Author: Beverly Barton

Review: The Murder Game by Beverly Barton

Posted March 30, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Murder Game by Beverly BartonReviewer: Casee
The Murder Game by Beverly Barton
Series: Griffin Powell #8

Publication Date: February 1st 2008
Genres: Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

New Game
The game is simple--he is the Hunter. They are the Prey. He gives them a chance to escape. To run. To hide. To outsmart him. But eventually, he catches them. And that's when the game gets really terrifying. . .
New Rules
Private investigator Griffin Powell and FBI agent Nicole Baxter know a lot about serial killers--they took one down together. But this new killer is as sadistic as they've ever seen. He likes his little games, and he especially likes forcing Nic and Griff to play along. Every unsolvable clue, every posed victim, every taunting phone call--it's all part of his twisted, elaborate plan. And then the Hunter calls, wanting to know if they're really ready to play. . .
But Winner Still Kills All. . .
There's a new game now, and it's much more deadly than the first. A brutal psychopath needs a worthy adversary. He won't stop until he can hunt the most precious prey of all--Nicole. And with his partner in a killer's sights, Griff is playing for the biggest stakes of his life.

I really wish I could say aloha from Hawaii again, but alas I’m back in cold-ass Boise. Why did I wear shorts back on the plane again? A fifty degree temperature difference is fairly noticeable.

Anyway, I read this book before I left and I completely forgot to review it. Strange that I would forget, no?

I’ve always liked reading Beverly Barton, eye-rolling at times though she may be. Her heroines always tend to be helpless debutantes from various southern states. They say “Mercy!” a lot and are usually sweet-tempered virgins who make stupid ass decisions when they know their lives are in danger. They get smart after they almost get killed. It tends to get rather annoying. That’s why Nic was a refreshing heroine. I can’t think of any other Barton heroines that are like Nic.

Griffin and Nic are the only people that believe that the Beauty Queen Killer was actually two people rather than one. Unable to convince anyone at the FBI, the case was subsequently closed. Only Griff and Nic shared the belief that they hadn’t heard the last of the sadistic killer. When they both get a phone call, their worst fears come to life. There are at least two women dead and another one has gone missing. The killer has given both Nic and Griff clues that could eventually lead them to his prey, if only they can decipher the clues before he strikes.

The relationship between Griff and Nic was interesting. I don’t know any southern men, but Griff is what I’d imagine a southern man to be. He enjoys taking care of women. He really has no use for feminists. Nic has always felt she had to prove that she’s as able as any man. After growing up with a father determined to mold her into the perfect girly-girl, Nic rebelled and has been proving herself ever since. Griff doesn’t understand Nic’s need to prove herself and their personalities obviously clash. Nic believes that Griff is a womanizing bastard and Griff believes that Nic is a man in a woman’s body. Their personal feelings for each other aside, the two agree to work together to bring down the man who is now calling himself “The Hunter”.

Onto the villain. He was one evil S.O.B. The problem was that I couldn’t really take a sociopathic killer seriously when his name was “Pudge”. Yes, Pudge. That was the eye-rolling moment for me in the book. I mean, really. Pudge?

Barton does a great job of of making the victims seem real(see The Dying Game). Every time Pudge would choose his victim, we’d get a small glimpse into her life. So whenever Pudge would call Nic and Griff with a clue, I wanted them to figure it out even more. Before Pudge got to them and tortured them in a way that’s almost unimaginable.

Overall I liked this book. There was one thing that really made me like it and one thing that I really didn’t like.

First what I didn’t like…the character of Griff has been built up over several books. He was always sort of an enigma. There were 10 years where he just disappeared. Once on his way to being a professional football player, he just disappeared one day. When he resurfaced 10 years later, he was a rich man. He also had secrets. We never learn the secret of those 10 missing years until this book. It was what the secret was that I didn’t like. Maybe if I knew that this was his secret all along, it would be different. However, I feel like his big secret was somewhat of a cop-out, chosen specifically because of the kind of killer that Pudge turned out to be. I can’t reveal anything else because I don’t to spoil it for those that will actually read it.

Obviously the reader knows that Nic will eventually be taken by the killer. Usually this would happen at the end of the book. What I thought made the book good was that Nic was taken in the middle of the book. That made it really interesting. It was right at the time that Nic and Griff realized that their beliefs about each other were wrong and they started getting close. That made her being taken even more powerful.

Anyone that wants to read a good romantic suspense, give this one a try.

3.75 out of 5


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Review: Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton

Posted July 7, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly BartonReviewer: Holly
Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton
Series: Raintree #3
Also in this series: Raintree: Inferno
Publisher: Silhouette
Publication Date: July 1st 2007
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars

War with their archrival, the evil Ansara clan, is unavoidable. For Mercy Raintree, a war means she must assume her position as guardian of the Sanctuary—the sacred Raintree home place deep in the Smoky Mountains. But doing so threatens to disclose her most prized secret—one Mercy has kept to herself for six years.

As the solstice looms and the battle heats up, Dranir Judah Ansara gathers his forces, intending to wipe every Raintree from the face of the land. Including Mercy, whom he's claimed as his to kill. Then he comes face-to-face with her—and with her daughter, Eve. Will Mercy's closely guarded secret change not only the outcome of the battle—but also Judah's own bitter heart?

This is the third and final chapter of the three author Raintree Trilogy and my first ever read by Beverly Barton. I’d say she did a fairly credible job of wrapping the series up.

I tried writing a summary of this book, but it just came out jumbled and confused sounding, so I’m going to take the lazy way out and link Casee’s review of it instead. Go check out her summary and then come back and read my thoughts. 🙂 (Thanks Casee!)

Alright, here we go:

The action was good. I really enjoyed the final battle between the Ansara and the Raintree, and learning more about the Ansara, whom were were led to believe were evil from the previous two books, was enlightening.

I thought the characters were interesting, but I found some of their actions to be highly annoying. Judah has vowed to kill Mercy. Even after he finds out they have a daughter together, he still plans to kill her when the time is right. He especially wants her dead so he can take his daughter home with him. While I understood his reasons – and Mercy’s for wanting to kill him – I think Barton took it a bit too far. I would say at least once a page (when we were reading from Judah’s POV) it was mentioned he was going to kill her.

It was the same for Mercy. She loved him, she hated him. She wanted him, she vowed to kill him. As a mother, I can understand her need to protect her daughter, no matter what the cost. But she waffled back and forth so much I wanted to scream!

I also had a major issue with a certain scene in the book. I think I’m going to go ahead and spoil it, so beware.

Spoilers Ahead

View Spoiler »

Eve was an interesting character. She acted extremely grown up for a six year old, which I know bothered Casee. But since my own child is extremely bright (I’m not just saying that, I swear) I didn’t think Eve’s behavior was odd. Especially since she was very powerful and seemed to have talents no other Raintree or Ansara possessed. As the story progressed and we found out more about her and what her role would be with both clans, I found myself on the fence about her, however. We’re told she was born to save her Father’s people, which seemed like a rather large responsibility for a child to have to carry. I don’t think Mercy or Judah spent enough time worrying about the toll it would take on Eve. As a mother that would have been my first concern, but it wasn’t ever mentioned. I found that rather frustrating.

I was also highly annoyed with Lorna and Hope, the heroines from the previous two novels. Towards the end of this book, Lorna decides to chase after Dante (who left her rather abruptly at the end of Inferno). I can understand this to a point. Lorna was rather powerful herself, even if she hadn’t learned to harness or control her powers yet. And the way Dante left would leave me, if I were in Lorna’s position, ready to chase after him as well.

Anyway, she takes Dante’s address book and calls Gideon (the hero from the second novel, which I never reviewed). Only he isn’t home and a woman answers for him. Lorna has no knowledge of who this woman is, but without asking any questions tells her “I’m coming to get you. We have to help our men. I’ll be there in 6 hours.” Hope says, “Ok, I’ll be waiting” and that was that.

This bothers me on several levels. One, Lorna knew secrecy was a major thing for the Raintree in general and Dante and Gideon in particular. A strange woman answers the phone and you go, “Hey. Wanna go save my man with me?” I don’t think so. But whatever, that’s not even the part that bothered me the most. What really irked me was that Gideon begged Hope to stay home, because he needed all his energy focused on the coming battle and didn’t want to have to worry about her. She’s completely mortal with no powers at all, so it made perfect sense. But in true TSTL fashion, she rushed after him, certain she could “save” him. WTF? Who does that?!?! Ugh. Then, naturally, she almost gets him killed, because she rushes right into the middle of a battle. See, shit like that pisses me off.

Deep breath Moving on now…

Despite my issues with it (and now that I’ve typed this out I see they were numerous) I still enjoyed it. My moments of annoyance were brief (with the exception of that part I spoiled..I’m still salty over that) and I was able to get past them. I think Barton wrapped the trilogy up nicely and really tied up all the loose ends left by LH and LWJ.

I would recommend the trilogy, but don’t go into it thinking this is going to be AMAZING, because IMO, it wasn’t. But it was good.

3 out of 5

The series is at follows:

Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard
Raintree: Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones
Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton


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