The Huntress/FBI Thriller Series:
I had always planned on doing a Feature Blog about this series and since I just posted my review of the fourth book in the series, Bitter Moon, I decided it might as well be now. I was lucky enough to be asked by Alexandra Sokoloff if I would be interested in reviewing her third book of the series, Cold Moon, many moons ago. Besides being the first book that I would seriously review for publication, it was also my introduction to Net Galley. I fell in love with both the series and the site!
If you are a reader like me, I could not start on the third book, so I went back and purchased the first, Huntress Moon and the second, Blood Moon. I am very happy that I did. This series, at least in my opinion, cannot and should not be read as standalones.
The characters, both main and secondary, are complex and three dimensional within the series. For me, that is one of Ms. Sokoloff’s greatest strengths in these stories. The plots are fast paced, intriguing and believable, but it is the characters that keep drawing me back. There is explicit violence in each book, but one of the main characters is a psychotic, serial-killer, vigilante so it is to be expected.
This is a must read series for me and I anxiously await the publication of each book. Ms. Sokoloff’s writing is superb. I recommend you start now. Four books is doable!
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
This is one of my “Must Read” series and I am always anxiously awaiting the next book. BITTER MOON (The Huntress/ FBI Thrillers, #4) does not disappoint! Alexandra Sokoloff has once again written an amazing plot and character study of a victim turned vigilante serial-killer and an obsessed and conflicted FBI agent balanced on the edge.
This fourth book of the series is told in alternating voices between Cara Lindstrom in the Past at age 14 and FBI Agent Matthew Roarke in the Present. In the past, Cara is sent to a group home after release from juvenile prison and as she begins to attend the local high school, she is once again confronted by her visualization and/or conception of evil she calls “It”. In the present, Roarke is on leave from his job and is trying to decide who he is and what he wants for his future. A cryptic call from a detective with unknown motives drags Roarke into Cara’s past and the still unsolved present day mystery of a sexual predator preying on young girls.
The two plot lines intertwine past and present without being confusing in any way. This in depth look at Cara’s past was extremely interesting. It was the turning point in her short life when she decides to no longer be a victim, but to actively seek out and destroy “It” in all its manifestations. Cara is one of my favorite characters. Victim, psychotic, seer, killer, predator. Every scene and situation makes me reconsider my feelings for her.
I recommend this series highly! I also feel this series should be read in order. The character evolution in both main and secondary characters grows with the series. There is graphic violence throughout the series, but I don’t feel it is ever gratuitous. Once again, waiting for the next book!
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
This book is NOT what I was expecting! VENGEANCE (Valentine Shepherd #1) by Shana Figueroa is going to be one of those books and series you are either going to love or hate. Love because of the great characters and plot, hate if you are not into explicit sex scenes in all variations, F/F, M/M, M/M/F and M/F.
P.I. Valentine Shepherd is thrust into a case when her attorney fiancée is run down and killed while trying to get information from an informant to clear his client, Max Carressa, billionaire heir, who is suspected of killing his father. When the informant is shot and killed, Val is chased by the cops who killed him. Max comes to her rescue and they both are on the run now as they try to unravel the reasons for the conspiracy between a mayoral candidate, a crime boss and Val’s dead ex’s attorney dad.
There is also a subplot that will arc over the whole series. Val has been able to have visions of the future since Junior High. She has always considered it a curse as well as a help at times. It seems she has not able to see the future of those she loves before they die, but she has been on occasion able to alter her future in the visions. Max also has the ability to see the future, but he sees it in a series of numbers that he uses in business and he has never been able to alter what he sees. There is a mystery person, who wants these two together no matter the cost.
The plot and subplot are full of great twists and both unfold at a very fast pace. It is a P.I. thriller with psychic abilities in the main characters. Val is a strong female lead character. She was a Sergeant in the Army and then started her own P.I. business with her best friend Stacey. Val will pick herself up and plow ahead through any adversity. Max is super-hot, super-rich and has been severely abused his whole life. He has hidden out in drugs, alcohol and a fast lifestyle until he meets his “Red Raven” vision, Val.
I loved Val and Max and the plot had me reading long into the night. There is a lot of sex throughout, but there is a very unique reason for it. I can’t wait to get the next book in this series. Unique and hot!
Thanks very much to Forever (Grand Central Publishing), Net Galley and this author for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B.A. Paris is definitely be one of my favorite psychological thrillers this year! I find it hard to believe this came from a debut author. The author had me completely engrossed. I devoured this book in one sitting!
Jack and Grace appear to be the perfect couple. Jack is a successful attorney for domestic abuse victims who has never lost a case. Grace is the gracious hostess, superb cook, talented painter and gardener with green fingers. In the eighteen months they have been married, you never see them apart. The perfect couple or is it only a façade?
Grace tells her story alternating between the Past and the Present. She is a successful buyer for Harrods and has complete responsibility of her younger sister, Millie who has Down’s syndrome. Then she meets Jack. She is lonely and he is perfect in every way. He is attentive to both her and Millie. The two come together quickly and Grace soon learns after the marriage that Jack isn’t who or what he seemed. She must find a way to get away from him before Millie is due to live with them and he destroys them both.
Every single scene and narrative in this book shows how Grace, or any woman, can become isolated, controlled or abused both physically and mentally. You see the escalation and signs and keep praying for Grace to escape, but Jack is such a controlling and scary psychopath that you don’t know how she will do it. Her fear keeps you turning the pages because you just have to know what happens. I also loved that this author did not dismiss Millie as a stereotype.
Intense, psychological thriller is the perfect description of this quick, must read!
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
Brilliant! Thrilling! Suspenseful! Gripping! Intriguing! There are not enough adjectives to describe how I feel about this fifth D. I. Kim Stone book, BLOOD LINES by Angela Marsons. When I think Ms. Marsons has given me everything in a mystery/thriller/British police procedural I could possibly want, she surprises me once again with even more.
Kim and her team start investigating the stabbing death of an apparent carjacking victim, but something just doesn’t feel right to Kim and soon they have more victims with the same stab wound, but nothing else to connect them. No evidence at any of the scenes leaves the team struggling.
Adding to the stress of a tough case, the sociopath psychiatrist, Alex Thorne is back and has worked out a plan to eliminate the roadblocks to her release from prison, permanently. Kim barely kept her sanity dealing with Alex in book two and knows that another sparring match may push her over the edge, but she feels she has no choice. Alex has manipulated everyone around her again, even while in prison and Kim needs to figure out her end game and stop her no matter the cost.
The two plot lines intertwine to perfection in this book. The theme runs through both, but I can’t say more without giving a spoiler. Even the title is perfect for this book. I feel this book is perfectly plotted and paced. I put it down once only due to work. I would have been compelled to read it through in one sitting otherwise.
The characters are realistic and as in all the previous books, I look forward to what new insights Ms. Marsons will reveal about each. Kim is once again facing psychological implosion from her interactions with Alex Thorne and she also throws in the possible release of her mentally ill mother. Bryant is proving once again to be Kim’s rock and best friend besides her partner. Stacey and Dawson also continue to grow into their roles.
This book can be read as a standalone, but to understand the richness of Ms. Marsons’ characters, you really should start at book one and read how they grow. I cannot recommend this series enough! This is a must read series for me!
A huge thank you to Bookouture and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Perfect!
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
Once again Matthew FitzSimmons has me engrossed as I follow his main character, the always surprising and ethically ambiguous Gibson Vaughn on another thrilling adventure in his new book, POISONFEATHER.
The judge who changed the young Gibson’s path in life, his friends and family and many others have all been scammed by Charles Merrick for their life savings. Merrick is about to be released from prison after only an eight year sentence and he has hinted that he still has money working for him. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Merrick and his money and they will be waiting for him to walk out of prison.
Gibson wants to get the money for the judge, an ex-con wants the money to start a new life and a small town bartender wants revenge. These three need to work with each other to stay ahead of a CIA handler, a Chinese spy, hardened criminal gangs and mercenaries all set in a small town in West Virginia. Believe it or not, the author does make all of these characters come together into a wild and thrilling story.
Gibson Vaughn always seems to find himself trying to do the right thing for the right reason, but things always end up being more complicated. Mr. FitzSimmons is truly a master at seamlessly weaving his main plot with many subplots that all tie together into a fast paced thrill ride for Gibson and the reader. The cast of characters are all interesting, written with depth and motivations that make them fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
There are small references in regards to the first Gibson Vaughn book, The Short Drop, but it does not change the main focus of this book, which can easily be read as a standalone. Reader Alert: The ending is a BIG cliffhanger! I normally hate cliffhanger endings, but Mr. FitzSimmons made it work for me and I will be anxiously awaiting to find out the fate of Gibson Vaughn.
Thank you very much to Thomas & Mercer and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.