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  1. My Review: 4/5

    Danielle Burton is the lone survivor of her family massacre over 25 years ago. She currently works in a children's psychiatric ward trying to help if not save children. It is fast approaching the 25th anniversary of the event and she feels powerless to stop all the old emotions from returning. In a nearby working class neighbourhood, a family is found dead. There is one survivor the father, who is clinging on for life in the Intensive Care Unit. Detective DD Warren is called to the scene and soon realises that this is not a simple open and shut murder case.Victoria Oliver is trying to just get through each day of here life. She tries her best to keep her son safe from himself and the outside world but the day to day struggle becomes harder when she realised the biggest threat is from her own son.The lives of Danielle, Victoria and DD will soon collide, only none of them realises just how great the consequences are going to be.

    I have been a fan of Lisa Gardner's since I picked up one of her earlier books. I almost always pre-order her books so that I don't miss a publication date. Her books in the past have proved to be absolutely edge of your seat suspense. This book, well, in a word I have mixed feelings.I read the first review on Amazon from a lady in the US who read one of LG's earlier books entitled `Alone' and then read this current book next. The lady had stated in her review she wondered if they were the same author and I know where she is coming from.

    LG has always written really fast paced thrillers and the characters are always really strong and passionate people that are thrown into the deep end of a story. In one respect this book is no different. However, there is one major element to this story which threw me which was the `supernatural'. Now I must point out that I do NOT read supernatural type books and do not subscribe to the `supernatural belief system'. Therefore, this element of the story threw me a bit.

    Although the mention of supernatural is recurring throughout, this element of the story is strictly surrounding only one character. I think that you can choose to take this element which ever way you please. It is also clear that two of the main characters, namely DD and Danielle are `non-believers'' which I think adds to the realism of the story. The ending can be read in two different ways as well. I think the author used the supernatural element in addition to the other characters as opposed to the only answer. I thought that the supernatural element to one side, LG has again produced a fantastic story with great characters and a really strong plot. Although some fans may not think this is one of her best I actually really enjoyed it.

    A lot of this book is based around the children that are housed in the psychiatric unit in a hospital and the kind of behaviour that they display due to varying medical conditions. Danielle is a nurse on that ward and a good chunk of the story centres in the unit and its children and staff. Lisa Gardner writes these children's problems with great care and it makes you realise that taking a pill isn't always the answer for some sick kids. I also read at the end of the book that LG was compelled to write this into one of her stories due to her own personal experience with a friend's child.

    It was great to see DD Warren back in the hot seat, although for some reason in this latest book she has become a sex-starved workaholic with a very bitter outlook on life. Don't get me wrong, she was a great character to begin with and I always like realism in a character. I just didn't remember her being quite so harsh. All of the slight negatives regarding supernatural to one side, I still thoroughly recommend Lisa Gardner and cannot wait for her next one (albeit hopefully with less woo-woo in it).

  2. Karin Slaughter BrokenKat's Rating: 5/5

    Kat's Review: Karin Slaughter has hit the jackpot with this latest book. She has now merged the two series (Grant County and Will Trent) and this is the 2nd book in the Georgia series. What a book! It starts out with a young girl having been murdered at the lake and initially it looks like suicide but Lena Adams soon realises that may not be the case. With a suspect in custody and Sara Linton back in town, Sara receives a phone call to say the suspect wants to see her. When Sara arrives at the station, the suspect is dead and that sets off a chain of events that puts them all in the middle of it. Will Trent arrives in town and together they try to solve the crime. Karin Slaughter has successfully pulled off the merger of two series and has created a great platform for all the characters. I had my doubts with the Will Trent Series but was always a huge fan of Grant County.The two together are even better! Great storyline, nothing too contrived or obvious and all the favourite characters showing their true colours. Absolutely loved this book and cannot wait until her next release.

  3. Sean Black Dead LockMy Review 4/5

    Sean Black released his debut novel Lockdown in June of 2010 as this was the beginning of a series featuring Ryan Lock. His follow up book Dead Lock was released a month later.

    I read Sean Blacks first book and absolutely loved it. Ryan Lock is an ex-military bodyguard who has worked private security and has now set up his own company that can be called upon for any type of job. He has a partner Ty Johnson who is an ex-marine who Ryan met whilst in Iraq. Together they make a formidable team and seem unafraid to take on any type of work.

    Their latest task at first seems to be quite straightforward. All they have to do is keep a prisoner by the name of Frank `Reaper' Hays alive for a week. He is a very important witness for the states prosecution against the white supremacist gang the `Aryan Brotherhood'. What they soon realise is that the job is a little more difficult than they first realised. Frank Hays is a prisoner inside Pelican Bay Super Max prison. For them to protect him, they need to do it from the inside.

    They enter Pelican Bay as supposed convicted felons that have been sentenced to twenty years. The only people that are aware of the truth are the FBI and the prison warden, or at least that's what they hope.

    The Aryan Brotherhood is responsible for the killing of an undercover FBI agent and his family and the FBI are determined to see the group brought to justice. However, Hays is not a willing participant when he realises Ryan Lock has been assigned as his cell buddy and protector. It is soon very clear to both Ty and Ryan that looking after the prisoner was not their main problem in prison, it was staying alive themselves.

    The story itself was great as was the pace of the book. I loved the fact that we are now in the midst of a character series where the reader waits to find out what happens to the characters. However, as much as I enjoyed the book I only found myself grappling with one element. The character Chance is a woman that is involved in the plot and is very much on the side of the Aryan Brotherhood. I have no issues with the fact that this woman was running around killing people but the fact that she was heavily pregnant while doing it smacked of a certain `disbelief' element. Aside from that, the rest of the book was as good if not better than his debut.

    The characters Ryan and Ty are explored a little more although I am looking forward to finding out a bit more about both of them in the next instalment. The end of the book wasn't bad at all and the prison element of the story was first class. It shocked me to read at the end of the book that the author had actually `done time' at Pelican Bay in the course of his research. Not only is he a brave man, but an incredibly clever one. The scenes in the prison were written by somebody that `really knew' what it was like to be inside those walls. Overall a fantastic read that has made me look forward to his next book.