Happy Reading

Toni's bookshelf: read

The Godfather of Kathmandu (Sonchai Jitpleecheep, #4)
Ape House
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Operation Napoleon
Walking Dead
The Sentimentalists
The Heretic Queen
The Midnight House
Cross Fire
Peony in Love
Finding Nouf: A Novel
City of Veils: A Novel
First Daughter
A Place of Hiding
Peter Pan

Toni Osborne's favorite books »

Friday, April 29, 2016

"Criminal Enterprise: Black Water Murder", by Glenn Trust

Book 3, in “The Hunter” series

In “Criminal Enterprise” George Mackey and his team (nicknamed the “Hunters”) are on the hunt tracking a series of missing persons which leads them to a human trafficking ring with connections to underworld figures in the Caribbean.

The story moves at speedy pace and builds in intensity pages after pages as we follow the Hunters trying to locate the victims before they are sold into sexual slavery. It never stops in fact I found it to be exhausting trying to keep up with all the different threads and the numerous players. We jump from criminal activities in the swamps of southern Georgia to their alliance with a Caribbean cartel to the Hunters and the victims. The narrative switches back and forth between the players many times I needed to take a pause in order get my bearings and place everyone. Be ready to read lots of descriptive violence and killings but again the subject brings this short of action. I found the plot to be rather convoluted and difficult to follow at times. There is nothing mushy about this story, hard and to the point. The recurring characters have evolved since their first appearance: they are well- defined and quite believable. Although the story did not managed to hold fully my interest and captivate me as the two previous installments did I admit nevertheless this story is written with passion to leave an imprint in our minds: How far would evil people go for the mighty buck.

At the end of the book Mr. Trust gives statistics regarding human trafficking activities around the world. Astonishing……

Friday, April 22, 2016

"The Warriors Series Boxset 11", by Ty Patterson

Warriors #5-7

“Flay”, “Behind You” and “Hunting You” are the three highlights in this suspense action thriller box set offer.

The books are a real treat although I admit not loving them equally. Being part of a series you would think you needed to read them in sequence, not so, each stand on its own two feet and can be enjoyed at any time. I do prefer reading series in sequence. As in the previous 1-4 installments these three latest books offer great plotting, high octane writing and fun characterization. These stories are most entertaining if you like Special Ops operatives going off the grid.

Take a seat, be comfortable, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

"The Intern", by Dale Wiley

With all the shenanigans going on in Washington what is not to like when we have an author whose imagination will give us another political adventure… “The Intern” is the story of a man who ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets wrongly accused of a murder he did not commit. Being original is the only way he will get out of his predicament.

The main player is Trent Norris, an intern who takes us all around the metro area and the government buildings and when he tumbles into something he shouldn’t have his life goes out of control, media and the authority are on his back and he has to get out of the mess at any cost and all this is narrated with a tad (very small) of humour.

The premise is good but the story is quite weak and as it moves along it become more and more unbelievable I could qualify it as totally ridiculous. The whole drama plods along at snail pace with some bizarre action here and there. I guess this was an attempt to inject some humour into the plot but this failed to make me smile or even pique my interest. This book never really pulled me although I was captivated by Trent resourcefulness on many occasions.

I join those who say this book is entertaining enough to keep with it….but just. Ordinary characters, nothing special there although the political backdrop makes them somewhat appealing…who doesn’t love a political scandal, DC players always provide all the good stuff, here is no exception.

Not to say “The Intern” is not a good book it simply was not my favourite.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

"Wanted", by Nick Stephenson

Book 1 in the Leopold Blake Thriller series

A free book is always a good way to lure readers, I am surely one that takes advantage for any offer that meets my taste. A story combining murder, mystery, mayhem and a healthy dose of humour was right up my alley and I was happy to accept Mr. Stephenson invitation to read and review book 1. “This is the way I see it”, my thoughts are my own and I have not been influenced by the offer.

This is definitely a fun and thrill-ride from page one and I enjoyed particularly the lighting- fast pacing plot that throws numerous twists and turns to derail us and keep us on the edge of our seat the whole time. “Wanted “definitely provides exciting fight that had me clenching me jaws and biting my nails all along. This story which revolves around the Louvre and its arts is very well spun and as good as it comes even with all the similarities to other works of this genre.

Leopold Blake, a private investigator is thrown in the middle of mayhem and comes out with minor injury. There is a lot going on but all the threads come carefully together by the end. Of course we have lots of violence and tension but the craziness is toned down with a bit of humour. Leopold and Mary, the main players have a weird and funny relationship. Some scenes may not have made sense but were great for the imagination. The good guys are good and the bad guys are as evil as can be, what a combination of style.

This story starts the series on the right foot. Of course it may not please everyone but for those enjoying a good chase across Paris by killers and police on a whirlwind ride for evidence you are in for a good time and will have a hard time putting this book down.

"The Moroccan Affair", by Gerald J. Kubicki & Kristopher Kubicki

Book 6, in The Society of Orion series

A Colton Banyon Mystery

Book 6 is not taxing at all and is actually fun to read. 128 pages covering an exciting cat and mouse chase throughout the world. In this latest, Colton and is merry band of misfits are lured to Morocco in the never ending need to collect the Orion weapons and take them out of the hands of evils.

The mystery follows the same pattern as the previous installments in “The Moroccan Affair” we have: a small wrap up of the previous sagas which is always appreciated, a crisis at the firm to dwell on, strange and mystical happenings to tickle our fancy, fast pace and over the top action to baffle, simple style presentation to zip through, catchy dialogue to make us laugh, some twists and turns to entertain us and of course good and bad guys to grip our attention.

Once again, the Kubickis active imagination produced another wacky story for our enjoyment.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

"Torture Man", by Warren Adler

“Torture Man” is a thriller that takes us on a suspense-filled weekend on the Upper East Side of New York City. The drama follows a former CIA operative and a prominent anti-war activist whose 11-year-old daughter is kidnapped by Islamist terrorists for a $10 million ransom.

Mr. Adler is an acclaimed author and playwright and knows how to address complicated themes and how to tackle contemporary social issues. “Torture Man” premise hits close to home by questioning interrogation methods and terrorism, it also touches the themes of family, love relationships and the power of money.

Although I did not find the story to be original it was nevertheless very captivating and extremely visual. Without any doubts this hostage-suspense hot button thriller is an excellent choice to make it to the big screen. Many chapters are dedicated to learning about the main players (Sarah and anti-war activist and Carl a CIA operative), their opinions and viewpoints are at the forefront. Of course they don’t like each other and throughout the drama the sentiment is repeated numerous times. After the kidnapping the action moves to Sarah’s house where Carl’s years of training in interrogation technics become more than questionable. The scenes are descriptive but not gruesome and the action moves at a steady pace. The narrative is clear and simple. Nothing special about the characterization, the players are the run of the mill sort we have in all this type of story. Having said this, I like the story it held my attention from page one and I zipped through the pages in not time. I have been reading Mr. Adler for some time now I enjoy his style and especially the variety of topic each book brings.

I received this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This is the Way I see it.

"A Thousand Fiendish Angels", by J. F. Penn

This is a tiny book, a sum of three short stories that juggles horrific subjects and has an uncanny knack for have kept me completely absorbed. The 40 pages or so was a free offer I saw while browsing my local ebook store. Being a long-time fan by now, a short story or not, this collection needed to be added to my library.

I was captivated from the start by the stories inspired by Dante’s Inferno. In the short moment it took me to zip through the pages those three edges of horror thrillers covered so much from torture and mutilated bodies to alchemical symbols and occult object and managed to transport me right into a post-apocalyptic world. The author’s expertise in detailing for her readers brilliant imagery and rich words makes her book most fascinating. Indeed Ms. Penn, has a penchant for the macabre and loves giving her readers morbid morsels to digest bit by bit.

Reading this book is not a massive commitment but be warned: you will be hooked in no time and definitely wanting more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"The Polish Discovery", by Gerald J. Kubicki and Kristopher Kubicki

Box set books 1-3 in the Society of Orion series

Also available individually

Book 1, “Weapon”

Book 2, “The Recovery”

Book 3, “Deception”

A box set is great when you have short story that ends abruptly and needs a sequel to see the outcome. These three books flow beautifully into each other and it is a great strategy to have one offer to include them all. It eliminates our frustration while we would have normally waiting for the next book. A frustrated reader is not a happy one…..

I have read and reviewed all three books last year so when I tackled “The Polish Discovery” within a few pages I knew the story sounded too familiar to be fresh, of course it wasn’t…I should have look deeper but I have no regrets it allowed me to jog my memory.

Having said this, all books have their own unbelievable adventure and are fun to read. The stories are light, definitely not taxing. The characterization is crazy, definitely not the run of the mill. The writing is clear definitely no need for dictionary and finally the story will entice you to keep up with the Kubickis for a long time.

Good value

Friday, April 1, 2016

"Cold Girl", by R.M. Greenaway

Book 1, in the BC Blues Crime series
“Cold Girl” is mystery and a detective fiction that revolves around the disappearance of a pretty singer of a local band. It features RCMP Detectives Leith and Dion, two lead characters who hate each other and are the driving force in this story. It is also the story of Dion’s struggle to recuperate from an accident, a car crash that has left him a stranger in his own body.

Told from the point of views of several characters based on what is going on at the moment, this character driving mystery populated with many players can be a challenge to keep track of. Unfortunately, most characters left me ice cold, I was distracted by Dion’s condition and wondered throughout this drama why would an unhealthy RCMP officer be on the job not fully rehabilitated and working in snowbound Hazeltons. The plot line is simple enough but the action is so scattered I admit to have needed a fair amount of concentration to keep up with all that was going on and stay with it. Indeed, the style is a little different and quite unique and the scenario had all the attributes to make it fascinating. I was drawn to the story at first but it soon became confusing and brutal to read through. Frivolities should have been edited or simply cut out, too much said about food and office chit-chat making one of those exceptionally lengthy books. Cutting the nonsense would have made everything less heavy and kept the story moving at a good pace. Although I may not have been totally captivated by “Cold Girl” I think applying a little tweak here and there this series has good potential.

This is one of those books that you either love or hate. If you have lots of time on your hands give this debut novel a go.

I received this book from Dundurn Press through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This is the Way I see it.