99 Red Balloons by Libby Carpenter. A Propensity to Discuss review.

99 Red Balloons by Libby Carpenter

Two little girls have gone missing but they were taken 28 years apart.

Zoe was taken from a sweet shop in the 1980s and 28 years later Grace has been taken…from a sweet shop. Zoe’s grandmother, who has spent the last 28 years in misery wondering what happened to Zoe is shaken by the resemblance of the crimes. And then she is shaken by a picture she sees in the newspaper.

Grace’s parents, Emma and Matt are holding on to every bit of hope they have, but the cracks in their relationship begin to widen the longer they wait for news. Emma’s sister, Stephanie is convinced that the mother who gave Emma up when she was ten is the person who took Grace. When Stephanie finally gets the courage to talk to her own mother about it, the answer she gets isn’t any thing close to what she expected.

With twists and turns that you don’t see coming, 99 Red Balloons by Libby Carpenter is a true thrill ride. About 2/3 of the way through this book, there was a twist that completely changed everything I believed about the story. It literally made me gasp at the shock of it! It is an easy read, but it will also seriously tear at your heartstrings.

I highly recommend this book!

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4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

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Violent Exposure (Book 4). A Propensity to Discuss review.

Violent Exposure by Katherine Howell

When paramedics Carly and Aiden are called to a domestic disturbance call, trainee Aiden is sure there will be no issue. After all, his view is that no one ever wants help in these situations. The next night, however, when Aiden is working with Mick, the pair are called back to the same house. What they find there will bring Ella Marconi to the scene for another case of a very Violent Exposure.

In this 4th novel of The Ella Marconi Series, we meet up with an old acquaintance, who this time is taking more of a lead role. Remember Mick, Sophie’s partner in Frantic? Well, he’s back with his own set of worries, albeit none as serious as Sophie’s. Then there are Ella’s own personal problems that have her avoiding going home while also worrying about her parents.

The longer Ella and her former partner Dennis work this case the more intertwined the paramedics become with it, and the more questions are answered, the more loose ends are found. Ella and Dennis must work through all the lies and half-truths of those involved to even come close to figuring out what happened.

Katherine Howell has done it once again. She has managed several different storylines, run them all concurrently and tied them together so they in no way, seem outlandish. She has a way of getting to the heart of all of her characters and making them real people, whether good guy or bad. I am so excited to have found this series.

As I have previously mentioned, it was because Caroline Lee was the narrator of the Frantic audio version that led me to this series and once again she gives an amazing performance for the  Violent Exposure audio version. I love listening to her narrations and when you add such great stories to that, you have a truly winning combination. At night I switched to the Kindle version when hubby was home so he wouldn’t hear bits and pieces.

Another great read!

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4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

The Detective Ella Marconi Series

Ella Marconi is a no-nonsense, get-the-job-done homicide detective living and working in Sydney, Australia. Author Katherine Howell, a former paramedic, always gives Ella a run for her money with the cases that she puts before her and also with paramedics and their work calls thrown into the mix. So if you like mysteries and you like medical dramas, you’ll LOVE the Ella Marconi series. If you like one or the other, you’ll LOVE the Ella Marconi series.

I really like Howell’s writing style and I love that she uses her experience as a paramedic around which to base her secondary characters’ lives and stories. The series began in 2007 and is still going strong, with the last one published in 2015, and hopefully more to follow!

Frantic (Book 1) 

In an instant, life changed completely for Sophie Phillips – her police officer husband, Chris, is shot on their doorstep and their ten-month-old son, Lachlan, is abducted from his bed. While the police, led by Detective Ella Marconi search not only for their colleague’s child but also investigate the very strong possibility of police corruption, Sophie begins her own search for Lachlan.

Detective Ella Marconi Series. Propensity to Discuss reviews.

But through it all, Sophie has to wonder if a terrible mistake she made will mangle her hope and efforts at finding her child. And what about Chris, is he a part of the corruption, or is he the one who brought it to the attention of the news media? The longer Lachlan is missing, the more Ella and her team know they are working against the odds to find him.

The audio version of this book is performed by Caroline Lee, whose audiobook performances I always absolutely love! She is actually the reason I purchased this novel to begin with but the writing and the story brought me back to the series. For other Caroline Lee audiobook reviews, check out this post or this one.

The Darkest Hour (Book 2)

In the second Ella Marconi book, paramedic Lauren Yates finds herself alone in an alley helping a man that she knows all too well, Miles Werner. A man she knows to be angry, hateful, deceitful, and most of all, dangerous. All the while, another man lays dead in the same alley. When she begins to help Miles he threatens her life, her sister’s life and the life of her niece, Mile’s own daughter.

Detective Ella Marconi Series. Propensity to Discuss reviews.

Terrified of Werner’s threats, she lies to Detective Ella Marconi, to her sister and to her partner and sets into motion a trail that leads to even more victims. Lauren becomes desperate and has no idea how she will ever get out of this mess alive. Ella knows something is not right with Lauren’s testimony and knows that she must be hiding something. She will have to gain Lauren’s trust to get to the bottom of this case.

Unfortunately, there is no audio for this, but the book was a really good, pretty quick read and I really recommend this series.

Cold Justice (Book 3)

After a very tumultuous ending to her last case in The Darkest Hour, Detective Ella Marconi is back at work, but she is now working in the Unsolved Unit looking into a 20-year-old murder case that has been brought back to the forefront by newly elected MP. Ella begins looking into the case and the teenage girl, Georgie, who found the body and 20 years later is now a paramedic.

Cold Justice (Book 3). A Propensity to Discuss review.

When things start happening to Georgie that scare and confuse her, she turns to Detective Marconi for help. After all, there is a man following her and her new partner is treating her with hot and cold emotions.

The fact that the murdered boy’s father, John, was the original detectives’ first and main suspect has not gone unnoticed by Ella, nor has the openly hostile attitude of the boy’s mother toward not only Ella but her husband John, as well.

And, as if that weren’t enough, Ella has a new fella, and with all that is right in the relationship, something seems to be worrying her.

This, for me, was another hit by Katherine Howell. An easy read, but with an ending I didn’t see coming until very close to the conclusion, Howell has once again successfully combined great, realistic paramedic scenes and a female detective who is not willing to buckle under pressure from those around her, even though she doesn’t always have self-confidence on her side. Ella is truly a likable person and very real in her struggles.

I’m ready for more…on to book four.

As with book 2, there is no audio for this title, but book 4 (Violent Exposure) is available as an audio version and read by Caroline Lee, one of my absolute favorites! I’ll be reading and listening to that one soon. I’ll keep you posted!

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4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

 

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

Liar. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Liar by K.L. Slater

Truly a psychological thriller, Liar by K.L. Slater will take you on a journey that you think you have figured out, but in the end, you realize that what you know to be true can be an absolute lie.

Judi is so proud of her son Ben and grandsons Noah and Josh and would do anything to help since his wife passed away two years before. She cooks for them, cleans their home and cares for them as only a mother can.

That is, until Amber comes along and threatens to take it all away. Ben is swept up in this new infatuation, but Judi has a mother’s intuition and she knows that Amber is not all that she seems. But no one, especially Ben, will believe her.

No doubt about it, Amber is up to something sinister, that much is obvious, but the part that grabs you is when it all comes crashing down and the truth of Amber’s deceit is revealed.

Once I got to about the third or fourth chapter, I could not put this down, but when I finished, I felt as if I had been on a roller coaster of emotion. This is one not to be missed if you like psychological thrillers like The Girl on the Train and Dark Places.

I think the rest of K.L. Slater‘s books will be on my “To Read” list very soon!

There is also an audio version of Liar, read by Lucy Price Lewis

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

 

 

 

 

Room. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

Room (Movie)

After spending a little bit of time in my new retired life (thanks or not to syringomyelia), I have to admit I have been a little bored. I am trying to keep busy and have been cleaning my house and getting rid of clutter. But cleaning isn’t my favorite, so I have decided to take it a bit at a time and have (syringomyelia required) rest breaks.

During one such break, I watched the movie Room. Yes, I have read the book and it is still one of my favorites! So, what about the movie?

Room. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

Ma (Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblayare trapped in Room, which is a sound proof storage shed in the backyard of a man who kidnapped Ma when she was 17. Jack, who just turned 5, has never seen anything beyond Room except through a skylight through the ceiling. He watches TV, but those things shown are not real. The only real things are Ma and Jack and what is inside room, like Tub, Bed, and Wardrobe.

When “Old Nick” comes to visit Ma, Jack has to stay in Wardrobe and sometimes Old Nick brings Sunday treats, but only the things they need, nothing extra. Ma, whose real name is Joy Newsome, knows there is more out there and she wants nothing more than to get Jack and herself back to her real home.

Room. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

This movie was so very close to the book that I knew exactly what was going to happen. Bummer, right? NO! It was absolutely wonderful. Even though I knew the plot, even though I knew the outcome, it was still so amazingly created and acted that I felt I was seeing/hearing the story for the first time. Brie Larson won an Oscar for her role in this film. Yes, it was that good. However, the Academy missed the mark on Jacob Tremblay because he also should have won an Oscar for his performance. He was masterful as 5-year-old Jack!

I very rarely say this, but here goes: Whether or not you have read the book which was written by Emma Donoghue see the movie! But if you haven’t read the book, you really should, because both are top of the line in my opinion. Both the book and the movie are not to be missed!

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

The Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Lion’s Game Nelson DeMille

An international murderer code-named “The Lion” has defected to the U.S. for diplomatic immunity and is flying into New York’s JFK Airport to be met by the American Terrorist Task Force (ATTF) team, including former NYC detective John Corey. But upon arrival, the ATTF finds that it is now The Lion’s Game that they are playing.

Ashad Khalil is a Libyan terrorist with a mission to avenge his family and his country and is now on a bloodthirsty mission. John Corey, with his beautiful new partner, Kate Mayfield, are desperate to find him before even more people are killed. But the question remains: Is he still in the U.S. or did he escape back to Libya?

Nelson DeMille first introduced John Corey in the novel Plum Island and in The Lion’s Game he still has issues following orders, still dislikes Ted Nash and is still one of the most sarcastic and funny characters in police work, but now he’s with a not so willing to laugh FBI unit fighting terrorism.

A truly engrossing story as only Nelson DeMille can deliver. If you read Plum Island, you’ll want to read this next book in the series. If not, start there. This is a series that everyone who likes spy rings, espionage and government conspiracy theories will love!

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

This post may contain affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products!

The Good Daughter. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Good Daughter – Karin Slaughter

I have said it before and here it is again: The absolute biggest problem with reading a Karin Slaughter book is finishing and having the agony of waiting for the next one! That being said, The Good Daughter follows true to form.

Rusty Quinn was a man of many words and many beliefs. First and foremost he believed that everyone had a right to a fair trial, which is why he defended the vilest of the vile, always knowing that his family was shunned in their small town because of his cases. And then it all came crashing down around him.

Twenty-eight years ago two men came looking for Rusty but instead found Gamma, the wife he adored, and his daughters Sam and Charlie. The night left Gamma dead and Charlie and Sam fighting for their lives. The events, told this time from Charlie’s point of view, detail what happened to her mother and her sister and how she ran as fast as she could to escape.

Charlie has been running ever since.

Fast forward 28 years to a horrifying shooting that rocks the small town and Charlie finds herself right in the middle of it, peeling the scabs off of the wounds that had never really healed. Head-strong, willful, deeply angry Charlie throws herself headlong into making things right. Rusty, as usual, is the only one ready to defend the girl at the center of this egregious crime again putting his life in jeopardy.

Once again, Karin Slaughter has managed to write a novel that is both grisly and beautiful, lurid and poignant. A book about hatred and healing, fear, and misunderstanding. A book about the power of forgiveness and the desperation of hate.

As with most of Karin Slaughter’s books, the audio version of The Good Daughter is read by Kathleen Early who, as always, brings something specific to every character, even if it is in just a subtle way. She does a superb job of relaying the anguish, the love, the hurt and the hate in a way that leads you straight into the mind of each and every character. I could listen to her read all day and all night. Especially if it was a Karin Slaughter novel.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly Five out of five stars for writing. Five out of five stars for the audio. But beware, once you begin, you are opening your heart for one huge emotional ride!

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all.