The Coldest Fear by: Rick Reed

The Coldest FearThe Coldest Fear by Rick Reed
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 Stars

A killer who killed as a child that changed his soul piece by piece and became what he hated.

You only know him as a killer as he strikes a mid-west town with a crusesom killing. Not once, but a handful of times. It becomes personal when the killer points the killings to Jack Murphy. The killer daunts him, dares him if you will to come after him. The killer has a past that makes all of his killings personal. He kills to reveal the real person behind the victim. It is vicious and full of rage.

Jack Murphy has a need to right all the wrongs of the world including this killer.

The draw of the book is not the violence (it was violent but it could have been worse) but what is behind the violence. As a Christian, it reminds me of what we are all capable of the evil and the good. The reveal is exciting as well as the ending.

A Special Thank You to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Cruelest Cut by: Rick Reed

The Cruelest CutThe Cruelest Cut by Rick Reed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dr. Lewis and her husband were murder number one, Timmy Ryan, murder number two. And last, the Lamar kids, where their murder The Cruelest Cut refers to Detective Murphy.

A killer out to destroy Detective Murphy- his reputation, the people he loves in a cruel Mother Goose riddle that the killer leaves as his calling card. What do all the victims have in common? What will it take to end? Not only is detective Murphy looking for a sadistic killer, he is fighting political machine that is using the murder to feed its own political agenda. This thriller has everything, local politics vs doing what’s right and the media making its spin for ratings.

Murphy is Clint Eastwood with make my day attitude and not able to have any lasting relationship because his first love is his work. His character was well developed and centered around this thriller. I appreciated that the killings were indeed horrific but not in detail as they happened but the details were in the aftermath and in the investigation. I don’t think I could have read it if it was the more the other way.

The perp which you are introduced pretty early into the thriller but his connection to Murphy is slowly unwrapped closer to the end which makes it the pager turner that it is. It truly is a physiological thriller. I was hooked.

A Special Thank You to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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After She’s Gone by: Lisa Jackson

After She's GoneAfter She’s Gone by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 Stars

A mystery thriller that takes sister competition to a whole another level. Cassie Kramer and her younger sister, Allie have the average love/hate relationship. Their mother made her fame in the movies until a vicious attack on her and her youngest daughter sent her packing out of LA to the quiet of Washington state. Her daughters have followed in her footsteps in the movie business. Allie a popular actress making a un upcoming thriller and her oldest daughter a screenwriter. When the movie takes a tragedy and Allie goes missing, does it become a publicity stunt or something more sinister. Cassie has her own demons with a broken marriage and checking herself into “head” hospital, she becomes frantic for her missing sister. Checking herself out of the hospital, she does a little detective work on her own to find out what happened. In searching for her sister, several crew members of the movie become fatal victims of a vicious attack that link her sister and her mother to the murders.

The book starts in pretty intense but then the intensity kind of dies out until the very end. I felt like at times I was going in circles with the plot instead of forward. The intensity was the descriptive narrative of the perp and the frame of mind. Intensity was good; going in circles not so good.

A Special Thank You to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Hitler’s Cross: How the Cross was Used to Promote Nazi Agenda by: Erwin W. Lutzer

Hitler's Cross: How the Cross Was Used to Promote the Nazi AgendaHitler’s Cross: How the Cross Was Used to Promote the Nazi Agenda by Erwin W. Lutzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At the Cross all narcissism ends; all attempts to impress God cease, and optimism about mankind’s ability to build a better world on its own vanishes.

The cross of Christ and the cross of Hitler are two opposing beliefs that lead to World War II and the destruction of a people. Lutzer has written several books on Hitler and I am glad he has. Can history repeat itself? A resounding yes and it is because we are looking for a Savior. Just not the right one. The account also includes God’s providence in what Hitler did. I believe that God foreshadows his plan of redemption for mankind. Was Hitler sent by God? No, however, it was the promise of salvation from Hitler that put him in that time of history. The fall of WWI, the economy, and the political rhetoric we even hear today. One of the things I found fascinating was the time Hitler was put into power or his rise he was 30 years of age. He also was very involved in the occult (Satanism and the like). He believed that to take away a man’s conscience, that man would do anything such as lead many to death camps. What we can learn from Hitler is the depravity of us all. Because of WWII and the destruction of the Jews, would we have had the birth of Israel as a nation?

The question arises “Where was the church”? Lutzer goes into deep account of how Hitler took over the church and how easy it is to do that in the age of cheap grace…. The church was weak because it misunderstood grace. Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace sold the market like cheapjack wares. The sacraments, the forgivness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices…In such a Chruch the world finds a cheap cover for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be deliverd from sin… Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner…It is the grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate…. It is Bonhoeffer’s testimony of standing up to Hitler and what he believed about the Gospel.

I was convicted with these quotes…

If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of Jordan.

If we can’t be loyal to Christ in small decisions, how can we expect to be loyal when our faith might cost us something very precious?

Suffering purifies the church; it makes important distinctions among men. ..The church that preaches a Christ who is worth dying for has the best chance of experiencing persecution but also the best chance of survival.

History does repeat itself even at our best efforts. Because of that, this book becomes an important read to grasp what means to follow Christ.

A Special Thank You to Moody Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review

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The Secret of the Village Fool by: Rebecca Upjohn

The Secret of the Village FoolThe Secret of the Village Fool by Rebecca Upjohn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe. From the Village Fool to the Village Hero!

The story of Anton who is known in his small Polish town as the Village fool. With his unusual ways, many do not see the goodness of his heart. Anton knows that his Jewish friends are in danger and since life is precious to him, he has the courage to hide them in his home. With determination, he digs a hole in the earth to hide several families while risking his life to keep them alive and safe.

The dialogue gives hope as it depicts the friendship between families and the courage it took not to give up. A great resource to share with your children the value of any life and the courage it takes to not to give up.

A Special Thank You to Second Story Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Magician of Auschwitz by: Kathy Kacer

The Magician of AuschwitzThe Magician of Auschwitz by Kathy Kacer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this dreadful place where there was nothing to own and nothing to give, the magician had given Werner a gift. It wasn’t like a book or a new jacket, things that he had received in the past. It was more special. Magic had helped keep me alive here., Herr Levin continued. Perhaps it will help you as well.

A captivating account of a boy and a magician that met in Auschwitz. A place where there was no hope but was found in the friendship between the two. It is a haunting account of the evil of man and the strength of those who fight to survive.

I was very impressed with the pictures and dialogue. It would be a great resource for parents and their children to discuss history and the fight of human dignity. I loved that their were actual pictures of Werner the little boy and what happened to him after the war was over.

A Special Thank You to Second Story Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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In Plain Sight by: Sylvie Fox

In Plain SightIn Plain Sight by Sylvie Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When reality stops living up to your ideals.

Casey Cort is now working the big cases. Coming from the juvenile court, she is now ready big time. Excited to make a difference. But when her first client comes in looking the part of a man misunderstood, she soon discovers she has been played. Her reality becomes more complicated when she begins to fall hard for Miles and then begins the conflict of interest.

The narration is told by a handful of players. Casey as she stumbles thru her case, her past, and Miles. The Perp who has managed the biggest prostitution ring in Cleveland. How he operates and victimizes young girls to make money for his sick mother. Stephanie a 14 year old with attitude and sass. Her living arrangements gives her no choice and when she thinks she has found true love she learns quick the big lie.

The dialogue pulls you along but it is hard core especially in regards to Stephanie. The reality of the human trafficking is not pretty and its not nice. Fox has a way of putting the hard things into perspective. It is shocking. It is informing!

A Special Thank You to Penner Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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