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Author: Rachel Amphlett
Narrator: Alison Campbell
Length: 8 hours 15 minutes
Publisher: Saxon Publishing⎮2017
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural
Series: Detective Kay Hunter, Book 2
Release date: Oct. 12, 2017
Synopsis: Reputation is everything.
When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as “Suicide Mile”, it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder.
As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realizes the railway’s recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer.
With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.
When a second murder takes place within a week of the first, she realizes the killer’s timetable has changed, and she’s running out of time to stop him….
Will to Live is the second book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future….
I’m becoming an avid fan of Rachel Amphlett’s Detective Kay series. They all seem to play out like movies whenever I read them. Kay Hunter combined with sensational plots, horrific, yet fascinating crimes with a good dose of mystery make this series a winner.
I find Amphlett’s writing rather creative and refreshing in the midst of today’s crowded market, which is no easy feat believe me.
The first two books have wonderful beginning scenes that whet your appetite for the rest of the book. In Will to Live, a woman walking her dog discover a man laid across the railroad tracks unable to move and screaming for his life. Only a fence separates them, but the woman is elderly with a bad hip and unable to save him in time. Unfortunately the train is unable to stop in time killing the unknown man instantly with a sickening crunch. So Detective Kay hunter has to determine first who the man is and if it was a suicide or something more deliberate? And why? Great book!!
Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.
She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.
She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.
I like what D. Baldacci has done with the Amos Dekker series, although this wasn’t my favorite one. The best part was the last 1/3 of the book. The first 2/3’s IS well written, intriguing, with a killer hook, but still felt lacking. Having said all of that—David Baldacci still writes the best plots! They’re absolutely off the charts, cerebral, and entertaining. Also enjoyed the introduction of a new character, DIS agent Harper Brown. She played a vital role throughout the book and I can sense she’ll be back in the future.
David Baldacci is a master storyteller on steroids.
This was my first Will Robbie book and loved it! Not many people can make an assassin so intriguing, appealing, and compelling. Loved the wit, charm, and sarcastic humor of Robie. His personality fully springs out of the dynamics of his relationship with FBI agent Vance, and fourteen old runaway.
Baldacci writes the most complex plots that I’ve read of any author, yet his characters are just as deep. The use of foreshadowing, characters, tension, stakes, causes you to be lost in the story.
In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When her newest patient arrives – a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother – Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother’s death. But the truth remains tauntingly out of reach, locked away within her nightmares of an uncontrollable fire. And as her adoptive mother loses her memory to dementia, the time to find the answers is running out.
As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. And she has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most. Because what she can’t remember just might kill her.
Little Black Lies is about madness and memory – and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
A stellar read by Sandra Block! Psychiatrist Dr. Zoe Goldman is a memorable character with a hidden mystery. She’s wrapped up in a dire search for her birth mother, whom she never knew, but in the end discovers a lot more than expected. This is a wonderfully written intriguing mystery that’ll keep you turning pages into the night.
Setting. I loved the setting of this book for many reasons. I used to work in different medical settings with the same type of patients seen in this book. So this gave me a familiar feeling.
Plot. The plot was smooth, evenly paced and interwoven with the skill of a seamstress. That’s about all I can say without spoilers!!
Davenport House is the first book in a family saga following the wealthy Davenports and their servants in 1915 America.
Mary Davenport is a 22-year-old idealist who worries that the world in the Progressive Era is leaving her behind. She lives isolated in the Pennsylvania countryside with her affluent and secretive family. When her father dies suddenly, Mary becomes pained with grief and increasingly suspicious of those around her.
A humble servant girl has the chance of a lifetime to become a lady’s companion. Costly dresses, exquisite rooms, and fine dinners are pleasant distractions from what is really happening in the house.
This book was a delight to read! It quickly became a page turner as I got used to the characters and sought for answers.
I really loved that this was a historical mystery set in the progressive era. Mary’s father died, or was he murdered? The Family saga begins at this point sending poor Mary on a wild goose chase. Very entertaining!
Loved every character. Family drama and secrets made it even more intriguing. I found myself sucked into the story through Mary’s experience, her servant girl and the household. Marie Silk does a great job this. This was a strong point throughout the book. Character interaction and dialogue was superb.
In Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s edgy new thriller, Louisa Hancock thought she was safe…but there’s a new killer in town.
When a mysterious package lands on Louisa Hancock’s doorstep, the Philadelphia museum curator can hardly anticipate the nightmare that’s about to envelop her. The package is addressed to her father—an expert in Viking culture—and inside is a ninth-century sword, a chilling thank-you note, and photos of two dead bodies in a tableau evoking a Nordic funeral. The gruesome images match a recent crime scene. But before the police can investigate the killer’s connection to Louisa’s father, Ward Hancock vanishes.
Sports bar owner Conor Sullivan wants nothing more than to spend his life with Louisa. Devoted and protective, he refuses to leave her side after her father’s disappearance. When a troubled young boxer he’s been coaching is suspected of the murders, Conor is pulled in even deeper. Desperate, Louisa and Conor take it upon themselves to find her father, but soon another ritualistic slaying makes it clear there’s a Viking-obsessed serial killer on the loose. And he has a new target: Louisa.
You won’t find any dull moments in this one. Melinda Leigh does an excellent job of building suspense, action, and mystery to keep the pages turning!
When I first began this book I knew it was going to be a great read. I could feel it in my gut. Gotta love those guts, eh? YES. I was right!
The tension, pacing, characters, plot, romance, antagonist were perfect. Conner Sullivan is every woman’s dream of a gentlemen who is hell-bent on protecting the love of his life, Louisa Hancock.
Louisa is a vulnerable yet strong individual who is no pushover despite her circumstances. I can’t say more without spoilers.
Louisa’s father is an renowned Viking culture expert who has a demented secret admirer. It all begins when Louis starts receiving strange packages at her doorstep. Her father’s life is at stake and possibly her own…You’ll never guess who the killer really is until the very end! And the ending is exquisite to the last drop! A must read!
I’m happy to announce a brand new series deemed Audio Forensics! It will exclusively be about audiobooks and everything related to them. News, reviews, interviews from the latest and the greatest. Some will go here and others will go to my other site at Mystery Thriller Week. I’ll mix it up and try to keep things interesting. It should be epic fun! There’s more interesting things I’d love to say about Audio Forensics but I’m much too pooped to say more. Another day I promise!
If you would like to do a guest post in relation to this drop me a line in the comment section. The more the merrier.
The growth of audiobooks has been steadily booming the last several years and bound to only get better. Time to give them some lovin’. I listen to about two per week so this will be a nice outlet for what I’ve experienced.
So, on that note let us introduce my favorite audiobook of 2016. And the winner is….
Jake had the perfect voice to go along with this story. Absolutely perfect. He has that creepy, eerie, mysteriousness to his of voice that really brings out the story to the fullest degree. His performance was off the charts in my estimation.
This story was amazing! I honestly didn’t expect it to be as good as it was, but was pleasantly surprised. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire book. That’s probably what I enjoy most about it. The SUSPENSE was brilliant. The plot twists toward the end are even better. This one had it all. Out of all the audiobooks I’ve listened to this year, this one resonated with me the most.
According to Goodreads
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.
With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.
First I wanted to thank Jodi Picoult for taking the time to write such a tremendous book. Jodi, if I ever get the chance to meet you I’ll give you a double high five. This great book is no small thing!
First it took me awhile to get use to the multiple point of views, but once that happened it became the strength of the story. I commend the author for taking head on things that most people try to avoid. Racism. Prejudice. Bias. I certainly try to avoid these topics like the plague instead of facing them.
Small Great Things employs a heavy theme throughout the book. Jodi makes no attempt to skate around the subjects at hand. Honestly, at first I thought it was a little bit over the top; but then I thought about the interaction between Kennedy McQuarrie and Ruth Jefferson. Kennedy a defense lawyer, did not think it was appropriate, necessary, or wise to bring race into the courtroom. Eventually she fully embraces the matter of race in her own life, both personally and professionally. This helped me to embrace the story more on a thematic level. It’ll never be easy to discuss matters of race, but I’m glad somebody did!
I will always reserve a place in my heart for the great story of Ruth, Kennedy, Edison and Turk Bauer. The embody the real life struggles, challenges, and transformation that we all need.
I greatly appreciate Jodi’s ability to capture the reality of each character and reveal them on the page. Weaving together so many elements is not easy for an author.
Each character is symbolic of something deeply rooted in our society. But love overcomes all things.
*All verses are taken from the New Testament Recovery version Bible*
Have you ever wondered what life is like through the eyes of another? To see what they see, know what they know, experience as they do? Do you yearn to participate in another’s inner life journey as they learn to navigate through it? Well, today we have an excellent resource in talented author and book lover, Sally Allen. Her book Unlocking Worlds, does exactly that. Unlock worlds in book after book with amazing protagonists, heroes and supporting cast. I’ve already added several (and counting) of these books to my Goodreads account. Which seems to be growing like kudzu on steroids at the moment.
I love books, and I also yearn to experience the the world view through the eyes of voracious readers, bookworms and book lovers. To get a taste of what they appreciate and how books have shaped them over the years. Whoohoo! Fun stuff! Unlocking Worlds will introduce you to the familiar and uncharted territories of lands waiting to be explored. To boldy go where no man has gone before…(sounds like Star Trek).
Who affected your reading habits as a child?
My family was my strongest influence. My parents restricted screen time (meaning I wasn’t allowed anywhere near screens from Monday through Friday), and my parents and older siblings were all readers. So from house rules to house habits, I learned to turn to books for entertainment. And I did!
We do the same thing at our house and our kids hate this. My childhood was quite the opposite with unrestricted screen time, yikes! Wish I could’ve read more books back then.
Which stories, characters, or themes became part of your core values?
The two that first come to mind I read (and reread often) as a child: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett and The All-of- a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. Both embodied the values my family instilled in me – community, family, empathy, and compassion – though in very different ways. They’re books I still think of, draw inspiration from, and enjoy rereading to this day.
These are very good values!
How did your reading affect you in high school?
Reading was how I would relax and unwind. I remember spending countless hours lying on the floor of my room reading and rereading my favorite contemporary novels. High school was also when I first fell in love with classic literature – Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain – and learned to embrace a broader range of literary genres and styles.
I often hear these as sources of inspiration, especially Austen.
What did you appreciate about literature throughout college?
I most appreciated building on the close reading skills introduced in high school and learning how to research and discover more about the story behind a book. These highlighted how much we don’t understand and how much we have to learn. They taught me to have patience, to listen, and not to rush the judgment. Incidentally, all excellent life skills as well!
Reading is one thing, but learning the nuts and bolts behind it is another. Gleaning solid virtues such as patience, listening and understanding are excellent.
What was your goal in writing this particular book?
I wanted to share a way of reading for personal pleasure and enrichment. Reading preferences can be incredibly personal, driven by what we’re trying to figure out and by our personal experiences and preoccupations. I wanted to honor that and to show how books of all kinds can bring us both pleasure and growth, depending on how we approach them and why we’re drawn to them. I hope that readers will discover both books they’ve read and not read and that my book will inspire reflection and conversation.
Yes I’ve definitely appreciated reading your book and I’ve added many to Goodreads account already. Personally I believe we could benefit more from reflecting and conversing about what we’ve read and experienced.
Tell us about your fascination with “aspects of wonder” from “Criticism” by Matthew Goulish.
I encourage everyone to find and read Goulish’s beautiful essay! There is so much to treasure in and learn from it. What captured my imagination about “aspects of wonder” is the idea of being transported by beauty. In a way, it seems like it should be obvious that engaging with art is about transcendent moments. But that’s not always what happens in practice.
I’ll have to do some more digging to find it. Thanks for the reference!
…”it takes a keen mind and an open heart to recognize and value beauty.” I really enjoyed this quote and Ghoulish’s view of the critic changing, and not the work of art.
Thank you! Goulish’s view reminds me of the saying (I believe it’s Carl Jung’s), “You are what you do.” How we approach and engage with art can mirror how we approach and engage with the world around us. If we enter into an art experience with an openness and sense of possibility, it can change what we allow ourselves to get out of it. And that approach to books can translate into how we approach the world around us as well. So how we read matters a great deal.
I find this very fascinating. How we approach and engage with art mirroring how we engage with the world around us. EPIC!
How do you feel about the current 5 star rating system for books?
I am not a fan. Reading is such a rich, transformative, dimensional experience. To reduce a book to five stars has a way of draining the complexity, life, and beauty out of it for me.
Wow. I love your statement on this. It provides a totally different mindset when it comes to books.
If you had to choose another time period in which to live in, which would you choose?
So many of the books I love were written in the 19th century. I’m also fascinated by ancient Greek literature and by all that we can’t know about that time. It would be interesting to visit and experience everyday life in either of these times. Though I must admit, I’m quite happy to read about the past from my comfortable perch in the 21st century!
Hah! True enough. Greek is pretty fascinating, love the language. The 19th century sounds cool…but I’d rather read about it.
How does reading shape and transform us?
Reading allows us to see the world through another set of eyes and from another position in space and time. It introduces us to new ideas and new ways of looking at the world. Research is beginning to help us understand how reading experiences can rewire our brains. Having felt changed by my experience of books – Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth come to mind – I can believe it!
I’m very intrigued how reading affects our brain development and experience. Recent books have touched on this using cognitive science. It’s affects are amazing!
Tell us about your favorite literary Mom.
The first one I thought of is Marmee from Little Women because she’s such a steady, comforting presence. But I also adore Miranda’s mom in When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. She’s quirky, gives great advice, challenges Miranda to think harder and be kinder, and she is 100 percent devoted as a parent.
Moms are the BEST! Like you said, steady and a comforting presence. That’s a mom. I’ll have to add these books to my ever-growing TBR list.
Do you have a favorite father figure?
My favorite literary father figure is Joe Gargery from Great Expectations. He’s kind, loving, patient, loyal, forgiving. My favorite literary dad is Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. He never talks down to his children, and he embodies empathy, even when it is most difficult (and therefore most valuable).
Splendid. Empathy can be rather challenging at times, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you had to pick a protagonist to marry who would it be?
I love Hamish Macbeth from M. C. Beaton’s murder mystery series. He has the right priorities: the desire for a peaceful life (somewhat ironic, since he’s constantly having to solve murders!) and deep care for his community. Another favorite is Obinze from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. He’s patient, loyal, and an empathetic listener, (and he’s a reader!).
This was a fun one! Hamish Macbeth and Obinze. By the way, thanks for recommending Americanah. It sounds like a very moving story.
If you had to pick a hero for president, who are your top 3 choices?
I agree with Albus Dumbledore that those who want power are probably the least to be trusted with it. So my choices would lean towards those who have neither expressed a desire for power nor pursued it. My three picks will stick with the Harry Potter theme: Kingsley Shacklebolt’s focus, discretion, and principles put him at the top of my list. I would also vote for Hermione Granger, who is highly rational, clever, and has a strong sense of justice. Finally, Mr. Weasley seems happy to sacrifice prestige for doing the right thing. He would get my vote.
Great picks! Love your philosophy on this. Sounds like it would make a great book, or perhaps fan fiction?
If you were a damsel in distress, who would you call on to rescue you?
Hopefully, I would be able to rescue myself. 🙂 But in a pinch, Hermione would be a good person to have in my corner.
Being rescued is more fun 🙂 I’m noticing a pattern here. If Hermione would become president, then rescued you, that would be a blockbuster.
Do you have any other books in the works?
I’ve been working on an idea for a book on classic literature. It’s still in the beginning stages, so we’ll see where it takes me.
Absolutely. A book on the classics sounds great.
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