Deep Extraction by Diann Mills – Book Review

Deep Extraction by Diann Mills

Published by Tyndale House Publishers  April 4, 2017

Genres: Suspense, Christian

Pages: 379

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional―the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.

Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer―and to each other―the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

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Story Notes

Diann Mills non-stop second book in the FBI Task Force series will keep her readers guessing who is really guilty and who is just in the wrong place at the right time.

Although I have met Diann Mills before and know she attends my church as well, I had not had the opportunity to read one of her books before this story was offered to me for review. I was very impressed with the depth of her writing and will certainly be looking to read more of her past and future works. Ms. Mills’ story is not a new plot but her development of the characters and the story line was done in such a different way as to make it seem it was a new idea. The twists, turns and complications of the entire case kept me from guessing the ultimate culprit until he was discovered by the agent’s investigation. And choosing that particular culprit meant that Ms. Mills could spend the majority of the book telling the rest of the characters stories without revealing him before the end. She began with an oil mogul whose pacemaker was hacked remotely causing immediate heart failure. Add to this the bombing of one of his oil rigs days before, his out-of-the-blue request for divorce from his wife, condemning evidence of an affair with his administrative assistant and his recent purchase of oil rigs overseas and Ms. Mills created a story that had so many threads to unravel that I wasn’t sure she could manage them all. But manage she did, exceeding my expectations by not only answering all my questions but giving such total answers that I felt I had been the one investigating the case. I always enjoy a book that also employs a faith journey for one of the main characters, so Ms. Mills’ inclusion of Special Agent Tori Templeton’s “investigation” of the faith her deceased brother held close was a welcome subplot to this excellent story. Tori needed undeniable proof to satisfy her detective’s mind that God not only knew about her but cared what happened to her life. And Ms. Mills thoroughly answered that desire for proof by having her involved in a major fire fight that Tori and US Marshall Cole Jeffers should not have walked away from. Tori’s acceptance of God’s love brings her a peace she had searched for a long time and she will then seek to share it with those close to her. Cole had challenged her to test God and is very pleased when she finds Him to be as trustworthy as he has found Him to be in his life. But they still have a case to solve that will take every investigative skill they’ve ever developed to solve, especially as every answer they find begs 10 new questions. I truly enjoyed reading this story as if I was walking beside Tori and Cole every day of this case. To see their frustration when legalities stalled them, feel the hurt they felt over asking their friends intimate questions about relationships, and getting angry along with them at the pain selfish or vengeful people caused those thought responsible, these are just some of the emotions Ms. Mills helped me to feel while reading. She also included a really nice love relationship between Tori and Cole that was a perfect complement to the many relationships that were tearing apart all around them. Their careers, and later, faith brought them together, giving them a great basis to grow their friendship into a deeper relationship neither of them had actively been looking for. Deep Extraction is one book that I know I will reread and will certainly share with my friends and family. I’ve got a request in for several of her other works and am looking forward to going back to the first story in the FBI Task Force series – Deadly Encounter. Hope the next one in the series will be out soon!

I received this book free of charge from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from this company for this review.

Here’s a video link for the book if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-0h2iT3pQg&feature=youtu.be

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If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock – Book Review

If I’m Found  by  Terri Blackstock

Published By  Zondervan Fiction   March  21, 2017

Genres: Mystery and Thrillers, Christian

Pages:  384

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Copenhagen Cozenage by Kristen Joy Wilks – Book Review

Copenhagen Cozenage by Kristen Joy Wilks

Published by White Rose Publishing/Pelican Group Publishing  September 25, 2015

Genre:  Romance, Christian

Pages: 120

Rating:  4.5 of 5 stars

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Publishers Description

Morgan Ravn arrives in Denmark seeking clues about her mysterious heritage. What she finds is a flirtatious stranger who regales her with a story about a jewel thief from 1958 and then abandons her with a large unruly dog. Can Morgan locate the irresponsible pet owner before his monstrous canine drags her through every puddle in Copenhagen and sheds all over her last dress? And why are strangers dogging her every step, snapping photos? Is the shutter happy behavior a bizarre Danish custom or something more sinister?

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Story Notes

Kristen Joy Wilks’ first published work is a really wonderful read that will have readers putting it down only to rest their ab muscles and dry their streaming eyes from laughing so much at this hilarious romp through Denmark’s capital city.

FUN, FUN, FUN!! This was one of the fastest books I’ve ever read, not because it was a shorter story(which it was), but because it was such a fun and fast-paced story. And what a clever title Ms. Wilks chose, making a vocabulary lover like me take fast note. Ms. Wilks drew me it on page one and I felt like I was in Denmark on this crazy adventure right along with her main character Morgan. I love stories that have a character searching out history or their family they never knew and this one had just enough family mystery to be intriguing without being overwhelmingly complicated. And Ms. Wilks kept the mystery going all the way to the last chapter, revealing enough to keep me figuring but still wondering. However, it is rare that I laugh all the way through a mystery book and I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit as the pages turned. Morgan’s troubles were literally everyone’s ‘worst fear’ days all rolled into one. From being left with an oversized Newfoundland dog that sheds massive amounts of fur constantly, to ruining all but one of her outfits she packed for her weeks stay as she chased the dog through the famous sites and parks of Copenhagen, to nearly drowning multiple times, poor Morgan cannot catch a break. And to make matters worse for her, everyone seems to be bent on photographing or videoing her series of unfortunate events. When she finally figures out the reason behind all the photography – for her favorite comic artist to be provided with a subject for his latest drawings – she is mad enough to spit! Well, at least spit the dog hair out of her mouth. And discovering further that the family member who she was to meet for lunch only wants to steal the key her grandmother left her, leaves Morgan feeling heart-sore and more than a little angry. But her faith will give her the courage she needs to get out of this latest kerfuffle and she just might find true love hiding in the most unlikely place – with August, the man who abandoned the dog with her. Ms. Wilks wrote a well-developed and really wonderful story. I truly enjoyed reading the entirety of the story and was pleased to see her character employed her faith through all her troubles. It was really great to see Morgan not only discover the family history she longed for but also find love with August, even if he was part of the reason for her mis-adventures. And Ms. Wilks’ epilogue gave the story a complete and very satisfying conclusion that included a couple passages that inspire laughter once again. Ms. Wilks has shown she has a genuine skill in storytelling and I am looking forward to her next works. I heard the next book from Ms. Wilks will be coming out later this year and I have already pre-ordered a copy. I will most certainly recommend this book to my friends and family and hope to enjoy Ms. Wilks new book soon.

I received this E-Book free of charge from White Rose Publishing/Pelican Group Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.

 

 

 

 

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains by Susan Page Davis – Book Review

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains  by  Susan Page Davis

Published By Barbour Publishing    March  01, 2017

Genres: Christian

Pages:  256

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Decription

Experience the Wild West as Carmela seeks freedom of body and soul. Forced for years by her uncle to pose as a survivor of an Indian kidnapping so he can profit on the speaker circuit, she longs to end the lies. On a stagecoach in Arizona Territory, Carmela and her uncle are fellow passengers with a deputy US marshal and his handcuffed prisoner. When the stage is attacked, will Carmela’s wish come true, or will she forever be branded by her past?

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Story Notes

Susan Page Davis’s recently released historical fiction story carried good potential for well developed novel but lacks polished characters and a complete ending.

Having read a nice short story by Ms Davis in years past I had reasonably high hopes for this latest story of hers. She began the story well enough with a good amount of suspense and intrigue but as the pages went on, I found that it lacked much that I look for in a good book. A well-developed plot is essential to a good story in my opinion but while this had a good beginning and okay middle, the end was one of the worst I’ve read – it just stopped, leaving the story hanging in some ways that were slightly angering. I am always of the opinion that everyone in a story gets their just rewards by the conclusion if you do not intend a story to become a series; however Ms. Davis allowed a central character to remain unpunished and able to live the life he wished to live. Although I know that is often the case in real life, this incompleteness to a story never endears me to an author. And the supposed love story in this book was just sad in its attempt at reality, as I will explain further below.  As to the main characters, I felt that they remained rather shallow. Ms. Davis attempted to have Carmela learn many lessons in her story but they were so multiple and scattered in their telling it was almost dizzying to read. The hero, Freeland,  was a weak sort of character that, in spite of his job as a lawman, seemed rather un-courageous and simple minded. I kept waiting on him to show some “Yumph” but, in spite of coming close a couple times, it just never happened. And with the inclusion of so many substories I found myself wondering when or if Ms. Davis would be able to bring everything to a close – quickly finding out she would not do that. I was further disappointed in her heroine Carmela who she wrote had been so completely controlled and cowed by her uncle for years but somehow had great courage in the face of danger and death. And she also seemed to have a working knowledge of what to do when stranded in the desert. It was so opposite of what one would think this character should know given her background. Add to this the fact that she knew how to cook, despite having been traveling with her uncle from the time she was twelve and they had always stayed in hotels and eaten in cafes. How exactly was she supposed to have gained those skills given her upbringing?? There were a few redeeming qualities from this story: Carmela’s gaining freedom from her uncle and from the lies she was forced to tell, and finding love with Freeland. I was glad to see she was able to gain freedom from her past and  found a new way of life in the town of Prescott. In the telling of this, Ms Davis did well. And even though I was happy to see that Carmela and Freeland found love together, Ms. Davis did not give adequate space to their journey of love. It was thrown in on the last few pages as a sort of afterthought that did not go well with the rest of the story. Maybe there were many fast marriages because of need in American Western history but I found the idea of real love between these two to be rather far fetched as they didn’t spend that much time together other than their two days walk in the desert. Therefore, with all the problems I found in this story I cannot in good conscience recommend this story to anyone who actually cares what they are reading. If it was just a book someone wanted to read to waste time, maybe, but I personally would rather re-read an old favorite that I knew I liked. Knowing Ms. Davis has won awards for several of her former works I hope this book is just a one off for her and any future works will be much better developed and cohesive.

I received this E-book free of charge from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.