ORDER A COPY: Don’t Say a Word
Publisher: Zebra Romantic Suspense
Publishing Date: July 31, 2012
Paperback: 392 pages
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
One by one, they will die. He has waited patiently, planning their final moments. Their tortured screams, their pleas for mercy—all will be in vain.
Homicide detective Julia Cass has witnessed plenty of crime scenes. But the murder of a Chattanooga judge is shocking in its brutality. Teamed with FBI agent Will Brannock, Julia delves into an investigation that soon unearths more bodies—all mutilated in the same way, all left with a gruesome souvenir of a killer’s ruthless rage.
The only way to stop the slaughter is to predict the next victim. But when you’re dealing with vengeance at its most ruthless, one wrong move can make you a target…and the next word you utter could be your last.
When Homicide Detective Julia Cass transferred to the Chattanooga Police Department to be near her big brother, FBI agent J.D. Cass, she didn’t realize that she would be grabbing her first case on the way home from the airport and that she would be teamed up with her brother’s partner, Will Brannock. The guy looked more like a GQ model than an FBI agent, but once they get to the scene of the grizzly homicide, Will is all business.
The killer is definitely trying to send a message cutting out the tongues of his victims. He is exacting vengeance with these murders and Julia and Will need to figure out what the victims have in common if they will have any chance in catching the killer.
Another incredible murder mystery which will keep you on your toes. I don’t want to go into too much since the best part of murder mystery is to solve the crime along with the characters, so I don’t want to give anything away. From what I have read recently, I am definitely going to have to throw more thrillers into my TBR pile.
This is a well written, engrossing story with just a touch of attraction/romance between the main characters to keep things interesting. I usually have a problem when there are too many POVs in the story telling it usually drags the action down, but in this case it was mostly our two main characters and the killer, with only brief change overs to some of the other characters. Nothing that killed the momentum of the story.
Beverly Barton must have been watching a Matthew McConaughey movie when she wrote this story since the character of PI Max Hazard could only be cast by Mr. McConaghey, “Well, well, lawsy me, if it isn’t the prettiest little detective this side of San Diego…” “He grinned down at her, looking handsome as ever, all tall and broad-shouldered in his loose blue- and yellow-flowered Hawaiian shirt, flip-flops, and long khaki shorts. Charming and devil-may-care, Max had sun-bleached blond hair long enough to tuck behind his ears…”
I will say I only have it a 4 ½ stars since Beverly Barton’s writing is very descriptive, which although it is usually good story writing, but for a thriller I felt taking too much time, for example, to describe the decorating of the room where the murder took place, wasn’t really necessary and took your attention away from the important things, like the dead person in the room and the fact gathering. That added to the fact that it was 392 pages. Again, not that the story was not enjoyable and engrossing, but for a thriller, a description of “the furnishing screamed money” would have sufficed rather than the detailing of the damask used on the bedspread.
Well worth the read and Beverly Barton has a huge collection of other thrillers that you can grab.
Received ARC from Kensington Books. Thank you.
As she gathered up her clothes, she saw a UPS package sitting in the back window of her car. She hadn’t noticed it before, but she knew for a fact that it hadn’t been there when she’d left the boathouse earlier that day on her way to Audrey’s town house on Second Street.
Immediately alert, she unsnapped her holster and pulled out her weapon, her gaze quickly searching the yard and surrounding woods. She stared out over the swift current but detected no boats anywhere on the river. Who had put the package inside the Charger? And when? Where? Instinctively knowing it had something to do with the Tongue Slasher, she sheathed her gun, grabbed a pair of latex gloves, and snapped them on. Keeping a wary eye on the thick undergrowth alongside the riverbank, where Jasper was now sniffing out a squirrel, she opened the door and got her first good look at the package.
When she saw what was written on the front of the tan mailing envelope, she tensed and again searched her surrounding, PROVERBS 10:31 in black marker. The Tongue Slasher was sending them another message, one he wanted to make sure they received in person. He had been inside her car. The idea made her stomach turn over.
Taking care, she picked up the package and examined the wrapping. It was a used UPS box, left unsealed. When she opened the end, she saw the DVD inside. Oh God, she hoped the killer hadn’t filmed the murders for them to watch. The sinking sensation in her stomach, however, and her sixth sense, told her that was exactly what they were going to find recorded on that DVD.
Pulling out her cell phone, she punched in Will’s number. He picked up on the second ring. “Yeah, Cass? What’s up?”
“Where are you?”
“How quick can you get to my place?”
“What’s wrong? You okay?”
“Yes, but guess what the killer left in my car?”
“Oh my God, what? Not part of a tongue?”
“A DVD with Proverbs 10:31 written on the front of the mailing envelope.”
“You sure he’s not still around there? He could be watching you.”
“I’ve been looking, believe me. I don’t think anybody’s out here creeping around. Jasper would’ve let me know a long time ago. He doesn’t like strangers.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes, fifteen tops.”
Julia carried the DVD inside, very carefully handling the evidence. Forensics would have to dust it for prints, but her hunch told her they weren’t going to find anything usable in court. If the perp had managed to clean up the gory crime scenes without leaving a trace of himself, he sure as hell wasn’t going to be careless enough to leave fingerprints on a package that he delivered in person to the police.
ORDER A COPY: Frozen Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Publishing Date: September 1, 2011
Hardcover: 371 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Death is never pretty, and deputy coroner Mattie Winston’s latest case is no exception. But this victim certainly was strikingly beautiful. . .before someone stuck that knife into her chest.
Mattie knows everyone in the charmingly small town of Sorenson,Wisconsin, so the deceased is definitely a stranger from out of town. If a woman this attractive had moved into town, the news would have surely hit the gossip mill in record time. So what was the victim doing here, laid out in this desolate field?
Things only get murkier with the arrival at the scene of the usually stoic and dependable detective Steven Hurley; one look at the body and he turns as white as the newly fallen snow. . .and excuses himself from the case. It turns out the victim was a top investigative reporter from Chicago, and Hurley not only knew her. . .they dated a year and a half ago, until she broke it off. While Mattie grapples with her jealousy of a gorgeous dead woman, Hurley swears her to secrecy and tells her. . .that knife in his ex’s chest is his!
It’s a case with more twists than Maddie’s own crazy love life, and it’ll take all of her forensic skills to unravel the increasingly bizarre clues and find the killer. . .before she herself becomes just another cold case!
Mattie Winston is delightful.
The story is about Mattie Winston, who is recently separated from her surgeon husband and as well as her job as an OR nurse. She is now working as an Assistant M.E. in the small town of Sorenson, Wisconsin. This is the third story in the series, and although I haven’t read the first two, I had no trouble in following along with the characters and the backstory.
In this case, Detective Steven Hurley, who Mattie is romantically interested in, is being linked to various murders in their small town. But is he a crazed killer or being set up, and by whom? Hurley wants Mattie’s help to clear his name, but is she letting her hormones rule, in trusting a man what might be dangerous.
If you looking for a deep, psychological thriller, look elsewhere. This is a deliciously witty, and lighthearted book. Mattie Winston is a delightful character, and I enjoyed her sarcastic whit. It is a nice change of pace that the heroine is a normal, slightly imperfect woman, who’s smart but a little quirky. Since she is recently separated from her cheating husband, and is getting mixed signals from handsome Steve Hurley, she does spend some time questioning her physical flaws, especially while looking over the beautiful (although dead) ex-girlfriend of Hurley.
I certainly chuckled enough to make this well worth the read. I enjoyed this story enough that I am adding the first two to my list of books to read, and I am going to keep an eye out for the next book in the series.
Received copy courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you!
From what I can see in the beam of the flashlight, the inside of the cabin isn’t much better than the outside. The place is primarily furnished with cobwebs and the few pieces of human furniture look like something I might see at the estate sale of someone’s great-grandmother. The air smells musty and damp, and I hear something scurrying about off in one corner.
“I think I should have let Parking Lot Guy grab me,” I say. “I’m betting his accommodations would have been better.”