Outsider – Stephen King



I feel like Stephen King just gets better and better. Which is a huge complement, because I already thought his books were amazing.

Outsider is Stephen King the latest novel in a long line of novels by the “Master of Horror”. I believe one of the reasons that Stephen King remains a master is because he writes about real fear. Yes, monsters are scary, but the scariest monsters are the ones that live next door to us. Our deepest fears are what he writes about it. I believe I have said this before, and it holds true for Outsider.

In this story we open with Detective Ralph Anderson arresting a popular teacher and coach, Terry Maitland at a little league game for the murder of a little boy. In the subsequent chapters, we get a look to why the cops arrested Terry and their compelling evidence of his guilt, and we see Terry’s counter evidence to his innocence. The cops, district attorney, lawyers and detectives are then forced to leave what is black and white and go into a shady gray area that none of them are ready to deal with.

This story is a gripping, page turning ride that leaves the reader, as always, wanting more.

I really enjoyed this book and encourage any Stephen King fan to read it.


Innocence – Dean Koontz



I don’t know how much I can write about this novel without giving too much away – but I shall try.

First off, this was a good one. This is one of those books that will stick with you long after you finish it. I read it in no time because the book kept you wanting and honestly, when the last page was turned, you still wanted.

This story is told by Addison Goodheart who was brought up for the first eight years of his life by a mother who couldn’t stand to be around him. Fueled by drugs and alcohol she could only stand to look at him for short amounts of time. She cast him out when he was eight knowing that he would probably die, but she just couldn’t stand it anymore. Riddled by grief, guilt or something more she killed herself while Addison watched from the bushes. It was hard to read of a mother casting her son out like a piece of garbage. However, Addison held great respect for his mother and didn’t blame her. He knew that when people saw him, especially into his eyes, they wanted to kill him. His mother had told him of the midwife who delivered who tried to smother him with a blanket. His own mother tried and failed to kill him as well. However, Addison didn’t blame them. He knew that he was a monster and loathed bringing this much hatred and pain to people.

When he got into the city he was attacked by everyone who saw him and was thankfully rescued by someone just like him. Someone that people couldn’t stand the sight of. He came to know him simple as Father and lived beneath the city of people who would harm them if they ever looked into their eyes. They would only come out at night or during bad weather, and would always cover their faces so that people wouldn’t see them.

So the whole book you are thinking – “What in the name of all that is reasonable could be so bad that people won’t even look at them?!” The whole time.

Addison meets Gwyneth who suffers from “Social Phobia” and cannot stand to be touched. He can’t be seen and she can’t be touched – already a match made in heaven. They a drawn together and soon hunted together. Something about them has made them targets and on a dark snowy evening the truth comes out.

This book, as I said, leaves you wanting more. The characters stay with you, the plot and the ending. It grips you from the first page and doesn’t let go.

I would recommend this book for anyone who likes Dean Koontz, Stephen King, mystery, fiction, or a book you spend the whole time saying “What the heck?!” and have to wait till the last pages to have it all make sense.


The Bad Games – Trilogy – Jeff Menapace


I found out about these books through a Facebook ad. I guess my love of horror novels has flagged me as being someone who enjoys horror…they got one right! I was able to download them on my kindle for about $7.00 – which is a great deal for three books. The books are titled: Bad Games, Vengeful Games, and Hellbent. Each of the books follows on family as they are unwillingly thrown in a sick game of cat and mouse.

In Bad Games the reader meets Patrick, Amy and their kids Caleb and Carrie, who are setting off to enjoy a weekend at the lake. We also meet two brothers Artie and and Jim who are also heading to the lake; who also happen to think they will be enjoying their time there, especially now that they have found some new people to play with.

In Vengeful Games the reader is introduced to the aftermath of the weekend at the lake. There are survivors and there are causalities and each plays a huge part in this story. The family thinks the horror has ended only to find out that it can get a whole lot worse.

In Hellbent we see what terrible and dark things person can do to another person. Some of the things that have been thought up in this book are so unimaginable. In fact, I would go on to say that a lot of the things that go on in this book come from a very dark mind indeed.

Jeff has taken some very depraved ideas and turned them in games that leave this family tortured and broken. It leaves them changed for better or worse. It brings a side of them out that may have lied dormant forever. Perhaps we all have it in us to kill if the circumstances are right. Perhaps vengeance isn’t so far fetched when your family has been through hell and back. I hope I never find out.

That is why it is fun to read these. From the safety of your couch you can get lost in a book that is, at some points, super disturbing and then put it down and go back to your normal life.

This series had a Saw like feel to it, especially the last one. It was very fast paced, a lot of dialog which helped move the story along really well. The main characters were likable and relatable. I would recommend to anyone who likes horror, mystery, fiction, suspense or just a good ‘ol page turner.

Origin – Dan Brown


I have a lot of respect for Dan Brown. He is not only a talented writer who leaves you wanting the next chapter and then next after that. But he is also puts so much research into his books to make them as accurate as possible. The detail involved with the places, the symbols, technology, theories, religions, history, art and so on are astounding in all of his works. A person feels smarter just reading one of his novels. All of a sudden the reader is well versed in Ancient religions or futuristic technology all the while, enjoying a fast paced novel of almost non-stop action. The reader may not like each book, but Mr. Brown deserves credit for being able to blend fiction with fact and make a plot line believable without being dry.

Origin does all that and then some. I, like a lot of people I would imagine, am fascinated with the age old questions: Where do we come from? Where are we going? Dan Brown offers us an answer through the mind of Edmond Kirsch. A brilliant scientist who has possibly answered those very questions. On the night he is set to unveil his discovery at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao tragedy strikes stopping the presentation and endangering the lives of Robert Langdon and the Museum Curator Ambra Vidal. Being forced to flee with only the help of Edmond’s AI assistant, Winston,  in hand, Robert and Ambra try to desperately find a way to release Edmond’s presentation before it is too late.

The story takes the reader all over Spain and weaves a tale of intrigue and treachery so tight that the reader starts to think everyone is guilty. All the while you are left wondering…where do we come from?! Where are we going?! The answer my friends, is not so easy and perhaps not one you want to hear.

But you if you want to know what Edmond Kirsch thought – read Origin…it might give you something to think about.

p.s. If you read the book – tell me you didn’t read Winston’s voice in Jarvis’ voice?

p.s.s – if you don’t know who Jarvis is…spend a few days catching up on the Avenger movies…

Rough Justice – Lisa Scottoline


So I have been reading Lisa Scottoline books for some time. I like her ethical-fiction books like Evey FIfteen Minutes and One Perfect Lie. I also like her Legal dramas, and especially like her Rosato and Associates Series. However, I have read them completely out of time line. I stared I think with Think Twice and have kind of skipped around since then. I do think it smart to read them in order, just because it does follow the lawyers that work at Rosato and Associates, so some of their back stories, family dramas, and personal lives make more sense if you start from the beginning. However, I haven’t found that by reading them out-of-order I’ve lost any quality from the books. I did list them in order down below, in case you want to read them all in order.

This one, Rough Justice, yet again follows Mary DiNunzio and Judy Carrier when they team with Marta Richter to defend a wealthy business man who is being tried for murder and are close to victory when something new comes out and people start getting shot at. It is a race against time and bullets, as the team separately try figuring out who wants them dead, if their client is really guilty, and what they can ethically do about it.

It is a fast paced, smart thriller that I think anyone who enjoys legal dramas, Lisa Scottoline, mystery and fiction would enjoy.

As promised – below is the list in order.

  • Everywhere that Mary went
  • Legal Tender
  • Rough Justice
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Moment of Truth
  • The Vendetta Defense
  • Courting Trouble
  • Dead Ringer
  • Killer Smile
  • Lady Killer
  • Think Twice



Sleeping Beauties – Stephen King and Owen King


Imagine a world without women in it. At first, it may just sound weird. It may not seem like that big of a deal. After some thought though, the realization that woman are the only ones that can reproduce, are usually the primary care givers of small children and generally, whether it is unspoken or not, organizers of the households. For any length of time, the lack of women in the world would make a very chaotic world. Now imagine, that instead of disappearing, the woman are all asleep, wrapped up in cocoons. When they are disturbed they turn violent and harm the person who disturbed them before going back into their cocooned sleep. This is the world that Stephen King and his son Owen King have created in Sleeping Beauties. 

The story takes place in a small town where, there is one woman who seems to be able to fall asleep and wake up without turning into a cocoon. Stephen and Owen weave a tale that sounds very believable while still being a fantastic fantasy. They create characters that are both lovable and despicable. They create unlikely connections within these characters and show how quickly things can go from weird to Armageddon. As usual, with Stephen King’s work, you are often left wondering, what would you do in this situation? How would your react? Who do you feel is right? Who is wrong? Or is anyone right or wrong?  And what would happen if it had been the other way around? What would happen if all the men disappeared?

This is a wonderful, deeply intricate tale of a world that could be if all woman somehow just ceased to exist and what that would may look like if all hope was balanced on one person. Or even, if all hope was lost. I suggest this book to anyone who loves Stephen or Owen King, mystery, fiction, horror, or fantasy novels. A very good book to end my 2017 book challenge.

One perfect lie – Lisa Scottoline


I love these kind of books – obviously. The mystery and intrigue keep me turning page after page until my eyes can’t see anymore. I usually finish them in a few days, neglecting  import things, like dishes.

In this book Chris Brennan is working as a high school teacher and coach. On paper, he looks like the perfect guy. However, Chris isn’t who he says he is. The story focuses around three kids, a loner, a rich kid, and a troubled teen all with their own secrets. There is a plot in place to cause some sort of destruction on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and Chris is at the center of it. Is he trying to help one of the kids do it? Is he trying to enlist one of them to help him? Or is he trying to prevent it? The reader is left wondering while lies and secrets come pouring in from all the families.

This novel, as I said, leaves you turning pages and wanting more. It is a fast paced, heart thumping novel and is a fine example of how wonderfully Lisa Scottoline weaves a story.

I would recommend to lovers of: Lisa Scottoline, Stephen King, Lisa Jackson…, mystery and fiction lovers as well thriller and suspense lovers.