Oh man that was intense.... I just finished it. I haven't read anything that intense since The Policewoman, and even more graphic (if you can imagine that!)... but worth it. You might need a strong stomach, and it is definitely not for your kids, but it would make an incredible movie!
The story basically has its start in Kosovo, during the Yugoslav War, when NATO forces were sent on their peace-keeping mission. A contingent of those forces is sent to find out what has happened to a policeman and his family that has gone missing. It is suspected that his disappearance is due to the fact that he had been investigating the murders of some Kosovar Albanians, and wanted justice. He is found, barely alive, in a very terrible state, and the torturer, known as Aždaja, is still in the room, in the shadows. Aždaja is seen as a hero among some of the more radical Serbians, including some with lots of power, and thus suffers no punishment. Fast forward to the present.... murders start happening again, this time in the UK, with the same M.O. as Aždaja. Those who had happened to witness the previous crime and their families seem to be target. Those who had witnessed what he had done years earlier knew, but for the rest of the world-- they were clueless. One ex-NATO soldier, now policeman, who has just been diagosed with colon cancer and given 5 years to live, sees it as his mission to stop Aždaja and do humanity a favor. No one knows the killer's real name-- he has taken the name of Aždaja, which is a legendary and mythical creature from Balkan folklore that was a many- headed dragon like creature, and pure evil. The book ended in a manner leading me to believe their will be more to come. I would like to thank the author for a copy of this book-- I expect to see some great stuff to come from him!
A heart-wrenching memoir of a man's last three days in the life of his beloved cat. Bernard had spent nearly 15 years with Marcel, his cat. It had become his confidante, companion, like a sibling, seeing him through difficult situations, as watching his grandmother slowly fade and die from dementia to through troubling times as the dangerous and frightening Croatian War of Independence. He had basically grown up with him, and what pain and grief engulfed him as he watched the life of his best friend come to an end. The book is also like a letter to Marcel chronicling those last days, and a tribute to the life and experiences they had shared together. The reader can truly feel the anguish Bernard felt watching his beloved feline's life be extinguished. I received this copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Bernard!
I loved the historical aspect to the story. The intrigue was great. I felt, though, the characters were a bit underdeveloped and flat. Like they were written and put into designated boxes..."this is the arrogant, callous lady's man", "this one is the underdog with a chip on his shoulder who has tendencies to be careless, impulsive and a bit of a blockhead", etc and the characters never strayed from the confines of their "boxes". In reality, people often put on "masks" to hide aspects of themselves they don't want others to see and make themselves vulnerable, but not matter how carefully constructed the "mask", the qualities the person would like to hide have a way of peeking through eventually. I did not see that with these characters, and for me, because the were so one-dimensional, it made it a bit harder to believe. I did not like how they were consistently assuming what the other was thinking, what was motivating the others, why they did what they did and jumping to conclusions. I find that irritating in real life, and just as irritating in a book. Had these things been rectified, I would have given it a higher rating. The books rates as high as it does by me simply because I loved the historical aspect of it.
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Gun Kiss is a romance/thriller/suspense work of fiction. Blake Deco is ex-military but still contracts out for jobs with HSI. He is sent to recover the stolen Derringer that Booth used to shoot Lincoln from the Russians. After returning from that successful mission, America's favorite movie star Goldie St. Helen, is kidnapped by the most dangerous drug lord Dai Lo, who has a sick obsession with her. Blake is called by an old friend that has a grudge against Dai, alerting Blake about the star's kidnapping, hoping that Blake will kill him in the process. Blake succeeds in rescuing Goldie, but fails to kill Dai which leads to Dai taking revenge on everyone Blake and Goldie know. Blake and Goldie fall in love, which does add to the drama.
One thing I did not like is that the book would jump from one scene or day to another without transition many times, so I would end up being confused initially who was talking, etc. and would have to go back and reread the previous paragraph thinking I had missed something. It wasn't until I would read on that I would realize, "ok, this is another day" or different people or something. If it wasn't for that, I would have rated it higher.
I received this copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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Jacqueline Willoughby is a book about a serial killer on the loose in Birmingham, Alabama, who appears to be motivated to right wrongs upper class, well- known citizens have committed against others. The murders seem to be inspired by the Ten Commandments and an old book; each victim is found with something in the mouth and/or hand stating in a single word the sin for which they were killed. I think the story and characters hold great promise, and would like to see the story and characters developed more, and the tale expanded from a novella to a novel. Maybe from time to time in the story, just a glimpse of the vigilante executioner (not revealing too much-- just a scene from time to time), throughout the story, giving us a brief look as to what the killer is thinking, etc, without letting the reader know the killer's identity. I think that would add to it as well. I would like to thank Mr. Schuyler for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A Snowflake's Chance in Hell was is a holiday themed romance. Quinn is looking for her long lost brother and has received a tip that he may have been or is in the military. She makes a trip to try to find some info on this and meets Gunnery Sergeant Kevin McCaluson. There seems to be some tension from the outset as Quinn is feeling vulnerable and on the defensive, and Kevin is going through some personal issues with contemplating a promotion or whether he wants to continue in the military... what did he want for the rest of his life. He volunteers to help her in her search, and they develop an affection for each other.
The story itself was ok, but it seemed a bit rushed. No details are really given at the end as to where her brother had been all these years and how he was ultimately found.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
|Intrigue. Suspense. Mystery. Romance.
This was a great book. It kept me on the edge of my seat.
Luke was in an orphanage until 7 yrs. old when he was adopted. He had been left on the convent doorstep by a shadowy figure in a snowstorm. He grew up never knowing anymore of his origins than that. Working for the English embassy in France prior to WWII, doing some minor espionage work on the side against the Nazi's, he received word that the nun who had raised him until his adoption, was brutally murdered. It was believed to be a random, senseless act of violence, until attempts start to be made on his life as well. But why? Had his small forays spying been discovered? Or was it mistaken identity?
The tale involves organized crime, kidnapping, murder, and more twists than Heinz has pickles. The story takes the reader on a high-speed ride through several countries in Europe, and encounters Nazi secret service, underground resistance, and shadowy assassins. I plan on reading more by this author!
This was reviewed for Netgalley. My thanks to Netgalley, Mark Mills, and the publisher for this book