Six Quick & Dirty Interim Reviews

Books: Various

Read:  2016

Genre:  Mystery / Suspense; Urban Fantasy; Sci-Fi

Selected By:  Lady Esbe

I enjoy reading  and wish I had more time lately to devote to Interim Reviews like I used to.  However, in the meantime, I have encountered some books that I feel merit at least a little mention – either as recommendations or warnings.  So without further ado, here are six quick ‘n dirty reviews:

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Lady Esbe’s Reviews

Book: Injustice for All (Joe Dillard Series, Book 3)

Author:  Scott Pratt

Published:  2012

Genre:  Mystery / Suspense

Pages:  392 (paperback)

 Esbe’s Score:  Scoring Liked Book

A criminal court judge is found hanging from a tree.  A young employee of the district attorney’s office goes missing.  The primary suspect in the judge’s murder is Dillard’s son’s best friend, and Dillard’s wife may have destroyed evidence.  Meanwhile, the missing girl turns out to be a mystery far deeper than anyone imagined.” – from the Amazon summary


This started a little rough for me and there was quite a bit going on in the novel.  However, the corruption of the system and how a tenacious attorney fought his way through small town politics ans corruption was quite good.  I enjoyed the main character, which doesn’t happen a lot with these free reads from Amazon.  I would give this author another shot, as I do like the main character and would be interested to see how his misadventures continue.

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Book: Ghost and the Graveyard (Knight Games, Book 1)

Author:  Genevieve Jack

Published:  2014

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Pages:  346 (paperback)

 Esbe’s Score:  Scoring No Like Book

“Life is full of difficult decisions!  Grateful Knight isn’t looking for love when she moves into a rent-free house on the edge of a graveyard.  At twenty-two, all she wants is to recover financially so she can move back to the city where she belongs.  But sparks fly when the gorgeous cemetery caretaker, Rick, introduces himself and mentions his suspicion that her new house might be haunted.  When things in Grateful’s house start moving on their own, another man enters her life, Logan, a sexy ghost with a dark secret.  One thing is for sure, magical forces are at work in the tiny town of Red Grove, and they’re converging on Grateful.” – from the Amazon summary


I thought that Rachel Morgan was annoying – and she is – but somehow Grateful still manages to be even more annoying.  The only saving grace about this character is that she is not trained to be a bounty hunter.  She’s just the incarnation of a prior self.  So what are we to do with that?  Hold on for the most ridiculous sex-filled ride you can have.  She is unaware of who she was previously, but she listens to a ghost and a mysterious caretaker-turned-lover who is also of the supernatural.  I hoped and hoped this book wouldn’t be about some chick getting her rocks off with very little story line to follow it… but no such luck.

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Book: The Lies that Save Us (Broken Heart Series, Book 1)

Author:  J.L. Redington

Published:  2013

Genre:  General Fiction

Pages:  254 (paperback)

 Esbe’s Score:  Scoring It Was OK Book

“Alexa is beautiful, smart, and alone in the world, a result of a devastating losses in her life.  She purchased a diner in the quiet out of the way town of Startup, Washington and hired employees to help run it.  She’s just beginning to feel secure in her loneliness when her world is jolted awake by Cayman, a handsome young stranger that enters her diner seemingly from nowhere.  Events happen quickly, and soon Alexa is deep into secret lives, deception, and desire.  Will she figure out the riddle of her father’s death?  Will she live to tell her tale?” – from the Amazon summary


Well, I gotta say, I do want to give new authors a chance, but these self-published books on Amazon  with great descriptions but poor execution are killing me.  I don’t have a lot of time and to waste it reading or listening to these books is quite aggravating.  I find a glimmer of hope and then it’s dashed.  This is yet another book where the woman is swept off her feet, seemingly betrayed and then shows she’s sorta a badass in how she handles a situation, until she is caught and needing to be saved again.  Ugh.  Quite unrealistic in the plot (father dying…becoming a diner owner, who is caught up in a plot of domestic espionage…just too much), the characters are a bit flat and well, as usual someone falling into bed with another character.  When you bill a book as a mystery or spy novel, that is what I expect, not a romance novel masquerading in another genre.

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 Book: The Prodigal Hour

Author:  Will Entrekin

Published:  2011

Genre:  Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Pages:  364 (paperback)

 Esbe’s Score:  Scoring It Was OK Book

“On October 31, 2001, six weeks after escaping the World Trade Center attacks, Chance Sowin moves back home, hoping for familiarity and security.  Instead, he interrupts a burglary as his father, Dennis, is shot and killed.  What begins as a homicide investigation escalates when the Joint Terrorism Task Force arrives.  Where he hoped for solutions, Chance finds only more questions, and while he might not know the answers, Cassie Lackesis, Dennis’ research assistant, thinks she does.  She isn’t certain that Dennis discovered a way to time travel, but she knows who told her: Chance.” – from the Amazon summary


This is a time-travel piece.  It could have been great, but it got bogged down very quickly with the lead character, Chance attempting to save or change history and further corrupting things to put a single event to rights in your mind.  I got more and more annoyed as the book went along, simply because I wanted the lead character to just sit still and let things happen as they were meant to.  Intervening with the crucifixion of Christ? Attempting to assassinate Hitler?  While I can see the temptation to attempt a wrong (rise of Hitler in my mind), it is what has already happened, leave it alone.

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 Book: In Firm Pursuit (Vernetta Henderson, Book 2)

Author:  Pamela Samuels Young

Published:  2013

Genre:  Mystery / Suspense

Pages:  340 (paperback)

 Esbe’s Score:  Scoring No Like Book

“Poised to make partner at a high-powdered L.A. law firm, Vernetta Henderson takes on what appears to be an open-and-shut case of sexual harassment.  As the case proceeds, Vernetta soon begins to suspect that her corporate client may be involved in a far-reaching cover-up.  The deeper she digs, the more the case spirals out of her control.  Determined to find the truth, Vernetta eventually unravels a conspiracy of greed and violence that places her career – and her very life – at risk.” – from the Amazon summary


It started as a promising legal thriller, then devolved into way too much activity on the periphery.  I don’t need the friend is a snooping ho who feels entitled, along with a husband being tempted by his college age assistant and your insecurity as a minority attorney to complicate the fact that there is corporate melee going on that needs to be dealt with.  I wonder if the author just couldn’t see her way to focusing on the problem at hand.  Yes, life happens and sometimes when it rains, it pours.  However, I would much prefer that the pitfalls the attorney faces are a result of being bogged down by the adversary versus dealing with the trials and tribulations of dealing with ghetto people.

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 Book: Illegal (Jimmy Payne, Book 1)

Author:  Paul Levine

Published:  2009

Genre:  Mystery / Suspense

Pages:  384 (Bantam hardcover)

 Esbe’s Score:  Scoring Liked Book

“Haunted by a tragedy in his past and wanted by the cops for his latest malfeasance, trial lawyer Jimmy ‘Royal’ Payne needs to skip town.  That’s when he crosses paths with twelve-year-old Tino Perez, newly arrived from Mexico with no money and no papers.  The gutsy kid first robs Payne, then pleads his help.  Marisol, the boy’s mother, is missing, after crossing the border with a vicious coyote.  Payne doesn’t go out of his way for anyone.  But ex-wife Sharon, the L.A.P.D. detective he still loves, gives him a choice: help the boy or go to jail.” – from the Amazon summary


Not a terrible book.  I found myself chuckling here and there.  The author takes us on a journey with a mother and child attempted to outrun the powers that be in Mexico to have to deal with an attorney now ostracized for helping with a sting operation on a corrupt judge.  It took a little while to get into, but twists and turns were not unbearable and the author stayed on point, there was no meandering and adding in additional issues for filler. This is a legal “thriller” I could deal with.

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