Friday, February 21, 2014

Original Death

From the Publisher: Despite the raging war between French and British, Scottish exile Duncan McCallum has begun to settle into a new life on the fringes of colonial America, traveling the woodlands with his companion Conawago, even joining the old Indian on his quest to find the last surviving members of his tribe. But the joy they feel on reaching the little settlement of Christian Indians is shattered when they find its residents ritually murdered. As terrible as the deaths may be, Conawago perceives something even darker and more alarming: he is convinced they are a sign of a terrible crisis in the spirit world which he must resolve.

Trying to make sense of the murders, Duncan is accused by the British army of the crime. Escaping prison to follow the trail of evidence, he finds himself hounded by vengeful soldiers and stalked by Scottish rebels who are mysteriously trying to manipulate the war to their advantage. As he pieces together the puzzle of violence and deception he gradually realizes that it may not only be the lives of Duncan and his friends that hang in the balance, but the very survival of the native tribes. When he finally discovers the terrible truth, Duncan is forced to make a fateful choice between his beloved Highland clans and the woodland natives who have embraced and protected him.

I'm a sucker for a good Scottish protagonist and the idea of a book set in the French and Indian War I found to be intriguing. I had a hard time getting drawn in, but I'm so glad I stuck it out. While it is part of a series, it has the ability to stand alone and tell it's tale. I now want to get "caught up" and see how the main characters develop. If there's one thing I love more than a good Scottish protagonist, it's a great back story.
Original Death begins with Duncan McCallum and his companion Conawago traveling to meet the latter's long lost nephew. Conawago is one of the last of his tribe; a Nipmuc. He has traveled the world and is anxious to meet the last of his family: his nephew Hickory John and Hickory John's grandson, Ishmael. As the men travel they discover a dead Highland Regiment soldier, are shot at by smugglers, and discover a massacre. All within the first chapter! The two friends arrive to find the town slaughtered, with Hickory John as one of the dead. Several children are missing, as well as Ishmael and the schoolmaster. So begins a fantastical journey filled with so many plot twits that you'll eventually just fall off the edge of your seat as Duncan and helpers work against the clock and war to save the kidnapped children. Along the way they encounter a charge of murder, a half-king who's execution of choice is the "five day death," the Iroquois council, a Welsh witch that even the natives are afraid of, restless spirits, Jacobites, and a few priests thrown in for good measure. Duncan may not always be the flashy hero, but his brilliant and steadfast. Even when faced with the opportunity of revenge against the English, he chooses his journey to save the children. In a book that has so many layers of deception, you come to rely on Duncan's decency. You want Duncan on your side.

The French and Indian War is not a time in our history that I'm familiar with, so at times I felt like I struggled to keep up with a rather large cast of supporting characters, some real people. While I love a good plot twist,  I felt like there were so many revelations that they lost some of their sizzle. Overall I think it's a fantastic read that is fresh and inventive while still finding room for history.

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****4 Stars I really liked this book!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Sinister Obsession

From the Publisher: A psychopathic killer on a quest leaves behind a string of brutal murders, and to find the Who, the police must first discover the Why...

Detective Aubrey McKenzie has been assigned to investigate the murders. A lovely, fabulously wealthy, dark-haired Scot, whose iron will was forged in the inferno of human tragedy, Aubrey is stymied by the lack of solid clues. Now she must rely on her paranormal ability to apprehend the killer—an ability that has been invaluable in her police work but has made a disaster of her social life.

Fate teams Aubrey with Detective Joshua Diamond, a handsome, talented, and compassionate man who is more than happy eating a greasy bacon-cheeseburger and wearing clothes that should have been thrown out with the trash. In a race against time, Aubrey and Joshua must overcome their vast differences—and their attraction for each other—and discover the identity of this elusive killer, and the quest this fiend is on, before more lives are destroyed.

My Review: The prologue of A Sinister Obsession really sets the pace for the rest of the book. In the first few lines, we meet George and Ann Marr who reside in Pittsburgh. Obviously they have a dark cloud of depression hanging over their lives. As you read on, you learn why they are unhappy and also are left a little shocked at their brutal murder! I know I was stunned. And Redstone, the author, leaves little to the imagination on the details of the murder. You see it almost from the killers eyes...but what leaves you baffled is why the couple had to die.

After I got past the prologue, the story started unfolding. Detective Lieutenant Joshua Diamond is on the force in Pittsburgh. He takes the case of the mysterious murder and starts the investigation. Three months later in Maryland, another brutal murder takes place in a hospital. There, Detective Aubrey McKenzie takes the case! There are a few similarities with the two murders and that is what brings our two main characters together!

They couldn't be any more different. Joshua is a plain and simple guy. Laid back. Doesn't take his work home with him. Aubrey on the other hand is wealthy, beautiful, and her work is her life. She also has a secret that she has never told anyone. She can read people's minds. She is referred to as a "witch" but I don't agree with that term. She has a paranormal ability but no other "magical powers" so really she is a telepath. Of course, when she meets Joshua she know exactly what he thinks of her and, to her shock, she likes it. He thinks she's a good looking woman among other things...the problem is, Aubrey doesn't want to get close to anyone. So, we follow them on their journey of figuring out who this sick person is and why s/he is killing innocent people.

The reader is not kept in the dark until the end of the book as to who the killer is. We find out not too far in. But the reason as to why this person is killing is a bit scary. And the lengths they will go to get the info they want will send chills down your spine.

So it's up to Aubrey and Joshua to track the killer down, even when they feel they have reached dead ends. They don't give up and along the way they actually spark up an interest in each other...I'll let you read to see how far it goes ;)

I liked the book and I liked the overall story. However, I'm not a big fan of gore and explicit details so that was something I could have done without. If you have a weak stomach, you can still read the book but skip over the murders. And there are quite a few. Because like I said earlier, Redstone leaves very little to the imagination.

If you are a fan of psycho-crazy killer thrillers, with a love story thrown in the mix, then get A Sinister Obsession! 


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Blink of Her Eye

From the Publisher: While investigating patient complaints as the hospital’s compliance officer, Anika is attacked by a man claiming she murdered his wife. After wickedly seductive Gabriel rescues her, she knows she isn’t quite dead when all she thinks about are his eyes devouring her in a single glance.

As Anika recovers, she receives a note urging her to ‘Stop the Murders.’ But she’s clueless as to who is about to be killed. Bewildered, she accepts Gabriel’s offer to unravel the mystery behind the message.

With the death toll rising, Gabriel refuses to deny his erotic compulsion for Anika while tracking down the murderer. Equally consumed by her own insatiable passions, Anika leaves them both vulnerable to life-threatening dangers. Their obsession to be together will either save or destroy them as well as hundreds about to be killed.

My Review: This book starts out fast and doesn't slow down. I liked that very much! Very quickly you are brought into a story that has you questioning "What is going on??" but in a good way! The reader is quickly introduced to Gabriel, the man who saved Anika from being beaten to death.

The way Gabriel is described, I'm sure any woman wouldn't mind him coming to her aide with his dark hair, smoldering eyes and muscular physic. He saves her life and then she is whisked away to the emergency room but not before hearing him say to her "I want inside." Oh my!! She doesn't know his name or who he is but that doesn't stop her from fantasizing about him while she is being bandaged up ;)

When she is moved to a semi-private hospital room, her knight in shining armor comes in and checks on his mother in law! Naturally Anika is devastated but soon finds out that he is widowed. This wicked attraction she has toward him is unsettling but he seems to have the same feelings for her. They connect on the common ground that something odd is going on in the hospital with the way some of the patients are being treated. They also discover that six elderly patients, who all lived near each other have died from the same "Alzheimer like" symptoms. Red flags go up and they start investigating. Is it the hospital deliberately making these patients sick or is someone else behind it all? Who is covering it up and and will Anika and Gabriel figure it out before they are the next victims??

This story is really good and will keep you guessing on who the bad guy is! It will also have you rooting for Anika and Gabriel. Will they get together or will Anika choose someone else? The passion between her and Gabriel is intense and won't leave you disappointed. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a mystery that is laced with sex and suspense. Buy this book! You will not be disappointed!

                                    ****4 Starts I Really Liked This Book!