Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Monday, August 3, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
By: Simon Plaster
Publisher: Mossik Press
Publication Date: July 2020
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: August 2, 2020
Okay...I’ve said it before, I will say it again. If you have not become a fan of this author by now, you have either been locked in a closet for a really long time with no access to books, or you simply haven’t been listening to me. If it’s the first reason, I’m highly sorry for your plight and I hope you find freedom soon. If it’s the latter, then you simply make bad choices.
Yet again, Simon Plaster has penned a book that is a recipe of fantastic plot, great characters, wit, charm, and (my favorite) sarcasm. It’s also a memorable read and will have you heading back to read the rest of his great books that came before. In Greezers, we are introduced to a number of things. One happens to be a chain of auto lube shops that have been failing. Of course, their recent marketing scheme (team up with a chain of fast food fried chicken franchises and introduce a concept called “Lardo” to the public) hasn’t exactly been the best idea.
The auto lube shops are part of the empire owned by the DeGrasso family; so is the Trinita Coal & Oil Co. Now, the matriarch of this family is Nanette DeGrasso. She’s a feisty woman, to say the least, and definitely likes to rule with an iron-fist. She’s also 95, yet she seems to be able to still put people in their place when she wants to. Nanette, in her role as the all-wielding superpower of the family, is also overlord of the Oklahoma City based auto shop chain. When Nanette approved the idea for the “Lardo” sales campaign, joining up with a Ukrainian partner in order to make it happen, most of the watercooler gossip was about the fact that the matriarch may have lost her mind. People started wondering who on earth would be her successor when she finally bade farewell to Earth and headed straight into the underworld. Well, let us just say that this family has a gene pool that makes a family of dodo’s seem highly intelligent.
But someone needs to take over...eventually. Introducing Charles DeGrasso. Nanette’s son, he is the heir-apparent, so to speak, and is currently the Executive VP of the company. He’s waited for fifty years for his mother to head into the afterlife and he definitely wants to take command. His wife, Candice, by the way, is also more than sick of waiting for him to take his rightful position.
Joe DeGrasso is Nanette’s nephew. He is more than willing to pole-vault Charles and nab the reins of the company for himself. He wants the job, but he also has an ulterior motive. If he gets to be in charge, he can set up the next in line to take over which would be his own outcast son, Hunter.
Is that all, you ask? Nope. Leroy O’Rourke is a young lawyer who has his own scheme. He feels that getting “in” with Trinita and throwing himself into the race to be chosen as the next successor will lead him to one day sit where he actually wants to: the Oval Office in the White House.
Reader’s favorite, Henrietta – once a small town newspaper reporter – is, yet again, a part of this wonderful tale. She is still the same dauntless woman who is now heading toward the career of private detective. Answering a want ad she’d taken from the morning newspaper that read “Female Assistant to Private Investigator”, she walks into an odd looking building that, instead of housing the ACE Private Investigation Agency, houses Leroy O’Rourke, Esq.
Will she be hired? Will the matriarch die? Who in the family will take over? How many knives will be shoved into how many backs? Et tu, Brute? Oh, no. I will tell you none of the above. A read that pays homage in its own way to the Bard, himself, Simon Plaster has once again created a book that will have you remembering why you liked books so much in the first place...before all this technology stuff and constant pandemic news got in the way.
Quill says: This truly unique author has once again come up with even more truly unique characters you’ll love.
For more information on GREEZERS: A Tale of Establishment's Decline and Fall, please visit the author's Goodreads page at: Goodreads.SimonPlaster.com
By: Mark M. Bello
Publisher: 8Grand Publications
Publication Date: August 2020
ASIN: B08BX5DXD6 Reviewed by: Amy Lignor Review Date: August 1, 2020
If you haven’t been following this author and his memorable Zachary Blake series of legal thrillers, then you must be either locked away in a cabinet; or, you’re playing too many video games and have forgotten how thrilling and fantastic the actual written word can be. (And, no, the “written word” I speak of does not mean texting.)
Zachary Blake has taken on the Church, bigotry—heck, even the president—so he’s no stranger to big cases that result in bold headlines. This time out, the focus is set on another truly difficult, widespread social issue and the consequences that arise from it: bullying. Not a new subject, indeed, but this author has used his incredible writing ability to introduce great characters, show the spectrum of emotions, and keep readers engaged with a plot that provides action and thrills as Zachary works hard for justice to be done.
We begin off the bat with Kevin Burns. This is a young man who has, for lack of a better turn of phrase, had it with bullying. He has passed the point of no return because of the horrific way people have treated him and worked to bring him down every day. The anger has taken over his heart, and his priority is opening up his father’s gun cabinet.
Another young man named Jake sits inside a classroom located in Bloomfield, Michigan—a high-brow suburb of Detroit that the rich and privileged call home. While in his English class, he receives a frightening text from his brother warning Jake to stay where he is and lock the door. There’s a boy in school with a gun and he’s exacting his revenge. When the gunshots end, the aftermath creates news that transforms Bloomfield from an idyllic town on the map to its’ own Columbine.
Zachary succeeds in the courtroom more often than he does in life. A stellar lawyer who earned the title of “Detroit’s King of Justice” at one time, he also calls this area home. Zachary knows pain and depression; from losing people he’s loved, he fell into a hole at a certain point that led him to hurt both himself and his career. Now, with this tragedy, Zachary feels a mixture of revenge and anger in his own heart and needs to find answers, as well as justice for the innocence that was destroyed.
Zachary knows there’s something more to this case than just Daddy’s gun being accessible, considering the wealth of weapons that were used to carry out this day of horror. Working to discover the truth, he finds more and more information that shines a light on politicians, the 2nd Amendment, and an old archenemy of Zachary’s.
In this fifth book, readers experience betrayal once again. I was introduced to this author and his lawyer in Book #1, Betrayal of Faith. This book is about faith, too, in my opinion, but it hit me in a brand-new way. This is about faith in you, the person: faith that somehow this bullying garbage could be stopped and lives could be saved; faith that we would work harder to make sure vengeance did not fill up a teen (or adult) heart so much that they believed the only clear way to feel better was to destroy their own life, while also taking down innocent lives in the process.
Zachary Blake has been to the bottom and gotten back up in the past, but watching the struggles he goes though in this tale adds another layer to this series that already has a great many layers of action, thrills, courtroom drama, and so much more. Although you don’t have to start with Book #1, because each story is great and you won’t be lost, be prepared to read. You’ll love it so much, you’ll go back and enjoy the other four. And, hopefully, a sixth one will be coming soon.
Quill says: Get away from those video games, people! Bello’s series is so good, Zachary and crew have earned a T.V. show.
For more information on Betrayal High (A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, Book 5), please visit the author's website at: markmbello.com
Friday, July 31, 2020
By: Michael Pronko
Publisher: Raked Gravel Press
Publication Date: June 2020
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: July 30, 2020
They’re back again! Author Michael Pronko and his protagonist, forensic accountant-detective Hiroshi Shimizu, returns with his comrades in yet another pulse-pounding, crime-solving thrill ride through the streets of Tokyo.
The third novel of the Detective Hiroshi series, Tokyo Traffic, opens inside a warehouse converted into an adult film studio, where a young, strung-out and terrified young woman, Sukanya, is hiding amongst a mess of toppled-over equipment. She manages to control her shivering body long enough to go near the dead bodies lying on the floor, to take out cash from their wallets, and run off with an iPad and laptop. As if being shot with drugs and confronted with death isn’t horrible enough for anyone to live through, Sukanya is on the run in a completely foreign country where she doesn’t speak the language, doesn’t know where to go, and the few people she does know are nowhere to be found. A few things are certain, Sukanya needs to get her passport to safely get out of the country, and someone wants her, and the electronic equipment she escaped with, and they’ll do everything in their power to get it.
Meanwhile detective Hiroshi is living with his girlfriend, Ayana, after rekindling their long-lost relationship (and mutual love of the Japanese martial art, Kendo) from when they were young. He finds himself in a constant turmoil between being pulled into odd, and long hours at work, and spending quality time with Ayana. In fact, a recent call from his boss Sakaguchi, requesting his immediate presence at a crime scene filled with dead bodies, interrupts the ending of their Kendo practice. But duty calls and detective Shimizu is compelled to answer, even if it could potentially ruin relationships...or his life. Once the crime scene was worked over, three bodies were identified as the film studio director, an unidentified teenage female, and the head bureaucrat at the Ministry of Finance. Upon further investigation, the detectives uncover more clues in the warehouse murders that lead them down a dark, complicated path involving a mix of human trafficking and the use of cryptocurrency as a means of funding pornographic projects. They also receive critical information that reveals the possibility of another girl who may have been a witness to the murders, and they must do their best to find her in the vast streets of Tokyo, before the killers do.
Tokyo Traffic, like its two award-winning predecessors, is a solidly written novel that extends further past the simple “whodunit” mystery genre, and delves deep into a complex and thrilling exploration of strong, multi-layered characters and an equally compelling, gritty setting. The author's many years of experience in writing is evident; and combined with his personal experience and knowledge of the Japanese culture, the story propels readers right into a fast-paced thriller from the shocking opening scenes, moving into a vividly described middle that keeps readers at the edge of their seats, and swiftly slides right into a seriously electrifying finale. Pronko’s novel may be fiction, but the novel’s themes, specifically that of human trafficking, are real-life. By sensitively writing about these heavy subjects, he brings them into the forefront of readers’ minds, making this not only entertainment, but also food for thought.
Quill says: Author Michael Pronko adroitly takes readers on another outstanding Detective Hiroshi thrill ride into the streets of Tokyo, this time presenting a murderous case involving human trafficking that you don’t want to miss.
For more information on Tokyo Traffic (Detective Hiroshi series, Book 3), please visit the author's website at: www.michaelpronko.com
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Illustrated by: Kalpart
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing
Publication Date: June 2020
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: July 2020
That the old Whimper-Whineys will look for you here.
You’ll go live with them in a land far away,
Where you’ll join them in whining and crying all day.”
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication: September 2020
Reviewed by: Risah Salazar
Review Date: July 21, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Illustrated by: Petra Brown
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: March 2020
Reviewed by: Gina Montanha
Review Date: July 19, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Publication: June 2020
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: July 2020
Friday, July 10, 2020
Publisher: Dansk bogfortegnelse - DBC
Publication: May 2020
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: July 9, 2020