REVIEW: DARK ROADS, BY CHEVY STEVENS

The Cold Creek Highway stretches close to five hundred miles through British Columbia’s rugged wilderness to the west coast. Isolated and vast, it has become a prime hunting ground for predators. For decades, young women traveling the road have gone missing. Motorists and hitchhikers, those passing through or living in one of the small towns scattered along the region, have fallen prey time and again. And no killer or abductor who has stalked the highway has ever been brought to justice.

Hailey McBride calls Cold Creek home. Her father taught her to respect nature, how to live and survive off the land, and to never travel the highway alone. Now he’s gone, leaving her a teenage orphan in the care of her aunt whose police officer husband uses his badge as a means to bully and control Hailey. Overwhelmed by grief and forbidden to work, socialize, or date, Hailey vanishes into the mountainous terrain, hoping everyone will believe she’s left town. Rumors spread that she was taken by the highway killer—who’s claimed another victim over the summer.

One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek, where her sister Amber lived—and where she was murdered. Estranged from her parents and seeking closure, Beth takes a waitressing job at the local diner, just as Amber did, desperate to understand what happened to her and why. But Beth’s search for answers puts a target on her back—and threatens to reveal the truth behind Hailey’s disappearance…

 

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From the beginning of Dark Roads, I was drawn into the story of missing girls and a police officer who is controlling his wife’s niece and is also seemingly following other girls.

When Hailey disappears, we get to follow her hiding out, with the help of her friend, and keeping her eye on the place she left behind.

Beth appears later, and we also watch her trying to figure out what happened to her sister…and realizing that Vaughn is someone to be wary of.

As the story moves along, I was surprised by the addition of another nefarious character who would turn out to be involved in the murders. A book I could not put down, this one earned 5 stars from me.

***My ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley

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FROM THE INTERIOR: WAITING ON “THE SECRET LIFE OF ANNA BLANC”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday event, hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Every week, we gather around the blogosphere and search out the upcoming book releases, sharing our thoughts and blurbs.  Today, I am eager to feature an upcoming release from a new-to-me author.  I love spotlighting eagerly anticipated books!  The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, by Jennifer Kincheloe, will be released on November 3, 2015.

 

 

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Blurb:  It’s 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels–but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals.

Determined to break free of the era’s rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself.

If the police find out, she’ll get fired; if her father finds out, he’ll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he’ll cancel the wedding and stop pouring money into her father’s collapsing bank.

Anna must choose–either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.
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What do you think?  Do the blurb and cover grab your interest?
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REVIEW: REAL MURDER (A LOVERS IN CRIME MYSTERY), BY LAUREN CARR

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When Police Detective Cameron Gates and her new husband Joshua Thornton, a prosecuting attorney, team up to solve a string of murders, including some cold cases from 1976 and 1996, they are stunned by the domino effect that seems to be in play.

The brutal murder of Dolly Houseman, an elderly woman who lives across the street, starts the chain of events, and as we meet the various players and realize the connections between them all, it is impossible to put Real Murder (A Lovers in Crime Mystery Book 2) down.

What was Dolly’s mysterious business, and how did her former life set her up as a target? What did Mike Gardner’s murder in 1996 have to do with events in the present, and to whom was he secretly connected?

For a while, it seemed as though none of the clues would lead to anyone, and then, almost as if it were planned out, everything started to come together. Could it have been a mysterious package containing tapes that helped them sort it all out?

As usual, Carr’s delightful and likable characters, including a couple of interesting pets, kept me reading and enjoying every moment. Set primarily in West Virginia, I loved the settings, as well as the plot that was twisted enough to keep me trying to figure things out. Definitely another five star read.