The Green Dress

For fans of historical fiction, true crimes, and gritty dramas

The Green Dress by Liz Tolsma is part of the True Colors series. These stories are based on actual crimes in American history, and this novel focuses on the notorious Robinson family. One by one, family members die a slow and agonizing death. Harriet Peters, caregiver to the children and friend of the family, begins to realize that it’s way too coincidental that so many people in the same family all died the same way. She invites her own doctor, Michael Wheaton, to help investigate and keep the children safe from the mysterious illness that has taken the lives of so many.

This story is creepy! I read up on the historical events, and the author did a great job of bringing this story from the pages of the past and turning it into a suspenseful and intriguing story. This novel is gritty and dark, not a light read. There is a love story that develops to lighten the mood a bit. I’m usually not a fan of stories set in the 1800’s, but the author did a lot of research and the setting just adds to the macabre and nightmarish circumstances. It’s hard to believe this is based on real life! Also, by the time you understand why the title is The Green Dress, your head will be spinning.

Definitely check this novel out, especially if you like gritty true crime stories.

Overall: 5 stars (I loved it, couldn’t put it down)
Suspense: 5 stars (Non-stop edge-of-your-seat suspense from start to finish)

I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Dead Silence

For fans of intriguing plots, fact pace action and danger

Dead Silence is a fast-paced suspense novel that puts readers into the action right from the start. Elise Carmichael is able to read lips due to her hearing impaired son. She “overhears” a conversation about a murder plot. Things intensify when mysterious packages show up at her house, threatening her and her family.

Robin Caroll’s novels are always full of mystery and intrigue. Elise had many struggles before being threatened, as she suddenly found herself as a single mother and a widow. Her plight to protect her son and find herself again makes her a likable character. Lots of plot twists will readers engaged throughout the story. But I did find a few situations in the novel not entirely believable. While Elise is a strong and fierce character, she does act unrealistic when she decides to solve crimes with the help of a news reporter.  Elise at times seems oblivious to the danger around her. She withholds a lot of information from the FBI, which would have helped their investigation. It seemed like the FBI bumbled through the investigation while the “rookies” of the story were able to find out more than the agents. I wished the FBI story line had more substance. FBI Agent Rodriguez had the potential to be a strong character, but he didn’t take charge and seemed pretty passive for an FBI agent. However, this didn’t stop me from enjoying the story.

Definitely add Dead Silence to your TBR list– despite my comments above, the story is full of action and suspense and is an enjoyable novel.

Overall Rating: 4 stars (I liked it a lot and would definitely recommend) Suspense Rating: 4 stars (lots of action and suspense to keep me intrigued)

I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Airborne

For Fans of Danger, Action and Complex Plots

Airborne takes readers on an action-packed adventure where biological weapons in the form of a deadly virus are unleashed on an unsuspecting airplane full of people. The virus acts fast, and Heather Lawrence, an FBI behavioral analyst, happens to be on the flight and immediately starts to work on assessing the situation.

The story is intense. People are dying, trapped on a plane circling the airport because if they land, they risk triggering a pandemic. Heather’s estranged husband is a suspect, since Chad works in a laboratory that has been researching viruses. The suspense continues as the FBI hunts for the responsible party behind the attack.

I know DiAnn Mills wrote this story before we actually had a pandemic, making the story very timely. Lots of issues surround finding a vaccine and isolating the passengers of the plane that are exposed to the virus. The plot is complex with lots of twists. The story also focuses on Chad and Heather and their dying marriage. Lots of faith elements come to light as Chad struggles with “God vs science” and Heather tries to pick up the pieces of their marriage.

Overall, I enjoyed the action, suspense, and drama, and highly recommend that suspense fans check out Airborne.

Overall Rating: 4 stars (I liked it a lot and would definitely recommend)
Suspense Rating: 5 stars (lots of action and suspense to keep me intrigued)

I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Standoff

For fans of suspense, intricate mysteries, and major plot twists

Standoff is a fast-paced, suspenseful read from start to finish. Lots of twists and turns keep readers guessing until the very end.

Brooke Danvers is a new investigator with the National Park Rangers. Her father dies, but Brooke knows it wasn’t from suicide. She unwittingly teams up with her ex-boyfriend, Luke Fereday and the two deal with the investigation which includes drug smugglers, murders, car crashes, explosions and other surprising events. There’s lots of action packed into this novel. At several points, I suspected everyone. The author is great at giving red herrings, and plenty of characters have dark secrets and potential motives for murder.

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But even with the over-the-top action, the characters are well developed and likeable. Brooke and Luke struggle with unresolved feelings, but Luke’s hiding a pretty big secret from Brooke. Luke’s grandmother becomes the wise sage and dispenses wit and wisdom. Also, I liked the unique setting for the story set in small town Natchez, MS. Plus not many stories center around the National Park Rangers. The only drawback to the novel is that it ended rather quickly and I would have liked more.

Overall: 5 stars (I loved it, couldn’t put it down)
Suspense: 5 stars (Non-stop edge-of-your-seat suspense from start to finish)

I received an ebook review copy of this book from Revell Publishing and NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Water Keeper

For fans of gritty dramas, complex plots, and high seas adventure

The Water Keeper is a wild ride. The complex plot and broken characters put me through the emotional wringer.

Charles Martin is an off-the-charts amazing writer. His stories are rich with imagery and complex characters that work their way into your heart.  Murphy Shephard takes his boat down the coast of Florida, picking up off the wall, broken misfits with more baggage than his boat can carry. But Murphy has his own secrets, as he’s made it his life’s mission to hunt down missing women who’ve been trafficked.

The story is complex and at times weird. It took me a while to wrap my head around what was happening. So many plot twists kept me guessing, and this story is much darker and seedier than other Martin novels. The author drags readers right into the ick and evil of human trafficking.

This book has a lot of high action scenes. But at times I struggled with the reality of some of the scenes. The hero and his dog both seemed to be bullet and fire proof, and several times I found myself saying, “Really? How can that happen?”  While some of the scenarios didn’t seem plausible, the story was so good that I willingly suspended my belief. Other parts made me question, “Why would that happen?” as there were a few uncomfortable moments that made me question character motives. I don’t want to give spoilers, but the author isn’t going to deliver you a tidy story wrapped up in a bow. It’s going to leave you with questions and unsettled feelings. 

Despite my thoughts above, I loved this novel. It’s one of those stories that sticks with you long after you’ve put it down. I love when authors take chances and write something different. Some Martin fans might not hang in there through this one, but I enjoyed the characters and the overarching themes about love and evil. I like that the novel isn’t what I expected, and hope readers will embrace it for being “off the beaten path.” Figuratively, and literally – because much of the story takes place in alligator infested swamps, rivers and back-woods Florida.

Overall Rating: 4 stars (I liked it a lot and would definitely recommend)
Suspense Rating: 4 stars (lots of action and suspense to keep me intrigued)

I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Traitor’s Pawn

For fans of FBI investigations, action and romantic suspense

My favorite kind of novel starts right in the middle of the action! The Traitor’s Pawn kicks off with an attempted abduction as Aubrey Grayson tries to make sense of why anyone would want to kidnap her. Aubrey’s long-lost friend from childhood, FBI Agent Jack Shannon, happens to be in town with an investigation of his own. Their paths cross as Aubrey realizes her connection to the FBI investigation. Aubrey’s involvement in the case becomes personal when she finds out why she’s the target.

I’m a fan of Lisa Harris. Her novels are always action-packed with lots of plot twists. I enjoyed the super-fast pace of The Traitor’s Pawn. The chemistry between the two main characters worked well, as they had been childhood friends that never wanted to wreck a friendship to take a chance on a romantic relationship. I liked the fact that Aubrey was in law enforcement and became part of the investigating team. While Jack felt protective, Aubrey held her own and I enjoy stories with strong female leads.

The story had a lot of depth while delivering plenty of intrigue. This gets a definite “must read” from me. It’s definitely a page-turner.

Overall: 5 stars (I loved it, couldn’t put it down)
Suspense: 5 stars (Non-stop edge-of-your-seat suspense from start to finish)

I received an ebook review copy of this book from Revell Publishing via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Dead End

For fans of thrillers, FBI and crazy plot twists

What an incredible roller coaster ride! Dead End gives readers so many thrilling plot twists as Kaely Quinn finds herself in the worst possible predicament: facing her serial killer father in an attempt to locate a copy cat killer. Of course, Kaely is one of the most complex characters ever written. She deals with her emotions in the most unusual ways, but this case sends all of her senses spiraling out of control.

While the plot is complex, the characters are even more intricate. Kaely is complicated and at times dark, yet struggles with the fact that she’s human just like everyone else. She never dealt with her past and can’t justify her father’s horrific actions with the fact that he’s still her father. And Noah has waited for Kaely for three books now and in Dead End he watches her unravel as she tries to navigate her inner and outer worlds. But how can he help someone who won’t accept any help?

I’m a fan of this entire series. I recommend reading these in order so definitely start with Mind Games (it’s on Kindle Unlimited). But Dead End brings so much drama and tension with some surprising plot twists.  I highly recommend this series to any suspense fans – the plot twists and unique characters make this one of my all time favorites!

Overall: 5 stars (I loved it, couldn’t put it down)
Suspense: 5 stars (Non-stop edge-of-your-seat suspense from start to finish)

I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Silent Shadows

For fans of romance, suspense and character transformations

Silent Shadows gives readers a swoon-worthy romance mixed with some run-for-your life suspense.  Pecca Gallegos has moved to Walton to escape her past and literally runs right into Colton Crawford, the ex-Army captain that is also her patient. But after several attempts are made on Pecca’s life, she realizes that gang members have tracked her to Walton and want her dead. Colton steps in to protect her but has his own physical and spiritual battles going on.

I loved the characters in this story. Pecca is strong and sassy. But Colton Crawford faces his struggles head-on throughout the novel and I enjoyed watching his transformation from his “victim mentality” to hero.  Pecca works at the Home for Heroes where Colton is staying while in rehab. But the other men who live at Home for Heroes are a riot. Sticks, Gunny and Sarge spend their days bickering about which branch of the military is best, and they become witty sidekicks for Colton throughout the story. I also loved to see Lane and Charlie from Living Lies adding to the mix of characters.

This novel is more romance than suspense (as compared to the other novels in the series), but the chemistry between Pecca and Colton gives readers a great storyline.  There is plenty of action, it’s just towards the end of the novel.

Silent Shadows is the third novel in the Harbored Secrets series. You could probably read this as a stand-alone, but I suggest reading these novels in order (Living Lies is first).

Overall: 5 stars (I loved it, couldn’t put it down)
Suspense: 4 stars (lots of action and suspense to keep me intrigued)

I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.