2018 has been a great year for debut novels. A.J. Finn and C.J. Tudor are just two of the outstanding debuts of 2018. When I read the synopsis for Lexie Elliott’s debut novel The French Girl I was instantly curious and knew The French Girl was a book I should add to my list of must reads.Read More
My reading goal for 2018 is to discover as many new Crime Fiction authors as I can. Crime Fiction is such a diverse genre, I would be doing myself a disservice if I limited my reading to only certain types of crime fiction books and authors. The Legacy is my first book of 2018 written by an author I have never read before. Ysra Sigurdardottir is known as “Iceland’s Queen of Crime”. Reviews of Sigurdardottir’s works hail them as, dark, twisted, and engaging. After reading The Legacy I 100% agree.Read More
Force of Nature
by Jane Harper
Publication Date : February 6, 2018
Synopsis From Publisher:
Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?
When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.
But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?
Force of Nature was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. Last year after reading The Dry, the first book in the Aaron Falk series, I could hardly wait to read Force of Nature. Harper’s ability to draw the reader into the atmosphere of the characters is nothing short of amazing. Using vivid descriptions along with relatable feelings, Harper puts the reader in a situation in which they will ask themselves – what would I do if I was in this character’s position?
Five women embark on a corporate retreat in the bushlands of the Giralang Ranges in Australia. After three days, only four women emerge from the wilderness. The missing woman, Alice Russell is supposed to provide key evidence to Federal Agent Aaron Falk. Aaron is investigating Bailey Tennants, Alice’s place of employment. Without Alice’s evidence, Aaron’s case will flounder and it will be difficult to prove any illegal actions done by Bailey Tennants. Aaron finds himself in a race against time and nature to find Alice and salvage his investigation.
We catch up with Federal Agent Aaron Falk shortly after the events in his home town, Kiewerra. Aaron is back in Melbourne, back to work, but he is still on the mend physically. Aaron is in the middle of a tense and high pressured investigation; however he seems more relaxed than he was in The Dry. Aaron is in his element, investigating white collar crimes; he is comfortable and more confident. In Force of Nature we get to see the full scope of Aaron’s investigative abilities. We also learn why chose Aaron chose to investigate white collar crime. The reason is very admirable and noble. The reason reinforced my belief that Aaron is not only a great investigator but a good man as well.
Force of Nature is set deep in the bushlands of Australia. The bushlands are described as dangerous and sometimes deadly. The five women on the retreat are surrounded by forest, water, and mud; as well as extremely cold weather. Harper is able to completely immerse the reader into the character’s environment. Harper expertly captures the feelings of fear felt by the five women as their panic starts to take hold. You can foresee the potential of savage acts as desperation and anger begin to surface.
Force of Nature is told from the alternating perspectives of Aaron’s investigation and each of the five women on the retreat. Harper gives plenty of background into the women. This made the story more relatable and allowed me to be able to connect with the women. Each woman is different - each with a very strong personality- dominant, passive, eager to please, motherly; there are so many personality characteristics, that any reader should be able to connect to one of the five women.
It’s very early in the year, but I feel very confident when stating, Force of Nature is one of my favorite reads of 2018. Harper tells a story of people in a terrifying situation but does so without gritty details and violence. Rather, Harper uses tension and anxiety to convey suspense and fear. After reading Force of Nature, I feel the same I felt after reading The Dry- I am on the edge of my seat waiting for book three.
**Thanks to Flatiron Books for my free copy of Force of Nature**
Murder and Moore Rating:
5 out of 5 Stars
by Simone Buchholz
Publication Date : March 30, 2018
Pages : 376
Synopsis From Publisher:
After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in. Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived…
My initial thought after reading Blue Night was “I hope there is a sequel in the works for this book”. Blue Night is filled with shady characters and loads of unknown past events and circumstances. Not since The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor have I read a book with so many characters which I found so interesting and compelling. Blue Night is a fast paced, mysterious, riveting, read that will leave you satisfied yet wanting much more.
The characters in Blue Night are all complex and finagled into some sort of tragedy or a budding tragedy. In addition they are all friends of Chasity Riley. Although Chasity is the main character, she seems to have the least going on. Chasity is fresh off of a very turbulent period of her life but her friends have more than enough issues to keep her busy. Chasity although tough and brash at times is also compassionate and caring. She is loyal to her friends and tries to help them in any way she can. I suspect she is trying to reciprocate the kindness and love she received from her friends when she was going through a rough time.
Chasity Riley was once a tough, no nonsense prosecuting attorney in Hamburg, Germany. After convicting one of her bosses of corruption and a violent altercation with a suspect, she has been benched. Chasity has been assigned to Witness Protection. In Witness Protection, Chasity is responsible for people who were victims of a violent crime and survived the attacks. Chasity is assigned the case of a man named “Joe” who was severely beaten. Chasity’s prosecutorial instincts are soon kicked into high gear and she realizes there is a big story behind Joe’s beating.
The formatting for Blue Night is a bit different than other books I have read. Between each chapter, there are flashbacks to each of the characters pasts. I have read books which featured flashbacks but these flashbacks are just glimpses; some are only a few sentences long. The flashbacks begin very early on in the story, before all of the characters have been introduced. This was a little confusing at first but once I met every character I was able to follow the formatting easily.
Buchholz managed to provide just enough info on each character to make them interesting yet mysterious. There are mentions of past events, enough info so the reader will get the jist of the character’s background but not many details. Usually I would find this lack of character development disappointing; instead I was intrigued and wanted to know more about each character. I hope Blue Night is not the last I read of Chasity Riley.
**Thanks to Orenda Books for my free copy of Blue Night**
Murder and Moore Rating:
4 ½ out of 5 Stars
**CHECK OUT THE OTHER STOPS ON THE BLOG TOUR**
There are very few times when I am left speechless, however Unraveling Oliver has managed to accomplish this rare feat. After finishing Unraveling Oliver I was disturbed, shocked, and thrilled. Nugent tells the story of a man who has committed a horrific crime and those left behind struggling to make sense of the tragedy.Read More
In 2017, I learned to expand my genre palette. I read two books from genres other than crime fiction, action thriller and historical fiction. I was pretty sure I would enjoy action thrillers (since I consider action thrillers to be a sub-genre of crime fiction) but I was hesitant to read a historical fiction story; I thought it would be too far out of my comfort zone. I now know after reading Nucleus, I was very much mistaken. Nucleus is an exhilarating page turner which tells the story of a brave and clever man who follows his instincts no matter where they lead him.Read More
Last year I read Wesolowski’s Six Stories and was blown away. I enjoyed Six Stories immensely; I binge read the entire book in one day. When I was offered the chance to participate in a blog tour for Hydra, Wesolowski’s second book, I did not hesitate to join in. True crime podcasts and crime fiction books are two of my favorite things in the world. Wesolowski has merged true crime podcasts and crime fiction books with ground breaking creativity that will raise the bar for future crime fiction novels.Read More
The Dry (Aaron Falk # 1)
by Jane Harper
Publication Date : January 27, 2017
Pages : 336
I am very late to the party on this one since this book was published almost one year ago. However I enjoyed the story so much, I had to post a review. From page four, I was drawn into the story, invested in the characters, and felt compelled to continue.
Times are very hard for the town and people of Kiewarra; a small farming town about 4 hours from Melbourne. The town is in the middle of a drought which as destroyed most of the land. To say Kiewarra’s citizens are on edge would be an understatement. To make things worse, a well-known figure within the community, Luke Hadler has died under tragic circumstances.
Aaron Falk, Luke’s childhood best friend, now Federal Agent reluctantly returns for the funeral. Upon his arrival, Falk is drawn into an unknown yet familiar set of circumstances. He is soon reminded why he left Kiawarra. Many long-held secrets are coming to the surface, some of them involving Falk and Luke. Falk joins the local police in the investigation surrounding Luke’s death.
Once Aaron arrives in his home town for the funeral, he is literally counting down the hours until he can leave. Despite his eagerness to leave, he does not need much convincing to stay. As the investigation heats up, some of his allies tell him to go, he stays. It seems as if he is in a battle with his heart and mind. His mind is telling him to go but his heart is leading him to stay to get to the bottom of Luke’s death. This made me wonder what his true motives were for staying, was he trying to prove a point or did really want to answers for Luke?
All the ingredients for my idea of a perfect crime book are found in The Dry. It is fast paced, full of mini cliff hangers, a police procedural, and full of suspense. There is also an element I have never come across in the past. Throughout the story there are flash backs, but these flash backs are told by a neutral narrator, not from the perspective of the character. The story is told from one character’s perspective and the flash backs tell you what really happened. I really enjoyed the flash backs, they provided additional insight into Luke’s death as well as objective character development.
The most compelling aspect of this book is the atmosphere Harper has created. The heat that has engulfed this small community is a central character in the story. Harper is able to capture the desperation and sadness the citizens of Kiawarra are experiencing. In the local school children draw pictures with sad faces, landscapes with brown grass, and pay tribute to pets that have died. The depiction of hot wind and dry leaves allow the reader to become completely immersed in the book. These depictions created feelings of sympathy and understanding for many of characters.
For almost a year this wonderful book sat on my bookshelf unread. I so regret not reading it sooner. Harper vividly illustrates a desolate community where many of the citizens seem to be on the verge of financial and emotional ruin. This illustration kept me hooked until the very last page and has made book two of this series (Force of Nature) one of my most anticipated releases for 2018.
Murder and Moore Rating:
5 out of 5 Stars
Deep Blue Trouble
by Steph Broadribb
Publication Date : January 5, 2018 (UK) May 1, 2018 (US)
Synopsis from Publisher:
Single-mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback, and Lori needs JT—Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything—alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row. Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson "The Fish" Fletcher, and JT walks free. Following Fletcher from Florida to California, Lori teams up with local bounty hunter Dez McGregor and his team. But Dez works very differently to Lori, and the tension between them threatens to put the whole job in danger. With Monroe pressuring Lori for results, the clock ticking on JT’s life, and nothing about the Fletcher case adding up, Lori’s hitting walls at every turn. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything.
I am beyond excited to be participating in this Blog Tour. Orenda is one of my favorite publishers and I am so honored to be included. Special thanks to Anne Cater and Karen Sullivan for extending the opportunity.
2017 was the year I discovered I love action thrillers, a genre I did not think I would like. Clearly I was wrong. Lori Anderson is one of the reasons I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. Deep Blue Trouble is a thrilling action packed story of a woman driven to extremes by one of the most basic human instincts, protecting her family.
Bounty hunter Lori Anderson has two problems. Her daughter Dakota is in remission from cancer, which could rear its ugly head at any moment. The only possible way to save Dakota’s life should the cancer reemerge would be a bone marrow transfer from her father JT. JT is in prison and could be facing the death penalty in Florida. In order to save JT and her daughter, Lori makes an unofficial deal with a person she does not fully trust. Lori must find Gibson “The Fish” Fletcher. Lori is familiar with Fletcher, but leads on his location are limited. We join Lori as she tries to hunt down Fletcher in unfamiliar territory and with limited resources.
Deep Blue Trouble is the follow up story to book one in the series, Deep Down Dead. In Deep Down Dead we read exclusively from Lori’s point of view. In Deep Blue Trouble we get to know JT. In the first book, JT was very elusive. I was not sure I could trust him or if I even liked him. In many ways Lori showed she was unsure of JT as well. Reading from JT’s perspective allowed me to get to know him and finally find out his true motives.
Lori is not the same person we met in book one. In Deep Down Dead she is focused and calculated. In Deep Blue Trouble, her desperation is showing; she is reckless and scared. While she has every right to be scared and desperate, these feelings are causing her to lose focus. She realizes this is happening but she is unable to regain her focus. Lori tries to reflect on lessons and learned practices (trust no one, work alone) from her mentor JT. These earlier lessons further complicate her situation. When JT was training Lori to become a bounty hunter, the teachings were based on neither of them having anything to lose. To me JT’s earlier lessons did not apply; Lori and JT both have everything to lose. Trying to apply her methods with these new circumstances was the biggest hurdle Lori had to overcome.
Broadribb introduces some new characters in book two. I really enjoyed reading how Lori interacted with other people and how other people reacted to her. In book one, most of the people Lori meets are criminals. In book two she meets people who are not criminals and could become allies. I found it very interesting that her attitude towards both criminals and potential allies were pretty much the same.
All though this is an action thriller, it is loaded with feelings of love and sacrifice. The author perfectly blends a story full of high anxiety with just the right amount of emotion. When you remove all the action and suspense from the story you will find a very basic premise - a woman who loves her family and will to do anything to protect them. I cannot think of anyone who would be unable to relate to Lori. Deep Blue trouble is action packed, exhilarating, fast paced, and full of heart. Fans of James Patterson’s Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series, as well as Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series will certainly love Lori Anderson.
**Thanks to Orenda Books for my free copy of Deep Blue Trouble**
Murder and Moore Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars
**CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE BLOG TOUR**
Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most
of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego –
Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging
at www.crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the
latest releases. Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction)
at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She
lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut
thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in
two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts.
I am not only a lover of crime fiction books but I also love true crime Podcasts. One of my favorite Podcasts is Criminal, hosted by Phoebe Judge. On a recent episode, Judge interviewed long time crime fiction reviewer Marilyn Stasio. Since 1988 Stasio has reviewed crime fiction books for the New York Times. During the interview, Stasio commented on the changes she has noticed in crime fiction books. The main change being they are much longer than they used to be. Although I enjoy a longer book, I also see the merits of a shorter story.Read More
Assume nothing. That is the best mindset to have when reading this book. There are many twists and turns throughout this whole story. I am guessing even the most seasoned readers of suspense and psychological thrillers will not be able to guess the ending. The Wife Between Us is the best example of a psychological thriller, it is tense, compelling, with an unreliable main character that will leave you guessing until the very end.Read More
Happy New Year!
January is shaping up to be a fine month for the crime fiction genre. The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor (Releases 1/9/18), The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (Releases 1/2/18), and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (Releases 1/9/18) are just a few titles I am sure will make a huge splash this month. I was able to complete my December TBR as well as finish up books left over from my November list. So I am bringing in the new year on a good note. I'm excited to get started on my January book pile and I am hoping to sneak in a few more!
Click a picture below for the publisher’s synopsis and a brief overview of why I am looking forward to reading each book .
I love a story with a troubled police officer as the lead character. D.C. Aidan Waits is the very definition of a troubled police officer. He is damaged, dangerous, and prone to self-destruction. Knox has created a character that readers will love but will also realize that he is his own worst enemy.Read More
2017 has been a year of discovery for me. I discovered I enjoy reading crime fiction books with sci-fi elements as well as action thrillers. I am so glad I stepped outside of my usual preferences and gave these sub-genres of crime fiction a chance. Snare further confirmed that I will be picking up more actions thrillers in the future. Snare is a thrilling, fast paced, tense story of a woman who is down but she should not be counted out.Read More
“In suspense fiction, female characters—even those with starring roles—spend a lot of time fretting about men, or relying upon men, or generally orbiting men. This, I think, is one of the reasons why Lisbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Amy Dunne of Gone Girl made such an impact: Like many women, they’re more than a match for the men around them. The heroine of my novel is a mess, and a mess largely of her own making; but I’ll say this for her: She pursues an inquiry, unravels a mystery, and tests her limits, all without the help of a man, or indeed anyone. She might not be as crusading as Salander or as controlling as Amy Dunne, yet she’s no damsel in distress.” -A.J. FinnRead More
Ambitious is the word to describe my November TBR. Compared to other book bloggers, I am probably considered a slow reader. This month I have assigned myself the task of reading 8 books. 2 of these books are for blog tours. I am hoping to utilize some of my free time during the Thanksgiving holiday to binge read. Also this month I will be attending Wordstock, a book festival held annually in Portland OR. I suspect I will pick up a book (or 3) that will throw my TBR into chaos, which is not a bad thing. In this post I will give the publisher’s synopsis and a brief overview of why I am looking forward to reading each book on my TBR.Read More
Starting a new series is always exciting for me. I enjoy getting to know the characters and feeling as if I am a part their journey. Because I enjoy series, my expectations are higher than they would be for a standalone. I expect a character driven, immersive story line with a plot full of suspense. With Perfect Prey, the D.I. Callanach series continued to meet and exceed my expectations.Read More
I have always enjoyed reading novellas especially ones that are linked to a series. In most cases if you miss the novella, you will not be lost while reading the series. However if you do read it, you are made privy to some very interesting info about the characters. Novellas sometimes provide explanations of the actions and feelings of the characters, like exclusive insider info. The Last Post serves as a bold introduction to a strong, kind, and courageous woman.Read More