Posts Tagged ‘suspense’
Miami Police Sergeant Merryll Manning is on vacation at a health farm in Australia after answering an ad that promises a return to health and happiness. Just what he needed, or so he thought. Merryll’s hopes for rest and relaxation are quickly dashed when a fellow guest is found dead.
Available for the first time in North America, this is the second of twelve Merryll Manning books first published in Australia in 1985 by author John Howard Reid. Despite being a sequel, the book reads well as a stand-alone, and there is no need to read the prequel to become accustomed to the character.
Sister Susan’s Health Farm is set in fictional Happy Valley, based on Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia. Author Reid introduces a large cast of intriguing characters, each of whom have retreated to the farm for their own unique reasons. His protagonist is no stereotypical detective; Merryll (Merry) Manning is a sophisticated, eccentric policeman rather than the macho, ego-driven cops so common in thegenre.
When a retired film exhibitor is found dead and the local police arrive, there is immediate friction between Merryll and police sergeant George Lambert. Lambert’s police skills appear limited and Merryll questions the sergeant’s ability to solve a homicide. Lambert points the finger of guilt at local thug James “Jimbo” Punter. Merryll suspects the sergeant has a personal bias against Punter and learns Jimbo once had an affair with Lambert’s wife.
Another guest is found dead. Merryll turns up clues that put nearly every one of the twelve vacationers, and even the proprietress Susan Delaflore, under suspicion at one time or another in the story. An enormous police manhunt for Punter begins in the vast valley. Meanwhile, the survivors of Sister Susan’s farm set out on the final hike of the visit to Pulpit Rock Lookout. The hike is vigorous and dangerous as the author brings all the players together for an epic confrontation, but keeps the reader guessing the true identity of the killer until the final pages.
The author has a knack for scene-painting narrative. His vivid descriptions of the mountain scenery and the simple accommodations of the farm effectively put the reader right in the scene, watching the drama unfold. Mr. Reid has penned a captivating, soft-boiled detective story with a strong main character, a terrific supporting cast, and a plot with twists, turns, and plenty of red herrings. He treats the reader to a tale filled with tension, conflict, and quirky humor. The violence is minimal and there is no foul language.
I highly recommend Merryll Manning: The Health Farm Murders. This is an intelligent, old- fashioned-styledthat won’t disappoint. Those who love a great whodunit will be hooked. Merryll is a superb hero and this is sure to be an entertaining, enjoyable series.
More “Merry” mysteries please!
John Howard Reid
Lulu.com (September 16, 2008)
Reviewed by William Potter
The Stoker File is a fascinating and ingeniously-written novel that will keep your hands glued to the pages until you’ve reached the end.
Due to a tragic flood that sweeps the city, a mysterious bundle of papers is found in the basement of the University of Budapest. On closer examination, the papers appear to be something unimaginable: the lost diary of. Soon a team of researchers from the University of Columbia is assigned the job of proving the diary’s authenticity. But then, people associated with the strange manuscript begin to suffer deadly accidents. Is the diary cursed or is it something even more sinister?
Brilliant and beautiful Laura Olsen Wynne, one of the researchers, discovers the secret of the diary and, at the risk of her own life, tries to prevent more deaths. To achieve this, she goes into hiding. Thus enters Detective Arnold Walters, who’s put in charge of her disappearance and who becomes somewhat obsessed and fascinated by the lovely researcher. He must find her before other people – orforces – get to her. What is the real meaning of the diary and why are so many willing to kill for it? Will Walters find Laura in time to save her – and his own – life?
This was a highly enjoyable novel to read, not only because of the, but because of the author’s writing style – traditionally toned and reminiscent of those writers from the 19th Century. He makes Stoker’s diary and voice sound surprisingly genuine. The atmosphere is and threatening throughout, and the puzzle will keep readers guessing for the conclusion. The story switches back and forth between the present and Stoker’s narration in the diary, so we’re transported to two very different worlds and times, each one vivid and filled with its own kind of . Highly recommended to all who enjoy a , spooky read.
Action Adventure, Combining History with Legend and Scientific Research
Maurice Mayben has drawn from events from history added colorful legend to create a techno thriller introducing scientific events and research based in part on his own military knowledge and extensive martial arts training to craft this masterpiece of, international intrigue, and peril.
Derek Storm found himself stranded and wounded in the desert of Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Within the ruins of an abandoned bomb crater Storm discovered ancient artifacts which held the key to an ancient Chinese healer’s cure for cancer.
Brothers, Doctors Peter and Daniel Flynn, uncles of Storm, were on the verge of a breakthrough in cancer research. Shady government officials, depraved mercenaries, and a ruthless group of medical doctors driven by the greed and the lust for power joined forces to hold back the cure.
Derek Storm’s Uncle Pete Flynn was murdered after he refused to divulge the secret location of their research lab. At this point thepicks up as Storm enlists a team of military and high tech experts to link up with him in an effort to acquire and decode the ancient tablets he discovered ten years earlier. Storm draws on his Kung Fun San Soo black belt skills in this race to recover the artifact.
Mayben deftly introduces strong characters that drive an intensive plot, jam-packed withand sub plots. This team of characters put in motion and story that keeps the reader engaged right up to the spectacular climatic conclusion.
Robert D. Reed Publishers, 978-1934759264
As reviewed for Midwest Book Review
Author Lesley Hal Creates a Page turning Scandal. Shameful Secrets, Adulterous Affairs, Murderous Truths. And You Thought Desperate Housewives had Drama!
Lesley Hal’stic writing style has been praised by loyal followers, clubs, and authors who are demanding a sequel to her debut novel. She has been dubbed the Queen of Suburban Drama. Blind Temptations takes you into the lives of suburbanites Chante Michaels, Michelle Ramsey, and Karissa Waters. Decisions, delusions and denials mixed with the right amount of ecstasy makes the perfect recipe for this page turning tic tale.
Chante Michaels lives in a fantasy world. She has the perfect job and the perfect family. That is until her husband, Alex Michaels, step out on her with a Tyra Banks look alike, Paris, who has a little secret of her own that will unleash all kinds of hell.
Karissa Waters would love nothing more than to be accepted by her mother that disowned her when she was only eleven. She meets the heir to a multi-billion dollar estate Andre Williamson who wants to give her a lifetime of love and happiness. Except Karissa won’t marry him without her mother’s blessings; a woman who makes Mommy Dearest look angelic.
Michelle Ramsey is in love with the devil himself Brandon Thomas. She’s a master at hiding what she doesn’t want people to see like the abuse she endures at Brandon’s unloving hands. Greg Wallace is the man she needs but won’t give a chance because her heart belongs to only one man…Brandon.
Lesley is currently working on her second novel “Pleasure and Pain” Seducing the Seductress. Thiswill be released under her pseudonym Ms. Le Diva. You can get a glimpse into Bianca’s world by reading the short story Stormy Weather which was featured in Noire urban erotica bestselling author of G-Spot online magazine in October 2006. Lesley is also being featured in Zane’s Chocolate Flava2 anthology coming out in August 2007 where her short story Riding the Friendly Skies was penned as one of the crème de la crème.
For more information the excerpt to “Blind Temptations” the Seduction o Sex, Lies & Betrayal can be viewed at  Order it online today at Amazon or Barnes & Nobles $15.00. To schedule an author/event/interview contact the author at Lesley_Hal2000@yahoo.com
or visit…. 
In her stunning follow up to the 2006 best seller “Shiver,” Lisa Jackson has proven that there’s room for a little romance amid all the death and depravity. Absolute Fear is part of the Bayou series, which includes, “Hot Blooded, Cold Blooded, and Shiver.” The plot line is in depth and complicated yet developed simultaneously with the characters, in such a way that Absolute Fear stands on its own. This book has it all, child abuse, scandalous behavior within the church, unethical medical practices, sex, murder and mayhem. Having enjoyed this novel on every conceivable level, I have added all three previous titles to my list of must reads.
Absolute Fear opens three months after the ritualistic murder of Roy Kajak and the attempted murder of Eve Renner. Eve, still suffering from amnesia, returns to New Orleans. That very day, Cole Dennis was set free. It seemed like a life time ago that she had met Cole at her fathers farm house. A hot shot attorney that successfully represented Dr. Renner after his patient committed suicide. There was a part of her that had never been convinced that he had tried to kill her. On the night of her return, this belief would be tested, when Cole appears at her door.
They had to find a way to trust each other and work together. The irony of this uneasy alliance is yet another twist leading the reader deeper into the story. Everything that was happening was related to the asylum, where her father had been the head psychiatrist. As an adult she had heard rumors about Our Lady of Virtues and the horrors that occurred there. Now in order to regain control of her life she would have to go back where it all began. Because somewhere in the midst of that crumbling building were the shattered pieces of her memory. The key to the murders wasn’t the only secret Our Lady held. Oh no, there was more, much more. The subtle innuendos quickly place the reader into a frenzied state of near panic. Frantically reading as quickly as possible in hopes of finding a calm place to slow down and breathe.
Unspeakable madness had once been perpetrated behind the walls of Our Lady of Virtues – and he intended to revive that madness, just for Eve. She would pay for her sins, he would make sure of that. Then he would be deified, his god had said. The “Reviver” is a sick, twisted, ritualistic murderer. The tattooing, cryptic clues and murders are all part of his elaborate revenge. He knew they were all so blinded by sin that they were unable to interpret that which he had written in blood for all to see? He wouldn’t just spell it out for them – and yet that is exactly what he had done. As the true nature of his actions and extent of his manipulations are revealed, the skillfully coded clues scattered throughout become crystal clear.
This book has the perfect mix of secrets, lust and murder to keep readers coming back again and again. And with the door left open at the conclusion, we can hope that there will be another installment.