Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – The Good Detective by John McMahon @PutnamBooks

The Good Detective
Police Procedural
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (March 19, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0525535535
ISBN-13: 978-0525535539
Kindle ASIN: B07F63ZJT7

How can you solve a crime if you’ve killed the prime suspect?

Detective P.T. Marsh was a rising star on the police force of Mason Falls, Georgia–until his wife and young son died in an accident. Since that night, he’s lost the ability to see the line between smart moves and disastrous decisions. Such as when he agrees to help out a woman by confronting her abusive boyfriend. When the next morning he gets called to the scene of his newest murder case, he is stunned to arrive at the house of the very man he beat up the night before. He could swear the guy was alive when he left, but can he be sure? What’s certain is that his fingerprints are all over the crime scene.

The trouble is only beginning. When the dead body of a black teenager is found in a burned-out field with a portion of a blackened rope around his neck, P.T. realizes he might have killed the number-one suspect of this horrific crime.

Amid rising racial tension and media scrutiny, P.T. uncovers something sinister at the heart of the boy’s murder–a conspiracy leading all the way back to the time of the Civil War. Risking everything to unravel the puzzle even as he fights his own personal demons, P.T. races headlong toward an incendiary and life-altering showdown.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a gritty, compelling, emotional, terrifying story that I escaped right into and only came out for air when I had to get some sleep. I dove back in the next day as soon as I was able and stayed there even after I stopped reading the author’s words. This story has stuck with me since.

Detective P.T. Marsh is still trying to recover after losing his wife and son in an accident almost 2 years ago. He had always had good instincts but he is seriously off his game, drinking too much and having blackouts. His poor judgment leads him to the home of an abusive boyfriend after meeting his girlfriend and noticing the bruises covering her body. After beating the guy to shreds he leaves him with a deadly warning. Back on the job the next day he and his partner are called to a murder. Soon he realizes they are headed on the same path he took to the victim of his beat-down. Did he blackout and kill the guy? No way, but can he really be sure? Especially when the techs are going to find evidence he was there the night before.

While he tries to cover his tracks he makes a huge discovery in the victim’s garage. Evidence of arson that leads them to a field that been burned. As he looks over the fire scene he makes another grisly discovery. A young black teen’s body with a noose around his neck. Did the abusive boyfriend lynch this kid and light the field on fire to cover his crime?

P.T. takes on the case while trying to keep his involvement secret from everyone. What he finds is appalling and shocking and could rock the town of Mason Falls to its core.

The author has created vivid characters P.T. Marsh is a strong man. Flawed, smart, a complicated man facing demons of his own. Finding himself wrapped up, in this case, may be the thing that finally breaks him. His partner Remy is a young rookie who knows something is up with her partner but he shuts her out at every turn. His chief and the other officers have faith in him, but he is holding on to his job by the tips of his fingers. He made a stupid decision to try to scare off an abuser and it could be the final nail in his coffin.

Mr. McMahon takes on serious issues in his debut novel. A layered story featuring the racial divide found in Mason Falls, Georgia dating back decades, back even as far the civil war. Little clues lead to huge reveals. With the current climate these days it wasn’t as hard to wrap my head around these ghastly acts as it would have been just a couple of years ago. So sadly, this story definitely had a ripped from the headlines feel. Something you could see on the nightly news today.

McMahon does an excellent job of setting each scene taking the reader right into the drama. This story was an emotional journey both for the characters and for me as the reader. Anger, repulsion, fear, heartbreak, and more. The story had a slow build but soon following P.T. step by step was riveting. The dialogue was true to life with a few curses as expected in this genre.

For me, John McMahon is now an author to watch. He ends his acknowledgment with “P.T. Marsh will be back. Stay tuned.” That makes me happy because I believe the man has turned a corner and I would like to see where the author takes this character.

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About the Author

John McMahon studied Creative Writing at The University of Arizona. In his role as an ad agency creative director, his work has won a Gold Clio for Fiat, and he’s written a Superbowl spot for Alfa Romeo. He currently lives in Southern California with his family and two rescue animals. He’s hard at work on another P.T. Marsh book and dreams of splitting his time between Cabo San Lucas and Lake Lanier, Georgia.


I am giving away my review copy!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Spotlights

#Spotlight – 43 Missing (Detective Emilia Cruz) by Carmen Amato

43 Missing (Detective Emilia Cruz)
Suspense/Mystery/Police Procedural
6th in Series
Laurel & Croton (December 14, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0999712207
Kindle ASIN: B07793QCD7

43 MISSING is based on the true events of September 2014,when 43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College went missing in Iguala, Guerrero and have yet to be found.

Given the choice between resigning from the squadroom in Acapulco or taking a new assignment, Detective Emilia Cruz finds herself on a national task force examining Mexico’s most notorious crime.

After 18 months and three inconclusive investigations, the task force is the Mexican government’s last attempt to discover what happened to 43 students who disappeared after being seized by police in a small southern city.

Comprised of cops from across Mexico, the task force lacks technical tools, organized case files, and reliable witnesses. It’s a perfect scenario for failure.

Despite its problems, the task force gives Emilia the opportunity to search for the rapist and murderer known as El Acólito, with whom she has an agonizing family tie. Digging into his past life in Mexico City, she’ll learn a shocking truth about the man she’s determined to kill.

As the task force digs up confusing new leads, a diplomat from the United States embassy offers Emilia $50,000 to end the investigation. It’s a tempting offer that would shift Emilia’s hunt for El Acólito into high gear.

But is the diplomat really who he claims to be?

Does it matter?

When the task force heads to the scene of the crime, Emilia knows her loyalty, conscience, and very future will be put to the test.

About the Author

With a CIA career in her rearview mirror, Carmen Amato is the author of the Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series set in Acapulco and optioned for television by a US network studio. Emilia Cruz is the first female detective on the Acapulco police force, confronting Mexico’s drug cartels, legendary government corruption and culture of machismo. Kirkus Reviews has called the books “consistently exciting,” with “danger and betrayal never more than a page away.”

Carmen’s books reflect her travels around the world, as well as her expertise in international negotiations and intelligence collection, translation, and analysis. She is a recipient of both the National Intelligence Award and the Career Intelligence Medal.

Originally from upstate New York, Carmen was educated there as well as in Virginia and Paris, France. Her family tree includes a mayor, a Mensa genius, and the first homicide in the state of Connecticut with an automatic weapon. The perpetrator, her great-grandfather, eluded a state-wide manhunt after killing two people–one of whom was his wife. He was never brought to justice. *

Visit Carmen’s website at to get a free copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library. With two novellas, the first chapters of the first 3 novels in the series. 

*From Amazon

The Detective Emilia Cruz Series
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Posted in Just For Fun Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2014

February Just For Fun Read – Naked Heat by Richard Castle

just for fun 2014

Naked Heat (Nikki Heat)
2nd in Series
Mystery/Police Procedural
Published by Hyperion
A Division of Harper Collins
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1401324025
Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0786891368
E-Book File Size: 639 KB


In the sequel to the New York Times bestselling HEAT WAVE, Richard Castle’s new thrilling mystery continues the story of NYPD Homicide Detective, Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City’s top homicide squads. In what’s sure to be another smash sensation by blockbuster author Richard Castle, readers will once again follow Nikki Heat and hotshot reporter Jameson Rook as they trade barbs and innuendos all while on the trail of a murderer!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As a fan of the television show Castle, this was a fun read. ABC has brought their character’s books to life. Richard Castle is a mystery/police procedural author who writes stories about the NYPD detectives he “shadows” because he has some lofty friends in New York, like the mayor. He actually is one of the team and helps solves the cases.

All the characters in the book are based on characters in the show, so the book is really an episode of the show with the names changed, with one notable exceptin, Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook gave into the romantic tension long before Castle and Beckett did.

I find it comical that in the acknowledgements the author thanks both the characters in the show and the actors that play them. The picture of the author on the book jacket is Nathan Fillion, the actor that plays Richard Castle so the tie in to the show is complete.

There has been much speculation on who actually pens these novels. It is said the author has appeared on the hit television show. James Patterson, Michael Connelly and Stephen Cannell have all appeared as themselves on the show as Castle’s poker buddies. I always thought it was Stephen Cannell. He was part of so many great television shows. It was a sad day when he passed away in 2010. Another name that was thrown into the mix was Tom Straw. He has been on the show briefly in a non-speaking role back in Season 2, he is known more for being associated with television comedies, but he has written one Castle-like novel back in 2007, The Trigger Episode: A Novel.

I am grateful for the Just For Fun Reading Challenge so  that I can get caught up on books like this that have been waiting far too long on my TO-BE-READ Shelf.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

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*This book was from my personal collection.

Posted in Spotlights

Spotlight: The Dark Winter by David Mark (Giveaway!)

the dark winter
The Dark Winter:
(Detective Sergeant Mcavoy)

Police Procedural/Suspense
New Series
Plume (March 26, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0142196977
E-Book File Size: 545 KB

The Dark Winter (Aector McAvoy, #1)

A series of suspicious deaths have rocked Hull, a port city in England as old and mysterious as its bordering sea. They have captured the attention of Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy. He notices a pattern missed by his fellow officers, who would rather get a quick arrest than bother themselves with finding the true killer. Torn between his police duties and his aching desire to spend more time with his pregnant wife and young son, McAvoy is an unlikely hero: a physically imposing man far more comfortable exploring computer databases than throwing around his muscle. Compelled by his keen sense of justice, he decides to strike out alone—but in the depths of the dark winter, it’s difficult to forget what happened the last time he found himself on the wrong side of a killer’s blade…

About This Author David_Mark
David Mark has been a journalist for over fifteen years, including seven years as crime reporter with The Yorkshire Post. He is married with two children and lives near Hull. Dark Winter is his first novel. The follow up,Original Skin, will be available May 16, 2013.





Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have a paperback copy to giveaway!!

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End April 27, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Review: Broken Harbor by Tana French

Broken Harbor: A Novel
Viking (July 24, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 464 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0670023653

Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad, #4)

Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy is the top detective in the Murder Squad. He is now partnered with rookie Richie Curran, just out of uniform. Kennedy has dropped down to #2 in solve rates in his department. Then he is handed what should be a dream case.

Patrick Spain and his two children are found dead in one of the half-built/half abandoned “luxury developments” in a place called Brainstown. His wife Jenny is in intensive care.

What was first thought to be an easy case turns out to be a lot harder when too many clues can’t be explained.

The neighborhood used to be called Broken Harbor and Kennedy’s family has a little history with the place. His sister Dina freaks out when she sees the case on the news. She is remembering something about the summer they spent there as kids. Something “Scorcher” thought was deeply buried.

Kennedy has his hands full as he tries to solve the case and keep his sister safe and out of trouble.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was so looking forward to reading this book. It really had me well past halfway but then it just seemed to fall apart.

This book is a police procedural type story which I usually find very interesting. This one started really good but after the middle is really started to drag and got boring. Yes, boring. I found myself barely skimming through the pages just to get to the end. I had figured out who-dun-it very early on and all the dialogue, tons of dialogue was just filling pages to tell readers what we already knew. Then at the end there were still so many questioned answered. Almost 500 pages and we are left to wonder about so much.

What really upset me was when the lead character started to make some choices a man in his position would never make. A law and order guy would not risk his career this way.

As far as the other characters, his other sister Geri just seems to be too lackadaisical about their sister, Dina, with the mental heath issues. Dina was just plain annoying. My verdict is still out on the rookie Curran, he could develop into a solid character in a future installment.

I have enjoyed other French novels and by the end of this one I was even questioning if she had really written this story. I got to the end and realized I really knew nothing about Mike Kennedy. The man had absolutely no real back story. His life was his job occasionally uninterrupted by his crazy sister.

I know Tana French is a much better writer than this and I hope her next book is shorter and full of the dynamic characters and the thrills I know she can deliver.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”