Review: Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A brilliant detective…A baffling murder…An isolated manor…A list of less than perfect suspects with perfect alibis…No way out…It’s going to be a long and gruesome night.

Hired to stop a murder at a birthday party of invited suspects at a Mississippi Manor cut off from the world by The Great Flood of 1927, Detective Rowan Manory needs to solve a 20-year-old case to save his client from unwrapping a deadly and perhaps deserved gift of revenge.

Can Manory figure out the identity of the murderer before the bodies start dropping?

‘Goodnight Irene’ is a locked-room murder mystery that will have you guessing until the final reveal.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The prologue of this book, made me curious. Death, murder, and mystery are found on these pages. The plot was very interesting. It was mostly steady. The dialogue between characters kept me reading. Like the characters, I too, am a Cub fan. Or was in the past…but now, I do not follow any sports teams. Sometimes, it felt like there wepas more telling than showing what was happening. This caused for a feeling of slowness in spots throughout the book. It seems that clues were left and the detectives find a string of murders that might help them solve a current case. The police have no where to go with the investigation. All suspects have a clear alibi. Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside is similar to the style of Mary Higgins Clark and Michael Connelly. The night a mother checks in her daughter everything changes. The daughter’s life is never the same. Irene’s past comes tumbling to the present, and there’s nowhere to hide…overall, I enjoyed the intrigue and suspense of what happened all those years ago and how they related to the present time. I would recommend this fiction title to readers everywhere.

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Review: Exhibit Alexandra

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

He thought he knew everything about her until she went missing.

Before she disappeared, Alexandra Southwood lived an average, happy life: devoted to her wonderful husband, Marc, and caring for her two beautiful daughters. But now, held in a room against her will, Alexandra is forced to think about all she’s lost, and imagine how Marc and her daughters are coping in the wake of her disappearance. She’s shown news clips of Marc, desperately appealing to the public for information on her whereabouts. She tortures herself with visions of her family’s devastated new reality. And as she envisions Marc’s distress, she can’t help but remember their courtship, their marriage–all that he saved her from and all that they’ve built together.

Marc’s pain is visceral. He thinks of nothing but her. Even when the police discover Alexandra’s bloody belongings by the river, turning their missing-persons case into a murder investigation, he cannot accept that she is lost to him. He shifts from total despair to frantic action, embarking on his own journey through the dark maze of secrets she kept and passions he never understood. Following a trail that leads him to find answers to questions he never meant to ask, he’s forced to confront how frighteningly little he’s grasped about the woman he loves.

EXHIBIT ALEXANDRA is a shocking psychological portrait, an original and unrelenting thriller that ultimately proves how unknowable even those closest to us can be.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha Bell is a fascinating thriller. So many twists and turns to keep readers, like myself, intrigued for hours. Alex is a character that was a puzzle within a puzzle. From the synopsis, I had so many questions. As the plot dug deeper, I felt her husband’ Spain and surprise at what was discovered. Marc is the loving husband who goes to very deep depths just to find his missing wife. I applaud a man who is that deeply attached to his wife. A love that shocked me. The story flowed easily. It was a bit strange but well-told.

Review: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Riveting and disquieting, After Anna is a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page.

 

 

Praise for Lisa Scottoline:

“Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation.” —Booklist on One Perfect Lie

“Readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting…they’re in for one thrilling ride.” —Kirkus on One Perfect Lie

“Entertaining…This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen.” —Publishers Weekly

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline is an intense thriller. A deadly journey where people have died and other may still die. A father wrongly accused of murdering his wife’s daughter. He never killed anyone and the dead girl isn’t who they originally thought she was. This family was torn apart and ruined. Only to be bounded together again once more. However, getting back together, will depend on timing. If they’re too late the husband dies and so does the real daughter. But if timed right, they may just end of saving both. The FBI are involved after a therapist finds out that the young girl isn’t the one matching in the newspaper. This whole time, the innocent have been trapped and tortured. I was filled with intrigue. This book kept me guessing. I was afraid of what the outcome would be. Lisa Scottoline has once again, written a title worthy of reading. Dramatic, frightening, and emotional…After Anna is a journey of survival and hope in a world of darkness. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Grace and the Preacher




Synopsis:

At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.

 

Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs.  

 

But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Grace and the Preacher by Kim Sawyer is a wonderful story about forgiveness. I was hooked. The story told of a man running from his past life that soon caught up with him. An offer as a preacher for a new town gave him a chance to leave and start new. But soon, the past came tumbling down his present life. A young woman writes to the new preacher. She soon grew attached to the man in the letters. Once he comes to her town, secrets come out and betrayal will take over…it will be up to both characters to face their situations and decide the results. 

Kim Sawyer’s writing is superb. The emotional attachment happens quickly. Each character faces real life issues that helped me relate easily to them. I could understand what they went through and why. Clean, intriguing, and well-written. Grace and the Preacher is a satisfying Christian historical tale. Love, sacrifice, and redemption can be found inside…I loved it. This is definitely a book that I recommend to all. 

Novel Writing Challenge 4

Sam, a young 15-year old, who was short, skinny, small chested, super white skin and dark black shiny hair that went past her shoulders a touch had beautiful green alluring eyes. She was a quiet teen, who loved reading, writing, drawing, and swimming. She was the invisible girl at her local public high school. None of the guys asked her out. Thinking they would probably scare her because of her quiet nature. She aced all her school subjects and helped her swim team to the Nationals every year. This year, being a freshman, was tough. Girls were dressing in low tops, short skirts, and wore lots of makeup. Guys were..well the were the same as always. Some were jerks, others were nerdy, and a few were decent guys. Sam only had her academics and swim team to preoccupy her time. Nothing more. Would it be so bad to like a guy? Her mom and dad asked her during dinner yesterday. Sam simply said she wasn’t interested. And the few good guys were not interested in her. So why date? 

Heading to her AP English class, Sam bumps into someone. Someone..who turned out to be a guy. A very good looking guy. Who smelled good. His brown hair in a messy but sexy style, his plain top the fit perfectly over his biceps, and his eyes were so..blue.

“Sorry, I wasn’t paying any attention to where I was going. I’m new here.”

“Hi, I’m Sam. And it’s fine. I was rushing and not paying attention either.”

“I’m Blake. Nice to meet you, Sam.”

Smiling at her and feeling a blush coming on Sam said, “Yeah, it was nice meeting you too. Do you..um..”

“Need help with where to go”, he finished for her.

“Yeah, do you?”

“Yeah, I can definitely use a beautiful lady’s help”, he said smiling even bigger at her.

Laughing and shaking her head slightly,Sam asked him where he was headed. After sharing his schedule with her. They found out they shared a lot of the same classes. They agree upon meeting up for lunch by the cafeteria’s doors. Not believing her luck, Sam felt excited about lunch with her new friend. AP English, Environmental Science,  and Physics went by faster than usual. Heading to her locker to put her books away, Sam walks to the cafeteria’s doors. There she sees, Blake standing there waiting for her. 

“Hey, Sam.”

“Hey, Blake.”

Smiling they get into line and take their lunches to a small table by the side windows. 

“So, how did your classes go?”, asked Sam.

“Great, except for the super blonde chick that is more fake than silicon boobs.”

Laughing, Sam feel great. So far, Blake seemed to be cool. Especially when he said the most popular girl in school was faker than plastic boobs. Really? Where do you guys come up with these phrases. 

“Yeah, so how was your  classes?”, he asked her.

“They were good as usual. Thank you for asking.”

Smiling up at her, Blake felt great. This girl was more real than a lot of the girls in the whole school. And she doesn’t load her face with all that makeup stuff girls put on. She’s pretty just like she is. Her green eyes twinkle when she’s in a good mood. Sam not knowing what to say next asked him if he’d be interested in joining the swim team this year. 

“Are you on the swim team?”

“Yeah, I’ve been on the swim team since 6th grade. I enjoy being in the water. Plus, I enjoy the competition meets as well. We as a team have placed in the Nationals every year so far.”

“Wow, that is impressive. I think I would like to join. When and where do I sign up?”

“Come tomorrow after school is over to the school’s gym at 3:30. We will be having sign ups and try outs.”

“Awesome count me in!”

Sam couldn’t believe his enthusiasm for joining the swim team. He was super excited it seemed.  

The next day after school was over both Sam and Blake headed over to the school’s gym together. Sitting next to each other on the second bleacher they wait and listen as the coach called out names and had everyone try out in the swimming pool. 

“Blake McCain”, the coach yelled. 

“That’s me. Wish me luck.”

“Good luck, Blake!”

Heading over to the coach to introduce himself,he then started doing laps as the coach insisted. Watching him swim, was amazing. He swam with confidence and grace. Sam was impressed. It wasn’t soon before Emily Sanders walked over with her groupie. 

“So, you meet the new guy, Blake”, Emily asked Sam.

“Yes, I have”, Sam briefly stated. Not really caring what Emily had to say.

“Well, did you know that the reason Blake is here at our school is because he was responsible for his girlfriend’s death at his other school. Though they couldn’t find enough evidence to arrest him. But everyone there thinks he killed her. After all, he was the last person to see her alive. And.. she was seeing another guy. The other guys was Blake’s best friend. So that’s a motive to kill his girlfriend, right?”, Emily asked.

Sam suddenly feeling dizzy, couldn’t believe what she just heard. “You’re lying!”

“Am I?”, Emily asked Sam.

“Yes, you are. You are lying because Blake isn’t interested in you.”, Sam retorted back.

“Well, then I guess to prove that I’m not lying all you would have to do is look it up, or..ask Blake himself”, Emily replied back.

Write all this and what happens next. Does Sam believe what Emily told her? Does she ask Blake straight out? And if so, does he give her an honest reply or make her feel that he’s hiding something. Could Blake really be responsible for his girlfriend’s death?  Write all this and more in your response down below in the comment area using only 2500 words!!

Best of luck!!!