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.
The Case of the Torn Yellow Socks Assumed published, copyright and written by Alan Hardy.
Inspector Cullot of Scotland Yard Mystery Series Book 4 is a continuation of the cases in which he appears to be a commanding figure requiring respect bordering on submission of his subordinates including Detective Constable Stephanie, his daughter who is beautiful, adoring, sexy but mostly sufficiently subservient, Sargent Watkins, a not overly bright police investigator and Blunt, a typically story book “Bobby” who records by trusty pencil stub and paper notebooks the Inspector’s words as well as a running description of all that occurs during each investigation. The latter individual seemingly is even less gifted than the Sargent, and both are completely enamored of the Inspector’s daughter. The plot is of the contrived variety in which wealthy men are killed when visiting high-end brothels by a woman who actually is of one nationality while having changed identities with that of others in the same apartment building. The dead men each are dressed wearing colors contained within the flags of the countries each supposedly represents. The story continues presenting more involving details and ends in the Inspector’s solving the case in a manner suitable to the tale.
Discussion: The author has written a tale in a humorous fashion once referred to as ‘slap-stick’ where characters of questionable intelligence face un-understood activity or level of conversation, and often speak repetitively and/or deal with an array of amusing situations. A series of incidents similar to an episode offered by the once immensely well-known comedy team of Abbot and Costello in their skit “Who’s on First”. If this is your type of comedy, this book is for you, but with a caveat. From this reviewer’s perspective, editing to remove the somewhat excessive repetitive verbalization describing the same material would enhance the presentation.
3* no doubt more *’s for readers who already seem to enjoy the author’s books.
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.
The Cascade Killer ISBN: 9780999707586 Latah Books (production by Gray Dog Press) written by A Luke McCain novel by Rob Phillips.
A Prologue opens with a man and his son spotting and dropping a bear during the opening days of the states bear hunting season. Their elation was quickly dampened when accidently cutting the bear’s stomach while field dressing.. The spilling contents contained what appeared to be a human ear and pieces of clothing. Their call to 911 resulted in Luke McCain, veteran police officer with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in Yakima and his dog Jack once again to begin a search for a killer. Assumedly, a man who upon further investigation is discovered to be a serial killer removed from scenes of previous crimes, and one who’s presence in this, as well as the previous area, were in jobs that required his expertise and as a result offered no reason for suspicion. The investigation is turned over to the FBI, but as the first officer on the scene, Luke is ‘kept in the circle’. This position strengthened by mutual attraction between Luke and the quite attractive FBI investigator, plus activity by other locals gunning bears illegally because of black marketers who pay well for bear parts of value as medicines by members of certain races and for the skin. Luke and his suggestions and hunches are primarily responsible for attempting to find the killer as well as attempting to save the life of the FBI agent.
Discussion: The author has produced an interesting story of the unheralded work done by this branch of governmental service whose danger seldom is recognized. It is a branch that daily must face anglers, 80 % of whom are armed, as well as hunters and even similarly equipped hikers. His presentation no doubt is particularly appealing in his ‘laid back’ approach while proceeding through situations fraught with danger. There is considerable redundancy that may not appeal to those not enamored of the ‘laid back’ style and slow movement of the story. A Preview of the next volume is included.
3* Appealing for those who enjoy books written in this author’s style.
The Blackout House assumed published, copyright and written by Narasimha Vavilala.
The main characters are a man by the name of Stephenson and his brother James who is a member of the police force, seemingly in some position of command. James returns home where he described his self-anger at his fearful thoughts and activities in a recently developed double murder case that had taken place at a house described by members of the nearby vicinity “as a vampire house; a blood curdling house”. Worse yet was that “one of his colleagues went inside the house yesterday, and in the same manner, he also was dead.” He continues that now all of the police, including himself are afraid to enter the house. Now the government is insisting they enter and “find what is happening in that house and ensure safety for public by solving the problem without demolishing that house.” He does not want to go “but my mind is telling me to catch the bloody killer, because he killed innocent people…tell me what shall I do now?” James calms his brother and tells him to think of a way to discover a solution. The plot moves forward as he ponders the situation, discovers what he determines to be a workable solution and proceeds.
Discussion: There is little information provided with respect to the author. From appearances, he is a British resident who has gained a sufficient knowledge of English to provide a readable tale but one that demonstrates an as yet sketchy understanding of how to assemble the individual words. Thus, it is a simplistic presentation stimulated by his altruistic desire to remind teachers and parents to provide good advice for the children, and for students to make sure they do not allow anyone to denture them from a good and useful path in life.
2* 5* thoughts behind simplistic and handicapped English language presentation.
Forget Me Not by Marie Sibbons
A sub-title, “Two missing women; Fifty years One house holds the key” appears on the cover. It opens immediately with a Prologue. There is no ISBN or similar indication of the usual copyright material or publisher and is assumed to have been published by the author named on the cover as well as copyright and written by the referenced author. The book opens with a Prologue followed by PART ONE with Chapter one beginning “4th January 1995 Christine shuffled her feet to keep warm as she stood shivering in the doorway.” The tale continues following her and best friend Judy who has a teaching position as a nearby university. Their relationship appears to have risen because of a mutual need for housing at the lowest possible level plus the fact that both are graduates of the British system of providing for young children who have been orphaned. The rooms they acquire are in one of a few strange old mansions in an almost totally deserted section of Glasgow, Scotland. The landlord is a married man who lives in a part of the building until moving out and only to return monthly to collect the rent. The two young women find themselves as the only tenants in this ancient house that appears to be haunted. Several other characters are introduced as the story begins to recall the period of the Nazi bombings interchanging with those of the present. PART TWO ultimately is presented in the last few chapters to present a solution to the mysteries that gradually have been sketched out in the sizable number of chapters that have composed the first part if the book.
Discussion: Regrettably from this reader’s perspective, this is an enigmatic story that defies assignment of any specific number of stars. The overall tale is interesting, but must be read by one willing to persist through a considerable quantity of confusing material peopled by characters that never are ‘fleshed out’. The plot is slow to develop and the ‘haunting’ seems a somewhat forced inclusion for other than perhaps a few readers. But then, my impression is from that of one without any knowledge of the British system of dealing with orphans. Readers acquainted with such matters would be far better qualified to follow much of the action and thought patterns of the protagonists. From this perspective, the author’s book probably would appear to be far more suitable for other than some readers who exist within a so-called American market.
2* Possibly ranging to 4* for certain readers.