Posted in Book Review

The Winter Over – Matthew Iden

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The story takes place at a research station set at the South Pole in Antartica. During the summer months, the station is filled with staff and scientists, but for nine months of the year, the place is home to just over 40 crew members. During this time, it’s dark and bone-chilling cold outside, and you could freeze to death within minutes.

Cass, a mechanical engineer is looking forward to nine months of working and escaping the accident in her past. Her fellow crew members seem to have a past and at least an incident they regret. Just before the last flight out, one of the members is found outside, frozen to death.  

Weird things start happening at the station, and soon everyone is on edge. Cut off from the world, the crew at the station must figure out what is going on if they are to survive.

I loved the atmosphere Matthew Iden created in this novel; he makes you feel the sense of isolation that Cass and the rest of the crew felt during the wintering over. You can really lose yourself in the scenarios and feel the plummeting sense of fear and dread that plagues the crew members.

The book is well written and the pace is fast enough to keep you going without stopping. The characters were well developed and the descriptions are so vivid and realistic I felt as though I were living the scenes with the characters. The author did a good job of describing this bleak setting—a base at the South Pole—through Cass’s eyes during a guided tour of the facility. I loved how the author describes in depth the psychological effects of being kept in isolation in the sub-zero region for a prolonged period of time. I could literally feel the excruciating cold in the base.

The twists and turns of the plot were unexpected and well thought out to make them completely believable. Not to mention the trail of breadcrumbs the author left for the reader to follow. Though I thought some parts of the ending were rushed and a bit abrupt. It left me wondering what happened to some of the characters. I didn’t get a sense of who some of these characters were. Nevertheless, the story was engrossing, with a satisfactory outcome.

Overall, I found The Winter Over to be a well-written thriller. I couldn’t put this one down. I will definitely check out more books from this author.

  • Pages: 352
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (1 February 2017)
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Posted in Book Review

In Peppermint Peril – Joy Avon

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In Peppermint Peril is a fun, cozy mystery. I like the main characters and the “whodunit” was clever enough. The plot was good, with twists and turns and a surprise ending, I enjoyed the setting of the Tea Book shop and the mouth-watering descriptions of Aunt Iphy’s scrumptious treats. This is the 1st book in the Book Tea Shop Mystery series and it can be read as standalone. Highly recommended to readers who love cozy mysteries.

  • Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (13 November 2018)
Posted in Book Review

The Ex-Wife – Jess Ryder

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The ex-wife opens with a prologue where we meet Anna lying in a hospital bed, obviously distraught and unaware of what happened to her.

Perfect marriage, adoring husband, a beautiful daughter, perfect life. Natasha appears to have it all; there’s just a small niggle. Her husband’s ex-wife, Jen is still a part of his life and not completely out of the picture. She seems to still have feelings for Nick.

Natasha tries to cope with this awkward dynamic until her husband and daughter disappear without a trace. Desperate to find her daughter, Natasha enlists Jen’s help. But can Jen be trusted?

The Ex-Wife is written in two different timelines and moves between the perspectives of Natasha and Jen, as well as that of Anna.

So who is Anna?

The book was engaging and held my interest from the very start. The twist at the end of part one was a good surprise. The suspense was surprising and kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending was brilliant, and I loved how the story played out. Overall, this was a pretty enjoyable read.

  • Pages: 352
  • Publisher: Bookouture (5 June 2018)

 

Posted in Book Review

Christopher Greyson – And Then She Was Gone

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This book is a prequel to other novels in the Detective Jack Stratton series.

*****

And Then She Was Gone introduces Jack Stratton as a teenager. He plans to enlist in the army so he can pay for college, and fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer.

Everything is going according to plan until financial analyst Stacy Shaw disappears one evening on her way back from work. He doesn’t know her, but he knows Jay Martin, whom the cops arrested after he admitted to finding the woman’s wallet. Although Jack and Jay grew up together as foster kids, but are not on speaking terms, Jack’s former foster mother enlists Jack’s help to prove Jay’s innocence of Stacy’s death.

But then Jack gets way too involved in the investigation. Repeated warnings from Detective Lyle Vargas to stop meddling in his murder investigation does not seem to deter him. He ends up getting caught between cops and criminals.

Jack has an intriguing backstory. Raised in brothels, he was abandoned by his prostitute mother and forced into the foster care system. Jack grows up with rage and is resolute to prove that he is not garbage and that he actually has some worth.

I loved the interaction and banter between Jack and his former foster brother, Chandler. Given Jack’s penchant for getting into trouble, Chandler always finds himself getting caught up too.

This is a well-written story, and the characters are well-developed. I enjoyed watching Jack and Chandler figure out clues, not to mention the mistakes he makes along the way.

I look forward to reading more of Jack’s adventures. 

  • Pages: 309
  • Publisher: Greyson Media (1 October 2016)