Genre: Detective

Book Review – Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) by Tami Hoag

December 21, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) by Tami HoagDeeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag
Series: Oak Knoll #1
Published by Dutton Adult on December 29th 2009
Pages: 421
Genres: Detective, Mystery-Contemporary, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Down the Darkest Road

three-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling author joins the Dutton list with the thriller her millions of fans have been awaiting for two years.

Tami Hoag is in a class by herself, beloved by readers and critic s alike, with more than 22 million copies of her books in print.
California, 1984. Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn't yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer's escalating activity.

Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He's using a new technique-profiling-to develop a theory of the case, a strategy that pushes him ever deeper into the lives of the three children, and closer to the young teacher whose interest in recent events becomes as intense as his own.

As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves-or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath.

The body of a woman with her eyes and mouth glued shut are discovered in the woods by three school children on their way home from school. Discovering the woman’s body is only the beginning of how they become entangled in this mystery in a small town.

This was my first Tami Hoag book. I’ve been seeing her books everywhere for years and have been meaning to get around to it. My coworker actually brought me her copy from home and let me borrow it so it gave me the extra shove I needed to finally get on it.

One thing to note about ‘Deeper than the Dead’ is that it’s set in 1985. I must have glanced over these previous information, if it had been mentioned earlier, but not until I read a part where they were talking about an individual having a car phone and calling it an extravagant toy.

”But I doubt he and his cronies are playing cards in his car, and why would he lug that phone into his card game with him? You have to carry the damn things around in a suitcase.”

I need to get me one of those.

What I found most interesting about this murder mystery is the fact that there were three very prominent suspects that were regular members of society. I find that typical serial killer novels I’ve read are always lurking in the background and aren’t out standing in the spot light. I first liked that there were SO many suspects so that it wasn’t quite so obvious, but as the story progressed not only did I know exactly who it was but the intense focus that was placed on the other ‘suspects’ made it seem cheesy and a bit annoying after a while. I’m big on the murder mysteries but this one definitely wasn’t my favorite. I’ve got more of Tami Hoag’s books that I’ll be diving into in the future, I just hope that she spices things up a bit more.

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Book Review – Bonnie (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #3) by Iris Johansen

October 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 6 Comments

Book Review – Bonnie (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #3) by Iris JohansenBonnie by Iris Johansen
Series: ,
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 18th 2011
Pages: 373
Genres: Contemporary, Detective, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Quinn

one-star

The truth has eluded her for years. . . . Now is she ready to face it?

When Eve Duncan gave birth to her daughter, she experienced a love she never knew existed. Nothing would stand in the way of giving Bonnie a wonderful life---until the unthinkable happened and the seven-year-old vanished into thin air. Eve found herself in the throes of a nightmare from which there was no escape. But a new Eve emerged: a woman who would use her remarkable talent as a forensic sculptor to help others find closure in the face of tragedy. Now with the help of her beloved Joe Quinn and CIA agent Catherine Ling, Eve has come closer than ever to the truth. But the deeper she digs, the more she realizes that Bonnie’s father is a key player in solving this monstrous puzzle. And that Bonnie’s disappearance was not as random as everyone had always believed . . .

The Eve, Quinn and Bonnie Series

This is the series that I have read the longest, at least a decade. I read all 11 of her Eve Duncan series and when the author announced that she’d be making a final trilogy to fully resolve everything, well, I was ecstatic. The Eve Duncan series chronicles a mother losing her child and never having the closure she needed, never knowing what happened to her, her daughter Bonnie simply disappeared off the face of the Earth. This kick started her career in forensic sculpting and she began helping other families who had lost children bring them home finally. So, this is essentially the conclusion to a 14 book series that I’ve read from the very beginning and loved. I had a lot riding on Iris Johansen being able to pull this off in making it feel the series came full circle and I wasn’t left with any nagging questions. I’m thinking I set the bar too high.

The writing seemed a bit too literal, especially since it’s such a long term series it seemed as if she was writing so that someone could jump into the series at any point and completely understand what was going on. I think people need to just read from the beginning so the author isn’t making statements like this:

”You’ve been trained in police sketching as part of your training, Eve.”

No shit? Trained as part of her training? Redundant much?

Bottom line, the constant repeating of everything that was gone over millions of times already was irritating. And I swear, the last 50 pages from the previous book were pasted at the beginning of this one. I appreciate the refresher but seriously?

The Ending

This is going to be one ginormous spoiler but I HAVE to say it. So if you haven’t read this book yet and still have intentions of doing so? Don’t click the spoiler button.

…I warned you

View Spoiler »

I have nothing more to say, but even if I did I don’t feel like wasting my time on this series anymore. It’s over, the big finale has been read after so many years of waiting, and I’m one seriously disappointed reader.

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Book Review – Quinn (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #2) by Iris Johansen

July 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Quinn (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #2) by Iris JohansenQuinn by Iris Johansen
Series: ,
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 12th 2011
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Detective, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Bonnie

three-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen explores the darkest corners of the human heart as forensic sculptor Eve Duncan closes in on the killer who stole her daughter so many years ago.

As a former Navy SEAL turned cop, Joe Quinn has seen the face of evil and knows just how deadly it can be. When he first met Eve Duncan, he never expected to fall in love with a woman whose life would be defined by her dual desires to bring home her missing daughter and discover the truth behind her disappearance---no matter how devastating. With the help of CIA agent Catherine Ling, they make a shocking discovery that sheds new light on young Bonnie’s abduction and puts Quinn squarely in the crosshairs of danger. Eve’s first love, John Gallo, a soldier supposedly killed in the line of duty, is very much alive---and very much a threat.

Emotionally charged, with one shock after another, Quinn reveals the electricity of Joe and Eve’s first connection, and how they fell in love in the midst of haunting tragedy. As their search takes them deeper and deeper into a web of murder and madness, Joe and Eve must confront their most primal fears . . . and test their resolve to uncover the ultimate bone-chilling truth.

 

The Eve, Quinn and Bonnie series

Eve (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #1) by Iris Johansen {Purchase}

‘Quinn’ is tagged as the 2nd of a final trilogy; however, Iris Johansen’s ‘Eve Duncan’ series is the series this trilogy is based off of. If you want to be able to truly understand and appreciate this trilogy, I would highly recommend reading the Eve Duncan series first.

Iris Johansen’s ’Eve Duncan’ series has become a personal favorite of mine over the last decade. Personally fascinated by crime novels with interesting forensic tidbits at an early age, stumbling upon this series was quite a discovery for me. Eve is a strong and independent woman and is also a trained forensic sculptor who performs skull recreations to put a face to lost children to help bring their families peace. This is all in hope that one day she’ll find her daughter Bonnie who was kidnapped when she was 7 years old. ‘Quinn’ delves into the past when Eve and Quinn first met and he was first assigned to help find her daughter. It was very interesting to see the change in Eve and how she became a forensic sculptor; not simply out of the desire to find her own daughter, but out of the realization that she could do something to help the grieving families who hurt much like she does from the loss of her own child.

The story opens where ’Eve’ left off, with Joe Quinn in the ICU after being stabbed by Paul Black. In the hospital, Eve sees the ghost of her daughter Bonnie staring down at Quinn and thinks that he’s dying and she has come to take him to the afterlife. Catherine Ling has gone to track down John Gallo to get him to talk after Paul Black claimed John Gallo killed Bonnie. Only problem is John Gallo doesn’t remember him doing that; but doesn’t rule it out as a possibility considering his mental issues after being a POW in Korea.

The Good
My favorite bit was learning more about Eve and Joe’s past and when they first met each other. Knowing from reading the Eve Duncan series, Eve and Joe have a fierce love for each other and I loved being able to see how it all began.

The Bad
Okay, so after reading 13 books about Eve Duncan I think I’m a bit biased regarding my never-ending love for this series. With that said the one bad thing I do have to say this book resolved zero questions. Sure all sorts of new questions got raised, but was anything solved? Hmm… no not really. Which is really irritating. Sure us readers only have to wait 3 months before ’Bonnie’ comes out, but I still would’ve appreciated SOME answers.

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Short & Sweet – Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1) by Diana Rowland

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short & Sweet Reviews 2 Comments

Short & Sweet – Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1) by Diana RowlandMark of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Series: Kara Gillian #1
Published by DAW on June 17, 2009
Pages: 386
Genres: Detective, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: My Life As a White Trash Zombie, Blood of the Demon, Secrets of the Demon

five-stars

Cop and conjurer of demons, she's a woman in danger of losing control—to a power that could kill....

Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives—and souls—of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore.

Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head...

‘Mark of the Demon’ is the first in Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian Series. Kara Gillian is a newbie Detective in small town Beaulac, Louisiana. She’s also a skilled summoner of demons who uses her occult skills in her cases. She’s put in charge of a case of recent murders that appear to be the same killer, The Symbol Man, who killed 13 people but hadn’t killed anyone in over 3 years. All of the victims show evidence of being killed for demonic purposes so Kara attempts to summon a demon to assist her but ends up summoning something else: a powerful Demonic Lord, Rhyzkahl.

I am SO glad that I decided to read this series. For those of you who don’t know, I started out a huge mystery/thriller fan and that’s about all I read. Then I discovered urban fantasy and realized I loved that as well. Well this series combined by two favorites. This had demons, crazy serial killers, hot cops, crazy CSI shit, and a demonic lord to boot… right up my alley. I don’t typically read back to back books in a series, I like to mix it up a bit every now and then, but I’m going straight to book number 2.

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