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You Have The Right to Remain Silent

Mark Bello’s You Have The Right To Remain Silent follows the grisly case of a man who is murdered in a particularly brutal fashion. Bradley Crawford, a two-term congressman, bleeds to death after being castrated by an unknown woman. Renowned ‘King of Justice’ Zachary Blake is brought into this case as a favor, and his role is to defend Mia Folger, the victim’s wife.

The evidence against Mia appears damning, and soon the entire public seems convinced of her guilt. However, as more revelations about Mia and Bradley’s turbulent relationship are revealed, it becomes clear that Zack has an almost impossible mission on his hands, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

This police procedural is not for the faint-hearted with explicit gore and graphic images. The plot is fast-paced and gripping, with sharp dialogue and interesting character dynamics. The most well-developed characters are Zack Blake, the charismatic hero, and his ally on the case, Dr. Rothenberg, who showcases a quieter yet equally compelling brand of masculinity.

Shari Belitz, the team’s jury consultant, has personality and fire, and she is the feisty counterpart to Blake. Mia Folger, arguably the most psychologically complex female member of the cast, is rendered catatonic and unable to speak for much of the story. The murderer, whose feelings about killing are ‘borderline orgasmic,’ is a complex, scary, and unpredictable character. The killer represents pure evil and has excellent emotional depth especially considering the manner in which they dispatched their victim. 

You Have The Right To Remain Silent has a cast of characters that are well developed, the story’s pace is just right, and the story is well written. I highly recommend this novel to fans of a good thriller and detective novel. It makes the legal processes involved in a murder case digestible, with a sense that action is never far away.

Pages: 396 | ASIN : B09W39LZLX

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Lure of The Praying Mantis

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Lure Of The Praying Mantis by David Gaston is a crime novel that pits devious minds against the police of one small town. One such mind is Anne-Marie De Wynter, who uses her wiles to get men to do what she wants, even if it involves murder.

It’s a murder done by one of Mynter’s enamored men that puts Detective Inspector James Buchan and Detective Sergeant Daye Durham on the trail. Also on their understaffed police force’s plate is a four-year-old cold case that has been reopened when it appears the perpetrator is back in business. So can our detectives handle these cunning criminals before more people fall victim to them?

We have some excellent villains to give our heroes a run for their money. Anne-Marie is a woman you can’t help but hate but want to know more about her. We also have a mystery culprit whose heinous acts have you loathing but curious about them. Both these people really have you rooting for the detectives. The detectives are a true tag team. Despite one being the superior officer, they are both equals. They use their logic to develop theories and solutions in these cases. They equally contribute to this partnership.

There’s even a little hint of romance, not a significant element, but enough that you hope it blooms into something, maybe in another book. I enjoyed the author’s descriptions in the story as you really feel the monotony of the detective’s lives. I feel that there was an overusing of full names at the beginning when you could just use a first or last name after their initial introduction. This was also the case with titles. It felt like they were used too much early in the book when just the name could do. There are some parts where the scenes switch, and there is no indication that it will happen; some readers may find this momentarily confusing. However, the plotline is strong, and the author’s writing style is engaging.

Lure of the Praying Mantis is an exhilarating mystery novel. Readers who love crime-solving thrillers will not be disappointed. The suspense and action keep the story moving, and the strong character personalities keep readers entertained.

Pages: 205

Dry Heat

Things are not going so well for Joey Blade. On the night of his birthday, the girl he lost his virginity to, Mallory, tells him she’s pregnant. While at the high school bonfire, there is an explosion. Joey flees with his current girlfriend Wendy and her drug-dealing friend TJ. In their race to escape the explosion, they wind up in a police chase where TJ shoots at the police cars. The ensuing crash leads to Joey being arrested while Wendy goes free and TJ has disappeared. Once getting out of jail, Joey enlists the help of notorious gang leader Chico Torres to find TJ and – ultimately – redemption. 

Len Joy’s chaotic novel Dry Heat doesn’t hold back when it comes to colorful terms and edgy commentary. Joy accurately portrays the stereotypical teenager from the late nineties that you find in cult classic films of that period. There is a feeling of nostalgia that readers in their late 30’s and early 40’s will identify with. The early scenes of this action-packed novel offer a foreshadowing of the rest of the book. Excitement and drama fill the pages to come, and readers will have to hold on because it will be a wild ride.

This enthralling novel feels like a cautionary tale for teenagers. A story where every wrong decision imaginable is made. Readers may find it is all too real and relatable, encountering a situation that is too big for their age. At one point, author Len Joy describes Joey’s day as a disastrously mishandled situation, which is the perfect way to describe it. Reading this shocking at times novel will give readers the feeling of watching a car wreck in slow-motion. You are hooked; you know it will happen; you just have to read and see how it all plays out.

Joy took time and care to flesh out the characters and make readers develop an emotional attachment to them. They all have a bit of the classic high school stereotypes in them, something many readers will identify with. There’s Darville, the rich kid; Mallory, the tragically promiscuous girl; Wendy, the snotty prom queen; and of course, the hero Joey, the jock. Yet, throughout the story, they grow, change, and transcend what we have come to expect from their assigned stereotypes. We learn that they’re human, which every good novel should achieve.  

Dry Heat is a coming-of-age novel that will attract readers interested in crime thrillers and suspenseful action drama. With edgy dialogue and action, readers will be turning the page of this riveting novel to see if Joey can get himself out of the mess he is in.

Pages: 313 | ASIN : B097TT97SQ

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The Other Side of Good

The Other Side of Good by E.A. Coe raises a profound and existential question we’ve all pondered at some point: is it possible to be both ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ or is it one or the other? This captivating police thriller explores the idea that the kind of person one is may not be so black and white and takes readers on an exciting and thought-provoking journey of the gray area in between right and wrong.

Author Coe introduces an exciting combination of characters based in Cincinnati intertwined in each other’s lives with intriguing complexity. First, we meet police Commander Denton Jones, who reconnected with childhood friend turned high-powered drug cartel leader, Theo Jackson.

Both men experienced childhood trauma together, leading them to turn to different sides of the law. However, they now find themselves fighting for the same cause-to take down an alarmingly powerful human trafficking ring. We follow the men through a fast-paced mission, full of unexpected twists and turns and unusual alliances. Add in police and government corruption, shocking acts from a Pastor, and international gang activity, and Coe gives us a page-turning tale we find ourselves entranced in.

This riveting crime novel gives readers a look into the horrible realities of human trafficking. It plays with the notion of a gray area between good and evil. Coe encourages readers to open their minds and explore if our intrinsic beliefs about those we see as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are really as cut and dry as we have thought. This suspenseful novel has a large cast of characters that the reader will need to pay attention to learn who is part of what faction. Once readers understand who the key players are, readers won’t be able to help but root for the ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good.’

The Other Side of Good is a gripping and intensive police crime mystery novel. The action and suspense will keep readers on edge till the last page.

Pages: 356 | ASIN : B09M96X57D

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Blaze In, Blaze Out

Blaze in, Blaze out by Joseph Lewis is an action-filled mystery crime novel. Two members of a law enforcement task force are the lynchpins to putting away the crime boss Dmitry Andruko. In retaliation Dmitry puts out a hit out on the two officers with the instructions, kill anyone that gets in the way. Following the trial, Eiselmann spends the weekend with his family, and O’Connor heads out on a fishing trip with a friend and his four adopted teenage sons. What should have been a relaxing weekend for both men, turns into a nightmare and a fight for their lives and those they love. Detective O’Connor’s story and attempted murder interlaces itself with Brian and Bobby’s troubled relationship in a world filled with crimes, betrayal and homophobia.

Lewis’s comprehensive writing style makes sure the reader never gets lost in this complex and fast-moving plot. The point of view alternates with the chapters so readers can experience the story through the eyes of all the characters providing them with the full picture of what is occurring and sharing the characters insights and emotions. Care is taken by the author to provide descriptions of every place visited and every clothing item worn by the characters. Readers will become fully immersed into the world created by Lewis.

Besides being a crime thriller, this novel tackles the challenging subject of coming out. Brian struggles with his identity and his relationship with his adopted father due to his sexual orientation. The perspective of a teenage boy coming out to family adds a level of drama to this thriller novel.

Blaze in, Blaze out with its engaging plot and deep themes is a riveting novel and fast read that will keep readers in suspense and hooked till the last page. I recommend this action packed book to any teenager going through a difficult time with their parents and to any reader who loves suspenseful thrillers, and crime novel.

Pages: 321 | ASIN : B09B576BPJ

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Unring the Bell: The captivating new Verity Spencer thriller (A Verity Spencer crime thriller Book 3)

Unring the Bell: The captivating new Verity Spencer thriller (A Verity Spencer crime thriller Book 3) by [Trudey Martin]

Full of action and vivid detail, Unring The Bell is a thrilling crime novel that was hard to put down. Trudey Martin uses a uniquely engaging writing style throughout this story, slowly unraveling an enigmatic mystery that’s easy to follow but hard to crack. With short and engaging chapters, the story is plot-focused but builds an emotional connection to characters that seem grounded but alluring, especially our memorable protagonist Verity.

Verity Spencer as a character is quite intriguing and I find her to have a personality that is well defined, which I suppose should be as this is the third book in a series. There is more than what meets the eye with her character and she is definitely someone I would idolize in my teen years. What Verity dives into is a grisly murder mystery that, we come to find out, has many moving parts and a complexity that puts Verity to a nail biting challenge.

Unring The Bell by Trudey Martin is an emotionally charged story reminiscent of the Netflix show The Killing with a compelling investigate style and grim look at crime. This is a story that has a solid grasp of where it wants to go and its just taking readers along for the ride. With an almost dizzying complexity to the story, I relied on Verity’s skills to solve the crime.

Author Trudey Martin has written a thriller mystery novel that is perfect for fans of crime fiction looking for a story with a strong female lead solving a controversial crime with unconventional skills.

Pages: 309 | ASIN: B08JKTBSTK

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The Dime Box

The Dime Box by Karen Grose is a thrilling crime novel about a young woman who tries to move on from her past, but it comes back to haunt her. Greta Giffen grew up in an abusive home, but she fled from her father’s house in northern Ontario when she was almost sixteen and moved to Toronto. Now three years later, she finds herself a suspect in a murder investigation. Greta’s memories of the night of her father’s death are not clear, plus she has a strong motive to want him dead, which makes her seem guilty to Detective Sergeant Astra Perez. What is the truth about what really happened that night? And will Greta find herself a victim once more, charged with Ian Giffen’s murder?

Karen Grose has written a compelling mystery novel. It drew me in from the very beginning and kept my attention throughout. The further I got into the story, the more questions I had (Who were Greta’s real parents? Was it a legal adoption?). These intriguing questions is what kept me flipping pages and what kept calling me back to this book. I liked the mystery aspect of the book because it didn’t follow the standard formula of simply settings up a mystery and then solving it. Detective Perez spends much of the book interviewing Greta, but even though the story is told from Greta’s point of view, the reader does not know what happened because Greta can’t remember all the details of the night in question due to a head injury she suffered as a child.

The book starts out in the present and Greta reveals more and more details about her past as the story progresses. I typically prefer books that follow a character’s life in chronological order, but in this case the style worked, adding additional intrigue to the story for the reader. This book is much more about Greta’s story and her life leading up to her father’s death, rather than solely focused on solving the case of how Ian died. However, at times I grew impatient to learn the truth of whether or not Greta was responsible for his death. Since everything remained uncertain as I read the story, it kept me constantly guessing how the book would end. Some things that I suspected were correct, but the ending still surprised me, but some of the questions remained unanswered.

The Dime Box is a thriller with a refreshing take on the murder mystery genre. With an engaging character to follow and an elusive mystery to solve, readers will have plenty to enjoy in Karen Grose’s novel.

Pages: 267 | ASIN: B081XH5CFP

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Her Eyes Underwater

Her Eyes Underwater: A True-Crime Inspired Romantic Thriller by [Romona Simon]

Her Eyes Underwater by Romona Simon is suspenseful true crime inspired novel that begins when Julia goes to a coffee house to indulge in her hobby, men. It isn’t long before she finds an attractive one. Soon we are questioning her wisdom in getting into his truck and letting him drive her out into the woods on a dark and  lonely road. We are then transported to a funeral with a dysfunctional family who doesn’t seem too broken up over the death. Then we meet a class of law students who seem to spend more time skiing, playing racquetball, and fighting over mates than studying law. And women keep dying bloody deaths. What is happening? And why does this gorgeous guy act so peculiar?

Her Eyes Underwater has a unique ability to pull you into the story with the simplest details and a patchwork of enigmas that slowly come together to create a chilling mystery. While the slow build up was something that took some getting used it, when I was in the midst of the story I was enthralled and couldn’t put the book down. Julia is an engaging character, although sometimes frustratingly naive, her character adds a sense of the unknown. Couple that with Alex, who takes the cliche of the ‘dark mysterious stranger’ to a whole new level. Julia and Alex’s relationship, for me, felt balanced on a knife’s edge; anything could happen at any moment.

Although I enjoyed the characters I felt that the descriptions of the actions and people were a bit cumbersome in places, along with the use of some odd adjectives that made me stop and pick up a dictionary. But if you’re not afraid of new words and are ready to dive into a fully realized world that is thoroughly described then you will find plenty to enjoy in Romona Simon’s electrifying romance novel.

The scenes between Alex and Julia are steamy without being vulgar. This is definitely for mature audiences to enjoy. Her Eyes Underwater has an ending that was surprising and left me begging for more. This is a gripping start to what promises to be a riveting crime series.

Pages: 263 | ASIN: B0861KLVVH

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