February 21, 2013 § 1 Comment
Sam Holland, Detective Sergeant for Washington D.C.’s metro police is coming back from a rough and highly publicized case closing. In order to restore the public’s faith in her, and her faith in herself she needs things to happen just right in her first case back. When a United States Senator is viciously murdered, Sam gets the case and her chance to prove herself again. Enter Nick Cappuano, blast from Sam’s past and friend and Chief of Staff to the murdered Senator. Nick is willing to do whatever it takes to help the cops find out who murdered his best friend, but at the same time, he’s looking for another shot with Sam. Between several murders, a guy who won’t let her say no, and the pressure to find answers Sam’s got her work cut out for her.
Fatal Affair is the first book in Marie Force’s Fatal series and when I spotted it as a freebie for nook, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a go since I really liked the last book I read by her. Let me just say, that overall, I wasn’t disappointed.
First, the mystery/investigation aspect of the book didn’t disappoint. As a criminal justice major, I’ve had all aspects of criminal investigation and court/law procedure shoved down my throat for the last several years. So when I read any sort of book that involves a police investigation, that knowledge affects how I react to the book. Fatal Affair gets major points from me in the realistic aspect of the investigation. Holland and her partner have to work with people in a variety of mental states, with tons of other things going on (in both work and personal lives), and they have an insane amount of information to sort through and process in a very limited amount of time. Throughout the book, there are tons of different theories thrown out there which really kept me guessing until the end. Even when I was sure I figured it out, I actually hadn’t. It was awesome!
Second is the romance aspect. For the most part, the romance between Sam and Nick was really good. I liked the whole we’re finally seeing each other and getting answers and our second chance idea. The two of them were fairly good together at that. The thing that got me about their relationship though, is it was almost like Nick had to prove himself from time to time. There were a couple instances of ‘I man, you woman’ behavior even though Sam was obviously capable of protecting herself and it really grated on me. Overall though, Sam was badass and Nick was really supportive.
Bottom line, definite win for Fatal Affair and I look forward to continuing the series.
The Fatal Series:
- Fatal Affair
- Fatal Justice
- Fatal Consequences
- Fatal Flaw
- Fatal Deception
- Fatal Mistake (To be released June 2013)
February 7, 2013 § 1 Comment
Life on Earth isn’t what it used to be, and in order to ensure the continuation of human life the colonists of V1, the first permanent off-earth settlement, must rush to find viable solutions to colonizing the rest of the solar system.
Arik Ockley is the star of Gen V, the first generation of humans to be born on Venus. When he wakes up from a three-month coma after a horrible accident he finds that his wife is pregnant. Normally this would be something to be celebrated, but there’s one huge problem. V1 isn’t producing enough Oxygen to sustain a single additional life. This means that Arik must rush to find the answer to artificial photosynthesis, the key to producing more oxygen for this colony. Yet, things are not what they seem and Arik gets caught up in trying to find the answers to what’s really going on in V1 and on the planet in general.
Overall, Containment was actually a really interesting read. Though I still consider myself to be a sci-fi newbie, I think of this book as a pretty awesome hi-tech sci-fi mystery. I read it in a matter of a few hours because I really, really wanted to know what was going to happen. That mystery side of the story kept me absolutely hooked from beginning to end. In addition, the idea of colonizing Venus had me particularly curious, especially since in real life it’s all about finding life on Mars and hardly ever hearing anything about life… elsewhere.
All that being said, I have a couple of bones to pick with Containment. First, parts of the book were a bit slow moving. There are a couple of chapters that talk about the history of space exploration and such. A lot of this was stuff I knew already and I found myself skimming because I wanted to know more about what Arik was going to learn and do next. The other thing that bothered me was the ending. I saw it coming, I really did. I even understand why it ended the way it did. But it still left me with this feeling of… ‘what just happened?!’
On a positive note, Cantrell left it open for a sequel and according to his Twitter there will be one which I’ll be patiently-ish waiting for. ‘Cause, for reals, I need more. I’m not satisfied.
Bottom line, interesting book, but give me a sequel because I need better closure.
June 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
Synopsis from author’s website:its speak of secrets….
Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane’s private enquiry business.
Among the more unlikely clients: Julia’s very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation.
It leads to the exclusive Spirit Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of murder, espionage and blackmail, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.
Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont’s sake—and more—they’ll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets: the kind men kill to keep…the kind that can destroy a fledgling marriage.
From the start, the stories of Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have held me captive. I have, over the course of several books watched the two characters grow and change as individuals and as a couple. Even before The Dark Enquiry the two had weathered so much together, so when the investigation in this book turned out to be tied close to the family, I was intrigued to see how everything would work out – for better, or worse.
There is, in my opinion, a huge plus column backing up The Dark Enquiry. First, there is the fact that we get to learn more about Brisbane’s character, his past, and his heritage. Brisbane easily counts as one of my favorite characters of all time, and learning more about him and the rough life he’s lived always interests me, even if the character isn’t always so happy about his history coming to the forefront. Second, is the involvement of Lady Julia’s brother, Lord Bellmont. Up to this point Bellmont has been pegged as the uptight eldest brother. When it comes out- at least to Brisbane and Lady Julia – that even the super conservative and beyond proper politician he is can make mistakes, well I just plain loved the idea of him being brought down to the same level as the rest of us – the human level.
There are many other pluses as well… Aquinas is back, which makes me very happy. His loyalty to and understanding of the family always adds a bit of… levelheadedness to the story. Plum’s continued participation in Brisbane’s inquiry business is also a source of enjoyment. There is more of Lord March (and his hermit!), Portia, and we see Fleur again! As always the relationship between Morag and Lady Julia is thoroughly entertaining.
In addition to the wonderful characters and the always interesting investigations, The Dark Enquiry is another very emotional story. Again, from beginning to end The Dark Enquiry had me laughing or tearing up, or at parts staring at the screen in disbelief. In fact, towards the end my heart broke for Julia and Brisbane, so much so that it took me a few minutes to gather my bearings and read on. In fact, there seems to be a new pattern with Dark Road to Darjeeling and The Dark Enquiry - that being that these two stories have a much darker feel to them, as well as an intensity that the first three books didn’t have.
The bottom line, The Dark Enquiry is another phenomenal story of the happenings in the lives of the Brisbane’s and their family. This series has been amazing from book one through book five and I will continue to be a loyal follower of the series.
*A digital copy of this book was provided to me from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
June 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have spent the last few months traveling and honeymooning. All is generally going well, that is until Portia and Plum track the two down and share with them a bit of shocking news. Portia has had a letter from Jane who is pregnant, widowed, and sure that her husband was murdered. And so the four pack up and head to India to see Jane… and maybe solve a murder, or two.
Dark Road to Darjeeling, the fourth Lady Julia novel, is a great read – as they all have been. However, this particular novel is set apart by an intensity that the other novels did not possess. While there was the mystery and intrigue, the great writing that keeps me hooked from page one, it’s more than that. One father’s desperation and another’s cruelty lead to acts you don’t want to believe possible. Unexpected deaths, family eccentricities, and the never ending stubbornness of some individuals are all things that kept me turning pages.
I’ll admit to one concern I had going into this book. Being that this is the first of the books where Lady Julia and Brisbane are married, I’ll admit I was a bit worried that their relationship would change with their new status. You know what I mean; the lovey, dovey everything is perrrfect relationship. Well, I should have known better. A huge part of what I love about these books is the constant butting of heads between the two, all the conflict. Believe me when I say, Dark Road to Darjeeling has it’s share of conflict between the couple.
As for that intensity I mentioned earlier, the last third or so of the book is what provides that. I don’t want to give anything away, but I have a few words that will do the job of explaining. There are people who run away, people who die… and a tiger attack.
There is, throughout the book, only one thing that really makes me angry. That thing is what happens to Jane. I just want to ask, WHY?!
All in all, Dark Road to Darjeeling was a great read. Deanna Raybourn has yet to fail to captivate me with her Lady Julia books. There are some great new characters in this book and there are lots of twists and turns that I never expected. I experienced WTF moments, moments of despair, laughter… really my emotions ran the gamut reading this one. Another fantastic read from Deanna Raybourn.
June 9, 2011 § 4 Comments
Nicholas Brisbane has secluded himself in his newly acquired country estate – one that needs a lot of work, and when Lady Julia discovers that he doesn’t want her there she is, of course, determined to go. At this point it’s obvious what follows. Dead bodies, attempts at murder, general March craziness, fun with gypsies, and, of course, a Lady Julia book wouldn’t be a Lady Julia book if she and Brisbane weren’t butting heads.
The third Lady Julia novel, Silent on the Moor has proven to be yet another fantastic read from the pen (or keyboard) of Deanna Raybourn.
Silent on the Moor actually qualifies as my favorite of the first four Lady Julia novels for a few reasons, but the big one – all the answers that are FINALLY, GLORIOUSLY supplied regarding Brisbane. Up to virtually the end of Silent on the Moor, Brisbane has been built up as a half-breed, stubborn, talented man who has survived the unbelievable and made himself out of virtually nothing. As I’ve read, question after question about him has bounced through my mind and all those answers I mentioned make it possible to understand Brisbane on a whole new level. His motivations, why he is the way he is and why he makes the decisions he does – it was truly amazing to finally gain more insight than I was working with. It also endears me to his character all the more.
Another major plus, after 1,000-some-odd pages of tension, of dancing around each other like hormone-riddled teenagers who are fumbling to figure things out – well, let’s just say that part of Lady Julia and Brisbane’s relationship gets nipped in the bud and leave it at that.
If you asked me, I would say that each of these books are something more than just historical fiction, or just a mystery to be solved. Silent on the Moor holds true to that and then some. The history and the mystery do intrigue me. I was completely involved in this from the first to the last page and Raybourn certainly kept me guessing. It is more though, it’s a look at human nature, at how we see, feel, and do.
All that being said, there are two things that bummed me out while reading Silent on the Moor, and that would be the sudden disappearance of Monk and Aquinas who are two of my favorite characters and who are only mentioned in passing throughout the entirety of the book. There’s also the curve ball with Jane towards the end, but I’ll get into that whole situation during my review of book four. All in all, none of this took away from my overall enjoyment of the books, it was just sad to not see them in the same capacity as the first two books. While I’m on the subject of minor characters, can I also just say how much I loved Morag’s constantly increasing dedication to Brisbane?
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia novels are fantastic, and Silent on the Moor is no exception. Still highly recommended.
June 4, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Lady Julia Grey has finally spread her wings after her wake-up call during the investigation into her husbands death. She’s spent some time in Italy with two of her brothers, but after her father gets word that her brother Lysander up and married a random Italian woman he calls the three home to Bellmont Abbey, the family’s huge sanctuary-turned-home. Not wanting to upset their father even more so close to Christmas, Lady Julia, her brother Plum, Lysander and his new wife Violante, and their friend, the Count Fornacci all head back to England to deal with father. But what’s supposed to be a simple meet-the-new-member-of-the-family and Christmas holiday becomes something more when Nicholas Brisbane appears with a fiancée and a body turns up in the old sanctuary. It appears Lady Julia will be getting her hands dirty again solving another murder with Brisbane and maybe the mystery of the man himself.
When I reviewed the first Lady Julia Grey novel, I mentioned that it had me hooked. The second was no different. While I didn’t finish it in one sitting like the first – after all I did start this at 4:30 in the morning – I did read the majority of it and finish in a second sitting later that night, I just couldn’t put it down. All of those pluses from book one (characters, writing, plot) were in book two as well.
While a part of the mystery is that a man was found murdered, a part of it is also the situation with Brisbane and his fiancée. And, let me tell you real quick, I was pissed when he announced he was getting married to someone other than Lady Julia. Of course, as the story unfolds you understand more, but I was still a bit angry at the start.
I found that, while I enjoyed the investigative parts of this book, I was much more attached to the characters and what was happening to each of them personally with this one. It’s hard not to love them all. The relationship between Brisbane and Lady Julia continued to be a constant source of frustration and there was a time or two when I considered throwing the book across the room because of them. By the end of the book, which was almost 1,000 pages of Brisbane and Julia they still weren’t together (much to my dismay) but the rest of the story was amazing, and of course I wanted nothing more than to pick up book three to see what would happen next.
All in all, Silent in the Sanctuary was another superb read. I admit that my attachment to all of the characters continues to grow, especially as the characters themselves grow. These books fit into the ‘Once you start, you don’t want to stop’ category. I absolutely recommend this series.
May 31, 2011 § 2 Comments
When Sir Edward Grey collapses during a house party, the last thing his widow expects to hear is that he was murdered. When Nicholas Brisbane explains to Lady Julia Grey what he believes to be the truth she doesn’t believe it – refuses to believe it.
It’s been almost a year since her husband has passed, and Lady Julia decides to start cleaning out her husbands office. What she finds tucked away in his desk startles her to be sure, for it’s one of the threatening notes that Brisbane told her about nearly a year ago. Needing to know the truth, Lady Julia teams up with Mr. Brisbane in an attempt to find the person who murdered her husband. In doing so, she stumbles into an unknown world of danger and thrills.
So, uh… WOW. It seems, over the last couple of weeks I’ve been seeing the name Deanna Raybourn everywhere I look, so of course I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I’m glad to say that I see it.
Silent in the Grave was addictive, I was glued to the pages. So glued that I read the last sentence of the book, squealed and ran to my bookshelf to start the second… at 4:30 in the morning. Raybourn simply kept me wanting to read.
The investigation into Sir Edward’s death was intriguing. I wanted to know what would happen next. Once I thought I had it all figured it out, Raybourn would toss another curve ball leaving me whirling… and wanting more. Silent in the Grave certainly kept me on my toes.
The characters, specifically Lady Julia and Mr. Brisbane… well, that’s just another reason to read this book. The tension between the two is palpable. Lady Julia, throughout the investigation begins to find reasons to enjoy life instead of living in the haze she inhabited while her husband was alive. Nicholas Brisbane was a bag of jolly’s to get to know. He is mysterious, infuriating, and swoon-worthy all at the same time. Lady Julia’s family, the Marches, are simply fascinating. Really, each and every character in the book is someone I wish I could know in real life.
Silent in the Grave was absolutely fantastic and I highly, highly recommend it for the story, the characters… everything about it. I’ll be continuing and revisiting this series without a doubt.
January 7, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Have you ever been watching television, reading something, or even had something happen to you that makes you think, “Damn, that’s a bad day”? I do this on a daily basis. All while reading Greg Iles’s Third Degree that is what I was thinking. That being said, I couldn’t put the book down. It was fantastic!
Laurel Sheilds wakes up one morning to find out that she is pregnant. This is just after ending an affair that she had been having for a year. While she is reeling from the news, she knows that the show must go on and so she begins to go through the day. Her husband is acting a bit strange, but she thinks nothing of it. She knows he has been stressed about troubles with the IRS at work. Later that morning Laurel isn’t feeling well and returns home. This is when things start going downhill. Something obviously is not right with her husband Warren, and Laurel’s only hope is Danny McDavitt, her former lover and a retired serviceman. And that’s all I’m saying, because I don’t want to give anything away.
Something that I really liked about Third Degree was that the book takes place during a single day. In the span of one day, a man who many had thought of as a stable family and working man shows that there is another side to him. You spend the majority of the book wondering what happened to inspire such a change in one man. At the end though blood is spilled, secrets are revealed, and there is no shortage of shock.
Greg Iles didn’t just write a book that had me at the edge of my seat, he wrote a book that gripped my emotions and had me feeling for everyone, primary and background characters, the ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ alike. I had several moments where I reeled in shock or shook my head in plain disbelief. And then things would just keep moving onto the next big thing. There is no ‘come on… let’s get moving’ with this, while reading Third Degree. The book is a page turner and, if you are like me will keep you up all night until you find out what happens.