Fiction

Maiden Voyage

Daphne Birkmyer (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

Maiden Voyage by Daphne Birkmyer is the third book in the Comfrey, Wyoming series, an engrossing tale that follows the unique journeys of twins, Amadeus and Marcela, on a path of discovering themselves and their purpose. Amadeus and Marcela Crow are twins who grew up together but their paths are destined to be different. While Marcela completes her gender-affirming surgery in San Francisco, Amadeus leaves college and goes to Alaska to work in the risky fishing industry. These characters face unique situations and readers follow them as they str...

Dead Beckoning

Mike Cobb (MG Cobb Books LLC)

| Reviewed by Bertin Drizller

Dead Beckoning by Mike Cobb is a well-crafted historical fiction with a strong appeal to fans of crime thrillers and sleuths. A single gunshot leaves an Atlanta businessman writhing in pain that eventually ends in death. It is hard to determine if he shot himself or was shot by someone else. But a police captain is determined to uncover the truth behind the murder, little does he know that there are many who will do all to derail his efforts, including corrupt detectives and an untrustworthy commissioner. Can Police Chief Arthur Connolly a...

The Apocryphal of Lazarus

Pablo Zaragoza (Independently published)

| Reviewed by David Reyes

A nuanced and engrossing tale, The Apocryphal of Lazarus by Pablo Zaragoza follows the Biblical Lazarus after being raised from the dead by Jesus. While waiting for Christ's return, he sets out to create a purpose for his life, a mission that starts with shipbuilding and vineyards. But Lazarus quickly discovers that time passes by and he doesn't grow older. He will experience a cycle of having children and grandchildren and watching them die, of marrying over and over, and ultimately, he must determine how to camouflage his immortalit...

The Lilium

Pablo Zaragoza (Independently published)

| Reviewed by David Reyes

The Lilium by Pablo Zaragoza is a fascinating story that takes readers across time and through centuries, following three offspring of one of the primeval creatures, the woman called Lilith. This biblically themed story captures the adventures of the rebellious first wife of Adam — Lilith — who, shunning her husband's control over her, leaves the Garden of Eden and runs away. Condemned to live in a cave, Lilith only comes out during the full moon. She gives birth to demons who escape and roam the earth, causing havoc. But there are three, who s...

The Hawk Enigma

J.L. Hancock (Class Five Press)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

This unforgettable gut punch of a techno-thriller features Voodoo, a war veteran with exceptional shooting skills that commanded respect among his peers in Iraq. He is haunted by images of the war and the only respite he gets comes from his work at the military research lab in San Diego. His dreams about the future are disturbing and he has the uncanny feeling they might come to happen. In Japan, two scientists — Dr. “Taka” Hawkins and Dr. Kenzo Ichikawa — go missing. These missing scientists have been working on the ''God Algorithm'' and the t...

The Vernazza Effect

Roberta R. Carr (Roberta R. Carr)

| Reviewed by David Reyes

A twenty-nine-year-old woman who has had a great deal of struggle is offered the sole opportunity for rebirth. But will she hold onto it or be held back by old habits?The Vernazza Effect by Roberta R. Carr is a spellbinding literary fiction that follows Ella Walker, a woman who has suffered a lot of abuse at the hands of her husband and who faces many challenges at work as well. Her friend, Tara Collins, takes her on a journey to Italy, one that is supposed to take her away from her struggles and give her the opportunity to find herself. This j...

The Elephant Graveyard

Boman Desai (Boman Desai)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

The Elephant Graveyard: A Moby Dick for Elephants by Boman Desai is a spellbinding novel, evenly paced, that follows a circus troupe as it deals with a tragic event. The lives of five people are upended with the death of Myrtle Bailey in the circus ring — Hazel, her daughter; Brown E, her once-upon-a-time lover and a jester; Dinty, her husband; Jonas Frank, the circus owner; Spike, her son and the ghost narrator of the story; and Hero, the blackest elephant in the world. A man named Elbo de Bleu flees from the police and seeks refuge in the cir...

Thunderball: A Nikki Doyle Novel (Archimedes)

Paula J. Longhurst (Independently Published)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

In Thunderball: A Nikki Doyle Novel by Paula J. Longhurst, Nikki’s boyfriend goes missing and someone is working hard to make it look as though Gavin Lancaster is involved in the arms dealing operation he was investigating before his mysterious disappearance. Nikki can’t let that happen. Nikki is supposed to pick up Gavin at the airport. Accepting do a favor —“a very dirty term” where she grew up, meaning backhander, under-the-counter dealing, or bribe —she ends up finding herself in dire straits. Unbeknownst to her, the briefcase she carries i...

Rollover: A Nikki Doyle Novel (Archimedes)

Paula J Longhurst (Independently Published)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

Paula Longhurst’s Rollover: A Nikki Doyle Novel is a fascinating blend of suspense, mystery, and thriller, following Nikki Doyle, a lottery-winner protection agent working for the Archimedes team that protects lottery winners by providing them a new location and identity. Nikki is still dealing with the trauma of getting involved in a bank robbery just six months ago, and still has old wounds to heal when she is assigned to a new case. This time, her client is a couple, Marvin and Lydia Potts, who has just won £10 million in the lottery. Nikki’...

Fly Girl

Bill Hellman (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

| Reviewed by Franklin Bauer

Fly Girl by Bill Hellman is a perfect read for fans of military thrillers. Rawley West developed a strong sense of secrecy from being born to a father who works in a government agency, the kind of girl who learns to ride a horse and shoot from an early age. Her father, a fighter in the US Navy, instills in her a passion for flying, so after college, she decides to follow in her father’s footsteps. She responds to an ad and gets hired for a job flying for the CIA in Afghanistan. On the job, she discovers people she has known and to her utte...

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