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Cause For Elimination

Cause For Elimination by Marla A. White tells the story of Emily Conners, a horse lover. Emily’s boss, Pamela Yates, has been viciously murdered, and Emily is determined to prove it. Justin Butler is a detective that happens to be handsome and wealthy. He wants to solve the Pamela Yates case, but things aren’t easy, and his interest in Emily isn’t helping.

The characters in the story are wonderfully written and have the reader questioning their motives and wondering just what they might do next. Emily’s character has depth and an engaging storyline that has you wondering about the things people get up to when you are not looking. The secondary characters are superb. Lottie, Emily’s best friend, easily makes the story more light and fun. Dennis, Justin’s colleague, and friend is the perfect voice of reason and usually brings Justin to his senses. The characters provide enough entertainment to keep you turning the pages.

The story’s setting is set in such a way that it’s a stunning backdrop for mystery and adventure. Emily’s love for horses brings a lovely element to the story. Horse lovers will cheer and gasp at the interesting way horses are woven into the story. Those new to all things horses might find themselves curious about these magnificent animals. The story also has another case, besides Pamela Yates’s murder, that brings friction and mayhem, which is interesting and keeps the reader glued to the story. Marla A. White has created a story that explores the lengths people will go to hide things. She’s written a tale many readers will enjoy and remember after closing the book.

Cause for Elimination by Marla A. White is a wonderful and entertaining read and perfect for those who love a riveting murder mystery with a dash of romance.

Pages: 323 | ASIN : B0B6SZ8Q7C

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Public Opinion

Public Opinion’s goal is clear. Pettijohn wishes to write an expose on the seedier aspects of the Hollywood elite whilst also writing an entertaining novel. He is one hundred percent successful.

The protagonist, Melvin (or is it Herbert?) is a modern-day chameleon and con man. He claims to be an IT consultant to the Hollywood elite but in reality, he is a grifter and con-man. His specialty is acting as a go-between for blackmail, where he likes to play both sides. He is also a public opinion hit man for hire. Give him a target and he will troll anyone’s good reputation into the dirt. For enough money, he’ll get you sent straight to jail.

Despite his moral reprehensibility, Melvin is a likable protagonist, even if in any other book he would be the villain. He is charming and witty with a worldview that makes a certain amount of twisted sense. He has dirt on everyone and he’s only scamming bad people who deserve it, so what’s the harm? He is also arrogant and selfish. Totally destructive to those he claims to love. Everyone has it coming.

As Melvin’s reputation as a modern-day Mr. Fixit improves he is pulled deeper and deeper into the seedy underbelly of Hollywood. Soon he’s no longer just a petty con-man but someone who helps cover up the worst kinds of crime imaginable. Soon Melvin’s already shaky moral compass is completely lost. Maybe he’s not as good as he thinks he is.

The villains in the book are too many to count but are obviously inspired by modern-day monsters like Weinstein and Epstein. The book is an expose on the ways these powerful men stay in power and those who help them.

Public Opinion is an excellent book but it’s not for the faint of heart. It is salacious and graphic. Pettijohn pulls no punches and certain scenes may upset some readers.

I spent the entire book rooting for Melvin to succeed whilst also rooting for him to fail. He is a protagonist who appeals to our baser urges. When the ending comes, it isn’t really a surprise, but it feels well earned. Any other ending to such a story would have felt false. I enjoyed Public Opinion immensely. Pettijohn knows his stuff and makes a good guide and an even better storyteller.

Pages: 264 | ASIN : B0B1PFWP9X

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Kick Ball Slay

Evann Myrick is an aging, widowed detective with a special gift for solving crimes. When he begins to investigate a string of murders that has been plaguing the world of West Coast swing dancing, he finds himself thrown into a hostile environment full of treachery, deceit, and murder. Myrick finds himself locked in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a vicious killer that is closer than he thinks. As the body count rises and his investigation deepens, the killer’s attention turns to Myrick. With no witnesses, a long list of suspects and a world totally unknown to him, he must rely on all his skills as a detective to stop this murderer–before they stop him.

Kick Ball Slay, by Doug Dorsey, is a riveting murder mystery, set in the competitive world of West Coast swing Dancing. The story focuses on Evann Myrick, a brilliant detective that is tasked with solving these murders. Dorsey does a wonderful job of keeping readers in suspense and making it hard for us to guess the identity of the killer.

I enjoyed following Evann throughout the investigation as readers will be trying to put the pieces together with him. I am a fan of Dorsey’s style of writing. His language is descriptive and engaging. The author’s characters are well-developed and diverse, adding to the world of swing dancing. Dorsey has also done a great job of making all of the characters in the book seem like suspects, making it hard for the reader to pinpoint one person.

Kick Ball Slay is a fascinating whodunit crime thriller with a unique setting and a compelling cast of characters. With a compelling mystery at its core readers will be wrapped up in solving this spellbinding case.

Pages: 329 | ASIN: ‎ B09W921HLJ

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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

Corrupted Souls

Corrupted Souls by Lynn-Steven Johanson is a page-turning police procedural novel that takes readers on a nail-biting journey full of murder and mystery. We begin by meeting Chicago Detective Joe Erikson, who is fighting for a chance to return to duty after a traumatic case. With a new psychiatrist’s approval, he re-joins the force alongside his old partner, Sam Renaldo. Not missing a beat, they begin investigating the high-profile hate-crime murder of 24-year-old Jewish graduate student Daniel Silverman, who was found on the shore of Lake Michigan with a swastika carved into his back.

As it turns out, this initial murder was only the beginning of a fast-paced and unpredictable expedition that would lead to uncovering a dangerous and corrupt conspiracy linked to organized crime led by Vincent Scalise. First, we meet the Fielding family, owners of a large interstate freight company where Daniel Silverman was interning. Next, the detectives unravel an odd array of potential suspects, including neo-Nazi white supremacists tied to the company and members of the Fielding family themselves. This case takes every ounce of Erickson’s skills and intuition to solve, but not before several more murders, risky love affairs, and uncovering unthinkable family betrayals that almost get him killed.

This was one of the best police procedurals novels that I’ve read. It was easy to keep track of the different characters and their roles in the crime and investigation, yet it was nearly impossible to predict what would happen next. As a reader, I couldn’t help but root for Joe as he fought through old traumatic events to move forward with his life and continue the career he was so passionate about. There was even a little love story that’s deftly inserted into the story with his supportive girlfriend, Destiny.

Corrupted Souls is a riveting crime thriller novel that will take readers through an intense homicide investigation. This page-turning mystery will have readers guessing till the end.

Pages: 224 | ASIN : B09TRVW7MX

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Vindictive

Vindictive by author Ryan Lawrence is a captivating mystery with twists and turns where readers least expect them. This exciting book starts when Jules is eight years old and is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever. That decision sets off a chain of events full of lies, deceit, revenge, and manipulation later in her life. But what if what you’ve thought all along isn’t what it seems? What if you, yourself, have been manipulated for someone else’s quest for vengeance. This is precisely what happens to Jules, who seeks control in every aspect of her life. Often disliked by those around her, she prefers it that way to keep a layer of protection around herself. When a ghost from her past comes back to haunt her, though, Jules feels that control start to falter. The things she built her life upon turns out to be a fabrication of the truth, causing her to question the decisions she’s made as an adult.

Lawrence does not fall short on creativity. The author writes in detail, explaining fully when laying out settings and plots. Readers will recognize that Lawrence did a fair share of research or is a subject matter expert when describing fight scenes. Vindictive has many sub-plots intertwined in the storyline and Lawrence weaves them in flawlessly. The characters come to life with highly detailed back stories allowing readers to get into their mind and understand their actions. Building the back story to set up this stimulating novel allows readers to become fully immersed in the world created by Lawrence.

The characters had similar scheming personalities. Jules, Stella, Joseph, Miles, and even Denise were all brutal in their verbal attacks and only looking out for their own best interest. Phillip was the most tolerable character, seeming beaten down by a swarm of controlling people in his life, most notably Jules. Readers will enjoy experiencing the rekindled friendship between Amanda and Jules. Although Jules used Amanda years ago, Amanda comes through when Jules needs her most. It was nice to see a moment of Jules letting her guard down when having a heart-to-heart with Amanda on why things ended the way they did. It impacted how their friendship can move forward with having a better understanding of each other and their expectations.

Vindictive is a riveting murder mystery novel that will have readers turning the pages to find out what happens with Jules and how the lies she has been told unfold. A fast paced novel perfect for readers looking for action, suspense and thrills.

Pages: 448 | ASIN : B09HFZ4C56

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They Only Wear Black Hats 

They Only Wear Black Hats by Edward Izzi is a modern crime novel that will grab readers right from the title. The title successfully generates the right amount of curiosity, and relevance while maintaining a theme that can be seen throughout the major sequences in the novel.

This gripping story begins in a high school setting and the language can give readers the illusion of a contemporary breezy read. Soon however readers will realize its anything but a cozy mystery novel. This captivating story wastes no time in lettings the readers know that it’s going to be a dark and intense journey filled with toe curling twists and heartbreaks.

This thrilling story is fast paced with the murders of many young children containing explicit descriptions of their mutilation and death. Detective Palazzola grows frustrated with the lack of convictions on these murder cases yet has no recourse for the problem. One night he learns of the secret group called the Archangels. They step in when the law has failed to enact justice for the victims. A single black bowler hat left at the scene of each vigilante killing, the only clue to what is going on. This vigilante group however has vowed to put an end to anyone that tries to stop them from their mission of enacting justice to the victims.

The plot is enthralling, and the flow is brilliant with concise chapters that keeps you invested and intrigued throughout. The narration is also nonlinear and shifts from the perspective of Detective Palazzola to an omniscient third person narrator. The surprising story gives you small but significant details about each victim in such a way that you feel the sadness and root for justice to happen.

They Only Wear Black Hats will keep readers of suspenseful crime mysteries hooked from the opening lines. Those that want a fast-paced thriller will not be disappointed.

Pages: 333 | ASIN : B09LQ9JPP1

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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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