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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.

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

Lost Echoes

Lost Echoes

Lost Echoes

By Joe R. Lansdale

Crime thriller

ISBN: 978-0-307-27544-8   $13.95

Vintage Books

A Division of Random House Inc.

1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

www.RandomHouse.com

Reviewed by Terry South for Bookpleasures

Lost Echoes is a story about a man named Harry Wilkes, who at the tender age of six came down with the mumps and developed a severe ear infection which affected his brain.  Harry’s mind would fill with images of past crimes and he could see the events taking place as well as see the faces of the people involved in the crimes.  Harry eventually develops a taste for alcohol as it helps him to suppress the images as well as the sounds contained within his mind.

Harry is in a bar one evening when he notices three men taking a drunk out through the back.  Harry knows what is getting ready to happen and decides to step in.  The drunk is Tad Peters and immediately he and Harry become friends.  Soon after Kayla, Harry’s first love comes back into his life, now a police officer she is determined to find her fathers’ killers.  With Harry’s ability he soon figures out that the men responsible for Kayla’s fathers’ death are connected to other unsolved murders.

Joe R. Lansdale has penned several novels in the genres of suspense, horror and westerns.  He has won many awards throughout his career.  He currently resides in Texas with his wife and children.

                   
Lansdale writes scenes with high impact and vivid details and accounts.  He incorporates the correct intrusive amount of twists and turns that leave you breathless and drawing you into the heart of the story.  The characters are so believable and you feel as if you have known them for quite some time, he is descriptive and adds that human touch to his characters.

An indubious 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.

Ladykiller

Ladykiller

By Lawrence Light and Meredith Anthony

ISBN:  1-933515-05-8   $23.95

Suspense/Thriller    240 pages

Oceanview Publishing

Reviewed by Terry South for Bookpleasures

Ladykiller is the debut suspense novel by Lawrence Light and Meredith Anthony, the husband and wife writing team, and what a unique writing team.  They have penned a novel that is a must for crime enthusiast.   

The setting is the streets of New York, and the year is 1991.  Four women have been murdered from all different walks of life, including a cheerleader, stockbroker, a housewife and a prostitute.  Homicide detective Dave Dillion of the NYPD is on the case and must solve these murders or risk losing his job.  Dave encounters a beautiful social worker by the name of Megan Morrison, the two join forces in search for the serial killer, and romance ensues.

The press is calling the serial killer “Ladykiller”.  The killer has left no clues and no trail behind to follow.  The murders always take place in some out of the way place where no witnesses can be found.  There are never any signs of the victim being taken against her will and no signs of a struggle with their attacker, and the murders all appear to be personal in nature.  Will Dave find the killer before its too late?

Lawrence Light is an award-winning journalist and is currently the Wall Street Editor for Forbes magazine.  He graduated from Columbia School of Journalism and is the author of the Karen Glick novels.  He currently resides in Manhattan with his wife and co-author Meredith Anthony.

Meredith Anthony has written for a variety of sources including film, television, print and the web.  She graduated from St. John’s College and also received a MA from The Johns Hopkins University.

Ladykiller is an intriguing, compelling and suspenseful crime novel packed with enticing twists and turns to keep you on the edge.  The authors have created a powerful thriller that tantalizes with a sense of suspense and a steady flow of action.  The characters are believable, finely developed and engaging.  Ladykiller is superbly crafted with vivid detail that draws you into the story. 

An astounding 5 stars!

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.

13 Bullets A Vampire Tale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Bullets

A Vampire Tale

by David Wellington

Fiction  323 pages

Three Rivers Press an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group,

A division of Random House, Inc.,
New York

www.crownpublishing.com

ISBN:  978-0-307-38143-9  $13.95

www.davidwellington.net

Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

 

Do you really believe in vampires?  Would you be willing to seek out their lair knowing that you were a sensitive?  Such questions had never entered Laura Claxton’s mind.  Until she met US Marshall Jameson Arkeley, that would devastate her life as she knows it, her thinking and beliefs are all about to change.

 

The story begins in 1983; Special Deputy Jameson Arkeley and his partner Webster are on a stake out outside a diner where Piter Byron Lares is inside talking with the waitress.  What happens next is rich with moments of terror and the horrifying events that follow will leave you breathless.  Lares takes everyone in the diner out in a matter of seconds, Arkeley is in for a terrifying ride of his life.  Lares takes Arkeley after killing most of the SWAT team, when Arkeley comes to he finds he is in a ships hold and focuses in on five coffins, only one is empty.  The other four coffins contain decaying remains, Arkeley fight for his life, and removes Lares heart and as the sun comes up he burns the boat, believing he had killed them all.

 

But one single survivor remained, Justinia Malvern, who now has been kept alive at a sanitarium in Pennsylvania.  Arkeley believed all the terror was over, he was dead wrong.

 

Now 20 years later, Arkeley travels to Pennsylvania as a US Marshall and meets with State Trooper Laura Caxton.  Arkeley partners up with Caxton to exterminate all the vampires once believed to be extinct.  Malvern is being kept alive by minimal life support, the sanitarium has installed special blue lights as she is sensitive to regular lighting, she is being fed fresh blood by her caretaker who has inserted a shunt into his arm to feed her.  Why has Malvern been kept alive all these years?  There are bizarre laws preventing her extermination, and she seems to be of no threat, until now.

 

Arkeley and Caxton are on a mission to find the vampires lair and exterminate them before they can get the blood Malverne needs.  Then Arkeley is kidnapped in order to use his blood to replenish Malvern’s powers, Caxton must now forge ahead and destroy them before they can unleash unspeakable horrors upon everyone.

 

David Wellington is the author of the Monster Island trilogy, and is no stranger to this genre.

 

13 Bullets is the first book in the trilogy by David Wellington, and is a tantalizing wild high octane ride.  Wellington weaves his plot line together and has developed some very intriguing characters.  This vampire tale is relentless, gripping, powerful and a genuine page-turner, that is horrifying and rich with moments of terror.

 

The reader is thrust into a state of uncertainty filled with nervous anticipation as the conclusion nears to find that we must wait for the next edition to this trilogy to tie up the loose ends.

 

13 Bullets is a blood curdling tale to sink your teeth into.  I look forward to reading his novels for years to come.  Reviewing this title was a frightening pleasure.  I highly recommend it to the horror fans everywhere.

Heart Shaped Box

Heart Shaped Box
By Joe Hill
ISBN: 9780061147937 $24.95
William Morrow, February 13, 2007
Reviewed by: Terry South (Quality Book Reviews) 3/07

http://www.joehillfiction.com/

Do you believe in ghosts? Hold on for the spine tingling adventure you will discover in the Heart Shaped Box. There should be a warning label attached stating “Once started, demands to be finished.”

I am not going to give away spoilers in this review, as you will want to read this highly recommended thriller. This is a fascinating psychological ghost story which is packed with thrills and chills. Joe Hill has produced a work that is so vivid and comes to life, an extremely visual novel.

Judas Coyne is an aging rock star; he collects bizarre and macabre artifacts which include a used hangman’s noose, rare books on witchcraft, a snuff film, and artwork by a serial killer. When his assistant approaches him with the discovery of a ghost being auctioned off of the internet, Judas decides to place the highest bid in order to acquire this for his collection. The suit arrives a few days later via UPS in a heart shaped box. Unknowingly, the suit used to belong to an old preacher, Craddock McDermott. This haunting is it for meddling with the spirits? Or just by chance, or is it more sinister like a curse?

Heart Shaped Box is Joe Hill’s debut novel, and proves he is an excellent addition to the horror genre with his own style and voice. Hill is also the son of Stephen King, which should come as no surprise. His plot is strong throughout; he has executed excellent believable character development. This is a masterpiece thriller; I literally read this from cover to cover in one day, I just could not put it down. This story is packed, it is spine tingling, intriguing, enticing, and is fascinating. This book, in my opinion had no faults. I think the concept and the writing as a whole can have no blemish thrown its way.

This is a MUST READ! I cannot wait for the next one.