April Book Reviews Part One

Wow! We’ve almost reached the month of May. I read several books during the month of April, so like last month, I’m splitting my reviews into two posts. Here’s part one.

Mercy Falls

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Many of you know I’ve gotten hooked on the Cork O’Connor series. I actually finished reading Mercy Falls in March, but I had a reason for withholding my review until now.


I won’t say I’m totally disappointed in this book, but the ending left me frustrated.

Mercy Falls is the fifth book in the Cork O’Connor series. The story takes place several months after book four leaves off.

Cork O’Connor has been reinstated as sheriff of Tamarack County. He’s lured to the nearby Ojibwe Reservation to investigate a domestic disturbance. Upon arriving at the residence, a sniper fires at Cork and Deputy Marcia Dross.

Not long afterward, Cork is called to the scene where a mutilated body is found near the waters of Mercy Falls. The victim is Eddie Jacoby, a Chicago businessman who is trying to negotiate a contract with his employer to manage the Iron Lake Casino.

Eddie’s wealthy father hires a private investigator to assist with the case. Cork also learns his wife Jo once had a relationship with Eddie’s brother.

Is the sniper’s attempt to kill Cork related to the murder? Can Cork trust the private investigator? Who is out to get him and why?

Like most of Krueger’s books, this one kept me turning the pages. I honestly didn’t know who to trust. Although Eddie Jacoby gave plenty of people a reason to kill him, I wasn’t sure about the killer’s identity until the latter part of the book. So far, so good.

Then came the end.

I like series fiction, but I’m not a fan of serial fiction. Mercy Falls leaves readers with a cliffhanger ending. Hopefully, everything will be resolved in book six, Copper River. It’s a good thing I bought both books as part of a collection, otherwise, I might be tempted to skip the next one.

Amazon Link

Unforgiven

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After reading Rebecca Zanetti’s You Can Run late last year, I knew she was an author I wanted to read again. The book releases on June 7 and is available for pre-order.


Unforgiven is the fifth book of Zanetti’s Deep Ops series. Although I’ve yet to read the first four books, this one easily read as a stand-alone novel.

Gemma Falls is on the run from her abusive former fiancé, Monty. She’ll do anything to keep her daughter safe. So far, she’s managed to protect Trudy, but when she takes a job at a Washington, DC university, things begin happening to make her believe Monty has finally caught up with her.

Jethro Hansen is a former MI6 agent who is working as a philosophy professor. Troubles arise when his psychotic brother Fletcher, a hired killer, escapes from prison. And Fletcher is out for revenge.

Sparks fly in more ways than one when Gemma and Jethro meet. And both of them are in danger. Jethro takes Gemma to a safe house where members of the Deep Ops team become involved in trying to track down a killer while protecting Gemma and her daughter.

The book is well-paced with plenty of action and a touch of romance. It’s a page-turner, and I found the ending satisfying. It goes without saying I’ll be catching up with all the books of the Deep Ops series.

Amazon Pre-order link

Good Liniment

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Next on the list is another in C. S. Boyack’s highly entertaining Hat series.


Good Liniment is the latest entry in The Hat series. Author C. S. Boyack brought back characters from other books including the stuttering vampire Kevin, Detective Joe Yoder, and Patty Hall from Will O’ The Wisp. New characters come on board as well that add to the story.

Lizzie and the Hat are on the search for a killer who is targeting a coven of witches. This time the killer is human, a bit of a twist from the villains in the other hat books.

The banter between Lizzie and The Hat is always entertaining, and the Hat is his usual snarky self. (Would we love him any other way?)

I’m always impressed by the author’s vivid imagination. If you’re looking for a quick and fun read, this is it.

Amazon Link

Copper River

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

After Mercy Falls ended on a cliffhanger, I was curious to see if the mystery would be solved in Copper River.


Book Six of the series picks up immediately where Mercy Falls leaves off. Sheriff Cork O’Connor is on the run after Lou Jacoby placed a half-million-dollar bounty on his life. Jacoby believes Cork is responsible for the death of both his sons.

Cork narrowly escapes death and takes refuge with his cousin Jewell DuBois in a small town on Michigan’s upper peninsula. Jewell is a widowed single mother, raising her teenage son.

Instead of lying low, Cork gets involved in helping Jewell’s son Ren and his friend Charlie (Charlene). Charlie’s father was murdered and she’s on the run. One of their friends was seriously injured by a hit and run driver after word got out the three of them may have seen a body floating in Copper River. Then, the body of a teenage girl washes up that has connections with Charlie.

Cork has his own problems, and former FBI agent, Dina Willner, shows up to help. Like the other books in the O’Connor series, there was plenty of action in this one. I missed some of the familiar characters from the other books, particularly Henry Melloux and Cork’s family. At the same time, it was nice to see new characters introduced. I wouldn’t mind seeing some of them make appearances in later books.

While I didn’t enjoy this one as much as some of the other books in the series, it was still a good read. The focus was on the current crime in Michigan, but there was a satisfactory conclusion to the cliffhanger Krueger left us with at the end of Mercy Falls. However, I hope there aren’t any more cliffhangers in the rest of the series.

3.5 stars rounded up to four for review purposes.

Amazon Link


I’ll post the second part of my April reviews next Tuesday.

42 thoughts on “April Book Reviews Part One

Add yours

  1. Great reviews, Joan. You know I love Zanetti (particularly this series), and Craig always spins a good tale. I’m not familiar with the rest, but they all sound good. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m a William Kent Krueger fan but can’t read him back to back. I need to read a few books between each one of his. I think because his writing feels so immersive or heavy to me, so you’re way ahead of me. I really don’t like open endings so might just wait to see your next review and just skip these two. But I loved your reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve gotten hooked on the books and want to read them back to back. However, I try to read other things in between. I’m currently reading the 7th book of the series and it may turn out to be one of my favorites. I’ll post the review next month.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the reviews, Joan. My kindle is packed, including Craig’s latest. 🙂 I’m looking forward to it. I actually don’t mind cliff-hangers as long as there is some closure and a sense of a “pause.” If they’re too abrupt, I have to agree that they’re off-putting. But then, it depends on the quality of the writing too. The better the book, the less I care. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations and Happy Reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it was more of a surprise about this one. After reading the “sequel” I realized he was setting things up for the next story. And Krueger’s writing is good – as I’m working my way through the series, I can see how he’s grown as a writer. Thanks so much for stopping by, Diana.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reading eighteen books before the next one releases? Hats off to you, Joan! I’m behind in The Hat series, but I’m listening to the final book in the Lanternfish series. I sure will miss those root monsters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve already read seven of the books and I’m on the eighth. They pull me in, so I can usually complete one in two or three days.

      I still need to read the last Lanternfish book. I’ll also miss the Root Monsters.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Great reviews, Joan 🙂 i enjoyed Good Liniment too. I’m not a big fan of cliffhangers either, unless something is answered.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing your reviews, Joan. All interesting and noteworthy. I’m especially looking forward to Craig’s latest — hopefully within the week. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these, Joan. I am not a fan of books that end with a cliffhanger. In fact, it turns me off to reading more. As a reader, I want a satisfying ending. Loved Craig’s newest! Great entertaining story!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You definitely had a busy reading month, Joan. You know I’m a huge fan of the Pendergast series, and occasionally the authors will make a mini 2 or 3 book arc within the series, where books end on cliffhangers. They always wrap the initial story in the book, but end with a major cliffhanger. Sounds like the Cork O’Connor series does the same. It’s always hard waiting for the next book to be released when that happens.

    I read Craig’s Good Liniment, and like the rest of his Hat series, thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Great reviews today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least the books were written years earlier, so I didn’t have to wait a year! 🙂 I’m already reading number seven, so the author has redeemed himself. I’m determined to read the first eighteen before the 19th book releases in August. Thanks for adding your thoughts about Good Liniment, Mae.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks like you’ve had a busy April! I’ll have to check a few of these out, especially the Deep Ops series.
    Great reviews and thanks for sharing! I look forward to seeing part two!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey, that’s great!
        I don’t know what your overall count was for last year but it’s always satisfying to beat it.. Best of luck!
        And I haven’t read anything by Zanetti yet but I recently came across ‘You Can Run’ and I’ve been looking forward to it.

        Liked by 1 person

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