Tag: Penguin Books

Review: Alone in the Dark by Karen Rose

Posted July 7, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Alone in the Dark by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Alone in the Dark (Cincinnati Series #2) by Karen Rose
Series: Cincinnati Series #2
Also in this series: Closer Than You Think (Cincinnati Series, #1)
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 736
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Closer Than You Think returns with a breathtaking new novel of suspense in the Cincinnati series—one that crosses the line between danger and desire, and justice and revenge.   Homicide Detective Scarlett Bishop has seen enough bad guys slip through the cracks and innocent victims go unavenged to know that good doesn't always prevail. So far she’s been able to lock away her rage and her vigilante fantasies. That lock is about to break.   Former Army Ranger Marcus O'Bannion is a fierce champion of victims’ rights. His secret past gives him good reason. He believes he’s seen the depths of human depravity, but then his investigation into the murder of a young girl who once asked for his help lures him and Scarlett down a dark, dark road—and straight into the crosshairs of a dangerous, powerful underground ring that deals in human trafficking. To stop them, Scarlett and Marcus have to be just as cunning and just as ruthless. But first they have to make it out alive.
From the Paperback edition.

Karen Rose is amazing. Don’t let the 736 pages put you off. I read this book in two days. I would have read it in one, but I had a migraine. Even that barely stopped me from reading it. Rose has a way of sucking you into her world and not spitting you out until the very last page. She is one of those authors for me. She has been from the start. She’s gotten even better over time, which seems impossible.

Marcus O’Bannion was introduced the previous book, Closer Than You Think. I read it over a year ago, so I remember Marcus only briefly. In Alone in the Dark, Marcus is helping a young girl named Tala that asked for his help after weeks of shying away from him. When at last she agreed to meet him, she was only able to tell him a few things before she was gunned down and died in the alley. He immediately called Detective Scarlett Bishop, the only homicide detective he actually trusts. The one he’s had feelings for since nine months before when he was shot and she sat at his bedside.

Scarlett Bishop is far from okay as a cop. She thinks that she’s losing her edge and she will soon be kicked off the force. When she gets a call from Marcus, she immediately responds. Not only is the address he gave her close to her house, but she has had feelings for him since she sat at his bedside nine months before when he lost his brother to a serial killer.

As Scarlett and her partner, Deacon Novak, start looking at the scene and start gathering evidence, they both know (as does Marcus) that this isn’t a random killing. After looking at all the evidence, including the autopsy, they immediately realize they have a case of human trafficking. Marcus starts working the case with Scarlett even those he owns a newspaper, an occupation that Scarlett despises more than any other. Still, Marcus is so invested in the case because Tala asked for his help, she can’t kick him off.

The human trafficking angle is highly disturbing, but brings the book all together. Rose leads you into the minds to the traffickers themselves and how they have no empathy for their victims. To them, they are dollar signs. The torture that went on is highly disturbing. However, the book wouldn’t be the same without it. Plus the head trafficker starts having problem with his security team and he has no earthly idea why.

I loved this book. It makes me sad that we have to wait until next February for the next book in this series. There were very interesting secondary characters and I am very hopeful that the one I’m thinking will be next in the series. If you’ve never read Karen Rose, you’re really missing out!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Cincinnati Series


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Guest Review: City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

Posted June 24, 2014 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

City of Dark MagicWhitley’s review of City of Dark Magic (City of Dark Magic #1) by Magnus Flyte

Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a perfect potion of magic and suspense

Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

I…honestly have no idea what to think about this book.  It was just so…strange.  Not always in a good way.

Though this book had some interesting concepts in it, none of them really came together well.  The plot had too many subplots, and instead of coming together, most of these just sort of…existed in the same space.  What did time travel and KGB agents have to do with each other?  Not a damn thing.  Seriously.  In fact, I’m not sure why the ‘time travel’ was included, other than for some fun descriptions.  Or, since it seems like it’ll be a series with more focus on the time travel plot, why the KGB agents?

Speaking of those KGB agents, the inclusion of the antagonists POV once again ruined all tension in the book.  The sections focusing on the academics had them trying to figure out who (what why where), but since we already knew because of the POV switches, there was no tension for us, no ‘reveal,’ and really very little to get us invested in this lack-of-a-mystery.

In fact, there was very little payoff for anything in this book.  There are things to figure out, but either they are left for the sequel, they’re given away too soon, or their just…sort of tepid.

And to add to that…why was there sex in this book?  It’s not that I’ve got anything against sex (clearly) but it’s just so random in here.  Sarah just occasionally gets super horny out of the blue and then they screw, and it’s soulless and pointless and (since it’s usually done in vague summary) really dull.  If the sex isn’t in there for character development, and if it’s not there to be salacious, what is it there for?  Speaking of a lack of character development, that wasn’t just with the sex, that was throughout the book.  Supposedly at the end Sarah and Max are in love and Sarah learns all these life lessons…which it’s a good thing she out and out told me because I wouldn’t have gotten that from the actual novel at all.

I did like a lot about this book, and it had some very fun concepts that it played around with.  The setting was vivid and the history was fascinating.  But it was too fractured to really make for a compelling read.

Rating: 3 out of 5

This title is available from Penguin Books.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

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