Her Final Breath

Her Final Breath by Robert Dugoni

“To every man and woman who wears a uniform, carries a badge, and spends their days and nights working in the criminal justice system to keep the rest of us safe. We are often too quick to criticize and too slow to say thank you.”

Homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite has returned to the police force after the sensational retrial of her sister’s killer. Still scarred from that ordeal, Tracy is pulled into an investigation that threatens to end her career, if not her life.

A serial killer known as the Cowboy is killing young women in cheap motels in North Seattle. Even after a stalker leaves a menacing message for Crosswhite, suggesting the killer or a copycat could be targeting her personally, she is charged with bringing the murderer to justice. With clues scarce and more victims dying, Tracy realizes the key to solving the murders may lie in a decade-old homicide investigation that others, including her captain, Johnny Nolasco, would prefer to keep buried. With the Cowboy on the hunt, can Tracy find the evidence to stop him, or will she become his next victim?

Review:

Robert Dugoni’s wonderful breakout thriller, My Sister’s Grave, is the book that got me interested in criminal investigation fiction as it was a masterpiece of pure suspense. Unfortunately, the second book in the series left me feeling very underwhelmed.

I found the police case, and therefore, the plotline of this story to be less interesting or engaging than the first book. The first book just held some much more emotion as Tracy tried to avenge her sister’s murder and I could really feel the pain, this one just wasn’t as powerful.

Tracy is still a captivating and intelligent character, who I found myself rooting for along the way. But by the end of the novel, I just didn’t really care about the serial killer’s’ identity and wasn’t very surprised by the ending. However, I will read the next book and hope Dugoni can end the trilogy with a bang. 2 out of 5 Stars.

2 Purple Stars

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The Short Drop

The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons

“Hope is a cancer. One of two things happens. Either you never learn the truth, in which case it gnaws down to the bone until there’s nothing left, or worse, you do, and you go through that windshield at ninety because hope told you it was okay to make the drive without a seat belt.”

Goodreads’ Description:

A decade ago, fourteen-year-old Suzanne Lombard, the daughter of Benjamin Lombard—then a senator, now a powerful vice president running for the presidency—disappeared in the most sensational missing-person case in the nation’s history. Still unsolved, the mystery remains a national obsession.

For legendary hacker and marine Gibson Vaughn, the case is personal—Suzanne Lombard had been like a sister to him. On the tenth anniversary of her disappearance, the former head of Benjamin Lombard’s security asks for Gibson’s help in a covert investigation of the case, with new evidence in hand.

Haunted by tragic memories, he jumps at the chance to uncover what happened all those years ago. Using his military and technical prowess, he soon discovers multiple conspiracies surrounding the Lombard family—and he encounters powerful, ruthless political players who will do anything to silence him and his team. With new information surfacing that could threaten Lombard’s bid for the presidency, Gibson must stay one step ahead as he navigates a dangerous web to get to the truth.

Review:

With the current political climate in the US and around the globe, I needed a political thriller to help me see that things can always be worse. I was ready for a real mystery layered with political turmoil and espionage crime stopping action.

Sadly, I was very disappointed. I instead found a book filled with plot holes, confusing characters and an overall lack of interest on my part. This book was just not my cup of tea. I found it very boring and drawn out with an anticlimactic conclusion. 1 out of 5 Stars.

1 Purple Star

 

The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen

The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen by R.T. LoweThe Felix Chronicles

But in a strange way, it made perfect sense: the crazier his life became, the tighter he held on to things from his old life.

GoodReads’ Description:

Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man–the school’s groundskeeper–knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.

Review:

The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen contains a little bit of everything – mystery, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, college life and more! This book really intrigued me because I had never read anything like it before. Not to mention it takes place in my fellow Pacific Northwest city of Portland.

The prologue was a struggle for me to get through as it took place in 300 A.D. and reading anything that takes place in ancient times transports me back to school, which is never fun. But be sure to read the prologue because it is very important to the novel.

Felix is struggling with a terrible lost as he begins his freshman year of college with his best friend Allison. He has no idea about the trouble he is in for as it will be no ordinary freshman year. Felix discovers his roommate is a famous reality star, he joins the football team, begins having crazy dreams and may or maybe not be being stalked. But that’s not even the beginning.

The Faceman and the Ashfield Forest scenes were my favorite parts because they evoked the most emotion out of me, even though that emotion was terror. The creativity and fear of those elements made me want to keep reading to discover the truth and find answers.

The book contained so many characters and plot elements that it felt a little confusing and overwhelming at times. I didn’t feel like had time to truly connect with Felix’s group of friends nor fully I understand or trust the role of the groundskeeper. Overall, I think the book was far too dense and could have be made shorter. However, I understand this is the first book in the series and therefore had to contain critical background information to set up the context. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

3 Purples Stars

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

My Sister’s Grave

My Sister’s Grave by Robert DugoniIMG_0980

“Sometimes our questions are better left unanswered.”

Goodreads’ Description:

Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past — and open the door to deadly danger.

Review:

This book was absolutely terrifying in the way all great mysteries should be. It started off a little slow but oh boy did it build up and end with a bang. I stayed up all night reading and then had to sleep with the lights on for the rest of the week – didn’t help that the book took place in my home state of Washington, which made it a bit too real.

I am normally not the biggest fan of scary murder mysteries but I loved this book. It had the right dosage of family drama, crime solving, sadness, love and criminal law. This book made me laugh out in joy, cry in sadness, scream in fear and sigh with relief – it took me on quite a roller coaster ride and felt like a blockbuster film. Do yourself a favor and go pick it up now. 5 out of 5 Stars.

5 Puple Stars