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Retiredbear

Retiredbear

Shifting Skin - Chris Simms

This is the second book I have read by this author. Jolly good read - to use the English vernacular. I enjoyed reading a book that is written with the everyday colloquial language we know as British English. I am thankful that I use a Kindle so that I can quickly look up the myriad of unknown words
The author does a very good job of providing descriptions that are interesting without overdoing it. This could be a great British detective story on BBC that they could export to us - or better yet, we should grab the rights ans make the series here on a minor cable channel.

I also enjoyed the characters a great deal. This is a series well worth reading.

Killing the Beasts - Chris Simms

A psychological thriller set in Manchester England. A decent whodunit type of serial murder book. My only real problem with the book is all the British jargon of which I had no clue. Fortunately I read this book on my Kindle and it was very easy to get "translations" of the slang terms used in the book. For example, how many North American know what a 'biro' is.

I did enjoy the main character D.I. Spicer. There are a lot of subplots that were enjoyable. A good but not great book to read.

Drifter - Book Four - M.L. Gardner

It appears that some readers continue to expect each book in the series to maintain the "hook" of the first book in the series.  They may well have a valid point but I wanted differences in the lives of these great characters.  To that end, the author has delivered.  The author is not writing a linear serial story.  She has written a thoughtful series where she takes the time to pause the primary theme whilst exploring characters and their story in a separate and meaningful manner.  In order to fully grasp the substance of this series, you need to keep your thoughts on the whole as you read the parts.  Drifter, here I come.  I am skipping Purgatory Cove because it is just too expensive for a short story.

1930 Aryl's Divide - Book Three - M.L. Gardner

It appears that some readers were let down by this book in the series simply because it did not hold the same gravitas as the first book in the series.  They may well have a valid point but I wanted differences in the lives of these great characters.  To that end, the author has delivered.  I thoroughly enjoyed the continuation of the saga.  It is trues that there is nothing ethereal in this book.  However, the plights of these folks continue to show just how difficult their lives, and those around them, became during the depression.  I anxiously await reading the next in the series.  After reading Jonathan's cross, I bought all (except for Book 5 - too $$ for a short story) so I will have them on hand when ready.  So, The Drifter, here I come.

Elizabeth's Heart - Book Two - M.L. Gardner

While reading, I was tempted to give this book 4 stars since it seemed to not follow 1929 Jonathan's Cross very well. I kept reading and threw that concern out the window. The few characters in this book are crafted and developed as good as the ones in the first book. The story line was equally interesting and I wanted to see where it went. I was rewarded with an "aha" when I realized the tie-in to the first book.

I am a 67 year old burly man. I take umbridge with those that feel this series is for women and that it religates men to show weakness. I feel the writing does show human emotion which I personally wish was more prevalent in society. I think that good should trump bad.

This book is not what I expected but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book takes a step away from the historical fiction aspect of the series and gives the reader a enjoyable story of survival in a world out to get you.

A fantastic story of the Great Depression and how some survived.

1929 Jonathan's Cross - Book One - M.L. Gardner

At this writing, there are 637 reviews on Amazon. I don't know how much more I could add but I will give it a brief attempt. My comment about so many reviews is that I cannot fathom how 11 reviewers could only give this fine book of historical fiction only 1 star.

 

I am delighted to come across this book. I never experienced a period like the depression. I did experience the crash of 2008 when I retired and my investments circled the toilet. It may have been depression lite but nothing like what the characters in this book experienced. Compared to this book, I had it extremely easy. I am so glad that this is a six book series - I intend to read them all in order.

 

The characters in this book are all very different from each other yet they find themselves to be best friends living a life of luxury due to their success in the world of investing. They had no idea of what 1929 would bring since history had never been so cruel to investors. When the crash came, these three families found themselves to be immediately without everything except the bare necessities - their world was turned upside down. This book will be an eye opener to most as the reader experiences what was so common in 1929.

 

The real genius of this story is how well the characters are crafted and developed. You will feel like you are a fly on the wall as you read the story.

The Reinvention Of Rudd Carter. A Western Action Adventure Novel - R.L. Davis

This is called a western action book. I am not a western fan but did enjoy this book. I found that the western action takes place as the lawless days of the old west were nearly over. The story really takes place in Mexico which is befitting to this charismatic tough guy.

The story is really about a well off guy from a rich family that simply cannot stand the boring life of banking in Hong Kong. He gets the opportunity to try a stint as a mercenary and his life is changed forever. The book is about his escapades during various periods of unrest and a failed attempt to take the northern Baja Mexico area and secede from the government in Mexico City.

The story does slow down at times but is generally fast paced, As you read the book, see if you can pick out the secondary character that becomes the center of a subplot. A pretty good yarn.

A not so cold war story with a warm ending.

Tears of the Saint - Ethan Gaines

I found this novella to be a good read.  It is about an innocent soldier as he endures his military duties in increasingly arduous missions.  The main character learns a lot about himself and, ultimately, his ancestors that also served.  It may be hard for those that did not serve to understand what goes through the mind of us who did.  Irrespective, I hope you soul search to feel what this soldier goes through.  A good and well envisioned story by someone that I will read again.

Cindy, Where Are You? - Roger Rapel

This is a fine detective novel.  It is a debut novel by a retired UK detective.  I certainly hope that he continues to write fictionalised stories of his life as a detective.

 

The story takes you deep into the life and trials of a police detective.  His home life, personal experiences, and the procedural part of being a dedicated detective.  This has a bit of a noiresque quality.  It is dark in substance and you may not agree with the personal choices but you will probably understand them.  Personally I really enjoyed the writing style, depth of characters, and will certainly read more by the fine author.

A fund and entertaining story.

Lady Justice on the Dark Side - Robert Thornhill, Peg Thornhill

I really enjoyed this book about the geriatric characters as they embark on second careers as cops and P.I.'s  The characters have redeeming goodness about them.  The plot, albeit a bit corny at times is well paced and interesting.  I especially enjoy the subtle humor interspersed throughout the story.  The is a good introduction to a promising series that I look forward to reading.

A haunting novella by a talented young author.

Passing the Torch - L.L. Sanders

This story may well haunt you when you read the ending. Once you finish this novella you will be able to think back on the Mona Lisa puzzle to understand Mesa's thought process. I had an inkling of what the ending would be like but was still taken aback a bit. The writing is very well done and suspenseful - in fact I immediately signed up for the writers newsletter so I could follow her writings.

Mesa is a difficult character to follow but very remarkable at the same time. I truly enjoyed the way in which the author presented the aspects of the story and the culmination. The fact that I received it free has no bearing on my review. This is a fine novella by a very talented author. If you enjoy her genre, you will most certainly enjoy this story and probably her other writings.

SPOILER ALERT!

A new detective genre author to follow

Cindy, Where Are You? - Roger Rapel

This is a fine detective novel.  It takes you deep into the life and trials of a police detective.  His home life, personal experiences, and the procedural part of being a dedicated detective.  This has a bit of a noiresque quality.  It is dark in substance and you may not agree with the personal choices but you will probably understand them.  Personally I really enjoyed the writing style, depth of characters, and will certainly read more by the fine author.

Eyes of the Dead (The Gardens, #1) - Adam Netherlund

What do you get when you combine what is actually a very good storyline with atrocious editing and perhaps very poor writing? The answer is Eyes of the Dead. Unlike other readers, I stuck with this book as I feel authors spend a good deal of time writing the book and I can read it in only a few hours. When I peeled away all the negative aspects of this book, I found a very interesting character of great depth. I also found a very interesting plot that kept me going.

This book is difficult to read because of either the poor writing or complete lack of editing. In truth, it seems like the author used a speech to text type software program but only when he was high on something. There is so much rambling and nonsensical "stuff" that it drags the story down. Would I read another of his books? Only if it were free or the author promised that it was edited thoroughly.

Brainrush - Richard Bard

I was initially full of hope for this book.  I thought the premise of the story had a great deal of potential.  As I got about half way through the book, I realized that the story was just a bit too contrite.  I kept reading in the hope that it would get back to its potential but I do no think it did.  Overall it is not a bad story.  I rated it 3 stars because Amazon consider that rating to mean that it it was an "OK" read.

On the Black - Theo Cage

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

I have read every Theo Cage book I can get my hands on. He has an uncanny ability to keep me reading well into the night. To know Theo Cage is to willingly lose sleep. IMHO that is a worth wile arrangement.

 

To the point - a review of On the Black. This is an extraordinary action tale that spans the country from coast to coast. It is non-stop action replete with some pretty neat techo-gadgets. I marvel about the author's ability to come up with so many adventures that flow seamlessly together. The characters, and their different impact on the story are a major high point in the success of the book.

 

I think On the Book is very good. Continuous action, multiple intersecting plot lines, and the confluence of the plots into an excellent ending. Of course I knew that the guy would get the girl at the end, I would have been bummed if Britt had died.

 

Take my suggestion and get all of Theo Cage's books. He is an excellent writer that will keep you entertained for many hours.

Decent fantasy/horror book.

Edge of End - Suren Fant

If you read this book, keep in mind that English is not the author's native language. There are numerous instances where you may wonder about the writing. So, let the errors slide.

 

While i was reading this book I kept wondering why it went on and on and on, etc. The characters continually battle monsters with no end in sight. I came close to giving up but wanted to see how the author brought the story to fruition. The ending of the story is the "aha" moment of the book and was satisfying to me.

 

If you enjoy fantasy/horror genre this book may well be for you.