Tag Archive | crime

Spatzle Speaks: A Shattered Image (Book Review)

I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a good romantic suspense because Mom cuddles up to me more as she reads them. This debut novel, Through a Shattered Image by Linda Widrick is a winner in that category.

First of all let’s just put a young woman, Karina into a Witness Protection program under a new name, Leah. She’s never met her handler and they only talk on the phone. She doesn’t realize that the job she chose puts him in the precarious position of also being her employer. But what a better way for a US Marshal to keep his charge safe?

Phillip didn’t anticipate the complication of falling in love with his employee, as she confesses to him her attraction for her boss when they talk on the phone, about her loneliness and the challenges of adapting to living a life that’s a lie. And she doesn’t know the truth about him or her boss… who are one and the same person also living a lie.

Add to the mix some criminals and an unknown twin who is searching for her sister, a plane crash, and a kidnapping of Phillips young child, and you have a multi-layered story filled with love, passion, frustration, and new dreams for a future for all the main characters.

I strongly recommend this novel as it has everything a good read requires to keep you riveted to the page and waiting to see if Leah and Phillip could possibly overcome their obstacles to reach a happily-ever-after. I give this book five bones, because I’m a dog and I don’t have thumbs. 

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

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Spatzle Speaks: Sparks of Love (Book Review)

sparks-of-loveSpatzle the Maltese here (in case you’re new to my reviews). Sparks of Love is a novel of love and faith by Mary Ball.

Once upon a time, a young adult was accused of a crime. She left her past and her faith behind when her small town continued to judge her in spite of her innocence. Her father calls to let her know he found proof that would clear her name. He’s interrupted before he can share the news.

Her father dies before he can do so and Lynette Cunningham is forced to return to settle the estate and decide what to do next in her life. An old friendship is resurrected and a local pastor has his sights set on her. She’s determined to get through all the stuff her father saved and hopefully find the proof of her innocence her father mentioned. A series of accidents begin to make the process difficult.

The handsome young pastor also challenges her buried faith as she digs up memories. As love grows danger increases. Lynette is challenged to rethink much of what she thought she knew about her old life.

This is a book of grief and broken trust that is restored through faith and friendship. A compelling journey and a worthy read. I give it five bones because I’m a dog. I don’t do stars.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Speaks: Evidence Not Seen (Book Review)

This fabulous tell of mystery and family secrets by Carlene Havel is a great addition to the “Love is . . .” series by Prism Book Group. Evidence Not Seen beautifully illustrates “love keeps no record of wrongs.”

Jeff Galloway grew up with his father in prison and his mom single-handedly raising him. A grown man and a successful attorney he comes to a crossroads when his girlfriend dumps him for greater fortunes in another town. A chance encounter brings Melanie Clark into his path and the soft-hearted social worker stretches his faith in fresh ways while helping come to grips with the past as his father is released from prison.

Did his father commit the crime? if he is as innocent his mother claims, why would he go to prison for it? Where was the proof? As he investigates he is forced to learn to let go of the past as he realizes the truth of all that happened 27 years ago and start afresh to learn the integrity of the father he’d long disdained.

This story looks at our own perceptions and beliefs and the associated emotions that can knock us off stride and away from truth–and love. Melanie becomes a force to help him realize the truth and let go of the past, and forgive. This beautifully told story deserves five bones. I’m a dog. I don’t do stars.

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Unspoken (Book Review)

UnspokenI was looking forward to Dee Henderson’s latest release with great anticipation. Unspoken, while not a part of a series, per se, does follow up on Paul and Ann Falcon’s story from Full Disclosure, but only as a background to the story that Bryce Bishop lives through.

The story is intriguing as it starts out with Charlotte Graham but is never written from her point of view. She was involved in a crime that was supposedly solved. She had been kidnapped at 16 and released four years later, changed her name and never spoke of what really happened.

Bryce Bishop is a God-fearing man who runs a successful coin business. Charlotte approaches him with the opportunity to purchase and resell, at a significant profit, millions of dollars worth of valuable coins she inherited from her grandfather. Neither knows at first that their partnership was set up by her security agent and her best friend.

Bryce had been bored and praying for release from that when Charlotte mysteriously appears in his life. She’s a mystery that he slowly begins to uncover as he falls in love with her. Charlotte is not quite so convinced that they could be anything more than friends.

As Ann and Paul Falcon work on trying to solve a cold case, and an investigative reporter digs into Charlotte’s past, it soon becomes clear that the two crimes are intertwined and that the criminal is still at large and a threat to Charlotte and her family as well as others.  Can she, with Bryce’s help, come to help with the investigation? Can she also managed to answer the hard questions that plague her faith of where God was in the midst of terrible pain?

This book was evidently heavily researched and I admire Dee Henderson for that attention to detail. The story itself is a slow-moving one. While dubbed romantic suspense it does not reach the level of intensity of previous stories she has written and is in essence more of a love story with a mystery woven in.  Written only from Bryce, Paul and Anne’s perspectives, it is missing some intensity by not giving Charlotte’s point of view and perhaps letting us in to her deep inner struggle that goes beyond the words she shares with Bryce or her friends.

While the ending was nice and all the loose ends were tidied up – it left me wanting more and in a way feeling cheated that there was only that hint of the healing that Bryce had been praying for. Unlike Full Disclosure, this part of their relationship was not explored further, but with the mystery solved, I suppose that was just not going to happen in at least this book. Maybe Bryce and Charlotte will show up in the next book and we can see how their relationship develops as the backdrop to another story.

Th Chase and The Survivor (Book Reviews)

I am new to the writing of seasoned author DiAnn Mills but am definitely a convert to her romantic suspense’s after reading The Chase and The Survivor.

the chaseIn the first book in the Crime Scene: Houston series, The Chase, Kariss Walker is an author who wants to write about a crime that had haunted her for years. She gains a favor from the FBI and manages to work with Special Agent Tigo Harris who is not too happy to be babysitting the annoying author, much less dig up a cold case that also gnawed at him. In the process of her research, they get the cold case reopened but the quest to find justice for the murdered child puts both their lives in danger.

survivorIn the second book, The Survivor, Kariss is recruited by a psychologist who was once brutally attacked and left for dead as a child. Dr. Amy Garrett wants her story told but suspects that doing so may flush out the murderer who accidently let her live when so many others died. Kariss had dated Tigo but had walked away from the relationship because of his lack of faith in Christ. They are drawn together as she diane millsonce again finds herself in the crossfire of a cold case turned hot.

I really enjoyed the action and attention to detail that DiAnn weaves into her stories. She obviously has done a lot of research and work with the FBI to be able to tell tales like this and that alone makes them fascinating.  They are filled with complexity and depth and rich characters and I fell in love with tough cop Tigo and too-stubborn-for-her-own-good, Kariss. I look forward to book number three. Please, DiAnn, say there will be one!