Monday, July 24, 2017

Review of DEADLY LIES: Chris Patchell

DEADLY LIES: Chris Patchell
Mystery / Thriller
Date Published: December 15, 2013

As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather’s cruel abuse.
Now, as an adult, Jill’s made it—she has a successful career
and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon.
Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle.
The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim
lies dormant—until one day a reporter lures her to
his hotel room under the pretense of an interview
—and suddenly it all comes rushing back.
Jill seeks revenge on the reporter, triggering a series of events
that leads Jill down a wormhole of retribution, forcing her
to spin an ever-widening web of lies.
Meanwhile, Alex is on the case of a series of murders
that began as cyber relationships. There seems to be a
familiar fingerprint on these crimes, but Alex refuses
to believe that the murderer could be so close to him.
For those who couldn’t put down The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
comes a thrilling ride a la Mr. and Mrs. Smith,
where husband and wife stand on opposite sides
of a divide created by lies and rooted
in a dark and deadly past.


An Unexpected Surprise — An Excellent Read

Alex and Jill Shannon are the perfect couple … right down their yellow Labrador Molly … but trouble is lurking under the surface. Alex is a detective, a good one, and the job means a little less attention focused where it should be—on his wife. When Alex’s ex-girlfriend enlists his help in finding her missing sister, it strains an already strained marriage. But there’s more going on than the obvious. Jill is hiding a troubled past. She was sexually abused and she made a solemn promise for it to never happen again. All these elements become combustible when something triggers Jill into doing the unthinkable. Her biggest problem? Not letting her husband know.  

DEADLY LIES by Chris Patchell is a darn good read. It started out a little wonky for me, but it doesn’t take long to get into the heart of the story, and when it does, it never lets up.

The story is told tandem style, and weaves what’s going on in Alex and Shannon’s lives by allowing them to take center stage and tell what’s going on through their POV. While I loved Alex from the get go, Jill … not so much. But when the ticking time bomb Jill carries inside goes off, both sections of the story mesh beautifully, and I became as vested in Jill as I was Alex. What can I say? I was fixated on this story.

Chris Patchell is a really good writer. Her skill is evident in the way the story flows, the fast pacing, and the way we get caught up in drama. The suspense is always present, urging us to read more than we planned, and the surprises that occur keep it that way. As for the ending? Definitely, did not anticipate it! It’s a big shockaroo and I loved it. It finished off the tale in style and left me happy that I spent the time reading this taut mystery/thriller.

I definitely recommend DEADLY LIES to all you mystery buffs. I’m sure after reading it, you’ll want more of Chris Patchell. Put her and it on your list of summer reads and enjoy!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review Tour of STALKER, MY LOVE: Zack Scott

Stalker, My Love
by Zack Scott
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Romance
Release Date: May 14, 2017

An untraditional love story where fantasy clashes with reality, and happily ever after seems like an elusive dream.

Welcome to Pine Bridge, a small town rife with secrets. Personal is everyone's business and passion is high.

With the disappearance of Rosalyn Ray, tensions soar and fingers point in every direction: the boyfriend, the best friend, the mother and the stalker.

Frustrated by the search going nowhere, Rhett Calloway makes it his mission to discover the truth and find the girl. Some people in Pine Bridge say he's obsessed. Some say he's dangerous. Some say he's hurt Rosalyn. All Rhett knows is he's loved Rosalyn since they were kids and he'll do what it takes to see her again.

Ever Feel You’re Being Watched? It’s Cause You Are!

Rosalyn Ray has a problem—a stalker who won’t leave her alone. While it’s true that Rhett Calloway once saved her from abusive boyfriend Earl Wick, it’s also true that the act of chivalry didn’t entitle him to a permanent place in her life. But try telling that to Rhett. He continues to obsess over her—right up until the night she disappears from Pine Bridge. Where is Rosalyn? Was she abducted? And is she alive? They’re all good questions and ones Detective Elliot Venice wants answered. Elliot is determined to find her missing best friend, but a drunken romp puts a cramp in the investigation—and her career.

STALKER, MY LOVE by Zack Scott is a suspenseful tale of love in its many forms—and that includes stalking. Yikes! The imaginative plot hinges on discerning fact from fantasy. While you might think it’s easy to tell the difference, it’s not in this novel! Rhett has a regular fantasy factory housed in his cranium, and it never stops churning out fuzzy pink unicorns that serve as bride’s maids at Rhett and Ray’s weddintg--like that’s ever going to happen! As a device, the mental instability blurring reality is effective in creating mystery and adding plenty of atmosphere. I also loved the author’s choice in using multiple POV’s. Since suspects abound, it’s a good way to let the reader get inside their heads.

On the negative side, I do think there are repetitive passages and dialogue that could be edited out. It would move the story along at a faster clip in some spots. But it’s a small price to pay, and the sheer inventiveness wins out. I appreciated the attention to detail and how all the subplots meshed together to deliver an ultimately satisfying ending.

Zack Scott’s writing is first-rate, and hummed right along. The pacing is good and there are plenty of red herrings thrown in to drive us crazy in guessing who did what to Rosalyn. Definitely an enjoyable read and one I can recommend.

I’m giving this one 3.8 for anyone wanting a fresh take on mystery.

Zack was born and raised in Southern California. He has written several stories, including the zombie apocalypse trilogy, THEIR DEAD LIVES, the horror comedy, ONE PISSED-OFF SHARK, and the recently released STALKER, MY LOVE. He is licensed to practice law in the State of California.