East of Evil
by Joni M Fisher
East of Evil by Joni M. Fisher is the fourth book in the Compass Crimes series which features a different but linked lead character in each book.
East of Evil focuses on Nefi Jenkins, a want to be FBI agent who was raised in a small village deep in the Amazon rainforest by her hippy parents until their untimely death.
About to graduate, and waiting to begin an FBI internship, Nefi’s world is turned on it’s head when she discovers that her parents set up a trust fund for her with a life changing amount of money.
The trust fund also brings danger as Nefi discovers that some of the money has disappeared and she needs answers from the former trustee.
Whilst each book in the series says it can be read as a stand-alone story, I would recommend reading them in order as some of the plots take place over similar time periods and are referenced here. If you haven’t read the previous titles then this can cause the reader to feel that certain parts of the story were somewhat glossed over.
I found the balance between character and relationship development slightly heavy compared to the plot and story and at times the legal detail was unnecessarily complex in relation to the rest of the story.
The plot twists came as no real surprise but fitted well with the story and my expected outcomes.
I enjoyed the overall story and the central characters are clearly defined making it easy to remember who is who. The main villain could have been better utilised but serves their purpose to keep the plot moving on.
In summary, this is an entertaining read but to get the best out of it then I’d recommend reading the four books in order to allow the characters and semi intertwining plots to develop.
I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys character driven light thrillers as long as you’re not expecting a complex action packed plot.
Bad Day Breaking
by John Galligan
Originally posted on my blog Nonstop Reader.
Bad Day Breaking is the 4th procedural mystery in Bad Axe County by John Galligan. Released 30th Aug 2022 by Simon & Schuster on their Atria imprint, it's 336 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
This is a very well written procedural novel with a returning cast of characters including local law enforcement, some of their family members, and a few eccentric small-town notables. Set in a rural area of Wisconsin, it's both isolated and remote enough to render it something of a closed circle/locked room setup. A cult has moved into the local environs and town inhabitants are very unhappy, bordering on panic. Local sheriff Heidi has a stressful and unmanageable PR crisis to deal with which is definitely not improved by the discovery of a murdered cult member with a slashed throat. A winter storm has inconveniently made her town even more isolated than normal.
The author is wonderfully adept with dramatic tension and plotting, and the prose sings in places. His writing is sublime, and unexpected in a police procedural thriller. It's a western- ish story and will likely appeal to current fans of Craig Johnson, Jeffery Deaver, and Dennis Lehane.
Four stars. Very very well done.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Peril in Paradise
by Jerold Last
Roger and Suzanne are taking a much-needed vacation in Hawaii with their friends. While scuba diving in an off-tourist area, Roger finds a box in the ocean that contains over a quarter of a million dollars. After contacting a friend in the FBI, he turns the money over to the agents. But things go wrong when the agents disappear with the money. As Roger and his friend investigate the disappearance, they discover that things aren’t what they seem on the peaceful island of Maui. Will Roger be able to solve this case?
Peril in Paradise is the 21st Roger and Suzanne Mystery series book. Yes, you read that right, book 21!!! And the wonderful thing about this is that you can read Peril in Paradise as a standalone book. That alone made this book so much better in my eyes. Of course, I suggest you read the previous 20 books to understand Roger and Suzanne’s backstory better. But if you choose not to, it won’t hurt you.
Peril in Paradise is set on the island of Maui. The storyline is centered around Roger and Jason and their investigation into the missing agents/money and the general mayhem that starts after the money and agents go missing. The author does mention, in his author’s forward, that he had wanted to have a book set in Maui for a while, and I am glad that he chose this book to set it in. I believe that any other setting wouldn’t have done this story justice.
The main storyline focuses on Roger and Jason’s discovery of the money, turning it in, and then their FBI-sanctioned investigation. I found every part of the storyline intriguing and exciting. In an unusual turn, I enjoyed that the author let me, the reader, know who the bad guys were upfront. From that point on, it was more of a focus on Roger and Jason’s investigation and their keeping one step ahead of them.
Speaking of the investigation, I liked that the author kept me guessing when Roger and Jason would capture the bad guys. Oh, and where. But I certainly wasn’t expecting what happened during that showdown to happen. It was foreshadowed several times during the book, but I ignored it. That teaches me, and it made me have a new appreciation for unusual methods.
The end of Peril in Paradise was what I thought it would be. The author wrapped everything up. I wondered what would happen locally after Jason and Roger left, but the author even addressed that.
I recommend Peril in Paradise to anyone over 21. There is language and graphic violence, but no sexual situations.
Many thanks to Jerold Last for allowing me to read and review Peril in Paradise. All opinions stated in this review are mine.