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Book Review: Ruthless by John Rector

Ruthless (Click book or see description below)
By John Rector
Released 6/1/15
Provided free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4 bones

Bonus Teaser (missed my usual Tuesday post the last few weeks – so here is one for you!):

“No, not the kind of doctors you’re thinking of,” she said.  “These doctors were different.  They were terrifying, and they were ruthless.”
(88% into book)

Talk about fast paced – this book started off strong, ended strong, and didn’t have any downtime in between.  It’s been awhile that I read a book in just a few sittings, but this one had me hooked, and had I not needed sleep, I could have easily finished in just one.

I like how Nick White, trying to be witty and funny, as I’m sure we all do sometimes, found that he did that at the exact wrong time, with the wrong person.  A man used to trusting his gut, soon knew this was not just witty banter with Patricia Holloway but was too far in to get out.

Nick White seemed to be your typical guy.  Separated from his wife, just trying to get by, he found himself mistaken for a hitman while drowning his sorrows over a drink one night in Mickey’s, his usual watering hole.  His emotions getting the better of him when he sees a beautiful young woman’s life at risk, he soon is on the run doing things he never dreamed of.  I love it when a book can put the reader in a position to think what they would do if that happened to them.

Quick read, on the edge of my seat (well bed where I usually read!)  Only complaint is that when we get into the “why” part of the book – I felt it got a little too high level for the book.  Definitely unexpected and not unwelcome – just a bit more than I think the book needed to go.  But overall fun read, great characters, don’t miss this summer read!

Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for allowing me to preview!

Book Description:

Nick White is the only person who can save Abigail Pierce. After uncovering a plot to have her killed, he attempts to warn her but instead puts himself squarely in the crosshairs. They know who he is, they know where he lives, they know how to get at his family.

Drawn into the conspiracy surrounding Abigail, Nick soon discovers the danger is bigger than he ever believed. Now he must uncover the truth to save her and himself. Gripping and intense, this novel is a twisted thrill ride from bestselling author John Rector (The Grove, Lost Things, Already Gone, Out of the Black, etc.)

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Book Review: Only the Brave by Mel Sherratt

Only the Brave (DS Allie Shenton Book Three)
By Mel Sherratt
Releases 5/26/15
Provided free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating:  4 bones(out of 5)

I’m usually not a fan of series, too many details for me to keep up with and with the volume I read, I honestly can’t remember!  But I stumbled upon Follow the Leader a few months back (one of my only 5-bone reads this year) and found out it was Book Two in this series!  I hadn’t read Book One – Taunting the Dead – but felt that for that one it didn’t matter.  However, for Book Three, I wish I had read the first one.

In this book, the family of a Terry Ryder is involved, who I’ve come to learn was the center of the case Allie worked in Book One.  It alluded to a very traumatic time for Allie, that I feel would have helped me/the reader, understand the animosity held by some of the current characters and Allie’s apprehension entering into this case.  But, that’s neither here nor there as I didn’t read it, so I’ll focus on the current story, but I would like to go back and read it now!  And if you are new to this series – I would suggest starting from the beginning.

The book begins with the murder of a local man as well as a bag of cash found.  Tangled in his own mess already, now Allie’s team is involved, as well as a whole host of characters that live in the adjacent apartment building, Harrison House.  Soon this man, Jordan Johnson, is tied to Terry Ryder’s (now in jail from a previous case Allie worked on) daughter, and the whodunit case begins.  From nosy neighbors, to local troublesome teenagers, to notorious thugs, to colleagues, even family, no one is safe from the suspicion of guilt in this case.  I really enjoy books that keep you guessing until the very end, really brings out the mystery spirit that has me hooked!  And as the description said, lots of double-crossing, you never know who you can trust!

And again, as I did in Follow the Leader, Detective Allie Shenton is just a very likeable, down to earth character and very easy to relate to.  I can’t help but route for her.  I feel tense when she is tense, scared when she is scared, you get the point, I want her to succeed and be safe.   I like her relationship with her husband Mark, and the details of her sister Karen, tied in with the main story line of each book.  Attacked many years ago, with her attacker still on the lose, in the background of all Allie’s cases, Allie is working on solving her sister, Karen’s.  Not without additional prompting of course, as she receives cryptic messages from him/her.  And with both books I’ve read, the tension continues to build as Karen gets worse and her killer gets closer.

I can’t help but compare this book to the first book I read in the series, Follow the Leader, in that I felt that was a better stand along book and it had me a bit more captivated than this story line.  Maybe because the action kept coming, in terms of murders (sounds awful typing it out), whereas this one, it was just (not said lightly) one murder being investigated!  I just wasn’t as invested in the actual case.  Not to say it still wasn’t good, just not AS good (the bar is set high!)

But what did hook me and earn this review an extra star was the last 10%.  Talk about action.  I think my heart was in my throat.  I was worried things wouldn’t be wrapped up and I’d have to wait for another book in this series, but an action packed ending was exactly what this book needed for me to walk away content.  And that I’m happy to say, I did!

I have definitely found an author to follow in Ms. Sherratt.  I was honored that she approached me to review this book and as always appreciate being able to preview through NetGalley and Amazon Publishing.  Don’t miss this one – actually don’t miss all 3 – I think this series would make for some great summer reads!

Book Description:

When one of the notorious Johnson brothers is murdered and a bag of money goes missing, a deadly game of cat and mouse is set in motion.

DS Allie Shenton and her team are called in to catch the killer, but the suspects are double-crossing each other and Allie has little time to untangle the web of lies.

As she delves deeper into the case, things take a personal turn when Allie realises she is being stalked by the very same person who attacked her sister seventeen years ago and left her for dead.

Set over forty-eight tension-filled hours, Only the Brave is the latest gut-churning police procedural from acclaimed author Mel Sherratt.


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Book Review: Follow the Leader by Mel Sherratt

Follow the Leader (click on book or see below for description)
By Mel Sherratt
Release Date: 2/10/15
Downloaded through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 bones

Great book.  Finished it in 2 days and even was so into it, I read during the day (which I usually can’t find time for!)  My only complaint, I have to wait for the next book.  This book reminded me of why I usually don’t read series.  I get too invested in the characters and then have to WAIT for the next book in this case.  I hadn’t read the previous one, which I may now go back and do, but I definitely didn’t feel it was necessary to enjoy the book.  I’m guessing it would have given some back story as to Allie’s marriage, what happened to Karen, and another cases the team had worked on together that was mentioned a few times, but it didn’t take away from the story at all, it just left me wanting MORE!

The book switches between narrators and time periods a lot, but is very easy to follow who is speaking and if it was a flashback.  There were a lot of characters and it was fun trying to figure out how they were going to fit into the whole puzzle.  This book was different in that we, the readers, knew the killer right off the bat.  As the story progresses we learn the why behind what he is doing and how each victim fits into the puzzle.  And when I keep saying puzzle, it is a game to him, as shown with the magnetic letters he leaves behind with each victim, and then title of this book.  You’ll be singing “Knick-Knack Paddy Wack, Give a Dog a Bone” a lot while you read it!

On the other side, there is Detective Allie Shenton and her team working round the clock to catch this guy.  I guess she is the main character in the series.  Her sister Karen, who is now in some sort of hospital unable to communicate, was attacked many years prior and she constantly is trying to catch the guy who hurt her, as well as work her current cases.  I’m guessing this will be common theme through this whole series.

I don’t want to say it was predictable, but I kind of had it figured out where it was going.  There was a date and time referenced a few times throughout the book, January 16th at 10:53am, when everything would be over, and the book takes place in the two weeks preceding.  But how we get there kept me guessing.  And it was odd that in a weird twisted way the author made the killer so real that I felt for him and actually wanted things to go a little differently at the end!  But great action packed ending!

It covered a darker topic that was at times tough to read, but it was done just so well.  Definitely some life lessons in there too; to not always “follow the leader” and realize your words and actions do have an impact that you may not even know.  I really enjoyed this book and know you will too!  Check out a teaser here, and get your hands on this book, I’m so glad I did!  And I will definitely be checking out other current and future titles from Ms. Sherratt!

Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for allowing me to preview!

Book Description:

A man’s body is found on a canal towpath. In his pocket, a magnetic letter in the shape of an E.

Days later, a second victim is found, this time with the letter V tucked into her clothing.

As the body count rises, the eerie, childlike clues point to a pattern that sends DS Allie Shenton and her colleagues into full alert.

The race is on. Allie and the team must work quickly to determine where the killer will strike next. The rules are simple but deadly—to catch the killer, they must follow the leader.

From the acclaimed author of Taunting the Dead comes a flesh-creeping tale of a child’s game with a terrifying, grown-up twist. This is the second book in the DS Allie Shenton series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story

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