The Rose in Winter by Sarah Harrison

The Rose in Winter by Sarah Harrison
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: 1953 – Barbara flitted across the hall and paused – face to the wall, breath held. Silence lay in the dim rooms all around, rain roared on the windows. She gasped and ran again, pattering along the passage to the kitchen on wings of fear, quick and light as a moth. If she didn’t breathe, if her feet scarcely touched the ground, perhaps she would be invisible. Everywhere in the house was unseasonably dark because of the rain, which had been falling all day long and showed no sign of abating. The downpour would obscure the view of anyone looking in, but would it hide them from her too? How would she know who was out there? And where?

THE BLURB: What if the one that got away comes back? Barbara Delahay’s past returns to haunt her in this compelling novel of romantic suspense.

1929. 17-year-old Barbara Delahay was a beauty, a young and untouched English rose, enjoying the social whirl of the debutante season. It was inevitable she would attract male attention. However, Barbara caught the eye of someone charismatic but wholly unsuitable. Someone damaged. Drawn under his spell, she almost succumbed, but escaped just in time to marry the decent but dull Brigadier Govan, a man 25 years her senior.

Now in 1953, the day of the new Queen’s coronation, in an empty house with the rain rushing down the windows, the widowed Barbara is cowering in fear. For she knows who’s out there, calling her name, seeking her out ? Her past has returned to claim her, and this time it won’t be so easy to deny.

MY THOUGHTS: I remember being totally enamored by The Flowers of the Field by Sarah Harrison back in the 1980s when it was first published, so I was excited to discover her latest offering, The Rose in Winter. Even more so when it was described as a historical romantic suspense. Just what I needed!

Now, other than the opening paragraphs, there is not a lot of suspense. Nor is there a great deal of romance, at least not in the traditional sense. What we do get however, is a solid story of the life of a woman over two timelines, the late 1920s/early 1930s, and 1953.

Life in this era was vastly different than today, particularly for a woman. They did not have the freedom of choice that we have and Sarah Harrison portrays this social clime very well. Barbara Delahay’s story would have been very different set in modern times.

While The Rose in Winter may not deliver great chunks of romantic suspense, it is a good read, and one that is not going to slot easily into any particular genre other than historical fiction, and perhaps social commentary. After finishing this, I am eager to reread some of her earlier works.

3.5☆ The Rose in Winter is due to be published January 01, 2018 by Severn House.

Thank you to Severn House via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Rose in Winter by Sarah Harrison for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2227483932?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Friday Favorite – Eleven Hours by Paullina Simons

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

Eleven Hours by Paullina Simons
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Didi wanted to speak but found she was made speechless by her heart ramming itself against her chest. She didn’t need to turn around. She recognized his voice. It was the manin the jacket. She felt slightly nauseated.

‘Did you hear me, ma’am?’ the voice said. ‘You shouldn’t be carrying those heavy bags. It’s not good for the baby.’

Didi turned around.

The man was standing in front of her, hands in his jacket pockets. The heat index was up to 120 and he was wearing a jacket over his white shirt. The incongruity of the jacket hadn’t registered in the cool mall, but now it seemed distinctly out of place.

She stared directly at him without averting her gaze. His upturned nose made him look petulant, as if he’d been waiting for a bus too long. His mouth was upturned too, in a semblance of a smile. It looked as if he was grimacing, stretching his thin lips upward, toward eyes that weren’t smiling. They were blue and they were cold, and she saw that they lacked something essential. The expression in the eyes, like the jacket, did not belong in a mall parking lot on a hot summer day.

Didi held onto the bags as she and the man stared at each other. She tried to focus, but all she saw was dark spots instead of his face. Wait, wait, she said to herself, narrowing her mental vision. Think! It’s not so bad. Maybe he is really concerned about the bags. Remember? He said the same thing to me in the mall.

Wait a second. Who said he’d followed her? Maybe he hadn’t followed her. Maybe his own car was parked here and he was on his way home.

Didi had been silent too long. She tried to swallow, but her mouth was too dry and her heart was beating too fast.

‘You don’t need to help me. My car is right . . .’ She stopped, already regretting what she had been about to say. Take it back, fool, take it back. Why would she want him to know they were in front of her car?

The man said “What I ‘d like to do is help you to my car.’

Didi lost her breath and opened her mouth.

‘I’d rather not do that,’ she said, her voice breaking. ‘I’m meeting my husband for lunch.’ Her knees began to shake. To steady herself, she leaned against the minivan.

The man stretched his lips sideways, exposing his teeth. ‘I think he’ll be eating alone today,’ he said.

THE BLURB: One pregnant woman.
One deranged man.
Eleven hours of hell.

Abducted from a shopping mall in Dallas, Didi Wood, in her ninth month of pregnancy, is taken on the most dangerous, horrifying ride of her life, as a madman drives her across Texas. While her husband and the FBI try furiously to track them down, they can only hope to find Didi — and her unborn child — alive.

MY THOUGHTS: I love this book.
The sun beats down on the parking lot of a Texas shopping mall.
Heavily pregnant and not at all comfortable in the relentless heat, Didi Wood is moving through her rgular routine of shopping before leaving to meet her husband for lunch.
And then she is kidnapped and bundled into a car by a desperate young man.
Who is he?
What does he want?
Where are they going?
This book is taut and gripping.
It is the book by which I measure all others in this genre.
The story telling alternates between Didi herself trapped by a sometimes violent but always unpredictable kidnapper, and her husband Rich with Scott, the FBI agent assigned to catch the kidnapper.
I re-read this book every few years.
Neither the magic nor the suspense ever dims.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/999393317

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King
Sleeping Beauties 
by Stephen King (Goodreads Author)Owen King (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: The Avon Lady who was not the Avon Lady walked away from the trailer and back toward the meth lab. The smell of propane grew stronger with each step until the air was rancid with it. Her footprints appeared behind her, white and small and delicate, shapes that came from nowhere and seemed to be made of milkweed fluff. The hem of her borrowed shirt fluttered around her long thighs.

In front of the shed she plucked up a piece of paper caught in a bush. At the top, in big blue letters, it announced EVERYTHING IS ON SALE EVERY DAY! Below this were pictures of refrigerator units both large and small, washing machines, dishwashers, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, Dirt Devils, trash compactors, food processors, more. One picture showed a trim young woman in jeans smiling knowingly down upon her daughter, who was blond like Mom. The pretty tyke held a plastic baby in her arms and smiled down upon it. There were also large TVs showing men playing football, men in racing cars, and grill setups beside which stood men with giant forks and giant tongs. Although it did not come right out and say so, the message of this advertising circular was clear: women work and nest while men grill the kill.

THE BLURB: In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?

MY THOUGHTS: Ummmmmmm. . .

When I started to read Sleeping Beauties, a collaboration between Stephen King and son Owen, I felt sure that I was getting into another 5☆ masterpiece. The first third kept my interest levels high, although I often had to abandon it in favor of Netgalley reads that needed to be reviewed because they were due for publication. I usually push them to one side in favor of Mr King, but not this time. The second third continued to intrigue me, but perhaps not quite as much. I felt like my wheels were spinning a little. And the final third? Well, the whole warfare episode – shoot ’em dead, blow ’em up – I could have done without. It kind of felt like they were cheating, taking the easiest way out. I have to admit to finally skimming large tracts of this section. It was that or throw the book away. And the ending? My jury is still out on that decision.

It is an exceedingly long read at 714 pages, which I have come to expect from Mr King. But I also expect a little more quality than I got here. Sleeping Beauties could easily have been quite a bit shorter. I am not going to apportion blame for either the length or the warfare, because I don’t know the logistics of how this was written. But I would like to know. Did they collaborate to the extent that they squabbled over the keyboard? Did they write alternating chapters? Had they each written a similar story that they merged? I don’t know. I thought that they may have discussed this in the authors’ note, but they don’t. I haven’t previously read any of Owen King’s work. I need to do so.

I have wavered over my rating. 2.5 ☆? 3☆? 3.5☆? It is better than 2.5-stars. Better than average. 3.5? Probably not quite . . . although I am a little more wary of the cobwebs that cling stubbornly to the outside of our house. And those innocent looking little brown moths that swarm around the porch light at night? No way are they coming inside. So some things have lingered. 3.25☆ seems fair to me.

I wish I could have liked Sleeping Beauties better.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2115799585?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

An Off-Piste Christmas by Julie Houston

An Off-Piste Christmas by Julie Houston
An Off-Piste Christmas 
by Julie Houston

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘Enid Blyton?’ Vienna gave a tinkling little laugh reminiscent of the bells round the necks of the mountain goats I’d seen this morning, their vacant eyes appraising me as I’d stepped down from the minibus on our way here knowing that, if I didn’t stop and get air, I’d be calling God into a plastic bag. ‘Bless you. Enid Blyton? Claudia did the whole Enid Blyton thing years ago. We’re reading Airman by Eoin Colfer at the moment: it’s a swashbuckling adventure set in a futuristic Ireland about a rebel boy who has to escape from prison to clear his name. Terribly exciting. Claudia has read all the classics: Black Beauty, Swallows and Amazons, Lorna Doone. . .’ Vienna was interrupted mid-sentence by Luca calling us to dinner, otherwise I reckon we’d have had a whole junior library shoved down our throats. I was beginning to think the woman was one book short of a library herself.

THE BLURB: From the author of #1 Humour Bestsellers GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME, THE ONE SAVING GRACE and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a brand new festive novella to make you laugh and warm your heart…

The last thing Harriet Westmoreland wants is Christmas away from home, particularly when skiing, snow, heights and freezing her backside off are on the menu. While her own family, together with her best friend Grace’s, are soon whizzing down ridiculously high and scary mountains in the fashionable Italian resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Harriet is stuck in the remedial class on the nursery slopes unable, it seems, to remain vertical.

Tired of trying to stay upright in the dunces’ class, Harriet decides to overcome her fear of heights and take her bruised body off to explore the refugios in the magnificent Dolomites above Cortina. And maybe catch a glance of George Clooney, rumoured to be in town… But what happens next triggers a totally unexpected avalanche of events which proves that, for friends Harriet and Grace and all their families, Christmas really is a time for little miracles…

MY THOUGHTS: I haven’t read a Christmas themed book in years, but having chatted with author Julie Houston on Twitter, then receiving notification from Amazon that An Off-Piste Christmas was one of the daily deals, I felt that I was fated to read this. And I am so glad I did!

Julie Houston has packed so much into this novella of 127 pages, that it has enough plot and engaging characters for a full length novel. Houston writes with a tongue-in-cheek humour that kept me smiling, although there are definitely some heart-wrenching moments in there.

I read An Off-Piste Christmas in one sitting. It was the perfect antidote to the disappointment of a miserably wet and windy Boxing Day and the cancellation of a planned trip to the races.

Although this novella fits into a series that I haven’t yet read, it is perfectly able to be read as a stand alone as all the relationships are well explained. And yes, I will be reading the series, because I want all the gritty details and nuances of what has gone before.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2226996570?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Merry Christmas!

It is Christmas Day here in New Zealand, and while we had some rain overnight, the day has dawned with clear blue skies and the promise of a nice hot day.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope your Christmas Day is filled with love and laughter, and all the people most important to you. May you make many wonderful memories to treasure.

I am going to take a break from blogging for the next couple of days, but all will be back to normal after that.

Stay safe.

Blame by Nicole Trope

Blame by Nicole Trope
Blame 
by Nicole Trope (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: You’re not supposed to bury your child. . . . . And when you do, it feels. . . it feels like one of those movies where the characters realise they’re about to die because a tsunami is on the way and there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. It feels like it is literally the end of the world (and) you’re not supposed to survive the end of the world.

THE BLURB: ‘I am here because they suspect me of something. I am here because I am a suspect. I know that, she knows that. Everyone knows that.’ Anna

‘It wasn’t my fault. None of this is my fault!’ Caro

Caro and Anna are best friends… they were best friends. Over a decade, Caro and Anna have bonded while raising their daughters, two little girls the same age but living two very different lives. The women have supported each other as they have shared the joys and trials of motherhood, but now everything has changed.

There’s been a terrible car accident, an unimaginable tragedy that leaves both families devastated. Over two days as Caro and Anna each detail their own versions of events, they are forced to reveal hidden truths and closely guarded secrets.

The complicated lives of wives and mothers are laid bare as both women come to realise that even best friends don’t tell each other everything. And when hearts are broken, even best friends need someone to blame.

A hard- hitting, provocative and gripping read from the queen of white-knuckle suspense and searing family drama.

MY THOUGHTS: This was a heart-wrenching read. At first it all seemed so simple. Caro, driving drunk, has run over and killed her best friend Anna’s daughter Maya. An open and shut case? Not quite.

Trope does a wonderful job telling each woman’s story, interweaving them, entangling the story lines and emotional responses. I became so heavily invested in Blame that I read it in one sitting, then sat stunned. Even thinking about it now, some months later, I can feel my pulse quicken and my chest tighten. Nicole Trope is an author to follow.

4.5 shimmering stars

Thank you to Allen & Unwin via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Blame by Nicole Trope for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on Goodreads.com https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2046645516

Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman

Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman
Unnatural Causes (A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery #1) 
by Dawn Eastman (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: There was one thing that bothered her about Ellen’s death. Katie had no memory of writing that prescription.

THE BLURB: Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect.

Katie quickly gets to work in building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn’t remember writing it.

When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town’s history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it’s too late in nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman’s riveting series debut Unnatural Causes.

MY THOUGHTS: I mostly enjoyed Unnatural Causes, # 1 in a new series from Dawn Eastman. Although I found it a little light-weight, (I prefer my murder mysteries a little darker), it certainly didn’t stop me from turning the pages rapidly. I would classify Unnatural Causes as a ‘cosy’, which is not a criticism, but personally I would have liked a little more suspense. There was certainly plenty of opportunities for this to happen.

I do have one major gripe which spoiled my reading experience, but I am probably being a bit OCD here. … (view spoiler) I hate loose ends!

3.5 ☆ for Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman, downgraded to 3☆ due to the issue above.

Will I read more in this series? Yes, I will.

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2221295365?type=review#rating_143600135

Five Books I Would Like to Find Under the Christmas Tree

Firstly, a huge thank you to all the wonderful people who have encouraged, supported and followed my blog. Yesterday I reached my first 100 followers. A milestone that 3 months ago, I never would have envisaged reaching.

Today, instead of featuring a Friday Favorite, I will tell you about 5 books that I would like to find under my Christmas tree.

And So It Began by Owen Mullen

PI Vincent Delaney thought he was done with the NOPD until a string of seemingly unrelated child murders brings an unexpected invitation from the FBI, and his old boss.

A serial killer is roaming the South, preying on children appearing in pageants, and the police want him to go undercover using his own family. Accepting would mean lying to people he loves and maybe even putting them in harm’s way.

In Baton Rouge, a violent criminal has escaped and is seeking revenge for the brother Delaney shot dead. But Delaney isn’t going anywhere. He has unfinished business.

Meanwhile, north of the French Quarter, shopkeepers are being extorted and ask for Delaney’s help. Extortion is a matter for the police.

But what do you do when those responsible are the police?

Delaney has his work cut out and he’ll be lucky if he makes it out of this alive…

Yes, I know that I have read it, and read it more than once, but I love this book. And yes, I know that I have it on my Kindle,  but when I really love a book, I like to have a hard copy of it.

Scrumptious

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to Homemade Happiness, Everyday Delicious and At My Table.

Chelsea Winter has become a saviour in the kitchen. Discover why with this utterly scrumptious collection of recipes.

Packed with irresistible recipes for mouthwatering lunches and dinners, indulgent baking and wickedly good desserts, Chelsea Winter’s fourth cookbook is sure to become your new go-to for any occasion. There’s even a section on Chelsea’s festive favourites for Christmas! The 90-plus recipes are easy to follow, use ingredients on hand in your fridge or pantry, and will certainly earn you rave reviews from your family and friends.

Chelsea’s Homemade Happiness is my most used cookbook. I love the little stories she writes about each recipe, and the recipes themselves are delicious and aren’t fiddly. She uses ingredients that we mostly have readily available, and I can usually get the dishes looking remarkably like the ones in the beautiful photos. This book had somehow slipped by my radar until I went to a friend’s for Christmas drinks last week and complemented her on the delicious festive cheese log she served. She laughed and said ‘Chelsea Winter’, then ‘Scrumptious’. It wasn’t until I was browsing her shelf of cookbooks that I got what she meant. This is definitely going to be added to my collection even if I have to buy it myself.

A Killer Harvest

A new thriller from the Edgar-nominated author of Trust No Oneand Joe Victim about a blind teenager who receives new eyes through corneal donation and begins to see and feel memories that he believes belong to the previous owners a detective and a serial killer.

Joshua is convinced there is a family curse. It’s taken away his biological parents, robbed him of his eyesight, and is the reason his father Logan, the detective who raised him, is killed while investigating the homicide of a young woman. The suspect, Simon Bowers, is killed by Logan’s partner Ben, whose intentions are murkier than expected.

After this tragedy Joshua is handed an opportunity he can’t refuse: a new pair of eyes. But a mishap during the surgery leads to Joshua unknowingly getting one eye from his father, and the other from Simon. As Joshua navigates a world of sight, he gets glimpses of what his eyes might have witnessed in their previous life. Memories, truths, and lies Joshua discovers a world darker than the one he has emerged from. What else has he failed to see?

Meanwhile, Simon’s accomplice Vincent is bent on revenge, going after the loved ones of those involved in Simon’s death and Vincent is drawing closer and closer to Joshua.

Thriller virtuoso Paul Cleave is back with another riveting story of hidden secrets and unspeakable horrors that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

☆New Zealand author alert!☆

I love the work of this home grown author. He approaches situations from a whole new angle. I really can’t praise his writing enough. I have to clear the day and sequester myself when I start one of his books.

A Question of Trust

A Question Of Trust is vintage Penny Vincenzi: rich with characters, life-changing decisions, glamour, love, desire and conflict.

1950s London. Tom Knelston is charismatic, working class and driven by ambition, ideals and passion. He is a man to watch. His wife Alice shares his vision. It seems they are the perfect match.

Then out of the blue, Tom meets beautiful and unhappily married Diana Southcott, a fashion model. An exciting but dangerous affair is inevitable and potentially damaging to their careers. And when a child becomes ill, Tom is forced to make decisions about his principles, his reputation, his marriage, and most of all, his love for his child.

For a great family saga, dripping with moral dilemmas, you just can’t beat Penny Vincenzi. This is her latest offering and I just can’t wait to get my hands and eyes on it.

The Deep Dark Descending

Homicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife’s death, even when he believed that a reckless hit and run driver was the cause. But when he learns that in fact she was murdered, he devotes himself to hunting down her killers. Most of his life he had thought of himself as a decent man. But now he’s so consumed with thoughts of retribution that he questions whether he will take that last step and enact the vengeance he longs for.

On a frozen lake near the US-Canadian border, he wrestles with a decision that could change his life forever, as his hatred threatens to turn him into the kind of person he has spent a career bringing to justice.

I have read two of Allen Eskin’s previous books, The Life We Bury and The Heavens May Fall. His characterisation is superb and I just want to read everything he has ever written.

Happy Reading all! I hope you get all the books you have wished for under your tree.

What are you looking forward to reading over the Christmas break?

The Reversal by Michael Connelly

The Reversal by Michael Connelly
The Reversal (Mickey Haller, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #21) 
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)


EXCERPT: Jason Jessup was a convicted child killer who had spent nearly twenty-four years in prison until a month earlier when the California Supreme Court reversed his conviction and sent the case back to Los Angeles County for either retrial or a dismissal of the charges. The reversal came after a two-decade long legal battle staged primarily from Jessup’s cell and with his own pen. Authoring appeals, motions, complaints and whatever legal challenges he could research, the self-styled lawyer made no headway with state and federal courts but did finally win the attention of an organization of lawyers known as the Genetic Justice Project. They took over his cause and his case and eventually won an order for genetic testing of semen found on the dress of the child Jessup had been convicted of strangling.

Jessup had been convicted before DNA analysis was used in criminal trials. The analysis performed these many years later determined that the semen found on the dress had not come from Jessup but from another unknown individual. Though the courts had repeatedly upheld Jessup’s conviction, this new information tipped the scales in Jessup’s favor. The state’s Supreme Court cited the DNA findings and other inconsistencies in the evidence and trial record and reversed the case.

This was pretty much the extent of my knowledge of the Jessup case, and it was largely information gathered from newspaper stories and courthouse scuttlebutt. While I had not read the court’s complete order, I had read parts of it in the Los Angeles Times and knew it was a blistering decision that echoed many of Jessup’s long-held claims of innocence as well as police and prosecutorial misconduct in the case. As a defense attorney, I can’t say I wasn’t pleased to see the DA’s office raked over the media coals with the ruling. Call it underdog schadenfreude. It didn’t really matter that it wasn’t my case or that the current regime in the DA’s office had nothing to do with the case back in 1986, there are so few victories from the defense side of the bar, that there is always a sense of communal joy in the success of others and the defeat of the establishment.

The Supreme Court’s ruling was announced the week before, starting a 60-day clock during which the DA would have to retry or discharge Jessup. It seemed that not a day had gone by since the ruling that Jessup was not in the news. He gave multiple interviews by phone and in person at San Quentin, proclaiming his innocence and pot-shotting the police and prosecutors who put him there. In his plight, he had garnered the support of several Hollywood celebrities and athletes and had already launched a civil claim against both the city and county seeking millions of dollars in damages for the many long years during which he was falsely incarcerated. In this day of non-stop media cycles, he had a never-ending forum and was using it to elevate himself to folk hero status. When he finally walked out of prison, he too would be a celebrity.

Knowing as little as I did about the case in the details, I was of the impression that he was an innocent man who had been subjected to a quarter century of torture and that he deserved whatever he could get for it. I did, however, know enough about the case to understand that with the DNA evidence cutting Jessup’s way, the case was a loser and the idea of retrying Jessup seemed to be an exercise in political masochism unlikely to come from the brain trust of Williams and Ridell.

Unless . . .

THE BLURB: Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.
Together, Bosch and Haller set off on a case fraught with political and personal danger. Opposing them is Jessup, now out on bail, a defense attorney who excels at manipulating the media, and a runaway eyewitness reluctant to testify after so many years.

With the odds and the evidence against them, Bosch and Haller must nail a sadistic killer once and for all. If Bosch is sure of anything, it is that Jason Jessup plans to kill again.

MY THOUGHTS: The Reversal by Michael Connelly is an intense read. I have never been a great fan of the courtroom drama, which this largely is, but I am starting to think that I would read a shopping list if Connelly has written it.

Featuring both Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch, The Reversal is neither a straight courtroom drama, nor a detective story, but a clever and compelling combination of the two. The tension increases throughout the book, relieved only by glimpses into the family lives of the two main characters, and sometimes not even then!

I have previously read #1 in the Mickey Haller series, the Lincoln Lawyer, and rated it 3☆. This is just so much better, a good solid 4☆ read.

I listened to the audiobook of The Reversal by Michael Connelly, narrated by Peter Giles, via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2220734356

A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery

A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery
A Million Little Things (Mischief Bay, #3) 
by Susan Mallery (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by
read December 16, 2017 to December 19


EXCERPT: My name is Zoe Saldivar and I just had stupid sex with my ex-boyfriend.

THE BLURB: Zoe Saldivar is more than just single-she’s ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it’s up to her to stop living in isolation.

Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated-her first new friend is Jen’s widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen’s brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe’s own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam’s flustered, Jen’s annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think “alone” doesn’t sound so bad, after all.

MY THOUGHTS: Any of you who know me well, or follow my reviews, know that I don’t do romance novels. But there is something about Susan Mallery’s writing that has me making an exception. Mallery writes with a definite sense of humor that I appreciate. I love her grasp of family dynamics and her multi-faceted characters. I found myself listening to A Million Little Things with a wide smile on my face and a twinkle in my eyes.

If you are looking for a light bit of a fun read, I heartily recommend Mallery’s books.

I listened to A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery, narrated by Tanya Eby via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2216605245