Thursday, May 12, 2016

Havana File: Book Six of the Shake Davis Series by Dale A. Dye

Havana File: Book Six of the Shake Davis Series.  Dale A. Dye. Warriors Publishing Group. May 2016. 304 pp.  ISBN#: 9781504037099.

Shake Davis is a retired U. S. Marine gunner.  Once a Marine, always a Marine; and when another Marine is in trouble, he or she is never left alone.  So even though Shake is planning on building a wood shed in Texas with his wife where he can design and build pieces associated with the military, he is shaken to hear that a former buddy and fellow warrior may have been killed in Cuba.  The story takes place in contemporary America where the government is considering having an open and unrestricted relationship with the Cuban government.  Shake and other Marines are clearly against this policy because they know that the Cuban government has the support of Russia in establishing secret communications between Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists throughout the world as well as from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

It turns out that Shake’s buddy’s body was just a cover and a bad one at that.  Not to give away the story, but Shake and a bunch of fellow Marines are sure their buddy is alive and set about making a plan to rescue him.  At the same time, this rescue is vital because they will then have proof of Cuba’s duplicitous plans for terrorists and America. 

It’s rare to have a plot that is so contemporaneous.  It’s only in the last six months that this policy change with Cuba has begun and still has far to go before anything solid is set in stone.  The realistic picture Dale Dye depicts might be read by those who are part of this decision-making scenario; it certainly opens another side of the debate that needs attention!  Other than that, this is an action-filled, adventurous read about some very spunky characters whose military skills ramp up the action considerably!  Enjoyable, intense read!

I Let You Go: A Novel by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go: A Novel.  Clare Mackintosh. Sphere Publishing. May 2015. 371 pp.  ISBN#: 9780751554151.

Jenna and Jacob, mother and son, are so very close.  Jenna delights in her son’s zest for living, and despite a failed marriage Jenna devotes her life to her son.  She’s always so careful with him when they are out until one day she lets go of his hand and Jacob is violently hit by a car who then veers away and leaves the scene of the crime.  Words cannot convey the depth of Jenna’s grief at that moment and in the days that follow but this author conveys the awfulness of that moment with great skill.  Jenna’s life literally comes to a halt with that moment and although the police immediately try to find the hit and run driver, they are unsuccessful. 

With that last vestige of hope, Jenna decides she has to get away from their home and that street with its traumatic memories.  But one can’t run away from memories!  Jenna picks up her life and few belongings and escapes to a small Welsh seashore town where she finds a home far from people.  Unknown to her, Investigator Ray Stevens and his team are determined not to stop looking, although the media and police are moving on to more current tragedies. 

Meanwhile Jenna meets Patrick Mathews who finds her engaging but who also senses her ambivalence about any kind of relationship. He’s got his own story as well.  When Ray Stevens begins to get a sense of who the killer might be, the story takes some wild twists and turns and the reader is totally unprepared for the shocking ending. 

It’s hard to call this book a “thriller,” especially with so mind-numbing a topic as the death of a 5 year-old child but this story evolves into just that name of psychological thriller.  The pain and tension are so intense it’s like the reader has become part of these characters’ lives.  Read this heart-ripping, romantic (yes, a wee bit of that midway) and satisfying mystery.  Amazing first novel, Clare Mackintosh!!! Highly recommended!

Vulnerable (Morgans of Nashville #4) by Mary Burton

Vulnerable (Morgans of Nashville #4).  Mary Burton. Kensington. March 2016. 384 pp. ISBN#: 9780786039418.

The opening scene is downright creepy.  A pervert manages to awaken the sexy side of young Elisa, a stranger who had shared a few cups of coffee.  The scene that started as hot and sexy becomes cruel, then scary, and finally fatal.  The stranger thinks to himself there are many Elisa’s.  That is just the start of this horrific tale!

The story in some ways is familiar.  Young girls getting attention from a charm who sprays them with compliments.  The warnings from others are ignored with the usual comment, “I know what I’m doing.”  Warnings that morph into realistic out-of-control attack and then death!

Georgia Morgan is a forensic technician working with the Nashville Police Department.  She’s known as superb at her work and never gets rattled when testifying at trials. She’s also a sexy singer on the side. Now Amber, the only girl to survive the disappearance of three young girls in the woods near Nashville, appears and wants to find the girls who were never recovered.  Georgia wonders why Amber, who had a very bad concussion from the event, would return to get involved in what she can’t remember.  

Amber was suspected of knowing more than she was saying, so much so that she went out of town and got a college degree. But now that she’s returned, how can she possibly help?  She gets mugged on her first night home. But the tale is really only just beginning for Amber knows so much more than she is letting on and bad liars leave traces of their activities. The reader, however, will be unable to figure out Amber’s role in the kidnapping and murders as well as her motives and those of a guilty male.

It’s a great story but it’s definitely not a romance!  It has just enough spins and twists to keep the reader guessing.  Very fine, realistic murder mystery!