Archive for September 15th, 2017

The Unraveling of Brendan Meeks

The Unraveling of Brendan Meeks by Brian Cohn

THE UNRAVELING OF BRENDAN MEEKS is a first-person glimpse into the mind of a young man with schizophrenia as he deals with tragic loss. The result is a unique and unforgettable mystery clouded with hallucinations and fraught by paranoia.

Meeks is a young man born with a silver spoon jammed down his throat, a fact his domineering mother has never let him forget. Although he has nearly everything he could ever want—friends, money, a good education—Brendan’s life falls apart during graduate school when he begins to show signs of schizophrenia. Forced to drop out of school, he watches most of his friends disappear and his parents distance themselves further and further.

The only constant left in Brendan’s life is his loving sister, Wendy. When she turns up dead, he must ignore the insults and threats from the voices in his head to begin his own investigation. With the help of an odd assemblage of his few friends—a drug dealer, a meth addict, and a war veteran with a bad case of agoraphobia—he begins to uncover a conspiracy that may, or may not, be a byproduct of his own delusional mind.

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 Brian Cohn

Author’s Bio

Brian is an ER doctor practicing in St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives with his beautiful wife and their two rambunctious children. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama where he grew up loving to read. His passion for books continued through his college career at the UNC-Chapel Hill, and traveled with him back to Alabama where he attended the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He moved to St. Louis for residency training, met his wife, and fell in love with both her and the city itself. He has been practicing emergency medicine for over a decade and loves helping people every day, but turned to writing as a creative outlet.

A self-professed nerd, Brian has long enjoyed everything science fiction, from books to TV and movies. He is also a huge fan of great mysteries and thrillers, and is a sucker for a surprising plot twist. He writes the kind of books that he would want to read, reflecting a deep-seated curiosity about what motivates people to do the things they do.

When he’s not busy writing and taking care of patients, Brian loves to run, play with his children, and spend quiet time watching TV with his wife. If he can only figure out how to do all three things at once, he’ll finally have it made.

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My Review

5 stars

Brendan Meeks grew up with plenty of privilege but a rough home life. When he is in college he develops schizophrenia and his family basically ignore him except for his sister. She helps take care of him and he lives in a run-down apartment with a druggie, drunk, and drug dealer that have become his family. But then he learns that his sister has been murdered and doesn’t feel like the police are doing enough and decides to look into her death.

Brendan has weekly appointment with his doctor but has this problem where he doesn’t want to take his medicine. So it’s hard to take what his is thinking and interpreting as happening in real life or just in his mind. It also doesn’t help that he has voices that command him to do horrible things. This is an interesting narration because something when he notices things he is very focused and other times things are barely given a passing glance. The trouble comes from trying to figure out what is important to solving the death of his sister.

This is a great story. Brendan is a caring person despite the voices. He means well and has done well for himself considering what he has gone through. I love that he tries to find his sisters killer and discovers that she has her own secrets. But the part that really rang true was his struggle with schizophrenia.

This is a well written story that did have a couple hiccups in the mystery part but with this narrator it makes sense. This is a great story that I recommend you check out.

I received The Unraveling of Brendan Meeks from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Olivia MacAllister, Who Are You?

Olivia MacAllister, Who are you? by Celine Rose Mariotti

Bobby MacAllister and Noel Simpson are cousins, who visit their Uncle Eb in Maine for the summer. There they embark on an adventure to discover the story of their ancestors and the secrets of the ghost, Olivia, who stays in the house. Together, with family friends and partners from the town, they uncover the truth of a long lost love story. Olivia MacAllister, Who Are You? is a fun fiction chapter book for children aged 7 to 10. Will you be inspired to learn about your ancestors’ past like Bobby and Noel?

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My Review

4 stars

Bobby MacAllister and Noel Simpson are cousins that have had their share of trouble at home. So, when their Uncle Eb asks them to spend the spring in Maine in the family house they jump at the chance. While exploring the house, they learn of their relative Olivia MacAllister that loved a man that got in a duel with a man her father wanted her to marry and died. Olivia killed herself and has been haunting the house since. The children meet her twice and she asks them to get her back to her love. The kids go on an adventure to learn several family secrets in their quest.

This is a good story of cousins being close to each other after a death and a divorce. They love exploring and have gotten themselves in trouble in the past and start out the same way when they sneak out of the house to the library. I like how everyone worked together to help out Olivia and find out what really happened on the day of her death.

This is a good chapter book that parents could read to kids and vice versa. I really enjoyed the illustrations, they really added to the story. The story did leave the possibilities of other books and I would be happy to check those out too.

I received Olivia MacAllister, Who are you? from Dreaming Big Publications for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Dead of Night

Date Published: September 1, 2017
Publisher: Imajin Books
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As Sheriff Piper Blackwell rushes to a clandestine meeting with an aging, paranoid veteran who believes spies are trailing his every move, she is caught in a fierce thunderstorm. Pounding rain drums against the bluff, washing away the earth and revealing a grisly secret someone tried to bury a long time ago.
Putting a name to the skeleton on the bluff, and searching for the thief who robbed the old veteran of his life’s earnings, sends Piper delving into the sleepy towns that dot her rural county. Now she’s digging into pasts perhaps best left alone.
Accompanied by Chief Deputy Oren Rosenberg, Piper seeks to expose a truth someone wants to remain forever hidden. The investigation may have started with a thunderstorm, but Piper aims to finish it and find justice. Uncovering fragments of Spencer County’s history could prove more dangerous—and deadlier—than she ever expected.
About the Author

Jean Rabe is the author of thirty-eight novels, more short stories than she cares to count, and has edited magazines and anthologies. She’s new the mystery field, as her earlier works were in fantasy and science fiction. The Dead of Night is her second Piper Blackwell book, an uncozy-cozy with a big dash of police procedural thrown in. The first, The Dead of Winter, was released in 2016. Jean attends game conventions, works as a mentor for graduate-level writing students, and tosses tennis balls for her dogs in her spare time. She makes sure she has spare time for three or four toss sessions a day. You can find her website at www.jeanrabe.com

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