New York Times Bestselling Author

Book Review: Mystery

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 | 0 comments

Dead Stop by Barbara Nickless



I was excited to get my hands on an advanced copy of Dead Stop because I loved Nickless’s first novel, Blood on the Tracks. A couple of the elements from the first novel are also what I enjoyed about Dead Stop. First, in addition to having a complex character in railroad cop and former marine, Sydney Parnell, her partner and dog, also a former marine, is an important character in the book. Second, Nickless really does her research, and I learned a lot about the dangers of railroad crossings and the complicated world of the railroad industry.

Sydney is called to the scene of what at first appears to be a suicide: A woman on the tracks who doesn’t move and of course the train can’t stop fast enough not to kill her brutally. But upon further investigation, it becomes obvious that this case is much more complicated than suicide. Much, much more complicated.

This is a complex story of a tenacious cop and other officers who help track down both a murderer and a kidnapped little girl. Especially when I got to the end I could easily see this as Hollywood movie. It’s not a breezy read, but if you like imperfect characters untangling a web of deceit of greed and resentment, it’s great fun.

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer for an advanced copy of this novel.


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Book Review: Young Adult

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 |

A Messy, Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan


Young Adult

I love books that make me laugh out loud AND cry. There is a saying that about the connection between humor and pain, and that’s what this book proves: How to find humor from difficult situations.

This is an original novel with a great cast of characters. Ellie is a senior in high school who does improv comedy. She does improv competitions with her team against improv teams from other schools. One of the improvisers is a guy she’s crushed out over—and at a party she finds out he feels the same way! Life seems good. She’s planning for college, has a great relationship with her mom and a tense relationship with her dad, who remarried a woman Ellie is less than enthused about.

Just when she thinks maybe a relationship with Jason could be going somewhere, she discovers she has a rare cancer. Obviously, life is turned upside down.

She initially has a strained relationship with her stepbrother—I loved how that relationship evolved over the course of the book.

The characters are well drawn and believable. More important, all but the dad and stepmom are likeable. I highly recommend this young adult novel.

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