The Next Wife by Kaira Rouda (‪@KairaRouda)‬

If you can take him, he can be taken — he has already proven that…

This was a great book! I loved following the evolution of the story through the eyes of the characters. I was glued to the pages of this book, wondering how much the catty ladies (and I use the term loosely) would go to to stop one another. This turned out to be a deliciously entertaining read…

I hated all three of the women to some degree in this book and came to believe they would each do whatever it takes to stay rich, spoiled, entitles divas (and uber-b*tch*s). John only escaped my intense dislike because he died — this entire mess was all his fault in the first place — well, his and The Next Wife‘s. Some of the characters got what they deserved, while others got away with everything. The epilogue was priceless and well worth the wait!

AfterThought: I am looking forward to reading Somebody’s Home by Kaira Rouda

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The Perfect Daughter by Kerry Wilkinson (@kerrywk)

SPOILER ALERT!!!

As another reviewer pointed out, the book blurb reads: ‘Since Katie’s dad left it’s just been the two of us, but we’re a team – singing in the kitchen at cheesy pop songs, tackling her homework. My teenage daughter is everything to me.‘ Absolutely none of that took place in this book. I expected one thing, but got something completely different (not that it was all bad)…

The mother (Jennifer) and daughter (Katie) tolerated each other (at best) and pretty much ignored each other. Jennifer seemed to have little input into anything her daughter did — even casually mentioning that Richard (Katie’s boyfriend) stays overnight (I am no prude, but from the character descriptions, Katie is a minor and Richard is an adult). It seemed to me that the real person Jennifer was trying to protect was herself…

The Perfect Daughter was not Kerry Wilkinson‘s best work. It did have unexpected twists and turns that will keep you guessing, but I did not find it to be as compelling as I usually find his novels. Most of the time, I read his stories in one session, but I put this one down and moved onto something else. When I came back to it, I thought that the ending was pretty interesting (considering everything that had already happened), but it fell a little flat. The moment Jennifer realised she has risked everything and why was priceless…

AfterThought: I am looking forward to reading other books on my list by Mr. Wilkinson…

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Hair of the Dog & Pinot Noir by Steven Henry

… “It’s just business, don’t make it personal.” …

Erin is having dinner with her family when Lieutenant Webb calls her to report to the scene of a homicide. The dead man is real estate agent (Vern Henderson) and the only witness in the case is Catharine Simmons (Webb’s second ex-wife). She was the dead man’s lover, but claims she was upstairs and saw nothing. When Webb’s emotions start to get in the way of the case, he steps back and gives the lead to Erin O’Reilly and her K-9 partner, Rolf. Vic works side-by-side with them to get to the truth…

I read along as the case was investigated, examining each new clue as it came to be discovered… Erin, Rolf and Vic would seem to have the case in hand, then something else would happen… I thought timing would be the deciding factor in who murdered Vern and why… The team will go through some of the worst New Your City has to offer in an attempt to solve the murder (and all of the crimes they observe and/or learn about during the investigation)… Lieutenant Webb has an important decision to make… Will everyone make it out to the other side?

The pace of the book never lags, so you certainly will not be bored. There were so many unexpected twists and turns, surprises and shocks and heart-pounding moments that you have to know what happens next. Make sure to set aside the time to read Hair of the Dog in one session because you will not be able to put it down once you start. I highly recommend this book, the Erin O’Reilly Mysteries Series and author Steven Henry.

AfterThought: I cannot wait for 28/March/22 when Punch Drunk comes out!

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Pinot Noir: A Harry Webb Story

“Drugs, seduction, money, murder, and film; it’s a classic Hollywood story.” …

I was immediately drawn into this story and pictured Bogey as Detective Webb and Bacall as the femme fatale Maureen Sinclair. The language was pure classic film noir… It was intriguing, fun and dangerous all rolled into one… I wondered about Webb’s background, his past marriages and how he came to move from La-La Land to New York City and all of the blanks were filled in with Pinot Noir

Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon calls Pinot “Sex in a glass.” <<~~ What she said!

AfterThought: I really love the cover, it set the mood for the story…

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Covert Kill by Jason Kasper (@kasperauthor)

… “Just make sure nothing is attributable to the US — it needs to be a covert kill.” …

The team (David {Suicide}, Cancer, Worthy {Racegun}, Reilly {Doc}and Ian {Angel}) are back and this time they are in Nigeria. Their objective? Do whatever it takes to rescue Americans from the kidnappers holding them for ransom. They must travel deep into Boko Haram territory… Their CIA commander stateside? Duchess (Raptor Nine One). Does the team have what it takes to pull this mission off?

Covert Kill reaches out from the beginning and grabs you by the throat, demanding your undivided attention until the last page has been read. There are more ups and downs, twists and turns and loop-the-loops than a roller coaster ride. This story demanded your undivided attention with Jason Kasper‘s trademark adrenaline-fueled, kick-*ss, in-your-face action that keeps you glued to the pages. I devoured this book in one reading session because I could not put it down.

AfterThought: I am looking forward to 2022 and reading the next Spider Heist thriller (The Fifth Bandit) and the fourth Shadow Strike novel (Narco Assassins: A David Rivers Thriller)…

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The Thief by Peter O’Mahoney (‪@pomahoneyauthor)‬

“Most cases didn’t have this many dead ends, and yet this one proved to have nothing but.”

Mark Costa hires Jack Valentine and Casey May to find something stolen from his safe when the police turn up nothing. Costa is not only rich, but he is smug, arrogant and very dangerous. He tries to steer the investigation, but Jack and Casey will not allow that to happen Soon, it is made clear that Costa has a long list of enemies who would have wanted the stolen item. Will Valentine choose to risk his life in order to solve the case?

As I read The Thief, I tried to solve the case with Jack and Casey. I examined each new clue as it came to light to see where it might lead. Readers are told what was stolen from Mark’s safe and why he so desperate to get it back. I also wanted to know who the guilty culprit was, changing my mind a time or two. I never quite figured it out, so the big reveal was a surprise (I had dismissed this person as a viable suspect because I could not figure out a motive)…

AfterThought: A five star read by Peter O’Mahoney — highly recommended…

Buried At The Lake by Dan Petrosini (‪@PetrosiniDan‬)

“Live like it’s your last day, but learn like you’re going to live forever.”

Detective Frank Luca has been back on the force for less than a week when the remains of a teenager (Kate Swift) are found on Bill Miller’s property. The body is found by workers digging to build a wall that Bill did not want, but his wife (Cathy) insisted upon having installed. Miller and his brothers (Greg and Mark) are not very helpful about answering questions and hiding behind an attorney (Weinstein). Luca knows they are lying about something, so he and his partner (Derrick Dickson) begin working the ten year-old cold case…

A few days into the cold case investigation, a woman (Sylvia Taras) is shot and killed in the backyard of her Park Shore home. Their new boss (Sheriff Remin) wants Luca and Dickson to put the Swift investigation on the back burner in favor of working on the new case. Sylvia was found by her husband (Paul). They are a very wealthy couple, but seem to have no enemies and the detectives cannot find a motive for the shooting…

What Remin would really like is to have both investigations wrapped up, so Luca and Dickson work the cases simultaneously… They are close to finding out the truth in the Swift case, but are being equally pressured to solve Taras murder…

Mary Ann has been tired and moving slow, her MS symptoms flaring up more frequently and lasting longer. Dr. Bilotti gives a worried Luca some promisingly helpful information…

I figured out the Taras murder almost as soon as the guilty party was introduced… I thought I had solved the cold case, but decided the person I had chosen as suspect that was too obvious. There were a few twists that had me second-guessing myself and then the stunning big reveal that took my breath away, it was so unexpected. Everything I love in a mystery, Buried at the Lake earns five stars from this reader…

AfterThought: I toasted Mr. Petrosini with a 2016 Vigna San Francesco Cabernet Sauvignon while I read this. I enjoy traveling through experiencing wine, reds being my favourite. This was a new one for me and I enjoyed it — oh, and the book was pretty good, too. 😉

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Death Unmasked by Rick Sulik

“He’s made killing his life’s profession and gets a cheap thrill every time he succeeds.”

Death Unmasked opens “Somewhere in Time” and Rick Sulik captivated me with his rich, vibrant attention to detail. I have never read a book quite like this one, the mixture of storytelling and poetry was inspired. I read slowly at first so I would not miss anything, I savored each morsel of information as I took it in. Pretty soon, I was flipping through the pages so fast, I thought my kindle might catch fire. I was intrigued by the possibilities of looking for your reincarnated love while working a murder case of an Oscar Wilde quoting serial killer. How does Houston Homicide Detective Sean Jamison remain sane? Will the murderer be caught? Will Jamison find “the only woman he could ever love”?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Make time to read this one because you will not want to put it down once you start….

AfterThought: A couple of years ago, I would not have bothered to read a book that included reincarnation or paranormal events, but I am glad that I took a chance reading a book that fit those peremiters one of my favorite authors sent me or I might have missed this little gem…

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