Thank you to author Ditter Kellen for the gifted copy of this book and thank you to Silver Dagger Book Tours for allowing me to be part of this tour. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Five bodies. One serial killer. And a terrified woman’s will to survive…
Tina Duggar lives a quiet life in Bay County, Florida, working for animal control and spending time with her significant other, Investigator Mike Parker. But a road trip with two of her closest friends takes a deadly turn after they pick up a mysterious blue-eyed hitcher…and Tina’s life is suddenly shattered. Her fun outing turns into a bloodbath as the hitcher begins brutally slaughtering innocent girls along the interstate, forcing Tina to watch. Saving her for last… With her time running out and the police, the FBI, and even Mike himself desperately searching for her, Tina is forced into a terrifying game of wits with one of the most horrific serial killers Florida has seen since Bundy. But will she survive the twisted mind of… the hitcher?
* * * * * Warning * * * * *
This book contains scenes that some might find difficult to read. Purchase with caution.
I was really excited to read this book after I found out it was a psychological thriller. The synopsis sounded good and this was a never before read author, so I thought I would take a chance on the book. While this book was a good read, it was not the psychological thriller I thought it would be. For me, the storyline was good, but I was not hanging on every word trying to figure out what would happen next. I did not feel uncomfortable when I read it, nor did I check my door locks to make sure I was safe (yes, I sometimes do this if the psychological suspense is that good!). The storyline was good, I just felt like the story was predictable and there was not enough psychological suspense for me. Once the first three murders happened, I felt like I could guess the rest of the book. I am sad that this did not turn out to be the book I thought it would be, however, I am glad that I discovered a new author, Ditter Kellen. While this book did not do it for me, I still am excited to read some of her other books! Even though I did not like the way the book was written, I still encourage you to pick up the book. Everyone reads books differently, and maybe this was not the book for me, but it could be the book for you!!!
Meet the Author
Ditter Kellen is the USA Today Bestselling Author of Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Crime Fiction Novels. She loves spinning edgy, heart-pounding mysteries that will leave you guessing until the very end. That includes psychological thrillers with a touch of horror, as well as family drama laced with murder and jaw dropping scenes, some might find difficult to read.
Ditter resides in Alabama with her husband and many unique farm animals. She adores French fries and her phone is permanently attached to her ear.
This month I partnered with The Review Crew and author Jake Kaminski to read and review Shadow Wolves. This book was a gifted copy, and all opinions are my own.
Meet Ethan Crowe, a Lakota Sioux tracker who spent a career with the Delta Forces and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Crowe’s story begins in the hellish nightmare of Bosnia, where as a young scout for a Ranger company, he and two other Native Americans help track down the Skorpions, a Serbian militia committing genocide on the local populace.
The action shifts to the present and the southern border of the United States. Powerful Mexican drug cartels are utilizing vast stretches of the border to send billions of dollars in illegal drugs into the US. Powerful drug lords preside like kings over their empires, secluded and untouchable in their remote mountain fortresses.
Killing fields are being found on both sides of the border. Homeland Security needs a solution. General Darren Evans has been asked to form a special team of Native American trackers to combat the cartels where they are most vulnerable in the Arizona borderlands. The group is to be called the Shadow Wolves, and General Evans knows exactly the man to lead them.
Crowe is lured out of retirement to the Arizona desert. An elite team is born, comprised of tough, dedicated Native Americans from tribes across the United States. Within the team are two remarkable Apache women-fierce warriors who will become the soul of the Shadow Wolves. They will battle the vicious Zetas, moving through the desert landscape like ghosts.
A mysterious figure sits on the throne of the Zeta cartel. Known only as Yaotl, he claims pure Aztec blood. He lives by his own rules in complete disdain for the laws of the West. A gruesome series of murders and the discovery of twenty young girls being sold in the desert set the stage for a confrontation between the feared Zetas and the Shadow Wolves.
The Shadow Wolves will follow a blood trail that takes them all the way to the corridors of power in Washington, DC.
WOW!!! This was a heavy book. There were so many feelings and questions that arose as I read it. Jake Kaminski is an absolutely amazing writer…I think he was made to write this book. While I don’t generally read historical fiction, when I read the synopsis of this book, there was something that pulled me in, telling me this was an important one to read. I am so glad that I paid attention to that little voice. Jake Kaminski writes of the horrors that are seen by those trying to protect the borders of the US and stop the illegal import of drugs and women being sex-trafficked. This book was eye opener for sure. There were so many carefully constructed details and back stories that Jake Kaminski crafted to make the book what it was. Normally when I read historical fiction, I feel like I have no idea what is being talked about, but in this book, Jake Kaminski provided enough details and back story to help me understand exactly what was going on and therefore I felt like I was right there, in on all the action, and part of the team. Although I am unsure how much of this book is true and how much is fiction, what I do know is this book is reminiscent of what we see today at our US boarders. The pain and torture of girls and women of all ages being sex-trafficked (an now boys as well). The duty to protect our boarders at any cost. And the illegal activity of trying to sneak drugs over the boarder and into the US. This book was so well written and captivating, that I was sad to see the book end. That is the one thing I did not like about this book…that it ended too soon. I wanted more of the story. I wanted to know what happened to the Zetas and Ethan Crowe and his crew. I just felt there was so much more to tell and the book wrapped up too quickly with so many unanswered questions.
I can not say enough how much I enjoyed this book. I am definitely excited to get my hand on Jake Kaminski’s new book “Ghostwalkers,” a sequel to this story that “will center heavily on Ethan Crowe and some of his team as they take their fight into the highlands of Central Mexico and into the “belly of the beast”.” To say I am excited for this new book is an understatement!
About the Author
Jake Kaminski is a pseudonym. A retired police lieutenant with twenty-eight years of experience, Jake has worked and supervised numerous task forces with the FBI, ATF, and the DEA. Highly decorated, he spent the majority of his career working undercover and then supervising undercover operations in South Florida, Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean. His team spent six years combatting both the Medellin and Cali cartels.
Following his police career, he spent fourteen years as a senior adviser for the U.S. Department of Justice, assigned to post-conflict countries in the Balkans. He was a member of a team tasked with preparing countries in the western Balkans for NATO accession. He has advised and trained foreign police and prosecutors on the following topics; undercover operations, war crimes, fugitive tracking, organized crime, and human trafficking.
Present—- He now divides his time between overseas consulting and writing. He is currently working as an executive producer for a reality police show in development for the Oxygen Channel. He has traveled extensively, living for fifteen years in Europe, including time spent in the war-torn battlefields of Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. He speaks several languages and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in both Spanish and French. Jake holds a black belt in Taekwondo and has trained fighting techniques to undercover agents around the world.
It’s an opportunity she can’t refuse. The woman before her tried…
Meet Freya Miller. She needs a miracle. Her husband betrayed her. She is about to lose her family home. And her 5-year-old daughter, Skye, will lose the security she has always know. Freya doesn’t know what she is going to do, that is until she met Dr. Marsden in a coffee shop. He is looking for a new tenant in a fashionable area of London. But the best part is, the apartment is shockingly affordable. To Freya, the Addler House sounds too good to be true…but Freya really doesn’t have any other choices and plus Dr. Marsden is adamant that she and Skye will be a perfect fit with the other residents in the home.
Meet the Addler House. The Addler House has secrets. And Freya, she feels like she is being watched…even with her door being locked. A short time after moving in, objects begin moving, there are strange, unfamiliar smells in the apartment, and then there is that blinking light of a concealed camera. Is Freya dream home hiding a nightmarish reality? Was it chance that let Freya and Skye to the Addler house or was it something much more sinister and dark?
As pieces start clicking into place, and as the truth slowly comes out about The Addler House, can Freya and Skye get out or will they be locked in The Addler House forever?
K.L. Slater is a new to me author and this is the first book of her’s that I have read. I thought, overall, the story was good. The book was well written and the characters were immediately likable. Honestly for me, it was the characters that kept me reading. While the story was interesting, I felt like the idea of taking an apartment with no questions asked and the idea that the apartment would only cost what you can afford seems too far fetched to me. Once I got past that part of the plot, the psychological part of this book was intriguing. Like Freya, I too could not figure out what was going on and who to trust and who not to trust. The biggest thing that I did not like about the psychological part of the book was that it was wrapped up way to fast for my liking. I did not feel like there was enough suspense, nor was there enough “start and restarts” of trying to figure out the “who done it.” Once things had started to unravel it was like that was the end of the story and it was finished up quick. I wish it would have been a little more drawn out. Over all this book was good and I would choose to pick up another book of K.L. Slater‘s.
About the Author
My writing journey . . .
After years of trying to get published and never getting further than the slush pile, I went back to university at the age of 40 where I gained a first-class honours degree in English & Creative Writing and an MA in Creative Writing with distinction.
Although I also had a day job during the five years I studied at university, the courses gave me the time and space to try different writing and increased my confidence and belief in my writing. Before I graduated from my MA, I had secured representation at the Darley Anderson Literacy, TV and Film Agency who got me my first book deal. My literary agent is Camilla Bolton.
My first adult psychological thriller for Bookouture, ‘Safe with Me’, actually started life as my dissertation on my English & Creative Writing degree in 2010.
The creepy voice of Anna came to me strong and insistent . . . she wanted to be written, she wouldn’t go away. I’m so glad I listened!
I first became published writing Young Adult fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books under the name Kim Slater. My award-winning YA debut, SMART, started life as a short story for my MA in Creative Writing in 2012.
I am now a full-time writer. I have a daughter and two stepsons and live with my husband in Nottingham and Yorkshire.
This month I had the pleasure of participating in a buddy read with We Be Book’N. This book club gets me into so much trouble…turning me on to new books to read and sucking me in to buddy reads, but I would not have it any other way!!! 🙂
In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.
Goodreads.com Synopsis of The Family Upstairs
Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.
Meet Libby Jones. Adopted as a young child, Libby has always wondered who she is. Days after her 25th birthday, Libby receives a letter in the mail that she has been waiting for her entire life. The letter not only tells her the identity of her birth parents, but also tells her that she has inherited her parent’s abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames Rive. The home is worth millions!!! Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. Little does she know that others have been waiting this day as well…
The only way to describe this book is weird…the kind of weird that you can’t keep but reading!! This is the first book that I have read by Lisa Jewell, even though I have several of her books on my shelves! And while weird, this book did not disappoint! When I first started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a nice story about Libby and her inherited home and how she fixes it up (I have a bad or good habit of not reading the synopsis of a book before I read it). Boy was I wrong!! This book flips back and forth between the present and 25 years ago. It describes Libby’s life now, but also the disturbing life going on at 16 Cheyne Walk. As I read the descriptions of the lives that were being lived at 16 Cheyne Walk, I was in awe and a little mad about what was happening at the home. I was frustrated with the things that the kids in the house were going through (enter my social work background). This book was like an accident scene…you know, the kind that you know you should look away from, but at the same time, can’t bear to turn away form. Lisa Jewel tells a fantastically haunting story that captured me early on. The story was intriguing and you could not help wondering what was going to happen next. Lisa Jewel‘s writing is wonderfully descriptive and I could imagine the home and the experiences in my mind’s eye. This book was full of suspense and mystery that kept me guessing to the very end. The only thing about this book that I didn’t like was that it wrapped up too quickly…I felt there was more story to tell and more to wrap up. This book left me wishing for more!!
I am so glad that I finally read a book by Lisa Jewell. I am also glad that I read this book as a buddy read as we all had fun sharing our theories of what was happening in the book. It was wonderful to be able to share frustrations with the book and know I was not the only one feeling that way!!! Lisa Jewel is definitely on my list of authors to continue to read. I am excited to get my hands on the other books that she has written!!!
About the Author
Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and Communication.
She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.
She has since written a further nine novels, as is currently at work on her eleventh.
She now lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.
Brenda Novak is an author I just recently discovered. I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but the next thing I knew I was on her Facebook page and printing out the list of all her books to read. While on the Facebook page it was asked what book of her’s we were reading and I said I had just found the author, and Brenda herself suggest that this should be the book I started with. So, I put it on hold at the library and when it came in I just had to start it right away (even though I was reading other books). And well the rest is history as within about 3 days I was done with the book and looking forward to the next one of her’s that I could read!!
Slone McBride was 5 years old when her mother disappeared. That night, she was awoken by her mother and father arguing. All of a sudden there was a thump and the house went quiet. Slone’s father states that her mother left and that was the end of that…no real police investigation or anything. When Slone turns 18 she leaves small hometown in Texas and moves to New York were she becomes a model. After Slone suffers a huge loss in New York, the loss of Clyde, her family, mentor, friend, she decides that it is time to return to her hometown and really figure out what happened to her mother – once and for all. Once home, Slone starts to dig up the past and she is not sure what will become of her family in Texas when she does.
I am so glad that I was introduced to this author! I loved every minute of this book and could not put it down. It was fast paced and exciting. You never quite knew one minute to the next what might happen. Brenda as a way of capturing you and not letting you go until you have finished the book. I can’t even imagine what Slone was going through. Throughout the book you felt all the emotions that she felt – you were scared when she was, happy when she was and frustrated when things were not going the right way for her! I found myself cheering for her every step of the way that she would finally figure out what happened to her mother all those years ago! If you have not read any of Brenda Novak’s books, you should, and I can’t wait to pick up my next read written by Brenda!!!