t supposed to face!

A short but fun read that middle school age children are bound to enjoy.

About the Author

Brian D. Meeks is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Economics. He is the author of the Henry Wood Detective Series, a satire series, Underwood, Scotch, and Wry, and has some stand alone YA, a science fiction series, and in 2019 is working on a 10 book Epic Fantasy series.

He lives on the Las Vegas strip.

And really loves people who post pictures of guinea pigs on Facebook.

They are adorable!

Website http://ExtremelyAverage.com
Twitter ExtremelyAvg