3 1/2 Stars.
I chose this title as my Kindle First for November. For book lovers with Amazon Prime membership and you don’t already know about the Kindle First program, go look it up.
Ten years ago, Suzanne Lombard disappeared without a trace. Her father, Benjamin Lombard, was a senator at the time, but now he is the vice-president and running for president. It’s nearing the anniversary of her disappearance and her story is still a national obsession. No one has given up on Suzanne, especially not Gibson Vaughn, her best childhood friend. Now a legendary hacker and former marine, Gibson is approached by the former head of Benjamin Lombard’s security team with an offer that he can’t refuse. A chance to bring new life to the investigation into Suzanne’s disappearance.
Soon they discover conspiracies and secrets surrounding Benjamin Lombard. Each layer that is uncovered reveals yet another set of mysteries, ultimately leading them to discover what really happened to Suzanne a decade ago. Each twist brings a new turn. Filled with suspense you never know what’s going to happen next. What is the truth and what lengths will the other side go to make sure that it never sees the light of day? Gibson always needs to keep one step ahead or he risks not only never finding out what happened to Suzanne, but his own life and the lives of those he loves.
There was a lot of suspense and a lot of twists and turns in this book. Many of them were a complete surprise and I really didn’t see them coming. There were a few that became pretty obvious as the book went on, but they were still well done and the dots were well connected when the story was finally revealed at the end. I like how it was tied up for the most part. I do with it had gone on a bit longer so that a few more loose ends were tied up, especially in regards to George Abe and his team.
The character development was very well done and it was very easy to empathize with Gibson and he was a very believable character. Most of the secondary characters received the same attention and didn’t feel like cardboard cutouts. I understand the backstory of Gibson’s ex-wife and how his family fits into the puzzle, but it was one of the loose ends that never truly got tied up in the end and it really bothered me.
If you want a fast moving plot with lots of action, lots of suspense and twists and turns. Pick up The Short Drop and I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Daniel Byrne has a tragic background. Orphaned nearly from birth and taken in by his Uncle, Tim Trinity. He’s raised by his uncle who is a tent revival preacher, a grifter and a con-man. He runs away in his early teens and seeks sanctuary with the Catholic diocese of his neighborhood. He goes to God looking for a miracle and turns his back on his girlfriend, his boxing career and his uncle to enter the seminary. Fourteen years later he’s now an investigator with the Office of the Devil’s Advocate, working directly with the Vatican. His job is to investigate reported miracles and to approve or deny them. After 771 cases, he’s yet to find his miracle. But his next assignment proves to be much different. Is this the miracle he’s been looking for? And if so, why is it manifesting in his con-man uncle, Reverend Tim Trinity?
Reverend Tim Trinity is not a man of God, he’s not even sure if he’s a believer anymore. But something is working through him and he’s beginning to believe that the voices he hears and the tongues that he’s speaking in are coming directly from God. He begins to speak in tongues during his sermons and when they are listened to later by experts, it’s found that he’s actually speaking backwards and what he’s saying is nothing short of amazing. He’s able to predict with 100 percent accuracy everything from lottery results and horse races to impending disasters. This ability has raised flags everywhere from the Vatican to the gambling dens of Las Vegas. Most of them want to silence Trinity and make this phenomenon disappear. Others want to believe that there is a miracle at work here and God is speaking to them through this former sinner. One thing quickly becomes clear, there are people who will stop at nothing to make Reverend Tim Trinity disappear.
There is a lot of action and suspense built into this novel and it does go along at a fairly fast pace and I think that’s exactly what this story needed. Just when you stopped to catch your breath, something else happened and you were off and running again. For the most part, the characters were fleshed out very well and it was very easy to get a picture of them in your mind. It was easy for me to relate to Daniel. He isn’t a perfect priest, his belief is flawed, just like he is. I think that really lends to the authenticity of what the author was trying to accomplish. The true message doesn’t come until late in the novel and while it’s not a new message, it’s one that resonates and unfortunately one that always gets lost in the war of souls.
There were still too many loose ends for me and too many things left unexplained for me to bump this to 4 stars. I don’t know if this was intentional. This is the first book in a series and I think it’s always hard to review series books because there is always so much left unsaid and unfinished. But I’m fairly sucked in so I’ll probably be picking up the next book sometime soon.
In Dark Places is a pretty decent thriller about a psychiatrist who is on the verge of having technology that may finally be key in helping criminals who were victim of past violence to break the cycle and keep themselves out of prison and be productive members of society. Her research brings her to Los Angeles where she has been given permission to try her treatment on a serial killer, Justin Gray. A man who killed 5 teen-aged girls before being caught. Dr. Robin Cameron wants to see if she can help Justin and maybe even cure him. She’s also asked to take on a police officer as a test subject, a man suffering from what seems to be PTSD after being involved in a shooting where he took the life of another man.
The characters are fairly unsympathetic and for the most part, difficult to relate to. You know that there’s something not quite right when you start to root for the convicted serial killer. There were several times where I just wanted to smack Dr. Cameron upside the head and call her a naive idiot. It’s okay to have an optimistic outlook and to believe in your research, but when all signs point in one direction and you’re stubbornly going the other way? That’s just looking for trouble.
Some of the other characters have absolutely no redeeming qualities and others just seemed to be thrown in as an afterthought and lent nothing to the story itself. There were also points where the point of view got lost, it reached a point where it was nearly impossible to figure out who was doing the talking. But…
The story is fast paced and there are plenty of twists and turns throughout the book. I didn’t see many of the twists that came about at all. So definitely a thumbs up in that regard. Too many suspense novels are formulaic to the point where you can guess what’s going to happen and who is going to do it. I was surprised several times through the story with where the story arc went. If you’re looking for a decent suspense novel with good twists, pick this one up.
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of this book through NetGalley.
Originally I had given this book 3 1/2 stars, but I’ve since changed a bit and upped it to 4 stars. I definitely think that it’s worth that extra half star. It’s extremely well written, well researched and the subject matter is provocative. Fans of Dan Brown will definitely have an interest in The Christos Mosaic. I will issue a caution to anyone who does not want to have their foundation of faith rocked even a little bit, this may not be the book for you. If you can keep an open mind…proceed!
We meet Drew, an American ex-pat living in Turkey and mourning the end of his marriage, having no direction in his life as he works as an English teacher and loses himself in books. And it’s that love of books that begins the adventure of a lifetime. His adventure begins with a chance encounter with a dwarf bookseller, Kadir, who asks him for a favor.
An ancient scroll was discovered and chance places that scroll with Drew along with clues to another scroll and these scrolls have the ability to rock the very foundations of Christianity. People will kill to make sure that these scrolls never see the light of day and all Drew wants to do is get them into the hands of scholars so that they can be studied and in doing so, redeem himself in the eyes of his ex-wife and everyone else who has doubted him in his life. But he has to work with Kadir, who just wants to get as much money as he can from the black market by selling the scroll to the highest bidder.
Full of twists and turns, packed with action and even a little romance. Ancient enemies are hunting for the same scrolls. This book has a lot to offer, especially if you can keep an open mind. There are a lot of Bible references and there is a lot of time spent going over inconsistencies in the Gospels. It’s easy to get a little lost in these places, especially for anyone not familiar. I did get lost several times and found myself having to go back and re-read areas again so I could have a better understanding. But this is more my fault than the fault of the author, I really can’t fault him for this, because without the information, the story would not have been complete.