Tag Archive | thriller

Lowcountry Bribe @hopeclark #southernlit #mystery #whodunit

Lowcountry Bribe (A Carolina Slade Mystery Book 1)



Slade is a South Carolina Agriculture Department manager in the low country. She deals with handling loans to local farmers. When a farmer tries to bribe her, Slade follows rules on reporting, but things do not go as expected.

Wayne is a Federal investigator special agent assigned to the case.

The bribe was in the beginning and now it seems that Slade’s life is in danger. Together, they have to figure out how to eliminate the threat while dealing with governmental bureaucracy.


I enjoyed this book for a 3 main reasons

1. It was fast paced. From the moment Slade was propositioned, there was some sort of action happening.

2. I knew a lot of the locations where the action was taking place. I am acquainted with the area because I go down to the low country area often to go to the beach and buy seafood. It made the story more realistic.

3. I could relate to some of the bureaucracy that Slade was up against. In the story, it seemed like an exercise in “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” And then it did.

It was hard for me to rate this story. I loved the plot but I cannot say that I liked Slade as a person. She was very brusque with a gruff, terse manner. However I did feel sorry for her. She tried to be a good wife, mother, and government employee. At the same time, she is an unhappy person. It seemed that everything she tried to do for the right reasons got twisted and things would go wrong.

Since I think that the author did not write Slade to be likable, I feel like I should give “points” for that. Times like this I wish I did half points. I think this is a solid 3.5. Since my rating does not have a 3.5, I gave this book 4 hearts.

I thought there was enough suspense, as I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who was the mastermind behind the entire conspiracy. As the reader, I knew early in story who was the briber but you get the impression that he was not working on his own. The author wraps up the story in a way that satisfied my need for justice.

Notable quotes

Rules were absolute; that’s the way I was raised. If I followed the rules, I’d be just fine.” – Slade

Instinct told me to forget the conversation. Federal law told me I didn’t have that option.” – Slade

Should you buy? If you like suspense and thriller, you will like this. If you like Southern literature, especially novels that are set in the Low country, you will appreciate the references in this book even more. I am ready to read the next books in this series to see what else happens to Slade.

Book details from Goodreads
File Size: 1442 KB
Print Length: 274 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (January 31, 2012)
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Book 1 of 3 in A Carolina Slade Mystery (3 Book Series)


In her shadow is a thriller

In Her Shadow ♥♥♥

Claire Fiksen’s parents died on her birthday. She does not like celebrating her birthday because that was the day when she lost both of her parents. So when someone sends her a birthday cake in celebration, she knows someone is toying with her. She cannot understand why someone would intentionally be so cruel.

Meanwhile, the story jumps between Claire and another person who is being held captive.

For most of the book, I wondered how the two stories were going to come together.

What could Claire possibly have in common with this other person?

Additionally, there were parts of Claire’s story told from the point of view of the person who is intent on harming Claire. I was trying to figure out who this twisted person was as well.

With everything that is going on, Claire begins to question her own mental stability. She senses that looking for answers about the death of parents will help her to find peace of mind. The answers she finds will blow you away. With mysteries, I like to try to figure out who is the villain before the author reveals them. I could not guess what was going to happen before it happened. So I think what I am trying to say is that means August did a good job of creating a convincing end-of-my-seat thriller.

I do not usually read thrillers because I like happy endings. With thrillers and so much suspense, there is a chance that the author’s idea of a twist is that the ending will be a cliffhanger or some ironic situation that is frustrating. The ending for In Her Shadow was satisfying to me. When I finished the book, I was like

I was not prepared at all.

In Her Shadow is worth the read, especially if you like thrillers. The story seems disjointed at time because there are a lot of different elements at work. Keep patient and the ending will be worth the time spent.

Gone Girl left me feeling annoyed

Gone Girl: A Novel

Gone Girl: A Novel is about Nick and Amy, two writers living in New York City who moved to Nick’s home town in Missouri after they both lose their jobs. On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy is missing without a trace. The story is about the search for her while delving into the personalities of each person.

While there are several positive raving reviews about this book, I can only rate it as okay. I think this is one of those books that you will probably love or hate. The main reason for my lackluster rating is the fact that the ending was unsatisfying. I knew going in that it would not have a happy ever after ending (this is a thriller not romance), but I would have liked some closure.

As I plow through the first half of the book, I wondered when things were going to get interesting. Several times I checked my Kindle to see my progress. After an hour and a half reading, I was only 15% through. Two hours later, only 30% through. I usually read faster than that. I was afraid to skip ahead because I do not want to miss some important clue that will be crucial to the plot. Thankfully, the second half of the book moves along faster.

This book is told from the point of view from both sides: He said, she said.

Nick did not endear himself to me, because he seemed not to know how to handle difficult situations. I know part of that had to do with his upbringing, living with a misogynistic, borderline abusive father. He was spoiled by his mom in her own way probably to overcompensate for his father. It was a sad individual for whom at times I felt sorry. Then he would say or do say something that maybe wonder how much involvement he had with his wife’s disappearance.

Amy is in a sick, twisted category all by herself. Since she is missing, the reader learns about her through her journal entries. There is no doubt that her upbringing molded her views of what marriage life was supposed to be. Her husband continues to fail because he is not meeting the standards she has mentally set for him (without telling him of course). Her father and mother have this wonderful perfect relationship where they revolve around each other and nothing else matters. From her journal, the reader can see how determined Amy is, in a distorted fashion, to have the same type of relationship, only Nick is not like her father.

Marriage can be torture when one or both people wear mask to conceal their true nature. A sad truth that Nick has to face even though his character previously was able to deflect conflict and controversy.

There can be a thin line between love and hate, sane and crazy.

The author achieved her aim if it was her goal to write a novel to invoke strong reactions from her readers. I was angry annoyed at the lack of closure and frustrated by the injustice of it all.

Rating Scale of 1 – 5: ♥ ♥

Click Gone Girl: A Novel to buy on Amazon and let me know what you think.

Closing 2012 with THE Opinionated Woman awards

Opinionated Woman Awards for 2012

As year 2012 comes to an end, I decided that as part of my reflection over the past year I will give awards based on categories that I chose. There are two main categories: Literary and Foodie awards. I know these awards have little significance, but since this is my blog I make the rules.


Literary Awards

Favorite author of the year Brenda Jackson

Her books have consistency and predictability in a good way. I have liked all of her books so far. The characters were alike in many ways but different enough so it was not the retelling of the same story over and over.

Favorite book of the yearThe billionaire wins the game by Melody Anne

This book is super sweet. I love the story of Amy and Lucas. They are wonderful characters and their story is heartwarming. This book has become my go to novel when I went to read something pleasant and comforting.

Favorite thriller of the yearAll for one by Ryne Douglas Pearson

I had so many emotions reading this book. A bully is murdered and his victims are the suspects. Even though I wanted justice to be served, I was sympathetic to his victims and part of me did not want them to be found guilty even if they were. The author did a wonderful job of weaving an engaging story.

Hottest romance of the yearThe Proposal by Brenda Jackson

It is no surprise that Jackson is bringing the heat. Jason and Bella have a super steamy romance and a wonderful story to go along with it.

Creepiest book of the yearAuld Lang Sigh by Jennifer Connor

In this story Ella and Lee hook up after she misses her bus going home. He owns a copy shop in the building where she lives. To me, he comes off like a stalker because he is super observant regarding the details of Ella’s life. He is a stranger but knows a lot about her lifestyle since he has been watching her. As he recounted many of his observations, warning bells should have been ringing in Ella’s head. Instead she sleeps with him! This is very risky behavior to me even if this is a nonsensical romance novel.

Foodie Awards

Favorite restaurant of the yearChicago Grill

What can I say? I love the chicken Philly. The bread is wonderful, there is plenty of seasoning on the meat, and the peppers and cheese are scrumptious.

Favorite food truck of the yearAsada

Everything that I have tried from Asada has been delicious. I am following them on Facebook so that I know where they will be serving lunch when I have an opportunity to be in Greenville. And as I followed them around town, I hope that they will decide to serve empanadas that day since that is my favorite dish from their food truck.


So even though it does not mean much, I congratulate all of the 2012 award winners. I look forward to trying even more things, reading more books, and sharing more opinions in 2013.

The Kill is so fast paced

The Kill– Jonas Saul


Note: there is a lot of killing (including torture) in this book

In the prologue, Darwin accidentally hit and killed a guy with his car. Unbeknownst to him, the guy he killed was a top Mafia boss’ son from the Fuccini family. Because of that freak accident, there is a contract to kill Darwin. While in Rome on his honeymoon with his wife Rosina, the attacks begin.

Any normal person would be dead. End of story.

On the other hand, Darwin goes into a maniac killing rage when confronted with pointy sharp objects (due to childhood trauma).

Cue the killing.

The Fuccini family is losing their best guys to this unassuming, seemingly ordinary guy. Every attempt on his life has failed and ended badly for the would-be assassin. Darwin realizes that he has to face these people wanting to kill him if he ever wants a chance at a normal life with Rosina. That fact is cemented when Fuccini’s people kidnap Rosina. It is Darwin vs. The Mafia and somehow Darwin has to find a way to do what he can to come out victorious.

There were some torture scenes that got graphic.

The Kill kept me on edge the whole book. Every impossible situation had me holding my breath wondering how Darwin would get out alive. I think it would make an entertaining movie. It is an action packed thriller, not for the faint of heart.