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Archive for June 27th, 2017

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The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon

Both Cassie Hugo and Margaret Brickshaw dutifully followed their soldier husbands to the U.S. embassy in Jordan, but that’s about all the women have in common. After two years, Cassie’s become an expert on the rules, but newly arrived Margaret sees only her chance to explore. So when a fender-bender sends Margaret to the local police station, Cassie reluctantly agrees to watch Margaret’s toddler son. But as the hours pass, Cassie’s boredom and frustration turn to fear: Why isn’t Margaret answering her phone, and why is it taking so long to sort out a routine accident? Snooping around Margaret’s apartment, Cassie begins to question not only her friend’s whereabouts but also her own role in Margaret’s disappearance.

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Siobhan Fallon 

Author’s Bio

Siobhan Fallon is the author of the 2012 PEN Center USA Literary Award in Fiction winner You Know When the Men Are Gone. Her first novel, The Confusion of Languages, debuts in June, 2017 . Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post Magazine, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Military Spouse, The Huffington Post, and NPR’s Morning Edition, among others. She was raised in Highland Falls, New York, just outside the gates of the United States Military Academy at West Point. She graduated from Providence College and spent a year at Cambridge University in England. After teaching English in Japan, she earned an MFA at the New School in New York City. She and her family moved to Jordan in 2011, and they currently live in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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My Review

5 stars

Cassie Hugo has been at the US Embassy in Jordan for two years. She knows all the rules and is the welcome committee to Margaret Brickshaw when she arrives. But being on the base is all they really have in common. Cassie is unable to conceive and is becoming spiteful. Margaret is more of a naïve soul and is excited to explore. A minor car accident leads to unexpected results when Margaret has to leave her son, Mather with Cassie to straighten everything out. But something goes wrong and Margaret doesn’t come back. Cassie then finds her diary and it seems there is more to this situation than first discovered.

This is a great suspenseful story. Cassie and Margaret are polar opposites in everything from their looks to their personalities. But being opposites seems to make them closer as we follow along with the give and take of this friendship. As Cassie reads Margarets diary we start learning more about both women and how they are not really as alone as they may feel.

This is a great story that shows how our differences might actually be the things that bring us closer together. There was enough suspense to keep me turning pages to find out what happened next. I think this is a great contemporary story that will appeal to most people.

I received The Confusion of Languages from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Done Rubbed Out (Reighman & Bailey – 1) by Jeffery Craig

In this first book of the Reightman & Bailey Series, deceit, corruption and murder tangle together with vivid, unconventional characters in a story of unlikely friendships and their power to change us.

Things are going well at the Time Out Spa, but the night young proprietor Toby Bailey discovers his former lover naked and dead on a massage table, more things are spoiled than just his white leather shoes. Detective Melba Reightman and partner, Sam Jackson are called in to investigate and soon become embroiled in the most perplexing homicide case seen in years.

After a hunting knife engraved with Toby’s name is found in a load of wet, bloody laundry, he’s arrested for the murder of Geraldo Guzman. He enlists the help of Madame Zhou Li, practicing attorney and owner of Green Dragon Chinese Herbs and Teas. The peculiar octogenarian seems an unlikely choice to defend him, but has a few tricks up her sleeve. Toby joins forces with Reightman and Jackson, and a shocking string of clues leads them closer to the killer. The bad news? Successfully solving the crime might unleash a firestorm on this southern city and come at a price none of them are prepared to pay.

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My Review

5 stars

Toby Bailey and Geraldo Guzman own a high class spa called Time Out Spa. One night Toby walks into one of the rooms and finds his business partner and former lover dead on the table. After looking around a hunting knife is found with Tody’s name carved on it. He is quickly arrested and accused of the murder. But he calls in Madam Zhou to help defend him. Detective Reightman and Toby are going to have their hands full solving this murder, especially since the box by Geri’s body has a whole bunch of dirt on some very powerful people and it’s up to then to find it.

Toby is a great character and well developed. You can’t help feeling for him losing his best friend. Then you have a full cast of characters that add at little to the story with their little perks and quirks. You don’t realize how they all fit together but they all help this story shine.

This is a great mystery that will draw you in with the first couple pages and leave you guessing at who the real killer is. Just when you think you might know who did it something will pop up that will throw you off kilter. There is a wide case to keep everything rolling and a cliff hanger that will leave you wanting more.

If you are looking for a really good mystery, look no further. I was completely surprised by this book and I can’t wait to start reading book 2.

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Hard Job (Reightman & Bailey – 2) by Jeffery Craig

In this second Reightman & Bailey thriller, Detective Melba Reightman is distraught over the murder of her friend and partner, Sam Jackson. The Guzman murder case has been closed, but she knows the real killer is still out there somewhere. Toby Bailey’s discovery of a set of incriminating photos proved there were more people involved in Geri Guzman’s death than just Dr. Lieberman, but getting anyone to listen is more of a challenge than she’d ever imagined. She’s going to need help convincing the powers that be that the case needs to be reopened, but she’ll find a way to do it. It’s the only choice she has if she wants to discover who’s behind it all.

Toby’s still struggling with Geri’s death and the shock at having been the target of a hitman. Detective Jackson took the bullet meant for him and saved his life, and he doesn’t understand how things could have gone so very wrong. No one should have known about the evidence Geri left behind, but it’s the only explanation that makes any sense. He has a hunch things are going to get worse, so he’ll just have to pull up his pants and get on with whatever needs to be done to help Detective Reightman figure things out.

And as for John Brown? He’s just worried he won’t get paid after botching the hit on Toby, and can’t help wondering what will happen next. It wasn’t really his fault. Mistakes were bound to happen when things got complicated, but who knew this would be such a hard job?

Things are heating up in this southern city.

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My Review

5 stars

Hard Job starts right up at the end of Done Rubbed Out. Detective Reightman’s partner, Jackson, has taken the bullet meant for Toby and has died. She is having a hard time dealing with this. Toby is still trying to deal with the death of Geri, still looking for Geri’s killer, along with being the target for an assassin.  It is clear that the information in the box Geri had is hotter than they knew. But how can someone know what is on the photos that have been discovered. Something doesn’t feel right about the whole thing.

I loved how this book started right after the end of Done Rubbed Out. Toby and Reightman are in shock from the death of Jackson. But they can’t stay their long since someone is bound and determined to stop the information from getting out. But they are going to have to get their game faces on because the hitman was not the real killer and someone has too much knowledge about the information Geri had.

This is a fast paced thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat turning pages until the early hours. If you thought Done Rubbed Out was great, prepare yourself for an amazing sequel. This is one series you need to check out.

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Skin Puppet (Reightman & Bailey – 3) by Jeffery Craig

In Skin Puppet: Reightman & Bailey Book Three, the whole gang from Capital Street is back and almost ready for business. It’s just two weeks until The Reightman & Bailey Agency officially opens, but Melba Reightman and Toby Bailey have things pretty much under control. After the horrific events of the last six months, things are starting to feel normal again.

An inconvenient lisp from a busted lip isn’t slowing Toby down, but it makes him sound embarrassing like a cartoon character. And there’s the whole awkward situation with Jon Chiang. One minute Zhou Li’s nephew is cold and distant, and the next minute…well, Toby could swear the guy might be interested in something more. It’s all very confusing.

Melba’s got her hands full completing last minute paperwork so they can open for business. There’s the huge stack of invitations Madame Zhou dropped off, all needing to be hand-addressed. Melba doesn’t see the need for a huge grand opening party, but there’s no point in arguing with the bossy owner of Green Dragon. To top things off, Zhou Li is strongly hinting that Melba needs a new dress.

With so much going on, the reports of children missing from the local area haven’t really registered on anyone’s radar. The single flyer posted by a desperate mother looking for her daughter was disturbing, but it’s really a matter for the local police, not the Reightman & Bailey Agency. Right?

Wrong. Things are never that easy.

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My Review

5 stars

On the heels of Hard Job, Toby Bailey and Melba Reightman have opened their detective agency. They are wrapped up in all of the opening and party and don’t really notice the disappearances in their area. That is until someone close to them loses their kid. Together, Toby and Melba start investigating the disappearances and find a child sex ring. Although the Feds have tried to solve this case, Toby and Melba will be the real heroes in the end.

I love these two, they work so well together solving the case and dealing with some eccentric friends. But they are going to have their hands full trying to track down those involved in the child sex trafficking ring. They might get lucky and solve the case in time for the grand opening.

This is a great story that had me guessing until the end. This is a very tough topic and I think Jeffrey Craig did a fantastic job of discussing some of the evens but in a way that it’s not shoved in your face. This is an amazing series that I strongly recommend for everyone to read.

I received Done Rubbed Out, Hard Job, and Skin Puppet from Silver Dagger Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Author’s Bio

Jeffery Craig is the writing pseudonym of the author, used for fictional works. Jeffery resides in the southeastern United States and shares his life with his husband and partner, and a menagerie of much-loved pets. For several years, he worked as a executive providing technology and consulting services to help clients meet business needs. He’s an avid supporter of the arts and co-owns a local art gallery/gift store that provides an outlet for area artists to showcase and sell their works.

When he isn’t writing, he might be found working on a painting or enjoying the covered front porch of his historic southern home with a good book in hand.

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