Friday, March 30, 2012

The Plot Thickens!

I just finished "Committed" by John W. Mefford and I have to say it was a treat.  The story is fast paced and keeps you guessing.  Just when you think you know where it is going a new layer of mystery is added to the plot.

Michael Doyle is a mid-level manager at a company that has just been bought by a larger corporation and he fears he and his co-workers will be outsourced to India.  Then he finds a body behind the dumpster at work and things go downhill from there. 

He discovers that he knows the young female victim and is compelled to find out who is responsible for her death.  A co-worker is arrested for the crime and Michael does not believe he could be a murderer and becomes more determined to uncover the truth.  As the cast of villains grow and corporate greed and hidden agendas are revealed the stakes get higher for Michael and his girlfriend, Marisa.

This is a great first novel.  The characters are well-developed and believable.  The numerous twists in the plot are all woven together and none are left hanging.  I'll be looking forward to book 2!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Battle for Britannia

"The Serpent and the Slave" is the first novel in Scott Hunter's The Chronicles of Britannia series and I found it quite engaging.  I haven't really read much about this period of time, but Scott made it come to life for me.

The story is set in 367 AD when the Roman Empire is struggling to repel the Irish invaders in the northern provinces of Britannia.  The main character, Marius, is a member of the Corinium council who is transporting an Alamanni slave/gladiator to the emperor.  Traveling with them is a priest named Barnabas and the slave's sister Freia.

They are attacked by a band of Irish and barely escape with their lives.  The Irish capture Freia and take her away. The group then sets out to get her back.

When they reach the Irish stronghold they learn that the forces are led by a rogue Roman who was responsible for the death of Marius' parents.

The story moved along rapidly and kept my interest.  I liked the characters and that there was some humor sprinkled throughout the story.

Friday, March 23, 2012

High Flying Thriller!

The legal thriller "Irreparable Harm", by Melissa F. Miller begins with an airliner crashing into the side of a mountain for no apparent reason.  All aboard are killed. 

Sasha McCandless is a lawyer on track to soon make partner in her large law firm.  The airline company is a client of the firm and the team scrambles to prepare for the inevitable law suits resulting from the accident.  Until she discovers it wasn't an accident. 

A company has developed an application that can take over control of a plane's on board computer remotely and cause it to crash.  They are seeking to sell it to the highest bidder but need to demonstrate it's effectiveness first.

As Sasha delves into the mystery surrounding the crash the bodies begin to start piling up around her.  After the HR executive at the company inadvertently sends her top secret information the company sends some hired thugs after her to get the information back and do away with her.

She is joined in her investigation by a TSA internal investigator who is also seeking answers regarding the crash.  Together they try to stop the next plane from crashing and have justice served.

I really enjoyed the storyline and the characters.  The core characters were well developed.  I especially enjoyed Sasha because she was such a strong, physically capable and intelligent female lead.  She was able to take care of herself.  I also loved the two thugs because they were just plain funny.

The novel did have quite a bit more action then courtroom scenes in it but it worked for me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Race for the Relic!

Russell Blake’s newest release, “The Voynich Cipher” is an exciting, fast paced thrill ride.  The novel opens with the theft of an ancient relic from a medieval church in rural England and races on from there.  The relic contains part of a medieval parchment, the Voynich Manuscript that has defeated cryptographers for centuries.

Dr. Steven Cross, an amateur cryptologist, has written software that enables him to break ancient codes much more quickly.  When the relic disappears and another cryptologist is found dead with Cross’s name in his possession he is contacted by the man’s daughter, Natalie.  They team up to decipher the code and discover the secret hidden in the code.

The secret of the Voynich Manuscript has devastating implications for the Catholic Church and Steven and Natalie quickly become targets in a struggle between the church and ruthless villains that will exploit the secret.  The search takes them all on a race across Europe and beyond.

This is another solid hit by Blake.  The pacing is tight and the characters are well developed.  The storyline is compelling and keeps you reading right up to the shocking end!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Fresh Look at Trading Places!

The newly released "Transfer Student", Laura A. H. Elliott, puts a whole new spin on the Freaky Friday/Trading Places theme.  Rhoe and Ashley are two teenagers from totally different planets.  When they both wish upon a star for things to change the starjumping machine that Rhoe built allows them to switch places.

Rhoe is a teenage boy on planet Retha and a self proclaimed 'quark' (or nerd in earth-speak).  Ashley is the popularity queen of Beverly Hills High School.  They are both shocked when they discover that they are inhabiting the body of someone of the opposite sex.  As they struggle to learn the ways of their new planets, family and friends they uncover what is really important.

"Transfer Student" is an engaging young adult read that adults can enjoy as well.  Laura richly described planet Retha and it comes alive for the reader.  The characters are well developed and very relate-able.  The novel is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Delicious Romp

"Our Eyes Met Over Cantaloupe" by Anne McAneny was great fun to read.  The cast of characters were quirky, endearing and well developed.  It was laugh out loud funny at times and enjoyable from beginning to end.

Millie Morris is a crime reporter for a local paper with aspirations of heading to Washington and the big leagues.  When not reporting she helps out her mother, Grace, at her cupcake shop called The Secret Lives of Cupcakes and with her newspaper/website devoted to reconnecting people who had a chance encounter.

Much to Millie's dismay the shop's largest cupcake order is for a wedding between her ex, Sam, and the real estate lawyer he ditched her for.  While Millie tries to deal with the situation with grace and dignity her ex seems to be having second thoughts.

With a supporting cast of wacky Pauline, her mother's partner, Josh, the baker pining after his own close encounter and Laura, the evil lawyer these friends will keep you turning the pages.  A very entertaining read!