Sunday, August 28, 2016

When the Music's Over

When the Music's Over
Peter Robinson
William Morrow
Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-06-239478-1
$ 25.99
421 pages

'When the music's over, it's time to have some fun.'
For Detective Superintendent Banks, his new promotion is overwhelming.   He is in charge of the Danny Caxton case. 
Danny Caxton is now an elderly, retired celebrity who now faces accusations of rape from fifty-years-ago.   Obviously, there is little evidence so till available from that time and fewer witnesses.
One victim, Linda Palmer has come forward.  She has lived a fruitful and well-adjusted life, working as a poet who vividly remembers the event.  As a young fourteen-year-old with dreams of stardom, this could be her chance to audition and to become a star.   Caxton appealed to her ambition, but the cost was being a victim of sexual abuse.   She was young and inexperienced.   Caxton took advantage of her through his charismatic personality on television.
With the media appeal, Banks realizes that this is a delicate investigation requiring immense patience in building a case to prosecute Caxton.
On a rural road, a young woman is found, dead.   Her body is naked and after being sexual with three different partners, and possibly thrown from a vehicle and then beaten and killed later.   Who is she?   Why has no one identified her after days of her discovery?
These two cases consume Banks and those investigators working with him.
When the Music's Over is a realistic investigation involving many of the problems of today such as poverty, immigration, prejudice, racism, ignorance, and drug abuse.  With no easy solutions, these problems frequently spill over into the criminal world.
The characters are well-developed in this tightly-written mystery.  The pacing is superb running parallel to the revelations throughout the investigation.
Author Peter Robinson resides in both Toronto and England while writing his twenty-three Inspector Banks novels winning numerous international awards and honors including the Edgar Award, the CWA Dagger in the Library Award.
When the Music's Over is for an adult audience.  The book has descriptive events and tragedies not appropriate for children.  These are events that are natural in the life of a law enforcement officer.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Lone Wolf

Lone Wolf
Book Two of The Oldenglen Chronicles
Robin Mason
Tricklewood Press
Brooklin, Ontario
ISBN: 978-0994837127
Trade Paperback
$ 13.99
348 pages

"Hunted.  That was the sensation: the feeling of being hunted.  Hunted down. Terror gripped his wolven side.  But even the part of him that was human felt the loss of freedom.  He felt suffocated."
For Jackson, being a new student entering the seventh-grade at Bear Creek Valley Middle School in Ashland, Oregon is challenging.  Even though English is the common language between the U.S. and England, he feels like an alien in this different land in the foothills of the mountains.
His summer w as an adjustment learning to live with the wildlife in their remote home away from the small town.  The magic of nature and this particular place developed into a friendship with the granddaughter of his nearest neighbor and landlord.
Making friends is always a little awkward for Jax.   He is comfortable with animals, but teenagers can be a challenge for anyone. 
Noah observes Jax holding a wren on his finger in the middle of a group of girls.  He states that he is saving the girls and throws the wren against a  window.
Jax immediately verbally attacks Noah revealing a part of him that needs to stay hidden.  Noah is much bigger and older.
Miraculously, after Jax holds the injured bird, it can fly away.  Jax feels relieved.  Noah, angry, calling Jax, a Freak.  Is Noah jealous of Jax's attention from the girls or did he see something that scared him?
Noah wants revenge.  For what, saving a bird?  Making him look bad in front of a bunch of girls?
Noah also is good friends with three other boys who like to bully other students.  Four against one are not great odds for Jax.
For tweens, having thirty-one chapters is perfect for young readers.  Also unique about this series is that the books are boy-oriented.  Most literature for this age-group is girl-based.
Lone Wolf is an excellent fantasy adventure for eight to twelve-year-olds.   The story is appropriate for tweens with issues of bullying and an overlying theme of friendship.  Learning the value of being one with nature and preserving the wildlife and their habitats is also a major component throughout this series.
While recommended for young readers,  Lone Wolf has lessons for everyone of all ages.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Asssault with a Deadly Lie

Assault with a Deadly Lie
A Nick Hoffman Novel of Suspense
Lev Raphael
Terrace Books
University of Wisconsin Press
Madison, Wisconsin
ISBN: 978-0-30230-6
Trade Paperback
$ 26.95
176 pages

"And how much longer would our relationship last with a minefield like that between us?  If was as deadly as the death of a child, which many couples never survive.  Tragedy didn't always unite complex-often it sundered them forever even if they went through the motions and pretended they could go on together."
Nick Hoffman enjoys his life as a professor at SUM, the State University of Michigan in the English department.  His partner, Stefan Borowski also is living his dream as an author.
Their lives change when a SWAT team enters their home, arresting Stefan.  The police are responding to an anonymous tip regarding a hostage.  Armed with a warrant, while Stefan is being arrested and taken to the police station, Nick is handcuffed.
Fortunately, a neighbor happens to be passing by who is a criminal attorney.  Is this a helpful kind acquaintance, an ambulance chaser, an opportunist, or does she is behind this attack?   The lawyer is dressed well for the middle of the night.
Nick and Stefan have no idea why this is happening as they are not criminals or engage in unlawful activities.
The realism of being accused of a crime and the fall-out is, unfortunately, authentic.  Just suspicion can cause others to believe inaccurately of your guilt, including employers who often search for a reason to terminate people.
The author, Lev Raphael have written twenty-four novels in various genres while currently teaching creative writing at Michigan State University.  Apparently, he chooses his plots based on his setting and experiences.
Theses characters are realistic, flawed and up-to-date with American society being that the two men are partners.   The intended audience is for adult readers due to the police activities.   Similar events mentioned in this book have been part of our modern culture.
The book is from Nick's perception almost daily journaling the attack on their house and their reputations.  From the feeling of paranoia to wanting to purchase a gun and learn how to use it while still curious about who and why this is happening are all relevant to both the story and living in a post 9/11 world.
What is unusual about Assault with a Deadly Lie is how it reveals how these attacks can harm relationships which are usually solid.  Tragedies frequently break families apart as each person must individually process the accusation and resolution within themselves.
Assault with a Deadly Lie is a glimpse of many people's lives who are unjustifiably blamed or attacked.  
Personally, I loved reading this gem and am delighted to experience these feelings only through this book.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Linda Howard
William Morrow
Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-241897-5
$ 26.99
384 page

"On a very basic level, fighting was what he knew, what he was, so he fought everything."
Morgan Yancy lives a life filled with adrenalin.  He is a specially trained political operative sent throughout the world on undercover missions rescuing American citizens in dangerous situations.
Finally, he has some downtime and is looking forward to taking his boat, Shark, out onto the Potomac River for a relaxing fishing trip in the Chesapeake Bay, just down time from having a stressful job.
What Morgan didn't expect was to be attacked as he arrived back at his home later that evening.  He saw a flash and a sledgehammer hitting his chest.   Who?  Why?   He had no clue.
The next thing he remembers is waking up in a hospital and being in intense pain.  So much, that his entire body is exhausted, and he sleeps.
He is surprised to awaken to find his boss, Axel MacNamara in his room.  He explained that a member of the Russian mob had shot him and that Morgan had killed him.  Why?  Who hired him?
Strangely, the GO-Team files have been hacked since the attempted murder of Morgan.  He has given this agency his life.
Axel moved Morgan for his safety.  With the files hacked and the attack, where can Morgan heal without the protection of a prison system?
Fortunately, Axel has an estranged step-sister who is in law enforcement.  She also lives in a small isolated town in West Virginia.  No one would easily find him here.  He needs time to heal and regain his strength.  
The race now begins.  Will he recover?  Will he be killed?  Which will happen?
Isabeau Maran is the chief of police for Hamrickville, West Virginia.  Bo has two part-time jobs and is also a technical writer with a demanding dog, Tricks.
Hamrickville is quiet town but does have its share of marital disputes needing law enforcement to keep the peace.  Bo does the paperwork required by law while the other officers handle the town's disruptions.
So what happens when Morgan stays with Bo and Tricks?
The author, Linda Howard has written numerous award-winning and best-selling novels.  She resides in Gadsden, Alabama.
Troublemaker has well-developed characters in a small town with its townsfolk possessing unique but caring idiosyncrasies that make you want to know these people.   Between the residents of Hamrickville and the dog, Troublemaker combines humor into an intriguing romantic thriller.