Tag Archives: Thriller

Double Identity- by Alison Morton- a Review

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I received a copy in exchange for a fair review. I give this one 3.5 stars for being readable and having a good plot. It’s clear the writer knows London, France and the military and she used that knowledge well.

Melisande, nicknamed Mel, is an unlikeable heroine. She’s a poor judge of character, quick to overreact and attack people (including slapping a colleague across the face in a moment of uncontrolled rage), and thoroughly annoying.

Despite that, I found myself drawn into the tale. It was a good story with a compelling plot.

The heroine is also a mass of contradictions. Some were hard for this reader to reconcile such as her compassion for the domestic partner of one of the villain’s while she was undercover living in the same home as the villain and his mate, all while scheming to bring down the villain and destroy the life of this man she seemed drawn to and befriended on a visit to the market. I know she was undercover and had to lie, but the way the author wrote the villain in the beginning and how she wrote him while the heroine was living with him (as well as his partner) was also a big contradiction. The man seemed like two different characters in places. Kind when he was in his apartment or car and ruthless and cruel when he was at his office or in the street. It was a little off-putting and odd. On the one hand, he seemed like he could kill the heroine without a thought and then, on the other, he was chatting with her as if they were cordial colleagues.

The heroine was also a contradiction in her dealings with her colleagues and other law enforcement members. Disrespectful to orders even though her actions ended up saving lives and just overall, someone who rubbed me the wrong way. I liked her partner, Jack McCracken as he reminded me of heroes who grow on the reader during the course of the story. He was unkind and annoying at the beginning, but he had motivation as he was investigating a murder where the heroine was a potential suspect. He eventually changed and softened.

I liked the intricacy of the plot, starting with the death of Mel’s fiancé and heading into the adventure of her working with the agency to solve not only his death, but an international intrigue involving a large cast of characters. The ultimate villain was easy to figure out as the author seemed to bang the reader in the head with his behavior.

This book made me angry in parts—mostly due to the heroine’s behaviors and attitudes—but ultimately, she seemed to have a straight moral compass and I liked that. She was adept at her job, a great shot, and savvy when it came to her military training, but she didn’t offer much in the way of interpersonal skills. She also didn’t appear to have any character growth at all during the course of the story. And I guess that was all right as I kept reading…

If She Dies- by Erik Therme – A Review

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The blurb for this story set me up for a certain kind of story and, surprisingly, it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, there were twists and turns and some surprises, and it definitely held my attention despite not leading me where I thought it would. The beginning was not like a traditional thriller. It was a slow start that built through the first almost ¾ of the book. I liked it a lot and being surprised by a few things made it even more enjoyable. It didn’t take me long to read it, because it moved fast and held my interest.

There were a couple of places where I thought the protagonist, Tess, was a little naïve and slow on the uptake, but it served the plot, so I can get past that. She wasn’t one of those heroines that make the reader want to slap some sense into her and the naivety was somewhat understandable.

The minor characters like Tess’s brother and husband were well-drawn with good back stories and motivations for their actions. Her husband, Josh, was a bit OCD, but that showed the author put a lot of thought into how he would act as well as react to Tess. I did get a bit peeved at Josh a few times, but to me, that’s a sign of a good story since it means I am relating to the characters.

I have a friend who lost her child in similar circumstances to how Tess and Josh lost Lily and so much of how these characters dealt with their grief was familiar to me from what my friend and her husband went through, the scenes dealing with the sadness, loss and lack of communication really resonated with me. Well done to the author for being able to realistically write about such horrific loss as well as making the story suspenseful.

This one is a 4.5 star read for me. A hard subject handled skillfully. 

It’s Release Day!

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This story is set in my hometown, Pensacola, and features many local landmarks as well as restaurants I love to visit- all local owned and operated, some by more than one generation!  It’s a tour of my town as well as a bit of a thriller with some romance woven in. Buy link

front cover (2)

Vincent Price

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I’ve had Vincent Price on my mind the last few days. I loved that man. He was such a great actor and his voice was awesomely wicked.  I’ve been hearing Thriller on the radio a  lot the last few days and I just adore the part where Vincent recites the poem. When he says, “the foulest stench is in the air, the funk of 40,00o years…” I can almost smell of whence he speaks. 

I was watching Laura the other day and was surprised to see him. It had been so long since I’d seen  it, I forgot he played one of the characters. It’s a great story. A cop falls in love with a murder victim. 

Vincent in "Laura"

Who could forget him in House of Wax? If you never saw that one, it is particularly creepy. Check it out. He was also a great villain- Professor Ratigan- in The Great Mouse Detective– my Number One son’s second favorite animated movie (right behind The Sword and the Stone).

Betcha didn’t know this- Vincent Price was a gourmet cook and wrote several cook books. He also appeared on television cooking shows.  I think  that’s pretty cool.

Vincent as chef? Or serial killer? Or both?

Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Needs to stay in his grave and quit trying to comment on my blog. Better yet, he needs to stay in the jungle with his ape.  I have read the Brothers Karamazov– when I was 16 and still in high school.  I also read The Idiot at the same age.  I can read in Latin, Spanish and some Italian.  Just because I didn’t like a book you seem to adore enough to have written yourself, doesn’t make me stupid.  Give it a rest, already. Or contact me with your real name as we both know you aren’t a man that died in 1950. AND I have read Tarzan as well, by the way. I have an opinion, you have an opinion and this is my blog. I will write what I please. I won’t be bullied by a dead man (or live one either, for that matter.)

My definition of thriller is obviously different that yours, Dead Sir. Thriller means, to me, that the book is so good and so fast paced that it can’t be put down.  Sorry to say the book you and I disagree about was  very much one I could (and did) put down.  I suggest you and I agree to disagree and let it go.

If you DID write the book of whence I speak, you need to learn to take criticism. How did you ever become a writer with such thin skin?  Not everyone is going to love your work. Sorry, but that is reality.  Your comments to me are not going to change my mind and make  me suddenly love the book. I just didn’t. I apologize if that helps but please don’t call me stupid for not liking the book.  I really am quite intelligent.