Favourite Opening Lines 2017 #Books #AmReading #SundayBlogShare

In no particular order, these are some of the opening lines from books I’ve read over the last twelve months that drew me in.

That Bright Land ~ Terry Roberts

In the summer of 1886 I went down South to find and kill a man. It’s not what I would have chosen, and when I first arrived in the territory, I didn’t want to admit that’s what I was about. Nevertheless, I was well suited to the task – by my past and the shadows it cast in my soul.

My review is here. Book links ~ Amazon UK | US

High Force ~ LJ Ross

As soon as she awakened, MacKenzie knew he meant to kill her. There was no confused, fumbling recollection of what had happened. On the contrary, she remembered everything with horrifying clarity.

My review is here. Book links ~ Amazon UK US Continue reading

Top Reads of 2016 #Books #AmReading #TuesdayBookBlog

It’s that time again! This year has gone so quickly and it’s been filled with really great reads. Narrowing down favourites is a difficult task but here they are. As always, they’ll be either 4.5* or 5* and clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon UK. 

28111823Dead Is Dead ~ Thriller

Private investigator Jack Bertolino, previously an inspector with the NYPD, is employed as technical advisor, consulting on a movie being made of his last case. His job includes protection for the female star, who is being targeted by a disturbed, out of control stalker. Susan Blake is beautiful, haunted by a past that she can’t lay to rest.

During filming there’s an actual shooting several blocks away, which results in the accidental and tragic death of little Maria Sanchez and also that of known drug dealer, Tomas Vegas. Cruz Feinberg, the technical wizard in Jack’s company, knows the Sanchez family and asks Jack to make some enquiries. As Jack’s investigation progresses the Dirk brothers’ names pop up too often for Jack’s liking and his ingrained cop’s instinct is on high alert.  Continue reading

Bitter Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #4) by @AlexSokoloff #TuesdayBookBlog #Audiobook

  • 30281100Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Performed by R.C. Bray
  • Published: Brilliance Audio and released November 2016
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
  • five-stars

FBI agent Matthew Roarke has been on leave, and in seclusion, since the capture of mass killer Cara Lindstrom—the victim turned avenger who preys on predators. Torn between devotion to the law and a powerful attraction to Cara and her lethal brand of justice, Roarke has retreated from both to search his soul.

This is one of my all time favourite series. Totally compelling. Initially, it was Roarke, his reaction to Cara’s terrible story when he was just a boy himself, and the impact it had on his life that intrigued me. And Cara, a protagonist with such a tragic young life, turned vigilante. As the story and the series progressed the characters developed and became ever more complex, so it was impossible not to become involved and care about them.  Continue reading

#FridayBookShare ~ Bitter Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #4) by @AlexSokoloff #Crime #Thriller @ShelleyWilson72

#FridayBookShare ~ an excellent idea created by Shelley Wilson

With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share meme to help search for that ideal read.

FridayBookShare

Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading (or listening to, in my case) or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)  Continue reading

More Favourite Opening Lines 2016 #Books #amreading #SundayBlogShare

It’s all on twelve months since I first wrote about my favourite opening lines, so I reckon I’ve read enough books to warrant another selection. So in no particular order, here they are. Clicking on the book title will take you to my review if you’d like more info.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

15932273Mabel had known there would be silence. That was the point, after all. No infants cooing or wailing. No neighbour children playfully hollering down the lane. No pad of small feet on wooden stairs worn smooth by generations, or clackety-clack of toys along the kitchen floor. All those sounds of her failure and regret would be left behind, and in their place there would be silence.

Lowcountry Punch by Boo Walker

21863524The Miami I knew wasn’t all G-strings and mojitos. We were undercover, working our way up the stairs of a parking garage in the Latin Quarter, minutes from a cocaine exchange, with no backup. We’d been trying to get to whoever was up there for two weeks and needed to make arrests. I’d be damned if we were going to let them walk away just because there hadn’t been a chance to call it in. Continue reading

Cold Moon ~ The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #3

Audiobook Review

  • ColdMoonAuthor: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Performed by RC Bray
  • Published: July 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
  • five-stars

The hunt for mass murderer Cara Lindstrom is over. FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke has been working for this moment: the capture of a killer who savagely hunts the worst of humanity. But Roarke remains traumatized by his own near-death at the hands of the serial killer who slaughtered Cara’s family…and haunted by the enigmatic woman who saved his life.

Then the sixteen-year-old prostitute who witnessed Cara’s most recent murder goes missing, and suddenly pimps are turning up dead on the streets of San Francisco, killed with an MO eerily similar to Cara’s handiwork.

Continuing the story of Cara Lindstrom, the sole survivor at five years old of her family’s horrific massacre by a serial killer, and FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Matthew Roarke, whose career in law enforcement is a direct result of Cara’s tragic past. Continue reading

Blood Moon ~ The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #2

AudiobookReview

  • BloodMoonAuthor: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Performed by RC Bray
  • Published: February 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Crime/Thriller/Suspense, Psychological
  • five-stars

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.
The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.
But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks – and wants – may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

Blood Moon continues the story of Cara Lindstrom and FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke which began in Huntress Moon. Roarke, Epps and a team of agents are in the process of completing a bust on the sex trafficking ring that Cara had led them to. Cara, the only survivor from the short but bloody reign of terror twenty-five years earlier, carried out by the serial killer known as the Reaper, dispenses her own brand of justice to those men who prey on women and children. Roarke’s team is assembled and ready, Damien Epps, Antara Singh and new agent Ryan Jones. Cara managed to escape at the close of Huntress Moon and is still at large, the team’s main focus now is to find and apprehend her.

Cara  Lindstrom was a killer, the most unusual one Roarke had ever encountered. She hunted and killed, brutally and specifically. But psychologically she was more of a vigilante, her victims hand-picked for their crimes against women and especially children: child molesters, sex traffickers, and in one case, a homegrown terrorist who had been plotting to bomb a Portland street fair.

Roarke’s plan to lure Cara out of hiding doesn’t go according to plan when it appears the Reaper is back and killing once more. He likes to kill during the full moon. The team have less than two weeks until the next full moon.

This is a brilliant continuation of the story and it also allows a deeper insight into the developing complex and compelling characters. Roarke’s feelings towards Cara are very confused, part of him feels a connection to her because of the circumstances of the slaughter of her family and the fact the Lindstrom murder case set him on his career path. And although he can kind of understand, if not agree with, her actions he’s drawn to her, which causes tension between him and Epps and puts  a strain on their relationship. Roarke is very intuitive which gives rise to a vulnerability in his nature. For me, this trait adds realism to a character’s personality.

Cara, who was broken and traumatized at such a young age and then went through the added emotional shock of being sucked into the system.  Bounced between foster and group homes and juvenile prison until she reached twenty-one when she disappeared from public records. And now she faces her worst nightmare again.

The characters have authenticity and it’s easy to get involved and care about them – or loathe them, as the case may be. The murder scenes are heartbreaking, the great writing style creates a dark atmosphere of tense anticipation and suspense, with vivid scenic descriptions, throughout a well paced and interesting storyline. So glad there’s not too long a wait for book three. And I know when RC Bray is narrating, the performance will be first class and the perfect complement to the storyline.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

Author links ~ TwitterFacebook, Website

Huntress Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #1)

  • HuntressMoonAudiobookReview
  • Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Performed by RC Bray
  • Published by Alexandra Sokoloff and released on Audible May 2014
  • Category: Crime/Mystery/Suspense, Psychological
  • four-half-stars

A Thriller Award nominee for Best eBook Original Novel… Book 1 in award-winning author Alexandra Sokoloff’s riveting new Huntress FBI series about a driven FBI agent on the hunt for that most rare of all killers: a female serial.

Matthew Roarke, a special agent with the FBI, is in the midst of an investigation and while on his way to meet one of his undercover agents he notices a mysterious young woman on the opposite side of the road immediately before his agent is hit by an oncoming large semi truck. Roarke doesn’t believe in coincidences, especially since the woman has disappeared. He strongly suspects there’s more to this than meets the eye.

Since he was a boy, watching the news reports of a horrific massacre, Matt Roarke had his heart set on a career as an FBI agent. He and his right hand man, Damien Epps, begin to delve into the sequence of events that lead to the agent’s death, beginning with witness statements, one of which saw the mysterious woman speak to the agent seconds before he was hit by the truck.

Roarke needs to find the woman and as his investigation gains momentum more gruesome murders are uncovered. Now Roarke and his team need to make the connection between the victims and as the pieces begin to fall into places the horrifying details of the Huntress’ background start to emerge. 

She’d seen the road signs in the middle of the night and impulsively made the turn. She like hotels, motels too, the anonymity and uncomplicatedness of them.

The plan is clear. She will drive. It’s a huge state, a huge country. Plenty of open areas to get lost in and reduce the chances she will be found. She always keeps moving; there is less chance of tracking her. But for the next six days she must be as invisible as possible.

If she can just get through the next days….Just six more days.

The story alternates between Roarke’s perspective and the Huntress’ compelling point of view. Even though the murders are fairly grisly, once her heartbreaking story is fully revealed it would be hard not to feel some sympathy for her and, at the same time, horror at her actions. The storyline is devised wonderfully and the tension builds steadily with a thread of the psychological. And as events unfold good and evil are uncovered, connections are made and Roarke is totally conflicted.

Alexandra Sokoloff has crafted, not only an outstanding story, but also a cast of skilfully multi layered and believable characters. The locations in the story are vividly described to give a real sense of place. Combined with an excellent performance from RC Bray this is a fantastic listening experience. Definitely a series to follow.

About the author 

AlexandraSokoloffAlexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers The Harrowing, The Price, The Unseen, Book of Shadows, The Shifters, and The Space Between, and the Thriller Award-nominated, Amazon bestselling Huntress FBI thriller series (Huntress Moon, Blood Moon). The New York Times Book Review has called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction workbooks: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors and Writing Love, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (ScreenwritingTricks.com), and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west (the screenwriters union) and the board of the Mystery Writers of America.

Alex is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. In her spare time (!) she performs with Heather Graham’s all-author Slush Pile Players, and dances like a fiend. She is also very active on Facebook. But not an addict. Seriously, it’s under control.

Alexandra Sokoloff can be found on Twitter, Facebook and her website