Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge is a British suspense/thriller novel. It is the first book in DI Helen Grace Thriller series. DI Helen Grace is youngest female to be promoted to Detective Inspector in her department. She is a submissive in a paid S&M arrangement, which adds vulnerability to her uptight personality. This aspect of her personality was difficult to reconcile until you learn more about her rough childhood.
Detective Inspector Helen Grace is faced with solving a series of kidnapping/abduction murders. Amy Anderson and Sam Fisher were kidnapped then held hostage. Their kidnappers drop them into a remote area and their chances of escape are dim. The kidnappers only give them a cell phone and a gun. Their only option for survival is if one of them dies. DI Helen Grace isn’t convinced this is a plausible story until two other people are kidnapped in a similar way.
Eeny Meeny keeps you riveted until the end. There is violence, sex, and foul language and the book will keep you guessing with all of the twists and turns. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series. Highly recommended for fans of Brit thrillers and suspense novels.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
RATING: 5 STARS
If you’re a fan of pulp noir fiction, you’ll love this thriller. Set in modern London, Kiss Me When I’m Dead is a detective novel narrated by the main protagonist, Daniel Beckett. He’s a womanizing, witty private detective with an air of mystery and street savvy that hints to a darker, immoral past. The narration is written in a stream of consciousness style, similar to Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled detective fiction. In between searching for clues, he hooks up with many dangerous women. The continuous action captivated me to read “just one more chapter”…. yet I read it beyond the next chapter, until the end. There are some (non-gratuitous) sex scenes throughout the book, but it was presented in a tasteful manner
This tightly written, suspenseful novel with sharp dialogue and an unexpected ending is highly recommended for lovers of pulp fiction detective stories.
Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates Published by The Mysterious Press on May 4, 2015
RATING: 5 STARS
Andrew J. Rush, “The Gentleman’s Stephen King”, a successful thriller author, secretly writes pulp detective novels, under the pseudonym, Jack of Spades. The writing of Jack and Andrew Rush are polar opposites. Jack’s books are violent pulp reads, while Andrew is fawned over as the “Gentlemen’s Stephen King.” Not only does he use Jack of Spades to hide from the public, he also hides this secret from his wife and children.
Initially, Jack works to Andrew’s advantage, protecting his public image by providing a healthy outlet, until he’s accused of plagiarizing a woman’s work in progress. This crack in Andrew’s persona reveals his much darker side – the Jack of Spades side – who hijacks his personality, revealing long held resentments, guilt, and very dark secrets.
At first, Andrew understands his contrary thoughts and is able to make good decisions. As time goes on, he questions his thoughts. This leaves the reader to ask – Is the creation of Jack a part of the author’s mad genius or has he lost his mind?
I really enjoyed this short, fast paced psychological thriller. Oates’s tight, focused writing kept me guessing as to what was going to happen around each corner. Highly recommended for those who enjoy psychological thriller or horror stories.
The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose Published by Atria Books
RATING: 4 STARS
In her signature lush prose, M.J. Rose paints an intriguing gothic tale set during the 1890s Belle Époque Paris. Sandrine Salome, fleeing from her dangerous husband in New York, seeks refuge in her grandmother’s grand mansion in hopes of creating a new life for herself. Upon arrival, she discovers her (courtesan) grandmother’s mansion is boarded up. When questioned, her grandmother’s evasive answer piques Sandrine’s curiosity to discover her secrets. Along with a charming young architect, she begins to explore the forbidden and dangerous night world of Paris.
Sandrine becomes fascinated with the Maison de la Lune, a mansion which has been in the Verlaine family for centuries. As Sandrine becomes more involved in the secrets surrounding Maison de la Lune, she becomes prey to the life draining force of La Lune, a long-suffering ancestor of the Verlaine family.
M.J. Rose captures Sandrine’s sadness and obsessive desire to find her own identity. The Witch of Painted Sorrows blends a haunted Parisian mansion, a 16th century courtesan, and witchcraft, giving the reader a thrilling ride to the end. I’m looking forward to M.J. Rose’s second installment of The Daughters of La Lune.
A copy of the book was provided to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Published July 2, 2012 , Oceanview Publishing.
Vanished In The Dunes by Allan Retzky is a mystery set in the Hamptons, about a married man with a weak marriage who becomes involved with another woman. The plot is predictable and contrived. I didn’t feel an emotional connection to any of the characters, who seemed two-dimensional. The male protagonist makes decisions that aren’t plausible.
I’d recommend this book for light summer reading.
RATING: 3 out of 5 stars.
SYLO is a YA Sci-Fi mystery that takes place on an island off the coast of Maine. It’s a plot driven story, which is plausible, entertaining and intriguing, with a surprise ending. Survival, courage and discovery are the main themes of the story. The novel starts off at a fast pace and tension is progressively ramped up throughout the story. Yet the excitement tapers off in the last few chapters, as the dialogue didn’t seem to move the story forward. Tucker, the male protagonist, is your average teenager living the peaceful island life. We experience the mystery and chaos surrounding the island through his point of view. The main characters are likeable, but I didn’t become emotionally attached to the them. Tori, one of the main secondary characters, is well fleshed out. I’d categorize this as a typical boy’s book – plenty of explosions, unexplained aircrafts, deaths and warships to keep a boy intrigued for hours.
RATING: 4.5 STARS
I received an advanced copy from the publisher for review.