Tag: mystery

Audiobook Review: Unbalanced by Jason Parent

Unbalanced
Author: Jason Parent

Narrator: Joe Hempel
Published: April 4, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 6-12, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

By-the-book Detective Asante Royo can only clean up Fall River’s filth for so long without getting dirty. When he’s called to an apparent suicide at an apartment complex notorious for its prostitution and drug trade, he doesn’t shed a tear for the life wasted. Yet something about the scene haunts him, and when his investigation gets swept under the rug, he has a hard time living with the stain.

Jaden Sanders is an unstable loner who lives across the hall from the crime scene. When three men break into his apartment, Jaden is ready for a fight. He kills two of his attackers in self-defense then stalks and stabs the third in the back. Jaden is soon arrested for murder.

With no clear motives for the home invasion or Jaden’s violent response, Royo must uncover the true story before more people get hurt. His only leads are derived from the version of events extracted from a truly unbalanced mind. Is Jaden a victim being steamrolled by cold justice or a murderer capable of killing again?

Jessica’s Review:

We have murders, an apparent suicide, and more in this police procedural/ thriller from Jason Parent. The novel starts fast and doesn’t ever really drop. First, we have a suicide and then months later in the apartment across the hall a home invasion where the victim killed his attackers. Or did they actually end up being victims themselves? We have Detective Royo who responded to both calls.  We also have Jaden Sanders who lives in the apartment and defended himself… Or did he? 

What seems as separate cases may actually not be and then we have a case of an unreliable narrator.  Once I realized that was the case I got nervous, since those types of books are hit or miss for me. Fortunately, this one was not a miss! I was intrigued the whole time and looked forward to what was going to happen next.    I was intrigued with Jaden and did he defend himself, is it some kind of mental illness or was he actually a killer? I had differing opinions throughout the read.  The courtroom scenes were great!  I also liked Royo and would enjoy another book with him in it.

If you like thrillers, police procedurals, court cases, then you might want to check out Unbalanced!

I was sent an audiobook copy to listen to and review from the author.  Many thanks for the chance to introduce yourself to a new reader/listener!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

ARC Audiobook Review: Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

Stay Awake
Author:
Megan Goldin

Narrators:
Imogene Church
January LaVoy
To Be Published: August 9, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 19-25, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.

Jessica’s Review:

Whoa! Stay Awake was quite the ride to go on! It kept reminding me of the movie Memento, with some similarities and a murder mystery. I love that movie, though it has been many years since I have seen it. It might be time to watch that one again!

Stay Awake has dual timelines: present day and two plus years ago. It also has two narrators: Liv Reese, our main character with memory issues (every time she falls asleep she forgets everything from the past two+ years. We also have a female detective Halliday as our other narrator, who is trying to figure out a murder case and putting things together. 

Once I realized we have an unreliable narrator with Liz I got nervous as those novels can be hit or miss for me.  But it reminded me so much of Memento, I really enjoyed it! It was fast paced, intense and everything I love about thrillers!  This is one you won’t want to put down because you just have to know what’s going to happen next!

I liked both Liz and Halliday.  You can’t help but feel for Liz with her memory issues and not knowing what is going on, who to trust (basically no one!) and you just want Halliday to solve the case! The two narrations and dual timelines all come together to wind everything up in an intense conclusion.

The narrators are Imogene Church and January LaVoy, both whom I have listened to previously and also enjoyed. Imogene Church portrayed Liz perfectly with her confusion and LaVoy was just as good with portraying Halliday.

If you choose to read the physical book/kindle I can see a reader doing their best to stay awake and finish this in one sitting!  I really enjoyed Stay Awake many thanks to Macmillian Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review!

Pre-Order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: The Ice Queen by Nele Neuhaus

The Ice Queen
Series:
Bodenstein & Kirchhoff #3
Author: Nele Neuhaus

Published: January 13, 2015
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The body of 92-year-old Jossi Goldberg, Holocaust survivor and American citizen, is found shot to death execution style in his house near Frankfurt. A five-digit number is scrawled in blood at the murder scene. The autopsy reveals an old and unsuccessfully covered tattoo on the corpse’s arm—a blood type marker once used by Hitler’s SS. Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver Bodenstein are faced with a riddle. Was the old man not Jewish after all? Who was he, really? Two more, similar murders happen—one of a wheelchair-bound old lady in a nursing home, and one of a man with a cellar filled with Nazi paraphernalia—and slowly the connections between the victims becomes evident: All of them were lifelong friends with Vera von Kaltensee, baroness, well-respected philanthropist, and head of an old, rich family that she rules with an iron fist. Pia and Oliver follow the trail, which leads them all the way back to the end of World War II and the area of Poland that then belonged to East Prussia. No one is who they claim to be, and things only begin to make sense when the two investigators realize what the bloody number stands for, and uncover an old diary and an eyewitness who is finally willing to come forward.

Nele Neuhaus’s The Ice Queen is a character- and plot-driven mystery about revenge, power, and long-forgotten and covered up secrets from a time in German history that still affects the present.

Kim’s Review:

Dang, these European mysteries are complicated!! That’s the main reason I gave it 4 stars; there are so many names!! It felt like the story got all muddled in the beginning and took so many pages just to unmuddle it again! Thankfully, once I got about a third of the way through, things started to unravel and make sense. If you can keep the characters straight, this is actually a pretty good mystery. It kept me guessing almost until the end. I was very impressed with the resolution! I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t say anything more! It is the 3rd book in a series, which I didn’t know when I started reading it, but it was an issue. An occasional comment that didn’t make sense, but nothing to do with the plot. The main characters were actually pretty likable and had interesting arcs. They weren’t perfect by any means but the fact that I came out still liking them says a lot! So overall, a pretty good book that I would recommend!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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