Tag: W. Soliman

Guest Review: Lethal Business by Wendy Soliman

Posted April 25, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of Lethal Business (The Hunter Files #3) by W. Soliman

Why kill the survivors of a sinking ship?

A speeding boat rams a life raft, leaving no survivors. A man embroiled in an investigation of potential suicide bombers disappears…

Retired inspector Charlie Hunter’s belief that the two events are related leads him to accept a job working a charter between England and France. The only way to find out the truth is to be the man on the inside.

But Charlie’s life is at risk on the rough Channel. All is not as it seems on the shifting seas, and some players are holding secrets that will change the game…and the sunken life raft is the key.

From the moment I started reading this series I was hooked!  Featuring a retired a retired British detective inspector, this series exposes the inner workings of the mind and heart of a man who has experienced hurt and loss in the murder of his mother, the death of his own artistic dreams, the loss of the relationship with his father, the demise of his marriage and the disappointment of a career that may have given him a living and a pension but which never helped to discover the answers he sought about his mother’s death or apprehending her murderers.  And yet within this man’s psyche resides a human being who is still touched by the hurts and losses in others’ lives, is still hungry to find the kind of relationship and human connection that comes with authentic loving, and who wants his life to matter.

Charlie Hunter is, all in all, a fascinating man.  His facade of distance for the movement of life around him is deceptive.  He is a musician with a heart for authentic jazz, a man who turned away from his artistic side when he was witness to his mother’s murder, a fine artist in her own right.  But Charlie’s needs keep on surfacing and it is that ebb and flow that gives this novel its intensity, the mystery that engages his mind, his anger over being witness to senseless murder at sea, his sense of impotence at not being able to save helpless victims.  He has a hard time maintaining his disinterested face to the world.  And would you believe, it is a woman of depth, curiosity, relentless love for her family and friends, a kind of tenacious hold on her goals that intrigues this seemingly disinterested man and draws him outside himself at the most curious times.

This is a really compelling piece of writing, a story that moves forward in such a way that the reader feels literally dragged from page to page.  Just when it seems that the action is lagging something else happens to rev up the tension, the sexual temperature, the sense of danger that seems to hover around the boundaries of Charlie’s life.  Even though the mystery at the center of this novel appears to have been solved, there is a sense of mystery about Charlie’s life, aspects of his history that keep surfacing, mysteries like the murder of his mom that don’t get solved.  These keep the reader glued to the story, hoping that somehow this very complicated man can find some resolution to the questions that don’t ever seem to leave him alone.  Ms Soliman’s writing style is such that the questions keep coming back, the personalities keep clashing against each other, and people from Charlie’s past waft in and out of his life, keeping him uneasy on the one hand and offering a helping hand on the other.  The reader will be fascinated with the way he views people and situations, the instincts that draw him toward conclusions that seem “way out” and yet often prove sound.

All in all this is a fine piece of writing, a novel that will please those of us who are totally in love with this man and this series, and readers who enjoy a novel that is an example of excellence in crafting wonderful fiction.  It’s a novel that is well worth the time and effort to read and the reader will be rewarded with entertainment for the mind as well as that sense of having experienced something really, really good.

I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

#DFRAT Guest Review: Risky Business by W. Soliman

Posted June 26, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of Risky Business by W. Soliman

Former British police detective Charlie Hunter knows how cold cases can claw at your gut. His mother’s unsolved murder was why he joined the force. Now he’s reluctantly taking on cases as a P.I.–though what he really wants is to be left alone.

When a young woman asks for his help, he can’t say no. Cleo Kendall is convinced that her father, who’s serving a life sentence for murder, isn’t guilty. Everyone thinks the case is closed, but Charlie doesn’t agree. Especially when his investigation leads him to his difficult stepbrother, who may be involved with his mother’s murder and Cleo’s family.

With the deputy chief inspector watching his every move, Charlie delves deeper and deeper into dangerous territory. But someone doesn’t want Charlie getting to the bottom of this case–ever.


Charlie Hunter is a consummate “kick in the pants.”  He is the classical example of the British detective who has become disenchanted with the system but still struggles with his “law and order” impulses when he is faced with stuff that just doesn’t sound, look, or feel right.  He’s living with the personal fall-out of being more dedicated to his career than to his family, loving his son but wanting his solitude, but down deep he is lonely and not really sure what to do about it.  He’s not looking for a long-term relationship but he appreciates feminine pulchritude like any other hetero guy and in this novel he encounters a young woman whose focus is finding out the truth about her father’s conviction and a woman who isn’t necessarily “on the make” but not unwilling to sahre some personal time with Charlie.

Like in the first book in this series, the reader is caught up in Charlie’s low-key way of living, his awareness of his vulnerabilities, a sense that he’s a very skilled observer of human nature and behavior, and a man who is not loathe to use his contacts –in and out of the force–to gain the answers he needs.  It’s not a flashy, high-tech book and certainly not one that “roars” down the literary road toward the inevitable conclusion.  It is a story that weaves in a out of the reader’s imagination, slowly but relentlessly building the characters in the reader’s mind, interweaving  the actions of each one until the reader is wondering how all this is going to play out, all the time keeping an eye on Charlie’s personal relationships and wondering if this quiet and almost mysterious many will find a source of personal peace.  

I like these books a lot!!   The first book in the series captured my interest and I was delighted when this second book was on the publishing horizon.  I am something of an Anglophile anyway, so enjoy visiting some of my favorite places with these characters, envisioning their experiences and trying to figure out some of the mysteries that continue to plague Charlie apart from the primary issue that he is investigating.   Good solid writing with a story that moves forward smoothly and a feeling of the relentless.  It’s the kind of gritty and down-to-earth mystery/romance conglomerate that I love to wade into for the sheer joy of experiencing a story that never turns my mind and imagination loose.  Do you get the impression I really liked this book?  You’re right!  And I hope that those who, like me, love a very good mystery marinated in romance will get this book and find in it the deeply satisfying reading experience waiting for them there. 


I give this novel a rating of 4.25 out of 5

The series:
Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Review: Unfinished Business by W. Soliman

Posted December 1, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of Unfinished Business by W. Soliman

Charlie Hunter retired from the force at 40 to relax, work on his boat and go fishing with his son on weekends, not become an amateur sleuth. But he can’t say no to Kara Webb when she seeks his help in tracking down her sister, missing for 15 years.

The disappearance of teenaged Jasmine Webb was one of the first cases Charlie worked on after being made a detective. He’s never forgotten it or his suspicions, even after the girl’s parents told police they’d heard from her and the file on Jasmine was closed.

When Charlie’s son is threatened, finding Jasmine becomes even more important—it’s no longer just about closure, it’s about protecting his family. Which makes the constant dead ends all the more frustrating. Until Charlie realizes that the question they should be asking isn’t where Jasmine is, but who Jasmine has become…

This story seems to have about it the sense of the old mystery novels that were so popular in the 40’s and 50’s.  Charlie was just that sort of detective–retired, wanting to just “do his thing” and enjoy his son when he could, keep himself free of disturbing entanglements, and turn a blind eye to the horrors of the world that had been a part of his life for several decades.  And like so many situations in life, what started out to be another person’s problem, slowly but surely bloomed into a problem that was a clear danger to the people Charlie loved the most.  The old case–15 years old, in fact–has once again surfaced in the person of Kara, sister to the woman who had disappeared.  And perhaps the hook that grabbed Charlie was the fact that his own inner sense about the case–that there was just too many unanswered questions, too many unresolved issues, too much of a feeling that someone involved was still covering up a lot of important stuff.  Just like the Mike Hammer of old, Charlie just couldn’t back away from having another “go.”

Writing mysteries takes careful planning, careful thought, and a heap of intelligence for crafting wiley puzzles that others find difficult to unravel.  It was appear that Ms Soliman brings all those qualities to this writing task and they all show in the way this story is put together.  The characters are clearly delineated–Charlie as he is wrapped in the disillusionment which has grown out of his combat with the law enforcement system;  Kara with her abiding sense that her sister is still alive; the rather slimy characters that needed to be re-interviewed, those who were involved in Jasmine’s life and who seem, even now, to be hiding something critical to the solution.  Kara’s mother is a piece of work that is hard to figure out.  Is she disinterested?  Is she really covering up for an unknown reason?  Charlie feels something but he doesn’t know what.  The secondary characters support the action of the story so beautifully.  Not a one is incidental to the tale.

In the midst of the mystery runs Kara and Charlie’s story–two people who have found a way to live solitary lives, who seem to be just a bit fearful of getting involved, especially Charlie, because being hurt once again just doesn’t enter into their future plans.  Their love story is a quiet but insistent ingredient in the novel and is a part of the story that gets subsumed under the mystery from time to time, but nevertheless it is always still there when the smoke and mirrors are removed.

The greatest mystery within the mystery?  Jasmine, the missing woman.  Is she alive, and if so, what is she like?  Is she fearful for her life?  Is she happy where she is?  Does she ever really want to see her sister and family again?  Is she who she appears to be?  This mystery within a mystery is beautifully written and will be a joy for true romance mystery fans to read.  This is the second work by Ms Soliman I have read and reviewed and find that I am as impressed with her work now as I was the first time around.  This is a really good read and one that is worthy of time and effort.  It isn’t simplistic–it will make the mind work.  To my way of thinking, that’s what a really good book is supposed to do.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Review: Unfinished Business by W. Soliman

Posted November 2, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Charlie Hunter retired from the force at 40 to relax, work on his boat and go fishing with his son on weekends, not become an amateur sleuth. But he can’t say no to Kara Webb when she seeks his help in tracking down her sister, missing for 15 years.

The disappearance of teenaged Jasmine Webb was one of the first cases Charlie worked on after being made a detective. He’s never forgotten it or his suspicions, even after the girl’s parents told police they’d heard from her and the file on Jasmine was closed.

When Charlie’s son is threatened, finding Jasmine becomes even more important—it’s no longer just about closure, it’s about protecting his family. Which makes the constant dead ends all the more frustrating. Until Charlie realizes that the question they should be asking isn’t where Jasmine is, but who Jasmine has become…

Charlie Hunter is a bit surprised when he is visited by a woman claiming to be the sister of a victim in a case that he investigated when he first became a policeman. He’s since retired after being a bit disillusioned and is trying to live a quiet life. Kara Webb shows up and now wants his help. You see 15 years earlier her sister disappeared and Charlie and his partner were assigned to the case. They couldn’t figure out what had happened but then the sister, Jasmine, called and wrote a letter, said she was fine and the case was dropped. Kara was only 12 at the time but missed her sister fiercely. It’s been 15 years and Kara never heard from her sister again. Now Kara & Jasmine’s brother, Brett, has died and Kara needs to inform Jasmine of the news…along with just wanting some answers after all of this time.

Kara uses all of her wiles to try and coerce Charlie into helping her but it’s a veiled threat to his son by an unknown person that eventually gets his ire up so much that he needs to find out what happened. Charlie and Kara decide to investigate further and find out some much needed information and plan to work with it. Before they can make a move, however, they are visited by Charlie’s old boss who is now working for a secret British government department and wants Kara and Charlie’s help to bring down Jasmine’s husband.

Kara’s not sure she believes everything she hears about who her sister is now but she’s willing to help as long as it puts her in touch with her sister.

While we are seeing these events happen with Kara and Charlie we are also getting bits and pieces of Jasmine – now known as Nadia – and her life. She’s married to Igor who is ex-KGB and is now a mafia crime boss. He seems to be drugging her after the death of her brother telling her that he is doing it for her own good. She’s confused as to why he’s acting the way he is and is a bit disillusioned herself. She’s not ignorant of his life and what he does but her real focus is her children and to make sure they’re safe.

This is a pretty darned good mystery. I haven’t read a book that’s strictly a mystery in a while. Yes, there is a relationship that begins with Kara and Charlie but this definitely isn’t a romance. The mystery of what happened to Jasmine is quite complicated and involves so many people and so many lies it’s sometimes hard to follow. But the author really did a great job of giving us all the parts and then bringing them together in a way that was both shocking and satisfying. Yes, the end was quite shocking with a twist that I NEVER in a million years would have seen coming but on thinking about the story it really couldn’t have ended any other way and all worked out.

This is my first read by this author and I will more than likely read her again.

Rating: 4 out of 5


W. Soliman
Carina Press

What I Read Last Week

Posted October 31, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments



How are you? If you’re in America are you ready for tonight? Do you hand out candy? Go trick or treating with the kids? Turn off the lights in the house and pretend you’re not home? What do you do on Halloween?

Normally my husband and I switch off duties each year. One of us goes with the kids and carries a backpack to carry extra candy when their buckets get full and one of us stays home to hand out candy. This year, however, it will all change. Both of our kids want to go with their friends to trick or treat and since we get very few kids that come to our house (we live on a hill and no one wants to climb that damned thing to get candy) we think we might just go out for dinner! lol The rule of thumb is, if there’s no porch light on then you don’t go to the house. I’m thinking we turn off the light and go get Mexican food! lol Sounds good to me!

Uh…let’s see…I’m over at DIK for the next couple of days. Today I’m looking for Halloween romances and/or books with costume parties involved. Got any recs? Head on over and let me know.

Damn. I think that’s all I really have to talk about. That’s so sad. After a few weeks of fun I’m back to my boring normal life. What have you been up to? Anything fun?

This week I tried to catch up on my reading commitments because I was hella behind. I mean, really behind. I made a dent but I’m still trying to play catch up. Unfortunately this meant no m/m reads for me which made me sad. I need to work on that this week.

First up was Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen. This is book 3 in the Royal House of Shadows. This one was my favorite of the 3 so far. This was Dayn’s book. He is a vampire like his father was but when his parents enact their spell and send him away from Elden they end up sending him to the land of the Wolfyn. He is accepted there for the most part but only because they have no idea who or what he is. After 20 years the woman he’s waited for appears from the human realm and she is to guide him to the portal back to Elden. Both Dayn and Reda, his guide, do a ton of growing in this book and I loved seeing that growth as well as the relationship that begins – first as just sex then as something more. I’m looking forward to reading the last book in the series, Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh. 4 out of 5

Next up was When Harriet Came Home by Coleen Kwan. This was a coming home story as well as a bit of an ugly duckling book. Harriet has come home after 10 years to be with her father who has had a car accident. She stayed away because she never felt welcome in her home town as she was heavy and wore glasses, but also because she had blown the whistle on the mayor of the town and created a huge scandal. She runs into her high school crush, Adam, who also happens to be the son of the former mayor who isn’t too happy to see her to say the least. But Adam soon gets over his bad feelings for Harriet and wants to try to start a relationship with her. Harriet still has self-esteem issues and is a hard nut to crack. I liked Adam and the whole coming home part of the story but I didn’t really care for Harriet in this story. She had her moments when I really started liking her but then she’d act like she was in high school and act incredibly immature and it just didn’t do her justice. Overall a cute story though. 3.25 out of 5

My next read was Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein. This was one I read for The Book Binge and it while it had a relationship in it I wouldn’t exactly call it a romance. It was about 4 friends in a writing group who used to hang out at their professors house in college. Now the professor is dead and he has left the house to the 4 friends but they must live in the house for a month in order to inherit. The four friends explore their writing and even act out some of the sexual parts of the stories. It was a highly erotic and sexual story that I honestly couldn’t figure out how to rate…so I didn’t. I wrote a review for The Book Binge so if you’re interested I’ll let you know when the review posts.

My next read was The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne. This is book 4 in her Spymaster’s Lady series and it was really, really great. It’s Adrian’s book and it was about how he fell in love with a French spy – of course he’s a British spy so that makes things difficult doesn’t it? Yes, it does! I read this one for The Book Binge as well so I’ll let you know when my review posts. 4.5 out of 5

Next was Destined Mate by Katie Reus. A great shifter story! I wrote a review and it will post on Thursday so keep your eyes open.

I hadn’t read a good mystery in a while so I was looking forward to reading Unfinished Business by W. Soliman. It did not disappoint. I’ll post my review of this on Wednesday so stay tuned.

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Sage Creek by Jill Gregory
Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis

Happy Reading!