Category Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Review of Ghost Walk by Heather Graham

I have loved Heather Graham since I read “One Wore Blue” – and to find her writing paranormal mysteries was a treat. Ghost Walk is an enjoyable trek through New Orleans with some pretty interesting characters and a plot that’s more than a little twisty. It’s a good book – nice for a cold day spent in bed with a few munchies and hot cocoa – great for whiling away a few hours when you can’t sleep. I enjoyed it as a light read with an interesting plot and good characters. It was not what I was expecting from Ms. Graham, but then again, I’d read her historical fiction and that’s a whole other animal.

I really liked Andy (too bad she died – I’m not giving away anything that isn’t in the book description page on Amazon) and felt bad when she turned up all ghosty – but the rest of the crew that Nikki works with is also decent if a bit disfunctional. I really liked Brent Blackhawk and thought he added very nicely to the plot and development of Nikki’s character – I’m not sure the book would have been as successful if he wasn’t in it.

If you’re looking for a fun paranormal mystery that’s going to keep you entertained, read this book. If you’re looking for a life changing book to make you love paranormal mysteries, perhaps there’s something better out there for you. This book is fun, entertaining and well put together and should Nikki and the gang make a reappearance in another book, I will read that one.


Review of Fuzzy Navel: A Thriller by J.A. Konrath

The title is certainly accurate – Fuzzy Navel is indeed a thriller from the first sentence to the cliff hanger ending. Konrath explains it should take you about 8 hours to read it – I think I read it in about 5 hours – while doing a few other random things between chapters. It’s a quick read, but completely satisfying and packed with “what now?” moments that keep the pages flying.
What I love about Konrath’s writing is this: Right in the middle of a serious situation he comes out with something so clever and well-written that you laugh out loud – only Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Novels have been able to make me do that consistently.
There are some really sick twists in this book – but they all make sense and the pace moves along so quickly that you don’t get to dwell on them (or feel guilty that you were kind of glad the twisted thing happened).
And that cliff hanger ending? Don’t worry about that – Konrath is such a master story-teller that he leaves you hanging just enough that you want the next book IMMEDIATELY but the story you finished was wrapped up so neatly that you don’t feel cheated in any way.
This was an AWESOME read (and I don’t say that lightly).

Review of Dark Horse (Jim Knighthorse #1) by J.R. Rain

I’ve read the Samantha Moon books by J.R. Rain and decided to give Jim Knighthorse a try. I was not disappointed. Rain moves the story right along with plenty of wise-cracks and some pretty amusing vanity on the part of the protagonist. Jim Knighthorse is the guy you love despite the fact that he knows you love him and likes to remind you of it because he simply can’t imagine anyone not loving him.

He’s dogged and determined, not easily intimidated, and fiercely loyal. Knighthorse doesn’t let things go, even when he should. The supporting characters are as interesting as Knighhorse – from the high school student accused of murder to the unamused assistant principal of the school and even Knighthorse’s cold as ice father – you can’t help but stay with the book to find out what happens next.

There’s been some criticism that Rain’s books are too short – I disagree. If you’re looking for a quick, fun read then give his work a shot. You won’t be bored by slow spots or murky plots (although he does deliver some nice twists – he does it cleanly!) and the writing is mostly polished. I do have to tell you that there were a couple of words that were misplaced (accept instead of except) but it wasn’t overly distracting.

Review of Lost in Italy by Stacey Joy Netzel

If you need an escape, then get Lost in Italy! It’s a fun book with action, romance, mystery, great scenery, likeable characters, and a solid plot. From the beginning (which seems slightly implausible until you read the author’s note at the end and find out it actually happened to her!) until the end (which the author crafted with great skill) it’s a hard book to put down.

Amazingly, this book has a little bit of everything. There’s a murder mystery, an anxiety disorder, a movie star, suspense, TWO romances, family drama and it’s all wrapped up in a travel book. You might think something would get lost in that combination, but it doesn’t. Every part of the plot is solid and it all fits beautifully together to build a satisfying story that held my interest from beginning to end.

If you’re looking for something to read on a rainy day, a sunny day at the beach, or while recovering from an illness this book will get you through in style. Lost in Italy is a fine example of what is good and right about Indie fiction.