Review: The Dead Key

deadkey

The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley

It’s 1998, and for years the old First Bank of Cleveland has sat abandoned, perfectly preserved, its secrets only speculated on by the outside world.

Twenty years before, amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland’s largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees, and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost.

In the years since, Cleveland’s wealthy businessmen kept the truth buried in the abandoned high-rise. The ransacked offices and forgotten safe-deposit boxes remain locked in time, until young engineer Iris Latch stumbles upon them during a renovation survey. What begins as a welcome break from her cubicle becomes an obsession as Iris unravels the bank’s sordid past. With each haunting revelation, Iris follows the looming shadow of the past deeper into the vault—and soon realizes that the key to the mystery comes at an astonishing price.-via Goodreads

Although a great premise and an interesting story, I just didn’t connect with it. I really liked Beatrice’s story, set in the late 70s, but the present day storyline bogged things down. As it was, I waded through the first 1/3 of the book and felt it had already gone on too long, but by 2/3 of the way in, I was pretty much over it and flipped through to the end of the book to read the ending, which didn’t tie up a whole lot and was unsatisfying.

Overall, it was worth a read, thrilling with lots of suspense. But I just couldn’t get into it for some reason. I’d say if you’re a reader with more patience than I have, and you enjoy a taut mystery, then you’ll enjoy this book.

The Dead Key is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Rating:★★★✰✰ 3 stars
Publisher:Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: March 1, 2015
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN:9781477820872
ASIN:B00LWE0QZM
Genre:Mystery/Suspense
Reviewer:Tam (Mystereity Reviews)
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Review: Kiss & Tell

Kiss & Tell Luke MurphyKiss & Tell by Luke Murphy

Tense, gritty, and thrilling!

With the death of her father…

Officer Charlene Taylor has received her dream promotion—working Homicide with the LAPD. Her first case is the high-profile murder of Ken Anderson, a playboy UCLA professor with a haunted past. A mafia kingpin, billionaire tycoon, cheated wife and jaded lover are only a few on a long list of suspects, all with motive and opportunity.

…all hope of reconciliation is lost.

Not only does she feel the pressure from media and her boss to solve her first case, but Charlene must also deal with her father’s murderer, the “Celebrity Slayer,” a serial killer who enjoys baiting her with his knowledge of her life and routines.

Can a rookie detective work two high-profile cases and still keep her sanity? -via Goodreads

I really enjoyed the taut atmosphere of the book. The fast paced plot with all the twists and turns cranked up the tension with each page, and didn’t let up for a second, whipping through twists and turns that kept me just a little unsure, a little on edge. Well done!

The multi-faceted plot wound together several crimes. From the murder of a well-connected UCLA professor from a powerful family to The Celebrity Slayer, a vicious serial killer working his way through Hollywood’s B list actresses that may tie in to the murder of Charlene’s father, a retired LAPD detective turned PI who was pursuing his own Celebrity Stalker case. With so much going on in the book, is was deftly plotted in a clear, organized way, very easy to follow and definitely a white-knuckle thrill ride. I have to say, the UCLA professor case was the most interesting to me, almost a locked room mystery because the suspects were apparent, but difficult to prove and with its own plot twist. And that alone would’ve made for a great book, but the Celebrity Slayer plot led up to an excellent surprise ending that kept me on the edge of my seat! Definitely one of those conclusions that I couldn’t read fast enough.

Newly promoted to Homicide Detective, Charlene is a little thorny, a little vulnerable and very stubborn, but you just have to root for her. Although a tough, tenacious and diligent detective, she battles her own demons; her inability to work through her issues with her recently murdered father, a drinking problem and commitment issues with her boyfriend.

Overall, Kiss & Tell is an exceptional thriller and police procedural and I don’t hesitate to recommend it to crime fiction fans.

Kiss & Tell is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review

Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Imajin Books
Publication Date: July 15, 2015
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN:9781772230895
ASIN: B0104ZI59I
Genre:Thriller/Procedural
Reviewer:Mystereity Reviews

Review: Darkscope

10796935 Darkscope by J. Carson Black

Darkscope skillfully weaves mystery, suspense, thrills, chills and horror into an exquisitely tense story of family secrets, lies and deception.

Chelsea McCord’s marriage is on the rocks and moves back to Bisbee, AZ to be welcomed home by her uncle, Bob. Soon after moving into a little bungalow, Chelsea finds an old Kodak box camera and uses it to take pictures around the small desert town. While looking through the viewfinder, Chelsea sees images from the past; Bisbee how it was 40 years ago. When she develops the film, she finds images of the same woman as she grows from a child to a young woman. Who is she? What are her ties to Chelsea, whose family has a long legacy in the small mining town?

This review is really hard to write. On one hand, I have tons to say about the excellent plot but I don’t want to give anything away! I think this is an amazing read any time of the year, but definitely perfect for Halloween. Vengeful ghosts, haunted cameras, visions of horrible deaths, it’s got it all. This was a real edge of your seat story that just drew me in deeper with each page, one of those books where you don’t have an inkling what’s going on until it’s revealed in the story, making you feel a little off-balance and a little unsteady, which really heightened the suspense.

At the heart of the book was the mystery of a woman who disappeared in the 1940s, as told in the present day as well as the past. I loved how the old box camera told the story; the smell of death coming from the camera, the snapshots, and literally chasing Chelsea through the house (which was creepy and a little funny at the same time. All I kept thinking about was The Brave Little Toaster.) The subplots, Chelsea’s ex, Bob’s run for governor, and Sunshine, really added to the tense atmosphere and kept the story moving at a breakneck pace.

Overall, I really enjoyed Darkscope and it was a bargain at only 99¢ on Amazon. I definitely recommend it as a Halloween read or for fans of paranormal mysteries.

Darkscope is available online at Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Breakaway Media
Publication Date: Oct 09, 2011
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/ePub
ISBN: 2940013266414
ASIN: B004E9U6U2
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Horror
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Worth Killing For

30320413Worth Killing For by Ed James

A gritty, hard-boiled story about gangs, crime and murder on the streets of London, Worth Killing For isn’t your ordinary police procedural, it’s a look at the seedy side of city life that lives and breathes every day, but most of us don’t notice until it impacts our own lives.

DI Simon Fenchurch witnesses a fatal stabbing of a young woman on the street in London and chases down the suspect, a young boy on a bicycle. After apprehending him, a number of cellphones are found, indicating the boy is a cellphone thief known as an “Apple Picker”. After evidence turns up that exonerates the suspect, Fenchurch is forced to set him free. As he investigates further, he uncovers a sophisticated petty crime ring led by an elusive figure named Kamal that appears to be branching out into violent crime. But who is Kamal working for?

Just a few pages into the book, you’re already in the midst of the action and it doesn’t let up until the end of the book. I enjoyed the complex plot, there were many layers to the story that peeled off little by little right up to the shocking conclusion. A lot of hot social topics in today’s society are neatly knitted into the story, such as racial tension, gangs and crime, making the book so realistic that you feel like you’re right there on the street.

Overall, an enjoyable read from one of my favorite authors and this series is shaping up to be a blockbuster. I would say that this book can be read as a standalone, but to fully understand the characters, they should be read in order.

Worth Killing For will be released on October 11, 2016 and will be available at book retailers or on Amazon

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and Netgalley, who provided an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Series: DI Fenchurch #2
Rating: ★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: Oct. 11, 2016
Language: English
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural
Format: Kindle, Paperback, Audio
ASIN: B01CGBC70G
ISBN-13: 978-1503938229
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

The Swap

31305593The Swap by Nancy Boyarsky

When Brad Graves is transferred to London temporarily, wife Nicole comes along in an attempt to save her failing marriage. After arranging a house swap with the Lowrys, Nicole and Brad settle in at their temporary home. Soon after, strange things happen and Nicole begins to feel like her life is in danger. After reporting several terrifying incidents to the police, who are sympathetic but disbelieving, and when the Lowrys don’t show up at her LA condo, Nicole begins to investigate on her own and finds herself being drawn deeper and deeper into trouble.

The Swap is the debut novel by the author and I wasn’t sure what to expect as I sat down to read it. Once I started it, it was hard to put it down! I read about half of this one evening and then couldn’t sleep all night because I was so busy thinking about what was going to happen. I loved the premise of a house swap gone wrong, and there was a mystery on almost every page. Who can Nicole trust? Who is behind the attacks and what do they want? What happened to the Lowrys? And the one question that wasn’t answered, who broke in to her condo in L.A.?

This was the kind of thriller that raises the hair on the back of your neck, and it’s all too easy to feel Nicole’s fear as she’s stalked, threatened and accosted by thugs, her anguish over her crumbling marriage, and her betrayal, anger and sadness towards Brad. On the other hand, there were a few times when I wanted to reach in the book and give Nicole a good, hard shake and tell her to wake up. Seriously, girl, your intuition is waaay off! The spectacular conclusion was the perfect way to end the book, a little romance and a lot of action. What more can you ask for?

The Swap is an excellent 5 star thriller that will keep you turning pages – and looking over your shoulder – right to the very last page.

The Swap is available for pre-order at book retailers or online at  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

I was given an advance copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Series: Nicole Graves Mystery #1
Rating: ★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Light Messages Publishing
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Language: English
Formats: Kindle, ePub, Paperback, Audio
ISBN-13: 978-1611531886
ASIN: B01L2XI3IY
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)