Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Art Heist #Thriller Marked For Revenge by @JSAauthor

Today’s review is from Sandra,

#RBRT Review Team

She has been reading Marked For Revenge by Jennifer S. Alderson

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Marked for Revenge is the third book featuring art researcher Zelda – now working in the Amstel Modern museum in the Netherlands. I had no idea that there were other books in this series and it did not matter at all; at no point did I feel that not having read the previous books in the series was affecting my understanding.

It is a complex story told from multiple viewpoints and this works really well. We get insight into why the crimes are taking place, and not just a hunt for the perpetrators, which results in a much more nuanced narrative. It is obvious that a lot of research has gone into this book, the detail is convincing and the author’s love of art history shines through.

The vivid descriptions of Venice and Marmaris are a highlight and will make you want to visit them and see the sights for yourself. It is well written, with believable characters and lots of action. The themes of art theft, forgery and revenge are woven seamlessly into this fast-paced thriller. I look forward to reading about Zelda’s next adventure.

Book description

An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance.

When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers.

To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most.

The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation.

The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Cosy #Mystery HIDE NOT SEEK by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Hide Not Seek by D.E. Haggerty

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Hide Not Seek is the third volume in The Not So Reluctant Detectives series and completes the trilogy with Pru’s story.

Although she has not lived in Milwaukee for very long, Pru has formed a strong bond with Mel and Terri whose stories were told in the first two books. She thought she had left the past behind her, and when she starts getting threatening notes we finally find out what Pru has been hiding from the others, but she does not give up her secret until absolutely forced to.

There are lots of twists and turns and a great surprise ending. You can read this on its own, but it will make a lot more sense if you read the books in order. I really like the relationship between the three women and how they complement each other. Their escapades are not so wild in this book, with Owen and Ryder more aware of what is going on, but that is good as Mel’s more extreme behaviour is kept in check. As Pru is an English teacher, the chapters begin with cryptic quotes from poems and novels (they are listed at the end).

Hide Not Seek is an enjoyable resolution to the series, and I am looking forward to reading DE Haggerty’s next book.

Book description

I know who you really are.

Pru has a secret, which she has no plans to reveal – ever. But after a woman is murdered and all clues point to her, she has no choice but to disclose her true identity. When her revelations thwart the killer’s plan to frame Pru for murder, the killer begins stalking her. With each note he sends, he gets closer. The police are stumped. Pru wants to run away. She really, really wants to run, but Ajax has found the woman of his dreams and he’s not letting her go anywhere. He can be patient. In the meantime, he’ll protect her with his life. Pru isn’t feeling very patient, and her friends, Mel and Terri, are definitely not willing to wait until the police discover who the stalker is. The three friends take matters into their own hands and jump headfirst into the investigation.

Will Pru and her friends uncover her stalker before he turns his violence on Pru?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! By @LisetteBrodey

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Molly Hacker Is Too Picky by Lisette Brodey

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This is not like most other romantic fiction I have read; usually, there are just two men trying to win the heart of the heroine, and it is fairly obvious which one she will end up with. The skill is in making the story interesting enough to keep us reading.

Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! breaks that mould; Molly is seeing four very different men, and is still pining for her lost love, so who will win her heart is anyone’s guess. In some ways it’s not important; her journey is fascinating and who she ends up with is not really the point. Everyone seems very keen to find Molly a partner, but, fortunately, she is not going to be rushed into an unsuitable match.

The story is told entirely through Molly’s eyes and we get a real insight into what is going through her mind. The characters are well written and believable, even her cat, Captain Jack. I really liked Molly; she’s strong and feisty and prepared to wait for her ‘soul mate’. There were lots of laugh-out-loud moments, and the scene at the society fundraiser is beyond hilarious. I’ll leave you to discover it for yourself. This is the first book I have read by Lisette Brodey, but it won’t be the last.

Book description

At thirty-two, newspaper reporter Molly Hacker vows to never attend another wedding until she has had her own. And that’s a problem because Molly’s younger sister, Hannah, is going to be married in one year. Armed with snark, wit, and fabulous good looks, “Picky Molly” embarks on a quest to find Mr. Right in her hometown, Swansea, an elegant bedroom community of NYC.

Things get complicated fast. In no time at all, Molly has four “men of interest” and the memories of a lost love to send her overanalytic, befuddled mind into serious overdrive. Determined not to let her “helpful” girlfriends help her right out of another relationship, Molly tries to keep mum on the state of her love life. Her BFF male coworker, Randy, becomes her closest confidant as he stumbles over romantic issues with his new Mr. Right, Kyle. Meanwhile, Molly’s BFF gal pals aren’t too happy about being left out of the loop.

Tweaking Molly’s last nerve is the town’s most visible socialite, Naomi Hall-Benchley. For self-serving reasons, Naomi is hell-bent on setting up “Picky Molly Hacker,” and she doesn’t care who she has to manipulate or hurt to do it. Just how far will she go?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Cosy #Mystery Picture Not Perfect by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Picture Not Perfect by D.E. Haggerty

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This is the second book in the ‘Not So Reluctant Detective’ series set in a high school in Milwaukee.

Melanie is the school guidance counselor and her friend, Terri, is the librarian. Although it can be read as a standalone, I think you would understand more about Mel’s behaviour if you read them in order (first book is Terri’s story).

Mel is accused of the murder of a teacher; although he was creepy, and kept asking her out, he was not stalking her as the police claim. Determined to prove her innocence before they lock her up, Mel‘s impulsive behaviour leads her friends into a lot of hilarious escapades, some more dangerous than others.

One thing that did seem over the top was the reaction of her police officer boyfriend, Owen, when she did something stupid and reckless (Terri’s boyfriend was the same in the first book). Mel’s impulsive behaviour is revealed to be because of ADHD; it is unusual to read about it in an adult though it is handled sensitively.

There is a lot of humour in this book, and we laugh and cringe in equal measure at the antics of Mel, Terri and their new friend, Pru. Although Mel can be exasperating it is hard not to like her.

I enjoyed this short, light-hearted mystery and have already ordered the next one, Hide Not Seek.

Book description

A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?

When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.

Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #WomensFiction The One That I Want by @LynneB1

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading The One That I Want by Lynne Shelby

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The One That I Want tells the story of Lucy Ashford who lands a dream job with a London theatrical agency after an unexpected reunion with her childhood friend. Cassie is now the star of a children’s television programme and introduces Lucy to the world of celebrity. Lucy is looking for a fresh start, having just emerged from a toxic relationship, and this is just what she needs. Through her work at the agency she gets involved with two very different men, but seems to enjoy the contrasting lifestyles of both – the glamourous life of a movie star with Daniel, and the ups and downs of a struggling young actor with Owen. Daniel is her boyfriend; Owen her first client who also becomes a friend. Lucy seems equally at home in the worlds of both of these men but which one does she really want? This is a believable insight into the world of movies and the theatre, with a cast of well-written characters and a likeable heroine. I particularly liked Lucy’s unconventional family, and the extreme behaviour of Cassie’s personal assistant, Nadia. With an eye-catching cover and a plot that would make a great movie, I would definitely recommend that you give this a try; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It is the first book by Lynne Shelby that I have read but it won’t be the last. Thanks to the author for a free copy in exchange for an independent review.

Book description

When Lucy Ashford lands a top job at a leading theatrical agency in London, work mixes with pleasure, as she literally falls into the arms of Hollywood heartthrob Daniel Miller. Handsome, charming and irresistible, Daniel is just what unlucky-in-love Lucy needs, and she is quickly drawn into his glittering celebrity lifestyle. But can she tame the A-list bad boy or is she just one more girl in Daniel s long line of conquests? And then there s up-and-coming actor Owen Somers, fiercely talented but as yet uncast in a starring role. After she takes him onto the agency s books, Owen and Lucy’s friendship slowly grows. If she looks closely, Lucy’s leading man might be right before her very eyes…

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Thriller Adam & Evil by Charlie Vincent @c1v2

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Adam & Evil by Charlie Vincent

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Right from the start this is a very unusual story. Adam has been alive forever, or so it seems to him. The novel opens with a scene from the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 where Adam should have drowned; but he is not like other men and would probably have suffered for an eternity had he not been rescued by Kane. They have met before – several times over the centuries – and both of them have the scars to show the many adventures they have lived through.

As the story opens Adam is living very comfortably in Monaco. A young woman has disappeared in suspicious circumstances and the police have not found her yet; Adam feels compelled to use his unique skills to rescue her. He slowly pieces together an absolutely horrific story of women being captured for the sex trade, on a huge scale, by an organisation with far-reaching influence.

Adam and Evil is well written with a cast of convincing characters, such as Joe, Sabine and Charles Mason; the villains are particularly nasty, almost caricatures, so that the reader is in no doubt what Adam is up against.  The historical detail comes across as well researched and authentic, and adds an extra dimension to the story. I could not put it down; it’s a fast-paced thriller with a touch of humour, here and there, to lighten what would otherwise be a very dark tale.

I really enjoyed Adam and Evil and look forward to reading the next instalment of Adam and Kane’s adventures in The Fire God. Thanks to Charlie Vincent for a free copy to review as one of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Book description

Adam is living in Monte Carlo with the life most people can only dream of. The fancy house, the sports car, and the finest private wine collection in the world.

When local woman Margaux Dupont goes missing, he leaves all of this behind him to do what he does better than anybody else. Find people.

As he begins tracking her down, he uncovers a vile Mediterranean woman-trafficking organisation so vicious and cruel that nobody has ever dared confront them.

Adam isn’t just anybody though. He’s lived through all of history and confronted evil more times than he can remember.

Yet the more he learns about the traffickers, the more he realises he may have met his match this time …

Is time running out for Margaux Dupont?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Action #thriller Shark Bait (A John Steele Contract Book 1) by Matt Walker

Today’s team review is from Sandra

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Shark Bait by Matt Walker

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Shark Bait is the story of John Steele, a licenced government assassin sent to take out drug dealers, the Carlucci brothers. He was on his way home, his job was done, when Jeremy Peters stumbled into his path, and the situation got very messy, very quickly. The action moves at a breakneck pace (the whole story happens over a week-end) with no let-up as bad guys are coming after him from all directions. It is narrated in the first person by Steele with alternating chapters by Gary Brooker, small-time crook and loan shark. This lends immediacy to the action; the reader feels as if they are right in the middle of it. So now, not only are the remaining Carlucci gang after his blood, but Gary’s thuggish henchmen are hot on his trail as well. He can’t afford to let his guard down for a second.

I really enjoyed this debut by Matt Walker. John Steele is very likeable despite what he does for a living and that is not an easy thing to pull off convincingly; he is tough when he has to be but not unnecessarily so. I look forward to reading Devil’s Breath, the next one in the series.

Book description

“I’m no hero. I’m a Licensed Vigilante. And I kill people for a living.”

Government hitman John Steele has just completed his current contract, and has the bullet wound to show for it. That’s when he meets a vicious criminal loan shark called Gary Brooker. But Brooker has got his own problems. He’s picked on the wrong guy.

SHARK BAIT is an all-action thriller that will leave you breathless, and the first novel introducing Licensed Vigilante John Steele.

Explosive action. Blistering pace. Gripping plots. For readers who don’t like reading.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Scottish #thriller The Trial by John Mayer

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading The Trial by John Mayer

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I started reading The Trial partly because it was set in my home country of Scotland but it was not what I was expecting. I found it quite hard to get into as there were so many members of the legal profession introduced at the beginning it was difficult to distinguish them from each other. Brogan McLane has been singled out because he’s not one of the Edinburgh elite; his working-class Glasgow background means he is looked down upon in these hallowed circles. I felt a visceral dislike of these judges and advocates whose sense of privilege and entitlement made them think they could get away with anything, even sending an innocent man to jail for a murder he did not commit – which is surely what the author intended! But Brogan McLane has what they don’t – the staunch support of his friends and their belief in his innocence. While his enemies are stabbing each other in the back to protect their privileged positions, Commander Imrie and Brogan’s Glasgow friends are working away behind the scenes to find the real culprit and prove Brogan’s innocence. Once it gets going, this is a fast-paced thriller that whets your appetite for the further adventures of Brogan McLane. Thanks to the author for a free copy of his book that I review as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Book description

An urban legal/crime novel set in the beautiful Scottish city of Edinburgh.
Part I of The Parliament House book series

When Glaswegian Brogan McLane completes many years of university education and legal training he crosses that great divide from Glasgow to Edinburgh. ‘Called’ to the Bar of the Scottish Supreme Court, he becomes a member of the most prestigious club in Scotland; The Faculty of Advocates in Parliament House.

When High Court Judge, Lord Aldounhill, is found dead after a transvestite party in his sumptuous home, those who know the killer close ranks and need a scapegoat – who better than ‘outsider’ Brogan McLane?

Out on bail with his career on hold, McLane and his band of blood brothers in the Calton Bar in Glasgow need to get ahead of their enemies or McLane will go down for life after Trial. But every time they discover a piece of evidence, it seems there is a mirror image to contradict it.

Through the murky world of Russian controlled transvestite hotels and with some unexpected police and judicial help, McLane battles against ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ until the killer is found.

But well protected and knowing all the tricks, will the killer ever stand trial in Parliament House.

About the author

John Mayer would love to be a top-flight blues guitar player and have dated Jennifer Aniston. But what he did achieve, amongst other things was to be a 1970s Indie Record Producer before becoming a top-flight Advocate in the Supreme Court of Scotland where he specialised in international child abduction: rescuing the children, not abducting them, of course.

In his youth, John was shot! Twice! Once in Glasgow, Scotland and once in New York City. John attacks everything he does with passion. And that’s what he brings to his writing.

John Mayer

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Sandra reviews #thriller Hiding by @jmortonpotts

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts

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Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts is a well-written and tightly plotted thriller that keeps you guessing right to the very end. Keller Baye’s father is being executed on death row for his involvement in a crime we know nothing about. Rebecca Brown is living on the remote northwest coast of Scotland with her brother, sister and grandparents, overshadowed by the death of her parents in a mysterious accident. Keller and Rebecca are introduced to us in alternate chapters and to begin with their stories have no obvious connection but gradually converge as we learn more of their backstories. The characters are believable if not entirely sympathetic (except perhaps Rebecca’s grandfather); Rebecca is weird and Keller is completely loathsome (in no small part due to their strange childhoods), but you still want to know how it will all work out. Why did Keller target Rebecca (and not one of her siblings) as the cause of his father’s incarceration and death?  This is left to the reader to decide for themselves. The pace is slow to begin with to build up the suspense then rushes towards an ending with even more surprises in store. The cover art is striking and would stand out on a bookshop shelf. This is the first book by Jenny Morton Potts that I have read but it certainly won’t be the last. Thanks to the author for a free copy of this book which I review as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Book description

A gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, from a unique new voice.

Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.

This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

About the author

Jenny Morton Potts was born in a smart, dull suburb of Glasgow where the only regular excitement was burglary. Attended a smart, dull school where the only regular excitement was the strap. Worked in smart, dull sales and marketing jobs until realising she was living someone else’s life.

Escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon who wanted to talk about The Da Vinci Code, wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England – and unlikely ever to leave again – Jenny, with assistance from loyal hound, walked and swam her way back to manageable health.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, partnered for 28 years, she ought to mention, and living with inspirational child in Derbyshire.

Jenny Morton Potts

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Black comedy #crimefiction Zenka by @alisonbrodie2

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Zenka by Alison Brodie

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I had not read anything by Alison before so (being a fellow Scot) thought I’d give it a try. I was very impressed. The title character is a Hungarian pole-dancer who was promised a good job in London but had actually been sold into the sex trade by Romanian gangsters. She is saved from a fate worse than death by Jack Murray, ‘top gang boss’ in London and owner of the club where she now works. Jack is ruthless but a big softie where women are concerned.

He finds out that he has a son by someone he knew at school but is too frightened to make contact in case his enemies harm the young man in retaliation. Without giving too much away, what follows is a hilarious attempt to help his son anonymously and toughen him up (Zenka thinks he is a bit of a wimp) before he feels it is safe to introduce himself.

The plot is hilarious, full of dark humour with many twists and turns that you don’t see coming. The characters are well written and believable; you care what happens to them. There is also a cinematic quality to the story that would make a very entertaining film; a combination of black comedy, crime thriller and love story.

Thanks to Alison Brodie for the ARC of this novel that I review as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Book description

Ruthless, devious, and loyal, Zenka is a Hungarian pole-dancer with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charge. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will turn Nicholas into the son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas is learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

About the author

Alison Brodie is a writer and animal rights activist.

Her books have been published in hardback and paperback by Hodder (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland).

Alison is now a self-publisher. Here are some editorial reviews for her recent books:

BRAKE FAILURE: “Masterpiece of humor” –Midwest Book Review

THE DOUBLE: “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review.

Alison Brodie

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