Dead End Job, by Justin Alcala [Review]

                There are very few truly original ideas, but Justin Alcala has found one. His new “noir supernatural thriller” dips us in the river Styx and puts us inside the head of Buck, a former military sniper, recent professional assassin, and now intern to The Grim Reaper. After being shot in the head during an … More Dead End Job, by Justin Alcala [Review]

Dead in the Water (A Jason Wade Forensic Crime Thriller Book 1), by Donna Collins [Review]

Jason Wade is a police forensics technician and a former professional boxer – an interesting combination. Although the subtitle of this first book in what promises to be a series indicates a forensic crime thriller, there is not much forensics involved – but there is plenty of crime and thrills. At the start, the story … More Dead in the Water (A Jason Wade Forensic Crime Thriller Book 1), by Donna Collins [Review]

Shadows of Mars (Broken Stars Book 1), by I.O. Adler [Review]

If you appreciate intricate detail in the building of a fictional universe and in the descriptions of the events of a story, you will enjoy this book. Author I.O. Adler builds a future in which Earth’s first manned mission to Mars encounters a flotilla of alien vessels on the run from a powerful “Enemy.” The … More Shadows of Mars (Broken Stars Book 1), by I.O. Adler [Review]

Alternative to Murder by H.E. Joyce [Review]

                I love private investigator stories, and the general plot of the kidnapping of an heiress seemed like potential fun. But a good crime story needs plausibility, even with some allowance for suspension of reality as to the premise. It also needs well-drawn characters who make the reader root for (or against) somebody and care … More Alternative to Murder by H.E. Joyce [Review]

Russian Roulette (Dev Haskell #1), by Mike Faricy [Review]

Devlin Haskell is a classic hard-boiled private detective, in a modern setting, with a heavy dose of humor. Author Make Faricy has created a character who harkens back to Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, with a quick wit, a perpetually unrequited love life, and a penchant for getting into trouble. When a bombshell blonde named … More Russian Roulette (Dev Haskell #1), by Mike Faricy [Review]

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir, by Nicole Chung [Review]

A memoir is difficult when the subject is an unexceptional person whose life had few interesting aspects. This would have been a fine short story. “Mommy, am I a real Korean?” her daughter asks her at age five. She thought about it. She had been adopted by a white family after her Korean parents gave … More All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir, by Nicole Chung [Review]

Lightning in the Snow, short stories by Virginia Babcock [Review]

I read this book as part of a reading group and I’ll say up front that this is not my usual genre. There are eight stories in the volume. Six involve a female protagonist who seeks and finds love. One is a cautionary tale from the perspective of an 18-year-old girl about the perils of … More Lightning in the Snow, short stories by Virginia Babcock [Review]