Thursday, March 21, 2019

Walter Mosley: Down the River Unto the Sea

Walter Mosley takes readers on a journey where a former police officer turned PI is not only investigating a case to save a man's life but also looking to redeem the life he lost:

When Joe King Oliver is sent to arrest a car thief he never thought that it would land him in prison and then solitary confinement on Rikers Island. He knew he had been set up but he could never prove it. Over a decade later King is now a private investigator running his own agency with the help of his teenage daughter who acts as his assistant. When he receives a letter in the mail from the woman that admits she framed him and was paid to do so by a cop, King has no choice now that to take on his own case to try to stop the corruption that is running within the NYPD. The thing about corruption is it tends to run deep and King's case is not the only one out there.

This is the first book that I have read by Mosley and honestly I had never heard of him before this book, which I now think is crazy as he has written over 43 books and quite a few of them are mystery based. I guess I should now just count myself lucky to have discovered him and have 42 more books to look forward to.

There are many aspects that I enjoyed about this book. Mosley has a way of writing that just draws you into King's life and story. Mosley does not sugar coat anything and there are times where King goes down a dark path pursuing information or protecting himself or those he loves.. This book also has a police procedural feel to it as King used to be a police officer so he knows how to work a case and try to uncover evidence/clues to lead him to the next step. One thing you can say about King is that he is fairly methodical in his work process and he tries to see things from many angles. 

King is a great character to who a main flaw, his love of women and that is what lead him to be incarcerated at Rikers Island. He seems to have put all women behind him but he does comment more than once about a lovely lady that he encounters or sees. King is now also suffering from PTSD so there are times when this interrupts his thought process but this just makes him feel more like a real person. King still bleeds blue even though he knows he was betrayed by them, but the still has friends inside the force that will help him. One thing is true King is a force to be reckoned with.

Another character I really liked was Mel. I would like to see more from him if this book were to become a series or really just a book about Mel as he was such an interesting character; criminal, sociopath but also lives by a certain code, I mean I feel like that book could just write itself, lol.

I guess my one negative in this book was that I was able to figure one of the big twists pretty early on, I personally felt it was a bit obvious but maybe that was just me.

This book was nominated by the MWA for the best book award 2019, so if you're into reading books from those type of shortlists make sure to pick this up. And if you're not into reading from awards lists, still pick this book up it is a great mystery crime read. I know I'm going to be on the hunt for more of Mosley's novels.

Enjoy!!!
If you Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2019/02/steven-hamitlon-second-life-of-nick.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2015/08/dennis-lehane-drop.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2014/03/matthew-quirk-500.html

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Nicholas Sansbury Smith: Orbs II Stranded

You will want to read the first book in the series Orbs in order to understand the Aliens and world that this series is based upon.

Nicholas Sansbury Smith is back with the second book in his Orb series, where water is becoming more and more scarce:

The Alien invasion has wiped out most of the life on Earth by sucking the water not just out of the ground but also out of every living thing they can find. The Oceans are slowly being drained and the survivors within the biosphere make a horrific discovery human farms where the Aliens appear to be slowly draining the life of humans that have been captured. When one of their own is captured by the Aliens, they enter into an all out mission to find him and bring him home, but nothing prepares them what has been happening outside of the biosphere.

I liked this better than the first not sure why but I was really drawn into the story and characters in this book when compared to the first. Maybe it is due to the fact that these are the people who survived the first wave and we get to know a few of the survivors better. Sansbury Smith pull no punches on descriptions of deaths (they are pretty gruesome as the Aliens want the water from any lifeforms' body) and who is alive at the end of the book, lets just say they all do not make it out in the end. Sansbury Smith knows how to keep this series both frightening, disturbing and entertaining all at the same time.

Really like the development of Alexia the AI in the biosphere as a character in this book. She changes and almost develops feelings which I find very interesting due to the fact that she is AI as well as her attachment to the humans who she watches over. Another character that was better fleshed out in this book was Sergeant Overton. He really shows a different side of himself I found in this book, as he is very much lets take the fight to them as so what if we die trying while in the first book it was more about trying to survive. But the one thing that you respect the most about Sergeant Overton is that his is completely loyal to his men and is not willing to ask them to do anything that he is not willing to do himself.

As us one of my favourite authors out there right now Sansbury Smith is one of my go to authors. I know I will be continuing on with this series to see where he takes it.

Enjoy!!!
If you Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2018/10/mira-grant-into-drowning-deep.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2017/04/nicholas-sansbury-smith-hell-divers.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2017/03/ezekiel-boone-hatching.html

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Robert Bryndza: The Girl in the Ice

In the first of a series Robert Bryndza takes the reader on a true game of cat and mouse:

The body of a young beautiful and rich socialite is found beneath the ice in South London. Detective Erika Foster is called back from leave to lead the case. The victim appears to have lived the perfect life and had nonenemies or obstacles that would have lead her to this death. Erika soon find a connection to other murders of prostitutes that were found with similar injuries and cause of death. But as Erika gets closer to discovering the killer the killer is stalking Erika and closing in on her with each minute. Who is going to survive in this deadly game?

This was a good read but not great one. I found that I was not sitting on the edge of my seat while I was reading it and I found a few aspects within the book predictable and nothing new for this genre if that makes sense. I'm all for crazy family dynamics and the secrets the rich try to keep from everyone else as well as the power/influence they have and this book shows all these aspects again and again (but this also not something new in this genre)

Erika is a great main character and the main reason I kept reading this book even when I was not enthralled with it. I particularly liked that she never gave up on the case even when she is forced to. She is a strong woman despite the trauma in her recent past, she does seem to still know her weaknesses, but one flaw she does seem to have is she is not aleays a team player however there are reason for this. I say all this but I feel like this was the second book in a series or we missed out on some vital parts about what makes Erika, Erika. I know we get her backstory of what she went through but that did not really seem like enough. I wish that this was the second book in the series and there was a first book that created and expanded on the backstory that was presented here.

Was not able to figure everything out in relation to the plot and murders as Bryndza did a good job in leaving red herrings along the way so i did flip flop over who was responsible. I always fun when you as the reader have to decide along with the main detective which are the truths and which are the lie associated with Andrea's death.

I do not comment on the covers of book often but this one is simply awesome, totally captured my attention and made me want to pick up this book and read it. I do question this touting itself as a serial killer novel as the focus is mainly on Andrea's murder and the connection to historical deaths so if ou are expecting crime scene after crime scene then that is not going to happen here. However, there is a cat and mouse game that is entered into and that aspect was interesting.

Although I only thought this book was okay I do look forward to reading further in this series. I think Bryndza shows great potential as a storyteller and I really liked Erika as a main character.

Enjoy!!!
If you Like This,
Check These Out Too:
 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Mercedes Lackey: Elite

You will want to read the first book in this series Hunter, not only does it set up the world building and character but is an excellent read.

Mercedes Lackey is back with Joy and the city of Apex Central and Joy is about to discover the conspiracy of a Lifetime:

Joy has made it to the status of Elite hunter, but with this new status comes new responsibilities and additional targets on her back. She has been given a covert mission, to patrol the sewers of Apex Central to determine how the monsters are breaking through the barriers. Monsters are one thing but when she fines the corpse of a Psimon with no apparent cause of death. After reporting the incident she comes under greater scrutiny of PsiCorp's, which she does not want and they do not appear to want her help in solving the case. When Joy discovers another body she knows something more sinister is going on, but does it have something to do with PsiCorp, the folk mages or something else entirely, Joy knows she needs to find out before those she cares about are put in danger as well.

Elite is a really great follow up to the first book in the series and I think it was just as good as the first which often doesn’t not happen especially in the YA genre for me.When I was reading this book the third book in the series had yet to be released so I found that that this was one of those rare books where you don't want to put it down as you are enthralled with the story but at the same time you want to put it down so that it extends the time that you get to read the book. For me there are very few series where I have felt this, so I guess you could say I loved this book and series so far.

I liked getting to know more about Psimons are such an intriguing concept in this book so I was really glad that there was more explanation on the way that they work and what they have to offer, as well as they very secretive ways that just makes them more and more interesting. One aspect that is lacking information is "Joy's" folk mage that continues to appear. This is one of the most underutilized concepts in the book as well as not explained at all. These folk mages seem to be a big player in everything that is happening outside of Apex Central and the reason they have hunters but there is still so much of these characters and their world the is not explained.

Still love Joy as a character, she is one of the few female teenage characters that I have read that is not boy obsessed and realizes the importance of doing her job first. Yes, she has the whole relationship thing with Josh however, it takes a backseat to her job of protecting the city. Joy is also very much a team player, she knows when to take orders and when to be the leader, this to me just shows the overall strength of Joy as a character (and a positive one at that, she doesn't pretend to know it all). Also love her "Hounds" though there seems to be getting a few too many, if I can say that, so there are times when I get them messed up a bit about who can do what etc.

Honestly, when I get my hands on the next book in this series it is going to be me stopping everything I am doing and cracking it open (and I will say that nothing did stop me as I have now read the third book in this series as well).

Enjoy!!!
If You Like This, 
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2018/09/elise-kova-alchemists-loom.html?m=1  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2017/12/elle-casey-kahayatle.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2017/05/sj-kincaid-diabolic.html

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Steven Hamitlon: The Second Life of Nick Mason

Steven Hamilton introduces readers to Nick Mason who is about to start the second chapter of his life, just not quite the second chapter he was hoping for;

Nick Mason has spent the past 5 years in prison when an offer comes that he cannot refuse, he can get out 20 years early. For Nick this means h can once again be part of his daughter's life, he can try to be a new man on the outside. Nick doesn't fully understand the terms of his release until the first call comes in, he has to follow the orders, there is no yes or no answer he must do what he is told. He is now being controlled by  Darius Cole who is a criminal mastermind and rules his organization from his prison cell. Nick is forced to commit even more serious crimes than the one that he was originally put away for, but he cannot renege on agreement. He wants to go straight but in order to do so he has to risk everything and become ruthless in the process.

I really enjoyed this book it was fast paced and gritty with interesting main character. What stands out in this book is that Hamilton did not shy away from the grit that needed to be in this book to make this book not only believable but also unputdownable. This is fully a character driven book, yes there is some mystery as to why Nick is being asked to complete these tasks and who is this Darius Cole guy (he is explained in the book) but it more about Nick readjusting to being outside, trying to stay there and adapting to his new life and the tasks he is asked to complete. Now with many books where the main character is released from prison there are some cliche found here but even though they are cliche I think they hold a ring of real world truth, like the wife divorcing him and wanting to remarry or regretting the choices he made that landed him in prison. Sure similar books have this too but I think this just adds to the realism of the book.

Mason is an interesting anti-hero. He is willing do to anything to protect those he loves (he's loyal to a fault) and that includes murder, yep you read that right straight out murder, but he tries to keep to a certain type of rules and code to. Obviously this code/rules is hard to stick to when someone other than himself is giving the orders. The one thing that I did not get out of Nick’s personality was he goes from thief/robber to cold blooded murderer. Maybe Cole saw something in Nick that we as the reader are not aware of but it just doesn’t fit his previous profile. However, it is intriguing to see how much Nick does change from the beginning to the end of the book and it was quite a ride.

I’m extremely happy this did not have a cookie cutter ending where everything works out, if it did not only would I have liked the book less but in the scheme of the plot it would not have made sense to be tied up nicely in the end. I’m really looking forward to continuing on with this series.

Great start to a series. Nick is an awesome character who really is the main focus of this book and Hamilton does him justice in his development and story. I will unqestionalby be picking up the second book in this series.

Enjoy!!!!
If You Like This, 
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2010/10/richard-kadrey-sandman-slim.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2015/08/dennis-lehane-drop.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2015/01/michael-koryta-those-who-wish-me-dead.html

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Amanda Stevens: The Visitor

This is the fourth book in the series so you will want to read the first three (The Restorer, The Kingdom and The Prophet) in order to understand Amelia her powers and rules as well as how her relationship with Devlin developed. Plus The Restorer is a great read and interesting story and I highly recommend it.

Amelia Gray is known as The Graveyard Queen for a reason; she is a professional graveyard restorer, restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries and cemeteries is where she feels most at home. When legend of the Krill cemetery enters into Amelia's life she knows that she needs to solve the endless amount of puzzles that it holds as it is unlike any cemetery she has ever been in before. However, unravelling the secrets that this cemetery holds will come at a terrible price and hit closer to home than Amelia ever thought possible.

I will be the first to admit that it has been many years since I have read the first three books in this series but other than a few relationship events with Devlin, that I could not quite remember, I did not find that I was lost in the content of the story as Stevens did a good job of reintroducing information and Amelia, her ability, the rules and the ghosts without feeling that she was rehashing the previous three books.

I have not read a ghost based story in some time and I was re-enthralled with this series, I really enjoyed this book. It had twists, turns, ghost, suspense and mystery all thrown into it and fit did not need a recent body count to achieve this (though not for lack of trying at times this book is more centered on the mass sucided that ocurred decades ago. With this there were some fairly dark elements that are slightly glazed over at times, that you may blink and miss them, but I appreciated that they were there. I think that Stevens did an amazing job with showing that it is not just the ghosts and demons that cause all the pain and suffering but there is a human element to it all as well. I also was not able to figure everything it with all the twists and red herrings that Stevens has throughout the plot so when I am unable to figure everything out I always enjoy the book more.

The previous two books have hinted that Amelia has more power that she knows, but this book really sets that in to motion. Amelia finally feels ready to accept these gifts and additional powers even if it means giving up the rules that she has lived with her whole life. I cannot wait to see what additional "powers" that Amelia has. Devlin and Amelia's relationship struggles quite a bit in this one and I will say that this is something that all readers of this series knew was going to happen eventually as they has such different points of view. I'm glad that Stevens decided to address it sooner rather than later in the series.

Although it has been a few years I really am looking forward to continuing on with the next book in this series to see where Stevens takes it. Stevens has re-hooked me into this series.

Enjoy!!!!

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2011/04/layton-green-summoner.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2016/04/christopher-moore-dirty-job.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2012/03/ruth-barrett-base-spirits.html