Mini Reviews #12 Deep Down Dead & Deep Blue Trouble


Welcome to a new edition of mini-reviews, this time it’s all about Steph Broadribb!

Release: 2017/2018
Publisher: Orenda Books
Genre: Thriller

Deep Down Dead and Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb are fast-paced, action-filled thrillers featuring the brave and extremely likable Lori Anderson, a young bounty-hunter with dark past and a lovely daughter, a woman who needs to make quick money no matter what.

In Deep Down Dead, Lori takes a job that is supposed to be simple, but of course, there’s nothing simple in the bounty hunter profession. Three days later, her life has completely changed and there’s no going back. Forced to take her daughter with her, Lori and Dakota are in trouble from the very first day of the job. And at the center of the game, there’s JT, her former mentor, a man who shares a very special connection with her…

In the second book, Lori’s job is to keep JT alive and that’s why she takes another dangerous mission… Deep Blue Trouble is pretty similar to Deep Down Dead in the sense that they’re both fast-paced and filled with action and I particularly liked that it ended with a cliffhanger, just like a tv show episode that makes you want to keep on reading! I see potential for a reaaaally long series featuring Lori.




Review: The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak @DurangoWriter @KensingtonBooks


Release: 2018
Publisher: Kensington Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Southern Lit

From the moment I watched The Green Mile many years ago, I became fascinated with stories about death row and prison inmates. Surprisingly, I haven’t read as many books about the topic as I would’ve wanted, so I was obviously excited to read Mandy Mikulencak’s novel as soon as I came across its intriguing blurb.

The Last Suppers tells the story of Ginny Polk, a young woman working as the head cook in Louisiana’s Greenmount State Penitentiary in the 1950s. Ginny’s father was a prison guard at that same prison but was killed many years ago and the murderer was put to death when she was eight years old. Ginny is now dating her father’s best friend, Roscoe, who happens to be the prison warden, but they have a very complicated relationship. And Ginny’s life is about to become even more complicated when she starts looking into her father’s mysterious death…

I absolutely loved the concept in this novel. Ginny was both kind and strong-willed and I really loved her as a character. She provides the prisoners’ last suppers and always tries to cook their favorite meals, no matter what she has to do in order to achieve that. Ginny feels they should be shown a little humanity during their last hours, and I deeply admired her determination.

The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak was unexpected in many ways, especially because I didn’t know how the story would evolve. The “mystery” plot didn’t pick up until the last section of the book, but I found it quite compelling. The book dealt with several themes like racism, human rights and family relationships and I must say this is a little gem that I feel should be way more appreciated.

Many thanks to the publishers and Edelweiss for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review



Review: The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox @josephknox__ @TransworldBooks


Release: 2018
Publisher: Transworld Books
Genre: Crime

I fell in love with Aidan Waits from the moment I started Sirens. I still loved him here, even though he’s become more mature and he’s not such a lost cause as he was in the first book. Or maybe he still is, but he certainly seems to be improving. If you love flawed detectives, you really need to give this series a go. Aidan is the classic tortured soul: he has a history of drug abuse and also a weakness: he can’t stand to see a suffering young woman. He always does everything he can to help them out.

The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox grabbed me from the very beginning and it never let me go. I was fascinated by the different storylines: the smiling man that nobody seemed to know, young Sophie and Cartwright’s threat, Aidan being practically harassed by the other police officers… and my personal favorite, the fantastically creepy flashbacks featuring Wally and that cruel and evil man. This last one wasn’t entirely a surprise, but I loved it anyway.

The case involving the smiling man was so intriguing that I honestly had no idea of what had happened. There was a dead man at an abandoned hotel and the owners didn’t even talk to each other. The guard heard voices and was hurt by someone else. But were they even involved or was this totally unrelated? And what about the fact that the victim didn’t even have fingerprints? This storyline kept becoming more and more complex and mysterious and I really enjoyed the addition of the “missing missing” concept, which was incredibly interesting to read about.

Sutcliffe is rude and unlikable, but his working relationship with Aidan was pretty interesting to read. You could say they almost make a good team. Detectives working the night shift is not something that I usually come across in detective novels or films (there are some exceptions, of course), and that’s probably the reason why I think Sirens and The Smiling Man are unique crime books that every noir fan should read as soon as possible.

I love the dark and gritty world that Joseph Knox has crafted, and I can’t wait to read the next (and final?) installment in the Aidan Waits series. Also, I want to get to know him better, especially when it comes to his family and relationships. because… who exactly is Aidan Waits?

-What happened to you, by the way?
– I was in a fight.
She smiled, but genuinely this time.
-I meant before that.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review



Mini Reviews #11


Hello and happy start of the week to everyone! Today I want to talk about two books, The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, which seemed perfect for me at first sight but ended up being a bit disappointing. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy them, but not as much as I had hoped.


Release: 2018
Publisher: Cornerstone
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

I really loved the concept of this book, as I’ve always enjoyed creepy stories and I’m fascinated by women who write letters to convicted men. However, Samantha wasn’t a character I could connect with and I struggled with most of her decisions, as she wasn’t crazy enough for me to find her remotely interesting. I actually liked the first part of the novel better than the other half.

Of course, I never liked Danny at all either, but the book was actually really entertaining and overall an easy read. I’m sad to say that I didn’t care much for the mystery. It wasn’t entirely predictable but it wasn’t surprising either.

Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for my copy




Release: 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary

I read this book as part of a ReadAlong , and it was a very interesting novel to discuss. The book deals with racism and discrimination and the different points of view gave it a deeper approach. Small Great Things grew on me as the plot advanced (the second part of the book was much better in my opinion), but I found it so incredibly manipulative that I can’t really say I liked it.

I had read a couple of Jodi Picoult’s books years ago and loved them, but I think I’ve just outgrown them. I’m not in the mood for being taught a lesson on every page and she is basically the opposite of subtle writing. Everything is so dramatic and hey, the book talks about racism, so of course the main character’s daughter is going to want to dress up as Moana and there will be a debate about the blackface issue, even if it’s totally unrelated to the main plot.

Turk was a horrible human being, but his perspective was fascinating, I love to “hate-read” and he gave me exactly that. The trial was entertaining, but then again, I love trials. Oh, and that last twist was completely ridiculous in my opinion.




Review: Hangman by Daniel Cole @orionbooks

Hangman by Daniel Cole

Release: 2018
Publisher: Trapeze
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Last year, I read and thoroughly enjoyed Ragdoll by Daniel Cole. It was a great and unique police procedural that made a difference because of the way the story progressed. By the time I finished reading it, I deeply admired Daniel Cole’s ability to craft such a unique storyline.

I didn’t know what to expect from Hangman, but the early reviews seemed promising enough. And while I wasn’t sure how I felt during the first few pages (confused, for sure), I soon became so engrossed in the story that I forgot everything around me. I read it compulsively and I didn’t want to do anything else.

As in Ragdoll, Hangman’s concept and consequent storyline is “big” and complex. This is not a small crime and it’s not set in a small town either. This is a rather spectacular case set both in London and New York, designed to stay in your mind, filled with graphic murders and shocking scenes that feel powerful and cinematic.

The main character in this book is not William Fawkes, aka Wolf (if you read the last book, you can imagine why), but her friend/colleague Emily Baxter. There were other major characters like Rouche and Curtis, and my personal favorite, Alex Edmunds. The interactions between them were sometimes hilarious and although Baxter isn’t exactly easy to love, you have to admire her wit. Rouche was incredible as Baxter’s partner in crime and her boyfriend will probably win the Boyfriend Of The Year award really soon.

I’ve consciously avoided mentioning any details about the plot because I want you to discover everything for yourselves. Hangman’s story is a complex web of lies and manipulation that will make you reflect on how villains are created. And of course, there were plenty of twist and turns for everyone to enjoy.

So even though I loved Ragdoll, I love Hangman even more. It’s bigger, it’s better, it’s surprising and captivating and it has everything I look for in crime/thriller books. Whatever you do, don’t miss it.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy