Archive for the 'Suspense' Category

Colleen Coble’s – The Inn at Ocean’s Edge

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

the inn at ocean's edge

About the book:  A vacation to Sunset Cove was her way of celebrating and thanking her parents. After all, Claire Dellamore’s childhood was like a fairytale. But with the help of Luke Elwell, Claire discovers that fairytale was really an elaborate lie . . .

The minute she steps inside the grand Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Claire Dellamare knows something terrible happened there. She feels it in her bones. Her ensuing panic attack causes a scene, upsetting her parents. Claire attempts to quiet her nerves with a walk on the beach, to no avail. She’s at too great a distance to make out details, but she believes she witnesses a murder on a nearby cliff. When local police find no evidence of foul play, they quickly write off the “nervous” woman’s testimony as less than credible.

But Luke Elwell, home on leave from the Coast Guard, has reason to believe Claire. Years ago when his mother went missing, Luke’s father suspected she’d been murdered. He died never having convinced the police to investigate. So when an employee of the grand hotel doesn’t show up for work, Luke steps in to help Claire track down the missing woman.

As Claire and Luke put together the pieces of a decades-old mystery, they discover that some family secrets refuse to stay buried. And some passions are worth killing for.

My comments:  Wow! This book kept me reading and reading. Imagine waking up one day to find out that your entire life was a lie! Not only that – but that you had close relatives you knew nothing about! Then to find out nobody believes you, in fact others think you may be a murderer. I can’t even begin to imagine. I also can’t imagine those closest to me lying about everything. This book was a quick, on the edge-of-your seat read. The setting sounds gorgeous in an eerie kind of way. The characters are believable, and there are many twists and turns. I had a little trouble following the change in characters though – the switch off seemed somewhat awkward, but this may be because it was an advance reader’s copy.

Colleen Coble is one of my favorite Christian fiction authors. I have loved everything she has written and read them all. This book won’t be published until April, but it’s definitely worth looking into.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

Cover Your Eyes by Mary Burton

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

cover your eyes

About the book:

Don’t Look
At first, they struggle to escape. Then a torrent of blows rains down upon their bodies until their eyes cloud over in final agony. The killer shows no remorse–just a twisted need to witness each victim’s last terrified moments.

Don’t Speak

Public defender Rachel Wainwright is struggling to reopen a decades-old case, convinced that the wrong man is in prison. Homicide detective Deke Morgan doesn’t want to agree. But if Rachel’s hunch is correct, whoever fatally bludgeoned young, beautiful Annie Dawson thirty years ago could be the source of a new string of brutal slayings.

Just Prepare To Die

Rachel’s investigation is about to reveal answers–but at a price she never thought to pay. Now she’s become the target of a rage honed by years of jealousy and madness. And a murderer is ready to show her just how vicious the truth can be. . .

My Comments: Great book – but not as squeaky clean as books I usually review, so just a warning on that.  The story was engaging and thought provoking. There were a few surprising twists and turns, which kept me riveted and coming back for more. Rachel Wainwright, the main character  is driven to help people even past her comfort level. She teams up with an interesting (and integral to the story) family of cops. – actually getting more involved than she wants with them.

The story takes place really over 30 years, so there are many layers. There are a couple of sexual scenes – more explicit than I prefer, so I just skim through those.  Mary Burton is one of my favorite authors in the suspense book genre. If you are in the mood for a good, suspenseful read – this might be it!

Plain Killing – Emma Miller

Thursday, November 27th, 2014


plain killing

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  I have a special giveaway gift for you!! The publisher has given me some Advanced Copies of Plain Killing –

a great mix of Amish fiction and cozy mystery! I have two copies to give away this Thanksgiving weekend. If you are interested in a copy of this book, fill out the form below. The contest will run until Sunday evening about 6 PM PST and I will choose TWO winners via

I haven’t even finished this book yet, but I love it so far. Here is a short synopsis:
When the Amish community of Stone Mill, Pennsylvania, refuses to discuss a murder with the police, it’s up to Rachel Mast to bridge the cultural gap and stop a killer from striking again. . .
While swimming in a local quarry, Rachel and her cousin Mary Aaron discover the body of an Amish girl, fully clothed in her white bonnet, floating face down in the water. The drowned young woman, Beth Glick, had left Stone Mill and her Old Order Amish life a year ago, causing her to be shunned by her family and her people.

But if Beth had joined the English world, why was she found dressed in Amish clothing and strangled? Rachel’s boyfriend, police detective Evan Park, is getting nowhere with questioning Beth’s family. He’s also troubled over the fate of three other Amish girls who left Stone Mill in the last two years. As someone who gave up the Plain lifestyle herself then returned to operate a B&B, Rachel is able to use her ties to the community to learn more about the missing girls. But when her search eventually leads to the dark underbelly of the secular world, Rachel finds her own life in dire jeopardy. . .

Medical Suspense – Critical Condition by Richard Mabry

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

critical condition

Dr. Frasier couldn’t save the gunshot victim on her front lawn. Now she’s fighting for her own life.

It began as a quiet dinner party honoring Dr. Shannon Frasier’s colleague, but became a nightmare when a man was shot on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar episode a decade ago. Then a midnight call from her sister, Megan, causes Shannon to fear that her sister is on drugs again.

Her “almost-fiancé” Dr. Mark Gilbert’s support only adds to Shannon’s feelings of guilt, since she can’t bring herself to fully commit to him. She turns for help to her pastor-father, only to learn that he’s just been diagnosed with leukemia.

Shannon thought it couldn’t get any worse. Then the late-night, threatening phone calls begin, the rough voice asking, “What did he say before he died?”

With everything around her in a critical state, simply staying alive will require all the resources and focus Shannon has.

My Comments:  I love books that combine suspense and medical information. Not only does this book have that, but the main characters are preacher’s daughters, which hits close to my home and heart. There are a few interesting twists and turns. I was led to believe someone was involved in the crime who wasn’t. I like that. I don’t want to be able to clearly figure it out. I do like having options which this story provides. I read this book in about two days while on vacation. It was hard to put down. I felt vicariously involved in Shannon’s faith journey. I felt it real to life that she was struggling, and her boyfriend who wasn’t raised “in the faith” had a strong, vibrant faith. I have read all of the books written so far by Richard Mabry and I will continue reading as long as he keeps writing! 

I received a free e-copy of this book from BookLook and the Publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

A Deadly Business – by Lis Wiehl and April Henry

Friday, June 27th, 2014

A Deadly Business

Mia Quinn is a Seattle prosecutor working on high profile cases in the Violent Crimes unit while juggling the impossible demands of single parenthood. Her husband, Scott, was killed in a car crash that homicide detective Charlie Carlson now believes was no accident. Charlie’s instincts and professional record make it impossible for Mia to refute the evidence she’d rather not believe.

When the powers that be refuse to reopen the case, it’s up to Mia and Charlie to investigate, all the while trying to deny a growing attraction between them. Was her accountant husband really in league with nefarious criminals? And who is the young woman whose photo they find on his computer?

Uncovering the truth may hurt Mia in more ways than one.

My Comments: Wow, talk about juggling. Mia Quinn is a busy attorney involved in a high-profile case, and a single mom of a young child. This is a great series – suspenseful, exciting, and a page-turner. It is a clean suspenseful novel. Two stories beg to be solved – one Mia may not appreciate the solution to.

Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

seagrass pier

Seagrass Pier is the perfect place for Elin to hide from a killer, but an old love’s ability to see her true heart could be her undoing. When Elin Summerall contracted a virus that damaged her heart, she was lucky to get a transplant. At first it was an overwhelmingly good gift. But then she began to remember a murder she never witnessed—the murder of her heart’s donor. When she reveals what she knows to a disbelieving police officer, she’s exposed as a witness and must flee for her life to a remote cottage on Hope Beach. Fearing what might happen to her daughter and mother, she asks Marc Everton for help, though she hasn’t seen him since the night her father died. She remembers that night with shame, and she never told Marc about their daughter. Marc is less than convinced that Elin’s “memories” are real. He is blindsided by the news about his daughter, but for her sake, he agrees to help. Then he begins to notice the small ways Elin is different. She now likes coffee, her musical tastes have changed, and she’s ditched her jeans and sneakers for dresses and high heels. As Elin tries to stay alive and bring the killer to justice, she begins to doubt her own identity. Did her new heart save her life only to cause her to lose herself? And if she’s really changed, why does her new heart love Marc just as much as her old one did?

My Comments: This was an interesting and engaging read, although I find some of it kind of weird. What is cell memory and is it real? I found that part of the book kind of weird, but it definitely added to the story. I love the characters, especially Marc and his parents. They seem like people I would know. The story kept me with it. I read it while traveling. I usually enjoy Colleen Coble’s books. The setting is awesome, the characters interesting, the story fast paced and interesting. The story is faith-based but not overwhelmingly so. Great summer read!

I received a free c-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Audiobook) by Mary Higgins Clark

Friday, June 13th, 2014


When Laurie Moran’s husband was brutally murdered, only three-year-old Timmy saw the face of his father’s killer. Five years later his piercing blue eyes still haunt Timmy’s dreams. Laurie is haunted by more—the killer’s threat to her son as he fled the scene: “Tell your mother she’s next, then it’s your turn . . .”

Now Laurie is dealing with murder again, this time as the producer of a true-crime, cold-case television show. The series will launch with the twenty-year-old unsolved murder of Betsy Powell. Betsy, a socialite, was found suffocated in her bed after a gala celebrating the graduation of her daughter and three friends. The sensational murder was news nationwide. Reopening the case in its lavish setting and with the cooperation of the surviving guests that night, Laurie is sure to have a hit on her hands. But when the estranged friends begin filming, it becomes clear each is hiding secrets . . . small and large.

And a pair of blue eyes is watching events unfold, too . . .

My Comments: This book was a little too involved for me to listen to once and get it all, so I’m on my second time through. Also it was hard listening to in bits and pieces. The narrator is Jan Maxwell and she does a great job, reading, changing voices, tempos, etc. It has all the modern interests such as reality television, murder, mystery and intrigue, as well as interesting characters. The version I had was unabridged, so somewhat long (7 CDs).  The running time is 7.5 hours.  This would be a great story to listen to with a long commute or on a road trip, thereby keeping the continuity of the story. Mary Higgins Clark is one of my favorite authors and I was very excited to read this book via CD.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.


Terri Blackstock’s Distortion

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014


Juliet Cole’s life has been dismantled by the murder of her husband. She doesn’t know who—or what—to trust when everything she has believed to be true about her marriage has been a lie. When Juliet Cole’s husband of fifteen years is gunned down in a dark parking lot before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning. When she’s finally allowed to return home to break the news to her boys, she hears a voicemail that takes the situation from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack. “Mrs. Cole, we know you have access to the supply and the money. If you don’t turn fifty million over to us and give us the codes, then you’ll be burying more family members.”


Suddenly, Juliet realizes that she and her children could be in danger. She teams up with her sisters and PI Michael Hogan to dig into the sham Bob has been living for years. The more she learns, the worse the betrayal. A drug trafficking history, a fortune in cash, and a secret family all emerge to turn Juliet’s belief system on its head, and threaten the things she loves. Are she and her sisters skilled enough as sleuths to get to the truth?

My Comments:  I read this book in just a couple of days.  I was engaged throughout.  Distortion is the second book in a new series by Terri Blackstock entitled Moonlighters Series and this book continues somewhat where the first book, Truth-Stained Lies left off.  I can’t even imagine finding out my husband life was a lie.  I also can’t imagine being a PI.  This book takes me to a world I know little about, but it is fascinating.  This poor family has been through it.  Two murders in just a year or two. It seemed to all begin when they found out their pastor-father had an affair and left the church.  I would love to hear some of the back story, since my husband is a pastor and my kids grew up in a pastor’s home.  Please bring us more Terri.  I love your books.

I received this book free in exchange for my honest review from Zondervan Pubishing and NetGalley.  This is my honest review a 4.5 star book.

Final Witness by James Scott Bell

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014


final witness

A cold-blooded killer is destroying all who oppose him. Will there be a final witness to the truth?

Young, idealistic law clerk Rachel Ybarra has just been handed a career-making opportunity––helping in the prosecution of an infamous leader of the Russian Mafia. But when the star witness turns up dead, Rachel discovers the case is not merely a battle for the truth––it’s a battle for her life.

My Comments:  I have read several books by James Scott Bell and they never disappoint.  This book was no exception.  The book grabs you in in the first chapter.  Who couldn’t relate to Rachel Ybarra?  A sweet law student who lost her mother at a rather young age and whose father is wallowing in grief from both losing his wife and his son.  She is taken care of by a sweet grandmother Abi.  Rachel gets a huge change to work on a case involving the Russian Mafia.  We go through all types of twists and turns with her – many very suspenseful.
One thing I love about this book is the Christian message woven throughout very naturally.  Rachel is a believer and not ashamed of her faith.  Rachel’s faith and the message is naturally woven throughout the book – a true to life person with a real faith.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy suspense and legal thrillers that are clean and engaging!  I received a free e-copy of this book from Story Cartel in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

Richard Mabry’s Latest Mystery – HEART FAILURE

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

heart failure

When her fiancé’s dangerous secretsturn her work upside down, a beautiful doctor must choose between her ownsafety and the man she loves—and thought she knew.

Dr. Carrie Markham’s heart was brokenby the death of her husband two years ago. Now, just as her medical practice istaking off, her fresh engagement to paralegal Adam Davidson seems almost toogood to be true . . . until a drive-by shooting leaves Carrie on the floor ofhis car with glass falling around her.

When he confesses that Adam isn’t hisreal name and that he fled the witness protection program, Carrie is left withan impossible choice: should she abandon the fiancé she isn’t sure she reallyknows, or accept his claim of innocence and helphim fight back against this faceless menace?

While Carrie struggles to decidewhether to follow her heart or her head, the threats against them continue toescalate. Her life—as well as Adam’s—depends on making the right choice . . .and the clock is ticking.

My Comments:  Heart Failure, as well as other books by Richard Mabry continue to be page turners!  I love his writing.  While not completely medical mysteries – other factors come into play – the stories are completely engaging.  I usually don’t like a male writer writing from a women’s perspective, but Mabry does ok with this.  I read  in his acknowledgments that his wife is his biggest critic, so maybe that is why.  This book is fast-paced, produces nail-biting, and fun to read throughout ..  I love a great escape, something completely foreign to my own real life, and this book was definitely that!  Elements of the story included suspense, mystery, romance, relationships, and traces of medical and legal thriller.  I recommend this book as well as Richard Mabry as author!

I received this book from Thomas Nelson publishing in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.