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michael a. draper "Say something about yourself!" RSS Feed (Guilford, CT)

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A Good Killing: A Novel (Anna Curtis Series Book 4)
A Good Killing: A Novel (Anna Curtis Series Book 4)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $10.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can killing be good?, May 20, 2015
A sister's love for her sister comes to the front in Allison Leotta's "A Good Killing."

The story was inspired by the real-life Jerry Sandusky case and captures the reader's attention from the first page and keeps running.

Anna Curtis is a sex crimes prosecutor in Washington, D.C. She puts her career on hold and comes to Michigan to defend her sister Jody from a murder charge.

Small town life is depicted and the love of football is well illustrated. High school football dominates the life of Holly Grove, a town not far from Detroit.

Owen Fowler,the town's beloved football coach is dead and Jody Curtis is charged with the crime.

The pacing of the story is right on the mark as current action is separated from the incidents of Jody's life as a fifteen-year-old. She is a high school athlete competing in the high jump and searching for something she could do that would surpass her older sister who is a star and a college student at that time.

Coach Fowler becomes Jody's mentor and life seems grand. Then, something happens and Jody's dreams are shattered.

Anna shows intelligence and determination as she defends her sister. She's coming from her own emotional roller coaster as she has just called off her wedding. A high school friend and Afghan War vet and amputee, helps in the investigation. He is well described and the kind of character the reader will want to succeed.

The dialogue flows smoothly and small town life jumps from the pages. It's the kind of story the reader will want to turn the pages gripped with the suspense and emotional upheaval of the story.

I received a free book in return for my honest review.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 22, 2015 5:00 AM PDT

Ruins of War (A Mason Collins Novel)
Ruins of War (A Mason Collins Novel)
by John A. Connell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.31
46 used & new from $13.44

5.0 out of 5 stars In Love and War, May 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In "Ruins of War," World War II history, a tormented serial killer and a determined military investigator combine for a satisfying and intelligent read.

Mason Collins is a former Chicago homicide detective who was fired from his job, allegedly, for accepting kickbacks.

He's assigned to Munich, Germany CID in 1945. The city is divided into military segments after the end of the war. Collins's first assignment is to view the victim of a murderer. The action ratchets up as Collins gets an investigation unit working on the case and the killer selects his next victim.

There's a snag when Collins' boss would rather go after a gang that was partially made up of U.S. deserters and there was a connection to the U.S. while the killer had murdered a victim who was initially unidentified.

What particularly drew me to the story was the World War II setting and the vivid descriptions of Munich with bombed out buildings, multitudes of orphans, and many displaced persons. These DP's came from people who were freed from concentration camps, German and U.S. deserters, soldiers who came from counties where they were forced to fight for Germany such as Czechoslovakia and general criminals.

Mason shows his tenderness in helping to feed orphans and in his desire to do justice and find the killer - at all costs and the reader relates to him and hopes for his success.

The excellent descriptions of primary and secondary characters was another entertaining element to the story. The suspenseful story had me turning pages late into the night.


Only For You (Forever and Always Book 1)
Only For You (Forever and Always Book 1)
Price: $0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars It's not for me., May 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First love and misunderstanding often come hand in hand.

My interest in this book was that in a short time, it had been reviewed by over 300 readers. I thought it would be worth the read but it was predictable.

Scarlett has a best friend named Sean. She also has a friend named Penelope. Everything is going fine until it seems that Sean and Penelope break up.

Scarlett and Sean have a number of talks about life and relationships and then they have a one night stand. Scarlet thinks it would mean more than it does but that isn't the case.

It is probably my fault in that I was reading a story to see what the popularity was all about but found that it wasn't much.

Gathering Prey
Gathering Prey
by John Sandford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.71
104 used & new from $10.50

5.0 out of 5 stars From time to time, life can seem helpless, May 13, 2015
This review is from: Gathering Prey (Hardcover)
.ride along with this. You don't have to be bleeding to be hurt."

These words are spoken by Lucas Davenport of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Travelers are a group who move from city to city, panhandling, not engaging in criminal activity, just staying on the move.

Syke and Henry are travelers who make contact with Lettie, a student at Stanford and Lucas Davenport's adopted daughter. Lettie befriends the couple and buys them a meal, then gives them her cell phone number when they tell her they will be in near her hometown in the future.

Later, Syke and Henry travel to a Juggalo Gathering. This is where groups of young people gather, paint their faces, smoke dope and dance. Before going, they tell Lettie that there is one dangerous person who attends these gatherings, his name is Pilate and he enjoys inflicting pain..

Pilate is a Charles Manson type character. He is crazy and enjoys hurting and tormenting others. He thinks that runaways, homeless people or travelers make good subjects of his violence since no one would miss them. He has a group of followers, the women prostitute themselves and turn over their paychecks to him and the men do his bidding, stealing and selling dope.

There is quite a similarity between Pilate and Charles Manson. One of Pilate's early victims was a blond, pretty entertainer who Pilot mutilated and murdered. This event reminded me of Sharon Tate's murder by Manson. Pilate feels like a god who can do whatever he wants to a person without reprisal.

I have read many crime novels and am happy to say that John Sanford has created a fresh plot with clean, dialogue that flows like a police training film. The secondary characters are also unique and create a desire in the reader - to learn what will happen with them.

The Bone Tree (Penn Cage)
The Bone Tree (Penn Cage)
by Greg Iles
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.23
104 used & new from $11.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "There's a tree in the Meadow with a stream drifting by" Song lyrics, May 10, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Like many other readers, I enjoyed "Natchez Burning," and wanted to learn what happened to the characters.' "The Bone Tree" carries on the story and gives the reader a second installment of an epic trilogy.

The novel features a mixture of real and fictional characters, during the story, we read of events with Fidel Castro and Lee Harvey Oswald.

The central character is Penn Cage, "Mr. Mayor." He is an attorney and was formerly a district attorney in Houston. To Penn, family is the most important element. When his wife, Sarah, died at a young age, it brought Penn and his little daughter, Annie, close together. In fact, it is Annie who feels protective about Penn.

Penn's father, Dr. Tom Cage, has been in medical practice for nearly fifty years. In the deeply segregated town of Natchez, Mississippi, he treats everyone alike. He's even helped a number of black patients who were being sought by members of the Klan. Dr. Cage He's loved by many of his patients and, being a former combat medic in Korea, he doesn't back down from a fight.

Penn is engaged to Caitlin Masters, the editor of "Natchez Examiner." She's recently discovered that she's expecting a child but that doesn't slow her down in seeking a good story.

The Double Eagles is a breakaway KKK group. They're made up of a number of vicious men who are militant separatists. The have a past they would like to remain hidden and don't like Penn and Caitlin digging into past murders in Natchez.

Tom Cage is on the run from the police because he's accused of killing his former nurse, Viola Thomas. She is dying of cancer and came back to Natchez to die. Her son, a disbarred attorney from Chicago, accuses Tom of murder and, as a result, the legal authorities are looking for Tom.

Beneath everything else was the Double Eagle plan to assassinate JFK. Not to give away plot, but the FBI is looking into this part of the story.

Gres Isles is a story teller above all else. He's able to weave the segments of this novel together into a suspenseful plot. I enjoyed the story and the chase for the evidence about these former Klan members.

It's also a timely story in that the black community is treated like second class citizens and the crimes against them are often ignored.

At over 800 pages, I felt the story could have benefitted from tightening up the plot and not having so many details and fillers about JFK and RFK and their dislike for a New Orleans Mob figure and their desire to deport this crime lord.

By Adam Mansbach The Dead Run: A Novel (Jess Galvan) (Reissue) [Mass Market Paperback]
By Adam Mansbach The Dead Run: A Novel (Jess Galvan) (Reissue) [Mass Market Paperback]
by Adam Mansbach
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
11 used & new from $24.53

3.0 out of 5 stars Run, run, run, run, I get around, May 5, 2015
The reader knows off the bat that the story will be dealing with the unnatural as a man lost in the desert sees a beautiful girl. He believes it's only a dream until she takes a bite from his thigh.

The action takes place on the California-Mexican border. Jess Galvin is in a Mexican jail after being arrested when he tried to stop an incident against a young girl which took place in the back room of a bar.

After Jess successfully defends himself in a jail incident, he's offered freedom if he would do one job. He's to transport a beating heart across the desert, travel to a holy site where the power has been sealed by holy blood and deliver an item into the hands of the man's son. The item is a beating heart.

Another character of note is Sherry Richards, a sixteen-year-old girl who is abducted.

The final person that the story follows is an honest sheriff whose jurisdiction is in a Texas border town.

We know that the deal for Jeff to cross the desert is from a devil like person who wants Jeff's soul and along the way, there is an Army of Virgins, young girls who arise from the desert and seek revenge on those who travel there.

The plight of the three central characters is followed as they get into one seemingly impossible situation after another.

The story reminded me of Stephen King's "The Stand" where the forces of good meet up with an army of evil figures who want to rule over the earth.

The novel was a quick read but a little too long for me. Although this is not my usual reading choice, I did find the novel entertaining.
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In Too Deep (Freshman Roommates Trilogy, Book 1)
In Too Deep (Freshman Roommates Trilogy, Book 1)
Price: $0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars College freshman, a life experience., May 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am in the early stages of planning a monumental college reunion. Next year it will be my 50th reunion.
I felt nostalgious in picking this book to read.

At my time, my college was all male and having a dance where we could visit with females from town or other colleges was a big thing. In particular for the freshmen who were prohibited from having a car on campus.

With that said, I enjoyed this book from the woman's point of view.

Lily Spaulding is a freshman who comes from money and is a student who lives on campus. She falls in love with a townie named Lucas. He's a swimming instructor who is teaching his younger brother how to swim.

She isn't really street-wise and falls head over foot in love with Lucas. What happens next was predictable but interesting to read.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2015 3:13 PM PDT

Full Tilt
Full Tilt
by Rick Mofina
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
94 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Choose your friends carefully, your enemies will choose you." Arafat, May 3, 2015
This review is from: Full Tilt (Mass Market Paperback)
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Ready for a page turner with excellent suspense and supersonic tension? Rick Morina's "Full Tilt" is right on the money.

Kate Page is a reporter with "Newslead," the newswire service. The agony of her sister, Vanessa's loss is with her every day. Kate was with Vanessa when their foster parent's car flipped over and crashed into a river. Their foster parents were killed and little Vanessa's hand slipped through seven-year-old Kate's frozen fingers and Vanessa was carried downstream. Her body was never found.

Kate has a renewed sense of loss whenever she would speak to grieving parents in the process of her work.

One day, she gets a call from police in upstate New York. An item of jewelry has been found that Kate described to the Children Searchlight Network. A police department upstate found the item, a Guardian Angel chain. They want Kate to identify it if it's the same one she described her sister as having.

What is important about the chain? Kate's parents gave one to each of the girls with their names engraved on the charms. Since Kate began work at "Newslead," Kate has specialized in stories of missing persons, serial killers and runaway children.

Kate travels upstate and identifies her sister's charm. two bodies had been found, one was a woman badly burned and a man with a suicide note. This opened an official investigation when there are complications regarding the suicide note.

What results is a manhunt as more victims are discovered. Each victim is another person Kate fears might be Vanessa. When it isn't, she feels sorry for the victim's family's loss and Kate fears that the time to save Vanessa or mourn her death, is near.

A terrific novel but with over one hundred characters, it was a task to keep track of who they all were and how they were important to the story.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2015 3:14 PM PDT

Grant of Immunity
Grant of Immunity
by Garret Holms
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.18
2 used & new from $10.18

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Judge not, less you be judged. Proverb, April 28, 2015
This review is from: Grant of Immunity (Paperback)
Did you ever wonder about the background of some of the judges who pass judgment on others?

In "Grant of Immunity" Danny Hart was a teenager who was talked into joining his friend Snake for a night of fun. Danny was age fifteen. He used to babysit for the two little children of Snake's girlfriend, Sarah. On this night, Snake was showing off and after smoking a bit of weed, things got rough. Snake made sexual demands of Sarah and Danny wanted no part of it but Snake threatened to cut her if Danny didn't agree. By the end of the night, Sarah had been murdered by Snake and he had a knife with Danny's prints on it.

Years later, Jake is a Marine vet and had worked for the Chilean secret police. He has joined the police department and is a sergeant in the patrol department using his position to demonstrate power and make women submit to his cruel desires. He pulls women over for minor or made up traffic violations and then forces them to do what he wants.

The reader hopes someone will stand up to him but his victims are chosen for their submissiveness and are intimidated. We have seen crooked police on the TV show, The Shield and are familiar with some characters in Joseph Wambaugh novels so the reader doesn't know what to expect.

Not to reveal plot, Snake (John Babbage) finally picks a woman to exercise his power over but after beginning to have his way with her, he gets a radio call from the department and has to leave.
Later, this person reports him and the drama boosts up.

A case goes to court and Danny Hart is now a judge and he and Babbage have a confrontation.

The plot is very realistic and the author who has over fifteen years of judicial experience, weaves an exciting, fast moving and realistic plot that is hard to put down.

In a case of good against evil, Hart takes a stand but how will he come out of this? The courtroom action and the behind the scenes moves by the prosecution and defense make this a story that will be hard to put down. The ending took a bit to reach the finale but otherwise I felt that this was an excellent read and totally recommend it.

4*+ but not 5

I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 9, 2015 9:56 AM PDT

[ THE SON By Nesbo, Jo ( Author ) Hardcover May-13-2014
[ THE SON By Nesbo, Jo ( Author ) Hardcover May-13-2014
by Jo Nesbo
Edition: Hardcover
2 used & new from $29.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That Lucky Old Son, Rolls Around Heaven all Day, April 27, 2015
Last year I listened to "The Son" on audiobook and found the story unique and addictive. When my book group decided on that book for their next read, I decided to read it and compare it to the audiobook.

The audiobook is narrated by Gildart Jackson who has a slow and deadly pace as the story is revealed, almost as if Alfred Hitchcock was explaining one of his complicated plots.

Reading the story after listening to it only heightened my enjoyment. I could visualize what was going to happen but dwell in the literary descriptions and pacing of story.

After his father's suicide and the publicity that his father was a corrupt cop, Sonny Loftus spent over twelve years in prison after confessing to a number of murders. His only payoff was that he wanted to be supplied with heroin. When another prisoner informs him that his father wasn't corrupt and he only wrote the suicide note to protect Sonny and his mother, Sonny goes cold turkey, breaks out of prison and goes on a vengeful rampage seeking out the people who really murdered the people Sonny took the blame for.

Simon Kefas is a senior police official in the Oslo Homicide Squad. He is the lead investigator in search for Sonny and was Sonny's father's best friend. Simon is a finely developed character with a great love of his wife, Else, who is in need of an eye operation to save her sight.

There are complications and surprises and the events of the story come to light. The crime scene in Oslo is also brought to life as we see the criminals and their power but then step by step, Sonny Loftus seeks out the various crime lords and takes his revenge.

Well done, powerfully written and a deep and gratifying read.

4 1/2 stars moving up to 5 with well designed story.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2015 3:43 PM PDT

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