Archives for posts with tag: suspense

Hi all/Hola a todos:

Today I bring you a review and a bilingual post. I realised that I was taking part in a blog tour tomorrow and I didn’t want to go overboard with posts, and as I had read a novel available in English and Spanish and I had some news related to it, I thought I’d do a bilingual post sharing my review. Enrique Laso is a Spanish author I met a while back through social media and several groups of authors I know.

The Blue Crimes by Enrique Laso

The Blue Crimes by Enrique Laso

The Blue Crimes by Enrique Laso. An intriguing case and even more intriguing investigator.

The Blue Crimes is the first book in Enrique Laso’s collection of Ethan Bush Thrillers. Ethan Bush is a young FBI agent, one of the most promising, top of his Psychology class at Stanford and self-assured, or so he seems. He arrives to Jefferson County fresh from solving a serial murder case in Detroit and expectations are running high.

The story is told in first person from the point of view of Bush, and that is one of the most interesting aspects of the novel. If the actual procedural investigation, the process of solving the murders of two young girls that are very similar in details to a murder committed 17 years ago is gripping (and I particularly enjoyed the setting in small town America, with the prejudices and the difficulty understanding and fitting into the mentality of the place that it brings to the big city investigators), I found the insight into Ethan Bush’s mind even more interesting. Why?

Well, he is an intelligent man. He knows it and he’s reminded of that by quite a few of the characters he comes into contact with (sometimes in great contrast with some of the witnesses they come across). His intelligence does not always help him, though. Characters who are far less intelligent than him (the sheriff, local investigators, even his mother…) contribute greatly to the success of his mission. He acknowledges and admires the morality of some people (Jim Worth, a solid character that would make his perfect side-kick and foil, and I hope we’ll come across him again in the series), but he’s not squeaky-clean and has no qualms crossing the line of the ethically correct when he thinks it’s necessary to solve a case (not strictly for his own benefit). He has weaknesses that include his irresistible attraction to Vera, one of the witnesses, but also a suspect. He is somewhat obsessive in his methodology and has to be in control of everything, to the point of preferring keeping handwritten notebooks (in Moleskin, that become his trademark) as he does not like to be dependent on technology that could let him down. And during the book, he becomes as obsessed with running as he is with everything else, to the point of putting off the questioning of suspects to not disturb his running schedule. Running means more to him than the simple exercise, but we only become aware of this later on. (By the way, I am aware that the author is a runner himself and he has written non-fiction books about it so this would add to the interest for those who are keen runners.) Despite Ethan’s constant analysing everything and thinking non-stop (to the point of getting severe headaches although they could well be psychosomatic), he is not the most self-aware of characters, and keeps missing clues and hiding stuff because of his own unresolved issues. But those issues are what make him fascinating.

Ethan Bush is not the most likeable hero and has many flaws, and that is a plus for me. He is a man searching for explanations, about the case and about himself. And he never gives up. He’ll go as far as he has to, whatever that might cost him.

I’m not sure how challenging you’ll find the book if you’re one of these people whose main enjoyment is working out who the guilty party is (I did guess who it was early on, but I kept wondering if I was right) but if you enjoy complex characters, a solid story and interesting dynamics, I think this series could keep us guessing for a long time.

Links:

Paperback:  $11.95 (http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Crimes-Enrique-Laso/dp/1511536322/)

Kindle: $3.07 http://www.amazon.com/BLUE-CRIMES-Enrique-Laso-ebook/dp/B00UQV3BYA/)

Author page:

http://www.amazon.com/Enrique-Laso/e/B004KCULSA/

I interviewed Enrique for Lit World Interviews. Here is the link to that interview.

The news I mentioned was that I am going to be translating the second novel in the series. So I’m very excited about it! Check the first one out and I’ll keep you posted on the second (that in Spanish has been a best-seller for weeks even before its release).

Y ahora, en español. Quería aprovechar que he leído una novela que está disponible en inglés y español (y que he leído en las dos versiones) para compartir un post bilingüe (ya que mañana participo en un blog tour). Y tengo noticias, que compartiré después de la reseña.

Los crímenes azules

Los crímenes azules de Enrique Laso. Un caso con mucha intriga y un investigador aún más intrigante.

Los crímenes azules es el primer libro en la colección de thrillers protagonizados por Ethan Bush y escritos por Enrique Laso. Ethan Bush es un joven agente del FBI, uno de los más prometedores, el número uno de su clase de Psicología en Standford, y muy seguro de sí mismo, o eso parece. Llega al condado de Jefferson cuando acaba de resolver un asesinato en serie en Detroit y se espera mucho de él.

La historia está narrada en primera persona desde el punto de vista de Bush, y ese es uno de los aspectos más interesantes de la novela. Si la investigación en sí y el proceso de resolver los asesinatos de dos chicas jóvenes que se parecen mucho a un asesinato cometido hace 17 años es fascinante (y a mí me gustó en particular el que la historia se desarrollara en una pequeña población americana, lo que conlleva observar los prejuicios de los investigadores de la gran ciudad a los que se les hace difícil integrarse y entender la mentalidad de los habitantes), yo encontré las revelaciones de los procesos mentales de Ethan Bush mucho más interesantes. ¿Por qué?

Bueno, Ethan es un hombre inteligente. Él lo sabe y se lo recuerdan muchos de los personajes (y no todos los testigos son tan inteligentes como él ni de lejos). Su inteligencia no siempre le es de gran ayuda. Personajes que son bastante menos inteligentes que él (el sheriff, la policía local, incluso su propia madre… ) hacen contribuciones importantes al éxito de la misión. Él reconoce y admira la moralidad de algunas personas (especialmente Jim Worth, un carácter muy sólido y que podría convertirse en su mano derecha y su conciencia, y confío en que nos lo encontremos más adelante en la serie), pero no es intachable y no duda a la hora de cruzar la línea de lo éticamente correcto si cree que es necesario para resolver el caso (y no estrictamente en beneficio propio). Tiene sus debilidades, incluyendo la atracción irresistible que siente por Vera, una de las testigos, pero también una sospechosa. Es algo obsesivo en sus métodos y tiene que tenerlo todo bajo control, hasta el punto de preferir escribir notas en un cuaderno (Moleskin, que se convierte en su marca personal) porque no le gusta tener que depender de la tecnología ya que podría fallarle.  Y durante el libro se obsesiona con volver a correr, hasta el punto de retrasar el interrogatorio de un sospechoso para no tener que cambiar su programa de entrenamiento. Correr significa para él mucho más que simplemente hacer ejercicio, aunque solo nos damos cuenta de ello más adelante. (Por cierto, sé que el autor es un corredor avezado y ha escrito libros sobre el tema así que eso podría hacerlo aún más interesante para gente a le que le guste correr.) A pesar de que Ethan está constantemente analizándolo todo y no para de pensar (lo que le lleva a sufrir severos dolores de cabeza, aunque también es probable que sean psicosomáticos), no se conoce muy bien a sí mismo, y se le escapan pistas y se oculta detalles debido a sus propios problemas sin resolver. Pero esos problemas son los que lo hacen fascinante.

Ethan Bush no es un héroe de atractivo irresistible y tiene muchas imperfecciones, y eso es un punto a su favor, en mi opinión. Es un hombre a la búsqueda de soluciones, para el caso y para sus propios problemas. Y nunca abandona. Irá tan lejos como haga falta, le cueste lo que le cueste.

No sé si los lectores que disfrutan especialmente del reto de averiguar quién es el culpable lo encontrarán a la medida de sus talentos (yo sospeché quién lo era bastante temprano, aunque la novela me hizo dudar muchas veces) pero si disfrutáis de personajes complicados con relaciones interesantes y una historia bien escrita, creo que esta serie tiene el potencial de engancharnos y mantenernos en vilo por mucho tiempo.

Enlaces:

E-book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X7NA0XO/

http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00X7NA0XO/

Papel:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1508918252/

http://www.amazon.es/dp/1508918252/

¿Y mis noticias? Pues que voy a traducir la segunda novela en la serie (publicada el 7 de Noviembre) Los cadáveres no sueñan al inglés. La novela lleva varias semanas en las listas de best-sellers, y eso es antes de su publicación, así que tengo muchas ganas. Os mantendré informados.

Thank you to Enrique Laso for his book, thank you all for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Gracias a Enrique Laso por su novela, gracias a vosotros por leer, y por favor, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC!

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays it’s guest author day. Recently I’ve been trying to catch up with some authors whose blogs I’ve been following for a while, but for some reason I haven’t featured yet. Today, it’s the turn of Noelle Granger (or N.A. Granger in her books).We not only have background interests (medical ) in common, but Noelle also spotted we had both studied at Mount Holyoke College (in my case only one year as an exchange student, but hey, it goes to prove the world is very small).

First, as I’ve mentioned her blog, and to make sure I don’t forget it, here is SaylingAway. Go and check it and you’ll see that Noelle loves her traveling, but she also features fellow authors, shares her writing, and muses about life.

And a little about her:

 

Author N.A. Granger

Author N.A. Granger

Noelle A. Granger grew up in Plymouth, MA, in a rambling, 125 year old house with a view of the sea. Summers were spent sailing and swimming and she was one of the first tour guides at Plymouth Plantation.
She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and from Case Western Reserve University with a Ph.D. in anatomy. Following a career of research in developmental biology and teaching human anatomy to medical students and residents, the last 28 years of which were spent in the medical school of the University of North Carolina, she decided to try her hand at writing fiction.
Death in a Red Canvas Sail is her first book and features an emergency room nurse as her protagonist. The book is set in a coastal town in Maine, similar to Plymouth, and she has used her knowledge of such a small town, her experiences sailing along the Maine coast, and her medical background to enrich the story.
She has also had short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, published in Deep South Magazine, Sea Level Magazine, the Bella Online Literary Review, and Coastal Style Magazine. Her second novel in the Rhe Brewster mystery series, Death in a White Dacron Sail, is her most recent novel.
N.A. Granger lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with her husband Gene, a physician, and is the mother of two children.

Check her Amazon page for more updates:

http://www.amazon.com/N.A.-Granger/e/B00DN6I8GQ/

Her books:

Death in a Red Canvas Chair by N.A. Granger

Death in a Red Canvas Chair by N.A. Granger

Death in a Red Canvas Chair: A Rhe Brewster Mystery (Rhe Brewster Mysteries Book 1)

On a warm fall afternoon, the sweet odor of decay distracts Rhe Brewster from the noise and fury of her son’s soccer game. She’s a tall, attractive emergency room nurse with a type A personality, a nose for investigation and a yen for adrenalin. This time her nose leads her to the wet, decaying body of a young woman, sitting in a red canvas chair at the far end of the soccer field. Her first call is to her brother-in-law, Sam Brewster, who is Sheriff of Pequod, the coastal Maine town where she lives. Sam and Rhe’s best friend Paulette, Pequod’s answer to Betty Crocker, are her biggest sources of encouragement when Rhe decides to help the police find the killer.
Her discovery that the victim is a student at the local college is initially thwarted by an old frenemy, Bitsy Wellington, the Dean of Students. Will, Rhe’s husband and a professor at the same college, resents her involvement in anything other than being a wife and mother and must be manipulated by Rhe so that she can follow her instincts.
Rhe’s interviews of college students leads her to a young woman who had been recruited the previous year to be an escort on a Caribbean cruise ship, and Rhe trails her to a high class brothel at a local seaside estate. The man behind the cruise ship escort service and the brothel is the owner of a chain of mortuaries and is related to the dead student.
When Rhe happens on the murder of a young hospital employee who also works for the mortuary chain, she becomes too much of a threat to the owner’s multiple enterprises. She is kidnapped by two of his thugs and is left to die in a mortuary freezer. In the freezer she finds frozen body parts, which are linked to a transplantation program at her hospital.
Despite all the twists and turns in her investigation, Rhe ultimately understands why the student was killed and who did it. And she solves the riddle of why the body was placed in the red canvas chair on the soccer field.

http://www.amazon.com/Death-Red-Canvas-Chair-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00DMCL2VE/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Red-Canvas-Chair-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00DMCL2VE/

Here a review I loved for the enthusiasm (and surely, I must read this book as soon as I can!):

Rhe Brewster is my new favorite sleuth

By Elizabeth Hein – author of How To Climb The Eiffel Tower on June 26, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition

N.A. Granger has given me a new favorite sleuth. I immediately fell in love with Rhe Brewster. She is a nurse, a mom, and wicked smart. Rhe, an insightful tenacious snoop, finds a body beside the Pequod soccer field. She then uses her connections with the sheriff and medical examiner to insert herself into the investigation. I felt like I was right there with Rhe as she chased down clues between making dinner for her son, shifts in the ER, and eating muffins with her best friend. By the end of the book, I felt I knew Rhe.
Death In A Canvas Chair is a fun read. The quaint little town of Pequod, Maine is a hotbed of iniquity – they’ve got co-eds behaving badly, gangsters lurking in the shadows, and dead bodies turning up on soccer fields. I could not put the book down until I knew who killed the co-ed.

Death in a Dacron Sail by N.A. Granger

Death in a Dacron Sail by N.A. Granger

Death in a Dacron Sail (Rhe Brewster Mysteries Book 2)

On an icy February morning, Rhe Brewster, an emergency room nurse with a nose for investigation, is called to a dock in the harbor of the small coastal town of Pequod, Maine. A consultant to the Pequod Police Department, Rhe is responding to a discovery by one of the local lobstermen: a finger caught in one of his traps. The subsequent finding of the body of a young girl, wrapped in a sail and without a finger, sends the investigation into high gear and reveals the existence of three other missing girls, as well as a childhood friend of Rhe’s. Battered by vitriolic objections from her husband about her work, the pregnant Rhe continues her search, dealing with unexpected obstacles and ultimately facing the challenge of crossing an enormous frozen bog to save herself. Will she survive? Is the kidnapper someone she knows? In Death in a Dacron Sail, the second book in the Rhe Brewster mystery series, Rhe’s nerves and endurance are put to the test as the kidnapper’s action hits close to home.

http://www.amazon.com/Death-Dacron-Sail-Brewster-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00U8EXHLW/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Dacron-Sail-Brewster-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00U8EXHLW/

And another five star review as an example:

5Cozy yet exciting crime mystery

ByLuccia Gray “‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ (Mandela)”on March 17, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Death in a Dacron sail is the type of book I love to read. It’s a cozy yet exciting crime mystery.
The plot is tightly woven with plenty of forensic information given by Rhe Brewster, nurse and amateur sleuth narrator. Rhe is helping the police, as consultant, with an unpleasant crime involving a missing child. There is plenty of fast-paced action and suspense, in spite of the idyllic small town location, and there are many surprises and twists, making it a gripping page turner.
It’s also very well written. The prose flows so smoothly that it is a pleasure to read.
However, the very best part of this novel is the characterization. Readers won’t be interested in a good plot and wonderful writing if they can’t engage with the characters. Detective, crime thrillers, and mysteries often run the risk of being plot driven in detriment of character development, but that’s not the case here. On the contrary, the reader will love Rhe, because she is clever, and generous, and caring, but she’s also naïve, sometimes insecure, and others too patient with people who just don’t deserve it! I’ve wanted to tell her to be careful with someone who’s close to her since book one (no name so no spoilers!), and to stand up to her bullying boss!
The other characters, both good and bad, are also so real they almost jump out of the page to watch you reading!
By the way, just in case you were wondering, it can be read as a stand-alone novel, because the cases are independent, and although the main characters are the same, there is enough background information for readers to feel comfortable reading book two alone or first.
I’m impatiently waiting for book three because although Rhe Brewster will be solving another riveting case, I’m just as interested in finding out the direction her personal life will take in book three.

Thanks so much to Noelle for being our guest, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and of course, CLICK!

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