Review & Giveaway: THE PUPPET MASTER by Ronald S. Barak

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As part of a blog tour organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours, I jumped at the chance to read Ronald Barak’s latest thriller- The Puppet Master.  The Puppet  Master is a prequel to  The Amendment Killer, an excellent novel, which I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing when it was released (click here to read that review).

Description

Puppet-Master-2018-FIN-cover-praise-s-3200x4800px-ebook_400x600What would YOU do if they took everything you had, your family, your home, your business, your dignity, even—perhaps—your sanity? Ronald S. Barak’s latest, The Puppet Master, prequel to The Amendment Killer, and the second in the Brooks/Lotello Thriller Series, is a gripping story of a political system gone awry—and those who feel compelled to fix it. “Have you ever killed anyone? I have. I’ll do it again. If I need to.” Three prominent political leaders in Washington, D.C., murdered in as many days.

Not a plausible story premise? What about the real world villain who recently mailed a series of pipe bombs to a number of prominent political figures? Ripped from the headlines? Barak gives new meaning to the word “timely.” The Puppet Master isn’t ripped from the headlines; written first, it forecast the headlines that followed!

The Puppet Master begins with a bang. Literally. Three of them. Not a page wasted. Capitol Hill panics. Who will be next? Others whisper that our political leaders are only getting what they deserve. Anxious to see who will be next. And why.

Crafty D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello is tasked to find the killer. Cliff Norman, a local businessman with ample motive, is arrested. Politicians breathe a sigh of relief. However, when Lotello discovers a disturbing White House connection, he suspects Norman may not be what he appears to be. Things may not be what they appear to be.

Norman’s trial commences in the courtroom of savvy D.C. trial court judge Cyrus Brooks. An angry nation rallies behind Norman. The jury debates whether Norman’s actions may be legally justified by a rampant abuse of political trust, and threatens to unravel the very fabric of our dysfunctional government.

In an unprecedented and questionable manner that may destroy their respective careers, Lotello quietly approaches Brooks and they form a secret alliance to uncover the truth in this classic whodunnit mystery. Before it’s too late.

Blurring fiction and reality, The Puppet Master will have you dangling from the first page to the very last.

You can view the book trailer at: https://youtu.be/J9aV5pMUKC8.

Buy Links:

My Review

I enjoyed following  Detective Lotello as he persists in investigating the murder of three high-profile politicans – despite the confession of a bitter, broken man with a grudge.  The story is told from alternating points of view in short chapters, giving you a sense of what each of the players is going through and their deliberations, yet without being too confusing to follow.   Both Lotello and Judge Brooks are great characters – human and relatable.

The story is engaging and well-paced, while raising controversial questions regarding the potential for broader application  of the justifiable homicide defense in the courts – when does it become reasonable to take the law into your own hands?  Definitely thought-provoking stuff.

A well-written choice for fans of political thrillers and police procedurals.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary ARC of this book as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Giveaway and More

Follow the tour for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and enter the Thriller Junkies  giveaway for your chance to win an e-book copy of the Puppet Master and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

About the Author

Ronald-S-BarakDescribed by his readers as a cross between Agatha Christie, Lee Child, and John Lescroart, bestselling author Ron Barak keeps his readers flipping the pages into the wee hours of the night. While he mostly lets his characters tell his stories, he does manage to get his licks in too.

Barak derives great satisfaction in knowing that his books not only entertain but also stimulate others to think about how things might be, how people can actually resolve real-world problems. In particular, Barak tackles the country’s dysfunctional government representatives—not just back-seat driving criticism for the sake of being a back-seat driver, but truly framing practical remedies to the political abuse and corruption adversely affecting too many people’s lives today. Barak’s extensive legal background and insight allow him to cleverly cross-pollenate his fiction and today’s sad state of political reality.

In his latest novel, THE AMENDMENT KILLER, Barak calls upon his real world legal ingenuity and skill to craft a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution criminalizing political abuse and corruption that Constitutional scholars across the country are heralding as a highly plausible answer to the political chaos destroying the very moral fiber of the country today. It’s difficult to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not imagine what could—and should—be expected and demanded of those political leaders who have forgotten they are there to serve and not be served.

Barak is also a committed and strident advocate of finding a cure for diabetes. One of the primary characters in THE AMENDMENT KILLER is the feisty and precocious 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter of the Supreme Court justice holding the swing vote in a case in which Congress is challenging the validity of Barak’s hypothetical 28th Amendment. It is no small coincidence that Barak is himself a diabetic. Or that he has committed 50% of the net proceeds of THE AMENDMENT KILLER to diabetes research and education.

Barak is singularly qualified to have authored THE AMENDMENT KILLER, which will appeal to political and legal thriller aficionados alike. Barak is a law school honors graduate and a former Olympic athlete. While still in law school, he authored a bill introduced in Congress that overnight forced the settlement of a decades long dispute between the NCAA and the AAU to control amateur athletics in the United States.

Present-day politicians would do well to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not underestimate the potential of Barak’s 28th Amendment. You can read his 28th Amendment at ronaldsbarak.com/28th-amendment-page-2. You can also read his occasional political blogs at ronaldsbarak.com/blog.

Ron and his wife, Barbie, and the four-legged members of their family reside in Pacific Palisades, California.

You can catch up with the author on:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Review: HER SILENT CRY by Lisa Regan

This summer I got a lot of reading done. For a slight change of pace, I downloaded a review copy of Her Silent Cry (Detective Josie Quinn Book 6) from Net Galley.  After all, I couldn’t resist a thriller with such a beautiful cover.

Description

51xgehv2bpblRound and round she goes, blonde pigtails flying, her high-pitched giggle catching on the wind. But as the ride slows to a stop, her seat is suddenly empty. Little Lucy is gone…

When seven-year-old Lucy Ross is snatched from the carousel in Denton city park, Detective Josie Quinn joins the frantic search. She’s the one who finds Lucy’s sparkly butterfly backpack abandoned by the ticket booth, a note with a devastating message stuffed inside: answer your phone, or your sweet little darling will die…

The next day, Lucy’s parents are filled with hope when they pick up a call which they think is from their babysitter – but instead it’s a chilling male voice on the line. Josie races to the babysitter’s small apartment only to find her lifeless body in a tangle of sheets on her bed.

Josie is faced with the most high-stakes case of her career as each new phone call from someone connected to the family ends with the shocking discovery of another body. This twisted killer wants revenge, and he won’t stop until the Ross family are in pieces…

Something is telling Josie that Lucy’s parents aren’t giving her the whole truth, but digging deeper into their lives will force her to confront a life-changing secret of her own. Does Josie have what it takes to crack this case? She has no choice if she’s going to bring Lucy home alive…

Her Silent Cry is available on Amazon.

My Review

This police procedural/thriller was a page-turner. From the onset, you are invested – you want to know what happened to Lucy, who took her, and why.  Josie is strong, smart, and determined. She is quick to take charge and willing to do whatever needs to be done to find the missing child. The investigation points in one direction, only to then turn in another, and then veer off in yet another – without identifying the kidnapper and motive until almost the very end. Relatable characters and unexpected plot twists made for an engrossing read.

This was my first time reading anything by Lisa Regan;  it probably won’t me my last.    Although Her Silent Cry can be read as a standalone,  I may have to find time now to go back and read the rest of the series.

FTC Disclosure:  I received an advance review copy of this book via Net Galley. This has not affected the content of my review.

Review & Giveaway: ALL THE DEADLY LIES by Marion Lanouette

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As part of a book tour organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours for Marion Lanouette’s Jake Carrington series, I recently had the pleasure of reading All the Deadly Lies, the first  book in the series.

About the Book

Homicide detective Jake Carrington takes murder personally…

01 ALL THE DEADLY LIES_402x600The victim was bludgeoned, stripped, and left for dead. Shanna Wagner deserves justice—and there’s no better cop than Lieutenant Jake Carrington to find her killer. The brutality of the crime reminds Jake of his sister’s murder seventeen years ago, and the remorseless man responsible, now up for parole.

Then another woman is killed—and Jake goes dangerously close to the edge. He’ll have to face his personal demons and focus his formidable skills if he hopes to stop a vicious murderer from striking again—and hold on to his career, and his life . . .

Add to Goodreads   Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

My Review

Jake Carrington is a likeable and smart detective, but flawed. I liked that he wasn’t perfect. He makes mistakes in both his personal and professional life.  He wants to bring justice to the victims, but sometimes breaks the rules placing himself in difficult situations.

In this book, multiple sub-plots are woven together as Jake and his team tackle two active murder cases. At the same time,  Jake starts to review the files from his sister’s murder in advance of her murderer’s parole hearing, providing further insights into the detective’s past.  The active cases are interesting, with red herrings and twists that keep the pages turning as you attempt to guess the identities of the guilty parties.

Although I am all for romance as part of the storyline (it makes the characters more human), the interjection of a graphic sexual encounter in the middle of the story detracted from the flow of the story and contributed nothing in terms of plot or character development.

Nonetheless, this well written and unpredictable read will likely please fans of thrillers and mysteries.

Content Advisory: If you are offended by strong language and explicit graphic sex, this book might not be for you.

FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review. 

About the Series

The Jake Carrington series includes the following thrillers:

All the Hidden Sins  (A Jake Carrington Thriller #2)

When it comes to crime, homicide detective Jake Carrington plays for high stakes . . .

Assigned a missing persons case, Lieutenant Jake Carrington investigates a local Mob boss. The trail goes cold, but the Mafioso isn’t taking any chances, and soon the heat turns up from another quarter. Turns out there’s more than one dangerous suspect . . .

Kyra Russell is drop-dead gorgeous and Jake is only human. But despite their mutual attraction, Jake’s suspicion deepens when he learns about her gambling problem—an addiction that cost her both husband and son. Even more disturbing is Kyra’s day job. She runs a crematorium—and it’s tied to the Mob. Now Jake will have to navigate a firestorm of treachery to get to the truth . . .

Add to Goodreads   Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

JakeC_series.pngAll the Pretty Brides  (A Jake Carrington Thriller #3)

Homicide detective Jake Carrington has an engagement that can’t wait—with a killer.

Haunted by the murder of his sister, Lieutenant Jake Carrington struggles to control his personal demons as he stands over the brutalized body of a young woman found dead on the railroad tracks. The victim disappeared on July 6th, the fifth woman in as many years to go missing on that date. The fifth happy bride-to-be. The only one whose body has turned up.

Soon the killer is sending personal messages to Jake. They refer to an unidentified brother he believes Jake hates as much as he does. With his partner distracted by turmoil at home, Jake is on his own. Drawn deeper and deeper into a murderous family feud, his mission is to find out who the killer’s brother is—and stop him before another innocent woman’s life is cut tragically short.

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All the Dirty Secrets  (A Jake Carrington Thriller #4)

It’s a shocking blast from the past when homicide detective Jake Carrington finds himself investigating the last woman he’d suspect of murder . . .

Recovering from a stab wound to the gut, and dealing with the news that his sister’s killer might beat the system, Lieutenant Jake Carrington needs some downtime. But that’s cut short by a very sensitive case: the murder of the police commissioner’s wife. The crime scene—a dive hotel, complete with provocative, incriminating photos—suggests the victim was having an affair. But Jake finds that hard to believe—as hard to believe as the #1 suspect . . .

Jake hasn’t seen his high school sweetheart, Melinda Mastrianni, since the day his sister, Eva, died. He’d turned down Eva’s request for a ride so he could go see Melinda, and the guilt has never left him. Now Melinda’s a local photographer, mostly shooting weddings and graduations. Definitely not the kind of pics that led him to her doorstep. But when Melinda disappears, and more prominent women turn up dead, Jake will have to navigate through a twisted blackmailing scheme to find out if the girl he once knew is long gone—or if she’s a killer’s next target . . .

Add to Goodreads    Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

About the Author

A self-described tough blonde from Brooklyn, Marian Lanouette grew up as one of 10 children. As far back as she can remember, Marian loved to read. She was especially intrigued by the Daily News crime reports. Tragically, someone she knew was murdered. The killer was never found. Her Jake Carrington thrillers are informed by her admiration for police work, her experience in running a crematorium, and her desire to write books where good prevails, even in the darkest times. Marian lives in New England with her husband.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

http://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/all-the-dirty-secrets-book-tour-and-giveaway

Review: DRONE STRIKE by Joe Giordano

If you enjoy international intrigue and suspense, you will want to check out Drone Strike: An Anthony Provati Thriller (Appointment with ISIL Book 2) by Joe Giordano.  I had reviewed the first book in the series, and was glad when the author offered me a review copy of the sequel.

Description

Drone Strike, an Anthony Provati Thriller. Karim’s family is killed as ‘collateral damage’ by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq. The Islamic State in the Levant exploits his rage, recruiting him for a terrorist attack on the U.S., and only Anthony Provati can stop him. Drone Strike takes you on a fast-paced adventure across the Mediterranean, into Mexico, finally arriving in the States. Drone Strike explores the psychological realities that seduce Karim to commit an act of terror, includes a love story between Moslem Karim and Miriam, a Christian woman he defends in Turkey, and highlights the plight of Middle Eastern and Central American refugees.

My Review

I really enjoyed this book. As in Appointment with ISIL, the first book in the series,  the author has created a somewhat disturbing scenario that strikes home given the threat of terror faced around the world today. I enjoyed following the protagonist, Anthony Provati, as he again tries to thwart a terrorist attack.  He is the same loveable, flawed guy who finds it hard to resist the temptation of a beautiful woman.

But before Anthony makes his appearance, the reader is introduced to Karim and is given a glimpse into the events that contributed to his bitterness toward America.  He is a particularly well developed character; an internal debate rages within him, particularly after he meets a Syrian Christian woman who is seeking refuge in Europe.

Clearly, an impressive amount of research went into this book – both with respect to the diverse geographic destinations and the cultures and organizations involved.

An interesting and engrossing read. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary ARC of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

For my review of the first book in this series, click here.
The book is available on Amazon.

Review: THE WEDDING GUEST by Jonathan Kellerman

About the Book

51h8peoixxlAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a fine homicide detective, but when he needs to get into the mind of a killer, he leans on the expertise of his best friend, the brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware. While Sturgis has a knack for piecing together the details of a crime, Delaware can decipher the darkest intents driving the most vicious of perpetrators. And there’s no better place for the doctor’s analytical skills to shine than a rowdy hall full of young men and women intoxicated on life and lust . . . and suddenly faced with the specter of death.

Summoned to a run-down former strip joint, Delaware and Sturgis find themselves crashing a wild Saints and Sinners–themed wedding reception. But they’re not the only uninvited guests. A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed to impress in pricey haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. What’s missing is any means of identification, or a single partygoer who recognizes the victim. The baffled bride is convinced the stranger snuck in to sabotage her big day—and the groom is sure it’s all a dreadful mistake. But Delaware and Sturgis have a hundred guests to question, and a sneaking suspicion that the motive for murder is personal. Now they must separate the sinners from the saints, the true from the false, and the secrets from those keeping them. The party’s over—and the hunt for whoever killed it is on.

My Review

A long time fan, I  enjoyed reacquainting myself with Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis as they attempted to find out the identity of the victim and why she was killed.  They are so different and yet remain the best of friends. Nonetheless,  I found that the plot lacked depth and momentum, and the characters were not as well developed as in Kellerman’s earlier works.  An okay read, but nowhere near as enjoyable as previous books in this series.

FTC disclosure:  I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.  This has not affected the content of my review. 

Review, Spotlight & Giveaway: DEAD LAWYERS DON’T LIE by Mark Nolan


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As part of a tour organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie by Mark Nolan.  This action-filled thriller is the first book in the Jake Wolfe series.

About Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie

Attorney by day, assassin by night.

Dead-Lawyers-Don't-Lie-EBook-1563x2500_375x600Jake Wolfe is a young lawyer who leads a secret life. Trained by the CIA, he now wants peace and quiet, practicing law and living on a boat with his war dog. But when his city is shocked by a serial killer and he’s framed for the murder of a friend, Jake must race against time to find the killer before he strikes again.

Drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse; at every step Jake and his loved ones are being hunted by the clever, twisted madman. As the city is gripped in fear of the seemingly random shootings that could strike anybody, Jake investigates and uncovers ominous clues until a shocking reversal of fortune changes everything.

With the clock ticking and lives at stake, will Jake be able to find and stop the killer in time, or will he become the next victim?

Buckle up for a wild ride as Jake Wolfe and his exceptionally intelligent dog, Cody, return to action in this page-turning thriller in Mark Nolan’s bestselling series that has earned thousands of 5-star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.

Goodreads * Amazon

My Review

Jake is a good guy. Even if he has in the past killed people for a living.  He has skills. Investigative and military, and he uses them to his advantage.  However, some of the action-packed scenes and the ease with which Jake triumphed did require a suspension of disbelief.  The story is told from multiple points of view, which sometimes created confusion, as the narrative hopped back and forth between various characters’ thoughts.  (I loved the dog and his insights.) It was also a very long book.  I think I’d have enjoyed it more if some of the descriptions/back story had been more concise. Nonetheless, the fast-paced and interesting plot made it hard to put it down, with the temptation to read just another chapter winning out until way past my bedtime.

FTC Disclosure:  I received a review copy of this book as part of this blog tour.  This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

About Vigilante Assassin, Jake Wolfe Book 2

Every marriage has a secret, but this one is deadly.

VigilanteAssassin_1563x2500_375x600Lauren Stephens wakes up to find her husband, Gene, has vanished during the night. His phone is dead. Desperate, she hires Jake Wolfe and his war dog, Cody. They search the house and discover something so disturbing that Jake won’t allow Lauren near it. “No, if you see this, there is no unseeing it.”

Lauren thought she had it all: a loving partner, two great kids, a successful business, and a beautiful home in the San Francisco hills. But all of that is about to come crashing down, due to a missing husband, a hidden past, and a frightening secret that will shock a trusting wife to the core. Gene has enemies, and now they want something from Lauren.

Jake Wolfe is a flawed man who has a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wants to leave his secret, violent past behind him, but when Lauren and her children are threatened, his protective instinct takes command. Jake soon finds himself involved in a dangerous conspiracy, targeted for death, and engaged in battle with a powerful, unseen group who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Jake’s going to have to think fast and fight hard to protect Cody, Lauren and her kids.

Vigilante Assassin is “Jake Wolfe book two” in the ongoing series. It can be read as a stand-alone, or you can start with book one, titled: Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie.

Both of these Kindle Unlimited books in the Jake Wolfe mystery thriller novel series are available to read for free with your subscription to Kindle Unlimited.

Goodreads * Amazon

About Killer Lawyer, Jake Wolfe Book 3

Attorney by day, assassin by night.

KillerLawyer_eBook_1600x2560_375x600Jake Wolfe is a young lawyer who leads a secret life. Trained by the CIA, he now wants peace and quiet, practicing law and living on a boat with his war dog. But when his city is shocked by a serial killer and he’s framed for the murder of a friend, Jake must race against time to find the killer before he strikes again.

Drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse; at every step Jake and his loved ones are being hunted by the clever, twisted madman. As the city is gripped in fear of the seemingly random shootings that could strike anybody, Jake investigates and uncovers ominous clues until a shocking reversal of fortune changes everything.

With the clock ticking and lives at stake, will Jake be able to find and stop the killer in time, or will he become the next victim?

Buckle up for a wild ride as Jake Wolfe and his exceptionally intelligent dog, Cody, return to action in this page-turning thriller in Mark Nolan’s bestselling series that has earned thousands of 5-star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.

Goodreads * Amazon

Mark_400x390About the Author

Mark Nolan is the author of Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie, the sequel titled Vigilante Assassin, and book 3 in the series: Killer Lawyer. He’s currently writing book 4. Mark also tries to make time every day to answer emails from readers. You can reach him and subscribe to his newsletter at marknolan.com.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Giveaway

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a $25 Amazon GC giveaway!

http://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/killer-lawyer-book-tour-and-giveaway

Blurb Blitz & Giveaway: FINAL NOTICE by Van Fleisher

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As part of blitz tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions, today’s post shines the spotlight on what promises to be a good political thriller – Final Notice by Van Fleisher.

Description

BookCover_FinalNoticeThe year is the very near future.  A brilliant young doctor and mathematician, Vijay Patel, has invented a new health/sport watch that monitors blood chemistry so accurately, it can actually predict when someone will die – within 10, 20, or 30 days.  The intention of this “Final Notice,” as it is called, is to allow people to get their affairs in order and reach out to loved ones before it’s too late.  But when those notified have easy access to a gun, the result is sometimes lethal for more than just the watch-owner.

These are the stories of several people who receive their Final Notice and their very different reactions … including a desire to get revenge with impunity.  They range from an 89-year-old resident in a retirement home to a U.S. Senator…from a benevolent widow to a crass tycoon to a noted climate change scientist.

But in this fresh, fast-paced page-turner, their stories are all set against the all-too-recognizable backdrop of a guns-gone-wild America, and the relentless push by the NRA and their surrogate politicians to make guns even easier to acquire.

There is plenty of dark humor and political satire in FINAL NOTICE, as well as touching scenes and outright suspense.  So expect to laugh out loud, dry some tears, and bite your nails (not necessarily in that order).

Read an Excerpt

And sure enough, in 1.24 seconds, Trudi had 1,620,000 results. “Here it is. California law protects us if we shoot a burglar in our home. Still, it wouldn’t help if we didn’t hear them until they burst into the room. I can’t see either one of us having the presence of mind to reach for the gun, roll out of bed and blast away. What are you smiling at?”

“At the image of you doing just that!”

“Hey. I’ve been watching Angelina Jolie and I think I can manage the moves.”

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter giveaway for your change to win a $50 gift card from Van Fleisher.

About Van Fleisher

“After 21 years with an airline, and 30 years in management consulting, I retired and found that my phone didn’t ring and the only emails I got were asking for money. So, since I was at my computer, I decided to write a novel.”

Author ImageThis is only half the story. (Van is notoriously modest.) The author was Director of International Marketing with TWA, and an International Management Consultant – taking him behind the closed doors of boardrooms and executive offices around the world. He knows how business works, which gives the slightly “sci-fi” premise of Final Notice a realistic feel. Moreover, his two careers led him to live abroad for much of his life. After growing up in New Jersey and Florida, where he never thought much further than the length of a football field, and going to college in New Mexico, he wound up living in England, Scotland and France, travelling frequently to the Middle East and Asia. He even spent a year living in India. And his first-hand experience with – and respect for – other cultures is apparent in this book.

“Final Notice is meant to highlight, my concerns with America’s handling of three important issues: gun control (not anti-gun), ageism and the importance of immigration. The book won’t fix these issues, but there are a number of great organizations with even greater people working on our behalf to right these wrongs. Proceeds from sales of Final Notice will help support those efforts.”

Connect with Van Fleisher:

Get your copy of Final Notice Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/FINAL-NOTICE-What-would-certain-ebook/dp/B0798XNY6P

Release Spotlight: PROFESSOR K: THE FINAL QUEST by Gabriel Farago

Today marks the release of the 4th thriller in the Jack Rogan series by Gabriel Farago.  It sounds exciting and so my TBR list just grew, again.   Read on

Tip: The author is offering the new release at a special price – $0.99 – now through Nov. 4th.  You can grab your copy on Amazon

Description

Professor K The Final QuestA desperate plea from the Vatican. A kidnapped chef. An ambitious mob boss. One perilous game.

When Professor Alexandra Delacroix is called in to find a cure for the dying pope, she follows clues left by her mentor and friend, the late Professor K, which lead her on a breathtaking search through historical secrets, some of them deadly.

Her old friend Jack Rogan must step in to assist while also searching for kidnapped Top Chef Europe winner Lorenza da Baggio. He joins forces with his young friend and gifted psychic, Tristan, a dedicated mafia hunting prosecutor, a fearless young police officer, and an enigmatic Egyptian detective on a perilous hunt for a notorious IS terrorist.

Together, they stand off with the head of a powerful Mafia family in Florence and uncover a network of corruption and heinous crimes reaching to the very top.

Will Rogan and his friends succeed in finding Lorenza and curing the pope, or will the dark forces swirling around them prevail in their sinister plots?

What Advance Readers Are Saying

If you’ve read Gabriel Farago’s previous novels and novellas, you know you’re in for a ride when you open his latest book. And it’s not an easy journey – Farago’s novels require you to stay switched on. Some of the cutting-edge science in his books might seem far-fetched, but in fact it’s based on actual breakthroughs in genomics being worked on right now in Sydney, Australia. … Fans of Farago’s imaginative, globetrotting plots will enjoy this latest novel every bit as much as his previous books.             ~ Sally Asnicar

Thriller of Thrillers; Intense Action – Farago Does It Again!

A master storyteller and wordsmith, Gabriel Farago entertains his readers with vivid descriptions, clear, yet complex plots and realistic, fascinating characters. His genius of bringing together several characters from previous books to fulfil their moments of destiny is done with great care and attention to detail. The Italian Mafia, the Vatican and the Pope, along with IS terrorists, take you on an emotional journey that will leave you sitting on the edge of your seats.

Farago delivers yet another spellbinding, well-written thriller that is action-packed and realistic. The dialogue is beautifully constructed, and the book is well researched. Don’t miss this book! Although it can be read as a standalone, it does tie up some loose ends that will leave you gasping!
This is a must read for thriller-lovers. Farago delivers!   ~ Charla White

About the Author

GabrielFaragoGabriel Farago is the international, bestselling and multi-award-winning Australian author of the Jack Rogan mysteries and thrillers series for the thinking reader. As a lawyer with a passion for history and archaeology, Gabriel Farago had to wait for many years before being able to pursue another passion—writing—in earnest. However, his love of books and storytelling started long before that.

‘I remember as a young boy reading biographies and history books with a torch under the bed covers,’ he recalls, ‘and then writing stories about archaeologists and explorers the next day, instead of doing homework. Whilst I regularly got into trouble for this, I believe we can only do well in our endeavours if we are passionate about the things we love; for me, writing has become a passion.’

Born in Budapest, Gabriel grew up in post-War Europe, and after fleeing Hungary with his parents during the Revolution in 56, he went to school in Austria before arriving in Australia as a teenager. This allowed him to become multi-lingual and feel ‘at home’ in different countries and diverse cultures.

Shaped by a long legal career and experiences spanning several decades and continents, his is a mature voice that speaks in many tongues.Gabriel holds degrees in literature and law, speaks several languages and takes research and authenticity very seriously.

Inquisitive by nature, he studied Egyptology and learned to read the hieroglyphs. He travels extensively and visits all of the locations mentioned in his books. ‘I try to weave fact and fiction into a seamless storyline,’ he explains. ‘By blurring the boundaries between the two, the reader is never quite sure where one ends, and the other begins. This is of course quite deliberate as it creates the illusion of authenticity and reality in a work that is pure fiction. A successful work of fiction is a balancing act: reality must rub shoulders with imagination in a way that is both entertaining and plausible.’

Gabriel lives in the Blue Mountains in Australia just outside Sydney, surrounded by a World Heritage National Park. ‘The beauty and solitude of this unique environment,’ he
points out, ‘give me inspiration and the energy to weave my thoughts and ideas into stories which, I sincerely hope, will in turn entertain and inspire my readers.’

Connect with Gabriel:

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Showcase: SCAR TISSUE by Patricia Hale

As part of a book tour organized by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, it’s time to turn the spotlight on a new thriller by Patricia Hale.  Sounds like a good read!

Synopsis

scar-tissue-by-patricia-hale-coverTrack star, Ashley Lambert, has just been accepted into the prestigious Johns Hopkins University, so when she jumps eighteen stories to her death her parents hire the PI team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan to find out why. The investigation exposes a deeply disturbed family hiding behind a façade of perfection and follows Ashley’s descent into performance enhancing drugs and blackmail. Ashley’s coaches, peers and even her parents come into question. The disturbing truth behind Ashley’s death is testimony to lines crossed and allegiances sworn…. in the name of love.

Meanwhile, things don’t add up next door. Britt’s working overtime researching their new neighbors whose one-year-old son disappeared four years ago. Rhea McKenzie, has a secret and bruises aren’t the only thing she’s trying to hide. When an off-hand comment discloses a connection to Ashley Lambert the two cases become entwined, setting off an unstoppable chain of events. Britt is sucked into an alliance with Rhea and driven to make decisions that challenge her ethics, threaten her relationship and in the end, push her over a line she never thought she’d cross.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

“I don’t believe my daughter jumped. She wouldn’t have done that. I told the police, but they dismissed me. Evidently, they knew my daughter better than I did.”

“What’s your feeling on that, Mrs. Lambert?” I asked. Parents don’t always share perspectives on their children.

When she looked at me, her eyes were moist. She cradled the columbine in her palm. “Call me Gwen.”

I nodded.

“Ashley was a good girl. She worked very hard at everything she did.”

“She was the best, always. She made sure of it,” Greg chimed in.

Or else you did, I thought.

“It would have gone against her nature to jump off that building. It just wasn’t her way,” Gwen added.

“Her way?” Greg squinted at his wife, his face twisted in disgust as though studying an insect on flypaper. “What the hell does that mean?” He stood and walked around the circumference of our seating arrangement and then came back and took his chair again. “My girl did as she was told. And only what she was told.”

“It’s not always easy to tell a senior in college what to do,” I said. “At some point they start making their own choices even if some are ones their parents might not like.”

“Not my girl.” Greg shook his head, knocking my theory out of the park. Dismissed as impossible.

I couldn’t help but notice he kept referring to Ashley as my girl not our girl as though he’d created her, given birth and raised her throughout her short life singlehandedly. I didn’t like him. My assessment of Gwen was still up in the air, but she was wrapped so tight I couldn’t get a glimpse inside. It’s never easy to work for someone you don’t like, but Ashley’s case held the interest factor. Why had this seemingly perfect child jumped to her death?

“She was a star athlete at the top of her class and a week from graduation,” Greg continued. “She’d been accepted at Johns Hopkins Berman Institute for Bioethics. And you’re telling me that’s a kid who makes bad decisions? I don’t think so, Ms. Callahan.”

Okay, he shut me up. (A momentary lull.)

“Mr. Lambert,” Griff spoke up. “I have a daughter. I can’t imagine what you must be going through dealing with all this. What is it you think we can do for you?”

“I told the police and the medical examiner that my daughter wouldn’t take her own life. Cops shook their heads, said it wasn’t their call to make. The medical examiner said it presented as a cut and dried suicide.”

“And what do you say, Mr. Lambert?”

“My daughter was murdered.”

I glanced at Gwen. “Do you agree, Mrs. Lambert?”

She raised her eyes, glanced at her husband and then to me. “I’m not convinced, but I do agree that suicide doesn’t fit with who my daughter was.”

Griff kept his focus on Greg. “What makes you think someone would have killed your daughter? Did she have enemies that you’re aware of?”

“No, no enemies that I know of, but her jumping makes no sense. She had everything going for her and absolutely no reason to end her life. She would never have done that to me.”

Strike two. The selfish bastard assumed his daughter’s tragic death had more to do with him than whatever had driven her to that fateful state of mind. “Suicide is about what’s going on within the person themselves,” I said trying not to let my voice betray my disgust. “I doubt Ashley was consciously doing anything to you at the moment she jumped. If she jumped.”

“She knew the goals we’d set,” he said dismissing my remark. “And she had every intention of attaining them.”

“Goals?” I asked.

“Johns Hopkins, her PhD, an Olympic gold medal.”

“Had she been accepted to compete in the Olympics?” Griff asked.

“It was in the works,” he said annunciating each word as though we were hard of hearing.

“Did you let the medical examiner know how you felt?”

“Of course, I did.”

“And was an autopsy performed?”

Greg Lambert glanced at his wife. She looked away. Touchy subject, I gathered.

“Useless,” he said. “They found nothing.” He turned to Gwen. “Go get my checkbook.”

She rose and disappeared inside the house without a word, still holding the columbine in her hand.

I caught Griff’s eye and he raised his eyebrows as though asking, should we?

“Look Mr. Lambert,” he said. “Britt and I like to discuss a case before we commit to it. We want to feel some degree of surety that we can help you before money changes hands and we sign a contract. Give us time to talk it over and we’ll get back to you tomorrow.”

Gwen reappeared holding a large, black-spiraled checkbook. Greg took it from her along with the pen she offered and flipped open the front of the book. He looked at Griff. “How much do you want?” he asked.

“Mr. Lambert, I…” Griff started.

“We’ll give you the information you need to get started. I don’t have any doubt you’ll see it my way. What’s the retainer?” He held the pen poised over the checkbook.

“Five thousand,” Griff said.

I thought that was a little high. He must be thinking about the pool we wanted to install.

“And a list of names. Professors, coaches and friends,” he added.

Greg pointed to his wife. “Put that together.”

Dismissed, Gwen went inside to gather what we needed.

Once we had the necessary information from Gwen, and Greg’s check was folded inside Griff’s pocket, Carole stepped onto the deck and offered to show us out.

“We’ll be in touch,” Griff said. He stood extending a hand toward Greg.

Greg Lambert rose from his chair and placed his hands on his hips. “When?”

“As soon as I have something to tell you,” Griff said lowering his arm.

Griff’s ability to come off unfazed by blatant rude behavior is beyond me. I couldn’t get off that porch fast enough. If I’d lingered I would have placed a well-directed snap kick to Greg Lambert’s groin.

We followed Carole to the front door. She swung it wide and stepped with us outside then pulled the door closed behind her. On the front step she glanced from one of us to the other then dropped her head and stared at the granite, clearly trying to make up her mind. We waited. When she looked up she extended her arm toward Griff as though intending to shake.

“Look,” she said. “I’m probably way out of line here and dipshit in there will have me banned if he knows I’m talking to you. I’m already on probation around here so whatever I say stays between us, all right?”

Griff nodded and reached for her hand, keeping his eyes on her face.

She slipped a folded piece of paper into his palm. “I’m Carole Weston, Gwen’s sister. Call me,” she said. “There’s more to this. A lot more.”

***

Excerpt from Scar Tissue by Patricia Hale. Copyright © 2018 by Patricia Hale. Reproduced with permission from Patricia Hale. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

scar-tissue-by-patricia-hale-authorPatricia Hale lives in Standish, ME with her husband. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Goddard College, a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and the NH Writers Project. Scar Tissue is the third book in the Cole & Callahan thriller series. When the computer is off, you can find Patricia on the sideline of her grandsons’ sporting events or hiking the trails near her home with her German shepherd and one very bossy Beagle.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Giveaway

Click to enter a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Patricia Hale. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on October 1, 2018 and runs through November 1, 2018. Void where prohibited.

Tour Participants

Click here to view the Scar Tissue by Patricia Hale Tour Participants.
Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Review: SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER by David Bell

Today’s selection is  the latest thriller by David Bell, which released just days ago.   I really enjoyed  Bring Her Home and Since She Went Away so I jumped at the chance to download a pre-release copy of Somebody’s Daughter from NetGalley.

Description

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When Michael Frazier’s ex-wife, Erica, unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep, she drops a bombshell that threatens to rip his family apart: Her ten-year-old daughter is missing–and Michael is the father. Unsure whether this is the truth but unwilling to leave the girl’s fate to chance, Michael has no choice but to follow the elusive trail of the child he has always wanted but never knew he had.

Over the course of one night, lies that span a decade come bubbling to the surface, putting Michael, his wife, and his whole family in jeopardy. And as the window for a little girl’s safe return closes, Michael will have to decide who can be trusted and who is hiding the truth….

My Review

This book does not disappoint. The reader is taken on a journey that focuses on the disappearance of a child and whether or not Michael is her biological father, an emotional issue that is colored by his family’s past.

The well written narrative presents the distinct perspectives of Michael, his current wife, and one of the police officers involved in the search.  These characters were especially well developed, making it easy to identify with what they were going through.  The plot was interesting and well paced, and the writer’s use of short chapters made it even harder for me to put this book down. The temptation to read just one more, and then another, kept those pages turning.

The only negative for me was that the ending felt a bit abrupt, leaving one plot question not fully addressed.  Nonetheless, if you enjoy mystery and suspense, this is definitely a book to add to your TBR list.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.