Willow Rose’s fourth book in the Rebekka Franck series Seven, Eight … Gonne Stay Up Late adds another dimension to the mystery of where Rebekka Frank’s life is going. At the end of book three, Five, Six …Grab Your Crucifix, at a point just prior to the Epilogue, there was an event that was almost an aside to the story. Rebekka answered a knock on the door to find Peter, ex-husband, but someone Rebekka could still be attracted to if Peter could get over war-imposed trauma. Daughter Julie also wanted her dad back. Rebekka’s dad even liked Peter. This made for an awkward situation as Rebekka was sleeping with, and thought she was in love with, Sune, her photographer colleague. Even though I ignore and gloss over romantic contexts that appear in novels of killing, horror, and mayhem, I wanted to see how this would work out.
Five, Six … Grab Your Crucifix is the third novel in the five-novel boxed set of Rebekka Franck, crusading journalist series. Not that Rebekka wanted to be seen as a crusading journalist, but she had been through two experiences of solving serial killer mysteries. The first novel was about revenge for childhood crimes when one of the children returned as an adult to exact vengeance. The second novel was a peripheral victim whose loved one had suffered botched medical experiments and he wanted to make them pay. This novel also involves multiple killings but in the setting or a cult. Was it a religious cult? Ostensibly, but the practices of religious leaders from this cult veer far from the path of normality. The cult emphasizes pain, torture and associated weird sex. Not that cult leaders had to suffer, except in their early initiation, but the greater mass of followers suffered constantly … and they liked it.
Three, Four … Better Lock Your Door is the second novel in the Rebekka Franck series by Willow Rose. Rebekka is still the small-town newspaper stringer forced to be content with reporting on small-town politics and gossip She has time to take care of her daughter in the family home where she lives with her dad. Nothing shocking has happened in two years. Her office mates Sara, office staff, and Sune, photographer, are characters we have met in a previous work.
One, Two … He is Coming for You by Willow Rose is the first in a five-volume boxed set of Rose’s Rebekka Franck mystery series. Book One is what I call a comfort read and I expect others in the series to be as comfortable as this one. It is in a bank of books that I can fall back on with the assurance that the stories may not be great literature, but they are good storytelling. Each one has a little bit of a twist on some proven formula that makes the writer’s work interesting. In this writer’s case, the twist was in the setting. This first novel is set in a small town/village of Denmark. I get the impression the town name is bigger or larger than the town.
The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland begins with a lot of questions with lots of proposed answers. Therefore, readers have a lot of suspicions about who is telling the truth. Tess arrives home one night to find a small boy in her kitchen. She had used her keys to enter the front door so how did it come about that a young boy was drawing pictures on her kitchen table? How did he get in? According to the young boy, Tess knew him as Harry because she was, after all, his mom. The problem was that Tess had no children, at least no living ones.
Reading books from Carol Ervin’s Mountain Women Series is like going back to a childhood home after a long absence. In this case, I am sure to have a place to stay. The Boardinghouse is book five in this series. Readers should not be discouraged by the bewildering number of characters, each with their own backstory because Ervin helpfully provides a guide in the front of the novel which lists all the characters the reader will meet. Each introduction has a few keywords indicating what the backstory will contain. Reading all the books in the six-novel collection is a good idea for fans of TV series such as Dallas.
I received One Night by Deanna Cabinian from the author. At first a bit reluctant to read something described as a “coming of age” novel, I am glad I did. I have a category I like to call a “comfort read.” Nothing in it should give offense to anyone (IMHO). It borders on fantasy in that the characters are almost too perfect and, in several cases, too mature in behavior and opinion for their chronological age. In the first few pages, I worried the story would spiral down into sappy, syrupy, sentimental storytelling in a nostalgic search for an imagined perfect past. That did not happen. The tightly controlled crisp writing moved the story along at almost page-turner speed. There are nicely woven reflections on quality of life, the inevitability of death, different perceptions of love (requited and unrequited) and the values of a strong family life. What could have been sappy was rescued by the writers skill into something really good. On an Amazon scale, I gave this a five-star rating, something I have never done with a “comfort read.” I highly recommend this for the YA crowd and will nag my son until he reads at least parts of it.