Saturday, October 30, 2021

Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon – Filled with Suspense and Mystery

Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon is the second book in the Triple Threat series.  In this newest book, readers are introduced to Cate Reilly, sister to Eve Reilly featured in the first book of the series Point of Danger

 

Cate is a detective in St. Louis County, and she’s the right person for an undercover assignment.  Teenagers Stephanie Laurent and Alex Johnson have been missing for two months.  New evidence indicates they are not runaways but victims of foul play.  Cate agrees to go undercover at Ivy Hill Academy to try and find out what happened to the missing teens.  It’s been eight years since she’d last seen Zeke Sloan, the man she loved who walked out on her for his career as a DEA agent.  As it turns out, Zeke is also working undercover at the school as a Spanish teacher.  Cate’s undercover assignment just got a lot more complicated. 

 

Irene did a great job in building the suspense and mystery.  It was at times unnerving, especially for the characters whose lives were being impacted by the subterfuge around them.  I really liked the characters, especially Kayla, Edwardo Garcia, and his wife Margarita.  As the story unfolds, readers learn how characters got caught up in the evils of drug trafficking.  Because some of the characters go by anonymous names, like Razor and Wolf, you don’t know who the bad guys are.  It was interesting reading about how people justify getting involved in evil.  I liked the friendship that developed between Cate and Kayla.  I didn’t know how Edwardo would be able to get out of the impossible situation he was in.  I also liked how Cate and Zeke worked through their relationship.

 

I wish the character’s Christian faith had been developed in this storyline.  I think the book would have been richer with that element.  I wasn't too keen on the feminist aspect of Cate and her sisters and the focus on the physical attraction between Cater and Zeke in a Christian fiction book.  

 

If you like mystery and suspense, give Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon a read.  I liked this second book better than the first one in the series because of some of the characters. 

 

I would like to thank Revell Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 

 

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Paradise by Lizzie Johnson – Excellent and Compelling Story About a Town’s Tragedy and its People

When I saw the book Paradise - One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire by Lizzie Johnson, I wanted to read it.  As someone who lived over 40 years in California, wildfires were an unfortunate part of life.  When the strong winds start blowing in the fall, every Californian knows that there’s a chance of a wildfire starting.  I knew that this would be a hard book to read, but I am so glad I did. 

 

Lizzie Johnson did an excellent job in telling the story of the town of Paradise which is situated in northern California in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Butte County.  She captured the feel of the town and its citizens.  Anyone can write about facts and numbers, but Lizzie did a marvelous job making this grievous history personal. 

 

Through all the research that she did, the town’s people she got to know, and how she shared their stories you will better understand the Camp Fire, how it started and why, its devastation and toll, not just to buildings, but to people’s lives and homes.  The story is very gripping as she shares the stories of individuals whom she follows through this dreadful day.  Eighty-five people lost their lives in the most horrific circumstances.  The people that survived, and how they bear the scars from this devastating fire and are working to rebuild their lives. 

 

I appreciated how Lizzie Johnson told the stories of the people of Paradise.  She documented what happened, how the fire started, events and circumstances that made evacuating the town’s people safely problematic.  So glad the fire wasn’t the end of the story.  She tells about the people of Paradise in the months and years afterward. 

 

The ugly truth about PG&E’s criminal negligence and irresponsibility that started the fire is told, as well as decisions by the mayor and town’s council and how it impacted the evacuation of citizens.  There was one cause of the fire, but many factors that made the situation worse. 

 

Lizzie Johnson did an excellent job in telling this difficult and painful story in a way that made it personal, showing care and honor to the people impacted.  After reading Paradise, when I hear about the Camp Fire, I’m thinking about the people whose lives were impacted by this devastation.  I highly recommend this book.  It will give you a better understanding of the wildfires in the west that are increasingly common and their dreadful impact on people’s lives. 

 

I would like to thank Crown Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Paradise by Lizzie Johnson.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 

 

Deadly Target by Elizabeth Goddard – Too Many Twists and Turns, Not Believable

Deadly Target is Elizabeth Goddard’s second book in the Rocky Mountain Courage series .   I looked forward to reading it because I’ve enjo...