Tag: crime

Book Review: The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

The Life We Bury
Series: Max Rupert and Joe Talbert #1
Author: Allen Eskens

Narrator: Zach Villa
October 14, 2014

Audiobook: 8 Hours 23 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: June 10-15, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory. Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

Jessica’s Review:

This was a very good one!  It was intriguing with the listener liking the characters they were supposed to like and vise versa! I was pulled in wanting to know everything, which we end up getting!

We have Joe Talbert having a college assignment to interview someone and tell their story. Joe gets more than he bargained for with Carl agreeing to be interviewed and give his dying declaration… See Carl is a convicted rapist and murderer. He is only out of prison because of his medical condition and not having much time left in his life.

Joe’s life is complicated which we also experience through Joe’s circumstances, and meeting with Carl and hearing his just complicates it even more. We hear about Carl’s time in Vietnam, which doesn’t take up a lot of time in this story. I was more interested in everything else that was going on.  And as we get closer to the climax I really was invested in what was going to happen because it goes in a direction I was not expecting.  It just kept speeding on to that ending.

I am curious about the rest in the series and will hopefully continue it.  There are just so many books and only so much time! But Joe I like and want to see what happens with him next!                                                              

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Mindf*ck Series: Paint it All Red by S.T. Abby

Paint it All Red
Series: Mindf*ck #5
Author: ST Abby 

Published:  December 26, 2016
177 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 2-6, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word…

Will Logan choose them? Or will we watch them burn together?

It’s time to fuck with their minds.
It’s time to finish it all.
It’s time to paint it all red…

Monsters don’t usually wish for happily-ever-afters.

Jessica’s Review:

 This series…. It is far from realistic, but it was a fun read! I’m not a fan of Logan and that opinion never changed through all five books, but I adored Lana and this final book ended the series in a great way! It was far from perfect, but it gives readers what they wanted! 

Action, action, action!  It was an intense read and I got 40% read on a Sunday afternoon.  I had no idea what was going to happen to the town and what did happen, Dang! We got answers to questions and **Spoiler** the bad guys all got it! Some were unexpectedly easier than others to be ended.  **End Spoiler** I was not sure who the original killer was and that answer and what happened.  Oh dang!  ST Abby really went dark when she wrote this series. 

And the ending, I am happy with it!  I loved every part of it!  I also liked how Hadley’s role became greater over the course of the series.  Would I read this series again? Yes! I think I will order the paperback copy at some point. I love that cover so much more than the e-books.

I am really saddened that the author has passed away, so we cannot get anything else dark like this series! Her other two pen names are not my genre of choice. It seems that this series is getting more attention in the past few months.  I did a buddy read with several friends and they all liked it.  Some were in it for the smut, but this series isn’t about that.  It’s a thriller with some sex scenes sprinkled in there.

If you like thrillers and a book that deals with a badass female serial killer, then read this series!  I adore Lana and she is the perfect main character for those who like ‘villains’ who really aren’t a ‘bad guy. Lana is the woman who takes a stand for those who can’t.     

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Buy the series in paperback with the better cover:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: The Mindf*ck Series: All the Lies by S.T. Abby

All the Lies
Series: Mindf*ck #4
Author: ST Abby

Published: December 20, 2016
141 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 26-31, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

To understand the monsters in the world, you have to get inside their heads. It’s a dangerous place to be, especially when you start to empathize and lose your own sense of morality.

But that’s never happened to me…

I’ve never felt conflicted on any case. Right is right and wrong is wrong. It’s simple. Black and white. There’s no such thing as a gray area.

But fuck this case. I don’t even know what side I’m on anymore. I don’t understand how this town can continue to function without breaking under the weight of all the lies they’ve spun and lived.

Every time I find a shard of truth, my gut twists, my heart beats faster, and I hate this place a little more. Every time I think I’ve heard the worst, another truth is dug up from the ashes of more burning lies.

Worst of all, I don’t even know who to trust anymore. My head is all messed up.

I pride myself on being impossible to fool.
I’m an expert at knowing when someone is lying to me.
I never believed in being blinded by love…until Lana.

**BE WARNED: Some flashbacks can get intense to readers with a sensitive trigger.

Jessica’s Review:

This series is really good!  It also helps that the books are novellas, so you can get through them quickly.  I got through 50% of All the Lies on a Sunday! That is saying something for me as I’m not the fastest reader, but it’s hard to put down once you get going.

ST Abby finally tells us what happened to Lana, and this first chapter is not an easy read!  We had some hints throughout, but what these men/boys did. They deserved everything that Lana did to them. There we go, I’m rooting for a female serial killer! But I tend to like villains! And Lana isn’t really a villain. She’s just awesome with a somewhat bad taste in men.

All the Lies is the climax of the series with lots going on. And that town just needs to burn to the ground. And the sheriff and his minions.  OMG. Conveniently, the team goes to the town close to Halloween and we get quite the scenes inside a haunted house. This definitely brought out the thriller/horror reader in me: I LOVED IT!

The ending, as a reader you know it’s coming and I’m just not a fan of Logan, but dang!  I am looking forward to seeing what this final book in the series brings us and how it ends! I really have no idea on how it will end! I mean Logan is terrible at his job and people figuring things out before him when HE is supposed to be the profiler? He’s just thinking with ‘little logan’ a bit much that he can’t figure out the obvious!

I had one issue with this book: A lack of editing.  Did she not have an editor for this one?  I usually don’t notice editing mistakes, but this one was a big one for me:  

<<He’s short, has a touch of oriental in his bloodline, given the shape of his eyes and cheeks.>>

It’s Asian: Oriental is a rug! That sentence just really bothered me. There were a few other things I noticed as I was reading, but this was a big one for me.

Anyway, bring on the final book: Paint it All Red!!! And it’s the longest of the series: 177 pages!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK