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2022 Literary Escapes Challenge

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My Progress:

27 / 51 states. 53% done!

2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

18 / 50 books. 36% done!

2022 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

19 / 25 books. 76% done!

2022 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

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40 / 53 books. 75% done!

Booklist Queen's 2022 Reading Challenge

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38 / 52 books. 73% done!

Aussie Author Reading Challenge 2022

1 / 24 books. 4% done!

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

3 / 20 books. 15% done!

2022 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

My Progress:

29 / 50 books. 58% done!

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

My Progress:

37 / 52 books. 71% done!

2022 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

33 / 50 books. 66% done!

2022 Support Book Bloggers Challenge

2022 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Just Your Average, Ordinary, Everyday Police Procedural

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for The Line Between Here and Gone, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from the first book in the Forensic Instincts series.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Photojournalist Amanda Gleason never dreamed she'd be raising a child by herself, let alone watching one die.  As the 34-year-old sits by her newborn son's hospital bed, she longs for the baby's father—not just because she's still grieving for Paul Everett, but because he might have been the only one able to donate the stem cells his son so badly needs in order to survive.  When a friend gives Amanda photographic evidence that Paul—who was presumed dead even though his body was never found—is actually alive, she's stunned.  The betrayal stings.  Her own hurt doesn't matter now, though, not when her baby is fighting for his life.  Amanda must find Paul before it's too late.

Since Amanda doesn't have the time or the resources to hunt down her missing boyfriend, she turns the case over to the professionals.  Forensic Instincts is New York City's premiere private investigation firm.  Headed by profiler Casey Woods, the company also consists of a retired FBI agent, a former Navy SEAL, a psychic, a "techno-genius," and an evidence-sniffing dog.  Together, they agree to find Paul Everett using whatever means necessary.

It doesn't take the FI team long to discover there's more to their missing persons case than meets the eye.  Soon, they're looking into crooked politicians, screwy real estate deals, drug dealing, even mob involvement.  It's not too tough to see why Paul wanted to disappear.  Still, with an infant's life hanging in the balance, the investigators know they have to close the case.  And fast.  As the stakes get higher and higher, the FI team works harder and harder, and a worried mother gets more and more desperate.  Can Paul Everett be found in time to save his dying son?  That's the question haunting everyone's thoughts, the question driving FI team members to put everything on the line, risking it all to help a helpless infant win the battle for his life.

The Line Between Here and Gone, the second book in Andrea Kane's Forensic Instincts series, revolves around an intriguing premise.  Unfortunately, the rest of the story doesn't do it justice, wandering down paths both unoriginal and predictable.  The flat, stereotypical characters don't help matters.  The race-against-time plot makes for a fast, exciting read, just not one that's in any way unique or surprising.  I want a whole lot more from a police procedural and this one didn't deliver for me.

Oh, and as part of the book's blog tour, I'm supposed to give you this excerpt from the book: “Lyssa,” she said when she heard her friend’s voice. “I need you to come over and relieve me. It’s not Justin. He’s okay. But can you come now?” She sagged with relief at the reply.
“Thanks. It’s an emergency.”   

(Readalikes:  No specific titles come to mind.  Suggestions?)

Grade:  C-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  R for strong language, sexual content and violence

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished print copy of The Line Between Here and Gone from the generous folks at Harlequin MIRA (via those at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.) as well as an e-ARC via Netgalley.  Thank you! 

The One Where My Impatience Pays Off—For You (With a Giveaway!)

I'm not a terribly patient person.  I wish I was.  It would come in handy with this whole motherhood thing and, really, this whole life thing.  Generally, my inability to wait gets me in trouble, either because I spend too much money on something I could have gotten for cheaper or I make a rash decision that would have turned out better if I'd thought about it a little or well, you get the point.  Occasionally, though, my impatience pays off.  For someone.  In this case, it's you.  Here's what happened:

I was visiting with a friend, who happens to be a huge Dan Wells fan.  When she asked me if I'd read the author's new book, I (very articulately) said, "Huh?"  Being the incredibly informed book blogger that I am, I somehow missed the news about Well's newest, The Hollow City.  After my friend gushed about how brilliant the novel is, I knew I needed to read it.  Being of a practical mind (Will someone tell my husband to stop laughing?), I checked for it at the library.  No dice.  Then, I thought of Tor/Forge, Wells' fabulous publisher, a company which also happens to send me review books on a regular basis.  Maybe, just maybe, they were winging a copy to me.  A few weeks went by and nothing happened.  Finally, after hearing more great reviews of the book, I snapped.  I couldn't wait another second.  So, I ordered it online.  A few hours later, the doorbell rang.  The UPS guy handed me—what else?—a brand, spankin' new copy of The Hollow City, courtesy of the publisher.  After bemoaning my own impatience (not for the first time, believe me), I rushed to the computer and tried to cancel my online order.  Again, no dice.  I probably could return the second book to the online store from which it came, but, frankly, I'm just too darn lazy.  So, I decided to give it away instead.

First, let me tell you about the book.  Then, I'll give you all the details on how to win your own copy.  The jacket copy goes a little something like this—
Dan Wells won instant acclaim for his three-novel debut about the adventures of John Wayne Cleaver, a heroic young man who is also a potential serial killer.  All who read the trilogy were struck by the distinctive, believable voice Wells created for John.  (This is true in my case.  Though I found the books disturbing, they were, without a doubt well written.  Click on the book titles to see my reviews:  I Am Not A Serial Killer; Mr. Monster; I Don't Want to Kill You)

Now Wells returns with another innovative thriller told in a very different, but equally unique voice; a voice that comes to us from the realms of madness.

Michael Shipman has paranoid schizophrenia; he suffers from hallucinations, delusions, and complex, horrific fantasies of persecution.  They are as real to him as your life is to you.  He is haunted by sounds and voices, stalked by faceless men, and endlessly pursued by something even deeper and darker—something he doesn't dare think about.

Soon the authorities are linking him to a string of gruesome serial killings, and naturally no one believes his protestations of innocence.  On his worst days, he doesn't believe them himself.  Hounded on every side, Michael contemplates a terrifying possibility: that some of the monsters he sees are real.

Who can you trust if you can't even trust yourself?  The Hollow City is a mesmerizing journey into madness, where the most frightening enemy of all is your own mind.

Intriguing, right?  I haven't read the book yet—I'm starting it today, in fact—so I can't tell you much about it except that it sounds really, really good.  If you've read it, what did you think?

I promised you giveaway details, so here you go:  You can win a brand new, hardcover copy of The Hollow City by Dan Wells.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite psychological thriller (supernatural or otherwise), be it a book or a movie (or both!).  If you do not have a public blog that you check regularly, please leave your email address as part of your comment.  The giveaway is open to readers with U.S. and Canadian addresses and will close on August 15.  That's it.  Unless, of course, you want to spread the word about the giveaway or chat up my blog in the social media venue of your choice.  Because I give extra entries for that.  I'll give you a breakdown of how that works here in a second—please tell me, in the comments section, which you did (no need for a bunch of separate entries) and I'll reward you accordingly :) Good luck!

- Follow my blog via GFC or other method (though I prefer GFC): (+1)
- Follow me on Twitter (@bbbforme): (+1)
- Become a fan on Facebook (you can click on the badge in the left sidebar): (+1)
- Blog, Tweet, or post on Facebook about this contest (+1 per method of word-spreading)

Oh, and don't forget to enter the other giveaway I've got going on right now.  I don't have too many entrants at the moment, so the odds of winning are very, very good!
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