Stillwater Trilogy or duology~

Just finished 2 more Brenda Novak books from the Stillwater Trilogy, missing the first, but here is a review of the two I read. Will have to find the first one….sigh.

Dead Giveaway~

After a painful divorce, detective Allie McCormick comes back to her childhood town of Stillwater to start a new life with her six-year old daughter. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that her father happens to be the chief of police and offers her a job. Immediately, Allie begins to work on a cold case–the strange disappearance of Reverend Lee Barker nineteen years ago. But the time factor is not the problem. The main problem is the chief suspect, handsome and brooding Clay Montgomery, who everybody in the town hates and believes to have murdered the Reverend.

As the investigation unfolds, and Allie falls deeper into her relationship with Clay, she realizes the man she has fallen in love with could not be capable of murder. She decides to help him to the end, even if that means putting herself in danger and fighting the whole town and its most important family. Will she succeed? And what if the famous Reverend, who everyone respected to much, turns out to be the most despicable of criminals?

Surprising twists and turns and a couple of interesting sub-plots keep the story moving at a fast pace until the very startling ending. Novak has a keen gift for combining suspense and romance, as well as for creating real, sympathetic heroines and darkly mysterious heroes that beautifully stand out from the typical stereotypes of the genre. The way Allie `solves’ the case at the end is smart and unexpected.

Dead Right~

Novak’s last Stillwater novel revisits the small Mississippi town, where journalist/newspaper owner Madeline Barker is still seeking closure two decades after the disappearance of her father, a town minister. When police find her missing father’s Cadillac submerged in a quarry outside of town, Maddy is determined to discover, finally, what really happened. Maddy hires L.A. private eye Hunter Solozano to solve the case, but neither expects to find romance: Hunter is an embittered divorcé, and Maddy recently broke up with a domineering boyfriend. While their relationship simmers, Hunter discovers some disturbing truths about Maddy’s father and his domestic life; before long, a series of sinister phone calls and a botched robbery raise the stakes.


There’s a finality in death where all the unanswered questions simply die. For the person holding the lot of questions, the death simply ends it all.

Sure all the answers one could hope for will never come along to give any peace.

When the one person in my life that truly mattered died, along with the lowering of the over-priced satin lined casket into freshly dug earth went all those answers to questions yet unasked.

I know that when my time comes there will be many unanswered questions and that’s the way I want it to be. If I don’t give you the answers now, it is because there are no answers that matter. Meaning the outcome has already happened and nothing I may have to add will change anything. Besides I kinda like having that air of mystery.

Watch Me~

I just finished the last of the “Last Stand” series…and started on the Stillwater Trilogy…except I’m short one of the Stillwater books, meaning I may have to go to the library and get the one I don’t have….

Watch Me~

Sheridan Kohl was just a teenager parked at the lake in Whiterock, Tennessee with a boy named Jason when a stranger wearing a ski mask shot them both.  Sheridan lived but Jason died–and the stranger was never caught.  Twelve years later, by working at The Last Stand, Sheridan has learned a thing or two about investigating crime.  She returns to Whiterock, intent on achieving answers at last.

But someone doesn’t want the truth to come out.  Someone unexpected.  Someone who is willing to resort to murder.  Again. Unexpected is about right, but I was able to figure it out midway…or had a strong hunch…

Stop Me~

Who was the real killer?

Romain Fornier lost his reason for living when his daughter was kidnapped and murdered. He used a cop’s gun to mete out his own justice and spent the next few years in prison. Once he was freed, he returned to his Cajun roots in small-town Louisiana. But now he learns that he might have killed the wrong man.

Jasmine Stratford, a psychological profiler, is convinced his daughter’s killer is still alive—and that she and Romain have something in common. She believes the same man kidnapped her sister, Kimberly, sixteen years ago.

What happens next?

Jasmine is determined to track him down when she receives an anonymous package, postmarked New Orleans—the bracelet she gave Kimberly for her eighth birthday. She approaches Romain because she knows he can help her… if he chooses.

But searching for the man who irrevocably changed both their lives means they have to rise to a killer’s challenge:

stop me.


Trust Me~

The first book of the “The Last Stand” series has taken me longer to read than the last 3…but as the author stated the books stand alone and you can start with anyone and still enjoy them and not feel lost. I wish I had started them in the correct order as there is mention of some of the same characters in the older books and they end up dead…so knowing the outcome took away from the other books, but not by much…I’ll be starting on book 2 of the series…here’s my recap of  Trust Me.

Four years ago Skye Kellerman was attacked in her own bed.  She managed to fend off her knife-wielding assailant, but the trauma changed everything about her life.  As a result of that night, she joined two friends–also survivors–in starting The Last Stand, an organization to help victims of crime.

Now her would-be rapist is getting out of prison.  Early.  And Skye knows that Dr. Oliver Burke hasn’t forgotten what her testimony cost him.

There is the conflicted love interest, David, whose wife was recently diagnosed with MS and the surprising twist involving her. A good summer read.

The Perfect Murder

Another Last Stand Book. These do not have to be read in order, can stand alone. Fast read about newest member of the Last Stand group. She is on her first case, trying to find to kidnapped girls. Love, murder and a very disturbed man make this book worth reading.

For more than a year, Sebastian Costas has been trying to unravel the truth behind the murder of his ex-wife and son. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, he’s convinced that her second husband—a cop—committed both murders, then faked his own death. Now Sebastian has followed the slimmest of leads to Sacramento…and that’s where he finally gets the break he needs. Jane Burke, an investigator with The Last Stand, calls him in connection with a separate crime—a crime that could lead him straight to the man he’s been looking for.

Once married to a serial killer, Jane has spent the past five years rebuilding her life. And with Sebastian she finally has a chance at happiness. But the man they’re after is after them, too. For him this has become a personal battle, one he’s determined to win. Whatever it takes…


Pitch Black~

Another Susan Crandall book…just finished reading it, stayed up most of the night, slept a bit here and there, gave up on sleep and decided to get up, have some coffee, do some laundry and then get the last few chapters read. The boys are still asleep…I envy them the ability to sleep unfazed by my walking around, dropping things and making all kinds of racket.

So anyway here is a brief review…

In an effort to give her newly adopted teenage son, Ethan, a fresh start, Philadelphia journalist Madison Wade relocates to a small Tennessee town. When Ethan goes on a camping trip with three other teens and returns without their chaperone, Ethan’s past casts him as suspect in a crime. The secrets Madison uncovers as she tries to clear her son brings danger from unexpected places and puts her at odds with the local sheriff — a man who has been trying to win her heart.

 I could have done without the part of the sheriff trying to win her heart…had the killer figured out early on and had to keep reading to see how long it would take everyone else to catch up with me….may be the last Crandall book for me…unless I end up with any of her books through my freecycle pleas.

Let me tell you about her~

She is not just alone, but she is also lonely.

She is a solitary figure enshrouded in mystery.

She occasionally speaks to friends, the few that are left.

She gave most of them up…for all the wrong reasons.

She realizes she is a stranger to most that think they know her.

She sits in the dark, curtains drawn shut, doors closed.

She invites you to get to know her.


That thing about making plans….

better off keeping it quiet

That thing about making plans…well that just doesn’t seem to work for me…most of the time all it does is make a liar out of me. I do better just going about my business and then bam…if I want to do it…I just do it…if it was nesting in the back of my head that’s cool too…but when I mention doing stuff to others and I don’t follow thru I feel like I’ve let someone down. I think I do better being a woman of mystery.

So anyhoo the things I was going to do today…not done. Did I lie to anyone? Not really, did I lie to myself? Not really…I just haven’t gotten around to doing what I said I would. The intention is there…I just lack the energy to follow thru. So I’m going to work on keeping my intentions to myself….that way I don’t disappoint myself or the occasional person that may give a crap.

I took a ginormous horse pill and a pain pill….now I’m off to bed, not necessarily to sleep but to lay my carcass down. I would love to be put out of my misery but that would require effort and I just don’t have the energy for any type of effort…so until laters…the bed, the pillows and the covers are calling me.

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