False Prophet (Saul Marshall Thriller Book 1) by Richard Davis

Publication Date: January 25, 2016

Imagine seeing our obituary in the paper just before assassins break into your home. When a cult starts killing people, Agent Saul Marshall is one the case. When that cult kidnaps Saul’s son, he may officially be off the case but the rules have changed and it’s winner take all.

False Prophet was given to me as an ARC in exchange for my review.

 

False Prophet is a story that starts with the reader an observer in a moment that would be a credit to any horror movie. A man sees his obituary in the newspaper, hears his missing son’s voice and then the killers descend. The scene is so stunningly choreographed and artfully crafted that the air leaves the reader’s lungs and the need to know how that kill was brought about drives the reader into the up and down thrill-a-minute ride that is wise-cracking, rule breaking, Agent Saul Marshall.   False Prophet is a race against time that readers will rarely want to put down. The dishes can wait, Saul’s son needs saving now!

False Prophet is the first book in the Saul Marshall series and, as such, it does suffer from some disadvantages. Saul is a classic loose cannon who has done too much and seen too much and a few steps ahead of everyone. Of course, he knows everything and he’s one of those guys that tells us everything he knows. Davis is clearly a well informed guy and one that feels a responsibility to share with his readers that information that drives the story. Saul is a conman. He’s trained to notice everything and he tells us everything he notices. As in the case of Barry Eisler’s, John Rain, there are times that the minutia reads as action but mostly it dances around the edges of distracting from what is really a very fast reading piece.

Ivan Drexler is exactly what you’d expect from a really good thriller baddie in that he is completely insane and deliciously brutal. Any thinking person would be terrified that someone like him could be walking the streets undetected and he would be undetected. He’s a cult leader with a compelling personality who has escaped from an asylum and is driven by his hate of Saul. Drexler is a true sociopath in the manner Moriarty as played by Andrew Scott (Sherlock). There’s a brilliance to the character that must have been impossibly tricky to write and tells me that once this reader settles into his world, he’s going to be unstoppable.

Saul, as with characters of his genre, is a little bit awesome but there are hints at things that the reader wants to know more about. For all of his observance and explaining you know that the various things he’s hinted that he’s done were pulled off with a panache that would be fun to read. Had the author included those stories in this volume I would have complained but that doesn’t mean the appetite wasn’t sparked. This is going to be a series that the author will eventually have to explore it’s main character’s start. Like Jack Reacher, so much was hinted at and so little was said. Davis must have had a very good editor because for the overflow of information, I didn’t notice any technical errors at all.

If you’ve gotten the idea that I liked False Prophet, you’d be right. I wouldn’t label it a 5 star book but am pretty sure that subsequent books will be. As is suited for the genre, the first story is personal but one gets the sense from Saul that it will always be personal. Saul is that guy. He is that loose cannon and that’s exactly what makes me want to read him again.

If you’re looking for a wonderful thriller read that is extremely well written and flows quickly, pick False Prophet up today.

A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery

Publication Date: May 27, 2015

 

A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery, mystery book reviewThe Amtrak Sunset Limited crashes in the desert under mysterious circumstances. In the area of the crash is a pregnant teen, a soldier suffering from PTSD, a group of Pentecostal zealots waiting for the events foretold in Revelations surely soon to happen. A Light in the Desert is the story of the people surrounding the event.

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

A Light in the Desert is a fictional story based on the true event of the derailing of the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a train that travels between New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angles, California, on October 9, 1995, in Hyder, Arizona. Railway ties had been removed to cause the accident and though the actual culprits were never caught, A Light in the Desert is a fictionalized version of the events.

A Light in the Desert is a character-driven novel imbued with social commentary. There are a number of focus characters including a pregnant teen, a traumatized Vietnam veteran, a battered teen repeating the cycle and a group of Pentecostal zealots calling themselves “The Children of Light” waiting for the world to end. Montgomery’s writing technique involves short chapters of slowly released experiences, highlighting the characters. We meet the pregnant teen when she’s in a cemetery leaving flowers on the graves of babies and we meet the Vietnam veteran as he’s saving a dog that had been tortured. There are hints that draw us in before the characters really start to connect.

I was especially interested to read “The Children of Light” as I was raised Pentecostal. In the church in which I grew up, members referred to each other as “brother” and “sister.” In A Light in the Desert their title is “Elect” and that title crosses gender lines. There is a reverence for religion in the piece, but one that connects with reality in a way that radical Christianity often does not. A Light in the Desert is a book about humanity, and the author clearly sees faith and those of extreme faith as a part of that humanity though she in no way backs away from the darker elements and that scars that darkness leaves.

Montgomery’s style of prose is economical but lyrical which, I believe, is perhaps what lets the piece down. Our looks into the lives are quick shots, and people that need to put the book down and pick it up again may find A Light in the Desert somewhat difficult to follow. Motivations are unveiled as a payoff for continuing to read. Montgomery is a very good writer who seems very conscious; she is an observer of technical rules of writing. A Light in the Desert is above all else a work of literary fiction and an example of proper techniques to writers aspiring to the genre. The story itself flows quite rapidly. The setting was natural to the true story on which A Light in the Desert is based but brilliant for the isolated feel for the characters.

A Light in the Desert is a great read. If you’re looking for a great story about human nature, pick A Light in the Desert up today.

Read an excerpt and buy A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery on

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About Anne Montgomery
For more information about Anne Montgomery, visit her website. You can connect with her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter @amontgomery8.

They’re So Vein (The Grateful Undead Book 1) by Susan Stec

Publication Date: October 1, 2012

 

Book Review: They're So Vein by Susan StecSusan,  a 58-year-old woman, encounters an altercation between a woman and a child in a public restroom where she stops while out with her sister. In her enthusiasm to film the conflict to post on her YouTube page, she inadvertently finds herself the object of the strange child’s ire. Susan wakes up to find that she looks 30 years younger and, oh yes, she’s also a vampire. The women in her life are eager to jump on this fountain of youth but the vampire world is much more organized than they thought it would be and their behavior is attracting attention they could do without. Is a youthful body worth the danger they’ve found?

 

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Ukulele Deadly (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries Book 7) by Leslie Langtry

Publication Date: April 11, 2017

 

Nani Johnson is settling into her life in Hawaii playing the ukulele for events. When she goes to pick up food for a last-minute dinner, a man dies behind her car. Turns out, the man is from the same super-small Kansas town that Nani and her ultra-nutty mom left a few years before. As the body count climbs and Nani and her mom hit the suspect list, can she solve the mystery of the murders before she finds herself playing ukulele behind bars for the rest of her life?

Ukulele Deadly is the 7th book in the Aloha Lagoon Mystery Series.

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Never Never by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Publication Date: January 16, 2017

 

Never Never by James Patterson and Candice FoxHarry Blue is at the top of her game as a sex crimes investigator when her brother is arrested for the murders of three young women. She’s reassigned to the back of beyond and everything feels wrong. Desperate to clear her brother of charges, Harry’s investigation takes her on a sure path to destruction.

Never Never is the first book in the Harry Blue series.

 

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The Mutt and the Matchmaker: A Matchmaker Mystery Novella by J.B. Lynn

Publication Date: May 15, 2014

 

The Mutt and the Matchmaker: A Matchmaker Mystery Novella by J.B. Lynn, book reviewTom Hanlon is a private investigator. As a favor to his elderly neighbor, he takes her dog out for some exercise and meets Armani Vazquez, an eccentric matchmaker who wants to set him up with his prime suspect in a serious crime, Jane Bly and her aptly named foster dog, Calamity. While Tom is looking for his thief will Jane steal his heart?

The Mutt and the Matchmaker is the first book in the Matchmaker Mystery series.

 

 

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Murder on the Page (Harley Hill Mysteries Book 2) by Kennedy Chase

Publication Date: October 2, 2016

 

Book Review: Murder on the Page, A Harley Hill Mystery by Kennedy ChaseHarley Hill and her finder agency partner, Cordelia, are hired to find a diary written by John Dee, advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. When their search leads them to a dead body, they find themselves thrust into the English underworld and into a plot that could end the monarchy.

Murder on the Page is the second book in the Harley Hill series.

 

 

 

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Jukebox by Saira Viola

Publication Date: February 12, 2015

 

Nick is a lawyer with a deep love for the music industry. His dream has always been to own his own record label and when Mel and his money comes into the picture, suddenly those dreams are within reach. Avery is a rookie reporter looking for her break and seeing potential for an interesting story in Mel, a man with clear ties to the unsavory. In a society of excess and where everything comes with a price, will they all come out alive?

 

 

 

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Adventures of an American Girl in Victorian London by Elizabeth L. Banks

Publication Date: November 7, 2016

 

Adventures of an American Girl in Victorian London by Elizabeth L. Banks, historical nonfiction book

In 1892, an American journalist named Elizabeth Banks launched the ultimate social experiment. She lived side by side with the people of Victorian England working in all manners of jobs from street sweeper to maid for some of the most demanding matrons in London. She also posed as an heiress to get the perspective of the elite. Adventures of an American Girl in London was originally published in 1894. 

 

 

 

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The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

Publication Date: September 6, 2016

 

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild, book reviewAnnie McDee is a chef that has had a hard time with love. Still heartbroken by the end of her long term relationship, she takes a lover for whom she plans an elaborate birthday dinner and buys a painting. When he stands her up, she’s left with the gift which turns out to be worth a lot and sought after by some unsavory and dangerous folks. The painting takes Annie on a path leading through European history and possibly to love.

 

 

 

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