Book Reviews: Cop Town by Karin Slaughter, The Thieves of Legend by Richard Doetsch, and Cabin Fever by James M. Jackson

Cop TownCop Town
Karin Slaughter
Delacorte Press, June 2014
ISBN No. 978-0-345-54749-1
Hardcover

Kate Murphy is a young widow from a well-to-do family. Her husband was killed in the service and Kate has made the decision to join the Atlanta Police Force. Her first day on the job leaves her wondering if she has made an error in judgment and needs to rethink her decision.

Nothing is easy on the first day. The legs on her uniform are too long; her cap is too big and falls down in her face and her shoes fall off with every step. It seems the Atlanta PD could care less if the uniform fits the female officers. The male officers enjoy painting a penis on the women’s bathrooms and the colored women police officers have a separate dressing room divided by a curtain.

The Atlanta PD is full of racism and very few new officers, particularly women, meet the criteria necessary to gain respect. Kate is partnered with Maggie Lawson. Maggie has a brother and an uncle on the force, neither of which treat Maggie with much respect. Maggie tries to give Kate a few tips as far as work is concerned but neither woman feel their partnership will be a success.

Immediately the pair are thrown into the investigation of the death of another police officer. Maggie’s brother, Jimmy Lawson, was partnered with the officer killed and managed to carry him all the way to the hospital even though he was also hurt.

It is suspected that a criminal called “The Shooter” is the one killing the officers. Each time a cop is killed the situation seems to have been set up in the same way. Maggie and Kate hook up with a black police officer, Gail Patterson, who agrees to help them locate a pimp that Maggie feels has some information they can use. The three get the information but more trouble than they signed up for.

Cop Town is an exciting book that is difficult to put down. I’ve read all of Karin Slaughter‘s novels and she has long been one of my favorite authors. This novel is a standalone but I am hoping that I might be reading more about Maggie and Kate in the future.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, July 2014.

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The Thieves of LegendThe Thieves of Legend
Richard Doetsch
Atria Books, November 2012

ISBN978-1-4165-9898-5
Hardcover

Master thief Michael St. Pierre is blackmailed into stealing an ancient artifact hidden several stories beneath the royal palace in the heart of the Forbidden City. His ex-girlfriend, KC Ryan, also a master thief, is under the same duress to steal a second part of the artifact located in a different area of China.

Michael has five days before the U.S. Army Colonel behind the blackmail says he’ll kill KC.  KC has the same kind of deal with the female assassin set to guard her. Michael’s and KC’s lives depend on each being successful. Meanwhile they’ll need to contend not only with Chinese Triads, but with more than one madman. Fortunately, Michael has a couple good friends willing to do almost anything the help protect him and KC, and prevent the artifact from falling into the wrong hands.

Lots of violence here, and just when you think one of the bad guys has been eliminated, he pops up again like an unkillable weed.

The well-developed characters are brilliant, as Michael and his friends, Simon and Busch, as well as KC prove as they work through a convoluted puzzle. They’re also goodlooking, and tremendously athletic.

The action is non-stop, the plotting clever with a delicious mystery at the center. The setting moves from country to country, from land to sea, and the tension never ceases to ramp up.

Mr. Doetsch, who states he loves research, has included a historical character, a certain Zheng He, in the story, which adds a nice touch and whets one’s appetite to learn more about him.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, May 2014.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.

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Cabin FeverCabin Fever 
A Seamus McCree Mystery
James M. Jackson
Barking Rain Press, April 2014
ISBN:978-1-935460-90-9
Trade Paperback

Several terrific and unusual characters. An unusual and intriguing plot line. A not-so-popular worthwhile setting. Smart dialogue. Those are all the good elements of this novel which features one of the most cranky and short-tempered protagonists this reviewer has ever encountered. Seamus McCree is a brilliant financial forensic analyst. He works for a non-profit that offers security and financial crimes examinations to banks and similar institutions.

He’s spending time recuperating from his last violent encounter in the cold winter woods of the Michigan Upper Peninsula. It gets really cold up there. It’s about -40 when he discovers a naked woman half-frozen on the unheated porch of his cabin. Nursing her away from death begins to reveal an intriguing plot.

Now we get to the questionable and not-so-good parts. Everybody in the book speaks sometimes from their personal point of view. That includes the author-narrator. That can be confusing at times. And it sometimes takes the narrative off on wandering paths through tangled underbrush and that slows the pace when we need a little more push, not less.

Then there is the formatting. Traditional rules of formatting say you either indent paragraphs or you insert a blank line between them, but not both. Moreover, in fiction, readers expect indents, not spaces. I suggest, if readers let that and some other formatting anomalies bother them, they’ll miss an enjoyable reading experience. Generally well-written, there are some logical lapses that made me grind my teeth. In the aggregate however, in spite of a lot of murders, I found that my time reading Cabin Fever was worthwhile.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, August 2014.
Author of Red Sky, Devils Island, Hard Cheese, Reunion.

Book Blitz: Day Zero by Summer Lane

 

Day Zero Blitz Banner

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Title: Day Zero 
Series: The Zero Trilogy #1
Author: Summer Lane 
Publication date: October 10th, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

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Synopsis

Elle is a survivor.

Since the collapse of modern society, she’s been living in the remains of
downtown Hollywood, California, foraging for food and fighting for her life.

And then everything changes.

After she is forced out of her home, she heads north. What she finds is
a group of bunker survivors, unlikely comrades, and the hope of a
safe haven. Together, they journey toward the dregs of
civilization, facing starvation, imprisonment and death.

They are alone, but they are ready.

Day Zero begins today.

Day Zero is a novella, the first installment in The Zero Trilogy, a novella
series complementing the international bestselling Collapse Series.

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Goodreads

Purchase Links:

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Creating the Klan

The fun thing about writing The Collapse Series is that there are hundreds of different stories to be told. In my primary series, the villainous Omega is the invasion force that is taking over the United States – from both the outside and inside. In Day Zero, I jumped into the same setting. The world has been ravaged by an invasion, and Omega has taken over everything.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut what about the places that are completely abandoned? The places without a militia presence or military stronghold of any kind? That’s how I came up with the Klan. Elle’s worst enemy in Day Zero is the Klan – a gang that rules the urban streets.

She deals with the Klan more than Omega, and in doing so, we get to explore a part of the apocalypse that Cassidy Hart hasn’t even seen. The Klan represents the dangers and pitfalls that society can stoop to when left unchecked. In such an archaic and desperate environment, it’s really no surprise that people have become bloodthirsty. Where is the moral compass of a community? Who determines what is right and what is wrong? It’s a theme I got to explore, and it was an enjoyable challenge to do so.

I modeled the Klan after numerous groups and cults that have popped up throughout history. The Klan, in essence, represents the evil of society just as much as Omega does in The Collapse Series – I just got to take a different approach with it. Where Omega is a cold, steely military force, the Klan is a medieval, feral society – almost tribal. It was an interesting story to explore, and I’m excited to share Elle’s story with the world!

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About the Author

 

Summer LaneSummer Lane is the author of the international bestselling Collapse Series, which includes State of Emergency, State of Chaos, State of Rebellion and State of Pursuit. The fifth installment, State of Alliance, is releasing January 2015. Summer is also the author of The Zero Trilogy and an upcoming survivalist/science fantasy series coming in 2015. She owns WB Publishing, Writing Belle Magazine, and is an accomplished creative writing teacher and journalist.Summer lives in the Central Valley of California, where she spends her time writing, teaching, and writing some more. When she is not writing, she enjoys leisurely visits with friends at coffee shops, dates to the movies, hiking in the mountains and strolling on the beach.

Author Links:
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Giveaway

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
A pack of eBooks including:
 

Dead Girl Walking, by Ruth Silver 
Fractured Dream, by K.M. Randall 
Spirit Warriors: The Scarring by DEL Connor 
Eyes of the Enemy by Kelly Hess 
Jacob, King of Portalia by Casey Club 
Destiny Gift by Juliana Haygert 
Aftershock by Roberta Trahan 

Enter the Rafflecopter drawing here.

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