“Swann’s Way Out”–Review

51q6G4-8iKLGood evening, all! I finally had the opportunity to read the fourth Henry Swann novel. If you haven’t read the first three, I highly encourage you to do so, especially if you like some good detective fiction.

The story begins with skip tracer Henry Swann, at a poker game, who is trying to figure out what he’s supposed to do with his life. After all, he’s spent years taking on cases involving delinquents, runaways, thieves, etc. He wasn’t quite sure if being a skip tracer was actually his calling. After the game, however, Swann is offered a case which sends him to Hollywood in order to find Rusty Jacobs, the man responsible for embezzling $1,000,000 from his client. All Swann has to do is get the money back and all will be okay. Swann does find Jacobs, but learns that this wannabe film producer is convinced his movie project will make it big in the Christian market. As for the $1,000,000 that was used to make the movie trailer? It seems to have disappeared. While Swann’s client claims the money was stolen, Jacobs claims it was used as an investment. Although Swann’s motive is to just get the money back—he couldn’t really care less for the reason for the so-called investments—he can’t help wondering who’s telling the truth.

Meanwhile, Swann has another job thrown at him—thanks to his business partner, Goldblatt—where he has to help another client in the New York City art world who may have been defrauded on the purchase of a valuable painting that may or may not be a fake.

While it all seems to be one thing after another, Swann gets a call regarding his estranged teenage son who has run away from his grandparents’ home in Minnesota and has possibly joined a cult. Now a guilt-ridden Swann must take time out from his paying cases to find the son he hasn’t seen in years.

This installment is definitely worth reading. Henry Swann is the best! Like the first three books, this one also has excellent narration and dialogue. Everything just gets right to the point. I enjoyed the quirky relationship between Swann and Goldblatt. Great humor, sarcasm, and Swann doesn’t take BS from anyone.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Charles Salzberg is the author of the Shamus Award-nominated Swann’s Last Song, as well as the sequels, Swann Dives In and Swann’s Lake of Despair. He is also the author of Devil in the Hole, which was chosen as one of the Best Crime Novels of 2013 by Suspense magazine. He lives in New York City and teaches writing at the Writer’s Voice and the New York Writers Workshop, where he is proud to be a founding member. For more info about the author, click here. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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“The St. Lucia Island Club”–Review

51Mt4PPgMlL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_This is Book 5 of the John Le Brun novels.

It is 1910, New York City, when retired sheriff-turned-detective John Le Brun and his wife, Lordis, travel to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia for a long-awaited honeymoon.  They expect to find paradise and relaxation, once they arrive.  However, they discover they’ve been lured in to solicit the island’s attributes as a vacation retreat to wealthy investors back home.  They, soon, find the land to be filled with racial, social, and economic tension.

John puts his detective skills to use when he learns of the brutal murders of a local plantation owner’s family.  He must figure out if the culprit is one of the white landowners of the exclusive St. Lucia Island Club, the descendants of former African slaves, or another person entirely.  John and Lordis race to uncover the mysteries as the body count rises.

Although I was unaware, at first, that this book is part of a series, I still gave it a chance.  After five chapters, to be honest, I couldn’t get into the story.  I like the idea behind it, but it didn’t work for me.  Perhaps I need to go back to the first book—The Jekyl Island Club—to get a better idea.  Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of John Le Brun, I encourage you to read this book, and I hope you enjoy it.  Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this book from Turner Publishing, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Brent Monahan was born in Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan in 1948, as a World War II occupation baby. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in Music and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. He has performed, stage directed and taught music and writing professionally. He has authored fourteen published novels and a number of short stories. Two of his novels have been made into motion pictures. Brent lives in Yardley, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Bonnie.

“Most Wanted”–Review

41y7VzBGw9L._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Donor 3319.  Tall.  Blonde.  Blue eyes.  Medical Student.  Wanted for Murder.

For quite some time, Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, have tried to get pregnant.  After going from one appointment to the other with specialists, research, and therapy, Christine and Marcus finally decide to seek a donor.

After two months, Christine is finally pregnant.  She’s happy and ready to start a family.  But during her farewell party at her school—where she teaches literacy to children—she sees on the news a young, blond man being arrested for a series of murders.  What shocks Christine is that the man has an uncanny resemblance to her donor.  Christine soon becomes obsessed with the man accused of murder, leading her to play detective to uncover the truth for the sake of her unborn child.

I wasn’t that big a fan during the first half of the story; however, once I got toward the middle, it started to get better.  More tension was created and I liked the big risk that Christine was taking, not just for the sake of the murder victims and that her marriage was in trouble, but for the sake of her baby’s future.  Although I wasn’t crazy about the story, I did like the conflict.  It’s definitely worth the read.

Most Wanted, by Lisa Scottoline, is available now.  Feel free to post your comments.

Happy reading!

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in a giveaway, for an honest review.

“The Father: Made In Sweden”–Review

51IfzRnXajL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Based on a true story, The Father is part one of a two-novel series of three brothers who committed numerous bank robberies throughout Sweden, in the 1990s.  With no criminal records, and their being under 24 years old, these brothers would eventually be known as criminal masterminds amid the glare of the international media.

Written by the fourth brother and a television journalist who reported the crimes at that time, this story shows how a father led his sons from being innocent children to being Sweden’s most wanted criminals.

This was a great read for me and the dialogue was well-written.  Once I got toward the middle of the book, I couldn’t put it down.  Towards the end, it was even better.  In some ways, I did feel bad for the main characters, who were young boys who only wanted to be a family; however, years of dealing with their violent, overbearing father wound up leading them all to a life of crime.

I’m looking forward to the second book in the series.  In fact, my reading this book may have inspired me to learn Swedish.

As always, feel free to comment.  Happy reading!

The Father will be available in hardcover on April 5, 2016.

*I received this Advance Reader’s Copy from Quercus Books and Shelf Awareness, in a giveaway, for a honest review.

About the author: Anton Svensson is a pseudonym for Stefan Thunberg and Anders Roslund.  Stefan Thunberg is one of Scandinavia’s most celebrated screenwriters.  His work includes the TV series Henning Mankell’s Wallander and Håkan Nesser’s Van Veeteren.  While Thunberg achieved success as a screenwriter, his father and brothers were Sweden’s most notorious bank robbers, known as Militärligan (The Military League), by the media.  The Father is Thunberg’s debut novel.  Anders Roslund is an award-winning investigative journalist and one of the acclaimed Scandinavian writers of our time.  He is part of the New York Times bestselling author duo Roslund & Hellström, who are recipients of the CWA International Dagger, the Glass Key and the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award, and who boast sales exceeding five million copies.  The Father is Roslund’s seventh novel and the first time he has co-authored with Stefan Thunberg.