When the Time Comes by Adele O’Neill

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EXCERPT: ‘I think…’ The ball at the back of my throat nearly chokes me as I try to speak – whether it’s because Jenny is gone, or because Abbie and Josh are now motherless, or because I am going to be blamed for her death, I don’t know. I inhale and lengthen my back with a subtle stretch and rub my eyes. They’re red and raw from a combination of no sleep and lots of crying. She leans forward in response. I pause and inhale again, nerves making the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t. There is no other option but to say what I am about to say. At my momentary hesitation, she widens her eyes in expectation across the table. ‘I think Jenny was murdered and I think someone is framing me for her death.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Liam Buckley was a married man with two teenage children when he moved out of the family home to start a new life with his lover. His wife Jennifer never forgave him, but now she needs him to come back: she’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and the kids can’t cope alone.

One day after Liam moves home, Jennifer is found dead. Liam thinks it’s suicide. But the police, led by DS Louise Kennedy, are convinced it’s murder.

Liam hires a retired detective to help prove his innocence, but it’s no easy task. The children are distraught, and Jennifer’s best friend, Sarah, is waging a campaign against Liam, determined to expose him for a liar and a cheat.

As secrets surface from the complex web of Buckley family life, DS Kennedy must decide. Did Jennifer Buckley end her own life, or did Liam take it from her? The answer, when it comes, will shock them all…

MY THOUGHTS: I have had to think about When the Time Comes for a couple of days before writing my review. There are complex issues in this book – the right to decide how and when a person with a terminal illness is able to die, infidelity, blending families, teenage hormones….and the list goes on.

I enjoyed the read in varying degrees as the book progressed. It is not always an easy read. But it is, I think, a very realistic portrayal of a complicated situation.

It made me wonder how I would feel if I were in Alex’s shoes; my lover, my partner returning to his family to care for his children, with no plans in place for the future.

I wondered, if I was Jenny, would I be able to ask my ex to move back in to take care of the children? Although not little at almost eighteen and fifteen years old, they are still vulnerable.

I wondered, if I were Liam, would I be able to put my new life on hold while I move back into the old one?

Everyone in this story is somehow displaced, with futures up in the air, lives hanging in the balance. The uncertainty of everything is major influence in the storyline. Did Liam kill Jenny? There certainly seem to be strong motives for having done so. But would he take the risk of leaving his children without a parent? And if it wasn’t Liam that killed her, then who did?

All the time I was reading, I had questions which were, thankfully, answered by the end.

A thought provoking read and one that had me in tears more than once.

I didn’t realise until now that this is book 3 of the Kelly and Kennedy series. These characters actually paid quite a minor role in this book. But I am intrigued enough to want to read the others in this series.

🤔🤨😥😍

#WhenTheTimeComes #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: Having lived and worked in the UK and Dublin since college, Adele now lives in her home town in Co. Wicklow with her husband and two teenage daughters. She writes overlooking the Irish Sea and is an active member of the Wexford Literary Festival committee.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Aria Books, via Netgalley, for providing a digital ARC of When the Time Comes by Adele O’Neill for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3069024616

The Eighth Sister by Robert Dugoni

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EXCERPT: The bus wound its way along the Moskva River, already filling with chunks of floating ice, another harbinger of the wicked winter to come. Thirty minutes after Zarina boarded, the bus reached her stop in front of the supermarket on Filevsky Bulvar. She crossed the bleak park, listening to the spindling tree limbs click and clack with each wind gust. Soviet-era apartment buildings stood like sentries around the park, grotesque concrete blocks with tiny windows and tagged with graffiti. Zarina pushed open a brown metal door to a spartan lobby.The light fixtures had long ago been stolen – along with the marble floor and brass stair railing. Russians had interpreted capitalism to mean: “Steal what you can sell.” Attempts to replenish the buildings had only led to more thefts.

Zarina rode the elevator to the twelfth floor and stepped into a hallway as drab and bare as the lobby. She undid the four locks to what had once been her parents’ apartment, wiped the soles of her boots on the mat so as not to mark the oak floor, inlaid with an intricate geometric design, and hung her coat and hat on the rack before she stepped into the living area.

“We were beginning to wonder if you were coming home, Ms Kazakova.”

The man’s voice startled her, and Zarina screamed.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Former CIA case officer Charles Jenkins is a man at a crossroads: in his early sixties, he has a family, a new baby on the way, and a security consulting business on the brink of bankruptcy. Then his former bureau chief shows up at his house with a risky new assignment: travel undercover to Moscow and locate a Russian agent believed to be killing members of a clandestine US spy cell known as the seven sisters.

Desperate for money, Jenkins agrees to the mission and heads to the Russian capital. But when he finds the mastermind agent behind the assassinations—the so-called eighth sister—she is not who or what he was led to believe. Then again, neither is anyone else in this deadly game of cat and mouse.

Pursued by a dogged Russian intelligence officer, Jenkins executes a daring escape across the Black Sea, only to find himself abandoned by the agency he serves. With his family and freedom at risk, Jenkins is in the fight of his life—against his own country.

MY THOUGHTS: I am not a fan of the spy-thriller/legal thriller genres, and had this book been written by anyone other than Robert Dugoni, I may not have finished it. Even so, I struggled at times to maintain my interest. And, if I have to be honest, I probably didn’t check out the subject matter as carefully as I should have before hitting the ‘request’ button. Just seeing the Robert Dugoni name was recommendation enough for me.

And as I said, if The Eighth Sister had been written by anyone other than Dugoni, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. However, his writing style carried me through; that and the mystery of the eight ‘sisters’, a spy ring.

While this is definitely not my favorite of Dugoni’s books, it is certainly to be recommended if you are a spy-thriller aficionado.I am glad I read it, but not entirely sure that I want to repeat the experience with more of this series to come.

#The Eighth Sister #NetGalley

🤔😏🤔.5

THE AUTHOR: Robert Dugoni is the New York Times, #1 Amazon, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of the Tracy Crosswhite series. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, released April 2018. Dugoni’s first series featured attorney David Sloane and CIA agent Charles Jenkins, both of whom appear in The Eighth Sister.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Thomas & Mercer via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Eighth Sister by Robert Dugoni for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page, or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2701024725?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh

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EXCERPT: At ten after five on a raw December afternoon, Joshua Kane lay on a cardboard bed outside the Criminal Courts Building in Manhattan and thought about killing a man. Not just any man. he was thinking about someone in particular. it was true that Kane had, at times, while on the subway or watching passers-by, occasionally thought about killing a nameless, random New Yorker who happened to fall into his line of vision. It could be the blonde secretary reading a romance novel on the K train, a Wall Street banker swinging an umbrella as he ignored Kane’s please for change, or even a child holding its mother’s hand on a crosswalk.

How would it feel to kill them? What would they say with their final breaths? Would their eyes change in that moment of passing from this world? Kane felt a ripple of pleasure feed heat into his body as he explored these thoughts.

He checked his watch.

Eleven after five.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

MY THOUGHTS: Oh boy! I have never been a fan of the legal thriller, but Th1rt3en?…..this may have just converted me.

I was intrigued by the plot…a killer on the jury. and not just any killer, but the one they are seeking. And no, that’s not a spoiler. It is clear from almost the very beginning.

The story is told from two points of view; that of the killer Joshua Kane, and lawyer Eddie Flynn.

There is plenty of action, and lots of twists and turns. I had a zillion questions bouncing around in my brain as I read…who? how? why? what? how? how? how? And they were all answered.

I like the character of Eddie. I like the way his mind works. Having been a conman prior to becoming a lawyer, his mind works a little differently to most lawyers. He thinks outside the box. And he does not use orthodox methods in the courtroom. And yet, he is fully believable.

Even though I haven’t read any of the previous three books in this series, I had no problem with continuity or the backstories of any of the characters. Superbly written Mr Cavanagh.

And there was a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, hadn’t even entertained the idea of….nice work Mr Cavanagh.

There is much to appeal to the readers of many genres in this one.

💙💚💛💜❤

THE AUTHOR: Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases. Selected for the Amazon Rising Stars programme 2015. ACES award winner 2015 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He is the award-winning, international-bestselling author of the Eddie Flynn series. His third novel, The Liar, won the CWA Gold Dagger for crime novel of the year 2018. He is also one half of the popular Two Crime Writers And A Microphone Podcast. Steve lives in Northern Ireland.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Flatiron Books via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh for review. All opinions expressed in this review are my personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page, or the about page on my webpage sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This and other reviews are also published on Twitter, Amazon, and my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2933487391

Accused (Rosato & DiNunzio #1) by Lisa Scottoline

Firstly,  happy Independence Day to all my Amazon friends.
A while back I had a great run of absolutely wonderful books  –  all four to five star reads. Well now I seem to be having a run of mediocre reads, with Accused by Lisa Scottoline being the latest.
Accused by Lisa Scottoline
Accused (Rosato & DiNunzio, #1) 
by

Lisa Scottoline (Goodreads Author)
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EXCERPT: ‘I’m here about my sister. Her name was Fiona and she was murdered six years ago at a party at my father’s new offices. . . The thing is, I believe they sent the wrong man to jail.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Mary DiNunzio has just been promoted to partner and is about to take on her most unusual case yet, brought to the firm by a thirteen-year-old genius with a penchant for beekeeping. Allegra Gardner’s sister Fiona was murdered six years ago, and it seemed like an open-and-shut case: the accused, Lonnie Stall, was seen fleeing the scene; his blood was on Fiona and her blood was on him; most damningly, Lonnie Stall pleaded guilty. But Allegra believes Lonnie is innocent and has been wrongly imprisoned. The Gardner family is one of the most powerful in the country and Allegra’s parents don’t believe in reopening the case, so taking it on is risky. But the Rosato & Associates firm can never resist an underdog. Was justice really served all those years ago? It will take a team of unstoppable female lawyers, plus one thirteen-year-old genius, to find out.

MY THOUGHTS: 2.5 stars

I am in a bit of a quandary about this book. It was easy to listen to, didn’t strain my brain, and was reasonably enjoyable. It is not something that I am going to remember. I am not going to rush out to read the next in the series, but if I came across it when I had a gap in my reading schedule, I possibly would read it. If nothing else was available.

There were a few things that irked me. A lot of the behavior of the characters was stereotyped. The behavior of Mary, who has just been made partner in a legal firm, and Judy is often childish and I found myself wondering just how old Mary is… Her behavior and comments are often unacceptable. They were, perhaps, meant to be humorous, but they certainly didn’t strike me that way. I did like Mary’s name for her mother-in-law to be, Elvirus, but she too was very much stereotyped.

Overall, a very average read/ listen.

I listened to the audiobook of Accused by Lisa Scottoline, narrated by Katherine Fenton and published by Headline. 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/2433385497

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Is running a little late this week. .. my two hours at work turned into a full day as I had two staff call in sick 😩. By the time I shut the bar last night and came home, all I wanted was my dinner, a hot bath, and bed. I plan on only doing wages and banking today, then coming home. . .

Despite the long hours last week ,I actually managed to sneak in an extra book!

When Archie Met Rosie by Lynda Renham

Which was a delightful and amusing read. Watch for my review.

Currently I am reading

A Steep Price (Tracy Crosswhite, #6)

A series I have followed from the start.

And I am listening to

Accused (Rosato & DiNunzio, #1)

This week I am planning on reading

Homecomings

At the end of the row of fishermen’s cottages by the harbour’s edge, stands an old granite house.

First it belonged to Ned’s parents; then Ned dropped anchor here after a life at sea and called it home. His nephew Hugo moved in too, swapping London for the small Cornish fishing village where he’d spent so many happy holidays.

It’s a refuge – and now other friends and relations are being drawn to the the house by the sea.
Among them is Dossie, who’s lonely after her parents died and her son remarried. And cousin Jamie, who’s coming home after more than a year, since his career as an RAF pilot was abruptly cut short. Both have to adjust to a new way of life.

As newcomers arrive and old friends reunite, secrets are uncovered, relationships are forged and tested, and romance is kindled.

For those who come here find that the house by the harbour wall offers a warm welcome, and – despite its situation at the very end of the village – a new beginning…

Marcia Willett is an author I have enjoyed in the past, so I am looking forward to reading this.

Her Name Was Rose

Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy. 

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

Only one ARC from NetGalley this week

The Pupil: Some lessons are deadly - A gripping psychological thriller

and one directly from the author

Seventh (The Seventh Wave Book 1)

The sun is up on another Monday morning here in New Zealand after a cold, wet and windy Sunday. So I had better crack on with all the jobs I never got done over the weekend, and then head off to work again.

Wherever you are, whatever your weather, Happy reading my friends 😎

 

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