Thursday, August 17, 2017

Enemy Action (The Blitz Detective #3)


Title:  Enemy Action (The Blitz Detective #3)

Author:  Mike Hollow

Pages:  318

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

This is a series that is right up my alley!  It is British, historical (WWII era) and police procedural.  This is one of my favorite genres and I am glad I have found a new author!  This is the third book in the series and while it could be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the books in order as there are references made in this book to prior events that occurred in the other two books of the series.

The air raid siren announces the need to take shelter.  People head to the concrete bunkers built in the middle of the road that are supposed to be protection from the bombs dropped by the Germans.  Tell that to Jack Ramsey who winds up dead in one and not from a bomb, but from a stab wound.  He is murdered and discovered by a local 13-year-old boy who is out collecting shrapnel to trade.  Not much is known initially about the man, but it is soon discovered that he is a conscientious objector.  Feelings run high against someone labeled a “conchie”, so did someone kill him for his stance against the war?  Inspector Jago and Constable Cradock are on the case.  As they pursue clues, more suspects emerge with hidden ties to one another.  Who took the final step to murder?

I really like the setting of this series.  I have learned about various aspects of WWII that I didn’t know before including about the deplorable conditions of these shelters, how the war effected the educational system in London and how these bombings effected lives.  I think it is an important reminder for this generation about the awful effects of war and what our great-grandparents or grandparents experienced.  The two characters of Inspector Jago and Constable Cradock work well together, with Cradock providing some lightness when needed and Jago reigning the younger man in when needed.  The potential romance of Inspector Jago and an American female journalist an interesting side story.  I look forward to the next mystery Jago and Cradock encounter next!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Finding Amanda


Title:  Finding Amanda

Author:  Robin Patchen

Pages:  268

Year:  2015

Publisher:  JDO Publishing

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The cover of the book quickly grabbed my attention and when I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read this book.  Here is a tale about Amanda Johnson who is married to a popular chef and blogger.   Amanda’s past that she revealed privately to her husband years later is one she now wants to make known through her memoir.  Amanda is a survivor of abuse by her psychiatrist and now that he knows what she plans on publishing, he is coming after her and plans on successfully keeping her this time.

For me, it was very moving story of restoration of Amanda’s heart and her life.  There are many twists and turns in the plot along with the feeling of impending, even deathly danger.  I was left waiting for it as I kept turning pages.  I felt for Amada’s husband as he was reeling from her wanting separation.  Remember, this is a work of fiction not fact and doesn’t reflect on the field of the many doctors who are trustworthy.

I thought the author did a great job of showing the husband’s perseverance with God’s help in standing with Amanda.  Both characters are learning at different times and ways that God is the one who can do more than they could ask or think.  The author does a fantastic job of showing the heartache, pain and time it takes to allow God to work in hearts to bring about forgiveness, restoration and renewal of joy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)


Title:  A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)
Author:  Roseanna M. White
Pages:  429
Year:  2017
Publisher:  BethanyHouse
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Peter Holstein is a wealthy recluse who spends his time tapping away on his typewriter locked up in his study all day.  What is he typing all day?  Subversive letters against England and pro-Germany in these days of 1914 when countries are bristling against one another and on the brink of war?  That’s what Rosemary Gresham wonders upon first meeting him.  He has hired her to organize his extensive library and find certain documents that will prove his loyalty to England.  Rosemary has been sent by the mysterious Mr. V to find out if Peter is truly loyal to England or putting words in the King of England’s ear and is really embracing his German citizenship.  Rosemary faces a daunting task as she has had no formal education and is a child of the streets who has become an expert thief.  She is undercover to earn money for her large family that could feed and clothe them for a long time.  She is there to do the job and leave, but she soon finds herself enjoying her written exchanges with the quiet manor owner.  She knows he prefers writing due to his stuttering, so she adopts his method and writes back to him.  They soon form a friendship, but Rosemary must search for the truth without Peter knowing it or Mr. V will turn her in to the police for her thieving.  She begins to realize she is going to have to make a choice, one that will change many lives.
There were some very tender moments in this story, causing me to tear up occasionally.  The romance is gentle, but the faith revealed by Peter Holstein is wonderful!  He lives his faith daily and isn’t afraid to let others know of his beliefs.  He thinks of others first and tries his best to give godly advice and guidance.  He has a sense of humor, too!  He was my favorite character, although Rosemary ran a close second.  She is witty, scrappy, gritty and compassionate.  She stands up for those who need protection or those who have been wronged and she isn’t afraid of what anyone will think of her doing so.  She knows right from wrong, but has made some wrong choices out of necessity.  She realizes her life needs to change and makes the change needed without hesitation.  The book was a bit too long for me, but that is the only negative thing I found.  The scene where the Prince of England visits was just precious!
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Soldier Who Killed a King


Title:  The Soldier Who Killed a King

Author:  David Kitz

Pages:  288

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Kregel

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

This story is about Marcus Longinus, a Roman centurion in Jerusalem in 33 A.D.  The last thing for this soldier who is tormented by his past to expect is for Jesus of Nazareth to enter Jerusalem on a donkey as a king and perform miracles.  He heals the sick and the crippled, he raises the dead to life, and proclaims that the kingdom of heaven has come.  While Marcus cannot deny the goodness of this man, he is nevertheless disturbed by Him.  For on His entry into Jerusalem, Jesus turns to Marcus and he hears a voice in his head, “I have a future for you”.  Marcus feels small and doesn’t understand these words.  He fears to be around Jesus and doesn’t want anything to do with Him.  However, forces beyond his control are at work.  There are those in power who want Jesus dead.  The fate of Jesus and Marcus seems tied together and it seems Marcus might be the one who nails Jesus to the cross at Golgotha.

I would recommend this book to others because it is a great retelling of the last week of Jesus’ life here on earth.  I like how it stays true to what the Bible says happened during that time and how it is told through the eyes of Gentiles.  Now obviously, Marcus is made up and is supposed to be the Roman soldier who confessed that Jesus was the Son of God (see Luke 23:47), but it makes the story unique.  I also like how it stays true to the history of the enmity between a lot of the Jews and the Romans at that time when Israel was under Roman occupation.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”