Monday, January 30, 2023

Books 1-6

 The Next Girl by Carla Kovach

She thought he’d come to save her. She was wrong.
Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again …
Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results.
The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.
I did enjoy this book.  I kept picking it up to see what was going to happen next. Wasn't crazy about the ending (the epilogue) it was a little too cut and dried given the horrors that happened to Deborah.  

Losing Your Head by Clare Kauter
She’ll clear his name of murder – if she doesn’t kill him first.
Checkout-girl turned amateur sleuth Charlie Davies at your service.
My nemesis has been accused of offing his billionaire uncle for an inheritance, and as much as I’d love to see James McKenzie rot in prison, there are two problems.
One: He definitely didn’t do it. (Probably.)
Two: In exchange for proving his innocence, he’ll pay up big.
And I simply can’t resist his… cash.
I have to find the killer somehow, because the reward money isn’t the only thing on the line. If I don’t catch the murderer before they catch me –
I might just lose my head.
This book was so over the top, unrealistic and beyond belief that it was quite funny.  I don't think I'll be reading any more in the series but it did make me laugh.

Jinnie by Josephine Cox

Ten years ago, Louise Hunter's life was torn apart by tragedy. Her husband, Ben, killed himself; her brother-in-law, Jacob, was murdered; and her sister, Susan, abandoned her new-born daughter, revealing the baby is Ben's child. Louise remains haunted by guilt over the one night she spent with Ben's friend Eric, and refuses to return Eric's love. But after adopting Jinnie, she finds new happiness - until Susan decides she wants Jinnie back.
Meanwhile, Adam and Hannah, whose mother was killed with Jacob, are on the run. What Adam witnessed on that dreadful night has put them all in danger, but their beloved grandmother knows that one day they must return to the place where it all began . . .
I did enjoy this book and it was very heart wrenching and touching in parts, but I was a little disappointed in the ending.  Can't say much without giving away the ending but it all fell into place a little too easily.

Last Seen by Joy Kluver

I can see her, shouting with laughter as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. I can feel her tiny hot hand in mine, and my heart aches. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…
When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.
Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.
But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village seems to care that Molly is missing at all. Why?
And then Bernie makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.
Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls, and just when they think they’re making progress a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.
Can Bernie outwit the most warped criminal she has ever faced and bring Molly home safe, or will another innocent life be lost?
This was an interesting crime thriller. I found it went from tame to crazy quiet quickly. I loved the dynamics between Bernie and her team, especially her newest member who is one moment obnoxious and the next nice, thoughtful and kind-there seems to be more to his story.
I liked how this case is uncovered and how deeply things go. It is done so well and believable as well. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put the book down.

Murder at the Manor by Catherine Coles

Evelyn Christie has resigned herself to another long, boring weekend at Hessleham Hall, the home of her husband, Tommy's, family. However, it turns out to be anything but dull when his uncle, the Earl of Northmoor, is shockingly murdered!
Evelyn must use all of her sleuthing knowledge, gained whilst she was a member of the Police force during the war, to find out who the murderer is before the bungling local police force decide the Earl was bumped off so Tommy could inherit his title.
This is a very light read. A lot of interesting, if not all of them likeable, characters. The story wasn’t over complicated, so I finished it very quickly.

The Force by Don Winslow

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.
He is "the King of Manhattan North," a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the real leader of "Da Force." Malone and his crew are the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, and the baddest, an elite special unit given carte blanche to fight gangs, drugs, and guns. Every day and every night for the eighteen years he’s spent on the Job, Malone has served on the front lines, witnessing the hurt, the dead, the victims, the perps. He’s done whatever it takes to serve and protect in a city built by ambition and corruption, where no one is clean—including Malone himself.
What only a few know is that Denny Malone is dirty: he and his partners have stolen millions of dollars in drugs and cash in the wake of the biggest heroin bust in the city’s history. Now Malone is caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job, his family, and the woman he loves, trying to survive, body and soul, while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.
 As you might expect, there is a lot of violence and strong language in this book. The language, authentic, though it may be, is rough, very rough.
This book is mind boggling. It is packed with layers of drama, tension and suspense, and is utterly engrossing and riveting.
However, it is not an easy read in many ways. It is intensely somber and bleak. 
Denny reminded me of a member of the mob, in reality, he is, he's the "the King of Manhattan North",the leader of "Da Force" with his fingers in every pie, wheeling and dealing, working the system, compromising, living large and on the edge, instead of a member of law enforcement. The lines were very very blurred.
This is a book that leaves you at the end pondering the story and asking questions. For me what the author did with Denny Malone at the ending, was unbelievable and as such, it was very much a let down. But over all I liked the book. It was a great read.  
I'm not sure I want to read another book like this though as I did found it just too much in the violence department.

That's it for January. 6 books, more than I expected!