Category Archives: New Releases

Book Review: “Doing Harm” by Kelly Parsons

Dongharm

 

Title:  Doing Harm

Author:  Kelly Parsons

Synopsis (from bn.com):

There are many ways to die in a hospital…being sick is only one of them.

Chief resident Steve Mitchell is the quintessential surgeon: ambitious, intelligent, confident. Charged with molding a group of medical trainees into doctors, and in line for a coveted job, Steve’s future is bright. But then a patient mysteriously dies, and it quickly becomes clear that a killer is on the loose in his hospital. A killer set on playing a deadly game with Steve. A killer holding information that could ruin his career and marriage. Now, alone and under a cloud of suspicion, Steve must discover a way to outsmart his opponent and save the killer’s next victim before the cycle repeats itself again and again…

A chilling and compelling thriller that also takes you into the hospital and details the politics and hierarchy among doctors, as well as the life and death decisions that are made by flawed human beings, Kelly Parsons’ Doing Harm marks the gripping debut of a major fiction career.

 

 

My thoughts:  If you like medical dramas, drop what you are doing and head out and buy this book right NOW!  This book was an absolutely excellent medical drama filled with twists, turns, unbelievable plot surprises and drama, drama, drama!

As one who has spent her entire career in healthcare, I personally found some of the medical explanations rather simplistic and unnecessary to the storyline, but of course not everyone knows the terminology!

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book.  I started it on a plane and literally didn’t want to get off the plane so I could keep on reading!  For me, this one is one not to put down!

Overall, a great medical drama, fast-paced, plot twists, great characters!  I sincerely hope this author continues with his writing and gets us out another book soon!

And remember,

Boos Are Life,

Heather

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Book review: “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

nightingale

 

Title:  The Nightingale

Author:  Kristin Hannah

Synopsis (bn.com):

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

 

My thoughts:  My book club chose this book and my immediate thought was “how am I going to get through this book as it is totally outside out of my normal reading genre”.   I soon realized this wasn’t going to be a problem as the book quickly grabbed my attention and hung on to the very end.

A book set in a very difficult time in World History, namely WW II Nazi  occupied France!   A beautifully written story of two women’s perspective of war – strength, empowerment, family, redemption, passion!

Overall, I am very glad I had the opportunity to read this book as I was taken on an unexpected heart wrenching journey of love, loss, finding one another, renewal, and fighting for what is right!

Definitely worth the read!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Book Review: “After You” by Jojo Moyes

afteryou

 

Title:  After You

Author:  Jojo Moyes

Series:  Sequel to “Me Before You”

 

Synopsis (from bn.com):

When one story ends, another begins. After You is the Charming sequel to Me Before You” (People Magazine).

“We all lose what we love at some point, but in her poignant, funny way, Moyes reminds us that even if it’s not always happy, there is an ever after.” —Miami Herald

“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

 
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

 

My thoughts:  Jojo Moyes returns with a lovely sequel to the wonderful “Me Before You”.  At the end of “Me Before You” Will Traynor passed this amazing advice on to Louisa Clark  “You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

This book is an amazing journey through Louisa’s attempts to find her life and her living after Will’s death!

This book brings us a wonderful story of grief and grieving, its process, its timing, its ups, its downs, its moving forward, its moving backward, its triumphs, . . .

In this review I am not going to retell the story or give a synopsis of the characters and storyline, I am simply going to share how this book made me feel, what it made me think of . . .

I love how this book portrayed deep, profound grief . . . it is a process that every individual person must do in their own way, there is no formula for it, there is no timeline for grief!  It is different for every individual – which was beautifully portrayed by a number of characters in this book including Louisa who struggled mightily in her grieving Will and the different members of the Moving On support group Louisa attends.

This book is about grace, redemption, taking chances, moving on, letting go, love, loss, . . . I could go on all day!

If you allow yourself to really let go into this book you can find lovely metaphors throughout the story that reinforce the themes . . . (of course perhaps the author didn’t intend these at all but I am going to pretend she did) . . . Louisa works in an airport bar watching plans take off and soar into the sky everyday taking people into their lives while she herself is stuck, grounded in one place . . .

I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel . . . beautiful, profound . . . and yes I now have a book hangover where I simply am missing my characters, the story, I want them back, . . .

And remember,

Books are life,

Heather

 

 

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Book Review: “Dead to the Last Drop” by Cleo Coyle (Coffeehouse Mystery #15)

deadtothelastdrop

Title:  Dead to the Last Drop

Author:  Cleo Coyle

Series:  Coffeehouse Mystery #15

Synopsis (bn.com):  After the White House asks coffeehouse manager and master roaster Clare Cosi to consult on the coffee service for a Rose Garden Wedding, she discovers a historic pot was used as a CIA “dead drop” decades before. Now long-simmering secrets boil over, scalding Clare and the people around her…

Clare’s visit to the nation’s capital is off to a graceful start. Her octogenarian employer lands her a housesitting job in a charming Georgetown mansion, and she’s invited to work with a respected curator on the Smithsonian’s culinary salute to coffee in America.

Unfortunately, Clare’s new Village Blend DC is struggling to earn a profit, until its second floor Jazz Space attracts a high-profile fan—the college-age daughter of the U.S. President. Clare’s stock rises as the First Lady befriends her, but she soon learns a stark lesson: Washington can be murder.

First a stylish State Department employee suspiciously collapses in her coffeehouse. Then the President’s daughter goes missing. Is she a runaway bride or is something more sinister in play? After another deadly twist, Clare is on the run with her NYPD detective boyfriend. Branded an enemy of the state, she must piece together clues and uncover the truth before her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness come to a bitter end.

My thoughts:  I absolutely love this series . . . but I will have to say that “Dead to the Last Drop” has got to be the best one in the series yet!  LOVED IT!

Welcome to the Village Blend, DC coffee shop and Jazz club – yes!  Welcome to a new location, new characters, new intrigue – Yes!

I absolutely love the fresh perspective that this installment takes having our wonderful coffeehouse characters Clare, Matt, Quinn, and the gang taking their show on the road for a new Village Blend opening in Washington, DC.

I loved the wonderful blend of new characters based in the DC coffee shop and our favorites based in New York!

I must say I am a huge cozy mystery fan and often find they can easily tend toward the formulaic, cheesy side . . . but not this one.  This Coffeehouse Mystery felt as if it totally broke from the cozy mold and almost felt to me like a true mystery/thriller than any type of cozy.

I loved the intrigue of the Washington DC scene . . . I loved the historical perspective of learning about DC, its landmarks, Presidential politics and the like.

Are you getting the overall impression that I loved this book . . . then you are right!

Best book in the series . . . and of course I very much look forward to seeing where #16 takes us.  I’m a little sad I have to leave my coffeehouse friends for another year!

Get your hands on this book now!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cleo Coyle, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Mystery, New Releases

Book Review: “Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

girl on the train

Title:  The Girl on the Train

Author:  Paula Hawkins

Synopsis (from bn.com):

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

 

My thoughts:  Well, well . . . the buzz was going around about this book and it happened to be on sale ebook at Amazon so I decided to give it a shot!  I loaded it on my Kindle, set off for the gym (one of my favorite places to read as it numbs the pain of working out), and embraced on this book!

Ok, I really really wanted to like this book, but I simply did not!  In all honesty I really don’t see how so many people just fell head over heels in love with this book.

I very rarely find a book that I can’t find even one character that I enjoy or even care an iota about – but I found it here.  I know it was a deep, dark psychological thriller, but all of these characters were just plain terrible, I hated every single one of them and as the story continues the reader realizes that each character is more messed up and evil than the one before.

I won’t lie, this book is very fast-paced, grabs the readers attention, and takes the reader on a great ride, but it was just a bit too over the top for me.

I think this book tried to hard to be “Gone Girl” and it just simply wasn’t.

How come I never find the books that are all a buzz as good as everyone else does?  I promise I try 🙂

Girl on the Train was a definite miss for me.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Book Review: Hope to Die by James Patterson (Alex Cross #22)

hopetodie

 

Title:  Hope to Die

Author:  James Patterson

Series:  Alex Cross #22

 

Synopsis (from bn.com): Detective Alex Cross is being stalked by a psychotic genius, forced to play the deadliest game of his career. Cross’s family–his loving wife Bree, the wise and lively Nana Mama, and his precious children–have been ripped away. Terrified and desperate, Cross must give this mad man what he wants if he has any chance of saving the most important people in his life. The stakes have never been higher: What will Cross sacrifice to save the ones he loves?

Widely praised by the greatest crime and thriller writers of our time, Cross My Heart set a jaw-dropping story in motion. Hope to Die propels Alex Cross’s greatest challenge to its astonishing finish, proving why Jeffery Deaver says “nobody does it better” than James Patterson.

 

My thoughts:  I absolutely love James Patterson’s Alex Cross series.  I will admit however that the last couple of books it felt a little forced and stale to me.  I always feel like his focus on some of his many other series was negatively effecting the Alex Cross series.  However, in my opinion Patterson is back at his best with this latest installment of the Alex Cross series!

Wow!  is all I have to say about Hope to Die!  The plot is exciting, incredibly fast, intriguing, scary, twisted . . . excellent!!!

If you are a fan of Patterson . . . this book is not to be missed!

Another superb, fantastic read . . . go get your hands on it now!!!!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Book Review: “Flesh and Blood” by Patricia Cornwell (Kay Scarpetta #22)

fleshandblook

Title:  Flesh and Blood

Author:  Patricia Cornwell

Series:  Kay Scarpetta #22

Synopsis (from bn.com):

#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the next enthralling thriller in her high-stakes series starring Kay Scarpetta—a complex tale involving a serial sniper who strikes chillingly close to the forensic sleuth herself.

It’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s birthday, and she’s about to head to Miami for a vacation with Benton Wesley, her FBI profiler husband, when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their Cambridge house. Is this a kids’ game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Her cellphone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells her there’s been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music teacher has been shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. No one has heard or seen a thing.

In this 22nd Scarpetta novel, the master forensic sleuth finds herself in the unsettling pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except fragments of copper. The shots seem impossible, yet they are so perfect they cause instant death. The victims appear to have had nothing in common, and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast of South Florida, where Scarpetta investigates a shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze. And it is there that she comes face to face with shocking evidence that implicates her techno genius niece, Lucy, Scarpetta’s own flesh and blood.

 

My thoughts:  I can’t believe I am even having to write this . . . but what happened to the old Kay Scarpetta?  I have been reading this series since book #1 and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful characters, the suspenseful plots, up until about book #15.  I took a break for awhile, thinking it was just me and that my reading tastes had changed.  I got an ARC of this latest Patricia Cornwell and needless to say was quite excited to see what happened to the series I once so enjoyed!

Flesh and Blood was alright, but not what I remember loving about this series.  I honestly can’t figure it out, but I feel that somehow the main character, Kay Scarpetta, has changed so significantly during the course of the series that she almost isn’t herself.  I feel the same about some of the other characters as well.  Kay has always been a strong, empowered female lead character but when did she get so darn nasty?  Why is Benton so seemingly withdrawn all of the time?  Why is Pete Marino such an arrogant idiot?  And ugh, Lucy just bugs me!

The book started out really slow for me.  I don’t mind the forensic, scientific detail as that is what the series is all about, but it just felt a bit too scattered and too detailed without moving the plot forward.  However, I will admit that the book ended strong.  The end was quite suspenseful and of course, like any good mystery book, left you with an interesting cliffhanger.

I don’t know if it is me that has changed or whether the author herself has changed which is being reflected in her main character . . . but I want my old Kay Scarpetta back!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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