To be obvious, The Trouble with Time by Lexi Revellian is about time travel. The reader should keep this in mind and pay attention to the chapter, or segment headings. There are 43 of these headings. Our time travelers journey to the past and the future as they attempt to alter events or not alter events or make attempts, sort of like bookmarks, to give themselves, friends, and enemies, clues as to what they should accomplish on their travels. Readers have to be aware of the “readers present time” or there will be a lot of going back and forth in the book to catch up.

The Neighbors by Zach Bohannon is a short novel, Amazon notes it is a one-hour eight-minute read. It is fast paced and leads the reader’s mind in a couple of directions, the principal one is into the occult. It is not so much that Spence believes in the occult, but his wife Julie does. They, along with infant daughter Erika and dog Spektor, live on a dead-end street which has eight houses.

Death Turns a Trick by Julie Smith is in a series called “Rebecca Schwartz Mystery(ies).” I probably won’t read any more books in this series, but I will read more novels by Julie Smith. The Talba Wallis series novels are highly entertaining. I find her writing style very engaging. There is lots of humor that is not always subtle (like the title of this book) and the resolution to the mysteries presented usually have a satisfying twist. This particular novel dwells too much on the details of dresses and costumes worn on different occasions. There is way too much information for me on the quality of different cosmetics and the amounts of time spent preparing to meet different audiences. It’s just not my genre. But it may satisfy the more fashion-conscious reader.

Really Great Book Alert!!        Sleep Donation

This is advertised as a novella. Amazon suggested a reading time is just over an hour. I am a fast reader and it took me two hours. The wonderfully complex vocabulary and sentence structures were a delight to be appreciated and not rushed. I found myself using a dictionary because I wanted to get a more precise appeal for what the author wanted me to understand. I like to review books and I give a lot of three and four-star ratings but few five-star ratings. This is a five. I haven’t seen such masterful and creative use of language since William F. Buckley (sorry if any political sensibilities got trampled here).

The Wind Has Teeth Tonight  by Chuck Wendig is a short story/flash fiction/teaser for other writing. I read anything that is written by Chuck Wendig. My mind is always diverted to new directions by this creative writer. And if you follow his author page on Amazon, you will see there are some short award-winning films as well.

This short story should be pleasing for young (think fifteen-year-old and under) readers as well as readers of indeterminate age, like me. First, it is short. Readers who like this might even be encouraged to read longer books. Second, there is the satisfying idea that young women are creative and smart. They can sometimes come up with better solutions than their experienced slightly older male elders.

In the Clearing by Robert Dugoni gives the reader two crime mysteries in one. There is the murder of a soon-to-be ex-husband by either the soon-to-be ex-wife or the son (the only family member that does not get the lengthy prefix) in 2016. At the same time, there is the investigation of a “cold case” murder which occurred in 1976. Both murders will be investigated by the same detective. While I could claim that the two murders have no connection, there is a case that can be made establishing a connection. So we have one novel, two murders and lots of circles within circles of smaller mysteries. This is a novel that will engage your attention or you will sink in confusion. Bookmarking helps.

If you compete with me…

Brooklyn Heat by D. James Eldon is at times a fast paced crime mystery novel and at times a slow-paced police procedural novel. On balance, the fast-paced outweighs the slow-paced stuff and this novel has enough twists to make it a great read.

The beginning scene will capture the reader immediately. The horribly graphic killing of a child sets the reader up to hate any suspect that might be guilty. Some crime novels glorify the criminal as a good boy gone bad, but nobody sympathizes with the murderer and torturer of a young child. A powerful start and an introduction of a sympathetic but somewhat incompetent, immature cop, Jimmy McNally, who engages totally with the victim’s mother leads the reader down the path of a torturous investigation. Jimmy, who is definitely not the lead investigator, will play a central role but he is not in charge.

Thief’s Odyssey by John L. Monk is a story of an unrepentant thief. Actually, he is a proud thief and has few qualms about his chosen profession. There is sort of a resignation and acceptance of the fact that he will eventually get caught, but perhaps not anytime soon. Bo is self-educated in the many disciplines that make up being a thief. He is a safecracker and finds entertainment in keeping models of safes in his house for practice. He is a burglar and thrills being in a house while owners are at home. Bo practices martial arts of many forms, but that his practical side emerging. He wants to be confident that he can defend himself in prison, whenever that may happen.

Poison Bay by Belinda Pollard will make you never want to go camping again. This is a truly scary book which will leave the reader to appreciate the need for self-reliance in situations of crisis when to face the crisis means the possibility of winning and failure means death. And if you think you had friends along on the ride; you will be disappointed. In this novel, another name for friends is “suspects.”

The end-of-high-school party should have been a great party. It was, until Liana showed up with a gun and, after threatening some of her former classmates, committed suicide instead. But this is the beginning of the story, not the end. Readers may never be entirely clear about how eight of her classmates, and other characters in this story, spent the following almost-decade. But almost ten years later, eight of those present at the party, all with private thoughts and memories of Liana, will meet in a remote wilderness area of New Zealand to commemorate the anniversary of her death by a hike through some very rugged country. Several of them would wonder why they participated; they were not hikers.