Sunday, July 31, 2016

Jack-In-The-Box by William W. Johnstone


Friday, July 29, 2016

A Time of Torment (A Charlie Parker Thriller) by John Connolly


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mirror Image by Michael Scott and Melanie Ruth Rose


Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Many by Nathan Field


Friday, July 22, 2016

The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Sugar Men by Ray Kingfisher

Susannah Morgan has been settled in sleepy North Carolina for almost sixty-five years, but is still haunted by memories of her escape from the holocaust as a child.

For most of her life the flashbacks have been a lonely obsession - one she has managed to hide from her children.

But as her life draws to a close her memories start asking questions, and the only way she can find answers is to return to the scene of the unspeakable crime.

Against the wishes of her children she flies back to Germany to find her truth. What she discovers there explains so much about who she is, who her children are, and how the wretched legacy of the holocaust is wide and deep and persistent.

The Sugar Men is the novel based on the short story: The Lucky One.

Near the end of her days, a terminally ill holocaust survivor travels back to Germany to lay to rest the memories that have haunted her life. Susannah was a teenager when the war ended and the British soldiers shut down the prison camp. Although she was free those memories and nightmares have tortured her for 65 years. They have become part of her very being and she can not let go of a past that is embedded in her soul and effected every aspect of her life from her shopping habits to her marriage, to the way she has raised her children. This was a heart wrenching read. Have tissues near by. 4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received an advance copy for review

Monday, July 18, 2016

Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty

For Patricia Curren, the summer of 1978 begins with a devastating discovery: an unfamiliar black pearl button in the bed she shares with her controlling husband, Jack. Seeking the courage to end her desolate marriage, Patricia spends a quiet summer alone on beautiful Kiawah Island. But when she meets Terry Sloan, a collegiate tennis player trying to go pro, their physical attraction sparks a slow burn toward obsession.

Once Patricia and Terry share closely guarded secrets from their pasts, they want more than a summer together. But their love soon fractures, as a potential sponsor takes an unusually keen interest in Terry—both on court and off. And when single, career-driven Lynn Hewitt arrives, other secrets must surface, including the one Patricia has kept from Terry all summer.

An intimate portrait of the folly of the human heart, Breaking and Holding explores buried truths that are startlingly unveiled. What’s left in their wake has the power not only to shatter lives…but to redeem them.

Tricia is a young woman with a tragic past, married to a much older man. She may have loved him in the beginning, but with a child like innocence of one who has never really experienced friendships or relationships. Her husband Jack is a manipulative control freak who takes advantage of her pliable nature to keep her under his thumb. After discovering proof of Jack's infidelity Tricia finds the courage to spend a summer away from him at their beach house where she finds romance and her true self.This is a story of dysfunctional marriage, friendship and betrayal.
I enjoyed the setting, in the 70s with references to popular music and fashion of the day. 4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received an advance copy for review

Dark Quarry: A Mike Angel Mystery by David H. Fears

Lust stalks Mike Angel as he stalks his father’s killers. The first of the Mike Angel Mysteries of historical, erotic novels. Set in the New York/New Jersey and Chicago areas in 1960. Plenty of action and seduction in this case connected to the infamous Purple Gang of the 1930s.

Burdened by the unsolved murder of his father, a career NYPD lieutenant whose “voice” warns whenever danger is near, 30-year-old Mike Angel is a Korean vet and bored private investigator of insurance fraud. When a wealthy ex-college buddy hires him to tail Joe Ambler, a petty blackmailer, Mike fixates on Kimbra, a stunning beauty who kills the blackmailer with a “lucky shot” from a peewee .22. Mike impulsively helps her dispose of the body and finds himself on the wrong side of the law.

Mike discovers the dead man was the grandson of a feared and legendary mob leader, founder of Detroit’s Purple Gang of the 1920s and 30s. When a well-dressed thug comes looking for Ambler, and the wealthy buddy who hired Mike runs off with Kimbra and is murdered in the Bahamas, Mike is turned around on the case. While searching for Kimbra, Mike stumbles across connections to the Russian-Cuban branch of the ring responsible for a string of unsolved murders in three states. The discovery leads to a chain of events and a frame up. Mike is convicted of murder, and is sent to the federal prison at Trenton. A lustful but single-minded newspaper woman, Heddy McBright, visits him in jail right before a break is planned.

Warning! This is a Noir Novel complete with sarcastic humor back when PC wasn't eroding logic. If you find yourself laughing occasionally, that's okay. It's not a comedy.

A fast paced detective story as told to us through the eyes of hard boiled PI Mike Angel, a likeable character in spite of himself. Not my usual genre but I enjoyed this well written tale, and particularly the main character's sense of humor and his way with words. Lots of action. I would recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries, detective stories, and historical fiction.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Perfect Little Town by Blake Crouch

Ron and Jessica Stahl are a power couple from Southern California, on a Christmas driving holiday in the Colorado mountains.

When they stop for the afternoon in sleepy Lone Cone (Pop. 317), they’re charmed by the quaint tourist town which is filled with B&Bs, candy stores, and gift shops.

But the folksy hospitality will vanish as the sun drops behind the mountains. A winter storm is approaching, and the Stahls couldn’t have picked a worse night of the year to get snowed into this perfect little town with a dark, dark secret.

From the author of DESERT PLACES, ABANDON, and SERIAL UNCUT comes this 12,000-word horror novella, which also contains an interview with Blake, excerpts from all four of his novels, and a bonus excerpt of SERIAL UNCUT.

Perfect on the outside....
But evil at the core. Perfect Little Town is a short story that reminded me somewhat of The Lottery and The Wicker Man. If you aren't familiar with those I suggest you google them or look them up on Amazon as they are both worth your time. This was a quick read, and downright scary. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, July 11, 2016

Love Prevails by Dane Hatchell

Two couples escape their small town during the onslaught of the dead returning to life. Keith and Kara Sims, Steve and Jill Mitchell, seek to find refuge deep in a national forest. Along the way, a clan of survivalists offers them sanctuary in their small village. The group is well armed and has no problem defending themselves against the occasional zombie menace. The couples must make a decision to stay and subject themselves to the laws of the village or continue their trek northward. Which will prove to be the greatest threat to their survival, the living or the undead?
Love Prevails is a novelette inspired by the post-apocalypse of hurricane Katrina

This is a short story of 2 couples trying to survive a zombie apocalypse, who discover that the living can be just as dangerous as the undead. I don't want to give away too much, but I particularly liked the psychological twist of mob mentality. It made me question what it would take to break me, and to make me follow along with the herd. 4 out of 5 stars from me

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Little Killers A to Z by Howard Odentz


Bad things come in small packages . . .
EPIC Award finalist Howard Odentz has penned twenty-six disturbingly fascinating horror stories about the youngest predators among us.
From Andy and Boris to Yuri and Zena, this eclectic anthology is filled, A to Z, with psychopaths, monsters, and murderers!
So turn on the lights and huddle under your blankets because murder isn't just for grown-ups anymore. Come meet our gallery of little killers.
After all, they're dying to meet you!
Author and playwright Howard Odentz is a lifelong resident of the gray area between Western Massachusetts and North Central Connecticut. His love of the region is evident in his writing as he often incorporates the foothills of the Berkshires and the small towns of the Bay and Nutmeg states into his work.
5 Stars "a relentless, thrilling ride" - Court Street Literary, on Bloody Bloody Apple.
"Howard Odentz takes this mis-mosh of dysfunctional characters and puts together a wonderful story that is equal parts horror and love." - Scared Stiff Reviews, on Bloody Bloody Apple

These 26 bite sized tales of wonderfully wicked children kept me glued to the pages. From A is for Andy to Z is for Zina who is starving to death in a post apocalyptic world I couldn't put it down. These are not all stories of children who just enjoy killing though some of them do! Some were made that way through circumstance, others learned it from daddy. Each tale is unique.
Some of my favorites were A is for Andy, in which an abused child finds a way to improve his living situation. C is for Cassie in which a girl who needs structure and consistency has her routine disturbed by grandma. F is for Fern, about a girl who loves to kill but also loves her baby sister. K is for Kiernan, in which a boy must fight for his life. M is for Maura about a girl who just wanted some privacy, N is for Nancy which addressed bigotry. I also Loved the story of poor OZ who was shuffled from one specialist to the next to address his real and imagined medical problems. Truly there was not a bad story in the bunch, but those were my absolute favorites. 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Apartment by S.L. Grey

Expected publication October 4
Available for preorder at amazon

"Mark and Steph have a relatively happy family with their young daughter in sunny Cape Town until one day when armed men in balaclavas break in to their home. Left traumatized but physically unharmed, Mark and Steph are unable to return to normal and live in constant fear. When a friend suggests a restorative vacation abroad via a popular house swapping website, it sounds like the perfect plan. They find a genial, artistic couple with a charming apartment in Paris who would love to come to Cape Town. Mark and Steph can’t resist the idyllic, light-strewn pictures, and the promise of a romantic getaway. But once they arrive in Paris, they quickly realize that nothing is as advertised. When their perfect holiday takes a violent turn, the cracks in their marriage grow ever wider and dark secrets from Mark's past begin to emerge.

Deftly weaving together two complex and compelling narrators, S. L. Grey builds an intimate and chilling novel of a disintegrating marriage in the wake of a very real trauma. The Apartment is a terrifying and tour-de-force of horror, of psychological thrills, and of haunting suspense."

This story was a little slow to get going, and at first I thought I was going to be disappointed in it. I don't know when I've been so wrong.
When the book begins. the home invasion has already occurred and Mark and Steph are living in the aftermath. They have somewhat grown apart in the marriage, partially due to the break in, and partially because Mark had already faced some traumatic events before the break in ever occurred. The story is told in alternating points of view, switching back and forth between Mark and Steph. They no longer feel comfortable in their own home and do not seem all that comfortable with each other, at least not enough to confide in.
A friend suggests a getaway, but money is tight since Mark is the sole provider and Steph is a stay at home mom to their small daughter.
When an opportunity presents itself to stay in Paris free via a house swap website it sounds like a dream come true. They head off with high hopes that this will be just what they need to reconnect with each other and to put the trauma of the past behind them.
Those hopes are short lived. At this point the story picks up speed from a slow build to an avalanche of terror and suspense. From the minute they arrive there is a feeling that something is just plain wrong. The apartment is not at all what they expected and the building itself appears abandoned, except for a strange woman upstairs who has never heard of the people who supposedly live there, and who tells them this building is "not for living."
Circumstances go from bad to worse and the creepiness factor rises exponentially.
I have been reading adult horror since I was 11 years old and it takes a lot to scare me. S.L. Grey has succeeded in doing just that with The Apartment.
5 out of 5 stars from me
I received an advance copy for review