Operation Salazar by Dan Lawton — A Review

28246585Operation Salazar by Dan Lawton

RaeleighReads rating:love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236


From Goodreads:  “A home invasion uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to overthrow a nationwide criminal enterprise.”

The above is a really great summary of this book. Home invasion –> Bigger criminal network than we originally thought –> Our characters are in too deep to get out. So, all you folks who like to binge on every variation of Law & Order ever…you may dig this. Or, maybe if you’re a fan of Breaking Bad or Narcos. This story is told from the perspective of the “bad guys” after all.

Operation Salazar is pretty typical mystery/suspense fare. I’m not sure if I was given an uncorrected proof or not, but the thing was riddled with enough errors to set my teeth on edge, and I almost gave up more than once. I didn’t though. I powered through. Why? I don’t really know. I didn’t particularly care for it. The plot was stale and overdone and it failed to ever really pull me in. But, it may be a pretty decent read for someone who likes mystery and suspense. Maybe? Or, if you need to tick another book read off your to-read list, this one will do. It’s pretty short and easy to read.

I wish I had some positive things to say about this…The ending was pretty decent. It was realistic. I appreciated that.

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I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.



Sisters of Sorrow by Axel Blackwell — A Review

25348662Sisters of Sorrow by Axel Blackwell

RaeleighReads rating:love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236


Anna Dufresne lives in a factory that eats children. If the brutal machines don’t kill Anna, her guardians’ neglect and abuse probably will. The only thing this abandoned teen wants is out. But the factory is inside a stone fortress, on an island, where people are sent to be forgotten. It serves as a dumping ground — both for orphans who are not welcome at finer institutions, and for nuns who have disgraced the Church. The walls of Saint Frances du Chantal’s Orphan Asylum hum with secrets and buried scandal.

In the catacombs below the factory, something long dead, something almost forgotten, stirs. It offers Anna a key, and promises freedom, if she will seek it out when she escapes. She knows her plan will endanger the other children, but Anna cannot resist the call of freedom.

Her escape attempt triggers a chain reaction of chaos, shaking the orphanage to its foundation and laying bare its deadly secrets. As Anna flees into the night, she discovers that the evil nuns were the least of her worries. The swirling mist of the island hides terrors more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Oh. My. God. Just, wow! I was surprised at how good this was! Very original. I did not want to put the darn thing down! Too bad I had to do things like sleep and go to work. Why are those things always getting in the way!?

Anyhoo, Anna. Poor Anna. What a truly awful hand she was dealt in life. The first bit of the book set up my expectations for a kind of Annie-like story where a beaten-down orphan may eventually overcome her life of misery and find some happiness. But. That’s not exactly what happened.

I do NOT want to give away any kind of spoilers for this because in my opinion, what makes this book work so well is that you are constantly wondering what is going to happen next. There is some serious edge-of-your-seat writing going on here.

It’s suspenseful, atmospheric, heartbreaking, scary, and wonderful. I highly recommend it.

If you like dark, moody, supernatural settings, this one is definitely for you! I now have to get my hands on anything else Axel Blackwell has written. Happy reading, loves!

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.


In Lieu of a Review

Some of you guys have been reading for a while now, and some of you are brand new to my blog. Please just know, if you are reading this, I appreciate you.

Someone asked me awhile back why I was doing this? What did I get for it?

This person knew I was under a great deal of stress, and they assumed automatically that something that takes up so much of my time should be lucrative. Believe me, if I could get paid to read novels and write reviews of them, I’d be doing that! But I don’t get paid to do this. I do get copies of books, an item I value over many many others, but that doesn’t pay the bills!

So why do I do this? Why spend so much of my limited time engrossed in novels and anguishing over their reviews? Why? Because I LOVE books, literature, reading, the written word, authors, writers, characters, fictional worlds that I wish so hard were real.

I APPRECIATE the amount of time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, coffee (or tea), and mania that goes into creating these precious works of art.

I think authors, especially indie authors, deserve to have that time and effort recognized.

So what do I get out of it? The joy of finding a new favorite author — one I never would have discovered in a Barnes & Noble. (No offense meant to B&N — love that place!)

What do I get out of it? A myriad of world views that I never would have encountered otherwise.

What do I get out of it? Hope. Yes, you read that right. Hope.

Often times our world can seem so dreary, our options limited, our efforts ineffectual, and we may find ourselves screaming, “What is the point!?” These works, these bound bits of inspiration, represent a tenacity of spirit from people with unfettered creativity and a commendable work ethic. And I find that damn inspiring!

So, I will continue to read their works. And I will read them critically because that is just how I am wired. I will present the world with my opinions on these works and hopefully introduce, at least one person, to a brand new author who will open up a whole new world for them.

Do I sometimes get overwhelmed by this project I’ve taken on? Yes, and I’m going to try to be more honest with myself moving forward about what I can and cannot accomplish in a 24-hour day. I will falter. And I will fail. But I will keep doing this because I love it!

I guess what I’m trying to say is:

I’m back! Check for a brand new review next week!

im back baby castiel


And now for a word from our sponsors…

I'm_just_kidding emma stoneJK! I don’t have sponsors. Errrm, carry on!


I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh — A Review

i let you goI Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

This was so. good. Suspenseful. So many twists and turns. I highly recommend it.

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray, a somewhat diminutive figure, as she tries to put her life back together in a tiny cottage in Penfach (UK). At the same time, the book follows two police people as they investigate a hit and run case in Bristol.

At first, I found the switch between a first person narrative (Jenna’s story) and a third person narrative (the investigators), a little jarring. As the story went on though, I started to find it effective in moving me in and out of focus. In fact, the switch to third person started to act as a much needed reprieve from Jenna’s first person narrative.

Mackintosh’s prose are evocative and heartbreaking. Her characters are well developed and utterly human. Every time I thought I had the story figured out, she would drop a plot bomb and I’d be thrown in a completely different direction. The suspense was palpable, and I just HAD to know what was going to happen next.

Read warily. If you are particularly sensitive to violence you may not want to read this. It definitely tugged on my heart strings — it made me cry. It made me laugh. It made me have all the feelings.

my emotions

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group (USA) for my review copy.

Where Death is a Hunter by Christopher Stookey — A Review

where death is a hunterWhere Death is a Hunter by Christopher Stookey

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

YES! A case where a subject specialist is also capable of noveling.

Where Death is  a Hunter follows the story of Hannah Fâtier, a young, ethnically ambiguous anesthesiologist. She’s in San Fran, and is in her first real job at a good hospital. She’s all set one morning to anesthetize a patient for an elective procedure — plastic surgery. Things are normal…until they aren’t. I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just say the rest of the book is a compelling whodunnit.

Now, there is nothing particularly ground breaking about this novel. It doesn’t give a twist on a generic plot or introduce anything we haven’t seen before. BUT, I just couldn’t put the darn thing down. Stookey’s writing flows effortlessly throughout. It is simple and descriptive with, what I think, is typical and appropriate dialogue.

The back cover blurb calls it “un-put-down-able”, and I wholeheartedly agree. I read this in two sittings. It would have have been one sitting, but I had to, you know, sleep. Argh.

Hannah is seriously put through the wringer in this. Does she come out on top? *shrugs mysteriously* Guess you’ll have to read it to find out! (And you totally should.)

dean shrugs and grins

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.