When Blood Whispers

When Blood Whispers published, copyright and written by Richard Devall.

The book is subtitled “A Bad Date Forensic Thriller” and opens with “This story begins with a supercharged lift-off and doesn’t stop until the end.” An explanation follows that Wendy, a young woman had met Steven Porowski through a dating site and leaves their table in a restaurant he had selected when she is disturbed by his behavior. He follows immediately and threatens her before she can drive away. The story unfolds as his psychotic behavior intensifies and involves her sister Jennifer when  he sends pornographic material to her young son, and sets – up her husband Hunter as his killer after disappearing while abducting Hunter’s new ‘love of his life’ that already has set huge problems in motion in his family situation. Her mother also becomes involved and together turn into a pretty relentless team of sleuths leading to a chase of the demented Porowski and the kidnapped young woman. The ending is ‘different’.

Discussion: As provided in the opening remarks, the story provides the ‘supercharged lift-off’ and follows through as predicted with episodes of high suspense. The characters are well ‘fleshed out’, the pace is fast and the tale is well-written. Thus, regrettably and apologies, because seemingly only for this reader, some of the action and thought patterns exhibited by some characters were difficult to accept as pertinent to the character and/or situation.

3* 5* psychological/suspense/thriller; -2* for this reader as described.

Road to the Breaking

Road to the Breaking ISBN: 9781733107949 published, copyright and written by Christopher Bennett.

Book 1 of historical fiction in an anticipated four book series that by way of explanation opens with a quotation by Billy Creek, an Indian Scout, U.S. Army, 8th Infantry:
“It was a time of such suffering and death, it caused the breaking of all the old ways. Some for the good, and some for the worse. Nothing came through ‘The Breaking’ unchanged, and all that once was, even to the greenness of the earth, was broken during that time, and was never again the same.”

The story opens in March 15, 1860 – South of Fort Davis, Texas. As Captain Nathaniel Chambers leads his troop attempting to find a notorious outlaw. They do and Chambers, angered by the outlaw’s action, viciously reacts. The reaction is understandable and not inappropriate, but distasteful to him as he is concerned with this personal lack of self-control of anger that he has been struggling with for many years. And this trait becomes a persistent feature of the story as it evolves. The tale continues as he is almost revered by those under his command as a fearless leader in battle and an intelligent, empathetic officer. Thus, when his father dies unexpectedly and he is forced to leave the army and its, for him, compatible way of life to return to Virginia, a few of his men resign to accompany him. The return is necessitated by his mother’s inability to handle the affairs of running a huge plantation, replete with slaves, another feature with which the Captain is ‘uncomfortable’. Acceptance of his resignation, outfitting for the trip and the distance to be covered will take several weeks at best and his mother already is experiencing tremendous pressure from the inheriting son of the neighboring plantation. A running feud between the two deceased owners is being re-opened by the young man who is taking ruthless and totally unfair advantage of Nathaniel’s mother. This first book sets the stage for the ensuing series.

Discussion: The author has initiated what appears to be the beginning of an enjoyable tale of the pre-civil war and probably some parts of the ensuing conflict. He has approached a difficult job admirably considering all of the elements required in such an endeavor. He has set the stage by including all of them and imbued the story with tension and anticipation for the next volume. Granted, a certain amount of ‘filler’ has been added that slows the tale’s forward thrust, but generally acceptable and pertinent to character development. An intriguing beginning.

5* Pre-civil war novel with tremendous possibilities.

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage ISBN: 9780985370282, published, copyright and written by Susan Cory.

This is the 4th volume in the Iris Reid Mystery Series, a series that employs the world of architectural design for its plot. The protagonist, Iris Reid has discovered a source of deep love and committed to living with Luc Cormier, an excellent chief whose restaurant had gained sufficient recognition to be considered for the acclaimed James Beard Award for culinary arts attainment. The restaurant kitchen and dining room conveniently occupied the entire ground floor of an old place in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was available at a very affordable price. She had completely redesigned the building in this manner and utilized the entire 2nd floor to install their living quarters along with an office for her architectural activities. In continuing work in her own area of expertise, Iris began redesigning an old abandoned building for Ash, a very talented young artist who had been able to purchase it because ‘the price was right’. All is progressing nicely until a series of totally unexpected ‘happenings’ begin. A huge fire of suspicious origin destroys a portion of the young artist’s building and is followed by another at an abandoned well on the property that contains bones of a human that police are able to identify. As the building’s owner, he immediately becomes the main suspect until later on Ash, the young artist himself, is the victim of a gun shot from a passing vehicle. These developments tie in with other events already set forth and an almost unbelievably convoluted and interwoven tale of betrayal, deceit, treachery, self-preservation, lost and/or misplaced love all are combined to present a mystery for which further details would only serve as a disservice to a prospective reader.

Discussion: The author has introduced, at least for this reader, a new and unique area for a mystery tale. As a well-qualified and actively engaged architect, she has successfully endowed her protagonist with the same abilities and set forth a mystery that involves many emotions. Unfortunately I have not read the previously written books in the series and must say that most credibly, this volume can very easily stand completely on its own, providing a tale mystery lovers will not want to put down.

5* Most unusual mystery/suspense/love story readers should love.

Inherent Greed

Inherent Greed ISBN: 9781734436167 Authoraide Publications, copyright and written by Carney Vaughan.

The author opens with a synopsis of the story that explains a man by the name of Cameron Parmentor “a self-swerving, cunning, cold-blooded adult, matures with eyes upon a career in Australian federal politics” and describes the manner in which he achieves his desired position. It further introduces two police officers who are captured on film exchanging a large amount of cash in a situation deemed to be corrupt. One of them disappears and the other, Jack Penrose, is cashiered from the force with only his word to verify that is was in return for a debt owed to him. A battered housewife neighbor to whom he is kind is the only one who believes him but then both are declared murders when her husband is killed. The story follows their attempts to evade capture and brings into the tale a large number of other characters that play important roles leading to a most interesting and unexpected climax.

Discussion: This is an account of a sociopathic killer that begins slowly but gradually evolves into a circuitous trail of events that are unraveled only by the tenacity of a woman journalist of sorts along with help from her husband, a retired detective, the disgraced policeman and a couple of Parmentor’s heavily affected victims.

5* Absorbing tale mystery readers will not want to put down.

When She Touches

When She Touches ISBN: 9781688985490 assumed published by, copyright and written by Sheryl M. Frazer.

Subtitled “A Discovery of Destiny and a gift Like No Others” this is a novel extending from the mid-1900s to the present. It is an unusual story following Genevieve as she, recipient of abstract dreams beginning in childhood, experiences another informing that she ‘will understand once her daughter is born’. The young, newly married Mrs. Walker thought someday, but right now began recalling the fairy tale like, so wonderfully enjoyable romance and wedding to her most thoughtful and wonderful husband still sleeping beside her. From this moment the reader is taken on a strange journey where the young girl, born to a mother who seemed to want nothing to do with the child, is raised by her adoring grandparents and eventually discovers that she has a strange gift in that she can communicate with a person’s soul. This reviewer believes that providing even one more modicum of information would be a total disservice to the prospective reader.

Discussion: In spite of occasional minor glitches, this book and its anticipated sequel provide one of the more unique tales this reader has encountered. The plot about ‘a soul reader’ is nowhere even vaguely close to the tawdry image that may come to mind. The characters are engaging, even captivating at times and their interwoven nature intriguing. The pace is excellent and the anticipation set in motion by the idea of a sequel’s plot is one of the most compelling this reader has encountered.

5* If you enjoy the unusual, you will not want to miss this one.

Erasing the Past

Erasing the Past Assumed published, copyright and written by Geri L. Dreiling.     

There is a sub-title stating that this is “A novel about love, betrayal and second chances” and genre suggestions that include fiction, sci-fi, suspense and romance. Prologue opens in Forrest Park, St. Louis with the Art Museum setting atop the green hill that descends to an area providing a superb view of the Grand Basin. The day is beautiful, young lovers are strolling arm-in-arm with the occasional shy kiss and all appears to be well with the world, except for one old man with a badly affected left arm who disconsolately seats himself on a convenient bench. He opens a copy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, spots a photograph of two people in the gossip column and begins to sob. A young woman asks if he is alright. He answers simply that he was alone, in his pain, his regret and his pain, but that was not always the way. Once upon a time he, and they, were happy but that all is changed. His “future has vanished, and the present laid waste; all because the past was erased”. The first chapter then opens in April of 2008, and thus begins a tale of seeming remorse by an old man who regrets his life-long self-centered activities and rigid thought patterns that have ruined his life and driven the love of his life into the arms of another man as well as ruining his career. His life possibly may not be as he believes at this point in time however, but providing further details of the story would be a huge disservice to potential readers.

Discussion: The author has set forth a story about a self-centered man with a deep love for a beautiful woman who basically and most unfortunately, places a great amount of emphasis on personal appearance although also with a driving internal need to have children. However, he is not without faults in that he is self-centered with a degree of paranoia and an underlying rigidity in the fundamental roles of the man and woman in a marital situation. These differences provide the basis of this well-written, only slightly flawed, tale of their impact upon an otherwise happy marriage of twenty plus years.

5* Interesting marital relationship the book’s subtitle well describes.