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The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari (audio)

The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari (audio)

The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari   Audio Book Review

Richard Montanari’s Website

doll maker

Wow, I’m sorry to say this is the first book I’ve read by Richard Montanari, but it certainly won’t be the last, I have already reserved Rosary Girls at my local library. Honestly, I really missed the boat with this author – but now that I have secured a quiet listening corner, I’m in for the long ride.

Although this is the eighth book in the series, it works as a standalone. There’s enough information about the characters to carry the reader through. And these are well drawn, three dimensional, and easily relateable. Philadelphia Homicide Detectives Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne are interesting, work well as a team, and have a palpable respect for one another. Byrne is more experienced, kind hearted and determined. While Balzano is opinionated and shrewd, with an equally warm heart.  I particularly liked the absence of romantic entanglement.

Richard Montanari weaves multiple angles together into a disturbing tapestry of missing children, murdered children extravagantly posed on painted surfaces, and a convicted child killer weeks away from her final walk. Are they connected? Time is running out for Balzano and Byrne to find out. Throughout the reader discovers information only moments before the detectives. Montanari gives the reader credit and doesn’t spell everything out letter for letter. The Doll Maker is more about motives and concepts, than actual brutality and violence. The latter being the tools used to create his ‘art.’ The creepy tea dance invitations he leaves at each scene add yet another layer to an already colorful piece.

This is disturbing on so many levels – there were entire chapters that gave me goose-bumps (and I don’t frighten easy). Montanari has a gift – the ability to write realistically, believable stories that are the stuff nightmares are made of, but sadly could be the lead story on the news tonight. The Doll Maker is an outstanding book. Period. No matter what opinion you read, good or bad..if you enjoy suspense/thrillers – read this one for yourself.

*DO NOT form your opinion based on the prologue. Yes it is graphic, gruesome and extremely disturbing, but this does not fairly represent the rest of the story.

Happy Reading!

RJ

Goodreads

Hachette Audio

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Solitude Creek by Jeffery Deaver

Solitude Creek by Jeffery Deaver

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Solitude Creek is the fourth book in the Kathryn Dance series and not my favorite. The idea of a killer that sets the stage for people to cause their own death is thought provoking…. Would it be every man for himself, a literal dog eat dog type mentality? Sadly, time and again it plays out just that way. When local roadhouse patrons try to escape what they think is a fire, only to find the exits blocked, several are killed and numerous others injured, as fear and panic replaced rationale and human decency. All to the delight and amusement of “event murderer,” Antioch March.

California Criminal Investigations Detective Kathryn Dance has been placed on Civil Division Duty, unable to carry a weapon or work criminal cases. Forced to the sideline as the gang related drug smuggling case she was heading moves forward without her. However, she is able to stay in the loop on that case and consult with local authorities on the Solitude Creek stampede. And her usually mild mannered, well behaved kids (a son and daughter), pick now to start acting different…causing Mom a few more worries. Oh, she also has two men vying for her time and affection.

It felt to me like Deaver just tossed things on the wall and hoped something would stick. Compared to the Lincoln Rhyme series, Kathryn Dance doesn’t measure up. True they are very different characters, and that is great, but where Rhyme is a well rounded character, Dance feels like a bunch of strings that never form anything. With the first book, Bone Collector, I cared about the participants and what transpired in both their professional, as well as, their personal lives. Again, there’s a disconnect between me and Dance. Solitude Creek could have been a really good book, but not with Kathryn Dance in the lead. Having the audio version made it a lot better, because the narrator did an exceptional job keeping me in the moment, whereas left on my own with the hard copy I would have had a difficult time finishing it.

**Antioch March is an “event murderer”, meaning he causes the event, but the choices people make cause their deaths.

Visit Jeffery Deaver’s Website

Visit Hachette Audio’s Website

Happy Reading,

RJ
Goodreads

The Bone Collector

The FIRST Lincoln Rhyme novel


Overview
Jeffery Deaver, “the master of manipulation” (Associated Press) and “the most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world.” (Daily Telegraph, UK) returns with the new, long-awaited, Kathryn Dance thriller.
A tragedy occurs at a small concert venue on the Monterey Peninsula. Cries of “fire” are raised and, panicked, people run for the doors, only to find them blocked. A half dozen people die and others are seriously injured. But it’s the panic and the stampede that killed; there was no fire.
Kathryn Dance–a brilliant California Bureau of Investigation agent and body language expert–discovers that the stampede was caused intentionally and that the perpetrator, a man obsessed with turning people’s own fears and greed into weapons, has more attacks planned. She and her team must race against the clock to find where he will strike next before more innocents die.
Details  Unabridged Audio
  • ISBN-13: 9781478903598
  • ISBN-10: 1478903597

Radiant Angel (John Corey Series #7)

 

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Beat The Reaper by Josh Bazell

 Beat the Reaper
Josh Bazell

ISBN: 9781600244322
ISBN: 1600244327
Little, Brown & Company

Hachette Book Group
Unabridged, 6CD, 7hrs
Read by Robert Petkoff

www.joshbazell.com

Hachette Audio

Set in Manhattan’s worst hospital, Josh Bazell paints a dismal, picture for the main character, intern, Dr. Peter Brown. Working long hours, surrounded by an uncaring, overworked staff, that are unaffected and uninvolved, he finds himself waging a one man war to help his patients beat the reaper. But for Peter Brown, the war is much more personal, he too is trying to outrun or outwit death…and Brown knows all too well, that the reaper has many faces.

Through flashbacks and memory spurts, we learn Peter Brown a.k.a. Pietro Brnwa is hiding more than a few skeletons in his hospital locker. Rescued from his neglectful parents by doting, devoted grandparents only to see them brutally murdered at the tender age of fifteen. He became determined to a state of near obsession to find those responsible for his grandparents death. He joins the Locano Family, who quickly put his hatred and anger to work as an assassin, known as Bearclaw. Experiencing a change of heart, Pietro flips sides, entering the Witness Protection Program, from which he is now on the lam. Adding fuel to this multi-level fire, Brown is recognized by one of his new patients- the chart lists him as Mr. LoBrutto, but this long time mafia associate was at one time known as, Eddy Squillante and he harbors a deep grudge against the good Doctor Brown and knows numerous other mobsters who would kill him on sight.

This edgy story is littered with street humor, that borders on crude at times and yet it is perfectly suited for the depressing, death trap hospital scenario Bazell has designed as Brown’s stomping-group through-out “Beat the Reaper.” The mature language and detailed violence are not suited for younger audiences or those who are offended easily by brash, over-the-top cursing and blood, guts and gore. It says something about the author’s ability to write the material and the narrator’s ability to convey it that this one needs a “Mature Content” warning label. However, as most adults will agree some things are for children and others are not –and that’s okay – ….”Beat the Reaper” is a grown up tale that will having you snickering one second and out right laughing the next. So, if you are looking for a good story to take you away from the ordinary for a few hours, Beat the Reaper is an excellent choice.

Happy Reading,
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RJ McGill

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I am looking forward to Josh Bazell’s future works!

 

  Paperback available September 14, 2009Beat the Reaper - Paperback

 

Listen to: "Beat the Reaper" by Josh Bazell (Sample courtesy of Hachette Audio) LISTEN TO A SAMPLE CLIP
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The First Commandment by Brad Thor

Cover ImageThe First Commandment
Brad Thor
ISBN 10: 1-4165-4379-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-4165-4379-4
Atria Books
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc
www.simonsays.com

www.bradthor.com

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Double Cross by James Patterson

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Double Cross
James Patterson
ISBN 10: 0316015059
ISBN 13: 978-0316015059
Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group USA
www.HachetteBookGroupUSA.com

www.jamespatterson.com

Patterson has a unique gift for making you feel all the joys and pains experienced by Cross, who is one of the best protagonists of the suspense thriller genre. Reuniting fans with beloved, as well as, despised characters, while continuing to press the boundaries, Patterson shines brighter than ever in this hard hitting double header!

Self-imposed retirement, a gorgeous new girlfriend and a quiet romantic camping trip, what could possibly go wrong? Well, when Alex Cross is around the answer is an unequivocal–anything and everything! Hot romance is quickly cooled when Bree is ordered to return to DC after the very public murder of famed author Tess Olsen. Dubbed the Audience Killer, for his propensity for attention, this psychopath seems to have no fear of being discovered, growing more brazen and arrogant with each successive murder. He thrives on the media attention his dastardly deeds afford him and relishes in the panic his murderous acts create. In the midst of the carnage and chaos, Cross receives a disturbing call informing him Kyle Craig had escaped from the maximum security prison in Colorado, where he had been housed for the past four years. Prior to his incarceration, Craig had been a respected FBI colleague and a genius in his own right. Craig was patient, resourceful and vicious, a formidable adversary now methodically making his way through the list of those he deemed responsible for his imprisonment. Of course, Alex Cross was at the top of his list.

Two murderers, one seeking fame, the other bent on revenge, yet they shared a common goal…the elimination of Detective Alex Cross. In this particularly well delivered novel, Patterson weaves an intricate, multi-layered plot, that moves seamlessly between opposing forces, while hurdling toward an unavoidable showdown. There are no twig-like stereotypes or bland settings, as Patterson showcases his unparalleled ability to create three dimensional characters that are diabolical, yet very real and disturbingly interesting. With his omniscient voice, taut narrative and vivid detail, the reader is immersed in this carefully crafted, highly imaginative world, from the very first page. One of the most popular literary characters of the century, Alex Cross is a hard hitting, tough as nails detective, with an almost sixth sense ability to get inside a killer’s mind. But it his personal struggles, as a son, father and lover that continue to bring the character off the page and into the heart of the reader.

Chock full of action, short, crisp chapters and a few teasers thrown in to wet your appetite for the next installment – Double Cross is a double shot of Patterson at his thrilling best!

Happy Reading!
BIGsmily_thumb.jpg– RJ
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RJ McGill, EzineArticles.com Basic PLUS Author


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Alex Cross has that certain, something special –an undefinable quality often referred to as the “it” factor, which sets him apart from garden-variety detectives and keeps fans turning pages. Picking up the latest Cross novel is much like getting together with family you only see a couple of times a year. You plan for, anxiously await the arrival date, excitedly interact– savoring every moment and lingering over every detail, for far too soon, your time together comes to an end. So it is with our beloved Alex Cross – we wait for what seems like forever for the next installment and devour it with the kind of passion usually reserved for new lovers…Patterson understands our relationship with this character, and always provides a few hints and teasers which ease our discomfort and immediately put us back into the “anxiously awaiting” phase of the relationship.
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