Book Review: Deep Extraction

Book Review: Deep Extraction

Deep Extraction by Diann MillsThe second novel in the FBI Task Force Series by DiAnn Mills, Deep Extraction, is a great follow-up to Deadly Encounter.

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional—the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.

Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer—and to each other—the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

While I struggled with the believability of certain aspects of Deadly Encounter, Deep Extraction didn’t leave me with nearly as many questions. In this installment, instead of a civilian working with the FBI to solve a murder, a FBI special agent and a U.S. Marshall deputy work together on a special task force to solve the murder of a mutual friend. While some suspension of disbelief is still required, this is a much more likely scenario. Read more

Book Review: Rescue Me

Book Review: Rescue Me

Rescue Me by Susan May WarrenI’m a fan of contemporary Christian author Susan May Warren and her suspense fiction. Her latest series, Montana Rescue, is set in my beautiful state of Montana (I say “my” state because I love it so…and I did live there for four years in college) and my most favorite of all national parks, Glacier.

Book one, Wild Montana Skies, was definitely worth picking up for a bit of fun and suspense, so I eagerly awaited book two in the series, Rescue Me, which released this past January.

When Deputy Sam Brooks commits to something, nothing can sway him–not just on the job but in his private life. He’s the one who stuck around to take care of his mother after his father’s accidental death. And he’s the one–perhaps the only one–who believes Sierra Rose is the perfect girl for him. Safe, practical, and organized, she’s nothing like her hippie, impulsive, bleeding-heart sister, Willow.

Willow, however, has been in love with Sam Brooks for as long as she can remember. But she wants her sister to have a happy ending. Besides, Willow has other things to focus on–namely, nabbing the job of her dreams. Best thing for her to do is to purge Sam from her heart.

Neither can predict the events that will bring them together in a fight for their lives in the forbidding wilderness of Glacier National Park. Stranded, injured, and with the winter weather closing in, Sam and Willow will have to work together to save a crew of terrified teenagers. As they fight to survive, they might just discover a new hope for love.

As always, Warren is an accomplished writer with a knack for creating suspense and likable characters. And while her Montana Rescue Series isn’t my favorite series of hers, I am enjoying the novels. Read more

Book Review: Your Magnificent Chooser

Book Review: Your Magnificent Chooser

Your Magnificent Chooser by John OrtbergI’m always looking for ways to bring big concepts of faith into our home on Fiona’s level. She so young, figuring out how to explain something like a conscience is really hard. In Your Magnificent Chooser, pastor and author John Ortberg brings the concept of will to a concrete level.

With wonderful illustrations by Robert Dunn, Your Magnificent Chooser shows children how their personal will determines the choices that they make, and — most importantly — the they have control of their chooser! In a world where children are taught that the world revolves around their whims, that they can’t (or don’t have to) control their reactions, Your Magnificent Chooser puts the control of choice back into the child’s hands. Read more

Book Review: Over Maya Dead Body

Book Review: Over Maya Dead Body

Over Maya Dead Body by Sandra OrchardAfter being surprised by Another Day, Another Dali, I was keen to pick up Over Maya Dead Body, the third book in the Serena Jones Mysteries Series by Sandra Orchard.

FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with her family, ready for a bit of R & R and a lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But when a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring interrupts her picture-perfect trip, she’s soon entangled in the investigation.

Propelled into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them a boatload of romantic complications–and even a secret or two?

Similarly to the previous book in the series, it was the characters that stood out to me in Over Maya Dead Body. Read more

Book Review: Murder Is No Accident

Book Review: Murder Is No Accident

Murder is No Accident by A H GabhartMurder Is No Accident by A.H. Gabhart, captured my attention with it’s witty tagline: “If you like your small-town America sweet and quirky—with a dash of sinister—you’ll love going back to Hidden Springs to find out whodunit this time.”

The old Chandler place should be empty. The magnificent Victorian mansion is for sale, even if its aged owner Miss Fonda doesn’t realize it. But when real estate agent Geraldine Harper enters the house on a sunny October day, she’s not alone. Minutes later, there is a body at the bottom of the steep steps leading to the tower room.

Deputy sheriff Michael Keane is called in. At first blush, it looks like the death was a tragic accident, but clues point to foul play. And when a second body is discovered, the race is on to find the culprit . . . before someone else dies.

Overall, Murder is No Accident was a fun jaunt to a small town with all the characters that involves. Coming from a small town myself, there were definitely times I could relate, despite never having investigated a murder. Read more

Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow

Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor TowlesLooking for a good thick book to get me through the darkest of winter, I selected Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow. I was intrigued by the historical Russian setting as I know little of Russia and the tagline got me: “He can’t leave. You won’t want to.”

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Read more

Book Review: Pursued

Book Review: Pursued

Pursued by Lisa HarrisNikki Boyd is back in action in the third installment of The Nikki Boyd Files, Pursued by Lisa Harris.

Nikki Boyd’s flight into Nashville was routine–up until the crash landing at the airport. When the dust settles, Nikki discovers that the woman who had been seated next to her on the plane is missing–and no one will admit she was ever there. Erika Hamilton had been flying to Nashville with an air marshal as a key witness in an upcoming grand jury trial. When she flees from the crash, is she running from trouble or straight into it? Before Nikki can even see her family, she and her team are pulled into a missing persons case where the motives are as unclear as the suspects.

I will readily admit that I sometimes struggle with willing suspension of disbelief, but I do try. Pursued stretched my capability though. One of the major incidents within this novel could be fodder for an entire book, one after another is just too unrealistic. Plane crash? Held hostage? Targeted by a sniper? All in a few days work in Nikki’s life apparently. Read more

Book Review: Conspiracy of Silence

Book Review: Conspiracy of Silence

Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie KendigConspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig piqued my interest with it’s promise of a suspenseful adventure and an intriguing take on modern events.

This Is the Way the World Ends.

Four years after a tragic mission decimated his team, Cole “Tox” Russell has been disavowed by the United States. And that’s fine–he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.

The biggest struggle with this novel is that, although it is the first in a series, the reader comes into it almost expected to be familiar with past happenings in these characters’ lives. I learned later that Kendig released a prequel that it appears covers some of these events, which I think would have made following the story line of Conspiracy of Silence much easier. Read more

Book Review: The Kill Fee

Book Review: The Kill Fee

The Kill Fee by Fiona Veitch SmithI enjoyed reading The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith last January, in part because it was the first novel I cracked open after my daughter’s birth (the name Fiona was coincidence) and in part because the foray into 1920s London was a lot of fun. So I snatched up the opportunity to read Smith’s second installment of the Poppy Denby Investigates series, The Kill Fee.

Poppy’s career is moving along with a permanent “beat” covering arts and entertainment at The Daily Globe. But in true Poppy Denby form, she stumbles into a mystery involving Russian aristocracy, priceless treasures, assassins and more. Will she be able to identify the murderer and find the missing Faberge Egg before anyone else gets hurt?

Poppy remains a likeable, root-for-able heroine. She continues to learn along the road of her adventures. And she may be stumbling through the mysteries that arise, but she has the curiosity of a cat and the loyalty of a best friend. Read more

Book Review: Another Day, Another Dali

Book Review: Another Day, Another Dali

Another Day Another Dali by Sandra OrchardAnother Day, Another Dali surprised me.

The world of art theft can be a deadly game–one that Serena Jones understands all too well.

When FBI Special Agent Serena Jones takes on the case of a forged Dali painting as a favor to her grandmother, she assumes it will be a typical investigation. Hopefully collaring the thief will also mean finally measuring up in her grandmother’s eyes. But the deeper she delves into the forgery and the suspects surrounding it, the less typical it becomes.

The Dali isn’t the only painting that’s fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the possibility of a sophisticated theft ring — one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena’s grandfather. To make matters worse, someone connected to the forgeries seems to be determined to stop Serena’s investigation — no matter the cost.

Another Day, Another Dali gives the plucky Serena Jones–and readers–a new high-stakes case to crack. You won’t want to miss a single brushstroke!

Never having read anything by Sandra Orchard, I didn’t fully know what to expect with this novel. Read more