Showing posts with label Thriller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thriller. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where Darkness Dwells by Glen Krisch - Interview | Horror/Thriller

During a hot summer night in 1934, tragedy strikes when two local boys search for the truth behind a local legend. They stumble upon the Underground, a network of uncharted caverns just below the surface of Coal Hollow. Time holds no sway in the Underground. People no longer age and their wounds heal as if by magic. By morning, one boy is murdered, while the other never returns home.

The Underground is hidden for a reason. Certain locals want to keep their lair secret, no matter the cost.

After learning a long-held family secret, Theodore Cooper is set adrift. Once well off and set in his ways, he is no longer sure of his role in society. He leaves his comfortable life in Chicago to tramp the countryside, searching for meaning in this new context. During his travels, he's drawn to an abandoned house in Coal Hollow and impulsively buys it.

Cooper doesn't know that a massacre had taken place in his new house. In 1851, a group of bounty hunters tracked a family of runaway slaves to the home. They wound up killing the homeowners as conspirators, then chased the runaways into a cellar tunnel leading to the Underground. The bounty hunters cornered the slaves and killed them. To everyone's astonishment, the slaves then rose from the dead. Over time, the bounty hunters chose to stay below ground, taking advantage of their new slave labor to build what they term "Paradise."

Their numbers are augmented by deathbed miners who are offered immorality in exchange for their subservience and labor.

Below a town struggling to survive both the Great Depression and the closing of the local coal mine, there lives an immortal society built on the backs of slavery and pervasive immorality.

Kindle  |  Goodreads  


Glen will giveaway up to 10 digital copies of Where Darkness Dwells to readers who link to this post on their blog or facebook.  To be entered please email Glen with the URL of your link.  Put "My Link to Your Interview" in the subject line.
Giveaway ends Feb 4th 11:59PM Central Time.


Where Darkness Dwells
Knowing he wouldn't comprehend the weight of her words, Greta spoke to her son.  "Terrible things will happen to people I love."
Kneeling near the kitchen table, Arlen worked a mound of clay against the wooden floor.  Face taut with concentration, he rolled the gray slab into thin bands.  He pulled off smaller pieces and worked these as well, setting aside finished pieces to a larger whole.
She wanted him to more than hear her voice; she wanted him to understand.  She was desperate to share her burden.  But it was her burden and hers alone to bear.  Involving others would ruin any prospect of ending decades of pain and degradation of human life.  If people had to die to reach this end, it had to play out through its natural course.  Otherwise, nothing would change.
So she voiced her worries to the only person she could.
"Mama, we still gonna be together?" Arlen asked.  He looked up from the floor where his claywork took shape.  Seemingly disparate puzzle pieces, melding together to form a singular vision of something far more grand.
Her son was no longer a boy.  He hadn't been a boy in so long, yet he still had a child's mind.  His tangled beard was graying, his scraggly pate thinning.  While he lived with childlike exuberance, time weighed on her heavily, slowing her movements and shrinking her bones.  She was an old woman, near her end.  
Innocence shined in Arlen's eyes.  He minded adults and would never purposely cause anyone grief.  He had such a kind soul.  Given the choice, she wouldn't want him to change.  She wouldn't risk losing who he was for anything.
"We'll always be together," she answered him.  "I will always be in your heart."
Placated by her words, his mind flitted to other matters.  He picked up a small gray blob, rolled it in his palm.  "I miss picking with the others.  I don't mind my gopher hole, but it ain't the same as the old mine."
Arlen had worked for years as a pile sorter for the Grendal Coal Company.  Picking coal was a job fit for a child, sitting atop a tipple pile all day, sorting valuable ore from waste rock.  When the company left Summerset seven years ago, Arlen was twenty years older than the other pile sorters.  They'd given him the job, aware he could never advance beyond it.   
"You're doing a good thing for your mom, digging that gopher hole."
Arlen grinned.  The best part of his smile was an aged, yellow ivory.  The rest, empty gaps and decay.
It had been Arlen's idea to open the gopher hole at their property's edge overlooking
Tipple Road
.  Townsfolk would stop off the main north-south road through Summerset, buying coal Arlen had dug from the shallow mine.  High-grade ore ran in twisting veins just below the topsoil, all he had to do was scratch the surface.  People would procure enough fuel to warm their homes, allowing Arlen to help support his mom.  There were other places to buy fuel--stores and other gopher holes aplenty--but people went out of their way to buy from Arlen.
Arlen pieced together the finished pieces of clay, realizing the image from his muse.
She could tell his thoughts were skittering off to the starry skyscape of his mind.  She continued: "Good people will suffer, oh God in heaven, will they suffer.  If I walked the streets of Summerset, I could point to certain people, say, 'You will be dead by the first frost.'"
Arlen looked up from his claywork, staring out the window as the moon rose above the trees, a beacon cutting softly through the nighttime sky. 
"But it has to be.  Has to be, or nothing will change."
Arlen smiled.  Her voice had always soothed him.
"Sometimes death leads to life.  Sometimes there's a greater good."  She thought back to the visit from the two boys earlier today.  They'd come to her, as all the town's children did at one point or another, to hear her stories.  Looking those boys in the eye, she told her tales, setting them on the path to their end.  "Until the day I die, I will damn my ancestors for cursing me with this supposed gift."
Arlen scooped up his artwork, offering it to her.
She held it in shaking hands.  A gray flower more delicate than the clay of its origin.  Finely articulated petals, a thin, twisting stem.  Beauty rendered from a slab of shapeless gray earth.
She smiled and it was all the thanks Arlen needed, all the approval he so desperately sought.  He looked away, staring once again at the rising moon.
No, she would never wish her son to be different, to be normal.  To be whole.  He was more than the sum of his parts, more than whole.  And he was a better person than her.  Better than those who came before her.


Tell us about your current release.

My most recent release is a paranormal/psychological horror novella called Loss.  It’s sometimes hard for me to describe my stories off the cuff, so here’s the Amazon description: After Angie Chandler's husband dies in a car crash in which she was driving, her life comes undone. Though her soul mate is gone, her memories of Paul linger as she tries to recover at their secluded wooded estate. Ostracized from Paul's family--the only family she has really known--Angie's life spirals down a dark path of alcohol and pills. In the blur of constant self-medication, Angie is in no position to know what is happening to her. Is Paul haunting her? Has she gone mad?  Or is there another possibility, something far worse?

I’m curious to see readers’ reactions to Loss.  I have a feeling it might be quite divided; people will love it or hate it.  But I’m okay with that.  It was a story that wanted to be written, so that’s just what I did.  The story might not go in the direction readers are expecting, and there’s at least one major twist in the ending.

Tell us about your next release.

My wife pointed out awhile back that I often write about “children in peril.”  When I thought about it, I had written a bunch of stories with children protagonists in the ensemble of characters, and since I write edgier material, there’s often peril involved.  But I also realized I had never written a full-blown coming-of-age story.  So that’s how my upcoming release Nothing Lasting came about.  It’s about a boy named Noah who moves with his father to take possession of his recently deceased grandfather’s house.  Noah’s parents are divorcing, and he’s a stranger in a new town, but his life seems to brighten when he meets a girl named Jenny.  Since I’m writing it, there are some dark sections and a slight supernatural element as well.  I will be releasing Nothing Lasting in the next month or so. 

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

I love hearing from readers!  I wrote for two decades before I started my indie publishing journey, and throughout those years I wrote in isolation.  I had no way of knowing if I had talent, or if anyone would ever want to read my stories.  Every time I hear from a reader, it brings a smile to my face.  Readers often drop me a note to let me know how much they like my characters and that they feel like real people. 

Tell us about your family.

My wife and I will be celebrating our fifteenth anniversary this summer (and twenty years total as a couple)!  I married my high school sweetheart.  We have three boys; 9, 6, and 5 months.   

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

I don’t currently use a pen name, but I’m planning on developing one over the next year as I branch off into a genre that no one would ever expect from me.  Don’t ask me what it is, because it’s a secret!

Do you play any sports?

I ran cross country and track all through high school and college.  I try to keep at it, but it gets difficult with how busy my schedule is.  A few years ago (when I had more time to train) I actually raced a 50k (31 miles).  My day job has changed since then.  Right now, I just want to stay fast enough to stay ahead of my kids!

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
If you don’t love writing, don’t bother.  If you can’t stop thinking about your current story, if inside your head lives a tapestry of your plot and characters, keep at it.  Hone your craft.  Never stop learning.  Never stop challenging yourself.  If you’re planning on being an indie writer, take pride in your story, sure, but work just as hard on your editing, formatting and cover.    

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?

I do most of my writing before my family wakes up.  I oftentimes wake at 4 a.m.  I get up grudgingly, and I’m a grump.  Hmm… can I be neither? 

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

Beatles a million times over.  “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Norwegian Wood,” “Eleanor Rigby…” I could go on.  The Beatles were my first favorite band when I was a kid.  There music still holds up.


I have written three novels:
The Nightmare Within, available at  Amazon and Smashwords: Where Darkness Dwells: As well as a coming-of-age horror novel titled Nothing Lasting. My short fiction has appeared in publications across three continents for the last decade. Dog Horn Publishing (U.K.) will publish my story collection debut in 2011.

As a freelance editor, I have worked on books by Tim Lebbon and Lawrence Block, among others. I have recently accepted a staff position at Morrigan Books.

I can be reached at kelcher_2000(at)yahoo(dot)com. Or, if you prefer, you can find me on Facebook


Amazon   |  Goodreads  |  Facebook  |  Blog  |  Twitter

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tuesday's Child by Dale Mayer

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This book grabbed me from the git-go and never let up! The story unfolds brilliantly, transporting the reader on a horrific journey. Samantha Blair, an untrained psychic, has unwittingly become witness to a deranged serial killer’s mad spree. Her “gift” exacts a terrible toll mentally and physically. What happens during her visions is truly the stuff from which nightmares spring.

When Sam reports her visions to the police she is dismissed as a crackpot, at first, then later must endure an hours-long interrogation when the detail she reports flags her as a prime suspect in the brutal slayings. Only one detective takes her seriously, and as the body count continues to rise he enlists her help in tracking the killer.

Brant Sutherland and Sam Blair are a charismatic couple that I could not help but like. Both, imperfect, yet together they become a force to be reckoned with – an unstoppable duo determined to do whatever is necessary in order to protect others, even at enormous personal cost. This mesmerizing horror-thriller is a must-read for any fan of the genre.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brainstorm by Gordon Kessler Interview: Goddess Fish Tour Stop

I'm very pleased to welcome Gordon Kessler today. Gordon is touring his new book, Brainstorm.  I am anxious to find out more about his book, as I am sure you are, too.  So, just scroll on down and enjoy!

Thank you for hosting me on Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews! Once again, I'm feeling a little lazy, so I thought I'd turn the blog over to a couple of characters from two of my thrillers. Since Channel 2 TV News reporter Henry Haskins from Jezebel is the interview pro, I've asked him to sit down with Sunny McMaster from Brainstorm. Go ahead Haskins.

Haskins: Oh so it's just "Haskins," not "Mr." or even "Henry"?  When will I ever get the respect I deserve? I'm too good for this crap...I'm outta here! I don't need to do this gig---Whoa!

Sunny: Mr. Haskins, please sit back down.

Haskins: Oh, uh, sure, sweetheart.  You're Sunny McMaster? I'd heard you're a real babe, but I had no idea...

Sunny: And don't start getting any ideas. I'm here to promote Brainstorm, not stroke your ego. You can call me Sunny. I will not answer to sweetheart, babe or any other endearments that might somehow sexually stimulate your pathetic fantasies.

Haskins: Sure, sure, okay. Let's get down with it, then—I mean the interview. Let's talk about Brainstorm. What's this story really about, anyway. Is it a gut-wrenching, action packed thriller or some kind of mamby-pamby, sissie-assed romance?

Sunny: I don't like your description of romance, and I'm sure none of the other bloggers appreciate it either. Brainstorm is not a conventional romance, no. But the underlying theme is all about true love and undying passion. And the storyline is action-packed, no doubt. It's like a roller coaster ride. You can see the thrill ride coming, the plot coming to a turning point that's like that first big hill. Then, when you go over the top, all you can do is hold on for dear life, because it won't stop until the very end.

Haskins: And I'll bet that's the way you are, too—you really know how to use that "undying passion" stuff to please a man.

Sunny: I'm going to pretend you're not a creep and are sincere. Yes, I love my man, and I show him that I do—and he shows me in reciprocation.  There's nothing kinky or nasty about it.

Haskins: Oh, yeah, that brings us to the question of just who your man really is? Is it your husband, Daniel, or is it this Robert Weller guy. I understand you had an affair with him.

Sunny: There are a lot of things you might think you understand, Mr. Haskins, but I don't believe you truly would unless you read Brainstorm. Did you?

Haskins: Well, let's say I skimmed it. I didn't see any real juicy parts, though. I don't read novels—I think it's a waste of time.  I watch movies.  Maybe when they make Brainstorm into a movie, I'll "understand".

Sunny: You have a real creepy smile, Henry.  By the way, that's quite a bruise on you jaw.  I'll bet that hurt. Daniel gave it to you in the last interview, didn't he?  

Haskins: A sucker punch.  Let's get on with the interview, shall we? You're not a commando, you're not some kind of trained CIA operative: what exactly is your role in Brainstorm? How do you qualify to go on a rescue mission with a group of highly trained Air Force PJs?

Sunny: I can't tell you that, it's classified.  I can tell you that it was my job to get Robert Weller to talk.

Haskins: Really, I'd think after having an affair with him, you wouldn't want him to talk—Oh! My nose!

Sunny: Please excuse Mr. Haskins.  He's had to leave the set to take care of a sudden nose-bleed. Let me finish this interview for him.  I think you'll enjoy Brainstorm, because it isn't just another shallow thriller full of gratuitous action. It's about the human condition, and how, no matter what a person goes through, if their love is true, it will shine through in the end. Please give it a try.

Like NY Times bestselling author Douglas Preston said, it's “ exciting and fast-paced as a thrill ride on a dive bomber, a maelstrom of action, violence, murder and mayhem, way too much fun to put down.. An outstanding novel.” And NY Times bestselling author James Rollins said Brainstorm is "...a kickass adventure story that will have you thrumming through the pages well into the night...handled with stunning effect."

Check out the Brainstorm book trailer on at: —it's kind of fun! And you can find out more about Gordon and his other thrillers Jezebel and Dead Reckoning on his website . For a limited time during this blog tour, all three thrillers in eBook format are only $.99! Give them all a try! Thanks for blogging about Brainstorm, and may you always have happy endings!

Laurie:  Thanks so much Sunny! And, I have to say, you showed admirable restraint this morning.  I got an ice pack for Haskins, but he, of course, just brushed me off and said "That little gal is feisty, huh...".   Thanks for being here today!


THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY  a basic Kindle, Kobo, Sony Reader or Nook to one randomly drawn commenter from this tour.  The lucky winner selects the device. Follow along on the tour, find out cool new stuff at each stop, and comment.  Each comment automatically increases your odds of winning. The tour dates can be found here.  


In Brainstorm, Gold Rush seems to be just another sleepy little Colorado community full of friendly, caring citizens, quaint cottages, and a sort of quiet peace, held gently by the picturesque mountains that surround it. However, something isn't right in Gold Rush, and early on a Monday morning Robert Weller awakens with a cautioning and insuppressible voice inside his head. He soon finds a secret behind every door, a motive with every glance, and a lie beneath every spoken word.
After meeting a strange but beautiful woman named Sunny who insists they were once lovers, people begin dropping dead around him and his world twists upside down as paramilitary teams hunt him, and his own wife and friends turn against him. Weller is thrown into the middle of a military mission to rescue thousands of the town's citizens from a plot to destroy the Free World.
Time is running out: Weller, Sunny and thousands of innocent citizens are facing nuclear devastation. Major “Jax” Jackson and a U.S. Air Force Para Rescue team are their only hope—but how can Jax and his PJs save them all, armed only with nonlethal weapons?
“ exciting and fast-paced as a thrill ride on a dive bomber, a maelstrom of action, violence, murder and mayhem, way too much fun to put down...based on an actual black CIA program known as ‘Project Stargate. Kessler...really knows his stuff. An outstanding novel.”— Douglas Preston, bestselling author of The Codex, Relic and Book of the Dead and many more.
"...a wild ride into the reality of human consciousness...a kickass adventure story that will have you thrumming through the pages well into the night...handled with stunning effect."— James Rollins, bestselling author of Black Order, Sandstorm and Map of Bones as well as many others.

I had no idea I would begin a killing spree on such a lovely morning.  I felt animosity for no one.  I willed no one dead.
My name is Robert Weller.  I’m the type of guy who will trap a spider in the shower, take it out to the bushes in the middle of the night and bid it farewell and happy hunting.  But early on this Monday morning a change seemed to come over my life as subtle and lethal as a glass of Chardonnay laced with arsenic.
I was dreaming. I saw myself sitting in a large room, white and cold. It smelled of antiseptic. In the middle of the room was a table with a large brown envelope propped up on it. I sat to one side in a hard oak chair. On the opposite side of the room, behind a small, gray-metal desk, sat a woman in a U.S. Army uniform. Her name was Lieutenant Vanzandtz, and she appeared to be in her early thirties. Her mismatched chair was thick and upholstered in burgundy leather or more likely cheap Naugahyde.
In this dream, I was shirtless and covered in goose bumps. I didn’t know what the cathode-ray tube beside me monitored, nor did I care. That was their business. I was getting three hundred bucks. The jumping green lines and the constant blips from the machine were becoming annoying, however. The monitor’s leads were stuck to my temples and to well-shaven areas on the base of my head and on my chest.
I closed my eyes but didn’t concentrate on the envelope as the lieutenant had just instructed. Instead, I thought of her. She had yet to smile. I guessed she’d have a pleasant smile if she’d ever try. But she just sat behind her desk, her face stern, mouth small and tight. I considered how a broad smile on her narrow face would’ve nicely balanced out her large-framed glasses and the bun of walnut hair on top of her head.
My focus changed to the contents of the envelope. Somewhere behind my eyes a three-dimensional image formed. I saw blue-green water, deep but calm, near a beach with sand as white and fine as table salt. In the water, a white sailing yacht, probably eighty feet, floated peacefully with three large sails billowing in a light breeze. The name Chairman was scrolled in blue across the leisure vessel’s stern. To the left of the boat, the sun posed like a huge tangerine ball drifting in the ocean, and above, the clouds were wispy ghosts painted coral by the sun’s last rays.
With eyes still closed, I turned my attention to a thick file folder in front of the lieutenant. Another vision came clear, the file’s jacket. Project: Grill Flame, it said in large, stamped-on letters. On its index tab was a name I didn’t recognize—Daniel McMaster. I focused on the heading of the first page. Remote Viewer Evaluation, it said. A list followed with all of the boxes farthest to the left checked under the Excellent column. Under Notes was written: Top candidate. Subject excels in all measured areas. Someone’s entire life put down in letters and numbers, I thought, and I got the distinct impression that this man’s file, this Daniel McMaster, was being used for comparison—some sort of watermark, the bar everyone else should strive to reach.
I told the lieutenant what I saw in the thin package on which she had requested my attention, but I said nothing of what I’d discovered in the file folder, and I opened my eyes.

Author bio: Gordon A Kessler is a former US Marine parachutist, recon scout, and Super Squad team leader, with a bachelor's degree in creative writing.  He is a Master Instructor for Johnson County Community College, National Academy of Railroad Sciences, and the BNSF Railway.  He has taught novel writing for Butler County Community College, English Composition for Hutchinson Junior College and has previously indie-published the thriller novels Jezebel and Dead Reckoning, and a book about the novel-writing craft, Novel Writing Made Simple.  He is a founder and former president of the Kansas Writers Association and tries to stay connected to writers and the writing industry by doing speaking engagements at writers conferences and for writers organizations, and has does his own "The Storyteller" seminar in Wichita, Lincoln (Nebraska), Kansas City, and other Midwestern cities based on his Novel Writing Made Simple book. His websites, and www.IndieWritersAlliance are landing pages for writers to help them in their writing endeavors.


THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY  a basic Kindle, Kobo, Sony Reader or Nook to one randomly drawn commenter from this tour.  The lucky winner selects the device. Follow along on the tour, find out cool new stuff at each stop, and comment.  Each comment automatically increases your odds of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  
Next Up on Tour
7/29/2011: My Odd Little World
8/1/2011: Minding Spot

Full Tour Lineup

Thanks so much for visiting today and I sincerely hope you had as much fun as I did.  Remember, every comment you make during this tour increases your chances of winning a brand new reading device.  So ask your question or share a thought.  I LOVE to hear what you have to say! 

Promotional materials were provided by Goddess Fish Promotions and the author.  I may be eligible for certain "Thank you" incentives depending on the success of this post in comparison with other similar posts on this tour. "Success" is defined in this instance as number of comments generated.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Paperboys Club by Mobashar Qureshi

The Paperboys Club

BLURB (courtesy GoodReads)

Detective Samantha ‘Sam’ Banter is assigned a cold case involving the murder of a seven-year-old boy. With the help of her partner, Detective Fred Bashir, Sam must solve the case before her rival, Detective Glen Henkson, solves his case. The outcome will lead to the appointment of the new police sergeant.

Sam’s daughter, Maryann, is quiet and withdrawn. She befriends Thomas and Christopher, who, like her, have a secret—gifts that are a result of traumatic episodes in their pasts.

Clarence Hynes has been locked up in the mental institute for a crime he committed two year ago. But was the crime wrong or justified? Clarence, however, is burdened with something far worse.

Can Sam solve her case before her rival? Will Maryann, Thomas, and Christopher share their secret? How does Clarence link them all together?

The Paperboys Club is a supernatural thriller with twists and turns that lead to a shocking conclusion.


REVIEW    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I feel this book has an intriguing subject, but I had trouble accepting the idea that a significant promotion would be granted to the candidate who first solved their assigned cold case and that those assignments would be so blatantly skewed. The author weaves multiple story threads, and they kept my interest, but I feel the construction, in a few places, was a hindrance and this story could benefit from some editorial tightening. Some sentences did not make sense though I could generally discern the intended meaning. It seems possible that English may not be the author’s first language, or perhaps this book has been translated from another language. In most cases, there was clear distinction between the various threads when the scenes changed, but there were also instances where the point of view, place, or time radically changed from one paragraph to the next with no warning. I found those disconcerting, and they undeniably broke my concentration and pushed me out of my make-believe realm, even if only for a few moments. I enjoyed this book while I was reading it, but it ended with too many unresolved issues, and I actually wanted to feel a deeper connection to and concern for the characters.

Reviewer for Night Owl Reviews

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Secrets by S.L. Pierce

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Upon opening the book and reading the first few sentences, I was hooked. Gwen Michaels is a former assassin, but when she is attacked in her own home by an unknown assailant, she is thrust back into her element. Impossible for me to put down once started, the story kept me on pins and needles as I followed Gwen’s investigation. I loved being privy to her thoughts and ideas. For Gwen, life is simple, decisions are unambiguous. Gwen is a tough cookie and her fiancĂ©, Jack soon learns things about her past that Gwen had hoped never to reveal. Now Jack must step up because Gwen is determined to protect him, whatever the cost.

I was swept away by this tale. Gwen fascinated me, and I genuinely liked and cared about her. She is not your stereotypical protagonist. As the story progressed, the action was relentless; I loved that the descriptive details were kept to a minimum. I was provided enough information to set the ongoing movie firmly in my mind without having to slog through the minutia. This book is a definite keeper, for me. It is tightly structured with above average editing - I noted a couple of word usage errors and a time/place transition that was disconcerting for a moment, only. If you love fast-paced, action-intensive stories, featuring a fearless, savvy, combat-trained female protagonist with ice in her veins, then you, too, should get this book.

Also, Read an Interview with this author and enter our giveaway for a FREE digital copy of Secrets. The Giveaway ends 6/17/11 11:45 PM CDT.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


4 Stars
An unlucky prostitute is found with a bloody, cryptic note pinned to her chest.  A crazed serial killer who horribly mutilates his victims begins his diabolical rampage.  It is up to Detectives Paczecki and Grogan to discover the identity of and arrest the killer but clues are scarce. Time becomes yet another enemy as the murders escalate. The victims seem to be randomly selected but soon unlikely relationships are uncovered. A family is torn asunder by hate, betrayal, and loss. Who will survive?

This unusual novel is fast-paced and is told via short, tightly constructed conversations between various character combinations through a series of short glimpses into private moments, lover’s quarrels, and family dynamics. The dialogues are, for the most part, realistically portrayed but a couple of times I felt as if the information was being conveyed in a manner that seemed just slightly too pat. Most of the characters are flawed and not particularly likable but it is their foibles that help make this thriller so unique and gripping. There is no fluff, no filler. Descriptions are succinctly and frugally doled out.  Dysfunctionality rules and religious excesses abound as the story is relentlessly driven to a final chilling showdown. Pick up this book to experience a thrilling, wholly entertaining, macabre journey into the heart of murder, mayhem and madness.

Friday, October 29, 2010

PURITY by Rick Baber

Fiction Thriller
5 Cups

Jeff Davis is definitely not a candidate for Employee of the Month.  He is an Insurance Adjuster with a bad attitude. Bored with his job he routinely does the barest minimum to get by. He also lies through his teeth with creative excuses to his wife, boss and clients. Still, he is positively brilliant when it comes to extraditing himself from sticky situations.  He is also unusually witty and generally sarcastic.

Gaylon Crittes is the stepson of the influential right-wing conservative Arkansas State Senator, Thaddeus Pinkley.  Gaylon needs Jeff to approve a rental because his Lincoln Town Car was badly bashed in a fatal accident the previous night.  Gaylon is a weird duck and a control freak.

Gaylon quickly becomes unhappy with Jeff’s lackadaisical attitude when Jeff refuses to authorize payment on the rental until he has inspected the damage to the Lincoln.  In the meantime, the accident scene becomes a crime scene as some surprising evidence is discovered that could be related to a serial kidnapping case.  As Jeff plods through his insurance investigation pressure builds, loyalties are tested, and four innocent lives hang in the balance.

Rarely does a story come along that is so strangely compelling.  I was hooked right from the start as Jeff procrastinated, lied, grumbled and complained to himself about practically everything.  Yet, I laughed and rapidly flipped the pages almost as if I was right there with him willing him to triumph – an invisible presence captivated by his irreverent, sarcastic humor.  Pick up and read this book.  Rick Baber knows how to tell a story that is thrilling, funny and both politically and religiously controversial. This one is a winner; I am fervently praying for a sequel.   

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

I received the Yank My Chain Award for this review