Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Summoner by Layton Green

A crowd of chanting people, a leader in a red robe, a cloud of smoke, and Addison's girlfriend, Taps, who saw it all and who lost Addison in the crowd.

Taps couldn't believe Addison just disappeared.....they had been to other ceremonies such as this, but this one was completely one had ever vanished.  The investigation into the disappearance was being led by Dominic Grey.  He was being helped by Nya who he knew was smart, but who he also knew had ulterior motives for involving Grey.

A religious cult was the main reason for the disappearance, but finding the leader was proving to be difficult.  Nya needed to get Taps involved and needed her to tell them everything William had done and said and where he had gone in the weeks before the ceremony.  Taps was fearful of giving information....she said they would come after her, but Nya said the information would help find William and hopefully it would.  One piece of information she gave about a church looked promising, but that turned out to be a dead end.  The investigation was beginning to become dangerous and was leading nowhere....THEN more bad news...another disappearance occurred, and it was a young girl.

The second disappearance led Nya and Grey to a remote village where no one would speak of the disappearance or the missing girl for fear of the N'anga.  It also lead them to a nightclub and to the owner who was quite dangerous and ruthless.  Gathering evidence about the cult and their practices and why things occurred became more hazardous and gruesome each day.

Nya and Grey’s lives were in constant danger as they got no closer to solving where N’anga was…they knew he was the one responsible but he couldn't be found.

The book is gripping and has a wealth of information about Zimbabwe and its people, culture, and customs.   There are a lot of twists and turns, horror, torture, and secrets.   The vivid descriptions of the lush, beautiful landscapes of Africa adds to the book's intrigue. 

If you are squeamish, this book may be disturbing, and you won’t be able to imagine how cruel someone can be to another human being.  Despite all of this, I am going to give the book a 5/5.

Green is a masterful writer...he allows the reader to definitely feel the emotion and tension of the plot and the eeriness of the religious rituals some cults follow.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Undertaker by William F. Brown

Mr. Brown's book is an e-pub on Kindle, Sony, Nook, IBook, and all the others.

Two obituaries, two stating he died in Mexico the other stating he and his wife died in Columbus, Ohio....but how could that be....Peter Emerson Talbot was alive and reading the obituary, and he had attended the funeral in Ohio.  Attending this funeral sure ended up with a lot of trouble for Peter and also a lot of information that could put a number of folks behind bars.  Something was pretty fishy about all of this.

The real Peter stayed in Columbus after "his" funeral and decided to check out obituaries for the past few months to see who had died and if there were similarities in deaths.  He found quite a few obituaries of couples who died in unusual circumstances and who had no surviving relatives, but they all had the same funeral director and same attorney.  Peter also found a lot of suspicious activity going on and decided to check out the offices of an attorney and a doctor who were involved....bad move, Peter.

Peter knew he got himself into more than he could handle and had to get out of town and mighty quickly, but how?  He had no money, no clothes, and no car....they stole everything.  He had some ideas, though.  He had to bring these guys who were true criminals posing as honest citizens down.  

Trying to be an honest citizen when the other citizens were not definitely wasn't a wise choice for Peter.
Peter made even more unwise choices, but he also made some right ones.  Peter was witty, clever, and a character you will love. 

Don't miss reading this has a little bit of everything.....frightening scenes, clever twists and turns, love, and humor.  I found myself laughing out loud, crying, and also being afraid for the characters.

The book was action-packed and fun despite the tense moments.  

I am guessing the author is a fun guy with lots of adventures of his own.  I truly enjoyed the book. 5/5

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Secret of the White Rose by Stefanie Pintoff

A high-profile trial, an honest, fair judge, and some undisclosed history of the participants.   All these circumstances resulted in a judge being found murdered in his home office along with a white rose and a Bible.

Who could have done this?  There was speculation about who the culprit could be, and the detectives didn’t think someone had acted alone.  Every detective that had some connection to a group or a family member who may have some connections was involved in the case.  "Get to it gentlemen.........My goal is to arrest those responsible for the judge's murder within forty-eight hours."  Page 70

Another idea to find the motive and the murderer was to get in touch with a judge named Angus Porter...he was a symbolist, and there definitely was a lot of symbolism in the clues and in the murder of Judge Hugo Jackson.  The white rose in the judge's hand and also on a sheet of music gave the detectives the most clues as to why the murder had occurred.  The crime scene was filled with symbolism, and the symbolism needed to be decoded.  Some decoding was done, but another murder occurred shortly after, and again the murderer left a Bible and a white rose at the scene.

The similarities of symbols at both murders and the anarchist on trial, Drayson, led the detectives to a group of his followers.  The group was then arrested for attacking an officer. While they were being held in jail, an explosion explosion meant to assist in the freeing of the anarchists being held.  It turned out the explosion had been a diversion so that Drayson could escape.

Meanwhile the two murders were not even close to being solved, but the clues were beginning to add up or so they thought.  A third murder occurred, and it was not a was a professor at a local university.  What connected all of them and why were the same items left with the bodies?

There was a surprise at the end, but not a great mystery/read for me.  An interesting aspect was the setting in the early 19th century.  It was interesting to see how crimes were solved during that time and how the police and detectives put clues together.  It was also interesting to hear about the "cabs" that were pulled by horses in New York City.

I will give the book a 3/5 because I had trouble keeping track of the characters and their roles and it really wasn’t a “grab ya” story…it took a while to warm up to what was going on.   

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Patriot Paradox by William Esmont

Two brothers….dangerous jobs….tragedies.

Kurt and Mike Vetter both were employed in dangerous jobs...Mike knew something was in the works and mailed secret information to his brother's house so it wouldn't be found in his home.  When Kurt opened the package and scanned the disk, he knew he had to find out what this classified information meant, and he left for London to try to find out.   When he landed in London, so did the "enemy."  Kurt was being trailed, but didn't know it.

Kurt had to find Amanda, the only contact he thought he could trust.  Once he found her, hopefully things would be cleared up, and she could find what secret mission was being  planned.   Meanwhile, Amanda's friend Nigel was decoding the disk, and from 2,000 miles away in the USA, Jack Carson and his team were planning to take care of Nigel.  
There was something big going on, but it wasn't fully clear to Kurt or Amanda what it was, but Jack definitely knew.  As Nigel's computer decoded the information, he was becoming more upset.  "The data was incomplete, but this much was clear:  it was real and it was in motion." Page 116.  Something deadly was being planned.

Did the plan get carried out or was it stopped?  If you like on-the-edge-of-your-seat action, you will love Patriot Paradox....modern-day espionage.  5.5

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Final Note by Kevin Alan Milne

What a wonderful, wonderful book.  It is filled with life's lessons, advice, and love.  The title seems to have dual and love.  The book begins and end with both music and love and is sprinkled throughout with “love letters” from Anna and Ethan’s music.

Ethan and Anna met by chance in Vienna while she was on vacation and he was finishing his masters in music.  It was a whirlwind romance, and when they returned to the states, they couldn't wait to get married.  Their marriage was made of specially designed promises they declared to each other on their wedding day. 

The marriage was perfect in many ways, but routine days and no money along with the inability to have children, caused things to go downhill.  Ethan and Anna Bright felt their life was filled with:  "Things like this happen," and they were tired of it.  A baby and a lucrative job eventually blessed them, but the stress of the job caused more  problems.  Ethan was working so hard at providing for his family, he was never at home.

Not being at home with his family was a problem that led to an even bigger tragedy for the Brights.  The tragedy revealed a story of forgiveness that Ethan's grandfather had never told anyone from his days in WW II.  Hearing the story helped Ethan deal with the anger he was harboring against the person who caused the tragedy.

I read this book in one will fall in love with the characters and feel their happiness as well as their pain.  It will make you think about what is important in your life.  Tissues needed. 5/5