The Blame Game by Terri Reynolds

The Blame Game by Terri Reynolds

Best friends they may be, but Molly and Kate are very different individuals. Molly, a spoilt child and then an indulged wife, not only gets whatever she wants, she takes things that don’t belong to her, including other women’s husbands. Kate, fiercely loyal, has, until now, always defended and protected her friend, at the same time offering refuge to Molly’s traumatised son. Against her better judgement, Kate is forced to revisit the deaths of two men; men who had affairs with Molly. Considered tragic and accidental at the time, fresh scrutiny and new revelations trigger a disturbing chain of events that have sickening consequences.

Molly either can’t or won’t mend her ways, and Kate, caught up in her own personal tragedy, is forced to draw a line in the sand. Their friendship is at breaking point; Molly has gone too far this time. All is not as it seems.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

The Blame Game is a rollercoaster of a read, and something I was really able to sink my teeth into. Filled with menace, treachery, lies, deceit and a heaped serving of threat. It was a pacy book with so many twists and turns it had me gripped from cover to cover. The story plays out against a backdrop of adultery, broken marriages, death, grief and obsession. Molly is vilified in the small town in which she lives, having had two affairs, one with a married man. The apparent suicide of the married father of one only compounds her problems. The other man died in a car accident.image1As her marriage broke down, things worsened with verbal and physical violence in front of their young son, Seth. As the years rolled by, Seth became a troubled individual suffering from the trauma of what he has seen and heard over the years. He becomes estranged from both of his parents. Molly, having filed for divorce from her husband James, suffers torment and game playing from him, making the process as painful as possible. The widow of the man she was seeing has turned large parts of the community against her.

Things spiralled as Molly suffers more and more at the hands of the scorned widow and her estranged husband. Though no matter what happens some habits are harder to kick. Her friends, few in number though they may be, seek answers to what is going on and reflecting on the seemingly tragic deaths of her two lovers. Can there be a killer involved? Is Molly responsible? Or the estranged husband? The scorned widow? The traumatised child? Or were these events really just a series of tragic events.

Terri Reynolds presents a cast of credible suspects throughout the book. Any one of them could be the culprit, and I found as the story progressed that I was continually see-sawing from one to the other, never totally sure as to who was the true culprit. Not until, quite literally, the last line of the book. The narrative was fast paced, moving from one element to the next keeping me guessing, and wanting to unravel the next part that might help me uncover the truth. The Blame Game is an impressive read from start to finish.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 28th February 2020

Friday Face-Off – 28th February 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a ring for the leap year: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

Cover A:

ring1

Cover B:

ring2

Cover C:

ring3

Cover D:

ring4

Cover E:

ring5

Cover F:

ring6

Cover G:

ring7

And the winner is… COVER B!

A nice and simple design, with the beautiful and iconic elvish text on a stark black background. I wanted to steer clear of the movie covers so was very pleased to find a host of alternatives.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a skeleton: “them bones, them bones, them dry bones…”

Red Sun Over Panama by H. Paul Doucette

Red Sun Over Panama by H. Paul Doucette

Just prior to WWII, Japan has made its first move to cripple America’s ability to challenge them in the Pacific Ocean. The Panama Canal. Washington has grave concerns about the safety and security of the Canal and orders the Counterintelligence Police Corps to ensure the Canal remains open and free from sabotage. This has fallen to one agent: Paul Jarvis. He is dispatched to the Canal to work in cooperation with the FBI and the Office of Naval Intelligence. They soon uncover a plot to blow up the Pacific locks. The clock is ticking. In the distance the Red Sun rises above the horizon.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Red Sun Over Panama takes place ahead of the American intervention in World War Two. With tensions growing in the Pacific Ocean and Japan engaging in a policy of saber rattling, protecting the Panama Canal became of vital importance. Paul Jarvis of the CPC is tasked with solving a series of murders of military personnel and how the Japanese contingent in Panama City are connected.
22978375As his investigation unravels he must call upon colleagues in the ONI and FBI to unravel far more sinister plots with the fate of the US military at stake. What started out as a murder case develops into a race against time to uncover a Japanese plot to destroy the locks of the Canal and enact an even greater attack.

Once again, Doucette has put a lot of research in to create a story that feels historically accurate, and draws you in. It flows from beginning to end without ever feeling like it drags or is laboured. The characters feel real, relatable. The events in the book feel entirely believable, irrespective of whether they actually are. It at no point feels like it is another characteristic retelling of the history of the war designed to make it appear that the Americans won the war. If anything, it serves to show that they were far removed from events until Japan pushed into the Pacific region. Red Sun Over Panama gives a well written possible view of events preceding Pearl Harbor. A great read for fans of historic fiction.

 

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 21st February 2020

Friday Face-Off – 21st February 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a dog: “It would perhaps not be amiss to point out that he had always tried to be a good dog.” For this I return to Stephen King and his novel Cujo.

Cover A:

dog1

Cover B:

dog2

Cover C:

dog3

Cover D:

dog4

Cover E:

dog5

Cover F:

dog6

Cover G:

dog7

Cover H:

dog8

And the winner is… COVER A!

This one is so intimidating. I can only imagine being the occupants of the car, trapped, unable to escape. I can imagine how awful it would be as the heat in the car would rise and only being able to see the snarling fangs of the dog in the mirrors. 

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a ring for the leap year: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

Friday Face-Off – 14th February 2020

Friday Face-Off – 14th February 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a book depicting romance, seasonal for Valentines Day – “thus with a kiss I die.” I am not a fan of romantic fiction so thought I was going to struggle with this theme. That was until I twisted the theme and gave thought to the symbols of romance. And with that in mind, I selected Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill.

Cover A:

romantic1

Cover B:

romantic2

Cover C:

romantic3

Cover D:

romantic4

Cover E:

romantic5

Cover F:

romantic6

Cover G:

romantic7

Cover H:

romantic8

And the winner is… COVER H!

I gave this theme some thought, around the symbols of romance. Flowers, chocolates, hearts. That lead me here, to a book featuring a heart without being a romantic book. Cover H pipped the rest to the post for me. Simple and effective, without actually giving anything of the story away. 

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a  dog: “It would perhaps not be amiss to point out that he had always tried to be a good dog.”

Lockheed Elite by Tyler Wandschneider

Lockheed Elite by Tyler Wandschneider

Working to pay off a blackmailer who has learned that a certain genius mechanic isn’t as dead as he was made out to be, Anders Lockheed takes his team on their biggest salvage op yet.

Unfortunately, Anders has hired an undercover military operative bent on using them as bait to draw out a mastermind who has been attacking the public with deadly mechs. 

While on the scav op, things go from bad to worse as the crew of Elite One recover an abandoned woman aboard the claim. Now Anders must decide quickly—stay and fight or cut cables and run.

Either way, it’s too late. Someone has other plans for them. The trap has been set, they’ve rescued the woman and taken the bait, and before long Anders and what’s left of his dwindling crew must navigate with caution through the grips of the military and an especially vile outlaw.

But Anders doesn’t captain just another team flying the black. With a genius mechanic who uses his ragtag high-tech machine shop to aid them in getting in and out of trouble, they’ve earned a reputation as the best of the best. With Anders’s careful planning, this motley crew must band together and flip the military to use them on a monster heist and dig themselves out from the heat pressing in from both sides of the law.

Fly with them. They are clever, they are fierce, they are Lockheed Elite.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Science Fiction is a genre I love, but don’t read often enough. Too often sci-fi is over the top, or filled with cliches. From the description of the book I thought it sounded like a good, fun read. It ticked all of the boxes in terms of what I look for in a sci-fi read. And from the very first page to the very last, Lockheed Elite delivered. 35561062._SY475_Anders Lockheed is the best scavenger crew captain around, and his crew is renowned for being the best. He seldom involved himself in anything illegal, and when he did it was never anything massively criminal, more of a grey area. He commands respect wherever he goes. He gives respect back wherever it is warranted. 

His latest job offers him and his crew an opportunity for an incredible score to make a huge cash windfall. The chance to scav a decommissioned Galactic Command vessel. There would be a whole swarm of other scav crews looking to snatch a piece of the pie, but for Anders Lockheed and the crew of the Elite One this was a simple enough job. But nothing goes right for the crew from that point onwards.

Lockheed Elite offers a well-constructed sci-fi adventure. It has comedic moments that lighten the story without detracting from it. The locations are brilliantly described. The characters are well put together, relatable. This was a great read that I couldn’t put down, so much so that I found myself wanting another book to carry on the stories of Anders and his crew. This has ended up being one of the best books I’ve had the chance to read in a long time.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 7th February 2020

Friday Face-Off – 7th February 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

And in the blink of an eye, it’s February. This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover featuring a lion: “Is that a lion with horns and a pitchfork?” For this week’s book I picked C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Cover A:

lion1

Cover B:

lion2

Cover C:

lion3

Cover D:

lion4

Cover E:

lion5

Cover F:

lion6

Cover G:

lion7

Cover H:

lion8

And the winner is… COVER B!

It may not feature the lion, but this cover really caught my eye. It has an interesting art design. I also really like the way it only shows a small part of the wondrous world on the other side of the wardrobe. 

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that is romantic: “Thus with a kiss I die.”