Thursday, January 10, 2019

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Hunt Them Down, by Simon Gervais {ends 1/17}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Hunt began his controlled descent down the stairs leading to the basement. He kept his back pressed against the wall and his gun in front of him but close to his body. When he reached the final step, a chill coursed through him.

Leila. She was here. I can feel it.

He listened closely for any sound. Once he was satisfied that the only noise was his own breathing, Hunt moved rapidly, room by room, searching for any signs of his daughter. The first room consisted of a double bed, which had been slept in, a dresser with a large mirror, and a night table with a lamp. A sink and a toilet were tucked next to each other in one corner. A video camera hung from the ceiling in a back corner. A lump formed in his throat.

Was it here that they kept her?

While I’m not any sort of operative or secret agent, a lot of the intricacies of their operations seemed a bit far-fetched to me. But Hunt Them Down was definitely a page-turner, and I was eager to find out what happened next.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Hunt Them Down, by Simon Gervais
Former Army Ranger Pierce Hunt is no stranger to violence. Fresh off a six-month suspension, he’s itching to hit a notorious Mexican drug cartel where it hurts, even if that means protecting crime boss Vicente Garcia, a witness in the case against sadistic cartel leader Valentina Mieles. But things spiral out of control when the cartel murders Garcia and kidnaps his granddaughter and an innocent bystander, Hunt’s own teenage daughter.

Mieles wants the new head of the Garcia family on a plate—literally. Hunt has seventy-two hours to deliver, or Mieles will execute the girls live on social media. With the clock ticking, Hunt goes off the grid and teams up with Garcia’s daughter, a former lover and current enemy. To save the girls, Hunt will have to become a man he swore he’d never be again: an avenging killer without limits or mercy.


Luckily, I mostly read just to be entertained, and escape from the doldrums of my predictable life. If I were a deep undercover DEA agent, I can’t imagine someone approving a reporter with his personal cell phone on an important bust. But this is the first scene we’re expected to believe in Hunt Them Down. After understandably losing his temper, Pierce Hunt (our hero agent) gets some time off in the form of a suspension. Then on his first day back to work (at a different office), he ends up in a motorcade that is ambushed. What are the odds?

This is just the first book in a whole new series about Pierce Hunt. We’re also introduced to his daughter, ex-wife and ex-wife’s new hubby. Hunt also has several friends who are as close as family from his days of being in the armed forces and his illustrious career with the DEA. The characters are well described, but some of their overlapping is incredibly coincidental. Having the same characters as the players in multiple aspects of the plot is quite helpful, as the plots get somewhat confusing.

I actually really enjoyed this book, with the appropriate suspension of disbelief. Like I said, I don’t guess what’s coming next, I just read to find out. If you’re into action/adventure, this will most likely be a book you’ll enjoy as well. I can’t say too much more about it without ruining the multiple twists and turns for you, so you’ll have to read it for yourself. I’d give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

{click here to purchase}
*Note from Liz: Book #2 in this series, Trained to Hunt, will be released on September 24, 2019 - click here to pre-order.

Becki Bayley lives a life free of too many secrets. She is reliable and predictable—sometimes another word for boring, but usually safe. She blogs and tries to be mildly amusing and document anything worth a few words at her blog, SweetlyBSquared.com.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Hunt Them Down!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Thursday, January 17th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.

Good luck!

1 copy of HUNT THEM DOWN, by Simon Gervais

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Quick Pick book review: Paper Ghosts, by Julia Heaberlin

Quick Pick book review: Paper Ghosts, by Julia Heaberlin
  • Opening lines: When she was twelve, my sister fell into a grave.

    We were two children by ourselves in an empty cemetery, old stones jutting out of the ground in all directions. The grass was dead, the same straw color as my sister's hair. I remember the terrific flutter in my chest. How her fingertips barely brushed mine when I reached my little hand down to try to pull her out. It was freshly dug earth, waiting.

    She was laughing down in that hole.

    I was five.
  • Reason I picked up the book: I've read books by Julia Heaberlin before, and they are always fantastic and full of suspense.
  • And what's this book about?
  • Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer. That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted. before his admission to a care home for dementia. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she's not his daughter and, if she has her way, he's not coming back . . .

    Because Carl's past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he's killed, other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they're following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he's guilty of nothing and she's the liar. Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she's taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she's alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .

  • Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys mysteries with a lot of twists and turns.
  • Favorite paragraph: Old serial killers who roam free have to land somewhere, of course. I've thought about this a lot. They must get tired. Decide to pamper roses or grandchildren. Break hips and suffer heart attacks. Go impotent. Run out of money. Don't see the car coming. Put guns to their heads.

    The killers who publicly beat the system, and the unseen monsters who are never caught and slip around silent, pulsing background music. Screeching oboes and pounding drums. Only a few ever hear their soundtrack, right at the very end, and then it's too late.

    It took a long, long time to find the man I believe killed my sister. Years. Dozens of interviews. Hundreds of suspects. Thousands of documents. Reading, stalking, stealing. It's been a singular, no-holds-barred obsession since I was twelve and my sister's bike didn't make it the three miles in broad daylight from our house to her summer babysitting job. It was
    morning.
    • Something to know: You will probably be surprised at the ending of this book - I know I was. 
    • What I would have changed: Nothing I can think of.
    • Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
    • Where can I find this book? Click here to purchase on Amazon.
    *Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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