Till The Rivers All Run Dry

Download eBook This review may contain some spoilers. A captivating historical fiction set in 1941, before America’s involvement in World War II. Ricky Parker, thirteen-years-old, travels with his parents to Venezuela; his father has been sent to help in the search for precious oil to fuel the war in Europe. But in the South American heat, just north of the equator, Ricky and his family are thrown into a melting pot of cultures, with the threat of disgruntled natives on one side, and, perhaps more unnerving for some of the Americans, German workers and families living in close proximity on the other side of the camp. This serves to create a tentative feeling around the site and a sense of foreboding that keeps the drama ticking along. But Ricky wants for nothing more than to sink into his comic books, or to swing his bat on the baseball field. The war, oil, his father’s engineering brain – none of these things concern him. To complicate matters, he falls for a young German girl, Hannah, and begins to understand a broader picture, of both love and life. They grow closer, knowing that one day, due to the growing animosity between their two governments, they will be forced to part. But when someone turns up dead in the camp, fingers start pointing, people become anxious and things begin to escalate. With time ticking down until America will be hurtled into the war, it’s only a matter of time until matters implode inside the camp. This is a well-written work that bottles the fear and tension of that era while serving up a...

The Memory Closet

Download eBook This review may contain some spoilers. Anne Mitchell’s boogeyman is far more complex than any two-dimensional supernatural entity. It’s a house, a place, a feeling, a painful memory—an understanding that something terrible occurred there— that she’s managed to bury away. It’s on this pretense that she returns, as an adult, to the realm of her childhood to confront the nightmare head-on. The Memory Closet is about confronting the past, and waiting in the kingdom of her childhood is her charming, quirky and utterly odd grandmother, Bobo. This supporting character steals the show with her unforgettable flare, colorful dialogue and hilarious mannerisms. Bobo is a crucial element for Anne in piecing the puzzle back together. Much of the novel is set in the grand house seen on the book’s cover; the setting never failed to keep this reader on edge, as if something could just appear from any dark corner at any moment. But, as it transpires, evil is greater than any dreamed-up horror. Evil is in people, in everyday goings on, and Anne is forced to rethink the foundations of her very being, and those who had a hand in raising her. At times, the book bordered on uncomfortable; several scenes involving fecal matter were particularly disgusting and challenged my inner-desire to discover how the story would conclude. However, this novel tackles abuse and its darkest corners, so there is some justification for the places to which it goes. The story’s climax feels honest and probable, but not particularly captivating. What matters more than whatever danger Anne faces is her journey, her progression to overcoming the demons...

The Breaks

Download eBook This review contains some spoilers. The author’s greatest triumph is in creating a female lead who does not need to validate herself to others; she’s unattached, but does not need a man to tame her into a loving, stable relationship. To lend from the character’s thought process, she knows her own mind. Angela McGlynn is a tough-as-nails private investigator who finds herself paired with Knox, a veteran plagued by PTSD. They are a winning combination, but the story never managed to capture my attention as much as their partnership did. The Breaks is the first book in a planned series by author Eden Sharp, who certainly demonstrates a deep understanding of the thriller and suspense genres, while employing a considerable degree of tech-savvy. Although the exchanges between McGlynn and Knox kept me interested, the story never felt quite as engaging. There’s nothing particularly new or fresh here, but the author does stretch the legs when exploring cyber crime. I found McGlynn’s early exploits into the deep and dark belly of the internet far more entertaining than her numerous run-ins with weapon wielding thugs. Sure, it’s good to see characters break loose and kick some ass, but I felt that she was at her best while taking on the cyber world. When the story was focused on aspects of this I found it infinitely more engaging. We follow McGlynn via a first person point of view, whereas Knox takes on a third person point of view. I usually find the technique to be a little confusing at times, but, largely, the author makes it work. There were moments...