Book Review: You Can Hide

Hey, readers. I read my first Rebecca Zanetti book last year. You Can Run was one of my top reads for 2021. I eagerly awaited the sequel. You Can Hide releases on November 29, but you can pre-order a copy now. I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced reader copy from Net Galley.

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wow! What else can I say about this book? I thought You Can Run, the first of the series, was fantastic. This one surpasses it.

FBI Special Agent Laurel Snow is back in her hometown of Genesis Valley after a brief time in Washington, DC. There’s a serial killer on the loose and his target is highly intelligent professional women. Laurel’s half-sister Abigail is a likely target.

Once again Laurel is paired with Agent Huck Rivers. There is an undeniable chemistry between the two of them. When his ex-fiancée shows up, it creates tension between the two of them. Not only that, Abigail claims interest in Huck.

Readers will see familiar characters and new ones are introduced. I especially liked Nestor, who is not your average computer geek.  

Zanetti throws in clues to keep the reader guessing the killer’s identity, and it wasn’t until the last few chapters of the book that I figured it out. While this book wrapped up with a satisfactory ending, the author left some things open that I hope will be addressed in future books.

After all, “What’s the likelihood of two serial killers working in our small Genesis Valley within months of each other?”

A solid five stars from me.

Thanks to Net Galley and Kensington Books for an advanced reader copy.

March Book Reviews Part Two

March was a busy month for me, reading-wise. Here’s the second part of my reviews. If you missed the other post, you can read it by clicking here.

Between The Vines

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After reading the first two books of Staci Troilo’s latest series, I couldn’t wait for Between the Vines. It didn’t disappoint.

Between the Vines is the third and final novella in the Keystone Couples Series. And just when I thought the books couldn’t get better, this one did.

The storyline is well-written and nicely paced. There are touches of humor, and the setting is perfect.

The attraction between Elena and Aaron is apparent from the beginning, although neither one wants to admit it at first.

Add to that Aaron’s ex-fiancée, Heather, who is out to make trouble for Elena. If ever there was a villain to hate, it’s Heather. Troilo did a fantastic job with this character as she did with Elena and Aaron.

I enjoyed all the books in the Keystone Couples series, but this is my favorite. Highly recommend it.

Amazon Purchase Link

Blood Hollow

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When my husband insisted he needed to buy me a birthday gift, I asked if I could pick out something I wanted. I went straight to Amazon and purchased the second set of William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor series. I hope to finish all the previous titles before the nineteenth book releases in August.

This is the fourth book of the Cork O’Connor series, and it didn’t disappoint. When a young woman goes out of a snowmobile ride on a frigid winter night and doesn’t return, Cork O’Connor is part of the search and rescue team.

Months later, a couple of tourists discover her body. The incompetent sheriff focuses on one potential suspect, Solemn Winter Moon. When Solemn is arrested, Cork’s wife Jo agrees to defend him. She asks for Cork’s help in finding the real killer.

Krueger left a lot of breadcrumbs. Although I had a few suspicions, I kept guessing right up to the end.

The story also touches on the O’Connor family dynamics, Cork, Jo, the children, and Jo’s sister, Rose. Cork also does a lot of soul searching in this one.

I enjoy the small-town setting of Aurora and look forward to revisiting several recurring characters such as Henry Meloux. Krueger also introduces new ones with each book that keep the storylines interesting. Like with the other books, his descriptions of the Minnesota wilderness put the reader in the heart of the setting.

If you like mysteries with small town settings, this is a great series.

Amazon Purchase Link

Yellow Hair

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’ve had this book on my radar for quite some time. Given my recent interest in reading about Native Americans, I decided to give it a try.

After reading several reviews, I had high hopes for this book. While there were many good things about the story, I also found several issues.

I’ll begin with the positive. First, I applaud the amount of research that the author did in writing this book. It’s apparent he did his homework. The combination of real historical events and fiction had the makings of a compelling story.

I enjoyed the author’s use of Native American terms such as “six night’s sleep,” or “fourteen winters.” Language such as “The Winter of the Lone Elk” intrigued me. Not to mention the Dakota Tribe’s names of the moons — “Moon when cherries grow ripe,” and “Moon of the Changing Season,” are two examples.

However, there are several issues that I found distracting. The book was written in different tenses. I first noticed it changed with chapters, later during scenes, and finally, there was past and present in one scene. This jarred me from the story.

The repeated use of phrases like “As the whites tell time” were overdone and distracting. I think we know what the year 1858 means.

The book often changed narratives from the fictional story into historical facts. It was like reading a novel and a textbook in the same book.

There was a lot of telling and not enough showing. No showing of emotion. I found it hard to connect to the characters.

There were excerpts that bordered on author intrusion. As an example. “He then heads to the Baker farm to see the bodies for himself and to retrieve the Baker and Jones children, not knowing Clara Jones is dead.”

If the author had taken the time to show readers that scene, it would have read so much better.

Yellow Hair was not a page-turner and the pace slowed even more in the middle. I trudged on but found myself skimming the last few chapters.

Bottom line: Andrew Joyce is a good storyteller. The use of a good editor could have made a difference.

Amazon purchase link

March Book Reviews Part One

Hey, readers! I read quite a few books this month, so in order not to make this post so long, I divided it into two parts.

Sealed Off

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I don’t read a lot of cozy mysteries with amateur sleuths, but I saw this one available for check out through my local library and decided to give it a try.

Julia Snowden helps run her family business, and she’s also overseeing renovations of an old family home. She and her boyfriend, Chris, also run a restaurant during the tourist off-season. When the body of one of the family’s clambake employees turns up, Chris’s ex-con brother is the prime suspect. Chris asks Julia to do some digging on her own in hopes of clearing his brother.

There is a secondary story of a hidden room found during the renovation of the family mansion. This, in my opinion, was much more interesting than trying to solve the murder.

Sealed Off was an okay read, but this is the eighth in a series. Just how many murders can happen in a small town and all of them solved by an amateur? Doubt I’ll bother to read the rest of the books.

Amazon Purchase Link

Coyote’s Regret

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I picked up a free copy of this book last year and it’s been on my Kindle for a while. It’s my first time reading this author, but the story sounded intriguing.

When a retired married couple is found dead in a remote section of Utah, Deputy Sheriff Manny Rivera is called upon to help solve the crime. At first, it appears to be a murder-suicide, but there are a few clues that lead Rivera to believe otherwise.

During the course of his investigation, Manny meets and questions two wealthy landowners, a reclusive war veteran, and members of a nearby Navajo tribe. When a third person is killed, the death confirms Manny’s suspicions the couple was murdered.

Who and why? The answer may be linked to an event that happened a half-century earlier during “The Summer of Love.”

The story is well-written, and the author (who spent many years in this part of the country) paints vivid descriptions of Southeastern Utah. I also learned a bit about the Navajo culture, which is of great interest to me.

This is the eighth book of the Manny Rivera series, but my first to read. Not being familiar with the others, I think this one is fine as a stand-alone novel. However, I am interested in reading more works by this author.

Amazon Purchase Link

Long Lost

Rating: 4 out of 5.

James Scott Bell is my go-to author when it comes to books about the craft of writing. However, I’ve read only a few of his fiction stories. I picked up a free copy of Long Lost last summer.

Steve Conroy is a thirty-year-old “almost divorced” lawyer who has kicked a cocaine habit and is trying to revive his struggling law practice. His life has been full of tragedy. When Steve was five, someone kidnapped and murdered his older brother. His father eventually committed suicide, and his mother died of cancer when Steve was ten.

His life in foster homes was less than ideal, but despite everything, Steve made it through law school, married, and had a successful practice until he succumbed to using cocaine.

The book opens with Steve having lost another “unwinnable” case. Not only that, but he’s also behind on his office rent and his landlord tries to kick him out. Enter law student Sienna Ciccone. She not only helps with getting his eviction overturned but also locates a potential client.

Johnny LaSalle is a convicted felon who is about to be paroled. The one-time white supremacist vows he has changed and has found God. He offers Steve a five-thousand-dollar retainer with a promise of more to come.

But the biggest surprise is that Johnny claims to be Steve’s long-lost brother, Robert. Steve always blamed himself for Robert’s kidnapping and death. With nothing to lose, he relocates from Los Angeles to the small town of Verner. His “job” was to represent Johnny and the man who raised him as his own son. Eldon LaSalle wants to incorporate his “church” as a non-profit organization.

Long Lost has elements reminiscent of the Branch Davidian cult in the 1990s. The book is part legal thriller and part mystery. Although there were a few things I thought could have been better (DNA testing, anyone?), I finished the book in a couple of days. Of note, the book was originally published in 2008 under the title of The Whole Truth.

Amazon Purchase Link

That’s it for now. The second half of my March reviews will post next week.

Book Review: We Live Next Door

Hey, Everyone. My reading time has decreased somewhat in the past few weeks as I’m trying to concentrate on writing. However, I recently purchased Laura Wolfe’s latest release and couldn’t wait to read it.


You think you know the people next door… What if they know you better?

I always dreamed of moving back home to Ridgeview Pines, with its white fences and sloping lawns. I wish it had happened under different circumstances, but now I’m here I feel safe and ready for a fresh start with my little family.

The first thing I do every morning is pick up my phone and check The Neighbor List—our local message board. Maybe the people next door know a little too much about where their neighbors are and what they’re doing, but it’s safer that way, isn’t it? And my husband—he wouldn’t dare sneak behind my back with so many eyes watching.

Just when I’m beginning to relax, a woman I’ve known since I was small is found dead on the white tiles of her bathroom floor. I watch messages of condolence flood my screen. No one else suspects a thing.

But I know that among all these friendly people, watching out for one another, someone knows more than they’re sharing. And I wonder—how far back do they remember, and who’s next?

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I discovered author Laura Wolfe earlier this year and have since read all her psychological fiction stories. Just when I think I’ve found a favorite, then another one comes along.

We Live Next Door is the story of Jessica Millstone, a young mother who moved with her husband Mark and daughter Isabelle back to her childhood home. For the most part, it’s a pleasant neighborhood with a few notable exceptions.

Barbara Draper is a long-time resident who complains about everyone and everything. Her grown son, who has a drug problem, lives with her. While walking her dog one night, Jessica sees Barbara in her upstairs window. At first, she thinks Barbara was shouting about the dog, but the next morning she learns Barbara died when she slipped and drowned in her bathtub. Jessica starts to wonder what really happened.

Was the noise she heard in Barbara’s shrubs a nocturnal animal or was someone lurking there? When Phil Draper tells Jessica his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, she begins to play detective. The police don’t believe Phil because he was inebriated the night his mother died, but Jessica agrees to meet him to gather an important piece of evidence. Before they can meet, Phil is killed by a hit and run driver.

Now convinced both deaths weren’t accidents, Jessica tries to persuade the police otherwise. Who is the guilty party? Was it Avery Moreno, a neighbor whose dog was killed by Barbara Draper? Or Sean Peale, another creepy neighbor who has his own secrets? Even Jessica’s friend Bree, a real-estate agent is suspect. Not to mention Jessica’s own mother is hiding secrets.

Someone doesn’t want Jessica to learn the truth. She begins to get threatening messages on a popular Neighborhood App. As with Laura’s other books, there are a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. While I had my suspicions, it wasn’t until near the end that I put everything together. Kudos to Ms. Wolfe for another page-turning read.

Book Review: Falling

I read this book a few weeks ago, but since I had several reviews already scheduled for Net Galley ARCS, I’m just getting around to posting this one.

Falling is an action-packed best-seller and comes highly recommended.

My Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Imagine being the pilot on a plane from Los Angeles bound for New York City and learning someone has kidnapped your family and blown up your home. Not only that, but your wife is also wearing an explosive vest, and the kidnapper has a hand-held detonator. There’s only one way to save them. Crash the jet with 143 passengers on board and don’t tell anyone what’s happening.

That’s the situation Captain Bill Hoffman found himself in. What will he do?

Falling is author T. J. Newman’s debut novel, and it came with a plethora of recommendations. The description promised an action-packed thriller, so I grabbed a copy when the book was on sale.

Honestly, I had trouble getting started with the story. The first couple of chapters seemed to drag for me, but when the pace picked up, I finished reading it in two evenings.

Some things I liked, others I didn’t. There were a lot of flashback scenes which delved into the character’s backgrounds and lives. However, many of them were boring, so I skimmed through several.

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Bill. The beginning of the story seemed to indicate he was having marital problems. I even questioned if he might have had an affair with one of the flight attendants. Neither of these turned out to be the case. The author could have done a better job with character development. I found them to be rather flat.

As far as the plot, it had a good premise and was mostly realistic. One scene at Yankee Stadium near the end was a little far-fetched, but otherwise the story had a satisfactory conclusion.

If you’re old enough to remember the Airport movies from the 1970s, you’ll relate to Falling. Like those old films, a disaster happened in flight and it’s a race against time to land safely and save the lives of all onboard. All we’re missing is Karen Black flying the plane and George Kennedy in his role of Joe Patroni.

Three and a half stars rounded up to four for review purposes.