Book Review: River of Lies by R.M. Greenaway

***I received a free ARC from NetGalley and am giving an honest review voluntarily***

In rain-drenched Vancouver, detectives Dion and Leith work to separate truth from lies in two seemingly unrelated cases.

February is the month of romance, but in North Vancouver it’s also become the month of murder. While the North Shore RCMP slog through the rain in the search for whoever left a young woman to die in the Riverside Secondary School parking lot — their first clue a Valentine’s Day card — a toddler mysteriously vanishes from a Riverside Drive home in the midst of a dinner party.

With Constable JD Temple’s full attention on the parking lot murder, Constables Dave Leith and Cal Dion work the kidnap … until a tenuous connection is made between the two cases, along with the thinnest ray of hope that the child could be alive and well in the hands of a childless couple. But when more tragedy rains down on the North Shore, lies must be unveiled before the ugly truth can emerge.

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I loved this murder mystery. The opening line: “Tasha looked at the toes of her new work boots and worried.” had me all in. Tasha was afraid that she was being followed, and it didn’t help that her car had a flat tire. Tasha had every right to be worried…her murder set up the mystery throughout the book.

Leith and Dion worked on one case while JD and another detective worked on Tasha’s murder. Later on, a baby was abducted from a wealthy family’s home. It did get confusing at times because one section would have the detectives first name being used, then down the line only their last names would be used. I had to make a cheat sheet of who was who throughout the book.

I loved the the author’s writing style. The sentences had a nice rhythm and flowed nicely. The story was easy to read. My favorite lines:  1) “She was cold. Stiffening. Well beyond help.” 2) “Over their time working together, Dion shifted gears often, in Leith’s eyes. Like an antsy motorist in the freeway. Moody, sharp, sometimes cheerful, but always cautious.” 3) “Leith preferred to assume nothing. Always be ready for a twist.”

The author did a great twist with the detectives. I loved how in the second chapter one of the male detectives became a red herring. This tease definitely motivated me to finish the book quickly.

Since I was reading an ARC, the paragraphs didn’t have indentations, but I didn’t hold that against the author, assuming those glitches will be fixed in the final product.

I guessed the wrong killer, but I guessed the right kidnapper. There was twist, after twist, down to the last second, which I appreciated. I’d definitely consider reading another book from this author.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Get Clean By Jams N. Roses

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

‘We’re creatures of habit, us humans, some of us more than others.’

An addict, a psychopath, a drug dealer and his girlfriend.

This is a humorous crime story full of addiction, wrong decisions and terrible friends. Before we can pick ourselves up, we must sometimes hit rock bottom.

Cocaine is everywhere; young men and women are sniffing ‘recreational drugs’ as often as sparking cigarettes or sipping beer, typical of a generation educated by music videos and tabloid newspapers.

Jimmy Walker, a smart, young man with a caring family around him, should have the world at his feet. If only he wasn’t addicted to cocaine. Aware of his ‘casual addiction’, as he calls it, he decides a change of scenery would be a good thing…

But Jimmy finds himself amongst more cocaine, crime, liars, psychopaths, random violence than ever before, and even murder, whilst doing numerous drug deals and increasingly more cocaine.

All the time his body and mind are deteriorating at an alarming rate. Will he continue to get high, or will he Get Clean?

Loosely based on true events.

Adult content.

41QsxTuZm4L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-70,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I loved this 26 chapter book. It was written in Jimmy’s first person point-of-view. He went to rehab after being depressed and had an overdose. Once he got out, he planned to spend time in Spain to try and get clean, to get new scenery. His girlfriend, Colleen, had dumped him for someone else, so his friends teased that he was escaping his heartache.

He meets Jason in Spain. The job they applied for sucks, so they quit and become friends. Jimmy ends up staying with Jason and Sarah, his landlady. I thought it was cute how they both had a crush on her even though her boyfriend was a dangerous drug dealer. The whole time I kept thinking this won’t end well for one, maybe both, of them.

My favorite lines: 1) Remember I said that Jason would make a good salesman? Well, maybe if he actually gave a shit. 2) I didn’t think that any respectable newspaper would print a story using phrases such as ‘beats down,’ ‘bit on the side,’ or ‘English dude,’ but I got his point.

As a reader, I wished that quotation marks wouldn’t have been around Jimmy’s thoughts. Sometimes I had to go back to figure out he was just thinking something instead of speaking. There was some headhopping, but nothing distracting from the interesting story. Even though they’d be considered ‘losers’ in real life, all the characters were interesting and entertaining. They had a somewhat endearing quality, causing me to root for them to get their acts together.

The author did a fantastic job with dialogue. I loved all the conversations–all the plotting and schemes. I laughed a lot from the sarcastic humor. At times, I couldn’t tell if Jimmy was sarcastic or if he was just stating facts in a naive, innocent way. Either way, his observations were funny.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author and book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Children of the Enemy By D.J. Swykert

Jude St. Onge is a man on the run. He is an addict who has stolen a large cache of drugs from Detroit drug kingpin Mitchell Parson, who is determined to retrieve the drugs and take his revenge on Jude. After the torture slaying of Jude’s wife, and the kidnapping of Jude’s daughter, Angelina, the last thing Mitchell Parson expected to hear when he picked up the phone was: “I have your sons.” Raymond Little, with a murder conviction in his past, and newspaper reporter Ted Rogers have become unusual allies with Jude in an attempt to rescue his daughter. Together they kidnap Parson’s two boys, hoping to secure Angelina’s release. Risks for both hostage-takers skyrocket as the two sides square off, while Detroit Homicide Detectives work the case unaware of all that is at stake in the investigation. Only Ray and Ted can save the endangered children in Children of the Enemy.

I loved this 36 chapter book. It was raw and edgy–the graphic violence, from beginning to end, was instrumental in making this crime story realistic. I enjoyed getting inside the heads of a reporter, a cop, the criminals, innocent family members, and a citizen ready to stand up for his town. Ted (the reporter) wanted a headline that would evoke change and inspiration. He wanted the people of Detroit to make a difference by coming forward whenever they witnessed crimes, instead of looking the other way. Charlie (the detective) was frustrated with his job. He was tired of all the open cases that couldn’t be solved because of lack of witnesses and no evidence. He wanted to convict people, but it wasn’t possible. It was cool watching all these characters’ lives change just because one day Jude decided to steal drugs from Parson.

My favorite lines: 1) But my experience says there is no such thing as bizarre, all bizarre means is you don’t know all the facts. 2) You straighten out money problems doing business, revenge you straighten out with blood. 3) “That’s what thinking gets you. It gives you indecision,” Ted said.

Ray was my favorite character. He reminded me of someone Clint Eastwood would play. I felt bad for him. In his past, he went to prison and his wife left him, taking their child too. When he got out, he didn’t bother looking for them because he felt they deserved better. A part of me wanted Ray to have a happy ending because I think he would’ve made a great grandfather by the way he treated kids. I felt sorry when Jude tried to rob him, but the tables turned when Ray got the best of him. I had mad respect for him throughout the story–he was a cool hero. Finally, someone could give Swallow and Parson a taste of their own medicine.

  • My other favorites were Ethan and Angelina (both children). I liked that they had a naive, innocence quality to them but they were smart enough to know what was going on. I liked that they tried to stand up for themselves the best way they could. And I respected that they acted brave in the threat of danger, especially Angelina. Poor girl–I wanted to give her a hug.

The author had a great talent with plot. He has a fast paced writing style that enhances the action and suspense. Each scene had me sitting on the edge of my seat, anticipating what would happen next, especially when Swallow entered the picture. No character was safe, so I worried about all of the victims. I was sad when Jude died, but I loved that that put Ray in revenge mode. There was headhopping, but it didn’t distract me from the story.

My favorite scenes: 1) when Jude gets killed 2) when Ray kidnaps Parson’s sons 3) when Ray tries to kick Jude’s habit with the Kentucky Strait remedy 4) the ending

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby