Review: The Good Spy Dies Twice

The Good Spy Dies Twice The Good Spy Dies Twice by Mark Hosack
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The main character, whose head the reader is in most of the time, is one of those guys who has bad judgement, a lot of eccentricity, and is very uncomfortable in this story. It seemed to me that he was forced by the author to act in certain ways so the plot could move along. Frankly, I did not care for all the foul language, and I did not get exactly why this girl fell in love with him and married him. When I read that, I was appalled... especially when he's all stressed out about her being late after skiing. When I read that they were supposed to meet someone at a particular time, I completely lost patience with the whole story. This just read like a rush job without a lot of thinking the plot through and without really getting comfortable with the characters. Just my opinion.

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Review: Forgiving My Daughter's Killer: A True Story of Loss, Faith, and Unexpected Grace

Forgiving My Daughter's Killer: A True Story of Loss, Faith, and Unexpected Grace Forgiving My Daughter's Killer: A True Story of Loss, Faith, and Unexpected Grace by Kate Grosmaire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am deeply touched that this mom was able to tell this story. What amazing courage it must have taken!

I was glad I ordered this book. It gave me a lot of insights into the emotional roller coaster people ride when facing this kind of tragedy. I can't imagine anything worse. I appreciate the candor and courage this story pours all over the reader.

The story is gripping, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. I am not a fan of flashbacks and this book is nothing but flashbacks. First, we're here and then we're there, and it is so exhausting trying to keep up.

Note to editors: Please, please guide your authors to tell their stories with fewer plot ploys and more good story telling. There's no need to go back and forth with no transitions just jerking the reader from one place to the next. Transitions would have made this read a lot more bearable!

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Review: Crossing Into The Mystic

Crossing Into The Mystic Crossing Into The Mystic by D.L. Koontz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book started out pretty good. The dialogue was snappy, and you learned a lot from it. But it's hard to know if Grace really doesn't like her aunt or if it's just some back and forth thing.

It is very unbelievable that a 16-year-old is allowed to go to a different state to stay by herself in an old mansion. I just couldn't swallow that. Grace doesn't talk or act like a teenager. Her thoughts are on the plain of a 20 something.

Although the characters are well-developed, and the small town characters are your usual line up, the author does make the small town come alive. But, what does a 16-year-old know about love anyway? The whole thing just didn't ring believable to me, so 2 out of 5 stars.

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Review: Through Raging Waters

Through Raging Waters Through Raging Waters by Renee Blare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this book, although I seriously recommend you read the first book first. I was a bit clueless in the beginning because I didn't know who was who... and there just isn't much character development in this one. So take your chances.

I realize there is a tendency to groan when a person has read the first book and then has to plow through a rehashing of characters before the story takes off. However, there is a way to write that will make it easier reading for everyone, but that isn't done here.

Characters seem a bit cardboardish at times, but the scenery descriptions are top notch. You are there in the middle of the floods with raging water all around. You feel the cool air, and smell the fireplaces, and you hear the little ding of the bell over the pharmacy door. No question that Blare has a knack for descriptive writing.

She has a tendency to write cryptically. There are some jumps in conversations, and some head hopping without transitions that make for a bit of a "jerky" read rather than a swift story flow which is what Blare is striving for, I'm sure. She's got the talent, for sure. I expect her books to get better and better as her writing skills develop.

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