Blog Archives

Book Review – Flash Harry

Flash Harry – Murder, Money, and Mystery in Asia’s Seedy Human Trafficking Underground

Rating: 5 of 5
Author: Carole Sutton
Format: Kindle, Paperback

After the brutal and shocking murder of her mother, Liz Tremaine decides to find her long lost father, inform him of her death, and close some wounds that have been open for years. Having nowhere else to start but her father’s last known address in Bangkok, Liz travels from her quiet life and home in Autralia to bustling Thailand where she learns about her father’s secret life. Soon Liz finds she is in for much more than a reunion but a fight for her life finding herself in the middle of an illegal human trafficking business and adult video cartel. Will Liz find the answers to her father’s disappearance and her mother’s death or will she suffer their same fate?

Carole Sutton’s, “Flash Harry” is her best novel yet. Expertly plotted and fiendishly clever with a pace that keeps the pages turning well into the night, Sutton’s narrative pops off the page. Her descriptions of Bangkok’s red light district are the stuff movies are made of. Infused with just the right amount of twists and turns, you’ll keep guessing well to the end what will be the fate of Liz, her friends, and what remains of her family.

I’ve enjoyed Sutton’s work since her Debut novel – Ferryman. She hooked me with her creativity in this first book portraying her antagonist through his psychotic actions – such as the parading of his conquests for all to see without anyone even realizing it was happening. Since then she has retained this creativity, but added even more depth to her plots and her turn of phrase is spot on. “Flash Harry” is a great read. Race to pick up your copy.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.

Book Review – A Trip to the Water’s Edge

A Trip to the Water’s Edge – Murder and Mayhem Mattie Mitchell Style!

Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Mary Berger
Format: Paperback, Kindle

Mattie Mitchell and her friend Clare are a pair that seem to attract trouble.  While out hiking they witness a murder, later they get involved in uncovering the truth behind a potential poisoning plot, and if that isn’t enough their attempts at pottery nearly run their instructor into retirement!  But can Mattie and her friend solve all of these mysteries before they become victims themselves?

Mary Berger’s “A Trip to the Waters Edge” is a tongue-in-cheek chic-lit murder mystery.  The beginning starts off with a gripping witness of a brutal murder but I’ll admit I was a little surprised that the main characters did not react as seriously to the crime that I would have expected.  The storyline leaves the murder arc and takes an interesting turn into a potential poisoning at Autumn Leaves along with another arc devoted to the ladies adventures at a pottery class.  I didn’t understand why these seemingly unrelated story arcs were injected in the narrative when the murder seemed to be the central element at the beginning so the story slowed down a bit for me in the first half of the book.  However, the second half finds its pace and all of what I thought were distracting and unnecessary side journeys actually come together at the end.

For those who like a light hearted humorous murder mystery, check out “A Trip to the Water’s Edge”.  The characters are a hoot and you’ll wonder what Mattie and Clare will get into next!

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.

Book Review – My Sister’s Funeral

My Sister’s Funeral – Murder from Down Under

Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Stephen Bush
Format: Kindle

Greeting mourners as they arrive at his sister Maria’s funeral, James knew this day was inevitable.  Though she had disappeared when he was only ten, the aftermath of that event had effected every aspect of his life including his troubled relationship with his parents, confused sexual urges, and eventual disintegration of his marriage.  But after all these years, the question still remained, what had happened, who had killed her, and why?  Was it one of these very people who had come to pay their respects or had fate already gotten even and taken the life of her murderer?

My Sister’s Funeral, by Stephen Bush, is a gripping murder mystery read.  Through vivid characterization, Bush describes an eclectic mix of friends and family all with varying motivations to have possibly committed the murder.  His unveiling of Maria’s past is well paced though at times it was bit difficult to follow the time line – what was happening in the present time versus the frequent flashbacks.  Bush is strong with his narrative and uses dialogue sparingly.

What I enjoyed most in this book, though, was how well Bush gets the reader inside James’ confused head and his need for closure on so many levels whether with his family, ex-wife, or his murdered sister.  And while Maria was killed, in many ways James suffered a longer and more painful torture that Bush conveys thoughtfully.  I will admit I had no idea who the murdered was until it was finally revealed; perhaps those more astute than I will pick up on the subtle clues and while the question of “who done it” drives the story forward, I think My Sister’s Funeral is best appreciated as a character exploration.

Note: A complementary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.