Shark’s Instinct by Bethany Maines is Book One in The Shark Santoyo Crime Series. I note this because I like to start reading a series with Book One; I just never seem to succeed. The novel has helpful Chapters named by dates, so readers know when a backstory is about to happen. The entire novel takes place between 09 October and 21 October. After Chapter Monday—October 16, we have Chapter Two Weeks Ago which is in turn followed by Chapter Tuesday, October 17. We also have Chapter Thursday, October 19 followed by Chapter Five Years Ago followed by Chapter Thursday, October 19. A table of contents can be informative and not boring.
Dilemma by Stephen Bentley is Book Two in a series: Steve Regan Undercover Cop. I was attracted to this book because of its geographical setting, Thailand, where I have spent fifteen of the last thirty years. “Undercover Cop” is a bit misleading as protagonist Steve mixes elements of police and intelligence functions. One hundred forty pages make for a comparatively short novel that tries to explore three things: police work, intelligence work, and (most interesting of all) cross-cultural understanding as British Steve builds a relationship with Thai Fon. Although an interesting story, in trying to include too much this novel loses a lot of its appeal. It barely provides a surface look at three complex issues.
Walking On Her Grave by Melinda Leigh is a novel about a small town appropriately named Solitude set in sparsely populated Rogue County of Southwestern Oregon. The town is economically dominated by the O’Rourke family with their latest venture The O’Rourke Resort. The resort is under construction so there is a lot of work for skilled labor. There are many contracts that must be made with suppliers. The town is totally dependent on the O’Rourkes.
A title which should get some sort of award for double entendre, In My Skin: A Memoir of Addiction by Kate Holden is a story that has three parts. Part One is believable and depressing. Part Two gives the impression of fake news: it is only possible to believe it. Part Three is believable and hopeful. The three parts are my designation and don’t have a relation to chapter headings. Part Two should have lots and lots of trigger warnings and could be a training manual for aspiring prostitutes.