Book Review: A Twist of Hate by: V.R. Barkowski


Publisher: Five Star (ME)

Publication Date: June 17, 2015 

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: When his family’s priceless Cézanne disappears from a local museum, security consultant Del Miller leaves the investigation to the FBI. But that’s before an art dealer alleges that Del’s grandfather, a victim of the Nazi death camps, stole the masterpiece from a Paris gallery seventy years before. After the dealer is found dead, and Del's father is implicated, Del sets out to uncover the truth.

From present-day San Francisco to war-torn France, to the Nazi death camps and betrayal, A TWIST OF HATE is a story of family honor. One man's quest for answers about the grandfather he never knew, the father he idolizes, and the secrets behind a missing painting that lay buried deep within his family's past.

Review: A TWIST OF HATE is a beautiful written story which shows how important history is and how much of an impact it can still have in the modern day. Del Miller’s father was smuggled out of Nazi occupied France and into safety in the United States. The only things Samuel Miller has left of his father are some letters and a priceless Cézanne painting, currently on display at a local museum. Now the painting is missing and bodies are falling in the wake of the disappearance. A TWIST OF HATE shows how one man’s bitterness and hatred can destroy several generations of a family. The characters are well-developed and the way the author evoked the emotions of tragic historical events was astounding. People who enjoy art, mystery, and history will definitely enjoy A TWIST OF HATE.

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Book Review: The Time Slip Girl by: Elizabeth Andre


Publisher: Smashwords Edition

Publication Date: May 19, 2015

Origins:  From Publicist for Review

Synopsis: What if the woman you loved was more than a century away? Dara, a computer programmer from Chicago, is visiting London when she opens a door in an Edwardian house and slips into Edwardian England. Agnes, a beautiful London shop girl, takes in the bewildered 21st century American lesbian, but, as Dara begins to accept that she is stuck in 1908, she also begins to accept that she has feelings for Agnes that go beyond gratitude. And the longer Dara stays, the harder Agnes finds it to hide her growing love for the accidental time traveller from the future. Will they overcome grief and prejudice to acknowledge their true feelings for one another? Or will Dara be snatched back to the 21st century before they can express their love?

Review: THE TIME SLIP GIRL is a beautifully written story of discovering new love in an unconventional way. Dara Gillard is a smart, attractive, and talented woman from 2014 who is visiting London with her brother as a way of honoring her dead fiancée, Jenny. Dara is on a tour when she falls through a time slip to 1908 Edwardian London. She meets Agnes Cartwright, who lives in the house Dara was touring in 2014, along with Mrs. Newton and her children. While Dara is trying to find her way through her new life in 1908, she’s also fighting her feelings for Agnes. However, during all this Dara is unaware Agnes feels the same way about her. The setting is very realistic, the characters are dynamic, and the emotions are rich – I was truly transported. I enjoyed the fact the sex scenes were tasteful and not overly graphic which, to me, fit the tone of the novel perfectly. THE TIME SLIP GIRL is a wonderful novel which I definitely recommend!

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Book Review: Blood Ties by: Nicholas Guild


Publisher: Forge Books

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: Homicide detective Ellen Ridley of the SFPD is tracking a serial killer terrorizing young women in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ridley is sure she's cornered her most likely suspect: Stephen Tregear, a hacker and code breaker who works for U.S. Naval Intelligence. But Tregear is not the killer... he's the killer's son.

Ridley and Tregear team up to look for Tregear's father, Walter, in an elaborate game of murderous cat and mouse. As the body count rises, Ridley must race against the clock to stop Walter before he kills any more women--and Tregear must finally confront the father who has been trying to kill him for twenty years.

Review: BLOOD TIES is an intriguing and captivating novel of a serial killer and his son. SFPD detectives Ellen Ridley and Sam Tyler have caught the case of multiple murders pointing to a serial killer. Ridley comes up with a viable suspect, Stephen Tregear; however, he turns out to know the killer intimately because it is his father, Walter. Now it’s a matter of time before the confrontation between father, son, and the SFPD comes to a head. BLOOD TIES is an amazingly complex and engaging thriller. I didn’t mind the fact that the reader finds out who the killer is early on as it only adds to the suspense. BLOOD TIES is well-written with intricate characters who come to life due to excellent development by the author. The pace story didn’t feel hurried in anyway, but it also wasn’t plodding and slow. BLOOD TIES will definitely keep readers on the edge of their seats and I expect we will see books of only the best caliber from this author.

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Book Review: Nightlife: Hazardous Material by: Matthew Quinn Martin


Publisher: Pocket Star

Publication Date: May 11, 2015

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: In the novella NIGHTLIFE: HAZARDOUS MATERIAL, we get a glimpse of The Division’s origins and aims, when a young man stumbles onto a long-abandoned video arcade—which three decades ago was the site of the largest mass shooting in New York history—and unwittingly uncovers a relic of unimaginable power and mind-altering terror.

Review: In NIGHTLIFE: HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, Jarrod Foster spends his time at a job dismantling spaces and disposing of hazardous materials with his boss Ludwig. On a seemingly ordinary day, Jarrod and Ludwig are dismantling an old abandoned roller rink when Jarrod finds a strange door not on the plans. When they open the door, there are vintage games from the arcade which used to operate in the roller rink. They also discover bullet holes and blood, a lasting testament to the largest mass shooting in New York history. Ludwig carts off the games so he can sell them, except for one which Jarrod keeps – an old arcade cabinet named Polybius. A game he’s never heard of, can find no information on, and is seemingly broken. Until one night, when he pops a quarter in the game, and his life changes forever. NIGHTLIFE: HAZARDOUS MATERIALS takes the strange Portland, Oregon urban legend and gives it new life through Jarrod Foster. For a short story, NIGHTLIFE: HAZARDOUS MATERIALS packs a punch. The characters were great and you could really connect with Jarrod. The horror was subliminal, but very psychologically striking. NIGHTLIFE: HAZARDOUS MATERIALS is a prequel of sorts to NIGHTLIFE, but does not have to be read first. Sometimes urban legends aren’t just legends…

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Book Review: Dry Bones by: Craig Johnson


Publisher: Viking Books

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: Wyoming’s beloved lawman must solve his coldest case yet when a T. Rex skeleton surfaces—along with a dead rancher—in Absaroka County

When the largest, most complete fossil of a Tyrannosaurus Rex is discovered in Absaroka County, it would appear to have nothing to do with Walt. That is, until the Cheyenne rancher who finds her is found face down in a turtle pond. As a number of parties vie for ownership of the priceless remains, including rancher Danny Lone Elk’s family, the Cheyenne tribe, the Deputy Attorney General, and a cadre of FBI men, Walt must recruit undersheriff Victoria Moretti, Henry Standing Bear, and Dog to investigate a sixty-six million year-old cold case that’s starting to heat up fast.

Review: In DRY BONES, Walt Longmire must investigate a new death along with a very cold case. Walt and Victoria (Vic) Moretti find the body of Danny Lone Elk while the largest and most complete fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex has been discovered in Absaroka County on Cheyenne land belonging to the Lone Elk family. There are many individuals and groups vying for the T. Rex skeleton, not the least of which are the Cheyenne tribe, the FBI, and the Deputy State Attorney General. In the meantime, Walt’s daughter Cady and granddaughter Lola are flying out from Philadelphia for a visit. DRY BONES is a robust and well-written novel. I’ve now read only two of the Longmire series books and I’ve enjoyed them both without reading the whole series. The characters are distinctive and formidable, each bringing a different aspect of the story to life. There is both humor and sadness in DRY BONES, making for a story which really hits the heart. I definitely recommend DRY BONES and Walt Longmire!

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