Gone But not Forgotten

Good As Gone by Amy Gentry is a page-turner mystery about a parent’s worst nightmare; the disappearance of a child. Anna Davalos and her husband Tom did not discover that their daughter Julie disappeared overnight from their home; they discovered their other daughter Jane hiding in a closet crying and terrified. Jane had witnessed the abduction three hours earlier and was in a state of shock. Anna learned later that the three-hour time frame was important, and that Julie might never be found. Eight years went by, Julie remained missing, Jane was in an estranged rebellious relationship with her parents in reaction to the abduction, husband Tom had quit his job and worked from home using Julie’s office as his office, and Jane plodded through an academic career which would never progress due to her lack of academic engagement. Then Julie showed up on their front doorstep. Where had she been for eight years?

A Nomad Comes Home

Don’t Go There by Adam Fletcher is described as “From Chernobyl to North Korea– One Man’s Quest to Lose Himself and Find Everyone Else in the World’s Strangest Places.” The subtitle probably suffers from a politically correct faux pas; in Chapter One Adam is losing himself in Turkey but companion Annett is with him. It is not “one man’s” quest until Adam manages to piss Annett off. However, it is a travel novel and for the constant traveler such as myself, this book is automatically interesting. Reading this will introduce potential travelers to practices that might be a culture shock to the unprepared. For instance, in Chapter One Annett and Adam are in Turkey where during anti-government demonstrations they observe much of the population protesting in the streets by banging on kitchen pots and pans. Fletcher describes this as a time-honored tradition going back to 1923 during the time of Kemal Atatürk.

Don’t Monkey With Barbara

Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell could be described as a coming of age novel, if your age is forty-five, it’s your birthday, you have forgotten to place money under the pillow of a daughter who has just lost a tooth, and there are several monkeys in your backyard. This is an age you might look forward to looking back on. This is Book One of a Barbara Marr Murder Mystery series which is available in a four-book collection. I bought only Book One for the Amazon price of USD 0.00. Described as a novel with lots of humor, I relied on the title’s promise of that; I felt the title ridiculous (in a good way). This is also described as a cozy mystery. I don’t know the definition of “cozy mystery,” so I will use this novel to construct my definition.

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll is the first “psychological thriller” I have read in months that truly lived up to the name. I use the quotation marks because I am usually disappointed by the overused descriptive term. However, that term is accurate and deserved here. I give this novel five Amazon stars and highly recommend it. It sells for USD 1.99 on Amazon. Although I read it for free on Kindle Unlimited, I will also purchase the book. Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans Returned books on Kindle Unlimited disappear from my library but this is one I want to keep.

Some Victims Are Groomed

Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell is a mystery thriller with psychological elements thrown in. It is no mystery as to who killed Luke, Emma remembered doing it. She also remembered where she buried the body although admittedly she did not do a very good job which is why she returned to the burial site to do things right. The mystery is: what happened to the body? She knew to a certainty where she had left Luke dead. The thriller element is about who will find the body first. If Emma, OK, but if anybody else finds the body first, Emma’s future looks grim. As the reader looks around the interior of Emma’s mind, there are many hints of a horrible childhood that led to near mental breakdowns.

Spiders are Not Always Itsy Bitsy

Itsy, Bitsy Spider by Willow Rose is the first thriller in the Emma Frost series. I read a lengthy excerpt…

Keeping an Eye Out

E is for Eyeball: An Alphabet Book for Grown-Ups! by Marc Richard is what I call a “dessert” book. We…

Alphabet Soup for the Tormented Soul by Tobias Wade and Multiple Authors is a collection of twenty-six short horror stories. Twenty-six letters of the alphabet, each story has a title beginning with one of the letters. Alert (not asleep) readers will note that several of the stories have the number twenty-six somehow worked into the tales. This is a bunch of stories; I have a comment for each one. I purposely did not look in advance at the table of contents to find out what titles letters such as X and Q would introduce. Z is too easy but I purposely did not look. The suspense adds to the fun. I received this book through an email subscription to Haunted House Publishing a site run by Tobias Wade. Therefore, it was a free download. There are periodic offers of free downloads from Haunted House Publishing. Check it out if this is one of your favorite genres.

The Beast I Loved by Robert Davidson is a non-fiction horror account of spousal abuse. As the subtitle clearly states, it is “A Battered Woman’s Desperate Struggle to Survive.” Published in 2018, in the preface the author provides a context for the book’s publication with an account of the TIME OUT movement in December 2017. This book doesn’t need a context to report the understated horrors of this case that drew national attention in 1996; the actions described remain always horrible, criminal, and a crime against humanity no matter the current attention paid to developing social trends. Davidson points out that this book focuses on the important attention paid to the narrower phenomena of Battered Women’s Syndrome expressed through “learned helplessness.” As if the horrors June Briand were not terrible enough in their own right, she was then abused further by a slow-moving near non-responsive justice system when she was imprisoned for taking extreme measures while attempting to survive and protect her children. In the sense that this novel contributes to the overall movement for increased empowerment for women in a search for equality, this is a novel of social justice. Readers will discover that this novel has its own niche and stands alone in a genre of non-fiction domestic abuse horror.

It’s not quite Christmas yet as of the date of this review but it is a few days before Christmas in The Naughty List by Perrin Briar. With lists and Christmas, there must be children, as there are in this story. Many of them live in an orphanage, many live on the street. Several of them, as well as a few from more traditional family homes, are missing. When Agent Alice Durand of the Order took on the case of the missing children, four were missing. Within a few hours, she found the actual number of missing children was nine. She was starting out from behind.