What He Deserves Book Review

He can hear them as he lies in his hospital bed. Coma, the nurses whisper. An accident. A 911 call. But Richard remembers none of it. What happened to him?

Richard Lyons knows he’s a good man–a good husband, a good provider, a good father. He works hard and doesn’t suffer fools.

So, when he finds himself in a coma, unable to speak, but able to hear those around him, he’s desperate to awaken. Desperate to return to the life he remembered with his wife, Clarissa, and son, Andrew. Only the life he remembered doesn’t seem to be true. The nurses wonder why Clarissa still visits given what Richard did; Andrew never comes; and the police investigating whatever happened to him leave Richard with more questions than answers. Richard knows his memory now is akin to swiss cheese: riddled with holes. 

As memories come back to him, Richard sees the life he thought he knew fade away after a shocking revelation about Andrew. Hoping recovering his memories will be the key to awakening, Richard tries desperately to remember where things went wrong. Only, as the memories come back, he begins to wonder if he was really as good of a man as he believed…

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Richard looked down on everyone that wasn’t as lucky as himself. He thought that the only way to live life properly was through hard 12-hour work days to support your family, and that it was your own fault if you didn’t do this. He disregarded the fact that some people may not be able to take those jobs, or may get sick and lose the ability to work at all. He just called them lazy, and even said that they deserved to die rather than forcing hard-working people to pay for their medical expenses. He hates that his church is starting to teach the youth group that some people aren’t poor because they are lazy, he hates politics being in his church at all. He tries to tell his son differently, but soon Andrew starts growing apart from him. Just when he thinks that things are back to normal, his son gets into an accident, and his entire life is turned upside down.

The only thing that would have made this book better for me would have been if Richard was more likable. I would have had more sympathy for his coma and what was going on with his life if he wasn’t so full of hate from the very start of the novel. Nevertheless, this book was definitely hard-hitting. I have never had any family members or known anyone that had absolutely no compassion for a single person who was poor, working in a low-wage job, or generally down on their luck. Richard didn’t care what your case may be, if you did not have money, it was no one’s fault but your own. There was no possibility that there may be circumstances that were not in the person’s control that brought them to this situation. No, they must have just been lazy in life. I couldn’t fathom how Richard didn’t see the truth, but he didn’t. He stuck to his beliefs from the beginning to the end, and it was definitely interesting to read such a stubborn character.

The book doesn’t start off with Richard being in a coma, but the further you get into it, the closer you get to the point where Richard is in the coma, and the more Richard remembers about why he is in his current situation. Crayton is an excellent storyteller and makes sure that readers can feel how lost Richard truly feels while he is in the coma. You are finding things out at the same time Richard is, basically reliving the last few months of his life. This form of storytelling kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire novel.

The ending of the story was still shocking, and I reread the last few pages just to truly absorb what happened. I would definitely recommend this book just for the ending, even if the book wasn’t as amazing as it is. Now, I have to say that this is a must-read! It’s a bit of a political thriller in some ways, but it is mostly a mystery-suspense novel. If you are a fan of either of these genres, then this is the novel for you.

I received a copy of this novel and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 books

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The Feathered Serpent ARC Review (Hiram Kane Series #5)

A Betrayed Archaeologist. A Ghost from the Past. A Dozen Worthy Sacrifices.

Expedition leader Hiram Kane is holed up in his native England recovering from wounds both physical and mental, when his family receives a mysterious anonymous letter that dredges up nightmares from the past. Could it also offer a ray of unexpected hope?

Across the world planet beneath a forgotten Aztec pyramid, a betrayed archaeology professor is about to unleash his wrath.
How? Brutally murdering a dozen innocent victims in an ancient sacrificial ritual.

When the modern and ancient worlds collide and the unhinged professor starts committing unimaginable blood-spilling atrocities on the adolescent virgins, Kane is forced to make an impossible choice; 

Can he sacrifice the love of his life to save the innocent girls?


This book starts with the main story being about Hiram finding his long-lost brother, and a side story about a disgraced archaeologist coming up with a plan to get back at those who hurt him.

Hiram lost his younger brother years ago when he was 10 and his brother was 8, and now he receives a letter from a person claiming to be his now-adult brother who lives in Mexico. Hiram decides to go down to Mexico to meet his brother Danny and to finally get some closure as to what happened to his younger brother.

To be honest, this arc was probably my least favorite part of the story. I was expecting Danny to have been kidnapped, but he wasn’t. He chose to leave the family of his own free will at 8 years old and then chose to never go back. This was just astonishing to me. How do you decide at 8 years old that you are going to be ok living on your own? The book doesn’t really explain if Hiram’s parents were ever abusive towards Danny, it was just a few misheard conversations. I know we have all had times where we overheard something or misinterpreted something and thought that our parents or siblings didn’t love us anymore. We’ve also had times where we decided to “run away.” But for an 8-year-old to run away and then just STAY away for years and years, without even trying to contact his or her parents when they weren’t even abusive? That’s definitely not normal behavior at all. I hope that this behavior is actually discussed in future installments of the Hiram Kane series.

Besides this rather strange arc, I enjoyed the rest of this thriller! The former professor had such an interesting backstory, and I almost thought that I could forgive him for his crimes before he had started killing the girls. Honestly, he was disgraced in such a stupid way. I couldn’t blame him for being upset. But then he just got crazier and crazier as the story got on, and I saw more and more of the professor slipping away as he started to believe the facade that he had created for himself. By the end, I realized that the professor was completely gone, and only a madman was left. All I wonder is what happened to Rafe? Is he going to pop up in another book? So many questions that I am going to need answers for.

Once the action in this story starts, it REALLY starts. I was actually a bit shocked by the sheer gore in this story, I definitely cringed during some parts. If you don’t like gore, this is definitely not the book for you. I have read a few of the Hiram Kane stories, and this one definitely ranks pretty high on the gore. For me, I actually liked the fact that the story didn’t shy away from gore. It really added to the intensity of the action scenes and made me really feel as if the girl’s lives were really on the line. Unlike many other stories that pretend to kill people and then reveal to the reader that it was really all fake. This book almost had me crying at times, it was just that good.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new adult thriller-mystery novel to read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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Those Who Knew Review

From the award-winning author of Ways to Disappear, a taut, timely novel about what a powerful politician thinks he can get away with and the group of misfits who finally bring him down.

On an unnamed island country ten years after the collapse of a U.S.-supported regime, Lena suspects the powerful senator she was involved with back in her student activist days is taking advantage of a young woman who’s been introducing him at rallies. When the young woman ends up dead, Lena revisits her own fraught history with the senator and the violent incident that ended their relationship.

Why didn’t Lena speak up then, and will her family’s support of the former regime still impact her credibility? What if her hunch about this young woman’s death is wrong?

What follows is a riveting exploration of the cost of staying silent and the mixed rewards of speaking up in a profoundly divided country. Those Who Knew confirms Novey’s place as an essential new voice in American fiction.

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I had such high hopes for this book. A political thriller that seemed to mirror some parts of the world around us? Sign me up! I was gifted this ARC, so I was so excited to even get the chance to read it before it came out. But unfortunately, sometimes things aren’t as great as they might seem.

This book is told in an extremely strange fashion. There are a bunch of different characters whose stories are all happening simultaneously, and each chapter focuses on a different one. It wasn’t even until I reached the end of the book that I realized that Freddy was Victor’s younger brother, and I am only half sure about that! Then, the book also included a few TV-show or play script chapters where the author would jump back into the past and talk about things that were happening. These were the most confusing, as they would often end on a really strange note and just “fade to black.” There were also chapters told in a chronological order, with timestamps by the hour. But without knowing which characters were which, these chapters also made no sense. Characters in the play and time-stamp chapters were just referred to as “Future Senator” or “Future Senator’s Brother” and so forth, to make the story more “cryptic.”

The main plot of the book was supposed to be about Maria P’s death and Lena trying to figure out who killed her. Then it turned into a story about Lena and her former boyfriend the politician Victor, who she thought could have killed Maria. Then it was about Olga and her dead boyfriend/true love S and her marijuana business. Then, it was about Victor and his wife. Then it was about Victor and his brother. Then it was about Lena and her new boyfriend. Then it was about Lena and Olga. I literally could not keep up with everything that was going on, and it got to the point where I just stopped trying.

The ending of the book felt like some sort of fever dream. Dead bodies, but were they dead bodies? A lot of sexual scenes, for what reason, I don’t know. And then the end of the book didn’t seem to tie anything up. I was more confused than I was when I started reading.

This book started off as some sort of political thriller, but it ended as a sort of abstract novel about humanity, love, and politics. Definitely not my kind of read, and I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I had known that it was going to be written in this fashion. At the beginning I wanted to learn about what happened to Maria P. I never figured out what happened to her, and I didn’t find out what happened to the other characters either.

I received a copy of this book and this my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

A Creation of Tomorrow Review

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\A Creation of Tomorrow (The Creation Series, #1)Alice’s daughter now missing, Cami was without a mother, and the one person that protected her from her father’s anger. Now Cami continuously wore new bruises.

Having no doubt Cami’s father Tom was responsible for the bruises Alice turned to the police again and again, but just like when Patsy went missing, they repeatedly turned their backs on her.

Alice was desperate to find help. With nowhere left to turn, she turned to the most dangerous men she’d ever laid eyes on.

Rumour had it that they were drug traffickers. The leader was thought to be the devil himself, and his men his demon disciples; but what choice did Alice have? She needed someone that could protect Cami.

***
They didn’t wear patches on their leather, and they weren’t called by any name, but they were brothers.

For Rick running a drug ring was challenge enough. Having each other’s back was all that mattered – until Alice approached him. Taken with Alice, and drawn in the moment he looked at Cami’s picture Rick ordered Jonathan and Swan to tail the little girl, and find out what they could about her situation.

What they found was that she abused and needed their help. What they discovered was an innocence they forgot existed in the world, and a strength no child should ever have.

Her sweetness drew them in. Her strength tore at their hearts. They would do anything to keep her was safe.

This is a creation of tomorrow..

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Cami was in trouble, and her grandmother knew. No one believed that Cami was being abused by her father Tom, and the police reports that Alice had been filing were fruitless. Tom was going to really hurt Cami if Alice didn’t do something, so she decided to turn to a local gang for protection. She was expecting to have to pay but little did she know, the gang’s leader Rick had a soft spot for her and little girls in need of his help. The gang decides to watch this girl in order to find out what her father is really doing to her. They don’t mean to become attached to young Cami and Alice, but they do. Now, they have to worry about protecting the two from Tom and from the gang’s enemies.

This was the longest book that I’ve read in a while. It actually took me 2-3 days of on and off reading to finish it! But I kept on reading because I just loved the characters so much. I was reading in a lot of different spare moments that I had, just to get a chapter or two in. And even through all of this, I still had that moment at the end of the novel where I thought “that’s it?” I didn’t want these characters to ever stop talking to me.

This book has a nice balance between shocking/sad and cute/relaxing scenes. You would have a scene with Rick’s gang fighting or killing members of another gang, and then you would have a scene with the same guys playing with Cami. The author makes sure that her readers know that just because the men are gangsters doesn’t mean that they are cruel to everyone that they meet. They can treat a young girl like a princess, and still kill anyone who dares to put her in danger. Some scenes might get a little gory for those faint of heart, but it still was an amazing novel.

This was also a semi-realistic portrayal of child abuse. Everyone knew that something wasn’t quite right with Cami’s relationship with her father, but they couldn’t get her to say anything. Bruises aren’t uncommon on children, and police reports might not go anywhere for quite a long time. The only way for the gang to find out what was wrong was to see it firsthand. Cami didn’t even show signs of being abused emotionally, she had gotten good at hiding things. The gang had to get really close to Cami to get her to say a word about her father.

After the father story arc is set to the side, you get to see Cami’s life with the gang around her. They became a sort of messed up family, with the gang using the money that they received from their other activities to give Cami elaborate gifts. I was so sad when they worried about Cami’s safety from themselves.

The romance in this book was also sweet. Rick definitely had a soft spot for Alice, and slowly Alice started to warm up to him as well. I had wished that it had gone further than it had, but it had to end for safety reasons. Such a tragic love story! Then, there is a romance that was introduced at the end of the novel. A bit of a triangle even. I don’t know how this will work out, but I will just have to wait until book 2 and see!

Overall, this was an amazing thriller. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an adult mystery/thriller novel with a side storyline about family.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Justice Gone Book Blitz

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Justice Gone cover.jpgJustice Gone

By N. Lombardi Jr

Genre: Legal Thriller

Justice Gone, a mystery/legal thriller which publishes February 22, 2019, touches upon many topical, controversial issues in today’s society as well as being a thrilling and engaging read. The story encapsulates current social issues: police brutality, homelessness, the plight of returning war veterans, the frenzy of the press, and the mechanics of the US judicial system.

“When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?”

Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr. Tessa Thorpe.

 

author pic N Lombardi.jpgAbout the Author

Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.

Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.

Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Visit his Goodreads page: https://bit.ly/2D1Ktt5

Amazonhttps://amzn.to/2WCTodE

Barnes & Noblehttps://bit.ly/2SoiKwc

Facebookhttps://bit.ly/2sY7LeN

GIVEAWAY!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Author N. Lombardi Jr is giving away 20 signed copies of Justice Gone. Enter below!

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Bruntfield, New Jersey, just another banal town in a part of the country that nobody thinks about, was about to become famous; or rather, more aptly put, infamous. People sauntered past lackluster shops unaware that in a few days, the lackadaisical streets would bear the rabid frustrations that divided the nation; a pus-like bitterness that was held in check by the demands of everyday survival and the distractions offered by obsessive consumerism and brazen media.

Some would inevitably blame the cascade of events on the weather, since the origins could be found on a hot summer day in 2006. Sure, just about all summer days are hot, but this one was close to the record, and humid to boot. By the end of July, the Northeast coast was suffering under a sweltering heat wave. Despite the humidity, no one could remember the last time it had rained. A hundred-year drought was predicted, they’d said.

Bruntfield, among the many places under this curse, had its water supply so severely depressed that the city authorities were forced to impose water rationing. As if that wasn’t enough, the excessive load on air conditioners led to incessant brownouts. With the weather nothing less than insufferable, suffocating, oppressive, even provoking, tempers flared along with the temperature. But the local situation, as bad as it was, was about to get worse.

In the heart of this small town, just a block up from the bus depot, sat Sliders, a rather successful drinking establishment catering to young adults, and noted for its ecstasy-fueled rave parties. At four in the afternoon, the owner, Joe Poppet, a burly man with a thick red beard and a well-developed beer belly, was staring out the large glass facade of his bar.

“Screw this heat, man.”

Joe was sweating because he didn’t want to turn on the air-conditioning; as a rule, he didn’t put it on until a half hour before opening. He possessed a rather cynical personality, considering himself continually persecuted by life’s little aggravations. Now it was the heat ramping up his electricity bill; soon it would be the freezing temperatures inflating his heating bill…always something. His worries constantly exceeded his hopes. He was sort of a “glass-half-empty” man.

Rudy Glum, the shaven-headed bartender, was an easygoing optimist, a “glass-half-full” kind of guy. He was whistling as he washed the glasses in the sink behind the bar. “Tell me about it,” he chuckled. “I hear ya, buddy.”

But Rudy’s sanguinity did not rub off on Joe. “There’s that guy again.”

“What guy?”

“That fucking guy we saw yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah, he’s probably from the bus depot. Lotta homeless hang out there.”

Joe continued to stare out the glass facade, feeling helpless. “For Chrissakes, why can’t the city do something and get rid of those bastards. They’re a fucking eyesore…it’s bad for business. Probably got diseases too.”

Rudy finished drying the glass in his hand and hung it up on the beer mug rack. “Yeah, it’s a goddamn shame,” he said noncommittally, trying to get these glasses done before the evening crowd surged in.

“He doesn’t have a shirt on.”

“Yeah, well it’s hot, ain’t it? Wish I could take mine off.”

“And we’re opening in an hour. Ladies Night tonight.”

Rudy said nothing while reaching for another glass from the sink behind the bar.

“Call the cops.”

The bartender froze with the glass still in his hand. “And tell them what?”

“I don’t know, tell ‘em there’s someone suspicious hangin out on the corner…trying to break into cars or something. That way they’ll come fast.”

Reluctantly, Rudy put down his dishrag, picked up the phone, and dialed 911, not feeling good about it at all.

Get Real Review (Dale Conley #4)

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Get Real (Dale Conley Action Thrillers Series Book 4)

Dale Conley is struggling to be the voice of reason—because everyone around him is losing their minds.

San Francisco is in a panic. The entire city is hunting Jonathan Fair—son of a prominent crime family, sufferer of manic hallucinations, imprisoned bank robber … and recent escapee.

With the world watching and as the crimes pile up, Dale feverishly tracks Fair, whose delusions have convinced him he’s living in a different time, making his actions erratic. And almost impossible for Dale to decipher.

Meanwhile, other, darker forces are using the circus surrounding the Jonathan Fair manhunt to move into position, poised to strike a blow to San Francisco…

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I haven’t read a Dale Conley thriller in quite a few months, and I definitely didn’t know how much I needed to. This book got me out of a reading slump!

Jonathan Fair has managed to escape a mental hospital/facility. He suffers from manic delusions, and also has several different personalities that can completely take over his mind, so the city does not know what to expect from him. If they hunt him down like a criminal, they might come across a man with a child’s mind. If they hunt him down like a sick person who needs to return to the hospital, they might come across a murderer. Dale is hired to help catch Jonathan Fair, and he has to work with Yorke, another female cop, to figure out where he is. Jonathan is leaving secretive messages all over the town, which is sort of helping out the police, but they are still being lead on a wild chase throughout San Francisco. But was he the only one to escape the facility?

One of the main characters in this story is Jane. She is John’s sister and knows the truth about his struggle with mental illness. Hoping to find her brother before the police do, she tries to use the clues to figure out where John is, and which personality he is going to be at the moment. She has given up most of her life to try to protect her brother, never having any relationships and moving constantly to be closer to her brother. She doesn’t want to see her brother put in jail for something that he most likely doesn’t remember doing, and she knows that he is trying to reach out to her so that he can continue to get the help that he needs.

I’ll admit, it took me a bit longer than I would have liked to get into the book. The beginning made me feel as if I was flying from scene to scene, and I had no clue who most of the characters were. But when Jane came into the story about a third of the way through, I was immediately hooked. Her character truly propelled me through the rest of the novel, and she ended up being my favorite character in the entire novel. She really made all the pieces fall into place, as she gave the readers information about John’s true nature.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I was honestly surprised at how quickly I got through it. I felt like it had taken me longer to read the previous Dale Conley book. But I definitely liked that the novel, it didn’t have the usual “pages of boredom followed by a few minutes of thriller” that I see in several mystery novels. Once I got past the first 25% of the book, which I finished in probably less than 30 minutes, I was on the edge of my seat. There were no moments where the story bored me, I was constantly trying to use small clues to solve the mystery. I raced to the end, and immediately was ready for the next Dale Conley Thriller!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new mystery-thriller novel with an addictive storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I received an advance copy of this novel and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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