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Tag: police

Tracking Game by Margaret Mizushima (Timber Creek K-9 #5)

Two brutal murders, a menacing band of poachers, and a fearsome creature on the loose in the mountains plunge Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo into a sinister vortex.
An explosion outside a community dance sends Mattie Cobb and Cole Walker reeling into the night, where they discover a burning van and beside it the body of outfitter Nate Fletcher. But the explosion didn’t kill Nate–it was two gunshots to the heart.
The investigation leads them to the home of rancher Doyle Redman, whose daughter is Nate’s widow, and the object of one of their suspect’s affection. But before they can make an arrest, they receive an emergency call from a man who’s been shot in the mountains. Mattie and Robo rush to the scene, only to be confronted by the ominous growl of a wild predator.

As new players emerge on the scene, Mattie begins to understand the true danger that’s enveloping Timber Creek. They journey into the cold, misty mountains to track the animal–but discover something even more deadly in Tracking Game, the fifth installment in Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 mysteries.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

This is another winner for the author! I’m a big fan of the series about troubled cop Mattie Cobb and her K9 partner, Robo. The love and respect Cobb has for her dog shines through in each book and this one was no exception.

A twisty murder mystery is the setting for this latest installment, with the backdrop of the Colorado mountains looming large as usual. Unique to this story was a subplot of big game hunting and a ferocious big cat on the loose. Mattie must depend on Robo to keep her safe from both human and animal as they track a killer.

We learn a bit more about Mattie’s past – the author loves to peel back the layers bit by bit in each book, which helps develop the character, as well as adding to the reader’s kinship with Mattie. She is a troubled soul, fiercely independent and devoted to her canine companion Robo. The ways in which Mizushima describes their interactions is both heartwarming and jaw-dropping – this German Shepherd is such a smart dog!

I was also happy to see Mattie’s romance with veterinarian Cole Walker developing some more – there is a lot of chemistry between them and he is so good for Mattie’s wounded soul. In fact, there are a few ways that Mattie overcomes some of her fears in TRACKING GAME – I was proud of her for getting out of her comfort zone.

If you love backcountry mysteries, you will love the Timber Creek series. There is just enough fast-paced intrigue plus a little romance to keep nearly every reader interested. This book could be read as a stand-alone, but some of the references will go over the heads of readers. This will not detract from the plot or outcome, but it is always recommended to start with the first book and go from there. I am anxiously awaiting the next mystery from Mizushima; she is one of my favorite authors and I’m always ready to dive into her next work. Grab your copy here!

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima

Deputy Mattie Cobb is working through issues from her past and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to focus on herself, when she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student. Until they find the girl on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, dead. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing–and this time it’s Sophie Walker. Hard as they search, Cole, Mattie, and Robo can’t find her anywhere. Mattie’s primary suspect, a strange man who lives near the wilderness area, calls to report he hears deer “screaming” in the woods. Suspecting the man might have lost touch with reality and is referring to something he’s done to Sophie, Mattie takes Robo into the dense pine forest, hoping to pick up a trace of her scent. But when Robo does catch Sophie’s trail, it leads them to another clue that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case. Now Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down Sophie’s kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for a review!

Hunting Hour has the best of both worlds for me; a murder mystery plus a lot of canine activity. Not sure how I managed to miss this series, but I’m glad NetGalley decided to recommend it to me.

This book is number three in a series, which means that there are things alluded to from the first two books in order to flesh out the backstory. These flashbacks piqued my interest and I am going back to read the other books in the series, if only to see how Mattie was doing mentally before the history with her father came to light.

The author is brilliant, painting Mattie’s K9 partner as the only trustworthy companion she has. Despite her emotional issues, Mattie is a great cop. Some of her demons move to the forefront during this investigation, and she struggles to stay neutral and weigh all the evidence equally. Letting your personal history color your opinions is something that many people experience, and I found it refreshing that the story took this turn. Mattie truly wants to do the best she can for the victims, yet she can be blinded by personal issues. The other members of the police department understand what she is going through and are appropriately sympathetic.

There isn’t a lot of rollicking “cop talk” as you would find in a John Sandford book, but the action and suspense held my interest. The author threw in the required red herrings, but to my surprise, I managed to guess who the perpetrator was fairly early in the book. I had a strong suspicion, and was satisfied when it turned out to be who I suspected.

I absolutely loved that one of the main characters was a veterinarian! The animal medicine was true to life, not too gory, and added another dimension to the plot that was refreshing. The romance was part of the backstory, but kept at an acceptable level. (I’m not a fan of mixing mysteries and relationships.)

The inclusion of the animals makes this series stand out. Dogs are the best companions ever, and the human – animal bond shines through on nearly every page. Mizushima’s description of Robo’s facial expressions are perfect! I didn’t know what to expect, as some animal mysteries are written awkwardly; but there was nothing awkward about this one. I felt fully invested in the characters, the dialogue was smooth, and there were no gaping holes in the plot to make me cringe.

Hunting Hour was a great way to spend a few hours, and I look forward to the next adventure of Mattie and Robo.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”1683312775″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

Guest Post by Kevine Walcott, author of INSTITUTIONALISED

 

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Kevine Walcott was a successful businesswoman living a peaceful, prosperous life in the United Kingdom. In 2009, she opened a YouTube account and joined the social media world. She didn’t realize that this innocent decision would unravel her happy life.

Walcott, who was once a devout Christian, posted videos about her faith and viewed some clips about ancient Egyptian religions. Suddenly, vile and threatening messages from mysterious people flooded her YouTube in-box. At first, she asked the harassers to stop. Then, she simply ignored the messages. When they began posting videos about her and sharing her real name and personal information, Walcott turned to the authorities for help.

Ironically, seeking assistance would be her greatest mistake. Walcott discovered links between government agents, the National Health Service, and the cyber attacks. Soon, the attacks would make the leap from cyberspace to the real world, and Walcott would end up in a government psychiatric ward.

Her explosive new book exposes the terrifying dangers of unchecked government control, antiquated mental health laws, and the corrupt ties between the two.

Walcott’s discovery of the links between the NHS and law enforcement almost got her shut away for life. With the release of Institutionalised, she’s fighting back.

 

What if you wake up one day and find yourself at the centre of online trolling (abuse), and only months and years later to be told you are mentally ill when talking about your experience? What happens when the only witness of what goes on in your home is you and your perpetrator? When the police, intelligence services and doctors are in bed together there is no end to your suffering. Being told it is all inside your head and having no place to run and no one to turn to for help. These scenarios may sound like a nightmare, but for victims of government harassment these experiences are real. One in four of the population will suffer from a mental health condition at least once in their life, but to have mental illness being used as a punitive psychiatric policy is too much to stomach.

I was once a globe-trotting business owner; confident, happy and seemingly untouchable. However, after becoming the victim of YouTube cyber-attacks, I found myself institutionalised at an NHS facility and under the control of the country’s medieval mental health laws.

In ‘Institutionalised’, I bare all. Most shocking is that the cyber-attacks were not initiated by teenage trolls or a disgruntled former lover; but agents working for the UK Government. Prepare to learn about a shocking new form of modern oppression, because I have one searing story to tell.

My shocking and frightening new memoir describes my online victimisation at the hands of UK Government operatives, leading to my being institutionalised under the British government’s punitive psychiatric strategy. Fusing a memoir with activism, I pull no punches when exposing the illegal relationship between intelligence services and the NHS, while calling on readers to spread the world and end this new digital form of Governmental oppression.

 

“It is vital that the NHS separates and distances itself from Police and Intelligence Services. Right now, they are virtually in bed with each other.”

“Health professionals cannot make correct diagnoses while Government agents are part of the process and abusing their powers for the sake of control.”

“As a result, I became involved in the judiciary in ways I could never have imagined, and that entire process was also moulded around the Government’s mandate to control. If any case appears to be exposing Government abuse or their illegal activities, the Court will throw it out. It’s unbelievable, but true.”

People with a story to tell may also come under fire simply for putting pen to paper but these stories of truth must be told.

“They threatened to institutionalise me again just for wanting to tell my story. I now live my life treading on egg shells; a far cry from the beacon of confidence and independence that I was before. My advice to everyone is to watch your movements, be careful what you seek out online and – above all – trust nobody.”

Want your own copy? Click [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OJFOHY2″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

About the Author:

Kevine Walcott is a property professional with a masters degree from University College London. She had found herself at the centre of an online hate campaign after accessing videos on ancient Egyptian religion on YouTube. She had discovered that some of her harassers were government agents. She had fought with her harassers who took their campaign offline and onto the streets and into her home. She had documented her experience in this thrilling memoir where the accounts are frightening. She told how her experience left her institutionalised by those using mental health as a disguising veneer to cover up abuses by law enforcement and the intelligence services and the role religion and history places in these unfortunate events.

They Called Her Paperback Rose by Ellie DeFarr (Hera Hunter mystery #3)

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The streets are a dangerous place for young runaways. PI Hera Hunter knows. She’s been there. So when Paperback Rose falls to her death and the police call it a suicide, Hera is skeptical. Calamity Jane, another street urchin, insists that Rose was not alone when she fell. Hera isn’t sure she believes Jane since the girl’s a thief, pickpocket, liar, and peeping Tom. But when Rose’s parents hire her to determine what happened to their daughter, Hera soon finds that she must discover the evil lurking in her town that gives reason for throwing a child off the top of a three-story tenement house.

 

Thanks to the author for offering me this book for review.  This is the 3rd book in the Hera Hunter series, and it’s another winner! You can see my review of Melancholy Manor, book 2, here.

All our favorites are back in this installment: Toby, Gwen, Billy (Hera’s sister), and intrepid crime fighting dog Lucky. His presence adds a unique touch to many scenes and DeFarr’s wonderful descriptions of him warm my heart. His tail just doesn’t wag, it “sweeps across the bedspread”. And he always wins races down the hallway, because Hera lets him. (Don’t tell!)

We also delve deeper into Hera’s personality, as she experiences disappointment in her attempt to have a relationship. Her beau is rarely free, and falls asleep on Hera during a date. Good thing Lucky is there to keep her company.

Hera is a loner by nature, and finds her heart being tugged by the urchins of Centreville, an emotion she is not entirely comfortable with. I liked DeFarr’s broadening of the character here, as it adds another layer that complements the plot perfectly. Learning more about what makes a character tick is a joyful thing.

In fact, almost everything about PAPERBACK ROSE is done well. We see a new side of Centreville–the homeless children with their street names have their own community suspicious of outsiders, and this reluctance to share things drives the plot forward, as Hera tries to figure out if things are clues or red herrings. We see the sly humor undermining the pathos also, as Hera laments the copious use of tissues by a grieving woman. It’s a soft touch that many writers can’t pull off but it works well here.

Dirty politics rears its head also, under the guise of Toby’s brother Clement Isles, the villanous Senator.  He seems to be mixed up in something nefarious (as usual) and irritates Hera by becoming a bit too familiar with her. It is rare to have a main character that is opposed to getting ahead by flirting, and Hera is a refreshing woman. Her “all business” exterior may be off putting to some, but it keeps the plot moving forward at a constant speed.

The final few pages of this book are riveting, as DeFarr outdoes herself. The intense plot twist left me shocked and in disbelief, both at the events that transpired and the significance of those events. No spoilers here, as usual! You will have to pick up this stellar book and read for yourself. Get your copy [easyazon_link identifier=”1515271676″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Doll Collector by Edward J. Jakubik

 

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Follow Special Crimes Unit Detective Beck McManus and his hunt for the Doll Collector. Six little girls—each about to turn seven years old—go missing in broad daylight without a trace. McManus and his long-time partner, Evan Graves, are tapped to head the investigation despite virulent protests from the police commissioner, who cites McManus’ own daughter’s kidnapping three years prior as evidence of his unsuitability. That case was never solved, and his daughter’s disappearance nearly cost Beck his career—and his sanity.

 

 

Many thanks to the author for gifting me this book! And thanks to my friend Jackie for suggesting it to me!

The characters and plot in this book were completely up my alley, and once I started reading this, I couldn’t put it down. I love a killer with a twisted background, and Jakubik does not disappoint with this sadistic kidnapper.

The character of Beck McManus is authentic, and the police procedural action is spot on. Especially nice for me was the setting of Jersey City, one town over from my hometown. The description of the area is perfect, adding to the gritty atmosphere.

There is some strife going on within the police department, as always. The Commissioner is loath to keep McManus as investigator on the Doll Collector case, and with good reason. The beleaguered cop has some demons that surface now and again, and this case may be the one to push him over the edge.

All the plotlines mesh well and keep the action going; the case, the backbiting, a bit of romance (not too much, which was great), horrifying detail of what the Doll Collector does with his poor victims, and a few shocking plot twists that impressed me and upset me at the same time. I’d love to know where the idea for this madman came from—it’s absolutely brilliant.

The only complaint I have, albeit minor, is that the author chose a lot of unique names for his characters, and I had to adjust to the oddity. Not the worst thing in the world, but it was harder for me to remember who everyone was in the beginning, since they all had unusual names!

Otherwise, I have nothing but good to say about this book. Jakubik should seriously consider making a series around McManus. There is truly enough talent here to support more books, and I can even see this being made into a movie as well.

If you are a fan of Thomas Harris or any other writer of psychological thrillers, please run to grab this book. You will not be disappointed, nor will you be able to get the crazed Doll Collector out of your mind anytime soon.

Yes, you want your own copy. You can pick it up[easyazon_link identifier=”1494204436″ locale=”US” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

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