Cut Open The Sky is the biography of psychic Connie Castro Jackson. Written in the first person, the author has transcribed Connie’s story as it was told to her.
Connie was born in 1937 right at the end of the Dust Bowl era; her mother had moved from Oklahoma two years before and became one of the many migrant workers who picked fruit and lived in labour camps. Life was hard; much of Connie’s drive in life was to raise herself out of poverty.
By the age of six Connie wanted to be a hairdresser, then in her early twenties she was introduced to spirituality. This wasn’t straightforward and Connie had much to learn on her journey. In this books she talks candidly about her life, her family and her psychic ability.
This is a book for those who are interested in their spiritual journey. Mixed with Connie’s story are lessons and snippets to take away with you; I found it very interesting. I have not heard of Connie before now, but this book arrived on my desk as part of a connection to other books that I have been reading recently. Connie would say that this is more than a coincidence and I agree.
An easy to read story and an inspiring one if you are interested in psychics and a spiritual life.
Connie Castro Jackson was born in the San Joaquin Valley labor camps of California during the Great Depression to her white mother who had fled Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl and a Filipino man who worked beside her in the camps.
From a very early age, Ms. Jackson recognized in herself the ability to see spirits, but also struggled against racism and a sense of inferiority. Eventually, she broke free from her beginnings to build a career as a psychic, channeler, and spiritual advisor. Author Corliss Corazza brings to life Ms. Jackson’s salty wit and common sense advice in this as-told-to story of one woman’s spiritual journey and the development of her psychic abilities.
A heartwarming embrace from a talented empath and a resource full of useful wisdom, Cut Open the Sky, is a book for readers who are interested in the migrant laborer’s plight as well as the spiritual side of life.
This hardback book measures 22.5cm x 26cm – i.e., about the size of the old comic book annuals, and is a children’s story. Although the recommended reading age is 5-8 years old, a few of the words and concepts may need explaining to the younger readers. I would say it is more of a book for adults to read to or with children as there are lots of words and pages to get through.
The story is about a boy called Jem who is sad and struggles with some of his school lessons. He is also feeling lonely after a recent move to the countryside from the city. His younger sister has been told a tale about a creature called a ‘nouka’, a mischief maker who lives in the hill behind their house. When strange events occur in their house Jem gets angry and refuses to believe in the nouka, until the day that everything changes.
The book is beautifully illustrated in colour on every page which helps to bring the story to life. It is a lovely tale with a folklore touch and I’m sure that readers will fall in love with the little nouka when they read all about it.
The new children’s book from multi-award-winning author of Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell, paired once more with Daniela Terrazzini’s stunning illustrations.
When Jem and his family move to the countryside, he doesn’t like his new home one bit. It’s an old cottage on the side of a hill, where strange things keep happening: shoes are filled up with conkers, the stairs become tangled in a woollen maze. Jem’s sister Verity is certain it is the work of a “nouka”, an ancient creature from local folklore that lives deep down inside the hill. Jem, however, is adamant that there is no such thing.
But this small mythical creature, so attuned to the hearts and minds of others, does exist. And, what’s more, it is determined, through mischief and mayhem, to help Jem reignite the spark within himself once more.
Sage Quintano shouldn’t still be fearful. The trauma of her near death at the hands of a serial killer, called the Romeo Killer, would naturally be difficult to overcome, but he was dead and Sage had no reason to believe she was a target. But she was fearful and she did believe she was a target. Sage has seen signs and indicators that force her to believe that somehow, her nemeses has returned to claim the ‘angel’ that got away.
Before the Romeo Killer comes for Sage, however, he intends to torment her. Playing games with his victims is what he does best. And no-one believes Sage’s claim that she is being stalked by a dead man, least of all her own husband, Niko, the local Sheriff.
Sage is an interesting character and is strong in many ways, overcoming significant health problems and protecting her young son. Her behaviour is a bit erratic and slightly hysterical which is why her husband puts her observations down to trauma from the past. Some of Sage’s behaviours were a little hard for me to believe in the circumstances, but the story was interesting and exciting and the author’s knowledge of serial killers and their thought processes is well researched and believable.
Part of the story was told through the eyes of the stalker and it was interesting to consider the action from that perspective. Despite this, the book is not overly gory and there are no detailed descriptions of the murders, only the state of the bodies afterwards. That is preferable for me.
The story was fast paced and the details all tied up well which is essential for me when reading a crime thriller. Readers of this genre will not be disappointed by this book.
She may be paranoid, but is she right?
A string of gruesome murders rocks the small town of Alexandria, New Hampshire, with all the victims staged to resemble dead angels, and strange red and pink balloons appearing out of nowhere.
All the clues point to the Romeo Killer’s return. Except one: he died eight years ago.
Paranoid and on edge, Sage’s theory makes no sense. Dead serial killers don’t rise from the grave. Yet she swears he’s here, hungering for the only angel to slip through his grasp—Sage.
With only hours left to live, how can Sage convince her Sheriff husband before the sand in her hourglass runs out?
The next challenge in my year long support for book bloggers. (Created by the ladies at PagesUnbound.)
It’s easy to recommend books to others, however it is much harder to match a book to a specific recipient. Some of the books below have been recommendations of either the book or the author. Others have been general recommendations on blogs from keen readers and I have gone ahead and bought my own copy.
First book:Hostile Ground (Stargate SG.1 by Sally Malcolm and Laura Harper) This is fan fiction, written around the popular Stargate TV series. Several authors have written ‘new’ episodes for the characters and I read a variety over the years. My favourite writer was Sally Malcolm, she caught the characters and the dialogue so well that I easily imagined them as real TV episodes.
Book blurb –
It was meant to be an easy mission, a walk in the park. But SG-1’s first trip off-world after Colonel O’Neill’s return from Edora (STARGATE SG-1: One Hundred Days) proves to be anything but easy.
Tapped for a covert assignment, O’Neill must conceal the truth from his team at all costs. So when Dr Daniel Jackson is injured and the mission begins to go awry, tensions quickly reach breaking point. Stranded on a hostile planet, and desperate to find a way home before it’s too late, O’Neill leads his fractured team on a desperate journey across a barren and forsaken world.
Faced with an enemy more vicious than anything they’ve encountered before, only SG-1’s strength as a unit will keep them alive – if the secret O’Neill is hiding doesn’t tear them apart first…
Second book:The Moment By Douglas Kennedy is a cold war thriller set mainly in Berlin. This was recommended to me because I like the edgy and tense themes in spy novels from this era.
Book blurb –
In this, his tenth novel, Douglas Kennedy has written that rare thing: a love story as morally complex as it is tragic and deeply reflective. Brilliantly gripping, it is an atmospherically dense, ethically tangled tale of romantic certainty and conflicting loyalties, all set amidst a stunningly rendered portrait of Berlin in the final dark years before The Wall came down.
Third book:Renegade by Laramie Briscoe. This is one book from the small town contemporary romance series set around a special task force group.
Book blurb –
Ryan “Renegade” Kepler
I’m the type of man who knows what I want. I make up my mind and stay in my lane, never veering off the course I set for myself.
Going into the military? Did it. Serving overseas? Did it. Youngest member of the Moonshine Task Force? That’s me.
Ryan is ten years my junior, but damn, being a cougar never felt as good as it did the night we spent together. Now all I want to do is go back to how things were before.
But Ryan is my younger brother’s best friend, and where Trevor goes, Ryan goes. Instead I put my head in the sand and do my best to go about my life.
1660. King Charles II has returned from exile, but memories of the English Civil War still rankle. There are old scores to settle, and religious differences threaten to overturn a fragile peace. When Alice Ibbetson discovers a rare orchid, the Lady’s Slipper, growing in a wood belonging to Richard Wheeler, she is captivated by its beauty— though Wheeler, a Quaker, is determined to keep the flower where God intended it to grow.
The Dead Boxes Archive is a chilling collection of short horror stories and horror novellas. Together for the first time in one volume, seven tales from the critically acclaimed Dead Boxes series.
Dead Boxes are scary things. Wonderful and dreadful secrets hiding themselves in plain view. On the surface, they often appear to be ordinary, everyday objects. Items which are easily overlooked at first glance. Perhaps that’s just as well because the Dead Boxes are as far from ordinary and everyday as you can get. They hold miracle and mystery, horror and salvation, answers to questions best not asked and directions to places better left unfound.
Sixth book: Writing Vivid Dialogue by Rayne Hall is just one book from her Writer’s Craft series of non-fiction books. I’ve read several and often recommend them to writers to help hone their work.
Book blurb –
Do you want to write fast-paced, exciting, sizzling dialogue?
This book reveals professional dialogue techniques to characterise the speaker, carry the plot forward and entertain your readers.
This is not a beginner’s guide. I assume that you have mastered the basics of fiction writing, and you don’t need an explanation what dialogue is and why it matters for your story. But your dialogue isn’t as strong as your story deserves. Perhaps it drags, perhaps the characters all sound the same, and perhaps it lacks tension, wit or sparkle.
I’ll offer you a toolbox filled with techniques. These are not ‘rules’ every writer must follow, but tricks you can try. Pick, mix and match them to suit your characters and your story.
Seventh book:A Demon Bound by Debra Dunbar is the first book in the Imp series of urban fantasy tales. I’ve read all the books in the series and was really pleased to have found them.
Book blurb –
Samantha Martin is an imp, enjoying an extended vacation from Hel. All she wants to do is drink beer by the pool, play mischievous pranks on the humans, and get her hot neighbor in the sack. It’s a relaxing break from her infernal home, as long as she manages to avoid the angels, who won’t hesitate to execute her on sight. But when her naughty hellhound lands her in trouble with the local werewolf pack, Sam is blackmailed into helping track and catch a killer. The steps she must take to appease the werewolves will put her right in the crosshairs of the angels. And with angels, there is no second chance.
When George Martin joins the crew of the Royal Navy frigate, HMS Virtuous, he is keen to start his new life at sea, but after trips escorting relief cargoes to the stricken island of Malta, he soon realises that life on a warship is anything but easy. After the invasion of the Soviet Union by German forces in 1941, George finds himself on the Virtuous’s most perilous journey yet, as it forms part of a convoy heading to Russia. Hunted by Nazi U-boats, surface ships and the Luftwaffe, the crew must endure its greatest foe – the harsh Arctic weather. With temperatures dropping to minus 30 degrees Centigrade and violent storms threatening to sink the ship, George endures the harsh reality of war, whilst at the same time pondering his uneasy relationship with the mysterious Glenda, the girl he has left behind.
Ninth book: Flood by Ann Swinfen is historical fiction set in the Fenlands during the seventeenth century.
Book blurb –
Violence, greed and betrayal threaten the remote communities of East Anglia in the seventeenth century, when ruthless and unscrupulous speculators steal their common lands, while fanatic Puritans bring accusations of heresy and witchcraft. Granddaughter of a local hero, Mercy Bennington moves out of the shadow of her elder brother to become a leader of the protestors, finding the strength to confront the enemies who endanger the survival of her village and her own life. Yet the violence wreaked upon the fragile fenlands unleashes a force no one can control – flood.
February 1603, the last of the Tudor monarchs is dying, but Death must wait for Elizabeth of England to finish her tale…
As The Bastard Princess, Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, has fought through a childhood of intrigue and peril to her place as the heir to the English throne. But as her sister, Mary I, the first anointed and sole Queen of England takes the crown, Elizabeth must face her most dangerous challenges yet… for Mary I is determined to return England to the Catholic faith, and will have none stand in her way.
Protestant Elizabeth knows that she must survive the suspicions and distrust of her sister, in a reign where rebellion and war freely stalked the lands of England. To survive, this heretic heir must hone her skills in survival, wit and wile, in order that she may one day… become Queen.
This metaphysical detective has a murder to solve. But will a devilishly handsome casino owner get in the way?
There’s a storm on the horizon. Riga’s lost her magic and has come to Lake Tahoe for a fresh start and to spend quality time with her new love. But life for a metaphysical detective is never that simple.
Someone’s killing psychics in Lake Tahoe, and the police think Riga may be connected to the murders. The best way to prove her innocence? Catch the killer herself… if she can escape the monster-hunting “reality” show she’s committed to for long enough. And as the killer circles closer, she may become his next target…
If you love talking gargoyles, smart mysteries, and mature heroines with complicated lives, you’ll love this series.
I would happily recommend all these books to others.
Noelle has been reading Sunflowers Beneath The Snow by Teri M Brown.
Sunflowers Beneath the Snow recounts the lives of three generations of women in Ukraine: grandmother, mother, daughter. This is the author’s first book, and she has created a deeply emotional portrayal of each of these women. ‘Sunflowers beneath the snow’ is phrase spoken by the grandmother, but to me these three women are the sunflowers.
Ivanna, the grandmother, has spent the majority of her life under Communist rule, where everything from food to housing is strictly regulated. She doesn’t know her husband, Luyaksandro, is spying for an anti-Communist group, and when the group informs him he’s been identified, they give him the choice to be sent out of the country or be outed, which would lead to the arrest and possible death of his family by the state police. He chooses to leave without a word to his family.
When her husband disappears, Ivanna is told he is dead at the hand of his lover’s husband, and she feels bitterly betrayed. She now must to try to support herself and her daughter with nothing but a menial job, scarce food, and cold, mean living quarters. She uses ingenuity and determination to ensure their survival, but somehow she never stops believing in necessity and fairness of the Communist government. Her daughter, Yevtsye, grows up, she develops political, religious and societal opinions different from those of her mother, from whom she becomes estranged. She meets and marries Danya, a teacher of physics at the university, and after years to trying, they have a daughter, Ionna.
Ionna is born into a different world than either her grandmother or her mother, since by that time, Ukraine has been independent from Russian for some years – although the country is still dependent of Russia for virtually everything and is run by corrupt politicians. She proves a to both her mother and grandmother. Ionna dreams of seeing and experiencing the world outside of Ukraine, and her eventual travels lead to a surprising outcome.
The author writes with great realism of living in Ukraine during that period of time. She reaches deep to portray the tenacity, determination, and deeply felt emotions of these women, in the face of the different and continual challenges in their lives. This book should be of particular interest to readers, given the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. The history described by the author explains a great deal of what is happening now. This reader lived in Czechoslovakia when it was part of the Soviet Union, and the author has hit the nail on the head of what it is like to live in a country under Russia’s control.
The only problem I had with this book were some prolonged descriptions of the women’s emotional states or considerations of Ukrainian politics. This slowed the forward progress of the story and tempted me to read ahead.
This is the author’ first book and, overall, I think she’s written a winner. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys women’s fiction in a historical setting, and especially in the recent history of Eastern Europe.
A Ukrainian rebel. Three generations of women bearing the consequences. A journey that changes everything.
When Ivanna opens the door to uniformed officers, her tranquil life is torn to pieces – leaving behind a broken woman who must learn to endure cold, starvation, and the memories of a man who died in the quintessential act of betrayal. Using her thrift, ingenuity, and a bit of luck, she finds a way to survive in Soviet Ukraine, along with her daughter, Yevtsye. But the question remains, will she be strong enough to withstand her daughter’s deceit and the eventual downfall of the nation she has devoted her life to? Or will the memories of her late husband act as a shadow haunting everyone and everything she loves, including Ionna, the granddaughter that never knew him?
In Sunflowers Beneath the Snow, Teri M. Brown explores the tenacity of women, showing that even in grueling circumstances, they can, and do, experience all the good things life has to offer – compassion, joy, love, faith, and wonder.
Olga has been reading Black, White, and Gray All Over by Frederick Reynolds
This is a memoir, and as far from fiction as one could imagine. In fact, it is so full of facts and data that it can become overwhelming at times. The sheer number of events, of characters (well, not really characters, but real people: relatives, friends, neighbours, infantrymen, police officers, detectives, criminals, victims, local authorities, politicians…), of dates, of cases… make the book overflow with stories: sometimes those the author, Frederick Douglass Reynolds, participated directly in; others, stories providing background information to the situation or events being discussed or introducing some of the main players at the time of the action. I think anybody trying to recount even a small amount of what happens in the book would have a hard time of it, but anybody interested in the recent history of Compton law enforcement and local politics will find this book invaluable.
The author goes beyond the standard memoir, and although his life is the guiding thread of the book, he does not limit himself to talking in the first-person about his difficult childhood, his traumatic past, his petty criminal activities as a gang member in his youth, his time as a Marine Corps Infantryman, his less than stellar experience with personal relationships (until later in life), his allergy to compromise for many years (to the point of even refusing to get involved in the life of one of his children)… This well-read and self-taught man also offers readers the socio-historical-political context of the events, talking about the gangs, the rise of crack cocaine, the powerful figures moving the threads and holding authority (sometimes openly, and sometimes not so much), and he openly discusses the many cases of corruption, at all levels.
There is so much of everything in this book that I kept thinking this single book could become several books, either centring each one of them on a particular event, case, or investigation and its aftermath (for example. although Rodney King’s death didn’t take place in Compton, the description of how the riots affected the district makes readers realise that history keeps repeating itself unless something is done), or perhaps on a specific theme (as there is much about gangs, racism, corruption, the evolution of police roles and policing methods, violence in the streets, LA social changes and local politics, drugs…). Another option would be to focus on the author’s life and experiences growing up, on his personal life (his difficulties with relationships and alcohol, his PTSD…), and later his career, but perhaps mentioning only some of the highlights or some specific episodes, and with less background information about the place and its history (although some brief information could be added as an appendix or in an author’s note for those interested in knowing more).
This is a long book, dense and packed with a wealth of data that might go beyond the scope of most casual readers, but there are also scary moments (forget about TV police series. This is the real deal), heart-wrenching events (the deaths of locals, peers, colleagues, personal tragedies…), touching confessions (like the difficulties in his relationship with his son, becoming grandad to a boy with autism and what that has taught him), shared insights that most will find inspiring, and also some lighter and funny touches that make the human side of the book shine. Although Reynolds openly discusses his doubts, and never claims to be spotless, more upstanding, or better than anybody else, his determination to get recognition for his peers fallen in action, and his homage to those he worked with and who kept up the good fight clearly illustrate that his heart (and morals) are in the right place.
Most people thinking of reading this type of memoir are likely to know what to expect, but just in case there are any doubts, be warned that there is plenty of violence (sometimes extreme and explicit), use of alcohol, drugs, and pretty colourful language.
I recommend this book to anybody interested in the history of policing in LA (particularly in Compton) from the 1980s, gangs in the area, local politics, corruption, and any major criminal investigations in the area (deaths of rappers included). It is also a book for those looking for an inspiring story of self-improvement, of managing to escape the wrong path, and helping others do the same, and it is a book full of insights, inspiration, and hope.
I wonder if the author is planning to carry on writing, but it is clear that he has many stories to tell yet and I hope he does.
From shootouts and robberies to riding in cars with pimps and prostitutes, Frederick Reynolds’ early manhood experiences in Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s foretold a future on the wrong side of the prison bars. Frederick grew up a creative and sensitive child but found himself lured down the same path as many Black youth in that era. No one would have guessed he would have a future as a cop in one of the most dangerous cities in America in the 1980s—Compton, California. From recruit to detective, Frederick experienced a successful career marked by commendations and awards. The traumatic and highly demanding nature of the work, however, took its toll on both his family and personal life—something Frederick was able to conquer but only after years of distress and regret.
Challenge 4 in my year long support for book bloggers from the ladies at PagesUnbound. Today’s post delves deeper into book blogging.
If you are active on social media and you love reading, you’ve probably read your fair share of book reviews from book bloggers – and, if you’re like me, I imagine you’ve been inspired to click the Amazon link a few times, after doing so!
This is why I started book blogging: I want to be a positive force in this corner of social media, linking readers to writers they may never have heard of before, and talking about books which I enjoy. Although I mix my reading with mainstream authors, I prefer to support indies. Giving them an extra voice amongst the many million in cyberspace gives me great satisfaction.
There are no rules about writing a book review (except to avoid spoilers); everyone has their own slant, though it’s not just bloggers who are talking about books; pick any social media site and you will find book enthusiasts. However, a blog post can offer an opportunity for a longer article as opposed to other social sites which rely heavily on soundbites. A book blog gives a personal touch—most regular reviewers will have had a review rejected by Amazon, for any number of reasons; language, comparison to other works, sensitive subject matter, whatever. On your own blog, though, you can write exactly what you wish – and when you wish. You might want to review two books a week, or one every two months. Novels, short stories, novellas, whole series – it’s up to you.
‘A book blog gives a personal touch‘
Book bloggers are of key importance to the reading world as they are prepared to share their thoughts and feelings about a book online, where billions of potential readers can access the reviews. There’s no word limit, which is good when you feel the need to wax lyrical about a book, one you stayed up late reading or a book you just don’t want to let go. There’s nothing quite like finding another bookworm who felt the same way about a particular story; I have some fabulous book friends made through book blogging. We’ve had meet-ups where we talk book for hours – it’s marvellous!
Some say that its popularity is on the wane; like everything that first made its stamp as the internet found its way into everyone’s homes, it has ebbed and flowed. Perhaps book blogging could be likened to those who don’t mind travelling in the slower lane; those who want to watch the view and take their time. However, I have no doubt that there are still new audiences to capture, for anyone who wants to use their social media profiles to join us in sharing their bookish thoughts in the online bookworm world! Rosie Amber’s Book Review Blog has been going for ten years now – it’s taken time, enthusiasm, adaptability and the support of my family, review team members, publishers and authors who submit to me regularly. My best blogging tool, though, is the fact that I enjoy it.
‘Perhaps book blogging could be likened to those who don’t mind travelling in the slower lane; those who want to watch the view and take their time.’
Is there a future for book blogging? Sadly, the majority of readers in the general public don’t post book reviews, which is why, for authors and publishers, book bloggers are like angels sprinkling magic dust. Unless a book has the backing of one of The Big Five publishers with a large marketing budget, getting it seen by its target demographic is an uphill challenge. If book reviewers start raving about a book, it will hit social media and draw attention to itself. Every person who sees its cover, sees someone tweeting the title, notices that it’s got yet another great review, is another who may decide that, yes, today is the day they’re going to Amazon to buy it.
Book bloggers are like angels sprinkling magic dust.
If, like me, you enjoy delving a little deeper into a book after reading the book blurb but before making a purchase, go seek out some book blogs who read the type of books you love. We’re not paid by publishers or authors, so we have no agenda – we simply write what we feel. We don’t claim any great skills in literary critique; we use our own words, as they come out of our heads. We’re ordinary people who have one massive thing in common with you – we’re obsessed with books, and we want to tell the world about those we love!
The first full week in April has thrown all sorts of weather at us here in Hampshire. At times it has felt like a gauntlet run just to get down to the bottom of the garden.
Now a quick public service message: Yesterday I found out that WordPress are making lots of price changes to their blog plans. I currently use the free WordPress, but I am conscious of how much media space I use weekly in posts, which they want to cap. It’s not the only thing to be aware of. It’s worth reading BookerTalk’s post about it all here.
Back to the Six. Last week I was very pleased when I discovered the name of one of my plants, that we inherited with the garden, after seeing it featured on Graeme’s post. Viburnum carlesii, Korean Spice or Arrowwood. Mine is just coming into bloom. It has a lovely fragrance.
Second photo goes to the Heart’s Tongue Fern which is beginning its new growth. This one is in a shady patch otherwise I don’t think it would like my sandy heath land soil.
Third photo goes to my Tulips, yellow with some orange stripes. Not sure of the variety.
My fourth photo is of a plant rescued from a skip this week. It looks like an Elephant Foot Yucca. My husband arrived home with it on Monday. I gave it a hair cut to removed the dead leaves. Next job is to investigate repotting it.
Photo five is of a cheeky Kerria Japonica Plentiflora, which is trying to invade from next door’s garden. We had the same invasion tactics from this plant at our last house.
Last photo goes to the white bluebells. I always thought that they were domestic flowers rather than wild ones like their blue cousins. However, I defer to the experts for the answer to this.
Thank you for joining me for this #SixOnSaturday post. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you would like to know more about this hashtag, read founder Mr Propagator’s post here also find him on Twitter here.
I shall scatter a few links to other gardening posts below:
Sherry has been reading Ashes In Venice by Gojan Nikolich
I chose this one to review as I thought it took place in Venice, Italy. I love Venice and was looking forward to an adventure in that city. Imagine my shock when I started reading and the first chapters were full of graphic violence and not a canal or Doge’s palace in sight. I actually went back to the cover several times on my kindle to see if I was reading the right book. And yes, it still said Ashes in Venice.
The action takes place in Las Vegas and eventually, when the character got to the Venetian Hotel, I thought maybe that was where the title came from even though that was still misleading. I admit, I was liking the main character and was intrigued by how the various threads of the story were coming together, but I also have to admit I was very distracted by why I thought from the blurb that the story was set in Italy. Eventually, all that became clear but it was deep into the body of the book before it did.
The graphic violence was pretty startling. I’d warn potential readers about that. It wasn’t really gratuitous, but it was a bit over the top for this reader. I could see how it fit into the storyline, but sometimes, it was too much.
The story itself was gripping and the book was a page turner. I stayed up late to finish it when I got close to the end. I figured out a lot of it by about midway through, but it was compelling enough for me to read to the end and see if I was right.
Overall, I liked the story and the flawed detective who was trying to solve the crimes. He was a completely drawn personality, warts and all. His love for his wife who was ill was lovely. He had gambling and financial issues, but he was doing his best to make things good for his wife. The humor the author gave him in his internal thoughts was a welcome relief from the violence of the story. I really enjoyed the wit of the author.
The author’s imagination is a wild place based on the evidence in this tale. Some of the things he conjured were mind blowing. Clever, violent and unique is how I’d describe this book. If you’re squeamish, though, give it a pass.
A psychopath with size 16 shoes, nursing home hookers and an irreverent Las Vegas homicide detective with a gambling habit set the tone for this off-beat tale of revenge and retribution.
Blackjack addict Frank Savic is deeply in debt and facing family problems when he’s asked to delay his retirement to catch a vigilante killer who murders other murderers in a manner the veteran cop has never seen.
While dead bodies stack up in quick succession, the motorcycle-riding policeman gets reluctantly involved with a desperate mother who will do anything to get justice for her dead son.
Savic, his investigation complicated by a suspected FBI coverup and a prison bribery scandal, is also unaware that the quirky murderer might also be the solution to his own financial and domestic dilemma.
Add the brooding backdrop of Venice, Italy…and a vengeful killer who reads Shakespeare, and you have a teasing psychological thriller where surgical bone saws and spiders are just tools of the trade.