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IM

IM
by Rick R Reed
Quest
ISBN: 1932300791
www.rickrreed.com

Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

IM is a psychological thriller about an online community where a predator has been and continues the hunt for his next victim. Gay men looking for partners via the world wide web are now being hunted by this predator and he has a way of seducing his prey that no man can refuse. What does IM stand for exactly? Is it instant messaging or instant murder? Maybe it means inevitable murder once you have been seduced by this madman.

Ed Comparetto is a gay Chicago police officer and is called in to investigate the first discovered murder. Timothy Bright is the victim’s friend and the one who reported the murder and Ed takes his statement only to later receive a call from his boss, and when this happens especially in the early morning hours and his day off can only spell trouble. Ed is fired for falsifying statements, seems as if Timothy Bright has been dead for two years and could not have been the one listed on Ed’s report as having given a statement. Now Ed must prove his innocence in order to get his job back, but will he be able to solve this before it is all too late? Now that Ed is off the case and off the job is the predator free to continue his lust of murdering gay men?

IM is one intense and super wild thrilling ride so hold on tight, I guarantee you will be on the edge of your seat. IM is superbly written with an intense plot line, great characters and is detailed and moves forward with astonishing speed taking you places you wish only existed in the movies. Reed delivers a novel that is engaging and thrilling while dealing with dark issues that reveals his true talent and a story that will stay with you long after reading the last page. While there were some typos in the book this should not deter you, this is a super entertaining and thrilling read and well worth overlooking a few typos.

A definite and astounding 5 stars! I must caution that the story is vivid in detail and gore and is not for the faint hearted.

See QBR’s Interview with Rick R. Reed:  Author Interview of Rick R. Reed

Cimmerian City

Cimmerian City
by Rae Lindley

The setting is Arizona, and Raven Blackheart is a Crow Indian from California, Raven is a college student that is haunted by bad dreams and strange feelings. Raven lost her mother when she was five and went to live with her father and sister, now it seems once again her life is being upset by the current happenings. She is missing class, turning in assignments late and just is not measuring up to what she could and should be. Thank goodness for Jack, Jack is Raven’s boyfriend and roommate and he believes in her and supports her but lately does not understand her short fuse.

As the many events unfold within the pages we are confronted with Tech Corporation, a pharmaceutical company, a drug Delanin with some very uncanny side effects. This is one story that has a high impact punch, a great plot that is fast paced and so intriguing that you cannot put this one down. Within the covers of this book you will discover a variety of crisis which is in the minds of everyone including global warming, war, violence, pollution, medical, pharmaceuticals and economical issues.

Cimmerian City is an intense read with many layers and issues to uncover throughout this story. I look forward to her future releases in this trilogy. This is another highly recommended read and a definite 5 stars.

The Sacred Bones

A Novel

The Sacred Bones
By Michael Byrnes
ISBN:  0061146072
$24.95 – Hardcover – 304 pages
Harper Collins Publishers
www.thesacredbones.com
Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

The Sacred Bones is set at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  An ancient artifact is stolen from a vault beneath the Temple Mount.  The theft has left many soldiers and policemen dead, leaving the Palestinians angry; tensions run high between the Israelis and the Palestinians.Charlotte Hennesey, an American forensic scientist has been hired by the Vatican to examine the ossuary which contains the bones of an unknown man who was crucified.  Charlotte is joined by Giovanni Bersei, an Italian anthropologist and together they uncover forensic and genetic data that lead them to wonder if the bones could be those of Jesus. 

As Charlotte and Giovanni become closer to solving the true identity of the man in which these bones once belonged, the Vatican’s security begins to have a much greater watchful eye on her.  Are the bones discovered those of Jesus?  Will the Vatican allow the information on the discovering or keep the secrets hidden?  With her identifying the man these bones once belonged to, will Charlotte be silenced?

Byrnes has penned a superbly crafted debut novel that tantalizes with a sense of drama and of suspense as the story races forward.  It is evident that he has done a great deal of research which combines historical fact and protreptic fiction.  Byrnes novel is powerful and opens an emotional vein in you leaving you with the desire to read through to the end. 

Michael Byrnes currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.  Byrnes attended Montclair State University in NJ and earned his undergraduate degree in marketing, and later his graduate degree in business administration at Rutgers.  The Sacred Bones is his debut novel.

This was one explosive and thrilling 5 star read and one genuine page-turner to the very end. 

Simple Genius

Simple Genius

Simple Genius

By David Baldacci
ISBN-10: 0446580341
ISBN-13: 978-0446580342
Washington Political Thriller,  432 pages
Reviewed by Terry South, Quality Book Reviews
 


 

The setting is Washington, D.C. and Virginia, and it all begins when Michelle Maxwell who is struggling with emotional problems and finds herself in the midst of a barroom brawl and ends up being arrested and put in jail.  Michelle agrees to seek therapy in a psychiatric private clinic.  Michelle has some demons that haunt her and she must seek help before it is to late, or before someone ends up dead.

Sean King is Michelle’s partner, they both are former Secret Service Agents, and as Sean watches Michelle’s decline he is in need of some very needed extra funds which he is lacking.  Sean accepts an assignment from an old girlfriend at her Investigation Agency and takes on the new assignment which is to investigate a mysterious death in Virginia.  His assignment takes him to a place called Babbage Town where he investigates the shooting near the CIA training center.  As the investigation continues Sean begins to discover more accidents and apparent suicides that have taken place.

Michelle checks out of the psychiatric facility and teams up with Sean in Virginia.  As the story continues to unfold Sean and Michelle are up against major corruption and must save an innocent girl before time runs out and they must expose the corruption that is occurring at the CIA training camp before it is to late.  Will they be able to save Viggie, and will they unlock the hidden dangerous secrets that seem to be locked in her memory? What is this major corruption?  Is our nation safe? 

David Baldacci’s characters are finely tuned and are well developed, compelling and memorable. He has a gripping plot and incorporates twists and turns that will shock you.  Baldacci has done a wonderful job in creating a thriller that is thought provoking and he manages to wrap everything up effortlessly so it all comes together.  Reviewing this title was a great pleasure and is a highly recommended read.

Gun Shy

A Novel

Gun Shy
by Ben Rehder
www.benrehder.com
St. Martin’s
ISBN:  0-312-35752-4
Reviewed by:  Terry South

Gun Shy is the fifth novel in this mystery series featuring game warden John Marlin.   The setting is Blanco County, Texas and it begins as the National Weapons alliance and director Dale Stubbs gear up for the big rally.  The rally is supporting Americans with the right to carry concealed weapons.  This is a controversial subject to say the least, but the author has brought humor into the mix and makes light of both sides, remember this is a work of fiction. This rally is expected to be on a grand scale and the NWA’s spokesman is none other than Mitch Campbell.

Mitch is hosting the rally at his Blanco County ranch and will be performing the NWA’s anthem and his number one hit single “My Cold Dead Hands”, but he is no real cowboy, in fact he is an impostor; his agent thought the persona would boost his record sales, deceitful yes.  This deceit could end up in a disaster or could make Mitch a big hit.  Mitch’s true identity is that of Norman Klienschmidt from Middlebury, Vermont so he is not even from Texas.  Will Mitch be able to keep up his hidden identity or will he falter and make a huge mistake?

Due to Mitch’s devious actions and all too fake persona, he has turned to drugs to cope and the drugs are clouding his thinking.  He soon becomes paranoid, believing his life is in danger and ends up shooting his gardener.  But when the dead Mexican turns up, game warden John Marlin and law enforcement officials are on the case.  As Marlin begins checking into the murder a new series of events begin taking place, these events may bring Mitch down as well as the NWA.

Rehder has well developed characters, a strong story line with a very good plot as well as sub-plots.  He has created some unexpected twists that will keep you guessing.  Rehder does not take an extreme position on questions of gun control and he pokes fun at both sides equally in the book.  He presents a comical crime fiction series, that is humorous and entertaining.

It was a great pleasure to review such a witty crime fiction series.  I now need to get the other four books in this series.  This was the first title I have reviewed from this author and now am hooked.  If your looking for a humorous and entertaining read I highly recommend picking up a copy of Gun Shy as it is an enjoyable read.

I believe this deserves a big star with 5 points, (here I am trying to be humorous).  A definite 5 stars!

A New Forum for Authors and Readers

QBR (Quality Book Reviews) has just opened a new forum dedicated to and for authors as well as readers alike. I would like to invite everyone to drop by check it out and offer any suggestions to make this a better place for all. The new forum has a little of everything including a place where authors may drop in introduce yourselves, introduce your works, new releases, upcoming titles, and add links to your sites and blogs.

http://terrysouth.proboards83.com/

For readers we are developing a reading group, reading guides, open discussions, etc…

The forum categories added so far include:
General
Books & Novels
Bookshelves
Authors Place
Readers
Quality Book Reviews

Under each of the forum categories is a wide variety of sub-categories for everyone’s enjoyment.

We have also added a live chat and as we grow further would love to schedule live chats between authors and their readers.

We also would like to add to our schedule interviews with various authors to be placed on the forum as well as our site so that their readers can learn more about their favorite authors.

Thank you and I look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Terry

Quality Book Reviews

Anatomy of Fear

A Novel of Visual Suspense

Anatomy of Fear

By Jonathan Santlofer

ISBN:  978-0-06-088197-9  $24.95

William Morrow

An Imprint of Harper Collins

10 East 53rd St., New York, NY 10022

www.HarperCollins.com

Reviewed by Terry South for Bookpleasures

 

As an added bonus be sure to check out the video trailer starring the author Jonathan Santlofer and his artwork:

http://www.jonathansantlofer.com/anatomyvideo.html

(also on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaL97PkP1hs)

Also check out the HarperCollins sweepstakes where the winner gets their portrait sketched by Jonathan Santlofer:

http://www.harpercollins.com/features/anatomyoffear/

The setting is New York and Terri Russo a detective for the NYPD is called to the scene of a murder where she discovers a sketch of the victim alongside the body.  Russo is aided in her investigation by Nate Rodriguez, the police sketch artist.

Nate’s father was an undercover narc for the NYPD, Nate still very much disturbed by his fathers death, has managed to avoid doing any on the scene police work.  All this is about to change as Nate is drawn into the case, and maybe even further than he could have imagined.  Nate begins piecing together the face of the killer and he himself then becomes a target.

The killer also sketches people, his victims, and he uses his abilities to turn the investigation in a different direction.  You will find this story erupts with some explosive twists, so hold on for a heart pounding ride.

Jonathan Santlofer is also an artist and has his works displayed in several locations including museums.  He received his Masters of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute.  Santlofer began writing in 1989 after a gallery fire claimed five years of his works.  Anatomy of Fear contains both of his talents; his artwork enhances the strong compelling and intriguing plot, each complementing the other.

Santlofer has a steady flow of action and suspense with enough twists and turns to leave you with anticipation.  The characters are distinctive and interesting with qualities that make them believable.  The scenes are written with such a compelling impact that is gripping and makes this a genuine page turner to the end.

A guaranteed 5 star read.

Pattern of Vengeance

Pattern of Vengeance (Maria Sanchez Thriller)

Pattern of Vengeance
A Maria Sanchez Thriller
By C. Hyytinen
Echelon Press Publishing
9735 Country Meadows Lane 1-D
Laurel, MD 20723
www.echelonpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-59080-520-6 $12.99
April 2007 286 pages
Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

The setting begins in Minneapolis and then moves between LA, Minneapolis, as well as some scenes set in Florida. Agent Stan Bauer has been murdered and believed to have been a Mafia hit. Detective Maria Sanchez is on the case. Her partner is Tom Powders who is nearing retirement and he has been acting very odd lately, Maria is not sure what he is up too, but begins to speculate as the story continues. They believe there is a leak in the department and no one can be trusted. Special Investigator Joe Morgan is Maria’s husband of ten wonderful years.

Chief Sandra LaSalle is the new chief having moved from New York only a year ago, she is a petite redhead in her fifties and is not very well liked and has earned some names since arriving as the new Chief in Minneapolis. Due to the nature of the crimes being committed, the possibility of a leak within the department LaSalle has made the decision to assign the case to Sanchez and partners her with Morgan.

Maria was once married to Jack Sanchez known as The River Rat and was the father to her daughter Tess. He was also father to a boy named Tony, whose mother died and Maria and Joe adopted him, after all he and Tess are brother and sister. Tess is in college and is twenty years old, Tony is a teenager about sixteen. It is nearly Christmas and Tess has finished with finals and comes home to stay for a month, which is just in time as the case heats up for her parents. Will they finally be able to put an end to all the mafia’s crimes? Will anyone else die as a result of this investigation? Will the person responsible for leaking the information to Marco be discovered in time?

LaSalle brings in Etina Altmark a Russian from New York to go undercover as a runaway, she is twenty eight but looks as if she is only fifteen. Hyytinen has a way of leaving you on the edge of your seat, she has incorporated vivid details and accounts throughout the story, making this one that you have to read from front to back non-stop. The chapters are short and each chapter leaves an inevitable hook at the end leaving you with the desire to read one more and then another.

The author has superbly written scenes with impact, with a steady flow of action and suspense. This story is so relentless, gripping and intriguing and a genuine page turner. The characters are so finely tuned, believable and real, you find yourself cheering them on, hoping for the best, and feel these are people you have known for quite some time. You will find yourself thinking of the characters long after finishing the book. The story erupts with explosive twists and delivers a powerful ending that will leave you breathless. This is a must read, I will warn there is mature themes including language, but I have no hesitation in saying I highly recommend reading The Maria Sanchez Thrillers.

If looking for an explosive read you will not want to miss this one.

It has been a great pleasure to read and review Pattern of Vengeance and I truly cannot wait to read the first in the Maria Sanchez Thrillers, and look forward to all her new releases.

The Naming Of The Dead

The Naming of the Dead (An Inspector Rebus)

The Naming Of The Dead

By Ian Rankin

Crime fiction   452 pages

ISBN: 978-0-316-05757-8

Little, Brown and Company

Hachette Book Group

237 Park Ave., New York, NY 10169

www.HachetteBookGroupUSA.com

www.ianrankin.net

Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

The setting is Edinburg, Scotland, the year is 2005.  And the story begins as everyone is watching for the upcoming G8 summit.  Reinforcements are called in from all over the country as a few hundred thousand demonstrators have come to protest poverty aimed at the World leaders.  Detective Inspector John Rebus is originally to stay on the sidelines away from the scene, but as luck would have it a routine murder investigation turns up with a clue that throws him right in the middle of things.

Rebus and his partner Clarke are on the case and due to the clues they are turning up believe they may have a serial killer.  All the while tensions are running high between Rebus and Special Branch Commander Steelforth.  The investigation leads to many questions of suicide or murder.  Crime fiction enthusiasts will not want to miss this one.  This is an astounding 5 stars!

Ian Rankin was born in the Kingdom of Fife and graduated from the University of Edinburg.  The first of his Rebus novels, “Knots & Crosses” was published in 1987.  Rankin is the UK’s number one best-selling crime writer and lives in Edinburg with his wife and their two sons. 

Naming of The Dead won the Worldbooks Crime Thriller of the Year Award.  Ian Rankin has developed an intriguing plot that is loaded with twists and turns, and has created some very witty and memorable characters.  Looking for a great read that holds your attention through to the end, that is difficult to put down and is a real page turner, then this is a must read, especially for the crime fiction enthusiasts every where.

The Book of Air and Shadows

The Book of Air and Shadows

The Book of Air and Shadows

By Michael Gruber

Fiction  464 pages

ISBN: 978-0-06-087446-9

William Morrow

An imprint of Harper Collins Publishers

www.HarperCollins.com

www.michaelgruberbooks.com

Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

What would you do if you discovered a 17th century letter and a coded message?  Would the quest for answering the coded message be plausible if not risky?  It all starts with a fire at a used book store and a set of valuable books become damaged, two of the employees decide to take them home to see if they can be saved.  Both Albert and Carolyn squabble over some manuscript pages which Albert finds and decides that the manuscript is a letter referring to an unknown Shakespeare play.

Carolyn and Albert take the manuscript to a Shakespearean scholar by the name of Andrew Bulstrode and he offers them a small price for the pages dismissing them as being credible.  Later Bulstrode meets with Jake Mishkin, an attorney to inquire to copy write only to be found dead the next day.  Now in fear of his own life Mishkin is on the run from the killers.  Will Mishkin be next?  Where will all the clues in this thriller lead? 

Michael Gruber was born in New York City and attended Columbia, earning a BA in English Literature.  Gruber now resides in Seattle, Washington with his wife and his very large dog. 

This read combines suspense, thrills, humor, and mystery that provides twists and turns that engages you on the search to answering the clues.  Gruber has developed a unique writing style that draws you into the heart of the story, which is engaging and surprisingly humorous at times; and contains vivid accounts and detail, and is a genuinely great read.  His characters are well developed, compelling and memorable. Reviewing this title was a great pleasure and is a highly recommended read.