Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review - Louisiana Fever by D.J. Donaldson

“Louisiana Fever” is the second offering by author D.J. Donaldson.  Returning are chief medical examiner Andy Broussard and Dr. Kit Franklyn, criminal psychologist.  Both are top-notch detectives as well as experts in their respective fields.  Set in New Orleans, anyone who has visited the city on more than one occasion will recognize several of the settings of the story.  I thought that was interesting and added realisms to the story. 
There are two mysteries in one.  First, there is a rash of deaths taking place in New Orleans.  At first glance, it seems the people are dying of heart attacks but soon it’s discovered that an Ebola type virus has been unleashed  One of the victims is a stranger who sent roses to Kit.  When she arrived to unknowingly meet him, he dies before she can find out who he is and what his connection is to her.  While searching for him, Kit is kidnapped and this provides the second mystery within the story.

D.J. Donaldson has constructed an excellent storyline and the attention to detail is great.  One can really tell that he understands the world he describes in the novel.  It is intense and definitely a page-turner. 

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Press Release

Portly & Proud CSI Catches Louisiana Fever

Threat of Outbreak Drives Latest in Southern Suspense Series

“D.J. Donaldson is superb at spinning medical fact into gripping suspense.  With his in-depth knowledge of science and medicine, he is one of very few authors who can write with convincing authority.”

--Tess Gerritsen, NY Times best-selling author of the Rizzoli & Isles novels

Andy Broussard, the “Plump and Proud” New Orleans medical examiner, obviously loves food.  Less apparent to the casual observer is his hatred of murderers. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, Broussard forms a powerful, although improbable, mystery solving duo.
Astor + Blue Editions is proud to release Louisiana Fever (ISBN: 978-1-938231-33-9; Fiction / Mystery & Suspense; $5.99 E-Book) the latest Broussard mystery by DJ Donaldson.

When Kit goes to meet an anonymous stranger—who’s been sending her roses—the man drops dead at her feet before she could even get his name. Game on.

Andy Broussard soon learns that the man carried a lethal pathogen similar to the deadly “Ebola”—a highly contagious virus, feared worldwide for killing its victims (grotesquely) in a matter of days. When another body turns up with the same bug, widespread panic becomes imminent. The danger is even more acute, because the carrier is mobile. The man knows he’s a walking weapon and… he’s targeting Broussard.

And when Kit Franklyn investigates her mystery suitor further, she runs afoul of a cold- blooded killer, every bit as deadly as the man searching for her partner.

Louisiana Fever is written in Donaldson’s unique style:  A hard-hitting, punchy, action-packed prose that’s dripping with a folksy, decidedly southern sense of irony.  Mix in Donaldson’s brilliant first-hand knowledge of forensics, along with the sultry flavor of New Orleans, and readers will be fully satisfied with this irresistibly delectable mystery.


D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.


Review - Ripped by Shelley Dickson Carr

Kate, grieving the loss of her parents and having to move to England, finds herself transported back to the time of Jack the Ripper along with her cousin and a family friend.  Discovering her romanticized version of Victorian England to be a lie, Kate has to deal with fitting in while not letting others find out she is not from that time. 

I enjoyed the history of the Jack the Ripper story and was surprised by the reveal at the end.  The author did take liberties with the historical story of Jack the Ripper but it works with the novel and still contains enough factual history to make the whole thing believable.  All of the characters are enjoyable but I found Toby to be the most interesting. 

The book is definitely YA with enough action to keep anyone interested.  If you are looking for gore, this is the wrong novel for you but it has enough mystery and suspense to keep you turning the pages.
I was given a complimentary copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review - Sunshine by Nikki Rae


Sunshine is the story of Sophie, a high school senior with a tough home life.  Her mother is crazy and while she has a protective older brother and two great friends, she is still lonely and angry.  She suffers from a severe allergy to the sun and must stay covered or become seriously ill.  When Miles, a new student comes along, Sophie is reluctant to let him in her life.  After a bad experience with the last guy she was with, Sophie is emotionally scarred and hiding it from everyone.  She and Miles find themselves constantly interacting and soon, he begins to convince her he is not a bad guy.  Her friends think he is a great person and Sophie soon finds herself wanting to know more.  Miles is not all that he seems, however.  He has secrets of his own and those secrets will change Sophie’s world!

This story is was interesting from the beginning.  Sophie could have been written by the author as a tragic character but instead, Nikki Rae gave her an inner strength that we get to see throughout the story.  She was loved by her family and friends but doesn’t share the devastating event that happened to her.  Miles is a welcome addition because he doesn’t force her to open up, he’s just there for her and that begins to break down that wall.  He shows that he does care for her and that helps her to begin healing.
This was a wonderful read and I do look forward to reading Book 2 to see more of Sophie and Miles’ story!

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Review: The Golden Crystal by Nick Thacker

I must say that I found “The Golden Crystal” interesting on several levels.  The opening brought to mind “The Lost Symbol” with the hidden meaning in the building of Washington, D.C.  and the hiding of a valuable artifact.  The story started out slowly but the action was fast-paced.  It was a well thought out thriller but some parts were a bit choppy.  Overall, it was a very enjoyable read.

I like history so I enjoyed the back-story of the crystal and the work that was done to keep it safe from people who would use it for the wrong reasons.  The scientific research also interested me and it was good to see the moral compass or the lack of that compass in some of the story’s main players.  One of the things, however, that really rather threw me was the lesson about the pyramids.  While interesting, it did not add much to the story and it seemed to be filler more than anything.  In addition, if you are not a fan of action involving killing, I am not sure how you would take this novel.  I am an action movie fan so it did not bother me but YMMV.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. The tie-ins with the past and the present make this an intriguing story and I think anyone who is interested in thriller or science fiction would find something to enjoy.  Mr. Thacker did a good job and I would be curious to read more by him.

I received a free Kindle version of this book from Story Cartel. All opinions are my own.