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Tag Archives: Suspense

If I Live, by Terri Blackstock 

Terri Blackstock did such an amazing job with this trilogy. If you haven’t read the first two books (If I Run and If I’m Found), please read those before you pick up this one to read. You’re going to want to have all three on hand once you begin though.. because that’s the best way to read these – straight through! 

I love the way these books were written, with the parts relevant to each individual book wrapping up at the end of that installment, while the big picture story draws you into the next book effortlessly. 

I don’t want to say much about the story. It’s too easy to give away important information with this series. The story of Casey is continued in If I Live, as she remains on the run, the false accusation that she murdered her friend close on her heels. 

The ending was, for me, kind of bittersweet. I wasn’t disappointed at all, but… now this trilogy is over.. and even though I will be rereading these books, it’s just not the same. 

Comparing this book/series with food, I think I’ll go with scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs have substance, yet are quick to make and eat. These books are quick reads but they aren’t fluff. They have substance. 

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A Dangerous Engagement, by Melanie Dickerson 

Melanie Dickerson is one of my go-to favorites. She dominates both my Audible library and a good portion of my physical bookshelf. 

I like to think that the heroines in her Recency Spies of London series and those in Jane Austen’s novels would be great friends. I can just picture Lizzy Bennett or Catherine Morland running around with Felicity, Julia, and Leorah, and getting caught up in all sorts of suspense and intrigue. 

A Dangerous Engagement is such a fast-moving book. This whole series keeps me on the edge of my seat in anticipation and… what’s the word?… almost holding my breath, if that gives you a good idea. I sit there reading (or listening), and it’s as if I’m in the room spying with the characters and just waiting for someone to discover what we’re doing. 

This story captured my attention completely, and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. It was beautifully written with spunky, fun characters. Anna Parker-Naples did a fabulous job reading it. I always am excited to see her name on an audio book. 

What food best describes this book? Probably a deep, rich chocolate cake. Something that you want to savor yet can’t wait to take another bite. 

 

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If I’m Found, by Terri Blackstock 

You know that point when you get to almost the end of a book and you must keep turning pages at the speed of an airplane? That’s this book. Actually, it’s this series. (Please read If I Run before this one. While some things wrap up at the end of the individual books, you’ll miss out on the heart of the main story, because it goes way beyond these individual titles.)

If I’m Found follows Casey’s continuing flight for her life after being accused of murdering her friend. It finds her where the first book has left her… wondering where she can go that she’ll be safe for a little while. 

One of the discussion questions Terri Blackstock has included at the back of this book is, “What is the key thing about this book that will stay with you?” Discussion questions in books are kind of a hit or miss thing for me, but I really appreciated this one. The key thing that will stay with me from this book? Its emphasis on light. In the midst of so much darkness, it would be easy for Casey to focus on that, to only see the darkness of the evil surrounding her. But she sees a glimmer of light every now and then, a little reminder that she can still have hope. She is trying so desperately to embrace the fact that, though evil may put up a good facade and it may be spreading its lies, it will not win. Not in the end. 

I really contemplated what food could correlate with this book, and.. you know those energy cookie bites that are all over pinterest? Yeah.. that’s what I have to go with. This is such an energetic book. So fast-paced that sometimes you’re not sure you’re actually sitting still.

 

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The Pawn, by Steven James 

This one was a reread for me, and I have to say that it was just as good my second time through.

Steven James is one of the most talented storytellers I’ve ever encountered within the pages of a book. In-depth characters, twisty plots, complex storytelling.. all of these are major qualities in Steven James’ writing. It’s so so good. He knows how to truly captivate his readers and relate to them. Even as he writes about an FBI detective tracking serial killers.

I love that he doesn’t shy away from asking hard questions. Rather, he tackles them head-on. Many topics addressed are far from being black and white.. I really appreciate that he has the courage and takes the initiative to write these subjects and questions into his books.

The Pawn is the fast-paced story of Patrick Bowers as he sets out to catch a bad guy.. a really bad guy who thinks of the graphic murders he’s so intricately linked together as a game. Between all the dead ends Patrick faces with the case and the brick walls he finds himself up against with his teenage stepdaughter, he begins to realize that maybe he doesn’t quite have life figured out as well as he’d once thought.

This book is like a bag of barbecue potato chips. Quite addictive. Much like you find yourself reaching for another chip again and again, this tale and its intensity keep you turning page after page.

* Although the first published Patrick Bowers novel, I highly recommend reading the prequels prior to this so you get the big picture and the full effect of the mystery. I didn’t have that luxury since I read this one way before the prequels existed, but this time around I’m enjoying the opportunity to read them chronologically.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2017 in Fiction, Murder, Steven James, Suspense

 

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