Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review of The Surgeon's Blade

The Surgeon's Blade:
A Diana Rivers Mystery Thriller
(The Diana Rivers Mysteries Book 3)


Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

As many of my followers know, I love a good mystery and The Surgeon’s Blade falls into that category. Ms. Mortimer’s writing style has me going back to her library of written novels for enjoyment.

In this Diana Rivers mystery, Diana is the relative of one of the main characters, Robert. He becomes infatuated with Libby, a nurse, after rescuing her from a yachting accident on Nigel’s sailboat, as an air ambulance medic.   

Before and after getting to know each other, nurses are disappearing and murdered in Southampton and London, United Kingdom. The nurses, sisters, all have something in common that is the key to unraveling the mystery of the police’s predicament in not solving the crime spree.

Libby’s on again, off again fiancĂ© Nigel is a doctor who works at each of the cities and has a home in London where his ex-wife has reappeared to compete for Nigel’s affection. Libby’s relationship with Nigel never seemed to be real for her since the accident and she is about to call off the engagement.

This thriller takes off after the lead up Ms. Mortimer has woven with few clues left for the reader, but they are there. Diana consulting with Robert brings us to an ending that will keep you on the edge of your reading seat.

The storyline pace keeps you engaged throughout leading to a thrilling ending.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Review of No Hope in New Hope

No Hope In New Hope
By Peggy A. Edelheit
Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

Samantha Jamison just seems to be in the right place when something out of the ordinary happens a la TV 80 -90’s “Murder She Wrote.” Sam, as the TV character Jessica Fletcher (Actor Angela Lansbury,) lives in a world of mystery. Both are well constructed characters, who use logic to get to the answer.

Ms. Edelheit’s Sam has her crew who helps her with the clues in a non-murder mystery, that has a twist to it that art lovers will like. Oh, there is a death of an involved person, but it’s hard to connect it to the core problem – what is really going on in a small town’s art community.

Strange things are happening in an art gallery Sam’s lover is contemplating buying. They are also housesitting while his owner friends are in Europe on vacation. Mysterious items are confusing to Sam, her boyfriend, and her crew.

No one can understand what is going on. Ms. Edelheit gives us the clues one by one and the reader must watch for them, since they’re hidden in happenstance. This I enjoy about her writing.

Example: Who could go in and of the art gallery at will? Only someone with a key could. But who has the key and the alarm code?

This is my second novel in the Samantha Jamison Mystery Series. It's #7 in the series. It stands alone and its storyline will keep you interested to the end.

Buy at Amazon:

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Review of Better Living

Through Criticism


Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

“Who but a lunatic or an idiot would critique a rose or a mountain or a sunset, or for that matter an earthquake or a thunderstorm?” is a line from Mr. Scott’s inviting titled dissertation. I hope he got his doctor’s degree.

I am the lunatic that is reviewing a book about criticism written by a prominent critic. What a way to start a Sunday morning with coffee.

Kidding aside, I have been reviewing books since college and have as recent as three years ago been writing them for my blog to help promote my novels. If I wasn’t an avid reader with an eclectic background and a college education, I would have been lost in Mr. Scott’s historical interpretation of criticism.

From the allegories of Titian or Rubens to Kant in the 1790s to Keats and then to the present century’s anointed, Scott gives the reader an education – information for the inquisitive mind. If you are in this reader category or a college student studying World, English, or American Literature, this may be what you need to expand your mind.

His study into the psychological reasons humans criticize one another whether it be for poetry, writing, movies, theater or whatever, was an enjoyable read. I wasn’t surprised at the immense connecting content, after reading the Index and Acknowledgement sections while reading the core explanations.

As they say, “It takes a village to bring up a child,” I say about this book, “It took an army of critics, professors, and writers to put BETTER LIVING Through Criticism into print.” Mr. A.O. Scott spent his time wisely to get this thesis into print, but I don’t feel it was written for the general public, where I normally don’t fit.

A.O. Scott's discourse leads to what I already knew – The right way to do criticism, in other words, is not to do it. It's another line from his book. But we are all consumers and all consumers critise, as I just did, the lunatic I am for starting this read.

Good read for the inquisitive mind:

Friday, March 25, 2016

Review of The Bad Lady

 The Bad Lady

John Meany

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

Children are the most vulnerable of any species. A mother protects and nurtures their precious ones, so they can grow up to be sane and health adults.

In John Meany’s The Bad Lady, a child of ten is left on his own and is put in a situation that no child should be. He has conflicting feelings from unwanted physical contact by a so called friend of his mother, who is living in a dual personality world.

The child's contacts mushroom into ongoing events where the child’s innocents are changed forever. After a ride in a Good Humor van, the child is in conflict and informs his mother. Her ‘Bad Lady’ side comes out and the community they live in is changed into a war zone – Bad Lady against the Good Humor Lady.

The story goes into overdrive and leads to a fatal end. The child’s character narrates the beginning, middle, and the aftermath of a controversial topic –the problem of pedophilia.

Mr. Meany’s writing meets much of the criteria of a well put together story that will keep the reader interested. The only fault I could find, if it’s a fault at all, is that when the child’s character tells the story, he comes across as a well-informed adult.

Other than that, I found this psychological thriller, a read time well spent.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review of The Green Room

The Green Room

Written by Faith Mortimer

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

A well known axiom is “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” In Ms. Mortimer’s The Green Room, her protagonist Ella doesn’t know that her enemy is closer than one might believe.

Ella is living in an area where a serial killer is roaming. As a nurse in a local hospital, she tends to the sick and the physical pain that humans create. Her leisure time is spent with family, friends, and her boyfriend, who happens to be a policeman in search of the killer.

Ella’s knowledge of the events surrounding the rapes and her imagination leads to some interesting results. Her detective work uncovers information where two men are placed under investigation by her boyfriend.

The killer rapist is close at hand; she knows. Convinced that the man who she just slept with and lives in the same building is the killer, she runs to the policeman. Then the truth comes out.

Faith Mortimer keeps the reader on the edge throughout this thriller . Her character’s, especially Ella, are down to earth people caught up in the moment which lead the reader to believe the character’s conclusions.

When reading the prose, you believe the same as Ms. Mortimer’s characters. But when the ending arrives and all is revealed, the astute reader can only say one thing, “Wow, I missed that.”

Purchased at Amazon:

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Review of I thought she'd be prettier

I thought she’d be Prettier
           Diana Lee

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

The United Nations rates the United States with the third highest divorce rate of 4.34% per 1,000 marriages. Of the richest countries on the planet 53% of our marriages end up in divorce court. Other words, more than half of marriages in the USA end up divorced.

That said; we can put Diana Lee’s book/journal in perspective. The aspiration for that “Happy ever after” marriage is ingrained into the fabric of most societies. Her protagonist is attempting to reach in her second marriage to a younger never-been-married man.

Ms. Lee’s main character Anna writes a journal explaining her one sided interpretation of the events that transpired between her and her second husband. In the honeymoon stage of their bliss, they have two boys, and sex continues to be fantastic. I won’t delve into that; I wasn’t there.

Anna tells us of Sammy and his faults, but never lets the reader understand hers. It might give the reader some insight into why he did a number of stupid things – funny at times and hurtful at others.  So be it. No self analysis was included.

The writer of this journal goes on to tell us how she came across finding out her husband’s infidelity with maybe two women. She becomes a self-made detective to the end, while still living in the fantasy world of what I call the “Soul mate syndrome.” Wasn’t her first husband her soul mate at one time?

The writing was charming and easy to read, but a little wishy-washy. It’s wishful thinking that women are to believe that Mr. Right exists – he doesn’t. You gotta make do with what you got and be happy he comes home to you each night.

Purchase at Amazon:

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review of Feast Day of Fools

    James Lee Burke

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

There is so much going on in this thriller that a list of characters should have been provided. It took me awhile to figure who the main characters were because each is brought into the scheme using hyper descriptions.

Mr. Burke’s novel is character driven, placing them into an unusual story where everyone seems to be criminals except the Sheriff Hackberry Holland, his deputies, a Chinese lady and a few others. Interestingly the criminals with their extremely complicated nasty foolish background, clash throughout the novel upsetting an American town.

Basically, this multilevel story with the backdrop of the Mexican border is a simple good against evil narrative. The spectrum of good to evil and all its shade betweeen is brought out using the characters personalities.

When the characters collide in a fight to show their superiority, again, Mr. Burke leaves the reader thinking – wow, that doesn’t seem right. His detailed character expose leaves one wondering – are there people like his characters: so complicated. The answer is yes, we are all complicated beings.

Mr. Burke’s has written a well thought out novel, but I believe that his over description of each character slows down the beat of his prose. Less sometimes is better, leaving the reader to imagine a little.

However, the novel is worth the read. His more in characterization keeps the reader wondering what that character will do and they don’t do what the reader may think while reading the beforehand narrative.