A To Z Challenge: “F” for Thriller Book Review: Consent To Kill


Today’s prompt for the A to Z challenge is “F”. I couldn’t find an interesting thriller with a title starting with “F”, so I’m using the author’s last name – Vince Flynn.

“Consent to Kill” by Vince Flynn, follows Mitch Rapp, an elite counterterrorism operative for the CIA. Reading a Flynn novel is like being privy to a secret, namely one that involves the inner workings of the government. Flynn’s extensive research is reflected in his writing with his use of intricate details involving code names and weaponry.
The overall theme is the relationship between duty and love and the fine line that is difficult to measure. Does Rapp have time for love in between hunting terrorists? As Rapp’s hunters descend upon him, the entire political landscape is put on edge. Will the government control their best man, or will circumstances require ruthless intervention and consequences?

Despite the lengthy attention to detail at times, Consent to Kill is an exciting and thrilling read.

Review: 4 STARS

A toZ Challenge Book Review: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

e daily A to Z Challenge prompt is “C”.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote



Capote’s poetic writing style immediately draws the reader into the brutal murder of the Cutter family. The story is written in an intense and nonlinear style. At moments, I became so immersed that I almost forgot it was a real crime story. Capote was the first author to write a nonfiction book in a novelistic style which paved the way for the “true crime” genre. He explores the vast spectrum of emotions throughout the horrific events of November 15th, 1959 and the turbulent years afterwards. Capote represents  Smith and Hickock with humanistic qualities  when he portrays them as “troubled, confused young men”, compared to public”s view  as cold-hearted killers.   His compassionate writing about the killers fascinated and terrified me simultaneously. This sad, gruesome story captivated me from the beginning to the end, and will stay with me for a very long time.

The Cutter family
The Cutter family




A Daily Thriller? Yes, Please!


Hello folks… after a few months hiatus, I’m finally back to blogging.  During April, along with my usual book reviews,  I’m participating in the “A to Z Challenge”, which involves writing daily on my blog, using the theme “A-Z”. Since thrillers are one of my favorite genres, I’m will be writing a daily review of my favorite thriller novels, from A to Z.   So here we go…

The Alienist is an intriguing historical thriller with a perfect blend of  mystery and horror. Set in the 1896 New York City, Caleb Carr pits the new phenomenon of the serial killer against the precursors of criminal profiling in this fast paced novel. What is an alienist? Before the twentieth century, the alienation of the mentally ill from society was common. An alienist is someone who studied the pathology of mental illness, what we now call Psychiatrists. The plot centers around three friends: a journalist, John Moore; an alienist, Dr.Lazlo Kreizler; and a newly appointed Police Commissioner, Teddy Roosevelt (yes, the one who becomes president later on.) The trio are working to solve a series of brutal murders that involves a string of boy prostitutes. A reform-minded Theodore Roosevelt appoints Dr. Kreizler to head the investigation into the murders.  Kreizler creates a team of investigators who gather a “criminal profile” using psychological and material evidence of the killer. Narrated by John Schuyler Moore, a wealthy journalist and friend of Roosevelt from his days at Yale, chronicles his inclusion to the team.  As the story develops, the complex twists and turns change nearly as quick as the investigators can gather information. Despite Roosevelt’s difficulty in finding the serial killer, he’s determined to not only solve the murders, but also clean up the NYPD as well. The prevailing arrogant attitude of the public consider the murder investigations to be unneccessary, as the murder victims are merely prostitutes.  Kreizler faces challenges from all sides: notorious proponents of morality are unwilling to accept the existence of boy prostitutes (or any form of homosexual trade) and policemen are vehemently against any form of scientific inquiry into the criminal mind. The tension builds as the accumulation of the serial killer’s history, pathology and motivations come to light. In the end, the lengthy explanations of the killer’s motives  became tedious. Despite this tiny flaw, the book was fabulous.


E is for EXITING gracefully…

I’m dropping out of the A to Z challenge. I’m too far behind and I want to put my energy towards the essence of this blog.

I hate the expression “That being said”  I’ve registered for the Book Expo America Conference that’s being held on June 1st in Manhattan. (If you’re going, let me know. It’s always fun meeting online friends.) This is a huge treat for me. I have 2 sons with special needs and I need this time to re-charge. I’ve learned my lesson after being a RN/Nurse Practitioner for 20+ years, and placing other people’s needs before mine.
Anyway, I’m psyched – good excuse to buy a new purse and shoes.

B is for BELDAM



Under the stone bridge, Kristina and Callie huddled close together, using all of their strength to support each other. Winged insects fluttered near their faces. Stretching out their legs, they clutched each other even closer, as if courage could be gained from their grip. The subtle rippling of water trickled over the piles of mossy stones in the brook.

“Do you think she’s gone?” Kristina asked.

“I hope so. We ran halfway through the village. I don’t think she’d follow us this far.”

“Hope you’re right “, said Callie.

Suddenly, branches snapped with a loud crack, a boulder rolled haphazardly down the slope of the hill, bouncing against the earth, landing in the brook. The girls shrieked and held each other even closer. Tears dribbled down Kristina’s cheek.

“Where did that come from?” whispered Kristina. 

‘I don’t know. Let’s pray that we’re safe from that nasty beldam.”  said Callie.



Beldam – An old woman; a hag.





I’ve always had a fascination with words and their origins. Borderline obsessed. Ok, I admit it.  At age 15, I had a William F. Buckley “Word of the Day” calender. Not the most common type of calender among teenagers. 

Keeping with the theme of unusual words, for the “April A to Z Challenge”, I’m going to use an unusual word for my daily prompts. No doubt, these words clearly don’t fit in everyday language –  hopefully, it will push the boundaries of my writing.

The definition of the word will be revealed at the end of the story. At the end of the month, let’s see how many words you can guess on your own.


Luke’s knees ached from kneeling on the old asphalt roof.  He’d been cleaning the gutters in a fine, steady mist of rain for the past two hours. He took his time sitting up, leaned back on his elbows, and exhaled deeply. He thought about the huge amount of work he had ahead of him. 

“Luke! Lunch is ready – Come on down!’ yelled his wife, Sophie. 

Perfect timing. He sat up, walked over to the edge of the roof. Grabbing the cold aluminum ladder with his large stained gloves, he paced himself climbing down, taking care not to slip on muddy, wet leaves. 

“So, what’s for lunch?” He asked, pulling his soggy, fleece sweatshirt over his head. Sophie leaned against the stark white tile kitchen counter. “Hot turkey on a roll with gravy.” Smiling, he shook his damp wavy brown hair like a dog who just came in from the rain. “Mmm. Sounds good. Hey Beth, good to see you.”  Beth smiled and nodded, her mouth full with pound cake. She looked over to Sophie and said “Good thing Luke isn’t automysophobic.”  Sophie poured herself a fresh cup of coffee, “Yeah, really.  Otherwise the outside of the house would be a one hell of a mess.” 



Automysophobia – a morbid fear of being dirty.

P.S Yes, I know I’m behind in the A to Z challenge, I’ll catch up. 🙂