Archive for the ‘4 Star Books’ Category

The Clinic


The Clinic by David Jester

They didn’t have much to live for. Malcolm, Darren and Eddie, all had their own tragedies, their own demons to face. Malcolm was alone in the world, Darren might as well have been and Eddie, well, Eddie wished he was.

The isolated rehab clinic was not an easy target for these opportunistic thieves, on the contrary, it revealed a dark past and an evil that was sown way before their time. The sterile corridors and soulless rooms swarmed with a depravity that they never imagined possible.

The Clinic is the story of a regrettable heist, of three delinquents who find a lot more than they bargained for. A gripping, thrilling and spine-chilling story of suspense, fear and pure evil.

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David Jester 

Author’s Bio

David Jester is a novelist and short story writer living in the North East of England. His books include the comedy, An Idiot in Love, and the gruesome horror, This Is How You Die.

He is published by Skyhorse Publishing and represented by Peter Beren.

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My Review

4 Stars

Malcolm, Darren, and Eddie are unlikely friends. One night they are robbing a drunk man’s house and don’t find anything of value. Eddie tells the other two about a story he heard from this uncle about a clinic in the woods for the rich. They three friends decide to rob the clinic. But there is something wrong with this clinic; it’s not for the rich but the psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. And the nuts are now running the nut house.

The three boys have their own issues. Darren comes from a broken home where his mother, addicted to drugs and alcohol has hooked up with a man just like her. Malcolm only had his mother until the day she left. Now he is on his own. Then there is Eddie. He is from a middle class home and has no wants. But he wants the attention from his friends.

There are small clues that this clinic is not what the boys think it is but they are too excited to score the lot. What they find is a bloody, brutal mess that the inmates have created in their takeover of the asylum. Think bloody slasher films where the blood flows like rivers. Soon the boys are on the run for their own lives.

This is a bloody, gory horror stories for those that enjoy their brutality. The boys have clearly gotten in over their heads and look like they will lose them before the end of the night. I admit that I didn’t expect the ending.

This is a good story but one that you will either like or hate. I could see several people not finding this their cup of tea. As for me, it was a good, gore filled read. I am curious to read other books from David Jester.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Sky Horse Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.


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Earthrise (Her Instruments – 1) by MCA Hogarth

Reese Eddings has enough to do just keeping her rattletrap merchant vessel, the TMS Earthrise, profitable enough to pay food for herself and her micro-crew. So when a mysterious benefactor from her past shows up demanding she rescue a man from slavers, her first reaction is to say “NO!” And then to remember that she sort of promised to repay the loan. But she doesn’t remember signing up to tangle with pirates and slavers over a space elf prince… Book 1 of the Her Instruments trilogy is a rollicking space operatic adventure set in the Pelted Paradox universe.

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 M.C.A. Hogarth

Author’s Bio

Daughter of two Cuban political exiles, M.C.A. Hogarth was born a foreigner in the American melting pot and has had a fascination for the gaps in cultures and the bridges that span them ever since. She has been many things—-web database architect, product manager, technical writer and massage therapist—-but is currently a full-time parent, artist, writer and anthropologist to aliens, both human and otherwise.

Her fiction has variously been recommended for a Nebula, a finalist for the Spectrum, placed on the secondary Tiptree reading list and chosen for two best-of anthologies; her art has appeared in RPGs, magazines and on book covers.


My Review

4 stars

Captain Theresa “Reese” Eddings barely owns the ship Earthrise. Being agoraphobic makes things interesting being stuck on a space ship and makes her difficult to deal with at the best of times. But she does manage to work with her crew enough to take jobs that keeps the ship in her name and a crew with her. Then a donor comes looking for payment in the form of rescuing an elfin alien prince that has been kidnapped and about to be sold to slavers. Reese agrees to save Eldritch and ends up on the run and hiding out trying to fix her ship.

Reese has issues that make her a good and funny character yet at times so pig headed and difficult that I wanted to slap her. Because of this she finds herself and her crew in serious trouble numerous times. But if not for that, there would not be the action and trouble that she finds herself in.

I absolutely loved this world, it is so well developed with all kinds of creatures that just enrich it. It was so easy to fall into this story and hard to put down, even when I got irritated at Reese. Over all this is a great sci-fi without being overwhelmed with science. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Ari at Candid Book Reviews for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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James: Witch-Hunter

Urban Fantasy
Date Published: 1st October 2017
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~Prequel to the Witch-Hunter trilogy~
James Bennett is a Yorkshire lad, making the big move to Oxford to start university.
His ambitions involve getting a good education; impressing the Rugby Club; and not throttling his roommate. All perfectly normal drama, until Hallowe’en.
A girl’s murder throws James into the dangerous world of witches, and those that hunt them.
After playing a sidekick in the Witch-Hunter trilogy, it’s only fair that James gets to be centre stage in his own prequel.
This can be read as a stand-alone, and does not contain any spoilers. It may contain witches, bad jokes and cringe-worthy scenes; but definitely no spoilers.

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About the Author

Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.

Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has several successful series under her belt.
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My Review
4 Stars

James Bennett received a scholarship from Oxford University and is now trying to get a good education and get on the rugby team. Then he adds not killing his roommate to this list. But on Halloween he witnesses a girl being sacrificed by witches. He has unwillingly become a witch-hunter with Hunter Astley and Charlotte Summers.

So I have not read the Witch-Hunter series and thought this would be a good way to start. James is worried that he will not fit in with the other student because of where he comes from and that he had a scholarship. But he quickly finds himself involved in hunting witches when he tries to look into Bea’s murder.

I have to say that for a book this size, I didn’t really get too involved in it. There just seemed to be a disconnect with the characters and I think it comes from these characters already being developed in the series. Since I have not read the series I didn’t really get the background. Also, I would have liked more information about both the hunters, witches, and artifacts.

I think this was a good read, if you have read the series. I did like the book enough to continue into the series to see what I have missed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 Enter for your chance to win an ebook copy of the main Witch-Hunter Trilogy
RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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The Hunt for the Dingo by PJ Nash

In the arid expanses of Australia’s red deserts, a killer is preying on British female backpackers. Dubbed ‘The Dingo’ by the media, he stalks his prey then disappears without a trace.

In a bid to catch the man responsible, the local police call on the talents of Melbourne’s finest, ex British cop, Lawrence James and leading criminal psychologist Jesse Sandersen.

Meanwhile, James has unfinished business with Melbourne crime kingpin, Cyrus Bain, a gangster who will do whatever it takes to stay out of jail.

When another young girl disappears, it is a race against time to catch the killer.

Can James bring The Dingo to justice?

Will he escape with his life intact?

In their hunt for the murderer, James and Sandersen unearth some disturbing secrets that many would rather remain buried.

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Author’s Bio

P.J Nash was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, the birthplace of George Eliot and Shakespeare, respectively. Not surprisingly he decided he’d like to be a writer too.

After studying history and working in PR for a few years, he was running a second hand bookshop, when wanderlust and destiny in the form of his future wife took him to Prague.

During his time behind the counter in the shop and travelling on trams between English lessons he wrote his first crime novel, The Hunt for the Dingo featuring maverick British expat cop , Lawrence James and and his hunt for a serial killer in Australia. On his return to the UK, he drew on his Bohemian adventures to write his second crime novel featuring Lawrence James and his co-investigator, Dr Jessie Sandersen.  He currently lives on a narrowboat with his wife Clare and grumpy cat, Lulu.

In his past life P.J. Nash was a Special Constable for the Warkwickshire police.

Nash is also a member of the CWA and International Thriller Writers.


My Review

4 stars

Lawrence James is a Melbourne police office that has run up against crime boss Cyrus Bain. James is a witness that Bain is determined to make disappear. To keep James safe he is sent to the New Territory. He is put to work with criminal psychologist Jessie Sandersen to stop The Dingo killer. The Dingo killer targets English backpackers.

James and Sandersen are a great team and are playing cat and mouse with a man that went dormant fifteen years prior and is back. This was quite a ride with short chapters, multiple views, and a story that is hard to put down. James has his charm but I do wish there was more to Jessie. Hopefully in the next book she will have more to her character.

This is a great story and one I recommend mystery lovers check out. I think it was a great story and can’t wait for the second book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to review and share this book.

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The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

When newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge, what greets her is far from the life of wealth and privilege she was expecting . . .

When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But with her husband dead just weeks after their marriage, her new servants resentful, and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure–a silent companion–that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. The residents of The Bridge are terrified of the figure, but Elsie tries to shrug this off as simple superstition–that is, until she notices the figure’s eyes following her.

A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, this is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect–much like the silent companions themselves.

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 Laura  Purcell

Author’s Bio

A former Waterstones bookseller, Laura is now a full time author of chilling Gothic fiction. Her ghost story THE SILENT COMPANIONS was published by Bloomsbury Raven in October 2017 and will be followed by THE CORSET in 2018.

Laura has also blogged extensively about the Hanoverian monarchy. Her biopic novels QUEEN OF BEDLAM and MISTRESS OF THE COURT are the first in a series covering the lives and loves of the Georgian era queens.


My Review

4 stars

We start this story in an institution with a woman that is mute. Dr. Shepherd is trying to learn her story even though the guards are telling him that the woman is a killer and to not waste his time. We learn this is Elsie, that she has been horribly burned in a fire, and that she has gone through hell but can’t remember what happened.

Elsie is the daughter of a match factory owner. Rupert Bainbridge wanted to expand his holdings and marries Elsie. A couple months later, Rupert is found dead at his country estate, The Bridge. Of course there is scandal of the whole situation and Elsie’s brother sends her and Rupert’s cousin, Sally. The Bridge is decrepit and the local village clearly hates Elsie and Sally just because they are the owners.

While exploring the house, Elsie and Sally have strong occurrences like locked doors mysteriously being opened then locked and a nursery looking immaculate then decrepit. But the wooden figure that looks like Elsie, the Silent Companion. As Sally reads the journal they found, the women learn that The Bridge has a history of a witch and curse. It seems there is good reason for the villagers to hate the owners of The Bridge.

This is a great gothic mystery. Elsie though she was going to marry into a life of riches and finds herself in a rundown estate in the middle of a decaying country landscape. When the odd things happened I was curious about where this story was going. Then when I learn the history of The Bridge, I was starting to get seriously creeped out. But I have to say the part that got me was the flashes to the present as Dr. Shepherd is trying to get the story out of Elsie.

This is a great, creepy gothic story. I recommend checking it out. You won’t be disappointed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Memento Mori


Memento Mori (Medicus Investigation – 8) by Ruth Downie

The eighth gripping novel in the bestselling Medicus series, in which Ruso and Tilla investigate the death of the wife of Ruso’s friend in the sacred hot spring of Aquae Sulis.

A scandal is threatening to engulf the popular spa town of Aquae Sulis (modern-day Bath). The wife of Ruso’s best friend, Valens, has been found dead in the sacred hot spring, stabbed through the heart. Fearing the wrath of the goddess and the ruin of the tourist trade, the temple officials are keen to cover up what’s happened. But the dead woman’s father is demanding justice, and he’s accusing Valens of murder.

If Valens turns up to face trial, he will risk execution. If he doesn’t, he’ll lose his children.

Ruso and Tilla do their best to help but it’s difficult to get anyone–even Valens himself–to reveal what really happened. Could Ruso’s friend really be guilty as charged?

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 Ruth Downie

Author’s Bio

I was lucky enough to be born in the West Country, in beautiful North Devon. Some people know from a very early age that they are going to be writers: I wasn’t one of them. I fear this will upset some readers, but I left university with an English degree and a plan to get married and live happily ever after. Perhaps it was all that Jane Austen.

Some of my earliest ventures into creative writing were attempts to type up my indecipherable shorthand in such a way that the boss wouldn’t realise I was making it up. As secretaries were replaced with computers, and my higher-flying contemporaries discovered to their horror that they were expected to type their own letters, there were fewer and fewer outlets for creativity in the office. Finally I took the plunge and started working on my own material.

And then came the Romans. I wasn’t looking for them: we only went to Hadrian’s Wall because we thought our children should do something educational on holiday. Sheltering from the rain in a museum, I read, “Roman soldiers were allowed to have relationships with local women, but they were not allowed to marry them.” Obviously, here was a terrific story waiting to be told. All I had to do was find out everything there was to know about Roman Britain, invent things to fill the gaps, and work out how to put it all together in a novel…

I’ve been accompanied throughout this impossible mission by a patient husband. We have two grown-up sons, two  two cats at the last count, and an unknown number of badgers who live down a dark hole in the garden.

When I’m not researching or writing the Ruso novels, I spend the occasional joyous week grovelling in mud with an archaeological trowel, because Roman Britain is still there. Underneath our feet.

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My Review

4 stars

Ruso and Tilla have been asked by Ruso’s friend, Valens, to look into the death of his wife at the new bath house at Aquae Sulis. It seems she has been found stabbed in the heart and her father thinks that Valens is responsible. Valens is in a troubling spot. If he shows up for trial, he will surely die. But if he doesn’t his children will be without a father.

This story has a little bit of everything in it. There is the initial murder that Ruso and Tilla are investigating. But you also have a new bath house that was just constructed that has had a murder, who will want to be there? What about those that worship the goddess Minerva Sulis and how this is affected by the murder?

This is my first book from Ruth Downie. It was an interesting story. One that kept me captivated through the book. But it is so much more than just a murder mystery. You learn about the extended families and how everyone seems to be connected. I also loved the settings, I felt like I was right there in the bath house.

I think this is a great story that can be read as a standalone book. But I have the feeling that if you read the other books in the series it would add volume to this world.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Bloomsbury Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Because I Had To


Because I Had To by David Bulitt

Jess Porter spent her childhood bouncing from therapist to therapist and prescription to prescription. An outcast at school and a misfit at home, the only solace she ever found was in her relationship with her dad, Tom. Now he’s dead. Feeling rejected by her adopted mom and her biological twin sister, Jess runs off to South Florida. But she can’t outrun her old life. Watching the blood drip down her arm after her latest round of self-inflicted cutting, she decides her only choice is to find and face what frightens her most.

Because I Had To takes the reader inside the worlds of adoption, teen therapy, family law, and the search for a biological family. With a cast of finely drawn, complicated characters, it asks us to consider: can the present ever heal the past?

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David Bulitt

Author’s Bio

Family law specialist David Bulitt has been praised as the lawyer who “epitomizes stability and old fashioned common sense” by Bethesda Magazine and routinely makes every top Washington DC Metro lawyer list. His clients say that he is “the best non-shaving, motorcycle-riding, bourbon-drinking, non-lawyer, lawyer” they know.

The grandson of a New Jersey bartender, Bulitt was the first member of his family to get a professional degree. After years of raising kids and focusing on family responsibilities, Bulitt Bulitt now spends much of his spare time discussing world issues with his dogs and working on his novels. His first book, CARD GAME, was published in 2015 to a bevy of five star reviews. His new novel, BECAUSE I HAD TO, is now available online and in several book stores.

Bulitt is the Assistant Managing Director of Joseph, Greenwald and Laake, PA, one of Maryland’s largest and most prominent law firms. His practice focuses on all areas of family law, including cases that involve complex financial and property matters and property distribution, divorce, and child custody disputes. He is often appointed by local courts to serve in one of the most difficult and demanding legal roles, as a Best Interests Attorney for children whose parents are embroiled in high conflict custody disputes. He also has extensive expertise working with families that have children with special needs.

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My Review

4 Stars

Jess Porter is a young lady that has gone through a lot. Jess and her twin sister are adopted. But she doesn’t really fit in with her mother and perfect sister. She has gone through a lot of mental issues and is nowhere near perfect or social like her sister. The only one that she truly connects with is her father. But not that he has died; she is torn with what to do with her life. Jess decides to find her biological mother and turns to her father’s lawyer and best friend JB. JB is trying to cope with the dead of Tom but decides to help Jess in her hunt.

I instantly felt for Jess. She clearly has some issues that she has been trying to work through with therapists. But it doesn’t help that her twin sister seems to be perfect with everything she does, including being the social butterfly. This part broke my heart. I knew this girl that was a twin and like Jess, her sister seemed to be a savant with everything she did. My friend’s parents ended up finding something that appealed to her and kept her sister out of it just so she could excel at something.

From there it is hard to watch Jess struggle with her other issues and JB try to help her along the way with her search. I have to say that I didn’t expect the ending but it does encourage me to want to read the next book from David Bulitt. You can tell that David Bulitt does have background as a family lawyer but I think this just enhanced the story.

This is a touching story and one that I think most people would like.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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